Follow the Bow Tie

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“Isn’t this so fun, Lily? I told you it would be,” my friend Katie says to me as we trek through the woods. “Oh I’m having a blast,” I respond with the least bit of enthusiasm. Katie’s been on my back the whole time we’ve been here, making me do one thing after another just to satisfy her, and I’m getting a little sick of it. She’s very, how do I say this nicely, demanding. No wait, controlling. That’s it. We’ve been walking for at least an hour and a half, and let me just say: never again. We just finished doing a super sketchy zip line with creepy workers and a course that required more climbing than flying, and now we’re hiking in the middle of nowhere. Not just some forest that we live near, I mean some random patch of trees in Vermont that caught Katie’s eye while we’re here visiting her family. Katie likes these “adventures,” and she always brings her “survival tools” including a switchblade and gasoline, but I just find myself leaving with ticks and smelling like pine trees. Yuck.
All jokes aside, I’m getting super bored. We ran out of trail mix and my water bottle can only entertain me for so long. Did I mention that it’s hot, too? I’ve started to sweat from the back of my knees. The. Back. Of. My. Knees. That’s how you know it’s humid. People do this stuff for fun? “Look,” Katie says, pulling me out of my thoughts. “There’s an open area right ahead, I’m gonna head up and take in the view. Don’t go anywhere.” Finally some time away from her, she’s driving me crazy. “Okay, I’ll be over here,” I respond. I look around as she goes up and I think I just saw a red bow tie flash by me. Who was that? I find myself walking away to catch another glimpse, getting deeper into the woods with each step. I can’t stop walking, I think I’m subconsciously leaving Katie. It’s been a while since I left, the sun is setting faster, and I lost sight of the bow tie. Luckily, I spot a clearing ahead of me, so I head towards it. Is that… is that a man in a tuxedo on top of the hill or do I need a stronger prescription in my glasses? No, that’s definitely a man in a tuxedo with a red bow tie. I think he sees me, too. Yep, he does. He suddenly snaps his fingers, points at me, and then a bunch of other men in suits come from behind him and start coming towards me. What the hell? I start to back away, trying to dodge the trees behind me as my eyes stay locked on this man, but the others approach me quicker than expected and cover my mouth with a cloth and throw a bag over my head. I’m out cold.
I’m currently sitting in what I assume is a car based on the rocking back and forth. “Did you seriously have to use the chloroform?” I hear a voice ask. “I didn’t want her to be scared and run away!” Another responds, but I’m too distracted by some weird scent. I can’t pinpoint what it is but I hate it. Suddenly, the bag is yanked off my head and I look around the van, internally freaking out, until I make eye contact with the man in the tuxedo through the rear view mirror. I then identify what this smell is — a god damn pine tree scented air freshener dangling. Am I in a Febreeze commercial? The man in the tuxedo finally speaks, “Victim: Lily Stevens, female, age 23, identity #052731. Suspect: Kaitlyn Myers, convicted felon. three previous murders, current attempted kidnapping and murder in the woods.” WHAT? “Just sit tight, Lily,” he says to me. “We’re here to help you.”