What do you think happens when you die? My sister Kylie knew what she thought, or at least what she said she thought, from the time she was seven years old. Most seven year olds think you'll go to Heaven when you die, or you'll live with God, or something nice like that, if they think about it at all. But not MY sister. She was always, well... different, even when she was seven.1

Kylie was always odd compared to other girls her age. She was always solemn and needy, eager to be the center of attention. She needed to feel superior to everyone, mostly me and my cousins, Casey and Luke. She wanted us to think she was smart and experienced. I know now she was probably lonely. I guess I could have been nicer to her. But that was then, and this is now, as S.E. Hinton would say.2

Kylie and I had lived with our Aunt Callie ever since I was three and she was six. My mother had abandoned us to go who-knows-where, as Aumt Callie said. My father decided he wasn't a good enough parent to take care of us and ever-so-thoughtfully dumped us on Aunt Callie, who already had my cousins Casey, who's 13 now, and Luke, who's 9, to take care of. Dad visits us every summer, but it's not the same. I feel like I don't have a dad, just some guy who visits me a few times a year.3

When I was four, my Uncle Carl, Aunt Callie's husband, died in a car accident. My aunt was too upset and busy to really explain death to any of us. She only said he was dead, and we'd never see him again. That was good enough for Casey and Luke, so they didn't ask for further explanation. They were upset enough as it was. 4

But I was curious. I went to Kylie and asked her, " Kylie, what happens when you die?"5

My sister, who didn't really understand death herself, took me to our room and tried to explain to me what she thought death was.6

" Dying," Kylie told me, " is sort of like being kidnapped. There is a black hooded person with a skull for a head. His name is Death. Death comes for you when you least expect it. Usually, he comes in the dark of the night, snatching you from your bed. He carries you away screaming under his cloak. Once you're under his cloak, no one can hear you screaming, Faye. He takes you to his world underground, and no one can ever find you, no matter how hard they try."7

i was afraid to sleep for months after that. I was terrified Death would come and take me. Kylie was older than me,and I always believed her at the time. I always remembered exactly what she said, because it terrified me so. She was seven at the time, and to me, knew everything.8

Later, of course, I realized the inconsistencies of her story and scoffed at it. Death didn't only occur at night. Everybody could see you after you died. your body was there, after all. And the hooded skeleton was just a legend.9

To this day, I don't know if she really believed it at the time or just wanted to scare me. Kylie has always been sadistic with the degree of delight she gets out of frightening people. Maybe she made it up to scare me, or she saw it on TV. I don't know.10

But regardless of where she got the story, Kylie still was telling it to me, Casey, and Luke when she was 14- much too old to still believe it. And we were much too old to be scared by it.11

My name is Faye Slater. I am eleven. I'm tall and blonde, like Casey. Casey is 13 and always sticking her nose in other people's business. She has boobs already. I think Kylie's jealous. She and Casey never get along. Luke is a typical boy- weird, noisy, and annoying. Kylie is 14. She's painfully thin, still flat-chested, with reddish hair.12
Well, today is Friday the 13th, and as I'm sure you know, it's supposed to be bad luck and all. Well, that's crap. I don't believe it, and I don't think Kylie does either, but she likes to pretend she does so she can scare Casey. Casey is very gullible. 13

We were in my and Kylie's room that we share, and so were Casey and Luke. Casey and Luke each get their own room, nut for some reason they're always in ours. Kylie was sitting on her bed, I was on mine with Casey, and Luke was sitting on the floor. It was night, and dark out. Casey the scaredy cat was already jumpy.14

Of course, it hadn't helped her jumpiness much when Kylie had attached a rubber monster glove to Casey's pull chain light, so when she grabbed the chain in the dark she grabbed the monster glove. You should have heard her scream. It was the loudest, shrillest sound ever. The whold household, including Luke, who had been outside, came running to see her clutching a plastic glove.15

" Good heavens!" Aunt Callie cried, her hand on her chest. " What is going on?"16

Casey paused her screaming to notice the whole family standing in the doorway staring at her. She looked at the glove in her hand and saw it was a fake. She looked back at us, well Kylie really. Kylie wasn't laughing, but she sure was smiling. The glee in her eyes was almost demonic. She really, really gets a kick out of stuff like this. And Casey is the perfect victim. 17

" Kylie!" Casey shrieked. " I hate you!" She looked wild with rage. Her blonde hair nearly stood on end. She was close to tears.

