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Series 3 Episode 3

Tucking in for an early night, Emily was ready for her first exam of the year. She was just a matter of months away from graduation, and it was starting to feel real. She had been studying hard for the whole year, longer than her friends, most of whom started within the prior week. She had warned them time and time again, but she’d be the one laughing come results day.

She was keen to get enough sleep as the final piece of the preparation puzzle. Her stress levels were high despite her hard work, so she needed all the sleep she could get. She locked her phone and settled down for the night, her head rejoicing as it felt the beautiful touch of the soft pillow. Emily prayed she’d sleep quickly, but her mind was quietly prepared for a sleepless night.

She glanced out of the window as she laid on her side, glancing at the beauty of the moon. It fascinated her, especially as it was so close to a full moon. Just a few days of exams before she could gaze at it, much like she did every month.

As she daydreamed, one of her windows creaked open. She was certain that window was shut and locked before she climbed into bed. Emily stood up and went to shut it, feeling eerie as it creaked in the otherwise silent house.

As her hand reached out, some sort of black gas wafted through. What the heck? She brushed it out of her breathing space, but it seemed to be multiplying, forming some sort of dust cloud in her bedroom. It got bigger and bigger, terrifying Emily.

She ran for the door, trying desperately to escape, but it was locked. She was scared for her life in a way she’d never felt before. What was happening?

The cloud morphed into a humanoid figure, all black in colour and tall. Then she noticed its face. Masculine and incredibly deformed. It looked horrific on a new level. The cloud faded and it was left standing there in her room, its fully black eyes looking directly at her. She screamed for help, but it was no good. Nobody seemed to be able to hear her. The horrible creature moved towards her. Emily prayed that she would wake up any second, realising it was all a terrible nightmare, but it wasn’t happening. It simply raised its right hand, and Emily began to feel her terror rising to the next level. She used her arms to protect her face, but they weren’t much good for long. Her hands began to vanish, as if they were splitting into atoms.

She cried uncontrollably, feeling helpless as she backed against a wall, but almost all of her arms had vanished. It was too late. Before long, Emily had gone entirely, as had the creature. The room was deadly silent, as if nobody were ever there.

Stirring, Dylan had had a turbulent night’s sleep. He couldn’t stop thinking about what happened to Noah, and it had kept him awake for much of the night.

On the bright side, he had Jono next to him for extra comfort. That never went amiss. He was awake for quite a while that night too, and they held each other’s hands every second they were both awake. No matter what was out there now, they still couldn’t be torn apart. Dylan was determined, and he knew Jono felt the same.

He found it crazy to think that it had been approaching a year since they got together. In some ways, it felt like much less, as if they had only shared that first kiss a week ago. In others, it felt like years.

He struggled to remember how his life was before Jono. He spent a lot of time crushing on him during school instead of paying attention to class. Perhaps too much time. At least it had paid off. The end result was not what he expected, but it was definitely what he wanted.

“You awake?” he heard Jono softly query.

“Yeah. Did you sleep okay?” Dylan wondered, pleased to hear his gorgeous tones.

“Not really. I can’t help thinking we’re wasting time. We should be out there looking for whatever that thing is,” Jono thought aloud.

“I know, but it would be a wild goose chase. We’ve got no clues, no suggestions, we’d just be trawling the streets,” Dylan reasoned. He had spent much of the night thinking it through.

“We’ve got other problems to solve too,” Drew spoke from the doorway, startling Dylan.

“How did you get in?” Dylan wondered.

“Josh’s window was open,” Drew nonchalantly admitted. Dylan sighed. They might as well crack on now he’s invited himself in.

“Did you get any texts in the end?” Jono enquired. Ah, their trial at the basketball court.

“Nope, not a peep. Now we can narrow it down,” Drew decided, “Empty your bags.”

“Our bags?” Dylan wondered, “What about them?”

“Someone could have planted something, dumbass,” Drew bluntly responded.

