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Cause what you see isn't always the truth
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((Rachael Langdon continued from The Best Part of Waking Up))

When Rachael was younger, she was obsessed with a book series called A Series of Unfortunate Events. It was an interesting series of books, one that got Rachael excited every time a new book would come out in the Fall. When she read the final book, the series ended in a way she wasn't that familiar with: it didn't have an ending. The characters are alive, but the circumstances of the world and many of the mysteries were still unsolved. Now that she was older, Rachael could appreciate that kind of ending, now having an understanding of ambiguity. When she was younger, she was disappointed. How could no answer be better than any answer?

She was feeling something similar right now. A day had passed since her friends ran off, and there was still no sign of them. Since they left, Rachael felt unwell, eating very little and rarely speaking. She mostly spent the day cleaning herself up, changing into a different shirt and rebraiding her hair. She heard that Miles and Stacy discovered a dead body in the school, but Rachael refused to go near it. It had been someone close to Miles, and it must have been pretty horrifying to see.

The fourth announcement gave very little to feel relieved about. Corey, Michael, and Tim were all still alive, but now more Book Club members were dead. Arthur and Aria were murdered. The Book Club members were some of the only people Rachael felt close to, and they were dropping like flies.

But then Miles wanted to move. After finding the body, the three of them moved out of the school before finding the ruins of a wealthy neighborhood. They found a house to rest in, something they needed with Miles' condition. Stacy and Rachael were tasked to search the area for any supplies or people. It was likely the rain halted the search party's travels and they took shelter in one of the houses, so they needed to go.

Rachael found the search a little uneasy. Sure, Stacy was with her and had a gun, but the whole time they walked, Rachael wondered if each house held a dangerous person. Every time they walked in, she wondered if Maximilian could be hiding in a closet, or if Hansel was in one of the upstairs bedrooms, or if Summer was following them. All these thoughts made her want to hurry up with the search and get back to Miles. At the very least, she just hoped they could find someone they were looking for so they didn't have to be out much longer.

The two of them had just finished walking through one of the mansions. There was another mansion nearby, and she knew they needed to check it out.

"Um," Rachael said to Stacy, pointing at the second mansion "can we go back after we search this one? I'm, uh, worried about Miles."
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… Into the Fire · Mansions