• Father was off on a business trip, and Mother had gone on out with her friends. I, only seventeen at the time, was left in charge of the house and my twelve-year-old sister, Rachel. It was a normal summer night, and Rachel was a thrill-seeker, so with no school the next day, we decided to dig through all the movies we had and watch all the scary ones until we got so tired we passed out.
    I remember, it was a bit past ten o’clock, when the credits of Psycho began to roll, and as Rachel searched for Nightmare on Elm Street, I switched on the news. As I listened, I casually sifted through the few movies on the floor near where I was sitting.
    “…was soon put out, and most of the family’s possessions were rescued from the fire.
    “The new movie that was just released—… I’m sorry, I’ve just received urgent news. It seems the two murders last night weren’t the last; there are three more, now, all identical. We’re certain this is a serial killer.”
    I dropped the Beauty and the Beast case and watched the screen intently.
    “Please lock your doors and windows, and close your curtains. I would suggest not to answer your door.”
    Rachel had noticed, eyes wide. I quickly changed the channel, seeing some stupid documentary about ants.
    “K-Kathy…” she began, glancing at the open window beside the television.
    “No it’s fine. We’ll lock up now. What are the chances? We’ll be fine. We can search the house, too.” As I was speaking, I locked the door, and was in the middle on securing one of the windows.
    Rachel nodded quickly, rushing to the other window. I made sure to stay in the same room as her, checking every place I could think of as she frantically locked up. We covered the whole house twice before finally slumping back down on the couch. I changed the channel. The Twilight Zone: Just scary enough to be satisfying, just amusing enough to keep us calm. It was the episode about Talking Tina, and although it was eerie, it certainly kept my mind off of serial killers that weren’t dolls, for the time. At around eleven, still shaken, we trudged to our rooms. But before I went to sleep, I acquired my father’s shotgun, fully loaded and safety off. I flicked it on, crawled in to my bed, and tried to sleep.
    Every creak, every sound was a killer. The wind in the trees was a murderer, ruffling the leaves just enough to be audible to me as he crept closer to my window. Every owl was him laughing.
    I was tired, but I just couldn’t keep my eyes closed. My thoughts were fueled by the normal noises that wouldn’t have affected me on any other day. Twitchy, I stared at my wall. The shadows slowly crept around me, and my hand was constantly reaching for the lamp. Honestly, I was terrified, but eventually my eyes finally closed, and remained that way.
    My imagination followed me in to my restless dreams.

    The place reeked of blood. Everywhere I looked, I saw a glint, and I knew it was the blade of the knife of the serial killer. But it was always in the corner of my eye, always moving. And I couldn’t find Rachel.
    All the windows were open, and it was cold. Horridly cold. Death had wrapped its icy grip around my house, slinking in to every corner, seeping in to my skin. My gun was always out of reach, Rachel was always whimpering in the darkness of some far-off corner.
    It was enough to drive me mad, but I knew I had to stay at least calm enough to help her. If something happened to her, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself. That shotgun wouldn’t be turned at the killer anymore, but rather at my own head. Then again, even if that was the truth, part of me would still lust for his blood, long for his brains splattered across my wall.
    I could feel him, hear him, breathing behind me. Or was it the wind? If it wasn’t, his breath was freezing. I spun around, and as I did I saw him next to me, gripping Rachel by the hair. Before I could react, he knocked me down with the butt of my shotgun, and tossed it aside. Struggling to keep consciousness, I shifted in an attempt to look at him, riding up on my elbows.
    He laughed, and my sister could only snivel as the blade began to move. I could feel myself blacking out, but I couldn’t leave my sister…
    The knife dug in to her stomach, and seeing the blood pour out made me feel even closer to passing out. I fell back, lying on the floor, and my sister began to scream.

    Then I was in my room, and Rachel’s screams continued on for a moment or two. It wasn’t a dream, it was all real, and my sister was most likely dead now. It was my fault, all my fault…
    I carefully stood, grabbing the shotgun.
    He had dragged me to my room after I blacked out, leaving the shotgun next to me. He wanted a fight: how maniacal. Then he had taken Rachel to her room and tortured her like he had tortured his other victims…
    Creeping toward the door, I flipped the safety off. I didn’t pick up my feet, dragging them as silently as I could to avoid alerting the killer that I knew. The shotgun stayed behind my right leg, gripped tightly.
    I knew what I would find in her bedroom. Her throat would be slit, blood still bubbling out of the open wound. Her hands would be drenched, too, because she would have grabbed her neck to try to stop the flow. The disgusting son of a b***h probably cut up her arms and legs, slowly, making her suffer as her life slowly drained away…
    I shut the door quietly behind me, looking towards my kid sister’s room. There was movement, and I knew. My eyes weren’t adjusted to the dark yet, but his were. I could almost see him grinning, probably licking his knife. Sick b*****d.
    We were slowly nearing each other. He didn’t want to attack yet. He wanted to make me suffer, ******** with my head, drive me mad. He couldn’t see the gun, and that made me smile. He thought I would die, just like my poor sister. Maybe I would, but not at his hands. I would exact my revenge on that man, and he would die knowing he picked the wrong little sister to slaughter in cold blood.
    I could hear my heartbeat in my ears. My blood pumped faster, and I wanted to dance in anticipation. He would die, and my sister would be able to rest in peace. There was a small noise, and before I realized it, the gun was up and the trigger was pulled.
    In the small flash that followed, I could just make out Rachel’s terrified face before it was ripped to bits.