“You think they’d be so stupid?” Dylan considered, “We use our bags every day, we’d surely notice a microphone in there.”

“I wouldn’t be so sure,” Jono added. He had been rummaging through his own bag, and much to Dylan’s horror, he was now holding a tiny black microphone device.

Josh was almost regretting spending the night at Freddie’s. It was amazing to have his friend back, knowing there were no false pretences and he could be totally himself, rebuilding the level of trust he knew he had to earn.

However, he’d had his ears talked off all night as Freddie gushed over Yasmin. He knew it was kinda cute, and Dylan’s pack was definitely stronger with her in it, but he had a limit to how much Yasmin talk he could stomach. He felt forever single, but he had to put on an excited face for Freddie. After all, if he got lucky and found a girlfriend for himself, he knew he’d be the same. Besides, he was happy for his best friend above all else.

“Her mom seemed kinda weird though,” Freddie continued as they walked into school.

“I thought you said you hadn’t met her?” Josh was surprised by how much he could recall.

“I haven’t, that’s my point. She was too tired to meet me apparently, and Yasmin’s not mentioned her since,” Freddie justified. He did have a point – surely any parent would be desperate to meet their kid’s partner. He knew he would be.

“Don’t worry dude, maybe she just needs time,” Josh encouraged. He knew he had to be supportive, and it felt great knowing he had earned back at least enough of Freddie’s trust to be his confidante.

“How would you feel about showing a girl to Caroline and Ed?” Freddie wondered.

“I don’t know, I’ve never properly had a girlfriend. I like to think I’d show her off,” Josh considered.

“Exactly,” Freddie considered, “I’d never stop talking about her to my parents. I guess I still don’t.” Freddie looked glum, as he always did when he thought about his parents.

“They would love her,” Josh noted, “And they’d be so proud of you. More than I can say for mine.”

“Shut up, they’d be so proud of you. You’ve transformed your whole life around. That’s a bigger achievement than most,” Freddie smiled. Josh blushed; he wasn’t used to compliments.

“Yeah,” he awkwardly replied, unsure of what to say next.

“Alright, that’s enough soppiness,” Freddie laughed as they approached the school entrance. Josh was enjoying this new approach to life. Life was good, for the first time in a long time.

Making her way into school, Yasmin was thrilled to be going back. She had missed the lunchtime chats at the bench with everyone, and even some of the teachers. She had never expected to miss Mr. Larsen’s tedious algebra explanations, or Mrs. Johnson’s almost obsessive hold over her own classroom.

Best of all, she could actually focus entirely on her studies again. No trying to make friends, juggling a long-distance relationship and friendships with a new school schedule, and a mum who confused the hell out of her in recent times.

She had Spotify playing through the aux cable connected to her phone, her motivational playlist currently giving her “Bang Bang” by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj. She couldn’t resist a little sing-along too. She had a good feeling about the day ahead.

She parked the car and switched the engine off, before noticing something very weird. A chill travelled through her spine as she realised she wasn’t in the school car park. In fact, she had parked in somebody’s driveway. The house was detached and pretty, but she didn’t recognise it.

Nevertheless, she felt compelled to look inside, for reasons she didn’t even know. She just knew she had to check inside. Cautiously, she approached the front door and rang the bell. There was no answer, even when Yasmin rang it three more times.

She carefully walked around the side of the house, looking for a window to peep through, but there were none along the side. Now, Yasmin found herself at the back of the house, greeted by the back door. She pushed down on the door handle, realising to her surprise that it was unlocked.

As she stepped into the house, an eerie chill brushed against her skin, giving her goose bumps all over her arms. The house felt uneasy, but she couldn’t put her finger on why.

The house was stunning; a modern colour scheme complemented by the cutest family photos. She recognised one of the girls from around school. She didn’t know her name and was most likely a senior, but she knew her brother, Chase. He was in her year group, but had become a bit of a recluse recently. He’d helped her and Dylan out at the start of the year with a bit of phone hacking, but hadn’t said a word to either of them since.

