It was seven years ago today. Thinking back now, I would have never acted on such a stupid impulse, not if it wasn't for her. She drove me to it, prodded me, provoked me into going to that horrid place. "Are you scared?" She would laugh, mocking me, or feigning worry, "Maybe you should just go home Sean! Since you're such a wimp and all, you know?!" She loved to make me angry. I suppose that's because she knew that making me angry was a sure way to get exactly what she wanted. She... Sarah Elizabeth Parker McLean... Thinking back now, I would have stayed away from her the second I laid eyes on her... Had I only known.

Of course, I was a nerd. She was popular, the most beautiful girl in the whole school, sure, but there was something about her. She was different than those vain popsicle sticks that normally cling to popularity, with defiant cries of envy, and poisonous lies behind smiles of fragile glass. No, she wasn't like them. She was the kind of girl who would look at you, and really see you. Sometimes, it could feel like she was actually looking straight through you, straight into your soul. That's just crazy, right?

One day, November 3rd to be exact, a few gorillas decided to shove me into a locker. That's the first time I met her, and that's when my world began. She waited until everyone had had their fun and left, and then she promptly helped me out, apologizing, and asking if I was ok. Dumbfounded, I said some things that were, no doubt, incredibly stupid, but I more or less was fine. "I hate people like that." She said, starring intensely in their direction. I could have sworn I'd seen a strange kind of fire in her eyes, flashing across them for a split second, but I had quickly dismissed it as my overactive imagination.

Days went by, and she would check on me every now and then, to make sure I was ok. Ironically, the four jerks who had shoved me into a locker had come down with some kind of flu, but I didn't think on it too much. I was happy, so why would I? The hottest girl in the school, and she was talking to me!

Over a period of time, around three months, Sarah and I had become good friends. Her honeysuckle hair that shined brilliantly in the sun, her gorgeous hazel eyes, her olive skin; she stunned me with every glance. I was so in love, I had hardly given it a second thought when I read in the school paper that all four of the boys had recently died of "Strange Illnesses."

On the day "It" happened, it was an ordinary day. Kind of warm for January. Almost year had gone by, and we were dating now. I had come to learn that she was a pretty sadistic girl on the inside, but nothing I couldn't handle. I was pretty masochistic myself, you see. She decided that we should do something crazy, and, of course, with groans and minor protests, I agreed.

"So, I hear there's this really creepy abandoned house at the end of town. We should go there later on, tonight! We'll bring Beth, John, Morgan, and Lindsey!" She squealed in delight, the idea settling in her mind like fresh gold in a bank. "Aw, why Beth..." I protested, "She's always so stuck-up..." She ignored me, of course, because she knew that I didn't care. As long as I was home by 12:30, I could care less about where we went, or what we did. It was a cool afternoon. "7:34... Lindsey's still not here." I groaned and began polishing my watch. I did that a lot when I was nervous. "She'll be here, don't worry guys." Sarah promised, her tone a bit giddy. Morgan, John, and Beth had already arrived, and decided to start poking around on their own. I wanted to wait for Lindsey because she was my best friend. In retrospect, I should have told her to stay home...

Around 8:21 Lindsey finally showed up. By that time, we hadn't heard from the others in awhile. Their footsteps crunching leaves and branches had already trailed off into the oblivion of the forest trail. The trail led up to the house, which had been abandoned since before I was born, but it cut through the national forest and halfway up a small mountain. The mosquitoes would start coming in thick any second now, and the heat was almost unbearable, despite it being mid January.

As we started up the trail, there was nothing unusual, which seemed odd to me. It was dark, and sinister, so, logically, you'd think your mind would play tricks on you, but nope. Not a thing. About an hour after we started walking, Lindsey got scared, so we stopped for a bit. "9:32... It's getting pretty late Sarah... Are you sure we aren't lost?" I asked cautiously. I turned around, but she wasn't there... She was gone! I almost freaked out, and that's putting it mildly! It was ok though, right? She must have just walked ahead a little? She could get pretty impatient, right? That's when we heard it! A bloodcurdling scream, but not Sarah's... It was Beth! It came from somewhere close by! About that time, I say John stagger out of the woods, and collapse at my feet... He was covered in mud, and leaves, and what looked like blood, and he tried to speak, but something was wrong. It was like his mouth was sown shut!

He struggled against an invisible force for a minute, his eyes grew wide, and then... He was gone... He died, right there, right in front of us... That was it! Sarah or no Sarah, we were leaving. Lindsey was beyond broken, tears streamed down her face, but not a single word broke free. We started running down the trail as fast as we could, and I felt like, maybe, just maybe, it would be a freak accident or something. I stopped hearing Lindsey breathing, so I turned to look, and that's when my heart stopped... Lindsey... was in a tree... Impaled on a branch... Her eyes were looking straight down, wide with terror, but she wasn't looking at the branch.

There, at the foot of the tree, starring directly at me with eyes that held a sadistically evil fire, was Sarah...

Her hair flowed unnaturally in the breeze, and she laughed, a sound like lavender and velvet...

The last sound I'd ever hear...