Dissociative Identity

On October 11th, 1991, five collegiate students, well originally there was to be six, the sixth being Zachary Greenwood (who was unable to come due to an illness he had been struggling with for quite some time now). All of Leland, Michigan, and all of whom, come from a family background of hefty wallets and heads full of sawdust. So, already this should be a well scripted clarification and understanding of what this particular group was like. Well, actually James’ or Jim’s family I should say, comes from a wealthy background, but the sawdust theory holds true for all of them, including myself. Now, James Dresher, who we’ll catch up with momentarily, offered his fathers’ two million dollar mountain house as a getaway sanctuary for him and his four friends to venture to while his father was on a business trip in Sweden.

The leaves were starting to change into those soft, subtle, yet dark colors. The air was cool, and the skies were as blue as a crystal clear lake—the perfect weather to some degree for a weekend in the wilderness, if you would consider that living in the wilderness. Now, James Dresher…oh boy, James Dresher, the star quarterback of Michigan State, otherwise known as the drunk, the delinquent, the pretty boy who always has it easy, yeah, he’s one of those guys, maybe a C-student at best, with an “at best” being generous, has never been a class act, but when you’re blessed with such an athletic gift and good looks, an ego is almost always bound to be a part of you. With James, comes his girlfriend Katie Piper who’s planning on becoming a singer, among other fictional aspirations, and his best friend Brad Johnson, who is both a teammate of James’ and is known to be the exact clone of Dresher, just a shade darker, so put two-and-two together, a disastrous combination of personalities.

Then there are Dylan and Sydney. Dylan Porter is what you would call the nerd of the group; instead of partying and getting himself into trouble Dylan secludes himself in his dorm room to study, but trying to be a people pleaser and going against his better judgment, Dylan is badgered into going. How Dylan even found himself among this group is unclear. I’d put him in the category of, the “bitch of the group,” if that changes or clears up any misunderstandings on his part.

Finally, there is Sydney Cohen, the beloved cheerleader, who is Brad’s bimbo and follows his every move; one might say she is obsessive of him.

But enough of introductions, I’d like to focus on the date marked above on the first page. Around Friday at 4:30 p.m., the five friends all jumped into James’ Jeep. I believe it was a 1988, not too sure, but anyway, they traveled to Lake Michigan for what was sure to be an eventful weekend in every sense of the word. As soon as they arrived they settled into the upper class home, thrown into the middle of the woods and begin to be what most mature adults would say was irresponsible. They begin drinking, becoming more and more intoxicated with every swig of alcohol, doing what looks to be sheer stupidity. However, they partake in these activities none-the-less and begin to cool down, eventually.

They sit around a roaring fire pit constructed in the back, which was located just down the dirt road about the length of a football field away from the back door of the house. Sitting in the frigid cold, sorry…lost my place, they begin talking of their futures, in some aspect, and where they will all be in the next five or so years

“Maybe I’ll walk on the moon,” said Brad, drunk and dazed.

“Get real, bro. Why don’t you sit down and have another one,” James said sarcastically.

As the frigid weather’s temperature was depleting by the hour, the fire began to burn out, so Brad and Sydney, still feeling the self-pleasing effects of what has entered their bodies at a rate of two beverages a minute (a little stretch of the truth, but not far from it, either) volunteer to fetch fire wood. The others venture into the house to keep warm until their friends return. An hour or so passed and Katie began to wonder where they could be. Worried, she woke up a drunken James.

“Jim” (one of the many nicknames he’s called, however, Jim is only said by “close friends”) she whispered. “Huh – what, what’s going on,” he says looking groggy and only half awake as if he hadn’t slept for years.

“Jim! It’s been an hour and Brad and Sydney haven’t come back yet. Shouldn’t we go look for them? You think they’re okay?” Katie said in a panicking tone.

Jim yawned, mouth opened wide and the stench of Ye Olde Number Seven poured from his breath.