Yasmin continued walking through the house and up the stairs, allowing her instincts to guide her. The whole house had that same, uneasy feel to it, and she wanted to escape, but something told her she shouldn’t.

Reaching the first bedroom, Yasmin read the name on the door: “Emily,”, displayed using tiny pretty flower stickers that were peeling off at the sides. It looked juvenile for someone that was in senior year. Yasmin knew she had to go inside, but she couldn’t face it. Time to make a call.

Shell-shocked, Dylan couldn’t believe Jono had found a microphone in his bag. He was desperately praying one wouldn’t be in his own. He took his bag everywhere. It had his water bottle, journalist notepad and all his other essentials, not to mention his school equipment. Dylan never understood why it was socially acceptable only for women to carry a bag. How were men supposed to get by without even a small bag to carry a water bottle and wallet in? Dylan was proud to be one of those who refused to listen to the odd conventions of society. However, it was biting him in the arse now.

“How long has that been there?” Jono seemed just as worried as Dylan, who rummaged through his own bag. His worst fears were confirmed as true, as right at the bottom, he found a tiny chip device. Another microphone. He yanked it out and chucked it onto the floor.

“Be careful, we could use it,” Drew warned.

“For what? We can’t be as bad as them,” Dylan was confused.

“No, we can track the signal,” Drew corrected. He picked up Jono’s microphone from the bed and held it to his mouth, “We’re going to track you down, and then you’ll be sorry.”

Dylan snatched it back and flung both microphones into the en-suite bathroom, shutting the door after.

“Why the heck did you do that? Now they really have it in for us,” Dylan was furious. This was the exact approach he was dead-set against.

“Somebody’s got to do something,” Drew stood firm.

“We have to tell Ed. He can help us sort this out, properly,” Dylan decided.

“You think we can trust him?” Drew was overreacting like mad,

“Whatever. I’m out.” As he finished his sentence and stormed out of the room, Dylan’s ringtone sounded. Yasmin was calling. He answered it in a flash – any excuse to brush over Drew’s stubbornness.

“Hey,” he put on a cheerful front.

“You need to get here now. I’ll explain later but I need you,” Yasmin ordered. She sounded terrified – he had to get to her, and fast.

Strangely, the bench was rather empty before school. The bell was seconds away from sounding, and Lily was only sat with Josh. Freddie was there for all of two minutes before he rushed off with no explanation, and there hadn’t been any sign of anyone else.

Normally, Dylan and Jono would be taking the mick out of each other by now, all whilst holding hands and catching each other gazing into the other’s eyes. Drew would be sat pretending he wasn’t listening, while concealing his laughter at Dylan and Jono. Meanwhile, Yasmin would be complaining at the noise while a fat textbook took up half the space on the table.

The fact nobody was in sight rang alarm bells in Lily’s mind, but Yasmin’s absence was most peculiar – it was her first day back today. There was no way someone as well-organised as Yasmin would risk being late on such a day.

She checked her phone – nothing. The lack of communication was driving her crazy. She glanced at Josh – he seemed to be doing the exact same thing; constantly checking his phone.

“Dylan didn’t tell you either, huh?” Lily attempted conversation.

“Not a peep,” Josh responded, “I’m sure he has a good reason.”

“He better do,” Lily half-joked Dylan would never intentionally leave her out, and maybe this was nothing but a traffic pile-up or something equally as inconsistent.

That said, she trusted her intuition, and it told her something was up. Particularly after Jono’s text last night, informing her of something apparently worse than the little girl now lurking in Crystalshaw. She had genuine cause for concern.

Lily glanced up, noticing something in the corner of her eye. It was a figure – humanoid and dressed entirely in black. She blinked, and it vanished. Whatever it was, it scared her. It was no hallucination, she knew that for sure. It intrigued her too though. She could never resist an investigation.

“I think we might have a lead of our own. Come on,” Lily commanded.

