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The Masquerade Murder
Janelle, just looking at her makes me sick. She thinks she’s so great. My father, how could he do this to me? To us? Mother has only been gone for less than a year, and he’s already married again.
I see the way she looks at me when my father’s back is turned. Her icy sapphire eyes show no warmth for me. Her stares are cold and cruel like ice. She wishes I were never born; I’m just another person getting in the way of my father’s fortune. She’s nothing but a deceitful, lying, gold digger. She doesn’t even love him. I wish my father could see past her beauty, and see her for what she really is.
Then I see my sister Ava. Poor Ava; ever since Mother passed away she hasn’t been the same. She was only eleven when she died. It was about a year ago, when they both came down with a dreadful flu. Ava was strong and was able to get through it, unfortunately, Mother was not so lucky. Ever since then, it’s as if Ava has lost the sparkle in her eyes that made her the lively girl she was, and that nasty woman my father has married hasn’t done anything to help either. She just makes her feel worthless, as if she were responsible for our mother’s death. I know she doesn’t bother to tell Father about any of this, because she knows he just won’t listen. Since Mother is gone, I feel as though it is my duty to help Ava, and my family.
Janelle does not benefit our lives in any way; in fact quite the opposite. She often lies to our father about us to purposefully get us in trouble hoping we’ll be punished, so she won’t have to deal with us for awhile.
“Pia, are you okay? You look a little dazed this morning,” asks my father.
“Yes, I’m fine. I just have a lot on my mind,” I reassure him.
“Are you excited for the masquerade party tonight? Your mother has everything planned out perfectly, so I just know that this party will be a huge success,” he says with a smile on his face.
My mother? She will never be my mother.
“I can’t wait,” I say sarcastically, although he doesn’t seem to realize.
* * *
I am in the kitchen with Ava when I see Janelle coming down the stairs in what looks like a brand-new designer dress. Janelle and I have a mutual agreement never to speak to one another unless it absolutely necessary.
“When your father comes back tell him I’ve gone to get a few more things done for the party tonight. I don’t want him to worry,” she said in her I’m-so-much-better-than-you voice.
This is when my sister gets up to refill her glass of grape juice that Janelle and Ava both turn around at the same time, and crash right into each other—and immediately Janelle’s brand-new white dress is soaked in dark purple grape juice. At first, Janelle just stands there looking horrified, thinking about her ruined dress, but her shock soon turns into complete anger.
“Look at what you did to me! How can you be so stupid! This stain is never going to come out, and now I’ll have to go and change, which will make me late for my appointment with the caterer!” she roared at Ava who was standing there looking absolutely petrified.
In that instant, Janelle raised her arm above her head, and brought it down with full force right across my little sister’s face. Ava immediately bursts into tears, and I run to comfort her, as Janelle storms out of the room showing no remorse. It’s at this moment that I realize what I must do. In order to keep my family together I have to do this. I have to get rid of her. For Good.
Three hours later, Ava and I are getting ready for the party only pretending to have forgotten about what had happened earlier. I wanted to tell my father about it, but he would not be home until right before the party, which would not give me enough time to tell him.
I had on an emerald colored satin ball gown with a matching jewel covered masquerade mask, while my sister had on a ruby colored gown with a matching ruby mask.
I have it all planned out. I’ll wait until tonight at the masquerade party that Janelle has insisted we throw. She’ll be too preoccupied with her own needs that she won’t even notice me.
I hear the door bell downstairs. It’s time to set this plan in motion.
* * *
It’s a few hours into the party when a woman comes up to us and says, “Janelle, what beautiful girls you have.”
Janelle smiles and says, “They’re not mine, they’re my husband’s,” but you could tell she was clearly insulted.
I have to admit that Janelle does look like she could be related to us. We all have long blonde hair and deep blue eyes; she and Ava were even wearing similar ruby colored gowns. People always seem to think that Janelle is our mother, and every time she seems offended, but I don’t care. I then watch as Janelle heads to the kitchen. This is a perfect time to make my move.
I follow her into the kitchen, and retrieve a knife from the drawer while she has her back turned. I have to do this. For Ava. For Dad. This is the only way to be sure she will not get in the way of our family ever again. Before she realizes that I’m there, I quickly turn the lights off, slowly making my way towards her in the dark. I see a bit of red moving.
“Hey! Who did that? I’m in here!” she shrieked as she tried to find the light switch.
For a second, I thought I might have seen two figures in the dark room with me. Wait, what was that? I must be seeing things. I can’t back down. Not now. In an instant, I found her directly in front of me, and I quickly grabbed her. She began to scream—and I thrust the knife at her. I hear not only one, but two piercing screams, and have the feeling that something has gone wrong.
That’s when a guest runs in, turns on the lights, and screams in terror. I suddenly realize what has happened. I stand there in complete shock, because Janelle is standing right in front of me looking absolutely terrified, while Ava is lying on the floor covered in blood. What have I done? Ava must have been in the kitchen as well without me knowing. She must’ve been the second figure in the dark, that bit of red, and I mistakenly took her for Janelle.
I am in total shock, that I don’t even bother trying to escape; I just fall to my knees as tears begin to cascade down my cheeks onto my dress. As I drive away from my home in the back of a police car hysterically crying; all I can think is that my life has turned into the smooth grainy sand that you find on the beach. Slowly slipping through my fingers, so that I can no longer grasp it—and the few grains of sand that remain, I hold onto desperately for dear life. I realize that by trying to save my family, I have lost everyone I love, as easily as leaves in the wind.