Meredith was aware of the people weeping around her. Yet her eyes were on Adam’s face. She couldn’t find herself to look anywhere else. He looked peaceful, almost as if he was sleeping. But instead of laying in bed, he lay in a shiny dark brown coffin. Dressed in a black suit, his hands crossed over his chest. With a deep sigh escaping her lips, Meredith reached out to touch him. Suddenly, without warning, the coffin lid was slammed shut. The noise reverberated through her ears. With a soft gasp, Meredith snapped back to the present. She looked around, momentarily confused as to where she was. She saw the coffee table, the television. She wasn’t at Adam’s funeral. She was sitting comfortably on the couch in her own home. A frown creased her forehead. Once again, she had lost herself in her thoughts.
She couldn’t help it. Adam was dead. The funeral had come and gone, and now life seemed to be returning back to normal. It was a week ago since the last time she had seen Adam, he was lying peacefully in the coffin that was now six feet underground. Meredith was remembering it, was thinking back to the day of the funeral. Yet another resident of West Valley was dead. The police would have ruled it an accident or a suicide, had it not been for the fact that Adam was stabbed before he was pushed out of the steeple of St-Gregory’s. The caretaker had found his body in the morning, lying on the pavement in a pool of his own blood. He had called the police, who had then notified Adam’s housemates.
Meredith had been sitting at the kitchen table eating breakfast when the phone had rung. She had answered without a second thought. Wendy had been on the other end of the phone. Meredith knew something had happened even before Wendy told her the news. Wendy didn’t sound like her usual cheery self. Her tone was serious as she told Meredith what had happened. It had taken Meredith a few moments to comprehend what Wendy was telling her. Adam had been murdered. He had been killed in cold blood just like everyone else. Meredith didn’t even realise she had dropped the phone until Ruby walked into the kitchen. The other girl had asked what was wrong as she picked up the phone and spoke to Wendy.
Meredith felt like she had been punched in the stomach, as she struggled to breathe. Beside her, Ruby had let out a startled cry as Wendy broke the news to her about Adam. At the time, Meredith didn’t know why, but she remembered suddenly thinking how she and Ruby had both lost their boyfriends. How they had both been murdered. She and Ruby had that in common now. Meredith had gripped the kitchen table as tears stung her eyes. It felt as if there was a block of ice in the pit of her stomach, and the cold was surging through her. Ruby had got off the phone, leading Meredith to sit down in a chair while she got her a glass of water.
Meredith had sipped at the water while Ruby sat down next to her, worry glinting in her dark eyes. Meredith was sad. Sad that Adam was gone forever. But soon, that sadness turned to anger, and shock. Once the funeral was over, Sasha had approached Meredith. She thought Sasha was going to give her sympathies. Instead, the other girl told Meredith she had to talk to her about something important. They had walked over to the front of St-Gregory’s when Sasha had turned to face her. Sasha looked nervous as she took a deep breath and explained to Meredith that Adam was trouble. Before she could ask Sasha why, the other girl had explained about what she had found in the bathroom of her home.
She was talking about the Rohypnol pills. Meredith listened with a frown on her face as Sasha explained what had happened once she had confronted Adam about it. About how defensive, and even violent he had reacted. Sasha was sure he had used them on Meredith. Meredith couldn’t believe what she heard. It made sense. Grim realisation hit her. She remembered, thinking back to the several occasions where she had woken up, not remembering what had happened the night before. It was always happening after she and Adam spent time together. She had thanked Sasha, leaving the funeral feeling sick to her stomach. How could Adam do that to me? How could he drug me? she had thought to herself.
Meredith got to her feet with a sigh. She made her way over to the window, looking out to the sunshine outside. A few days after, Meredith had gone to see her doctor. She had explained how she was suspicious of having the date rape drug in her system. So her doctor had given her a blood test. The result of the test came back the following day. The doctor had called Meredith up and had delivered the bad news. Her suspicions were right. There was still Rohypnol in her system. It would take a few more days before all traces of the drug were gone. Meredith had thanked her doctor, and hung up the phone. Her stomach churned, and covering her mouth with her hand, she had ran into the bathroom.
She had bent down over the toilet bowl, retching. She couldn’t believe Adam had violated her. That he had drugged her for fun. That he had his way with her while she was unconcious. Just the thought of it now, made her stomach turn. If he were still alive, she would have called the police on him. She would have made sure that he was going to be arrested. What a coincidence that he’s dead. she thought to herself as she moved away from the window. She remembered when she had told Ruby. She would never forget the look on her friend’s face. A mixture of shock and anger glinted in Ruby’s eyes. There was nothing they could do about it now. It was best to just put it past them and move on.
Yet Meredith couldn’t help but feel as if she was to blame. She knew Adam was a womanizer. Yet he seemed to genuinely like her, and she had decided to give him a chance. Look how that bit you in the ass. she thought to herself with a slight scoff escaping her lips. Even though Adam had a reputation around town, she would have never guessed that he would have done something that despicable. She should have never trusted him. She should have never agreed to go out with him in the first place. Maybe it was because he was the first guy to pay attention to her in a long while. Guys mostly only saw her as a friend. One time, she had asked why, and didn’t like the answer she received.
