I almost fainted when I saw what I touched.
A corpse. I touch a corpse. I hoped this was fake and in any moment I’ll hear ‘Hidden Camera!’, but there was no one beside me and that dead girl... I think. Her face was so much injured that I barely recognized the gender.
I screamed and jumped when a leaf fell down on corpse’s forehead. I think I’ve watched too many crime dramas, because instead of running I started to research the body. Maybe it didn’t get to me that this was real and serious. It was a murder, I was sure of it. I looked up. I fell down from there too and I was alive, just barely scratched. She wouldn’t die from that...
The corpse was half-buried in the ground. Her face... or maybe I won’t describe it. In other words, it was awful view, and I suddenly felt sick and vomited. Man, I wished I wasn’t here...
But I felt relieved. For a moment I thought that was Heejun and even now I tried not to cry. I wiped my mouth with a trembling hand and stood up, staggering. I wanted to go away, but suddenly I saw something in her mouth. With great resistance I parted her lips and there was a piece of paper in her tooth. Groaning and cursing, I took out the paper and saw five numbers:
I frowned. What’s that?
All of a sudden I heard loud rustle and let go of the paper, surprised. Ah, my poor nerves... The paper flew with a wind and fell into a nearby river. Damn, now I’ll never know what were those numbers...
But the movie atmosphere was disturbed by another rustle and a low and scary voice:
“On a rose will always be spikes, on thorns will never be flower.”
That scared the hell out of me and I ran away, not thinking about anything. Surprisingly quickly I climbed back up the hill. Then I ran almost with closed eyes, just far away from here.
Suddenly I bumped into someone. We fell. That someone touched my arm and I wanted to continue the running, when I recognized Inseong.
“What happened?” he asked. “I heard screaming. It was you?”
Without a word I hugged him.
“Thank God it’s you...” I muttered. “Thank God...”
“Jihun-ah, you’re okay? Did something happen?”
Before I realized, words started to flow from my mouth. I told him everything, except those numbers, which I considered unnecessary.
“We have to call the police,” I finished my story.
“Right, but we don’t have phones. We’ll find the rest and come back to Mr. Lee.”
I agreed. However, it wasn’t so easy. Forest was big and we didn’t know it at all.
“I’m worried about Heejunnie,” I said.
“He’ll be fine.” But I heard doubt in Inseong’s voice.
“But I was supposed to watch over him! I won’t forgive myself if something happened to him –”
“Don’t treat him like a child, Jihun-ah. You’re just one year older. If that’s the case, you’re considered child too.”
Suddenly I felt anger. It wasn’t like that! I didn’t treat Heejun like a child, I was just worried! I was sure if Heejun was me, he would be worried too.
“Don’t you feel strange?” Inseong said, stopping abruptly.
“I think I know this place.”
He was right. We’ve been here. We’ve been circling round and round. I panicked again. Inseong took my hand, so I would feel safer. Then we heard sounds from ours walkie-talkies.
“Youjin-hyung, do you copy?” Inseong called.
“We must be too far away,” I stated.
“Listen, we’ve got a problem. Heejun is –”
Out of the blue we lost the ground under our feet and fell down. In the last moment I turned and saw hooded man, who probably pushed us. I opened my mouth, but at the same time we reached water.