All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
Standing by the doorway, I watched the headlines flashing across the television screen. “CNN News Breaking Story: Last year, 14 year old Elizabeth Stanton disappeared from an area nearby her family’s home in Gary, Indiana. She is thought to be traveling south with an armed and dangerous young man in his late 20’s. Be on the lookout for an early 1980’s model Chevy pickup truck, in which the two are said to be traveling in” Blared the screen. Sighing, my mother held up the remote control to the television and switched the sound off. Pictures of my best friend continued to blur across the black screen.
My mother, her long light blonde hair cascading down her back in contrast to her stormy green eyes, turned to face me, while she spoke, “We’ll find her, Sophia, there’s no need for you to worry.” Her eyes however, told her lie away; my own mother no longer believed her other daughter could be found.
“Mom,” I asked with a slight plea in my voice, “why do you keep saying that? It’s as if you don’t believe she’ll come home alive. She survived the kidnapping; Elizabeth is still alive. I’d know if my twin no longer breathed.” Still, a note of desperation touched my voice.
Mom reached over to wrap me in a hug as I flashed back to that dreadful day. Elizabeth and I, strutting down the mall as usual, failed to take proper notice of a man that kept shooting us strange looks. When Elizabeth finally brought it up, we thought it a game to try to ditch that creep, so we split up with the agreement to meet up in half an hour at Starbucks. Even with my nasty habit of always arriving barely on time, I arrived perfectly punctual; only to find my always early identical twin sister absent from the coffee shop.
Heart beginning to race, after waiting ten minutes since my arrival, I grew worried and sent a text message to her, asking if everything was okay. Instead of a reply, I received a cryptic message about her dream to live in a historical mansion like some of the homes that line the road to Indy. That couldn’t be right; Elizabeth always wanted to go live in New Year City or Los Angeles, to pursue her dream of becoming a major actress. I dialed the police then; no way on Earth would Elizabeth ever want to stay in Indiana.
Jerked back to the painful present, a slight buzzing in my pocket wrenched me wide-awake again. A text message window popped up on my new cell phone. Strangely enough, the number listed as the sender appeared as if it came from Elizabeth’s phone, obviously impossible, because Elizabeth’s phone disappeared along with its owner. Excited, I opened the message with trembling fingers. It contained a simple message in the current chat lingo. “Meet me @ s. mansion @ noon. dont tell, come alone. i dont want HIM to catch u 2”
Since Elizabeth’s disappearance, my family living in Gary without her seemed impossible; so we sold our old home and moved to a rental house in Kokomo; which seemed closer to where the police believed at the time Elizabeth’s body perhaps was laid to rest in an unmarked grave. Our move made national news, so it did not shock me in the slightest that the sender of the text message knew we lived right down the street from the Seiberling Mansion.
Hurrying, I bid my parents a rushed goodbye as I ran out the door; it was ten till noon already, and mere minutes were mine to reach the mansion in time. Kokomo’s town bell chimed as I sprinted onto the front lawn, a shadowy figure emerging slowly from amongst the trees. She looked almost precisely the same as I remember; from every little detail in her face she varied none from mine except for one new scar. The scar ran across her forehead and down her cheek; as if someone had cut her repeatedly with a sharp knife so many times in so many places that the cuts ran together as one giant scar in the same shape as tonight’s forecasted crescent moon. I caught my breath; a faint hunted feeling seemed to rise from her very skin.
Elizabeth laughed at my expression; I never had achieved success when it came to hiding my feelings, she had always kept secrets better than I. “Perhaps I look a little different, do I not?” she asked with a slightly bitter tone. “This comes from HIM, each mark let his message of his complete control sink further into my mind. HE shall let his displeasure show later for this; I’m risking so much to see you tonight. I suppose, though, I passing through the City of Firsts without saying goodbye to you did not appear to me as an option. My controller is looking for a new girl, and when the new one comes, I shall join the list of true dead girls instead of the list of Living Dead girls.” Seeing my hope at the news that he might let her go, she added quickly, “When HE does release me, I shall not see again nor hear, nor even breathe. The only release given to Living Dead girls comes from death.”
As she started to continue, I interrupted, “Surely a way out must exist! The police can help you; their heavy pay must equip them so that they may handle such things! It isn’t like they just eat donuts all day.” My voice faded away as she began to shake her head with a solid no.
She responded, “My attempts to run away have been futile; after I sent the first text message on that awful day, he threatened to kill you, mother, and father if I tried again. Thus, I stopped; for my family to suffer because I tried to escape my binds would the greatest punishment. I came to say goodbye to you for good because—”
Her voice suddenly cut off because at that precise moment, a round of shots rang out. First striking her in the chest and then my shoulder as her body, the one thing in between the shooter and myself, fell to the ground. Elizabeth obviously began to pass through the invisible gates to the Great Unknown beyond Death. A rough cloth stinking of drugs was pressed tightly over my mouth and nose, making the world that surrounded me appear blurry. As my consciousness faded and seemed to drift away, a strange assortment of images and sounds seemed to surround me. An even rougher cloth bag was yanked over my head as I listened to sirens filling the air briefly before images of old weddings, picnics, and parties streamed in front of my eyes, with Elizabeth and me in the background of all of them.