Maxie Maker was sitting in class when it happened. Not listening to the lecture, of course. Life was too short. She was texting her friend Laura, who'd skipped school that day. As far as she was concerned, it was more educational than anything else. As she barely contained the urge to giggle- Mr. Darnell was old but not blind or deaf- at one of Laura's more colorful texts, her fingers flew across the keys: what did u do nxt. Laura sent back u wont ever guess.

That was the last that Maxie ever heard of her best friend since kindergarten. After Laura didn't reply for three or four minutes, Maxie began to send a barrage of texts. Laur r u there?, where r u, y arn't u txting. Something was wrong.

She raised her hand and said, "Mr. Darnell, can I go to the bathroom?"

He let her go, and she had her phone calling Laura's number before she was two doors down the hall.

It rang for nearly five minutes. She powered the phone down and slid down the wall. Something was wrong, she knew it. It didn't even cross her mind that Laura was busy, or talking to someone else, or that Laura's phone wasn't working. She knew.

As an awful suspicion seeped into her mind, she started texting others. Her boyfriend Clay, her other friend Lorenza, her mom.

Clay and Lorenza responded within thirty seconds. It was Lorenza's lunch hour, and Clay was just as much of a texter as Maxie herself.

Maxie's mom didn't text back.

She closed her eyes, and the awful sense that something was horribly, irrevocably wrong enveloped her. Why she felt this way, in absence of anything in the way of proof, she could not say. She relied on intuition more often than not... but she didn't jump to conclusions. Her phone was beeping and it was probably Clay or Lorenza, asking her why she'd texted. Never mind- they could wait. The tears beaded at the outsides of her eyes. And Laura's last text rang in her head.

U wont ever guess