We open to Georgia and Luke staring into the sunrise, holding hands. Georgia had blond hair and blue eyes that matched her sweater. Luke had dark hazel eyes and black, messy hair, which he had failed to comb down for their date.
“Remember our first date?” Georgia asked.
Luke smiled sheepishly. “How could I forget?”
The reason for this answer was that Georgia and Luke’s date had been utterly disastrous.
Luke had reserved seats for a fancy restaurant, So-Fish-Ticated, so that he and Georgia would have a nice time.
Unfortunately, two people had come into the restaurant just before Luke and Georgia. The waiter had thought it was them and given them Luke’s reserved seats.
When the couple had come into the restaurant claiming to be Luke and Georgia-which they were-the manager banned them from the restaurant. Luke was furious.
“I spent 40 bucks on each of those seats!” he exclaimed. “Where are we supposed to eat now?”
“Don’t worry.” Georgia had said. “I have extremely bad luck. I figured something like this might happen.” She reached into her bag and pulled out four ice-cream coupons. “Up for a frozen treat?”
They had walked to the ice-cream shop and ordered two ice-creams for each of them. They walked out of the store and sat on a nearby bench.
Of course, it couldn’t be that easy. A red truck flew down the road just as Georgia and Luke sat down. Georgia dropped both of her ice-creams in surprise, but Luke had a sudden burst of adrenaline and caught both.
Naturally, they had expected that to be it, so they dropped their guard. How could anything else happen to them? It was unlikely.
Unlikely or not, four police cars blew past them after the red truck. Georgia dropped her ice-cream cones again, and the wind blew one of Luke’s cones out of his grip and into his face, causing him to be much too distracted to catch the ice-cream again.
It began to pour.
Georgia and Luke decided it would be best to just hang out at Georgia’s house for an hour or two. They walked to her house and opened the door. Georgia turned on her game system. Luke and her flopped down on the couch, grabbing controllers from the table. Just as they had started up the game, the power went out.
Georgia and Luke had sighed simultaneously.
“Should we just try again tomorrow?” Luke had asked.
“You know, that’s probably the best option to us right now.” Georgia had responded, a smile coming to her lips.
Luke and Georgia burst out laughing, not being able to believe how bad their day was.
“Alright, I should be getting home. I’ve got a ten o’clock curfew.” Luke said, putting on his coat.
“Ok. See you tomorrow?” Georgia asked.
Back in the present, Georgia and Luke were still watching the sunrise, just now finished with recounting the day of their first date.
“So…” Luke said, his voice trailing off.
“Yeah.” Georgia responded. “That was a pretty crazy day.”
They both fell silent then, but not awkward silence. They watched the sunrise without uttering a word.
A little bit later, when the bright morning sun was out, Luke decided to speak again. “So do wanna go get some ice-cream? Maybe there won’t be a speeding red truck this time.”
“I don’t see why-” Georgia started, but was interrupted by a deafening bang.
“HOLY SHIT!!!” Luke exclaimed, jumping to his feet. “What was that?”
“I don’t know,” Georgia replied, “but we should go check it out. Someone might be hurt.”
Luke quickly agreed.
He and Georgia started down the hill towards where the sound had come from.
When they got to the bottom of the hill, there was a fallen tree blocking their path.
“That wasn’t there before.” Georgia said absently.
“It’s probably what made the noise.” Luke remarked.
“Huh?” Georgia said, briefly confused. “Oh, you mean the tree. No, I mean that wasn’t there before.” She added, pointing at a large object not too far from the tree. It appeared to the pair to be some sort of crane.
“I think this tree was brought down to explain a bang that wasn’t from the tree. Something is happening here.” Georgia said, jumping not only to conclusions, but also onto a branch on the tree.
“You’re always so suspicious of people.” Luke laughed. “Maybe the park manager’s doing some remodeling.”
“Maybe.” Georgia murmured, but continued to climb over the tree anyway. Luke sighed and promptly hopped over the tree with skill he had gotten by doing track his whole life.
Georgia took at least another minute or two to get over the colossal vegetation. In the same second that her feet planted down on the other side, she started off running towards the crane.
Just as the pair reached the crane, a man ran up to them. He had fiery red hair and was extremely tall.
“What do you think you’re doing?” He said. His voice was rough. “Trying to pull a Nancy Drew, are you? Well sorry to burst your bubble, but that’s not happening. So quit snooping around, or I’ll make you. Now get lost, Nancy.”
The man paused briefly. “And bring Ned with you.”
Alarmed, Luke and Georgia backed away and ran down the trails to the city. They didn’t stop until they reached the donut shop and had rushed in.
Catching her breath, Georgia said, “Well, I had no proof nothing was going on, but now I’m sure!”
