The car landed on its roof deep inside the forest with a loud crash. Broken glass sprayed out, both inside the car and around it.

For a while, it was totally quiet. The forest was silent and not even the sound of the owls could be heard. Because of the streetlights that had gone off mysteriously, it was entirely dark.

Hazel whimpered as her eyes slowly opened. She was hung upside down by the seatbelt around her waist. There were a few bloody scratches where the glass had cut her skin and the corner of her left eye was bleeding.

”Momma? ”,she whispered in a teary voice. Her parents were hung upside down and motionless with their hands hanging over their heads and looking bloody.

”Daddy? Momma? ”,she cried out when her parents gave no response. She looked to her side and her gaze fell on the silver music box. The ballerina was broken in half and the upper body was missing. There was blood on one side of the box and tears pooled in her eyes as she tried to reach for it.

Approaching footsteps sounded nearby and she began to cry out for help.

”Help! Help us! ”

The footsteps kept approaching and Hazel knew she had to get out of the car. She needed help. Her parents needed help.

Moving carefully, she unbuckled her seatbelt and crawled out of the seat.

Suddenly she stopped. The footsteps kept approaching but she didn see anyone. On her hands and knees, she looked around the dark forest, trying to see through the dim light of the half-moon. There was no one.

”Hello? Help us please ”,she pleaded softly, terror seizing her throat when a snarl sounded close by. She froze, eyes wide and frightened as the snarls and growls drew closer to the car.

Slowly she raised her eyes upwards and her mouth opened in a silent cry at the creatures before her. It was too horrifying for her and she let out a loud frightful scream.

Hazel jerked awake with a gasp and sat up on the couch. She was in her home, sitting in the living room with her mother.

”Sweety? Are you okay? ”,her mother asked, noticing the way Hazel jerked awake.

Hazel looked towards her mother without a word. The demons were gone. The dark forest and crashed car were gone. It had all been a dream. A vivid dream.

Beside her was the silver music box her father gifted her. She looked down at her dress and she got confused the more. She was still dressed in the pretty pink dress with the matching pink hose and shoes.

Hazel frowned. If it had all been a dream, why had she been dressed in the same clothes? Why had the music box been in her dream? Why had it felt so real?

”Sweety? ”,her mother called again.

Hazel promptly jumped up from the couch and threw herself into her mothers arms.

”I love you so much momma. So so much ”,she said softly, wrapping her little chubby arms around her mothers neck.

”Hazel honey, mommy loves you too ”,her mother said with a light chuckle and gently pushed Hazel away to stare at her face.

”Did something happen baby? ”,she inquired softly.

”It was a horrible dream ”,Hazel said and pouted her lips.

”A dream? Wanna talk about it cupcake? ”,her father asked as he entered the living room with a tray of fruits.

”I don want to ever talk about it ”,Hazel muttered and threw her arms around her fathers neck. ”I love you daddy ”

”Daddy loves you more cupcake ”,her father assured her and dropped a kiss on her fair hair. ”Now dear, don be such a cry baby. Its your birthday remember ”

Hazel pulled back and climbed back into the couch. Her eyes fell on the tray of fruits and she looked up at her parents.

”No cake mommy? ”,she asked softly.

”Sorry honey. Daddy and I couldn afford it. ”,her mother said and went back to slicing the fruits on the tray.

Hazel lowered her eyes and reached beside her for her music box. Maybe the dancing ballerina and the melodious tune would cheer her up.

Her hands froze as she touched the music box. The ballerina was broken in half and the only part left were the tiny porcelain legs lifted in a pirouette. With her heart beating hard in her chest, she turned the box and gasped softly.

There was blood at the side of the box. Just like in her dreams.

”You okay sweety? ”,her mother asked.

”Im okay ”,Hazel answered as calmly as she could while her heart was slamming hard in her chest. Slowly she slid down the couch and made her way to the mirror beside the fridge.

Her reflection stared back at her and she had to gulp down to stop herself from crying out. There were a few bloody scratches on her cheeks and there was a tiny cut at the corner of her left eye. A splotch of dried blood could be seen in the strands of her bright blonde hair.

Different thoughts began to run through her nine year old mind. Had the dream been real? Did they really experience that car crash? The broken music box and the blood stains were proof enough to let her know that it had actually occured.

But if it did, why were her parents acting so calm like nothing happened?

Hazel looked back at them as they both devoured the fruits on the tray. They didn even make an attempt to call her in to join them. It was her ninth birthday after all. What was she to do?

An idea sprung to life instantly in her head. She had an idea.

”Momma ”,she called with a small smile on her lips.

”Yes sweety? ”,her mother answered absentmindedly as she tore into the fruits on the tray.

”Im hungry ”

Hazels mother looked up and she dropped the fruit she held.

”What would you like to eat baby? ”,she inquired as she took Hazels hand in hers and led her to the kitchen.

”Peanut butter sandwich ”,Hazel answered innocently and beamed up at her mother.

”Alright. Lets make the birthday girl something ”,her mother said and carried Hazel, placing her on top one of the high stools in the kitchen.

Hazel quietly sneaked her hand over the counter to the jar where they kept the kitchen utensils. She grabbed a bread knife and hid it in the pocket of her dress.

Silently she watched her mother search through the cabinets and cupboard for peanut butter but there was none. After a while, her mother turned towards her with a smile.

”I don think we have any peanut butter left sweety. How about I make you something else? ”

Hazel shook her head and slid down the stool, holding the knife close to her dress pocket.

”Who are you? And what have you done with my mother? ”,she asked in a calm voice.

Her mother frowned slightly before a full smile bloomed on her face.

”Hazel honey, whats gotten into you? ”,she asked with a smile. ”Im your mother ”

”If you were my mother, you would have known that I am allergic to peanut butter ”,Hazel spoke out while her blue eyes remained trained on the imposter who was impersonating her mother. ”I had peanut butter when I was five, and I was rushed to the hospital ”

Hazels mother chuckled and took a careful step forward.

”Oh you
e right honey. I totally forgot about that ”,she said.

”My mother would never forget something like that, because shes a doctor ”,Hazel cut her short and her hand tightened on the bread knife she concealed in her dress.

The smile on her mothers face was suddenly erased and she glared at Hazel.

”Stop sprouting nonsense child. Im your mother ”

Hazel took two steps backwards and withdrew the bread knife she had been hiding. Raising her hand, she pointed it at the woman standing before her and asked again in a calm voice.

”Who are you? And what have you done with my mother? ”

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