The Foretelling

Alyssa Portillo, Writer

        Sometimes, the only person you can trust is yourself. High school makes it true, if anything. Elise pulled her textbooks out of her bag, dreading the hours she was about to spend on chemistry. Peering through her notebooks, she let out a sigh as she pulled out her poorly written notes. Her keychains jingled as she started to zip up her backpack before stopping abruptly. 


“What is that?” 


She wondered, staring at a leather cover she swore she hadn’t put in her backpack. Elise pondered whether she’d taken it on accident as she slipped it out of the bag and onto her desk. Flipping to the first page, she realized that it was a diary. Strangely, no author’s name was written on the line. There was a torn red ribbon hanging out from the side that caught her eye. Although it was rude and nosy, her curiosity got the better of her, as it did most times. 


Today hurt more than it should’ve. I thought she was a nice girl. So sweet to everyone around her. I guess there’s a limit to that. Cause getting called a slur to your face isn’t kindness, is it? 


Elise froze as she read the passage over again. There was something that struck her deep, and she understood the author’s pain. Already, she felt horrible for reading, but she tried to rationalize it with human nature. So much for that working. 


Did you know polyester melts when it’s set on fire? I had to find out in a tiny abandoned lot. I was so close to making it home. I stopped for a break, and the whole building went up in a fiery blaze. At the doctor’s, they told me the hacking in my lungs was from smoke. And that the red, peeling skin on my arms were healing burns. The police asked me if I had any involvement. I told them I had no idea. That was a lie. I knew. 


Horror flooded Elise’s mind as she read about the fire and its aftermath. She’d never told anyone before, but she was terrified of flames. The author’s entry only made her fear it more. There was a niggling feeling in the back of her mind that these weren’t separate incidents. She wasn’t sure why. 


Suddenly, it was like someone stuck a steaming hot iron to her skin. Pain raced through her nerves like lightning and she let out an anguished yelp. The sensation refused to go away, and torturing sobs wracked her body. As quickly as it came, it disappeared. Elise gripped her arms, cold to the touch. 


“What is going on…?” 


Looking up at her window, the sky was a multitude of colors. Twilight drew near and she let out a shaky sigh. Genuinely debating on whether to continue, she shook her head and kept reading. The diary only looked more and more daunting as she opened it once more. 


Why do they hate me? I’m not the sharpest after getting my head slammed into the ground, but why? It hurts. My chest hurts like I got tackled. My skin is mottled with blue and purple bruises that I barely know how to treat. I’m so…tired.


Elise felt for the author. “They must be going through so much.” Then, she was gasping and out of breath. Pressure built on her chest, getting heavier and heavier. There was a thin hissing in the background and she forced herself to turn around. The soft shadows of her bedroom seemed to morph, turning into something more sinister, more evil.


  It was a gruesome figure, gaunt and dark with hands that dropped into painfully sharp claws. The monster was approaching closer and Elise couldn’t find the strength to stop it. When it was only a few feet away, something about it caused her mind to stop in its tracks. Green irises flecked with gold. Those were the eyes she saw in the mirror every morning. 


Elise couldn’t stop the hoarse screams. It floods her ears, fear and panic swirling around like a whirlpool. There’s another shriek thrown into the mix, nearly bursting her eardrums. The phantom is screaming back at her, both trying to say something. Its slow, calculated steps make her chest ache with fear. 


Claws grip her neck like a predator catching its prey. They dig deeper, choking out any cries for help and replacing it with gurgles of blood. She holds a shaking hand to the wound, squeezing out tears of agony. The cuts are deep, and she can feel flesh pulsing wildly underneath. The monster grabs her shirt, roughly dragging her out the window. With her last view being splatters of red, she hears a voice. 

“I saved you from your own fate. Be grateful.”