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Mary Beth W., 19 Nov '12

It was dark out. Storm clouds, bruised and angry, lay brooding over the horizon. Lightening flashed in the distance. Charlie whimpered. She never did like thunderstorms all that much.

The city lay around me, plunging its dark, greasy tendrils into the core of my heart. I clung to my younger sister and she clung to me. Both of us were afraid, but for different reasons. I believe she was more afraid of the storm rather than the danger that lay just up ahead. Maybe I was the only one who sensed it. All I know is that I kept trying to convince myself; this is all a nightmare. I'll wake up, and then everything will be okay.

Only, I wasn't waking up.

The two of us stepped in closer to the darkened houses. It was hard to see in the dim light of the only remaining streetlamp, but I thought I could make out eyes. There were hundreds of them, it seemed, glistening brightly. Voices murmured, too, rippling like rain against the ground.

We took another step forward. I'm sure both of us were holding our breath. 'It's just a nightmare. It's just a nightmare,' I kept repeating in my mind, but by now I was sure it wasn't.
Suddenly, a figure emerged from the darkness of the building. It was a thin little thing, only about our age, with bony arms and skinny shoulders. The lamp light fell upon her face like candle light. I remember she seemed to me like a skeleton.

She smiled at us, sickeningly frightening, but reassuring all the same. I suppose if you're stuck in a strange and scary place, not even sure how you got there, and someone smiles at you, you've got to feel reassured. I think that it was our biggest mistake.

Standing there, shivering like it was ten below, we saw that more figures were coming up behind Skeleton Girl. They all were the same way, small and bony and skeleton-like; none of them were older than eight or younger than two.

Thunder rumbled in the distance. The children standing before us started to sway, like there was music playing. They raised up their thin arms, silently praising some unknown god. My sister and I watched with terror and curiosity coursing through our veins, unsure of whether to stay and watch or turn and run.

Then the children started to shudder. They started to twitch as one, as if having seizures. Our eyes were glued to the scene, no longer able to tear them away. Their skin started to melt and peel, as if torn from their forms like bed sheets being ripped away. Heads turned until the flesh cracked with grotesque sound. Appendages creaked into unnatural positions. Their finger nails elongated into terrible claws. Eyeballs rolled out of their sockets, and forked tongues snaked out to lap up tears of blood.

My sister buried her head into me, trying to escape the horror that was unfolding before us. I, too, would have hid away, had there been anywhere for me to go. Shivers crawled up my spine at the collective cry emitted from the forms before me.

"Kill them!! Kill them both!" Skeleton Girl shrieked, pointing a gnarled talon at us.
Her cry is the last thing I remember before the darkness descended.

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