Freddie had never driven as frantically as he did on his way to find Yasmin. Receiving a distress call from her shot fear into his body immediately, and he had to work hard to focus on the road, but he made it there safely in the end.

The front door of the house at the address she gave was already wide open, and he could smell the scents of Dylan and Jono as well as Yasmin. Although he wouldn’t admit it, he was pleased Dylan was there too. Everything seemed to go right when Dylan was around. Freddie wasn’t as rational a thinker as he was. He was the perfect choice for the alpha.

Freddie had felt noticeably stronger since Dylan’s promotion – he didn’t realise the impact it would have, but he felt much more energetic than he was used to being.

He followed his nose up to a bedroom on the first floor, and as soon as he entered, Freddie felt a shiver down his spine. He looked around as he walked in, struggling to focus, seeing only blurs all around.

“Freddie?” he heard Dylan’s voice, but couldn’t latch onto his location. Dylan grabbed his arms, and suddenly he was in full focus.

“What’s going on?” he asked, filled with concern. Freddie examined the room. It looked normal – pink wallpaper, splattered with posters on all four walls. However, it made him feel incredibly uneasy for a reason he didn’t know.

“You can feel it, can’t you?” Jono noted. Freddie nodded. The uncomfortable feeling stopped him from admitting it verbally.

“It was here,” Yasmin revealed, in that vacant tone of voice that signified a vision. She hadn’t had one since she was previously in Crystalshaw, and it never signified something good.

“Where is it now?” Dylan interrogated, squeezing her for information.

“It’s gone, but it’s not far,” Yasmin vaguely answered.

“Where?” Dylan continued to press.

“Somewhere there’s blood. Somewhere there’s no blood,” Yasmin answered like a riddle, somehow confusing things even more. Freddie glanced at Dylan, hoping he could shed some light. However, he looked just as baffled.

Curiosity was part of Lily’s nature. She could never resist finding the answer to anything and everything. Jono hated her for it – she was always prying into his business, intentionally or not. Forever asking if he had a girlfriend when he was younger was something she regretted heavily now. However, it was her way of showing interest in his life. She kinda wished he did the same to her.

That said, he’d been informed of all of her messy love-life experiences whether he wanted to know or not. She had to vent about two-timer Nick and three-timer Cameron, for example, to somebody.

Now her curiosity was extending further. She was determined to track down the black figure she saw. Josh followed behind her, unsure of exactly what he was supposed to be doing. Lily barely knew herself. However, her instincts were always right. Almost.

She continued down the only route they could – the alley that led behind the school. Nobody hung out there – it was a dead end with only an exit to the kitchens. The kitchen staff left all of the trash from the day there each afternoon too. Despite that, you’d often find couples snogging down there. How they could find it remotely romantic was beyond Lily.

“Can you hear anything?” she whispered to Josh.

“Not a peep. I can feel the hairs on my arms standing up though,” Josh pointed out.

“Me too,” Lily realised. She had no idea why. She knew that behind her confident attitude, she had a feeling of terror lodged in her mind. She’d never given into fear before though, and she wasn’t about to start.

“What are we looking for? Is the girl back?” Josh speculated.

“No, but I think it’s linked. That thing Dylan mentioned, I think it’s here,” Lily explained.

“And we’re walking right towards it. Into a confined space. Great,” Josh remarked.

“Stop complaining and keep listening,” Lily ordered as they approached the final corner. Lily stopped just inches from the end, waiting for the all-clear from Josh before she made a move.

“Do you have a plan?” Josh queried.

“Nope. Work in progress,” Lily honestly answered. She hated plans. She never stuck to them, so saw them as a waste of time and brain power.

Josh gave her the thumbs up. Lily took a deep breath in and pounced around the corner. Josh followed, his eyes clearly glowing a deep shade of blue in the light-deprived alley. Instantly, Lily noticed a figure in front of her. She jumped back, startled, but she noticed quickly that it wasn’t the black creature

“Woah, cool contact lenses. Where can I get them?” a man in his thirties asked, staring at Josh. Lily hadn’t seen him before, but he was holding a packed black bin-liner. He must have been kitchen staff.

