Chapter 1: The Mystery Woman

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"Carina. CARINA!" Maya shouts as she bolts up from beneath the covers, her heart racing and her shirt drenched in sweat. It had already been three weeks since Carina had gone missing. Maya and the police had been working endlessly to try and find her but there were still no leads. At this point, Maya was sure that they would never find her alive; it had been too long. Maya picks up her phone, "I'm sorry but the number you have dialed has been disconnected." The message makes Maya's blood boil as she throws her phone across the room, almost hitting little Gianna who was standing by the door.

"Is mamma home yet?" she asks.

"Not yet, baby." Maya responds as she pats the bed next to her.

Gianna makes her way next to Maya sitting on her lap, "but you said she'd only be gone for a few days. Where's mamma?!"

"I don't know! No one does! She's gone!" Maya screams at the 5 year old sitting next to her. Gianna's eyes begin to fill with tears as she runs back to her room confused at what she had done. As far as she knew her mamma was okay and expected to come back. She stops suddenly captivated by a silhouette standing at the end of the hall.

"Mamma you're home!" Maya immediately runs out and notices the shadow. It was definitely a woman, but it couldn't possibly be Carina. Gianna runs and wraps her arms around the mysterious figure in the hallway.

"Gia, get back here right now!"

She lets go. The figure disappears.

"Mommy you scared mamma away!"

"That wasn't mamma."

"Then who was it?"

"I don't know, baby. Here, let's go back to the bedroom."

Maya tucks her daughter into her bed and runs to the front door making sure it was still locked. It was. She makes her way back to the bedroom but not without stopping by the hall closet first. She opens the gun safe, takes out her hand gun along with a couple of magazines and walks back to her bedroom.

"Gianna, listen to me, I want you to get my phone and call Tia Andy, okay? Tell her what you saw and to call the police. Then, I want you to get in the closet and not make a sound. Don't come out until I come get you. Don't even peek.  No matter what you hear. Do you understand?" Maya says, giving the tiny brunette sitting on the bed a serious look. Gianna nods her head and slowly climbs off the bed.

"I love you baby. Don't ever forget that." Gianna feels the warmth of her mommy's lips on her head before closing the closet doors.

Maya makes her way back into the hallway gun drawn and ready to shoot at whatever comes her way. "Carina is that you?" The front door flings open; the mysterious figure signaling at Maya to come over. "What do you want? Who are you?" Maya's voice shaky as she walks toward the shadow. The woman begins to walk away signaling for Maya to follow. She ran after her trying to figure out who she was. They ran about three blocks before she lost sight of the woman completely. Maya looked around completely confused as to where she was. There was nothing, no buildings, people, cars, nothing. All she could see was dirt; miles and miles of dirt.

She was standing in a field of some sort, but she had only chased the woman a few blocks; how could she have possibly gotten this far out? They lived in the heart of Seattle, there was no way this field would have gone unnoticed.

"Gianna!" Maya runs back the way she remembered coming from but got nowhere. It was as if the field was infinite. She continued to run in hopes that she would eventually get home to her terrified little girl. She ran for what seemed like hours incessantly muttering her once infamous line.

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