July 1, 2013
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I swing back and forth over and over again. The swing chains rub against my skin and the seat hurts. The local park is a crowded place full of laughter and screams of delight, but me, I just sit on the swing and observe the horror that lies within.
Hi, my name is Chloe. I am 13 years old and I have been independent since I was 10. My parents left for a holiday and haven’t come home since so I spend my days at the park, observing. Not many people talk to me because I’m different. I guess I have to agree with them on that. I have black hair and my eyes are so dark they blend into an almost black pool.
Here I am today, at the park, again and the horror is still there. I see it every day at every minute but all the children are oblivious to it. It’s in the bushes, the slide, the sand pit and mini maze, everywhere. They don’t realise it. They think they are safe. They think they are safe from it when secretly they aren’t. They are in the most amount of danger there is just because they are children. They don’t realise that outside their parents protection is danger; a lot of danger. Danger that will harm them or possibly kill them. They remain oblivious.
They are taught about it at school but they never take it seriously, they laugh, joke and make snide remarks, they never know that it can happen so easily. I watch every day as another disappears, another one goes missing and never returns.
I am currently looking at a new little kid who just walked onto the play equipment. She seems about six years old and a little chubby, the cute kind. She spots her friend and heads over to her, hugging her tightly and giggling like a little school girl.
If only she knew. Knew that she was the next target, I could see she was. She was too happy and innocent to not be the next one. I snap my eyes to the ‘horror’ as I named it and shake my head slightly. She can’t be the next victim, she is too young, the youngest to date at least. I hear the ‘horror’ reply with a shake as well, great, that means yes.
You see, this ‘horror’ hides itself well. Its feels like wind to anyone who doesn’t pay attention as it surrounds the air but I knew better the first time I came to this park. I look for it every day I’m here, which is all the time.
I’m not sure why but this little girl, she stands out. Like a beacon of light that almost blinds me. Normally the targets deserve to be gone. For instance, last week a teenager came to the park to meet with her friends like every other weekend. This girl was in the popular groups and along with that came snobby and the bullying role. She tormented so many kids that half of them are gone, depressed or missing but not by the ‘horror’ by her.
So I am currently confused why she has been chosen. She is young and hasn’t done anything to prove that she is a bad person. I stop my swing and stand up, my head spinning.
I approach the girl.
I walk slowly in the hope not to frighten her too much, this seemingly innocent child might need me. I reach out and touch her shoulder gently, she jumped a little and turned to me with a very confused look on her face. “Hello, I’m Chloe” I offered as kindly as I could, plastering a fake smile on my face. She smiled hesitantly at me and held her hand out, I shook it. “I’m Paige” she said quietly, looking at her feet. I let go off her hand and got on my knees in front of her. “How old are you Paige?” I asked quietly. “Seven” she replied proudly, I nodded.
“Come with me,” I whisper and pull her a little towards the swings. Once there, she jumped on the swing and swung back and forth slowly, I did the same. “Paige have you done anything bad that you can remember?” I ask after a few moments of silence. She looked at the ground and shrugged, “Not really. I got in trouble the other day because I didn’t eat my peas.” I nod and look around. Where was it? I narrow my eyes and search closer, I can’t see it.
Suddenly Paige jumps up. I look at her worried and she looks at me. “I have to go, my Mum wants me to meet her at the park bench now.” She says quickly and hurries off, I nod and my worry for the little girl is increasing.
An hour later I am still looking for it, with no luck. It hardly ever leaves the park so I’m a bit shocked as to why it left, then I hear it. A high pitched, ear piercing wale that makes my skin crawl. I shoot to my feet and look around, nothing but a police car.
A police car at the park? Today is confusing me already, why would the police be at… the… park? My jaw drops open as I see Paige on the bench crying. I swallow and confirm to myself she is it, the next target. I start to walk over to her but the police officer scoops her up and walks her to the car.
I sigh and slump back on the swing, resuming my slow swing but I can’t help but think about it. He left to attack Paige’s mum but why? I groan and glare at its new position, the plastic red tunnel.
The hours slowly tick by and I still can’t figure out why Paige is the new target. I can’t help myself but ponder on it. I can’t help but want to save this little girl, her innocence is well deserved.
The sun slowly set and the bitterness of night time kicked in and I wrapped my arms tightly around me and headed for the enclosed area of the equipment. I got in there and huddled into the corner that had the little amount of wind.
I sighed as I relaxed a little into the corner but decided this was the time to confront it. I took a deep breath in closed my eyes.
“Why her?” I asked aloud.
“I have my reasons” it replied back. The voice is a deep growling like sound. The end of every sentence the sound lingered on and all the, ‘s’ sounds were hissed, the ‘r’s rolled and the ‘d’ noise is like a thud. It’s like a voice that’s meant to echo through your head but it doesn’t, it echoes through the park and the world surrounding it.
