A long time ago, an incident happened that now haunts me forever. It was the death of my eight year old sister, Adeline, that started it.
Adeline and I were very close. We played many games together. Cat's cradle, tag, catch, and Adeline's favorite, hide-and-go-seek. Adeline would scare me when we played. She was a strange child. She could be rather scary, downright terrifying sometimes. I often found the bones of small animals and pieces of animal skins near our house. Sometimes, Adeline would go into shaking fits, whimpering and screaming about voices and people that haunted her. She was later diagnosed with schizophrenia.
One day while playing hide-and-go-seek, I hid in a crate by the basement door for hours. I hadn't seen Adeline at all. We were home alone and I was supposed to be watching her. Just then, the phone rang and I got up to answer it, thinking it was Mom or Dad. It was my friend.
"Hey, Emma, I was just wondering if you could spend the night at my place," she said cheerfully.
Adeline came running in right when I was about to say that I had to babysit. I opened my mouth to speak when I heard a thump from behind me. I turned around to see Adeline on the floor, spread out on her back. Her eyes were white.
"Addie!" I yelled, running to her.
I shook her shoulder and kept yelling her name. Nothing. I checked her pulse. A very faint heartbeat. She was barely breathing. I called 911 and then Mom and Dad. They got here before the paramedics did. I heard sirens and then Adeline was taken away on a stretcher. Apparently, she went into some sort of coma and then died on the way to the hospital. We never found out why.
Six years later, we stopped saying her name. We shut her door and never went in there again. It was like she never existed. I noticed that the animal remains were gone after she died. At least, for a little while. A few weeks passed and I began to have nightmares that were so frequent, they became night terrors. Sometimes, I would wake up with bruises and scratches all over my body. I didn't say anything because I didn't want to worry my parents. I kept seeing a girl that looked almost exactly the way Adeline did when she died, except her eyes were their normal brown. This happened so often that I eventually told my parents and all they suggested was therapy. Other things began to happen, too.
Sometimes, I would walk by the den and hear light footsteps, soft giggling, and the bouncing of a rubber ball. I saw shadows on the stairs in broad daylight and no one was there. These weren't normal shadows. These ones took on the shape of a human and moved and made noise. The "road kill" was back. My parents said it was just the animals crossing the road from the forest across from our house. I even saw Adeline's door wide open when I walked upstairs. Mom and Dad denied ever opening her door. A few more weeks passed and things got worse. I saw a little girl in my room once. I sat up in bed and she disappeared. One night, the light in Adeline's room was on and the door was open. There was a soft ripping noise coming from that general area. I went to go investigate and saw nothing at first. When I walked closer, the lights went off and I saw Adeline's favorite stuffed animal torn to shreds. I heard soft laughter and the sound of liquid dripping on the floor. A small girl appeared. It was Adeline. She was holding a bloody knife and a half-skinned rabbit. She smiled.
"Do you like my new friend?" she asked. I backed away and she set the rabbit down.
"Emma," She whined.
"We never finished our game of hide-and-go-seek." She smiled wickedly and let out a giggle that sent chills down my spine. I ran and she raised her knife. I literally slid down the railings on the stairs and bolted for the kitchen. I aimed for my parents room, then changed course to the front door. I opened the front door and slammed it behind me. I turned to look over my shoulder. She disappeared. That is, until I turned around again. Adeline was right in my face. She smiled and laughed, wiping a trickle of blood from her lip.
"You can run, Emma," she said. "But you can't hide." Then she disappeared.
To this day, she still haunts my memories. Sometimes, I still have nightmares. I've run from her for years. But I will never be able to hide.