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August 5, 2006
It’s dark and very cold. The wax drips from the candle beside me as I write this. I am terrified of what is to come, of who is to be coming. I deeply apologize; you must be pretty confused. Let me start over, from the beginning…
It started like any normal camping trip would start. There were five of us in all, most of us friends with each other. There was Alexander Rider, a sixteen-year-old sophomore at Edgewood High School. Then there was Christopher Johnson and my brother, Jackson, who were both seventeen, and went to a private school called Lincoln Academy. My best friend since second grade, Jamica Rio, was also a sophomore at EHS. She was supposed to turn sixteen on September 17th. My name, you must be wondering by now, is Makayla Robinson, and I am fifteen years old, a freshman at EHS.
Now, I’m going to be honest with you: Jami and I weren’t even supposed to be going on this trip. However, my parents had to go away on business trips for the week, and since they are super over protective, they didn’t want me home alone. They told Jack that I had to go with him, and he was fine with it; he even let me bring Jami along so I wouldn’t be the only girl. Looking at my situation now, I would have been better off at home alone with a robber in the house.
I love my brother, and I know he loved me. It was Chris who made me uneasy. You see, even though Jack and Chris have been friends since diapers, Chris never liked me. He most likely hated me; loathed me, actually. He would always try to scare me, or trip me. A few times, he had struck me, out of pure anger. I never told anyone though because I was afraid of what he might do if I did. Having Chris with us during this trip made me both uneasy and a bit terrified. For some reason though, he was actually a bit… nice? He was giving me compliments, and it certainly was not like him.
Right away, his unusual behavior should have set off alarms in my brain, telling me to be cautious, but I guess they were put on snooze. All I did was try to avoid him, ignore him, to the best of my abilities. Oh, what a fool I was.
Oh wow, I’m terribly sorry, you must still be confused. Here, let my just start where it all began…
“Wake up, sissy! Rise and shine, it’s a gorgeous day today!” I groaned as my older brother thrust his head into my tent.
“It’s too early,” I mumbled, chucking a pillow at him. He ducked, and laughed.
“ Actually, it’s half past ten. I highly suggest you get up if you still want breakfast. And you picked it yourself, so it must be delicious.” I sat up quickly at the mention of food. Jack chuckled as he left my tent so I could get dressed.
I quickly put on a pair of black boot cut jeans, a long sleeve navy blue Hollister t-shirt, and dusty brown hiking boots. I ran a quick comb through my midnight black and blue streaked hair, letting it flow down my back in a silky waterfall, and tossed on an army green beanie.
“Well, well, well. It looks like the beast of the night is alive after all. Looks like I owe you five bucks Chris,” Alex said, watching me as I exited my tent. I smirked, and slapped him on the back of the head playfully. He yelped in surprise, and everyone burst out in fits of laughter.
“I’m guessing you slept well? You look nice today,” Chris said, staring at me. His intense look sent shivers down my spine, and I gave a slight nod, making my way over to Jami, who gave me a plate. On it was some fresh blueberries, a few apple slices, and some edible greens we found.
“So guys, what’s our plan for today? Are we going canoeing, or are we finally going to go on that hike?” Jami asked curiously, looking at the ‘master planner’, A.K.A Jack.
“Well, the weather doesn’t look very promising for a canoe ride. I fear it might start to storm, and we don’t want to be out on the river with choppy waves. I think a short hike would be a nice change of scenery,” he told us. We all nodded in agreement.
Oh how I wish he had chosen the canoe ride…
We were all on the poorly made hiking trail. We had to constantly step over rocks and holes. Chris and Jami brought up the rear, whispering quietly. Alex and I were in front of them, our hands brushing each other slightly as our arms swung up and back. Jack was up front by himself, leading the way with his compass and trail map.
“So… Kayla… How has your summer break been so far?” Alex asked me, his deep voice having a touch of nervous in its usual smoothness.
“I guess it’s been ok. I mean I really wish it would be a bit warmer here. Who thought going camping in a northern state during summer was a good idea? Anyways, Shannon and I got in a fight again, you know, Shannon Contess? I swear that girl hates my guts; she loves to make my life a living hell.”
“Don’t let her get to you Lala. She’s just jealous she isn’t beautiful like you,” Alex told me. I smiled, feeling my cheeks heat up in a blush. I tried to hide my face behind my hair, but he pushed it behind my ears. “Don’t,” he said. “It’s cute when you blush.”
He looked at me intently, his bright blue pools studying my face, hair. They moved down to my lips, and then met my dark green mists.
