Eden and Eloise "Ellie" Atkins were twenty-one-year-old dark and twisty souls. Although they were short-statured at only 5'1, their shapes were curvy and voluptuous, their hair dark, thick, long, and wavy, and their piercing, intense blue eyes were difficult for others to look away from. They were considered fascinating subjects to the government not only because they were identical twins, but also because one of them was a Six and the other was not. The girls appeared to be fiercely protective of each other. They spent most of their time together, effortlessly finishing each other's sentences, seemingly privy to each other's inner thoughts. They displayed 'twin telepathy' and then some.

     On a typically hot, dry night in October, they were both heading home from the library when the air seemed to breeze across Eden's skin with an abnormal eeriness, raising the tiny hairs on her arm into standing, upright positions. She stopped dead in her tracks. A rare moment then followed, Ellie took one step further her sister before also pausing. Eden's nose twitched and her chin jerked to the right while her lower neck remained stationary.

     "Something's wrong," Ellie echoed, never wanting to be left out even when her sister was the first one to sense an anomaly. Both pairs of eyes inexplicably shifted to the left toward the old, now-abandoned playground. With no young children left in town, the once-enjoyable and yet simple equipment had been left to rust and rot. Both girls had an exceptional sense of smell and they were used to hints of damp decay around the playground, but a new smell had joined the old. This was a new type of rot, moist and pungent, like a mixture of bad eggs and extremely concentrated human gas.

     Despite the darkness that covered the playground like a blanket of near-invisibility, the girls' precise vision both seemed to catch something strange and out of place to the left of the marry-go-round. Despite the disgusting smell, curiosity mixed with fear provoked them to continue forward forward in unison but the closer they both, the stronger their fear became. The vibe in the air was wrong, disturbing, and new. Eden froze just a moment before her sister, both girls now only about ten feet from the wrong object. Her fingertips tensed and curled inward toward the palm of her hand. "If I didn't know better, I'd say that Jeffries was near," Ellie somewhat mocked, even if her quip was ill-timed. Ellie was not a fan of their assigned Scientist, one of the very few things that her and Eden disagreed on.

    "We would smell his Armani if he was," Eden pointed out, and yet she still couldn't bring herself to move closer to the lump. Ellie's throat tightened. Eden may be a Six, but Ellie was the one who possessed more bravery when facing the unknown. "I don't know this scent," Eden spoke again with a tremble in her voice. Having never been outside of the steel walls of Beechwood, there was rarely ever a smell that the girls hadn't previously experienced and deciphered. Ellie took one more step forward. Eden was behind her now, and even though it was only by a foot or so, it still caused anxiety to raise it's ugly head in the pit of her stomach.

Ellie pressed her full lips together with determination and forced her feet to continue carrying her forward, increasing the distance between herself and her sister while lessening the distance between herself and the mysterious object. The strange and unpleasant smell only grew stronger. Ellie wrinkled her nose as her stomach churned with a wave of nausea. She reached into the pocket of her hoodie and pulled out her phone. She clicked on the flashlight app and shined it in front of her.

Eden's shrill scream burst out of her lungs about a half of a second before Ellie's, but once their screams met in unison, they rang out with the exact same unhinged, ear-piercing pitch. Even though Ellie had already dropped her phone, the image of Zulia Montgomery's crumpled, bloody body would be forever burned into her retinas. Stripped down to her naked, exposed flesh, Zulia's green eyes were eternally open and staring at nothing, but the remnants of fear and humiliation still zapped beneath her pupils as if her body hadn't quite caught up with the death that had already destroyed her conscious mind. Her arms had been stretched above her head at 45 degree angles, but they were rigid, as if this position had only been forced upon the body post-mortem. Her upturned palms had been punctured with something sharp and thick, and coagulated blood had only partially pooled onto the ground from each hand, also suggesting that this had been done post-mortem. But, why?

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