by Emily M. Peters
Karla stared down at the weeping girl on the floor, then up at the girl’s older sister. A look of wicked pleasure was stamped in Karla’s luminescent brown eyes. The feeling before a test, there’s nothing like it, Karla thought.
She took a deep breath of the stale underground air. The sounds of muffled sobs, rapid heartbeats and the drip-drops of the water falling from the pipes filled her ears, and a smile played on her lips. Oh, how long has it been, two months since the last test? Hopefully, these girls would present more of a challenge. However, their lack of enthusiasm was making Karla doubt her experiments’ outcomes.
“Get her up.” Karla nodded to the blonde still cradling herself on the hard concrete floor.
The elder one looked at Karla with confusion in her bright blue eyes but immediately bent down to comfort her younger sister Allayne.
Karla’s patience was wearing thin; this should’ve been under way by now. “STAND HER UP!”
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” Shelly, the elder sister, muttered repeatedly under her breath as she helped her ever-sobbing sister into a standing position against the opposite wall.
How rude, Karla thought, her eyes narrowed into little slits, as she watched them scoot away from her. At least she was giving them a chance of survival. Had any other serial killer picked them up, they’d have been dead by now. Although Karla didn’t like to think of herself as a serial killer, she probably fit the criteria. At least she figured she had a purpose. All those other killers were such... slobs.
“You get a thirty-second head start. Various weapons are hidden throughout the maze, if you choose to call it that. The grand prize is the cell phone, with 911 already programmed in, along with the address of where you are. Thirty seconds. Now go.”
Karla smiled, just thinking about that phone, still in the same spot she had left it almost three years ago now. It was plugged into a charger in the heart of the maze, waiting for that one person to find it. To be honest, Karla was beginning to wonder if anybody would ever find it; about twenty people had been through these halls already.
“What are you talking about?” Shelly asked, still soothing her 12-year old sister as if she were a baby.
Karla couldn’t help giving a small eye roll. The way these “normal” people acted just confused her; they were about to be killed, yet they did not try to save themselves. To be honest, she pitied them.
“I’m saying, Shelly, you find the phone and call the police. Or you can use one of the weapons lying around here to kill me and then find the phone.” Karla’s smirk was laced with a sinister look that made both girls’ skin crawl. Karla’s blood-red lips curled up, revealing her unnaturally white teeth, giving her the edgy look she strived for.
“You want us to kill you?” Shelly asked, her mouth hanging open in astonishment and confusion clouding her eyes.
Karla glared at her. Now this is just plain ridiculous. And tedious. “I WANT YOU TO GO! The clock is ticking!” Karla yelled.
Without having to be told twice, Allayne and Shelly stumbled down the hall. Karla watched as their trembling legs carried them down the first of many passages. Karla chuckled when they disappeared completely. Then Karla turned and faced the ladder that would bring them back to the surface of the earth.
Karla started her timer. They always think it’s so easy, she thought while the seconds ticked away. It all boiled down to being able to kill in self-defense. If they couldn’t, every single weapon lying around here was utterly useless. People thought it would be easy to kill if they had to, but standing in front of a living, breathing person with either a hammer or a saw — Karla’s favorite weapons — was not the same as talking about it.
For Karla, it was different. She was doing the world a favor; she was a scientist, but nobody could see it. She was no different from a thirty-year old man in a lab coat, playing with chemicals. It must have had something to do with those pills she stopped taking three years ago when she turned 25. She laughed at the thought. She remembered quitting them. She remembered flushing each and every bottle down the toilet. Antisocial Personality Disorder, they said. Sociopath, they said. Take the meds. Talk with the shrink. Take the meds. Talk with the shrink.
Those pills had Karla messed up. The week before she dumped them, Karla remembered not being herself. She would look in the mirror and not recognize the person staring back at her. It was the same poofy brown hair always held back in a holder. The same tan skin and the same slim figure, but she couldn’t see herself.
Then there was her mom. Small and frail, as Karla liked to describe her. Sometimes, Karla didn’t know who was taking care of whom. Karla was always looking after her mother, even when her mother wasn’t looking after her. It got so hectic that Karla had to get a job just to keep them from getting evicted, while her mother sat in her dark bedroom, thinking about God knows what.
Suddenly, Karla was thrown back. The world around her ripped from under her feet as she slipped into another time. While the world around her remained sharp, she immediately remembered that day, the day she would never forget.
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Copyright © 2013 by Emily M. Peters