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Ever since I was young, my father would warn me to never open my mouth about my problems. “Nobody will understand you,” he would hiss, putting the fear of whatever he feared in me. “Nobody will care because they haven’t gone through it.”
So, I shut my mouth. I never opened it after seeing my parents fight. I never opened it after nearly being ran over by an asshole that got his license on a technicality. Not even when I witnessed the local pedophile being arrested.
But the Haunted Hallway pushed me too far.
For some of you that do not know what a Haunted Hallway is: it’s where a hallway is decorated like a haunted house, with actors and tour guides and the entire gimmick for Halloween. It is supposed to be a small little fundraiser for our school, which usually does this kind of stuff because we are virtually unnoticed by the state because of how small we are.
I was a participant last year, and I was in so much awe of how good the performance was, that I decided to go again next year.
Except, as an actor.
What could go wrong, right? The previous years went smoothly enough and were crazy successful.
What I didn’t count on was the teacher that supervised quitting.
The new teacher started planning the Haunted Hallway last minute, so it was obvious to everyone that there was going to be some flaws.
I guess obvious to everyone except me. I was too excited on the fact that I’ll be acting in the Haunted Hallway so I didn’t notice much.
Besides, the rehearsals were great. I never had so much fun. They say that when actors spend a lot of time together, you tend to make friends with them.
That is, except, with Jennifer.
When I arrived to the room of my choice: the Asylum room (it was kind of ironic now that I look back on it), everyone seemed to have a preset hatred for Jennifer. I never knew her. She was a tall girl on the heavy side, but her personality was a bit rough, so I guessed that was the reason why she was so disliked. I personally didn’t care, I just blocked every other drama out in order to focus on my acting.
I blocked out something about Jennifer making someone’s sister cry.
Blocked out the rumor that Jennifer spent some time in a teen asylum-like building because of some mental illness.
Blocked out all the other rumors that circled her: from something as real as the time one of her nudes leaked to absurdity such as the possibility that she killed a man.
Looking back, these were all warning signs.
It was the day of the event. We were to stay right after school until when the event ended at midnight.
So, I guess you can say we were mentally preparing ourselves.
Because of the new supervisor’s fear of students tearing down the decorations or stealing props, the actors and the tour guides doubled as the help on the day of.
3:10 PM (Hour 1)
Most of the actors for the Asylum room were present, but they were either changing or preparing their makeup; all in different rooms. I sat in front of a room’s mirror and began to paint my face. I was playing one of the main roles in the room: the cannibal. The skit had been changed multiple times, but this last one had been accepted by the supervisor so we were going with it.
The act was going to be: people enter and a person in a straitjacket is shouting for them to let her out. Then, another actor that is on top of a desk kicks a chair in front of her, signaling for everyone else to fall into place. There will be a girl on the floor hugging her knees and rocking back and forth, along with a girl in a wheelchair (who will be wheeling behind the crowd besides the girl who kicked the chair). The center act (the act before the customers walk out) is me eating Jennifer’s guts while she lies on a gurney. She’ll be dressed as a nurse and me a patient, which would sort of set a message to the audience of “the patients running the asylum” or something else unnerving.
Last minute, however, we had another actor join. So, she was placed as the nurse who would be wheeling the girl in the wheelchair around.
The actor who sits on top of the desk’s name is Kailyn. The person with the straight jacket’s name is Vanessa. The girl on the floor’s name is Alyssia. The girl in the wheelchair’s name is Eliana. The girl who is pushing her is called Ashley.
My name? You’ll hear it on the news later.
So, after 20 minutes of makeup, began to pack up my stuff and move to our assigned room.
“Hey!” Jennifer called, wearing her black “queen” hoodie and holding her coffee in one hand and multiple bags in another. I turned to her, and stopped to allow her to catch up from across the hallway. “We aren’t here!”
“I know. I just came here to do my makeup.” I explained, pointing to my face. She huffed, realizing, and then asked.
“What do you honestly think about the new skit? I don’t like it. I feel like we changed it too many times.” She pursed her lips, and I sighed.
“We are definitely more organized this way. The other way was too messy.” I responded, yet Jennifer wasn’t satisfied with the response, so she turned and entered another room that wasn’t the Asylum room.
Part of the drama stuff I tried to avoid was that she had an idea for the first draft of the skit. Basically, everyone but me, Jennifer, and Alyssia, go crazy. Alyssia and I, however, chase Jennifer around the room and stab her, take her down, and continue stabbing her. We all attempted to act it out, but when the supervisor came to see the drafts, she hated it. She threatened to take our room out of the equation because it was so messy.
