Submitted by Cam Croz to Contest #15 in response to: Write about a character’s secret area of expertise, something most of their acquaintances would be surprised to learn they know tons about....
What if your life wasn't what you'd thought it was...
What if everything you knew... was a lie?
What would you think if... the person you trusted most...
Was actually... your worst nightmare?
Would you ever think something so insane, so improbable could ever happen to you,
Would you allow it to truly ruin your life?
Well... you'd be surprised...
Sariah and I were the best of friends. We spent every second of every day together. She was the person I trusted with my life.
And what I would never know is that by giving her that trust, I was jeopardizing everything I ever knew.
That I ever loved.
She'd seemed like the perfect friend at the time, nothing apparent was wrong with anything she did.
She was the image of perfection.
I looked up to her and thought that being her friend was the best thing that had ever happened to me.
I guess I had been wrong.
Things happen so fast... sometimes it's hard to decipher what was authentic,
from what is pure illusion.
"Mother! Sariah showed me how to lick my elbow!"
"MOM! Sariah gave me this fancy new shampoo! It's supposed to accelerate air growth!!!"
"This Sariah seems like a very fun friend."
My mother thought it would be good for me, having a friend I could entrust anything and everything too. I had never really had such a close friend before. I was too much of an introvert. Sarah was a first for me. My mom believed that Sariah would open me up and allow me to pop my bubble.
She had been right, of course.
Sariah had created a whole new me.
It just wasn't a good me.
As the leaves began to disappear and puffs of fluffy snow began to moisten the dry ground, my bond with Sariah turned into cement. I knew that I would do anything for her.
And something inside of me told me it was dangerous.
But I decided to ignore it.
Sariah said it was just my self conscious trying to rip apart our friendship.
And I believed her.
I woke up at three.
In the morning.
Because I heard the all too familiar ping of a text coming from my phone.
It's probably Sariah.
I'll just reply in the morning.
But, of course, curiosity got the best of me and I went to check on what she had to say at such a time as this.
The message was not from Sariah.
It was from an unknown number.
The username was: "I-KNOW-where.you.live"
A shiver tickled my back.
the message read.
"I know you
And I know your what you fear the most.
If you don't give me what I want.
That nightmare will become a reality."
Part of me wanted to just ignore the message, but I just couldn't imagine my fear coming to life.
So I texted back...
"What do you want?"
the reply was immediate,
"I want money.
And you have it."
It wasn't a lie, I was fairly rich compared to the others who lived in my area, but my mother made it her point to not make it noticeable.
The only person who knew about my wealth was Sariah.
And if she needed money, I would gladly oblige.
I texted the number back, knowing full well that it was Sariah.
My worst fear was being murdered by drowning.
Sariah was the only one who knew that too.
I handed the goods to Sariah at school the next day.
She knew I would figure her out, I could tell.
The moment the money was in her hands, the friendly smile I'd known to be hers for so long vanished.
Bring me all of it.
I knew she would say it before the words even escaped her lips.
I knew that she was never the friend she had claimed to be.
But I also knew she was fully capable of ruining my life if she didn't get what she wanted.
In more ways than one.
She knew everything about me, and I’d thought I knew the same about her.
Sometimes things take a turn for the worst.
She had been using me.
I never would have guessed that Sariah, being the awesome friend she was, could have such an evil hidden talent.
She had me wrapped around her bony finger, and now she was promoting me to “servant”.
Sariah took control of me so fast, and with such expertise.
It was evident she knew how to do this to people.
Evident that she’d had practice.
Sariah had me in a place where I was stuck.
I had to do what she wanted.
Or who knows what would happen.
I did it. I gave her everything she wanted and more, I never once doubted her hold on me. She was playing me like a puppet.
After a while of this, she seemingly moved on. She stopped asking for things as much and I hardly ever saw her anymore.
I thought I would take this as a learning experience when life returned to normal. I must remember. I told myself to choose my friends wisely.
For a time things were normal, but of course, nothing good can last...
After I found a way to give my greatest friend all that she desired, she ended up making my horrors reality anyway.
"I can't have you snitching." She said one day after meeting up with me to “apologize” and pushed me into the water.
She told me that she wanted to meet at the lighthouse, and I’d obliged, part of me still believed that I had to do whatever she wanted.
For some reason, I listened to that.
And now I had wights chained to my feet.
I was slowly sinking into oblivion knowing full well that my life was done for.
There was no point struggling.
At least the moment of my death would be peaceful...
when nothing else in life was.
Except for my friendship with Sariah.
At least she got what she wanted.
At the very least, I was glad that she was happy.