Father Death (13)

Posted: September 6, 2022 in Father Death, Scream
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Previously on… Father Death (12)

8

Billy rolled over in his bed reluctant the next morning. The phone records had come in late, or early, depending on how you looked at it. The holding cell, though thankfully vacant, had been unforgiving. The meager bunk he had lounged on for hours left his body stiff. The night he had spent fantasizing about what he wanted to do to Sidney, her face morphing and shifting between hers and her mother’s, had not amounted to rest. Sleep beckoned him from the pillow, but he was already late.

In the hallway at Woodsboro High School, Stu lurked along the lockers, watching the steady stream of students meander through the doors. The chatter was the same, perhaps even amplified after another day of mayhem. Sidney’s name was in people’s mouths again, and her story always got them excited.

He caught sight of Tatum in her silver jersey and tight red pants, her bare stomach flirting from below the hem of her shirt. She had her hair braided down into pigtails and teased a big red sucker through her lips. Sidney walked beside her, but Stu did not even register her. He suddenly missed Tatum and the simple nights they spent fooling around watching horror movies. He stared at her, musing on how he wanted just a couple more nights with her before the rest of this all happened.

“Morning, ladies,” Stu greeted. “Sid, you doing all right?” In his head, Stu heard the mutated voice from the voice changer, and he nearly laughed.

“Hi, Stu,” Sidney replied. “Yeah, I’m all right.” She clung to the strap of her backpack and looked down as she tightened her brown jacket around herself.

“Morning, babe.” Tatum pressed her palm to Stu’s stomach and leaned in to kiss him.

Her proximity and her mouth hazed his mind for a moment. He let one hand wander around her exposed stomach, concentrating on the warmth of her skin. How long had it been since he fucked her? Would he have time to do it one more time? He doubted Billy’s plan was making allowances for that. Stu kissed her back and took her hand as he followed the girls to their lockers.

As Tatum opened her locker and shuffled her books, Stu leaned against the next one. He had no need for books. Classes today were pointless. He tried to memorize her face while he had the chance.

“This is a mistake,” Sidney said from her locker. “I shouldn’t be here.”

She never stops whining, Stu thought.

“I want you to meet me here right after class. Okay, Sid?” Tatum commanded.

“All right.” Sidney’s voice was low and quiet as she clicked her lock closed. She turned to face the couple. “Hey, I haven’t seen Billy around. Is he really pissed?”

“Oh, you mean after you branded him the Candyman?” Stu pulled a mirror from Tatum’s locker and looked himself over, nearly tempted to invoke the Candyman, then replaced it. “No, his heart is broken.”

Tatum jabbed Stu in the chest. “Stu,” she scolded.

Screeching and howling came from down the hall. The entire mass of students turned toward the sound. A figure in a Father Death costume parted the crowd, weaving from side to side and wildly flailing his arms. The shredded fabric of the costume wavered with each jerking motion. As the figure ran past the group, his movement sent a breeze over them.

Stu could not contain his delight. They were imitating Billy and him. They were dressing up like them. This was one step away from copycats. He coiled and bounced around his joy as the smile unfurled on his face.

“Why are they doing this?” Sidney asked.

Buzzkill. “Are you kidding?” Stu asked. “It’s like Christmas.”

Tatum whirled around to Stu. A frown contorted her pretty face.

“Stupidity leak!” she scolded.

She lifted her sucker and smacked him in the forehead with it, leaving sticky imprints on his face. Stu flinched back away from her, pulling his arms over his chest.

“Take it easy,” he said.

Sidney spun on her heel, pressing her palm to her mouth as she ran down the hall. Tatum called after her, and Stu rolled his eyes hard while she looked away.

Billy dragged himself up the stairs. In her blind flight, Sidney collided with him at the top. Billy released an exclamation of pain as the impact reminded him of his stiff and sore muscles. Then he reached out to cradle and corral Sidney in front of him.

“Jesus! Shit!” Sidney sputtered.

“It’s just me,” Billy said, holding her loosely.

Sidney planted her fist into his chest and pushed him away. Rejection again. Billy felt heat at the spot of her touch and the anger that blossomed from it. Sidney rubbed a nervous hand over her face.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.” Billy pointed at her. He wanted to point harder. He wanted to stab through her. “You still think it’s me, don’t you?”

