Will moved the water away from the riverbed frantically, searching for Ash. He scoured the river for two miles upriver and down, but couldn’t find her anywhere. In desperation, Will also combed through the surrounding woods. Nothing. Ash seemed to have disappeared into thin air. She was gone. And yet, there was one thought that kept nagging at the back of Will’s mind. Something about the land here was very familiar, but he couldn’t place where he had seen it before. In one search through the woods, he stumbled across a tree with steps nailed into the trunk. Will climbed the steps and found a tree house. It was small, built for young children. He ducked through the small doorway and found the ceiling was higher inside. Will stood up and looked around. Toys covered in dust and leaves were scattered around, and a small table with matching chairs stood in a corner, forgotten under cobwebs. He only took two steps before his foot hit s bump in the floor. Will leaned down and grabbed it. Under the dust and cobwebs, it looked like a baseball-sized rock. He blew the dust and cobwebs off to reveal a chunk of wood the size of his fist. Carved into the wood was a heart, with two names in it, Will McSworthy and Vanessa Merlot. Flashbacks of summer days and laughter danced through Will’s mind. This had been his tree house, his and Vanessa’s. Vanessa…the girl who died in a fire at age five. Or did she really? A thought angrily tugged at the back of Will’s mind. He knew it was important, but he couldn’t grasp what it was, only that it had to do with Vanessa. Vanessa…Ash? Vanessa was Ash, Ash was Vanessa. Will dropped the chunk of wood and quickly climbed out of the tree house. He ran north, to his house. The house where Ash had hopefully made it.