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General

“Nestled in the national radio quiet zone, surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, and engulfed in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest, the sleepy town of Coalburn Virginia was shaken to its core last week when a teen went missing. Oliver Ridgewell, a seventeen year old male, last seen wearing a PUP band shirt, black ripped jeans, a blue flannel, and blue converse. The teen disappeared on Monday-” Quinn couldn’t hear the tv anymore, either it was turned off or her brain was blocking it out. Oliver, one of her closest friends, was missing and she hated every second of it. She hadn’t been to school since they found out he’d left. 


Jace had called her in hysterics, his voice shaking with fear, “Ali wouldn’t have left without us. He would’ve left a note, right? Quinn? Quinn, please I need you to say something.” She didn’t answer him, she couldn’t answer him, his voice echoed in her head and she fell to the floor in a mess of tears. Painful thoughts swirled around in her mind until Remy had come over. Remy, the fucking glue that holds their dysfunctional family together. They weren’t really family, more like a pack of wolves, bound together through fighting off life’s struggles.  


A pack of wolves lost, without a leader, forced to either fall apart or find a way around it. It wasn’t their style to fall apart, they’d been through so much together, no way this was stopping them. They might be lost and hurting, but they’d persevere. Quinn was snapped back to reality when her step mother knocked gently on the wooden frame of her bedroom door. “Reagen is here, she-”


“We’re going out,” Quinn bit her tongue from saying more. Its Remy, not Reagen, and they go by They/Them pronouns “Mom”. A long drawn out fight she wasn’t looking for right now, she stood from her bed, “We’ll be at Jace’s.” 


“Okay, call me if you decided to go anywhere else, please.” 


Quinn just nodded and pushed past her, rushing out of the house making sure the front door slammed shut. The autumn air was a soothing cold that filled her lungs, but when she saw Remy her breath stopped in her throat, her rushed walking slowed. Her heart beat was loud, she swallowed, “Remy, what’s wrong?” Remy was shaking, tears running down their face, hair messily pulled back in a bun.  


“Remy?” Quinn walked closer, “You okay?” 


A half sob, sniffle, and shaky breath later, “No.” 


“What’s wrong?” 


“Jace.”

“What about Jace?” 


“He says he doesn’t care what the Police are doing, he- He said he wants to leave now, to find Ali,” Remy lost all composure, sobbing violently falling forward into Quinn’s arms. 


Quinn hugged them gently, “Breathe, breathe. Here, give me your keys and we’ll drive over to see him.” Remy nodded, pressing the keys into Quinn’s hand. The cold metal stung her hand, but she welcomed the pain, giving this situation some sense of reality.


The drive to Jace’s house was less than ten minutes, but it felt like hours. Remy trying to get ahold of their emotions and the racing thoughts of losing yet another friend almost made her drive past the last turn. She took it sharply, Remy slid into the door with a small thud.


“Sorry.” 


“Its fine,” they sniffed. Once the car was parked in front of the small three bedroom house, Remy and Quinn quickly got out making their way to the camper around the side. Once Jace had turned seventeen he’d declared the camper his and moved all his stuff into it. He told his parents it was because the house was too full with all his siblings. Really it was so he could smoke and sneak out without more trouble than he already faced. 


Quinn didn’t knock on the door to the old camper, just flung it open. Jace wasn’t insight so she walked towards the room in the back noticing the amount of open and empty cabinets. The front door swung shut and Remy sat  at the small table in the kitchen area. Jace rushed out of the backroom, almost running straight into her. He had a hiking backpack on and his mohawk was down, curly hair framing his face.


“Jace, what the fuck do you think you’re doing?” Quinn asked, tears welling in her eyes.


“I’m going to find Ali.” He tried to push past her. She stepped in front of him.


"What, and get yourself lost in the process?"


"The police aren’t going to keep looking, we all know that. They haven’t even talked to the local Rangers, you think they actually care about finding him? Plus you think I'm going to get lost?" He laughed but Quinn could see how tired he was, eyes still red from crying. 


"No, but I just-" She let out a frustrated sigh, "You shouldn't go looking for him alone." 


“Quinn, he’s running out of time. If he’s hurt or-” Jace choked back a sob. 


“You can’t think like that, we can’t think like that.” Quinn pointed to Remy, herself, then jabbed her finger in Jace’s chest, “We’re going with you, but you have to give us some time to pack, maybe we should leave tomorrow. It’s already pretty late, were you planning on pitching your tent in the dark?” 


“Maybe, but like I said we don’t have time to waste, so if you want to go, get your shit packed.” 


“How long are you planning to be gone for?” Remy piped up from their set hear the door. 

“As long as it takes to find him.” 


“Did you tell your parents?” 


Jace let out a coarse laugh, “You think they’d care?”


Remy stood, “More than you think. I’ll be in the car, we’ll go pick up the stuff we need for Quinn then get my stuff. And on the way you can sit in the back of my shitty car and figure out what the hell we’re actually doing.” They stormed outside, leaving Quinn and Jace standing awkwardly close to one another. 


“Do you at least have a trail planned out?” 


“I’m not stupid Quinn, ‘course I have a tail mapped.” 


“Don’t lie to me. I think we should stay at the lodge tonight, see what trails Ali was looking at last.” 


Jace nodded, “Sounds like a plan.”



August 30, 2019 18:03

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