• I was running down the street; my heart beating in my chest. “I’m gonna beat you this time James” I yelled without looking back. “So you really think that?” I heard him whisper in my ear. I couldn’t believe he’d caught up so fast. I used my last bit of energy and spurted ahead. I grabbed a lamp post and used it to spin myself around the corner. I could hear James hot on my heals; only 20 yards to go. I felt James step on the back of my shoe and I launched forward almost falling; only 10 yards to go… 5 yards to go. My heart was pounding so hard and fast in my chest I thought it would explode; 1 yard to go. My feet touched the soft earth of our front yard. I collapsed on the ground gasping for air. James was a second behind me and collapsed next to me. After we caught our breath we unlocked the door to the house and collapsed on the couch.

    We turned on the T.V. and I stretched out and settled my head in his lap. The news was on and we decided to watch it for a little while, while we calmed down. I could still feel my heart pounding in my chest but I wasn’t sure if it was from running or from being so close to him. I turned my attention to the news. The weather came on and then switched to sports. I looked at the clock and saw that it was 5:37 p.m. James’s mother Celina should have been home by now. “Hey James where’s your mom? She’s usually home hours before we get home” I said. “I dunno. Maybe she’s working really late.” He said. She’d done that before but not very often. I drew my attention back to the T.V. and watched the rest of the news. “Hey James, maybe your mom is on a date” I said laughing lightly. “I mean she has those nice blue eyes and that long brown hair; I’m sure she’s attracted some men around her office.” He pulled the pillow from behind his head and pushed it down over my face. I pushed him away laughing and fell off the couch. I grabbed the pillow and pushed it onto James’s face. He reached out to grab me around the waist and I dogged out of the way and ran to the door. I swung it open and ran down the front porch steps. I went tearing down the street and felt the cool sidewalk under my bare feet. I turned around to see where James was and smashed into someone. I fell to the ground and looked up to see Rosalina, James’s younger sister. I’d always loved the way she’d looked. Her features only slightly like her brother’s. She had long curly blonde hair that extended to the middle of her back. She had light blue eyes and was about as tall as I was. Her brother James had chin length dirty blonde hair with blue streaks in it. His eyes were a vibrant shade of green, a few shades lighter than mine, and he was three inches taller than me. Rosalina pulled me up off the ground as James walked over to us laughing. I walked past him pushing him out of the way. I went into the house and up the stairs to my room.

    I looked in my mirror to see how bad the damage was. I scanned the black hair that went past my shoulders and saw that it was filled with dirt and that I had some scrapes and bruises on my arms. I pulled out my brush and brushed through my hair getting rid of all the dirt. I checked the clock and saw that it was 6:29 p.m. I went downstairs and saw that Celina still wasn’t there. It bugged me that she still wasn’t home but yet again I pushed it out of my mind. I looked over and saw Rosalina sitting at the table drinking some soda. “Are Sam, Leo, and Mare coming over for dinner?” I asked. “Yeah, I invited them over. Do you know where my mom is?” she asked slightly concerned. “No. I was hoping you knew. Maybe she’s out on a date.” I responded as I pulled a giant pot out of the cupboard. “Yeah, maybe.” She said as I filled the pot with water and some oil. Then I added the spaghetti and turned the heat down on the giant pot of sauce that Celina had started this morning. Sam got to the house first. I noticed that it had started raining because Sam’s spikes were coming out. His blood red hair glimmered in the light along with his black eyes. Mare and Leo came next. Mare’s curly brown hair was dripping with water as she turned around with excitement in her brown eyes. Suddenly she jumped aside to let us see Leo. My jaw dropped as I looked at Leo. “You bleached your hair!” I said shocked. His normally dark brown hair, that matched his eyes, was now white. I heard the timer go off in the kitchen and went out to finish dinner. After dinner Sam, Leo and Mare left and James, Rosalina, and I headed upstairs, three or four hours later I turned off the T.V. and went to bed. Celina still wasn’t home.

