The Cousin

by Denise
(Chicago)

"Denise, your cousin is coming over. Help me clean the house." My mother called. I moaned in utter defeat. I hated my younger cousin Danny. I'm 12, and he's 6. Danny was a pain in the neck.


"Denise, he's family. And family likes a clean house." My mother said roughly when she noticed I wasn't cleaning. I began vacumning. Ding, dong! "I'll get it, mom." I muttered. I walked to the front door.

"Hi, Danny."

"Hi bait- um- Denise."

"Ha-ha, funny. Get inside, runt."

"Ooh, runt, what a comeback to bait."

"Why you little!"

"Catch me if you can!" And Danny ran off into the house, up the stairs, into my room. I chased him. I heard Danny's high-pitched giggling and the shutting of my closet door.

Then I heard lower, farther away giggling.

Then silence.

"Um, Danny?"

More silence.

I got worried, so I opened the door to my room.

I smiled at the picture of that wavy black-haired girl with a half-hearted smile on that sunken, pale face and those dazzling green eyes that really stood out. That beautiful, beautiful girl. That clever, clever girl. That girl's different pictures hanging on the wall. That girl is me.

I turned my attention to the rather small black closet with a miniature glass window. I got nervous. My palms began to sweat as I reached for the handle of the closet.

Part of my mind said yes- part of my mind said no. The yes side spread over the no side. No tried to fight back. I felt like a rough fight was going on in my head. A thin line split yes and no apart. My mind was made up- I'll open the door and run away.

So I opened the door, but my feet wouldn't move. I couldn't run away. I couldn't run away from the horror in front of me.

"Danny?"

"Yesssss, it'ssssss me, Denissssse!"

"How the-?!"

"It'ssssss in our family'sssssss blood."

"Why, who, when-?!?!?!"

"The ansssssswer isssssss a sssssssecret."

"No, it's not!"

"Yessssss it isssssss, Denisssssssse!"

"It can't be a secret!"

"But it isssssss!"

"No!"

"Yessssssss!"

"NO!"

"YESSSSSSS!"

I began screaming. I had a feeling I'd never stop.

"MOM, DANNY HAS GONE CRAZY!!!!"

Danny took out a knife.

I screamed louder.

"Yesssssss! The paralyzing formula workssssss!"

"You paralyzed my feet?!"

"Yessssss, Denisssssse!"

Danny lurched forward and stabbed me repeatedly- in the stomach. Blood spurted everywhere. I got paler and paler.

But Danny turned back to normal with no knife in his hand.

"Aunt! Aunt! Denise is dying! Denise is dying!" Danny cried, jumping up and down and pointing at me. My mother and father came as quick as possible.

The last of my blood dripped out, and I was dead. I was on the ground, my feet still in the same spot they were paralyzed in.

Of course, I was only thinking I was dead, but my mother rushed me to the hospital and the doctor gave me someone's blood and then stitched up my stomach.

Now, I'm 20 years old and I'm in a mental institution. I keep on saying that Danny will get me whenever I'm alone.


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