“No. No, I don’t. It’s just that someone was there.” Sidney stared straight into Billy’s eyes. He could see the red rims of her puffy lids. So many tears. “Someone was trying to kill me.”

“I know. The police said I must have scared him away. It wasn’t me, Sid.”

“I know. He called me again last night at Tatum’s house.”

Just like I told him to. Good job, Stu. “See,” Billy said quickly, his words stepping on hers. “It couldn’t be me. I was in jail, remember?”

Billy lifted his fingers to Sidney, exposing the fingerprinting residue staining the digits black. Then he dropped his hand to the railing, defeated. Sidney took a step forward, gripping beside him.

“I’m so sorry. Please understand,” she said.

“Understand what?” Billy took a step forward into his anger. “That I have a girlfriend who would rather accuse me of being a psychopathic killer than touch me.”

Sidney’s eyebrows bounced at his words. “You know that’s not true.”

“Then what is it?”

Sidney’s features faltered harder as she struggled through her words. “What is it? Billy, I was attacked and nearly filleted last night.”

Let it go. You’re losing her, Billy thought, but he could not still his tongue. The words kept flowing unmitigated.

“I mean between us. You haven’t been the same since….” Billy paused. “Since your mother died.”

“Is your brain leaking? My mom was killed! I can’t believe you are bringing this up.” Sidney writhed in her outrage. Her tear-stained eyes narrowed into anger.

“It’s been a year.”

“Tomorrow. One year tomorrow.”

“I think it’s time you got over that. When my mom left my dad, I accepted it. That’s how it is. She’s not coming back.” He was not supposed to say what he thought. He was supposed to say his lines. These were not his lines.

“Your parents split up. This is not the same thing. Your mom left town. She’s not lying in a coffin somewhere.” Sidney’s face and body hardened.

You lost her. “Okay, okay, okay,” Billy backpedaled. “It’s a bad analogy. It’s just that I want my girlfriend back.”

Sidney gave him a dumbfounded look before she stepped past him.

“Sid,” Billy said.

Sidney turned. “I’m sorry if my traumatized life is an inconvenience to you and your perfect existence.”

The tears returned to Sidney’s eyes. She whirled around to keep them from Billy and ran awkward down the hall.

“What? What? Nobody said that. Sid!” Billy called after her. He had let too much of himself out, said too much of the truth. He dropped his head back in frustration. “Stupid!” he said to himself.

Billy turned to the empty hall where Sidney had fled. The spot on his chest where she had pushed him burned again, stirring the rage in his chest.

Fucking bitch, he thought. His mind shifted from his misstep, from all the words that had poured out of his mouth to Sidney. He saw her back as she ran away from him. Again. He felt her pushing him away from her. Again. He concentrated down on that hot rejection as he hurried to his locker.

He grasped the fabric bundle and unfurled the robe. His prankster classmates had already set the stage. He cast his eyes in each direction. Finding no witnesses, he pulled the robe on and seated the mask on his face. Then he hurried down the hall, tracing Sidney’s steps.

He was sure she had fled into the bathroom. He pressed against the wall outside the door. Just a Father Death copycat waiting to pull a prank. The hall was vacant, yet he aimed to look casual anyway, like any high school jackass. As he stretched a gloved hand toward the entrance, a blonde cheerleader and girl with a black bob haircut and clinging purple top burst from the door. Billy shrank back as they passed. They giggled and smacked their glossed lips, sauntering down the hall. Before the door could close again, Billy darted through it and slipped into the first stall.

He could hear Sidney, feel Sidney in there. Her choked breathing was barely audible when the stall door creaked, and her footsteps moved across the tile. Billy drew up his legs to balance on the toilet.

“Pathetic,” Sidney’s voice echoed soft in the bathroom.

“Sidney,” Billy whispered into the plastic mask.

“Is someone there?” Her voice shook, and Billy smiled under the mask.

“Sidney,” Billy whispered again, louder, longer.

Billy’s skin tingled against the costume. Sidney’s anxiety washed over him in waves through the door. She shuffled around the bathroom, chasing the sound. He heard her palms slap the tiles as she looked under the stall. Billy waited a breath then lowered each boot, slow and deliberate, and settled the costume over his legs.

