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Stupid Girl, Age 19

There once was a 19­year old girl from Montpellier, a large city in Southern France. Her name was Geneviève, and she was called Genna by her friends. Social, intelligent, and happy, she went to college at La Sorbonne, a prestigious school in Paris.
In her second year of higher education, she decided that she wanted to transfer to a university in the USA. Geneviève applied to and was accepted into a reputable university, so she moved to the United States. The campus was large, stately, and well­maintained. The groves of trees and gorgeous flower gardens everywhere reminded her of her home. She wanted to be a writer, but also a very well­rounded person. So, she took lots of classes, ranging from calculus to fashion design. A writing class she took required lots and lots of typed essays. Her English needed a bit of work and she didn’t own a laptop, so she spent most of her time outside of school at a public library using their desktops.
Late one night, Geneviève was tired and cranky from sitting at a computer for so many hours. She got up, stretched, and sat back down, eager to finish and go to bed. Suddenly, a crude carving in the table caught her eye. A URL to some website? Curious and bored, she typed it into the search bar. After letting the page load for a couple of seconds, she lifted her head. What she saw shocked her out of her stupor ­ A picture of a skinny man, his dark brown hair matted down with blood, sprawled on white floor in a fluorescently lit room. On closer inspection, a caption was revealed ­ “Stupid guy, age 30. Killed by me today.”
A combination of nausea and fear assaulted her, and Geneviève put her head into her hands. This has to be a hoax, she thought. Law enforcement would take this down if it were real... right? Some ignorant kids were probably just playing a prank. Still unsettled, she forced her doubt back down, finished her essay, and went back to the dorms to sleep.
Back at the dorms, Geneviève tossed and turned in her lavender sheet­covered bed. The image kept coming back at her, and something inside kept saying that it was real, the real boasting of a real murderer. She kept trying to think of happier thoughts, like her first trip to the United States, and eventually she distracted herself. Somehow, she managed to sleep.
The next morning, after a quick breakfast of a croissant and cafe au lait, curiosity had gotten the better of her. Geneviève decided to skip her physics lecture and go to the library. She kept hoping that her brain had been addled by lack of sleep, that she was just being irrational, that it was fake. When she found a free computer, she sat down, steeled herself, typed the link, and waited. Once the page loaded, she sighed with relief. Instead of the dead body, there was a picture of a very posh redheaded woman dressed in the latest styles from Paris, walking down a crowded street, apparently unaware that she was being photographed. But it was the caption that filled her with dread ­ “Stupid woman, age 25.” Geneviève quickly closed the window, logged off, and ran out of the computer lab back to her dorm without saying a word to anyone.
The next day, Genevieve awoke to bright sunlight and chirping birds. It was autumn and nowadays, warm days were getting rarer and rarer. As a result of this, Genevieve decided to wear a stylish light blue t­shirt from France and a pair of dark jeans. She tied her hair back in a fishtail braid, suddenly happy due to the weather change. Just as quickly, Genevieve’s mood changed. The website she found awhile ago came back to haunt her, and she decided that she needed to get to the library NOW. Genevieve slid into an empty chair, heart pounding quickly. Typing in the URL with trembling hands, she stifled the impulse to scream. The same redheaded woman was lying on a white floor in the same bright room, her face covered in blood, a knife in her chest and forehead. The caption this time was not much different ­ “Stupid woman, age 25. Killed by me today.” Geneviève was so horrified, she immediately called the police. Through her broken English, she managed to tell them what was going on. They took her name, phone number, address, and the website URL. When she hung up the phone, she shook uncontrollably. Geneviève couldn’t seem to force the scariness out of her mind. She felt she had to take one last peek, just one.
That evening, Geneviève went straight to the library yet again. The automatic doors slid open, whispering a welcome in the wind. Bright white light beamed down onto her face, rescuing her from the darkness of the night. Genevieve took a few deep breaths and ran her fingers along the smooth cool wood of the table. Finding a computer, she sat down. Opening up the website, Genevieve noticed that the gruesome earlier picture was gone ­ she breathed a sigh of relief and gratefulness. But the second the newest picture loaded, the relief was replaced by deep, dark, dread and a twist in the pit of her stomach ­ it was a girl on a computer, the picture taken from behind. The girl had auburn hair pulled into a fishtail braid and light blue t­shirt. Geneviève glanced down, where her hands quivered and sweated on her jeans. Wiping them off on her light blue t­shirt, she stared at the picture more intently. Somehow, Geneviève got an eerie feeling that this girl was familiar... She broke out into a cold sweat, and realized that she was staring at a picture of herself. “Stupid girl, age 19.” Genevieve’s heart seemed to be trying to escape from her chest, and she immediately shut down the computer. Darting out of the library, the chilly evening breeze slapped her face. Genevieve ran along the tree­lined path that had seemed so happy and welcoming during the day, turned eerie and menacing by the darkness. She paused to catch her breath and spun around in a circle. She couldn’t see anyone following her... Genevieve’s momentary relief was soon eclipsed by the sound of pounding footsteps right behind her. Anxiety, but a hundred times worse, overwhelmed her. Her throat closed up and tears threatened to spill out of her eyes. Adrenaline pumping, she gasped for air. The last thing Genevieve saw was a blurry black figure darting straight in front of her...



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