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The old screen door slammed behind the girl, about 16 years old, with a dull echo through the small cabin. Standing on the outside of it, one could see through various cracks in the log walls. She walked over to the man kneeling next to an ancient looking TV set along one wall. The place was furnished, and though no one had been there for years, it somehow looked straight from a home decorator magazine.

“Hmm. I’m not sure what it’s gonna take to fix the TV, but I bet it can be done. You’re welcome to look around while I mess with this if you’re bored,” he said, looking up at her. He rubbed the edge of his mustache in concentration, turning back to the TV.

“Alright then, good luck with that. I’ll be around. I think I’ll stop by the bathroom. Does the plumbing work?” She stopped in the doorway to look back at him.

“Yeah, it should still work. Not sure who’s been paying for it, but when I came in yesterday the sink turned on easily, though the water wasn’t the cleanest,” he didn’t even look up as he said it. The girl hesitated, but then nodded briskly and continued her exploration of the house. Finding the door to the bathroom, she swung open the door to find total chaos. What was silent from outside, was a din in the small room equipped with a tiny shower, toilet, and sink. The sink was on, the toilet was flushing, and someone had taken the shower hose and stretched it across to hook onto the lights above the sink, to spray water where the overflowing sink couldn’t reach. There was water everywhere. The shower drenched her even as she gasped and ducked out again. As soon as the door closed, it was silent. Frowning, she yanked open the door, took a breath, and dove in, slamming the shower and sink into the off position at the same time. Nothing happen. Standing there in the stream getting wet, she looked about her in shock. She carefully reached over and turned the knobs the other way, the way that should turn the sink and shower on. Instead, it turned them off.

“Hey? Were the shower and sink on when you were here yesterday?” she called through the cabin. Heavy footsteps came up behind her.

“No. Holy cow! What a mess!” the man stepped past her into the bathroom, standing there and circling in wonder. With no warning, the water all came to life again, rendering him soaked within seconds. Cursing, he fumbled with the knobs, turning them on and off again until it stopped. Grabbing a soaked mildew covered towel, he cursed again, throwing it to the floor. He sighed and shook his head, spraying water. “Alright. Nevermind. We’ll let everyone back at the house know. They can deal with it later. C’mon, I’m about done, lets grab our stuff and head back, it’s getting dark,” he turned away in disgust and headed back to the living room with her close behind, wringing out her shirt. Standing in the middle of the room was a another girl. Woman, really. She was maybe in her early twenties. She looked familiar.

“Jen! Oh, God, Jen, where’ve you been?” the man stepped forward. The other girl, Jen, smiled sweetly. She was wet.

“A little mishap with transportation,” she murmured. The man laughed in relief.

“Yeah, right, like I'll believe that! You’ve been MIA, for what, a week! What happened? We filed a police report! We thought you’d been kidnapped!” the man shook his head in bewilderment. The younger girl stood back, watching and piecing it together. That girl, Jen, had gone to some medical internship camp thing in another state and hadn't come home with the other students. Yet here she was.

"I'll get to that later," she said mysteriously. "But you haven't asked how the internship went!" the man rolled his eyes and asked. She smiled. "It was great. I definitely want to be a doctor, I just don't know what kind yet. The kind that operates. Maybe on hearts?"

"You got to see them operate?" the younger girl blurted out. The older one laughed.

"More than that. I helped them…operate."

"Did you ever...come close to losing someone on the table?" she said.

"We came closer than close. People died all the time. We killed. We still do," her voice got quieter and she fixed her steady blue gaze on the younger girl. "Want to help? You could…operate as well," she blinked slowly. When she looked up again, her eyes had become brown orbs, dull against the skin of her face. The younger girl gasped, and the man grabbed her arm.