Jennifer made a sort of vague threat in another rehearsal, saying that she probably wouldn’t be here on the day of if we didn’t follow her script. We ignored her, and then she took her stuff and left the room. She made a point by going to help other rooms instead of our own.
We all became coordinated in the case she wants to switch rooms last minute, so Ashley would be her replacement.
Around 45 minutes after school, everyone began to arrive in the Asylum room. We had to take out the desks and clear the rooms out before putting black paper over the furniture and walls. Alyssia had a boyfriend, Andy, that helped out with the paper. Kailyn brought black tablecloths, which helped prevent us from going to other rooms and begging pathetically for more black paper.
4:00 PM (Hour 2)
I wish I could say we stayed together as a team while putting up decorations.
I really wish I could’ve.
We tried to preserve the tablecloths for things like covering up our belongings that were backed up in the corner, as well as the “souvenirs” that the teacher left in the room and would hate for them to disappear the next day.
And by souvenirs I mean trash.
We had to cover the walls as highest we could, which meant standing up on desks. The desks we had were conjoined to the chairs, and one of us nearly fell down because they stood on the desk-side too long and gravity nearly took over.
This started a spark of vertigo we all had inside of us.
Whenever we stood on a desk too long, we felt a little uneasy. A solution would be someone holding down the chair-side, but when it was not even 2 hours to the event, not everyone was free to do so.
Also, we weren’t exactly allowed to leave the room until it was really an emergency.
So, Kailyn volunteered to fetch more black paper while everyone ran back and forth gathering tape to hold up the pieces we already had. She returned after almost 10 minutes, hyperventilating.
“Who’s room is more important? Yours or someone else’s?!” She fumed, telling the entire story before she explained. “Jennifer just denied us the black paper. I goddamn hate her.”
“Psht. Who the hell is she to tell us what to take or not?” Alyssia rolled her eyes while holding up a ripped piece of paper that Andy was taping.
“We have more than 2 hours until the event. We’ll be prepared by then.” I stretched the truth a bit. Kailyn sighed very audibly.
“The thing is, the Nursery room she’s in… they don’t need black paper. They are just fooling around over there!” She huffed before making her way across the room to take a breath. Ashley got off her desk and left me with the black paper duties while she took care of Kailyn.
5:00 PM (Hour 3)
Hour 3 was when the stress level seemed to rise.
The supervisor did a last minute check on the black paper, and then told us to tear a great deal down because it was “too sloppy”.
After the supervisor left the room, a great many of us screamed internally. Some cursed out loud, Vanessa immediately tore the affected areas down, and Kailyn had to leave to the bathroom to take a break. We all knew what she was going to do as soon as we knew she had gone.
“She does deserve a cry break.” I mentioned to Ashley while we were redoing the paper. She agreed. We all knew Kailyn to be the softest person out of all of us regarding emotions, and she was really affected by the Jennifer-thing.
We thought she was going to come back feeling moderately-better, and then help with what she can, but then we heard shouting in the hallway. It was then followed by Kailyn storming into the room again, tears forcibly caged in her glossy eyes.
“I-I tried to get the music link from h-her…” She attempted to compose herself. Ashley was busy this time so she didn’t have a chance to comfort her from the ground.
“Oh Kailyn, don’t get bothered by her attitude-”
“I-I asked her nicely. The link was in her laptop and she’s too busy f-fucking around with the Nursery kids… but she got all in my face! S-She started shouting the link! I said FINE… a-and I left. F-Fucking bitch…” Kailyn made her way over to her school laptop to type in the link when more shouts were heard in the halls.
We all recognized Jennifer’s voice.
“I’m trying to give her the link to the music for the Asylum room and she keeps giving me attitude!” We heard her scream to the supervisor as clear as day. “I just wanna leave! You all want that?! For me to leave?!”
“Fine! Leave! Nobody wants you here-” Kailyn started when Ashley and Vanessa dropped down from their desks and began to hold her back from running into the hallway.
“Don’t! You’ll just be letting her win. Be more mature than her.” These phrases seemed to calm her down until Jennifer started again.
“See what I mean, Miss?! She’s constantly attacking me!”
