*DISCLAIMER* I want to give everyone fair warning: the stories I write have a tendency to lean toward horror. If you aren’t interested, I understand. It’s not for everyone. This is your chance to turn back. If that doesn’t turn you off though, please, read on. Let me know what you think in the comments!
I should’ve known something was up the second Alexa Rallen, my self-proclaimed mortal enemy, invited me to her 4th of July bonfire. Alexa hated me, but it was a petty, superficial hatred. I beat her out for valedictorian, and somehow that was the end of the world for her. I never really understood why—she may not have been smarter than me, but she was prettier, more popular, better at sports, and way richer. Regardless, though, she hated me, so I really should’ve been more skeptical when the invitation went out for this party. My brother Matthew had a huge crush on Alexa’s best friend Lacy, though, so he convinced me to go. That night, everything changed.
Matt and I showed up late in the evening; almost everyone was already drunk when we arrived. The heat was stifling, the humidity almost painful, and you could see this in everyone’s clothing, or lack thereof. All around were flushed cheeks, half from the heat, half from the alcohol. The air smelled of sweat, cheap vodka, and chlorine from Alexa’s pool.
“I’m gonna find something to drink, we’re about four shots behind everyone else,” Matt said as he made his way across the yard. Someone yelled his name and tossed him a plastic bottle of vodka, and I knew I wouldn’t be seeing much more of him.
“Maddie!” My friend Julia screamed at me from the other side of the pool, waving a plastic cup at me. She ran over to me, pulling a dark haired, dark eyed boy behind her. “I haven’t seen you since graduation!” She dragged me into a hug and splashed her toxic drink down my back. When I smelled her breath, I snatched the drink away from her; it smelled like nail polish remover, and it wasn’t hard to see that she’d already had enough.
“I know, it’s been so long!” I put on my best sorority girl voice and took a swig of the drink. I was hoping to catch up in terms of drinking, and, with the strength of this drink, I decided it shouldn’t take me too long. My eyes flitted to the boy Julia pulled with her as the alcohol settled in my stomach. “Who’s this?”
“I’m Josh,” he said with a pearly white grin.
“Nice to meet you, Josh.” My cheeks were growing rosier by the second, and I returned his charismatic smile, the liquid courage quickly setting in. Suddenly, it dawned on me. If he’s here, he must know Alexa, so what’s the point? I thought to myself. “Do… you know Alexa?”
“Oh, hell no, I brought him with me. I don’t want her stealing him out from under me,” Julia said with a wink. She pulled me in closer to whisper in my ear. “She has a boyfriend, but you know how she is.” She rolled her eyes and laughed, more out of annoyance than actual humor.
“Speaking of which,” Josh trailed off mid-sentence as a tall blonde guy walked—or rather, staggered—drunkenly to us. He clapped Josh on the back and gave Julia a theatrical kiss on the hand.
“M’lady,” He said with a bow. “Have any of you seen Alexa?” His words were beginning to slur. We all shook our heads.
“Sorry, Brian, I haven’t seen her since I got here,” Julia said, adding, under her breath, “and thank God for that.” Brian gave a little fist pump and then leaned over to me, pulling me into a long kiss. I was almost too shocked to react, but after a second I pushed him away. He tripped backwards and fell into the pool, laughing the whole time.
“Oh my God,” I said, checking frantically around me. Alexa was nowhere to be seen, but just the thought of her seeing that sent a shiver down my spine. “I should find my brother…” I quickly left Josh and Julia, eager to get away from the tension of that moment. When I finally come across Matt, he’s drunker than I would’ve expected. I tried to tell him what happened, but he was too distracted to really pay any attention. He kept handing me drinks until I finally let my guard back down. My brother pulled me around the party, keeping me laughing, keeping me drinking, until we ended up in a group with Lacy.
“You look like you could use a drink,” she said as she handed me a plastic cup. It was full of something unnaturally green. After a few drinks, my head began spinning. The world was coming at me in distorted frames; the ground seemed to tilt beneath me. I felt hands on my shoulders as I blacked out.
When I woke up, it was the silence that hit me first. After the noise of the party, the lack of it hit me from all sides. I couldn’t tell where I was; nothing about this room was familiar. The walls were grey concrete, the monotony broken only by a few cracks. A throbbing pain raced through my head, but when I went to rub my temples, I found my hands unable to move. The clanking of shackles reached my ears and sent another wave of pain over me. Panic began to set in, and it was greatly amplified when I realized that I was not only bound to the floor, but also surrounded by a small puddle of blood as well.
My eyes began to flit around the room and I realized that there was a halo of blood splattered above my head. Cuts on my wrists were responsible for the blood on the floor. My breathing was speeding up, my heart was racing, my eyes were welling up with hot tears, but I forced them down as a heavy metal door scraped across the floor beside me. From behind the door, Alexa emerged holding a glistening silver knife tipped with blood in her left hand. I swallowed slowly, my throat aching all the way, and then spoke.
“Is… Is that my blood?” My voice cracked as I forced the words out. She walked slowly over to me, her platform black heels clicking softly on the cold stone floor.
“Oh, you poor thing, can’t even remember what happened.” Her voice sounded almost too sweet, but with an edge of severity. She strode to my side, a sense of superiority displayed plainly in her gait. She knelt next to me, her striking green eyes even with mine. I assumed they’d be streaked with sadness, bleary with anger, but they’re startlingly calm, completely clear. She pulled her knife to my chin and sucked the breath from my lungs when she punctured my skin. My jaw clenched, determined to fight the tears in my eyes. I felt a warm drip of blood run down my neck, and Alexa shot me a sinister smile. She twisted the blade, digging it in deeper and deeper, but I held my resolve and forced the tears away.
“Why?!” I hissed at her as she pulled the blade away.
“You know why! You took away the college of my dreams. You just had to be better than me. But that wasn’t enough, was it? You had to try and take him, too.” Her eyes were growing wilder by the moment. “Didn’t you?!” She shoved the knife into my stomach on the last word. I gasped at the pain, then coughed, sending a shower of blood across the floor beside me. Hot, white pain rang throughout me, making my vision go blurry.
“I didn’t do… anything,” I stuttered, hardly able to form the words. “I just wanted to get through high school… and he… kissed me… I was never… competing with you.” She yanked the knife from my gut. A troubled look crossed her face, and it looked like she was gearing up to stab me again, but she faltered.
“No, this is your fault.” She stood and started pacing. She repeated those words more times than I could count, growing increasingly manic each time, until finally she went still. A defeated laugh left her lips, and she knelt next to me once again. Her voice was barely above a whisper when she said, “this is your fault.” Her eyes were locked with mine as she pulled the blade up again to strike, but instead of feeling the agony of another stab, she turned the knife on herself.
I didn’t even have time to scream before she slit her own throat.
And so I sit, in a growing puddle of both my blood and hers.
I sit, and I slam my head against the wall, hoping for some sort of relief, but my lack of strength keeps me from doing any real damage. I can’t even put myself out of this misery. I should have known!
I sit, because while Alexa had decided that she wouldn’t kill me, she still inevitably gave me a death sentence. I am still bound to the floor.