The Girl From the Woods

He wanted her to feel safe, to trust him, before he took her life away.

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3. THREE

The cell phone shook in my hand. She hadn't wanted me to call anyone. Why? The question settled in my brain. But what else could I do? Someone needed to come and take her away.

That sounded fucked up, like I didn't want her on my property any longer. Like I wanted to get rid of her—this one living, breathing, beautiful girl with her scared eyes.

Finally, I hit SEND.

"911, what is your emergency?" a kind voice asked.

"There's a girl on my porch," I said calmly. "And she's dead."

The woman asked where I lived, and I told her. When I got off the phone, I waited, but I kept glancing out the back door at Rachel's body.

Should I cover her? I didn't want the animals to—

The thought of anything wild or rabid picking her apart turned my insides once more.

I was too busy being horrified by my own mind that I didn't hear the sirens until they were right outside, and someone was banging on the door.

The paramedics were like locusts—they seemed to be everywhere, and there seemed to be thousands, even though there were two—and then they took her.

I watched as they lifted her onto the gurney, covered her with the white sheet, and wheeled her out the door.

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