ProfNigma Stories #10: Schneider’s Island #7

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ProfNigma Stories #10: Schneider’s Island #7iCarly/Victorious: Schneider’s Island #7 – Sizzle[Warning – there is no sex in this story, please don’t hate me for that, but I hope you enjoy it nevertheless]A bomb could have gone off in the inn and Jade West wouldn’t have noticed, her entire world crashing down around her head and nothing but buzzing in her ears had turned her perception off completely.She didn’t hear the screams and the sirens that were now growing to deafening levels. Nor could she see beyond those blurry red and tear covered eyes. And she could barely feel her body moving as Freddie pulled her from the room, and ushered her to her makeshift room with Tori right by her side.It was just unreal, Jade’s scrambled brain f*rced out. Her dad was gone. And just as she had begun to make peace with him. He would never know how much she really loved him, or how sorry she was for being a bitchy teenage girl for most of her life. But worst of all was what he couldn’t do; he would never have the chance to walk her down the aisle or be a grandfather to their ch*ld, or anything.”Hey,” a voice said, breaking her from her shattered future, and she quickly realized it was Freddie sitting on the edge of her bed. And then she noticed she was lying down and Tori standing over her. “Jade, baby… are you there?”‘Yeah…” she said weakly, causing Freddie and Tori to exchange looks.”Ok…” he said with a deep breath. “I need to go back down there and help with… I don’t know… I guess I need to step up for this. Tori is going to look after you, ok?”Jade weakly nodded as Freddie stood and embraced Tori whispering something in her ear which seemed to be a surprise, but the look was completely missed by the barely conscious girl on the bed.”Take care of her…” he said with a heavy sigh. “Call me if there is anything happening.””Got it,” Tori said, holding onto the hug for a second too long before he pulled away and headed out the door.* * *”I need everyone to stay calm, and to stay together!” An older, gravelly voice called to the den full of crying and scared people.The voice belonged to Sheriff Bobby Singer, who looked around the same age as Col. Shay but his face was much more sunken, and a salt and pepper beard hid much of his facial nonverbal signals. Behind him stood two deputies, quiet and stiff.”Listen,” he said with a commanding voice that sounded more like someone from the deep south than a Washington native. “Everyone needs to report to their rooms and no one should be alone. I will be by to talk to each and everyone here. No one is to leave this building without talking to me first.”There was a steady sound of grumbling as people stood and headed off to their respective rooms while careful whispers began to move like waves through the crowd. Including Spencer and Amy who were so busy going back and forth about this ordeal, that they didn’t pay attention to Savan-na.As the young girl walked by one of the rooms, she saw a face sticking out at her level, and she immediately recognized the curly black hair and glasses wearing face as Robbie. She started to wave, but he put his finger up to his lips giving her the shush signal before closing the door back once she gave him a nod.Once he was alone with his deputies, Singer took a deep breath, and headed into the room where West’s body still lay, with one thought on his mind: where was Mrs West?* * *Just as Carly got into the room with Sam, the blonde got a call on her cell phone from an unknown number. Answering quickly, she heard faint music like someone playing a music box with a badly pre-recorded voice.”One little, two little, three little Indians. Four little, five little, six little Indians.”The song could have gone on, but Sam was so freaked out by it that she tossed her phone to the side, and figured it was just some k*ds playing a prank or something.Once Carly got her stuff, she and Sam headed down the hall to the opened door of the large darkening sunroom, where Andre, Beck, Nate, and Gibby were all sitting around and talking.”Was wondering when you girls were going to get over here,” Andre said, trying to keep a light tone as he slid down the couch to make room for one of them.”Just had to get my stuff,” Carly said, tucking her hair behind her ear. “Heard you guys talking, and figured being alone was not ideal.””Hey,” Sam said, giving her best friend a glare. “I was there too.””You know what I mean, Sam…” Carly said rolling her eyes.”Whatever,” the blonde said, reaching for a beer from the small cooler the