Hand in hand with Evie, I walk on the muddy road, the dirt getting in the soles of my shoes. I see the festival up ahead, a beautiful time of year filled with lights and magic and games. I head straight towards the Ferris wheel, but Evie pulls me behind.
“Can we get some cotton candy?” she asks sweetly.
I grimace, remembering my promise. “Yeah,” I say in a strained voice. This year is not going to be as fun.
She drags me towards a booth, ordering a huge grape cotton candy. “You want some?”
“No thanks,” I respond, gazing at the Ferris.
Her eyes meet mine and she grins. “Come on, pwetty pwease?” she asks in an artificial voice.
I resist the urge to scowl. “All right.” I turn towards the cashier. “Can I have a-”
“He’ll have a strawberry,” Evie interrupts.
I groan in my head. She knows how much I hate strawberry. She is trying to get me back for something I didn’t do.
She hands me the cotton candy, already starting on hers. “Can we go to the Ferris wheel now?” I ask.
She shaking her head, something different in her honey eyes. “No, I want to get some hot dogs. Wait here,” she says, walking away.
I roll my eyes. I wait for her to go, and then I abandoned my post, roaming around, intrigued by all the sight to see. Young kids running around, light-up sticks waving through the air, gleaming balls of electricity getting brighter as the sky gets darker. It’s a beautiful night for fun.
As I walk, I see a girl up ahead, walking into some bushes. I squint and realize… it’s Evie! What’s she doing? She said she was getting hot dogs.
I follow her, trying to keep her in sight. I see a pathway near where she disappeared and decide to follow it. The sounds of the festival vanish as I walk further into the forest. I hear voices up ahead. I quicken my pace, dodging bushes and branches. I see a forked pathway and stop. Which way did Evie go? I decide to go right. I walk ahead, hearing owls hoot and grasshoppers chirp. The grass tickles my ankles, insects trying to bite my legs. Where’s Evie?
I take out my phone and turn on the flashlight. I burst into a run, trying to find Evie. She cant be far ahead. Unless… dread settled on top of me. Did she turn left? I stop turning in a circle. The lights and laughs of the festival are long gone. I can barely see six feet ahead of me.
Then I hear it.
Hope flowing through my veins, I run ahead and stop dead. The trees form a semicircle, and in the middle stood Evie and another girl.
I duck behind an oak tree, straining to hear the voices.
“When are you going to do it?” the girl asks, her voice deep.
“I don’t know!” Evie said, pacing back and forth. I’ve never heard her so distressed. Oop, scratch that. I can think of one time, and I would rather not think of it.
“Well, you must! It’s important!” the girl snarled.
I see Evie’s face, pearl-like tears building up in her eyes. “I can’t Bella, I just can’t!”
“You fool!” Bella roared. Evie jumped back. “You have to! It’s vital. You know what he did to you and you need to get your-”
“I know!” Evie cried, grumbling to the ground. I feel a twinge of unease. Could they be talking about me?
It’s just… I can’t do it to him. He loves me!” Evie wailed. A knot formed in my stomach. She is talking about me.
Bella bent down, her voice low and cold. She whispered and I leaned forward, trying to catch what she was saying.
“If he loves you so much, then why did he cheat on you?”
Evie burst into tears. “He didn’t, he couldn’t have, maybe-”
‘“Who cares!” Bella yelled. “You must teach him a lesson, he’ll never mess with you again if you do it.”
“He won’t be around to try!” Evie screamed, shooting up to her feet.
I felt faint. What were they planning?
I leaned forward and tripped on a rock. I fell right in front of them. Evie yelped, but Bella looked triumphant.
She grabbed my shirt collar and pulled me up, her black eyes boring into my gray ones.
“Well, looky here. Ev, this’ll make your task so much easier,” Bella purred.
Evie looked torn. She looked from me to Bella, her honey eyes holding tears.
“Evie, what’s going on?” I ask, pleading her to tell me the truth.
“Don’t you understand?” Bella asked softly, her voice deadly quiet. “Evie here is planning something with me, something that’ll teach you a lesson for what you did to her.”
“I didn’t cheat on her, if that’s what you mean,” I say, trying to keep my voice calm and indifferent when in reality my heart was beating so hard it felt like it was going to burst.
“Liar,” Bella snarled. Evie looked pointedly at the ground, sniffing audibly.
“I didn’t!” I yell, rage slowly stepping in front of my fear, hiding it.
“Well, it doesn’t matter now, will it?” Bella whisper, letting go of my collar. I stumble back but stop in shock when she pulls out a silver dagger.
She hands it to Evie, who takes it. She looks at me, her eyes broken.
“Evie, please, don’t do this,” I plead. She doesn’t respond.
“You have to understand! I didn’t cheat on you!” I cry.
“Shh, Mason. This can be our little secret,” Kayla whispers. I try to push her off but she tightened her grip on me, pinning me against the wall.
“Let me go, Kayla,” I say through gritted teeth.
“Oh, sweetie. You’ll be mine, whether you like it or not,” she purrs, trapping my response by pushing her lips onto mine.
I hear the door open, followed by a scream. Kayla releases me.
Evie stood there, her body shaking with sobs.
“How could you?!” she wailed.
“Evie, listen…” I begin, but she stomped out of the room.
I throw Kayla out of the room and sat on the bed, my feelings numb.
“Silence!” Bella shouted. She turned towards Evie, her black eyes glittering maliciously. “Do it.”
Evie ignored Bella and looked at me, her expression unreadable. “You didn’t?” she asked, her voice low and soft.
“No,” I say, relieved she got it.
“It doesn’t matter!” Bella cried. She looked worried. “Ev, he kissed her, didn’t he? If he didn’t cheat on you, why would he do that?”
” I didn’t!” I yelled. “She made me… I tried to push her off, Evie, listen to me!”
Evie looked torn. She walked towards me, her dagger tightly gripped in her hand. I didn’t dare say anything.
She stopped until her face was inches away from mine. She looked tired, sad, and angry. My heart stopped beating. My fate lies in her hands.
We were staring at each other so intently that we didn’t realize Bella sneaking behind me. I cried out in pain, feeling warm blood trickle down my back. I collapsed, my fingers finding a knife in the small of my back.
Evie screamed, and what happened next, I couldn’t see. The pain was taking over. I felt something heavy fall behind me. She ran towards me, cradling my head in her arms. She pulled out the knife that would claim my life.
“Mason!” she screamed, digging her head into my heaving chest. I felt the blood gush out of me, my skin now slightly blue.
“Evie, I love you,” I croaked through cracked lips.
My vision slowly ebbed.
Her honey eyes were the last thing I saw, her tears the last thing I felt, her wails the last thing I heard, my blood the last thing I smelled, and Death the first thing I tasted.