Sidney’s breathing filled the room, eliciting Billy’s excitement. He ripped the door open with a grunt and exposed himself to Sidney. There was her face of fear, Maureen’s face of horror. It was the look he wanted to see every time she said no to him. He lunged toward her, arms extended to envelope her. Sidney threw herself to the floor, sliding along the floor and colliding loudly with the metal trash can. She scrabbled up from the ground and regarded him with the same fear as she fled the bathroom.

As the door drifted closed behind Sidney, Billy gathered himself to his feet, dusting off the costume as he stood. He pressed his hands into his knees as he laughed. The sound bounced back into his face from against the inside of the plastic mask.

Sidney was back where he wanted her.

Stu draped himself over his desk, long limbs hanging over like a spider. He twitched with nervous energy. It felt stupid to sit in a classroom and pretend to be a student. He wondered where Billy was. Probably chasing after Sidney, worrying after Sidney, trying to get Sidney to put out.

Fucking Sidney.

He wanted to scratch the words into his desk with his pencil. It threatened in his flexed fingertips. But that would leave a trace, and Billy was so meticulous about not leaving the wrong traces. He was going to show Billy he could do things exactly as he wanted. Better than he wanted. Then he and Billy could leave this shit town and cause problems somewhere bigger and better. It would be just them, together.

The speaker mounted to the classroom wall crackled, sending unexpected static through the room. Then Principal Himbry’s voiced poured out. The anxious edge on his words captured the attention of the class.

“I need your attention now, kids. Due to the recent events that have just occurred, effective immediately, classes will be suspended until further notice. The Woodsboro Police Department has issued a city-wide curfew beginning at 9:00 tonight.”

A laughing cheer spilled from Stu’s lips and was swallowed by the celebratory whoops coming from his classmates. A few dutiful students hung their heads in worry and whispered nervous words to each other. However, the majority pumped liberated fists into the air before hurrying into the hallway. More chattering words rose in the contained space.

Murder. Killer. Death. The words bounced against the lockers and sang sweetly into Stu’s ears. He absorbed the chorus with a blissful smile plastered on his face as he sauntered from the building. He did not bother going to his locker. What did he need? Classes and books did not matter for what he and Billy were doing.

Once he breathed free, outside air, Stu crouched down in the flower bed and plucked a few trembling buds. When he looked up, Tatum’s bright red pants marched by him on the sidewalk. He marveled at the way the fabric gripped her ass.

Surely, there is time for one more time with her, he said to himself. He knew Billy’s plan included cutting indiscriminately, but he at least wanted to say goodbye properly.

“You’re not going to pee anymore alone. If you pee, I pee. Is that clear?” Stu heard Tatum say as they passed him.

Fucking Sidney, the thought repeated. Whining again. Always about her. Yet Stu knew it was about her.

Stu vaulted over the petals and around the girls, extending the flowers in offering. “Kizzo, Kaskizoo is out. Darling, I don’t know what you did, Sidney, but on behalf of the entire student body, we all say, ‘thank you!’” Stu walked backward, extending his arms to his peers and shouting on their behalf.

“Drop it, Stu!” Tatum reached over and tugged a warning on the back of Stu’s shirt.

Swooping down, he scooped Tatum up on his shoulder. “No, I say, impromptu party tonight at my house to celebrate this siesta. What do you say?” He concentrated on the feeling of Tatum’s body against his, memorizing it.

“Are you serious?” Sidney said over her shoulder.

“Parents are out of town.” Stu lowered Tatum to her feet. “If this little vixen doesn’t invite the entire world, we’ll be fine. Intimate gathering, intimate friends.”

“What do you say, Sid? I mean, pathos could have its perks.” Tatum skipped up and took Stu’s hand.

Stu spun Tatum around into his arms and walked her in a backward dip, exposing more of her belly. He concentrated past the peek of her flesh. “Totally protected. Yo, I am so buff. I’ve got you covered, girl.” He replaced Tatum on her feet again.

“Come on, Sid. For me? It will be fun.” Tatum pleaded.

Sidney turned to face them. “Okay, whatever.”

“Yeah? Nice!” Stu took a playful bit of Tatum’s neck. “Cool, you guys bring food, all right?” Stu pumped his arms in celebration then hurried back toward the school to find Billy.

Billy heard Principal Himbry’s announcement from the girls’ bathroom where he had chased Sidney. He loitered there, listening to the students celebrate and gossip as they drained from the school. He kept his Father Death skin on, just another insensitive teenage copycat, and regarded himself in the mirror. He tipped his head from one side to the other slowly, like Michael Myers, noting how truly creepy it was for a masked face to adopt that quizzical body language. He yanked the knife from his forearms sheath and held it high above his head, like Leatherface with a grumbling chainsaw.

