Father Death (11)

Posted: August 22, 2022 in Father Death, Scream
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Previously on… Father Death (10)

6

“If it were any other day, I would have totally skipped,” Stu said, raising his elbows high to rub his eyes. “But if I did, I would have missed this circus!” He launched his arms out to gesture at the accumulating news vans and police cars.

“Yeah, didn’t you hear there was a double homicide last night?” Billy replied with a low tone but also a small smirk.

Stu planted a finger on his chin. “You know, I had no idea until this morning.” He burst into giggles, and Billy could not help but chuckle along. “Why are the cops here, though?”

“They’re going to start interrogating people.”

“I better get myself a Jolt or something. I didn’t sneak out of Tatum’s until late last night. She could not get enough!” Stu interlaced his fingers and stretched his arms high over his head. “Then we had that early business this morning.”

Billy rolled his eyes and said nothing, folding his arms across his chest and watching the news reporters scurry along the lawn.

“How did things go with Sid last night?” Stu asked.

Billy cut him a look, and Stu shrank back. “They didn’t.”

“Really? She still isn’t giving anything up? That girl is frozen.”

Billy glared across the campus. “How’s her dad?”

“Uncomfortable.” Stu laughed. “But he’s fine. My parents aren’t due back until next week. If they even come home then.”

“Plenty of time. We let them spin on this first.”

Stu nodded and posted himself beside Billy to watch the show unfold. “Holy shit, man. Is that Gale Weathers?” Stu pointed across the lawn to a large media van branded Top Story.

“Yeah, it is. Sid hates that bitch.” Billy smirked.

“What the fuck is that suit? She looks like a lime.”

Billy scoffed. “What, are you a fashion consultant now?”

“No, but I am seriously blind looking at that shit. Look at it, man!” Stu gestured at Gale again, and Billy could only laugh.

“I can’t wait to watch Sid freak out.”

“I’m sure you’ll get your show.”

“All of this is a show.”

The bell sang out above their heads, and they moved to file into the entrance. The students merged together into one breathing mass, flowing through the door, and filling the hall. The air was saturated with the excited chatter. The words murder and death echoed on repeat. Billy and Stu drank it in as they made it to their lockers to retrieve no books.

Books and classes did not matter today.

Billy strove to keep his expression neutral. He feigned a passing ignorant curiosity. Yet the entire scene captivated him. He had done this, created this chaos and this frenzy. And that power surged through him under his façade. He felt like he was wearing the Father Death mask right now as he walked the halls, hiding his true face under the blank one he presented.

Stu chased behind Billy, consistently glancing over to gauge his temperament. Waves of thrill surged over him, erupting in giggles or a leap in his step. Then he fell into step beside Billy again. At the end of the hall, he saw Tatum, nodded to Billy, and skipped off to meet her.

The bell rang, and the gossip migrated into the classrooms.

Billy slouched in his desk as Mrs. Hammond droned on at the blackboard. His mind flitted between images of Maureen, flashes of Casey and Steve, the feel of Sidney’s skin, walking home alone in the dark last night. His heart rode a rollercoaster in his chest as he wagged his pencil in his grip and watched it tap the desk.

The classroom door opened again, as it had been every fifteen or so minutes. A student stepped in and handed Mrs. Hammond a piece of paper. Mrs. Hammond unfolded the hall pass then cast her eyes to Billy.

“Billy Loomis,” she recited. “It is your turn. Head down to Principal Himbry’s office.”

Billy nodded and held his reaction, his inappropriate excitement, as he slid from the chair to follow the student courier. He shoved his hands deep into his jeans pockets and slunk down the hallway, attempting to look casually nervous.

He could not wait to play with the inept police.

Principal Himbry opened his office door to release the previous student, whom Billy did not register or recognize. He was fixated on what remained in the room. Behind Principal Himbry, he could see Sheriff Burke lounging in a chair and Deputy Dewey posted up against a wall. Potentially the least threatening law enforcement he could imagine.

“Billy, come in, please,” Principal Himbry said, stepping aside and gesturing Billy through the door.

Billy slid past Principal Himbry and dropped into the empty chair. He made sure to flex the muscles down his arm to look tense and make sitting appear uncomfortable. He moved his eyes around between the men to look as if he was uneasy surrounded by so much authority.

“What’s your name, kid?” Sheriff Burke asked.

Billy bristled at the word but held fast. “Billy Loomis.”