I shiver a little but remain resolved. “What are your reasons for her? She is little and the worse thing she has done is not eaten her peas!” I counter and move closer against the wall.
It chuckles, a low menacing chuckle. “She isn’t what she comes across, she is like someone I once knew, someone who hurt me.” He explained. I sigh, “Why did you attack her mother?” I asked, getting irritated and starting to feel defeated. “Her mother is what created her like she is. That bench story was a lie…” He hissed at me.
I thought about it then I froze, this is what I was like. “Did you know my parents?” I asked before I could stop myself. I get no reply, just the whistling off the wind. “Did you know my parents?” I asked more sternly, very irritated. He chuckles again and my blood drains from my face and I feel ten degrees colder.
“Your parents are…” He paused, I waited. “They were here regularly with you. Almost every day.” He told me.
“My parents left me. They didn’t care they… left… here. They said they would… come…back” I felt the tears flow from my eyes and I wiped them angrily.
“Good, you caught on,” He hissed at me again and I shivered.
“You, it was you wasn’t it? You are the one that made my parents disappear?” I asked and he laughed coldly.
“Admit it. Life is so much better for you now without them, without them tormenting you. Being homeless is better than having a home you constantly fear.” I think about it and nod slightly. He makes a sound that I cannot really understand. Faint with the weight of what he has just revealed, I managed to whisper “Thank you” before falling into un-consciousness.
I’m pulled out of my sleep suddenly by a loud scream of delight. It’s morning and today I must tell Paige what’s happening… if only she would come back.
I waited for three and a half days before Paige returned. Each day I would watch it carefully, making sure it stayed at the park. It didn’t dare leave, it didn’t dare try to ruin Paige’s life like mine.
On the third day she showed up with her dad, I think. She spotted me and waved shyly. I waved then gestured for her to come over. She looked at the man hesitantly before walking over to me, taking the swing beside mine.
“How’s you mum?” I start and she looks down. “She died at the hospital, they said they didn’t know what attacked her. I do. I screamed to myself. “I’m sorry Paige.” I whisper and she shrugs “I don’t really mind. She didn’t mean much.” I look at her with my mouth open, forming a perfect ‘O’. I close my mouth and look at the man I assume is her dad “Is your Dad nice to you?” I look at her and she shakes her head slightly.
I move my eyes to it in the red tunnel and sigh. “Was your mother kind to you?” She shakes her head. “Mine wasn’t either but I was still loyal to her like I should have been. What about your father what does he do?” I ask hesitantly. She chokes a little but look at me all I see is a crumpled little girl. “He is worse, my Dad uses me as a punching bag. He hits me and cuts me all the time.” She slid her long sleeved shirt up to her elbow to reveal countless cuts and bruises.
I look at it again and I nod slightly then back at her. “You see this scar on my face” I point to the scar across my forehead that was slightly faded. “My Dad was like yours. He used me for the same things and my mum, she was like yours too but instead of dying they left me, right here in this park.” I tell her and she looks at me with pity. I wave it off, I get it too much.
“If you trust me and want me to, I can help you.” I offer, Paige’s face brightens the slightest bit. I smile and take that as a yes. “Come on, let’s go to the red tunnel.” I whisper and lead her over to the medium sized red tunnel.
We manage to squeeze into the tunnel with a great amount of difficulty considering it was in here and even though he is invisible he is as solid as a person. “What are we doing in the tunnel?” Paige asked confused and I take her hand. “I have this friend who is sitting right there” I point to the empty space. “It will help you get rid of your parents, but it will ruin your innocence.” I explain partially to her but she nods none the less and the process begins.
I’m still not certain how I see it but I do. It slowly moves out of the tunnel and towards the bushes. “You don’t deserve her” his voice echoes across the park. “You used her” His voice travels away “Now you have to pay.” The voice causes the children to stop playing and look around. I look at Paige who is staring at her Dad. Slowly the children pry off and away from the park. I smile a little, I like it empty.
“You don’t deserve to be around here” His voice continues to echo around the park and torment Paige’s Dad. As the torments continued I saw Paige’s face slowly turn pale, slowly drop and the light in her eyes drain. I knew it was doing its job. This was its job, to make people do things that would hurt them, kill them or seriously harm.
Her innocence was gone, she had done the deed and gotten rid of her parents, she did something wrong to someone and the toll was paid. She would never sleep in a house again. She would never have a friend apart from me that would fully accept her. She would never see her parents again. She would never sleep fully warm again. She would never eat a proper meal again.
She is just like me.

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NataleeIrene This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 11, 2013 at 9:13 pm
I really like this story; the idea was very interesting. Just a few things I noticed, though: 1) you used commas where there should have been semicolons 2) with dialogue, you should make a new paragraph when someone new is talking.
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