I wrote this for speech.



Summer had gotten underway. Every student was ecstatic that they could finally get away from those stuffy rooms and cranky teachers. Now three months stretched out before them.

Laina Vespere drove to pick up her friend Arial from her home in town. As she got out of the car she gazed up at the two-story house. The shades in the windows were pulled shut, making the white house appear dark and empty. Slowly she walked up the sidewalk leading to the front door. Raising the knocker and letting it fall Laina listened as the noise echoed within the house.

Moments later a rushed Arial opened the door. "Hey give me one sec.," Arial hurriedly exclaimed. She disappeared into the interior of her home and reappeared with a bag slung over her shoulder.

Laina was bemused. Usually one of Arial's many younger siblings answered the door, not Arial herself. Also the lack of sound troubled her. Where was everyone? She shook it off. Both those things could be explained easily.

As she drove, she and Arial talked about the things they had been up to since school let out two weeks earlier. They teased each other about the guys they liked and Arial turned on the stereo and they both sang along with the songs horribly off-key.

Finally when a song came on that they didn't know, Laina reached to switch the station but suddenly the volume turned up drastically. So instead of switching the station she ended up shutting off the stereo completely. Since it was now off, the time flashed in bright green that it was 6:18 p.m.

"That was odd," she remarked. When Arial didn't reply Laina glanced over at her friend riding shotgun. Arial was staring intently at the clock that still read 6:18. Her hands were clenching the armrests; her fingernails digging into the leather. Her body was tense as well.

"Arial, are you alright?" Laina asked worried. She pulled the car over and gently shook Arial's stiff shoulder a couple of times. "Why'd we stop?" Arial asked out of nowhere making Laina jump in her seat. She repeated her question from before. "I'm fine. Why wouldn't I be?" she answered defensively.

Though Arial was now paying attention, her eyes were still focused on the clock. Then suddenly her entire body relaxed; her shoulders slumped against the back of the seat. She let out a breath of air that Laina hadn't realized Arial had been holding. Laina quickly looked at the clock. It read 6:19.

No matter how much Laina questioned Arial about what happened the rest of the car ride, she didn't get any answers. Several hours passed in a blur of movies, laughter and root beer floats. Around midnight Arial had the idea of going on the trampoline. It'd been a few years since they had gone on it.

Arial jumped close Laina sending her flying through the air. They pushed and shoved each other only to collapse in fits of giggles. After jumping a while she got tired and rested on the lawn. She wasn't used to jumping that much anymore. She watched as Arial kept jumping with her head upturned to the sky. Her blond hair whipped around her face as she went up and down. Laina wondered where Arial got all that energy.

The fireflies came out. As Arial jumped she made attempts to catch them as the little orbs of light flitted past her. When she caught them she would hold them to her face and gaze at them. Their glow lit up her cupped hands. "Firefly, Firefly, in the sky. Who do you guide with your light?" Arial chanted to the rhythm of her jumps.

Laina watched as she did this. It had a surreal feel to the whole thing. Arial seemed unaware that she was even there anymore. Out of fear, Laina called to her telling her that she was going inside. Seconds later Arial hopped off the trampoline and followed without a word.

Later on, as she was falling asleep, Laina wondered about the strange incidents that had occurred with Arial that night. Was there any reason for them? If so what was it? Laina couldn't recall any events that could have happened to make Arial act this way.

The next morning, before she dropped off Arial at home, she took a few pictures of Arial with her digital camera. She did some poses and smiled as the camera flashed. When Laina dropped her off she took another look at the house. It still had that forlorn and eerie feel to it. Cold fingers danced down her spine causing her to shiver.

After she had returned home she saw that Arial had forgotten her cell phone. She called her house. The phone rang a few times before anyone picked up. Arial's mother answered. As she explained that Arial had left her cell phone her mother was silent.

When Laina was done the only thing she heard on the other end were sobs. Finally Arial's mother spoke up between the crying. "Arial died last evening," she said with gasps interrupting after each word. Those were the only words she spoke. Than Laina heard a click and the dial tone met her ears. How was that possible? Just last night Arial had spent at her house.

Laina hurried, without thinking, to where her camera lay. Going through the photos she came to the ones she had taken only that morning. Arial's smiling face peered up at her.

Please R & R.