guys had between them.”I’m not sure it’s the best idea to drink, guys,” Gibby added, looking around and feeling nervous. “Maybe we should stay alert when the cops come and talk to us.””Talk to us about what?” Beck asked, taking a long swig. “None of us had anything to do with any of it.””Yeah,” Carly added, “but you guys were all here when it happened, and we were at the wedding.””Are we sure what happened to Jade’s dad wasn’t like self-inflicted or accidental?” Gibby asked, looking around.”No fucking way,” Beck said looking dead ahead, and trying to form a thought that wouldn’t speak ill of the dead. “Someone went to town on that guy, plus getting attacked by that dog. I never liked the guy, but that was pretty savage.””You think it might be someone here?” Sam asked, leaning back on the couch.”Like in this room?””No…” Nate said, putting his hand up to Andre. “She means is someone who we know responsible for killing Jade’s dad.””Seems like you got a pretty good motive, Beck,” Sam said, cocking a glance his way.”It could be anyone really, I guess,” Andre said, looking all around the room. “Guy walks away from Cujo and ends up getting done in by some sicko… I’d hate to think that someone we know is capable of all this.”Carly was going to add something but faint sobbing distracted her, as Cat and Noelle came in, the redhead clearly bawling her eyes out in pain and fear.”We need to get off this island, guys,” the dark haired young woman said, helping Cat to a chair.”Fucking seconded,” Sam said, slamming her bottle on the table and reaching for another one everyone else just nodded in agreement to the sentiment.* * *”I don’t need to tell you the sheer amount of fucked up this is right, Riggins?”Sheriff Singer looked over his shoulder at his lead deputy as they looked over the body in front of them.”No sir,” he responded back, trying to keep his nose from inhaling too much of the smell and throwing up on an active crime scene. “Is there some-thing I should know?””Yeah…” Singer said, looking at the neck slice closely. “That we have a serious problem. These cuts, the style and knife used… they are exactly what the Slasher used.””But, sir, it’s been over 20 years… and you…” the deputy didn’t want to question his boss at all. “How is that possible?””Copycat, probably,” he said coldly. “Which might be even worse because we don’t know what this sick freak is capable of.””But the Slasher is dead, right? You… you killed him… right?”Singer turned and narrowed his eyes at the young officer, a clear anger and pain flaring in his sunken eyes. “Yes… The Slasher is dead. I… I know the Slasher is gone.”***In Jade and Tori’s room there was only silence as the pale brunette softly wept, clinging tightly to the chest of who would be her husband hours from now. Every so often, Tori and Freddie would exchange glances as if to ask what they should say or do in this situation, neither having any real answer to ease the pain that Jade was experiencing.None of them had any idea how long they had been in the room there, feeling like it could have been hours, and other times, it felt like seconds. Every so often, Freddie would softly kiss the top of her reddened face as she stared off into oblivion.KNOCK KNOCK KNOCKSince Freddie had his hands full with Jade, Tori nearly jumped at the chance to end the silence and answered the door, expecting Singer, but was surprised to see Carly, who didn’t wait for an invite as she stepped into the room.”How is she?” she asked Freddie, which threw him since it wasn’t like Jade was in another room.”How do you think, Carly?” he responded, a bit more aggressively than he had meant to when her hurt face gave him the signal of hurt. “Sorry… not good.””Man… we were just talking about how terrible this whole thing is,” Carly said, but seemed distracted for a few moments, just looking at the near com*tose Jade. “Can we talk outside for a minute, Freddie?””Sure…” he said, as Tori quickly rushed to take his place in holding Jade as they switched off and Freddie had a chance to get up and stretch for the first time in what felt like forever.The two long-time friends stepped outside the room, and Carly quickly unloaded her feelings.”I am so sorry, Freddie…” she said, trying not to look him in the eye. “I never imagined that any of this could happen, and I blame myself for choosing this place.””It’s not your fault, Carls,” he said, reaching out to hug her. “None of the crap that happened today with her dad is remotely your fault, so stop beating yourself up. We were doing wedding planning, obviously.””I know, but still… I can’t help but feel like I should have