Dewey looked down at a clipboard and scribbled with his pen.

“The police are going to ask you a few questions,” Principal Himbry said. “Standard procedure. They will be interviewing the student body.”

Billy nodded, wringing his hands.

“How are you and your father, Billy, since Debbie left?” Principal Himbry asked.

Billy’s eyes flared at Principal Himbry before he could catch them. The familiarity of his mother’s name in Principal Himbry’s mouth ignited him. He felt the heat spread under his skin as sweat prickled over him. He seized his control and poured meagerness over his expression.

“Fine, we’re fine, sir.” He threw in the sir even though the word nauseated him.

“Did you know Steven Orth?” Sheriff Burke began.

“The football player?” Billy asked. “Yeah, I mean, we had gym together, but I didn’t really know him.”

“What about Casey Becker?”

“I know she was his girlfriend.”

“But you didn’t have any kind of relationship with either of them?” Sheriff Burke pressed.

“No,” Billy said firmly. “Nothing outside of class.”

“Where were you last night?”

“At home, watching TV.”

“Can anyone confirm that?” Dewey asked, eager to speak, lifting his pen.

Billy turned to look to him. “Yeah, my dad was home after work.”

“Do you like to hunt?” Sheriff Burke redirected.

Billy shrugged and turned down his lips. “Never been.”

The three men exchanged glances, and Sheriff Burke nodded.

“Okay.” Principal Himbry clapped. “Thanks for your time, Billy.”

Billy gave a curt nod before pressing up from the chair and fleeing the office. The next student was already queued up behind him. When she walked past him and he heard the door close, a smile split across Billy’s face.

“Stuart,” Mrs. Curtis called from behind her desk. “Please go down to Principal Himbry’s office.”

“What did I do now?” Stu asked, tossing up his hands and taking his legs down off his desk.

“It is your turn for questioning,” she answered.

“Oh.” Stu chuckled, and a giggle rippled through the class.

Stu hopped up on his feet and strutted from the classroom. He snatched the pass from Mrs. Curtis on a mocking bow and followed his escort down to the office. When Principal Himbry held the door open for him, he strode casually to the chair and dropped himself into it. Stu immediately turned to Dewey and slapped the armrests.

“Dewey!” Stu exclaimed. “Look at you, all gussied up.”

Dewey sighed hard and rolled his eyes, shifting side to side, uncomfortable. “Deputy Riley, Stu.”

“Oh, right, Dewey. Dewey, sir,” Stu said. “Keep it professional.”

“Stuart,” Principal Himbry said. “The police need to ask you some questions. The same questions they are asking everyone. Please take them seriously.”

Stu pursed his face and nodded. Sheriff Burke released a huge exhale then leaned forward around his gut. He lowered his small notebook, planted his elbows on his knees, and steepled his fingers in front of him.

“What’s your name?” Dewey asked, pen at the ready.

“You know my name, man,” Stu answered.

“Your full name,” Sheriff Burke pressed.

“Stuart Macher.”

“Did you know Steven Orth?” Sheriff Burke asked.

“The big linebacker guy?” Stu said, holding his hands out. “You couldn’t miss him.”

“Yes, but did you know him?”

“Nah, not really. We didn’t exactly run in the same circles.” Stu circled his fingers beside his face.

“What about Casey Becker?”

“I know who she is.” Stu flinched and grimaced. “Was? But I didn’t know her know her. I don’t even know if we even had a class together.”

“Do you like to hunt?”

Stu pressed his hand to his chest. “Sheriff, I’m an animal lover. Unless, of course, it’s a Big Mac.” Stu stuck out his tongue and laughed at his own joke.

Dewey placed his pen down and closed his eyes. Sheriff Burke clasped his hands together and exhaled again.

“You can get out, Stuart,” Principal Himbry said.

Stu jumped up and walked to the door. “Um, good luck?” he near laughed before skipping down the hall.

The lunch bell finally rang and released the classes from the stifled building. The conversations buzzing through the halls had not changed. The vocabulary was no different. The police interviews only served to fuel speculation and intrigue. Whispers of murder had escalated and crescendoed into shouts of MURDER. The word took on a life of its own, stalking through its anxious and happy hosts, happy to pass it between them.

Billy slunk up behind Sidney as she exchanged books in her locker and rooted around for her lunch. He slid his hands along her light blue shirt above her jeans until he found her waist. She startled back into him, gasping in a small cry before she recognized him. Then her smile broke wide across her cheeks, and she leaned into him. He slithered his arms the rest of the way around her.

