A Collection of Stories

Short stories written by Liberty students – like yourself!
The shapeshifting amulet on top of The Diary of Jane Bates.
The shapeshifting amulet on top of “The Diary of Jane Bates.”
Lexi Hufty

Below, I have gathered three stories by Liberty students. The first is ‘The Treasure of the Orcs” by Brielle Vassel, her take on a fable. A total of 555 words, it tells the tale of a group of heroes taking back stolen treasure for King Laleilot. The second is “Cabin in the Woods” by Michael Fletcher. This story is 1,669 words, about four brothers who find a monster in the woods. The last story is ‘The Diary of Jane Bates” by Michael Boschert. It is 4,370 words, about a girl in the 1920’s who is sent to an asylum after something burned down her house.

All these stories are incredible! My gratitude to the authors, and I hope you enjoy it!

The Treasure of the Orcs

By Brielle Vassel

Many years ago, in the city of Mazmorraz, the heroes of Mazmorraz received a message from the king of the great kingdom of Getchen. The messenger of King Laleilot told the Heros that the Kingdom of Getchen was in great danger. The treasure of Getchen was stolen by the King of Orcs, along with an important artifact called the appearance amulet. This amulet can change anyone’s appearance to look like someone else. This, along with a lot of important things, were stolen from the King. The messenger told the Heroes that if the amulet was not returned, then the King of the Orcs would use it to take over Mazmorras. The Heros agreed to the quest.

 Ellie the Elegant, Garratte the Great, Anonymous, and Swiftstar set out to retrieve the artifact. They arrived at the kingdom and went to the King, who told them where the treasure was. The King told them that he was thankful that they could come and help. The Heroes left the kingdom and journeyed to retrieve the treasure from the orcs.

When they arrived at the destination, they were ambushed by a pack 12 of wild Orcs! Ellie the Elegant slashed her 3 Orcs with her Severed Sand Longsword. Garratte the Great used the fire from his hands to turn his 3 Orcs enemies to ash. Anonymous used their magical wand (made out of a branch of the baffling buff fruit tree) to poison their enemies. Swiftstar used her sword made of ancient gold and dragon scales to slice her Orcs in half. The group then went into the now unguarded cave lair of the Orcs.

In the cave, they saw the King of Getchen tied up to a pillar! The heroes quickly untied the King. The King, when his gag was removed, screamed, “Behind you!!” Quickly turning, the Heroes saw… the King of Getchen? This one was the King they saw in the kingdom a few days before. Before the heroes could do anything the King turned into… The King of Orcs! The Heros were confused until they saw an amulet tied around the Orc King’s neck. The Orc King must have used the amulet to trick the heroes into falling into the trap!

Realizing this, the heroes quickly sprung into action. The King of the Orcs swung his long ax that he had hid behind his back. After quickly ducking, Garratte threw a huge flame of fire at the Orc. It burnt the Orc King and he let out a huge scream of rage. Swiftstar and Ellie both slashed their swords at the Orc King’s neck. Now fatally wounded, the Orc King tried to swing his ax one last time, but when he tried to step forward towards the heroes, he tripped and fell on his own ax. Anonymous had tied his feet together whenever he was distracted by the others.

The Orc King was now dead! The real King of Getchen was overjoyed. The treasure was safely returned, and the King of Getchen threw a big celebration feast in their honor. Then, when it was time for the heroes to return home, the King gave the heroes a lot of money and treasure to thank them for helping. The heroes returned back to Mazmorras. That is the end of the story of the Treasure of the Orcs.

Cabin in the Woods

By Michael Fletcher

It was a cold, windy Autumn night, the sky was dark with the moon shining as bright as a light shining gleamingly in the dark. There are four boys wandering late after a night of trick-or-treating. The boys are named Lucas, Riley, James, and Chris. Lucas is 11 years old and Riley is 9. Riley isn’t the brightest, either. Chris is 15, and James is 10. They are all brothers.

They are all walking along the sidewalk on their way to their house, it isn’t very far from where they are at.

“Let’s get into the Halloween spirit y’all, wanna play a game of Truth or Dare?” Chris asks. Chris is more of the jerk in the bunch, yet, he is the smartest since he is older than his brothers.

Everyone stares at him since they know this isn’t such a good idea. None of his ideas are good, they always lead us into trouble.

“I want to, only if I get to start,” James says, trying to sound confident. He is a scaredy cat and is afraid of everything, even butterflies.