    I woke up when I heard James heading downstairs. I rolled out of bed and went downstairs to watch the news with him. It started off just as normal with politics and weather. Then there was an announcement about a recent murder, “A mystery woman died this morning in an ambulance after serious injuries from an attacker. The woman’s family has yet to be notified as the hospital was unable to figure out the woman’s identify due to the facial trauma. Police suspect that the murderer was committed by Brian Enkit who escaped last week from a mental institution. My body froze as I listened to the announcement. Could it be Celina that was killed? Suddenly there was a knock on the door; Sam, Mare, and Leo walked through the door. They’d seen the news and guessed that it was Celina. Mare went upstairs and woke up Rosalina and brought her downstairs and told her what they had assumed. The whole time James stood there stiff as stone but, when Rosalina started crying and wailing he broke down. He fell to the floor and simply laid there tears streaming silently down his face. Mare walked over to comfort Rosalina and I bent down to comfort James. I picked up his head and laid it in my lap stroking my fingers through his hair and down his face. Sam and Leo called the police to tell them they thought that it was Celina that had been killed. The police said that they would send some one over and that they would be there within 25 minutes. Leo walked over to get everyone some water. He turned on the tap and filled up six glassed of water. Mare and Sam turned theirs down but the rest of us drank willingly and thankfully. 20 minutes had passed since Sam and Leo had called the police and I was begining to feel tired. I laid my head on James’s head and I began to doze off. I saw that everyone but Mare and Sam seemed to be acting the same way. The door bell rang and Leo stumbled over to open the door and let the police in. BANG! A gunshot went off and Leo fell to the floor… dead. I tried to get up but was too tired to even move. I saw a man walk in. He had light blonde hair and light blue-green eyes. My eyes were fluttering and I saw him pull the gun out from behind his back and hit Mare in the head with the butt…she fell to the floor. I tried to keep my eyes open but I passed out and everything went dark.

    When I opened my eyes it was pitch black. I was sitting in a cold puddle and it smelled horrible where I was. I could feel people next to me but it was too dark to tell who they were. I tried to move but I was tied in ropes. I guessed that the ropes were holding us all together. I pushed my arms against the ropes to see if there was any chance that I could break them. The ropes moved slightly but not enough to get out but when I pushed my arms against them I recoiled almost instantly. The ropes felt disgusting I almost barfed every time I moved. It seemed like hours that I was waiting for something to happen.

    Suddenly I heard footsteps coming toward us. A light came on above up and I was blinded for a few moments. When my eyes adjusted I looked down and I screamed. I was in a puddle of blood and what I had thought were ropes were actually intestines. First I looked to my right and saw James. Then I looked to my left; it was Sam. Another blood curdling scream tore from my lips. Sam’s eyes were slightly open and all you could see was the whites. I looked down and a cold shudder ran through my body and I dry heaved. Sam’s stomach had been cut open and his intestines were the ropes wrapped around us.

    I heard a cruel chuckle and I looked up to see the man that had shot Leo and hit Mare. Suddenly James lunged at him and was pulled back by the “ropes.” “What did they do?” James yelled at the man. “What did they do to deserve this? Even Rosalina doesn’t know who you are. WHAT DID THEY DO TO DESERVE THIS?” James had tears streaming down his face by now. “James my son they just happened to be here. I tried to drug you all with the water so no one would get hurt other than you and; what did you call her…Rosalina? But two of your friends didn’t drink the water and things started getting out of hand and now you’re all going to die” he said in a cruel voice. “There’s only three of you left now. Sadly I killed that girl when I hit her and that’s when I stopped caring about all of those other brats. That friend of yours put up a very good fight; and for that I helped him go in peace. I told him that if I killed him slowly and painfully that I would spare the rest of you. It was a lie of course but it made him stay still and he died thinking he was your savior. I’m very proud of myself” he said, laughing as he came to the end. Tears were streaking down my face as I realized that three of my closest friends were dead and that I was going to die just when my life had finally seemed like it was going to be okay. My parents had died half a year ago and Celina took me in and life seemed to be perfect and, even now that I was so close to death I was happy that I would be dieing not long before or after James; the love of my life.

    Brian picked us up and set us down near a set of metal pipes. He pulled out two pairs of hand-cuffs and hand-cuffed James and me to the pipes. Then he cut the intestines and picked Rosalina up leaving Sam’s dead body near James and me as he carried her over to a wall. He took out two more pairs of hand-cuffs and cuffed Rosalina to the wall. Then he pulled out a knife. He dragged the knife slowly across Rosalina’s cheek leaving a deep bloody gash across her face. He continued to cut Rosalina on her arms and face leaving deeper gashes every time until he had cut through the muscle and you could see the bone and then cutting through, and cutting chips out of the bone exposing her bone marrow. Slowly Rosalina stopped screaming and struggling and her body went limp. She was covered in blood and below her was a giant puddle of blood. I sat there numb unable to move or even cry after she was dead.