“Online exclusives. They sold out. Sorry, wrong route,” Lily wormed her way out of the situation, pulling Josh back round the corner before he could say anything else.

“That was close,” Josh remarked as they emerged out of the alley.

“Where the heck did it go?” Lily sighed. It must have gone inside, but it would have had to pass that guy. At least he wasn’t concerned by Josh’s blue eyes.

“Let’s get to class. We can keep our eyes peeled,” Josh suggested. Lily agreed – it was all they could do.

Baffled, Dylan was sat on the step outside Emily’s house. There was no sign of her, and a quick text from Mrs. Johnson confirmed there was no sign of her at school either. Worryingly, Yasmin’s visions often revolved around dead bodies, which didn’t give Dylan much hope.

What’s more is that the answer to the creature’s location was right under their noses, but it was shrouded in a stupid riddle. He was never any good at riddles – they always intrigued him and he loved finding out the answers; they always seemed to be dead easy. However, he could never master the knack of solving them. His brain was far too literal to read between the lines. On the bright side, he had three others to assist him, and he trusted their brains more than his own.

“Somewhere there’s blood. Somewhere there’s no blood,” Jono reiterated as he racked his brains. He was sat next to Dylan on the step, rubbing his leg. It always calmed him down; he sure needed it.

“How can there be blood and not blood?” Dylan tried to compute.

“Maybe it means two places. One where there’s blood, one where there isn’t,” Freddie offered.

“How can something be in two places?” Dylan thought logically.

“Maybe there’s more than one creature,” Jono suggested.

“No, there was only one. I’m certain,” Yasmin confirmed.

“So there’s a place that has both blood and no blood. Makes sense,” Dylan sarcastically commented. Even he struggled to be optimistic in the face of riddles.

“Technically everywhere has blood if there’s anything living there,” Yasmin noted, “Somewhere with no blood around here would be damn impossible. We need to think deeper.”

“Wait, blood can link people, can’t it? Blood relatives,” a lightbulb clicked into action in Dylan’s mind. He was pretty impressed with his own idea, even if it was likely wrong.

“Everyone’s a blood relation to someone though, how does that narrow it down?” Yasmin considered.

“And what about no blood? How does that fit in?” Freddie added. Dylan was amazed. He actually felt like he was onto something that nobody else was, and for once, he was beginning to have confidence in his guesses.

“Don’t you get it? The message was aimed at us. So is the riddle. We all have blood relatives for a start,” Dylan explained.

“Alright, that narrows it down to your and Yasmin’s moms, George, my parents and Lily,” Jono summarised.

“And I’m the only person here who has non-blood relatives,” Dylan continued.

“Josh,” Yasmin realised. She was spot on – Josh was his foster brother. Still part of his family, but not related by blood.

“He’s at school,” Freddie noted, “So is George.”

“And Lily,” Jono worried.

“They were together when I left. It must be them. They might be in trouble,” Freddie was becoming increasingly concerned – a feeling Dylan shared. It was a horrible sinking feeling that rushed through his entire body. However, it also fired up his adrenaline reserves, kicking his protective instincts into action. Not only was he saving his pack, he was saving his family.

Although Lily was pleased in some ways that she didn’t find whatever the black figure was, she sort-of wished she had. It would have gotten her worry over and done with, but now she was sat in class, unable to focus, and feeling nothing but total fear. Fear of both the creature itself, and the unknown of what it may or may not do.

Now she had Mr. Larsen harping on about something maths related – specifically what, she didn’t know. Lily glanced out of the window, trying to imagine she was anywhere but that classroom. A beach in Florida. A cute, quiet café in town. Her bedroom, where she felt safest. No matter how hard she tried though, she knew in the back of her mind that she was in the classroom, a place that was making her feel on edge. Vulnerable. Exposed.