“Look who’s braving up! Alright then, I’ll let you go first, Mister Tough Guy.”

“Aye watch it, you know he had a traumatic past, don’t need to constantly remind him, Chris,” says Lucas with passion.

As they make it home, Riley runs to the bedroom eager to play Truth-or-Dare. He is always excited to play- anything, really. The rest walk in ready to play.

“Alright, like I said James, you can start,” Chris says with a sigh.

“Alright Lucas, Truth or Dare?”

“Ah, you already know man, dare!”

“I dare you to hold your breath for 10 seconds.”

Lucas held his breath with his face turning into a tomato. Everyone laughed.

10 seconds has passed and Lucas is gasping for air as his face slowly fades back to normal. “I am NOT going to do that again, I started to feel uneasy!” There is silence for awhile until Lucas finally says,

“Okay, Riley, Truth-or-Dare?”

“Uhm… I choose… Truth”

“Who is your favorite brother out of all of us?”

There was no answer.  Silence fills the room with only sounds of breathing.

“Are you going to ans-“

“Chris!” Riley interrupts excitedly.

Chris looks at everyone with a grin, saying, “Ha, you losers, he likes me the most!”

“Chris is my least favorite, I’m my favorite!” Riley said finally with an enormous smile. Chris looks at him disappointed with a stern face.

“Oh, I got one!” Chris says slowly.

“Alright Riley, truth… or dare?”

“Ooh, dare!”

“I dare you to go into the woods that mom says we can’t go in, and play hide and seek with us!” Chris says with a soft low tone. Everyone stares at Chris with a shocked face.

“Come on man, you can’t do that to him!” James says. But before he finished, Riley was already heading out the back door.

“Seems like he wants to, don’t ‘ya Rye?”

“Uh huh, sounds like fun!”

Chris chuckles, “What an idiot.”

As Riley bolts out the door, everyone follows, making sure he doesn’t get himself into trouble.

“Alright Riley, you go hide and I’ll count to 20, you better have a hiding spot!” Chris yells. “And that’s the last time we’ll ever see him.” Chris walks inside.

“You can’t just do that! That’s so not cool man!” Lucas says sternly. “I’ll go look for him myself if you’re going to be a jerk.”

“I’ll go with you!” James says.

Chris shakes his head. “What a bunch of losers,” he says to himself.

——————————————————————————————————————–

Lucas and James are walking to the woods, stepping on the dead leaves, making crunching noises, mad at the fact that Chris is being a total jerk to Riley.

“Alright Riley, ready or not, here I come!” Lucas yells. There was an echo. It was so silent, you can even hear each other’s hearts beat very clearly. Total silence.

There was a noise of crunching leaves in the distance following with a dark figure running. “Hmm, I wonder where he is…” James says sarcastically. They head towards the direction that they saw him. He isn’t there. The only thing left was a long trail of footprints. They continue to follow it until it stops and leads to an old cabin deep in the woods. The door was cracked open, revealing a dark room. There were cob-webs filling the area.

“This is kinda sketchy,” James whispers nervously.

“You’ll be fine, just stay with me, I got you,” Lucas replies confidently. “We got to find Riley!”

They walk inside, and James grabs his phone and turns on his flashlight. It looks very dusty, like it hasn’t been touched in years.

“Ew, what is that smell? It stinks up in here!” James says loudly.

“Shh, you gotta stay quiet so he doesn’t know we’re in here with him!” Lucas says. They sneakily and carefully look around, trying to make as little noise as possible, so Riley doesn’t know they’re there. It feels like they are looking for hours. They keep looking around until out of nowhere, James screams.

“AHHH!”

“Haha, you should’ve seen your face, it was hilarious!” Chris chuckles. Lucas runs in asking what’s wrong, but to his dismay, it’s just Chris.

“You gotta stop doing this Chris, it’s not funny at all,” James says.

“You really should’ve seen his face, besides, where is my boy Riley?”

“That’s what we’re doing right now, but we think we saw him go in here, but I guess it was your footsteps we followed,” James says.

“No, I followed those footsteps thinking they were yours?” Chris adds. There is silence.

“But if those weren’t yours, and Riley isn’t in here, then…” Then, BOOM! The front door slams shut. Everyone was looking at each other’s worried faces. When they realized that Chris was scared himself, fear came into their eyes, knowing that this was something serious. They step closer to each other until Riley falls from the ceiling. But it wasn’t just a normal jumpscare, he was dead. His flesh looked like it was eaten by some weird creature.

