December 22

I'm not fully sure how this all started, it just, happened. One day I was at peace, I was sane, normal, happy. The next I was insane, outcasted, lost. I blame everything on her....

It's a normal Monday, I hear about a new student in my class. It's supposed to be temporary. The kid's only staying a year. Everybody seems cheerful about getting to meet the new kid, who wouldn't be? After our stupid "daily gathering" I take the long way to my classroom. I take that way because I like taking my time going to classes. As soon as I finish walking up all 55 of those steep, ridiculously small steps, I'm finally on my floor.

My room's at the end of the hallway. Since I'm in a good mood, I do a small skip down to my room. My one friend sees me and tells me that the new kid is supposed to be sitting next to me. Great, if he, or she, is one of those annoying ones I'm stuck next to him, or her, for the whole year. I approach room 175, take a deep breath, then, with my eyes closed, enter the room, then look towards my desk.

This new kid is a girl, she's super tall, ridiculously tall. Her brown hair resembles a man. Her dark brown eyes show confusion and curiosity, plus a little stupidity. She's got this large build to her, wide shoulders, large torso and legs, strong arms. I'm not sure what to think, I hardly know her, she could be nice, mean, or even annoying. I go to my seat and the first thing I get is a deep "hi."

Her voice is super deep, it resembles something you'd have made in a recording studio. I say hi back then I start unpacking my stuff. She's looking at me, she's not even blinking. Is this her way of studying somebody? Whatever she's doing it's creeping me out. I look up at her, smile, then turn in my seat to look behind me.

She's right there. How in the world did she get around me so quickly? I awkwardly say another hi then turn around again. To a shock she's there too! I look behind me quickly, nothing there. Maybe I was seeing things. I finish unpacking right before the teacher enters the room. The teacher introduces this girl, her name's Karen Oliver. Seems normal enough. While the teacher was reviewing science, I noticed a hand reaching towards my head. Before I can even turn to look Karen grabs my hair and sharply pulls down. I feel like I'm choking, I can't breath. My head is too far back to get air down my bent neck. The teacher looks up, she calmly tells "Ms. Oliver" to let go, I don't think teach knew I was dying there. I look at this "Karen", she's staring at me, a small grin on her face. I smile back at her, resulting in her's growing to a full ear to ear smile.

After 5 periods of her staring, it's finally recess. I walk straight to my usual spot, I sit down to relax. Here she comes, straight for me. Do I ever get a break? Nope. She sits right next to me, the first thing she does is poke me right in the chest. I'm in major pain, my whole body hurts, I didn't want to scream because she's new, that would be rude. Karen then pokes me on the arm. I get an even worse pain from that. A bruise instantly forms where she poked me. She's laughing, she thinks this was a joke, she thought it was fun. I'm about to yell at her but then I remember my "don't be rude" policy. I simply stroke my hurting arm and continue to relax. Just as I get comfortable I receive a big whack in the head. My teeth clamp together at the impact and my whole head is in pain. This time I couldn't help it, I let out a yelp of pain.

After the pain mostly went away, I got up and moved to a new spot. As soon as I got there and sat down, she was there. She beat me to it when I knew she wasn't following me. This creeped me out, a lot. Before I can even ask anything the bell rings. Time for lunch.

I'm followed all the way to my seat. It's that same feeling you get when your annoying brother follows you. When I sit down I'm welcomed by a nice, hard tug to the hair. This time I was prepared for it, I managed to break free from her hold before I started choking. I listen in on the other kids at my table, they're talking about Karen and how annoying she seems. No one's bothered to speak to her except me. Then I hear them mention me, how I'm stupid for talking to her. They also mention that I'm no longer welcome if I bring her with me. Great, now I'm a possible outcast. The bells ring and before I even get up I'm whacked in the head by that same large hand.

Math was terrible, this girl was stuck as my partner and she didn't know any math, at all. I had to do all the work and to be honest, I think we flunked. All the other kids were having fun with their partner and they were getting all the answers correct. Right before the bell rings, Karen leans real close to me, and stares.

I'm about to go nuts, this chick has been nothing but a nightmare, and it's only her first day for crying out loud! Why is she doing this? Does she like being creepy? I had to ask her some questions. After the bell rang I stopped her in the hall way, wasn't too hard considering she's always there!

I took this opportunity to ask her, "Why are you always stalking me? Do you like being creepy?"

At first she had a blank look on her face, then she leaned close, intent look in her eyes, and said, "I'll always be there, no matter where you go, I'm there, I'll always be watching."

Okay, that creeped me out, I ran down the hall. The final bell rings, I continue running, I open the front doors. Before I can continue running, she's there. I let out a yelp, then turn towards my mom's car. Mom asked me if I made any new friends, I told her no, but I did mention Karen. I didn't talk about how I was being stalked, or being hit, I thought it was unnecessary. At home I felt like somebody was outside of my window, when I looked I saw a large figure by my apple tree. Before I could make out any detail, it disappeared. Later that day, around bedtime, I got that feeling again. I had the strong urge to look even though I knew it was a bad idea. The urge became too much, I looked. I fell off my bed when I saw Karen's face pressed against my window. As I fell off my head hit the floor so hard I passed out.

