A Minute to Lose; an Eternity to Gain

December 18, 2009
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“He hurt me; he hurt my sister. He killed my brother; he killed me.” Almost.

Finally we reached our old hiding spot, an old campground near an abandoned
cabin. We dropped the fire wood we had into a pile, and lit a campfire.

“Oof!” I breathed as I sank into the hard bench by the fire. The fire was lit, the
food was out, and the time was right.

“Ok! It’s time for a scary story!” Julie gasped.

“Why?” Roy questioned.

“To set the mood! Duh!” I interrupted.

“Well, since you know everything, you can tell the story!” Roy thundered.

“Sure,” I replied slowly. I raked my brain for a word to say, but I came up with nothing.
“It was late a…” I was interrupted by a loud crack. I couldn’t tell what the sound was, but
I knew it was close. We looked at each other, frightened for a moment, and Roy plasters a
smirk on his face.

“You two are freaking out over nothing!” he laughs weakly. “At the very worst its
gonna be a rabid raccoon or something. Plus! You’ve got me. I’ll keep my girls safe.”

“It’s funny how he thinks he has the brave genes, when he really has the wimpy ones.”

Julie whispered to me. We snickered.

“I heard that! Now I’m the oldest here…”

“By three minutes!!” Roy didn’t even have a chance to finish his sentence before
Julie would interrupt him with the whole “three minute excuse.” You see we’re triplets,
I’m the youngest, Julie’s the second youngest, and Roy’s the oldest.

“I’m still technically the oldest; that means you have to listen to me!”

“I can do what I want!”

Snap! Julie and I grab at each other, and looked to Roy for emotional
Fortunately, out jumped a rabbit, medium in size, and completely harmless.
A sense of relief flows over me.

“See you guys. It’s just a bunny! You two were freaking out over nothing.” He
manages to blurt out in between snorts of laughter.

“Alright then, let’s just tell our stories.” I interrupted impatiently. I knew the
sound was made by a bunny, but I just didn’t feel right; I didn’t feel at ease. I felt like I
was being watched by someone, not something.

“Liz? What are you thinking about? What’s wrong?” Julie inquired.

“Oh nothing!” I answered quickly.

“Are you gonna tell the story?”

“Yeah, yeah. Um well…here goes. This is a true story…well a dream at least.
One night, maybe five years ago, I was having a dream. It seemed like I woke up from
the dream, and I saw something. It appeared to be like a ghost. No figure, no face,
nothing. Just a blob. I knew it was a blob, but it seemed to look at me. The thing studied
me—a predator stalking its prey. By that time I was sprinting, down the hall into Mom
and Dad’s bedroom. The thing seemed to be following me with ease. The thing stalked
me, like a criminal following its victim. When I reached my destination, I leaped up into
their bed and hid under the covers. The covers entwined me in its arms, and told me
things to calm me down. Like five minutes later, I looked from under the covers and saw
the thing. It seemed like it was searching for me, the good thing was that it couldn’t find
me. When it gave up, it left the same way it came in. After that I felt extremely scared
and exhausted, I passed out.”

“The story doesn’t seem that scary!!” Roy retorted in defiance.

“The scary thing was when I woke up. When I woke up, I was in Mom and Dad’s
bedroom. I don’t sleep walk, I didn’t fall asleep there. It had to be real, right?”

“Oh it was real alright. That dream you had there was not a dream, it was real.
You young lady have escaped the angel of death. Quite a feat,” he answered.

“Who are you? Show yourself? We are armed. I’ve already called the police, and
we don’t live far from here. If we yell loud enough they will be able to hear us,” Roy
babbled bravely.

“Oh no, they are not dragging me back to that place. Prison is a nightmare.
Miracle I escaped.”

“You’d better leave before they get here,” Julie interrupted. She had been stunned
since I was telling my story.

“Yeah, and we can kill you if we have to,” Roy protested.

“Oh yeah, how about I kill you first,” he thunders. He reached for Roy quickly
and quietly. He grabbed his chin, lifted it, and slit his windpipe. It happened all so fast.
All it took was a second. It took a second to end someone’s life, and jail for the
person who did it.

“No!” Julie screamed. She reached for him; she draped herself over Roy.

“How could you do this?” I bellowed. “He was trying to protect us. Protect us
from YOU!!!” Guilt flashed across his eyes. As the event set in, sirens were clear in the
distance. The guy grabbed me by the arm.

“Your coming with me.” he said to me. “And if your sister tries to save you, you
both will end up like your little friend.”

“Julie, don’t come after me! He is gonna kill both of us if you do,” I cried.

“But I can’t live without you and Roy. What will I do?” Julie chokes.

“You will be fine, I love you,” I whispered sadly.

“Don’t leave me,” she whispered.

“You can do it,” I sobbed.

“Alright, alright,” he says, “you can stay, but keep your mouth shut.”

“Ok, ok,” we cried. I grabbed for Julie and she grabbed me. Out of the corner of
my eye, I saw him walk slowly into the woods.

I stare across the street behind police tape. Anger flares as I see the man who
killed my brother; the man that has killed somebody else and has still gotten away with
his life. As tears begin to sting my eyes, I turn my back and flee. I flee, leaving behind
that trace of my presence. I flee, leaving behind the memory of Roy’s death fresh in my
mind. I still feel the remorse as I run. I push myself for more speed, hoping for what most
people call a sign. Perspiration rolls down my spine as I sprint down the sidewalk, going
nowhere. My lungs begin to burn, and I have to stop. I’ve ran forever, and I still feel the
pain. I guess I’ll just have to live that way. The best thing to do is cope with my remorse,
and remember the best of times rather the worst. I have lost a minute of my time, but in
that time I have gained a second of knowledge that will help me for an eternity.

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