This killer could work. This killer could be iconic.

When the school around him had fallen silent, Billy slipped the knife back into its holster and pressed the bathroom door open. The hall was vacant. Abandoned papers littered the floor as evidence of the hasty and morbidly gleeful evacuation. As Billy moved, no other sound registered beside his own breathing bouncing against the mask. He peered in each open classroom but only found desks abandoned as if the students had evaporated.

Billy approached the main office cautiously yet still no one. Crossing one leg over the other, he slunk near the wall, yet even the staff had capitalized on the excuse to flee the building and barricade themselves in their homes.

I did this. I did all of this. They are scared of ME, and they don’t even know it. Billy felt a surge of adrenaline at the thought.

Principal Himbry’s door was sealed tight, yet when Billy leaned his ear close to the glass, he could still hear the man shuffling around within. Billy grinned at the fact that he had not missed him.

How are you and your father, Billy, since Debbie left? He heard Principal Himbry’s question echo in his mind again. Debbie. Debbie. DEBBIE. Why would he be asking after his mother after this long? He surely didn’t care about Billy. Why would he be using her first name? Any answer just brewed fire in Billy so hot that his palm sweated around the knife in his gloved hand.

Billy knocked hard on the door then leaped across the hallway into another room. He cowered low and silent below the window of the door, stifling his breathing.

“Yes? Hello?” He heard Principal Himbry call from the other side.

Billy remained frozen, waiting and replaying Principal Himbry saying his mother’s name in his mind. His pulse slammed into clarity as he sat immobile. He listened for Principal Himbry to close his door. Billy opened his own door and slipped across the hallway, rapping on Principal Himbry’s door then diving back to hide.

Principal Himbry answered faster this time. His irritated breathing filled the hallway as his steps began to move. Billy listened for them to tap into the main office. Then he opened his door a sliver. He watched Principal Himbry’s back navigate through the desks. Billy lunged across the hall and into the Principal’s office, tucking himself behind the open door. Once concealed, he concentrated on taming his breathing and waiting for his prey to return.

Principal Himbry lingered in the room when he returned, not convinced he was alone. He eyed the closet skeptically before pouncing on it and stripping the clothes aside. Billy resisted the chuckle as Principal Himbry found nothing. Billy forced himself to wait. He wanted Principal Himbry to feel safe and reassured so that the scare he produced was fully realized.

Principal Himbry strode across his office for a final peek down the hallway. When he moved to close the office door, he exposed Billy. Billy unfolded his arms above his head with the tendrils of the costume waving and advanced on Principal Himbry. Principal Himbry finally turned and displayed the terror Billy had been waiting for. Principal Himbry’s face stretched and contorted in shock and fear.

Billy smiled delirious against the plastic as he shoved the knife into Principal Himbry’s stomach. Principal Himbry grunted and wilted over into Billy. Billy steadied him with a hand on his shoulder so he could extract the knife and stab into him over and over until his arm burned from the exertion and the heat in his chest had migrated to his forehead. When Principal Himbry’s face when slack and Billy could see his own ghostly mask in the reflection of his eyes, he stepped back and regarded his work.

“Whoa, man,” Stu said from behind Billy. “What’d he do to piss you off?”

Billy whirled around and peeled the mask off his face, leaving it resting on his head like a hat.

“Nothing.” Billy shrugged. “He’s a good victim. He’ll grab people’s attention.”

“No objections here.” Stu lifted his hands. “Guy was a prick.”

“I’m thinking we should hang him on the football field. Gut him like we did Casey. Bet it will draw a crowd.”

Stu turned a grimace into a thoughtful face. “How do you want to do that? People are still hanging around out there. Getting high on the field and whatever.”

“I’ll handle that later when everyone is at your party. Just help me get him closer now. We’ll bag him up and put him in that equipment shed for now.”

Stu shrugged, nodded. “Then what do you want to do? Party isn’t for a while.”

“Fuck with people.”

Stu’s face lit up, a devious smile slithering across his thin lips. “How?”

“Walk around town like copycats a little. I want you to go make sure Randy comes to your party. I want a piece of that little fucker tonight.”

