It’s been a very quiet morning, the wind blowing, the trees swaying. My name is Janet Carlyle. I am a young woman of the age of twenty-three. My family is long gone, I have no relatives left. I’ve devoted myself to caring for the children at the local nursery school. There I bring myself into a room where I am not neglected nor forgotten. Since my brother, sisters, mother, and father disappeared without a trace, I’ve been all alone. And my Ex-husband had beaten and abused me. The marriage only lasted a year. After which I never heard from him or of him again and he too seemed to have disappeared somehow.

It was with most sorrow in my heart, that I continued with as much a smile as I could extract from my expressions. I felt a spot in my heart empty, open up. Perhaps it was a spot available for something new. I hoped so dearly that I would build a new family, have children of my own, and recreate my life.

I walked down the streets, Welton was a strange town. I took a glance at my cell-phone, sliding my finger across the screen to view what time it was. Good, precisely 8:24, I wasn’t late. I walked forward to the gray building that was the old nursery school. A small, poorly assembled playground was pushed into the front. I slipped through the gate and walked along the old rutted path that lead to the front doors made of old stained glass. I pushed them open, and walked inside.

Finally I took a few routes down the corridors of the old building and found the room I had been stationed in. I sat behind my desk for a while until children began to pour into the doors. They began to play with the toys set up in the room and I began to check my email. When I was finished I walked around the room, watching the children carefully. When lunch time came, I sent them away. It was at this point that something seemed to have spooked me in the building. The electric went off.

I looked out the window, there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Someone must have pulled a breaker or something. But I looked at my phone, it wasn’t working either. The clock on the wall was dysfunctional.

“Everyone, stay in here!” I told the children. I looked over to the fifteen-year-old girl named Jackie. She had dropped out of school and volunteered to help me. “Watch them while I’m out,” I told her. She nodded, brushing her blond hair back over her shoulder.

Busting the door open, I walked outside and closed it gently behind me. Continuing down the hallway, I noticed that even the emergency generator was not working. There were no lights on at all. I had not a flashlight, nor a working phone that I could use to light my way and a window only came past occasionally. I made my way to the front lobby, a few other employees were there, arguing and only frustrating the situation even further.

“What’s going on?” I asked. Danielle Arrow met me, turning around from the group.

“Janet! Everything’s stopped working! All of the phones! All of the electric, the doors are locked! We can’t get out!”

The security doors at the entrance of the building locked, unable to be reactivated from the loss of electricity. I was in shock. I rushed to the metal doors powered by electric, and tried to yank them open. They were tough and wouldn’t budge. The worst part was the building’s manager, Mr. Roberts was at home, taking care of his sick wife and son. As I looked out of the glass doors, a fog was gathering. I could have sworn I saw someone standing out in the playground, looking straight at me, but the one small moment I looked away, it was gone when my eyes returned to it.

I found myself looking back at the group. “So we’re stuck here, without any means of calling for help until the electric comes back on?” I asked. The other teachers nodded. I sighed. “Well, let’s just continue the day as usual and perhaps it’ll come back on later…”

“Yeah, that seems like a good idea,” said Danielle. So we continued down to our classrooms and resumed the day as usual, with a few minor adjustments and adaptations due to the lack of electricity and we couldn’t take the kids outside for recess. Instead we just let them play the entire day. I sat at my desk, writing in my diary.

Dear Diary,

It’s been a long day for me, today the electric of the nursery school went out. I’ve had to sit in the dark all day with little light from the windows. It’s been hard, the children who are more timid are afraid of the dark and keep crying. I’m a mess…

Suddenly, an unfelt breeze came by and skimmed the pages of my book. A few pages flipped and stopped when it came to a peculiar page. Written sloppily, in runny black ink were the words “SHE IS AFTER THE CHILDREN”. I couldn’t recall ever writing this, and I knew that nobody else around had written it. This was a death message I feared, my heart sunk and I got a lumped, turned feeling in my stomach. My heart skipped beats. It must have been a bomb threat! Yes! That was it! Someone was going to kill all of the children!

I glanced at the children, Jackie saw my swelling fear and walked over to me. “What’s wrong?” she asked. I opened my mouth, my words did not escape. I glanced back down at the book. The words were gone. My mouth closed and I looked back up at Jackie.

“Nothing” I said. Jackie gave me a confused look, then returned to the group of children in the room, crouching down and playing with them.

I glanced out the window, something, a shadow passed by the window as quick as a flash. I got up, walked over to the widow, and looked carefully out it. I saw nothing but white fog pressing its obscure body up against the glass. Jackie came up next to me, looking out as well. “What are you looking at?” she asked. I did not answer, but instead turned to face the children. Everything was quiet for a moment. I then glanced over at the wall which somehow… a strange sentence was engraved in the wall.

“BELIEVE IN HER” it said. The engravings seemed to glow a blinding blue. My hear seemed to stop at this point. I gasped, stepping back. Jackie simply looked at me. I blinked my eyes once and the words were gone. “D-did you s-s-see that!?” I screamed. Jackie looked over at the empty wall, then back at me and simply stared. Wait. Was I going mad? Am I insane? What’s going on?

