AN: Hey! If you read my story before, sorry about the school headings. I just forgot! Silly me! But anyway. This was a short story I had to do for English. It still needs a LOT of work, so if you have any suggestions, please tell me! I probably won't write about it again, but any advice can help me with my other writings.

One street was illuminated among the quiet suburbs. A light shone from one single lamp, and it cast an eerie glow on the scene below as the clouds blocked what little light the waning moon shone on the paved road.

A lone girl stood in the middle of the dark street. She was tall and thin, but she could be no more than fifteen. Her eyes flashed to the street lamp that partially lit the road. Then, she looked up at the overcast sky with an indecipherable expression.

Yet, this girl did not seem disturbed by the absence of natural light. In fact, she seemed to bask in the haunted semi-darkness. Her features were not that of pure, true happiness, but of twisted glee. Her eyes glared in the dark. It seemed that the blue around the ink black pupils had no effect whatsoever on the piercing gaze the darkness bore into a soul.

A clap of thunder sounded directly above her. Instead of darting for cover, the young woman grinned. Her gleaming teeth reflected the orange light so well that her mouth looked like the outside of a ripe pumpkin.

Thunder rolled and rumbled as more and more clouds gathered. The girl laughed. She laughed until her voice was hoarse and her giggle was nothing more than a whisper.

Suddenly, the clouds broke. It was as if someone had exploded a water balloon over the neighborhood. It poured buckets of water down below. Dolfona, for that was the girl's name, screamed out in a demented joy. She was drenched from head to toe. As she screamed, her eyes dilated and all that could be seen was the dark abyss that was her pupils.

Dolfona quieted herself, for she knew that she had to remain silent. A new kind of craziness took over her. The quality of a hunter embraced her mind. She reached into her pocked and drew out her thin knife in a golden sheath decorated with a blood red floral design. The knife served her well, for the inside of the sheath was coated in a fast acting poison. No one survived; no one escaped.

The girl walked stealthily towards a house on her right. A young family occupied the quaint home. It was a happy family of three. The couple had just been gifted with a daughter. She was a little girl, no more than five years old. The girl was blonde with fair skin. Her life was good, and Dolfona expected to change that with a simple night visit to her parents' bedside.

The family made it a goal to pursue justice, and that included condemning Dolfona to a life in prison. Seeking revenge for her possible downfall, she walked silently towards her enemies.

When the insane teen approached the house, it was with unusual caution. She could not afford to lose this battle. Taking careful steps, Dolfona crept towards the home.

Dolfona had observed the house beforehand to ensure a quick victory. When the family departed for a day trip to an amusement park, she broke in and spent the next six hours memorizing all that she could. The house was relatively simple with only one story and a square layout. In each of the four corners was a different section of the house. In one corner there was a basic kitchen: a stove, an oven, a microwave, a fridge, and a freezer. In another, there were two bedrooms at right angles to each other. The one closest to the front door was the little girl's room. The other, her parents'. The other two corners were for a dining room and a den. In the middle of the house was a living room with a sunken floor. The front was made up of a driveway and a cobblestone path leading up to the front door. In the back, there was a cute garden gate and another path to the back door.

In their ignorance, the family kept the back door unlocked at night. This was where Dolfona headed. It wouldn't have mattered if they locked it anyway. She was a master lock-pick. She had to be in her line of work.

She circled the house and checked each window for any sign that the inhabitants were awake. When she was sure all was quiet, she opened the garden gate. A clap of thunder masked the rusty creak it made as she pushed it. Treading carefully, she walked on the wet path. She crept up to the back door, her eyes full of malicious intent.

Her soft boots made only the slightest ruffle as she wiped them on the available rug. She didn't do it to be polite, no. She did it so the slap of water from her shoes wouldn't be heard.

The pouring rain soaked her face as she waited for the lightning to strike. When the blinding light had come and gone, Dolfona twisted the door knob and let out a pent-up breath. She was worried about the door despite her outer confidence.

She stepped inside and shut the door quickly. She held back a wince as the door creaked too loudly for her comfort. She slid stealthily to the left, blending into the shadows made by the giant refrigerator in the kitchen to give herself a few moments to collect herself.

Then the unexpected happened. A light switched on.

Years of practice told her not to panic. They also told her not to move. Dolfona knew that the person flipping on the light had not seen her. Still, she was nervous, and the heavy breathing could give her away.

She dared to look up. It was the woman. She yawned as she opened the refrigerator. The tinkle of classes could be heard as the woman checked the contents of the fridge. While she was bent over, Dolfona sunk deeper into the shadow. The woman then stood up, closed the fridge, turned off the light, and walked out of the kitchen.

