The girl that ate a pin and died
'Get away from me!'
Esther danced around the table. Slipping in her loose sneakers, tripping over the crooked planks.
Kimmie was following her. Moving the circle across from her the table made them run. Always in a mirrored position from as long as Esther kept ahead. Their hands moving over the scratched surface, spreading frantic smudges in the dust.
'Stand still', the other girl yelled. But Esther made a dash for the door and was crushed against the cheap, yellowing plastic. Kimmie had caught her. Esther dropped before the other girl could grab her hair.
They rolled. Scratching and biting in hands that made nails reap blood.
In one breathless moment Esther stared up and Kimmie struck her in the face with her sharp fist.
Stars burst as pain bloomed into white-edged flowers. Esther kicked up an rolled. Spilling her assailant on the floor. A kick in the ribs from her prone position. Up and at the door again.
This seems so familiar, Esther thought as she raced down the hallway. Kimmie was on her heels and probably carrying some kind of weapon.
Whitewashed walls with dark-red streaks coming down from the sagging ceiling. The grey boards that where never even. Dark cracks forming a network of darkness through the house. Here dust covered the spiderwebs, making them looked like tiny shrouds in less than a day. But never a spider in sight, something always seemed to eat them.
Rusted pipes groaned and in the cellar a window shattered. This was the house where the girl from her class swallowed a pin and died.
'Stop!' Kimmie yelled, breathless from laughing. 'You scaredy bunny! You've won the dare! Don't you want your prize?'
Esther had had enough but there was suddenly no way out. The front door was a dark shape covered in pale plastic.
'We came in from the back, remember?', Kimmie laughed.
Esther kept her distance but it seemed unnecessary. Kimmie was having fun, her thin shoulders where shaking. The permanent dark make-up stains that surrounded her eyes dripped happy tears over her sunken cheeks. She looked like the split personality of a cheerleader. Unbelievably thin with dirty-blond hair in two chaotic ponytails at the sides of her head. Black streaks ran through the front of her hair, dark bruises covered her left shoulder.
'I only wanted to see if you where brave,' Kimmie said, 'and then I wanted to know if you could fight.'
'Why!' Esther breathed.
'You have a way to talk, you're here with me,' she pointed a finger at her. 'And I know for a fact that you hate me.'
Esther laughed. 'Why would I hate you, I hardly know you. The only thing we have in common is that we live in the same street.'
'That's why I could lure you here. You know you need me.'
Kimmie nodded. 'Oh yes. You need me,' she pointed at her cheek, 'you call that a scratch? No wonder they beat you up all the time.'
Then the other girl turned around. 'Come along, it's time to collect your prize.'
Esther thought about staying exactly where she was. Then she heard the metallic click as the screw of a bottle was turned from somewhere around a corner. A sickening need filled her. Alcohol, friend and ally. That was a prize of great worth. Maybe they had more in common than she had though.
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