" What makes you think it was me?" Kylie asked angelically. Despite the voice, she did nothing to hide her grin.219

" Kylie, did you do this?" Aunt Callie asked sternly. As if anyone else would.320

Kylie shrugged, still grinning.421

" Of couse she did it!" Casey screamed. " She's always trying to scare me! " She flung the glove at Kylie, but she stepped aside, and it hit me.522

" Hey!" I said, throwing it back at her.623

" Stop it!" said Aunt Callie. " kylie, I''ve told you and told you not to tease Casey. It scares the whole household, not just her." 724

Kylie stopped smiling and began to sulk. " Good God, it was just a joke. Friday the 13th, get it? No one has a sense of humor."825

" I'll show you sense of humor!" Casey cried, lunging at Kylie. Aunt Callie grabbed her.926

" Casey! Stop it!" she yelled. Luke, bored, went downstairs, but I watched them, fascinated. Casey didn't like being told what to do. She jerked away from her mother.1027

" You're telling ME to stop? Why don't you tell her to stop? SHe never leaves me alone! She's always trying to scare me! She's a freak!" Casey yelled.1128

" Shut up!" Kylie cried.1229

" You shut up!" 1330

" STOP IT!"1431

At Aunt Callie's roar, Casey and Kylie went silent, glaring at each other. 1532

" Both of you stop it right now," Aunt Callie snapped, looking like she was about to wring their necks. " Casey, Kylie, go to your rooms and leave each other alone. Don't talk. Kylie, no more pranks. Leave Casey alone."1633

She stalked out of the room. Kylie and Casey were still eyeing each other evilly. I still stood, watching.1734

Kylie realized I was still there and turned her glare on me.1835

" What are you staring at, Faye?" she snapped.1936

" Aunt Callie said for you to leave," I said sweetly. I can be very bratty sometimes if I'm in the mood.2037

" Yeah, Kylie," Casey said. " No one wants you. So just leave." 2138

Kylie stalked out of the room, throwing, " Oh, all right. Never mind that I know what will happen to YOU tonight..." over her shoulder. I could hear her stomping. To be so bony, she sure is loud.2239

Casey looked a little nervous. " Do you think she really meant that?" she asked. " What if she's planning something?"2340

I shook my head, walking inside and sitting on her bed. " Nah. You know how she is."2441

Casey made a face. " I hate her. She's such a demon. I wish she would just disappear," she said furiously. 2542
Later I was to know how ironic her statement would be.2643

Later I was to know how ironic her statement would be...144

But at the time I didn't say anything. I just let her rant on, and even though I felt a little bad for letting her trash Kylie, I just sat there. I wanted to show her how mature I was and get on her good side so she'd like me. Most of the time Casey either ignored me, teased me, or said what a bratty little kid I was. I'd always wanted her acceptance. I'd always admired her. The rare times she treated me as if I was her own age, I treasured.245

When she was finished with her spiel, she said, " You know, Faye, sometimes you're all right."346

I positively glowed. It made me feel so special to be praised by Casey. So when she told me to get out of her room three seconds later, I didn't mind. I skipped down the hall to my and Kylie's room and flung myself down on the bed. Kylie was lying face down on her bed.447

" Traitor," she said, her voice muffled.548

" Huh?" I said, glancing over at her. 649

" Traitor. You sided with Casey. I'm your sister. You're supposed to take up for me," she hissed. She didn't lift her face from the pillow. 750

I didn't know what to say. " I didn't side with Casey," I protested. " I have nothing to do with you guys fighting. I'm not on anyone's side."851

" You are too. You stayed in there with Casey. And I know you weren't defending me either," she said.952

She was right. I didn't want to say that, though. I didn't want to tell her I had agreed with Casey, that it had been jerky of her to scare us like that. It would have made her mad at me for the rest of the day, and I hated when Kylie got mad at me. It was worse than when Casey was. Casey always flared up, then cooled down quickly, forgetting what she had been mad about. Kylie stayed mad. When you made her angry, she completely ignored you. She said you were dead to her, even going into detail about how you had died and telling everyone that you were dead. Then she would say she was glad. It always eventually drives me to tears when she does this. Kylie may annoy me, but I loved her. She was my big sister, and I wanted her love and approval even more than I wanted Casey's.1053

" Kylie, don't be mad," I begged. " I'm not on Casey's side, really."1154

To my horror, Kylie began to cry. I stared at her, shocked. Kylie never cried. I mean NEVER. What had I done to her? Why hadn't I just laughed at her stupid joke? Why had I stayed in Casey's room?1255

" Everyone hates me," she sobbed. " I wish I were dead."1356

I jumped off of my bed, sitting beside her. I put my arms around her, concerned, trying desperately to make her stop crying. Her shoulders were shaking awfully. 1457

" Kylie? Kylie, don't cry! I love you! I don't want you to die!"1558

Suddenly, she rolled over, grabbing me. I screamed at what I saw. Kylie's head was a skull!1659

" Too late," she growled. 1760

I screamed again. It took me a second to realize that the skull was a mask, and the reason Kylie's shoulders had been shaking so hard was she had been supressing laughter. When she saw the realization dawn on my face, she positively howled with laughter. I was furious. She had made me out to be a fool! Now I knew how Casey had felt. 1861

She took the mask off, which I saw had a fisher line across the back that had been invisible to my eye. Still snickering,looking very content, obviously not having been crying, she said, " So you LOVE me, Faye? That's news to me."1962

" NO!" I cried. " I hate you!"2063

" That's not what you said a second ago," Kylie chortled. 2164

I stomped out of the room, leaving Kylie alone, gleeful over her second scare in ten minutes.2265