“AHH, WHAT THE HELL!” Chris screams.

“I’M OUT OF HERE!”

They all try to run out the front door, but it was locked. It seemed like someone blocked it from the outside. There weren’t any open windows, since they are all boarded off with wood planks. Chris is pretty strong, so he attempts to break apart the planks but fails, all he ends up with is bloody hands from the woods scratching his skin leaving blisters all over his palms.  Chris screams and bangs his fists against the wall.

“I- I don’t like this… I’m scared!” James whimpers.

Suddenly, there were slow tapping and scratching sounds coming from every direction you look, gradually getting louder and louder.

Tap, Tap, Tap.

The door slams open. Everyone jumps. Something was crawling on the ground. Nobody could tell if it was either a person or an animal of some sort. There is giggling coming from behind them.

“Are we gonna die?” James whispers with fear. “I don’t wanna die!”

Chris looks around afraid, looking for something he can use to defend his younger brothers, and something to use to escape. His eyes meet with a rusty crowbar laying restless in the shady corner of the room. It had cobwebs around it.

“Stay here, I’m going to grab something real quick.” he says and bolts towards the crowbar; but when he turns back, they’re all gone, besides James. James is looking at the ground. “J-James?” Chris says nervously.

James slowly turns around, “I saw it take them.” Chris looks towards the door and finds it open with the breezy wind keeping it open.

Chris runs out the door, looking behind him every now and then to make sure that there isn’t anyone or anything chasing after him. James ran faster than he ever has in his whole life, he isn’t much of a runner either. James’ short stubby legs couldn’t keep up with Chris’ since he is much older and much taller than he was. In the distance, there is a silhouette of a figure deep into the woods next to a bunch of trees.

James is constantly trying not to pass out. “Hey Chris, I think I see Lucas over there!” James says out of breath. Chris looks over and sees it. He yells, “Lucas?” There was a laugh, an eerie laugh, and the figure was running deeper into the woods. “Lucas, we’re over here!” James says.

There were the sounds of crunching leaves in front of them, like someone was running. Their hearts pounding rapidly, when James screams. Chris jumps and looks all over but doesn’t see him anywhere. “James?” he said. “James, where are you?” There was silence.

“I’m over here Chris!” someone says finally. It echoes through the woods but it didn’t sound right, nor sounded like either one of his brothers. The voice sounded morphed, sounded sketchy.

Chris runs towards the house, faster than ever. He tries to avoid all the obstacles of trees and roots until he falls. There were many sounds of footsteps coming from behind him. While on the ground, he looked behind him fast to find all of his brothers running towards him, but they look messed up. They stand in the same place staring at him.

“Are you ready to join us?” Riley says slowly with a grin. His grin was odd and gave Chris goosebumps, his smile seemed crooked, or out of place. There was something wrong with it, but Chris couldn’t put his finger on it.

There was a figure crawling on the ground fast from behind them. They made way and he sees a thing that he cannot describe in words, but a big thing that was all black with a messed up face and torso. They all feast on his body. Chris screamed, squirming and jerking continuously, until he just sat there and layed perfectly still, just like a statue.

The Diary of Jane Bates

By Michael Boschert

Below lies a compilation of multiple diary entries that were found around the abandoned monarch asylum. The papers seem to have been deliberately ripped out of the original book and hidden in various places across the building. Gaps may be due to the missing pages that have not yet been located.

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19/9/1920

Dear Diary,

Mother has dropped me off at the Monarch School For The Mentally Unwell, but that’s a quite fallacious name- I prefer the title the monarch institution for the mentally unhinged. At least, that is what my father used to call this wretched place. I question mother’s intentions for leaving me here; however, with luck, she states she will be back to collect me once she has found a new residence for me to stay. The thought does pass my mind that she may not return, but turning to despair is what they want from me. I shall never waver. Not a single droplet shall fall from my eye, I would rather perish then show HIM what he wants. However, I do fear that my mother thinks I am the reason for the accident, but it wasn’t me. It was Him and father. I can’t even fathom doing such a thing as what happened that night. The ‘teachers’ are coming to check on how I

will settle soon- I doubt they would like the idea of this diary, so I shall simply hide it under my mattress. I would like to see anyone find it there.

