Jenna danced, and Emily watched, with her arms around a boy. But for a moment, they smiled at each other. Jenna liked being watched, and Emily liked watching. Alison watched her watching, and stepped in; this is the story she told.
"Were you wishing you could taste her cherry chapstick? Don't worry, Em," Alison said. "Your secret's safe with me."
The one that got away, and the one that she could never let go. Forming alliances. If you ignore it, it'll go away. It didn't feel good, being caught watching. It didn't feel good, being caught watching by Alison.
Emily went away. She sat on a bench, far from the crowd; far from boys, and far from girls. Far from eyes. She shrugged when Hanna asked where Alison had gone. Spencer cracked jokes about her costume, and Aria appeared. Emily didn't want to see Alison; the rest of them were lost. They all received a text message: I'm in trouble. Come alone.
They came together. Alone is how they came.
Spencer knew it was a joke, somehow. Knew it was just another story. But even after -- perhaps especially after -- being caught watching, Emily knew she had to prove herself, so she was the first through the gate.
The house was terrible. Scary: A rite of passage. It wasn't funny anymore; it was never funny. They called her name a hundred times. A burlap baby swept behind them. Up the stairs and down the last hallway, pursued by demons, Emily found an unlocked door which contained only a suit with no one inside it. They screamed, but it was only shadows. The next room held a dollhouse and a cracked window. At the end of the hall, locked from the inside, Emily and Spencer found Alison. And this is the story she told them all:
"Did you see him? Is he still here? I don't know who it is; he grabbed me at the party. I tried to scream, but he's got a knife. He said he brought me here to kill me. He locked me in a closet, and when he opened it, I just freaked on him. I've been hiding up here ever since. I'm telling you, it's that guy that was watching us at Spencer's. He's wearing the same costume."
She asked them to stay behind, in the room at the end of the hall, and headed out to call the police. "Don't open this door for anyone but me," she said. Her favorite commandment. And when she made sure they could see her, she screamed. The burlap baby slammed her against the wall, again and again, and she screamed. And then she was gone.