The first day of school was finally here. She rolled over to dismiss the alarm that was blaring at top volume. She mentally cursed herself for having it set so loud. Getting up, she stretched as she got out of bed. She turned on the light and headed towards the kitchen to start the Keurig. She loved coffee, but she had learned to start the cup before her shower so she didn’t burn her tongue. A burnt tongue thoroughly ruined her day, especially eating! Nothing tasted right.
Getting into the bathroom, she turned on the water to what her mother had always referred to as hell water, she waited for it to warm up while she brushed her teeth. After a quick shower, she pulled on her clothes for the day and hurried to grab her coffee. It had had time to cool down to the perfect temperature. Smiling, she headed out to the back porch with her travel mug, her bookbag, and keys. Locking the door, she double checked her watch. She walked to her car, tossed her bookbag in the passenger seat, and got ready to begin her drive.
Driving to her college, she couldn’t help but be excited. She had been dreaming of attending college since she was a freshman in high school. And today was the day that her dreaming finally came true. She backed down the driveway and onto the highway. Heading towards school, she flipped through the radio stations for something uplifting. However, just as her luck would have it, she couldn’t find anything quite right. Giving up, she turned off her radio and just hummed quietly as she drove. She slowed down as she approached a stop sign at the end of the road just as the pair of wolves from the meadow trotted across the highway, seemingly carefree. She watched quietly, glad for the lack of music for once. She enjoyed nature, she was cautious of it, but she enjoyed it. Once they were off the road and no longer visible, she headed to school.
It wasn’t until after her first class that she began questioning why she had seen them twice now. Weren’t wolves more cautious? She wasn’t sure, she was far from an animal expert. She sat on the bench outside the library building, silently contemplating whether or not she should do something to ensure her own protection when her phone rang. She quickly dug through her bag.
“Detective Anderson! How are you?” She said quickly into her phone, gathering her things to head to her car.
“I’m good, thank you. How’re you holding up?” He responded, sounding distracted.
“I’m managing as best as can be expected, I guess. Any news?”
“Actually, yes. Have you already left for college?”
“Yes, I had my first class today. Is there a problem?”
“No, I just would like to sit and discuss a few details with you again. Clarify some information and such. I could drive up there this weekend if you’re free.”
She thought for a moment and nodded, “Sure.”
Confirming the details, she disconnected the call and sat back against the seat. She was suddenly nervous. What could make him want to clarify details? Had something been found? A new clue? Maybe a witness? What seemed like thousands of questions flooded through her thoughts. Why must I get this god damn call on the first day of classes. She sighed in frustration and checked her watch. She still had about forty-five minutes until her next class. She decided to head to the library and look up wolf habits and see if she needed to worry about seeing them so close to home.
By the end of the day Alana was tired, and just wanted to go home, not grocery shopping. With a heavy sigh, she got into her car and headed to the local grocery store. She wasn’t sure what she should get so she decided on just sandwich meat, a few bags of trail mix, a few cases of soda, and some packages of instant noodles. She giggled to herself at her typical college student grocery trip as she loaded her things into the trunk.
Back home she unloaded her things and pulled out all her files on her parent’s case. Sitting at the table, she dug through each file, hoping to find something maybe she had missed before. Maybe she could find what the detective needed clarification on. Grabbing her instant noodles, she put them in the microwave, reviewing her files as she stood by the microwave.
She was reviewing the pictures she had been given of her parent’s car when there was a knock at the door, startling her half to death. She about knocked over everything on the table. She glared back at the door for a moment, wishing for whoever was there to bite their tongue, and checked her watch. Who the hell is knocking on my door at nine o’clock at night? Angrily, she grabbed her flashlight and headed towards the door.
“Who’s there?” She asked through the door.
“Just a neighbor coming to say hello and welcome you here! Sorry it’s so late! I’m Carley!” A woman’s voice answered.
Neighbor? I thought the realtor said no one else lived up here. “H-Hold on, sorry!” She unlocked the door.
On her front porch stood a girl about her height and age with long auburn hair. Her smile was contagious. In her hands was a box of store bought oatmeal cookies. “Hi!” She smiled, holding the cookies out.
“Hi?” Alana said curiously, taking the cookies.
“Sorry they’re store bought, I’m no good at cooking.” Carley smiled.
“That’s ok! I appreciate it! Want to come in?”
“Sure, thanks! I promise not to bother you too long! It’s been a few years since anyone rented this place! I was super happy when I found out! It gets lonely way back here.”