“Bailey?” She calls. When there’s no answer, her voice pitches, worry starting to overwhelm her. “Bailey?”

You freeze, then immediately turn away from your aunt to start looking amongst the crowd. No, your toddler cousin in the pink dress isn’t among the mourning crowd of black; there’s not even a hint of her.

Still, mind your aunt—she’s seven months pregnant. Be the calm one. Turn to her and give her a smile. “She probably went outside. I’ll go check.”

She smiles, though her eyes are watery. “Thank you, Linnie. Bring her back when you find her, please.”

“I will.”

Bailey’s in the backyard, in front of the wall of trees and bushes, leading to a dark and vast forest. She’s smiling up at something you can’t see, seems to be talking to it. As you start walking, she steps inside the forest, starts to follow it.

Run after her.


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