It was Just a Prank

My name is Isaac Anderson, I’m 20 years old, and I’m running for my life.

Let me start from the beginning. It was when I was in highschool. There was a girl in the grade below mine who everyone liked to pick on… Her name was Mackenzie. She was picked on because she liked to draw her imaginary friend from when we were kids. It was some kind of girl who controlled fire or something. Aside from that Mackenzie was just a normal girl. I felt bad that she didn’t have any friends so I became friends with her. She was actually really funny. She loved to make puns about fire, I guess it was just her thing. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a crush on her back then. Thinking back, I don’t really know why I agreed to play a prank on her with some kids in my grade. There was five of us playing the prank. Joey, Danielle, Gorge, Aliana, and me. Joey, Danielle, and Gorge were three of the main people who picked on her while Aliana and me were Mackenzie’s best friends. Joey planned everything out, we just going to her house and setting a small fire in her yard. It was just a small prank.

When we got there Alaina suggested instead of putting it in the front yard we should light it in the back next to Mackenzie’s room. Her room was on the first floor near the corner of the house, she had a big window she could see the yard from so we all thought it’d be funny. We went to the back yard near her window. Before we lit the fire Danielle brought out two cases of beer. I should have known it was a bad idea but I just went along with it. So we all started drinking and messing around… then Gorge started piling up dead leaves and some sticks for the fire. Joey told Aliana and I to throw rocks at Mackenzie’s window while he and Gorge lit the fire. We started throwing rocks until Mackenzie woke up and looked out. God, she looked so upset when she saw us laughing at her. It was fine… until Joey decided to throw a beer bottle at her house. Mackenzie lived in an old wooden house so it caught fire in an instant. Everyone went into a panic when we heard Mackenzie start screaming. Danielle quickly called 911 but it was too late. The whole house was in flames and we could hear screams from her family.

I will never forget those screams… and I’ll never forget when I saw her look through the window straight into my eyes. Half her face was charred, her left eye was practically melted but she still glared at me from the window. It was so hateful.

Fire Trucks showed up just as the house collapsed. We were questioned and sent home. I had just assumed everyone had died in the fire but… then I saw the news the next day. They had only found three bodies. Mackenzie was declared missing.

There was a service at the school for the family then everyone went back to normal… until about a month later. It was a normal Saturday morning, me, my mom, and dad all went to watch the news like usual… and I was shocked at what came up. Joey, the same kid who planned the prank on Mackenzie, was dead. Police had said his house was set on fire by an unknown assailant. The only piece of evidence was a slightly burned drawing…

It was one of Mackenzie’s drawings.

One by one, all the kids who pulled the prank all died in house fires. Every single time a drawing of Mackenzie’s was found. At Alaina’s house fire… the drawing was a new one. It was a picture of Mackenzie on fire. At the bottom, it read, ‘You’re next Isaac.’

I completely panicked. My parents and police questioned me but I couldn’t exactly tell them that a girl who’s been missing for 6 months is hunting me. So I ran. I packed up my stuff and left in the night. I changed my name, I cut my hair, I even went as far as to get colored contacts. For a while I thought I was safe. I settled down in an area and got a job. I started to relax, started to live a normal life.

But she found me. At first when I saw her I just thought it was my mind playing tricks on me… but then I saw her again… and again… and again… I was slowly going crazy. I saw her everywhere. Outside my work, in the street across from my apartment, hell I swear I saw her in the mirror! I panicked. I left. I didn’t tell anyone, I just packed up my stuff and left. I hopped on a bus and went to the next state. I changed my name again, I dyed my hair, I changed my contacts.

Soon, I felt safe again. So I settled down, got a new job, a new place. It was fine… for 4 months… then she showed up again. It started just the same. I saw her in a passing glance and when I looked again she wasn’t there. I tried to remain calm, I told myself it was just a figment of my imagination. But soon, just like last time, she was everywhere. I saw her every turn I made. I thought if I ignored her then she’d just leave me alone… that was a mistake. I started to wake up in the middle of the night with searing pain on my arms or my legs, even my chest. When I looked it was always the same thing. A burn, like someone had snuck into my apartment, taken a piece of metal, heated it up, and pressed it to my skin. They were all the same shape and size, like they had all come from the same piece of metal. I started to become paranoid… even when I locked all my doors and windows, I still would wake up with burns.

So I left again. I moved for a while before I settled down again… I felt safe… I was all the way across the country and I looked nothing like I did before. I waited for a couple months… and nothing. She wasn’t anywhere to be seen. I thought I finally had gotten rid of her. I got a house, a girlfriend, even a dog. I locked all my doors at night, I got an alarm, I even got security cameras and set them up around the house. It was all normal for a while.

Then one morning, My beagle, Chewy, disappeared without a trace. Me and my girlfriend, Samantha, looked all over and even set up posters. But when I looked at the footage… I saw her. Mackenzie got into my house without anyone noticing. She took Chewy and… when she went to leave, She stared straight into the camera and smiled. She knew I would see her. I started to become paranoid again. I was always looking over my shoulder, I had to double check my doors and windows. Then, the burns started again… but it was worse. When I woke up one night, Samantha was screaming next to me. She was crying saying her whole leg hurt. When we looked, her whole leg was charred. I rushed her to the hospital. The doctor asked if we left any candles burning or if we had spilt any alcohol. I was confused but I told him that we didn’t use candles and we didn’t drink. He was shocked. He asked us if we knew how the fire started. When I told him that there wasn’t any fire… he turned pale white. He said that it was impossible. When Samantha asked him why… he told us that the burns were caused by someone pouring alcohol on her leg and setting fire to it.

I had never been more scared in my life. None of our place had any fire damage. That meant someone snuck into the house, took Samantha somewhere without waking her up, burned her leg, then somehow managed to get her back into bed without waking her. Samantha filed a police report and the police asked if they could review our security tapes. I agreed in an instant. Then they called and asked if I could come to the station. I was confused but I went. When I got there they showed me the tape of my bedroom from that night.

It was normal… until at about 1 in the morning. Mackenzie somehow opened the window and got inside. She took Samantha from the bed and took her out the back door. They then showed me the tapes from my backyard. Mackenzie set Samantha on the grass in the back before taking out a beer bottle. She looked at the camera and smiled holding up the bottle like she was having a toast… then she poured it over Samantha’s left leg, lit a match, and dropped it on her leg. Mackenzie stared straight into the camera as Samantha screamed in pain… it was like she was staring straight at me.

The police asked if I knew who she was. I lied and said that I didn’t. What was I supposed to say? That a girl who’s been presumed dead for a year and a half is stalking me? I went home and what do I find on my doorstep. Chewy, or what was left of him. It was almost unrecognizable, the only reason I knew it was Chewy… was the undamaged, red collar with his tags and the same heart-shaped bell that we had gotten for him when we first adopted him.

I rushed inside to make sure Samantha was okay. I called her name and ran throughout the house to try and find her… then I went out back and there she was. Mackenzie was standing over Samantha’s burning body.

She smiled at me like we were old friends having a barbecue. I ran to my car and sped off.

No matter where I go she will find me. I have to keep moving. I decided to document what has happened so even if I get caught someone, anyone… will know what happened to me. I’ve gotta go now. I have to leave before morning.

  • Brandon Barrett

    Cliche and repetitive, I didn’t enjoy it