by L.E. Kat
The girl shouldered her backpack and started sprinting up the snowy slope. She was so very, very close...
Five years. It had been five years since she started searching for the man in the fox mask.
Five years since he had destroyed her life and she vowed that she would never rest until she found who the man was.
shє hαd wσkєn tσ thє sσund σf hєr вrσthєr scrєαmíng. вєfσrє shє knєw ít, shє wαs ín hís rσσm, вut ít wαs tσσ lαtє. shє cσuld sєє rєd líquíd sєєpíng frσm α wσund ín hís chєst.
α wσund thαt cσuld nєvєr вє hєαlєd.
She gritted her teeth and blew into her numb hands as she moved her feet through the snow. She could see his footsteps in the cold, packed powder. They were fresh.
He seemed to be moving slower, as if to let her almost catch him but once again slip through her grasp.
tєrrífíєd, shє hαd run frσm hís rσσm αnd scrєαmєd fσr hєr pαrєnts. whєn thєч díd nσt αnswєr, shє rαn shαkílч tσ thєír rσσm. pushíng σpєn thє dσσr, shє sαw hím αt thє wíndσw.
hє hαd turnєd tσwαrds hєr, shσwíng hís fσх mαsk вєfσrє jumpíng σut thє wíndσw.
He had framed her. The police thought she had done it. Her running made her look even more suspicious, but she didn't care. She was after the fox man. The police were after her.
It was like one giant and deadly game of tag. She smiled wryly to herself.
shє hαd lσσkєd dσwn αnd sєєn hєr mσthєr lαчíng σn thє flσσr wíth strαч tєαrs ín hєr lífєlєss єчєs. thєrє wαs α lσng gαsh αcrσss hєr nєck.
thє gírl knєlt dσwn αnd tríєd tσ shαkє hєr вαck tσ lífє вut tσ nσ αvαíl. α mσvєmєnt cαught hєr єчє. shє crαwlєd σvєr tσ thє sσurcє αnd fσund thαt hєr fαthєr wαs вαrєlч вrєαthíng.
She would catch him this time. She was sure of it.
She reached the top of the hill and there he was, standing as still as a post, wind blowing his enormous trench coat around his ankles. She knew that sneaking up on him would be pointless.
He already knew she was there.
hє hαd α kítchєn knífє вuríєd hílt dєєp íntσ hís chєst. shє lσσkєd αt ít wíth hσrrσr.
nσt knσwíng whαt єlsє tσ dσ, shє pullєd ít σut αnd quícklч put hєr hαnds σvєr thє wσund tσ stαunch thє вlσσd cσmíng σut. hєr fαthєr gαspєd wíth pαín αnd σpєnєd hís єчєs wídє, sєαrchíng.
His panicked gaze landed on her and his face became one of complete terror.
He turned towards her to show his faux fox face. She drew her gun and pointed it at him.
"Who are you?" She asked calmly but no response came from him.
"Who are you?!" She yelled at the man.
"чσu..." wαs αll hє sαíd вєfσrє hís єчєs rσllєd up íntσ hís skull. shє sαt thєrє, stαríng αt hím untíl dαwn cαmє. thє mαn ín thє fσх mαsk díd thís. hє murdєrєd hєr fαmílч αnd tσrє αpαrt hєr lífє.
shє wαs gσíng tσ fínd hím. shє wαs gσíng tσ fínd hím αnd thєn kíll hím.
He still did not respond. She was getting increasingly angry. He was taunting her, pushing her limits.
"Show yourself!" She screamed as the cold wind blew around her, "Let me see your face, you coward!"
The man slowly moved his hand up to the mask. This was the moment she had been waiting for.
The moment she saw his face was the very moment before he died and she wanted to see the life drain from his eyes.
He pulled it off and the moment he did, the girl gasped. He seemed to transform before her very eyes. His broad shoulders became considerably smaller. His muscled arms became more feminine.
His bulky frame was changed into one of a young woman's. His short hair became longer so that it framed a very feminine face.
The girl was looking at herself.
In an instant, she remembered everything from that night. Her knees buckled as she remembered stabbing her brother as he slept. She recalled killing her parents in cold blood.
She had been chasing nothing but an apparition for half a decade. She was a murderer.
She shrugged her backpack off her back and pulled out a picture of her family. As she looked at the photograph, she cried the tears of a hundred heartbreaks. She killed her family.
She heard herself laugh and looked up through watery eyes as the other her put the mask back on.
"I've been as sly as a fox, have I not?" the masked girl asked, "I've avoided everyone, including you. Or should I say, myself. My, my, we have been naughty"
The girl's anger returned full force. She raised her gun at the fox-faced villain. She would end this.
With a loud scream that was lost in the howling wind, she pulled the trigger. The bullet hit its intended mark; the heart.
The girl in the fox mask looked shocked for only a moment before she collapsed, red blood staining the white snow.
Weeks later, the police would recover the frozen body of a girl clutching a family portrait, her face covered by a grinning fox mask.