IT cowered in the very darkest shadows. The building was old and looked burnt- there was a meth lab on the second floor and a teenage boy in a nearby alley contemplated suicide. A chill wind blew through the town, and IT grinned from its perch.

The church across town began chiming, and IT counted the bells. When the twelfth had finished its echoes, IT leapt off the building, and landed on the roof of the next. It was time to choose the victim.

There was nothing special about midnight, really. However, IT had chosen the victim at exactly midnight every night since the ancient times when IT had first come into existence. There was something poetic about letting the fate of one person's life depend on whether they left a party early or stayed out until the early hours of a morning.

Silently, IT leapt to the ground, and with only smallest bit of concentration, IT changed the way people saw IT. Now looking like a young teenage boy, IT stood in a parking lot beside the only club in town, and waited.

The town of Pollisville was not a city by any means. IT had hunted in Chicago, Boston, New York City, Rome, Venice, London, France, and even in cities that no longer existed, like Atlantis and Pompeii. It was far too easy to hunt in large cities.

In small towns, however, it became more of a game. More people became frightened when the first people began to be murdered, and they became more careful, which made it all the more delightful when IT sneaked into their very homes and into those secret places where people feel the safest.

Pollisville was right in the middle of Iowa. After miles of corn and bean fields, the little town with a mall, a movie theater, and a somewhat successful downtown area seemed like a metropolis to the residents of farming villages around, and young people spent their weekends in the sorry excuse for a town watching movies at the only movie theater, dancing at the only club, and watching people go in and out of the two supermarkets.

The music from inside the club became distinctly louder for a few seconds as a crowd of giddy, drunk girls left the club. IT shrank away from them. Too easy. A few seconds later, a boy left the club, talking on his cell phone. Once again, IT dismissed the possible prey. Whomever the boy was talking to was sure to miss him, and IT wanted plenty of time to do all sorts of delightful things to the corpse.

IT waited patiently until IT found what IT was looking for. A girl left the club alone. She was a very pretty girl, but she held her arms with self-consciousness and even though she wore skimpy sparkly clothes, she didn't look like she was interested in speaking with anyone.

IT knew the type. She was probably unpopular. Most likely, the girl didn't have any truly close friends, and she came to the club fairly often in the hopes of meeting someone. Of course, as is often the case with a person who is unpopular, the girl was probably too worried about what others would think to even consider talking or dancing or do anything that might help her enjoy herself or meet someone.

Smiling a smile that most people found charming, IT approached the girl. IT nervously wrung Its hands, and acted bashful. "Hi," IT said in a voice that cracked.

The girl looked both ways to see if IT was talking to her, then shyly said, "Hi."

Flirting and acting nervous, IT calmly led away the girl, who would be the first prey of many. ~.~.~.~

Jenna was fairly popular. She had friends that she talked to in class, other friends that she talked to at games, and then there was her family, which she, like any other teenager in the world, did her best to avoid.

Of course, outside of school, Jenna preferred being alone to anything else. Why waste her time possibly getting in trouble at a party, or loosing valuable sleep at a boring movie, when she could stay at home and watch television or read a book?

Some people thought Jenna was pathetic. Sometimes, people invited Jenna to concerts and movies in Pollisville, the largest town in the area, and on those rare occasions Jenna usually accepted if she wasn't too busy, but for the most part, Jenna didn't have one group that she spent time with, or one special "best" friend, and by not belonging to one particular clique, she managed to avoid most social events, but she also avoided most of the rumors and nasty gossip that others had to deal with.

When it came down to it, Jenna wasn't really all that interested in going out with her friends anymore, especially after that girl had turned up dead.

The name of the girl was Alexsandra Mary Louanne Prufrock, and she used to attend Milton High in the town of Milton, which was half an hour away from Soymont, where Jenna attended.

Recently, it had been all over the local news, and Alexsandra (or Alex) had made the front page of the weekly Soymont paper. Alex had been out at the club in Pollisville alone. After the autopsy, police had discovered that Alex had been raped, then tortured, then killed. The sick killer had then done all sorts of dirty disgusting things to Alex's corpse that were best left unmentioned.

Of course, in a tiny town like Soymont, the murder of a young girl who lived so close was all that anyone talked about. Alex had family in Soymont (in Iowa, everyone has family everywhere) and so-called friends of hers told stories about the stupid and dangerous things she'd done before the murder.

The gruesome killing couldn't keep the students out of Pollisville, however. At least, the first one couldn't.

The next girl to be discovered was Stephanie Jordensen. She golfed on the Jacksonton golf team, and Jenna knew her.

Stephanie was discovered three days after Alex, and her body had been dumped behind the movie theater. This time, there were no pictures in the paper, and some students whispered that it was because Stephanie had been decapitated.

Now, when students wanted to go to parties, they went to friend's houses in town. People who wanted to look rebellious and brave went to Pollisville, and didn't mention the fact that they spent all their time in well-lit areas with large groups of people.

Even when students wanted to laugh and joke, there was always a tense feeling in the school. Nobody laughed about dirty jokes, or talked about television shows that involved murder or violence. Everyone knew the murdered girls, or knew someone who knew the murdered girls, and they weren't mentioned.

Nothing could convince Jenna to go to Pollisville.