She spat out the squirrel head. It rolled along the concrete playground and stopped at my foot; the empty eye sockets were staring at me, hollow and devoid of any kind of expression. I stared back at it. This squirrel was the reason why I managed to escape that bush. It was just doing its natural actions, climbing and collecting food, before it became food for a girl. And now, I had to figure out my next move without it.
I focused my attention on Melissa, who was bearing her fanged teeth from within the tree—her lips were masked with light brown fur. Her growls were still loud and demonic, and her bloodshot eyes were probably seeing me not as a living person, but as nothing more than a moving piece of meat.
I need a plan, I need a plan. Now that I was on my feet, I could take more actions to try and save myself. The stinging all over my arms and chest left behind from the bush were still lingering, but I tried my best not to think about it. From the corner of my eye I could see the large wooden door that lead back into the classroom; the door was closed. If I ran fast enough I could make it into the room and lock it behind me. Doing that would have at least provided me with some protection, but it wouldn’t solve one of the problems at hand: what should I do with Melissa acting like this?
Looking at the door was a mistake. When I looked back at the tree, Melissa was gone.
“Shit! Where did that little bitch go?” I spat.
My eyes scanned every leaf on that tree, keeping a lookout for the slightest of movement. Everything remained still, not even a light breeze rolled through. My eyes traveled down from the leaves and onto the trunk. There were large scratches etched into the bark. I followed them all the way down to the base of the tree. When I saw the blood-soaked dirt, I hear a roar coming from somewhere in the tree.
My legs started back-peddling on their own, taking me away from the tree. The roars continued, coming closer and closer by the second. I kept watch on the ground to make sure I didn’t trip over my own feet, and to see what direction Melissa would come from. As if she were an animal I saw Melissa drop down from the tree, landing on all-fours. Her joints and body were contorted in dangerous ways; her back was towards the ground, but her arms and legs were folded backwards, palms and heel down flat on the ground. Her neck cracked as her head spun around, mimicking an owl in the nighttime in search of food. The way she looked, it was as if I was trapped in some horror film.
And just like that, she started chasing me down. The gap between us quickly closed. I didn’t have anything on me to try and protect myself with. It wasn’t even a few seconds after chasing me that Melissa crouched down and leaped up into the air, trying to lunge at me. Whoever Melissa was beforehand, that little-girl identity, no longer existed. In its place was a monster trapped inside the body of a child.
During a frantic panicking, I lost my footing when my heel slipped on something behind me. I fell down hard onto the ground, but I managed to land on my side to try and cushion myself as best as I could. In a strange turn of luck, Melissa’s leap took her past me, crashing down and tumbling along the ground a few feet away from me. I guess her child-like body wasn’t able to handle such powerful actions. I used that as an opening and got back onto my feet, heading straight towards the classroom door. After my first step, my foot knocked into something solid. I looked down at it, and I knew that this was my chance to change things.
A wooden bat rested at my foot. I glanced over at Melissa, who was struggling to try and get back onto all-fours. She started twisting and turning her limbs back into their proper places.
I picked up the bat and gripped it tight. It was rather lightweight in the hand, but with enough force in a swing, it could still have done some damage.
“Don’t think of her as a little girl, but as a demon in human skin.”