**Thanks, Gigi for helping me get through having to rewrite this 7 times****Please feel free to comment if there are any mistakes and/or what you think should happen in the next books or prequels!
“AAIIIEEEEEEEE!” twelve-year-old Annalise screamed, the snow blasting her pale face. “Shane-if-you-ever-make-me-do-this-ever-again-I-will-personally-KILL-YOU!”
“Lighten up, Lise!” Shane yelled with equal volume. “AHHHHHH!” Before they could stop, Lise and Shane had crashed into a snow-covered birch tree. Annalise flew backward, landing headfirst into a glittering white snowbank. Shane slid off the back, planting his bottom firmly next to where Annalise had landed.
"Ow," she moaned.
“WOAH HO HO!” Shane triumphed, standing up and pulling Lise out from the snowbank. “That was AWESOME! Our best one yet, I think. Boy, I sure did miss sledding! We should have done this more often! What did you think, Lise? Wasn't that so FUN?!”
“Yeah, Except for the part where we crashed,” Annalise reminded, licking the snow from her dark lips and shaking the snow clumps from her caramel mane. "We could've gotten seriously hurt!"
“Oh, relax. That’s the fun part about sledding!” Shane explained.
Annalise gave him a pained look and shuddered. “Not when you break your head open. Or snap your legs off. Or die.” Shane laughed at the thought, bewildering Annalise. Lise brushed the powdery white snow off of her shoulders and off of her black snow pants.
"I have snow in my boots," Shane declared, pulling his bright green snow boots off and giving them a little shake.
"I have snow in my boots, too," Lise echoed, copying Shane's actions.
"Hmm. Maybe we should upgrade our sled with ROCKET boosters!" Shane suggested. "Oh, and a steering wheel. Duh. Maybe seat belts?"
"Oh, Shane," Annalise shook her head, making her caramel hair swish from side to side.
“Wanna go again?” Shane asked. He had on his famous grin; it looked as if he had done something naughty.
“Sure. Why not?” Annalise smiled.
Two hours later, when Lise and Shane finished sledding, the two tweens headed inside. Snuggled in a warm blanket and hot cocoa in hand, they sat in front of the blazing, toasty fire playing Uno.
"Ha! Skip! My turn. Again!" Shane cheered. Annalise rolled her blue-green eyes. Shane placed down a blue four, then a reverse card. "Eeeee! I'm a-gonna win!" Annalise stayed silent, inwardly cursing herself for doing such a bad shuffling and dealing job.
“Lise?” Shane asked, breaking the silence and Lise’s train of thought. "Lise? Earth to Annalise Joane Alcroft?" Lise cringed at her full name. She wasn't too fond of Joane. What a plain name!
“Hmm? She replied half-heartedly, discreetly sipping her hot chocolate.
“What do you think about, ah, sledding to Old Man M-Meyer’s and exploring a bit?” he stuttered. Annalise jolted back to life. Old Man Meyer was a dead man. His house was broken down and there were probably things that were too gruesome or disgusting to even name sitting on the musty floor of Old Man Meyer’s creaky ol' house.
“Uh uh. No way. Never again,” she shuddered, setting her Calvin & Hobbes mug down harshly with a thump! She hated that old place. Despised it.
"Come on, Lise. You know you want to." But do I? Lise thought.
“Pleeeeeeeeeeeeease!” Shane pleaded. “Just ONE more time?!”
Annalise sat there, still as a lamppost, contemplating what her next move should be.
With a roll of her eyes and a grouchy puff, she said, “Fine.”
Annalise instantly regretted saying it, because she didn't know and didn't want to know what challenges they would face in the house of Old Man Meyer. She felt like throwing up.
What have I done?
"Lise, come on!" Shane pleaded. They had finally navigated successfully through the woods and were two yards away from the rickety front porch. Shane felt determined. Ready for whatever it would take.
"Tell me, why did I agree to this?" she half-joked- half-seriously asked, a nervous look on her heart-shaped face.
"Lise, get ready," Shane cautioned nervously.
"What do you think I'm doing?" she trembled.
The pair was now even closer to entering. One yard. Two feet. One foot. Six inches.
Shane sighed. Lise shivered. As they stepped up onto the first and only wood step, Shane regretted ever even finding Old Man Meyer's house.
What have I done?
Shane gasped. On the front door, written in bold, black, cursive letters, was a note that read:
𝒟𝑜𝓃'𝓉 𝒽𝑒𝓈𝒾𝓉𝒶𝓉𝑒. 𝐼'𝓂 𝓌𝒶𝒾𝓉𝒾𝓃𝑔. 𝐼𝒻 𝓎𝑜𝓊 𝓉𝓇𝓎 𝓉𝑜 𝓇𝓊𝓃 𝒶𝓌𝒶𝓎, 𝓉𝒽𝑒𝓎 𝓌𝒾𝓁𝓁 𝓈𝓉𝑜𝓅 𝓎𝑜𝓊.
At that, Annalise screamed like never before. Shane stood there, speechless. Who could have known they were coming? Shane quickly cupped his hand over Annalise's mouth.
"What if there's someone in there that heard you?" he quickly asked in a timid whisper. She stopped screaming, so Shane took his hand off of her mouth. She was breathing frantically. We are definitely going to be late for supper, Shane thought hungrily. I wonder what we'd be having. He pushed that thought aside and turned to face Lise's striking blue-green Killer Eyes.
"Who...who could have known that we were c-coming?" Annalise trembled. "And they? Who could possibly be they?"
"Or what could they be," Shane added.
"Stop! You're scaring me."
"Sorry, Lise," Shane squeezed her arm. "I don't think we should leave."
"Well, duh, you dolt. We just talked about that," Lise rolled her eyes. She looked frightened. Pained. Petrified. Panicked. Scared. Afraid. Terrified. Shane almost felt the same way, but a voice in him told him this was a chance to prove himself. To finally earn Lise's full respect, considering she really never took him seriously.
"We might as well just go in," Shane whispered. "But for good luck, Lise-" he picked up two sharp-looking sticks from nearby-"take this stick."
With a sigh and several runaway tears, Shane and Annalise stepped onto the front porch and, with an aching stomach, opened the front door.
Comment below what you thought! <33