― twenty-three: charlie wakefield

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[ CHAPTER 23 : CHARLIE WAKEFIELD :carry on my wayward son for there'll be peace when you are done. lay your weary head to rest, don't you cry no more. once i rose above the noise and confusion, just to get a glimpse beyond the illusion. i was soaring ever higher, but i flew too high. though my eyes could see i still was a blind man. though my mind could think i still was a mad man. i hear the voices when i'm dreamin', i can hear them say...]


          THE LIBRARY IS PRACTICALLY empty at lunch time. Few students eat their lunch at some of the scattered tables or even in the computer lab. The librarian sits at the counter. She's in her mid-twenties, brunette, dark skin, with thick round glasses. Parker remembers once having a conversation with the woman who said her family comes from Cyprus. She can tell the older woman's bored as she plays on her phone and pays little attention to the books that need to be put back. Parker keeps her distance from the woman. Unsure of whether she should approach and ask for the newspapers. Or if she should just hide away in the loft bookcases with yearbooks dating back to the 1920s. Or if she should dare herself to get those newspapers and investigate further.

         But Cameron's words haunt her. 'Be prepared.' That's what she said. But be prepared for what? Wakefield murders sounds ominous, and scary. But Parker knows the history of her town. Not once in Arcadia history has there ever been a murder here. Not here. Not Arcadia. She would know. Arcadia is a sleeping town filled with barely living citizens. How could there be murders, here? And if someone was murdered here, why hasn't she heard about it? 

          Frustrated, Parker falls back on one of the two bean bags sat in the aisle between bookcases. A yearbook from 1978 sitting in her lap. All she has to do is flip a few pages and she'll find out who was a part of the game in that era. But she's scared. The 70s. That would've been the time her Rose was attending Arcadia High. 1979 was the year Parker's mom was born. Coincidence? She's starting to think otherwise. If the Audience has a fascination or obsession with Nico and his family, who's to say they don't feel the same way with her family? What if her grandmother, Rose, was a part of the game? What if that's how she got pregnant? She got the sexual dares, was forced to sleep with someone, and got pregnant. And then...what? A bunch of people get killed by somebody with the surname Wakefield?

         "You look like you're thinking pretty hard," Leo, holding two coffees and looking a little more than just messy, plops down in the bean bag beside her. He smiles at her, offering one of the cups of coffees to her. She snatches it quickly and takes a sip even quicker. His head leans over, eyes gracing the cover of the yearbook. "Arcadia High, 1978. Looking into the history of our dear school?"

           Parker nods, "English assignment, history of Arcadia High."

          "Wow, and I thought Chemistry was bad." The boy grimaces.

          The girl nods, balancing the book on her knees as she takes a sip of the coffee again. "What brings you to the library? I don't think it's really your, hm, domain?" Leo shrugs, fingers reaching out to snatch the book. Parker doesn't stop him.

          "You're here, so why not?" He answers.

          Parker frowns, "Better question, how did you know I was here?"

          "Because you're very predictable," Leo reaches across and pats the top of her head, passing her a cheeky smile that she brushes off with a shake of her head. He flips open the yearbook and almost instantly frowns at the first few pages. "In loving memory of María Gonzales, Veronica Hobbs, Jacob Donovan, Mary Wellington, Lisa Jones, and Susan Carter. Also praying for a speedy recovery for Rose Townsend."

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