She stood over the waste basket hacking away as hard as she could.

THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT!

She silently screamed, still madly tearing away. As quickly as it had surfaced, the anger died down, and she was left standing there, knife in hand, devoid of the passion that had been pushing her through life these last few years. Slowly, a tear fell. Then another- and another- building up, and mixing with the red in the basket. With a muffled moan, she slid to the floor and let the air conditioning cool her burning heart.

This was not supposed to happen

Last night was not supposed to happen. The scene replayed over and over in her mind, leaving her empty and alone. Slowly she fell into a fitful sleep, still dreaming of that horrid night- and what she had just done.

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Merideth opened the door, humming a little tune and flipping through the mail. Ahh, the joys of multitasking. Slightly giddy, she selected an issue of an obscure fashion magazine from the rest of the junk, throwing the remains of the mail onto the table like a monkey discarding the peel of a very ripe banana. A headline caught her eye. "Joe Hartthrob Reveals His Love Life" Hmmm. should be interesting. I'm sure sis'll love this. She always liked that guy. Skimming the first few pages, Merideth strolled into the kitchen.

It seemed empty at first. She opened the freezer and pulled out a grape icepop. Ooh! Grape! My favorite. I'm glad that mom lets me help shop. If sis did it would be disaster. Moving to discard the sticky wrapper, Merideth tripped over something. She quickly regained her footing, thanking the lord that she was tall and had a long way to fall before she hit the hard wood floor. Curious about the slightly soft object she had tripped on, Merideth looked down. She was really expecting a teddy bear that her two year old baby brother had left out, or maybe one of her mother's wool sweaters. Instead, she found herself staring at the sleeping form of her sister, clutching a sharp kitchen knife covered in dry red stuff. Oh lord, what has my idiot sister gone and done now? She peeked into the wastebasket and then horrified by the sight before her, screamed.

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The sound is loud. It sounds like Mewwidweth! But why is Mewwidweth making such a high pitched, awful noise? I must find out! I must save Mewwidweth!

The little boy climbed over the safety rail in his doorway and crawled down the stairs, miraculously appearing at the bottom in one piece. He toddled into the kitchen, where he saw a most peculiar sight.

Oh, there's Mewwidweth. She seems ok. But why is she shaking sissy? And why does sissy have mommy's knife? What's going on?

The little boy took a few shaky steps towards the girls, and got close enough that he could pull on Merideth's arm.

Mewwidweth! Mewwidweth! What are you doing to sissy? She won't answer me. She can't understand me. I'm still just two. That doesn't mean that I don't want to know what's going on! I want to know! TELL ME!

The little boy began to cry, and got Merideth's attention. When she saw him, she merely picked him up and put him in his room, locking the door so that she wouldn't be disturbed. She went back down stairs and continued shaking her sister.

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"Oh my, what a terribly hard day I've had. The boss gave me all those errands to do, and the car got a flat tire, and my cell was out of batteries so I couldn't call for help and had to flag down a passerby, and then they were completely out of ink cartridges at 3 of the stores I went to, and when I finally found them at the Computer Galaxy, the price had shot up to $50 per cartridge, and the service man was incredibly rude, and I had to pay the extra out of my own pocket, and then the boss was mad because I was so late, so he wouldn't pay the extra, and wow I'm tired." Mrs. Cowell walked in muttering to herself, as had become her habit in these last few hectic years.

"Girls! I'm home! Come give your mother a hug. She needs it." Mrs. Cowell plopped down on the living room couch, waiting for her two daughters to come in, one scowling and the other full of smiles. Curiously, neither appeared. With a sigh Mrs. Cowell got up and looked Merideth's room. No one. She checked her other daughter's room, but still she found no one. After unlocking the door to Andrew's room, she found that her little son was crying pitifully. Beginning to worry, she picked him up and walked downstairs. Entering the kitchen, she nearly dropped Andrew.

"OH MY GOOD LORD! WHAT IN HEAVENS NAME IS GOING ON! PUT THAT KNIFE DOWN!"

Mrs. Cowell ran up to her daughters and grabbed the knife.

"What the f*** is going on? What were you doing?"

Merideth stood up and glared at her sister. Shaking slightly, she began to explain.

"I came in here and saw sis lying on the ground with that knife in her hand. I tried to wake her up, but I couldn't. She's sound asleep. Then I looked in the waste basket, and found this." Here Merideth held up a few small objects.

"Oh my god- this is serious. Go get me a glass of water dear- we need to find out what is going on."

As Merideth ran to get it, Mrs. Cowell began to lightly slap her other daughter's face. Slowly, the girl's eyes began to flicker, and she was fully awake by the time the requested water arrived. Mrs. Cowell looked straight into her daughters eyes, and whispered,

"What the heck is going on here, Tara?"

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Hey everyone, this is the author speaking. Just thought I'd like to offer a little preview of what's to come (yes I got this idea from a great author named Melody, she does this after every chapter, and I decided to try it out)

There were voices. swirling around and around. What were they saying?

"I'm tired, take me home. No, James, I want to go home. Get away from me! No! James! Stop!"

Then there was a scream- and silence.