“Aaaah, OK, let’s go look for –“

Jim was cut off by what sounded like a loud, high pitched scream. Dylan stuck his head out of his room, looked to Jimmy and they rushed out of the house like fire fighters ready at first alarm. They put on their boots, turned on their flashlights and started running. Out of breath, they found Brad, shocked and overwhelmed. Dylan dropped his flashlight to the ground.

“Jimmy, come over here quick!” Dylan yells.

Jimmy ran over and couldn’t believe his eyes—he found Brad hovering over what at first seemed to be a black shadow of some sort, perhaps a deer, but it was not an animal or a branch or any inanimate object, it was the body of Sydney.

“What the hell happened!” Said Jimmy.

“I – I don’t know. We started to get into an argument. She started walking away from me… I tried to go after her, yelling her name, but I couldn’t see her. She wouldn’t answer me!” His tone became frustrated. “The next thing I know, I hear her scream then I found her like this. I don’t know what happened. I didn’t see anything. I didn’t see her…” Brad stopped mid-sentence and became hysterical.

“Jesus Christ, what the fuck do we do, Dylan?” James yelled.

“I don’t…” Dylan stopped mid-sentence, as he glared into James’ wide eyes; he quickly turned around and noticed Katie running up the hill, still unaware of the situation, but with a frantic look of panic on her face. She came rushing over; Dylan tried to stop her from seeing Sydney’s body, but failed to do so.

“Oh my God!” She yelled.

“Take her back to home,” Jim yelled to Dylan.

“No,” said Katie. “I’m not going anywhere!” Kate collapsed to the ground unconscious from pure shock.

Five or ten minutes passed. Katie heard faint voices, but it seemed unclear who was speaking. She began to open her eyes, but her vision was a little foggy, like a new-born baby who opened their eyes in the world for the very first time. She sat up. Dylan’s arm was supported behind her to prop her up slowly, and James and Brad were kneeling in front of her. Having a sense of awareness back on her face, she caught Sydney in the back of her eye, and began to scream, her arms and legs flailing frantically in the air, all three of the boys try to brace her and calm her down.

“Come on, Kate,” James said.

“Easy, easy…relax,” Dylan said in a soothing tone, as he stroked her head, acting as the calming, fatherly presence. Katie collected herself, but still in tears, and asked, “What happened?”

“That’s what we’re still trying to figure out. We don’t know.” said James, looking distraught.

Katie glanced at Brad, giving him an evil stare. “You did this to her you sick son of a –“

“Katie! Stop!” Yelled Dylan.

“No! Think about it, you guys. They were the only two out here. What else could have happened? What? You’re going to start telling me there isn’t the slightest possibility the one responsible for Sydney’s death isn’t sitting right in front of us?” She asked.

“Look, Katie, you’re just upset. You’re not thinking clearly right now.” James said, as he placed his hand on Katie’s shoulder.

Katie pushed his hand aside.

“We have to take every possibility into account, but to automatically assume Brad is responsible for this…he may be a lot of things, Kate, but a killer? Come on that’s just totally crazy,” said James. Katie turned around and looked at him.

“You’re probably right, it’s just…” she hesitated to speak further.

“I know, and we’re going to figure this out, I promise. Everything is going to be okay,” James said, and hugged Katie.

The two of them walked back towards Brad and Dylan.

“Brad, I’m sorry, I just let my emotions get the best of me…” Brad interrupted Katie.

“I know, you don’t have to say anything. I’m just as upset as you are. We have to figure this out now!” Brad yelled.

Dylan ran back to the house to pick up the phone, but no dial tone. Letting his fingers go wild on the dial buttons, hoping that by some miracle a dial tone would pick up, Dylan then slammed the phone down out of frustration. He ran back towards the group, out of breath, and approached James.

“I couldn’t get a dial tone. Nothing. That’s not the only phone in the house is it?”

“Yeah, it is…you couldn’t get any sort of signal?” James asked.

“I tried, man, nothing happened.” Dylan said.

“Reception, out here especially, is hard to get to begin with. I guess we can try again in a few hours.” James said.

“We don’t have time for that! We have to do something now!” Brad yelled.

