When I heard the chainsaw, I knew I was dead. I tried to stay calm, but my arms ached from where he had cut me. He started the engine of the chainsaw and I think he laughed, but I could barely hear it over the roar.

What happened next was the single most painful thing I had ever felt. The chainsaw's jagged sides cut through the skin of my wrist like butter. Pain surged through my arm. My blood flew everywhere, some even landing on my face. It was warm to my cold skin. He pushed the chainsaw down, cutting through muscle to the bone. My screams were just gurgles. Blood poured from where my tongue should have been. Then pain was intense and absolutely terrible, too terrible to describe.

After what seemed like an eternity, I heard a sick thud as my severed hand hit the floor. He turned the chainsaw off and lowered it away from my arm. My ears rang, and my throat burned from screaming. Still, it was nothing compared to the pain I felt in my hand. I began to whimper. I could still cry, even if I didn't have eyes.

I just wanted it to stop.

“No, no. Can't have you pass out from blood loss,” he muttered, seemingly to himself. I heard him grab something off the table. I felt my muscles tense as I heard him move towards me again. I was expecting to experience some new pain. Instead, I felt cloth on my arm; he was binding the end of my arm with a ragged bandage. “There we go.” he said in a comforting voice.

It still hurt like crazy, and my brain was doing its best to block it out. My fingers hurt, even though I didn't have fingers on that side anymore.

“One hand down, one to go...” With that, I heard him turn on the chainsaw again.

I really should have been excited. After all, I hadn't been on a fun school field trip since the fifth grade. I mean, it's not that I don't like going to movies or a theme park, but they don't really appeal to me. I'm terrified of heights and the seats on the carts seem to always be either burning hot or freezing cold. I don't like watching movies in a movie theater because it always gives me a headache. Name any field trip that a school would go on, and I probably wouldn't like it.

This field trip was different. We were going to a mountain a few miles out of town and hike there. My school and family never went on hikes, so I never went on hikes, even though hiking is one of my favorite things to do. I love walking through the forest, climbing over rocks, and looking at nature. It's so peaceful on the mountain. Some people were complaining about the trip since it had been really cold lately. They didn't want to go hiking in the low temperatures. To me, it just made the whole experience better. Hiking in the summer was terrible for me, since I overheat easily. However, when it's cold, I can run and get my blood flowing without having a stroke.

All in all, I was really excited about the trip. I wish I never went on it, though. Why? because I died on that mountain.

My name is Amanda Perituram, this is the story of how I died.

The trip started out like normal. I was bundled up tightly, wearing my favorite golden T-shirt with a faded symbol for the band my cousin was in. I had a cute sweater over it and a big, fluffy olive green coat on that. I love the color olive green. My mother used to tell me that my eyes were the perfect shade of olive green. Now that I'm older, I think of my eyes as more of a spring green. Still, it's my favorite color. I also wore a bright red scarf with it, which didn't match the rest of the outfit at all. I didn't care, I liked the scarf. It was my Dad's.

One of my besties was sitting next to me, Sally. She's always so talkative. You can never get her to shut up. First she was talking some nonsense about the episode of the show she watched the night before. Then, she started talking about how unsanitary the bus was, and then how the bathrooms at our school were. Then she was talking about a study she read where they found that the first bathroom stall was the cleanest stall in most bathrooms. No joke, she actually read an entire article about bathroom stalls.

Still, I love this girl to death and have learned over the years how to deal with her talkativeness. My other bestie was sitting alone on the seat beside us on the bus. Her name is Jay and she's the polar opposite of Sally. She was sitting there alone with her iPod and one earbud in, listen to some dubstep way too loud. Jay doesn't talk much, but she's an amazing listener. According to Sally, they've been best friends since they were born, since their parents are friends. So, they've been friends for a few longer than I've been friends with them, but that never really mattered. I was always amazed at their friendship. On the surface, they seem like night and day, so different that they could never be friends. But, if you think about it, they're perfect friends. Sally does the talking for both of them. I think they rely on each other, like they balance each other out. According to Sally, they always had to work together to make friends.

Then there's me. I'm good at making friends with anyone and Sally is always complaining about how perfect I am. I certainly don't feel perfect, but Sally seems to think so. Strangely enough, she doesn't seem to worship me. This is how her brain works (she told me).

“I know I'm not nearly as nice or caring or awesome as you and I'll never be, so I don't care. If you want to be my friend, I won't treat you any differently. As long as you think of me as an equal, you'll be an equal to me!”