Still wary, Dolfona stepped out of the darkness.

The girl stepped lightly on the white-tiled floor. The soles of her shoes made nearly no sound. Dolfona was good at what she did; she had successfully made it to the carpeted floor of the living room without making a noise. She cautiously entered the middle of the house. Her breath quickened, and her heart raced. She was getting closer. In her excitement, she nearly fell when she had forgotten about the depression the sunken living room made. Collecting herself, she crossed the room.

A clearly different technique was used for crossing the carpeted room. The shoes were picked up and lightly set down. In any other situation, the movement would have been humorous, but due to her job, Dolfona's unusual method was all but.

When she walked to the other side, she did fall. The floor had risen in one sudden step, and it caught Dolfona by surprise. Her hands involuntarily reached out in front of her. Her palms smacked loudly on the hardwood floor.

Despite the pain, Dolfona quickly stood up and moved behind a nearby couch. Nobody had stirred. She waited a few more minutes before rising and cautiously walking towards the large bedroom.

She smiled. Her two greatest enemies would die that night. She walked quicker towards her target. She had almost gotten to the wooden door when a little hand tugged on her sleeve.

She turned quickly, unsheathing her knife in one practiced movement. To her greatest surprise, she saw the little girl before her. She had no idea a five year-old could be that quiet. Glaring at her, she turned around to go back to her job. What could a child do?

Then, the girl spoke.

"Who are you?"

Dolfona did not answer.

"What are you doing here?"

Still no response.

"What are you going to do?"

Dolfona's eyes widened slightly as she gauged this girl's intelligence. Then, it was if a light bulb went off above her head. She could hurt the parents in a way that death wouldn't.

She turned towards the girl.

"What are you doing?" Despair could be heard in the girl's voice. She started to cry.

There was a flash of gold as the knife slashed through the air. All that was heard was a muffled scream and a thump as the corpse hit the floor.

Her purpose fulfilled, Dolfona walked out. She didn't care if she was heard or not. She slammed the back door as she walked back out into the pouring rain.

Behind her, she could hear the mournful keening of a woman who had just lost her first child. Dolfona smiled.

***

Dolfona ran out from between two houses and turned down a dark alleyway. Pushing on a hidden button, she entered a concealed doorway. She strode into her small house. She had run like she was being chased by fifty armed men. That was how she got away unnoticed. Every time, run quickly, hide quickly.

Her home was made up of one room. It had a microwave, a pantry, a bed, and a small table as well as one lone closet with a mirror for a door.

She walked in and sat down on a small chair. She pulled a little string and lit the room. The dangling lamp swung ominously to and fro. Dolfona sighed.

After a few minutes respite after her long run, she walked towards her bed and dropped to the floor on her stomach. She reached under it and pulled out a golden case with a design

identical to the one on her knife. She opened it, and she grabbed a special cloth from it. Dolfona then set out on cleaning the blood-stained knife.

She had just gotten back from her last kill. This time, it was a policeman who had gotten a little too smart for his own good. He was her fifth kill thisweek. The previous ones being the girl, a young lawyer, the son of a renowned detective, and a professor in charge of unraveling unsolved mysteries. Of course, there would always be more people, but for now, the part of her mind that thirsted for murder was quieted.

When Dolfona was done cleaning her knife, she pulled out a small dropper bottle of mysterious origin. She dipped the cap in and squeezed the top. Then, she proceeded to carefully coat the inside of the knife's sheath. After that was done, she put the knife in and drew it out again halfway. She moved the golden piece slightly and grinned as it glistened with the poison in the still-swinging light.

When finally she looked up she nearly screamed. For, there before her, was the policeman she just killed. But he was different. He had a kind of unnatural pallor unbefitting for a human. He seemed to be immaterial. Then, without a moment's notice, he disappeared.

Dolfona stood there, immobilized by fear. One moment he was there, the next he wasn't. She was sure that she saw him. Positive, in fact. But how could she? He was dead. The poison made sure of that. There was only one word coursing through her mind. Ghost.

That is what she saw, she was sure of it. No doubt clouded her thoughts. But, then again, she could have imagined it. She could have not actually seen it at all.

Dolfona laughed at herself. She laughed until she cried, trying to relieve herself of the frightful image still playing in her brain. She thought to herself, Laughter is the best medicine.

But her tears of attempted joy soon changed into sorrow. As quickly as she had laughed, she cried. For the better part of an hour, she slumped on the table, crying. Tears still streaking down her pale face, she climbed into her small bed.