Sincerely,

Jane Bates

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21/9/1920

Dear Diary,

Mother has not returned to collect me, which brings me much concern. Although I do suppose finding a house fit for our standards- without a man- must be a challenging task. Mother never was such a forward thinker, though I love her all the same. I worry for her- while I may be trapped in this prison, at least this is a safe prison from Him. Mother is out there, with no wall or guards to shield her, and worst of all I am not there to protect her. She is too frail and weak for the real world, as father stated. Why she fainted upon hearing about His death, I do not know. She should have been filled with the brightest of joys, knowing that the parasite has finally passed on. In other events, I heard tapping at my window last night. I thought it was my mother trying to sneak me out, but now I fear it was something much worse. When I opened my windows, expecting to see my mother, ready to take me away from this wretched establishment, there was no one in sight, just a dark, empty night. I worry that in the process of opening the window I have invited Him in. I cannot allow him to stay. I must fix this terrible blunder on my part.

Sincerely,

Jane Bates

25/9/1920

Dear Diary,

I fear I am too late, he has gotten to mother, I am sure of it. She has not come to retrieve me from this wretched place. I am stuck here now, I doubt she will ever return. I hope she was not in pain. I tried my best to keep her safe, but I cannot do anything from this prison. I have asked to be allowed leave, but they state that I am still not well. I am very well. I simply do not wish to be in a place without a mother, a place that He now has access to. I know for a fact that He is here. Last night I heard footsteps, and when I lit my candle, there was nothing! I could swear on my life, there were footsteps in my room, but my door was still shut and locked from the outside, as per the requirements of the institution. I’m starting to wonder if maybe I belong in this place, because I must be going right mad. But to give into madness would make me a fool, so I shall not give in- instead, I shall escape this wretched place. With mother, or without.

Sincerely,

Jane Bates

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25/9/1920

THERE ARE FOOTPRINTS ON THE CEILING!

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29/9/1920

Dear Diary,

Things these past few days have been a blur, after I noticed the footprints that lay above my bedside, I alerted the ‘staff’. They must have thought I had utterly lost it, running around, screaming about footprints on my ceiling. And their faces when they saw the footprints for themselves made me want to burst out laughing. How dare they question me, the one sane person in this miserable institution. I requested they move me to a room with no window. They seemed to agree, as I now lay in an empty room with nothing but this notebook and a small bed. They didn’t say I could bring this, but I just needed to tell someone about the events going on. The footprints prove to me that He is here. Oh, how I wish I had kept that window closed. I suppose it doesn’t matter now, as He can’t get to me in this new room. It has no windows to see me through, and is so deep in here that He would get caught immediately. I think I may be able to get some well needed rest as of now.

Sincerely,

Jane Bates

6/10/1920

Dear Diary,

I just had one of the most dreadful times- they would not let me out for a week! Something called solitary confinement? But now, they have returned me to my room, saying not to do that again. Why do people always accuse me of doing things I haven’t done? It was Him, I’m sure of it. He is watching me, but they won’t listen to my complaints. On the bright side, I think He has left, meaning I am safe as long as I don’t open my window. I think I shall put some of my bed sheets as a cover, to block Him from watching me. Yes, that sounds like a splendid idea. I would like to see Him try to watch me though a blocked window. The idea simply makes me chuckle. It has also come to my attention that I have neglected to explain my living conditions, but I grow weary today. I shall simply write about them tomorrow- for now, I must be off, my bed calls.

Sincerely,

Jane Bates

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8/10/1920

Dear Diary,

I apologize for my absence. I was busy setting up my sheets. It is much harder when all you have to hold it up is tape. A bedsheet is much heavier than most think. It took me a few hours to get it up, and by that point I was in no mood to write. Though, I suppose I should get to explaining my living situation. The room I live in is considered a dorm in this school. School hasn’t started yet, as I am labeled as a new entry, so I shall not get an education till the second semester. That gives me a good few months to escape, luckily. The dorm room has quite a bit of space, however, it is quite barren. The floor is made up of rows and rows of wooden floorboards, going up and down the room. The walls are a light brown color of wood, smoothed down to prevent splinters. I still don’t touch them- just to be safe, I may be in a madhouse, but I certainly don’t want any injuries. My bed’s base is also wood, with the bed being a dull shade of brown. Not that I mind, it does look quite lovely with the early morning sun. The whole room seems to light up. Other than that, there is a plant in the corner, and a desk at which I write in this diary. I have one window, the one that is now blocked over by my intelligently placed blanket. The place is old, so the power goes out every so often, so my desk holds plenty of candles. They seemed to neglect to give me a lighter, and whenever the power goes out, a staff comes in to light them, then puts them out of my reach. The fools must think I was responsible for the accident, just like my mother. Oh mother, how I miss you, I know you won’t, but I still hope you will come to rescue me from this depressing place.

