Father Death (12)

Posted: August 29, 2022 in Father Death, Scream
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Previously on… Father Death (11)

7

Stu parked Billy’s car at his house and replaced the keys in the visor. Like it had been there all night. Like he had walked over to Sidney’s. Or been dropped off. Whatever didn’t lead to forensics combing through his car. He packed anything incriminating into the dark duffle they had taken to Casey’s and slung it over his shoulder. Then he started the long walk home.

He needed to get home to feed someone.

In the back of the police car, Billy leaned his head against the window to cool his thoughts. The night had not gone as planned. He was supposed to play savior, not end up a suspect. But this was fine. He had prepared for this. He could use this later. When they inevitably decided that it was not him tonight, no one would suspect him later. His suspicion would become his own alibi. And Sidney’s guilt would be her undoing.

It’s fine, he told himself. It will be better this way. A perfect twist for a movie.

The thought soothed him. Yet he held himself rigid. He did not want to look too relaxed, like the guilty suspect who fell asleep in an interrogation room. He applied a layer of defeat and dejection. He furrowed his brow and flexed his features with worry.

With betrayal. Betrayal slipped on like an old glove.

The reporters had already descended by the time they pulled up to the small police station. The vultures circled to catch a glimpse of their media darling, their favorite victim: Sidney Prescott. The officers yanked Billy from the backseat and hustled him through the doors to avoid the cameras and microphones.

“No comment! No comment!” Dewey shouted over his shoulder.

“Just put him in my office,” Sheriff Burke barked. “His father is on the way down.”

Dewey snagged Billy’s elbow and dragged him past the open room of desks. He opened Sheriff Burke’s door and guided Billy through it. Once inside, he spun Billy by the wrists and unlocked his handcuffs. The metal clinked obnoxious as it released him. Billy brought his wrists in front of his body and massaged their freedom. Dewey gestured to a chair, and Billy lowered into it as Sheriff Burke planted himself behind his desk.

Through the large windows and open blinds, Billy could watch Dewey hustle back across the room to retrieve Sidney. He wrapped his coat around her shoulders and pressed his hands into her arms as he guided her to his desk. Billy’s nerves prickled at the sight, his blood pumping hotter in his veins. Sidney’s face was blotchy and red from crying, and she stared out blank in front of her, a distant look Billy was very familiar with from after her mother died.

Hank Loomis stormed into the station and stomped to Sheriff Burke’s office. He pounded a straight line, did not seem to falter, and sported a clear complexion. Perhaps he had not found the bottle yet tonight. Billy let out a tiny breath in relief.

“Sheriff, what’s this about?” Hank shouted, not even looking to Billy.

“Hank, calm down.” Sheriff Burke raised his hands.

“I’m not going to calm down until you tell me why you have my son in custody,” Hank yelled again, almost like he cared.

“Hank, sit down,” Sheriff Burke instructed.

Hank sighed hard and dropped into the chair beside Billy, finally granting him his eyes. Billy met his gaze briefly before turning his sight back to Sidney. Sheriff Burke stood and walked behind them to close his door.

“Sidney was attacked tonight, and Billy was at the scene. We need to ask him some questions, and you needed to be present for that,” Sheriff Burke said.

“Fine, ask away,” Hank said.

Sheriff Burke released the door and strode back across his office, thumbs hooked in his utility belt.

“Let me ask you this, what are you doing with a cellular phone, son?” he started.

Billy traced Sheriff Burke as he walked, propping stiff on his elbows against the chair. “Everybody’s got one, Sheriff. I didn’t make those phone calls. I swear.”

“Why don’t you check the phone bill, for Christ’s Sake? Call Vital Phone Comp. They’ve got a record of every number dialed.” Hank jabbed his hand at Sheriff Burke.

Sheriff Burke lowered to perch on the edge of his desk. “Thanks, Hank. We’re on top of it.” He turned to Billy. “What were you doing over Sidney’s house tonight?”

Billy leaned forward and planted his elbows on his knees. “Well, I wanted to see her. That’s all.”

“And yesterday? She said you climbed through her window last night too?”

“You went out last night?” Hank pivoted to Billy.

You would have noticed if you ever sobered up. Billy offered an uncomfortable smile. “I was watching TV. I got bored. I decided to go for a ride.”

“Did you happen to ride by Casey Becker’s house too?”

“No. No, I didn’t. Sheriff, I didn’t kill anybody.”

