This story contains themes or mentions of physical violence and gore.
Her name was Georgia, a beautiful girl with brown hair that touched her shoulders and a perfect smile. But I would’ve never been good enough for her. I was just that one person who spent too much time looking at pictures of her, wishing I was the same. She didn’t know I took pictures of her, even though my bedroom walls were plastered with her face. I followed Georgia around the halls of a school I didn’t even go to. She didn’t notice me because why would she? I was just a nobody.
When it was summer break, I went by her house every day. It was a small suburban house near the woods. I followed her all day and made pictures which I then put up on my walls. I knew everything about Georgia, but there was one thing that remained a mystery.
When I was younger, I almost died. And you know when people say you can see your own body when your soul floats away? Yeah, I didn’t see that. I saw Georgia, in the forest, I saw how I killed her. Ever since that moment, I knew I had to do it. Tonight. It was a new moon, just like how I saw it.
Georgia always had this certain laugh when she was with her friends. Unsure if it would be her last, I soaked it in, just like every single one of her traits and quirks. Everything had already passed my mind and stuck. I didn’t feel sorry or sad for her. I might feel relieved when I finally kill her. But this thought that has been haunting me for eleven years, never made me feel happy.
Georgia was at the mall, wearing a crop top, an oversized denim jacket, and a set of black cargo pants. Her hair was a bit wavy. She looked my way and I didn’t hide. No, I just stared right back into her eyes, as a hunter looks into the eyes of a prey when it’s dying. She looked at me for a second but to me, it seemed like an hour.
I have considered the possibility I might be in love with Georgia, but wouldn’t that feel like I can’t live without her? Instead of wanting to kill her? I had the killing dream every night since that day. The first week, I was scared and tried to scream, but no sound came out. Then I tried to run away, however, the forest always made me kill Georgia. After a while, I got used to it. I got used to the feeling of having to kill her.
Georgia. I’ll never get tired of seeing her name in my mind. And soon I will see her name on a gravestone made of paper, and I will have a little ceremony in my bedroom. She would’ve deserved way better. Still, who am I to say that? I’m only her killer. I didn’t even know Georgia.
Every evening, she would take a walk through the woods. I didn’t find the courage to follow her then. It wasn’t the time yet. However, tonight was different. I could feel it. I took a step towards the woods and got a weird feeling like my mind was telling me to stop but my body told me to keep walking. I kept walking. Georgia looked relaxed, still, I could see something was bothering her. Did she know she would die today or was it something else? I had to know so I approached Georgia. Even though she was startled when she saw me, she took a step toward me. Like she was in this place and time for the same reason I was.
My hand tightened the knife that I was holding out of sight, behind my back. When Georgia was standing right before my eyes, I didn’t blink. But neither did she. For a second I forgot what the universe wanted me to do. Then I returned to this moment. The knife appeared and stabbed Georgia. I didn’t even flinch, I didn’t even look at the knife. I was still looking into her eyes. She looked afraid and I couldn’t help but notice the color of her eyes. Blue. This was the first time I saw it. I knew every little thing, I memorized every movement and everything she liked and lost. But how could I not notice something as simple as the color of Georgia’s eyes?
She was fading away, falling down, crying tears I could almost taste. There was silence.
I woke up from a dream I didn’t recognize. The killing dream was gone. When I walked outside, I saw police cars on the street. Georgia lived across the street from me, two houses to the left. A police officer was talking to Georgia’s dad, but I didn’t care. I followed my instinct into the forest. I knew exactly where it happened. I could see the place where I killed Georgia. Only thing is, she wasn’t there. I walked further into the forest, eventually, I saw the black denim jacket Georgia wore last night.
On the ground, I saw a photo of her that I made. She was in her room. Behind her, I could see a wall. It was an empty white wall. Suddenly the picture was changing. The wall was now full of pictures. Photos of me. I was back in the forest. Where there used to be leaves, the ground was now scattered with pictures. I recognized the photos I made. However, there were some pictures I have never seen before. I picked one up and saw that it was me in the photo.
Georgia stumbled towards me with the knife I “killed” her with. Her tears had dried and left a trail of black makeup across her cheeks. She looked into my eyes and the knife sank itself into me. I didn’t run or move or anything. Maybe I wanted to know what it felt like, know what Georgia felt last night. For a moment, her blue eyes were the prettiest thing I saw. Georgia took my hand and fell down, taking me with her. We both laid there, in the middle of the forest, just us. I looked up at the sky, but all I could see were the pictures. Different people appeared in different pictures. Polaroid pictures, film reels, black and white photographs, and burned pictures were falling down on us. Then it all turned to dust, it might’ve been ashes but we will never know.
Inspired by Reedsy Prompts: Set your story in a town that’s teetering on the edge of something dark, literally or metaphorically.
(Contest #149: Of Stranger Things)