“How far is the nearest service station, sheriff’s office, anything that could maybe offer us help,” suggested Dylan.

Jim scratched his head, took in a deep breath. “Ugh…maybe ten, fifteen miles southwest of here.” James said.

“Okay, fine…James, me and you will take the Jeep and try to find help, while Brad and Katie stay here.” Dylan said.

“We can’t just leave Sydney here, we have to take her back with us,” cried Katie.

James and Dylan carried Sydney’s body back to the house, while Brad and Katie were walking ahead trying to guide them through the dark woods. Arriving at the house, they placed Sydney’s body upon the tile floor in the mudroom, covering her with a blue and white checkered blanket. Dylan rushed to the Jeep, but the Jeep wouldn’t start, and the gas light read “E.”

“Jim! What the fuck, dude?” Dylan yelled.

“What?” Jim said, as he popped his head from the back door of the house.

“The car is dead,” said Dylan.

“What’s the matter?” Katie asked exiting from the house.

“The car isn’t fucking working!” Jim said.

“What do you mean?” Brad asked.

“I mean the car isn’t working, dude. It’s out of gas,” James yelled, slamming the side door in frustration.

“So what do we do?” Katie asked.

“We bury her here,” Jim suggested.

“Wait, what?” Katie said dismayed.

“We bury her, erase all of this,” Jim said in a pleasant tone.

“Think about what you’re saying, man,” Brad said.

“You think about it,” said Jim. “If we tell the cops, or whoever, what are they going to think? We have a dead body here, people!”

“Jim?” Dylan asked calmly.

“Wait…” Jim said. “You think they’re going to believe us when we tell them that we have no clue what happened to her? You think they’re going to believe a young girl of twenty two died of natural causes while taking a walk in the woods…if we bury her, we report to the Sherriff’s office a missing woman. We tell them we’ve been trying to search for her, but couldn’t find her. Our own lives are at stake here… also, our futures!” Jim said.

“Are you crazy? I’m not going to take part in this,” said a frantic Dylan.

“I agree with James,” Brad said.

“What?” Katie asked. She looked at him with terror.

“He makes a point. We’ll bury her somewhere deep in the woods. Until they can find her body they can’t prove we are responsible for her death or disappearance. Nothing will happen to us,” said Brad.

“I’m not doing this,” Kate said as she began to walk away.

As she passed James, he turned to her and said, “It’s either we bury Sydney, Kate, or we spend the rest of our lives in jail!”

She stopped walking and turned around looking back towards Brad and James, with Dylan standing in disbelief behind them. She looked into their eyes and then stared at the ground.

Dylan rushed over towards her. “Come on, Kate, you can’t honestly be thinking about going along with this? I mean, we’re innocent. We didn’t do anything. If we go along with this we’ve created more trouble for ourselves than there needs to be.”

Katie looked at him, then glanced at James, who gave her a nodding gesture. Katie sighed and said, “All right.”

Distraught, Dylan stood in disbelief and watched James grab two shovels from the nearby shed. James walked over towards Dylan, with both shovels in hand.

“Are you in? I’m not being put away for a crime I didn’t commit. This is the only way this can be done, don’t you see? Are you in or are you out?” James said, with a shovel extended to Dylan.

Dylan looked at Jim with disgust, but his greatest fault was not being able to stand up for himself. In a cowardly move, he grabbed the shovel from James and followed behind. James lifted Sydney’s body.

“Dylan, give me a hand,” James said.

Dylan handed his shovel to Brad and picked up Sydney by her feet. Carefully handling her body up steep hills and through thick patches of trees and shrubs, they found a spot and piled dirt and leaves on top of the final resting place for the mysterious disappearance of Sydney Porter. Dylan disbanded himself from the others. He unconsciously walked to wherever his feet were taking him, as his mind had already wandered off—the rest of him was trying to catch up.

Their faces were covered in dirt, nails blackened from the mud. Black circles formed around their eyes, tired and exhausted from the grueling, bitter night. Brad wiped the sweat beads from his forehead, glanced behind him and noticed Dylan was gone.