picked a place where people wouldn’t be murdered.””And canlı bahis that place would be?”Carly was silent, and flashed a weak smile which Freddie returned before speaking again.”Look… I need to ask you about something.””Sure,” she said, looking up and down the halls for anyone that might be listening.”It’s about Robbie.””The weird Jew-y puppet guy who is friends with Jade?””And me… but yeah,” Freddie said, feeling uneasy at accusing a friend of such a heinous act. “Him. You know, he was the one who threw those firecrackers at us this morning with Savanna.””Yeah… that doesn’t really equal murder.””No, but that mess in the church I had to go take care of does. It was a bunch of wild a****l carcasses that it looked like someone dissected, and as Sikotitz and I were cleaning, I ran across this near one of them,” he said, showing a tightly wrapped firecracker remnant to Carly. “Right before the rehearsal, I basically kicked him out and told him he wasn’t welcome, and he said he had a real surprise coming. He wasn’t at the church when West died, so I’m feeling really suspicious.””Right… and you can’t exactly tell Jade that right now, and they’ve all been friends for years.””Thus why I’m telling you right now.” Freddie took a deep breath. “I need to get back inside, and I don’t want to make a big thing about Robbie until I’m sure, but I figured you needed to know at least.””Ok, Freddie… we can talk later. I just… I just can’t believe that he would be capable of something so god-awful.””Me either… but that’s why I want to get to the bottom of all this.”The long-time friends shared a quick hug and Carly was on her way and Freddie prepared to reclaim his role as Jade’s pillow.”Everything ok?” Tori asked, as Freddie entered back, and he just nodded.”She’s just a bit freaked out,” he said simply as he took his spot by Jade once more and cradled the head of his lover to his chest, stroking her hair softly and holding her close as she worked out whatever thoughts she needed to.”Phone was nearly…” Tori stopped talking, realizing she was about to say a word she really didn’t want to in front of Jade, and corrected herself. “I was charging my phone downstairs, I’m going to grab it really quick and I’ll be right back.”Tori quickly gathered herself, and then headed on her journey, closing the door behind her.She crept down the stairs, not wanting to get the cops’ attention since she was defying their orders, and quickly found her PearPhone charging by the main window. She leaned over to unplug it and put it in her pocket, but when she looked back out the window, she nearly had a heart attack.”Tori!” Robbie said in a hurried whisper from the other side of the glass. “I need you!””Robbie!” she nearly shouted before stopping herself. “What’s going on? Why aren’t you up in your room?””Come outside… please,” he begged, looking more and more scared with each passing second.Tori was a bit scared since Robbie was never the most balanced or normal person she’d ever met, but he was a friend, so that bought him time to talk. She rushed out of the main door and met the dark curly haired young man in the back yard.”I know the cops are looking for me,” he said hurriedly. “If Freddie hasn’t already put them on my trail, he will really soon.””Wait,” Tori said, giving him a glare and raising her hand to stop him. “Why would Freddie of all people send the cops after you?””He came at me yelling and screaming about how I was sick, and I jokingly said that I had a surprise coming tonight. I was going to put a whoopee cushion in his chair at dinner… but then this thing with Jade’s dad happened… I think he thinks that’s my ‘surprise.'””Why don’t you just tell the cops or Freddie this?””Because of course they are going to think of the weird k*d with all the mental problems is the one to blame. I need to get away, Tori…” Robbie said, looking around. “I found something in the woods, and you need to come with me to see it. I can prove that there’s a killer here.”Tori was paralyzed with fear. She had no idea if she could trust Robbie, and he was certainly scared and acting completely different, so there was no telling what was going on with him. As she looked at the setting sun, she took a deep breath before taking a step of into the grass.”Fine… but we have to be back before it gets dark.””We will, Tori, I promise…” he huffed, leading her into the woods. “I just need someone to believe me.”For the next ten minutes, Tori was slowly led deeper and deeper into the woods, where Robbie pointed out different types of trips and traps that she needed to be careful. And while this was all about proving his innocence, his knowledge of some of the creepier stuff just made all this feel like it was a trap for her.”Robbie…” she started, but he stopped, and looked back at her for a moment.”This is it, Tori…” he said looking all around them, and then without any warning, he pulled out a knife, and charged at the pop singer.