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We all stood there, staring at the bloody handprints.

Shocked.

Dumbfounded.

Matt was the first to break the silence. “That’s it guys. We are getting out of here first, then we’re gona call the police.”

“Wait, we can’t just leave that little girl…. She needs our help!” exclaimed Aroha, as she hurried over to Maria, enveloping the now crying beauty in her arms.

“Did you see a little girl, though? ‘Cause I sure didn’t. So let’s just go now, okay!” spat out Randy.

“You bastard! Are you a calling me a liar?” shouted Maria, her shock quickly turning to anger. “I know what I saw!”

“Calm down guys!” I shouted over the top of everyone. “Let’s just sort this out, and a make a decision. Together.”

Surprisingly everyone stopped bickering, and looked my way, waiting for what I had to say next. I slowly rubbed my temple with my fingers, desperately trying to collect my thoughts and say something that would help.

“Look guys..” I continued “IF there is a little girl in there, and we leave now to go back to my place and call the police, it might be too late for her by the time the police arrive.” I paused, then resumed. “How about we try get inside the Mansion, find the landline phone while keeping an eye out for this girl, and then call the police from the landline? Or does someone have a better idea?”

We discussed back and forth for a few minutes every option. Some accused others of being spineless cowards, others of being delusional drunkards, but at the end everyone agreed, some grudgingly, that we would go with my plan.

We split up initially, everyone circling the Mansion trying to find some open window or unlocked door that would allow us to sneak in, without having to forcefully break in. We soon found though that there was no such door or window. We reconvened and decided to smash a window, climb through it, and find the phone from there. Tane managed to find a nice rock that did the trick, and a few minutes later, we were all inside.

We all took in our surroundings. We were in a large library, bookshelves covering every part of the wall. We had a look around, but there was no phone. We checked the next room, and the one after that and still, there was no telephone. So we decided to split into two groups as to find the phone faster. One group, comprised of me, Kate, Randy, Aroha and Hayato, was going to keep checking the downstairs rooms, while the other group, comprised of Matt, Tane, Maria, Patricia, were going to check upstairs.

Minutes dragged by as we frantically looked around, hoping and praying to see that telephone, or some sign of that little girl. We entered the next room, a large lounge by the looks of it. And then we saw it. On a small coffee table in the corner of the room.

A phone.

Randy raced over to it, picked it up, put the phone to his ear. He reached down to dial, and then froze.

“What’s wrong Randy?” Kate called out. Randy didn’t reply. I followed Randy’s gaze. The rotary dial of the telephone was covered in blood. And below it, lying on the carpet was a hand.

A mangled sawn off hand.

At the sight of so much blood, Randy wavered and fell to the floor, causing a loud bang to echo around the large lounge. He had fainted.

Before any of us could get to him though, we suddenly heard a noise. A noise that was coming from behind one of the couches. We had awoken something…. And now it was coming for us. I don’t remember what the others did, but I stood motionless, my whole body frozen in fear. My eyes glued to that couch. The noise continued. It was coming closer. A hand emerged from behind the couch, the palm pushing hard against the carpet floor, as if holding someone up. The fingers on the hand extended out in opposing and unnatural angles. Someone had gone through the struggle to break every single finger in a different direction. An elbow soon followed the arm, and then a shoulder. And then a face…

It was a little girl.

Or what was left of a little girl.

Her nose had been cut off… Her earlobes, bitten off… Both of her eyes were almost completely swollen over by massive bruising that surrounded them. Parts of her scalp showed through, from where her long black hair and had been torn off. And I will not even describe to you what state the rest of her body was in, for such cruelty and malice has no place in the world of the living.

And even though it was the most horrific thing I’d ever seen, I yearned to run over to her side and pick her up. Comfort her, tell her everything was going to be okay. Tell her that she was still a beautiful little princess. Yet I did not move, nor did I speak, for the horror that my eyes beheld was paralyzing.

She must have looked at all of us, hurt by the looks of horror and disgust that we could not hide. But all I remember was locking eyes with her, those eyes brimming with pain and suffering that I could only begin to imagine. And as her bruised lips moved to utter something, I sank to my knees and began to weep.

“Help… Me….” the little girl gasped.

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