Something seemed to switch on in Kailyn, and she turned almost mechanically to go outside, now being gently persuaded to stop by Vanessa and Ashley. I knew we weren’t going to get any work done if three actors are not helping, so I stepped in front of the door and closed it behind me.
“Everybody stays and helps. If she doesn’t want to help that’s her problem. We planned for when she leaves, remember?” I rushed, and Kailyn’s senses returned to her once-blank eyes. She didn’t reply, instead, she slowly turned and paced to the far end of the room, clenching her fists.
From there, we tried to work as fast and efficiently as we possibly could.
6:00 PM (Hour 4)
It was just an accident, I swear.
Something about being stuck in a single room for hours on end doing repetitive work with high-strung people surrounding just gets to you.
One minute, we heard a tour guide announce to all the rooms that we were starting early, in almost 15 minutes, and the next minute there was a body on the floor.
As I said before, we were all stressed. Everyone was shouting, running, and everything was a blurr. Me and Ashley were putting up more black paper when it ripped down the middle.
I saw red at that moment. In a movement I couldn’t describe, I threw the scissors down behind me.
I thought I was aiming for the floor, but when I didn’t hear it hit the ground, I turned around.
The sharp end of the scissors pierced Eliana’s chest.
I don’t remember how strong I threw it, but half the blade somehow ended up inside her chest.
Eliana fell back and smacked her head on both the desk behind her and the hard floor.
We all gathered around the body, panicking.
“We need to get the nurse!” Kailyn suggested, nearly in tears. Me and Alyssia examined Eliana, but I checked for signs of life.
“The nurse left! It’s too late… she’s dead.” I hoarsely forced out. Everyone stood still for a whole second, and then a wave of anxiety filled the air.
“What do we do?!”
“Are we going to jail?!”
“Who’s going to tell Vanessa?” Ashley wondered, quivering. I sighed. Vanessa left to get more black paper, and she happened to be Eliana’s cousin.
I don’t know how, or what logic we used to get to the conclusion: hide the body.
I dragged Eliana to the far end of the room, where there was a locked closet. I borrowed one of Ashley’s bobby pins, and picked the lock. Once Eliana was inside, we immediately began working on cleaning the blood. After the realization that this was harder than what Dateline would show, Alyssia just grabbed a bottle of fake blood and poured it around the scrubbed-circles.
When Vanessa came back, she immediately noticed Eliana’s absence and asked us.
“She… s-she…” Kailyn trembled and immediately looked shifty. This, adding on the fake blood, gave Vanessa an obviously bad feeling. I stepped in right away.
“She went to the corner deli. You know how she loves those mozzarella sticks they make.” I lied, astonished at how well I came up with it under pressure. Vanessa was quickly relieved, and then she helped put up the last black paper after Alyssia’s nervous fake blood explanation.
6:20 PM (Hour 4)
First rehearsal went well enough.
Vanessa was worried when Eliana didn’t show up in time, so she texted her.
We all held our breaths, praying that we don’t hear a chime in the dark room. When it didn’t, we seemed collectively relieved.
“Maybe her parents had to pick her up… you know, with New York and all that…” I added, obviously showing that I didn’t pay attention to a lick of their business. Vanessa shook her head.
“She wouldn’t… she would tell me…” Vanessa sighed, then she shook her head. “Yeah, you guys are probably right. Anyways, we have Freddy to back her up, right?”
“Freddy” was a disassembled plastic skeleton that we were given to work with our act, but we ended up placing the pile of bones on the wheelchair. Ashley would wheel Freddy around like a long-dead patient.
Oh, geez, I didn’t mean for it to come out like that.
We made a couple jokes about Freddy and danced silly in the dark, distracting Vanessa to the point where she didn’t even remember Eliana was gone.
The actual Haunted Hallway started 6:30, and we all went into our positions.
7:30 PM (Hour 5 ½)
Andy lost it around here.
He had nowhere to go while he waited for his girlfriend, so he hid somewhere in the room underneath black paper and came out between the gaps in performances.
It was the 5th or so performance, and the minute the customers left, Andy nearly jumped out at us.
“I can’t do this anymore.”
“We just started.” Vanessa responded, naive to what Andy was talking about.
“I-I’m so sorry Vanessa.” Andy stuttered, yet unable to elaborate because of the pain in his conscience.
“You can’t leave, the supervisor doesn’t know you were here.” Vanessa tried to calm him down the most logical way she could, yet Andy couldn’t let himself be calmed.