Luke nodded and ordered a glazed donut for him and a Boston Cream for Georgia.
“Might as well eat breakfast.” He said, handing Georgia her donut.
Until now neither of them had realized how ravenous they were. They scarfed the donuts down faster than a hummingbird flaps its wings.
Once they had eaten, Luke and Georgia both agreed to go back and figure out what had been going on back at the park.
So Luke called his twin brother, Tommy, and had him come over to the donut shop.
When Tommy got there, Luke and Georgia explained the situation to him. He was amazed at the fact that they had been brave enough to look around, and furious that they had been threatened.
After Tommy had eaten a chocolate glazed donut, the trio headed back up the trails to investigate.
When they reached the crane, they saw that the red-head was still there, talking to someone. This new person was short and stout, with spiked brown hair, twinkling green eyes, and a malicious grin.
Tommy quickly ducked his head as the short man glanced in their direction. Staying along the treeline, they hurried to the fallen tree, as it was their best hiding spot in the clearing.
Luke dived over the tree, Tommy climbed over, and Georgia went around it.
The trio crouched down and spoke in whispers.
“Someone should go hear what they're saying.” Luke suggested.
Georgia nodded, and Tommy volunteered.
“The red-head hasn’t seen me yet. If I get caught, he might not know I’m with you guys.”
Georgia and Luke agreed with this plan. Tommy hurried back to the treeline and then to the crane, taking cover behind it. He strained his ears to hear what the men were saying.
“...going pretty well. Some kids came snooping around, but I scared ‘em off.” The red-head was saying. The short one nodded.
“Good. We don’t want to kill anyone unless we have to,” he said. Tommy paled. “I’m glad you only scared them. They won’t be coming back, and if they do, we’ll carry out whatever threat it was you gave them.”
“I didn’t really give ‘em a specific threat. I just said I’d make ‘em stop snooping if they tried to again.”
The short one looked pleased at this. “Ah,” he said. “Good. That means we have a variety of options if they continue to, as you say, ‘snoop’.”
Tommy decided he had heard enough, and did not want to hear any more, so rushed back to his brother and Georgia.
“They were talking about killing,” he said, “and threats, and carrying them out.”
By the time he was finished speaking, all three of them were pale.
“...should get this tree out of the way.” The trio heard. Tommy didn’t move, because he didn’t understand, but Luke and Georgia understood, so they each grabbed one of Tommy’s arms and yanked him into the forest with them. Soon after, the tree was picked up by the big crane, causing the men to have been able to see the trio had they not rushed into the forest.
All three of them breathed a collective sigh of relief. Suddenly the tall man stopped abruptly, staring in the direction of Luke, Tommy, and Georgia. He snapped his fingers in the direction of the short one, and pointed at the three.
Frozen with fear, Luke, Georgia and Tommy waited for the short man to get there. The short man picked Tommy up by his collar, but seemed not to notice the other two, because they were deeper in the brush.
The short man sneered at Tommy, then carried him to the red-head.
“This one of those kids from earlier?” he asked. Luckily for Tommy, him and Luke were fraternal twins. If they had been identical, Tommy would have been thought to be Luke, and hurt. Or worse.
But him and Luke were fraternal, and the tall man did not notice the slight similarities between the two, as previously he had been more focused on Georgia than Luke, as she had been in front.
“Nope.” He growled. “Never seen the twerp before.”
“Hmm. Ok then. I guess we’ll let him off easy. Don’t mess with stuff that doesn’t involve you, brat.” The short one said. “What do you have to say for yourself?” He spat at Tommy.
“I’m-I’m really sorry.” Tommy choked. “It-It won’t happen again, I swear.”
The short man grunted. He set Tommy on his feet, then roughly shoved him to the ground.
“Now get out of here, before I change my mind.”
Tommy backpedaled for a second, then stumbled to his feet, turning, and bolted down the trail.
Georgia grimaced, and Luke sighed, glad that his brother was let go.
“Now that the boy’s gone, we can start diggin’.” The tall man said. “Start up the crane, would’ja?”
The short man brushed off his knees, then climbed into the colossal machine. A moment later, the engine started with a roar, and the crane’s arm lowered down and scooped a large crater from the ground.
“When we find this treasure, we’ll be rich!” The short one exclaimed. “Rich!”
“Heck yeah, Rowler.”
“Shut up, you imbecile!” Rowler snapped. “No names!”
“But there’s no one around. And it was only your last name.”
“Idiot! Nitwit! Moron! Don’t say another word or I will skin you alive!” Rowler spluttered, red with fury.
Luke and Georgia hurried out from the park. When they reached the police station, Georgia said, “So we’ve got a name, and we know that they're digging for treasure that, legally, belongs to the park. That’s enough to give to the police to spark an investigation, right?”