All that night, Dolfona tossed and turned as dreams of the policeman's ghost invaded her mind.

When Dolfona awoke, her thoughts were not fully healed. Her eyes were bloodshot because of her sleepless night.

She walked towards the small kitchen, her feet dragging against the floor. Dolfona yawned and placed her hands on the counter to steady herself. She groggily reached for two pieces of bread and some peanut butter. It was time for comfort food, but comfort never came. As she grabbed a butter knife, she saw another apparition. The detective's son had appeared with a forlorn, pained expression. Then, he disappeared, but his place was immediately taken by the slender professor's. But he disappeared as well. Person after person showed himself to Dolfona, but the circulation ultimately stopped at the little girl.

The torture of seeing all those people she had hoped to never encounter again broke another part of Dolfona's mind. The sane part of her brain was suddenly no longer saved from the burden of insanity. She saw a familiar scene played in her head, but it was as real as it would be if it was happening at that moment.

She turned towards the girl.

"What are you doing?" the girl asked. Despair was apparent as before, but Dolfona felt it deeper than before. When the girl started to cry, Dolfona's hand raised with the deadly weapon, but she wanted to stop it. She wanted to give the girl her life back, but it was too late.

Gold glimmered in the air as the knife plunged towards the girl's heart. The child started to scream, but it was cut off by a thrust to her lungs and heart. A spot of blood appeared in the middle of her shirt. It was if the scene was playing in slow motion. The body took what seemed like forever to hit the ground; the little girl was crumpled on the floor, never to rise again.

Dolfona sobbed as her mind jerked back to the real world. Any recovery made the night before was reversed. She screamed out in mental agony.

Then, when all could not be much worse, all of the ghosts appeared at once.

One cannot imagine the sheer amount of pain and torture it caused Dolfona to confront everyone she had ever killed. While killing, it never occurred to her that people would be affected by the simple flick of her wrist. Dolfona barely knew what morality was because her brain was taken over by a murderess. But now that she was witnessing it all through her normal self, she was in pain beyond belief.

The ghosts of everyone stepped forward one step, enclosing Dolfona in a circle. They stepped again and again until they were merely a foot away from her. Then, they began to spin. At first, it could be taken for a game of "ring around the rosy", but as it gathered speed and got faster and faster, the spinning circle became menacing.

Dolfona screamed and screamed. Later, the screams were thought to be of Dolfona's next victim, but they were hers.

Amid the wails, pleading could be heard.

"Please! Don't haunt me anymore! I can't take it! I can't, I can't, I can't!" Dolfona had managed to make out those words amid the screams. "Help! Help! Anyone who is there, help!"

When no answer came, she wailed harder and called louder.

"I beg of you! Any divine power! Rescue me from these ghosts! I'm sorry!"

One apparition stepped out of the spinning circle. It was the little girl. Echoes of her last words could be heard as she spoke,

"Being sorry isn't enough, Dolfona. Your actions are too terrible to be repaid through mere repent. Pay for your mistakes! Punish yourself by…" The little girl's voice faded.

"How?! How can I pay?" Dolfona cried out.

The spinning circle suddenly stopped, and the ghosts disappeared.

Dolfona looked around. When she made a final turn, another ghost was there. But she didn't recognize this one. This ghost was a girl about her age with sunken eyes. It was frightening.

After a few moments, it dawned on her. She was looking in a mirror. Realization hit her.

A sense of purpose embraced Dolfona's mind; she knew what she had to do and how to do it. She reached under the bed and pulled out the golden case that held her knife. The clasps were undone, and she lifted up the lid. The shining weapon in its sheath was taken out. Dolfona unsheathed the knife. A hypnotic hissresonated from the gold. The knife loomed in front of her. How was she to go about doing this? A drop of poison dripped from the knife and hit the floor with an ominous sizzle.

Dolfona walked towards the mirror. She saw the ghost, no, herself standing there with her sunken eyes and haunted expression. She was originally determined, but now her confidence wavered. The ghost just kept staring back at her. NO! She would not become a ghost. It was Dolfona. It was her staring back, not a ghost. She smashed the mirror, and the glass shattered.

But what about the girl? Would she keep haunting her for the rest of her life? Would those real ghosts ever disappear?

Her fear conquered her uncertainty. Holding the knife above her heart, she plunged it in. A terrible stinging sensation filled her whole body. It was pain she could hardly bear. She tried to scream, but all her control was lost. Black started to cover her vision. Dolfona dropped. Right before the darkness took over, she saw the little girl smiling.