“Guys, where’s Dylan,” he said.

“I don’t know…Brad,” said Katie.

No sign of him anywhere. Brad volunteered to go look for him.

As the sun began to rise, turning the sky into a beautiful blood orange, Dylan was standing on a rocky, foliage-infested mountain ledge looking over towards the horizon. Birds flew overhead as Dylan looked on, lost in the abyss of the magnificent fall landscape of red and yellow leaves covering trees.

“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” Brad asked, startling Dylan.

Dylan looked at him then looked back into the horizon.

“I know how you feel, Dylan. We’re all feeling the same way, but it had to be done. Deep down you knew it was the right decision or else you wouldn’t have agreed to go along with it,” Brad said.

Dylan, upset, ignoring the conversation, continued tugging away at the leaves.

“Come on, man, talk to me,” Brad said.

Dylan threw down the branch in his hands, turned around, and just as he was about to speak, Dylan heard a rustling noise nearby.

“Ssshhh, listen. Do you hear that?”

“Yeah,” said Brad, and then Dylan saw a shadow move behind Brad.

“What was that?” Dylan said quietly.

In the distance, a hooded and masked figure appeared. He was about six-foot-three, lanky. Dylan’s heart rate increased. The mask was pure white; it looked like one of those masks you see at a Greek play, the tragic ones. As the mysterious man crept closer he removed a bowie knife from its sheath latched on to his belt. Before Brad had time to turn around to see what caused such terror in Dylan’s eyes, the hooded figure’s right arm pulled back at a forty-five degree angle, his fist clenched tight with the knife in hand and plunged it into the lower end of Brad’s back.

As Brad fell to his knees, and then fell forward, flat onto his stomach lying still, the ivory colored masked man wiped the blood drenched blade and ran after Dylan. Running frantically in fear, not seeing where he was going, Dylan stopped himself before he fell into a ravine. Trapped, hyperventilating and with nowhere to go, Dylan looked around trying to find something to delay his demise. The cracking of a branch is heard in the distance. The mysterious hooded figure approached. Dylan glanced over his shoulder and jerked his head around, but nothing was there.

All of a sudden everything became familiar again—the woods widened and he found himself standing in the middle of a thick wooded area. Circling around, keeping his awareness sharp, his heart rate increased. Caught by surprise, the masked maniac lunged at Dylan knocking him to the ground, cocking his arm back with his knife’s point glaring at Dylan in the eye Dylan tried to grab a rock just a few inches shy of his fingertips. The man’s knee pinned Dylan down on his chest, but before the blade’s point reached the chest cavity of Dylan Porter, Dylan found the strength and will to reach the rock and slammed it across the masked figure’s temple.

Dylan escaped and made his way back towards Katie and James. Katie was sitting on the front steps of the house. She heard Dylan scream and she stood up.

“Katie, we have to get the hell out of here, now! Get Jim!” Dylan cried.

“He’s not here, Dylan. What is going on,” she says.

“What do you mean he’s not here…where’d he go?” Dylan asked.

“He went to go look for you and Brad about a half hour ago. Dylan, what’s going on?”

“You’re telling me Jim is out in those woods? There’s something out there. I don’t know what it is or who it is but all I know is that I have a theory as to what happened to Sydney, and now it killed Brad!”

Katie’s face becomes puzzled.

“Dylan, you sound like a crazy person. What do you mean it got Brad? What are you trying to say, that there’s some psychopath killer on the loose out here?”

Dylan grabbed Katie’s shoulders and shook her. “You think this is a joke? I’m not playing games, Katie, this is serious!”

Katie turned around to see Jim in the distance. “Oh my God, Jim!”

Jim is stumbling towards the house holding his hand over the left side of his head. Blood streamed through his fingers.

“Jim, what happened?” Katie asked.

“Brad’s dead. I saw his body about two or three miles from here. I got scared so I ran back here to see if you guys were okay. Then I lost my footing and I fell face first on a stone sticking up from the ground. I don’t know what’s out there or what’s going on, but we need to find help and get the hell out of here,” Jim said.