She didn’t even have Josh to protect her – he was in another class. Heck, he was in a whole other grade. Lily often forgot that most of Dylan’s pack were her brother’s age. At least she had George with her, but the problem was their lack of defences. Josh was the only werewolf in the school. There was still no sign of the others, and she was growing increasingly concerned by the lack of response from Jono to her numerous texts and WhatsApp messages.

As she watched the trees swishing calmly back and forth, Lily tried to calm herself. It was such a gentle, tranquil sight. Deep breaths. In. Out. In Out. She felt herself getting more and more relaxed. It was a technique that had never failed her. Any time she got scared, she tried those same breathing techniques. It helped her to overcome any fears. She knew she could take on whatever this creature was.

She closed her eyes, composing herself, and after a few seconds, she opened them, feeling bright and breezy. Ready for a fresh start. However, she instantly lost all of her calm thoughts and the terror came flooding back. The creature was at the window. She saw its hideous face for the first time – dark all over and horribly deformed, yet vaguely humanoid with a mouth, nose and eyes. The eyes were jet black, with a white outline around the eyelid – the only element of light in its entire body. It peered inside, staring directly at Lily. She almost jumped out of her seat in pure fright, almost into George’s lap.

“Woah, what’s up?” George reacted kindly, helping her reposition.

“Did you see that?” Lily questioned, trying to keep her voice low. People in the class were already staring weirdly at her, including Sofia, her ex-best friend. Bad memories of bitchiness and manipulation always flooded into her mind whenever she saw her.

“See what?” George worryingly questioned. Lily looked again, but it was gone. She still had reason to worry, though. Written on the outside of the window was Dylan’s first name, in large capitals, using a thick black liquid. It was clear as day for the entire class to see.

Situated only a couple of classrooms down the corridor from Lily, Josh was on red alert. He didn’t know what specifically he was looking out for, but he believed Lily. He had no reason not to, and Dylan certainly trusted her.

He liked to use Dylan as a moral compass. He had a good head on his shoulders and always seemed to get things right. It was odd to think of a time where he resented Dylan, considering he had nothing but pure respect for him now.

There wasn’t a day that went by where he didn’t think about what Clara put him through. How he let Clarissa down. His blue eyes were a daily reminder of what he did. The rest of the pack didn’t seem to know why his eyes were blue instead of yellow now, not even Drew surprisingly. They were yellow until Dylan became the alpha, almost like his body was glitchy. Now they were the correct colour, and he was too ashamed to admit the true meaning. He was amazed they had accepted him into the pack at all. Not forgetting Dylan’s family too. He knew he didn’t deserve people like them in his life.

This came with a sense of protectiveness for all of them though, and Dylan’s absence was worrying him like crazy. In fact, there were four empty seats in history class – Dylan, Jono, Freddie and Yasmin. He had no idea where Freddie had gone after abruptly leaving that morning, but he could guarantee he was with them. It must have been serious if they hadn’t texted back.

Although phones weren’t supposed to be out in class, Josh subtly kept his tucked inside his pencil case so he could keep checking it. Every few seconds he would press the home button, desperately hoping even a tiny insignificant text from Dylan comes through. He wasn’t paying one bit of attention to history – he hated the lesson anyway. Perhaps it wasn’t such a good idea to go to lesson after all. At least he wasn’t the one who would be getting a bollocking from Caroline for truanting.

He pressed the home button again. To his relief, he had a new message from Dylan. In fact, six messages.

Chat Window: Dylan

  • Hey, sorry for disappearing
  • We’re all OK
  • Will fill you in later
  • You need to get out of school
  • Take Lily
  • We’ll be there soon

He always tended to send numerous tiny messages instead of one long message. However, it was a huge relief to hear from him. Now he had to find Lily, and quick.

Panicking like mad, Dylan was worrying about what was going on at the school. It wasn’t just the fact that Lily and Josh were almost certainly in trouble, but also the fact it was occurring during the day, where the school was at its busiest. Anything could be exposed, especially when there was someone around who was watching their every move. He knew they had to tread very carefully.

