The Summer of 2015 was one nobody wanted to remember but nobody could forget...
On the night of August 17, 2015, the sleepy town of Rosewood, Pennsylvania all lay peacefully in their beds, except for 15-year-old Alison DiLaurentis and her posse of four. It was two weeks before school was scheduled to start, and with the summer coming to an end, Spencer Hastings organized a last-call slumber party in celebration of their friendship. Because of Alison, they had become the closest of friends, and neither one of them could imagine their lives without each other.
Emily Fields was probably the closest and most loyal to Alison, and the two were inseparable, always attached to the hip. Hanna Marin also enjoyed a close friendship with Alison. With her help, she was slowly dropping the weight that earned her the nickname “Hefty Hanna” and transitioning into a beautiful, young woman with style. Even Aria Montgomery could say that her friendship with Alison was true, for she was helping her keep the secret of her father’s affair with a Hollis College student, Meredith Sorenson. Spencer, on the other hand, was the only member of their posse who occasionally locked horns with her, but Alison was uncharacteristically forgiving when it came to the girls and understood it was a part of her nature, why she had included her in their group.
It was insane to think that at such a young age Alison was the center of attention at Rosewood High School. Everyone wanted to be her or be with her, but that probably had more to do with her origin and her upbringing than anything else. She was naturally charming and conniving because her family, along with the girls', had sat on the Town Council for more than a century. Their names were the most well-known within Rosewood, but until Alison brought them all together, they had been considered untouchable… unapproachable. Jocks and scholars, Emily and Spencer, were the most competitive, but Aria and Hanna were a different story. Aria was a bit alternative, her parents more open-minded in the way they raised their children, but Hanna suffered from depression when her father left and kept eating away her feelings until her self-esteem dropped to an all-time low. Alison changed all that with her smooth voice and her beguiling smile.
That was why when Alison disappeared the girls found themselves distraught, torn, and at odds with each other. Perhaps both sadly and maybe even coincidentally, that was the night the Rosewood Fire Department woke up to a disturbing call. The Hale House was ablaze, flames consuming every inch of the premises. By the morning it was unrecognizable, and tragically, all that was left of the Hale House were four of its children; however, without any other relatives in the area, they were forced to leave behind their childhood home and scattered to the winds, so it seemed. It was not until nearly 24 hours later that anyone realized that Alison was missing, except for the girls. Both her disappearance and the destruction of the Hale House was recognized as more than just coincidence, but they vowed to keep their mouths shut as the investigation went on.
Not even a year later, the investigation was still ongoing. Nobody could seem to confirm the whereabouts of Alison, whether she was dead or alive or if she had run away, but a rather shocking discovery was made on the edge of town that led local law enforcement to believe she was connected to the arson. Found lying in a shallow grave just outside the camping grounds, her body decaying and bearing the remnants of fourth degree burns, was what was left of the body of Laura Hale. News of her “recovery,” as they called it, came on the heels of a boys Little League game and shook the Rosewood community to its core, but not as strongly as the tragic loss of Grayson and Melissa Gilbert in a car accident which, fortunately, spared their daughter Elena’s life.
For weeks, the headlines talked of intensifying investigations and memorials for lost members of the Founding Families since the previous summer until the rather sudden appearance of Zach Salvatore's nephews, Damon and Stefan Salvatore. Never before mentioned, the two handsome, young strangers soon became a hot topic of discussion, especially after the younger of the two, Stefan, enrolled at Rosewood High School. Gossip of who they were, where they came from, and the circumstances behind their staying lit the town on fire, giving it back the spark it once had, but such simple times were not meant to last…
Recently, the number of wild animal attacks in Rosewood and the outlying terrain has drastically increased. Although the Council has assured the town that it is being addressed, residents have been asked to schedule yearly vaccinations in the coming weeks, especially for school aged children, and urged to stay inside their homes after dark as predatory animals are more likely to be active at night. Some cannot help but wonder, however, if the increase in these so-called “wild animal attacks” is really just a cover story for something more sinister involving the death of Laura Hale and the disappearance of Alison DiLaurentis.
Written by Mandy