“You’re so jumpy,” Billy said against Sidney’s ear as he cradled her.

“You keep sneaking up on me.”

Billy pressed his lips into Sidney’s neck until he could feel her pulse thump soft against his skin. He lost himself in its hypnotic and steady throb. And all the thoughts of making it stop. Sidney guided him back and seated her locker door.

“Come on,” she said, extending her hand. “They’ll be waiting for us at the fountain.”

Billy took her hand and searched for her pulse there. He knew it thumped in her wrist, but there was no way to grip her casually that way. Instead, he concentrated on the warmth of her flesh and the idea of what it would be like for it to go cold. After she finally wanted him. After he was done with her.

The California sun sliced through the day from high in the clear sky as Sidney led Billy across the courtyard. The water splashing in the fountain glistened in the garish light. Billy squinted against it, lifting his free hand to shield his eyes. Tatum and Stu already perched on the cement lining the water, and Randy approached them from the side in a glowing green shirt, lowering himself beside Tatum as Sidney and Billy arrived.

Billy planted himself on the edge of the long bench. He maneuvered Sidney between his legs as he sat then folded back to bask in the sun like a lizard. The warmth of the concrete radiated up through his clothes as the sun beat down on him. Tatum chattered at Sidney, as she always did, but Billy did not hear her. He heard Casey screaming when she first saw his ghost face through the window. He heard Steve’s muffled cries against the bloody tape. He heard Maureen asking why.

“Saw your brother today,” Randy said to Tatum, slipping a grape into his mouth.

“Yeah, we all saw Deputy Dewey,” Stu commented.

“He was all nervous this morning,” Tatum said.

“Yeah, he looked a little flustered,” Sidney said, reclining into Billy’s legs.

“What kind of questions did they ask you, Sid?” Tatum asked.

“They asked me if I knew Casey,” Sidney answered.

“They asked me too,” Tatum said.

“Hey, did they ask if you liked to hunt?” Stu leaned between the girls and looked down at Billy.

“Yeah, they did,” Billy confirmed. “Did they ask you?”

“Why would they ask if you liked to hunt?” Tatum interrupted.

“Cause their bodies were gutted,” Randy said.

At Randy’s words, Billy raised up on an elbow to cast his eyes over the group at him. “Thank you, Randy,” he said in a flat voice.

“They didn’t ask me if I liked to hunt.” Tatum held her arms out beside her.

“Cause there is no way a girl could’ve killed them,” Stu answered, quick and casual.

Tatum tipped her head at him. “That is so sexist. The killer could easily be a female, Basic Extinct.”

“That was an ice pick, not exactly the same thing,” Randy clarified, squinting in the sun.

An ice pick would not have been nearly as much fun, Billy thought as he kept his face slack.

“Yeah, Casey and Steve were completely hollowed out.” Stu suppressed the flash of Casey’s intestines tumbling at his feet. “And the fact is it takes a man to do something like that.” It took me, he thought.

“Or a man’s mentality,” Tatum mocked.

“How do you…gut someone?” Sidney’s voice joined the conversation, soft and hesitant.

The group halted, turning all eyes to Sidney. The moment thickened with the past, the unspoken past they all knew. It hung over them, casting shadows even in the glaring sunlight.

“You take a knife, and you slit them from groin to sternum.” Stu’s heavy and heartless words hit Sidney in the face, and her expression contorted.

Billy leaned forward to glower at Stu. “Hey, it’s called tact, you fuckrag.” Sidney needed to see him defending her.

Sidney winced then redirected. “Hey Stu, didn’t you used to date Casey?”

“Yeah, for like two seconds.” Stu’s lips curled in an awkward smile.

Randy leaned into Tatum’s ear quickly. “Before she dumped him for Steve.”

Tatum’s nose wrinkled as she frowned at Stu. “I thought you dumped her for me.”

“I did; he’s full of shit.” Stu wrapped himself around Tatum and glared at Randy.

“And are the police aware you dated the victim?” Randy pressed.

“What are you trying to say—that I killed her?”

“It would sure improve your high school ‘Q.’” Randy shrugged.

Tatum cuddled into Stu. “Stu was with me last night.”

“Yeah, I was.”

“Was that before or after he sliced and diced?” Randy bit and tore at the words.

Sidney flinched as Randy spoke, retracting from Billy, curling into herself.