Billy felt the power radiating off him as he walked through the trees behind the mask. Hearing his own breaths measured his steps and grounded him in his flesh. Anonymity shrouded him, and he wore the face that he had made everyone fear, the face that was closing the entire city tonight. He breathed in the smell of the cheap plastic pressed against his nose and associated it with the thrill throbbing down his nerves, the anticipation crackling on his brain. It was all going so well. Even the unexpected arrest had twisted to work out in his favor. The actors were playing their parts, and he could feel the final scenes culminating in his brain. He just needed to get his leading lady to take proper direction.

Weaving through the neighborhood, he felt the warmth of the sun bite at him in patches between the shadows. He walked between the houses like Michael Myers would do on Halloween night, peeking out near the streets enough to be glimpsed. He fought the urge to stand menacing beside a large shrub. Instead, he continued toward his target.

He saw Sidney and Tatum perched on Tatum’s front porch. Music pumped from speakers Tatum had set on her roof. He could not hear what the girls were saying, but he did not care. Tatum, no doubt, was probably saying something that would cause him problems later, but she would not be an impediment for much longer.

Billy glanced at them, almost wishing they would see him, then moved through the nearby trees and continued his parade before looping back to his car. Dumping the costume into his trunk, he dropped in the driver’s seat and navigated toward the video store.

The video store was packed with bodies. People hovered in the aisles, evaluating titles or chatting about the murders or the curfew. The energy in the building was electric. It brought the hair on Billy’s arm to stand on end when he walked through the door. When eyes turned to him, he knew what they were thinking, and he could not resist the smirk.

Billy met all their gazes and meandered into the horror section. The familiar movie covers and faces enveloped him. Every story he had dove into after his mother left, every film he had watched on repeat when his father passed out, every killer who was an inspiration. He felt at home and understood and relaxed into his skin. He snatched a hanging bag of popcorn and tore it open.

“Aren’t you Billy Loomis?” A girl with streaming blonde ringlets asked, toying with her backpack straps.

“Yeah.” Billy turned and smiled at her and the friend lingering beside her.

“I think you’re in my gym class.”

“Oh yeah?” Billy grinned a little wider, noticing how attractive she was and how her eyes looked welcoming instead of cold. Hungry even.

“Yeah. So, uh, what movie are you looking for?”

Billy looked around at the horror section. “You like scary movies?”

The front door chimed as Stu entered the store. He glimpsed Billy loitering in their section with two cute girls. A purr of jealousy rolled through him, but he swallowed it down and scanned the rows for Randy. Randy mounted a rolling cart and skittered across the floor, nearly colliding with a patron. Scoffing at the sight, Stu moved up behind him.

Randy parked the cart sloppy across the aisle and gathered a stack of VHS tapes in his hands. Stu crept up behind him and reached his long arm around, launching the tapes from Randy’s grasp. They arched into the air before cascading to the floor.

“Ooooh!” Stu called to garner more attention. He stuck his tongue out and laughed as he swung around the video shelf opposite Randy.

“Dork,” Randy replied, narrowing his eyes.

“Jesus, this place is packed tonight.” Stu cast his eyes around the crowd before settling into a lean atop the shelf, propping his head on his hand.

“We had a run in the mass murder section.” Randy picked up more tapes and shelved them between him and Stu.

“You coming to my fiesta?” Stu traced Randy as he worked down the shelf.

“Yeah, I’m off early cause curfew, you know.”

A blonde in a light blue shirt approached Randy, hands hooked in her backpack straps.

“What’s that werewolf movie with E.T.’s mom in it?” she asked.

“The Howling,” Randy answered easily. “Horror, straight ahead.” He gestured to the section with his chin.

“Thanks.” The girl whirled around to move toward Billy in the horror section.

Randy caught sight of Billy and grimaced. “Now, that’s in bad taste.”

“What?” Stu asked, glancing confused across the room.

“If you were the only suspect in a senseless bloodbath, would you be standing in the horror section?”

Randy and Stu both looked at Billy as he offered his popcorn to the two girls, appearing relaxed and cavalier.

Hiding in plain sight, Stu thought. “What?” Stu repeated. “It was just a misunderstanding. He didn’t do anything.”

“You’re such a little lap dog. He’s got killer printed all over his forehead.”

“OK, really,” Stu mocked. “How come the cops let him go, smart guy?” Because the cops are morons.

