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The train made a rickety sound against the tracks, always moving never seeming to end. We carried a steady pace now, the pine trees passed by outside my window and somewhere a fox awakens in the forest, now venturing out to catch it’s prey. Above, far above the stars shimmer in the night; glistening against the blanket of darkness we call the sky that dwells upon me in my cabin. I hug my legs close to my chest and cry silent tears for those who have been murdered on this miserable ride. I play with the straight, long blonde strands of hair that lay upon my shoulder when something catches my eye. Glimmering in the luminescence of my cabin light is Jen’s locket. It truly is a beauty. I flatten out my gray tank top and firmly place my night light snug in the outlet. Paranoia sets in and I set my alarm clock to 4:30. With a murderer roaming among these cabins any time awake is a safer time. I buried myself under my covers as if I were five again and soon fell fast asleep. -----------------------------------------------------
Something was next to me. I could feel it. Their heaving breath heavy on my cheek. I clenched my fists together and my palms began to sweat more and more with each second I lay. Thoughts raced throughout my mind. Who was it? Why are they still there? Am I next? I gulped. I feared opening my eyes, I promised myself I’d keep them shut and feign sleeping. Silently, in a failed attempt I tried to switch my night light on. It isn’t there, I fumbled around the outlet fearing that it had fallen, I am deathly scared of the dark. How did it come unplugged? My heart is thumping fast in my chest and my hands are wet with sweat. My body feels hot, like I have a fever. Curiosity is quite a killer. For what felt like an eternity, I twisted my head over to the side where the person stood. I slowly blinked my eyes open. First thing to catch my eye when I opened them was the glisten of the locket, Jen?!? Looming above me was Jen herself, glaring into my eyes as if feeding off of my terror. I shuddered, she appeared much less scary in the light, I thought to myself.
I brought a hand to my eye and within seconds Jen grabbed my wrist and twisted. My hair stood up on all ends as a jolt of intense pain seethed through my body, I winced.
“Let go.” A loud whisper was all I could croak out . My eyes pleaded with her, searching for some weakness.
Jen grinned to herself. “Silly, naïve Meredith.” She let go, and her grin turned into a grimace. I brought both of my arms close to my chest as tears welled up in my eyes. She snarled and threw off the covers to my bed. She pushed me off and I clunked to the cold, unwelcoming floor. I stood up in an effort to compose myself. I found myself back where I had begun, Jen pushed me down with her feet.
“Would you look at who’s on top now Mer,” she bent down to my level, “with you and the others dead, I’ll be number one.” “ I can see the headlines now,” Jen explained with a sense of pride, “town’s valedictorian goes missing on class trip while four others are found dead.”
Four others? There were only three other bodies. My hands began to slide as I angrily stood up. I looked down at them, fresh blood. I spun my head around and to my dismay I realized that it was not from a laceration I had sustained, but from something else. Someone else. Will Morava. There he was, lying down behind me, dead as a door knob. I cringed, stood up and with tears streaming down my face wiped my hands on Jen’ sleeves and shoved her into the bed post. She regained her balance after suffering a less than fatal fall.
“Why?” I croaked, “why me, why the others?”
“You are always in my way for everything and I need to rid you of the picture. After I’m done here, it’ll look like you committed this whole thing.”
I bit my lip nervously, “Oh really?” I said tying my hair back and regaining my confidence to speak, “and how’s that?”
“You’ll be dead, you won’t need to know.” Jen grinned triumphantly as if her plan had carried out in success. Too bad she underestimated me. I needed to stall for time and then somehow escape my death.
“You sicken me,” she said abruptly, “you think you can have it all, but I’m finally going to prove that it doesn’t work out for poor little daddy’s girl, Meredith Reed. You’ll look like the culprit for the murders, once you go ‘missing’. All I have to mention is how I saw you escaping out the window and you threatened to kill me if I told.”
“Oh please, you can’t frame me unless you kill me and you haven’t even achieved that.” I stuttered. Jen looked away from me and reached under her pillow. A gun was drawn out and I shook with fear. I must have a better end than this. Right? I bolted for the door. That villain didn’t even attempt to stop me. My fingers slipped on the handle as I came to the realization I was so stupid to miss. It was locked, but from the outside. Jen had been working with someone. Who? Shoot. No literally. I spun around as Jen’s eyes narrowed. Only one of us was coming out of this alive. From the looks of it, it was looking pretty good for the girl with the gun.