Katie, trying to mesh everything together, remained confused, speechless.

“I don’t know what is out there, James, but I saw the son of a bitch. I saw him kill Brad and he almost killed me. I think that thing is also the reason Sydney is dead, but we have to get out of here and get you to a hospital…but how?” Dylan said.

As Katie tried to patch up Jim, Dylan looked closely at James; he glanced down at the forest floor and pondered for a moment. He looked back up and felt his heart drop into the pit of his stomach. He rushed over to Katie and pulls her away quickly.

“Katie, get the hell away from him!”

“Dylan!” Katie yelled.

Dylan gave James a quick blow to his face.

“You sick son of a bitch! You bastard! You killed Sydney!”

Katie tried to pull Dylan off of Jim. “Dylan, stop,” she cried.

“Are you crazy? What the hell is the matter with you?” Jim said.

“You’re him!” Dylan said.

“I’m who? What the fuck, are you insane, Dylan?” Jim replied.

“Dylan, I think you’re a little on edge and you need to calm down. Think about what you’re saying here? Dylan, Jim was with me up until he went looking for you,” Katie said.

“Exactly, he left you! Then he came after me and Brad,” Dylan replied.

“Dylan that just doesn’t make sense. You need to relax,” Katie suggested.

“Dylan, come on, man, I’m not like that. What would be my motive,” Jim said.

“I don’t know, why don’t you tell me? I’m sure you have one.” Dylan sneered.

“Dylan!” Katie quickly said, before she was interrupted.

“Kate, when I was attacked I hit that asshole square across the head with a rock, in the same exact spot where Jim’s cut is. It’s not weird to you that moments after I come to you, Jim follows behind with a cut to his head,” Dylan replied.

Kate looked at Jim and slowly inched away from him in horror.

“You guys, this is insane. Katie, baby, you don’t really believe I’d kill someone. do you?”

“I don’t…” Katie paused.

She saw the hooded man Dylan described to her creep out from the trees in the background. He rushed towards James and slammed him, head first into the car door’s window, shattering the glass and then tossing James aside. The man stared at Dylan and Katie.

“Katie, get in the house. Lock all the doors, now!” Dylan shouted.

“I’m not leaving you!” Kate pleaded.

“Katie, just do it!” Dylan screamed.

As the masked man came towards them, James tackled him to the ground.

“Run!” James hollered.

Dylan and Katie ran, then Dylan’s turned around to help. Katie, well ahead, realized Dylan had gone back.

Dylan ran towards James, grabbing a thick branch lying on the ground and swung it across the masked man’s back, bringing him to his knees in pain. Again, Dylan held the branch, gripping it tightly in his fists, cocking it back like a baseball bat. James removed the knife from the man’s sheath, lifted off his hood, tore off the mask and…

Dylan dropped the branch to the ground in shock. Jim fell. backwards. A tattered, beaten, bruised familiar face was staring right back into the eyes of Dylan. Those stories you hear of people encountering ghosts or “communicating” with lost ones who had passed on, had just become a reality for Dylan, James and Katie.

“Br…Brad,” Dylan quietly muttered under his breath. “Brad, you killed Sydney.”

Brad slowly got up and smiled, then glared at the pair of them.

“Dylan.” James said.

“Where’s Katie?” A car pulled up with its high-beams blinding the eyes of Jim and Dylan. It stopped just before Dylan’s feet. The car turned off and a small, thin man came out with a dark hooded sweatshirt and jeans. He slammed the driver side door, went to open the back door and a faint scream iwa heard from inside the car. He pulled Katie out of the car by her hair and threw her to the ground. She is battered, cut and in tears.

“Oh my God, Katie,” James said.

“Don’t go near her. Don’t touch her!” Brad shouted.

“You sick son of a…” Dylan paused.

“I’d listen to him, Dylan, if I were you.” The man from the car shouted.

The man from the car removed his hood.

“Zach?” James said.

