"There are ways of getting out of here. Trust me. I've seen it before" Kimberly says and I shake my head in confusion.
"Who has made it out of here alive? I've never heard of such a thing happening" I reply to her
"Do you remember a girl by the name of Elizabeth?" Kimberly asks and by the tone of her voice I bet she knew I could already recall who she was.
At the mentioning of her name I felt a sickening feeling roll through my body. I could hear her scream over and over again in my head. I could see the blood...I could smell it almost as if I were there in that moment again. It ate away at me and my head rang in pain. I tried not to show so much distress though. Instead I just shook my head, "Yeah. I remember her"
"Well, she is not dead. She escaped, with my help" she says and I become stunned. All this time I thought she was gone. I thought they had killed this innocent girl. They possibly would've if Kimberly hadn't done something about it...but why? Why are these people being murdered? Weren't the souls trapped in the forest murdered themselves?
"How? More importantly, why would these people, who were wrongly murdered just like you, want to hurt people?" Suzanne asks almost as if she had read my mind.
"It was never like that at first. We were lingering...lifeless. We were hardly there. Slowly roaming in our afterlife forms merely invisible ghosts that were hidden by sadness. It wasn't until Jasper came along that that all changed. His anger and impurity controlled us all. We became slaves to his orders and commands because we were not strong enough to fight back. Most of us turned to his side, taking innocent lives as a way of feeling better about our own being stolen. Some are so far gone...like Jasper, that they become dark and feed off of death. If only Jasper knew how much of his father he actually was" she says with what sounded like a sour taste in her mouth. This concerned me though. Kimberly is attached to her son, she loves her son, why would she not be on his side? How could she be against him? Has she tried to take anyone's life?
"So, how did you protect Elizabeth?" I ask frantically
"Camouflage" Kimberly replies
"What do you mean?" I ask her
"If the dark souls believed that she was dead or that I had captured her then they would leave her and I alone. They don't like live flesh walking around the dead. They will think you'll soon become one of them. There's also another form of camouflage...We have the power to change into different forms, but we also have the power to change others. " she says and I imagine in my head becoming one of them. Stuck here in this place forever. Pure torture. Burning in hell may as well be for the better.
She continues, "It was lucky that I captured her in time. She had been horribly attacked. She was hardly alive. I was able to change who she was. I altered her appearance so that she'd blend in. This way, I was able to take her out of the forest. When she was finally free I changed her back into her original form. There was a problem though, if she came back into sight of the sheriff or anyone that thought she was captured in the forest they'd try to kill her. If you were even assumed to be connected to the forest the people would shun and question you because they believed their safety was in danger. I've seen it. I can see into the outside world without going inside it. I have a type of vision that allows me to see through other people's eyes...like yours for example" she finishes and glances over to me.
"You have been watching all along?" I ask her
"Yes. I have been watching you and your family. I couldn't stop what was happening. All I could do was wait...wait till you ventured in the forest and then I could help. Then and only then I could try to save you and your brother. I can get you out of here, the both of you. You need to get the clues from the investigation and find William. You must kill him. He needs to be dead. This is all I can give you" she proclaims. It was so straightforward and she made it seem so easy. I knew as well as Suzanne that this was hardly going to be over soon.
"Kimberly, do you know who attacked Elizabeth?" I say, not sure why. I just had this strange curiosity.
"That's not important, what matters now is she's safe" she replies to me. I feel uncomfortable because of her withheld information.
"Do you know where Elizabeth is now?" I ask, hoping she'd answer this question.
"Somewhere where no one will find her or her family" she replies with a wicked look in her eyes. That made me uncomfortable too.
"This body alteration…does it hurt?" I ask Kimberly, wanting to leave as soon as possible.
"I guess you'll have to find out" she responds and I feel a surge through my body. I started to shake and tremble frantically. I was turning as cold as ice. My hands were a dark, bruised color of a blue. I could feel my eyes rolling back into my eye lids and when they opened they burned like salt replaced the water inside them. My hands scratched at my face as I tried to pull at my eyes as they burned. I could see the blood under my fingernails. I felt like I was dying and Kimberly just stared at me. Is this what she did to Elizabeth? She is only a child...how could she put her through this pain?
Suzanne looked at me with eyes as wide as a plasma screen television. Her eyes looked watery. Tears? I didn't know. Was she afraid? She looked like she couldn't breathe. Was she going through the alteration too? Everything started to become hazy and I couldn't stand any longer. After a while I felt my body fall back and I was out like a light.