Monday, May 26, 2014



     Beth sighed, stopping for a moment to look back behind her and down the hall. Whenever she walked back to her dorm room she'd hear that strange noise, along with heavy, sometimes labored, breathing. She was told that the place was haunted on orientation day, told the story about how a student was beaten and killed in the bathroom stalls.
     What she didn't know was why the ghost was attracted to her! Like she could do anything for it.
     Shaking her head, she just cursed her luck for coming to this school, family history be damned.
     She continued walking, ignoring the slicked cracking noise that was being made as she ventured back to her room. Stopping at the door, she turned when a shadow passed over.
     Standing against the wire framed windows, in a bloody nightgown, was a girl no older than Beth. Her arms were twisted and gnarled, fingers broken and jaw dislocated. One eye socket was caved in, and her ankle was barely held together by rotting white tissue. She took a step forward on her bad leg, arm outstretched, a watery hiss entering the air as her leg made the horrid noise once more.
     And then she gone. Beth released a breath she'd been holding, blinking her eyes a few times just to get the blood flowing again. Turning to her door, she let out a shriek as it flew open and a withered claw of a hand grabbed her, dragging her into her darkened dorm room.
     Kicks and scratches, bites and punches, they came from all around in the darkness, the watery hissing voice just sighing as Beth kicked and screamed. When one of her fingers were bent backwards, she screamed even louder.
     By the time they found Beth, after kicking down the door, it was too late. Lying in a pool of her own congealed fluids, she was pronounced dead on the scene. Several teeth had to be collected, and more than one officer had to leave the area to empty his stomach, but they cataloged everything, interviewed her neighbors and the last girls to see her leaving the showers. The only thing that kept coming up was how her Mom would be here soon, as she was on the Board of Directors for the school. Looking down at the body, one of the officers leaned down and traced several puncture marks.
     "Hey chief," he said, looking up at the older officer. "Got a pen? I think I found something."
     "Sure, here you go." The Chief, a burly man by anyone's standards, said handing off the cheap pen.
     The officer pulled the cap off and slowly, ever so slowly drew lines on the body, connecting puncture marks on the girls side and stomach to form two words.
     "Wonder who Sam is?" The Chief said, watching as the rookie officer connected the dots, which were already connecting via bruising of the flesh.
     "That would be me," a voice said from the hallway, cool and stern. The Chief turned and went under the police tape to see a stone faced older woman, perhaps in her fifties, arms crossed. "Your goons won't let me in to see whats happened to my daughter when she likely needs consoling."
     The Police Chief reached a hand behind his head, scratching it slowly, wondering how to deliver the news. Unfortunately this was the time the county coroner came up with a body bag, scooting into the room behind the bulky officer of the law.
     The woman saw the coroner go into the room, her stony mask breaking. "Is-is she alright? Please tell me she's alright!"
     "Actually ma'am, you daughter looks like she was attacked by between five or six individuals. She was beaten to death."
     Her eyes went dead at that, turning to regard the dorm showers down the halls for reasons the Police Chief couldn't begin to guess. "Do you have any suspects?" She asked in a detached way.
     "Nothing solid. Your daughter was well liked, made good grades, no drugs in her room... can't think of why anyone would do this to her."
     Sam turned to look at the Chief, unshed tears in her eyes. "Oh believe me, that is exactly the reason would instigate something like this. That, or for revenge."
     At that word a distant echo of laughter came from the stairwell, echoing down the hall. A couple officers turned and looked, but didn't move.
     "Who's there? Show yourself!" One of the officers called out.
     Sam on the other hand merely looked down at her own wrinkled hands, remembering how she had balled them in anger at a girl just like her daughter so many years ago. She and four other girls had ganged up on the smartest girl in their year, and beaten her silly for not helping them get the test answers from a professor she was buddies with. They didn't mean to kill her, she'd just fallen wrong... but now it looked like the spirit of Jennifer Manning had its revenge.

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