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By Kristin Colletti


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Chapter One


Julie's eyes fluttered open and it took a moment for her to see clear. She rubbed her throbbing head staring at the trees so high up. A light wind blew the branches and the sun made its way to her eye. Julie moaned and sat up. Where am I? She asked herself. She gasped when she looked down at herself. She barely wore clothes, they were all ripped. There was bloody cuts and bruises marking her beautiful body. What happened? I can't remember anything. Julie started to walk through the woods a bit and then she saw something a little in the distance, floating in a small pond. Julie walked closer, her eyes got wide, her mouth dropped.


"Cindy? Cindy!"


She screeched jumping in the shallow water and running through the mush beneath her feet. She turned the body around and screamed. Her friends eyes were wide open and her skin blue.


"Oh Cindy, oh God."


Julie whimpered out. She looked at her reflection in the dirty water and saw her face looked no better then her body.
"I'm so sorry Cindy, this is all my fault but it was only suppose to be a joke."


Julie pulled the heavier girl out of the water and lied her on some grass. She then stood up and walked away but looking back every few steps. Finally, Cindy James was out of sight and Julie walked the woods alone. She wondered how long they'd been out there, she wondered what happened?


"Ow! S---!"


The sticks, rocks and acorn beneath her bare feet was hard to stand. After forty-five minutes of walking a thin trail of blood followed from all the small cuts on her feet. She whined a little, she cried a little but after awhile they were numb and she just continued to trudge.


  I can't do this anymore, I can't walk another step. Julie sat down on a broken tree trunk and looked in every direction. Endless woods, all I see is trees, I'm never going to get out of here. After a few minutes she was back up and walking again. She already had made it further then she ever thought she could. Julie Peters never had to work this hard. The beautiful, smart, perfect rich girl barely had to lift a finger in her whole life. Cindy James on the other hand, had to work for every thing. She was born and raised in a trailer park, she wasn't pretty, popular or thin. She worked right after school till one or two in the morning at a small diner.


  Julie looked up at the orange and red sky. The sun was now setting, she was scared of the darkness that would soon take over the sky. Julie stopped and listened closely. Her eyes now peering every which way and that's when she saw it, lights only for a second and they were gone. Julie ran towards it and as she got closer she saw the lights again, head lights!. Finally, she was at the street and she wanted to fall to her knees and kiss it. Julie looked around, it was Old Sampson road. Her family's mansion was only about twenty minutes away. She thought about waiting for another car to pass but then decided against it. First off she was half naked and what if the person who picked her up was a raving rapist. I made it this far I'm not about to lose now. She cut through and took the train tracks but stopped at a puddle. Julie had to just stare at herself. I'm never going to be beautiful again. Besides the several cuts and bruises on her body! the ones on her face made her sick. Her lips had four cuts in them and were swollen out. On her right cheek was a bruise that was a dark shade of blue and purple. On her left cheek was a deep cut that was about six or seven inches long. Her nose was busted in, and there was scrapes and bumps on her forehead and chin.


  Julie was back on her way and it was shortly after she reached the end of her drive way. At first she didn't think she could walk another step but when she saw her house she ran so fast she thought she was flying. She noticed all the cars and realized her parents were throwing a party. Julie walked in and decided to wait upstairs till after.


"Julie Peters, where have you been?"


Julie froze on the stairs but kept her back to her mother.


"I've been kinda sick, I'm going to go lie down."


She heard her mothers steps and then felt her hands on her arm.


"Not until you say hello, it's only polite."


"Mom I can't, I look terrible."


Her mother pulled her and Julie stopped them right before they entered the gathering. She looked at her mother.


"Well, your not at your prettiest but here..."


She fluffed Julies hair and then pulled her into the room. Her mother quickly smiled brightly.


"Everyone look who's here, the beautiful Julie."


People smiled at her, kissed her hand or cheek. Then she saw her daddy, who was by far her favorite. He handed his arms and she almost fell into them.


"May I just say Mr. Peters your daughter gets more and more beautiful by the day."


"That I know but keep your hands off Mr. Grates."


He said with a soft chuckle.


"What is everyone's problem?"


Julie screamed loudly. The music stopped and everyone stared.


"I got beat up and Cindy James is dead in the woods! Look at my face! Look at my clothes and my body!"
"Cindy James?"


Somebody asked in almost disgust.


"Yes, I was dared a few weeks ago to befriend her and I don't know we must have..."


Julie stopped for a second.

"We must have been just out and something happened but I don't remember, but she's dead."


Her mother stepped forward in a panic.


"I must apologize Julie hasn't been sleeping well and she's grown ill."


She took Julie's hand but she ripped it away.


"Will everyone look at me, God f---kin damn it! Look at me!"


Her mother pulled her close and almost flung her into the mirror.


"Look at yourself Julie, look, you are fine."


It was true, her skin was smooth and perfect again. She was dressed in a lovely blue dress and everything was perfect.
"No, no this can't be. I wasn't like this a minute ago, I swear."


What's happening to me?
--- Kristin Colletti

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