Yes, Sally does talk weird like that. She doesn't like to admit it, but she's actually a genius. She'd never let you think that. She doesn't like being smart, so she acts like a stupid, stereotypical girl and completely fools you. Then, every now and then, she says something amazingly wise and just goes on with her bubbly talk. It's a cool phenomenon.

Jay's also a genius, but she's a more obvious of a genius. She makes perfect grades and always says smart things. She holds herself well and I always thought she should wear glasses. She seemed like the perfect person to wear glasses.

Compared to the two of them, I look like an idiot, but I never let it bother me.

So, we were just sitting there, having fun like we normally do, waiting 'til we got to the mountain.

“So, what's the sitch with you and Sammy?” Sally asked with a creepy grin. I realized that I had been staring at the boy a few rows in front of us. His name was Samuel and he's the cutest boy I know. Sally and Jay both know that I have a huge crush on him, and Sally loves to pick on me about it since I don't have the guts to talk to him, much less ask him out or something...

“Huh? Nothing! Nothing!” I shook my head, blushing a bit. “I just...still haven't talked to him.”

“Really? He's been here for like a month, now!” Sally rolled her eyes. Samuel moved to this town a month ago. According to rumor, there was a terrible accident at the last school he went to and his family moved here to get their son away from all of it. They say that he was a witness to a crime. Some say it was an "accident", others say it was a murder, most people claim that it was a haunting. One way or another, they say half of his class ended up dead in some terrible way.

I was sure they were just rumors though. Sammy was so cheerful. He was always smiling and talking. Sure, he was a bit of an airhead, but he got along with most everyone. As far as I could tell, he didn't actually have any friends that he hung out with. The whole school was his friend. He would sit with a different group every lunch. He also seemed to get away with everything. I have English and History with him. He never does the homework and he always has a different, but believable excuse. He always gives the teacher that cute “oops” smile and scratches the back out his head then proceeds to explain why he didn't have the homework this time. It's always so adorable.

There's no way a guy like that could have witnessed something as terrible as his whole class, or actually half his class, dying. I was certain they were rumors. Well, almost certain. There was one thing that I was always uneasy about. He always keeps his black hair over his left eye, which is also covered by an eye patch. He never says anything about it, and no one ever dared to ask. It's cool though, I mean how many times do you see a hot boy with an eye patch?

Although, I could have sworn that one day, when I had stayed at school for longer than normal, I saw proof of the rumors. I was walking through the halls when I saw Samuel sitting outside. It didn't seem like he saw me, but I could see him clearly. It was windy that day and a gust of wind blew his hair behind him. I got a good look at the eye patch. It looked normal, but the skin around it looked terrible. It was wrinkled and a darker than the rest of his pale skin. I instantly recognized it as a scar from a bad burn. I freak out when I saw it. It looked almost fresh, like something out of a horror movie. I ran off and didn't stop until I was certain that he couldn't see me anymore.

Now, I recall the look on his face. He looked so sad as he sat there, nothing like his normal cheerful expression. It was the look of someone who knew true pain, true sorrow. After seeing that, I could believe the rumors. I just didn't want to.

“Hello! Are you day dreaming about kissing Sammy again?” Sally waved her hand in front of my face.

“No!” I protested. Sally giggled.

“As I was saying...” she starting to talk again, but I was only half listening.

I sat up taller so I could see Samuel better. I saw his cute light blue scarf wrapped around his neck and touched my own scarf. He wasn't wearing many layers considering how cold it was outside. Just a navy blue jacket and a black shirt with white word on it that I couldn't quite make out. He was smiling and talking to the guy next to him, who was a total nerd. He had brought some cool game on the bus and looked like he was explaining what it was. Samuel smiled and nodded as he spoke and looked interested. I wondered if he really was interested, or just being nice.

After a few minutes, the nerd handed Samuel the game. It was some assassination game or something sadistic like that. I couldn't see the screen very well. The nerd looked surprised as he watched Samuel play the game.

In no time, I saw Samuel's hand shoot up and saw the nerd's look of disbelief. I could hear them, apparently Samuel had completed the level in record time and totally bet the poor dude's high score. I smiled. Samuel seemed to the master of any game he played. He didn't seem very competitive though, he even offered to delete his high score or put the nerd's name down. Samuel was always so nice.