* * *”Now, I can’t see any reason for you folks might have for having any sort of beef with Robert West.”Robert Singer stood before a seated Spencer, Amy, and Col. Shay, slowly looking them over, and spending an especially lengthy time staring at the former Air F*rce member. There was a clear air of hostility, and Spencer could feel it, and planned to ask his father immediately afterward what their deal was.”So, can we get one of those boats and get out of here,” Amy said impatiently.”Not this evening ma’am,” Singer said, switching to a more calm tone. “We haven’t been getting any boats in or out for the last three or four days that weren’t fishing boats that don’t go more than a mile out. In fact, I think you folks were the last ones to actually arrive.””That’s impossible,” Spencer said, interjecting. “There have been a few people who have left who got rides to the mainland, because of illness and whatnot. His wife was one of them.””I got no idea what to tell you, Mister Shay… unless they snuck past our harbour master, docked without seeing anything, and moved like lightning before anyone could notice in town, then no one has left this island.””So where are those people?””That’s a good question, Mrs Shay,” Singer paused for a moment. “We need to find the answer.””What would have stopped the boats… Sheriff?” There was a tight acidity to the way Steven Shay said that word that made it clear that there was a real issue.”Fish migration. If boats came in and out, then it would disrupt what keeps this community going. Supposed to be done in a couple days, but I think this is a big enough deal that we can get you a boat by tomorrow to leave.””Well, do you have any leads?” Amy asked nervously, looking into the bedroom where Savanna was still sitting on her bed playing. “Is there any chance someone here could have done something?””Not sure yet,” Singer said, getting his notes together to leave. “I’ve spoken to a number of the friends of the bride and groom. Luckily, the three girls I talked to in that room at the end were forthcoming about some shady business. According to them and a couple of the guys verified this, apparently, one of the gentlemen here used to date the bride, and the Wests were apparently bribing him to try and end the wedding.””If you’re talking about Beck,” Spencer said, speaking up for the teen, “I’ve heard he can be a bit scummy but the k*d isn’t a killer.””That does raise a question, Spencer… I hope you don’t mind if I call you that. I knew you when you were a little k*d, actually. Do you remember the murders here when you were a k*d? And-“”We’re done here, Sheriff.” Steven said with an intensity that stung like a hot poker against Singer’s skin.”Maybe we are, but right now, I got a couple leads to check out, so I’m sure we will have this conversation again.” Singer headed to the door, but paused, looking right at Col. Shay. “I need to go speak with the… groom and the bride. I just don’t know how much I can get out of her.””You do that,” Shay said, with a mild sneer before standing up to address his son and daughter-in-law once there was quiet. He looked back at his f*mily and his eyes were practically slits as he hissed. “You are not to trust or go near that man without me, do you understand?”Spencer and Amy just nodded, wide eyed, feeling a whole new type of scared than they were feeling an hour before.* * *Tori barely had time to scream, as Robbie moved right past her with the knife and began cutting the edge of a brown rope that she hadn’t even seen. Part of her was relieved when she realized he wasn’t trying to hurt her, but that relief was short lived as rope loosened and branches cracked and Tori actually did scream when she saw what that rope was keeping up.Sinjin.More precisely, his body. He had no marks on him, but there were plenty of bruises along his figure, especially in the face. Both wondered how he got here if he wasn’t even invited.Tori looked to Robbie and saw that he truly seemed just as terrified.”I saw the body in the tree when I was running when I heard the news. I’ve just been camped out here, but I needed someone to see… there’s no way I could have done this. Or anything like this.””I believe you, Robbie…” Tori said with a deep breath, trying to keep bahis siteleri calm, even though the dead body of one