Mind's Eye
Tim Blake

Nell adjusted her glasses, and gazed around the train she was on. Her legs and bum hurt from sitting for two hours straight, but she dared not to get up; since she was never on a train before, Nell didn't know if she could get up or not. Nell looked out the large window, at the woods and sky, watching them as if they were beckoning her to come to them. A chill ran down her spine.
Nell was about 5'4, with charcoal black hair. Her glasses were large round-rimmed, and looked rather professional on the 16 year-old. Nell came from a normal family, from a normal hamlet that people called Blaynesfeild. She had normal friends, and went to a normal school. Normal... Everything was normal; that's what she liked to believe.
It was the end of June, you've probably guessed, and yes, summer break had just started. Nell was invited to go along with her best friends, Mackenzie and Jeff on a hiking trip in Tawdre Forest, a supposed tourist attraction for campers and hikers alike. Nell didn't care where the vacation was, it was just great to get away from everything: school, her mum and step dad, work, and all the minor things that might possibly bother a teenager.
Jeff sat across from Nell, fast asleep. His long red hair kept sweeping in his eyes, but he did nothing about it. His light snoring didn't seem to bother Nell at all, though. For some reason, she found it soothing. Possibly the most soothing thing she had heard for a long, long time.
Just then, the door slid open, and a kind of big girl, with blonde hair came in, and plopped down next to Jeff, causing him to snort. The girl, who we'll presume is Mackenzie had a tray of foods with her, and set it on the table, so all three of them could eat.
"So, how's it feel?" Mackenzie asked.
"How does what feel?" Nell asked, keeping her face at the window. "To get away from it all." Mackenzie started. "School, your parents, work--" "My past?" Nell interrupted calmly. "Err... I guess so..." Mackenzie said. "I wasn't going to say so, but yeah..." Nell sighed softly, and looked to her friend.
This was also a reason why Nell decided to go on this stupid trip. To get away from her past. The exact reason to get away from the fact that she had a step father.

* * *

The train had come to its destination in Tawdre. The three kids got up from their seats, and headed out to the platform, greeted by the fresh smell of pine trees. Nell grumbled, setting down her backpack to look around.
"C'mon, we'd better get to the cottage." Jeff said, and led the two girls deep into the woods. Tawdre Forest was dark, and seemed to stretch for miles. Nell didn't like this one bit, since she was afraid of being alone in a darkened place. Anything could happen.
Once they got to the Cabin, Nell had a deep urge to run away. Far away. The cabin seemed old, and creepy looking. The wood was all stained from rain, and things seemed like they were about to fall apart. "This'll be a weekend to be remembered." Jeff said, opening the front door, and entering. Unfortunately, he was right...

Nell sat down on her cot, and gazed around the place. Another chill ran down her spine. The walls were spoiled, and wallpaper was peeling. To make matters worse, there was a giant deer head mounted on the wall in front of her. She winced at it, and got her suitcase.
Sighing once more, Nell popped open her suitcase, and slowly lifted the lid. Her eyes widened at what she found. Inside her suitcase was the reeking smell, and just as revolting sight of random severed body parts, stuffed in all together in her suitcase. Nell quickly slammed the suitcase shut, and panted for breath.
Mackenzie came in, and blinked. "Are you okay? You look like you've just seen a ghost!" Nell scrambled to another cot, and rocked her knees, whimpering, staring at the suitcase. Madison looked at the frightened girl, and the suitcase, and slowly went to the luggage. She lifted the lid, but all that was there was clothes that were folded neatly, a toothbrush, tooth paste, and a framed picture of Nell's biological father; her most valued possession.
"Nell, come over here." Mackenzie said. Nell shook her head, sobbing. "Come here. Now." Mackenzie ordered. Nell slowly stood up, and timidly walked over to the opened suitcase, and saw exactly what her friend saw. "What's so frightening about your dad's picture?" Mackenzie asked, raising an eyebrow. And with that, she left.
Nell blinked, and slowly started to unpack. She sighed softly. "I must be flipping out... I need to relax..." She told herself.