I started to think about the games we would play in PE. Samuel would always win.

Goodness, I thought. You have to stop thinking about Samuel!

The bus hit a rock and we all were lifted out of our seats for a bit. I practically flew off the seat. Sally always insisted we ride on the seat on top of the wheel, saying that she loved how bumpy it was. I felt sick.

“Woo!” Sally giggled. “Isn't this fun!”

“No,” Jay said. I turned to look at her, expecting to see her normal stoic expression, but instead saw that she looked worse than I felt.

“Oh my gosh, Jay!” I gasped. “Do you need a bag or something?”

“No, I'm good,” she looked pale still and not “good” at all.

“Hang in there Jay-Jay! We're almost there!” Sally said. She pointed ahead. “See? There's the trail sign!”

Sally was right. I looked at the sign.

“Cider Creek Trail,” I read aloud. I remembered coming here with my father before he was always traveling for work. He would take me and my siblings there and we would hike the trail and dare each other to climb up on really tall rocks. I could never do it, though. It was much too scary for me.

“This place seems fun! You said you've been here before, right Amy?” Sally asked.

“Huh? Oh yeah. I used to come here all the time,” I said nostalgically.

“Kay! You can be the trail guide!” Sally cheered.

I realize that I am getting off track here. What happened that day didn't matter much. We got to the trail before Jay threw up (thankfully) and quickly got out of the bus. It was really cold and the teachers looked nervous. They kept on looking up at the dark, cloudy sky and talking among themselves. I was too excited to notice. We got about halfway through the two-hour trail before it began to snow.

That's right, it began to snow. I don't mean just a few cute flakes, I mean like a miniature blizzard. We barely made it back to the bus.

The roads were white with snow, a good three inches or so. Of course, the teachers refused to drive home. After all, it was dangerous. I personally was glad that we weren't going anywhere. We all piled into the bus and cranked us the heater. I took off my heavy coat, but left on the scarf. It matched my shirt better the coat. I had the perfect view of the forest from my window. Everything was so white and pretty. The snow was falling slowly out of the sky.

Sally was going on and on about how ridiculous all the safety measures were, claiming she could walk home in this little amount of snow. She obviously wasn't looking out the same window I was.

I shivered.

Suddenly, I noticed Samuel get out of his seat and grab his bag. For some reason, he had brought that ridiculous big bag on the trip with us. Occasionally, I would see him reach into it and pull out a snack or something. He walked over to the front of the bus and put his bag down on the front seat. He began to talk with one of the teaches, like he was asking to go to the bathroom or something. The teacher kept shaking her head which was funny with my theory. He kept on motioning to the bag for some reason.

He reached into the bag got something out of it, but quickly hid it behind his back.

“Man, this is boring!” he yelled surprisingly loud. Everyone turned and looked at him. His face distorted into an evil grin. “How about I make this fun!”

With that he moved his hand from behind his back and I saw what he was holding. It was a black, shiny gun, and it was pointed right at the teacher's chest. Everyone froze.

“Hey, Samuel. Listen a moment,” the teacher said calmly. Behind him, a student pulled out her phone and began to dial.


The phone hit the ground and I heard it crack. The girl froze, a bullet in her forehead. For a moment, she just sat there, a look of horror on her face. Then, she went slack and slumped over. You could hear the collective gasp. I put my hand over my mouth.

“Samuel-” the teacher began.


Two bullets, one in each eye. Someone screamed over to my left.


I didn't ever dare look. I heard a giggle.

“Hee, hee, hee,” it was soft at first. It didn't take a genius to know who it came from. “Hee, hee, hee, ha, ha, ha, ha, HA, HA, HA, HA!!!”

Samuel was laughing like a mad man. It wasn't an evil laugh. It was the same cute laugh that he had when someone told a funny joke or when he forgot something silly or was explaining why he didn't have his homework. It was the same sick laughed that made me smile dreamily when I heard it.

I wasn't smiling now.

“Now, for the rest of you,” he said after he stopped laughing.


“Bye, Mr. Larry the bus driver,” he said.


“Bye Mrs. Cuttingham the idiot.”


“And bye Mr. Harrison, the last teacher on the bus,” Samuel shrugged. “I couldn't come up with a good name.”

He turned and looked at the rest of the students on the bus. He swung the gun around as he talked.

“Now, isn't that fun?” he asked. No one replied. “Come on, don't be such a party-pooper!”

