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The stars are glistening like a million diamonds. Walking outside into the soft grass, I scan the horizon. It is to dark to see it clearly, but I can faintly make out the barn. I walk quickly to the front gate of our driveway. Afraid to look back at my dimly lit house, I step outside our property line, hoping never to return. As if my actions are transparent as a window, my parents come rushing out of the house in a sudden, frantic fright. I had purposefully traded out my skirts and petticoat for some of my fathers trousers and a vest. That simple action seemed to be paying off at the moment, for they were utterly indifferent to my being just outside the property line.
They were frantically scurrying about the land like ants over a left over picnic. The pair looked disheveled, as opposed to their usual perfect poised appearances. My father, the entrepreneur who was always in suit and tie or an occasional vest, was running about in his pajamas, looking like a fool. Mother had thrown a pelt over her shoulders as is customary for it’s not right for women to be seen in her evening attire. She seemed to be having a bit of trouble maneuvering about with the pelt on, and fell flat on her face. I came very close to rushing over to try and help her up, but my secret identity surely would have been uncovered. My mother was usually the most graceful person in town. She couldn’t possibly be that worried…could she? As she got up her dress was caked in dirt and mud, but she was rather unscathed.
I suddenly realized I was just standing there gawking. I tried to speed away as quickly as possible without being caught. Unfortunately for me, the direction in which she first looked up after her fall, was mine. She came running towards me.
“Sir!” She said, trying to wave me down. She sounded calm, but the look on her face said otherwise.
Hoping the view of my back would dissuade her from trying to talk to me again, I began to walk even faster, pretending I hadn’t heard her. It was a failed attempt. In the blink of an eye, she was at my arm, keeping from moving.
My heart rate sped up. I was sure she could hear it, or at least see me rocking back and forth from the pressure. Alas, she did not.
Hiding the top half of my face as best I could behind the trees, I turned to face her. The moon shone on the bottom half of what I hoped was a passable indignant expression. It worked!
“Sir” She said once more. “My husband and I, our daughter might be…” She looked pale, as if she had fallen ill with the plague. “We need a second opinion” A tear escaped from her eye as she spoke this. Mother looked truly sad.
Wait a minute…DAUGHTER! But…I’m not…No, I must be dreaming. “Take me to her.” I said in my best man voice. “I’m a doctor; I may be able to help.” I poked out my chest a little, just for added effect.
Mother half led half drug me into the house I had been so happy to be free of just minutes ago. As we were going up the stairs, I stole one of my fathers hats, to make sure my identity remain a secret.
As we reached my room, I noticed my father by my bedside. I looked into the bed. Laying there, in my nightgown was…me. But how?! My face was pale, lifeless. It was obvious I was dead. If that me is dead then that means…
I felt a burning sensation in my chest. For some reason, I wasn’t able to draw a much needed breath. I fell to me knees, clutching my chest. I felt a stinging line across my neck, but was to busy worrying about breathing to think of it as anything important. I sprawled face first on to the floor, and blacked out.
Next came a bright flash of light. I was in my bed, staring at the ceiling. I was back in my lifeless body, but I was breathing. This meant it must’ve all been a dream.
My mother quietly crept into my room with a pillow. I remembered how upset she had looked in my dream, and figured she may be seeping in my room tonight.
As she came closer towards my bed, I got this feeling something wasn’t quite right. Mother was standing in front of my bed now, pillow held in front of her chest. Her hands moved as if to set the pillow down on the bed, but it landed on my face instead. Pressure was applied, and I couldn’t breathe. I was trying to push the pillow away, trying to scream for help, trying to do anything to save my own life. I suddenly realized, I’m reliving my death. My own mother had killed me.
She lifted the pillow right before the life force had been fully drained from me. I tried to take a breath, but she had crushed my windpipe. The last thing I saw before I left my body was her loving face.
I returned to the scene in my bedroom. Instead of inhabiting the strangers body once again, I was hovering above everything. The stranger was dead. His throat was slit, and lying in a pool of his own blood. My mother was holding the murder weapon; a simple house knife.
Father was still next to my bedside, holding my cold hand, and weeping. It was as if he was willing me to come back to life. He was totally oblivious to the scene that had just unfolded behind him. Mother was slowly tiptoeing up behind him, knife at the ready to kill another. I wanted to scram at him to turn around, but knew it was useless. She slit his throat from behind, apparently hitting the jugular because blood spurted across the room. Father was now dead as well. The excited look in mothers eyes told it all; she was a homicidal maniac.
I am Anita Caster. My mother, Cindy Caster, took the lives of three innocent people that night, including mine. Decades after, she’s still killing, and has never been caught. My father, Tom Caster, and that stranger went to heaven after they died…at least I hope. I on the other hand, am forced to relive my death night after night, for eternity. This isn’t a dream. This is my reality.