“Neveah Maurine Walker.”
Neveah cringed as she heard her mom call her full name from the kitchen.
“Yes ma’am?” She tried to walk to her room.
“Get over here this instant.”
Neveah sighed and did as she was told.
“So when were you gonna tell me that you went out of town this past weekend?”
“How did you---”
“Stratus’s mom told me. I called her to see where you were because someone wasn’t answering the phone.”
“Mom it’s not a big deal we just went to Quinn’s cabin.”
“That girl again, ever since you’ve been hanging around that girl you’ve been acting out. Staying out past curfew. Going out god knows where. You didn’t even tell me that you left, what if something happened to you?”
“Mom come on, nothing happened. I’m fine.”
“There is a killer on the loose. From now on you check in with me every hour, understand?”
“Yes really, same goes for your sisters too. No more going out whenever you want. No more staying out past curfew. It’s a dangerous world we are living in and I got to keep my babies safe.”
“Quinn literally lives alone. Who’s going to protect her? As her friends, we are just trying to provide moral support. She lives right next door to Alice and she was even friends with her.” Neveah pointed out, trying to get out of it.
“That girl can take care of herself. I never liked that girl, rubs me the wrong way. Why you choose to hang around her is beyond me. now go to your room I want that homework done.”
Neveah sighed and walked to her room, throwing her school bag on the floor. She shared a room with her older sister, who mostly spent her time in the living room watching tv.
“Hey sis, thanks for the invite.” Her older sister, older by one year, said from the doorway.
“Did you rag on me?” she raised an eyebrow.
“Me, never. Moms right though, Quinn’s bad news. I heard all sorts of rumors about her today. Including that she might be the killer.”
“Quinn’s the killer?” Her little sister, younger by two years, ran up behind her older sister.
“No, those are just rumors.” Neveah rolled her eyes.
“Still be careful around that girl. She’s bad news.”
“Get off it will ya. It’s bad enough I have to deal with Quinn’s pain in the ass attitude I don’t need it from you guys too.”
“We’re your sisters, your real sisters. Don’t forget where you come from, stop trying to be something you’re not.”
“You done yet?” Neveah got up to shut the door.
“Mom’s right, we got to look out for each other. Friendships fade, but family is forever. Just promise me you’ll be careful around her.”
“I will, god, you act like she’s Ted Bundy.”
“Maybe she is.” Her little sister giggled.
Neveah rolled her eyes and slammed the door.
Neveah quickly got on her phone and called Stratus.
“Hello.” She picked up the third ring.
“My family is totally tripping about the murder. My sisters practically think Quinn is the killer.”
“My mom is freaking out too, she put a curfew on me, said that the news advised that all teenage girls stay inside. So not fair, plus wasn’t Alice killed in her house? Hello, stupid media.”
“Tell me about it, I got to tell my momma where I am at all times. Talk about overkill. Plus she found out we went to the cabin and totally freaked on me.”
“That’s sucks. I talked to Quinn in P.E. she freaked on me. You know they let Brandon out, no charges on him or anything.”
“What? Well if it wasn’t him then who?”
“I don’t know, Quinn admitted to me she was there that night. She wouldn’t talk about it, she’s totally freaking out on the inside, I can just tell.”
“You think she did it?” Neveah asked.
The line was silent for a second before Stratus sighed, “No, I don’t think she’s a killer. Still, she’s hiding something I can feel it. We should look into it, I bet we could find out more than the police.”
“Wait what are you saying, you want us to find Alice’s real killer? Isn’t that like the opposite of staying safe? We are basically ringing the dinner bell shouting come and get us.”
“Think about it, If Quinn really did see something no way she will go to the police, she’s like afraid of them or something. Plus, now that Brandon’s out he might feel better talking to Quinn rather than the cops. I’m not saying we hunt the killer down, I’m just saying maybe we can get some clues that could help the cops catch the real killer rather than focusing on Quinn.”
“I don’t know, we need to have a Witches meeting to decide. Quinn could flip her lid on us, you know how she gets.”
“Trust me I know, which is why we have to be unanimous. Once she sees we are a united front no way she can refuse.”
“Alright, well I’ll call Harley, you take Izzy.”
“Deal, call you back with the verdict.” Stratus hung up.
Harley sat in her room lighting up a joint with Quinn. Harley’s mom was at work, she always worked the night shift at the hospital.
“I didn’t know you were into weed,” Harley said.
“Yeah, me either until Brandon got me into it. He may be a total geek, but dude knows how to live.”
“Amen to that.” Harley giggled passing Quinn the joint.
Quinn took a drag before passing it back. She blew the smoke into Harley’s face.
“If my mom found out I got my hands on weed again, she would totally go ape shit on me. You should have seen her when she first found out.”
“Then we got to make sure she doesn’t find out,” Quinn smirked at her.
“What do you mean.”
“I can keep your stash at my house, you can come over when you want some. No adults mean no rules.” Quinn smiled.
“God, I love you.” Harley giggled passing back the joint.
“Speaking of love, how are things with Mason?”
“We have a second date! He’s so hot. I just want to emm.” She licked her lips.
Quinn laughed and swatted her with a pillow.
“What about you and Stratus, everyone knows you are into her.”
“Well, that’s up in the air since she basically called me a murderer to my face.”
