I killed her. The thought hits me like a punch in the face. I killed my sister. It feels as if I've killed myself.


1. Calista


Glistening in the moonlight, turning pink as it mixes with the water that drips into the sink like raindrops. Slowly coming off my hands, although I feel they are stained forever. The sight of the blood makes me feel sick. My hands shake uncontrollably as I scrub them, so hard that I peel the skin and my blood mixes with hers.

I killed her. The thought hits me like a punch in the face. I killed my sister. It feels as if I've killed myself. As I stare at my reflection in the bathroom mirror, I see her. We look almost exactly the same. Same features, and same hair, though she grew hers longer and I kept mine short. The only exception is the birthmark I bear that helps others distinguish between us. I look in the mirror again. She is crying crystal tears that create tracks down her blood-stained face.

I didn't have a choice.

I dig out the dirt and blood from beneath my fingernails.

They said I had to do it.

My hands are red and sore from all the scrubbing.

That though she was smarter, I was stronger.

They sting as I run them under scalding hot water.

She would have died out there.

I can still see the blood.

I would only be doing her a favour.

My hands are painted in crimson.

That's what they told me.

But there's nothing there really.

And that's the problem. There is only so long that I can hide this secret, bury it deep within me where no one can find it. But sooner or later, it will rise back to the surface, and I will drown in the emotional turmoil, reminded of my actions. There is only so much that a sixteen year old girl can bear. And murder isn't one of them.

I can't erase the image of her limp, lifeless body as I held her in my arms for the very last time. It is branded in my mind; I see it every time I close my eyes. I cried, but not because I was upset. I was angry. I was angry at our parents, I was angry at her and I was angry at myself. If she was stronger, maybe our parents would have had more faith in her. And if I was smarter, I could have convinced them that it didn't have to end this way, that there were other ways.

Wiping the tears off my face, I dry my hands and numbly climb up the stairs to the room my sister and I share. Just mine now. My body has given up, shutting down as I curl up on my bed, pulling the midnight blue covers over my head. I keep imagining that I can hear sirens wailing in the distance, that they're coming to get me because they know. But that's not possible. I did everything the way my parents told me.

After I burned her body, to dispose of the evidence, I scattered her ashes, staring into the distance as the wind carried them away. Now, as I look up at the ceiling, painted like a galaxy, I feel her presence, watching over me. We're not a religious family. Heaven and God were always myths. But I'm beginning to see things in a different light. She is here with me, an angel up in Heaven because she is the saint and I am the sinner.

"I'm sorry, Allie," I whisper to her, "I had to do it." No response comes, of course, but still, a part of me hoped that something would happen like it does in horror movies - the lamp flickering, the curtains blowing, the door creaking open. Because this is a horror movie, only much scarier. I just can't decide if I'm the victim or the attacker. If I am the predator or the prey. I didn't deserve this, but neither did she.

Maybe she isn't here at all, and the other presence I feel is just my imagination trying to heal the wounds that have scarred me. An emptiness resides in me, a cavity where my heart ought to be. There is nothing there, just absence. The absence of my sister to whom I was bound before birth, when we shared our mother's womb. I was supposed to be her protector. Isn't that what older siblings do? But instead, I was the one who tore the life from her - who submerged her head in the bathtub until she drowned, and then slit her throat to make sure she was really dead.

I'm not just a murderer. I'm a monster.

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