Chapter 4.7

Annie fiddled with a small stack of papers in her arms, took the one on top and pressed it up to a bulletin board with a little roof, situated just inside the entrance to the football field. She awkwardly maneuvered a way to hold the page to the board with the stack in one arm and grabbed a mini-stapler out of her coat pocket and hammered into the cork board at each of the four page corners. She had been doing this routine throughout the school grounds all afternoon.

She stepped back to look at her newly-hung, slightly-crooked flyer. The flyer showed the date and time of the upcoming debate tournament that she was participating in. It wasn’t a very popular event, so she volunteered for her teammates to advertise around the school. 

Annie looked at the slowly-declining stack of papers in her hands and sighed. She then pulled her phone out from her small, cross-body purse and noted the time.

She quickly shoved the phone back in her purse and was on the move again. Annie recalled a few other good spots to hang the flyers around the football field and headed in the direction of the bleachers. When she turned the corner, something limp and gray draped over the fence caught Annie’s eye.

“Is that Jonah’s hoodie?” she questioned herself in a whisper and walked closer to confirm. When she got there, there was no doubt. It was definitely Jonah’s favorite hoodie that he wore almost everyday to school. Annie looked around confused, wondering how the hoodie could have gotten there with no Jonah in sight—let alone anyone else.

A little unsettled, Annie picked up the hoodie and figured she would return it to Jonah at class on Monday. She tried to shake the jittery feeling in her chest and refocus on that task at hand. She turned toward the stands, which were illuminated in a golden glow as the sun steadily raced towards the horizon. The light reflecting off the metal benches glared into Annie’s eyes and she blinked as she walked up the bleacher steps with care, as her hands were full carrying various things.

Annie headed towards the restrooms stationed inside the bleacher complex—she remembered seeing a bulletin board filled with ads while waiting there once. Wandering the empty school grounds was a strange experience normally, but the tension building in her veins made everything down to the sound of the wind seem suspicious. Annie stopped in her tracks. 

She immediately knew something was wrong by the faint trail of bloody shoe prints she spotted on the ground that gradually dissipated as they rounded the corner of the of the entrance wall. As she inched forwarded, the horror struck her face like a lightning bolt passing through a tree. Her arms collapsed and papers went flying.

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