“She’s here!” Adena cried ecstatically, vaulting upward and bounding in place, wrenching her hands
together impatiently. The sky blue car rolled to a standstill, and the door opened gradually revealing a bulky figure, baggy
clothes overwhelming her petite frame. Astonished, for a moment Adena thought this must be the wrong car and her ceaseless
excitement faded away. But the driver was the same one that had come to take her best friend away at the beginning of the
summer and despite the indisputable surprise of the others, her thrill returned and she bounced over to the car and threw
her arms delightedly around her friend. Adena was dumbfounded when she heard a low grunt of pain. Jumping backwards she looked
over her friend with critical eyes and noticed for the first time the gastily whiteness of her skin, tinted a slight yellow
from sickness. The dark circles under her eyes stretched all the way down her cheeks, and extended almost all the way to her
high-set cheekbones. Her hair seemed limp and lifeless, not full of the usual bounce and colour. Her normally slender features,
were now an abnormal gaunt. Her skin stretched over harshly jutted out cheekbones and the hands that stuck out from the sleeves
of the oversized black sweatshirt she wore seemed like skin and bone. The expression on her face was guarded and desolate.
Tears popped to Adena’s eyes at the sight of her friend. No, Adena thought roughly, this wasn’t her friend. This
wasn’t the girl who had left for the summer. This was someone else.
“What happened to you?” she whispered
under her breath, hearing the footsteps of the others approaching from behind.
“Don’t know what you’re
talking about.” the girl murmured under her breath, elbowing past Adena and hiking past the others without a second
“What’s the matter with her?” Cameron asked worriedly, pacing over to Adena, followed closely
by the other two.
“I don’t know, but I’m scared.” Adena’s voice was scarcely above a whisper.
“Come on.” Cameron seemed to be the only one with a voice that he could trust not to quaver whenever he spoke.
With a little shove, he pushed Adena towards the other two and the four of them followed the path that there now distant friend
had disappeared up a moment ago. By the time they found her, she was curled back up in a blanket, remote in hand, Maury Povich
and the 54 year old man who was dating a 20 year old glowing faintly from the tv screen.
“Hey,” Cameron tried
cheerfully, but was greeted by only a wail of protest.
“You’re blocking the screen.” Her voice was different
too. Distant, emotionless, burdened with some unknown pain.
“Why are you watching this anyway?” Cameron taunted,
trying a new tactic. He wanted his friend back.
“Maury is very sympathetic you know!” the cold, dead voice
snapped at him, bony hand waving him out of the way. “Unlike you seem to be.” the last part under her breath.
just want to know what’s wrong.” Squib spoke for the first time, his voice quivering pleadingly with the girl
who was cutting them all out.
“Nothing is wrong!” The voice wasn’t so emotionless anymore, but it still
surprised them. Filled with a putrid hatred, her voice seemed to spit at them.
But-” Adena was starting to cry.
is wrong!” she snarled at them like a rabid wolf, “Now, please get your diva butt out of my way!” Her voice
turned accusatory and attacking.
“Ok!” Adena was slightly surprised at the personal attack, “We’ll
go.” she promised appeasingly.
“Good.” she didn’t seem the least bit guilty about the diva quip.
“Bye Cody.” Squib murmured quietly, sadly, appalled at her current condition, vowing to discover who or what
had done this.