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The Young Ones This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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A chill, coarse wind blew through the trees. All was dark, and the silence of the night enclosed an abandoned hut, which had been burned down only weekds before. The stench of burnt wood and death hung in the air. The once-green grass was now scorched, and the trees hung their bare branches, feeling shameful of their naked appearances. The wind stopped and everything was still, and a prolonged moment foretold something ominous. A crow came out from the cover of the far away trees which sheltered the hut from any unwanted gazes. The crow landed on an ashamed tree and cawed one time. Then, in the distance, there was a loud response. The noise continued, and gradually became the unbearable sound of the cawing of a murder of crows, so many were present that you could hear the beat of their wings against the air. They landed on any space that was available, the branches looked like thaty had black leaves standing upright on their branches, and the ground was covered with a black mass of sleek feathers. One group of crows managed to find a burnt carcass that still had a miniscule amount of skin and muschles left on it, and began to fee. Everything was covered, except for that of the hut, which seemed to hold a kind of boundary where the birds could not enter.

Minutes passed, and , finally, the cawing began to die down. It slowly descended until everything was silent. Every crow stood stalk still and held their breaths. It was almost as if they were waiting for something, and they knew something horrible was coming. They just had to wait a few more minutes.

A shrill scream hit the crows, and the murder broke out into a chorus of caws as they lifted off in unison. A young girl ran through the forest as fast as she could, fearing for her life, her eyes wide in terror. She saw a light ahead and thought she had escaped, but when she broke through to the clearing, she started to sob. It was a dead end. There was no escaping her fate here. The girl had no hope left, yet she kept running forward, not wanting to die. She burst throught the opening of the hut with no efforst, as the door had withered away to a pile fo ash and soot. She stopped in the middle of the small building and fell to her knees. Her pursuer had won.

She could hear him cackling, "There's nowhere to run anymore! Come on out, now, pretty little girl! I'll carve you up, and it'll be fun for the both of us, I promise!"

She heard his footsteps behind her, thump, thump, thump!

She felt his disgusting hands on her shoulders, and felt him bend down over her to whisper in her ear, "So, where should we start, then? Your arms, your legs," he paused to lick the butcher knife he carried, "or your face?" Once again he laughed maniacally, and then he began. The girl screamed and cried, but it only made him more excited and he laughed more. Blood streamed down her arms as tears streamed down her cheeks.

Finally, the heart wrenching screams stopped, and the girl's body collapsed, a pool of blood forming around her remains. The murderer stopped, and looked almost disappointed.

The man let out a long sigh, "The young ones never last long enough."



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