“Fuck you, nut case!” Tatum snapped. “Where were you last night?”

“Working. Thank you.”

“Oh, at the video store? I thought they fired your sorry ass.” Tatum opened her eyes wide to accentuate her point.

“Twice.” Randy popped a grape in his mouth then crushed it between his teeth.

Stu adopted an uncharacteristically serious expression. He dug deep to muster the resolve. “I didn’t kill anybody.”

“Nobody said you did.” Billy tilted his head for emphasis.

“Thanks, buddy.”

“Besides, it takes a man to do a thing like that,” Randy mocked.

“I’m gonna gut your ass in a second, kid,” Stu said.

Randy rose and bowed toward Stu. “Did you really put her liver in the mailbox? Cause I heard that they found her liver in the mailbox next to her spleen and pancreas,” he said in a Jerry Lewis impersonation.

Sidney writhed at each word. She stiffened, her face wrinkled, then gathered up her backpack. Billy observed her discomfort and made sure to mirror her disgust. He made the right facial expressions, exhibited the right tense and rounded body language.

“Randy, you goon fuck, I’m trying to eat here.” Tatum threw a grape at Randy.

Randy smirked as he leaned over Tatum to fetch another grape from the open bag. Sidney pressed her lips to Billy’s and got up to walk away.

“She’s getting mad, alright?” Stu joked. “You better liver alone. Liver alone!”

Stu cackled at himself, extending his tongue. Billy glared over at him and shifted into the space Sidney vacated to sit forward. He watched her walk away. Leaving, always leaving him. Billy reached over and smacked Stu’s arm.

“Liv—Ow! Liver. Liver. It was a joke!” Stu protested.

“You can’t joke like that with Sid,” Tatum snapped. She shoved at Stu and looked after Sid.

“Come on, that was funny.” Stu looked to Randy and Billy for confirmation.

“Don’t be stupid,” Billy said what he was supposed to say, what he needed Tatum to repeat to Sidney. “Her mom, man.”

“That was a year ago.” Stu threw up a hand. “It has nothing to do with this.”

“Yeah, but Gale Weathers is buzzing around,” Randy said. “Did you see her?”

“How could you miss her in that hideous suit?” Stu sniped.

“It all feels exactly the same.” Tatum’s voice fell and took the conversation with it.

“Lunch is over anyway,” Billy said as he abandoned the warm concrete and headed back toward the school.

Stu skipped across the asphalt and snagged Billy around the neck. Billy allowed Stu to drag him down, his boots slapping the parking lot in staggered steps. Hunched over, the grin rippled unmitigated over his cheeks until he sluffed Stu’s arm from his shoulder and stood upright again.

“What a fucking show today, man!” Stu seized Billy’s shoulders from behind and gave them a small shake.

“Get a hold of yourself before you put on a show.” Billy shrugged Stu off and regarded him from the side of his eyes.

“I know. I know.” Stu took a dramatic inhale, running his hands up along his torso. “It’s just so exciting. It’s all anyone could talk about today. Us, man.” Stu tapped Billy’s arm. “We did that.”

Billy smirked at Stu as he lowered himself into the car. Stu rounded the passenger’s side of the car and joined him.

“So,” Stu asked as Billy drove from the parking lot. “What are we doing tonight?”

“I want to fuck with Sidney,” Billy replied, his eyes locked on the road.

“Is it time to off her?” Stu lounged against his window and extended his long limbs toward the floorboards.

“No, not yet. Just need to scare her.”

“Maybe getting her blood pumping will thaw her out.”

Billy snapped narrow eyes over to Stu. Stu lifted his hands in surrender.

“I’m just saying, man,” Stu said. “Scary movies work on Tatum every time.”

Billy’s rage rippled through the air, and Stu pursed his lips. He laced his long fingers over one knee and turned his gaze to the road ahead.

“How much do you want to scare her?” Stu finally asked when Billy’s breathing had settled. “Like, do you want her to just scream or bleed a little?”

“We’ll see what you can pull off while I’m on the phone.” The cruel grin returned to Billy’s cheeks. “Because I need to be there to save her at the end.”

Stu smiled deliriously and nodded.

“Just don’t kill her.” Billy’s words were sharp, and he shot another glance at Stu.

“All right, all right, man. I get it.” Stu lifted his hands again. “I can follow directions.

