JILL

Jill is a monster. It's what everyone has told her, up until her parents gave her up to a mental institute. Jack is her brother. He went up the hill, but he never came down. And now Jill is loose, and no one can do anything about it.

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1. Jack

Jill brought her busted knees to her face, counting the minutes before the madness would set in. The dank and earthy smell stifled her sobs, and she waited alone in her cell.

 

Jack and Jill went up a hill…

 

She waited, and waited…

 

...to fetch a pail of water.

 

… and waited until she heard a pair footsteps draw slowly near. She saw the shadows waving back and forth.  Her body started waving along, and soon the invisible marionette strings forced her into a mournful dance.

 

Jack fell down and broke his crown.

 

Jack rounded the corner and set his candle down. The shadows stopped moving.

 

Jill came tumbling after.

Jill halted her dancing and collapsed. She winced as the new light came into focus. It was so bright. She crawled to the bars, clutching them tight. Her knuckles paled and her brown hair draped around her face like a bundle of straw.

 

Jack felt for the keys. They clanked together in the silence. He fumbled and brought them to the padlock.

 

“You promise to stay by my side on our way out? Yes?” Jack said. His voice was scratchy and strangled. His breath came in heaves. “Yes?” He said more forcefully.

 

Jill’s blue eyes glazed over as she frantically nodded her head. The lock hit the ground. Finally, the cell door creaked open ever so slowly.

 

Jill stood shakily and followed her brother throughout the mental institution. Suddenly, he stopped.

 

Jack took her hand and they ascended a silver staircase, back to civilization.

 

Jack and Jill went up a hill…

 

Jill gasped when they broke through another door and burst into a meadow. She inhaled multiple times as if she wanted - needed - the clean air. No more musty cells. No. Stale. Oxygen. There was a pond on the other side of the field. The marionette strings were pulling again. She treaded over to the pond.

… To fetch a pail of water…

 

The water was slowly turning black. The grass started to die under Jill’s feet. She stumbled once, twice, and three times over before she tripped and fell. The roots were crawling over her. They were keeping her pinned to the ground. They were vaguely the shape of hands.

 

“Jill!” she heard Jack calling. His face was above hers now. “Stop fighting me!” She began to wheeze. The roots were pushing her against the floor. “It’s a hallucination! Stop it!”

 

Jack fell down…

 

She pushed him. Hard.

 

… and broke his crown.

 

He fell over and rolled into the lake.

 

Jill came tumbling after.

Jill was freed of the roots, and she limped over to the pond. The water was deep and dark. She could still see him, though. His wavy brown hair covered his features as he tried to free himself of the seaweed that trapped his leg. Jill didn’t help him. He did his part. Instead she looked around her.

 

She finally noticed the people milling around, sitting on park benches, and drinking coffee. They were unaware that the nearby pond was infested with piranhas, but their fatal mistake was not acknowledging the mental escapee: The barefoot girl dressed in bloodied rags.

 
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