I had at least 5 dreams of a large figure following me. Each time in the dreams I would be running away from the thing following me, it would eventually catch me somehow then pull me away into the darkness. The scariest thing was that I couldn't wake up, the dream would just restart making me experience the fear again. I could swear that girl was Karen because I could hear her laugh every time she caught me.

I wake up, turn my TV on, snow day. I eat breakfast, then I realize something's wrong. My mom isn't home. The snow's too deep to drive in, let alone walk in. There was no way she left on her own. The driveway isn't shoveled, her purse is still on the counter, the kitchen TV's still on. My mom has disappeared. In the corner on the living room are my mom's slippers, black dust, and nail marks. Now I'm scared, something took my mom. I start calling out for my mom, even though I know she isn't coming to comfort me. Then I notice a note in my mom's left slipper.

"I told you before, I will always be there. Take the path I created for you in the snow. I took your mom, why? I like being creepy, that's why. Meet me at school, I want to play a game with you, I like to call it a very suiting name. I call it 'The Creeping.' It's a simple game, you find your mother in the school before I find you. I lock all the doors and windows to make sure you don't leave. If you find your mother then I allow you both to leave. On the other hand, if you fail, well, you'll find out soon enough.

Your friend,

The Creeper (Karen Oliver)"

That was enough to dive me crazy, but I instead controlled my fear and opened the door, suddenly a path formed in the 7ft. high snow. As I walked it, I noticed a bike with a note tied to it. All it said was "hurry up." I rode the bike the rest of the way to the school. With nobody there, it seemed darker, more abandoned than on a normal day. The doors opened on their own, taking in a deep breath, I entered them. The doors immediately slammed behind me, making me jump in fear.

I heard her laugh, then her voice saying, "Let the game begin."

I look around, it's the same school, only the lights are dim and flashing, the walls seem blacker, and the stairs look older. It's almost like I'm in an alternate dimension. I walk up the steps an glance down the hallway.

Karen has morphed the whole school into a maze, it looks nothing like the school I know, plus this is too big to fit inside this small school. Karen has some sort of ability to change reality. I walk down some paths of the maze. You can hear her laugh almost everywhere you turn. After going for what seems like 30 minutes, I start to hear footsteps and air down my neck. I sharply turn around the next corner and 3 feet in front of me is my mom. As I run towards her she quickly changes into Karen who reaches forward and almost catches me. As I turn around and start running I hear her quietly and slowly say:

"I've found you."

Fear over takes me, I'm hyperventilating. Everywhere I turn she's there. I take a left, nothing's there, I run onwards. I take the next right, she's there, laughing, smiling. I run down the path to the left, it seems to go on forever. I don't dare look behind because I know she's on my tail.

The next right I take has a curvy path, it's a long one and I'm starting to run out of energy. Darkness is all around me, what was my sanity has been thrown away, I only have one goal, find my mother. I hear Karen's laugh. Something in my head snaps and I start to laugh along. My laugh scares me, it sounds nothing like me, it sounds like a psycho. I take a left and at the end of the path is my mother.

I feel no happiness, all I can do is continue to laugh. I look down at the ground, I'm standing on a mirror. My face is formed into a large smile. My head is cocked to the side. My eyes are wide, tears flow from them. I am no longer who I was, everything I was is gone. I can't return from this. As I approach my mother she starts to fall into a black hole in the floor. It sucks her away as she grabs and claws at the ground. The mirror cracks and cuts her hands at she desperately grabs for something to save her. Right before she's sucked away forever she looks up at me and pleads for me to help. I can't even process my mind properly anymore, I just stand there, that same look on my face. Mom screams right before she's sucked away, forever.

I feel tears roll down my face, I start sobbing but my face is stuck in that same look. What's wrong with me?! I then feel a warm breath on my neck, "Your time is up!"

My face instantly changes into a face of pure terror. I turn to face Karen. She is reaching for my arm. Before she can grab me I turn and run for the nearest path. I no longer have purpose, I no longer have a mind.

I am nothing but an animal running on instinct, running on fear. Karen is around every corner I turn. I'm an animal being chased by the hunter and I have finally fallen for the trap. All I can do is turn around and run, but I'm stopped by a hand grabbing my foot. I fall to the ground, I look at my foot and Karen is holding it, pulling me into that black hole. She's grinning. I'm slowly being pulled away, into the eternal darkness. This darkness won't kill me, it won't even erase me, I'll be trapped there, forever, with her. My eyes are wide with terror, I start clawing at the ground but it's no use.

My fingers are now barely holding what I guess is reality, they're slowly slipping. Finally, I can't hold on no more. I let go. I take one last look at the world I once existed in as the hole closes up for good. I'm in nothing, I'm falling in the black. I'm not even sure if I'm falling, floating, or frozen. I can't even see my hand in front of me. I feel limbless, unable to move, unable to resist. I hear Karen call my name, then tell me the game has ended. The last it hear of her voice is:

"I will always be there."

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