“What!? What happened?”
“Who cares, I don’t want to think about it.” Quinn laid back, feeling her high kick in.
“You two don’t really go well together anyway,” Harley said.
“Why is that?”
“Well she’s all prima ballerina, and you’re all death metal punch you in the face. Not a good combo.”
Quinn laughed at that. Harley laughed too. Soon the two of them were just laughing at nothing and enjoying their high. Harley jumped when her phone rang. Instead of answering it she danced around to the ringtone. Quinn laughed at her.
Harley tripped over herself and fell back, Quinn laughed harder before falling onto the floor herself for effect and lying next to Harley.
“You are an idiot you know that?” Quinn turned to her.
“But I’m your idiot, you have to deal with it.” She smiled.
Quinn laughed and passed her the joint.
Neveah sighed after trying for the third time to call Harley. She texted Stratus that Harley wasn’t answering, to which Stratus replied she was probably taking a nap. Neveah sighed, she could always walk over there being as Harley only lived a block away.
“Mom can I go over to Harley’s she needs help on her homework,” Neveah asked her mom.
“I guess, but be home by 9:30 and I want updates you hear me?”
Then Neveah grabbed her bookbag for effect and walked out the front door.
As she walked down the sidewalk the sun was low in the sky, not quite setting. Leaves skittered across the ground as the wind blew in that fresh autumn air. Neveah looked around and she noticed that the street was bare, not a soul in sight. A chill shivered down her spine.
A loud snap caused her to jump and she whirled around, only to see a piece of a tree branch had snapped off.
“You should be careful.”
Neveah screamed and whirled back around to a man who was standing in front of her. He was old, grey hairs and sagging skin. His gut was sticking out and he wore a stained jacket. He was walking to the mailbox.
“It’s not safe out here anymore. not safe for young girls these days.” He said.
“Right, thank you, sorry.” She quickly went around him and ran ahead.
Harley and Quinn had red eyes that were glazed over. Her bedroom seemed to be filled with smoke.
“You know your pretty when you don’t have that mean look in your eyes.” Harley turned to Quinn.
“Is that so?” Quinn giggled.
“Yeah, cute like a wee little puppy.” She pinched Quinn’s cheeks.
They both broke out in laughter again.
“Harley, can I kiss you?” Quinn asked.
“Hell no, I don’t roll that way.” She giggled.
“No, like just for fun. I’m lonely.” Quinn admitted.
“Really lonely.” Quinn’s mood took a turn and she no longer had the giggles.
“Yeah, sometimes I like to pretend that my family just like went out of town without me or something. That one day they will come back. That they left me because I’m such an asshole.” She whispered.
“That’s fucked up.”
“Yeah. I’m fucked up.”
“No, you’re not, okay maybe a little.” Harley giggled.
“Kiss me.” Quinn smiled at her.
“Okay, but if Stratus kills me, I’m coming for you.” She giggled.
“Don’t worry, no one will know, just you and me.”
Harley took a big drag for confidence and then she kissed Quinn, blowing the smoke into her mouth.
Quinn wrapped her arms around Harley and deepened the kiss, knocking Harley’s hat off her head.
“Wow, you’re a good kisser.” Harley pulled back breathless.
“Naw, I think you’re just high.” Quinn giggled.
Quinn took a drag before rolling on top of Harley and kissing her again. Soon the two were in a steamy make-out session.
Neveah walked up to Harley’s house and knocked, no one answered. She sighed and tried the handle; the door was open. She shrugged and walked in. She could hear soft music coming from Harley’s room.
“Harley?” Neveah called walking towards the room, she could see smoke coming out.
She pushed opened the door and gasped at the sight of Quinn all over Harley. The two didn’t even notice her as Quinn stuck her tongue in Harley’s mouth.
“What is going on here!?” Neveah asked.
The two jolted apart and quickly made themselves presentable. Neveah’s eyes found the joint sitting on the wooden floor, slowly leaving a burn mark.
“That’s not what it looked like.” Harley defended herself.
“It’s the warden.” Quinn laughed falling back on the floor and picking up the joint to smoke it.
“Are you guys high?” Neveah asked.
“No shit captain obvious.” Quinn giggled.
“Harley I thought you said you were done with this stuff?” Neveah said.
“You know it’s like almost legal in every state.”
“Still, it’s the principle of the matter.”
“What principle is that?” Quinn asked.
“Well how about having some damn self-control. You two looked like a couple of animals, I thought you liked Mason?”
“I do, that was just for fun. It didn’t mean anything.” Harley got up and pulled Neveah into the room.
“Lighten up will ya.” Quinn got up and blew some smoke in Neveah’s face.
She coughed and swatted it away.
“Come on, just try it.” Harley offered her the joint.
“No thank you.”
“Lame.” Quinn rolled her eyes.
“If your mom finds this you are so dead,” Neveah said.
“What are you gonna do goody two shoes, tell on us?” Quinn challenged.
“What? Of course not.”
“You know that’s your issue. You are way too uptight. Fucking live a little will ya. Maybe then you’ll get laid.” Quinn snorted turning up the music.
Harley giggled and took a drag.
“I’m not uptight.” Neveah defended herself.
“Put up or shut up.” Quinn offered her the joint, snatching it from Harley.