of her high school friends was swaying back and forth. “But what exactly is this supposed to prove other than… well, other than that someone is murdering people? How does this clear you?””Because there’s no way I could rig that type of thing up. I can barely tie my shoes most days… you know that.””I guess so…” she said, her voice trailing and a flicker of doubt starting up. “We need to get back and tell that sheriff.””No way, Tori… I’ll get locked up!” he practically shouted back.”I will vouch for you. Heck, my dad can vouch for you if you call him if anything happens.”Robbie stood there for what seemed like hours thinking his decision through, until finally he just pushed past Tori, and started walking back to the inn, doing his best to be confident, when inside he was practically screaming.The two were silent, as they headed back to the inn, eager to get this nightmare over with, though Tori really wanted to say something, anything to make Robbie not feel like such an outcast or that all this was going to be ok, but she didn’t know that and there was nothing she could say.As they approached the back door, they saw Freddie pacing outside the door, and Tori suddenly became upset that he would just leave Jade at a time like this. Robbie began to slink back a bit, hoping that the guy who threatened him just hours before wouldn’t see him.”Where have you been, Tori?!” he said, coming towards her. “Sheriff has been looking to talk to everyone and-“”Freddie,” she said, cutting him off quickly. “We found Sinjin’s body in the woods.””The weird k*d you… wait, we?””Yeah, Robbie found him,” Tori said, gesturing for the dark haired young man to emerge from the woods, but as soon as he got within sight, Fred-die rushed him and a strong tackle later, both were on the ground. Freddie naturally had the upper hand, and landed blow after blow to Robbie until he felt hands on his shoulders.”Freddie! Stop!” Tori shouted, pulling the much stronger man off Robbie. “Robbie found the body… he didn’t do anything. He’s just trying to prove he’s innocent.””By showing you where the fucking bodies are? Oh yeah, Tori…” he said with a crisp sarcasm. “Really great defence there.””He was just as surprised as I was. He didn’t know who or what was there, but we found it together,” Tori was trying to be the ref but as she said things out loud, she began to feel nervous. “He’s not a killer, Freddie.””That may be,” the groom said, looking down at the badly injured Robbie. “But I think we both know someone who is one.”Tori’s eyes flashed and her mouth opened in surprise as she knew exactly who he was talking about- Nate.* * *Feeling cramped with the others all in one room, Noelle decided to just walk the upstairs hall, just trying to wrap her mind around the fact that someone was murdered tonight. As she looked in random rooms that, after knocking, no one answered, she stumbled across a room that looked a bit out of place.There was something off about the way the bed was made, very different than the others, but this room had not been registered to any guests at all. Noelle slunk into the room a bit more, looking for anything unusual, as her curiosity always got to her, and after looking under the bed, she made a startling discovery.There was a folder that was full of old newspaper clippings going back twenty years, all the way until a couple weeks ago. And every single line had something to do with the murders and the killer from way back when:SCHNEIDER SLASHER IN CALIFORNIA?RECOVERED BODIES IN SEATTLE AND SALEM MATCH THE SLASHER’S MOSCHNEIDER SLASHER A WOMAN?SLASHER: HORROR OR HOAX?20 YEARS LATER, A LOOK BACK AT THE TRAGEDYWAS THE SLASHER A GHOST?DID THE SLASHER HAVE A F*MILY?MAN CLAIMS SON WHO DIED IN BOSNIA WAS THE SLASHERSLASHER VICTIMS REPORTED ALL ALONG WEST COASTNoelle thumbed through them, eager to find out if there was any sign of who these belonged to, but there was no sign, and so she decided to grab the bag and take it back to her own room and do some research and detective work of her own.* * *”Hey, Kelly, it’s me,” Beck said, pacing the hallway, cell phone in hand, trying desperately to get a hold of his former girlfriend and current… truth be told, he didn’t really know what they were. “This is like the third message I’ve left you and I just wanted us to talk. There’s some majorly fucked up shit here, so it’s probably for the best that you left. Well… I guess, that’s it. Call me back.”Beck quietly cursed to himself as he hung up, truly worried about what had happened to his long-time confidant. But he couldn’t shake the feeling that something was truly wrong and getting the hell off this island jumped higher and higher on his priority list.