Saving Grace

Previously, Grace has been in the nurse’s office and learns later from Sam that Piper seems to be missing …

Her heart pounded painfully against her rib-cage; her hands sweaty as she pushed herself forward, running for her life.

She didn’t dare risk a look back to find out who was chasing after her; all she heard was the loud, thundering steps against the cement. They were gaining on her.

“There’s no point in running, Piper,” the feminine voice taunted, so eerily close. “You are only making it harder for yourself.”

She had been waiting for Grace to come back from the nurse, jamming out on her bed to her favorite tunes, dancing and swaying and swinging her hair back and forth because there was no one there to watch her — no one to stand and judge.

It was the weekend: no classes, no commitments, just a full day of fun.

The plan for her afternoon was to have a late lunch with Sam … God, if only she were with Sam. Scratch that, she would take anything over this blind, fear-driven madness. There was no time to think as she ran out of places to run.

One wrong turn made for the end of the line, leaving her trapped with no escape, chest heaving, fingers stiff against the cold brick wall.

Sickly green eyes grinned at her from the darkness as the woman stalked toward her. Her long, black nails clicked against a bleached skull that hung from the belt on her hip like a trophy.

“Now, that is much better,” she purred, catching Piper’s chin in her thumb and forefinger, her nails digging into her skin, forcing her to look into her pale face, at black lips and sharp cheeks and those eyes that bore into her, as if she could read her every thought.

“Though it would have been easier in the first place if you had just given into the darkness. I am most displeased … You’ve been a very bad girl, haven’t you? Yes, yes you have.”

She tore herself from the woman’s hold, pushing her away. “W-what the hell? What do you want?” Who talked like that, anyway?

“If this is your idea of a joke, it’s rather sick. Who put you up to this? Thomas? Jack? Actually, I don’t care. Just get out of my face,” Piper stammered.

Yeah, she could apologize to Sam about missing lunch, and they could laugh about this whole crazy thing over dinner. She laughed at her. The woman had the nerve to laugh in her face!

“Oh, you foolish girl.” She’s crazy. Piper slipped past her, determined to get as far away from this lunatic as possible.

“I’m sorry Piper, I never introduced you to my lovely pet,” the stranger called from behind, her voice accompanied by the sound of clicking claws and the bone against bone. “This is Pretty.”

The creature was anything but. It was some weird hybrid, a creature that could only have been possibly in some child’s nightmare, a wicked thing with long, sharp claws and gnashing teeth and bones for scales.

“And Pretty does not like to play well with others.” She only had to snap her fingers to signal the nightmare to lunge with claws outstretched and teeth that tore into Piper’s skin, ripping into her leg, its sheer weight knocking her to the ground.

It crushed her, stabbed her, gnawed at her until she felt like it would tear her apart, and she screamed, begging for it to stop.

Finally, the woman commanded the beast to return to her side, where it licked its chops. Piper sobbed into her hands, hugging her knees to her chest, her hands covered in her own blood.

The woman tugged Piper to her feet by her hair, forcing her to stand on legs that could not support her weight. “Who do you think you are?” she whispered in her ear, letting her drop like a rock before circling her body like a hyena.

“Don’t you know she doesn’t need you? You’re too wild. You’re annoying. You hear me stupid girl? Even now Grace hasn’t even wondered where you are. She doesn’t care about you.”

“You’re wrong,” Piper whimpered, “She’s my best friend. And you know I’m right.”

Piper cringed as the woman crawled toward her, holding her against her breast, stroking her long nails through her red curls, twisting her hands into her hair, pulling at the tangles.

“You poor thing. You are in denial, aren’t you? The truth is that you don’t mean squat to that girl, so who do you even think you are? You. Are. No one.”

This is a weekly fiction series. For previous scenes, refer to our website at ndsuspectrum.com/savinggrace

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