The Journal

Our written words leave stronger imprints than we may think. Perhaps they can leave others a clue.

Regan Keeter has been writing professionally for more than eleven years, during which time he has worked as both an author and a journalist. He is a member of the Chicago Writers Association and recently had short stories published in the Chicagoland Journal, Wordhaus, and Dark Dreams. Additionally, he scripted a short film that was released in 2003 and, in 2006, received a grant from the DeKalb Council for the Arts to author a series of stories for children.

The Journal

By: Regan Keeter

Elisa Elstien’s journal was submitted into evidence three days ago. It reads as follows:


October 27, 2012

I put my head close to the closet door early today and I could hear the man inside

breathing. My daddy doesn’t believe he’s there. My mommy hasn’t seen him. I don’t think she

thinks he’s there, either.

I tried to get my mommy to squint and tilt her head like I do when I want to see him. She tried for a second, but I think she only saw my flower dresses and silk shirts.

I don’t think she saw the man’s sunken cheeks or sunken blue eyes.

She just shook her head, glanced back at the closet and told me to stop talking about him. She said that he wasn’t real and to stop talking about him.

After she left the room, I squinted my eyes and tilted my head like I showed her, and I

could see his chapped lips part into a smile, exposing his crooked, yellow teeth.

I think, sometimes, he means to kill me.

I can hear him scratching on the inside of the door all night, but my parents won’t let me sleep with them anymore. They say I’m ten and I need to learn to sleep in my own. But I just lie in bed at night, my covers pulled to my chin, until I can no longer stay awake.

Well, Mommy’s calling me to dinner. Pray for me, dear Diary.


She has not yet been found.

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