Billy parked the car in the same spot on Sidney’s street. He focused on diving into the memory of the successful night with Maureen, damming up the swelling thoughts of trudging back to this spot after Sidney had rejected him the previous night. He could retrace his steps to the large house tonight and divert her along his maze as he wanted. Get her to scream like he wanted.

“OK, I’ll call her and get her agitated,” Billy started.

“That should take no effort. That girl lives agitated.”

Billy narrowed his eyes at Stu. “Get into the house and chase her around. You can wound her but nothing serious.” Billy pointed with his finger. “Really scare the shit out of her, though. She needs to know this is real.”

“You sure you don’t want to chase her around?”

Billy raised his eyebrow. He wanted to chase her. He wanted to wound her. He wanted to do all of it by himself, just his way. Yet he needed to play partner with Stu. He needed to give him a role. He needed to have him in place later. And he had so many things he needed to say to Sidney.

“I’ll get her later.” A cruel smirk wound Billy’s lips. “I’ll call from the trees then show up at the right time.”

Stu nodded before tugging the robe over his head then sliding the mask over his face. When he turned the ghastly visage to Billy, he was a new and anonymous figure.

The sun had fled from the sky behind the distant hills. Billy stuffed the keys under the visor, and they exited the car, pressing their doors closed quietly. They moved through the fresh night, hiding from the bright lights and white picket fence of the Prescott house, making for the trees. Billy found a trunk to befriend, not unlike Stu in Casey’s backyard, as Stu crept toward the side of the house.

Billy extracted the phone and voice changer from his pockets. He dialed Sidney’s number from memory and pressed Call.

“Tatum, just get in the car,” Sidney answered.

Billy bristled at hearing Tatum’s name. Tatum, in the way as usual.

“Hello, Sidney.” He smiled in his anonymity, in the game.

“Uh…Hi, who is this?” Sidney’s tone lost the irritated, coating instead in confusion.

“You tell me.” Billy already enjoyed not saying what he was supposed to, giving himself new lines.

“Well, I—I have no idea.”

“Scary night, isn’t it? With all the murders and all, it’s like just out of a horror movie or something.” The words scary and horror tingled on his tongue, crackled through the phone.

“Randy, you gave yourself away. Are you calling from work? Cause if you are, Tatum is on the way over.” Sidney laughed.

Billy watched a light ignite in the house.

Fucking Randy. You’d like it to be Randy. The edges of Billy’s vision brewed red.

“Do you like scary movies, Sidney?” Billy asked.

“I like that thing you’re doing with your voice, Randy. It’s sexy.” Sidney’s voice bounced playful.

You would flirt with him. “What’s your favorite scary movie, Sidney?”

“You know I don’t watch that shit.”

I know you don’t do anything. “Why not? Too scared?”

Billy glanced over to Stu, hunkered down against the side of the house, a black blob against the siding. He twitched in his boredom, wobbling his knife in front of his face in the shadows.

“No, no,” Sidney said. “What’s the point? They are all the same. Some stupid killer stalking some big-breasted girl that can’t act when she is running up the steps when she should be going out the front door. It’s insulting.”

“Are you alone in the house?”

“Randy, that’s so unoriginal. I’m so disappointed in you.”

Fuck Randy! “Maybe because I’m not Randy.” Anger leaked into Billy’s voice, even through the voice changer.

In the lighted window facing the trees, Sidney appeared leaning on the back of the couch. She hesitated there until Billy’s voice broke across her face. Then she pushed back and turned into the house.

“So, who are you?”

“The question isn’t who am I? The question is, where am I?”

“S—So where are you?

“Your front porch.” Billy’s heart accelerated in his chest. Come out and see me. Come out and play, he beckoned her.

Sidney paused for a long time. Then the lights in the front of the house came on.

“Why would you be calling from my front porch?” Sidney asked, her figure appearing in the front windows.

“That’s the original part.”

“Oh yeah, I call you a bluff.”

Stu’s head snapped toward the front door. He shimmied up the siding and slunk deeper into the shadows. Sidney opened the door and stepped through onto the porch, swinging her head from side to side around the yard. Billy watched her in quiet fascination, waiting. Her fearlessness excited him. No tears like Casey. Sidney stood exposed and confrontational, alone on the porch.

“So, where are you?” Sidney asked.

Billy near-choked on the response yet quickly righted himself. “Right here.” He was right there, looking right at her.