She was too plain, the guy had told her. She was also not very interesting. That was the last thing any girl wanted to hear. That they were likeable to be friends with, but boring. She couldn’t help it if nothing interesting happened to her. But what about now, was she interesting enough? She lived in West Valley, where people seemed to be getting murdered every week. And she was one of the townspeople that was still alive. Hopefully I’ll be alive for a long time. she thought to herself with a frown creasing her pretty face. People she knew, some of which she considered her friends, were dropping like flies around her. She couldn’t help but wonder who would be next.
She shook those thoughts away as the front door opened. Meredith turned to see Ruby coming into the house. She noticed her friend looked much better than she had in a while. Ruby was coping with Jeremy’s death. She wasn’t always obsessing about it anymore, she was trying to get on with her life. Ruby closed the front door, putting her purse down. She looked over at Meredith with a smile as she walked across the living room floor.
“How’s Gwen?” Meredith asked.
“She’s good! She asked about you.” Ruby explained.
“She did?” Meredith replied, arching an eyebrow in curiosity.
“She wanted to know why you didn’t come join us.” Ruby explained to her friend.
Meredith shrugged. Ruby and Gwen had gone to the cafe for a late breakfast and coffee. “I wasn’t in the mood for cappucino.” Meredith told Ruby.
Ruby chuckled in reply. “You know they serve more than just coffee, right?” she told Meredith.
Meredith nodded. “I’ll come next time, I promise.” she replied.
“Gwen also wanted to know how you were doing with the whole….Adam thing.” Ruby explained.
“Did you tell her I was fine? Because I am.” Meredith replied.
Ruby nodded. “I told her.” she said.
“Isn’t it funny that all three of our guys are gone?” Meredith pointed out.
“Well Marco left town. It’s not the same as Jeremy and Adam.” Ruby reminded her. “They’re never coming back.” she said, looking down at the floor.
“I just mean Gwen and I should make a I-Hate-Men club.” Meredith replied. Suddenly, an idea sprang to her mind. “I know what I’m going to do!” she told her friend.
“What?” Ruby asked curiously.
“I’m going to volunteer at the woman’s shelter!” Meredith explained, excitement glinting in her eyes.
Ruby thought about it for a moment. A smile spread on her lips. “That’s a great idea!” she told Meredith.
Meredith hurried for the phone. “I know just the person to call. Stephanie Workman, she’ll tell me what the exact procedure is.” she said as she picked up the phone and dialed the number.
Silence except for the gentle lapping of the water in the pool. The backdoor of the house was suddenly pulled open, a figure stepping out into the sunshine of the backyard. It was Fallon. She closed the door behind her as she made her way across the back patio. Her heels clicking against the pavement as she did so. It had been a quiet morning for her. By the time she had gotten out of bed, Naomi and Blake were already gone. She had the whole house to herself. She was fine with that. She had breakfast before she jumped into the shower. Once she was out and dressed, she had gone for a walk around the neighbourhood. She had run into Hayley, and they had spent a few minutes catching up on the street corner.
After saying goodbye, Fallon had continued on with her walk. Soon, she had found herself standing in front of Darcy’s house. She had gone up to the door and knocked. No answer. She assumed Darcy was at work, and Campbell was not home. It had been a few days since Fallon had spoke to Darcy. Ever since she had been attacked, Fallon had gone to spend time with her friend. Darcy was completely healed, with a fresh pink scar on her stomach as an ugly reminder as to what had happened. But lately, something seemed to be bothering Darcy. She was barely her usual cheery self. She seemed somber, as if there was a great weight on her shoulders. Fallon had asked her if something was wrong, but Darcy had said everything was fine, and had changed the subject.
Fallon hadn’t asked again. She assumed Darcy would tell her what was troubling her when she was ready. Now, it was a few days later. Fallon was starting to worry about her friend. They were pretty close, and they talked every day. That’s why she found it strange that she hadn’t heard from Darcy in the past two days. Fallon was planning on heading over to Darcy’s store, but first returned home to use the bathroom. That’s when she had found herself wandering out of the house and into the backyard. There was a light breeze that felt good against Fallon’s bare skin. She listened to the water lapping against the side of the pool. The neighbourhood was quiet. A lot of people were either at work, or school.
I hope Darcy’s okay. Fallon thought to herself as she headed back to the backdoor. She pulled it open, entered the house, closing the door behind her and locking it. She made her way through the house, once again passing the spot where Scott had held her and Darcy at gunpoint. She flashed back to that night. Would she always think of that when she walked by that particular spot? When would the memory fade? She found herself hurrying to the front door, picking up the pace. She pulled the door open and stepped outside. Closing the door and locking it behind her as she made her way down the walkway to the sidewalk. Her destination; downtown. She gazed up at the bright, cloudless blue sky. Thinking how it looked like something you would see in a postcard.
Soon enough, she found herself downtown. On her way there, she had spoken briefly to Lynn Jacks, and had a dog follow her until it’s owner realized it was missing from the front yard. A small smile played on Fallon’s lips as she headed down the sidewalk. She passed by the park, void of any children since they were stuck in school. Her heels clicking on the pavement, she headed up the steps and pulled the door open to Darcy’s closet. She stepped inside, the door swinging shut behind her. Music blared from the speakers around the store. “All Night” by Icona Pop. Fallon’s eyes scanned her surroundings. The store was empty. There was no sign of Darcy.
