Chapter 4

                Wailing sirens echoed around the campground forcing everyone from their peaceful slumbers. Nosy campers peered out of their tents, looking for a source of the noise. It was not hard to spot; three police cars were entering the campground.


The first car pulled to a stop in front of the camp office. As the car shut off, a woman with flaming red hair slid out of the driver side. She looked around thirty, and walked as if she owned the place. Which, she probably did. The man who came out of the passenger door seemed much younger, closer to twenty from the look of it. He slouched as he walked, looking small and unnoticeable compared to his partner.


The other two police cars continued driving through the camp, branching off to cover all the ground. After driving through every row – even empty once – they came to a stop before the forest.


Nemu tripped over Noah to look out of the tent. He was still asleep, oblivious to the chaos around him. Nemu did not understand how he could sleep through all the noise, but was too preoccupied to notice it. She forced herself to stay calm, just because please cars were coming through it did not mean that it was linked to Rayen. She could have come back in the middle of the night.


Scarlett was crawling out of her tenant as well, getting her makeup bag to start the day. Seeing Nemu’s hopeful look; Scarlett smiled weakly but shook her head. Rayen had not come back yet. Nemu, to worry to focus on brushing her teeth and changing clothes, slipped on her flip-flops and ran in the direction of the forest. Along the way, she pulled her knotted hair into a messy bun – the way Rayen had taught her.


She did not notice the police car pulling up to her tents, but the startled blue – haired boy did. Noah stepped out of Nemu’s tent. He ran his left hand through his hair and yawned. The more he woke up, the more his shoulders tensed. Something bad had happened.


His first thought was of Nemu, she was not in the tent when he woke up. While he worried about Rayen, Nemu was his top priority at the moment. Rayen would come back from the grave just to kill Noah if her little sister was ever hurt under his care.


A flaming haired woman stepped out of the silver police car. She looked him over sternly before glancing at the yellow notebook in her hands. “Are you Noah Burns?”


Noah blinked, “yes ma’am.” She looked at her notebook again.


“Is Nemu or Rayen Danford here?” Noah looked at the woman.


“I don’t see how that is any of your business.” The fiery redhead sighed and pulled out a badge.


“My name is Detective Barron, I received a call claiming that a black – haired teen was dragged into the woods two hours ago. The owner informed me that a Rayen Danford was the only girl she had seen going into the forest. Now, is Rayen or Nemu Danford here?” Noah looked around, realizing that the sun was still nestled safely behind the mountains.


Before Noah could reply with a sarcastic comment – something that would most likely get him into a lot of trouble – an angry shriek echoed around the camp. Detective Barron slid into her car and drove off, leaving Noah to run to the forest.


When Noah made it to the forest, he found a man holding Nemu back with one arm. She shrieked, clawed, and bit at the man and whoever came to help.


“Ah, there you are,” the man smiled pleasantly at Noah, seeming to notice the marks along his arm. “Mind ‘elping me wit’ this one?  She i’ a bit o’ a fighter.”


“Let go of me! Let’s go!” Noah took Nemu from the officer and pulled her close, struggling to calm the girl down. Once she was calm, Nemu looked at Noah. Her eyes swam with tears. “I just want to know what’s going on,” she whispered, looking at the ground. He pulled Rayen’s little sister into a tight hug.


“I know. I’ll make sure they tell you soon as they find out.”


The man stepped forward ignoring the dark look that was sent his way. “Why don’ you both go back an’ pack an’ go home? We will be sure to let ya know wha’ happens. Jus’ give us a address and number.” Snatching the yellow notepad out of the man’s hand, Noah scribbled down Rayen’s address and home phone number. He shoved the notebook back up the man before grabbing Nemu’s hands.

“Come on Mu. We should tell Scarlett the news.” Nemu followed, slowing once to stick her tongue out at the detectives behind her. Detective Barron frowned, while her partner gave an amused chuckle. Noah gave Nemu a stern look before pulling her along.


Detective Barron looked at her partner once the children left. He was leaning against a car, staring deeply into the forest. Dark, heavy bags rested under his eyes, a strange sight against his tanned skin.


“What do you think happened to the girl, Quincy,” she asked.


He shrugged, eyes still staring deep into the forest. “Could ‘ave been anythin’. A mountain lion coulda eaten ‘er. The dogs ‘ill tell us.” Quincy stood up, grabbing two of the police dogs. “ I’ll take the left. She probably won’t be there, even if kidnapped.”


Detective Barron nodded, he was right. That way was just steep slopes and hidden drop-offs. Something practically impossible to make it through at night. She frowned as a thought came to her.


“Wait,” she called to Quincy. He stopped and looked back over his shoulder. “Shouldn’t we talk to the owner of this property?”


Quincy smiled and kept walking, calling out at the last second. “His permission has been given to explore. As long as it is before the night falls.”


The older detective frowned, wind had Quincy managed to get permission? “Search the records,” she snapped at one of the cops. “I want to know who owns this property.” She waited impatiently while he looked it up.


“It looks as if the property was around ten years ago, a little before the campground was created. Before that, it was used as a hiking area.”


“Yes, yes. I know all that.” Her dad had bought Baron’s family here when she was younger. “I just want to know who owns it.”


“Well ma’am, it says that it belongs to your partner, Quincy.”

The End

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