The Victim and Death

For most of us, Death is the end. For the vicitm, Death is only the beginning. This is the story of how she died, and how her fear of Death had more physical presence in reality than she could have ever dreamt to dread. The victim, formerly Maegan Murphy of Reeldale Academy for Girls, was born 15th November 1995 and died 25th November 2011. She had lived a good life, it was nothing exciting but she had enjoyed it while it lasted. Now she's dead, murdered to be exact, and Death has come to collect his payment... or has he? Or, more importantly, CAN he?

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4. The Victim and Darkness

The victim knew that voice. It was the country tones of Dolly Parton, singing her hit 9 to 5 incredibly loudly from within her jeans back pocket. She paused for a moment, unsure of her situation, and then her hand dived for her mobile, as if she answered calls whilst glowing on a regular basis. The victim unlocked her phone, and cut off Dolly mid syllable, before pressing the cool metal to her ear.

“Hello?" Her voice wavered, the normality of the task not quite dragging her simple mind away from the dilemma at hand. She glanced down at her luminous limbs before repeating, “Hello? Who is this?”

From the smart phone speaker there was only static, and then there was a distinctive clunk as the caller hung up on her.

Her blonde eyebrows frowned, and her pink lips parted slightly. Someone hung up on her? On her? She couldn’t remember the last time anyone had refused her call, but, then again, she couldn’t exactly remember being called by anyone either. This was a funny notion, but the gap in her memory disconcerted her slightly.

That was beside the point, though, the victim reasoned. She shook the doubt from her mind – literally, as her off-centre ponytail swished from side to side – and lowered the phone to look at the screen.

What met her eyes was something of a shock. It wasn’t a call she had received – it was a text.

The victim distinctly remembered answering a call. She was sure of it. Everything seemed so vivid. The buzz of static, the yell of Dolly which was definitely her ring tone. But, she once again reasoned, if she couldn’t remember having any phone calls ever, then how was she sure she remembered what happened two minutes ago? The victim struggled to think of an explanation, but her mind seemed restricted somehow, as if it hurt to think.  

She would have thought something was wrong, very wrong, if not for the fact that she soon forgot ever thinking of thinking of such a notion.

The victim opened the text, tapping the screen with her white tipped nail. She thought herself stupid for lingering too long in the dark. Her only light in the forest was her mobile’s screen – the rest was black. She couldn’t even see herself when she looked down. If only she had a glow stick or something, she thought to herself. That would be cool.

As she read the pixels on the screen, she froze, and then laughed, her breath fog in the crisp autumn night.

U LOOK ALIVE, it read.

“Yes,” the victim giggled. “Yes, I suppose I do look alive.”

Suddenly, the phone vibrated in her hand, signalling another text.

BUT THIS IS A BAD THING.

“What?” She thought herself insane, talking aloud to herself. “Why is it a bad thing?”

There was a pause, and then a reply.

BECAUSE YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE DEAD.

The victim wasn’t laughing anymore, neither was she questioning her memories, forgetting pretty boys or glowing in the dark. She was simply stone, not moving a muscle. The only thought that entered her head was this:         The darkness is trying to communicate with me.

Buzz. Yet another text.

AND SOON YOU WILL BE.

The victim bolted. She knew the forest, so the black didn't slow her. Her phone was clasped in hand, buzzing relentlessly. Her feet pounded flatly on the dirt track and her breaths where sharp and jagged. Running was never the victim’s forte, and she cursed her athletic ability. Sweat was already trickling down her head, and her ponytail was coming loose, the tie sliding down her smooth, conditioned locks. Her pulse was racing and her feet were aching, and her arms unsure of where to put themselves.

Dolly screamed in her ears, the first few lines of the chorus stuck like a broken record. She was teasing her, telling her of a life she would never have unless she ran faster. When she got back to school, the first thing the victim would do was change her ring tone.  

Running jiggled her brain, and she could feel her thoughts going crazy in her head. The thinking hurt. She wanted it to stop, but she had a funny feeling they already had.

All at once, hope glimmered as she saw the lit windows of the school, and then it vanished as she was down with a groan and cry, her ankle painfully buckling beneath her. Her perspiring body thumped on the hard ground of mud and tree roots, she could feel the darkness sticking to her skin like clothes to sweat.

Her heart pulsed wildly with both fear and adrenaline as the black blanket became real, solid, and climbed her thighs, her nerves and down her throat. She twisted in white, roaring agony as it ripped from her figure like a flame hot wax.

You can’t escape from the darkness, she thought, as the black consumed her sight.

***

The victim walked up to her dorm door, and rubbed her bare arms. My God, outside was cold, she thought. It struck her odd that she had stayed out so late. She racked her brains for an explanation, but only when she finally opened the door and was overcome by smoke vapours, she remembered. Nathalie was having friends over.

As the victim walked in, she wafted the smoke from her watering eyes, and was met with three angry looking girls. One of which was turning her head slightly, as if afraid to look her in the eye. Her curls were as tight as her lips and her indigo eyes narrowed.

“What the Hell happened to you, Maegan? Dragged through a bush?” Nathalie sneered, and she laughed with her fake blonde companions. The victim frowned at the poor insult, but it obviously meant something more to them than the joke did to her.

“Yeah,” scoffed one of the blonde strangers, who were thankfully sat on Nathalie’s bed, “where did you go to end up looking like that?”

“You look like you’ve taken a stroll in the sewers,” said the other, who took a drag on her cigarette. She turned green, and tried to cover up her retching with a smokers cough, and the victim would have laughed at her spluttering if not for the fact she was dead in shock.

The victim looked down at herself, and was horrified to see that she was covered in muck, from her jeans to her trainers. Her hair was sticking out in all directions, with none of its former beauty. She raised a hand to her scalp, and winced as she prised a twig from her nest. A groan escaped her lips, and her pale complexion reddened slightly. How humiliating can a situation get?

“I went for a run in the woods,” she confirmed, and Nathalie frowned at her chosen activity. “I think,” the victim added as an afterthought.

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