* * *”King beats Jack!” Savanna shouted as she laid down her cards, sitting across the gruff stranger man who was asking her questions, looking at her mom in the doorway every so often.The sheriff had waited for Steven to leave before returning to ask the little girls some questions he still had and figured if anyone noticed some-thing, it would be a ch*ld.”Yes, it does,” Singer said in his softest and most peaceful voice as he played War with the ch*ld. “But nothing beats telling the truth, right?””Maybe…” she said, dropping higher and higher cards in their game. “I think chocolate cake is better.”Singer eyed the girl, unsure if she was trying to make a deal with him, but quickly shook the idea off, and smiled as he finally won a matchup.”So, Savanna… what have you been doing the last day or so?””Nothing… I played with my new friend Robbie, but that’s been it. I’ve stayed with mommy, daddy, and grandpa mostly.””That’s real good, Savanna,” he said sweetly. “And you haven’t seen anything strange?””Nope…” she said matter-of-factly, not even looking up. “Everyone is sad about that man though. It’s sad that Jade lost her daddy.””Yes it is…” his voice trailed off, and he got up from the table. “I need to go back to work, Savanna, but if you think of anything, tell your mom and dad, ok?””Yes, sir.”The grizzled sheriff headed towards the door and didn’t say a word to Amy as he left, leaving much to be desired in how he handled people.”Did I do good, mommy?””You sure did,” Amy said, a smile plastered on her face.”Would grandpa be proud of me?” Savanna asked, giving a very sick smile.”Of course he would… why?””Because I told that man everything that grandpa told me to.” Savanna said, walking back to her room. “He said he would get me some chocolate cake if I was a good girl and did what he told me to. I hope it’s good.”Amy just stared in horror, and truly began to feel uneasy about her father-in-law as her daughter went back to playing like nothing in the world had happened.* * *”Let me guess…” Nate said, looking at the two people at his room’s door. “You think I had something to do with this?””Can we at least come inside and talk?” Freddie asked politely. “No one is accusing you of anything, but you can understand why we might… think certain things.””Fine…” the hearty man stepped back and allowed Freddie and Tori into his room. Robbie would have been with them, but he felt too uneasy, and since he was unaware of what Nate had done, Freddie and Tori figured that was for the best. “Go ahead.””Nate…” Tori began, feeling a bit scared.”Look, Tori… if you’re trying to play on my feelings, it ain’t gon’ happen. Got over that infatuation a while back.””After you killed a guy,” Freddie interjected, and Nate rolled his eyes as if this was something they could just get over.”So you told him,” Nate said, looking at the clearly uneasy Tori.”No…” Freddie answered. “I figured it out on my own, the next semester.””And yet, you ain’t done nothing to punish me for it?””Because Hunter was a bad guy, and I don’t think you really meant to kill him. Plus, you taking the fall would get that sick asshole professor out, and I don’t think anyone here wants that.” Freddie looked over at Tori who took a seat on the bed, as he made that point, the image of him at-tacking her and Sam still fresh in his mind.”Alright… Suppose that makes sense.””And I honestly don’t think you have anything to do with what happened to Jade’s father because you tend to go after people that wrong Tori, and there’s no evidence of that here,” Freddie said, with only half as much confidence as he really felt. “Which leads us to the problem we have with Robbie.””What’s that shit-brain got himself into now?” Nate said, looking annoyed, but still remaining calm. “They don’t honestly think he coulda done this, do they?””No-“”We don’t know,” Freddie said, cutting Tori off quickly. “Tori thinks he’s innocent, but he’s not exactly my favourite person so I have my doubts about his innocence.””He ain’t done no harm to no one outside himself. K*d doesn’t have that killer instinct.””And we know you do,” Freddie said, narrowing his eyes.”You know the answer to that, boy. And this ain’t so much about killing as it is about the old ‘fight or flight’ instinct. Robbie is the ‘flight’ type 110%… same goes with Tori. You and I though… we have our battle scars, don’t we?”Freddie looked at the intimidating, güvenilir bahis though younger, man in front of him, and just nodded that he perhaps had a good point. “That’s fair,” he said coldly, not wanting to admit how good