She has to be around here somewhere. Fallon thought to herself as she went and sat down in a chair. She tapped her nails on the chair’s arm, unaware of the figure sliding up next to her. The figure cleared her throat, startling Fallon. She let out a gasp, looking over with wide eyes to see Darcy standing next to her. The other girl arched an eyebrow in Fallon’s direction.
“Darcy!” Fallon squeaked.
“I thought I heard the door. I was upstairs.” Darcy explained.
Fallon looked around. “Seems like business is a little slow today.” she pointed out.
“For now. It’ll pick up after lunch.” Darcy said. “I had some time to go through some new inventory.” she continued.
“I hope you don’t mind me passing by.” Fallon said.
“Oh, no. It’s all good.” Darcy said with a small smile playing on her lips.
“I came to see how you were.” Fallon explained.
Darcy ticked her gaze to the floor. “I’m fine.” she replied.
Fallon took a deep breath. “You don’t look fine.” she told her friend.
Darcy frowned deeply, but didn’t say anything.
“Something is bothering you. I was hoping you’d talk to me and tell me what.” Fallon continued.
Darcy hesitated. “I’m just…. dealing with stuff.” she replied vaguely.
“Everyone in West Valley is dealing with stuff. I’m dealing with stuff, too. Like I can’t stop thinking about that night Scott held us at gunpoint.” Fallon explained.
“This isn’t the same..It affects my future. Campbell’s future.” Darcy said, blinking back tears.
A deep frown creased Fallon’s pretty face. “Is it something to do with the wedding?” she asked.
“It’s not that..” Darcy replied softly.
“Then what is it?” Fallon asked.
“Fallon, I can’t..” Darcy trailed off.
“Darcy! What’s going on with you?!” Fallon cried, jumping to her feet.
“I can’t have kids, alright!!” Darcy cried. As if her words suddenly hit her, she covered her mouth with a shaky hand.
Fallon was stunned into silence. She looked over at her friend. Darcy looked so vulnerable in that moment. “How do you know you can’t have kids?” Fallon asked.
“After I was stabbed..The doctor called me when I got home from the hospital. She said they reviewed my file and..” Darcy trailed off.
“Something happened when you were stabbed?” Fallon asked.
Darcy nodded. “My reproductive system was damaged so much, I won’t be able to have kids.” she explained as tears began dripping down her cheeks. She sniffled loudly, and looked away.
“Oh, Darcy. I’m so sorry.” Fallon replied quietly, her heart aching for her friend. “Does Campbell know?” she asked.
“I haven’t told him yet.” Darcy replied, wiping at her eyes with the back of her hand.
“If you need me to be there when you tell him, don’t hesitate to ask.” Fallon said, her eyes glinting with sympathy.
“Thanks, Fallon.” Darcy said quietly. The two friends stood in silence, mourning the loss of Darcy’s future.
The bedroom was empty, silent. No evidence that anyone had ever slept inside. The bed was made, the floor bare. Yet someone stood at the open bedroom door, gazing into the room. A lone male figure. Derek. Standing in the doorway of what was once Adam’s room. But Adam was dead, and he would never set foot in his bedroom again. Derek didn’t know why, but something had drawn him over to the bedroom. Yet he couldn’t bring himself to step inside. He was still shocked Adam was dead. Murdered by the West Valley killer. Derek couldn’t believe it. It had all seemed like a bad dream. He wished he could wake up, and Adam would still be alive. But this was the harsh, cold reality. It was no dream.
Derek and Adam got along well. As housemates, they had grown close. They did everything together. They prepared dinner for the girls, they went to the gym together, they both loved corny action movies. But there was a side to Adam that Derek didn’t know. if he had known what Adam was doing to Meredith, he would have stopped that right away. It was messed up. Who drugs their own girlfriend for fun? Derek thought to himself with a deep frown creasing his forehead. He knew Adam had a reputation of being a bit of a womanizer, but he would have never guessed he would have taken it that far. Derek wished he would have found out sooner. He’d only found out once he had gotten news about Adam’s murder.
Sasha had come forward and had told him about what had happened. How Adam had became violent with her when she had asked him about the Rohypnol pills. If he had been around, he was sure he would have punched Adam in the face. if there was one thing he couldn’t tolerate, it was violence against women. Derek himself had grown up in a home with an abusive father. He had seen his father strike his mother many, many times. That was until one night, when she finally had enough. Derek must have been about fourteen years old. It was the middle of the night, around two in the morning. He had been roused from his sleep by his mother. There was urgency in her gaze as she told him to hurry up and get dressed.
She had lead the way out into the night as they jumped into his mother’s car. She pulled the car out into the street, and had driven away, never looking back. He remembered it as if it was yesterday. Just like he remembered taking the call about Adam’s murder. It had been early morning, and the phone had rung. It waked everyone in the house. Wendy had gotten to the phone first. It was the police department on the other end of the line. Her scream of shock had sent Derek, Isabel, and Sasha running to her side. Derek knew it was bad news. Once she had gotten off the phone, she had told them what had happened. The caretaker had found Adam’s body on the pavement outside the Church.
