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Follow me… A voice whispered in my head, or was it my ears? I didn’t know. Follow me… It echoed again. Was it a voice? Was it a sound at all?
I kept walking down the street. I had to get home fast. The sun was setting. Was I being followed? I didn’t know. Just keep walking. Get home before the sun sets.
“Ahh!” I screamed and began to run. They won’t get me tonight. I refuse to be their prey. I won’t let them trick me. They can’t have me for their dinner.
Follow me… Or maybe I could follow. What was there to follow though? I slowed back down to a walk. Follow me... I took a turn through some back yards and I walked right into the woods. I followed. That’s right, keep coming. Follow me.
“I will.” I whispered. “I will follow you.”
The sun disappeared and everything became dark, very, very dark. I couldn’t see anything. I could only hear. I heard the grass move. I heard the leaves rustle. No crickets chirped. The leaves on the ground crackled under something. I turned around to try and face it. There was nothing to see. Only hear.
Cold overwhelmed me. Horrible cold and it was painful. The Cold was hurting me. It was squeezing the air out of me. I tried to fill my lungs but they wouldn’t fill. I tried to stop the pain but it wouldn’t stop. I tried to become warm but I stayed cold.
You’re dead… I heard, or felt. It echoed.
And I was.
I ran down the stairs and into the lounge room. I flicked on the TV.
“Come on! Turn on, turn on, turn on!” I urged it and finally the picture faded in. “Tell me who’s dead!” I commanded the news man and to my great delight he did.
It was my assignment for the student council at school to make a poster of the people that died this week so we could hang it in the office and ‘remember’ them. Death didn’t affect much of the people my age anymore. We were used to it. ‘The Cold’ as we called it killed far too many to be sorry about. Every day reports of frozen, mangled corpses were being found.
“A teenage girl was found in the woods by cherry lane. Police identified her as Milo Han.” The reporter began.
I wrote this down in my notebook. Pictures of her would be posted on the internet in the hour.
“Michael Long, a toddler, was found in the backyard of his home. I am pleased to say that no more deaths have occurred. May they rest in peace.”
I turned off the TV and ran upstairs to put my notebook back on the table. Why do people still go outside when it’s dark? There was a curfew and they couldn’t possibly believe that they could fight it off. ‘The Cold’ didn’t even seem to have a body.
I had made it threw ‘The Cold’ once. It was horrible. The darkness so thick and everything was silent accept for the sound of footsteps approaching. When ‘The Cold’ finally go to you though, it seemed almost like a gas. Its voice didn’t seem to be sound at all. It didn’t seem to be in your mind or your ears. It was simply there. I slid down the banister and joined my mother in the kitchen.
“How many?” She asked.
She put an apple in my hand.
“Go to school.”
I gave her a kiss on the cheek and walked out the door. I was in shorts and a t-shirt. I had no shoes on and my hair was sort of messy but who cared? Our town was very small. The kids at school had a lot of freedom. There were only eighty students, three classes and three teachers. They’d mixed the grades together.
I stood in front of the church building that was actually called school during weekdays. I through my apple core into the bushes and walked inside.
“Seraphina!” My friend Xandra greeted me with a delighted hug. I wasn’t too big on hugging, but Xandra couldn’t be put off.
“You know Milo?” she asked, sticking her arm through mine.
“The dead girl?” I looked at her.
“Ya, her. She was my partner in gym, so now I get to triple up with someone.”
As I said, Death doesn’t affect anyone much anymore.
“Join me?” I asked.
“Of course.” she nodded, and we walked into our classroom.
I managed to make it through school and the walk home through the heat. Heat was the only thing that kept ‘The Cold’ away. Maybe we should all walk around with miniature flame throwers. That sounded fun actually.
I laughed quietly and walked into my house. My mother was gone, shopping maybe. Since she was gone I saw no reason not to raid the treat cupboard. I opened it up and rummaged around until I found the Turkish Delight. Ha! Mine! I stole three pieces and closed the cupboard again. I dawdled down the hall and out the back door into my yard.
Time to die… I stopped. My breath caught and a cold surrounded me. I looked up at the sun. It was day time. It was warm outside! I couldn’t be taken now!
Time to die little girl…you escaped once but not again!
“I can’t die now! It’s day time! It’s warm! The sun isn’t down!"
I kill when I want to. It may be easier at night but you can never escape me!
I couldn’t breathe anymore. I fell to my knees. I looked around everywhere. Everything went dark. So I gave in. I had escaped once. Twice was just to much to ask for.
“Wake up!” Someone yelled.
“Up! Come on! Up!”
I opened my eyes and saw my mother standing over me. I hated it when I dreamed about dying in ‘The Cold’. I looked outside. It was still dark. Why did I have to get up at four in the morning just to make it to some school far away? I sighed and got out of bed. My mother left and I walked to the window. I opened it. Then I heard something, or felt something. Maybe thought something.
Time to die…