Zach, looking slightly disheartened, replied “Yeah.”

“How are you alive? I saw that thing kill you.” Dylan said.

“A few bottles of cheap movie blood. It helps the credibility along a bit,” Brad uttered.

Zach pulled the mask out from the front pocket of his hooded sweatshirt and held it up.

“Surprise!” Zach said.

“So, it was both of you? Why?” Dylan asked.

“Why? Why!” Brad shouted. “You hear that, Zach. I think they want a motive?” Brad said slyly.

Their dialogue came off as a sarcastic, demented humor only they received pleasure from.

“Did Buffalo Bill have a motive for skinning people? Did Norman Bates have a motive for murdering people? Don’t think so! You see, gentlemen, it’s a lot more frightening if there is no motive, “ Brad said.

“You’re sick! Both of you,” Katie said.

Brad turned his head quickly and gave her a sneer.

“We prefer the term psychotic.” Zach then laughed.

“But the main reason we’re all here at this very moment is to ensure I get what I came for,” Brad said.

“Which is what?” James asked.

“Money! Simple as that. Isn’t it always about money? The safe in the cellar of this house has something in it I need to get. That is the first and only reason I came on this trip,” Brad replied.

“How are you going to get it?” Dylan asked.

“Oh, trust me, these plans have been in effect for months now,. Every little detail has been taken into account for this moment. I have it all worked out. Jimmy here has been my guinea pig since day one.”

“What?” Jim said.

“I’m on my way to the top, Jimmy! I’m trying to live well out on my own, maybe save a little face, give back to the community or give to those in need of a little money. But I can’t reach the top without money, and since funding is a little low, I figured I’d need help, and that you should come along, the son of Thomas Dresher, the richest lawyer in the Northwest. Then I really got to thinking, if I become friends with the son, I could get close to the father. Build a little trust, take a few notes, tap in a few phone conversations, jot down a few numbers…patience is a virtue.” Brad sneered.

“It was fun,” Zach said.

“But why did you kill Sydney?” Dylan asked.

“She was in on it too, but then she got scared—she panicked. She was going to bail. I couldn’t risk her last-second stage fright to cost me everything I’ve worked for. It was a risk I wasn’t willing to take. But offer a little money to people, make a few promises, it’s amazing what people will do. How’s that for a motive,” Brad said.

“You’ll never get away this?” James said.

“Yeah? Tell that to the cops when they uncover Sydney’s poor body with your finger prints all over them…Zach was never here. I didn’t touch her; I just helped dig her ditch. Then, oh boy, I can’t wait for you to hear this part. The trauma caused to Dylan by disposing of the body proved to be too much for him to handle, he goes crazy, kills his friends in a moment of a psychotic break down.”

Zach was placing a bowie knife with its handle wrapped in a towel in Dylan’s hands.

Brad continued, “ Dylan leaves us for dead, becomes hysterical by not being able to deal with the consequences of his own actions, then shoots himself under the chin.” Brad pulls out a gun from the back of his pants. “What do you think about that ending?”

James looked at him in fear and disgust, and did nothing but look to his feet and become apprehensive. Both Zach and Brad walked over towards Dylan. Zach rotated the blade of the knife back and forth inches away from Dylan’s face.

“How about you first,” Zach suggested.

Suddenly Zach’s car engine roared and lurches into drive at full speed. The tires stall momentarily, leaving behind a track of white dust, and then it ran over Zach. Distracted and unaware, Dylan tackled Brad to the ground. As the two tussle on the ground, outside of the house, Katie noticed the car phone in Zach’s car. She dialed nine-one-one and is connected through.

“Nine-one-one, what’s your emergency?” The Operator asked.

“Hello?” Katie said frantically. “We’re at the mountain house of Thomas Dresher, about five miles east of interstate 94…”

Brad knocked-out Dylan. He walked towards the car. In mid-sentence, Katie is plucked from the car and thrown against James’ Jeep. The phone line disconnected. James rusheed over to help Kate, but was brought down by a conscious Zach. Struggling to break free of Zach, James elbowed him in the side for release, and he rushed towards Brad. James was shoulder, by the gun Brad had kept in the back of his jeans, and he immediately plummets to the ground. Katie took off down the dirt road; Brad and Zach took off after her. While running, Brad and Zach stopped, a faint sound of sirens are heard in the distance.