Sidney lowered the phone to her side and strode along the porch boards, eyes slicing around the night. As she turned her back, Stu crept along the railing of the porch. He moved slow and silent, watching the back of her head. When she placed her hands on the far railing to look over, he sprinted up the steps and in through the front door.

Stu’s heart hammered in his chest as he cleared the threshold. The mask felt suffocating in all his suppressed panting. Despite the tingling in his hands, he moved directly into the closet and tucked himself inside.

Outside, Billy released a relieved breath at seeing Stu make it. Sidney turned back from the railing and brought the phone up to her ear.

“Can you see me now?” she asked.

“Uh-huh.”

“Ah.” Sidney planted her finger in her nose and whirled from side to side.

Billy wrinkled his face, recoiling from the phone as he watched her.

“What am I doing? Huh? Huh? What am I doing? Hello?” she called loudly. She paused a beat, waiting for a reply, then burst into a smile. “Nice try, Randy. Tell Tatum to hurry up, okay? Bye now.”

Say Randy one more time! “If you hang up on me, you’ll die just like your mother. Do you want to die, Sidney? Your mother sure didn’t.”

A wave of relief rolled over Billy. He had been waiting to say those words to Sidney for months. He wished he was close enough to see her face.

“Fuck you, you cretin,” Sidney snapped.

The call died in Billy’s hand, but he could only smile down, pleased at the phone. He watched Sidney flee into the house and slipped the phone into his pocket. He meandered toward the back, moving to climb the same route he had the night before.

From inside the dark and crowded closet, Stu heard the front door close. His cue. Throbbing with nervous energy again, he pushed the door open and raised his knife high. Even through the shrouded eyeholes of the mask, Stu could vividly make out the terror twisting Sidney’s face. The thrill nearly nauseated him. He fought back the rising thoughts of Casey from blurring with the moment and lunged forward.

Sidney ducked immediately, disappearing from beneath his blow. He settled for knocking her down from her back. She sprawled to the hardwood yet struck out with her legs, taking him down in a clumsy heap. He was only relieved that Billy was not inside to witness this display. He grappled on top of Sidney, lifting the blade, yet she clung maddeningly to his wrist.

Frustrated, he seized a handful of her hair in his glove and lifted her head. Then he slammed it down against the wood floor. Her hand shot up to cradle her temple, and he watched her eyes swim. In that temporary daze, he caressed her neck with the blade then heaved it above his head with both hands. Sidney’s eyes went wild.

“No!” she cried, kicking him in the chest.

Stu flew backward, tumbling to the hardwood. The floor collided hard with his back and elbows. As he scrambled from his back, Sidney shot to the door and fought with the chain she had secured. Stu stabbed at her, yet his blade found only door. He released a disgruntled sigh as he wrenched the knife free. Sidney was already fleeing up the stairs.

What a cliché, Stu thought as he chased after her. Billy would never forgive him if he gave up here.

Stu jogged up the stairs after Sidney, swinging the knife at his side and repeating just don’t kill her in his mind. Sidney darted down the hallway and into her room, slamming the door in Stu’s face. Stu made the proper show of fighting the door until he broke it open. The door slammed into another door and left him trapped and struggling in the hall.

Stu smashed the doors together, slashing his knife through the bedroom air and attempting to shove himself through the opening. Then once Sidney sat at her computer screen, he retreated and hurried down the hall and out of the house.

Crouched outside Sidney’s window like the previous night, Billy listened to the commotion. Once he heard Stu stop fighting the doors, he thrust himself through Sidney’s window.

“Billy!” Sidney cried.

“The door’s locked,” Billy said as he climbed into the room. “I heard screaming. You alright?”

Sidney gathered Billy into her shaking arms, clinging to him. “The killer is here. He’s in the house. He’s in the house. He’s going to kill me.” Her words mumbled into his collar.

Billy wrapped his arms around her, enjoyed her trembling against him. He had caused this. He had this control.

“He’s gone,” Billy soothed. “He’s gone. It’s alright.”

The cell phone tumbled from Billy’s pocket and bounced beside his shoe. Shit, Billy thought. Shit shit shit. Sidney glanced down at the device and drew away from Billy. Her eyes narrowed with skepticism. She looked at him with that same look, that same face Maureen had before he had plunged the knife into her.

“What?” Billy asked. Shit. Play dumb, just play dumb. “Sid, What?”

Billy reached for her, but Sidney sprinted from the room and down the stairs. The rejection blistered along the back of Billy’s throat again.