“You have beautiful eyes,” he told me suddenly.
“Y-You do too,” I stuttered. He started to lean in slowly, his eyes half closed. Our lips met, fitting perfectly. It felt… right… He and I… Oh, how I wished we hadn’t gotten attached. Then maybe the blow wouldn’t have been so horrible…
It was a while before we all stopped for lunch. I scanned the area, my black and blue hair whipping in the wind.
“Hey! Where are Chris and Jami?” I asked, worried for my friend. Who knows what that monster would and could do?
“Huh, I don’t know. Maybe they got sidetracked? But don’t fret; if I know Chris, which I do, they’ll be able to find their way back to the campsite,” Jack told me. No matter how much I wanted it to be true, I couldn’t help but to worry for my friend. Jack sighed, and hugged me. “Don’t worry sis, they will be fine.” Oh, what a lie that turned out to be…
They were back at the campsite when the three of us arrived. I was relieved to see Jami. I ran up to hug her, but the minute I touched her I knew something was wrong. She shuddered at my touch, her eyes wild, and showed fear. I quickly grabbed her hand, and dragged her over to her tent, making sure none of the boys were looking our way.
I pulled us both into the tent and zipped it close. Jami sank to the floor, bringing her knees up to her chest. I lowered myself next to her, and gave her a comforting hug.
“Oh honey, what happened? What did he do?” I asked her. She shook her head violently; her short carmel curls barely hiding her hazel eyes, which brimmed with unwanted tears. I gave her another hug, and tried again to ask what happened. She coughed, and began stuttering.
“I-I… I can’t t-tell y-you… H-He would k-kill m-me.” She started rocking back and forth, sobbing uncontrollably. I cradled her in my arms, and tried calming her down.
“Shh, it’s ok now. It’s all going to be ok. I won’t let him touch you ever again. I won’t let him hurt you, I promise. Shh now, take some deep breaths Jami. In… And out… In… And out.” We sat like that for a while. I whispered soothing things into her ear, and let her fall into a fitful sleep. I kissed her forehead, and set her down on her sleeping bag gently. I got up without a sound and left to go to my tent, zipping hers up behind me.
I had never broken a promise before. Not until that next morning…
A scream rang out through the forest. It was a horrible, blood-curling shriek. I can still hear it; still see her body, just lying there, unmoving. I can still see the blood coming out of her mouth, her eyes taken out of their sockets, her ears covered in crimson. Her head was almost completely chopped off. I couldn’t stop crying. I still am crying, now, as I write this. My best friend since second grade, ever since she decided to play with me, the loner on the playground, is dead. Brutally murdered, and by whom? I think I have the answer to that question…
“Chris! I-It was you! I know it! Y-You did something to her y-yesterday, a-and now she’s dead! You did it! You killed her! You’re a murderer, a goddamn murderer!” I started screaming and sobbing hysterically. Alex had to hold me back forcefully, by the waist, as I shouted every insult and curse word I knew at Chris.
“Shh, calm down Kayla. You’re just in denial, in shock. It wasn’t Chris. Shh sweetie, just calm down. Take some deep breaths,” Alex whispered in my ear. I shook my head forcefully, my hair whipping in his face, as I struggled to get out of his tight grip.
After a couple of foot stomps, and a backwards kick to the shin, he let go, and I ran at Chris, who was still standing there. I tried to claw him, and pounded on his chest. I spat on him, and continued to scream at him, when he grabbed my forearms, pulling them down at my side.
I stopped shouting and stared, caught like a deer in headlights, as he leaned down, our noses just barely touching. His cold brown eyes bore a hold into my head, and I winced slightly, feeling his grip on me tighten. He smirked, an evil glint in those dark pools of murder. My own green mists widened, and I knew, at that moment, that it was he. Chris was the killer, the one who murdered my best friend. Remembering that moment now, as I write this, I realize that he can’t, and won’t be stopped. Not until he is dead…
We stood there like that for what seemed like ages, when only it was a minute or two. He broke his glare when Alex grabbed my waist gently, pulling him off me. I sobbed into his chest as Chris walked away from us. Alex rested his chin on my forehead, petting my hair. I couldn’t stop crying, no matter how badly I wanted to. Alex looked up, and I followed his gaze, to where Jack was standing. He opened his arms, and I ran into them, sobbing even harder.
“I called the police. They won’t get here for a day or so. We are to stay put until then, and have been told not to touch the body or her possessions. Don’t worry Lala, it’s going to be ok,” Jack told me, using the nickname I had acquired since I was seven.