“Cause they obviously they don’t watch enough horror movies. This is standard horror movie stuff. Prom Night revisited.”

“Yeah?” Stu lounged long on the top of the shelf. “Why would he want to kill his own girlfriend?”

“There’s always some stupid bullshit reason to kill your girlfriend.”

You are not wrong there. I can think of a thousand reasons to kill Sidney. Stu lifted his eyebrows in curiosity.

“That’s the beauty of it all, simplicity. Besides, if it gets too complicated, you lose your target audience.”

“Well, what’s his reason?”

“Maybe Sidney wouldn’t have sex with him.”

Bingo! “What? Is she saving herself for you?” Stu laughed and shuffled.

Randy’s eyes filled with a quiet desperation. “Maybe. Now that Billy tried to mutilate her, do you think Sid would go out with me?”

Stu squawked in laughter. He extended his tongue then covered his mouth, pointing. Then he dropped his cartoonish display for a deadpan expression. “No, I don’t. At all. No.” Stu leaned forward and widened his eyes. “You know who I think it is? I think it’s her father. Why can’t they find her pops, man?” Aside from the fact that he’s in my basement.

“Because he’s probably dead! His body will come popping up in the last reel or something. Eyes gouged out, fingers cut off, teeth knocked out!” Randy’s voice escalated, and patrons turned their eyes to them. “The police are always off track with this shit!”

“Man!” Stu flinched at Randy’s volume and attempted to hush him.

“If they watched Prom Night, they’d save time,” Randy continued, waving the tapes still clutched in his hands. “There’s a formula to it. A very simple formula! Everybody’s a suspect!”

Randy’s voice filled the store. The room froze and turned to him. Stu gestured smoking a joint to the gawkers and waved them off.

“I’m telling you,” Randy said, “the dad’s a red herring. It’s Billy.”

Randy turned away from Stu with a handful of tapes. He whirled around directly into Billy. Greeting him like a wall, Billy seized the front of his shirt. Randy stopped breathing. His eyes went wide. Billy saw the blend of surprise and fear on his face and let the smirk playing on his lips. He figured it only made him more intimidating.

“How do we know you’re not the killer, huh? Huh?” Billy asked.

Stu clamped down on Randy’s shoulders, sandwiching him between them.

“Hi Billy,” Randy choked, still in Billy’s grip, abandoning the tapes in his hands to a pile at his feet.

“Maybe your movie freaked mind lost its reality button. Ever think of that?” Billy snapped.

“You’re absolutely right,” Randy said. “I’m first to admit it. If this was a scary movie, I would be the chief suspect.”

“That’s right,” Billy said.

“What would be your motive?” Stu leaned into Randy’s neck and toyed with his earlobe with his fingertip.

Randy turned back to Stu and shrugged Billy and Stu off, straightening his shirt. “It’s the Millennium. Motives are incidental.”

A wicked smile fractured Billy’s cheeks. “Millennium,” he laughed. “I like that. That’s good. Millennium.” He pinched Randy’s nose to jostle his face. “Good kid.” Patting Randy’s cheek, he released his smile and turned on his heel to exit the store.

Millennium,” Stu mused from behind Randy. “Good word, my man.”

Randy leaned back into Stu and pointed after Billy. “You’re telling me that’s not a killer?”

Stu shrugged and danced away from Randy. “Come on, man. You know Billy has always been intense. Doesn’t mean he’s a killer.”

“Whatever you say.” Randy stooped to pick up the fallen tapes.

“I gotta run pick up some things for tonight. See you at the party?” Stu pointed both fingers at Randy.

“Yeah, yeah.” Randy nodded and turned back to the shelves.

Stu checked off another task in his mind and exited the store to find his Father Death costume.

Two Father Deaths converged on Billy’s car, parked on a side street. They stalked to the trunk before shedding their shrouds and masks to reveal Billy and Stu. The two quickly coiled the fabric into the car and shut the lid, smirking and shuffling to either side of the vehicle.

“Did anyone see you?” Billy asked, tipping his chin at Stu over the roof of the car.

“Oh yeah,” Stu laughed. “You should have seen the look the store clerk gave me.”

“You went into the store?” Billy slipped into the driver’s seat.

“Yeah, saw Sid and Tatum there grabbing snacks for tonight.”

