Behind the Curtain of Lies; Chapter Two

Behind+the+Curtain+of+Lies%3B+Chapter+Two

Haeley Gibbs

As the sun set, we trudged back to our neighborhood. Mom greeted me with hot cocoa and a warm smile. “Did you have fun?” I shook my head, and Mom could see the tears forming in my eyes. She shushed me. “What’s wrong?”

“There’s a dead girl in the woods!” She placed her hand on the wall and rushed to the phone. I knew she was dialing 911. I sat down on the couch, staring out the window. It wouldn’t be long before the police arrived. I could hear the sirens wailing, so I rushed outside to see my friends huddled in their yards with their parents. “She’s propped up against a tree in the woods.” Jessie said gravely to a cop. I nodded in agreement. As we led them through the woods, Benny stayed behind with his mom.

Alec was nowhere to be seen, but I guess that doesn’t really matter. The cops then call the ambulance for back-up and lift the girl. They carried her towards the edge of the woods. “Where did Benny go?” I asked Jacob. He shrugged. “Probably went back home.” I squinted my eyes towards Jacob’s house. We live in a circle of houses, so it isn’t too hard to see Jacob’s mom standing beside Benny on their front porch. I sighed with relief. The ambulance finally arrived, and when Jessie checked her watch, it was already seven. Alec had still not appeared, which was unusual since most people came out when they heard sirens outside.

The ambulance drove away as the sky lost the sun’s rays. “I wonder if her parents know.” Jacob thought out loud. I looked around, but I didn’t see anybody that looked like her. After a few minutes of silence, we all headed back to our houses. That night, I couldn’t sleep. Her death was cruel, and I didn’t know who the murderer was. What if it was someone in our neighborhood?

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I rubbed my eyes and yawned. A scratch at my door told me Grace was hungry. I got up, dressed, then opened the door. She jumped on me, almost knocking me over. “You’re getting so big, girl!” I yelped, scratching her behind her ears. Her tail was spinning full circles by now, and I smirked. Mom was in the living room sipping her coffee, watching last night’s news. It seemed that a young criminal was on the loose, about the age of seventeen or eighteen. I’m seventeen, yet I didn’t know anybody who would do such a thing.

I grabbed a pop tart and walked outside. The birds went on with their day as if nothing had happened. Jessie was sitting on my porch. “What ya doing?” I asked boredly. She stopped rocking in the rocking chair and rose to her feet. “I’ve always wanted to become a detective, and this is how it starts.” I sighed. “Last night’s chaos happens all the time, Jessie.” I said. She rolled her eyes and stared at Jacob’s house. “Millie, if it happens all the time, then the criminal is in our neighborhood!” I shrugged it off and walked down the steps onto our perfectly cut lawn. Jessie followed close behind.

That’s when I realized she was wearing her father’s light brown leather coat. It was his detective coat. “Why are you wearing that?” I queried. She looked down at it. “Do you like it? I think it looks cool.” She twirled. I laughed, and we made our way to Jacob’s driveway. Soon, Jacob himself was standing beside us and we were on our way to the woods.

“It’s a bit early, so Alec shouldn’t be coming.” Jacob said, risking a glance at his house. I nodded. “Is Benny not coming today?” Jessie questioned from beside me. Jacob shook his head no. “I haven’t seen him since last night. I was tired, I went straight to bed! My dad was gone, so I couldn’t ask him either.” I stared at Jacob. “He’s never gone on winter break!” I shrilled. Jacob covered his eardrums quickly. “Just because he’s gone doesn’t mean something’s wrong.” Jessie hesitated, pondering about something. Once we got to the edge of the woods, the death stench was finally gone.

Before any of us could say a word, Alec ran straight for us holding a knife. We dodged the attack, causing him to fall face first into the snow. He lifted himself up, still holding it in his hand. Jessie was the first to speak. “What’s wrong with you!? You could’ve killed us!” Alec looked at the weapon, dumbfounded. “This is plastic.” I rolled my eyes at his stupidity. I crouched and snatched it from him. “Well don’t run at us with this.” I scolded, waving it in the air above his head. I throw the toy behind me and nudge Jessie. “Let’s just keep going.”