Today is the day. Today marks the one year anniversary since that horrible night. Although it has been a year, I remember everything so clearly. I remember every thought going through my head. I remember the color of those dead, blackened eyes. I remember the length of those sharp jagged teeth. I remember every single thing about that—I do not even know what that thing was. For the past year, I have had no other thought than to refer whatever that creature was as diabolus, which is Latin for Devil.

Everything had been going so well for me. I was doing great in school; I had the perfect boyfriend, and an exceptional amount of friends. Everything was so perfect, until Amber invited me and a couple of other friends to her house. At Amber’s house, well, everyone was bored beyond belief and we were just looking for something fun to do. What usually happens in situations like this is someone suggests a game of Truth or Dare, and everyone reluctantly agrees as there is nothing better to do. Amber’s house is located in the middle of the woods. Within these woods, there is a small waterfall, making it perfect for dares that make people shake with fear.

The game progressed slowly because everyone refused to choose dare, fearing the consequences. I, however, wanted to be a brave soul and be the first to choose dare. Dear Lord, I was such a fool. David, my best friend at the time, dared me to take a fifteen minute stroll through the woods without a flashlight and without my phone. I thought I had to prove myself to my friends. I somehow managed to push my pride far ahead of my judgment and all regards for safety. I was just about to walk outside when I realized that without my phone, I would have no idea when fifteen minutes would be up. I turned to David and asked him for his watch. Before handing me the watch, he set it to go off in fifteen minutes. With that, I was off to complete my dare.

From the moment I stepped outside, I knew something just was not right. I had that burning feeling that I was being watched. I could not go back now; my friends would laugh at me! I had to push through the fear, no matter how much it consumed me. Despite my hopes that the fears would dissolve and I would laugh at my childlike beliefs that a monster was lurking somewhere in the woods, those feelings only grew stronger. Within five minutes, all of my senses were heightened, adrenaline was coursing through my veins, and my heart was beating straight through my chest. I tried to tell myself that I was being ridiculous, and that I would return to Amber’s house within fifteen minutes completely unharmed, but my thoughts were shattered by the sound of sticks snapping under the steps of someone—or something. I froze dead in my tracks. My heart stopped and found its way into my throat. I wanted to faint, but I knew that if I did, whatever it was that was in the woods with me would find me.

I hid behind the tree next to me. That is when I first caught sight of the creature, the diabolus. The creature was horrendous. It had razor sharp teeth and grey skin covered in scales. Its eyes, those dark, deep pools of solid black, are what have forever engraved themselves into my memory. I wanted to scream, I wanted to run, but I knew that if I dared move a muscle, it would find me. The diabolus would kill me. Relief began to rush in when I saw it become uninterested with the area, and continue to a different part of the woods.

I was almost happy, all until the watch began to beep. I have never heard anything so loud in my life. The watch beeped so tauntingly, as if to say, “Congratulations! Your fifteen minutes is up! The last fifteen minutes of your life, that is.” I tried my hardest to conceal the noise, but nothing would work. The creature stopped and whipped its head around, and strangely began to sniff the air. I actually began to wonder what on earth the creature was trying to smell. When it quickly turned its head in my direction, I realized he was trying to determine my scent. The second my gaze met that of the diabolus, my feet acted on their own and began to run. I have never ran so fast in my life, only because now was the only time that was exactly what I was running for.

I ran deeper into the woods, never looking back once. I could hear the diabolus running behind me. I heard its labored breathing, the breathing of a bloodthirsty creature that would do anything to acquire the flesh of its chosen prey. I found a large rock and began to slide myself under it. I looked at the watch, while at the same time listening to the footsteps of the creature. “11:45,” I thought to myself, “11:45 is the time I will die. Exactly one hour after leaving the safety of Amber’s house will be the time of my death.” The footsteps stopped. I listened closely, praying the diabolus had lost interest in finding me. I shuddered when I realized that it had only paused in an attempt to trace my scent. By the rapid pace of its breathing, I realized the diabolus was closer to locating me. I quickly bolted out from underneath the rock and ran towards the waterfall. The waterfall was my last hope. I did not dare to look back. As soon as I got to the waterfall, I dove right into the water and hid behind the fall. I closed my eyes and began to think. I had accepted the fact that if the diabolus was still able to find me, I would not see daylight ever again.

I opened my eyes again. I realized that there was a break in the fall, and I was able to see all around me. Emerging from the woods, I saw the diabolus. It must have been seven feet tall. I nearly fainted from fright, but I managed to hold myself together. I saw the creature lift its nose high into the air in hopes of detecting my scent. It stood there for five minutes smelling the air. Right then, my prayers had been answered. The creature began to retreat back into the woods. Relief flooded me, making my body go numb. I did not dare to move from my spot behind the waterfall. I stayed there until daylight broke, and I could hear my friends in the distance desperately calling my name. I emerged from the falls and ran into their comforting arms. I told them of the nightmare I had endured throughout the night. They began to look at me strangely, but I told them every single detail.

Although it has been a year since that terror-filled night, I still remember every single detail. Most people block out traumatic events, and fail to recall simple facts from the event. But because they put me in this big white room with nothing in it and my hands restrained in an odd jacket, I have had nothing better to do but recall every detail for the last three-hundred-and-sixty-five days. I try telling the man in the white jacket with the clipboard my story, but he does not seem to listen to me. The whole time he is in my room, he is writing something on the clipboard. I try to ask him to please let me tell someone my story, but every time he leaves my room I hear him say into a small recording device, “The patient is showing no signs of progress.” I wonder what he means by that.

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