of a point that was.””That bein’ said, though,” Nate said, clearing his throat. “Rex is a different story.””The puppet?!” Tori and Freddie said in near unison.”No…” Nate said, rolling his eyes once more and shaking his head. “It’s a part of his personality. I never liked when he’d turn into Rex when we’d hang out. Thought it was mighty stupid, but the split personality is there. Robbie’s innocent, but his body might not be so clean.””I didn’t even think about that…” Tori said, burying her face in her hands.”Yeah…” Freddie said, checking his watch. “And we let him go. We need to go track him down.””Robbie’s a good k*d,” Nate said, showing genuine emotion for the first real time since they arrived. “He just needs some serious help and I pray he ain’t the one who put West down.””You and me both, Nate,” Tori said, looking at the overwhelming man, and thought she saw, if only for a moment, that gleam of something sorrowful in his eyes.* * *”You stole these?!””No, Cat,” Noelle said, trying to clamp her hand over her lover’s mouth so she wouldn’t scream out so much. “I found them in an empty room, and I don’t know who they belong to.”In front of the girls were all the newspaper clippings that had been gathered, though the one listing the victims seemed to be removed for some reason.”Someone has been keeping track of this island mass murderer, and they were here when someone got killed. That’s enough to make me uneasy.””But Noey… why would anyone keep this sad stuff?” Cat asked in her most ch*ldlike voice as they sat together, still holding hands.”I don’t know, but if you look at this picture of the west coast and get these in order, it looks like this killer went all the way down the west coast to where we live… though this would have been before I came down.” Noelle grabbed a pen and began tracing the suggested path down and then back up, going through the same cities, until she had practically reached the present.”You made a big ring,” Cat said excitedly, eager at the word.”Yeah… if this is true, then this mythical killer might be back here…” Noelle said, with an uneasy horror in her tone.”Hey, baby…” Cat said, rubbing her slim and tanned leg against Noelle’s smooth pale leg.”Yes…””What did you do with that ring?”Noelle took a deep sigh before she looked Cat in the eyes. “I’ve still got it. Are you asking why I haven’t proposed yet?””Uh huh…” the redhead said, nodding softly.”Sweetie… I’m not going to propose to you here and now… not with all this going on, and one of your best friends losing her father just hours ago. It wouldn’t be right.””KK,” Cat muttered, looking incredibly sad as she made her way to their bed and laid down, trying not to see that answer as proof that Noelle didn’t love her.* * *”About time I ran into you two…” Singer said, as he saw Tori and Freddie going across the poorly lit back lawn. “I’ve been really eager to talk to you… but it seems you didn’t want to listen.””Sir, we need to talk to you about someone who might be involved,” Tori said excitedly, eager to get this nightmare over with, but wanting to come clean to the cop right away, like she would with her father.”Go on…” he said, stroking his beard.”Tori and I found a body in the woods today, with the help of Robbie. The others might have mentioned him.”Singer stared at Freddie, as if something was wrong with the young man, but he kept shaking the look off.”A high school friend of ours…” Tori started, but quickly tried to breathe as pure fear was taking over, “Sinjin Van Cleef, who wasn’t invited or anything… we found his body strung up in the trees and-.””Wait… strung up how?””He was just wrapped up and was just dangling from a vine… When Robbie cut the rope, he fell pretty fast so seeing how he was hanging was hard to really see.””So you think this Sinjin boy was involved somehow?” Singer said, narrowing his eyes at the two of them.”No…” Freddie said, giving Tori a look as if to apologize. “It’s Robbie… Shapiro. He’s not well, and he found the body, and he has some issues. He needs to be picked up and at least held for his own safety. Maybe for ours too.””I’ll send someone into the woods tonight, but-“”Do you think this could be the Slasher?” Tori said, quickly cutting the cop off and eager to clear her friend with any possibilities.”No,” Singer said stiffly, almost sneering as he spoke. “You k*ds don’t know anything about all of that stuff, and you need to lose that thinking right now. We’ll find your sick friend and we’ll take care of him. But-“”Sheriff?” came a voice from his walkie talkie.”Yeah?” he grabbed it and responded.”If you’re done, there’s apparently a fire down