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Dead in Bed | Part 4: Milk and Honey
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My phone's battery charge ticked down from two percent to one percent.

I shifted my weight and changed the angle of my head on Bryce's knee. I managed to find a slightly less cramped position.

We're just in bed, I kept trying to tell myself. We're just in bed, under the covers, in a dark room. Soon, I'll just fall to sleep.

I was scrolling through photos of my family. Any second now my phone's screen would switch off, and I wanted to see everyone one last time.

I was looking at Tyler and Haley in the photo I took of them before Tyler's first football game. He was lifting Haley off her feet, and they were both smiling ecstatically. I flipped to the next image. There was Shawn and me right after our wedding. He was thinner and looking happier than I'd seen him in a long time. Flip. There was my mom, knitting on the sofa. Flip. And there was my dad. He was fishing. He was sitting in the old lawn chair he always took to the river, gazing at the camera with the gentle look that was unique to my Dad.

I felt my chin start to quiver. Tears started to well in my eyes. I couldn't help it. Of all the people I'd never see again, I thought I'd miss my dad more than anyone else. I tried to cry quietly so Bryce wouldn't hear me.

I wiped my eyes with my shirt collar. When I opened them a text had appeared on the phone's screen.

Could this be possible? I looked at the cell reception meter. One tiny bar had appeared, then it quickly vanished. For a moment my phone must have got just enough reception for an old text to come through.

It was from Shawn:


i know where u r

why out there?

r u with bryce t?


My eyes flashed over the text, then I read it over a second time. What did it mean? How could Shawn know where I was? Had he somehow traced my phone? Did he know I'd been buried alive? If so, what did he mean by "out there?"

My phone's screen went black. The battery was dead.