by Christina Keene/Staff Writer
It is June 22, 1998 in Fairhope, Alabama. Louis Tommo, a 14 year old with shaggy brown hair and big turquoise eyes, lives in a small house in front of a forest. He and his four friends, Darcy Styles, Georgia Rose Lee, Harry Warren, and Neil Smith, all hang out in a small treehouse in the forest behind his house. Louis has just got home from school and is currently walking towards the treehouse to meet up with the other four. He arrives shortly and greets everyone by doing their secret handshake. Darcy starts talking about how she thinks she failed her science test and is asking Neil if he can help her study. “Yeah, sure, next time you need help just ask,” says Neil. “Okay, thanks!” replies Darcy. They continue to talk about their days at school until it is dinner time, and they all go home.
The next day, they all meet up at school and walk to their classes together. After school, Louis, Georgia Rose, Harry, and Neil, all have to finish assignments before they leave. Darcy decides to just walk to the treehouse alone and wait on them. Darcy starts to get bored after waiting almost an hour for the rest of her friends to get back. She starts working on her homework, until she hears loud yells. It’s Neil she thought, but why was he yelling? He barges into the treehouse panting and out of breath. “Darcy, th-there was a… there was something that attacked us,” says Neil, still panting. Darcy stares wide eyed at Neil, waiting for more information.
Once Darcy gets Neil to calm down a bit, she asks about what happened. “We were all walking down the trail in the forest to get up to the treehouse, when we kept hearing this growling noise and something moving. We didn’t think much of it, but we walked a bit faster until we got a few more feet away. It attacked us and took Louis, Georgia Rose, and Harry. I didn’t even get the chance to see it before I took off running,” Neil explains.
Darcy is speechless. She doesn’t know what to think. Darcy asks, “Is this a prank?”
Neil replies, “No! I am serious Darcy, please believe me.” “Alright, well then we have to go get them and find out what happened,” Darcy states.
Darcy and Neil pack up a backpack of food, water, slingshots, rocks, and anything that they can protect themselves with. Neil takes Darcy to the exact spot they were taken and they begin looking around. They stare at anything and everything anywhere near that area and find nothing. After a while, they begin to get tired, when Neil sees something. He sees a gigantic claw mark on a tree nearby. He yells for Darcy and she runs over to look at the marking. “This is definitely from whatever took them,” says Neil. They begin looking for more traces of the creature, when they hear a branch snap. They both turn their heads to see what it was, but they saw nothing. They both start to get scared. They want to think it is the wind, but they both know it wasn’t.
They begin to glance around looking for any signs that they are not alone. Suddenly, they hear screaming. Darcy latches onto Neil’s arm, she’s shaking with fear. They begin slowly walking towards where they heard the screaming. They look all around them until they hear another branch break. They snap their heads looking behind them. They see Harry, Georgia Rose, and Louis all huddled up next to a tree with claw marks on the bark. Niall and Darcy gasp and run over to their friends. They start crying and shake with fear. They quickly get up and bolt towards the treehouse. Once inside they all just sit in silence. They wait a while before Louis speaks up, “What just happened.” They all just stare at him until they hear the growling again very close to them…