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Once upon a time, there was this creepy kid named Macey. I know it sounds like I’m being mean, but seriously, if you took one look at this kid, you’d have agreed. I mean, it wasn’t some obvious disfigurement. I’m not a total douche-canoe. It was something deeper, seen only in her eyes. Something wasn’t quite right with her smile. The real kicker? She kinda had her own catchphrase, but she said it at the weirdest times.

“Something wicked this way comes.”

I’m not even joking. That’s what she’d say. I think she got it from a book or something. She was always reading.

Anyway, one day just before English class—when me, Emily, and Stacy walked in and sat down—I could have sworn I heard her whispering my name. So I turned around to look at her, but she was staring at the door.

She always did that, so I just shrugged. Then I heard it again. “Madison…”

I glared at her, not saying a word, just waiting for her to speak.

Her lips didn’t move.
“MADISON!”
If I’m lying, I’m dying … her lips. Did. Not. Move. I just rolled my eyes and ignored her, but I was shaking.

“Something wicked this way comes,” she said.

I jumped, goosebumps climbing up my arms. Movement from the door caught my eye, but I was too scared to look. I just focused on my desk. But then I heard Ms. Snider’s voice from the front of the class and I knew Macey had played a stupid prank on me. Ms. Snider was … a bit harsh at times, and I did manage to rub her wrong that day, but I wouldn’t go so far as to call her ‘wicked.’ Macey got me all creeped out over nothing.

Anyway, that was Macey for you. Just real freaking creepy.

But here’s the thing, she saved my life once. Not while she was alive, though. It was after she died.

See, I was staying late after school one day for basketball tryouts. On my way to the gym, I heard her voice. I tried my best to ignore her like I did that day in English class, but I was even more scared. This wasn’t just some voice-throwing trick or something. She was dead!

Just the same, I heard her voice.

“Something wicked this way comes, something wicked this way comes, something wicked this way comes.

MADISON, RUN!”

So I ran. I turned around and ran back toward the main building. I ran until I couldn’t hear her voice anymore. I kept running through the main building and to the principal’s office where I could call my mom. I just wanted my mom.

After we called her, the secretary calmed me down while I waited for her to come pick me up. I was still crying and shaking when she got there.

A fire alarm went off a few seconds later. Five people died in the gym that day; the first three kids to show up for tryouts, the assistant coach, and a janitor. Apparently the gym was the target of an arsonist, according to the news. Something wicked, indeed.

Published in Flash Fiction

Jess

Jessica West (West1Jess) is pursuing a state of self-induced psychosis (reading, writing, editing). She lives in Acadiana with three daughters still young enough to think she’s cool and a husband who knows better but likes her anyway.

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