The funeral was sad. And also depressing. Adam’s parents clung to each other, sobbing so hard their bodies shook. Their only son, their only child, was dead. Derek thought how unreal it was with Adam lying in the coffin for all to see. He expected him to open his eyes and smile his trademark devilish grin. But that didn’t happen. Perhaps it was wishful thinking on Derek’s end. He took one last glance around the room, wondering what they would do with it. With a sigh, he turned and exited the room, stepping out into the hallway. And let out a small yelp when he crashed into someone. It took him a moment to realize he was looking into the eyes of his girlfriend, Wendy.
“Whoa!” she cried out.
“I’m sorry babe! Are you okay?” he asked her.
“Save that force for the bedroom!” she replied with a small grin on her lips.
Derek chuckled in reply. “What’s up?” he asked her.
“I’m heading out to meet my mom for some shopping.” she explained.
“You’re leaving me alone?” he asked her, faking a pout.
“Sasha and Isabel should be home soon.” Wendy pointed out.
“I didn’t even know they weren’t home.” Derek said.
“They went to the zoo. Can you believe it?” Wendy replied with a giggle escaping her lips.
“The zoo?” Derek repeated.
“I know, right? Anyway, I got to go! See you later!” she said, planting a quick kiss on his lips before she headed out the front door, closing it behind her.
What to do. Derek thought to himself as he made his way into the dining room. The ringing of his phone snapped him to attention. He pulled it out and answered the call.
“Hello?” he said.
No reply. Derek frowned. “Hello?” he said again.
“Hello?” said a voice on the other end of the line. A distorted voice that Derek didn’t recognize.
“Yes?” Derek replied.
“Can I speak to Adam, please?” the voice asked.
Derek frowned. “Is this a joke?” he asked.
“Would you like to find out?” the voice asked with a slight cackle.
“Who is this?” Derek asked, holding the phone tighter in his grip.
“I can’t tell you until we play the game.” the voice replied.
“What are you talking about?” Derek asked.
“Will you play?” the voice asked.
“Look, I’m not in the mood for games, okay?” Derek said, anger glinting in his eyes.
“But aren’t you curious as to how you’re going to die?” the caller asked.
Derek’s eyes widened. “What did you say?” he said, thinking he had heard wrong.
“Am I going to slit your throat and pull out your vocal cords from the wound? Or am I going to ram a knife through your skull that your brain is going to dribble out of your ear?” the voice asked, cackling omniously again.
“Hey! Fuck you!” Derek replied angrily.
“I already killed Adam. You better pray you’re not next.” the caller said before suddenly hanging up.
Derek lowered the phone from his ear, realizing he had been talking to the West Valley killer. Putting the phone back into this pocket, he made his way over to the window. He peered out to the world beyond. The killer was somewhere out there, waiting to strike.
The next hour passed uneventfully. There were no threatening phone calls, no omnious messages scrawled on walls. The afternoon was peaceful, the sun shining brightly above, sending its warm rays down onto the town of West Valley. Birds chirped happily in the trees bordering the front of the Cosgrove house. There was no sign that anyone was home. But that didn’t last long. Soon enough, the sound of a car engine filled the air, breaking the calm. If you listened, you could hear it from many streets away. A car with a powerful engine, heading in the direction of the Cosgrove house. A car came zooming around the corner, its tires squealing loudly as the car came to an abrupt stop in front of the house.
The powerful engine was cut off, silence reigning once again. Everyone in the neighbourhood, probably in the whole town, knew who the car belonged to. They were used to Olivia Cosgrove making an entrance like that. Even before her daughter Skye had been killed. The driver side door opened and Olivia stepped out onto the pavement. Her heels clicked as she closed the door with her hip and made her way to step on the curb. With a perfectly manicured nail, she pressed on the automatic car lock in her hand. The car chirped as the doors locked. She had just come from work. She had hurried home, wanting to miss the traffic that would be starting once schools were let out for the day.
Olivia headed up the walkway, up the steps and up onto the front porch. She stuck her keys in the front door and pushed it open. Stepping into the house, she closed the door behind her, locking it. Even when there was no killer stalking the town, Olivia always locked the doors of the house. There were just too many valuables inside. Not that crime was a problem in West Valley. If they were to be robbed, it would have been someone doing it out of jealousy. In the main foyer, her gaze ticked to the family photo hanging on the wall. She stared at Skye’s face, a pang of sadness hitting her suddenly. Olivia took a deep breath. I miss you. she thought to herself before she moved on.
She noticed how spotless the house was. She had hired a cleaning lady who came two mornings a week to clean the house. Olivia was always impressed with how much of a good job she did. It was so clean, you could eat off the floors. Not that Olivia wanted to. She kept making her way through the first floor of the house, inspecting how clean it was. She pushed open the bathroom door and gazed inside. A small smile of contempt played on her face as she closed the door and turned to head into the kitchen. That’s when a feeling came over Olivia. It seemed to wrap around her tightly. She frowned. It was almost as if she felt another presence in the house.
She tried to shake the feeling off. She reached the living room door, pushed it open and stepped inside. It took her a moment to realize someone was sitting on the couch. Her eyes widened slightly, but before she could protest, she realized she was looking at the back of the head of someone all too familiar. Olivia relaxed, rolling her eyes. From his spot on the couch, her husband Edwin turned to look at her. He cocked an eyebrow at her. Olivia wondered what he was doing home so early. Usually he didn’t finish work until some time after supper. Edwin hadn’t mentioned anything about finishing early that morning at breakfast. Olivia racked her brain for a reason that Edwin would be home early for. It wasn’t either of their birthdays. Nor was it their anniversary.
