Virtual Reality

Hey. I'm Tabby. I'm 16. I guess you could call me the average teenager. Gossiper, loves guys, and addicted to the internet. Too addicted. Tabby spends her life on the computer, and she knows it. So when she comes across a new virtual world "Palm City", she doesn't hesitate to join. But this world seems more real than ever, and teens all over the world are going missing a couple days after the website is created. Is there something more to Palm City than just a website? Is virtuality becoming reality?

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12. Lost and found

I know it's the totally wrong thing to do when you've just found out that you're best friend's gone missing, but I do it anyway. I log onto Palm City, and face the perfect little fantasy world everyone dreams of. Now I wish I hadn't redecorated my room. It's all happy and joyful, instead of the plain old boring room it used to be. But I don't want to feel happy right now. I want to be miserable. I quickly get out of this wrong place and face the city. It's too happy as well. I can't take it. That creepy smell tickles my nose. I wrinkle my nose, and dart to the forest. My crying place. Trees start to envelope me, and I'm surrounded by a much better place. No one comes hear, they much preffer it in the polluted city. I sit on my log, my usulal place and cry. I don't even want Jonah come along today, and he doesn't, thankfully. I think of little Leah, smothered by a big old chunky guys arm, and it's tight around her neck. What if she's dead. Oh my god. My hands clasp around my mouth. By tomorrow it'll probably be headlines in the papers, and another story for them to carelessly moan about to people on the news. "16 year old Leah Marton was kidnapped and murdered yesterday. Blah, blah, blah, I couldn't care less. I'm still getting paid for this right?" I shake those thoughts from my head. I get up and walk away, leaving the forest behind me. I want to forget. Pretend nothing's happened. Just go to a cafe and sit like it's a normal day. I find a seat away from everyone else and look around at all the passing perfect people. A cute looking guy swaggers past. Then quite a young looking person (I'm guessing 10 or 11?) hurries past smiling and waving at absolutely everyone. Then older guy with a creepy smile comes along. He's seems to be looking at all the younger children. Umm....

My breath stops. It can't be. No. It's impossible. But it is. Wait. It is. In a far corner, I see a girl perched delicately on a bench, looking into a book. It's Leah Marton.

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