Sammy has a past. A bad past. It haunts her dreams, and now, her life.


1. Jonas

Sammy woke up screaming, like every night she’d dreamt that Jonas was outside.  Tonight her mom didn’t come in.  She must have been catching on that she couldn’t comfort her.  No one could. “Why,” she would ask herself, “Why me?”.  She remembered back to what everyone had told her, “He’s probably dead” but that didn’t help. One word had always stuck with her, making her watch her back, and constantly live in fear,  “Probably”.”  In her mind it was just a way to not make it feel like as much of a lie, like “You can probably fly.” Or,  “It probably won’t hurt.” Probably, what once was a word was now a ghost that haunted her every day.  


    She rolled out of bed and snatched up her hairbrush.   As she ran around the house getting ready, brushing her golden brown hair and snarfing down a bowl of Cheerios, her mom was running through a list she’d put together for the trip even though she wasn’t going.

“Keys?” Her mom finally asked as she lightly tossed them to her.  Sarah, Sammy’s mom, who was still in her purple pajamas and strawberry red hair in a mess, wasn’t hiding her worry.

“Mom, I’ll be fine.” Sammy sighed.

“I know it’s just…” Sarah quietly trailed off as her thoughts seemed to go somewhere else.

    “Goodbye mom, I’ll see eightish tomorrow.”

    “You better, your mom will send a cop to go check on you if you don’t.” Sammy’s dad, John, laughed in exchange for a smirk from Sammy and a raised eyebrow and slight smile from Sarah.  With a chill, Sammy pulled her swim team hoodie over her white t-shirt and played with it until it sat at the buttons on her jeans. Without further adieu,  Sammy dashed to her mom’s old white suburban and with one last,

    “Be safe!” from her parents, drove off as she made a mental list of who all needed picked up and where everyone lived.


    Her first stop was Lexi, her lifelong friend.  As Sammy pulled in front of her creamy white house Lexi dashed out, her blond hair whipping around behind her seeming white next to her purple t-shirt and dark blue jeans. In one motion,  Lexi pulled herself in the suburban and tugged at the seat-belt until it fit right.  Her muddy tennis shoes camouflaged with the filthy floor of the suburban.

    “Hey Lex, I think Amy is next.” Sammy said.

    “Amy and her new friend?  She’s only known us for a year and she’s already  replacing us.” Laughed Lexi.

    “Hey, play nice,  it’s her cousin, she’s visiting from California and she hasn’t seen her in over a year.  And Amy told me that you two wouldn’t get along.” Sammy teased.

    “Me?, What’s she got against class?” Lexi laughed.  Sammy rolled her eyes.  

    “So a year, hmmm, a year ago would have been-” Lexi cut herself off, “Oh, I’m sorry” She added in hopes she’d get a response, but she didn’t.  Sammy just stared forward, silent, until they got to Amy’s.  Amy ran out seconds later,  flustered, she looked back up at the door.

    “JANE!!!!!” She yelled.  Minutes later, Jane, a short, thin little lady probably in her early teens stomped out.  Lexi hid an eyeroll as Jane’s round face, so pale it seemed more like a sheet of paper with two little black dots and a sparkly headband rolled it’s black little eyes and gestured for Amy to get her four large bags.   Amy struggled with the bags as Jane, wearing high heels, black sweatpants, and a green long sleeve t-shirt marched over to Lexi’s side of the car and tapped on the half open window.  Almost as if she was waiting for it,  Lexi rolled her window up the rest of the way.

    “Lexi!” Sammy scolded, using the driver’s controls to roll down the window, as Lexi gave her a ‘why do you do this to me?’ look.

    “Yeeees?”  Lexi called out sweetly.

    “But, I want the front seat.” Jane whined

    “Mmm...No” Lexi answered again, unblinking with a slight smile.

    “LEXI!” Sammy snapped.

    “No.” Lexi said again, smirking.

    “You are a child.” Sammy insulted sarcastically. Lexi just grinned.

    “Okay Jane… I’m sorry, but you’re just gonna have to sit in the back. Sammy sighed, with a slight smirk.  Jane looked awestruck, like she’d never been told no in her life.  Lexi just grinned ear to ear.  Once they found a station they all agreed upon, (which would never have been a problem without Jane) the rest of the trip went quickly.  Jane repetitively asked the Sleeping Amy what they were doing.  Until Sammy cleared her throat preparing to speak.