by the docks. Figured that might take priority right now.””Shit… alright, Dawkins,” Singer put the device back on his belt and locked eyes with the two young people looking as angry as humanly possible. “You two need to stop chasing after ghost stories. There’s no way the Slasher is still around. First boat out of here tomorrow, I’m getting you people off my island, and I don’t ever want to see or hear of you people again.”Freddie couldn’t help but clench his fist as he watched the cop walk away, feeling some incredibly deep anger and hatred as he watched the man walk away, and before he even realized it, Tori’s hand was on his, and she led him back upstairs to check back in on Jade, where they would no doubt spend the night.* * *”You’ve known Spencer and the Colonel for a while, right?”Amy was sitting on a table in the isolated kitchen as Gibby started gathering all of his supplies, word of their impending exodus still heavily on his mind.”Yeah… a little,” he said, unsure of what to make of what Amy had just told him about Savanna and her deal with her father in law. “But he was always really private and none of us really know what exactly he did in the military.””Exactly…” she said, taking a long swig of beer, shaking her head, and thankful that Spencer would be watching her ch*ld closely, even if she couldn’t talk to him about his dad. “I can’t exactly go to Spencer, or even Carly, with this stuff, and you’re like the next best thing.””Besides Sam and Freddie…” Gibby said, knowing where he ranked on the important people list.”The psycho and the guy who, after his fiancée’s dad dies, apparently spends the whole day with another woman?” Amy said, rolling her eyes. “Real solid choices.””Sam’s not that-“KLUNK”What was that?!” Amy shouted as she hopped off the table and checked the main door where the sound came from alongside Gibby. To their surprise the door, the only real way in or out, was locked tight.As they stood there, trying to push through and bust the door open while crying for help, they were quickly wearing themselves out. And that’s when the ticking sound started.”We need to find a way out of here now…” Gibby said, looking all around, trying to find another exit when a smell hit his nose.”What is that?” Amy asked, smelling it too, and as if they shared a psychic link, they realized that it was gas…”Fucking fuck…” Amy said, starting to completely lose it.”What about that window?” he pointed up at a narrow pane.”No way we can fit through there…” she said, quickly dismissing it.”For me, yeah… but you could definitely…” Amy’s eyes widened but Gibby just gave her a look back that signalled that he knew what he was doing. “You’ve got a k*d and a f*mily… that beats my food joint.”Amy wanted to argue but the sound seemed to be getting more intense, but that could have just been her heartbeat. Using his shoulders to help her, she managed to reach the window and open it fully.”Go!” he yelled, starting to lose his ability to hold her, as her weight slowly disappeared and she pulled herself from the window and outside to safety.”You could still fit!” Amy shouted down, knowing it wasn’t true but he might be out of the way, but he just stood there and sighed.”Just tell everybody that my last words were something awesome,” he said with a slight smirk, clearly accepting what was about to happen.”GIBBY!-“KABOOMThe f*rce of the blast knocked Amy back momentarily, and her senses were all askew, unable to hear or see straight as she stumbled around. She clumsily raced for the door to see if it would open the other way and try and pull Gibby out, if he was still alive.She struggled against the door for a few moments before it finally opened, and flames licked all over the place, and she could see that Gibby was burned all along his face. She started screaming for help, and was relieved when she felt someone behind her.And then she felt cold water, as if someone was trying to put her out, but the water smelled strange to the young woman, and in an instant, she knew that it wasn’t water. It was gasoline.She tried to run, but whoever this was kicked her hard behind her knees before pushing her forward, and Amy knew for the second she had left, that the end was inevitable. She felt the searing heat, unlike anything she’d ever felt, and she couldn’t do anything but scream and roll around. As the crackling noise grew louder and she stopped feeling pain, she knew that she was going into shock as her last sight was her assailant calmly backing away, throwing the bucket into the kitchen, and then closing the doors.

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