“Yeah, of course.” Luke answered.
However, when they told the police the facts they had, the police didn’t care, simply put.
“Sorry to break it to you, but that is not enough information.” the police officer they spoke to said. “And we have no proof this isn’t some kind of prank.”
Luke grabbed his collar and leaned in. “You are going to start an investigation, or so help me you will wish you were never born.”
The officer stayed straight faced, not caring about Luke’s empty threats. He pressed a button.
“Security to main entrance.” he said.
Georgia calmly walked out, but Luke thrashed so much that the guard holding him had to get another for help.
“Luke, you’re lucky you didn’t get thrown in jail for assaulting a police officer.” Georgia said a moment later. Luke rubbed his arm and scowled at the police station.
“Yeah, I guess.” he said. “But they could have helped.”
“I guess that’s true.” Georgia agreed. “We might as well call a friend and go ourselves.”
So Luke phoned his friend Alex, and told him what was going on. “And bring a flashlight.” He added, then hung up.
“Ok, so Alex is coming, and he’s bringing Ben with him.” Luke told Georgia.
“Good. We’ll need all the help we can get.” Georgia responded.
Later, Georgia, Luke, Alex, and Ben went up the trails where Rowler and the red-head were still digging.
“Do we have a plan, or are we just going in all guns blazing?” Alex asked.
“We don’t really have a plan, but a tactic. Get the tall one first. He’s got bigger muscles so without him the short one will be easy. Try to surround him. I’ll watch the short one.”
Alex and Luke nodded simultaneously, and Ben gave two thumbs up.
The three boys rushed from the treeline. Alex and Ben jumped in front of the red-head, while Luke snuck behind him. The man did not hesitate to shove Alex into Ben and rush away.
“Damn it.” Alex said, getting to his feet and holding out a hand to help Ben up.
Luke sped after the man, but he escaped through the forest.
Suddenly Rowler appeared out of nowhere, pushing Ben back to the ground, and punching Alex in the face. Luke grabbed the man’s shirt and pinned him to the ground.
Rowler shoved him off. He then grabbed Alex’s head and smacked it into the side of the crane, knocking him out. Luke grabbed him once more, but Rowler quickly plunged a knife into his stomach.
Luke gasped, looking down at the knife in his stomach and his bloody hands on the wound. Rowler yanked the knife out, and Luke fell to his knees, gasping for breath.
Georgia appeared from around the side of the crane and saw Luke. At first she thought he had been punched in the gut, but then she saw the blood.
“NO!!” She cried. Rowler was escaping, but Tommy rushed out of the treeline and tackled him to the ground.
“Georgia, call and ambulance, then the police!” he ordered. “Ben, go get the park manager and lots of gauze!”
Georgia pulled out her phone and dialed 9-1-1. It rang twice and then was answered.
“911, what is your emergency?” A voice rang from the phone.
“My boyfriend has been stabbed.” she said. Until now she had not believed that this was real, but upon saying it out loud, she snapped to reality. “Oh my god.” she whispered, the phone still in her grasp. “He’s actually been stabbed.”
The officer on the other end of the connection heard this. “It’s ok. We’ll get an ambulance there right away. Where are you?”
“Sunset Hill, at the park.”
“Ok, we’ll be right there.”
“Wait.” Georgia said. “Bring a police car or two. We have a criminal here.”
“Ok. Do you want me to stay on the phone with you?”
“Yes please. I would like that.” Georgia answered, tears running down her cheeks.
“Ok. Everything’s going to be fine, we have an ambulance with two police escorts on it’s way.”
“Yes. Ok. Yeah.” Georgia said.
“Really. It’s going to be ok.”
Georgia didn’t answer.
“Are you still there?” Asked the officer, worry creeping into her voice.
Georgia nodded, and then, remembering that the officer couldn’t see her, said “Yes. I’m still here.”
When the ambulance arrived, they asked no questions, but hurried Luke into the back, and Alex was put into a police car to be brought to the hospital just in case he had a concussion.
Ben came back with gauze, and the doctors expertly wrapped it around Luke’s wound.
Later, Georgia tried to see Luke, but the doctors said that she couldn’t go into the room, as only family members were allowed in.
Four days later, Georgia was given the news that Luke had not made it. Rowler was sentenced 50 years in prison for the murder of Luke Collins.
After hearing the news, Georgia had burst out crying.
Now, six months later, Georgia was at Sunset Hill, where Luke and her used to watch the sunrise all the time.
It just now occurred to her that Sunset Hill was not a good name for the hill, as the sunset was behind you if you were on the hill.
As the sun set behind Georgia, she was fighting back tears.
When the shining night moon came out and caused the nearby lake to glimmer like diamonds, she watched intently.
The same way she did every night.