Sincerely,

Jane Bates

10/10/1920

Dear Diary,

The staff have been forcing me to take a myriad of new pills. They say it is supposed to help me. I took them on the first day, and for the rest of the day I felt fuzzy- like I was just doing things without thinking, like I was a visitor in my own body, watching it just simply do. It was a terrible feeling, one I do not wish to ever feel again. Even worse, I am now starting to wonder if maybe I was wrong. Maybe I did cause the accident that killed so many. But no, that must simply be the medicine speaking- I must not fall into its mindless numbness. Today, I faked swallowing the pills, and spat the blasted things out later. It feels much better now that I am in control of myself and my actions. I can’t help but wonder if He had any part in the choosing of the medicine. Yes, that must be it- the staff are working with Him. That must be why they haven’t released me to my mother, or why they do so intently watch and drug me. He is trying to break me, but I shall never break, not while he still roams this earth.

Sincerely,

Jane Bates

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12/10/1920

Dear Diary,

I overheard a similar tapping on my window, but I am smarter- this time I shall never open my window, not even for a second! For I fear if I do, He shall reenter, and ruin me. Along with this, the staff are yet to notice that I am not taking the pills- either I must be a good actor, or they simply do not suspect anything. I have not spoken much of the rest of this terrible place, but that is for a well off reason. I simply cannot, I have tried on a multitude of occasions to mark out a way to escape, but I swear everytime I pass though those wretched halls, it changes. The walls morph and paths that once led somewhere now lead nowhere. I’m trapped in this place, however, there is one place that never changes and that is the cafeteria. I have marked out that way and it seems to me that said path never changes- a comfortable constant in this swirl of chaos. I like to walk and think on this path, so much so that sometimes a staff member will have to drag me out of it and into my room for bed. I could spend days there, enjoying everything that the safety of the hall provides. It never changes, and when I’m there I don’t believe I ever change, like the world is at a standstill.

Sincerely,

Jane Bates

13/10/1920

Dear Diary,

That monster! He changed my hallway. I was walking to my hallway, the only safe and constant place in this terrible institution, and the walls had shifted. My hallway no longer led to the cafeteria, in fact it had doors to offices now, and was considered off limits by the staff when I entered. How dare He take my one and only happy place. I know now that someone has let Him in, just to torture me. It must have been one of the staff, as I doubt anyone here would be smart enough to plot with Him. Though I do suppose He could be using them as a pawn as He once did me. However, I shall not falter. I shall escape the hallway or not. I will not let him win. Not again, not ever. But to escape, I fear I will need someone to assist me on the way out. I must befriend one of these crazies. I fear the thought, as it would mean accepting my status as belonging here, but I simply cannot do this alone. My only hope is that the crazy I speak with has not been infected by His command. I shall find out soon enough as I have my eye on one who looks to be the most sane. I shall update further along in my quest.

Sincerely,

Jane Bates

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15/10/1920

Dear Diary,

I have made a new friend if you can call it that- someone to assist me, someone to talk to, someone to help me fight off Him. Her name is Ruth. She has this lovely red hair that reaches her waist. It resembles a river made up of blood, in my eyes. Her eyes are quite strange, I must say, being an odd yellow. She states it is a gift from God and that she is one of God’s angels. No wonder she’s in here, unlike me, she seems to be very much unhinged. However, just from a glance she noticed that something is watching me of demonic descent, so she can’t be all crazy. We have chatted, and while she may not be on the level of intelligence that I may be, she still makes lovely conversation. We talked for hours about flowers, she said that there is a garden here. A shimmering light in a world of gray, a flower garden! Just imagining the thought gets me excited. We have agreed to go and visit it soon. I can barely contain myself.

