TITLE: She Came From the Hill
GENRE: YA Horror
Nothing thrived at the far end of the park. Even laughter died at the first stunted tree. Clay tightened the straps on his overnight pack and pedaled up the dusty path. Shadows danced between the brittle trees. The shadows were moving in the blistering sun, but the trees weren’t. He pedaled faster, his feet moving with the rhythm of his pounding heart.
Clay could have skipped the shortcut if Alex, who had the communication skills of a wet cell phone, called an hour earlier. Didn’t he know proper packing takes time? In five months Clay would have his driver’s license and never need the shortcut again. A branch snapped somewhere in the dusty haze behind him. Five months never felt so far away.
The creepiness clung to his skin like cobwebs, even after he left the park behind. He coasted down the road and skidded to a stop in Alex’s driveway. His friends were scattered around the yard, none of them in uniform. Clay straightened his scout shirt. They needed to take scouting more seriously.
Alex aimed a small camcorder at him and pushed a button. Light flashed in Clay’s eyes, blinding him.
Clay shaded his face with his hands. “Alex!”
“The enhanced light works!” Alex turned it off, leaving Clay seeing spots.
“What’s the camera for?”
Alex shut the screen, leaned forward, and whispered, “The camera sees what we can’t.”
“Like what?” The scoutmaster didn't let them go anywhere at night, no matter how quietly they sneaked out of the tent.