Within Our Shadows

Written by Clare Weinstock (Class 7)

 

Chapter 1

Quiet, they might hear. Trust me, if they do everything will come crashing down.  They might find out. My secret, I mean. But still I’ll write my story, their story. If you don’t know who they are, read on you’ll find out.

 

Maine    2014     

Gabriella looked out the window of her house. Snow had begun to fall. The cold crisp November day was snowy and dark. Through the drifting flakes, a car horn sounded. She swung her designer handbag over her shoulder. Her mind rushed at a thousand miles an hour. She pushed the doors to he house open and walked out. Before she had left the house, she had checked her hair and make-up around five times. If she didn’t look like a queen bee she couldn’t act the part. Especially now it was vital she didn’t look vulnerable.

“Gabby, hurry please!” yelled a voice from inside the rather large, elegant car parked by the snow-covered curb.

“Don’t talk to me like that I’m coming!” She swung the door open and stepped inside. Sitting by the other tinted window was a dark skinned girl with darker hair. “Happy Monday,” she said.

“Happy? With all the threats and missing people?”

The other girl spoke in a low voice, “Please stop talking about it. My mom heard about Alison. She wants to take me out of Montgomery High!”

Gabriella twirled a lock of strawberry blond hair around her finger nervously. “Oh Mia, if you left, well …um I’m trying to think of something that’ll happen. Besides me losing my best friend of course.” The car went silent as if contemplating the thought for itself. They drove through rich neighborhoods with mansions and gothic manors some over grown with vines and bushes and trees. Some groomed to beautiful perfection with sparkling windows and colorful flowers.

Gabriella wanted to say something to Mia’s mother about Mia staying but she wouldn’t even hear .The window between the backseats and the driver was up.

Finally they reached a tree covered drive.

Up in front, at the end of the road, the black gates of Montgomery High were barely visible under the climbing ivy. The car came to a halt and the doors opened from either side. As she stepped out, Gabriella smoothed her light green and white plaid school skirt and walked towards the gates. Mia waved good-bye to her mother who anxiously waved and turned the car around. They pushed the gates open and walked along the path through the grounds towards the glossy doors of the large school building. As they walked, they seemed nervous, eyes darting from place to place. Finally Mia spoke “Come on Gabby, let’s hurry I’ll feel safer inside.”

Gabriella seemed to take confidence from her friend’s fear. “We’ll be fine. Whoever they are, they won’t harm us. Not in broad daylight.” Finally they reached the doors and slipped inside. As they walked down rows of white lockers, more people joined them. All seemed to be tall girls with high heels and nail varnish. The group radiated confidence, even in the eerie halls where every one knew something evil was lurking.  They clustered around a section of lockers gossiping until Gabriella spoke up. “What’s happening to our school? Why are people going missing?”

A girl with smooth brown hair responded to her, “Gabby, you’re paranoid. Two people have gone missing. They’re probably just runaways.”

Gabriella rolled her eyes. “Two people missing from the same school within five days of each other? The same people who received threatening notes? Come on Lani, it’s no coincidence.”  Lani opened her mouth to speak but before she could the speakers crackled.

A woman’s voice came across. “Everyone please remain calm and head to the nearest classroom. This is a lockdown. If you are near the east wing, please leave the area. Rochelle Carter has been found dead in the east school grounds.” The speakers crackled again leaving everyone in silence.  Gabriella shot a triumphant look at Lani. “I told you so,” she said quietly as if she didn’t want any one to hear. The girls were frozen until Gabriella spoke up again. “Come on we have to go!” They ran as fast as they could toward door near them labeled with a thirteen. They were the only ones inside. Room thirteen was a small room reserved for the even smaller extension geography classes.  

Mia seemed on the verge of tears. “What’s going to happen?”

A redhead sitting near the windows finished locking each one and closing the curtains. “Who? That’s my question. Who would do that? First they’re missing now one’s dead!”

Another girl in the group tossed a globe from hand to hand, frowning. “I agree,” she spoke to the redhead, “you’re right Jess.  I want to know who did it.”

So they sat, close together waiting for the lockdown to lift. They were frightened, and rightly so. For two weeks, rich girls from Montgomery High had been receiving threatening notes. When the third week came, Alison Corin had gone missing from the school. She was among the popular girls, Gabriella, Mia, Jessica, Lani, Cara, Samantha, Adae, and Morgan. With Alison they had been 9, now Alison was gone they were worried and fragile. But not in public, if they were in public they would be pegged, maybe even the next missing.

After what seemed like hours the lockdown was lifted. But something was still there. Waiting for the next chance to strike.