The itch of the school cardigan on her arms almost made her want to retch. Feeling it twist as she gripped it in her hands she no longer paid attention to the rambling teacher at the black board, something about how new laws effect us and the like – it didn't bother her. The paper in front of her held no interest for her either and the scribbles of butterflies and cracked walls showed her desperation of freedom.

"Mercy?" The clock had started to irritate her, ticking by incessantly like it wanted her to be obvious of the time, "Mercy?" Why did she even have to be here? She didn't choose law by choice, "Mercy!". Her head shot up and noticed the teacher looking at her sharply.

"Mercy, may you please be a little more alert in my lesson!" The teacher huffed "Honestly child is like teaching the dead" She heard a few titters from either side of her. Bloody girls. The lesson continued and she attempted to listen although taking it in was another matter. A bell chimed to sound the end of the lesson and the scraping and shuffling of movement echoed around her, everything always seemed in fast forward. She slung her satchel strap on her bag and hooked an arm round a heavily filled folder and began walking to the door,

"Mercy?" The teacher's voice shrilled from behind her, she turned her eyes before her head and looked to the stuffy lady, "Is something the matter?" The lady genuinely looked concerned,

"No miss" She replied, she stayed still awaiting another question,

"You are so unlike the other girls dear" Was that an insult or an observation? Mercy blinked, "You know that we teachers aren't monsters, we are people to confide in" the teacher looked her in the eye, she merely blinked again,

"Yes miss, everything's fine miss" she looked down, "Can I go miss?" the teacher huffed and nodded as if exhausted. She exited the door, the corridors smelled like old varnish and new shoes. She reached her hand into her pocket and switched her mp3 on; tunes began to play into her head, Morrissette. It was the only time she really did smile.

Mercy Mae Connolly, a seventeen year old student at a school for girls in Ireland's green and pleasant land. There was little much else to tell. Mercy's mother had died when she was a child, a sob story that she really didn't find upsetting because she'd been too young. Her father was rarely at home, a business man that spent more time with his money than his daughter – that suited her fine. Other things had happened, some of them dark things but she didn't talk about them. Nobody would really want to listen anyway, they wouldn't believe her. In truth what Miss had said was very true for her – she was unlike other girls but again it suited her just fine. She'd never really aspired to be like somebody else.

In actuality Mercy was anything but depressed, despite her lack of social interaction and being classed as 'weird' at school those things didn't bother her. In her own unique way Mercy was happy and at peace with her life. Why others pitied her was beyond her, she was never really bullied, people would pick out weird things about her like the scar that ran from mid thigh to her collar bone – p.e lessons were always interesting. But it didn't phase her. Mercy was a child of her own creation.

It was getting dark as she walked home, a chill ran up her legs and she sped her pace up a little to keep warm. Mercy lived in a little cottage in the village of Slane, a peaceful place that rarely saw excitement except for some of its famous places being bombarded by tourists at certain times in the year. Her home was near the centre of the village, most people knew her because of her 'traumatic' childhood and the old dears of the village would always be overly nice to her. She put up with it, it was because they cared for her of course.

Nothing much scared Mercy, she'd never really had reason to be scared but one place always held a sense of dread for her. A place that she had to go through to get home and on winter days such as this when the darkness came much sooner it was almost intolerable – the graveyard. She stood at the gates of the familiar place, smelling the rust of the cast iron and upturned earth. She gripped her bag tighter before resuming a quick pace through the disturbing area the feeling of someone following her always increased here.

She had gotten about halfway before she thought that the footsteps her imagination created felt a lot more lifelike than usual. He heart beat increased as a step came out of place with her own and she could swear she heard someone clearing their throat. She gulped and breathed in invisible courage before turning around; she opened her eyes – nothing. She looked about her and hated her imagination,

"H-hello?... god I'm talking to nothing..." She scolded herself. She turned and began to walk again and her imagination continued on with its footsteps. She arrived at the other end of graveyard, a sigh of relief escaping her lips before she crossed the road. A light above her porch shone its greeting as she fumbled in her pocket for her keys, unaware of a shadow behind her until a large hand slammed into the door at her side. She screamed before turning round to be met with two harsh eyes and bad breath.

"Home alone eh?" The large man smirked at her as she shivered visibly, "Well?"