“Edwin?” Olivia said.
“Liv?” he replied, calling her by her nickname.
“What are you doing home so early?” she asked curiously.
“You’re not happy to see me?” he replied with a frown.
“You’re never home this early. Is something wrong?” she asked him.
“I got an interesting phone call at work today.” he explained.
“From?” Olivia asked, trying to read the expression on her husband’s face. For a moment, she thought he was going to say that he had gotten a call from the killer. Hadn’t that happened to Frankie Workman?
“From the IRS.” Edwin replied, his expression changing on his face. He clenched his jaw.
“The IRS?” Olivia repeated.
“They called to tell me that they will be investigating us.” Edwin said.
“Investigating!?” Olivia exclaimed.
“Yes. Remember how you told me to lie on our taxes? For the past eight years?” Edwin replied, his voice growing louder.
Realization hit Olivia. “Oh no..” she muttered softly.
Edwin jumped to his feet. “Oh no is right! We could lose everything because of your STUPID IDEA!” he yelled, his face red with anger. “We could go to jail!” he continued yelling.
Olivia blinked hard. Edwin hardly ever raised his voice. Let alone to her. She felt as if her stomach was rising to her throat. She took a deep breath. “I’ll fix this.” she told him.
“How could you possibly fix this? They start investigating next week!” he seethed.
“I’ll think of something!” she explained.
“You better start thinking fast. Before we’re both rotting in a jailcell.” Edwin said as he brushed past her and stalked out of the room.
School was finally let out for the day. Megan was happy about that. She would be even more happy when school was out for the summer. That was coming up in a few weeks. Although she wasn’t the best student, she was looking forward to finally becoming a senior. Once high school was over, she didn’t exactly know what she wanted to do with her life. She didn’t even know if she wanted to stay in West Valley. She was conflicted. Part of her wanted to stay in town, only if the murders were solved by then. And part of her wanted to leave. To go to college somewhere far. Maybe somewhere overseas. She could just picture it, hurrying to campus dressed in a big winter coat and hat in Sweden.
Maybe one day. she thought to herself as she made her way across the lawn of her house. Instead of going through the front door, she headed along the side of the house to the side door. Pulling out her house key, she unlocked the door and pulled it open, stepping inside. She closed the door, looking around. Julie wasn’t home, but their mother was. Megan heard the sound of the shower running somewhere upstairs. Christy had worked half the day at Surge, and had the rest of the day off. Ellie was going to take care of the club for the rest of the night. Megan put down her keys, humming softly to herself as she picked up the mail off the living room table.
She rifled through the mail, there was nothing for her and nothing interesting. She brought the mail with her into the kitchen, placing it down on the counter. She moved over to the fridge, pulling the door open and peering inside. The fridge was stocked, her mother had done the groceries. After a few moments, Megan pulled out a small container of yogurt. With a smile of contempt on her face, she went in search for a spoon. Soon, she was eating the yogurt, leaning against the kitchen counter. Her phone was on the countertop as well, as she browsed through her social media feed. She made a face, coming across Ashley Fox’s status message.
It seemed like some of the popular girls were having a slumber party that night. Hanna probably planned it. Megan thought to herself. It didn’t bother her that she hadn’t been invited. They would probably do lame things like prank call the boys, give each other manicures, and dance around to Britney Spears. Megan wasn’t into that kind of stuff. She wouldn’t be caught dead at a slumber party. But if she were to have one, it would probably involve pizza, playing Bloody Mary, and watching disturbing horror movies like Hostel or The Human Centipede. Megan let out a small laugh as she tossed the yogurt in the trash, picked up her phone and headed back into the living room.
She went over and sat down on the couch. I feel like watching Hostel. she thought to herself. But before she could pick up the remote and turn on the television, she heard footsteps coming down the stairs. It was her mother, and there was no way she was going to Watch that movie with her around. So Megan smiled as her mom came to sit in the armchair next to her. She was always captured by her mother’s beauty. While Megan and Julie had their father’s dark hair and looks, their mother was the real looker of the family. She definitely didn’t look like a mother of two. People hardly believed she had a daughter who was twenty. At fourty years old, Christy looked more like she was in her late twenties.
“Oh, good. You’re home!” Christy said with a smile on her pretty face.
“Hey, mom. Any idea where Julie is?” Megan asked.
“She went over to Ivy Corbin’s.” her mother explained.
“So it’s just you and me tonight, huh?” Megan said, arching an eyebrow.
“Yes, why? Are you ashamed to be hanging out with your old mom?” Christy teased.
Megan couldn’t help but laugh. “Not at all. It’ll be nice.” she reassured her mother.
“What do you want for dinner? I don’t feel like cooking, I was thinking having something delivered.” Christy explained.
“Hmm… how about…sushi?” Megan replied.
“You read my mind! You are your mother’s daughter!” Christy said with a laugh, her eyes shining.
“There’s a new sushi place that just opened downtown!” Megan explained.
“Sounds great! I’ll give them a call in a bit.” her mother replied. “How are things with you? How’re you and Charlie?” she asked Megan.
