Life isn’t easy when you have to wear a mask everywhere you go. No one knew that better than Lucy. The 18 year old girl has had to wear a bandana style mask around her face since she was 8. Lucy was in a car accident with her parents and it left large scars on her bottom jaw, some on her upper lip, and she has some small scars on her forehead that she let stay visible. Along with her disfiguring scars, she also lost her parents in the tragic accident, the loss of her parents led to her being sent to a home for girls.
Because of her scars she was sometimes feared by the other children, which made her feel even more alone and isolated. This was becoming a problem for Lucy. When Lucy was 7 years old, her parents started to be concerned about some of her behavior. They didn’t know if they were overreacting, so they decided to take her to take her to a specialist in child behavioral health.
After several tests, they found out that Lucy was suffering from a mild case of schizophrenia, which caused her to not be exactly 'herself' at times. Because of her age they were hesitant to put her on any type of psychiatric medication, but were going to have her continue to work closely with a child behavioral specialist. But because of her parents’ death and the way they kept their private lives to themselves, nobody knew, so when she was sent away everyone thought she was fairly normal, other than the fact her parents just died. Although, from what she could remember, her bad behavior seemed to stop after the accident.
She was a smart girl though, she had gotten good grades, and she would listen to every detail and notice every little thing about what was going on. Still, friends didn’t come easy, that was of course until she met Mason. She met him when she would sneak out of the home in the middle of the night. He was a sweet boy, from the rich neighborhood, but he never liked it there, he was always... out of place. Lucy always hated her name so Mason decided to call her Red, because of her dark red hair and her odd fascination with the color. Red stopped seeing Mason when she left the home, which was about 2 months ago, when she came of age.
Now, she is living in a small apartment and has been making money by doing side jobs. Her life had gotten slightly better since she had left, because she did not have to deal with nannies following her around watching her every move, and kids who would make fun of her for her mask.
It was about 6pm at the time, and she had to go to the store to buy some food and drinks because her apartment was almost empty. On her way out her neighbor Josh grabbed her arm.
“Hey pretty girl. Why don’t you come in?”
“Um, sorry, no. Now get off me.”
“Don’t be like that baby come on.” He pulled her closer.
“Get the hell off me!”
She tried to push him off her but he was very large and her small frame couldn’t push him off.
“Why don’t you take that mask off? I want to see your pretty mouth.” He tugged at her mask.
She reached into her pocket and pulled her small butterfly knife that she bought to protect herself in case something like this happened. She flicked it open and put it to his stomach.
“Leave. Me. Alone.”
“Whoa you crazy bitch! Fine I’ll leave you alone.”
He backed off and she walked away.
'Wasn’t that fun Red? It would’ve been more fun if you would’ve cut him though...' She heard someone say.
It sounded like a woman but she couldn’t really tell, She spun around trying to locate the voice, but saw no one.
“Is someone there?”
She decided to get out of her building for now and go to the store like she planned. When she got home she was really tired so she decided to just make some ramen and go to bed. Lying in bed she could hear the woman again;
'Hello again Red'
“Okay what the holy hell is going on?” Red said surprised.
'You don’t remember me?'
“I don’t understand. I don't want to! This is not real. I am dreaming! Wake up Red!"
'Oh I am very real.'
"No! I am dreaming!"
"Okay, Red, calm down.. Just try to wake yourself up." She pinched herself on the leg to try to wake herself up, but to no avail.
'That's not going to work very well since you are completely awake.'
Red didn't know what to do at the moment. She was extremely confused, tired, and is hearing a voice that sounded, oddly familiar, like it was completely different than anyone she knows, but seemed very familiar at the same time, comforting almost. She thought of things she could do, go to a therapist, she would, but she didn't have insurance and is barely making enough money to keep her apartment. She didn't know what to do at all, so she was going to try and understand further on what this voice wants from her.
"Okay, if I am stuck with you. Can I at least ask what you want from me?"
'Nothing in particular, I just want to be your friend.'
"Well, if you are going to be my friend, you will leave me alone when I ask, right?"
'Of course, you might as well go to sleep now, if you want. I will be no bother to you.'