    James and I sat there staring and numb as we stared at Rosalina’s mangled corpse and at Brian grinning at the handy-work he’d done. When I couldn’t take staring at the gory seen any longer I began to scan the room and saw many odd machines.

    Then Brian turned, dropped the knife, and began walking toward us. He pulled out a key and unlocked James’s hand-cuffs and walked him toward one of the many machines. I started screaming and struggling. I felt the hand-cuffs cut my wrists and they began to bleed. James was fighting as hard as he could. Brian wrapped one arm around James’s torso and hit him hard in the head with the other. James seemed to be dazed and stopped fighting long enough for Brian to attach his arms and legs to the machine. I’d calmed down and looked at Brian “What is that machine going to do to him” I asked my voice shaking. “It’s going to rip him in half.” He said laughing deeply. “Why would you do this to him?!” I screamed at him. “He’s Celina’s son darling. Just like Rosalina was her daughter. I hate that woman and now that she’s dead her children have to pay too.” He responded calmly. “But they’re your children too!” I said. “Why should I care she raised them and I hate them for it.” He said calmly as though it was just a matter of what the weather was like. I struggled even harder as he began slowly turning the wheel and pulling James slowly apart. More blood dripped from my wrists as I struggled harder and the more blood that dripped the more my hands seemed to come out of the hand-cuffs. James gritted his teeth as Brian turned the wheel a little more. Suddenly my hands came free of the hand-cuffs and I scraped most of the skin off my wrists as I scraped my face against the rough floor. I ran toward James and Brian began turning the wheel faster and a gasp escaped James’s teeth. I wrapped my arms around him trying to hold him together. I looked up slightly into his eyes; they were filled with tears. “I’m sorry I got you into this Cath. I never knew he’d escape” pain was clearly shone on James’s face and Brian began to turn the wheel even faster. “I’ve always loved you Cath. I wish we could have spent forever together.” James’s whispered in a choked voice. “James he’s going to kill me next. Then we’ll be together again… forever.” I whispered back tears streaming down my face. I saw the pain ease on his face and a hint of a smile played on his lips. I reached up on the tips of my toes and kissed him gently on the lips and suddenly I felt his body rip in half in my arms.

    A wave of blood washed over me seeping through my clothes and leaving a large puddle. I walked over to Brian and stared him in the eyes waiting for him to kill me. “Well dear; sorry that I killed the love of your life but I’ve just come up with the worst death for you.” His eyes went wild and a wide grin spread across his lips. “Go ahead. Do your worst” I said to him calmly. “I’m going to make you live out the rest of you’re life in here and you’re going to die… alone. You’re going to live a nice long life here dear. And you’ll get to see James’s body rot in front of your eyes.” I fell to my knees. My breathing turned ragged and tears dripped down my face. Shattered… my life was shattered. The word ran through my head tearing me apart. I would live a long life without my James. I couldn’t live like that. “I’ll be back soon with some food so don’t go do anything crazy” he said laughing as he walked out the door.

    I scanned the room quickly looking for anything that would end my life. Then I saw the knife in the pool of blood below Rosalina’s feet. I crawled over quickly and pricked my finger to see if it was still sharp… it was! I crawled back over to where James’s body was. There was a wall next to the machine. I slit my left wrist and dipped my right index finger into the pool of blood, which was quickly forming next to me, and drew a heart on the wall. Then I slit my right wrist. Suddenly the door flew open. Brian was standing in the doorway and I could see cops. They shot Brian and then began walking into the room. They saw me with the knife my wrists slit. “Everything is going to be fine dear.” A cop said as he approached me slowly. A wave of horror washed over me; if the cop took me to the hospital they would save my life and I would have to live a life without James. The word shattered rang through my head again and I pulled the knife up to my throat and pressed lightly letting a bead of blood escape. “No! Don’t; you’re safe now! WE’RE NOT GOING TO HURT YOU.” I pushed the knife harder against my throat and pulled. I felt excruciating pain course through my body; and then a calming endless black.