It was the day I needed Fern the most. I trusted Fern, because we had been friends since 5th grade. My sister was missing, and I knew it was my duty to find her. I woke up this morning, and got out of my pale blue bed. I stretched, but in truth I wasn’t sore. I brushed my hair, when it was already brushed. I ate even though I wasn’t hungry. Then I looked. I crept into my sisters’ room. The carpet softening my footsteps.
“Olivia?” I called out softly. There was no reply. I snuck to the side of her princess bed, and WOOSH! Pulled the heavy covers off. No Olivia. I didn’t panic yet, because my parents wouldn’t be home until tonight. I peeked under the bed, nope. I looked in the closet, no. I looked in the newly painted kitchen, nothing.
"Liv!” I screamed. “I’m going to make waffles, but if you want them you need to come down!!” That bait should’ve worked, but no Olivia.
Sweat beaded down my forehead. I pulled out my phone, and frantically texted Fern.
Have you seen Olivia?” I tried to take in a deep breath, but I couldn’t breathe.
Take a deep breath Kayla you are just having a panic attack. I looked down at my phone.
Nope! Why? I started to cry. I was so scared. What if she got kidnapped?? Fern, come over rn! Liv is missing! Help!
I shut down my phone, and dialed my parents. No response. It just went straight to voicemail. Strange. I heard the doorbell ring, and I jumped. I peeked out the window, just Fern. She was frantically scrolling on her phone. I opened the door. She hugged me.
“Before we go “search” for Liv we need to look around. She could be playing a trick on us.” I frowned. “Maybe, but I tried the waffle trick, and she didn’t come around.” For the next hour we searched everywhere inside. Pulling up sheets, opening closets, and opening doors, calling, “Olivia!” “Liv where are you!” Fern looked at me with a panicked expression, as both our phones dinged at the same time.
Fern dropped the vase, and it shattered. We both shrugged, and read it. If you want to find your sister, walk 5 miles straight, and 3 miles left.
“What!” Yelped Fern. “That’s a lot of walking!!” I sucked in a breath. “Come on,” I grumbled. “Let’s get it over with. Pack a bag of snacks, and water.” Fern gaped at me, as I went to get my shoes and jacket.
“Kayla are you serious! Let’s at least ask your brother to drive you, or let’s call the police or your parents!” I shook my head. “We want to go alone. Plus, Dylan is at college, two hours away. I also don’t like being around him, because he has a bad record with the police. He has been a suspect for countless murders.” I walked outside, and felt the warm breeze on my pale face, the sun hiding from us behind a cloud. I looked over, and saw Fern was enjoying the weather to. Her red hair was swirling in her face, as she took a deep breath in.
“Let’s go.” We used our phones to walk exactly five miles straight. “I am SOOO tired. I have never walked this far. It would have been easier to run five miles.” I scoffed. “Easy for you to say,” I said, pointing at her freckled, muscular legs. “Alright turn…now!”
We sharply turned to cross the street, as cars zoomed by honking. “Oops,” Fern said cringing. Bing! We looked expectantly at our phones. Once you reach your destination, at the big oak tree, read for the next clue.
“What is this a scavenger hunt?!” I yelled, shoving my phone back into my pocket. Fern flinched. “Well at least we will find your sister? Oh, look we are at the “big” oak tree!” I looked up. “Oh, look at this.” Fern said, a little fear in her voice. I looked closer at the tree. Words were carved into the peeling wood.
“Find the place where you drop?” I read squinting. “Well that’s good news! Looks like he has a knife.” I sighed. “Where is the place where you will drop?” Fern perked up.
“Wait there’s more! To get to the place where you will drop, walk one mile straight, then read for more.” She groaned. “Well this is fun.” Then she turned to me. “Can we run now?” I sighed.
“Sure, but you are in charge of making sure we run only ONE mile. Also, where is the place where you will drop?” She shrugged. “I guess we will find out when we get to one mile?”
We took off, sprinting at first, then dropping to a steady jog. “Look we are about to reach our destination!” We skidded to a stop, right in front of a drain. “The place where you will drop!” Fern said excitedly. She picked up a piece of glass, with marker writing on it.
“Come out, come out, wherever you are! I see you! Now go to the place of hiding, where the monkeys go, walk two miles, and read for more?” She frowned. “Okay maybe we look at a tree again. Probably, in a tree.” I nodded, still panting from our run.
“Run again?” I asked. “We got there faster.” She nodded, and again we took off. I was sweating hard. “Stop!” Shrieked Fern. We stop abruptly in front of a tree. “Climb.” I whispered, and with that we both swarmed the tree. I got to the highest branch. A note was tied to the rough wood. I plucked it off. I opened the parcel, and read it aloud to Fern.
“Can you see me? I can see you! Now to place of the foxes. Careful children don’t get bitten! Go two miles to the right, then read for more!”
I crumpled up the paper, and chucked it. It hit a homeless man with a shopping cart. He grunted in surprise, and looked around. “Oops,” Fern said giggling. I hopped down from the tree, when the man left, and started to run, a step ahead of Fern. I sighed. I got used to the feeling of running for my life when I was a little girl. I was always running from Dylan when he chased me with a stick, or a spider. The feeling of the wind pushing my body, and hair was amazing. I stopped, knowing we had already run two miles. I gasped for breath. Fern screamed, as she fell. She let out a wail.
“I’m stuck! I’m stuck! I’m stuck in a fox hole!” Then she laughed. “That’s it! A place where the foxes go!” I grabbed her skinny arms, and yanked her up, and out. She ducked her head into the hole again, and this time came out with a note. She read aloud.
“Almost done darlings! Next go to the place where flowers grow, what a show! Go one mile left, then read for more!” “He really likes riddles.” I grunted. Then I heard her blood curling scream!
“Run Kayla! There are still foxes! I screamed, as I saw a small russet fox dart out form the hole. It made a hissing sound, and lunged at me.
I sprinted left. “Do you have navigation on?” Fern panted at me, as we continued our sprint. I nodded, not able to form words. We slammed open the door of a local grocery store. The fox hissed on last warning, then darted off. We sucked in breaths, then peeked to make sure the fox was gone.
“Hey wait! We are here! Look flowers grow here!” We looked around in awe. The flowers where a rainbow of beautiful colors, and magic. We looked at every flower.
“Look,” Fern said her voice misty with emotion. She held up a note. “Almost done! Go to the place on top of the clouds! Run one mile straight, then climb, for story time!” I shuddered.
“Did you realize the note didn’t say read for more? We are going to find Olivia soon?” Fern sighed. “Yah now we are like, ten miles from home.” I shrugged. “Either we can run ten miles, or call the police, or our parents. I took a deep breath.
“We are calling the police when we find her. So, let’s run one more time.” She nodded, and I grasped her hand. We took off, the chilly air biting at my check. “Ok we are here.” Fern said patting my hand. We looked up at the tall abandoned apartment complex.
I led Fern over to a rusty ladder leading to the top. As we clambered to the top I gasped.
“Dylan!?” My 19-year-old brother was holding Olivia by her hair, dangerously close to the edge.
“I see you enjoyed my riddles.” Fern was gawking at him. “Y-you?” She stammered. He laughed. “Surprise!” I was hyperventilating.
“Y-you wouldn’t hurt her? This is just a joke right!?” He slowly shook his head. “Dylan,” I said slowly. “Drop her now.” “I’m calling the police.” Fern said, whipping out her phone. Dylan’s grip on Liv’s hair, and she whimpered, tears poured out of her eyes.
“If you do that, I will drop her.” He smiled evilly. “Now,” He said. “Time to go!!” He dropped Olivia.