"Okay. I guess I am willing to accept you if you leave me alone when I ask."
'Fantastic, now you should sleep. Like I said before, I just want to be your friend, and friends don't let friends get sleep deprived.'
"Okay" Red actually did get some sleep that night, even though the thought of this, whatever it is, talking to her, made her have a hard time falling asleep the first time.
The next morning it was a very nice, sunny day, so she decided to visit her old friend Mason, she missed him. She arrived at his house on her bike and knocked on his door, after he opened it she said; “Hey”
“Red… I told you before, I can never see you again. You know why.”
“I-I’m sorry, I really don’t understand.”
“You do, I know you do. It’s not something you would forget. Just go…”
“Fine, I’m sorry… for whatever I did.”
'Well that didn’t go well.' The voice said as she got back on her bike and began riding back to her apartment.
“Just leave me alone.”
'No can do, I’m a part of you. I’m your only friend now.'
“I don’t care. I don’t want to talk to you!”
'I didn’t pin you as the boring type. You are really starting to bore me.'
She ignored the annoying voice in her head and continued to her apartment. When she got there she saw her neighbor Josh and 2 of his buddies in front of her door.
'Well well well. You are in a very bad position.'
“Shut up.” She said quietly “What do you guys want from me?” She asked the 3 men.
“You need to know that little knife you have won’t work on all 3 of us.” Josh said
“I know that, what do you want.”
“You haven’t figured it out yet? You are dumber than you look.” One of the guys said
'Turn around and run.' And she quickly did just that, she knew she was way outnumbered. The men didn’t follow her because they knew she would have to come back.
'You need a weapon, quickly. You live in a country town for god sake so go down to that barn down the road.'
“Why the barn? Why don’t I just go buy a weapon?”
'Because if you hurt someone, the police are going to ask around the shops and if you bought a weapon that matches the wounds, they will know it was you who did it.'
She quickly jumped on her bike and peddled down to the old barn down the road. The closest house to it was a ways away so she could get in without getting caught. When she opened the barn she saw it was full of junk, old car parts, tires, and some bags of what looked like wheat seed. After a while of looking through the junk, she saw an old farmers sickle, one of those handheld ones that farmers used to cut wheat.
'Take it.' The voice said
“Why this? Why not go somewhere else and look for a gun?”
'Bec- I am so bored of explaining myself. Because you don’t have much time before they break in to your room, and your phone is in your room so you can’t call the police and this is your last resort.'
She picked up the sickle and put it in in her belt, her jacket was long so it wasn’t visible. She got back on her bike and peddled back to her house, while she was riding, the voice said;
'Now Red, I said I was going to be your friend. That is true, and all I am trying to do is protect you, so when you go back there, you are going to kill Josh, and you are going to enjoy it. You are going to love it, you will want to do it again.'
"No. If I hurt any of them it will be in self-defense. I will not enjoy it at all."
'Just wait, my friend. You will realize soon enough.'
She got back to her building and they were still by her door.
“Please, just leave.” She pled
“No, sorry sweetheart. What are you gonna do anyways?” Josh said
She pulled the rusted, but still sharp, sickle out of her belt.
“Whoa put the weapon down girly.” One of the men said
“Well, I’m sorry we have to do this little redhead.”
The more in shape man lunged at her and she fell to the ground. Still holding the sickle she jumped up and sliced part of his leg. The other guy jumped on top of her and held her down, she lifted her knee quickly and kneed him in the crotch.
He jumped off her and cried out in pain from the kick. She ran over to Josh and put the inside of the sickle to his neck.
'Cleansing the world of evil people…'
Both of the men were still on the ground and Josh tried to plea for his life. “Please, don’t kill me. I know it was wrong of me to try to do that to you, but please,' He choked out, "I don’t want to die.”
'Red, do it. It will be fun. You can trust me. Do it!'
"No! I can't do it!"
'Come on Red! Its not that hard, kill him!"
But, just as she said that, she saw a small smirk on Josh's face, he knew she didn't want to kill him. That made her more angry than when she started, and she couldn't control herself. She immediately sliced open the man's neck, and watched as his body dropped to the floor, blood pouring out of his neck.