    “Try to use small words,”  Lexi, who’d already decided she hated Jane, mocked.  Sammy was the nice one, but a smirk tugged at the corner of her mouth.  

    “We’re going on a trip, my cousin has a cabin out by Bear’s Peak we’re going to spend the night there.”  Sammy answered, as a rain drop began the rhythm  of a storm by the time they hiked to the cabin, it had been raining for 30 minutes, they’d counted 11 ticks, spotted three blue jays, and gotten 17 complaints from Jane.  (Lexi was keeping tally.)  Sammy, Lexi and Amy were all overjoyed by the smell and crisp sound of rain.  Even though it had been forecasted ,all were concerned about the falling temperature.  Inside, the cabin was full of old antiques that wowed Lexi and Sammy.  Straight out from the door, was a wooden floored hall that went from one end of the cabin to the other, ending at an old window.  Slowly, they all began to tour around the cabin.  Amy immediately inspected the kitchen while Sammy and Lexi investigated the two bedrooms.  Jane began to complain about the lacking of a TV and any cell phone reception, making Lexi hate her more.  


    Tired from their hike, they all dispersed to bed, Sammy and Lexi both took a couch, leaving Amy and Jane their own rooms.  Amy tried to take the couch, but Sammy insisted.  Instantly, everyone fell asleep except Jane.  In her room, Jane tossed and turned until she settled on her side.  As she opened her eyes, she screamed.  Standing in front of her a tall man with a military buzz cut and black jeans loomed over her.  He wore a tight blue T-shirt that was soaking.  But when she sat up, waking up the other half of herself she noticed a frame around him and laughed at herself.  But not before the others were all awake and looking around for the source.  Jane stuck her head out, yelling,

    “Look at this creepy picture!”  All came in as Jane stood in front of it, arms crossed standing as proud as a peacock.  The others stared at her, puzzled.

    “It’s just a window.”  Sammy groaned, obviously angry for being woken up.  

    “She probably just did it for attention.”  Lexi murmured, in exchange for another wide-eyed disappointed look from Sammy.

    “No! There was a man in the photo!” Jane defended.  With some eye rolls, they all went back to bed.  But only for a short while.  


    “Knock, knock, knock.”

    “What the crap was that?”  Lexi screamed.

    “Jane was that you?”  Sammy asked.

    “No!” She cried.

    “Someone turn on the lights!”  Sammy demanded.

    “Good luck”  Another voice, one that wasn’t female laughed.

    “Who was that?”  Amy choked.

    “The light switch should be right here, someone find some matches, a flashlight, anything.”  Sammy exclaimed desperately.

    “I found some.”  Lexi sighed as a dim flicker arose from her fingers.

    “There’s three matches left,” Lexi cried.

    “Third drawer on the right,” the male voice called again.

    “Who was that?!”  Amy sobbed.

    “Uhmm, CRAP, why would there be a set rat trap in here?”  Lexi snapped.  “Here, there’s a flashlight.”  

    “Great, now turn it on!”  Sammy yelled, teeth gritted, “Does anyone have any rope or even a rubber band?”

    “Yeah, I -- I’ve got a few rubber bands in my bag.”  Amy stuttered.  Once Sammy explained, they were able to make a ceiling light with a ceiling fan, rubber bands, and a flashlight.  With light, they discovered someone had gutted the lightswitch, leaving only a bunch of loose wires.

    “Who?”  Amy croaked.


    In the main room, all took their places.  Amy sat cross-legged in a chair, head buried in her hands.  Next to her was Jane, in tears, laying so she took the whole couch.  Lexi was pacing in front of the window, back and forth each time nearly stepping on Sammy who sat on the floor, hugging her knees with her back against the wall.  Suddenly, Lexi ran away from the window, screaming.  

    “Him, it was him!”  She sobbed.  

    “Who?”  Sammy asked, grabbing Lexi’s shoulders, shaking her hard.  Lexi waited, looking like she was about to cry.  

    “Jonas”  She whispered.  Sammy’s eyes went through Lexi to some place far off.  

