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12. Fright Tonight by Jordan Sweeto

[Fright Tonight by Jordan Sweeto]

Luke’s POV
I held Willow tight to my body. She cried and cried. I tried to tell her Michael was fine but, I didn’t know. I gently pushed Willow by her shoulders away from my body.  Her face was covered in makeup stains.
“We’re going to go to the police. They can help us Willow.” I pulled out my phone and called the cops. They picked Willow and I up to take us into the precinct. Willow and I were questioned by officers. We exited the questioning room and found Michael’s mom and Dad waiting in the lobby. Willow and I left the station with an officer to show them where we last saw Michael. Willow and I took them to the woods where I found Willow. We took them to the tree house and Willow’s house.
“Thank you Mrs. Anderson and Mr. Hemmings. We’ll let you know when we have any new evidence about Mr. Clifford’s whereabouts.” The officer left.
“Th-that’s it? We’re just going to sit here while Michael is god knows where?”
“Willow stop. They will do anything and everything. The Trick or Treaters won’t get away with this.”
I sat on the couch and Willow laid her head on a pillow on my lap.
______________2 weeks Later._______________
Willow’s POV
Luke, Ashton, Calum and Kitty are constantly spending the night at my house. I haven’t been alone in almost 2 weeks. Nobody has found Michael or even heard from him. I keep his phone charged, wear his hoodie all the time and wear the necklace I bought him. I was
“Willow come here right now.”  Calum yelled.
I slumped down the stairs to the couch.
“The recent disappearance of Michael Clifford has the town on edge. The Masked Trick or Treaters that reside in the depths of the woods have come forward with video conformation of the teens whereabouts. Police are holding a press conference.”  We watched the first few seconds of where the conference was being held. I ran upstairs and put on a pair of shorts, a shirt and shoes. I slipped on Michael’s hoodie and necklace.
“Calum we’re going out.”
“What why?” Calum looked confused.
“I know where that is.”
Calum and I ran out the door towards the woods. At the edge was police tape and barricades.  We continued deeper and deeper until we found a police barricade. Swat teams and fully armed police officers surrounded the site.