Later that night, Nell and Jeff sat around a small table, waiting for dinner. "So, I heard you had a bit of a scare." Jeff chuckled. Nell glared at him. "Shut up..." Jeff grinned. "Hey, calm down, Nell. I'm trying to help you!" Nell sighed softly. "Sorry... I've been a bit jumpy... I thought I saw... body parts in my suitcase." Jeff blinked, and leaned forward. "Nell... I think those Friday the 13th films have been finally getting to you."
Mackenzie returned from the kitchen with a tray of three plates. Jeff grinned."Yum, Hamburgers!" he lifted his to his lips, and took a bite. Mackenzie sat down, and bit into hers. Nell sighed, and started down at hers. "These are great! Why don't you try it, Nell?" Mackenzie asked.
Nell looked up, and gasped a bit. Instead of hamburger, her friends were eating, maggots wriggled around in the buns. Jeff smiled warmly at Nell, biting into his once more. Nell quickly shot up, and ran to the bathroom, feeling like she was about to throw up. Mackenzie and Jeff looked to one another. "Must not be hungry." Jeff shrugged.

The poor girl whipped off here glasses, and fell to her knees at the toilet, and stayed there for at least five minutes. Nell got up, sobbing loudly. What was going on? Why was she reacting this way? She went to the sink, and let the water run for a few minutes. She stared into the mirror, at her pale, clammy face. "What's going on?..." she asked herself.
She slowly washed her face, and sighed, grabbing a towel. She dried off her face, and looked into the mirror once more, to see her face once more, but with no flesh, just bone! Nell cried out, and fell against the wall, crying. "Not again... Please, not again..."
The exact same thing happened to Nell when she was just ten years old... She started hallucinating, and having nightmares... One day, it got so horrible, she went insane, and accidentally wound up killing her father... the only person who really understood her. Because of this, the poor girl spent two years in an insane asylum, wrapped up in a straight jacket, and left in a padded room until she eventually stopped seeing death and decay all around her.
Nell ran out of the bathroom, and into the kitchen, crying. She searched frantically for Jeff and Mackenzie, and dashed into the small livingroom, to see them leaning against each other on a couch, their throats slashed. Nell screamed, and started beating on a wall in frustration. Jeff slowly turned his head, to look at his frightened friend. "What's wrong, Nell? Is the toilet clogged up?" As he said this, blood gushed out, soaking his shirt.
Nell screamed, and burst out the front door, into the pitch black forest, running for her life.

Just then, Nell's eyes opened widely, staring up at her ceiling. She sighed, taking a deep breath. It was all just a dream... Just a nightmare... She poor girl reached over for her glasses, and slowly slid them on. She squinted, and slowly got up. She went to her door, and opened it.
Leading from her bedroom was a dark, winding hall. Nell felt herself walking, wanting to know what was at the end of this hall. She finally reached a door, and twisted the knob. Nell peered into the room to see a darkened cabin, covered in cobwebs. Sitting in chairs, were skeletons. Outside was stormy, and lightning flashed.
Nell shivered once more, and peered around. She turned around to go back to her room, but the door wasn't there! S he cried out in protest and quickly spun around, to see her father thrown down from the rafters, hanging by a rope around his neck.

Suddenly Nell woke up. Her sight was blurred, but all she saw was white. She didn't know where she was, but all she knew was that she was going insane. Her vision cleared, and she scowled.
She tried to move her arms, but they were tied around behind her. She looked down, and grumbled. She was in a straight jacket! She quickly looked around, and realised that she was in a padded room!
Nell gasped, and struggled. She screamed loudly, trying to free herself, but couldn't. Her strength was completely drained... She calmed down, and looked in front of her feet... at the only possession with her. Her most valuable possession... A framed picture of her father.