The missing girl from the last chapter was my sister. Her name was Kaitlin Elizabeth Finch. Everyone called her Katie. They all loved her. I loved her dearly. She would be my twin if she was my age. Katie understood me like that.
I idolized her. Katie had many depths to her. On the surface the perfect angel. Straight A student, captain of the swim team, choir girl, ambitious, bright dreamer, and pretty charming. Katie seemed like the perfect daughter.
But, my sister had a secret. Katie only told me bits and pieces at a time. Her stories fascinated me. My sister lived wildly. Not the typical party girl. (Katie didn’t drink. We promised never to drink, smoke, or do drugs. We even promised to stay virgins until we got married.) She was into the vampire lifestyle. Katie always dressed in black. She made it look stylish. However, she did her vampire activities for the weekend. Katie was obsessed with them. She made them sound so good. We talked about her weekends in the Cheech Room.
The Cheech Room was the spare room above our house. That was our space. We kept many secrets here. In this room, Katie told me everything. Her stories filled my nights. One night, Katie told me a really deep secret.
“Phoenix,” she whispered while we hid under our tent. “I was given a vampire name last night.” I looked at her in wonder.
“Ooo, what is it?” I asked softly. She held me close to her pale body. I could feel her heart pounding against my back in excitement. Katie leaned in close to my ear and nipped at it.
“Ow,” I mumbled. Katie giggled to herself.
“My name is Lilith Dybbuk,” she whispered to me. Katie told me her name that night. Then, she disappeared.
The police say it was a suicide. I don’t believe it. Katie planned her whole future out. She even showed me the chart she made. I think… no, I know she was murdered! I knew it was her when they pulled her out of the lake. I don’t believe this red tape bull shit! Something is completely wrong here. Why would they drop the case in one day? What are they do afraid of? Katie wasn’t involved in anything illegal. Just weekend party stuff. But, how did her lifestyle put her in the lake?
I have decided to find the truth for myself. Katie just didn’t commit suicide. Somebody killed her. I collected newspaper clippings about Katie since she first disappeared. Now, I collect rumors about her death from the internet as well. Late at night while mom is asleep, I glue my articles all over Katie’s bedroom walls. I sometimes lie on her bed and remember Katie. But now, I have another problem. This time, it’s with me.
On the back of my right shoulder, there is the number twenty-two in Kanji burned into the flesh. It hurts, but that’s not the worst of it. A voice in my head is telling me that thirty-six others and I will die next year on the Fire Festival. That is disturbing to me. What does that mean? Why then? And who are the other thirty-six doomed to die with me?
I’m going to find out today. I have sent out a text to all of the message boards Katie visited before she died. I did it all in secret last night and this morning. Now, I wait. Just like I have for days now…