Some brave kid in the back spoke up.

“This isn't fun, Punk!” he yelled. The boy stood up. I recognized him as one of the football players. This guy did not look like the type of dude you would want to mess with. He had big muscles and a nasty face like a bully in a high school movie, even though he was really a nice dude. Strange that this guy was gonna be the hero. Or, we thought he was.

Samuel smiled at him. His face didn't look like normal. He normally looked like a cute sheep. Now he was like an insane wolf.

“Wolf in sheep's clothing,” I muttered in realization, too quiet for anyone but maybe Sally to hear.

“Oh really?” He asked. I expected him to walk over to him, then I would make a beeline for the door. This guy was smarter than I thought. And had more bullets than I thought.


“Then explain my smile,” Samuel looked like he was having a blast. He looked at the gun in his hand and sighed. “You know, guns aren't really my thing. Still, they do scare people enough so they don't try to leave. Speaking on leaving...”

Samuel squatted by the chair and began to dig through the bag. Two girls took this chance to ran to the back of the bus to the emergency exit.


“Huh? Oh, well. I guess that one's out of bullets.” Samuel said. It didn't matter. Those girls were dead. Their blood spilled out onto the aisles. Some girls were crying. I noticed that Sally was clutching my arm for dear life. Jay didn't really seem to be fazed. Oh wait, now she had both ear-buds in.

Samuel threw the gun at the bus driver and it bounced off him and hit the ground. He quickly took out another gun that looked just like the last one and cocked it. He continued to look through his bag. No one dared to move. How many people were there left? About seventeen students were still alive on the bus. I shook my head.

There's almost twenty of us, we should just gang up on this dude! I thought. But I didn't want to do anything. I thought of his crazy accuracy and superhuman speed. This boy really was amazing.

He finally found whatever it was that he had been searching for and pulled out of the bag.

“Yes, this will do nicely.” he said. I leaned over to see what it was, but I didn't need to. He put it on and I instantly recognized it.

It was a gas mask. He pulled something else out of the bag.

“Goodnight,” he said, his voice ten times scarier with the mask. He did something and gas began to fill the bus. I took a deep breath. Someone began to fumble with the lock on the window.


At least they tried it before I did.... I thought, then bit my tongue, hating myself for even thinking something like that.

“Now everyone, take a deep breath. Look, the sun's going down. It's time to sleep. When you wake up, that's when the fun starts.” He waved around the gun and moved out of my line of sight. It was getting dark.

I couldn't take holding my breath anymore. I let go and breathed heavily. Bad idea. I began to get drowsy. I saw the people around me falling asleep. I fought to stay awake.

“Amy...” Sally said drowsily.

“Don'” I managed to say. She nodded, but then shut hear eyes. I knew she was asleep. Seeing her asleep made me more tired.

Then, everything slowly faded to black....

When I woke up, I nearly threw up. The bus smelled like flesh and blood and everything was red. Sally and Jay were okay, but the person in front of Jay had been beheaded and some of her blood was in Jay's hair. She and Sally were still asleep, and they looked very peaceful for people surrounded by blood and gore.

I disturbed me to think that I had probably looked so peaceful only moments before. I heard a weak cry in front of me.

I looked ahead just to see the nerd who was sitting next to Samuel breathe his last breath. The skin on his face had been peeled off and you could see the muscle and fat underneath it, moving as he breathed out. I didn't see the rest of him, but I could see his hand, which was also skinned.

“Oh, bummer. If I had all my stuff, I might could revive him and have more fun.” Samuel said. He wiped the sweat off him brow with his bloody arm, leaving a red smear on his forehead. “Now, who's awake...”

He began to scan the bus and I gasped when I saw him. He had a sickle attached to a long staff that he had resting on his shoulder. It looked like the grim reaper's weapon. He had a carving knife in his left hand. His navy blue shirt was stained with a deep red that I knew was blood. His jeans seemed to be strangely clean, though. He had pushed back his hair and let the scar show from around his eye patch.

I looked around to see that two other people were awake. There was an obese girl towards the front of the bus who was crying and looking terrified and another guy closer to me who looked like he had just peed his pants.

“Enie minie-hello!” he said when his eyes landed on me. He stabbed the fat girl on the way over to me, obviously not wanting her to try to leave since she was so close to the door, while I was in the middle of the bus. He didn't hesitate at all. He didn't seem interested in killing her creatively. At least she didn't have to suffer. His smile was nothing like his normal grin. This one was twisted, extremely creepy. He looked insane. I thought that he must have practiced it because no one could naturally smile like that. “It's Amanda, right?”