“We’re fine. Charlie apologized like a hundred times after that little stunt Hanna and Jillyan pulled. Well, it was mostly Hanna. She was holding his phone hostage.” Megan explained with a frown.
“He really cares about you. I can see it.” Christy assured her daughter.
“I never thought he would like me. I’m not exactly popular like the other girls in school.” Megan said.
“Dawn raised Charlie right. Not like some of your other classmates.” her mother replied, rolling her eyes.
Megan was about to reply when the doorbell rang. “I’ll get it.” she told her mother. She got to her feet and made her way across the living room and over to the front door. She pulled it open. Charlie stood on the front porch, smiling.
“Surprise!” he said.
Megan stepped out, closing the door behind her. “Charlie! Hey! What are you doing here?” she asked curiously.
“Surprising you!” he told her. He wrapped her in a hug.
“My mom’s inside.” she told him.
“I’m just giving you a hug. It’s not like I’m going down on you.” he told her with a chuckle escaping his lips.
“Not tonight, anyway..” she shot back. She gave him a wink. “Well, this is a nice surprise.” she told him with a smile.
“Hanna’s having a slumber party tonight.” he told her.
“I know. And I wasn’t invited.” she told him.
“That bitch! Do you want to go crash it with me?” he asked her, excitement in his eyes.
“Ummm no! I’m spending time with my mom.” she told Charlie.
“Oh, ok.” he said, shrugging his shoulders.
“We’re ordering sushi. Why don’t you join us?” she asked.
“So down! Let’s do it!” Charlie replied. They turned, Megan pulling open the front door as they made their way inside the house.
Dusk had fallen. The sun in the sky was now replaced by the moon. The neighbourhood was quiet, which was not unusual. Once dark descended on the town of West Valley, the people would hurry into their homes. It was safer than being outside. There was a light breeze, making the shadows elongate and dance. At the Workman home, a face was peering out the glass of the front door. It was Hanna. She was waiting for her friends to arrive. The night of the slumber party had finally arrived, and she’d feel less uneasy once her friends were all there. She had turned on the television, which played loudly in the other room. It helped distract her from the fact that she was home alone.
Her mother and little brother were gone for the night, and would only be returning home the following day. When Hanna had heard the news, she had immediately started to plan for the slumber party. In all, they would be five girls attending. Herself, Jillyan Rayburn, Ashley Fox, Heather Sharp, and Shanice Newberry. Moving away from the front door, Hanna made her way into the kitchen. She’d told her friends to come already dressed in their pyjamas. She was already wearing hers, a short purple nightie that she had gone out to buy specifically for the occasion. She had hidden it from her mother. She was sure she wouldn’t have approved.
I do have to look better than the others. Hanna thought to herself with a smirk on her lips. She made her way over to the fridge, and pulled the door open. Peered inside at the platter of cupcakes. She’d made them for the party, they were an assortment of different pastel colors as frosting. She couldn’t wait to try them. She closed the fridge and made her way out of the kitchen and into the living room. She ticked her gaze to the clock, her friends were due any minute now. She’d told them to be there for eight o’clock sharp. There was one friend who couldn’t make it. One friend who would never attend another slumber party. Skye. Hanna missed her. If she were still alive, she would have thrown the slumber party.
Hanna was now the Queen Bee. And she hoped Skye was proud of her. She hoped she was doing a good job. Besides, she had learnt from the best. Hanna smiled to herself, unaware of the moving shadow outside the living room window. There was a knock at the front door. Finally! Hanna thought to herself as she made her way out of the living room and over to the front door. She unlocked it and threw the door open. And frowned. There was no one there. The front porch and the front lawn was empty. Who had knocked? Hanna took a step onto the porch. Her eyes scanning the darkness around her. She wasn’t hearing things, someone had definitely knocked on the front door.
Her heart beat a little faster in her chest as the darkness seemed to be closing in on her. She turned to go back into the house, which was when she was seized by the shoulder. Hanna’s eyes widened and she opened her mouth to scream. She was spun around and she faced the figure who had grabbed her. She looked into a familiar face, and realized there were two people on the porch, mischief gleaming in their eyes. It was Ashley and Heather.
“You bitches! You scared the shit out of me!” Hanna cried.
Heather and Ashley lost their composure, laughing wildly as Hanna lead the way into the house. She closed the door behind them.
“It was Ashley’s idea!” Heather said between giggles.
“You agreed it was a good one!” Ashley replied.
Hanna noticed both girls were already in their pyjamas. Ashley wore a button down shirt, while Heather was in a crop top and pyjama pants. I look better than them. Hanna thought to herself with satisfaction. She brought her attention back to her two friends. “Where’s Jillyan and Shanice? Are they planning on popping out too?” she asked, arching an eyebrow.
“They’re on their way. And lighten up, would you?” Ashley said with a giggle.
Hanna shook her head, leading the way into the living room. “I’ve been on edge since the sun went down.” she explained to her friends.
“Where’s your mom?” Heather asked curiously.
“My brother’s class went on an overnight trip, she’s chaperoning.” Hanna explained.
Ashley raised an eyebrow. “I wish we went on overnight trips when we were in second grade.” she said.
“You wouldn’t have gone! You were such a scaredy-cat back then!” Heather replied.
Hanna laughed. “She still is! Zoey is definitely the braver one.” she told her, reffering to Ashley’s twin sister.
