There once was a girl. She was kind, pretty and smart. She was nice to everyone and loved by all. But this story isn't about her. Unless you count the part where I killed her.

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1. The Discovery


9:30am. I was awoken by the sound of screams. My older brother, Jake had obviously just been caught with yet another girl, another bottle of liquor, another illegal drug in his room. Urgh. I can't even remember the last time my parents yelled at me, I usually just stay out of their way. With their jobs sending them away constantly, I hardly ever saw them anyway. They only came home early this morning and they were greeted by their disappointment of a son. I scraped back my ebony curls into a messy ponytail and got changed as quickly as I could, eager to leave the chaotic house. I scanned my room quickly, realising something was wrong. The usually tidy room had gone and I was overlooking a whirlwind of scattered books, emptied drawers, clothes in piled heaps, even my mirror had been shattered. Considering this had happened before and I was a really heavy sleeper, I put the blame on Jake and continued getting ready, he could clean up his mess when he was sober enough.

Using a jagged corner of the broken mirror, I applied charcoal eyeliner carefully. It was only as I went to put on my lipstick that I noticed a large scratch surrounded by tiny cuts on my face complimented by a blue, blossoming bruise directly across my cheekbone. How did that get there? I know I'm a heavy sleeper but Jake wouldn't have been able to do that without waking me up. 

Another scream grabbed my attention, but this wasn't a scream of anger, it was terror. And it was coming from my Mother. Sprinting down the spiraling staircase, my heart was pounding. I could hear Mum sobbing, her head snapping towards me as she heard my footsteps. "NO! STOP! Ella please, I don't want you to see this!" I continued down the stairs, but my Mum had stopped at the bottom of the stairs, physically restraining me from getting down to see what she was so desperately keeping from me. I was getting frantic now, frightened myself and as I tore myself away from her arms like constricting jungle vines, I collapsed on the floor at the sight in front of me.

The TV screen was lit up with the face of my best friend. The headline, bold and red screamed at me, 'MISSING GIRL, SCARLETT WATERS'. The thought alone terrified me, I was in floods of tears before I saw it. The body. That all too familiar golden hair caught my eye, the fear in her emerald eyes still real as if she were still alive. Because she was dead, her corpse laying outside in my back yard. I got up and went to take a closer look, I was shaking and minutes away from being sick but I had to see her to let myself know this was real. My mother was still screaming, hot tears smudging my recently applied eyeliner. Could it really have only been minutes away I'd been planning to visit her? Had my world really escalated so suddenly?

Scarlett had been my best friend since as long as I could remember, since the accident. She'd been there for me through all my bad times, I'd trusted her with everything.  I saw the bruises around her neck, the cuts on her legs, the fatal blow to the head. Dried blood matted into her hair, rips in her clothes. Who could of done this? Scarlett would never hurt anymore, she'd never even argued with anyone! Everyone loved her; boys, girls, her parents, teachers, even animals. I grasped her icy hand, pale and lifeless but right now it was my anchor. I had to hold on to her, gripping so tight as if I was trying to squeeze the life back into her. The world around me was spinning, my vision getting darker. I heard my mother ring the police and the last thing I remembered before I passed out was the ruby red blood underneath her fingernails. Blood from fighting back. Fighting against her murderer... I remembered the scratch on my face. And then everything went black.

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