“Shit, man, what do we do?” Zach asked.

Brad looked at him, placed the barrel of the gun to his forehead.

“We don’t do anything.” Brad replied, and killed him.

“Katie, you bitch! Where are you?” Brad screamed as he tossed the mask into the lake.

Brad noticed under the light in the back of the house, that Katie has was under it as she passed into the house. Brad sprinted up the hill, into the house with no sign of Katie anywhere. He walks passed a lifeless James and an unconscious Dylan. Trying to find any signs of movement, he can’t see Katie, who appeared out of nowhere wearing the mask. She hit Brad over the head with a shovel. She removes the mask from her face and then glanced down; she heard Dylan and rushed to his side.

“Jesus, Dylan! Are you okay?” Katie asked.

“Yeah, I think so. Where’s…” before Dylan could finish his sentence it was answered once he surveyed what was in front of him.

As she helped Dylan up, Brad was trying t stand, gun in hand. He pointed it towards Katie and Dylan. Brad pulled the trigger and Katie and Dylan both closed their eyes. Katie screamed then opened one eye, seeing Brad had fallen to the ground—a sheriff, by the name of Jerry Seabrook, shot Brad in the back through the chest.

“You kids all right?” Seabrook asked.

Moments later a sea of patrol cars and a few ambulance trucks took over the scene. James was put onto a stretcher and was taken to the closest E.R. He later died of complications. As for Katie and Dylan, they were put into the back of separate squad cars and driven to the station for questioning. Although the stories were at first taken as barbaric, they officially deemed the kids clinically insane and that the trauma they endured ultimately caused their visions and scenes to become a reality in their minds. The parents of both Brad and Zach were in shock and disbelief from what they had heard, especially Mrs. Greenwood, who was found dead about a month later with a bottle of rat poison lying next to her on the bathroom floor.

Mr. Greenwood found her and has since been hospitalized. As for Mr. Dresher, he declined to comment on the situation and has since moved to North Dakota. Three years later, after many tests, studies and pills had been given to Dylan. He couldn’t take the pain anymore; he hung himself in his cell the next evening on April 18, 1994 using sheets from his bed. As for me, I’ve learned to live and fight through the horrid memories. I know every day is going to be a challenge, but eventually I’m going to get up, walk out of here refreshed and renewed, ready to retake-on the world and have a clear and open mind.

“Well, Katie, you’re journals are exceptionally detailed, a little graphic, but I guess I can understand why you feel the need to react this way. You have experienced something quite traumatic in your life. But you know it was all just a really bad dream, right? And dreams can’t hurt you…can they?” Doctor Rebecca Steinbeck said.

Katie looked up looking pale, frail and in disarray, sitting in a steel chair with a white gown on.

“Yeah, it was just a dream,” Katie said with a subtle sarcastic tone.

With a look of frustration on Doctor Steinbeck’s face, she replied very calmly, “Look, you and Sydney were the only two at that mountain house, there was no man. So do you want to tell me what happened? Katie, none of these people and their families exist. The masked man…it’s all a fiction you’ve turned into a reality. But as for Sydney, eventually they’ll find her body. They’re going to tie her to you and they will put you away. The only way these dreams are going to disappear is if you start telling me the truth.”

Looking disappointed, Doctor Steinbeck got up from the table, locked the door behind her leaving Katie secluded in a room. The doctor stared at Katie through the window one last time then walked down the hall. Katie looked back up stared at the door, tears the paper into pieces and throws them in the trash can. She begins to hear voices in her head.

“Shut up Brad!” Katie screamed.

She gripped her hair tightly and began to scream. She turned and looked into the direction of her bed and stared at the white sheets that lay on top.

—Greg Buccafuri