Jared, a dark haired man with light eyes, sighed in unnecessary relief after he read the paper. Specifically, the article about the 20 year old woman. She fell into busy traffic and ended up dying. How she ended up falling, however, was Jared accidentally bumped into her while in a rush. He didn't know she had a false leg and bad balance. How was he supposed to know that she'd fall? No one knew he was involved. No one but himself, and it ate at him.
He didn't leave this house for a month or so after that day. He didn't plan on ever leaving his house again. However, he didn't have food growing in his house. He had to leave for food. He grabbed his largest coat to hide in as he walked to the market. He felt as if everyone was watching him as he walked. Like they all secretly knew what he did. Like they were judging him. It was enough to make one want to scream innocence. His guilt growing with every paranoid thought. After he got his food, enough to last about two months or so, he started running back home. While running, he accidentally tripped over someone and lost a quarter of his food. He got up apologizing and turned around to see who he tripped over.
It was a little girl, probably eight years of age. She was crying and curled up in a ball. "I really am sorry, little girl!" he said. She didn't respond.
"Uhm, little girl? Excuse me."
The girl looked up at Jared with tear filled light green eyes and hazelnut brown hair. Her face gave Jared a strange, almost deja-vu feeling.
"Y-yes sir?" she responded, staying respectful despite her sadness.
"What are you doing here?" She didn't respond. "You know that this is the middle of the sidewalk, right?" Still no answer. Jared decided to try something else. He didn't want her getting hurt or anything worse.
"Where are your parents?" he asked.
The girl looked down slightly before responding with, "I don't have any..."
Jared couldn't help but think that this was perfect. There wasn't an orphanage in this city, and if he did a great job in raising this girl, his karma could be balanced for taking the woman's life. His guilt went up shortly afterwards for a split second, though, for thinking so selfishly and remembering what he did. He shook his head slightly before asking her if she'd want to stay with him. The girl doesn't think twice.
"OK!" she said, jumping up to her feet. She seemed a little healthier than a few seconds ago to Jared, but he wrote it off as nothing. She then introduced herself.
"My name is Schuld!"
"That's a unique name," Jared said with a smile on his face. The name seemed to knot his stomach, but he's not sure why.
After about a month or so, Jared's guilt and paranoia is worse than ever. He's kept his curtains closed and door locked since the police patrol increased after the recent murder that had happened. What was weirder than the sudden, out of place murder to Jared was Schuld. She never seemed to grow any, not even in the hair. She never eats anything (unless she was somehow replacing the food she did eat) and claimed she wasn't hungry whenever asked for food. Despite this lack of food, she was always healthy and happy. Jared, on the other hand, rarely thought about Schuld's lack of normality and instead focused on his own increasing guilt.
Jared started thinking out loud.
"Calm down, Jared. E-everything's fine. I-it wasn't actually your fault. I-it wasn't..."
"Yes it was," Schuld said while playing with her toys, her voice still monotone.
Jared ended up whipping around to look at her. "Wha-" he started before Schuld answered.
"I know what you did." Schuld got up onto her feet. "I know how you pushed the girl. She fell because of you."
Jared started to panic, his guilty paranoia multiplying by the second. "B-but it was an accident, Schuld! It was an accident!"
Schuld smirked for a split second before going back somber. "Who do you think the cops will believe, Jared? The man who pushed a disabled girl into traffic and picked up a girl off of the streets for unknown reasons a month after murder? Or the poor, scared, little girl?"
"How-?" Jared went to try and ask a question again, but Schuld interrupted again.
"I know everything, Jared. I know everything that everyone ever hides. Everything that gives them guilt." She looked up with that strangely familiar face. Her eyes seemed to be a dark green now with slitted pupils now. Her hair also seemed lighter. "I especially know when they deserve to be guilty or not." A smirk appears permanently as she said, "The cops will never believe you."
"No..." Jared whispered.
"You killed her!"
"It's all your fault!"
"She'd be alive if it weren't for you!"
"NO!" Jared yelled. He started to curl up into a ball, repeating shut up and no over and over. His thoughts making everyone he's ever met saying exactly what Schuld said. His eyes started to fill with tears. Schuld's smirk was now a full evil grin, her outlook very healthy. She decided to give Jared some of her advice.
"You know, there is a way to rid yourself of this feeling." Jared looked up at her. "The never ending, always increasing guilt. The guilt that is slowly killing your spirit." He tried wiping away tears.
Schuld simply motioned to the kitchen. "You don't let your spirit die."
Jared stood up and wiped away more tears as he goes into the kitchen, completely understanding what Schuld meant. He went and grabbed the largest knife he had, all the while Schuld's healthy look couldn't be healthier.
The police examined the house two days later. Jared Mansen, a light green eyed and hazelnut haired man of the age of 29, killed himself with the use of a knife. When the police finally found the suicide note, parts of what it said didn't make sense.
"Before anything, I should inform you that if Schuld, the little orphaned girl, has already told you, you need not read most of this, you'll understand.
I'm sorry to anyone who cared, but I couldn't handle the guilt anymore. I killed that Amy girl. You know, the one who fell into traffic. I didn't mean to, it was an accident. Not like you'd really believe me. Schuld said no one would believe me. She knows everything. She probably didn't need me to begin with, but wanted to help me. She told me that my spirit would get destroyed if I didn't destroy my body first. Again, I'm sorry.
Also, in case she does need someone, here's how she looks."
It is then followed by a description. The thing is, there were no recent orphans in this town. There hasn't been anything to cause an orphan to happen in over 18 years. And there was absolutely no girl named Schuld. When the description was analyzed, the officials couldn't help but notice that Schuld's description matched that of Jared's back when he was 9. Psychologists predict that Schuld was Jared's mind making an innocent body out of guilt. They don't know how such a small amount of guilt when he thought of her caused it, however. Nor do they know how he thought of the name.
Schuld is a word. It is German for the word Guilt.
As time went on, more and more reports like this appeared around the world.
Each one involving someone committing suicide from an unnecessary guilt trip.
Always with a little girl whose description matches that of the victim's when they were younger.
Always saying the girl told them to die before their spirit.
Each time the girl named Schuld.
And each time with Schuld getting healthier and happier as the victim's guilt gets worse.