“Holy shit you crazy bitch!” The one of the men that was on the ground yelled, they both got up and ran away from her, out of the building.
'See, wasn’t that fun?'
Red looked around then down at her hand, still holding the blood covered sickle.
“I killed him.”
'Ah come on, of course you did silly. I know you enjoyed it, because, you know, I’m in your head. Look down, see all that beautiful, red blood, I know you want to see more of it.'
She looked at the body of the man she just killed and knelt down and stuck her finger in the blood. She moved her hand to her face and lifted her mask. She then licked the blood off of her finger, realizing, at that moment, she really did enjoy it. She put her mask back down, and stuck her finger in the blood again and drew a red X on the wall next to the body.
"That is a very nice picture." She said happily
'Yes, but you might want to get out of here' She then looked out the window and saw the red and blue lights and sirens. So she did just what the voice was telling her, and ran out the emergency exit of the large brick building and into the woods behind it. Even though it was still only about 4pm, the woods were shaded very well so they were dark.
“What… Do I do now?”
'Well, you may want to find somewhere to go, first, as much as I know you love it, get the blood off of your clothes.'
Red looked down and saw her white tank top that was under her black jacket was spattered in blood. She waited in the woods for hours while the cops were at the crime scene. It was about 5 the next morning when everyone was finally gone. She snuck in the back and got in her room and slipped on a red tank top and put her black jacket back over it. After that she quickly ran back out and went through the woods out to the main road that led to the rich neighborhood where her old friend lived. She grinned and walked up to the man’s door. He answered it and rubbed his eyes because it was so early.
“I told you to never come back here.”
“I need help Mason. I have nowhere else to go.”
“You live not far from here if I am correct.”
“Mason” She grabbed him by the collar of his shirt, “I need your help.”
“O-Okay, what is wrong with you Red?”
She grinned under her mask.
“I did something really bad.”
“What did you do this time?”
“I killed my neighbor…”
“My god Red!”
She pulled out the sickle that she caused the murder with.
“Jesus Christ! You need help!”
“Please… Don’t tell anyone” She put her finger to his mouth.
“I-I why… Why did you do it?”
'Oh just kill him…'
“He was going to hurt me, but to be honest, it was kind of.. fun."
She raised the sickle and slowly ran it down his cheek. Not putting enough pressure to cut him though.
“Why did you stop talking to me Mason?”
“Do you really not remember?”
“It was you Red, it was always you… You…”
“I what? Mason?”
“You killed your parents…”
Then it all came flooding back…
Riding in the car on their way to Lucy’s counselor, Lucy was talking to her imaginary friend Rosie.
'The counselor sucks doesn’t she?' Rosie asked.
“Yeah, yeah she does.” Lucy said
“Honey, are you talking to your imaginary friend again?” Her mother asked her.
“Mom, you know she’s real.”
'If you don’t want to go to the counselors, all you need to do is scream.' And she did just that, Lucy hated her counselor. So she screamed at the top of her lungs. Her dad, being so shocked, accidentally swerved the car and… Crash…
She then remembered why she forgot this voice in her head, she hated Rosie so bad for making her cause the crash and kill her parents, so she blocked her out. But now, she is no longer angry with her, actually, happy with her. She made her kill her parents, yes, but she also, to her at least, helped her know what she was really supposed to do, and that is paint the world red.
“Ha, I guess I did… and I’d do it again.” She said as she moved the blade from her old friends face and began to leave; “There is one more thing I just can't put together, how did you know?"
"R-remember that night when we were 16, you got drunk and ended up staying at my house that night? Well, you we rambling about something I didn't understand, and I asked you what you meant, so you told me, everything. The next day you didn't remember at all. I didn't want to bring it up again since it was a very, well, disturbing subject."
"Ah come on my friend," She laughed " Its not very bad, I mean yeah its death, but if you think about it differently it's very nice and, I guess you could say it's... fun!"
"Red, this is not you."
"Oh its very me! I just know who I really am now. Don't worry Mason, I don't hurt my friends. Unless, they stab me in the back, so if you speak a word about this to anyone, I will be back for you."
Grinning under her mask she put her sickle back in her belt and took off to continue her life task, painting the world red...