by Wendy P., 13

Swish! The wind was howling through the dazzling night, stars illuminating the dark sky. Gillian was in her room falling in and out of consciousness. She had this pit in her stomach, like someone was watching her. Ding! The sound of a text filled her ears, as the once dark room was now glowing from the phone’s light. Gillian stared at the ceiling for a little before turning her body to face her bedside table. She picked up her phone, pushing the tangled mess her charger left. She unlocked her phone and checked the message while her eyes still hung low. “AHHH!” Gillian’s scream echoed through the room as her phone fell on the floor. The picture of her sleeping was now face down on the floor.

Gillian walked to her window, breathing heavily with each step she took. She peered out the window with fear drowning her thoughts. Nothing but darkness was what she saw. Before going back to her bed, she saw something. In the window was a tall figure of what seemed like a man. He wasn’t outside nor was he a part of her imagination. He was standing right behind her breathing down her neck. She could feel his presence and his hot breath, which caused her to tense up. The silence was so loud it could make anyone’s ears bleed. No one spoke, no one moved, and no one breathed. It felt like the earth stopped spinning and time stopped.

The sound of a gun reloading made her breath hitch. Before the trigger could be pulled, she heard shuffling behind her. Before she could say anything, she felt a sharp pain in her lower back. The man was now standing over her as her aching body reached the ground. Her fluffy white carpet was now turning red with the thick liquid escaping her body. He held a large knife over her pale white face, blood now flushed out her. He stared at her as he began to pull up the rug a bit. Before he left, he carved his initials on the floor boards. The initials weren’t his, he wasn’t so empty headed. He was a famous serial killer who hasn’t been caught. 

Once he finished, he got up showing almost no empathy. He lacked emotion as that’s what he never experienced growing up. He began to walk around the room seeing all her trophies and pictures, Gillian’s radiating smile being the center of attention in each photograph. He was seeing Gillian’s whole life in a room, flashing by him quickly. And suddenly, his eyes began to water. A single teardrop escaped, falling down his face, and onto a soccer trophy. He didn’t know what was happening to him or his emotions. He had never felt like that for anyone or anything, just like his mom. He fell to his knees and began to sob, burying his head in his hands. He then examined his shaking hands covered in blood. The blood of a pretty girl that was full of life. Her time cut short from a selfish man who envied her. He wanted her life, her parents, and the love she received. 

 He took his phone out, his hands shaking uncontrollably. His teary blurred vision and bloody hands made it harder to dial 9-1-1. He barely could speak and hear as he would interrupt the dispatcher with his sobs. Wee! The sound of sirens filled his ears. Blue and red flashing lights made his tears look glossy. The cops busted through the door of Gillian’s bedroom and stared at the scene in front of them. He looked at them emotionlessly. Once he stood up, he turned around and held his hand behind his back. He finally broke the cold expression and held his head down. “I’m so sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.” He repeated, accepting his defeat. 

Red Bank, New Jersey

Notes from our interns on selecting this piece: This story is a gripping thriller that builds suspense! It keeps the reader engaged and curious about what will happen next. The author does a great job of describing the scene and creating a tense atmosphere. Additionally, the plot twist at the end, where the killer suddenly shows remorse, adds a layer of complexity to the story and makes it more interesting.