Billy’s eyes grew dark. “Good. So, they’ll be there tonight.”

Stu looked down at his lap, weaving his fingers together. “Tatum is pretty adamant that you not be there.”

“Yeah, I know,” Billy growled. “I’ll show that bitch what I think later.”

Stu pursed his lips and looked down at his woven fingers. It felt like Tatum’s time was slipping through his hands too quickly. He would not deny Billy his plan. He just wanted one more time with her, one proper goodbye. Perhaps if she showed up early enough, he could sneak her upstairs before things really got started.

Billy started the car and eased away from the curb. He leaned into the window as he drove, stroking his chin with one hand. His mind wandered over all the plans to unfold tonight.

“What are you going to do during the party?” Stu asked.

“Take care of Himbry. Get ready.”

Stu shifted in his seat, continued to wring his hands, and looked from the windshield to his side window.

“You nervous, man?” Billy squinted over at Stu.

Stu shook his head quick. “Nah, excited.” He tipped his head. “Well, maybe a little.”

“For what?” Judgment pinched Billy’s face.

“Just that last part.”

“Being left for dead.” Billy raised an eyebrow as he watched the road.

“Yeah, the stabbing and bleeding part.”

Billy rolled his eyes. “It will be fine. It has to be convincing.”

“I know. I know.”

“You won’t even feel it. Our adrenaline will be pumping so hard. We’ll be riding that high.”

Stu nodded but kept his hands clasped together. His eyes continued to wander back and forth between the windows as his foot tapped on the floorboards. Billy registered the nervous energy rolling off Stu and leaned farther into the window and his musings on the night to come.

The car rumbled to a stop on Stu’s gravel driveway, the massive Macher house perched before the expanse of rolling hills. The sun flirted with the horizon, casting vivid orange rays through those hills. Billy could feel the night swelling around them and his anticipation with it.

Stu opened his door and eased a leg out. “All right, man. I’ll see you when it all goes down.”

A genuine smile hinted on Billy’s lips, and Stu relished its appearance. He mirrored the grin immediately and kept it on his cheeks even as he opened the front door of his empty house. For a suspended second, he could pretend Neil Prescott was not in his basement, requiring food, water, and bucket emptying. He could tell himself he would say goodbye to Tatum right before they sliced their way through Woodsboro and left it blood-soaked behind them. He could glimpse the future, the sequel, that Billy promised him on the other side of a few stab wounds.

Riding that wave of possibility, Stu whistled as he fetched a bottle of water and a sleeve of crackers from the kitchen. He danced around the island then paraded down the hall and into the basement. The smell struck him first and knocked him out of his prance. He pressed the back of his hand to his mouth to temper his gag.

“Whoa, Neil, it is rank down here,” Stu called, dropping onto the concrete floor.

Neil answered with the dragging and yanking of a chain. Stu heard it pull taut against the pipe to which he had secured it.

Skirting the bucket, he moved toward Neil. “Now, be cooperative this time, man. I know you’re thirsty and hungry. And I doubt you want to get hit with the pipe again.”

Neil’s narrow eyes appeared from the shadows, rage flickering behind wounded control. He shuffled toward Stu and sat awkward on the edge of the rumpled couch.

“There you go, buddy.” Stu nodded in approval. “See, it can be much easier like this.”

Stu tore the plastic open on the crackers and cracked the seal on the bottle of water, passing each over to Neil. Neil reached out as for as his restrained wrists would let him. He stared into Stu the entire time, yet Stu met his eyes unaffected, barely even blinking.

“Well, Neil, buddy boy.” Stu slapped his knees. “Time to get ready. The big show is tonight. You won’t want to miss this.”

Neil’s eyes went wide, and he stopped chewing the cracker smashed in his mouth. Crumbs clung to his lips.

“You’ll even get to see your precious baby girl,” Stu said as he reluctantly grabbed the handle of the bucket and made for the stairs.

“Sidney?” Neil asked.

Stu offered Neil a maniacal smirk and moved up the stairs without a response.

“What are you going to do to my daughter?” Neil shouted. “Sidney! Sidney!”

Stu closed the door over Neil’s yells. “Going to have to gag that prick before the party,” he muttered to himself.

Continued on… Father Death (14)

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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 (13) […]

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  2. […] Father Death (13) […]

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  3. Another engaging chapter. I didn’t know fan-fiction can be this delicious. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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