"Jen...?" he asked in a wobbling voice. Out of the corner of one eye, a tear of blood slid down her cheek. Then another, until the brown color disappeared and her eyes just looked red. The tears of blood ran down her face and pooled at her collar, soaking into the material of her shirt. It ran into her sleeves, sliding down her arms, and then dripping off her fingertips. The man took a quick breath. "Oh no. I hoped this wouldn’t happen, but...she's become one of the others. She's Damaged," his breathing lurched and he tugged the shocked younger girl backwards as the other girl advanced on them. The blood kept coming. "There's only one way to help her. And us," he whispered. His fingers crept to waistband, to the precautionary gun he carried when in the forest. There had been many bear sightings. He drew it out slowly, as if trying not to scare a wild animal. Holding his breath, he shielded the younger girl and fired one, then two, then four shots into the other girl's chest. She laughed, blood gurgling over her lips, as she continued forward, slower. The man hastily wiped sweat off his brow, eyes wide as he muttered obscenities. He fired again, and hit her straight in the head, sending her flying to land face down and motionless by the door. He froze. A second passed. "Go!" he shouted. He and the girl ran to the house, to the main cabin, to civilization and help. Tears streamed down the girl's pale face. A shriek cut the night. They skidded to a stop at the path of the large cabin just as the door banged open.

"No! No, look out, go back, run!" the man's wife screamed at them as she clung to the door. Something tried to push past her, and her face paled as she tried in vain to close the door. Out streamed two of the man's dogs, pretty dogs that were pets as well as his hunting companions.

"No! Get back inside!" he yelled at the dogs, but they were barking at something he couldn't see in the shadow of the house. His grip on the girl's hand tightened. They stumbled backward as a shape loomed up. There was a sickening crunch and splatter of wet as one of the dogs was silenced and the other whimpered, turning to run blindly away. Gasping, the man and girl turned and slid down the slope that provided a shortcut between them and the smaller cabin. Panicking, they weren’t thinking straight. "That was a bear. Had to be, but so big! And why'd it attack the dog like that? Never seen that! We gotta get inside! I'm low on ammo!" the man rambled on as they burst back through the door of the cabin. They both stopped dead and stared. The girl, Jen, should've been dead. But she hadn't been. Now she was. She somehow had been alive, and alive enough to tie a noose out of the TV cables and hang her self. A chair from the desk nearby was knocked over beneath her feet. The gunshot wounds showed clearly, burned and bloody looking, but her face was clean, and her blue eyes clear, staring crookedly and vacantly at the wall ahead. But that wasn’t all.

A huge bear sat at her feet, which dangled only two feet or so off the ground. His giant paw pulled her toward him as he continued to chew on her leg, whose foot was a bloody mess. Nearby sat the two dogs that escaped the main cabin. All three animals had blood pouring out from their eyes, caking and crusting over their stained fur. They paused in their human meal to stare at the man and girl. Then chaos erupted.

The bear made a barking sound as it lumbered to it's feet. The dogs dove ahead, aiming at the man and girl. The girl that hung from the ceiling looked straight at the younger girl, eyes focusing, blinked, then grinned. From between her lips poured an alarming amount of blood, as her limbs begin to jerk as though electrocuted. A wet sounding laugh bubbled up from her as she started to spin, the rope wrapping tighter around her neck. Faster she spun, and as the bear and the dogs reached the man and the girl, the girl screamed.

She sits up in bed so fast her head spins. Her eyes are stinging like crazy from unshed tears. The dream haunts her, the blue-eyed girl still swinging behind her eyes. She blinks hard into the darkness, but the stinging only increases as the hot tears slide down her face. A sob tries to work it's way out of her chest. For a moment, she can't stand the dark and reach over to turn on the light. It's almost blinding. Wiping angrily at her teary eyes is excruciating, but with the dark tears wetting her lashes she can't see. She sighs and looks out the window into the night. The reflection of her room is all she sees. But...her reflection is all wrong. Eyes wide, she looks down at her hands, still damp from wiping away tears. They are covered with the same bloodred that drips past her eyelashes, down her cheeks, off her chin, and into the blankets....

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KatsK This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 14, 2012 at 11:34 pm
Woa--your dreams are vivid. I really like this (although somehow I tend to randomly read creepy thriller fiction on TeenInk right before I go to bed, which might not be the best plan in the long run . . . ), and I thought that the details were really good.
Kestrel This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Dec. 15, 2012 at 1:49 pm
haha thanks, yeah I don't know why I had this freaky dream, but I immediately wrote it up, though i plan n revising it to make it flow better. 
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