Episode 1

“The bodies of Allie and Alyce Bryant were discovered after midnight on Friday, December 1st, downtown, in the city of Woodway on Jefferson Ave. Witnesses reported screaming, and the sounds of metal hitting concrete. By the time the police arrived, the killer was long gone. An autopsy was issued last week, showing evidence of rape on Allie Bryant, and multiple scarring on Alyce Bryant. Friends and family members said both girls were loved by everyone in their local high school, Monroe High, sister school to Woodway Prep, and were the star athletes on the soccer and softball teams. Parents of the girls in a grieving voice said that they would be dearly missed and that justice will be brought to them. At this time, the DA is not talking about possible suspects and will only state that this case is under invest—”
“Any news?” my mother asked, drowning out the monotone voice of the reporter on Fox 5. She eyed the TV, grabbing the seat next to me on the couch. Sipping on her special green tea, deep brown eyes stared back at me.
I shook my head, dejectedly. “They got nothing.”

My mother looked surprised, placing her imported tea from China on the coffee table. “They still don’t have any leads yet?”
“They said they’re not talking about it. Whatever that means,” I told her, ending my sentence with a roll of my eyes.
Biting her lips, she thought for a minute. “That’s strange . . .” she whispered under her breath, taking another sip of her hot drink. As I watched her, her facial expressions, went from confused to gasping in surprise all within a minute of each other.
“What? What’s wrong?” I asked in alarm, running towards her in a panic.
“Nothing, nothing,” she said a little bit too quickly, as her voice went up an octave. I quirked an eyebrow at her. She was lying big time. But she was my mother, and I wasn’t going to call her out on it. She’ll tell me when she’s ready. “I just remember Megan has to be in school in half an hour,” she fibbed easily, looking at her golden wristwatch my Dad had brought her for Christmas. “Do me a favor and go get her?”
“Well,” I began, dragging the last syllable out, “since you asked kindly, sure.”
She laughed, patting my back affectionately. “Thank you sweetie.”
“No problem,” I sang, as I ran towards the stairs. “I’ll be down with Megan soon!”
“I wouldn’t expect anything less from my daughter!” I heard her called when I was halfway up the spiral staircase.
Going passed my sister, Izzy’s old room, and my room, I came to a halt at Megan’s room. Her door was painted a simple neutral white, with a cursive wooden sign with her name on it. Giving it a soft knock, I twisted the doorknob, walking right in like I did a million times before.
Jumping over her drumsticks, and her Basset clarinet case, I made sure I didn’t trip over her piles of dirty laundry like I did yesterday morning. She all but had a field day when she found me spread out on the floor, clutching my knees in pain.
And guess what? The dang girl didn’t even help me out afterwards! All she did was worry about her precious instruments and if I broke any of them.

Please, like I would.

The girl had at least fifteen different kinds of instruments placed all over her room, with multiple awards showcasing her gifted talent from the ages of nine and up. Some say that Megan Reed was a pure genius in the musical industry, and of course, being her best friend, I had to agree with them. I mean do you know anyone that could play any instrument by just hearing someone else play it once? No? I don’t think so.

Just as I was about to reach her bed, I fell face-flat on the floor, hissing in pain. Rubbing my sore head, I shot daggers at Megan’s back laying on her comfortable queen-sized bed my mother brought her. And even though she couldn’t see me, I knew she could feel me burning holes at her.
“Megan!” I shouted her name furiously. “Why can’t you clean up your room for once!?”

I could hear her soft chuckling, as she finally showed her face from underneath her blanket. Holding in her loud laughter, she peered down at me, her dirty blonde hair a wild mess. “You know I can’t do that.”
“Why not!?” I nearly but yelled, my light blue eyes probably in a dangerous glow. “Do you enjoy watching me injure myself every time I come in to your room?”
She tapped her chin, thoughtfully. “Well—it is highly amusing.”
I cut my eyes at her. “How would you feel if I fall on one of your instruments!?”
That shut her up, as I earned a glare from her in return. “You wouldn’t.”
I grinned. “Watch me.”

She gulped, eyeing her treasures all over the floor. She sighed, giving up. “Fine. I’ll clean up my room. Happy?”
“Very.” Slapping my thighs repeatedly for three seconds, I jumped up, planting myself on her glow in the dark sheets. “Anyways,” I added, changing the subject, “my mom said you need to be down in twenty minutes for school.”
She let a whine escaped her mouth, plopping back on the soft mattress. “Why do I have to go to school? Why can’t I be homeschooled like you?” She pouted, her baby-like features even more prominent.

