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“Are you okay?” I whimpered. My little sister’s face was twisted in horror, her lips white. She gave no response.
“What happened?!” I asked. She was hyperventilating now. “Alice! What’s going on?!” At that moment she closed her eyes and collapsed.
At the hospital, we all wore a solemn expression. What could have possibly happened that would make Alice freak out like that? Though she was two years younger than me, Alice was always the brave one. I was the coward. The defiant expression she always wore on her face made no one mess with her, and she would often protect me from bullies. My gray eyes and straight blonde hair were hardly intimidating. Her piercing green eyes were large, her black hair wild and fierce. And now, seeing her lie in a hospital bed looking so vulnerable was almost unbelievable and a little frightening.
Finally, the much-awaited doctor entered. His worn face showed no expression. He spoke.
“She’s going to be fine,” we all sighed, “but she needs to take it easy for a while. I’m a little worried. She seems like she is hallucinating.” He sounded as if he was mocking her, and everyone laughed. That made me angry.
“Can I see her?” I spat out. The doctor nodded, taken aback by my sudden outburst.
I nearly ran to room 1408, where my sister was being kept. I slowly opened the door, wincing as I saw Alice staring off into space, her eyes wide. She was muttering. I slid in next to her bed and strained my ears.
“He’s coming...he’s coming,” she repeated over and over.
“Alice?” I whispered. She jumped, her eyes immediately looked at my face. She looked frightened at first, then she recognized me.
“Melanie!” she screamed, hugging me fiercely. Then she spoke fast and low. “I’m so glad you’re here! We need to get out of here. I can’t explain everything right now, but you’ve got to believe me. Someone is going to come after me. Hurry! Help me get dressed!” My head spun with questions, but I knew my sister and I trusted her. I helped her out of her hospital gown and she pulled on her clothes. We crept through the halls, checking every corner before we moved. At last we were back on the main floor.
“Did you bring your car?” she squeaked. I quickly nodded. We ran toward my small red car. I fumbled with the keys and we clambered inside. The car came to life as I turned the key. I looked straight ahead and concentrated on getting the car out of the parking lot.
I pulled out as smoothly as I could manage, and I drove, not really thinking of our destination.
“Alice? Tell me what’s going on, please?” I struggled to keep my voice calm.
She sighed. “Last month, on my sixteenth birthday, I decided to enter this chat room. This guy started to talk to me, and it was cool for a while. Then it started to get creepy. He was getting obsessed. He got a hold of my phone number and kept calling me, saying that he wanted to meet with me. I got really freaked out, so I tried to end it. I didn’t hear anything from him for a while, but two days ago he called again. This time he was threatening. I didn’t know what to do. I thought about telling you, but I was scared for you, and I didn’t want you to get involved. Well, yesterday, I thought I saw him, and let’s just say I overreacted.”
I finally spoke. “Overreacted? Is that what you call fainting in front of your internet stalker?! I would have dropped dead right there! Alice, what were you thinking? You know what mom has always said about chat rooms!”
She said nothing.
“Alice?! Answer me!” I turned to look at her and my breath caught in my chest. There was a knife glinting around Alice’s neck. The man in the backseat wore a black hood over his head, but his crooked smile was still visible. I wanted to scream, but no sound came out.
“Yes, Alice, what were you thinking?” he mimicked. “Did you really think you could escape me? Were you truly that naive? Well now it’s to late,” he snickered. “for both of you.” He tightened his grip around Alice.
This time I did scream. I screamed so loud, I lost control of the steering wheel, and the car reared off course, straight into the river. We smashed against the water. I pounded at the car door, but it wouldn’t budge. Alice and I screamed as hard as we could, while all we heard from the man were two words. Two words that struck me with such irony I could have laughed.
“Happy Halloween.” he croaked as the darkness closed in.