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I'd be the first to admit that I'm not innocent. I mean, none of us are, but least of all me. When I'd hit the old man, we thought he was dead. We thought he wouldn't have to suffer, but we were wrong. He was bleeding badly. The blood and the greyish concrete mixed together, turning the ground a sickly brownish black. He wasn't screaming or anything, but I could see the pain in his eyes. I don't even think he could scream, as his neck was covered in scars and stiches. You know what we did? We ran. Yup, that's right. We ran. We didn't even take the car. We grabbed his keys and the six-pack of Bud Light he'd bought at the gas station and left. The poor guy died alone, knowing that we just left him there.

We decided to settle down near a motel. It was a quiet spot, just a few miles away from the body. We leaned up against a few trees and decided to call it a night. Why hadn't we tried to get a room at the motel? I guess we were scared that somebody would suspect something. We were all shaking and nervous. I was soaked in sweat. I think it was the right idea to sleep on the cold, hard ground. Besides, it wasn't all bad. Some people threw away their sleeping bags in a dumpster and, besides the fact that they smelled like liquid shit, were usable. We didn't get much sleep and kept waking up, most of all Kevin. He was the one who came up with the idea to run away. I guess he felt guilty. Around sunrise, I woke up. Kevin and John were also awake, looking at the woods just across the street.

"Are you okay, Kev?"

He didn't answer. It was as if he was staring it down and he didn't want to look away. He slowly reached into his pocket and took out his phone, raising it. John shook him, trying to get his attention, but he just wouldn't move. He was completely oblivious to anything else. I swear, the dead guy could've come back to life and he'd still be staring at the woods. John punched his shoulder and, despite being knocked down and his phone being dropped, still stared at the woods. Something put him in a trance. And then, I saw what he saw. It was concealed in the trees, but you could still see its body.

You could see its massive hands and dark suit. It had a large, everlasting smile. Its mouth was open, making it look like it was laughing. But it wasn't. There was no noise, not even a slight chuckle. There was just silence for miles around. Not even the sound of birds chirping or the wind. I swear I could hear Kevin's heartbeat. I took a few steps back and then sprinted away. At full speed, I took down the road. I wasn't gonna die. Not like this. I stopped when I reached the car. I'd ran right back to the scene of the crime. There were no cops, thank god, but the body was still there. It moved. He wasn't dead. I watched as he leaned himself up against the car and gave me that same smile. That same everlasting smile. He tried to laugh, but nothing happened.

Silence. Dead silence. I stood completely paralyzed. How wasn't he dead. How? I grabbed a brick and approached the smiling man. I swear, for a few seconds, he was replaced by that tall figure. And, in fear of my life, I slammed the brick down on his head until all that was left was brain matter and fragments of his skull. His body kept moving, the arms and his legs thrashed around until they suddenly came to a stop. He was dead. I wanted to cry, but I couldn't. I ran back to the motel, the blood-soaked brick still in hand. John and Kevin were still there. They hadn't even realized I'd left. Both of them were staring at the woods. And there the figure was. He stood in front of them, his hands rested on their shoulders. A sound only comparable to that of a scream of a human being filled the air. He led them towards the woods. They didn't even fight back. They just followed obediently, like they were his pets.

"Wait!" I screamed, sweat running down my face. It turned its head, its smile widening. "Don't do this."

It stared at me for god knows how long. Maybe it was hours, maybe it was days. All I cared about was staring this bastard down. Then, all I could see was its face. It was all that mattered. I couldn't even feel my body, I couldn't move. All I cared about was its face. It was... beautiful. I blacked out in a few minutes, maybe hours, and woke up outside of the motel. A few scratches covered my entire body, but other than that I was okay. I couldn't say the same about John and Kevin. They were rested up against the cars. Their faces were unrecognizable. They were stretched, deformed. Their milky white eyes stared into my soul. John stood up, his distorted face twisting into that of the figure.

"Do you see now?" All I could hear was his voice. It was deep and distorted, but clearly human.

"Do you see?"

I was shaking. I don't know if it was in fear or out of anger, but I was shaking. I could only ask one thing.

"What are you?"

He let out a laugh, his entire body convulsing after a single "HA". He looked at me and gave me an even wider smile.

"I am your judge." He said. "And the jury finds you guilty."

John's body fell to the ground, lifeless once more. His face reverted back to that distorted, nonhuman form. I sat down and waited. Waited for what, I don't know. I hoped someone would find me and call someone. Anyone. But nobody did. Not for a long time. I saw a few cars pass by, but they never noticed me. They just drove past. To my luck, somebody did stop by. A guy in his mid-40s driving a pickup truck. He was nice. A good guy to crack open a cold one and smoke some ciggies with, you know? We had a few laughs until he turned to me and smiled.

That same, everlasting smile.


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