Chapter 2- Is that your name?
"This is her."
I took in the appearance of the small girl with curly brown hair. She looked to be about 13 or maybe 14. Dressed in a pair of my clothes which were a size to big.
"What's her name?" I ask.
"I don't know." Lana says softly. "She won't speak. The police tried to get her to talk when she showed up last night but she won't. Social services is coming to identify her this afternoon, if possible."
"Why is she here?" I ask my aunt.
"Nobody knew a good, safe place for her to stay for the night and since she showed up here I volunteered.
I nod. "That makes sense."
"I was thinking. You're about her age. Maybe she would respond to you. Would you try?"
I nod again.
I grab an apple before I leave the living room. As I sit down, and bite into the apple the girl squeezes her eyes shut and cringes.
"I'm Amelia. Amelia Raymore. What's your name?"
She stares at her hands.
"I'm 15 but in two months I'm going to be 16. How old are you?"
"My birthday's in October but-"
Just then my dog scurried in and jumped unto the couch.
"Lizzie!" I order, "Off the furniture, now!"
The girl jumps. Something sparks in her eyes when I say Lizzie.
"Lizzie. Is that your name?"
She doesn't answer. But if it isn't her name it means something to her. I had seen the glimmer in her eye.
"What did social services find out?" Alex asks me.
Alex is my best friend and Lana's neighbor.
"Her name is Elizabeth Cymbal. She was abducted from her home along with her sister Addie. Another girl named Leah Sloan was the one who identified her."
In a weird way I had been pleased to find the girl's name was Elizabeth. That meant Lizzie was probably her nickname.
"Leah Sloan?" Alex puzzled. "That sounds familiar."
"That's the girl who went missing for a month. When she showed up someone had carved messages into her back. It was all over the newspapers."
"So," Alex asked, "What about her sister?"
"When Elizabeth showed up she was dragging her dead sister behind her."
Alex looked at me shocked. It was a lot to take in.
"So what about her parents?"
"Gone, and nobody knows where they went."
"Wow, so what are we doing?"
I had forced Alex to come with me. I didn't want to trek through death mountain by myself. We were walking through the crusty snow out in the middle of nowhere.
"She had to have walked from somewhere. Lana says when they showed up they were coated in ice as though they had been in water. My best bet is they came from a lake. The only lake out here is Green Lake. So…" I trailed off.
We walked for 20 minutes until we reached the lake. The lake was bumpy and full of breaks and ridges. The frigid air seemed completely still. Eerie I thought.
We neared the edge and that's when I saw him, facedown on the ice.