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Prologue to: A Troubled Mind

I can hear his footsteps shuffling on the floor coming towards me. I can’t see him, because he’s coming up behind me. I hear his footsteps stop right behind me. The pressure changes on the back of the chair, which I’m sitting in. I can sense that his body is pressed up, very close, behind me. I can feel his searing breath on the back of my neck; it sends a shudder through my spine. I clench onto the arm rests of the chair. I know that he is eventually going to make a move, but I don’t know when.
He starts to move around. The pressure on the back of the chair changes, because he puts all of his weight against the back of the chair. Out of the corner of my eye, I can barely see, his hand coming closer to my face. I flinch as he combs his fingers through my hair. He grabs a hold of it and rips it back, exposing my ear. It sends a dull pain throughout my skull. My eyes begin to water from the pain.
He brings his face next to the side of mine. As he whispers my name, his terribly chapped lips brush my ear. “Hazel,” he murmurs in a deep monotone voice. I squeeze my eyes shut and my body goes rigid, not wanting to move in the slightest bit. He starts to repeat my name over and over again.
I sit perfectly still for thirty seconds, but that’s all I can handle. I quietly mutter, “Stop,” in as stern of a voice as I can accomplish. I gasp, suddenly remembering them and their terrifying ways. If they hear me making the slightest sound, they will come. What a dreadful thing that would be. I tremble with just the thought of them.
He doesn’t stop repeating my name over and over again. He keeps on going, as if I never uttered a word. He continues. He was taunting me, pushing me to the extreme. He wants them to come, and I am certain of that. I whimper, “Stop!” I startle myself by the volume of my voice.
I pray that they haven’t heard, and I squeeze my eyes shut, which uses all my focus. I send away my prayer hoping that someone will hear me, feel pity on me. With this I let a tear slip out. It slithers down my face and plops onto my pant leg, leaving a little stain. I can’t contain it anymore, I start quivering with fear. My muscles are aching from trying to stay still, while trembling violently.
He starts to repeat my name faster and faster. There’s agony and longing in his voice. I know he can only have power over himself for a short while longer. I have to do something, anything to get out of here. But they must not hear me.
He abruptly stops, repeating my name. He lets go of my hair, and my head falls forward. I wasn’t ready to support the weight of it on my own. My head is throbbing, inside and out. I lift it up, slowly, trying to do it in the least painful way. He backs away from behind the chair, and the feeling in the air changes. Everything in the room seems to be on edge. I freeze up not knowing what to do. Then slowly I start to realize what’s going to happen. I start to panic, it cannot happen here.
I feel him come back behind the chair. I relax relieved that it hasn’t happen, yet. He starts to stoke my hair. It reminds me of the way he stokes pets, I quickly pull away from him disgusted. I start grasp that I am one of his pets. My breath catches in my throat, I can’t breathe. I need to get a hold of myself.

He begins repeating my name over and over again. This time he’s going slow, pronouncing all of the syllables and dragging them out. A shudder sends through my spine. I can’t stand this for one more second. I know if I do something they’re going to come, but that somehow doesn’t seem to matter anymore. I know that once I do try to do something and carry it out, I can’t undo any of it.
I jump up out of the chair and shriek at the top of my lungs, “STOP IT!” I explode with all the anger that was building up inside of me. I should regret this but I don’t. Now they’re going to come, and they will find me with him. I don’t want them to find him I need, want, him but I know that’s not right.
He takes a step back, surprised by my sudden outburst. He’s a coward that’s all he will ever be. I don’t want him, nor do I need him; let them come. My back is still turned to him, I hear him amble up behind me. The anger abruptly comes bubbling up inside me again. I whirl around to face him; we come within inches of touching each other.
He looks down at my where my locket lies. He picks it up gently as if not wanting to touch me, caressing it in hands. His filthy, disgusting, hands covered in grime. He picks opens the latch and looks up at me when he sees what lies inside. His face melts over, almost as if someone swiped a magic wand over it, to an emotionless expression.
He rips it off the chain making me trip forward. Holding the locket like it is the most precious item in the world. I get an eerie feeling, it’s as if the chain around my neck, but how can that be when he’s holding the locket in his hands. I reach up, making sure I’m not just imagining this. I gasp with feeling the chain around my neck. How can that be he’s holding it in his hands? He looks at me inquiringly, but it’s gone. I shiver with the peculiar feeling of everything.
He looks intently at me, studying my face, I look away ashamed. He opens his mouth as if to say something, but then clamps it shut. He looks down at the locket and flips it over tracing the design engraved on the front of it. Again he opens his mouth, this time he speaks, saying, “I see you still have this.”
He brings the open locket only inches from my face. I try to focus on the two little pictures, which I had diligently put in there when I was seven. I turn my head away ashamed of what lies inside the locket. He lowers the locket into the abyss of his pocket. I long for the locket to stare at the two pictures and remember, but I know that I will never see the locket again.
He cracks a smile showing of his grotesque teeth. There are maggots crawling around in them. I fumble backswords, horrified by him. I squeeze my eyes shut not wanting to see his revolting teeth. I can feel his hot breath on my face; I gag with just the thought of him being so near to me. He’s breath smells, like a rotting animal that has been baking in the sun for hour’s days. It makes me want to vomit, I try to suppress it and not think about his horrific teeth.
His appalling breath is gone no longer wafting on face, I open my eyes back up to see his nauseating smile. It widens, he looks at my horrified face and laughs like a madman. “Why my Hazel, don’t you remember me?” He says to me, taking a step closer.
As the realization comes over me, I scream out of terror. He is not who I thought he was. He is someone that I have known for as long as I can remember. I think it can’t be him, he is dead. I buried him myself.
I am brought back to the present by the sound of their footsteps, pounding on the rotting wood, coming up the stairs. I start panicking, it’s him. I know they won’t make it in time. I have to escape; I whirl around and lunge for the window.
He’s much quicker than me. I hear whizzing sound; something is flying through the air. It’s coming right at me, I try to dodge it but I’m too late. A rock collides with the back of my, already throbbing, head. I plunge onto the ground; my face strikes the cement hard. As I drift into the eternal blackness, I hear the door creep open. Soft chuckling is the last thing I hear, before I fly away.





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