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The moonlight reflected against the small silver puddles scattered around the road, the cool rain water splashed against her ankles making her freshly washed socks wet, The dim street lights shone against the pavement kind of making a spotlight. She glanced down at her watch, 11:59 it read in the glowing turquoise letters “Just in time,” she whispered while watching the indiglo setting turn off on her watch. She walked up the old creaky steps of Wilson Manor on the corner of the street. Not thinking of knocking, she pushed open the dark oak door that led to the entrance. “You’re here,” said a voice coming from a what looks to be a formal living area to her left.

“just in time too!” she heard her say just seconds later.

“I mean who wouldn’t want to come to a creepy condemned house?” she said back setting her coat down on a antique table.

“Well i’m in the living room over here and we’ll get down to business.” She grabbed her faux leather bag and headed over there.

“I have made a map of whole town,” she said unrolling it over the coffee table, “and I also put smiley stickers where the missing were found.”

“Do you think they will find us?” she said watching her take another smiley sticker off of the pad and place it on another spot on the map.

“Dunno?” she replied. “But tomorrow we are  going down to the police station and talking to the chief about the issue. Agree?”

“Agree!” she walked back outside, back to the cold damp weather, kicking stones as she walked. Realizing her parents are probably wondering what their 16 year old daughter is doing out on a school night at 1:30 in the morning she began to sprint.

“ Madison! What do you think you were doing out at 1:30 in the morning?” her mother said as she set her cup of hot tea down on the table. “You realize what lurks behind the bushes and trees right?”

“Yes mom, as if you hadn’t told me enough about The Hunt,” she replied. “I mean it isn't even recruiting season yet. Right?”

“I think it is,” her mother replied. Madison walked upstairs to her very pink bedroom and sat on her very pink bed. Her room was decorated like a kindergartener would want it. It had pink walls, pink curtains, pink vanity and dresser, everything in her room was pink! she didn’t want to be rude to her mom and say she hated it so she just dealt with it.

“Maison! wake up!” she heard her friend Emily say from outside her bedroom door. “It’s time to go, please look presentable when you come out.” Madison grabbed her pile of clothes that she picked out to wear tomorrow and threw them on within a minute and quickly pulled her hair into a ponytail.

“You ready?” Emily said as she grabbed her bag from the dining room table.

“I guess?”  They arrived to school about ten minutes late and quickly tried to get to their first classes before attendance is taken because her and Emily have just about the worst attendance records in the whole school.

“Ready to go?”  she heard Emily say as she was finishing packing up her stuff. The clock read 2:55 and the final bell just rang a couple of minutes ago. They started to walk their two mile trip to the police station to talk to the chief. It is a very windy day and their hair was getting blown all over their faces making it very hard to see where they were walking. “Is this it?” she asked Emily while looking at the big sign above the doors that read Police Stationin bold golden letters.

“I guess?” she said back.

They walked in the front doors up to the front desk where a blonde haired woman stood on a computer, “hi girls, what can I help you with today?” she said while still looking at the screen of her computer. “Do you have some kind of crime to report?”

“No, but we have a meeting with the chief,” Emily said back.

“Sure you do, well I’ll check with him to see, I’ll be back in a minute,” she turned away and walked to go to the chief’s office. “Well, he said he could squeeze you guys in for about 20 minutes.”

“Great. Thank you,” they said as they grabbed their bags and followed her to a back office with glass windows surrounding it.

“Hi girls,” Chief Blythe said as they sat down in the black plastic chairs in front of his brown wooden desk. “So what have you come here for?”

“um, well to address the issue of what the public refer to as “The Hunt” it has gotten more and more serious,” Emily answered.

“Yes it has. But all you guys can do is just not butt in and just let the police take care of this,” he said while taking a sip of his coffee.

“But, how can we help?” Madison asked. “We made a map and…”

“Girls, we don’t want you you or other people to get hurt in the process. All you can do is stay home. Please girls, take my advice.”

Emily’s house was just around the corner of the police station on Elm street. She lived in a beautiful white, three story house that had a huge twenty foot pine tree outside. Emily escorted Madison inside her house. Still disappointed about their meeting, they went straight up to Emily’s room. Like Madison’s bedroom Emily’s walls were also pink and so was almost everything.

