Ariana was born to happy parents with one older brother, all of whom doted over their newest addition and kept her environment warm and loving. She grew up the perfect child: a prim lady for her mother, a tough survivor for her father, and a best friend to her brother. She was the perfect student and the perfect athlete, and by age thirteen she was the most popular girl in attendance at her middle school. She had a best friend and a boy who had a crush on her, and she went out to the forest by her home every evening to watch the stars and paint the scenery. Ariana was, in all forms, the perfect child. So when she asked her father if she and her best friend, Jessica, could go on a camping trip over the weekend just before they turned fourteen, no one could ever imagine the tragedy that would occur.
Camping was nothing new to Ariana. She and her father had been building campfires and sleeping under the stars in their backyard since she was a little girl, and the daily walks that she took increased her skill with the outdoors. At the time of this particular camping trip, her hunting and gathering skills were impeccable; she wielded her crossbow with such confidence that she never bothered to bring food with her into the woods, and she knew where to find all of the best herbs and berries to add a little flavor to the meals she prepared. Jessica and Ariana set out on their trip figuring that nothing could go wrong; and they were right, just until Ariana realized that she hadn’t brought a map, and in the middle of a cold Michigan November, there wasn’t enough wildlife around to hunt down a decent amount of food. The herbs and berries had all been killed by the first frost of the year, and most of the animals had gone into hibernation. The girls wandered lost for three days.
Until, that is, Jessica fainted from exhaustion, hunger, and dehydration. Ariana pitched a tent and wrapped her friend up in a bedroll, struggling to build a fire to keep them both warm. She sat out that night under the stars, and in the silence began to talk to herself. She’d brought along a canvas and some paint, and with her supplies she painted the moon hanging in the fog over her head, the only thing she could see in the darkness of the night. Just as daylight began to approach, she retreated into the tent to sleep.
The following day Ariana set out to find some water. She happened upon a stream and cast her line, pulling in one small bass. Though completely delirious, Jessica welcomed the chance to finally eat and watched as Ariana roasted the fish slowly over the fire that she’d built. Jessica fell asleep in the process, and when Ariana woke her up to give her the first bite of the fish, Jessica groaned and swatted it into the dirt. Infuriated by her friend’s reaction Ariana struck her, slashing her fingernails straight across Jessica’s face. Jessica screamed and weakly retaliated, but Ariana’s rage was peaking; after scrounging this meager amount of food together, Jessica had just ruined it. She hit her friend again, shoving her chest and sending her to the ground. Ariana paused for a moment to lick the blood from her fingernails and, feeling the warmth of the liquid, lost control completely.
Ariana tackled her friend and strangled her until she was unconscious, retrieving her sharp hunting knife from her backpack and starting to saw off her friend’s hands. Roasting them over the fire and chowing down wasn’t enough for the girl, and she sank her knife into Jessica’s throat to cut out the soft flesh that her body seemed to crave.
Once she finished her meal, Ariana packed up her equipment and started hiking. She emerged from the forest half a day later, covered in her friend’s blood and completely dazed and confused. All she could say was “Jessica’s hurt,” and all she wanted was something good to eat; but nothing was satisfying. She couldn’t keep anything normal down, and when she begged for “something more,” no one knew exactly what to give her. The police still hadn’t found Jessica, and Ariana was out of her mind, leaving this case open and bizarre to anyone on the outside looking in. Ariana’s descent into madness became exponential, until the only words she could speak were “Jessica” and some deranged laughter.
By the time the police found Jessica’s body, Ariana was already institutionalized. When they realized what the girl had done to her friend they placed her in solitary confinement with a muzzle on her at all times, and forced her to see a therapist four times a week. She obliged, of course, seeing as she was constantly strapped to a wheelchair and had no choice as to what she did. She sat silently before the therapist as the man asked her questions, occasionally mumbling or saying simply, “Jessica.”
Almost three years later, Ariana is now vocally able, but she is occasionally forced into the specialized muzzle that was made for her after her institutionalization. When a local therapist visited the institution on day, she was told she was being transferred, that she would finally be getting the treatment that would make her fit for a normal life. Hyde brought the girl back to Brookhaven with her, wanting knowing more than the girl to get a little hungry.