I see the deaths of those around me, I see every stopwatch's end time. My first friend was the one who stopped every one of her friends' stopwatches. I may be next.


2. 00.00.01

“Come on sis, wake up. It’s your first day of 12th grade.” I hear my little brother say. Getting no response he begins to poke me. I poke my head out from the covers and I look at him with sleep in my eyes.
“I’m up Kevin, I’m up.”
“Good, auntie wants to see what you’re wearing.” He hops out. Over the summer, our mother was murdered by her new husband. She had married him after two years of getting divorced from dad. Not even one month of living in our new town, he became the real him.  He was not the car salesman from Virginia, he was a wanted man. He was a drug user, an alcoholic, a murderer even before mom.  He would often bring floozies from out of town and force mom to do things along with him. She became very vain and cruel towards me and eventually Kevin as well. She was this as well even before she met the man. One day she finally broke. She cried and cried of her predicament and locked Kevin and I in our room with two sandwiches for two days. I gave him both and told him when to eat it so he wouldn’t become hungry later on.

The night it happened, mom caught him smoking meth in the kitchen. She lost it and tried to stop him. They did not make that much noise but it woke me up, and not my brother. I picked the lock to see if she was ok. Not even high, he grabbed a knife and stabbed her. Over 100 times as it seemed, he plunged in and out, not even stopping after he slit her throat. He was even smiling.  Insanity filling his eyes but still retaining consciousness of what he was doing. The eyes were the same as hers. Cold and calculative, utter darkness as it seemed. Turning back I quietly went back to the room I shared with my brother.  I woke him up and  put him on my back. I climbed down two stories with him on my back.  I ran to the neighbor’s house and told them to call the police. They showed up and banged the door down. What they saw made every single one of them puke before the night was done.  Blood splattered all over the walls, body parts everywhere, a head in a boiling pot, and that man sitting at the table eating a breast that once fed us life. He calmly stated at court that he would have gotten my brother and me as well, “if only you didn’t see me kill your mother, there would have been more to eat.” He said. He was sentenced to injection the next day. His eyes looked straight at me and for a moment, I swear I saw someone else behind them. A split second before he died, his eyes changed to confusion then fear; almost like he came out of a sleep.   My brother and I were sent to our aunt’s house, in many ways she had been more of a mother before ours was gone.  About a week into mother’s marriage, Kevin became like me, he became nothing. That man erased all evidence mom would be having twins until his body was autopsied.

Everyone has heard about the “incident” at that place. Everyone in the country has heard about it. We moved before they could get our names however. That and uncle threatened to shoot their heads off with his sniper rifle if he caught even one reporter on his property.  Uncle was a secret-ops commander before he retired after 20 years of shooting the bad guys. Auntie is a highly trained surgeon known all around the world.  So far I haven’t told them about the timers yet, I really don’t need to ether. I don’t have many friends; even in our old town I maintained the quiet girl mask. Some girls would try to make friends and I would try back. I kept them at a difference however; no one needed to see the horror that was my life. They had such good long lives ahead of them; one would be about 112 before she would pass.  When this happened, one saw me and my brother outside the house and tried to talk to me. I got away and she found out the next day. On Facebook she never revealed who but she said she knew. She didn’t want to ruin my life any further. I found her email and said two words before I deleted my account.

Pulling over my black hoodie and slipping on the school’s skirt, I look in the mirror. I look enough to be unnoticed but not forgotten. Going down the stairs I see Auntie looking at my clothes and giving me the pity stare.
“You know I hate it when you give me that look.” I say with downcast eyes.
“I know, I find it amazing you can read everything in someone’s eyes just once. Even as a little kid you always could do that. Ron said that you would be a great spy one day and then would go ranting on before I reminded him you were still in the room. He would say that you weren’t a little kid anymore- I’m sorry I forgot they were your friends weren’t they?” she stops herself.
“I had two friends; I think one was insane though. The other hit me hard when she disappeared.” I look her straight in the eyes. Hers do not betray pity anymore, but understanding.
“Crystal was a good girl. I feel bad for all those mothers that lost their babies. I don’t think they caught the man yet, did they?”
“No, he’s still out there.” She’s still out there, out there killing beneath that mask of beauty. I think to myself. I continue on and get some Fruity Pebbles©. Kevin sits across from me swinging his legs back and forth. For a twelve year old he’s very small. What he lacks in physical strength and stature, he makes up in mental strength and IQ. The little kid is a bonofide genius, could discover the cure for the common cold probably.
“You ready for the 3rd grade bro?”
“Yeah, I don’t want the other kids to tease me though.” He smiles, faltering at the end.
“Don’t worry, I’m not above punching a brat in the face.”
“Alice! Don’t hit kids!” Auntie slaps me upside the head.
“Your Aunt is right. You snipe your problems, not punch them.” As Kevin tries to get Auntie to stop choking Uncle, I turn the TV on.

“According to our resources, the body of local highschooler June Smithers has been found partially eaten and abandoned at a nearby forest. This is the 30th murder to happen like this. It is greatly similar to the murders of 15 elementary school girls’ years before in a Florida town. If anyone has anything to say about this, please step forward and help stop this crimes from happening again-“ I turn it back off.
“It’s happening again. Just like in Archland.” I say softly.
“Alice, do you remember who the murderer was in your town?” Uncle asks.
“No they never caught her, I have a very good idea who is though.”
“It was a female? Who?”  Uncle grabs me by the shoulders.
“I can’t say not enough evidence.”
“Dammit Alice if you even have a clue who it is you have to tell. I have to go back and track this person down soon. Just get me a name to screen.” I stare him in the eye.
“Ester Inger.” 

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