“No,” Sarah chuckled after seeing Caroline so panicked. “Not a scratch at all. It just took me some time and effort to find the way back.”
“Then why did Shannon hear you crying for help?” Caroline asked quizzically. “She thought you were in danger, so she and Vivian went to find you. Didn’t you bump into them?”
“What cries?” Sarah frowned before continuing, “I didn’t call out for help at all.”
At this point, the two of them had walked to where everyone else waited. Everyone sighed at the sight of Sarah being back safely. They fluttered around her and asked questions.
“Sarah, what took you so long? Where’s Shannon and Ms. Morrison?”
“Shannon said you were in danger, are you hurt?”
“Why are you back alone? Ms. Morrison went to find you, didn’t you see them on your way back?”
Listening to everyone’s babbling questions, Sarah’s head pounded overwhelmingly. “I wasn’t in danger. I just got lost, and I didn’t even see Shannon or Vivian on my way back. Did they go searching for me?”
“Yeah. Unless… they couldn’t find you and got themselves lost instead?” Nervous whispers came from everyone. While they were worried for Shannon and Vivian’s safety, they also couldn’t help but feel upset at the state of things.
Really? Didn’t we come on this trip to have fun? All they had been doing since they got here was worry. They worried helplessly as people started disappearing one after the other without explanation. What the hell was going on?
Hearing Sarah’s and everyone’s conversation, Finnick felt even more on edge than before. Although this island had undergone urban development, there were still very few visitors. Not to mention, the terrain here was harsh and uneven. What if Vivian gets into trouble?
“Everyone wait here and be safe. I’m going out to find Ms. Morrison. Does anyone know which direction they went in?”
“That way,” Caroline pointed. “Vivian and Shannon headed that way to look for Sarah.”
“Thank you. Please contact the police if I don’t get back in two hours. Have them look for us. Remember, stay safe and don’t act recklessly on your own.”
After saying this, Finnick dashed in the direction that Caroline had pointed out. A silent prayer hummed from deep within him. Vivian… you better be safe.
The air turned dense after Finnick’s last words. With heavy and anxious hearts, everyone prayed for their safe return.
After half an hour of searching, Finnick still hadn’t found Vivian or Shannon. His heart pumped furiously as if it were about to explode out of his chest. Where on earth did they go?
“Vivian! Vivian!” He projected his voice as loudly as he could, but there was no response.
Then he ventured deeper into the forest. As he walked, Finnick paid careful attention to the ground and his surroundings. He scanned them for any clues showing that Vivian and Shannon had passed by.
A footstep! Finnick’s heart dropped with excitement, with relief at the shoe-shaped mark on the ground. At first glance, the footprints looked like a woman’s. Maybe these belong to them!
Trailing the footsteps, Finnick finally saw someone sitting on a rock not far away—it was Shannon!
Although he heaved a joyful sigh of relief, something still bothered him. Why is she alone? Where’s Vivian?
“Shannon!” Finnick shouted. He moved closer and continued, “Why are you are alone here? Wasn’t Vivian with you earlier? Where is she?”
Stunned by a sudden voice, Shannon’s head whipped back in surprise. Panic rose in her chest at the sight of Finnick. How did he manage to find me here?
She hopped off the rock hurriedly. It was too late to conceal the alarming look on her face. “M-Mr. Norton, how did you manage to find me?”
Sensing something wrong with her reaction, Finnick tensed warily. He even took on a sterner tone. “Weren’t you with Vivian? Where is she now?”
“I-I don’t know.” Shannon’s thoughts scrambled to find an excuse. “We were separated, so I’m waiting for her here. I don’t know where she’s gone.”