I didn't know what to respond with. I felt angry, but I simply nodded slowly.

“Amanda Perituram...” I normally would have been breathless at the fact that he knew my last name, but he said it so eerily and crazily that it sent shivers down my back. He took one last step and was then standing in front of me. “That's Latin, right?”

I don't know what happened; he moved too fast for me to see. I felt the cold blade on the back of my neck and his face was right next to mine. The sickle was around my neck and the craving knife was at my chin. I cringed, expecting for him to kill me. Nothing happened. I realized he was waiting for an answer to his question.

“Um, what?” I asked. My voice was dry and cracked at the end. I was trying hard not to start shaking.

“Your last name, Perituram.....certainly sounds Latin.” He muttered. I opened my mouth to say something. Again, he moved too fast for me to register what happened. I felt it, his cold hand grabbing my tongue. I tasted it, the dried blood on his hands from the other victims. I heard it, the sick sound of the carving knife cutting off my tongue.

I felt it, the blinding pain and glimpsed my tongue between Samuel's fingers. Blood poured out of the hole in my mouth. Samuel smiled.

“Sally told me something interesting once, you know that, Amanda?” He said my name like it was in some strange foreign language. He pronounced each syllabus carefully and spoke like he enjoyed saying the name. I barely noticed. I wanted to spit out the blood filling my mouth, but the pain was too much for me to do anything.

However, what Samuel did next caused me to completely forget about the pain.

He put his face closer to mine and kissed me, on the lips.

I was so surprised at first. It was my first kiss. I didn't know what was happening. Then, his tongue slithering into my mouth, slurping up the blood into my mouth and seemingly enjoying the flavor of the blood. I freaked out and tried to push him away from me, forgetting the sickle on my neck. The blade cut into the back of neck, leaving a small cut. Samuel lost his balance a bit, and his left hand, holding the carving knife, dropped. The knife went into my right arm, making a rather deep cut. I screamed, which sounds weird when someone is using your mouth as a punch glass.

Samuel drank all the blood in my mouth and stepped back from me, wiping the some of the blood that was dripping off his lip with his sleeve, like a kid wiping the milk off his face. He sighed and smiled. Then, he noticed the wound on my arm, which was bleeding profusely. I grabbed my arm and screamed again.

Sally, who was sitting on the chair next to me, woke up when I screamed.

“Who? What? What's happening?” she asked through a yawn. She reached out her arms and stretched them. “What time is it?”

She blinked a few times and then seemed to register all the gore around her. She didn't take it well, or maybe she had an appropriate respond.

She began to scream her head off. Quite literally, Samuel pushed me over and beheaded my friends with the sickle. The scariest part: Sally continued to scream after her head had been severed for the next minute or so.

I was crying now. The pain in my arm and mouth was nothing compared to the pain of losing my friend. The guy behind us must have passed out since I didn't hear him crying anymore. I didn't really care.

“This world is painful, isn't it, Amanda?” Samuel stood up straight, now back to being in front of me. “You won't suffer if you can't see it, right?”

I almost asked, “What?” He held the sickle and carving knife in his hands at equal distant from each other and swiftly moved them both forward...into my eyes.

I screamed even louder, my mouth was beginning to fill up with blood again, but I could still be heard loud and clear. I brought my hand to my face and felt the blade of the carving knife and sickle in my eyes and screamed.

Samuel lifted the weapons and I felt my eyes pop out of the socket, though still connected by a nerve or something. He jerked on the carving knife and one of the nerves and they eye were ripped right out. I continued to scream. I was flailing around, trying to fight, but Samuel kept me under his control. I heard him take my eye off the knife and quickly cut the other chord. My eyes were now gone. My beautiful green eyes that my mother always loved...were gone.

It hurt more than I could ever imagine it hurting.

“Gosh, you are a fighter, aren't you?” I heard Samuel say. Then, I heard the sound of duct tape being ripped off the holder. He grabbed one of my hands and strapped it down to something and strapped my other hand down something else. I struggled, but the duct tape was stronger than my pain wrenched body could break.

I tried to block out the pain and think of other things. I felt blood pour out of my eye sockets and imagined that I probably looked like some scary ghost from a horror.