Calum’s POV
“Ma’am you need to evacuate the area.” 
Willow walked past the officer and continued to the search site.
“Ma’am I said you need to leave.” The officer was now blocking Willow.
Willow took a step and the officer picked up Willow and took her to the cop car. I got in the other side and comforted Willow.  The officer drove us to the station again and made us wait in the lobby.
“Willow calm down.” I said.
“I will not calm down Calum. Where’s Michael’s mum? Shouldn’t she be here?”
“Oh they aren’t close. I don’t know if she’ll be here. Michael’s hardly home as it is.”
“Willow Anderson?” An officer asked.
“That’s me.” Willow stood up and I followed.
“We found Michael. You need to go home and wait. Michael will be fine but, he’ll be here for a while.” The officer led us to the elevator and pressed the button for us to go down.
We rode the elevator down in silence. Willow held my arm. I could tell she was upset. We walked to the tree house together. I texted Ash, Luke and Kitty to meet us at the tree house.  Willow went into the tree house first and collapsed on a bean bag with Luke. She started to cry on Luke’s shoulder. He rubbed small circles on her back.
“Willow. Stop crying.” He said. Willow sat up and moved away from Luke’s side.
“He’s safe but, it’s my fault. I was the one who wanted to go that party. He was protecting me when he hid me. The he-“ Willow sighed.
“Come here Willow.” Ashton held his arms out and Willow hugged him.
“Guys Michael’s mum is calling me.” I said.
I stepped outside and answered the phone.
“Hey uh,” I scratched the back of my neck. “Michael is giving his statement and going home. He isn’t allowed to be seen until tomorrow. He also can’t leave his house for a week or so.” Willow walked past me and climbed down the ladder. I was about to go after her when Kitty grabbed my arm, “Just let her do what she needs to babe.”
Kitty looked out the window. “Alright guys lets go.” She said.
We followed Kitty onto the deck.
We saw Willow walking into the autumn leaves. She looked calm. She sat down in the middle of the path.  Luke climbed down the ladder and slowly made his way to Willow.
Willow’s POV
“Willow.”
“Go away Luke.” I mumbled.
“Willow.” He stepped in front of me. I kept my head down.
“Wil-“ I cut him off.
“Get the fuck away from me Luke.” I yelled. I covered my face with my hands. I heard Luke go back to the tree house. I stood up and walked home. I locked the front door, closed all the curtains and sat on my bed with a shoe box in front of me. I opened the box and looked through all of the contents. Stacks upon stacks of mini Polaroid pictures and regular pictures layered each other. Dozens of pictures of Ashton, Calum, Luke, Kitty, Michael and I filled the box. Every time I’d see a picture of Michael and I, I’d get upset. Mad, sad just about every emotion. I heard the doorbell ring. I pushed all the pictures off of my bed to my floor and got under my blankets. My body curled into a ball. The warmth wrapped my body.
_____________1 Week and 1 Day Later.___________________
Willow’s POV
I put on a black skull covered dress and a pair of black yoga shorts underneath. I slipped on my all black Vans and headed at the door. My makeup looked better than usual for god knows why. As I walked to the Treehouse I fixed my blacked out flower crown and adjusted Michael’s ring on my finger. I haven’t seen Michael in almost a month. I was scared he would be mad at me.  Kitty and Calum stayed at the tree house last night and said I let Michael’s hoodie there. I wanted it back so I had to go get it myself. As I approached the treehouse I heard leaves cracking behind me. Just as I put my hand on the ladder, two hands covered my eyes, “Guess who?” The person asked. I knew the voice anywhere.
“MICHAEL?!?!”
I turned around to see him. I gasped and covered my mouth with my hand. My throat burned and tears filled my eyes. Michael’s face was covered in scratches and cuts. He had a black eye. He looked thinner and broken.
Michael pulled me into his chest.
“Don’t cry baby.” He said. I pushed away and wiped my tears.
“Michael this is my fault. I shouldn’t have said yes to the party.”
“They told me that they would’ve got me one way or another. They have the Treaters location and are going to get em’. “
I fixed my dress a little. Michael pushed some hair out of my face.
“I’ve waited for this for a long time.” Michael pressed his lips against mine. My body relaxed. I felt safe again. He pulled away slowly and smiled at me. I wrapped  my arms around his sides. He hissed. I pulled my arms off and lifted his shirt. His entire left side was a black and blue bruise. It started at his top rib and went down to his waist line. The bruise covered three-fourths of his abdomen. 
“A-Are you o-“ I started. Michael pulled his shirt down.
“Willow I’m fine.”
“Babe you don’t look fine.”
“I’ll be okay baby. I don’t want you to worry about me. I have medication; the police know where the Trick or Treaters are, I’m back home with my best friends and my baby girl. I’m fine.
I opened my mouth to say something.
“I’m fine Willow. I’m fine.” He kissed my forehead. He obviously wasn’t fine. I climbed up the ladder and grabbed Michael’s hoodie.
Once back down Michael took my hand in his. I smiled and we headed back to my house. I led Michael to my room. He sat on my bed and I sat in front of him.
“I love your dress.” He said.
“Thanks, what do you want to babe.” He played with the tips of my hair.
“I dunno.” I pecked his lips.
“Willow? Where are you?” The voice said. I opened my bedroom door to see Luke with his hand on the knob.
“Oh hey, I didn’t know Michael was here. Um, Calum, Kitty and I wanted to know if you wanted to go to the park with us? Michael you’re welcome to join.” Luke looked nervous.
“DO you want to go Mikey?” I asked.
“Sure why not.” He got of my bed and we left hand in hand. The walk to the park was shorter than usual but, something was off. I couldn’t quite figure it out but, something was definitely off.

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