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The Secret Diary

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Exhibit 27
Found buried in northwest corner of the abandoned lot at 2613 Sycamore Street

29 September

Dear Other Diary,
If any of my family is reading this, then I'm dead and all is lost.

But, if anyone else is reading this, maybe because of an anonymous tip to the Springfield Police, or maybe you're just a rando who digs up abandoned lots, please listen to me. The family who lives at 2718 Elm Drive is not to be trusted. They will smile and they will seem sooooo normal, but look a little closer, scratch the surface a bit, and you will see that they are just acting normal. The truth is dark, so dark, that you'll probably need to dig up a body before you believe me.

There's plenty of bodies. Check under the new patio of the house. Check the clearing in Newman's Woods. And you'll find a necklace made of human teeth in my mom's jewellery box. She will laugh and tell you they're our baby teeth. But count the teeth and look at the size of them. She is not to be trusted.

All religions have a rite of passage that marks adulthood. While we were getting confirmed in the neighborhood Episcopal church, my brother and I learned the rite of passage for our family. I'll detail everything as well as I can in other entries, but we started with a small sacrifice, just a chicken to appease the forces of Zuul, the Lord and Creator who rules by fear and force. Zuul is an angry God and we soon learned that human sacrifice is his only appeasement.

After we've had a ceremony in Newman's Woods and we're back home, folding our hooded gowns and wiping off our ceremonial paint, Dad will joke that the family who slays together stays together, but my brother and I both know that this isn't really a joke.

Kidnapping Billy Carpenter is what changed things. We got him from 300 miles away because... as Dad always says "We do not defecate where we masticate." He's been in our basement since he disappeared when walking home from the Fourth of July fireworks. The Book of Zuul states that whomever shall raise and fatten a young buck and sacrifice him on the night of Samhain to the glory of Zuul will be granted amazing bounty and their larders will runneth over. (Mom always jokes that it's not lard that she wants, and she's also not joking.)

It was my job to slide his food through the grate in the floor. I was not supposed to look him in the eye. I was not supposed to call him anything but It. I was not supposed to fall in love with him.

Well, that last one was never told to me, but duh, it was obvious. I wasn't allowed to name the goat that I sacrificed in seventh grade. There's no way that should know that the boy's name is William Jonathan Carpenter. That he turned 15 on the 16th of June. That his mom's name is Karen and his dad's name is Ethan, and he has a brother that everyone calls Duke. I shouldn't know that he likes the way I say the word "sorry", like a Canadian, he said, even though I've never been out of this state.

Before you think that I'm being naive, he's different from other people and he hears the crazy that I'm dealing with on a daily basis. He's the only one who has ever looked into my eyes and known that I didn't have a perfect life. That my parents aren't awesome. That everything isn't wonderful.

And yeah, any idiot living in a hole should know that, but every other idiot in that hole has only ever cared about themselves. "Let me out!" "I don't want to die." "I have a fortune in an offshore account. I'll give you all of it if you let me know."

Billy said nothing for days and the first thing he said was "It sucks that they all treat you like a servant. Especially when they're so sing-song-nice about it. They make it impossible for you to say anything to them."

That might have been the moment I fell in love. And soon, we're going to make a break for it. I just have to leave behind enough evidence that the good guys (hope that's you) will make sure my crazy family never finds us.

It's getting late and I've stolen this time from show choir. I am making a plan and we're going to get out of here or die trying.

Here's to hoping.
Samantha Smithson