Sincerely,

Jane Bates

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16/10/1920

Dear Dairy,

A worry has accrued in my mind- what if, in the act of going to the garden, He gets to me. It is outside, and that makes me worry. If even the act of opening my window let him in, going to the garden would be like walking straight into his arms. The temptation of flora tries to pull me in, but I shall not fall into the temptation of the garden. However, maybe just maybe, Ruth shall protect me from the watchful gaze of Him. I find myself enjoying the comfort that she provides. I suppose she must not be as crazy as I once thought, she very well must be an angel, as I have not noticed Him around after my conversations with her. The staff seem to boost the idea of going to the garden, stating, “You could do with some fresh air.” I simply must agree with them that these walls have felt more suffocating as of late. In other news, I have noticed that my blanket has started to fall more and more often from my window. He must have gotten in already and is toying with me- first my hall, and now my blanket. Ruining all that I find comfort and safety in. This only proves to me more that I must escape this place, and the garden seems like a wonderful place to start.

Sincerely,

Jane Bates

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18/10/1920

Dear Diary,

Oh my, the garden is just as lovely as I would have imagined it. The flowers were still in bloom: the reds and oranges and greens. Oh, it was just so beautiful. I quite wish I had a garden like that at home, but mother always said that gardening is for the workers, not us. But now she is gone, so I don’t suppose she can stop me from enjoying everything the dirt and flowers have to offer. The best part of it all was this wonderful black rose bush. The petals looked like straight charcoal, and the leaves a deep green. The entire thing was located in a more hidden cove of the garden. I felt such a strong pull to the thing, I nearly fell over trying to get to it- however, the bell calling us rang before I could get my hands on it. The strangest thing about it is the fact it only had one flower. Just one big flower on the top of it. Next time we go out to the garden, I will go straight to it. Oh, and about Ruth, we walked and I explained most of the flowers to her. She seemed quite interested in the lilies, stating it was because of her connection to God. I don’t know what I was thinking before- she is most definitely off her rocker, but at this point, I don’t think I mind too much.

Sincerely,

Ruth Bates

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19/10/1920

Dear Diary,

The worst thing happened today- I found my protective sheet torn up into little shreds on my bed. I do quite think it is a warning not to try Him anymore. Not that that matters much anymore, it is clear He has found a way inside, despite my best attempts to keep Him out. I start to wonder why must He pester me so much? What did I do to deserve such a thing? A memory forms in my head, but it is simply too far out of my reach, locked away in a deep part of my brain. However, I do believe finding it will explain everything I need to know. I shall keep trying to reach it the best I can, I do not have high hopes for such a thing- but I must try. I cannot keep living in the fear I do. I must break free from this prison of body and mind.

Sincerely,

Jane Bates

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21/10/1920

Dear Diary,

I have gone to the garden again in the companionship of Ruth. I simply must see the rose again. Its petals have been on my mind as of late, and if I am to believe so, it may be the key to finding my lost memories. Some kind of deep gut feeling relays to me that consuming the flower will solve all my problems. I touched it today in the garden. I rubbed one of the petals between my fingers, just willing it to fall off and into my mouth. I felt a strange kind of hunger, a wish to ruin it, destroy it, consume it, make it just as broken as I am. Ruth found me before I could act upon these feelings and lead me away to the lilies. She states that the flower has the feeling of the devil. She must be daft. How can something of such beauty be the devils work? He is sloppy and messy.

This flower is pristine and perfect. I wish I could steal that flower’s perfection for myself. In less happy news, upon returning to my dorm this evening, the wood walls were carved into by Him. All it states is ‘remember’, but I am tired of trying. I have done nothing these last two days but try to remember, but I simply cannot. I suppose if it wishes to stay locked away, then there it shall remain. No point going against the river, as my father would say. He was always a push over when talking with mother’s fancy friends. If only they could see what he was like behind that mask of his. Maybe they wouldn’t be dead, and I wouldn’t be blamed for the accident. Anyways, I have covered my walls in all my sheets. I don’t want to be sent back to that confined room. Certainly not with Him walking around.

Sincerely,

Jane Bates

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22/10/1920

Dear Dairy,

I found a piece of paper on my desk this morning. Right next to my diary was a picture of a house in flames. I do not think this is very funny. How dare someone taunt me in such a way. Scribbled on the top is ‘your fault’, how dare they accuse me of such! It was Him and father who did it, not me. Who would think to keep taunting me in such a way? Wait, no, I know who would do that- He must be behind this. At this point, I cannot tell what His end goal is. At first I was sure He was trying to kill me and my mother, but now that I know He can get to me with ease, it seems quite odd that I still breathe. Maybe I misjudged Him, He seems quite intent on making me remember that night. However, it is my opinion that what is forgotten is forgotten for a reason and to look for an answer to it is madness. Though I do suppose it would be nice to know what happened that night. Past what I already know, that is.

