by Laura

Sometimes, at night, I can still see them. Those two kids, with their haunting blue eyes and their ragged clothes and twisted expressions. They visit me in my cell, and on my worst nights, they speak. Real words, words that feel like a knife to my head.

Sometimes they?ll even touch me - they?re solid. They?ll grab my arm. Their touch sends shivers down my spine and my heart races at the sight of their faces... those gruesome smiles...

And sometimes, I?ll talk back. Not with my voice. I can?t speak now. I speak with my mind. If I do speak with my voice, it?s only every ten days or so. There?s no point. I?ve only been able to say five words since then. Five haunting words. They still haunt me, my dreams, my life.

It?s killing me.

I sit on the cold, damp floor, breathing heavily and staring forward. I?m staring at nothing. Just the air. I?m alone in my cell - just me and my thoughts.

Or so the guards think.

They?re here. They?re in front of me, sitting cross-legged, grinning those horrible grins. Their eyes are expressionless and glassy, like evil, smiling porcelain dolls? eyes. Their clothes are ripped and bloodstained, and their arms and legs and feet and faces are cut up and bruised and bloodied.

?Hi,? the girl says, unmoving. Her thick, tangled brown hair comes down to her waist now, as if it?s been growing since that day, exactly a year ago.

?It?s been a year,? her brother says, speaking my thoughts. They know what I?m thinking. They know my every move now. They never leave me. Even when they?re gone, they?re here. I can tell. I know it.

?We just thought we?d stop in and say hi,? the girl says innocently. She has replaced her unnerving grin for an even more unnerving look of solemnity. ?We wanted to see how your doing.?

Leave me alone, I think, unable to speak the words. I can?t speak. I am traumatized; my voice fails me now.

?But we want to stay with you,? the boy replies, now wearing a look identical to his younger sister?s. ?We love you, didn?t you know that??

No! Get away! Go home!

?We have no home now,? the girl says, her voice in a haunting whisper. She looks down at her lap, quietly saying, ?We want to stay with you.?

No! Why are you torturing me like this?!

?Aw, can?t we have our own fun?? The boy replies, standing up slowly. I gulp and scoot back on the floor, backing up against the cold, hard wall. ?You tortured, us, didn?t you? We just want to pay you back for the wonderful things you did for us.?

His sister grins and stands, copying his movements and taking his hand. ?Yeah! We?re just giving you a present!? She points to a large, bleeding gash on her head. ?See? I wouldn?t have gotten this wonderful scar if it hadn?t been for you! I love you!?

They step closer to me, the boy continuing, ?Yep. And this,? he unclasps his hand from his sisters and points at his other bare wrist, where there is no hand attached. ?I wouldn?t have gotten rid of that pesky hand if you hadn?t helped me. I love you, too.?

I start to shake, curling up into a fetal position. ?It was an accident!? I yell aloud, and the guard looks over at me with an annoyed look on his face. I continue to tremble and lift my head just enough to see the siblings heading toward me, chanting, ?We love you!? With those twisted smiles on their faces. When they?re just three steps from me with sharp, bloody knives in their hands, I scream my last scream...

?It was only an accident!?

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