Ashley frowned. “So what do you have planned for tonight?” she asked, changing the subject.
“Pure debauchery.” Hanna replied with a devilish grin on her face.
“Uh oh. I know that look. Things are going to get interesting tonight!” Heather said with a giggle escaping her lips.
“Yeah, if Jillyan and Shanice ever get here! Where are the hell are they?” Ashley asked.
As if on cue, the doorbell rang. Hanna made her way out of the living room and over to the front door. A few moments later, the two other girls walked into the room with Hanna in tow.
“Everyone is here! Let the games begin.” Hanna replied.
Settling down on the living room, the girls had each prank called the boys they liked. Hanna had called Paul, Shanice had called Gavin O’Brien, Jillyan had called Matt Snow, Ashley had called Derek Perrin, and Heather had called Malcolm Kinsey. The girls shrieked with laughter once they each had their turn and had hung up the phone. Next, they had played Twister. Hanna had gone to bring out the cupcakes after that, and everyone had dug in. They sat around gossiping while they ate. The cupcakes were a big hit, Hanna had made them herself. Once she brought the empty plate back into the kitchen, the girls turned off the living room lights, and began telling ghost stories.
Shanice was telling one right now. The other girls were listening to her attentively. Hanna rubbed her arms, trying to get rid of the goosebumps. She was spooked, but didn’t want to show it. While Shanice was telling her story, Hanna was thinking about all the murders that had happened. An uneasy feeling wrapped itself around her as she listened. No one noticed the shadowy figure walking by the window. Someone was outside. Someone who knew the house was full of teenage girls. With a slow shiver of fear snaking down her spine, Hanna decided she needed a break. She was getting too scared now. She got to her feet, and made her way into the kitchen.
The other girls hadn’t even looked up as she left the room, too focused on the ghost story. She stepped into the kitchen, frowning. The lights were off. She was sure she had left them on. She flicked the lightswitch a few times. The kitchen remained dark. Wonderful. Power outage. Hanna thought to herself. She made her way over to the kitchen window. Her frowned deepened. The other houses had power, it seemed. The slightest hint of movement caught Hanna’s attention. Was there someone out there in the backyard? She pressed her face against the glass. Scanning the darkness beyond. Everything was still. So why did she feel so uneasy? As if someone was watching her?
She turned away from the window, and bumped into Shanice. She let out a loud gasp.
“What’s with the lights?” Shanice asked.
“I have no clue.” Hanna replied with a frown.
“It might just be a fuse. Where’s the fusebox?” Shanice asked.
“Outside in the backyard.” Hanna answered.
“I’ll go take a look.” Shanice replied as she made her way over to the backdoor.
“Since when are you an electrician?” Hanna asked curiously.
Shanice giggled. “My dad taught me how to change a fuse. I’ll go take a look.” she told Hanna as she pulled open the door and stepped out into the darkness.
Hanna closed the door and waited, peering out through the glass. In the living room, she could hear the other girls laughing. “Come on, Shanice.” she muttered to herself.
That’s when something banged against the glass mere inches away from her face. A gasp escaped Hanna’s lips. It was Shanice, her eyes wide in fear.
“H..Hel..p me.” Shanice said from the other side of the glass.
Hanna blinked hard, wondering if she was imagining things. Shanice’s throat was slashed, blood pouring down the front of her pyjamas. Hanna’s hand found the lock, locking the backdoor. Her heart hammered in her chest, for a moment she thought it was going to burst. Her eyes widened as two gloved hands grabbed Shanice from behind and yanked her away into the darkness, out of sight. For a moment, Hanna wondered who had screamed. She then realized it was her as another scream erupted from her throat. Jillyan, Heather and Ashley came running into the kitchen.
“Who screamed?” Ashley asked.
“What’s going on?” Jillyan asked with a frown.
Hanna turned to look at them, tears streaming down her face. “C-c-call the police!” she gasped.
“What happened?” Heather asked.
With realization that she was standing too close to the door, Hanna dove backwards. “Call the police! Shanice is dead!” she cried.
Seeing the panic in her eyes, Ashley pulled out her phone. And frowned. “I have no service!” she said.
Heather ran into the living room, and returned seconds later with her and Jillyan’s phones. She gave Jillyan her phone. “I have no service either!” Jillyan cried.
“Me neither!” Heather said, her eyes wide as saucers.
“Hanna where’s your phone?” Jillyan asked.
“Up in my bedroom.” Hanna replied.
“Go get it!” Ashley cried as she ran to the phone in the kitchen, picking it up. “Your house phone is dead.” she explained, breathing hard in fear.
“What the fuck is going on here?” Heather cried.
“I’m not going upstairs to look for my phone by myself!” Hanna cried.
“I’ll come with you. Let’s go!” Jillyan told her. The two girls ran off towards the stairs.
“What are we going to do?!” Ashley asked Heather, fear glinting in her eyes.
“Someone needs to go get help! Go to the police, or get to a neighbour’s house!” Heather replied. She was shaking in fear.
“I’ll go! I can’t stay another minute in this house!” Ashley replied.
“Are you sure?” Heather asked, wrapping her arms around herself to stop shaking.
“I’m the fastest runner here! I can get to a neighbour’s house and call the police!” Ashley explained.
