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Grade
9
She's laughing, sitting on that bench with him. This is one of the rare sights to see after that day. She almost never smiles, haven't heard that laugh in forever. I smile and lay back against a tree. My best friend. She's beautiful, long brown hair and wide trusting brown eyes. Anyone would do what I did that day, if they knew her. She hasn't been the same since that day but she's getting over it. Slowly. He's helping her, this boy.
I didn't know how my day was going to go when I woke up that day. I had no idea. If I had maybe I would've done something different, not gone to that party. I'm stuck now in an ungodly in between. I'm not alive. I'm dead. I guess I can watch over her, a benefit of this horrible place. She can even sense me sometimes, I know she can. I sent the sign, she knows I'm here. I have helped her many times in the past year, I can control wind and blow things in her direction, if I hug her when she's sobbing into her pillow at night she can feel the shadow of it, I even helped her meet the boy. 
Let me tell you the story of that day.
 
"Gooooooood morning Indianapolis it is a beautiful day, sun is shining and it's a fantastic Saturday morning . The temperatures today will be-" I slap my alarm clock.
"Ugh no I don't wanna be up" Allie says from across the hall.
Allie  is my best friend, one of the only people I really care about. Probably the person I care most about. I would do anything for her. After we traveled around the United States this past summer we became inseparable, so much that we bought a little place to stay in together until we had money to get separate houses. 
"It's Saturday nobody wants to be awake. I only set the alarm because we have to go to Trey's party tonight. I wanted to have time to get ready and stuff." 
"But we were up all night watching movies." Allie whines. I know she doesn't really want to go tonight, but most of our other friends will be there. It seemed right we go too. If only I had known...
"We'll it's 5 in the afternoon. We slept from 8 this morning until now. That's 9 hours. You'll be fine. Humans only need 8."
"Ugh whatever I'm going to eat food. I would ask you what you wanted but since you're making me go tonight I'm going on strike." She says grinning as she walks past my room toward the kitchen. 
I jump out from under the covers of my bed and grab her sides from behind.
"No no no stop Rachel I hate being tickled STOP!" She says laughing as I poke her in the sides. 
"I want scrambled eggs so you're gonna make me some, right?" I ask her as she tries to wiggle out from my hands.
"Yes yes please stop please I'll make them!" She yells.
I push her into the kitchen. "Good. This is why I keep you around. You can cook for me." 
"You're mean." She says as she starts to make the eggs. 
I watch her from the hallway. She's amazing. I don't know what I would've done without her, after the incident I had a year ago when my boyfriend died in an accident. I was miserable, depressed, and she pulled me out of that funk. Made me forget. Prevented me from killing myself. I can't thank her enough. Maybe I can repay her one day. I am her sworn protector. 
"Why are you watching me you weirdo?" She says with her back to me, "I know you're there. You're standing in the hall with your arms crossed staring at me with that little smile on your face. Why do you do that?" 
"Because I can." I respond as I walk to my room.   
 
Soon we are at Trey's. I see our other friends: Trey, Alex, Camryn, Caroline, Jason, Emily, Chris, and some people I don't know. For a while we all just sit around. It gets darker and so we all crowd around the fire. Then the weirdness starts. 
"Hey guys look at the moon," someone says from the other side of the fire. I look up. The moon is a brilliant yellow color and full. Weird. It wasn't supposed to be full tonight. Then I hear a choking sound from near me. I look to my left and Trey is coughing and twitching. Then he straightens out and stands up, opening his eyes. In the glow from the fire I notice something is off: his eyes. They are black. Someone says something. Then he speaks in a voice that isn't his, "Tonight you all will be put to the test. Two will survive. Maybe one." Everyone is staring at him with looks filled with terror and disbelief.
"Go toward the lake and there, instead of the lake, you will see a giant maze. Choose a partner and stand near the gates. When you hear an owl call the doors will open. At the end of the maze is a glowing sphere that will transport two of you, partners, home. If you try to run away, or refuse to go into the maze, certain death awaits you. Begin."
Trey dropped to the ground. For a moment, everyone stared. Then Emily slowly rose and walked to Trey. Nobody spoke.
"He's alive. Um. So. I guess we should pick partners?" Emily said shakily. I felt bad for her. She was once my best friend, but she got a boyfriend and started ignoring me. Which is around when I found Allie, who Emily became jealous of since I became friends with her and Emily wasn't the source of my everything anymore. For good reason though, she abandoned me but expected me to stay around. Then after I went around the USA with Allie she got even more jealous and hated Allie and so I distanced myself from her. She was still a friend of mine, just less than she once was. 
I grabbed Allie's hand. 
"We going to get through this together right Al?" I stared into her terrified eyes.
"I guess so," she whispered.
"Okay well I think this is a load of bull." Said Jason loudly from the other side of the fire. He stood up, and as soon as he did a shining blade thunked into the back of the chair. Someone screamed. 
"Where did that come from?" Asked Jason, to nobody in particular. 
We all realized we had nothing else to do then what the possessed Trey had told us to. 
Soon everyone had partners; Emily with Camryn, Chris with Alex, Jason with a shaky looking, but alive Trey, Caroline with some girl I didn't know, I think her name was Megan, and then Allie and I. 
We walked like a herd of sheep toward what once was a lake. There was a giant concrete maze right there on the lake. We stood by the gate waiting for something to happen. People spoke in hushed whispers. 