Sincerely,

Jane Bates

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24/10/1920

I wish to forget the truth hurts it hurts so bad why why must I face this awful truth I wish to vomit it feels like my skins wishes to rip away from me why did he do this to me

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30/10/1920

Dear Iris,

I feel so weak, it is a struggle to write this. My state has reached a new low and I can feel my life leaving me as each day passes. You are most likely confused as to what happened to me, Iris, why I will die. It started on the 23 of October. I had gone out to the garden, by myself, because I feared Ruth would stop me from my goal. I skipped the lilies, the daisies, the red, pink, and white roses and went to the cove. The black rose sat there as always, tempting me, so I gave in. I ran over and started ripping it apart, petal by petal, shoving them into my mouth, petal by petal. I ruined it, I can’t explain why I did it. I just felt the urge to make it hurt, to make it bleed. And bleed it did. The flower seemed to scream as I ripped it apart, breaking it. I left feeling full, but somehow empty, like I had just done something terrible. I now know that what I had just done was terrible- but at the time, my brain wasn’t where it should have been. Anyways, on the 24th the memories returned, and all of the things I had locked away to keep myself safe came flooding back like a tsunami. Father had hated me almost as much as he hated God- we worshiped Satan, you see, we did rituals, and when me and my brother got old

enough he dragged us into them. Brother picked it up fast; he was a natural. He had always been like that- sort of unfeeling, emotionless, at least around me- just like father, he was good at hiding it. However, I hated the idea of my father saying I was too emotional. He would threaten to kill mother if I didn’t do what he said. So I would always go along with his plans. That night, mother had invited tons of people over for a large party, people from all kinds of upper class families. My father saw that as the perfect opportunity to make sure we stayed successful forever, and lived forever. At least him and brother- I don’t think they quite wanted me included in the package. So they locked the doors and lit the home ablaze. I don’t think they got what they wanted, I could hear their screams from the basement as I tried to save my mother. The fire wrapped around us before we could escape. There was not much I could do but make an offer, a deal to Him. I offered my first child to be able to escape with mother. It was foolish, and I feel terrible for doing this to you, my dear Iris. But I was weak, I most likely alway was. When you are born, I shall die. I can feel it as I lose more and more strength. I have entrusted you in the care of Ruth. I trust her to make sure you are safe from Him. Iris, I want you to know that I love you, very much- even as you are slowly killing me. You have been born a lamb to the slaughter. Even now, I wonder if it would be best to kill you before He gets a chance to reach you, but no. That would be unfair to you, a child with so much life in you. Please, Iris, do what I could not, be free and follow your heart wherever it leads, please be safe.

Love your mother,

Jane Bates

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10/4/1935

Dear Mother,

Hi, Auntie Ruth insisted I write this, but I think it quite pointless to write to someone not of this world. That isn’t to say I don’t want to speak with you, Auntie Ruth told me alot about you. She said you were an angel afflicted by the Devil. I don’t know how much of that I believe, but she also says that you wrote in a diary as well. I have never seen it. Auntie Ruth treats it like it’s her most prized possession. I wish you were still here, you seemed quite strong. I wish I could be like that. Then I could sock the other girls right in the face for making fun of me. How dare they make fun of my eye, Auntie Ruth says it’s a gift from God, not the Devil like they say. In less angering news, I got a new camera, called a Reflex Korelle. I love taking pictures with it. I just wish it wasn’t so messy. Sometimes, if I take a picture, there is a bad part that looks almost human-like. A figure just standing there. I haven’t told Auntie Ruth- I fear she may take away my camera. Anyways, I’m leaving this for you, because I’m leaving this place. Auntie Ruth says you had always wanted to do that, so I shall explore the world for you. That’s one thing having one big eye is good for,  can see real well and I shall see it all for you. I promise.

With Love,

Iris Bates

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About the Contributor
Lexi Hufty, Reporter
Lexi Hufty is a freshman, and it is her first year in journalism. She adores stories, and she explores every way they can be told - including, but not limited to, writing, drawing, video games, and sculpting. She plans to join the swim team and plays volleyball outside of school. You can always find her with a book (or two,) nearby. Outside of school, Lexi is almost always playing one of her favorite video games.

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    Brielle Vassel | Nov 21, 2023 at 8:40 am

    I love the fact that people from all different grades and ages can come together to create such fabulous stories!

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