“Has Josh responded?” Jono anxiously questioned. Naturally, he was extremely concerned for Lily. He had a protective instinct over his big sister, and one he was rightfully very proud to show too. Dylan was only just beginning to understand it for himself; he felt that same protective instinct for Josh. He’d only just gotten a brother of his own. He wasn’t about to lose him.

“He said okay, but nothing more yet,” Dylan reported back, praying he’d get another text through saying they were out and okay any second now. Jono’s car couldn’t move fast enough. Jono was already driving over the speed limit, while Yasmin and Freddie followed behind.

“What about Lily? Check my phone,” Jono suggested, trying not to lose focus on the road. Dylan had Jono’s phone on his lap too. He loved how much they trusted each other with their phones. Dylan was ultra-protective of his – he’d never let anyone even touch it, yet he happily told Jono his passcode for use whenever he wanted. He had nothing to hide from Jono, and obviously he felt the same too. It was an oddly exposing yet comforting feeling.

“Nothing,” Dylan notified. Although the lack of messages was depressing, he did adore the sight of Jono’s lock screen. It was the cutest photo of them together, cheek to cheek and arms wrapped tightly around each other. It was rare Dylan liked a photo of himself, but any photo he had with Jono was always great. Especially considering his own lock screen was another photo they took together.

“Ugh. We’re almost there, I’m praying they’re outside waiting,” Jono hoped. Dylan shared that wish – he needed this bit of good luck.

However, as they reached the school car park, there was nobody in sight. Dylan knew they would have to take a risk and go inside.

The entire class seemed baffled by the message on the window. Lucky for Lily, it could have been any Dylan – there were loads of them around school – but she knew precisely who it meant. Her close friend. Her brother’s boyfriend. Her alpha. George was just as stunned, and he looked knowingly at Lily. The only two people in the room who had genuine cause for concern.

“Settle down please, we’re in the middle of class,” Mr. Larsen drew them back in, before muttering under his breath, “Must email the caretaker.” The windows were the least of Lily’s concerns though. She had to find Josh. Just as she ran for the door, Josh arrived, looking just as flustered as she did.

“Go,” Lily ordered him back out, grabbing George’s arm and ushering him out with her.

“It’s coming for us,” Josh notified once the door was shut behind them.

“It’s coming for Dylan,” Lily corrected, pointing through the door at the window in the classroom. Seeing Dylan’s name still sent shivers through her spine.

“Let’s get out of here,” Josh suggested, making a sprint towards the exit. It was the best idea any of them had, Lily couldn’t fault it. She and George followed him; they had barely stopped running by the time they were rattling against the main exit doors, pressing against the door-handle. They were out of luck though – it was locked.

“The other doors,” Lily commanded, leading the way back up and around the corner. It was a huge building, there were loads of exits. That said, the side doors were locked too.

“What do we do?” George was losing his composure. He never lost his cool, which was a signifier of just how worried Lily was feeling too.

“We’ve got to find someone,” Lily decided. Only one name came to mind, “Mrs. Johnson.”

As they picked up the pace again, back through the corridor and towards Mrs. Johnson’s lab, Lily glanced into the other classrooms. It was a habit, partly out of curiosity, or perhaps just being nosey. However, she was horrified as every single classroom seemed to be empty. Not even a teacher was in sight.

She paid close attention as they passed Mr. Larsen’s room, where she knew for a fact there were students. Despite that, it was empty too. No sign of Mr. Larsen, Sofia, or anyone else in that class. She felt uneasy and terrified again.

She stopped running and looked behind. That feeling of terror tried to stop her, but Lily pulled through. She looked at what they were running from. There it was – the creature she’d seen outside, staring right at her, Josh and George. They were trapped between whatever it was, and the locked exit doors. Lily knew she had to think quick, but with her brain worrying on overdrive, she was struggling to find the motivation.

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Next: "Canvas"

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