“Go! Hurry!” Heather cried.
Nodding, Ashley ran out of the kitchen. She ran across the entryway and over to the front door. She threw the door open and stepped outside. As soon as she closed the front door behind her, the killer was upon her. She could barely let out a scream, eyes wide as his gloved hand grabbed her by the neck and slammed her against the front door. There was a flash of silver as the knife in the killer’s hand stabbed Ashley deep in the gut. She could feel blood trickling out from the corner of her mouth. Pulling the knife out, the blade was dripping with bright red blood. The blade slid once more into her gut, Ashley’s eyes glazing over as she sunk to the ground, dead.
Heather paced along the kitchen floor, waiting for Jillyan and Hanna to return. She could hear them upstairs, searching for Hanna’s phone. What’s taking them so long? she thought to herself. She wanted to get out of there, wanted to go home. She hoped Ashley had called the police. Heather couldn’t believe what was happening. One moment they were having fun, and the next, Shanice was dead. And where was the killer? Had he run off, or was he still lurking around outside? Heather’s chest heaved up and down as she hurried out of the kitchen. She made her way back into the living room. The floor seemed to be tilting towards her, her knees shook.
She needed to sit down. She plopped down on the couch, burying her head in her hands. This can’t be happening. Heather thought to herself. She sat up, taking deep breaths. She could feel hysteria creeping up on her. She needed to stay calm. Her mind raced, she wasn’t thinking clearly. Which is why she didn’t realize that the living room window was open. It had been closed before. Heather wrung her hands nervously, listetning to Hanna and Jillyan upstairs. Had they still not found the phone? A deep frown creased Heather’s face. In the darkness behind her, something was materializing. Not something, but someone. Standing up from their hiding spot from behind the couch which Heather sat on.
“Did you find the phone yet?” Heather called out to the two girls upstairs.
No answer. They must have not heard her. With a sigh, Heather sat back against the couch. “Come on, Ashley!” she muttered to herself, unaware of the cloaked figure who stood behind her.
Without warning, a gloved hand clamped over her mouth from behind. Heather’s eyes widened in fear, trying to scream. It came out muffled. She heard a door slam upstairs. Heard Hanna’s and Jillyan’s footsteps through the ceiling. Heather struggled, to no avail. She could hear her friends’ footsteps on the stairs. They were coming back down. Suddenly, there was an explosion of pain in Heather’s head as blood filled her vision before everything went black. Her dead body slumped back on the couch, the killer’s knife rammed through her head. Jillyan and Hanna walked past the doorway to the living room, oblivious to what had just happened in there. They made their way straight into the kitchen, and saw it was empty.
“Where is everyone?” Hanna asked, her voice shaking.
“Ashley? Heather?” Jillyan called out. No reply. Silence.
“Did they leave us?” Hanna asked, her voice shrill.
“Ashley? Heather? Where are you?” Jillyan called out again.
“Oh my god, they left us here!” Hanna said with wide eyes.
“They wouldn’t just leave!” Jillyan replied, reaching over and grabbing a knife. Protection. she thought to herself.
With Hanna glued to her, the girls walked slowly out of the kitchen and into the hallway. They headed for the living room. They stepped inside the room, it was also empty. What’s that? Jillyan thought to herself with a frown. The curtain by the window was fluttering. She went over to it, Hanna standing in the middle of the room, watching her. Once she got to the window, Jillyan saw it was open. With her heart thudding, she closed the window and turned back towards Hanna. Hanna was no longer in the middle of the room, she was crouched in a corner, and she was screaming her head off. Before Jillyan could ask her what was wrong, something erupted from the darkness of the opposite corner.
A black cloaked figure, who swooped down on Jillyan. Eyes wide, she screamed. She swung out with the knife in her hand, but it was easily knocked out of her hand. It went sliding into the darkness. Another scream erupted from her throat as she tried to run around him, but his gloved hand flashed out and grabbed her by the hair. She screamed again as she was thrown against the couch. The killer was on her, gloved hands wrapped around her neck, throttling her, choking her. Jillyan gasped for breath as she flailed her hands, trying to throw the killer off of her. His grip just tightened, spots dancing along the edge of Jillyan’s vision. Across the room, she saw Hanna get to her feet.
For a brief moment, she thought Hanna was going to run off and leave her there. Jillyan gritted her teeth and slammed the palm of her hand into the figure’s cloak. Her hand smashed against a nose, the figure let out a small grunt. A gloved hand flashed out, and Jillyan was punched across the face. She saw stars, her head snapping back violently as she hit the floor. She blinked, feeling like she was about to pass out. The killer got to their feet, towering over Jillyan. She closed her eyes, knowing her death was coming. Suddenly, she heard Hanna scream. She opened her eyes and saw Hanna behind the killer, a glass vase in her hand. She brought it down with all her might on the killer’s head. Glass shattered loudly as the figure fell back on the floor.
Hanna reached out and helped her friend to her feet. They watched with wide eyes as the killer got up, and stumbled out of the living room. Hanna made Jillyan sit on the couch as she ran after the killer. Jillyan heard the front door open. A few moments later, Hanna returned.
“Whoever it is, they’re gone.” she said. “Let’s go call the police.” she told Jillyan.
Holding on to one another, the two girls headed out of the house and into the night.