It took her twenty agonizing minutes to find her charm after the monster called. After she pulled it from under her laundry hamper, she spent five more minutes searching for her car keys, mentally cursing her stupidity and disorganization. By the time she pulled out of her driveway, she was sure it was too late. Desperately, she checked her Call Records on her phone, but the last recorded call was from Matt 18 hours ago.

“Matt,” she sobbed, “Matt…My Matty…”

Matt can’t die! she cried silently in her head. Not my Matt!

She felt the monster’s presence as she turned into the park, before she could even see the lake.

“It’s all my fault,” she whispered. It was her fault, keeping Matt in the dark like this…he had no clue what she was, and now he would never be able to find out. It was her the thing was after, and now Matt was going to die for her.

I can’t live with myself if that happens, she thought.

She took one last, shuddery deep breath then jumped into the cool, pain-numbing water.

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