"N-no!" she blurted out, "Dads home" she felt like she was hyperventilating. The man shook his head,

"Lying little bitch I know no one's home!" he slammed his fist against the door again and she yelped, feeling spittle land on her face, "Open the door!" she nodded and shaking as she got her keys in the door, she opened the door and fell to the floor, the large man stepped over her with little care. She stared at him clinging a hand to her chest,

"Where is that bitch!" He yelled, stomping through the house, he came back into the hallway and glared at Mercy, "Where's that slut you call your mother!" he growled, Mercy stared with a mix of fear and confusion,

"S-she's dead" she mumbled, the man roared and grabbed her by the throat,

"Speak up you little whore!" He shook her making her head spin,

"She's dead!" she screamed, noticing the expression of surprise on the intruders face. The man was temporarily dumfounded by the response. He shouted something and threw Mercy at the wall. She gasped and fell against the wall winded. Her eyes blurred and she heard things being thrown and moved with force, thumps on the floor as the large man stomped about her home. She tried to lift herself, feeling a pain in her head that pulsed with her heartbeat. She held her palm against the wall, feeling a burning heat encompassing her as she attempted to get to the door; she reached the frame just as the man reached the landing,

"You're staying here!" He boomed from the stairs, Mercy looked back and screamed, shooting out the door as fast as her legs could carry her. She ran to the cemetery, feeling cold immediately despite her panic and the hurt in her head. She heard the man behind her, grunting to keep up despite the evident difference in weight. Suddenly she felt something hit the back of her neck, a brick? Her eyes widened at the pain as something snapped, she fell to the floor her eyes still gaping as her brain tried to register what had happened. Everything was muffled but she still heard the panting as the man came up behind her, sitting on her legs and gripping her neck.

"Your dead body will be a lovely present for mummy" he growled, squeezing and suffocating her. She squirmed underneath him attempting to escape, just wanting him to go away – she didn't even know who he was. The pain in her head was getting bigger she wanted everything to go away! She felt he eyes closed and tried to imagine being somewhere else, she wanted this man to get off! Suddenly she felt the man's hand almost ripped off her throat and she breathed in precious air frantically. She got to her hands and knee's suddenly aware of strangled screaming from behind her she turned and fell back at the sight before her.

The intruder was dangling by his neck from deep red tendrils that dripped a thick liquid not unlike blood – the air smelled like death. More tendrils wrapped about the man's thick wrists and legs, tensing and relaxing like a heartbeat. Her heartbeat. The man glared down at her in fear and confusion as the thing torturously suffocated him. A word laced her lips but her mind reeled in the duality of saying it. She dared to speak,

"Die..." the word made the tendrils shiver and immediately they twisted, the man gave a horrific scream before his neck was broken in a sickening snap. The screaming stopped but the tendrils continued, squeezing the limbs of the corpse until they were crushed, blood dripping to the floor dangerously close to Mercy. She stared in horror as the tendrils seemed to play with the body.

"s-stop!" she gasped, the tendrils stopped, the body falling to the ground with a heavy squelch. She grimaced and looked back up to the many tendrils as they almost danced, gradually they shrank back down into the ground like giant worms, the ground rumbled as they moved below. Mercy sat dumbstruck, her eyes moving down to the bloody flesh before her, she stood her legs shaking beneath her.

Her eyes then moved around her, silence, except for the night time insects and... groaning? She snapped her head to the direction the groaning was coming from, she felt like she was in some kind of horror movie. A grotesque form made its way up from one of the holes, she screamed at the image of a half rotten corpse its hollow sockets fixed on her. Her fear spurred her as she shot up and ran, hearing more scrabbling and movement from the other holes. She saw her home, the door still open and the porch light on. She got to the door and slammed it shut, the noises of voices and screams in her head. What had happened, one minute she was walking home and then this happened! Her head still hurt, she felt like the entire house was shaking, she felt herself bleeding and pain wracked her body. She jumped forward from the door as she heard something like nails scratching from the other side; it was 'them',

"Leave me alone!" She screamed, falling to the stairs. What did they want with her? The door suddenly started banging, fists pounding on the doors wanting to get in. She ran upstairs, away from the door and shut her own bedroom door. Her room was torn apart, glass and broken china dolls that she had lovingly collected were strewn about the place, she screamed in anger and kicked the pieces her feet cut from the sharp edges. A burst from downstairs signalled the breaking of the front door, she gasped searching for a hiding place.

"I will protect you..." a voice entered her head, she stood flat against the wall, her hands clinging to the wallpaper, "be at peace..." the voice came to her again and she breathed calmly, her eyes closed she felt her hands become sticky and the sound of cracking echoed from either side of her. The glass and broken porcelain around her began to shake, skimming across the floor and surrounding her as she became cornered. The walls cracked and dark red vines sprouted from beneath the wallpaper, wrapped around her hands and clinging to her, "They do not understand why you have awakened them" Mercy opened her eyes to see half rotten bodies slowly melt before her, their eyes forever gazing, "We will help you" The voices seemed to echo "You have seen so much pain, we will heal you".

Mercy just stared, absorbed by what was happening. The shards were fluttering around like butterflies and moths – the glass suddenly becoming just that, one skimmed past and cut her cheek. The limbs, bones and organs of dead bodies wound into thin vines, encompassing the room and floor,

"W-why?" was all she could whisper,

"You did this" the voice responded, Mercy slid down the wall, her hands still wound within the red vines "You can do so much more, what this world has done to you, you can repay it tenfold". Other voices played in her head, events, laughter and crying "No one else will hurt you".