“Whoa! Whoa!” he called after her. “Wait, wait, wait! Sid, wait!”

His words meant nothing to her. She kept running. He trailed her to the hallway and leaned down over the railing.

“Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait! What’s going on?” he called. “Sidney, come back. Sidney!”

Sidney’s scream climbed the stairs, followed by another equally high scream.

Fuck, Billy thought.

He remained slumped over the railing, wearing the confused mask of an innocent man. The voice changer was in the trees for Stu to fetch. If Stu was any good at following directions, as he claimed to be, he would be pocketing that and driving Billy’s car far out of sight right now. Billy pushed a breath through his lips and conjured the trust.

A stampede of footsteps came barreling through Sidney’s front door then pounding up the steps. Dewey led the charge with his pistol gripped between clenched hands, his eyes wide above his thin mustache. Billy fought the urge to roll his eyes at the sight of him. He easily would be in the first round of deaths in any good scary movie.

“Hands where I can see them, Loomis,” Dewey said, leveling his gun on Billy.

Billy lifted his palms gingerly. “I didn’t do anything, Dewey.”

“Deputy Riley!” Dewey huffed. “Billy Loomis, you’re under arrest. You’re coming with us.”

Two officers swarmed from behind Dewey and seized Billy by the arms. They dragged him down the stairs, awkward and staggering. Billy followed, docile and compliant, keeping his mask of confusion and innocence firmly seated. He focused on seeking out Sidney.

The officers wrestled Billy across the lawn. He struggled against them only to protest his innocence and look for Sidney. He applied just the right amount of outrage and bewilderment. They pushed him down the sidewalk cutting through the manicured lawn and past the picket fence. Then they slammed him down on the hood of a police cruiser.

“All right, hold your hands together,” one officer instructed, tugging on Billy’s wrists.

“Do you wish to give up your right to remain silent?” Dewey recited.

“I didn’t do anything,” Billy repeated.

“Do you wish to give up your right to speak to an attorney and have them present during questioning?” Dewey continued.

The officers hauled Billy up from the hood, hands cuffed behind his back. They moved to haul him away.

“Ask her. She’ll tell you.” Billy looked again for Sidney. He could feel her nearby.

Sheriff Burke pulled up in his car. Dewey approached the car, anxious to deliver news.

“What do we have, Dewey?” Sheriff Burke asked.

“I caught him, Sheriff.” Dewey beamed.

“Who is that?” Sheriff Burke squinted down at Billy.

“Billy Loomis.”

Sheriff Burke stretched out of his car as Billy struggled toward him. He pulled against the officers, attempting to shrug them off.

“Sheriff, Sheriff, call these guys off,” Billy begged, the words sour in his mouth.

Sheriff Burke granted Billy a disdainful glance. Then the officers shoved him in the backseat of a car.

“I didn’t do it,” Billy continued. “Sheriff, wait. Listen, call my dad. Please, call him. He’ll tell you. Call him. Sidney!” The officers shut the door in Billy’s face. “Sidney!” he called through the glass. “Sid!”

Behind Billy’s car, Stu watched the flashing lights in Sidney’s yard. He held the ghost mask in his long fingers, fiddling with the plastic edge of the face.

“Fuck,” he breathed.

He listened to Billy’s cries encased by the police car until they drove him away. Then he slid into the driver’s seat. He chucked the voice changer into the passenger’s seat and rested his head against the steering wheel. He let out a breath then smacked his forehead against the wheel. Then harder. When he hit hard enough to feel a slight ringing in his ears, he dropped the keys from the visor, started the car, and drove off into the night.

Continued on…. Father Death (12)

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Christina Bergling

https://linktr.ee/chrstnabergling

Like my writing? Check out my books!

  • Followers – You never know who is on the other side of the screen. Followers is a mystery and thriller that blends women’s fiction with horror.
  • The Rest Will Come – Online dating would drive anyone to murder, especially Emma.
  • Savages – Two survivors search the ruins for the last strain of humanity. Until the discovery of a baby changes everything.
  • The Waning – Locked in a cage, Beatrix must survive to escape or be broken completely.
  • Screechers – Mutant monsters and humans collide in the apocalyptic fallout of a burned world. Co-authored with Kevin J. Kennedy.
  • Horror Anthologies
Comments
  1. […] Father Death (11) […]

    Like

  2. What an exciting chapter. I think Billy’s screwed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. […] Father Death (11) […]

    Like

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