Battle of the Killers

Seventeen-year-old Betinia "Tini" Woods has never had a normal life. As a child, she has always been categorized as weird, or odd, or a freak. But after a horrific event in her childhood, she makes a promise to herself to always act normal, which causes her to completely change herself and her personality.

Ten years later, she wakes up in an abandoned room with an ankle monitor and no memory of how she got there. As she tries to escape, memories of her childhood start to weigh on her psyche, and when she thinks she might've finally escaped her prison, she's wrong.

She actually just entered into a game where she'll have to fight to survive.

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2. 02 - Burnt Regret

 

Clutching Piggy in my fist, tears filled my large eyes as memories of my mother bubbled to the surface. I fought them away, trying to bury them deep inside. 

I never thought of my family. My sister and I decided that it would be best if we didn't dwell on the past. We needed to move on. She did. 

It still haunted me though, sometimes. Mostly because I couldn't wrap my head around why she did it. She’d been the perfect mother and housewife, always smiling and laughing. She took us to soccer practice, made dinner every night and always kissed us goodnight. How could she murder our whole family in cold blood? For no reason? 

Never did she show signs of being a murderer. Never. 

Over the years, I realized that she must’ve hid that darkness — hid that weirdness about herself, which made me realize that I must be like her. My thoughts tittered on the morbid and strange, and I was always calm in dangerous situations, like this right now. 

My therapist saw that oddness and had me committed, probably thinking I might be just like my crazy mother. But I tricked her, making her see the character I created, letting her see my fake normalcy. 

I let her see Betinia, the normal, average girl who liked the color pink, watched teen dramas, loved fashion, makeup, the Kardashians and church. Inside, I was Tini — my weird, freak self that hated everything about Betinia. 

Deceiving everyone worked. Worked too well in fact. Could I ever just be me? No. A big part of me was afraid because what if that me — Tini — was like my mother? An evil murderer? 

More memories floated through me, and I shook them away. It wasn't the time to go down memory lane and deal with my fucked-up mommy issues. Someone drugged and kidnapped me, and now they were drudging up my past. Fucking with my mind. 

They must’ve stalked me. But how? 

No one should've known about my past. The state changed my name and moved me and my sister ten states over. Plus, ten years have passed since the murders. How could they have found me? Recognized me? I was seven at the time, and I looked totally different now. 

My mind started to succumb to tears and dark thoughts, but then Tim, my father for the past ten years, entered my mind. "You're stronger than this," his voice said.  

I smiled. That's what he used to tell me in our self-defense classes to boast my confidence. 

The light flickered again, dimming even more. Eerie shadows blanketed everything. I could hardly make out the room anymore. Time was ticking. 

What would Tim do right? He would man up and get the hell outta here. 

"Escape by any means," Tim said to me once. 

But what was out there? That was the question that plagued my mind, but I guess it didn't matter. My best chance of survival was to escape this room and try to find a way out of the house, even if I was being tracked. 

I tried burning the ankle monitor off with the lighter, but nothing happened. The flame didn’t even scoff the material. I tried the door again, throwing myself into it, but it only shuddered in response. 

My fingers clutched the lighter, circling my brain for a solution. The lighter was my best bet to escape. Hitting the button, the orangish-blue flame ignited, casting a faint glow on my face, intense heat fluttering at my eyelashes. 

Setting the place on fire could kill me. The possibility of dying by fire didn’t sound appealing, so I almost abandoned the escape by lighter plan, until a thought struck me. 

When I used to go camping with Tim, he used to sometime use our fire to harden his wooden arrow tips, but if he kept them submerged for too long, the tip got scorched and weak. 

If I lit the door on fire, the same thing should happen. It should weaken enough for me to knock it down. And the cement walls would trap the flames in one place, stopping it from spreading. 

Without a second thought, I held the lit lighter up the door. This probably wasn't the safest or best plan, but what other options did I have? Wait for my captor to come and get me? No thanks. 

The lighter flame did nothing to the door. It just created spotty burned marks on the dirty brown wood and caused a crispy odor to cling to my hair. Damn. I needed a bigger flame. 

The wallpaper would burn too fast. I searched around for something else and wound up making eye contact with Piggy. Guess mama was making bacon tonight. 

Holding Piggy by his curly tail, recollections from my childhood began to flood my senses, but I ignored them, watching the growing flame devour the soft fur. The past was the past. I couldn't think about it now. 

The fire engulfed Piggy's head, the plastic eyes becoming melted pools while the fur turned from soft pink to ashy gray and then to decaying black. Soon enough, the stuffed pig morphed into a giant fire ball. Pressing it toward the middle of the locked door, the fire attacked the wood fast and hungrily like a greedy lion on a bleeding gazelle 

“Ouch,” I shouted when the flames from Piggy burned my fingers. The pain caused me to drop the fiery animal on the ground, and I stomped it out before it caught the floor on fire. 

Seconds later, huge gusts of smoke stung my eyes and clogged my nose. I sneezed, watching the searing flames chase up the dry wood, moving too quick and too fast, consuming everything. 

Maybe this wasn't such a good idea?

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