This was originally going to be a oneshot, but it kept getting longer, so instead it's gonna be three short little chapters. Hope you guys like, please review!

Disclaimer: I do not own Gatlin, Hemingford, He Who Walks Behind the Rows, etc. I do, however, own the plot and any characters that you don't recognize...but I don't really want them. You can have them, if you want, but watch out for Rose—she bites.

This all takes place several years before the massacre, just so you know.


Seven years ago, on a blisteringly hot day in the middle of August, Micheal Ivers killed his little sister. Well, he didn't actually physically kill her, but he sure as hell felt like he did. It had been one of those endless, painfully boring summer days that Gatlin seemed to specialize in, but for once Micheal wasn't bored. No, today Micheal's friend Malachi had brought over some of the highly interesting materials that he had confiscated from his older brother's room.

When Micheal looked back, it seemed that the whole day had a strange, surreal fog clouding it, like a dream that couldn't have possibly ever really happened. He remembered the way the sun filtered through the dusty, curtain-less window of his room, flaring off of Malachi's crimson hair and casting a square of light on the warped, wooden floor. He remembered the dull bang of his heart as he listened tensely for the rumble of gravel that would signify his mother's return from the store. He remembered the split second of pure, abject terror as the door of his room swung open with a sharp squeak of protesting hinges, and a childish voice whined,

"Mikey, I'm hungry! Can you make me a peanut butter and jelly sandw--"

The twelve-year-olds froze like deer in headlights as the door opened fully, revealing Micheal's younger sister Rose, who stopped mid-request as she processed the scene before her. Her already huge gray-blue eyes widened even further before taking on a sort of malevolent glee. Then, Micheal's stomach sunk when his sister uttered the words most universally feared and hated by every older sibling in existence:

"I'm telling!" Then the child shot from the room, short brown bob flying about her face as she ran.

"Oh no you don't!" Micheal yelled, spitting out the still smoking joint and jumping up from the floor to chase his sibling.

Rose made it all the way to the kitchen before her brother caught up with her and tackled her to the ground. Just now, it didn't matter to Micheal that Rose was just a little kid, or that his mother could come home at any moment, or that Malachi was still waiting up in his room with no clue as to what to do. No, all that mattered right now to Micheal was stopping Rose by any means necessary.

"Get off me!" The six-year-old cried, squirming ineffectually while Micheal pinned her down.

"Where do you think you're going, huh?" Micheal demanded, finding a perverse enjoyment in his sister's fear-filled look.

"To tell mom!" Rose declared as she continued to wriggle about, looking everywhere but Micheal's eyes.

"Oh yeah, you little tattle-tale?" Micheal tightened his hold on his sister's wrists. Some part of him knew that he was being cruel and even felt bad about it, but he couldn't seem to stop himself. Rose didn't answer, but tears had started leaking from her tightly closed eyes, falling like shattered glass on the dull kitchen tile. Micheal gave her a disgusted look, "Oh, is the little baby gonna cry?" He mocked, enjoying how much power he held in this situation.

"Mikey, you're hurting me!" Rose ignored the rhetorical question, "Where's mom?"

"At the store. And what are you going to do about it, crybaby?"

Rose was sobbing too hard to answer now, and suddenly all of the feelings of triumph disappeared, and Micheal just felt crummy inside. The twelve-year-old let go, stood up, and backed away, now wanting nothing more than to get as far away from the kitchen as possible. Realizing that she was free, Rose scrabbled up from the floor and darted for the door. Once her hand was safely on the handle, she gave Micheal a wary look before sniffling. The tears were still streaking down her little round face.

"I'm gonna make you sorry for this!" Rose yelled at Micheal, who couldn't seem to look straight at her anymore, "Just you wait! One day, you're gonna be really, really sorry!"

And with that, she was gone, off to find her mother. Micheal didn't care.

About an hour later, Micheal's mom came home, but Rose wasn't with her. Rose's bike was gone, but she wasn't anywhere around town or with any of her friends. Nearly everybody in Gatlin abandoned everything to look for the child, spending every waking hour with increasingly desperate searches, but there was no Rose.

About a week later, Micheal and a group of other searchers found the girl. On another stifling hot day of searching, Micheal had pushed back a stand of corn, only to spy one of Rose's dirty, beat-up mary-janes. A few feet later, they found Rose's over-turned bike, with it's pink and white tassels sprayed out against dirt, then there was Rose's plaid jumper, tangled up in the corn, and then there was Rose, her bruised little body split open, her insides stinking and frying in the hot summer sun.

Micheal's family moved to Hemingford that year, and Micheal would've been happy if he never set eyes on Gatlin again.

The whole incident came as a shock to everybody, and how couldn't it? A little girl, killed brutally by some psycho so close to Hansen's Cafe, where so many other children spend their time. Yes, it certainly shook the little town as no other event ever had. For a while afterward, parents watched their kids a little more closely, and curfews and new rules for child safety were instigated, but after a time nothing else happened, and things quieted down.

Finally, Rose's story could no longer be found in even the back pages of Gatlin's local newspaper, and the whole town seemed to breathe a sigh of relief. Before long, the entire debacle became nothing more than a warning for parents to use on their children ("now be careful, or you might end up like that little Ivers girl.") By August of the next year, the incident had been passed off as a horrible fluke and nearly forgotten; after all, things like that just didn't happen in Gatlin.


The next update should be in a day or two, tell me what you think of the first chapter!