"Everyone walk into the gates," a voice boomed from the sky, almost in a godly fashion. 
The gates creaked open and inside there were 5 smaller gates. One for each pair.
We trudged through the gate. Allie was shaking. I nudged her with my shoulder. 
"It's gonna be ok Al, I'm gonna get you out of here alive. I promise." 
Suddenly there was the voice again, "Every pair gets their own gate. Go through. Good luck mortals." 
Pairs stood in front of every gate. Every face was covered in disbelief and terror.
The gates began to open. Allie shuddered. I was surprisingly calm. I knew my purpose: keep Allie alive, get Allie out. I don't care what happens to me. She's going to get out. 
I grabbed Allie's hand. "Hey Al, we're gonna stay together. It's going to be okay. This will be over by morning. I'm sorry I dragged you here... I know you don't want to go. This doesn't seem real, it's like something from a book or a dream. But it's happening. And I'm going to keep you alive because I made you come. Okay?"
"Okay." She whispered 
We went through our gate. 
The maze twisted every which way and I know we were going in circles, but I stayed confident and calm for Allie. 
I heard something moving behind us. It sounded like panting and growling and was coming right for us. I put Allie beside me and started jogging.
"Hey Rach? I think I hear something..." 
Then I felt something breathing down my neck. It jumped over us and landed about 8 feet in front of us. I stopped and pushed Allie behind me, slowly backing up. It was a werewolf. This couldn't be real. They don't exist.
I pushed Allie back some more.
"Rach... What is that?"
"A werewolf Allie. A werewolf. Ok. These aren't real. This can't be right, they're a myth."
"Um. It looks pretty real to me."
"Stay behind me. I don't know what's going to happen but if it attacks I will distract it and you will run away, past it. See if you can catch up with Emily, okay?"
"No not okay I'm not going to leave you behind. Besides Emily doesn't like me..."
The werewolf growled and stepped toward us.
"Okay whatever just find someone I don't care who and I don't care what happens to me just go if I tell you to!"
"No." 
The werewolf started running toward us. 
I grabbed a knife out of my boot. I started carrying it just in case after I was almost mugged in New York. Then I saw a group ahead. 
"Jason! Trey! Run!" Allie yelled at them. 
They hadn't noticed the beast chasing us. We blew past them. Then I heard them notice the werewolf. One of them yelled. The werewolf grabbed them and cracked their skulls together, howling. Their yells cut off abruptly. 
"We have to help them!" Allie began to slow down.
I pushed her forward. "No just keep running go it's over there's nothing we can do!"
"Right..."
The roars of the werewolf died down. I tried not to think about the fact that my friends were being eaten by what I thought was just a creature from a scary story. This made me question if every myth I had heard was real. I hoped not.
We came to a small clearing with a choice of 4 paths. I slowed down. 
"Okay let's rest here for a few minutes. You okay Al?"
"No. I just saw a werewolf. Those aren't real. I can't be okay." 
"Remember, I saw it too. It's not just you. This is sick. Who made this place? Why were we thrown into it? A bunch of middle class kids? It can't be right."
"I don't know. But we should probably start moving about before that werewolf-"
"Finishes with Trey and Jason. Right. Lets go."
We stood up and chose a random path. We walked for a little, then we heard something ahead.
"Is that another group? Maybe we can stick with them. You know. Powers in numbers." Allie looked so hopeful. 
"Yeah, let's go check it out." Even though I wasn't as optimistic as her I figured it was worth a shot.
I saw shapes ahead. It was Emily and Camryn. 
"Hey guys! Hey!" Allie shouted. I watched Emily. She froze. I realized something was wrong. I pulled out my knife again. Suddenly Camryn took off running. 
"Umm...guys?" Allie said 
Emily whipped around. Her eyes were white. She was possessed. Then I saw a gleam of metal in her hand...a knife. She threw it at Allie with blinding speed and I threw my knife before I jumped in from of her. The knife thudded into my right shoulder. I yelped but didn't say anything. I didn't want to scare Allie.
"OH MY GOSH RACHEL! YOU STABBED EMILY!" Allie hadn't noticed the knife in my chest. I fell back against her and looked up at her. She then noticed the knife and started stuttering, "wait no there's no way why what are you okay please no no Rachel no god no you're all I have please..." I hated seeing her like this. I pulled out the knife and stood up straighter, wincing. 
"I'm... Fine. Just a flesh wound. I'm okay. Lets go." I pulled her forward. She was white as a ghost and staring at my bloodstained shirt. Then I saw it up ahead. A little glowing blue sphere. I laughed. This is what I had built my life up to, so many years of amazing grades in school, to be destroyed by someone with a little blue sphere. I dragged Allie over to it. I heard more people coming up. I didn't have much time left. 
Then the voice booms over the area once again, "Only one can survive. Have fun kids." 
I knew what I had to do. 
"No Rachel I know that look you aren't doing what I think you are. We'll die together. Let someone else live. Please." There were tears in her wide brown eyes. 
"I'm sorry Allie. I can't. I love you. More than anything." I hugged her and pulled off my old necklace I always wore and put it around her neck as she started crying and pushing against me. I used my last amount of strength to push her into the glowing sphere. She grabbed my arm at the last moment and said my name. 
"Rachel..." 
And she disappeared.
I felt the wound in my shoulder's pain finally come over me along with grief. I began to black out.
And it was over.