Maggie couldn’t get the night when she and her friends snuck away from their beds out of her head while she drove home. They were sleeping over at Maggie’s family’s house. She lived close to a tight grove of trees and the girls decided to sneak out to try to see one of the great horned owls who lived there. They had heard the owls hooting while they were getting ready for bed. It must have been a full moon, Maggie thought, because the ground was bathed in a white light.
As she turned into the parking garage below her building, her headlights shone on a woman with short black hair standing in the corner. Maggie didn’t think anything of it. Just another person waiting for the valet to bring her car.
Kestrel smiled as Maggie drove by. She didn’t even recognize me, she thought. Perfect. She watched as Maggie parked and walked to the elevator. Kestrel thought about how easy it would be to catch Maggie in the elevator, then shook her head. Too easy, she thought.
Maggie was still thinking about that long-ago night as she rode the elevator to her floor. The five of them had held hands as they walked through the trees. Then they saw strange lights in a clearing. Stormi had stopped and held her hand up to shush them. They looked at each other and nodded, holding back their giggles as they crept towards the strange lights in single file. Black candles set in a circle. A stone in the middle of a small clearing. A woman and a girl dressed in black cloaks. The girl held a knife dripping with blood. Lots of blood. They knew the girl. She was in their class at school. Her name was Kestrel.
Maggie didn’t remember screaming or running back through the trees. Or slamming her back door shut and locking it. Or calling the police. She remembered sitting on her bed next to her friends, all of them shaking and sobbing as their words tumbled over each other, telling her parents and the police what they had seen. She didn’t want to remember it all now, but that night came back in heart pounding detail. Maggie shuddered and checked the locks on her door.