“No no… we are doing you wrong. God… it was just an accident… right?” Andy looked me right in the eye at that point.
I froze, standing up pin straight now. I felt his accusatory stare, and even though I didn’t take my eyes off of him, I felt everyone else get the message. It was as if the room was closing down on me, and I felt the heat rise in my body like if everyone was going to pounce.
“What is he talking about?” Jennifer asked, tugging on the hem of my bloodied sweatshirt.
I couldn’t let them get me, no.
“What’s going on?!”
I had to get them.
“I’m so sorry Vanessa.” Andy started.
I had to get them before they get me.
“What are you all staring at me like that, for?” Vanessa asked, now showing her uneasiness through her fidgeting.
“We… We need to tell you something-” Andy turned from me and took a step towards Vanessa. The gurney had a paper blocking the front, so nobody could see the other side where I was, which was where we kept the spare items. I didn’t hesitate to snatch the same scissors from underneath and lunge at Andy.
The sound of the blades piercing through Andy’s heart was sickening.
And the fact that I did it on purpose is even worse.
“NO!” Alyssia broke her silence and headed right for me. She was shorter and much thinner than me, so when she wailed on me, I didn’t even bother to fight back. I gripped the scissors for the 30 seconds she took to slow her rage into a cry of agony. In that timespan, she turned away from me and collapsed besides Andy’s corpse. She sobbed grossly and ran her trembling fingers over his bloodied chest, and then his brown hair pulled into a ponytail.
We all stared at the image of the two. Then, Alyssia whipped her head to me.
“You could have let him talk to me! I wouldn’t let him slip about Eliana! He wouldn’t-”
“What h-happened to Eliana?” Vanessa asked, shaken from the sight. I sighed. It was coming out either way. Except now, we had another body on our hands.
“It was an accident, Vanessa.” I looked her in the eyes and told her. “But none of this should leave the room. We were all responsible, remember that-”
“Andy was your fault!” Kailyn piped up, then she buried her chin down to her collarbone. I flipped.
“And if you tell them what would you say?! I killed Andy because he was going to slip about how we all hid Eliana’s body?! Come on! If he told the supervisor we would all have our asses handed to us-”
“He wasn’t going to tell the supervisor! Just Vanessa! He thought she had a right to know!” Alyssia hissed, getting her hands dirty from holding Andy. I looked down at her hands, and then I said
“Who would believe that I killed him?”
“What do you mean?! You have his blood on your hands-” Alyssia immediately spat at me, but then she cut herself short when she noticed how bloody her hands were compared to my relatively-clean ones. I didn’t even have to add anything else for her to flip out.
“W-W-Witnesses! Everyone around you!” Alyssia turned around, her anxiety leaked through her voice. Everyone in the room stayed quiet.
“Andy would lead to Eliana, and Eliana is on all of us…” I mentioned, seeing the guilt in everyone’s faces.
“… Not on me.” Everyone turned to Vanessa, who was still in her straight jacket but now she was on the floor. Her face was frozen with her eyes wide open and her mouth agape. She slowly looked up at me with the most determined look. However, it was only then when we noticed that Jennifer was off the gurney and close to the door, her face containing the worst fear and disgust in the world.
I felt the scissors being ripped from my hands from a pair smaller than mine. I frantically turned to the perpetrator, who was Kailyn.
Though she happened to reach Jennifer in half the time, I knew that she was going to get seriously hurt. Everyone can tell; Jennifer was double the weight and height of Kailyn, as well as a year her senior. Me and Ashley followed her, but for different reasons: Ashley wanted to stop any more bloodshed, but I wanted to help.
Kailyn shrieked as she gathered her strength to give Jennifer a long-overdue strike, but Jennifer was half a second quicker. In the panic, she grabbed ahold of Vanessa and pushed her in front of her. Kailyn put all her force into the first strike, and then immediately regretted it when she faced Vanessa’s wide doe-eyes instead of Jennifer’s.
“NO! No no no!” Kailyn held Vanessa as she dropped, who was coughing up blood. Ashley staggered behind, now looking like she was going to vomit. I saw Jennifer head for the door, so I yanked the scissors from Vanessa’s stomach haphazardly and struck her in her left lung.
I heard that if someone was stabbed in their left lung, they wouldn’t make a sound, but in the case it didn’t work, I covered her mouth. Jennifer sunk gradually in my arms, and from there I quickly tried to drag her on top of the gurney. For some reason, I succeeded in time, because we heard the next batch of customers passing a room two doors down.
