• All the cheerleaders always had perfect hair, perfect clothes, and even perfect friends. I admired their ability to fling themselves in the air, do a backwards flip, land on their feet, bounce back up like a spring, and proceed to do many front handsprings in a row. I had practiced all year to try out. This was the moment I had been waiting for. There I stood with my brunette hair pulled into a high ponytail with a neatly placed ribbon.

    “Samantha”, a voice called. It was the moment I had waited for. I took a deep breath, tightened my ponytail, adjusted my carefully chosen outfit, and strode in. The head cheerleader smiled at me. I attempted to smile back, but it looked more like an awkward face. I did a cheer, a dance, and a tumbling routine, which all went pretty well. As I walked out of the gym feeling pretty confident, I noticed a girl that I had never seen.

    “Hi, good luck!” I said and grinned.
    “Thanks” she muttered.
    “So, what’s your name?” I asked with a smile.
    “That’s a pretty name, mine’s Samantha, but you can call me Sam.”
    “Yeah, ok.” she said unenthusiastically.

    The next morning I woke up with butterflies in my stomach. I ate breakfast, got dressed, brushed my teeth, did my hair, and then bolted out the door. I raced to the gym door where the list of lucky girls was hung.

    Allie Stevens
    Anna Kelly
    Becky Thomas
    Danni Fin
    Gina Reddner
    Hannah Dero
    Jackie Gold
    Lisa Saga
    Marissa Read
    Rebecca Stormer
    Samantha Talmer
    Tina Grey

    I had made it! I was now officially a cheerleader. I stared at the words Samantha Talmer. That girl Anna had made it too. I suddenly realized I was ten minutes late to homeroom. I darted up the stairs, taking them two at a time, and walked into room number 301. Mr. Green shot me a stern look and then gestured for me to sit down. I mouthed “Sorry”.

    At lunch I saw Anna and asked her to sit with me. She accepted and sat down nervously.

    “So, I saw you made it. Congrats, I did too!”
    “Yep”, she said.
    “So, do you want to come over tonight? We could practice together.”
    “Your parents will let you?”
    “No they…uh…never have much input on anything.”
    “Oh, alright then. Can you get dropped off at five?”
    “My parents don’t drive.” she quickly replied.
    “Well I’ll pick you up then.” I said with a smile.
    “That would work.”
    “Ok, where do you live?” I asked.

    She scribbled an address down on a portion of paper and handed it to me. I knew where that was. We ate lunch together, and then went our separate ways, I went to PE, and she went to French.

    That night my mom drove me to Anna’s house, since I was only fourteen. It was a big house, but looked like it hadn’t been cared for in years. Of course, neither I nor my mother mentioned it to Anna. She smiled and hopped into the car. We drove the short distance back home.

    Once we got to my house we went up to my room. My mom left to go on a few errands while we where practicing. Anna had an almost evil grin on her face. She closed the door and sat down on my bed.

    “Wanna hear my cheer?” she said with a smirk.
    “Okay, sure.” I answered.

    She started clapping to a beat and stood up.

    “M is for murder ‘cuz that’s what I do,
    Who should I murder?
    How ‘bout you?”

    “Cool,” I said “so it’s like we’re beating the other team right?”
    “No,” she said “I am serious. I am gonna murder you.”

    I could swear my heart stopped beating for a few seconds.

    “W-W-What?” I stuttered.
    “Yeah that’s right, be scared. Let me tell you a little story.”

    I backed away slowly and bumped into a wall. My hands trembled and my knees shook. Was she kidding? No, I knew nobody could play a joke this terrible.

    “You can’t go anywhere.” she snickered as she pulled a knife out of her back pocket. “You don’t want the same thing to happen to you that happened to my parents, now do you? Yes, I did kill my parents. They didn’t approve of anything I did. If I had a new friend, they weren’t good enough. If I played a new sport, it was too dangerous. If I got a new hairstyle, it was dreadful. And then, I found cheerleading. I loved it so much, but my parents didn’t like it. They thought I just did it to bother them. They never let me try out. Then one day my parents and I got in a huge fight about it. It was in the kitchen and I reached behind me, pulled out a knife, and killed them both. I hid their bodies and now I live alone. That’s why they couldn’t drop me off.”

    I was horror-struck. I thought of my options. I could run and hope to get out, but there was a ninety percent chance she would stab me. If not, she would chase me down and then kill me. Option two was to grab my cell phone and call the police. No, she would see and then kill me, so it would do no good. Option three, try to be as calm as possible and talk to her. See why she wants to kill me and if I could talk her out of it, make a deal, whatever it takes. I’d have to go with that. My mind raced for something to say.

    “O-Okay. Why do you want to kill me then?” I said hoping these nine little words could save my life.
    “Because now I want to make sure I am head cheerleader since I couldn’t try out because of my parents. Now I will kill any competition that may be better than me. And you just happen to be my biggest competition.”
    “I-I-I will quit cheerleading and never tell anyone about this if you please let me go.”

    It sounded like something from a horror movie.

    “No, I can’t trust that you won’t tell.”
    “I promise.” I said as I felt tears rolling down my cheeks.
    “My parents promised lots of things that never happened.”
    “But that’s ‘cause you killed them before they could!”
    “See! You’re already talking about it. You would just end up blurting it out.”
    “No,” I sobbed, “I’m sorry! I really am! Please!”

    And then I remembered that my cell phone was on silent. I put my hand in my coat pocket pretending to be cold. I knew all the numbers by heart. I went to text then typed in my mom’s number.

    “You’re cold ? Well I can put an end to that. Would you like me to?”
    “No.” I said. “I’m sorry.”

    Just in time, I had finished sending my mom a text with the words “SOS CALL POLICE SEND 2 HOUSE”. I just had to keep her talking for a few minutes.

    “So,” I said quickly “How many times have you tried out? I mean I know you’re gonna kill me and all, but can you at least tell me a few things?”
    “Are you stalling?”
    “Stalling for what? Does it really matter when you kill me? And anyhow, I’m not” I lied.
    “You know this isn’t going to save you. But, if you must know this is my second time. Last year some girl beat me. I was just on the verge of being a cheerleader, but she was the tiniest bit better. That’s why I’m killing my competition. Great plan, right?”
    “Yeah. I wish I’d thought of that.” I replied sarcastically.
    “Okay, well any last words?” she inquired with an evil cackle.
    “POLICE” a voice boomed.
    I was bawling as they busted into the room. She turned towards them with her knife. They pulled out a gun.
    “If you were smart you would put the knife down.”

    Anna Kelly was led out of the room that day. I never knew what happened to her, but I do know she wouldn’t be causing anyone any more trouble. I ended up becoming head cheerleader. My life is back to normal, but I will never, ever forget the day I was a second away from death.