I looked to my left and to my right, then back at the girl. Jackie walked over to the door, and closed it, taking the key I had left on my desk and locking it. Then she placed the key in her pocket and looked back at me. “Jackie, what are you doing?” I asked. The blond-headed teenager turned around at me and glancing at the children who now stood up in a small circular-oval group giving suggestive glances to each other. Jackie stood in one spot, crossing her arms.

Suddenly something appeared in the corner of my eye. I turned my head to my left, finding a malevolent black-dressed figure standing behind the crowd of children. I screamed, running and crouching behind my desk. I assumed the children would do the same, but they did nothing.

I glanced up, the figure was a woman with whitish skin. She had long black hair that was not bundled, simply hung loose. She wore a long, silky black dress and her face was horrid. Her eyes looked like they lacked pupils and black cracks emitted from them, spreading all over the face as well as black shadows and shades radiated from her eyes. Her mouth was full of fangs and sharp teeth and she had extremely long black and yellow pus-filled claws that seemed like they were at least six and a half inches long. As soon as the figure appeared, all of the children were silenced. They all looked at her, each stayed quiet and barely blinked.

She walked around them, the children’s eyes did not leave the form of the apparition in the room. They did not blink, nor seemed to breathe normally, holding much in and finally letting it out then repeating. She whispered a few things to them and the children looked back at me. I hid under my desk. I saw the feet of a slender teenager appear in front of me. Jackie bent over, and pulled me out from under the desk ever so forcefully. I tried to rebel but I couldn’t she had me in her clutches. Jackie held my arms behind my back and held me tight.

“What are you doing?!” I screamed at her. “Let me go!”

“I cannot.” Jackie said.

“What is that thing?!” I screamed, looking at the ghost that was standing in front of me.

“She is the Apparition,” Jackie said. “Don’t you know the legend?”

I never had paid attention to the ludicrous local legends. There was one about a talking dog and a raven as tall as a man which made me lose my interest in our town’s folktales immediately. I stood, looking with widened eyes at this beast. She glared at me, baring fangs. The children suddenly all vanished, like fog and disappeared from my sight. All that remained were me, Jackie, and the ghost.

“Jackie has done well” the ghost spoke. I did not imagine that the thing could speak. And even so, her voice was terrible. It was in fact more of a shriek-snarl than a voice. “What are you?!” I yelled.

“I am a ghost that has been haunting this town for hundreds of years… I will not relent until everyone… is gone… I am soul eater, friend of children, and killer of man,” the ghost spoke. My heart seemed to drop even further, as if it had plummeted strait through my body and tunneled through the core of the very planet. I could not explain the fear I was experiencing, the sheer terror that filled my very blood.

“Go away! Please! Don’t kill me!” I screamed. “Please!”

The ghost glanced at me, it seemed to grow a mental grin. Its face however, did not crack a smile. “No, I will not kill you. You will endure something different…” she said.

I looked at her. TORTURE?! That was my first guess, but no, it was going to be worse. Jackie pushed me forward. I had no idea how much muscle that kid had in her. She crossed her arms as I was forced forward. I looked at the Apparition. The ghost’s arms suddenly grew at least another four feet and her fingers lengthened as well as her long claws. Her legs did the same, they grew so long that you could see her shins from under her dress. The limbs began to grow a black color as the ghost screamed, baring huge fangs. I screamed as she grabbed me, her long tentacle-like fingers fit around my waist perfectly.

She lifted me up into the air. I was forced to gaze straight into her eyes and suddenly everything grew a strange color that seemed to be similar to a whitish gray. I seemed to fall onto an unseen ground.

I glanced at my hand as I felt a stinging pain throbbing in it. It was beginning to turn white, cracking as if extremely dry. Blood dripped from each crack and my skin hardened. This spread everywhere on my body, everywhere! It was extremely painful especially in my most sensitive places. My hair turned brittle and dry, and turned the color of dark gray with stripes of white. My eyes transformed a shade of gray, I knew so because somehow I saw my reflection floating right in front of me, as if I was looking in some sort of invisible mirror. Blood sprayed from the corners of my eyes and flooded from my mouth and all over my body, drenching my clothing in a thick layer of liquid red.

My limbs began to feel heavy. I lost all feeling in them and my arms began to slowly rip and tear and fell from my very body, leaving empty, bleeding sockets and stubs. I screamed as I felt somewhat pain searing from the open wounds that split red everywhere. My legs soon became the same way, I fell over as they exploded with loud thuds, blood splashing all over my now disabled and destroyed body. The pain was indescribable, enough for me to continuously scream and scream and gain no help.

When I gained strength, I looked ahead. Jackie was standing in front of me. Somehow she looked different. She seemed more beautiful than before. As I seemed to grow uglier and more near death, her entire body began to stimulate and turn into a better version of itself. Normally she was short, well she had grown twice her size. I saw a black hooded figure standing behind her, whom I assumed was the ghost wearing a hood. Suddenly, everything went red and black when my eyes blasted from my skull and nothing remained but bloody and gored flesh. I screamed, screaming, and screaming; my mouth stretching as far and long as it could and suddenly my entire jaw ripped from my mouth and a waterfall of blood spilled forth.

I had no idea how I was still alive, normally someone would have bled out by now. But suddenly, I felt my entire body go numb, and my head fell forward. I was not dead, but instead my entire body slowly began to harden and turn like stone-stiff and immovable.

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