Living in the missing person's capital of the world, I have become quite certain that the old mine shafts, in the backwoods were nesting grounds for vampires. Many of my friends could be down there... lurking in the endless maze of tunnels... hundreds of miles deep.
Sara says she seen them too. I wasn't convinced that, she wasn't just playing along. Yet when a cold draft blew out from that void, that stood before us, brushing the red locks from her freckled cheeks, an ominous fear struck me in the spine, while she recollected over her encounter.
Sara was cutting through the woods after school, when she saw someone she had never seen before, wandering near the main entrance to one of the mines. She was about her height and oddly dressed, wearing a long, worn out summer dress, that looked to be decades out of style.
Her hair was dishwater blond in color and unkempt. There were faint, blue bruises on her arm and even more unsettling; no shoes on her feet.
Sara figured that she must have startled her, for it appeared that this thin, little girl was awakened from some sort of trance-like state.
"Hello," Sara called out to her, but the girl did not reply. Instead, she hung her head, and twisted her toe into the dirt, as if shy and even a little embarrassed.
"I'm Sara," she continued, "What's your name?"
The girl looked up at her with a deep, blue vacuum gaze, for a brief moment; wanting to tell her but lacking the courage.
"Are you okay? Did something happen to you?"
Sara couldn't help but think there was a pretty face beneath that nappy hair, and wanted nothing more than to help her. She figured that may be she was a mountain girl, or even a feral child.
"Come on," Sara said, reaching for her arm, "my house is just beyond the trees, I can fix you up!"
The strange girl reluctant, followed.
Once there, Sara showed the girl, her room. The pink walls and purple carpet that Sara had picked out herself, would've bewildered anyone, yet the girl seemed to be in awe, over every small detail, as if never seeing a room like it. Sara was feeling a rush of charity for her, and went to her closet, in search of a new outfit for her. She felt silly for thinking it, but it was almost like having a kid sister to dress up.
As the girl gently felt the fabric of every dress, Sara noticed her eyes zero in on a particular article of clothing. It was a creamy, silk dress that Sara wore as a bridesmaid dress to her aunt's wedding. She wasn't sure it would hang right on her frail, little frame, but to her surprise it fit perfectly.
This made Sara happy about her own figure as well as the girl, and decided it was time to do something about that hair. This was not a pleasant experience for either of them. Sara tried to be gentle, but the brush just wasn't cutting it. She had to resort to pick and comb.
At long lasts Sara was pleased with herself and decided on a shade of makeup and lipstick, that she would never dare put on herself, yet for her pale, porcelain-like complexion, bright red cheeks and lips made her stunning. It was almost surreal to Sara, to see this wild creature from the woods transform into a living, Victorian portrait.
Not only did she look beautiful, Sara could tell she felt beautiful; as if awakening to a new life. Yes! Sara's creation is nothing short of a masterpiece, to be unveiled upon the waiting world... to look upon her as a princess... No! A goddess!
"Okay, are you ready to have a look?" She announces with glee.
The girl nodded once, and for the first time even smiled. Sara led her to a large mirror that hung on the wall. But what they found, both perplexed and terrified Sara. The girl had no reflection... Distraught, she let out a screeching cry as Sara tripped backwards onto the floor. She scurried her back against the wall and covered her ears from the head splitting shriek.
She contemplated her mortality as the girl hissed at her, revealing long, ivory fangs. Yet she did not lunge at Sara. Instead, she turned and threw herself out the bedroom window. The glass violently shattered, as the white lace curtains swirled into an abyss of darkness.
When Sara was finally able to collected her thoughts, she crept towards the broken window and ever so cautiously, peeked out into the cool night.
She could not comprehend how someone could fall from two stories and flee off into the night, not missing a beat. Yet, as the cries echoed off into the unseen depth, no other conclusion could be drawn.
A Shy Girl LingersShort horror fiction
By Richard Schnelzer