“Get in your positions, everyone!” I commanded, prying Andy away from Alyssia to put him under the black paper. Kailyn kept holding Vanessa even though she was clearly long gone, and Ashley swallowed hard before she gripped the wheelchair. Alyssia continued crying and holding her knees, which now made her part more convincing. I turned Jennifer’s face towards me so the crowd and the tour guides wouldn’t see that she was really dead.
The next batch came and went. Nobody suspected a thing.
8:00 PM (Hour 6)
“I don’t want to be here anymore.” Kailyn muttered, sitting on top of the desk again. We decided to keep Vanessa on the floor with her head down. We splashed her with fake blood and added a fake handprint on the black paper beside her. It was visible somewhat in the dim lighting, making it more eerie to those who notice.
“None of us want to.” Ashley added, now giving up on comforting everyone. Alyssia stayed curled up, burying her face to show she doesn’t want to be bothered. However, I could swear she glared up at me from time to time.
“We have to make a plan.” I piped up.
“W-What for?” Kailyn asked before remembering what the both of us had done.
“To get out of here. When the Haunted Hallway ends at 10… they would want us to clean up. What are we going to do?” I tried to plan with them, but Ashley and Kailyn were in too much shock to think clearly. Kailyn whimpered.
“I-I-I don’t want to go to j-jail…” She began shaking, stealing a glimpse at Vanessa’s body in the corner before letting out a high-pitched yip from the fresh memory.
“The only one that has to go to jail is you…” Alyssia spoke up, and us three fixated on her immediately. The sound of her voice made our hearts skip a beat, because we thought she just disappeared into thin air. Alyssia glared right at me, and I could see her black mascara running down her cheeks.
“All of us are in this-” I tried to shift the blame again, but somehow it had less power than before, when the body count was lower.
“No. Just you… all of us are innocent… you started it and you have to drag us all down with you!” Alyssia’s spine went straight, though she stayed on the floor.
“All. Of. Us. Are. In. This. Alyssia, look at your hands! If the police come here, they’ll test it first and throw you in jail you idiot!” I began to rant. I felt my body heat rise again, but even though it was only three people surrounding me now, I felt the intensity was unbearable.
Looking back, it must’ve been my conscience.
“Kailyn… what you did was by accident but you intended to kill Jennifer. Someone’s dead either way, and that’s on you.” I spoke with a deep seriousness that shook Kailyn’s core, leaving her to curl up and cry while I turned to Ashley.
“Ashley, you helped-” That was all I was able to get out before Ashley attempted to tackle me. I twisted a bit at most, but then I grabbed Ashley and pushed her away from me. “What the hell?!”
“I don’t want to go to jail! I have a life! I am graduating this year! I was going to be free!” Ashley broke down, clear tears drowning her cheeks.
“What the hell were you trying to accomplish? Killing me?! You’ll all have another body on your hands!”
“I KNOW! I-I’m sorry! I… I-I-I j-just…” Ashley fell to the floor and continued sobbing. I leaned against the wall behind me, the black paper crinkling with my weight.
The silence that followed gave everyone the same message: the room was killing us.
8:45 PM (Hour 6 ¾)
“ALL ACTORS LEAVE YOUR ROOMS! THIS IS AN EMERGENCY!”
The four of us perked our heads up at the announcement coming from the supervisor. We all made a mad dash for the one door, like animals begging to escape from captivity.
Until, that is, the door didn’t open.
“What?! No! No no no!” Alyssia was the first one there, which was odd because she was the farthest from it.
“It’s locked from the outside.” I deduced, earning a passive hiss from Alyssia.
“No shit, Sherlock!” She stormed to the other end of the room, pulling at her short hair.
“What’s the emergency?” Ashley asked, anything to keep our minds off of the bad karma in this room.
“Everyone else is exiting, I can hear them leave.” Kailyn laid on the ground and put her ear to the gap on the bottom of the door before sniffing it. “There’s no smoke, so I guess we’re not burning.”
“That’s a bonus.” I sarcastically added, earning a nervous chuckle from Ashley.
“Not to me. I wanted you to burn.” Alyssia addressed me passive-aggressively, and I sharply inhaled, ignoring it.
“So what do you think it could be?” I asked before being shushed by Kailyn. Though offended, I tried not to get too mad. A couple minutes later, Kailyn responded.