I sniveled into his gray t-shirt for over an hour, letting it all out, as he and Alex hugged me, trying to sooth my cries. As night fell, I had crumpled into submission. My friend was dead. Jamica Stella Rio was dead, at age fifteen. I knew it was Chris; there was no denying it was he. Sadly, I was the only one who believed it. Oh, I bet they wished they had listened to me now, before they were… Were…
What I am about to tell you has happened in the past twenty-four hours. These events took a little less than a day to occur…
I was lying, alone in my tent, with tears still streaming down my tanned face. Every single rustle of leaves, or snap of a branch, even a hoot of an owl, made me jump. I knew he was coming for me; I could hear him. But I could also hear Alex and Jack talking by the campfire, which is why Chris hadn’t struck yet.
I was terrified. I still am, actually. The situation I’m in is rather similar; let me lead up to now first. You should know the whole thing before I go…
It was a dark, moonless night. No stars, nothing to light the sky, nothing to light the way for a lost traveler. It was risky, but I had to get away. I know I would be abandoning my brother and boyfriend, but they wouldn’t listen. I had to get away, before Chris got me. I didn’t want to leave them behind, and I’m sorry I did. Maybe if I had been quicker… I knew Alex was in his tent, as was Jack in his. I had to say goodbye, one last time. I stride over to my brother’s tent first.
His eyes were rolled in the back of his head, mouth open wide, full of blood. I held back a scream, as I look down in horror at my dead brother. My dead older brother. Jack was dead, my comforter, my shoulder to cry on. My protector had been viciously killed.
I ran out of the tent and towards Alex’s. He was awake, thank God! I flung myself into his arms, and cried harder than I’ve ever cried before. He tried calming me down, tried to ask what was wrong, what happened.
“J-Jack, h-he’s d-dead. C-Chris, h-he…” I could barely speak. Alex’s ocean blue eyes widened at this information. He hugged me tightly, as he pulled us both to our feet.
“Kayla, sweetie, listen to me. I know the cops said we have to stay put, but this is a life or death situation. We have to run. Grab a few small necessities, and I’ll be right over.” He hugged me again, before giving me a slight push towards the exit. “Now go, I’ll be there in a minute.”
I sprinted back to my dark tent, which was all the way across the campsite. I ran in and zipped up the entrance, panting. I froze suddenly, feeling hot breath on the back of my neck. I turned around slowly, coming face-to-chest with Chris. He towered over me, smirking, with that devious glint in his cold, hard brown eyes again.
A shriek escaped my dry, cracked lips, for a few seconds, before he clamped his hand onto my mouth, silencing me. His smirk had turned into a frown, and his eyebrows bunched tight. I trembled in place, my knees ready to give out. He held the knife up to my cheek.
“You have such a beautiful face Kayla, and a gorgeous body to match. It would be such a shame to let you go to waste,” he told me thoughtfully. My eyes widened in fear, as his words sank in. He was leaning in, practically on top of me, when the zipper on the tent broke, and I was yanked back forcefully.
“Leave. Her. Alone,” Alex growled menacingly, as he pushed me behind him. Chris smiled that sickly-sweet smile of his, as his eyes darted back and forth between Alex and me.
“How cute. You think you can protect her from me. You’re too blinded by love and compassion to see that I will win. You stand no chance against me. Give up now, and accept you fates,” Chris told us, as he raised the knife higher. Alex pushed me back, giving me the signal to run. So I did.
I ran. I ran and ran, faster than a cheetah, and harder than I’ve ever run before. I didn’t look back, not once. Not even when I heard the shriek of death coming from my boyfriend’s lips behind me…
And now I have come to the present. I am writing this by candlelight, in a small abandoned cabin. The cabin is fully stocked with food, water, clothes, a bathroom, bed, and blankets. But I won’t need any of it soon.
I do not know how much longer I have left in this world. I can feel Chris’ presence getting closer, closer… I know I am trapped, and I make no plan of escape. I have nothing worth living for anymore. My brother, dead. My best friend, dead. My boyfriend, dead. I had to tell my story, and tell my story I did, here and now, hoping someone will find this.
I can hear his shoes crunching on the many leaves surrounding the cabin outside. He is taking his time; he knows I am in here. I tremble, even now, as I write this. I would like to say goodbye to my parents, Molly and George Robinson. I would like to say goodbye to my twenty-year-old sister, Sara. To my teachers, and friends: I love you all.
The doorknob is turning. I leave you now to figure out my fate. The time is 2:18AM. Goodbye, and thank you, for reading my story.
Makayla Olivia Robinson