“Because unlike you, I was a child actress, and it wouldn’t be a good idea—”
“—if you were seen in public. Blah, blah.” Turning around, she faced me, her bright blue eyes wide and innocent. “You know Lily. That was when you were a kid. You’re seventeen now. You need to experience life. Live a little, instead of being stuck at home by yourself.”
“I’m not alone!” I argued, childishly, even though I knew she made a valid point. “I have Dennis.”

“Lil, he’s in college,” she stated. “Just break up with him already. He’s no good for you,” she said, the conversation turning serious.
My eyes watered at the thought of me breaking up with him. I-I couldn’t do it. Even though I knew I should because of the long distance relationship part, I couldn’t. He was my first kiss, my first crush, my first real boyfriend.

“You don’t know that . . .” I heard rumors that he was always at wild parties and hooking up with girls left and right, but I didn’t believe any of them. I know Dennis, and he wouldn’t do that to me. He’s loyal, and plus he was my friend first before we started dating.

That has to mean something right?
“You’re right, I don’t,” she concluded, “but just think about it. I don’t want to see you regret your decision later on in life. Don’t stay with him just because he got voted the ‘sexiest guy alive under twenty-five’ by teen-magazine.”
“It’s not just that,” I argued. Dennis was a lot more than just ‘hotness’ in clothes. He’s talented, smart, successful, and caring; an overall good person.

“I didn’t say it was.” Feeling the bed shift, I could tell she was getting up. Hearing the closet door creak open, I knew she was about to change into her uniform—which was my cue to leave, and her signal telling me the conversation was over.

Heading back down the stairs, I turned the HDTV back on, and began searching for a good TV show to watch in the meantime.
“Lily, did you get Megan?” my mother asked, walking back into the living room, with her dark hair now tied up, dressed in a button-up blouse and pencil-skirt. “We have to leave in less than fifteen minutes.”

“Yeah,” I told her, stopping on channel fourty-two. “She should be down any minute now.”
“Great. Once she’s done, tell her I’ll be in the garage. I want to warm up the car first.”
I nodded, laughing at the stupid idiots on Reality Madness. Why would anyone drink until they’re that drunk? “Will do,” I answered her mindlessly.

Feeling a light pressure on my forehead, she whispered, ‘I love you’ before heading out the front door, letting the cold air in. Luckily she shut the door quickly, knowing how much I hated the cold.

In exactly fifteen minutes, Megan ran down the stairs, with one of her saxophone cases in her hand. Her pin-straight blonde hair was pulled up in a high ponytail, as she wore the required Woodway Prep uniform they issued five years ago. Her face was free from any kind of make-up, going with the natural look, like she did all the time, unlike me who had their make-up professionally done every morning.
“Is your mom out in the back again?”
“You, my friend are correct.” I smiled, giving her a thumbs up. She dipped her head in response, beaming back. She was almost out the front door when I stopped her, remembering the news report earlier today.

“Be careful though! The killer might still be out there.”

Terror quickly appeared on her face, when she progressed what I said. “You mean with the Bryant case?”
“Yeah. They’re not giving any information out yet, but just watch out. I wouldn’t want your brother coming back and yelling at me, because I didn’t watch out for his ‘baby sister’.”
She rolled her eyes at the mention of her protective brother Thomas, and my brother in law. “Please. I can watch out for myself just fine.”

“Of course you can.” I laughed. “Anyways, hurry up before you’re late. Wouldn’t want your perfect no-tardy-record to be destroyed.”
“Crap!” Her eyes widened at the mentioned of her record. “You’re right! I’ll see you later Lily! Love you!” She blew me a kiss, as she rushed out the door, letting more wintry air in.
“Love you too!” I called out, even though she was long gone now.
Letting out a loud yawn, I went back to lounging on the couch, pulling the blanket my mom put over the sofa on my body. I was about to watch more TV to pass the time with until my tutor came over at noon, when a knock blared from the front entrance.

I twisted my neck at the sound. “Megan?”
I waited; nothing.

“Hello?” I called again.

No response.
Shrugging I went back to my shows, when the soft knocking sounded again, but this time more urgently. Sighing, I flipped the covers off of me, and headed straight for the door, ripping it open.
“Lily Avery Ace?” a deep voice, dressed in all black asked.
My eyes enlarged at their bulging muscles, tall frame, and the gun they had strapped to their hips. I was about to slam the door in their faces and call the police, when the guy in front of me held up a golden badge, that said, ‘Federal Bureau of Investigation, department of Justice’ on it.
S–t. What kind of trouble did I get myself into now?

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