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Little Girl, Big Terror

Jocelyn was a delightful little girl, so say the neighbors, but there was something else about her—something different—that they couldn't put a finger on... something not quite right. Jocelyn lived alone with her father, James Samuels. Her mother went missing a little after her first birthday. Marie Samuels was the type of mother that would never leave her baby girl alone; which is why Mr. and Mrs. Myers, Marie’s next door neighbors and longtime friends, knew something wasn’t right when they found Jocelyn crying in her crib while her father was away at work. Mr. and Mrs. Myers were close friends with the young couple, and offered their advice whenever they could, until that day. After Marie went missing, James Samuels grew distant and kept his baby girl close.

As Jocelyn grew, the Meyers could see more of her mother in the little girl’s soft features. Her hair was the same sleek black, the same honeysuckle eyes, and almost the same smile. She had her father’s deep dimples in the corners of her pouty lips. It hurt their heart to know that she would never know her mother. Marie had been missing for almost six years. They could also see something dark hidden beneath her rosy smile, something more cynical than any child’s smile should reveal. Mr. and Mrs. Myers never let their children play with her because of that peculiar smile.

Every once in a while Jocelyn and her father would go on a drive to see the sunset down Highway 16 in Canada. Jocelyn liked looking at all the wild life that she saw during the long drives. It was only her and her father just the way she liked it. One day, while driving down the long stretch of road, she saw a girl trying to thumb a ride. It was almost dark and the temperature plummeted with the sinking sun. From the distance Jocelyn could see her huddling into the raggedy coat that clung to her shoulders trying to keep warm while her long red hair blew all around her, catching the moonlight like blood on fresh winter snow. While staring at her, Jocelyn pulled her father’s coat sleeve and pointed at the woman.

"She's pretty Daddy," exclaimed Jocelyn. Her eye widened while she pressed herself against the window as the wind caught the girl’s crimson hair again.

"Yes, she is Princess," her dad said with a devilish smirk.

James slowed down and lowered the glass by the girl who was shivering against the cold wind that made her cheeks and nose bright red. She smiled and waved at the little girl who poked her soft features through the beat up, old, truck window. Jocelyn waved back. 'She is pretty,' thought Jocelyn. 'Maybe she will be my new mommy.’ She gave her father a small smile as she tugged the end of his coat; a smile he returned to his daughter.

"Do you need a ride?" asked James.

"It is really cold outside," added Jocelyn, shivering as the wind slashed through the heat in the truck’s cab.

The girl nodded her head and hopped into the truck beside Jocelyn. It was getting late and Jocelyn put her head into the strangers lap. The woman giggled and started running her fingers in the little girl’s hair. James looked over at the woman and smiled. Jocelyn was his pride and joy.

"Do you mind us stopping at my place so I can put my daughter in bed? She has school in the morning," he said in earnest.

The woman gave a nervous giggle, still rubbing the little girls head. She began humming a lullaby as they headed down the dirt road the house was on. It made James feel a little anxious and excited as they got closer to the house.

About midnight Mrs. Myers awakened to a horrifying scream. She could hear that it was close but not the direction it was coming from. She tried to cover her ears to drown out the blood curdling screams as she grabbed the phone to call the police. It was nothing like she had ever heard before.

Sheriff Russo was the closest officer to the house that the call came from, so he decided to go to the house to respond to the call. When he got to the dirt road he started to hear the screams that Mrs. Myers described. It hurt his ears as he pulled up to the house. He had been on the force for a long time and looked around him and spotted the house next door.

The screams got louder as Russo went onto the front porch. He thought about knocking, but at that moment there was another scream of pain and he broke down the door.

When he entered the house he could not believe his sight. There was a little girl sitting alone in the middle of the room brushing a doll's hair, humming softly. She did not seem disturbed or distressed by the screams that subsided when he came into the house. He walked closer to the little girl, her hair was down her shoulders and she had a smile on her face. When he looked down at the doll his whole body cringed. The doll’s face was disfigured and one of the arms was missing.

"Isn't she pretty?" asked Jocelyn still brushing the dolls hair.

The officer didn't say anything and the little girl looked at him waiting for a response.

"Yes she is sweetie. Did you hear a scream?" he asked trying to get some information from her.

"Daddy and I found a new friend," she said after a long pause smiling at the officer.

When the girl smiled Russo grimaced. He knew then he was looking into the face of pure evil. Finally, Russo heard another scream come from a back room. The screams finally stopped as quickly as it started. He could not hear anything else come from the back room.

"I bet she was bad," he heard from the little girl again.

Russo turned back to the girl and she gave him one last smile. Then went back brushing the dolls hair and humming. What he did not know was the song she was humming the woman had hummed in the car before she went to the house.