“There we go. Now, we can have fun.” I heard him fumble around in his bag and pull something out.

When I heard that it was chainsaw, I knew I was dead. How did this kid even get a hold of a chainsaw? I tried to stay calm, but my arms ached from where he had cut me and my eyes were burning. I heard him start the engine of the chainsaw. He said something, but the chainsaw was too loud for me to make out anything. Though, it almost sounded like a laugh.

What happened next was the single most painful thing I had ever felt. The chainsaw's jagged sides suddenly cut through the skin of my wrist like butter. My blood flew everywhere, some even landed on my face. It was still warm and warmed my cold skin, which terrified me. He pushed the chainsaw down, cutting through muscle next. Then, it hit the bone. My scream were gurgles. Blood poured out of where my tongue should have been. Then pain was intense and absolutely terrible. Too terrible to describe.

After what seemed like an eternity, I heard a sick splash as my severed hand hit the floor in a pile of blood. The chainsaw was turned off. My ears were ringing and my throat burned from screaming. It was nothing compared to the pain I felt in my hand. And I thought my eyes had hurt... I began to whimper. I could still cry, even if I didn't have eyes.

I just wanted it to stop.

“No, no. Can't have you pass out from blood loss,” he muttered seemingly to himself. I heard him grab something off the table and tensed up as I heard him move towards me again. I was excepting to experience some new pain. Instead, I felt cloth on my arm, he was binding the end of my arm with a ragged bandage. “There we go.”

It still hurt like crazy, and my brain was doing it's best to block it out. My fingers hurt, but I didn't even have fingers on that side anymore.

“One hand down, one to go...” With that, I heard him turn on the chainsaw again. I spit the blood out of my mouth, just in time to start screaming again as he began to saw off my other hand. I kicked my legs blindly, trying to get away. I shook my head violently. My hand my hand my hand my hand my hand!

My mind couldn't take it. I thought I was going to break. I prayed to God that he would just let me die already. I didn't want to live after this as a blind, handless freak.

It was a bit easily to take the sawing of my other hand. My brain was already experiencing so much pain that more pain no made difference.

I finally heard the splash and no longer felt my hands. I coughed and blood splattered out of my mouth. I coughed more violently. If there was any way for me to kill myself right then and there, I would have. I felt myself snap. I didn't think anymore, I couldn't. I just wanted it to end.

“Are you dead, already?” Samuel asked. “Come on, we just got started!”

“Please.” I don't know if he understood me, but that's what I was trying to say. I looked up at what I thought were his voice was coming from. “Just make it stop.”

“Did you forget that you don't have a tongue?” Samuel asked. His voice softened. “Such a poor soul...such a pretty face.”

I didn't feel it. I didn't hear it. I knew it happened. He slit my throat. He ended my pain. He pitied me.

I didn't feel it. I didn't hear it. I saw it.

I saw me, from empty sockets. I saw my body. I saw Samuel, my killer, my savior, my love.

His shoulder slumped. I saw him move closer to my limp body and stroke my hair.

“Such pretty hair...” he said. He picked up a piece of my hair and cut it off with his knife. I didn't know what he was doing. He took some string out of his pocket and tied it around the lock of hair and put it in his bag.

Then, he turned around and scanned the bus again. I noticed there were other people awake. “Now, who's awake...”

It wasn't long before everyone in the bus was dead. I noticed his killing pattern was weird. Some he would spend half an hour slowly torturing them to death. Some he would kill painfully, but moderately fast, like he did for me. Others, he would just slice their head off, slit their throat, or stab them a couple of times. Their deaths were short and fairly painless.

It seemed to me that he had carefully thought all this out. Kill the teachers first, get them out of the way and scare the rest of us at the same time. Shoot a few more students to show there is no escape. Knock out everyone and follow the plans he made for each of us. Harry the nerd he decided would be fun to torture, but the poor obese girl would probably pass out quickly. He must have thought of just little things like that, planned out how we would all die.

He was much smarter than I ever thought he was. Maybe even smarter than Sally and Jay combined. He conducted the murders with such expertise, I couldn't help but be impressed.

Then, it was over. Every last person on the best had stopped breathing and twitching. Samuel stood in the middle of the bus, smiling like a maniac and laughing quietly. He reached up to his face and felt the eye patch. Quickly, he ripped it off his face. His eye was shut, just as red and burnt as the rest of his face. Then, he opened his eye. I stopped when I saw it. The iris itself was fine, in fact, if you were just looking at his eye straight on, it might look normal. But the side of it was black and burnt. I could only imagine what could have done that to his eye.