    “No!  It can’t be him, you barely saw him.”  Sammy answered, more for herself than for Lexi.  Lexi looked Sammy in her eyes.

“Yes, but I saw him.”  Lexi squeaked.  Sammy’s face got serious.

    “Jane, you can’t play with me now, the man you saw, what color was his hair?”

    “Black, who’s Jo-”  Sammy cut her off.

    “We need to leave” she whispered.  It was only about six in the morning.


    “Who is Jonas?!”  Jane screamed.  

    “An old friend?”  Lexi offered.  

    “Jane do you remember the kidnapping at Mountain View Park?”  Sammy asked sympathetically.  “That,” She paused, “was me.”  She continued without leaving time to answer.      

    “Jonas Lakes, is the man who kidnapped me, they never caught him, and he said that he’d be back.”  Jane’s face went from shocked to angry to confused.  

    “Why didn’t you tell us?”  She screamed, “I’m not staying here.”  She said as she stormed out into the cold.  

    “Jane wait, you’ll freeze!”  Amy begged, but she was already gone.  Amy slowly turned her head.

    “Do you need an explanation?”  Sammy asked.

    “No,” she spoke slowly, “that’s in the past.  Jane is wrong about that, but she’s right about one thing, we need to leave.”  

“It’s like -50 degrees out, we’ll  freeze to death before we make it down the mountain.”  Lexi cried hopelessly.

“I, I might have an idea.”  Sammy whispered, “strip the beds and furniture, take any fabric you can find.”  She instructed.  They each divided, stripping each room of any fabric even curtains.  By the time they were done, it was after eight.  With a pile of fabric, Sammy continued.  

“Huddle together and wrap yourselves with this,” she directed, gesturing to the pile of fabric, “if we all stay together, we’ll be fine.”  Sammy explained.  Lexi opened the door, sending in a cold blast of air.  On the count of three, they ran as fast and as hard as they could.  They didn’t even stop when Sammy fell.  Half an hour later, they saw the road, but found their car’s tires slashed.  They stopped but through their heavy breathing they heard footsteps.  Sammy froze, running at her, was Jonas, the one who is supposed to be dead, the monster.  Sammy was right, she knew he wasn’t dead, yet she was shocked.  Lexi and Amy’s screaming pulled her out of what would have been a fatal phase.  So they ran and they ran and they ran. They ran until two police cars pulled to the side of the road and told them to get in. Inside was Jane, who obviously would have been better off if she had just stayed with them, she was in the beginning stages of hypothermia, which fortunately, could be reversed.  After watching the other three police officers chase after Jonas, they all fell asleep.  


    Sammy woke up in a hospital bed.  Tiredly looking around, she tried to sit up, but was stopped by a throbbing headache right above her left eyebrow and sudden light headedness.   She took a deep breath in, her room stank of cleaning supplies.  Her mom ran in, hair still a mess and still in her purple pajamas.

“She’s awake!” she cried a sigh of relief.  Sarah was soon followed by a nurse wearing blue pants and Scooby-Doo scrubs, her dad who was also still in pajamas, and a man in a suit.  Taking turns, they all tried to fill in the blanks.  When they hadn’t been heard from by 8:00, her mom began to worry,  she called the man in the suit, Detective Trudoe,  and considering the circumstances, they sent a cruiser to come check on them.  When the cop heard screams, he called for backup.  Detective Andee Trudoe came immediately and found Jane wandering aimlessly.  A police officer noticed three girls wearing a pile of blankets and running from a mysterious man a little bit odd, and decided to pull over.  Once in his vehicle he questioned Lexi who was more than willing to tell him why Sammy had  a big gash on her forehead and was having a hard time staying awake. The Scooby- Doo nurse took over, she explained that she tripped while running and cut her head on something,  she had a mild concussion. Back to Detective Trudoe, how and where Jonas Lake had been hiding for that year was still unknown, however, Jonas was going to get life in prison.  Lexi came in, she explained that Jane was gone, she was discharged from the hospital and went back to California, to embarrased to say goodbye.  As for Sammy, she didn’t have nightmares anymore. She knew he was gone. Jonas would never hurt her again. And she doesn’t live in fear anymore. She had won, and she would never look back. She survived.




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