“The supervisor walked only half the hallway. She stopped before she reached the outside of our room.” We were the very last room the customers would visit, and we found that slightly off at most.
“Maybe she got tired?” Ashley suggested.
“Maybe. I don’t know. But it was locked on the outside so…”
“You think it was one of the tour guides being douches?” I suggested seriously. Kailyn shook her head.
“No… can’t be. If it was a tour guide acting alone, she would have heard us try to open the door. It has to be her… “
“What? The supervisor wouldn’t do this to us… would she?” Ashley became much more nervous, and it spread to the three of us.
Then, we heard police sirens.
It was like a switch got flicked in all three of our head’s.
We weren’t in danger.
We were the danger.
9:00 PM (Hour 7)
“How did somebody find out?!” Kailyn began to panick. Ashley peeked outside, watching the police cars pile up outside.
“M-Maybe it was all just a mistake. Maybe it’s another room…”
“Oh yeah, I forgot. Another room must’ve committed genocide at the same time we did, right?! Get your head out of your ass, Ashley!” Alyssia hissed, returning to her curled position.
“Now’s the time to plan, guys!” I ordered, panic-stricken.
“What the hell do we do now? It’s too late!” Kailyn sounded agitated, she was biting her fingernails to cope with the situation.
“The police are going to come in through the door, right? Let’s go out the window.” The three of us looked at the windows, all realizing that we’re on the second floor. It’s not enough to kill us, but enough to injure us.
“What about the bags?” Ashley pointed to the end of the room.
“You’re right! We could throw the bags on the ground to soften the landing!” I snapped and pointed at Ashley. “You’re a genius!”
“What then?” Kailyn asked, not helping to lower the anxiety in the room.
“Um… We could gather all our money. The train station is always open. They switched the trains to automated, right?” I asked around, attempting to piece together something.
“Y-Yeah… so there’s no driver, it’s all electric now.” Ashley added.
“Y-Yes! See? Even if we don’t have enough to pay for tickets, we can sneak through! Yeah, and we could keep riding different trains. All until we get far enough.”
“And then?” Kailyn uttered. I felt my patience running thinner.
“And then… we keep going! We might reach another state, and then…”
“And then?” At that, I felt myself implode.
“And then I don’t know, Kailyn! We’ll keep going! Leave something to the imagination, goddamn it! We don’t even know if we’ll make the drop!” I kicked the bookshelf beside the window, ripping the black paper that wrapped it.
I began to pace back and forth. The adrenaline from everything in the past few hours caused me to be on edge. I could hear the wind, and feel every stare. I could smell the fear radiating from Ashley, and taste the tension that blocked my airway.
It didn’t help that the room was dark.
There was a sense of distrust in the air. Not for the four of us, but for the people on the outside of the room. We’ve only been here for a little over 7 hours, but it seemed like we’ve known each other for years. Even though we’ve seen each other at our worst, we still felt the need to stay united against the outside. It was a mutual paranoia among us.
Everyone, except for Alyssia.
Me, Kailyn, and Ashley exchanged glances. We knew that the moment the police come in, she’ll snitch. However, what we weren’t sure about was planning her murder.
Enough blood had been spilled.
I didn’t like being so unsure for so long.
Then, there was a knocking at the door.
Alyssia began to scream, and the three of us charged at her.
Everything was a blur at that point.
I think she might have gotten the scissors at one point, when we were planning or talking amongst ourselves.
All I remember was Ashley gasping for air after the blades were stuck in her stomach and then forcibly separated with all of Alyssia’s strength.
All I remember was her falling to the floor with a gaping hole in her abdomen.
All I remember was Kailyn attempting to disarm Alyssia, who stabbed her at least two times in non-fatal areas.
Then a gash on my forearm appeared before I forced Alyssia to the ground.
“Stop! You’re going crazy!” I kept holding her down. Alyssia kept fighting. She slashed at my arm but narrowly missed because I yanked the scissors from her.
I was pissed, but I didn’t want to kill her.
I didn’t want to kill anymore.
I don’t even want to hear the word “death” after today’s events.
At least until she stopped attacking.
Then I went to grab the belts we were going to use on Eliana to tie Alyssia up.
“STOP.” I sternly hissed, tightening a leather belt around her mouth as a gag.
I stopped for a breath, and after a split second, I rapidly turned around to see the damage.
Ashley stopped breathing.
Kailyn was breathing heavily.
I crawled to her, now with the threat of Alyssia off my back.