Madison took a seat at Emily’s desk and was looking at her fish Zorro that she won at the carnival that comes to town every summer since she can remember. “Hey Em?” Madison said. “What if tonight we do some investigating?”

“How about Not!” Emily answered with her face still smashed into her pillow. “You know what the chief said? Stay out of it!”

“well i’m going. You can join me if you want.”

It was dark. Maison’s watch read 10:00, and she was just leaving Emily’s. Her mom thought she was staying the night, so she decided to walk home and tell her mom some excuse for why she didn’t stay over. Madison walked down Third Street, kicking stones as she waltzed down the moonlit path. Then, she heard something, you could see it in her eyes. Something seemed odd to her, like when you think its too quiet or too empty to a point where you think someone is watching or following you. She began to sprint.

“Emily!” Madison shouted as she entered the dark entrance of her house,

“something’s wrong! They’re here, I was only like a block away when I saw them. Emily, The Hunt found us.”

“Well, it is recruiting season for them, right?” Emily replied while taking Madison’s bag from her.

“I mean, I think so?” she replied. “But Emily, what should we do? Stalking is illegal right?’’

“Madison, grab your bag. Let’s go on a walk.”

It was still that freezing Wisconsin night, the moon was still full as ever, the girls were silently walking down the street trying to be very quiet, trying to not disturb anyone or anything. Many different creatures were rustling in the dark green bushes in front of the neighbors driveways, anything from squirrels to raccoons trying to sneak a midnight snack from the trash cans standed up next to the cement curbs. Both girls were tired, cold and didn’t feel like walking in the ten degree fahrenheit weather.

“Hey Em?” Madison said in a concerned voice. “Why don’t we just turn around I mean…” Before she could finish her comment Emily interrupted.

“Madison wait! I hear something!” she said in a whisper. There was a very loud noise coming from behind a red car in someones driveway. A tall large man stepped out from the darkness.

“I would’ve never guessed that two little teenagers would attempt to stop me and my little friends!” He said in a stern and low voice. He stepped out farther and they got a clear look at his face, very pale and boney. “ You know who I am right? None other than your savior. If you join us we can provide safety and above all there are no rules like if you want a puppy just go and steal one!”

“Madison! Call the police!” Emily whispered. Madison dialed 911 and they began to run.

“You’ve reached the 911 operator, please state your issue,” the operator asked.

“Um, hi, we are currently being chased by a very dangerous and armed criminal who um, is a member of The Hunt. My friend and I are only 16, come quick!” Madison answered while still running at top speed. A shot was fired into the cold, crisp air to psych them out.

“I’ll catch you!” The man shouted. He almost caught them when the red and blue flashing lights indicating a police car, came zooming in. It flu right past Madison and circled around the man. He tried to run away but it was too late, he was caught. The police officers quickly grabbed his forearm and jerked him towards them.

“Sir, put your hands behind your back. DO NOT make this difficult!” the officer shouted. Emily showed a faint smile and started to walk over to the police car. She saw the man who was now in handcuffs, through the darkly tinted window.

“Girls, I appreciate that you called the police and didn’t try to take care of  this yourselves,” the officer said. The rest of the officers started to circle in and the residents of this neighborhood who happened to be sleeping, were starting to come out of their houses to see what was going on.

Both of the girls parents arrived soon after they found out the news. Madison’s mom came speeding down Maple Avenue in her baby blue minivan where the girls were located. Madison’s brother jumped out of the van, hugged her and handed her a hot cup of chai tea.

“Madison, are you okay?” her mother asked as she stepped away from hugging her.

“Yeah, I guess. Just a little cold,” she answered.

“Emily, your dad just called he should be here any minute.”

“Okay, thanks mrs. Smith,” Emily answered.

About a minute later Emily’s dad picked her up. Madison, her mom, and her brother were waiting with Emily until she was picked up. Emily’s dad hugged her and they both walked to the car. She said goodbye to Madison and drove off in her dad’s black sedan.      







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