After a few minutes of standing there laughing, he suddenly stopped. His smile disappeared and he froze. Then, he collapsed onto the ground, face first. What I saw next scared me even more.

I saw a boy step out of Samuel's skin, like it was just a costume. The boy's face has half burnt, like Samuel's, but his looked even worse. You could see his bone through the burn holes. The boy had the same evil smile that Samuel had just worn. His clothes were torn and black, like a burn victim's.

The boy stepped away from Samuel's body as I ran towards him. I tried to pick him up, but my arms went right through him. I didn't have hands; Samuel took them, but I didn't care. After all, he had saved me from that torture.

Then, Samuel's eye shot open and he gasped, air filling his lungs. I jumped away from him and I heard the boy that stepped out of Samuel giggle. Samuel began to cough, and pushed himself off the ground, rubbing his cheek where he had hit the floor.

It took him a little bit to see his surroundings. When he did, he fell over onto one of the seats...onto someone's head. It made a disturbing squishing noise when he hit it. Samuel bit his tongue, trying not to scream.

The other boy was now laughing like crazy and Samuel turned to glare at him, but his eyes fell on me.

“Amanda?” he gasped. He looked past me at the boy. “Nace, what did you do?”

The boy was laughing too hard to answer at first. I couldn't speak. I didn't know what to say. He finally calmed down enough to answer.

“Look around you, genius!” Nace answered. He motioned around him at the bloody bus.

“You psychopath!” Samuel stood up. “This is wrong!”

“This? This is revenge.” Nace smiled, feeling the burnt skin on his face. It occurred to me that this boy was dead.

Samuel brought his hand to his face instinctively. He looked around the bloody bus and shut his eyes.

“Come on, we gotta clean up,” Nace shrugged, pointing at the bag. Samuel sighed and moved over to the big bag, pulling out several Wal-mart bags that looked like they were full of stuff.

“This has to stop,” Samuel said. He opened one of the bags and pulled out a bag full of ice and a human arm. He pulled out more bags and finally had an entire body. He grabbed something else of the bag: gasoline.

“You can't stop me, Ghost Boy,” Nace scowled. “After all, I got us a new friend!”

“I can see that!” Samuel yelled in anger. “Why her, anyway?”

“Um, hold on, time out!” I called, trying to position my hands in a “T” before I remembered that I didn't have any. “What the heck is going on?”

The boy laughed and suddenly was right beside me. He put his arm around my shoulder and grabbed my face.

“What's going on? You're dead, Hon.” Nace grinned.

“From the look of it, so are you.” I commented.

“Yeah, well that's his fault.” Nace said. His face darkened “And that's why we're haunting him.”

It was silent for a moment, thinking it was a sick joke. After all, haunting? It just sounded silly.

I noticed that Samuel had the same sad face that I saw that day. I opened my mouth to break the silence.

“We?” I asked.

After speaking, I saw them. There were twenty other phantom boys and girls standing around Samuel. All of their faces were burn and distorted in terrible ways. Some were completely missing limbs, others were just horrifyingly burnt. Their faces were hard, but not insane-looking like Nace. All their eyes were on Samuel and he opened the big can of gasoline and poured it all over the bus. He drenched the seats and the bodies, especially the one he got out of the bag.

He took off his jacket and put it on the torso of the body. I noticed his little student ID card sticking out of the pocket. Samuel shivered and pulled out a jacket identical to his last one out of the bag and put it on. Putting back on his eye patch, he once again covered the left side of his face with his bangs. He grabbed some scissors and a plastic bag and walked over to the bodies of the teachers. Carefully, he cut out the bullet from the people's flesh and put them in the bag. The bullets were bloody and left blood trails on the sides of the bag as they fell.

Once he had collected all the bullets from all the teachers and students he shot, he cleaned off the scissors and his hands with a cloth in his bag and put the bag of bullets in his big bag. I wondered what other things were in the bag. Was it all serial killer stuff?

Me and the rest of the ghosts watched as he silently cleaned up Nace's mess. He grabbed Jay's body and some other kid, Derek, and began to drag them off the bus. He stopped at the door and began to cut up Derek's body into smaller pieces. He went outside and grabbed some snow and put the body parts along with the snow in the bags that he got to last body out of.

