| Back in school, Katie was always the target. Always. Sighing at the memories, Camilla played the taunts over in her head: "Katie is a baby!" It was popular in elementary school because Katie was always so small. "Why don't you go off into a corner and suck your thumb, baby?!" People loved to say that when Katie walked away. In middle school, she was Crazy Katie, or Kate the Irate, because of her uncontrollable and crazy adolescent mood swings. Camilla curled up on a couch with a cup of tea, by the fire, as the wind picked up. I remember the second one always got to her. She'd storm off in a huff and everyone else would all yell taunts about her being so angry she could spit fire like a dragon. Camilla sighed, almost regretfully, at the thought of not standing up for her former best friend, as she gazed at the panoramic picture of her senior class, and saw Kate, hunched in the back, looking as if she wished she were invisible. Those were some tough times, she recalled. Everyone wanted to fit in, but not everyone could. Especially in high school, when people began taking sides, and it became clear: Kate was, and always would be, the scapegoat. Camilla tried not to feel guilty as she justified her behavior for drifting away from her pre-school and kindergarten best friend. "Honestly, though? It wasn't my fault. I did it out of self-preservation, and Kate just made it so easy for everyone else to target her. And I didn't want to be the next target because I said something against Lydia... She was the Mean Queen, and I was Prom Queen! And Homecoming Queen! At least, I became more popular after the taunts started and I drifted apart from Katie" She admitted to herself in shame.
"One day", Kate had said at graduation. "One day, you will all be sorry." Nobody really took her seriously, but Camilla was pretty sure Kate's eyes glowed when she said that- and it wasn't out of pride for being the only valedictorian who also had a 5.0 GPA.
A loud bang snapped Camilla out of her reverie. The window shutters crashed open, and dark clouds billowed in the night, threatening a rainstorm. Thunder rumbled in the distance and she hurriedly closed the windows and their shutters. The fire suddenly extinguished itself and left the room pitch black once she did so.
"Probably the wind," Camilla shrugged and said into the dark, as an unsuccessful attempt to convince herself the flaming abnormality was actually normal.
The roaring escalated, and the fire jumped back to life with a blaze of flames. "This isn't creepy. Not at all." Camilla's uneven voice whispered into the empty room, trying to comfort herself. Narrowing her eyes at the fire, she took the fire iron and poked the logs, a little harder than she had intended. The fire leaped up and she leaped back, dropping the iron. Suddenly, a voice screeched through the room. You will all be sorry! The wind picked up again and the ominous warning echoed around the room. Camilla's eyes widened. "I'd know that scream anywhere." After years of torment and torture, it's hard to forget the voice of the tormentee, especially when she was once your best friend.
A giant black talon smashed its way through the window, sending the shattered shutters' splinters flying through the room. "Remember me?! You helped form my worst nightmare! Now I'm about to become yours!" A voice not unlike Kate's roared through the window, and the talon disappeared, only to be replaced with a glowing yellow eye. Backing away from the window, Camilla grabbed the fire iron for defense. "Oh, I wouldn't do that if I were you." A hind leg smashed the wall in, revealing a creature probably bigger than an Airbus A380 plane.
"What the--" scrambling back, only to almost be hit by the next collapsing wall, a sudden realization hit Camilla: she was stuck. "Kate?!"
"Yes, Camilla" the voice hissed. "It's me, Kate. You are about to pay for all the torture you put me through." A small stream of fire burst from her mouth, engulfing the couch Camilla was previously sitting on, in flames.
It barely missed Camilla.
"Look, if you plan to burn me, just do it now, Kate."
"Oh, no." The voice was silky smooth. Sadistic, almost. "You're going to suffer. Just like I did for all those years." A sharpened talon sliced Camilla's foot, drawing blood. "You'll see."
Camilla swung the fire iron, dropping it when the rod bent and almost hit her, instead of Kate. She jumped away, just in time. "Why me, Kate? Why me?"
"Don't forget, metal melts in heat." Kate hissed, deciding to not answer the question- yet.
"Kate, it didn't have to be-"
"-this way? No, it didn't before. But now, it does." Her giant jaws snapped two inches from Camilla's face, and her scales grazed the bridge of her victim's nose, just cutting it but not quite drawing blood.
Camilla winced. "What in the world are you, anyways?!"
"That doesn't matter, and neither does why I'm here" Kate purred, hooking Camilla with a talon and tossing her up like a rag doll. "Though, if you really must know, it was for doing nothing. You could have said something, all those years you stood by the sidelines, but you didn't. We were friends, once, Camilla. I hope you remember that. I also hope you'll remember THIS!"
Camilla eyes widened as she realized Kate's plan. Her body landed with a sickening thud on Kate's front talon, only to be tossed again, this time, like a baker stretching out pizza dough.
"I hope it was all worth it, Camilla. I really hope all that was worth our friendship."
As the fire consumed her tormentor's body, Kate turned around and flew off, leaving behind the ashes of her scarred past.
Written for April 17's "SCREAMS!!!" . Prompt: I'D KNOW THAT SCREAM ANYWHERE.