Billy wanted to smile. He wanted to peel back his sheepish little mask and show them his real face, what he was really capable of. Instead, he dropped his tone and his cheeks, adopted the severity they were expecting.

Sheriff Burke and Hank exchanged a look, and Billy cast his eyes to the floor. The grin was nearly impossible to contain. He flexed his jaw, hoping it would appear as nerves.

“We’re going to have to hold you, son, until we get those phone records,” Sheriff Burke said.

“That’s crazy. You know that?”

Billy gripped the back of the chair and turned back to find Sidney’s eyes staring at him. Her eyes were cold, drained of the warmth he usually found there. She may not have fucked him, but she had always regarded him with affection. Now, it was a sharply edged void. If his chest did not burn in rage, it might have hurt.

“This is ludicrous, Sheriff,” Hank exclaimed. “What happens now?”

“We’ll print and book him, put him in a holding cell while we wait for the records. You are welcome to wait at the station until we hear back.” Sheriff Burke waved through the window, gesturing for officers to come escort Billy.

Billy rose from the chair, sheepish and defensive. “Book me? Holding cell? I didn’t do anything!”

The officers moved past Hank and gathered Billy by the arms again. His skin throbbed tender from all their repeated violent gripping and tugging. They yanked him past his dad and out of the Sheriff’s office.

Billy pulled back toward his dad. “Tell them. Come on, Dad. Tell them.”

“He’s waiting for the lawyer, Billy,” the officer said in his face.

Billy wrenched toward Sidney, still seated at Dewey’s desk. Now, she would not look at him.

“Sidney,” he called. “Sidney, come on. You know me. Sidney, look at me. Come on!”

He begged as they dragged him across the room, shoving past Tatum, and through the door, his father trailing behind him. He could feel Sidney was crying. That reaction spurned him on, made him feel like he mattered again. It was more than the cold nothing she had just shot at him a moment ago. He could sustain himself on her tears.

Hank faded away into some waiting area as Billy was moved through printing and processing. He followed with compliancy, making sure to proclaim his innocence and confusion often.

“Hey, when do I get my phone call?” Billy asked.

The officer glowered at him. “Your dad is already here.”

“I still get one phone call, though, don’t I?”

The officer rolled his eyes. “Fine. But make it fast so I can get you into the holding cell.”

The officer shuffled Billy over to the phone and orientated it in his direction. Billy picked up the receiver and looked to the officer.

“Can I get some privacy?” he asked.

“No,” the officer snipped but turned his back.

Billy returned to the phone and dialed Stu’s number.

The house phone echoed through the cavernous Macher house. In the basement, Stu lifted his head and released a groan.

“You know, Neil,” he said. “Making a mess like this only hurts you.”

Stu slid the bucket across the floor and pursed his lips to avoid gagging. Then he bounded up the stairs, chasing the song of the phone. He burst out of the door and hurried into the kitchen, snagging the receiver on a finger.

“Hello?”

“Stu,” Billy hissed.

“Billy, man, are you home already?”

“No,” Billy snapped. “Call Sid.”

“What do you mean, ‘call Sid’? What are you talking about?”

“I’m at the police station. Call Sid.” Billy said the last two words slow and heavy.

Stu frowned and leaned against the counter for a moment. Then realization shattered across his brain.

“Got it,” Stu said.

The call died in his hand. He replaced the receiver, retrieved the voice changer, then picked up the phone again. He dialed Tatum’s number.

“Hello, Riley residence,” Mrs. Riley sang into the phone.

“Hello, may I please talk to Sidney?” Stu said.

“Yes, please hold on.” Mrs. Riley set the phone aside, and Stu waited.

“Hello?” Sidney answered.

“Hello, Sidney.” Stu wished he could see her face, like Casey’s through the window, but he could imagine it. It was the same face she wore when he burst out of the closet.

“No!” Sidney cried.

“Poor Billy boyfriend,” Stu mocked. “An innocent man doesn’t stand a chance with you.”

“Leave me alone.”

“Looks like you fingered the wrong guy. Again!” Stu hissed.

“Who are you?”

Stu could hear rustling, commotion, and other voices behind Sidney.

“You’ll find out soon enough. I promise.”

Stu smiled as he replaced the phone in its cradle. Then he sighed hard before gathering cleaning supplies and returning to the basement.

Continued on… Father Death (13)

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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
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