I’m not exactly sure how to start this story, or even if I’ll remember all the details to the letter. Even now, almost a year after it all happened... It comes back in bit and pieces so you’ll have to forgive me if not everything is described the best.

My name is Alice, I was sixteen at the time—actually it was my sixteenth birthday to be exact. I had long ago given up on having any parties for the occasion, not to mention we had just completed moving to this godforsaken town so I didn’t have any friends around even if I did want to have one.

The town itself was a small, practically deserted place in the Midwest, I’m not saying the name in case someone gets the wise idea to come looking for the place. It had a little high school of only 100 or so students (myself included), a small time factory where my parents both worked the night shift, and an old abandoned carnival...that would have probably been the only interesting feature in this town really. It’s also a bit...well disturbing. I’ve heard a few stories about why it closed—some of them are even to troubling to type out in detail on this—but the only real believable one is with money issues. Whatever the facts might have been my curiosity about the place was definitely peaked.

Anyways, that night I had been sitting on the couch watching an old, hilariously bad horror movie. It was about 11:00 pm on a Friday night, my parents had left for work almost an hour previously so I had the house all to myself. It would have been a freeing feeling to any teen, or it would have been if something hadn’t felt off about it. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it but it felt like someone was watching me, someone dangerous.

I jumped, practically falling off the couch, when I heard the voice calling out my name. I looked about the room quickly seeing no one and calmed down some, thinking my imagination must have been playing tricks on me. That is until I heard it again, this time from outside the window.

Cautiously I approached the window, and caught my first glimpse of him. You would have never known what he could possibly do by first glance, he was only a boy no older than thirteen at most. He had a mess of reddish orange hair atop his head, a mess of freckles scattered on his face, and pale blue almost white eyes...but upon a second examination he became slightly odder looking, for a lack of better terms. His movements looked sharp and a bit jerky as he stood straight up and smiled at up at me, showing off his teeth.

“Alice?” he repeated my name one more time.

I hesitantly nodded, this whole thing had me rather unsettled, “H-how do you know my n-name?” I asked him, my voice breaking slightly if I recall correctly.

“Isn’t it your birthday?” the boy had asked blatantly ignoring my question.

Again I nodded, I would have been kind of annoyed at him ignoring me, if I wasn’t completely freaked out. I kept thinking to myself who the heck is this boy; he knew my name, he knew my much more did he know?

“You shouldn’t be alone then!” He smiled brightly saying this, but his eyes had an almost cold, hard look to them, “No one should be left alone on their birthday. Come with me! We can have so much fun together!”

I remember shaking my head as quickly as I would ever think possible and backing away from the window, but then, it seemed, the next thing I knew I was outside standing right next to the younger boy. I’m still not quite sure how that happened, it’s one of the many blank spots in my memories from that night.

He grabbed my arm and started pulling me away from my house, my brain kept telling my body to stop, to quit moving, but it was like I wasn’t in control of my actions, I couldn’t even open my mouth to protest...not that he probably would have listened anyhow.

How we got there is another blank space in my memory, but somehow we had ended up in the old run down carnival on the edge of town, only, it didn’t look so old or run down any more, every ride was running, every light was on, I’d swear this was what the place had looked like in it’s heyday—had there been people around besides myself and this boy.

“How is this even possible,” I murmured surprising myself slightly at hearing my voice again.

“Anything is possible Alice,” the boy said, a grin spreading across his face, I swear I heard the carnival music start to distort and fall out of tune. In retrospect, that should have been a clue to run, but just as quickly as I had heard it, the music was back to normal again, I had thought it was my imagination playing tricks on me.

“I... I shouldn’t be here, I need to go...” I was scared, honestly scared out of my mind. I saw the boy’s face grow dark, a look of anger, or possibly something worse than that. I didn’t have much time to process what it might have been however as a sharp pain hit my mind it honestly felt like someone had just driven a sharp knife through the top of my head, and was turning it slowly. I closed my eyes tightly from the sheer amount of pain surging through my head, my hands clutched the side of my head and I fell to my knees.

“... on... s-second... thought... I... I will... s-stay...” I said, though it wasn’t my voice, I was being forced to say it.

The intense pain was alleviated instantly, leaving a dull throbbing in its place. I open my eyes slowly, to find the boy glaring down at me paired with an almost insane grin plastered to his face. Now that the pain was subsiding, I noticed just how warped the music had gotten, it sounded demented, almost.

“Good, I don't want to see you go....I don't even want to be there... I will cover up my eyes and pray it goes away...You've only lived a minute of your life,” the boy replied the look not leaving his face, his voice darker, definitely not fitting of a thirteen year old any more...I was even more scared than before if it was even possible.

I lost track of what happened after that, all I remember was that he pulled me up, blind folded me and lead me some place—some place that smelled like death. I tried to run, tried to tell my body to get out of there, but it was exactly like before. I felt helpless, like I had absolutely no control over my own body. I found myself sitting down, being bound to whatever type of chair I was in; the only thought I had left to cling to was that I was going to die, he was going to kill me.

Just then he removed the blindfold and I was able to glare at what I thought was the thirteen year old from before, but instead found my glare meeting the eyes of a boy almost my age. He had the same, almost white eyes of the boy from before, but his looked more insane, almost as though they lost their light. I might not have realized it was the same boy if it wasn’t for those insane eyes.

“I... don’t want to die,” I manage to get out, barely above a whisper.

He grinned, the most demented grin I would have ever thought possible, his voice now was much deeper than before, “Don’t worry Alice... I don't want to see you die... but if that's the way that god has planned you I'll put pennies on your eyes... and it will go away,” My eyes widened in terror, he was going to— “You've only lived a minute of your life...”

A small voice spread throughout the room, I couldn’t make it out but the boy looked around seeming to recognize it. "Is someone calling me...? No..." but no sooner had he dismissed the thought the voice came back a bit louder.

This time I could clearly make out what it had said, “Steven...”

The boy, growled backing away from me and looked around the room, his face looked like it had an expression of anger mixed with anxiousness from the voice that again called, “Steven...”

“WHAT DO YOU WANT?!” He yelled into the empty room only to have the ghostly voice repeat his name. He growled loudly, I swear I saw his eyes flash red as he started yelling nonstop, “WHAT DO YOU WANT?! WHATDOYOUWANTWHATDOYOUWANT?! WHAT-DO-YOU-WANT?!”

“Steven?” it wasn’t the voice this time, it was me; pleading quietly, hoping for either death or—if at all possible—freedom.

He turned his fiery glare on me, a glare filled with pure hate and rage. Suddenly I felt the stabbing pain from before, but instead of just my head, my entire body felt as though it was being pierced by knifes, each of them slowly being slowly and painfully twisted. I screamed, from the pain, the pure terror, everything. The last thing I heard before I blacked out was Steven’s voice, it was back to how it sounded when I first met him. “You've only lived a minute of your life... I must be dreaming please stop screaming...” Then the whole world went black.

When I came to again, I was lying on the couch in my house. I jumped off it quickly and ran to the bathroom, the chips I had eaten earlier making a reappearance in the toilet. When I walked back out I caught a glimpse of the clock. It was only midnight, thankfully my birthday—and the dream—were both over. That wasn’t the only thing that caught my eye though, there was a folded up note lying on the coffee table next to the couch. I cautiously picked it up and unfolded it, but dropped it screaming as soon as I read the contents. It looked as though it had been written in blood, but it was the words that frightened me the most, “Happy birthday Alice, see you next year~”