I could follow his logic. Burn the bodies, but not all of them, so the police suspect two murderers, Jay and Derek, if they ever made it that far. And if they found the bus in time. Meanwhile, you take Derek's body in case you need it in the future and dispose of Jay's body elsewhere.

Derek and Jay could have easily committed the murder, so they were good scape-goats. After all, they were always so quiet and never smiled. Jay and Derek were at the top of the class and did hang out together, though no one but their close friends knew why. It was sad, they were going to elope once they finished school. It was one of the few things that Jay would get excited about.

I guess they'll never do that.

Sam coughed again and shivered. When he coughed, you could see his breath. I didn't feel cold; then again, I was dead. The heater on the bus wasn't on anymore and Samuel was just wearing a jacket and T-shirt. He must have been freezing. I put my hand on my chest and felt my scarf. Okay, I didn't really have hands, I had like...ghost hands. They were there, but I couldn't see them. It was like my eyes. They were gone, but I could still see. I guessed it was because I was a....ghost.

I took off my scarf and stepped closer to Samuel. Standing behind him, I lifted the scarf above his head and pulled it around the lower half of his face. I twisted the ends and threw them in front of him so the scarf was completely wrapped around his neck. For whatever reason, the scarf solidified when I let go of it. It wasn't a ghost scarf, but a real scarf. In fact, the scarf even disappeared from my corpse. Ghost logic, I guess.

Samuel seemed surprised. He put his hand on the scarf and took a breath. I smiled and stepped next to him. Samuel looked at me and smiled wearily.

“Thanks.” He pulled his own blue scarf out of the bag and gave it to me. “Here, this isn't nearly as warm as your scarf, but you can have it in return for this one.”

I hesitated before grabbing the scarf. I didn't think I would be able to wear it, but for some reason, it didn't fall through my hands. I could actually hold it. I smiled bigger. Samuel's scarf...

Samuel picked up his back and stepped out of the bus. He had grabbed a lighter from the bus driver and flicked it open. After a few tries, he managed to get a flame going. The rest of the ghosts and I floated out of the bus and huddled around Samuel, looking at the small fire. He tossed it into the bus and it hit the floor.

Then, he ran.

Seconds later, the entire bus was engulfed in flames. Nace ran up to me and Samuel.

“What are ya gonna do now, Sammy?” he asked. “You can't go back home now.”

“SHUT UP!” Samuel shouted. I noticed tears forming in his eyes. He kept running.

I felt bad for him. All these ghosts followed him everywhere with their ever-watching eyes. Never speaking, always watching. Waiting for him to break. He couldn't live a happy life. These ghosts would kill anyone who made him happy. If not Nace, then another soul would kill them.

I wouldn't. I thought.

That's right! I could save him from the ghosts. I could protect him. I would protect Samuel from Nace or any other ghost that tried to hurt him or his happiness. That would be my job. That would be my life, and nothing could stop me.

Samuel stopped running after a while. He collapsed onto his knees, gasping for breath. I saw someone else, slowing walking towards us from the other side of the road. When he saw Samuel, the man seemed to smile and he waved and hollered at Samuel. There were no cars coming in either direction, so the man ran across the street. Samuel stood up and looked at him.

“Sam! Sam, is that you?” the man called. Samuel looked at the man and frowned.

“Yes, why?” he asked.

“Don't you remember me? I'm Mr. Daud! I was your math teacher two years ago at Sachromoe Junior High remember? I heard about the accident there. So terrible.” the man said, putting his hands on his waist. The other ghosts grimaced. I could feel their pain. Nace balled his hands into fists and he shut his eyes tightly.

“Oh yeah, I remember you.” Samuel smiled.

Samuel pushed the man into the interstate just as a big 18-wheeler rushed by.


Then, I stepped out of Samuel's body. He gasped for air and caught himself before he fell.

Okay, I lied just now. I used Samuel's body to push the man into the street.

I had to save him.

Samuel didn't have time to react. The truck pulled over to the side of the road a couple of yards ahead. Samuel turned away from the road and ran into the forest.

I smiled....

Yes, I'll protect you...

This is the story of Samuel. The poor cursed soul that one way or another, everyone he knows ends up dead. His friends, his family, his classmates, they all die. As ghosts they follow him everywhere. After awhile, they get jealous, they get angry. Then, they get even.

Poor Samuel...

You'll all die because of him.