Rebecca awoke choking. She turned onto her side and spat out the popcorn. She felt around her mouth with her tongue for any more kernels. The long hair fell forward and she swatted at it as if she were being attacked by a furry animal. She yanked it off her head and threw it across the room. What was going on?
Light, sounds, and smells were sifting in through the open window. Someone had been in the room! She leaped up and stumbled over the backpack as she reached for the window. She changed her mind about closing it and grabbed the bag instead and headed for the door. It wasn’t locked!
She had to be careful now. She thought that Mike must be in the house. And what about Ed? Mike must have done something to Ed!
She felt woozy and her mouth was dry. Why would he stuff her cheeks with popcorn? Her mind flitted back and forth. She was groggy. Why was she groggy? How did Mike do this to her?
She ran her hands down her clothing. She was still wearing the same outfit. She hadn’t been molested, thank goodness, and she still had her shoes on.
She opened the door and listened. Stepping out, she could see into the living room. The front porch fixture was on and it shot feathered arrows of light under the drapes. She listened some more.
There was a peephole in the front door and she had to get on her tiptoes to press her eye against it. The front steps were littered. Mike must have sat here and gloated after drugging her. How did he do it? It must have been the orange juice. And if Ed drank some, too?
She turned from the door and crept to Ed’s bedroom. The door was open and she could see that it was empty. The bed wasn’t even slightly mussed.
What time was it? Twelve? Two? Three? Well, whatever time it was, she was on the run again. She took another look through the peephole and studied the dark shapes of the trees, some of the leaves clearly visible in the glow from the porch light. A few leaves moved and suddenly . . . there was Mike Sylver’s face in their place.