Blood. Dribbling harshly down the musty walls, trickling along the floorboards, weaving around the wooden dents and crevasses, crawling along, from all directions, heading straight for me. No Kirsty. It reached the base of the wall, and would softly slip, gliding towards my bare feet, my bare feet now stained red and surrounded by a pool of the thick, sticky substance. It began to creep up my legs, wrapping itself around my knees before proceeding upwards, around my waist and stomach, engulfing me, swallowing my limp skeleton whole. I felt it reach my bottom lip and I quivered, unable to move, the blood like chains, tying me still, it, like glue, fastened my ankles. It entered my mouth, slowly testing my teeth, then choking me violently. My body shook vigorously as I fought against the force of the sickeningly sweet juices. It continued past my nose, filling me inside, and grouping at my eyes, which fought back helplessly. There was no way I was going to win, I knew it, and the blood continued to fill me, teasing my ears. Eventually it got bored and gushed in. The stinging sensation beneath my lids was horrifying, I, continuing to choke and splutter, refused to let the liquid enter, I was winning, it couldn’t break the sheath of determination which filled my gut, it carried on running at my lashes, I felt triumph wash over me as it began to retreat, I had won. However way before I had time to celebrate, the most horrific sensation paralysed my frame, everything inside of me began to squirm, like a thousand snakes contained in the smallest space, wriggling and weaving through, between bone and flesh, I felt myself bubbling, boiling over, and I erupted. Blood pouring out of my eyes, splashing over the room. I was blinded, I couldn’t even see red, just a blur of nothing, I saw my life flash before my eyes, but that was even more painful, I remembered everything I had done wrong, all the stupid mistakes I had ever made, I realised how I had ruined my life. I saw me, little Vanessa with my second hand, un ironed checked summer dress, my pig tails tied up joyfully above my ears, secured with fresh blue ribbon I had found under my bed. A new rucksack, way too big for me, it was the rucksack I had been using ever since. It was weighing me down, I had an old reading book and a scruffy, muddy half-dressed Barbie I had found by the side of the road and tried to clean up. I was surrounded by hundreds of other children, some older, chatting to each other, phones in hands, some a bit younger than them, discussing television programmes they had seen, boys running around with footballs, parents bustling around with forgotten lunch boxes and pencil cases. But it was a whirr of confusion. A sped up mess of people running around me, I was stood still, all alone, no one to talk to, a frown on my delicate face. A scabbed over lip, still sore from the hairbrush Kirsty had thrown at me the day before, a black eye, still numb and swollen from the punch she threw that morning. I was a black and white figure, in amongst the brightly coloured lives of everybody else. The image began to smudge red, and it dripped away, leaving me with the dry ache again. I felt the blood still spurting out of my eyes, my head was tilted back, arms outstretched, legs stiffened as it projected itself through my fingertips and toes, my hair felt like it had gone up in flames. It slowed slightly, I keeled over, grabbing the walls and scraping my nails down, no doubt leaving the marks just like in the hall I was released. I fell limp to the ground, the blood disappearing, draining out of my body everywhere, like a sponge being rung out. It retraced its paths, disappearing up the walls, back through the doors, leaving no trace of it’s ever being there. Apart form me, as good as dead in the bathroom doorway. My eyes flickered, my muscles numb from the pain and sheer strength of the now vacant mass. I felt my chest rising hoarsely and dropping like a ton of bricks, it took all my remaining energy to support my lungs. I squinted into the darkness, a figure appeared across the hall, ghostly white, clearly a woman’s stance. It’s hips hardly curving out from the waist, proving she was still young. Her body was elegantly clothed in a black lace dress, which floated about her presence, as if blowing in the wind. She continued towards me, no facial features, just a blank white mist, with a simple delicate pair of lips, parted gently into a loose frown. Gliding closer, I saw she was cupping something between her icy hands, her sharp fingers encompassing a silver object, a goblet. She raised it above her head and stopped, suddenly at my feet. Lifting her chin, she tilted her head towards her thumbs. One arm swung slowly back down to her sides, leaving one raised. She spoke. A soft murmur, music to my ears, she was young, about seventeen, and praying to this goblet. My eyes strained against her aura, and she continued to speak to her possession. The voice was calming, I softly shut my eyes, and hoped to die there, like that, with her gentle tone ringing through my ears. That was, if I wasn’t dead already, which I really hoped wasn’t the case as heaven had always been my dream, a place better than this world I lived in. I felt myself slipping, further and further into a deep sense of death, I was at peace, almost. It was so close, I could reach out and- There was an almighty crash, screams and shouts spiralling through the halls and ricocheting into my ears, I woke with a start, disappointedly believing it would be like all the other times I had collapsed, thrust cruelly back into reality. But it wasn’t the case. The figure, startled also by the noise, dropped the goblet, it twisted through the air, as if in slow motion the girl grabbed for it, missing. It smashed onto the ground, splattering its contents onto my face and proving to whoever or whatever was downstairs that she was indeed there. I weakly wiped it from my eyes, just in time to see three more, considerably larger figures burst through the kitchen door at the bottom of the staircase, and scramble up towards us, all bearing knives which glinted in the moonlight as they passed the windows. Then I recognised the lace dress floating about the girl, it was the ripped drape I had seen on the table before but it wasn’t yet ripped, which meant she was going to get- a frantic scream filled the house as the girl was grabbed forcefully around the waist and dragged back to the top of the stairs. I had to do something but was unable to move, so I lay, watching the most heart-wrenching scene, the two others closed in on her squirming body, arms thrashing desperately at their grip, but it was useless, her legs flailing about, kicking into their thighs, without success. I heard material rip, followed by the unmistakable sound of a knife slicing through her skin, she screamed louder, it happened again, and again and again and again. I couldn’t take it and let a shriek for mercy escape. They couldn’t hear me, couldn’t see me, it tortured my conscience, I so wanted to stop them but finally it went silent. I had failed her. Quietly they began to whisper between themselves. “Now what?” echoed a low ghostly voice, “She’s done, no more trouble from her, useless little interfering bitch..” he trailed off, noticing the now empty goblet beside me. He stepped over, and swiped violently, grabbing it and narrowly missing my face. They definitely couldn’t see me. “What do we do with this… thing?” murmured the third voice, she’s still heaving” “Chuck her.” Said the voice belonging to the toe capped boots that were currently in my face. The soles coated in a thick crusty layer of mud and just above, over the toe, and trailing up his right trouser leg, were sinister drops of blood. It felt like they were there to taunt me, to laugh at me laying weakly on the floor and struggling to hold on to any form of sanity I may have had left. Following that was heavy breathing and then the sickening thuds of her empty, soulless corpse rolling down the steps.