• It was a moonlit night at the time I first saw her. I sat alongside of the small lake outside my home. There were no stars that night for there was a potent gray-like fog that pervaded as far as the eye could see. The lake itself was bizarre; no matter the outdoor condition, the lake never seemed to show a reflection. It was, oddly enough, called Mirror Lake, though I’m not sure why. It was a pale blue by day and a deep purple, almost black, by night. The trees surrounding it were all mostly dead or dying from a malady; their color resembled an ashy gray. The reasons for my being by the lake are not known to me. Almost every night, I went to the lake to stargaze or to just simply be with the company of the lake. Since I lived alone and far away from town, the lake kept me company. It almost felt like I needed to be there. Amongst the dead gray trees is where she was. She seemed very vivacious yet her countenance, which one would think to be unobtrusive from my distance, was deathly; she must have been no older than eight. I saw her many times by the lake with her teddy bear, usually chasing fireflies or running amongst the trees.

    Though it never occurred to me until that night, I never saw her any other time or place. The more I think about it, we never once had a discourse before at all; she acts as if I’m not here, just another gray tree to run around. As a matter of fact there were no other houses within the vicinity of the lake except my own. Where did this girl come from? Did she come from town? No, too far a walk; the thoughts of the child confounded me, disconcerting me at times. There were times when her shrill cries of happiness annoyed me. I don’t know why; I moved away from the town so I could escape from all the noise and the people, why is she here? Even though she stealthily disappeared within the fog, I could hear her giggles carry through the air. Once she was out of sight and I could no longer hear her, I sighed and stayed for a little longer, enjoying the silence, listening to the crickets off in the distance as they chirped their symphony. I decided to head back home a short while after.

    I retired to my chamber that night feeling suddenly and terribly ill. I had a feeling of guilt within my heart. “Tonight” I thought “I will get much-needed rest.” Not long after, I heard a loud horrible scream coming from outside. Naturally, I jumped; I crept toward my window and peeked beneath my crimson silk curtains; it was the girl. I looked upon her placid face with a perplexed look; her eyes met mine and she dared not move. There is no way that little girl made that cry.

    “Is everything all right?” I called from my second floor window, maybe a little more annoyed then intended. She said not a word but shook her head. Her eyes seemed fervid with an emotion I cannot describe.

    “I’ll be right down,” I called. “Stay right there.” I raced down the staircase and threw my faded green jacket on, forgetting to put my shoes on, and dashed out the door. I ran as fast as my legs could take me. With each step I took, I could feel the dew from the grass squelch between my toes. I just wish this girl would go back to where ever she came from and stop causing me such trouble. I rounded the corner near which my window was and stopped suddenly. The area remained untenanted except for a teddy bear. I picked it up and studied its grotesque appearance. The poor thing was missing an eye, had rips in his chest, and the body was filthy. His one eye had the countenance of a pallid blue with his mouth stitched closed. I noticed there was a vine of thorns that tore into the bear’s body. Was this just some sick game of hers? Was she just beguiling me to play this little game with her?

    I decided to hold on to the bear for her until she returned. I felt a sudden fear go through my bones, yet at the same time, I was rather frustrated that she disturbed me on such a night. A part of me felt bad for the girl for being alone as she was, or so I assumed, but overall, I was apathetic about her existence at all. As I walked back to the front of my house, I thought of what I could do to block out the disturbance of the little girl. I wasn’t the type of person who would want to get rid of her, just a way to cope with her being near my house all the time. I stepped into my house, placed the teddy bear on my dining room table, and went up the staircase with hopes that I would not be bothered again.

    Early the next morning, I heard a loud bang on my front door. I got out of bed and slipped my robe on, then slipped my muddy feet from last night into my slippers making my way to the front door. I thought it was that girl returning to my house for her teddy bear, but instead I was shocked at the appearance of the police standing there. They were obviously here strictly for business, seeing as how they would not tolerate any small talk I had to offer.

    “Have you seen this girl?” They asked nearly shoving a poster in my face. I stared at it for awhile, since my eyes were not quite awake and noticed it was the little girl I always see.

    “Oh yes, I’ve seen her around here. She seems to be by my house and my lake quite often,” I began. “I didn’t know where she had come from. Even though we personally have never spoken or really met each other, I suppose I feel rather bothered by this girl being on my lawn.”

    “We understand. Do you mind if we take a look around? You are the only person who has given us lead on this case, which at the same time makes you a suspect,” they said without waiting for a reply. I felt a little annoyed that they would come marching in my home like this, but I had no other option than to let them investigate my home; it’s not like I have anything to hide.

    “What’s this?” One of the cops asked picking up the bear. Oh no, I must have forgotten to mention that.

    “Oh, well that’s the little girl’s bear she always carries around with her and she-“I started.

    “Wait, I thought you’ve never had any type of discourse with her before?” The cop said suspiciously. I suppose at that moment I froze, startled at the snappy response. The two cops continued to snoop about my house; I grew impatient and hungry. “Sirs, there is nothing else here that could help you. I have some important things to get to, so will you please hurry up?” I said in a brazen manner. They ignored me and proceeded to the basement. At the end of the stairs they stopped and gasped, and I stopped suddenly with a sick feeling in my stomach.

    The girl to whom they were referring to was there. Her emaciated body was lying limply on the floor. One of her eyes was gauged out and the other resembling a pallid blue. She had multiple stab wounds amongst her chest and her mouth stitched closed; her body was wrapped in some type of dark blue thorns and she was covered in mud and blood. The police, already having an impetuous nature, immediately put me in hand cuffs without letting me explain a thing. Now I am sitting in a jail cell where I write this story. I’ve told them I didn’t do it and they won’t believe me. I keep entreating the judge to believe me, but they turn me away, telling me how sick I was for what I did.

    I don’t know how her body ended up in my house. I may not have cared for the little girl and wanted her off of my property, but I would do no such thing as murder a little girl. The people hearing my case looked upon me with apathy and could not discern between a madman’s excuse and what I was trying to explain. I hope that someone will believe me and what I have to say. I’m not a madman or a murderer; I hope they find the true suspect because it is surely not me.