“You’re going to be okay. She didn’t get you anywhere to kill you.”
“I-I can’t go to the train this w-way… I can’t…” She whimpered, softly placing her palm over one of the injuries around her stomach.
“Sure you can! We just need to stop the bleeding-” I grabbed one of her legs to pick it up in order to wrap it with a scarf I found nearby, until I was forced to drop it by her ear-piercing shriek.
“AH! I-I… I fucked up my knee… I don’t think I can walk…” Kailyn’s heavy breathing filled the room.
“Yes you can. I’m fucking carrying you, we can’t leave anybody behind. They’ll throw you in juvie! At least this way you can have some kind of future… maybe a hospital can help! Maybe we can get protection!” I ranted on and on, fearful of conviction more than anything. I kept saying “we” as if I had an army behind me to make me feel more secure. Kailyn shook her head more and more violently.
“No! I can’t! I can’t! Can’t you see?! God, I’m in so much pain… i-it hurts…” She shuddered at the sight of the red liquid oozing from her own body. After a couple seconds, which seemed like an eternity of silence, Kailyn looked me dead in the eyes and muttered a sentence nobody our age should say.
“You have to kill me.”
“W-What?” I stuttered, feeling weak for the first time. By this point, I can’t say I haven’t killed before, but not on purpose.
Okay, on purpose, but not on purpose purpose.
“Kill me. Make it quick. Then get out.”
“I can’t walk! I’ll bleed out! And if the police get me… I don’t want to spend the rest of my life in jail. My future’s gone.”
“F-fuck…” I sat down in a way that felt like a stumble backwards, and clutched my hair. She was right, but I wasn’t sure if I could do that. “F-Fine… how do you want to die?”
I grabbed the scissors and took a deep breath. I opened the dual blades slowly, feeling my heart in my throat. I went through the many ways this scissor had been used: in the chest, lung, stomach, and limbs.
I chose the lung. It seemed Jennifer went quickly.
But I wasn’t sure if that was because of her shock or any other bodily factor.
I crouched behind Kailyn and covered her mouth.
“Hm?” She muffled, now feeling more anxious because it didn’t happen right away.
“I’ll meet you guys again in hell.” I said as I drove the blade in her left lung, and after a distressing couple of seconds, Kailyn went limp. I immediately took out the blade and threw it to the other end of the room.
No more killing.
I shouldn’t have in the first place.
I didn’t have time for mourning. I heard police radios at the end of the hallway followed by boots.
They brought in the goddamn SWAT team? I can’t be sure.
I raced to the end of the room to get my keys and my coat and my money. I was sure it was enough for one ticket. Then I threw all the bags outside the window, but it still wasn’t enough cushion. So I resorted to throwing all of the bodies out the window.
I left Andy in there, mostly so Alyssia doesn’t get even more pissed at me, and because he was pretty lanky do it wouldn’t do much cushion.
I had one foot on top of the bookshelf before I turned back one last time.
“Alyssia?” She turned to me very hesitantly. “You’re in trouble, too. Remember that. At least wait some time before you talk to them about what happened here. Not for my sake, for yours.”
Alyssia growled and wriggled at me, so I didn’t try to bargain any further.
I jumped off, feeling the couple seconds of cool wind prickling my skin before I landed on the fleshy cushions of reality. Their blood stopped flowing at this point, so I didn’t get any more dirty. From there, I had to take off without looking back at the damage I caused.
I’m on a train right now. It’s past midnight so it is pretty empty, with only one other person on the train. I’m using this time to type on my phone all of the events that occurred.
I plan on suiciding.
That is, if the police isn’t waiting for me on the next stop.
Either way, I am not getting out of this alive.
Right now, I want to voice the greatest regrets of my life.
I regret not telling Vanessa the truth.
I regret getting mad and throwing the scissors.
I regret not telling the supervisor.
I regret not telling my best friend that I loved him.
I regret not talking to my parents more.
I regret the stories I could have told, but instead my life had to be cut short at this one.
And it was the one story I wished I could have taken to the grave.
I regret taking my father’s advice.
I want the people to read this to try to understand my madness.
It was the damned room.
Something about it tore good friends apart.
Something about the 8 hours spent there broke us.
Something about it broke us enough to break others.
I’m so sorry, Alyssia. I’m sorry that we had to leave off with you seeing my worst.
I guess this is good riddance.
Credit: Jhoana T. Merino Martinez