The second chapter I wrote about a year later...
|A year after the death of her friends, Emily Weatherall, woke with a start, frightened by a dream that was now fading into the blackness of her room. She had moved into the spare room as her original one brought back many bad memories of that night, one-year and twelve days ago. Shivering she pulled the doonas up to her chin. She often thought about that night. It still tore her insides to shreds. Some of her friends chose to forget but she couldn’t. Not when it happened in her house. In the kitchen and on her front porch. Almost in the lounge room even. Her parents had planned to move out but had not found a suitable place near the area yet. They didn’t want to take Emily from her other friends. But for some reason Emily felt compelled to visit the killer every now and then.
Locked up in a small cell Alana Garad sat reading from the pile of books that Emily brought to her. Emily was the main one of her old school group that visited; Kayla O’Hare came with her every now and then. The rest were afraid. Afraid of her. Alana had no memory of the night she was arrested. She forced all the bad memories she could remember out and got dizzy spells when she thought about the murders that she was charged for. Twenty-five years in prison with no parole. She was allowed visitors though. Not many people had visited her in a year. Emily, Kayla, and her family, these were her only visitors. The food wasn’t bad. They catered a special diet for the inmates. Natural pick-me-ups in the mornings, energizers for lunch and for dinner they served food with natural tranquilizers to make the inmates sleep better at night. This diet had been introduced ten months ago. It had improved the state of the personalities a large amount.
“Lights out!” The warden’s voice rang through the bare walled cells. Alana quickly found a spot to put her bookmark in and placed the book on the ground underneath her hard bed. She lay down and like always there was the usual chatter from the inmates before they fell asleep.
“Alana.” She looked around for the owner of the voice. The voice she heard quite a lot. It was quite familiar but when she tried to place it she got a sharp stab of pain through her head. She rolled over and tried to ignore it. “You do know me.” It confirmed her thoughts like so many times before. She shuddered.
“So where do you want to go? A lot of the good places have been burnt down by all those fires lately.” Kayla asked Emily as they looked at the pamphlets they had collected for the campout they were organizing for themselves and their group of friends. “Oh, look at this place, it looks good. I don’t think it was hit by the fires.”
“Yeah, it does look nice. But look how far out it is.”
“It’s only two hours. It’s not that bad. We can hire a minibus or something. Make it a road trip as well as the camping bit. It’ll be fun.” Emily agreed and they started to organize it with the group. In the weeks leading up to the camp they hired the bus and started to buy enough non-perishable food items for the trip. They were going to be gone for a four days. With no way to contact the outside world, except for a three kilometer walk to the public phone house in the rangers cottage. The bathrooms were half a kilometer away. They were going to have to rough it.
“Seven AM! I can’t believe you made us get up at seven AM!” Cheree Creamer groaned as she climbed onto the bus. “Good morning everyone.” Half of them had stayed at Emily’s house and the other half stayed at Melissa Taylor’s house since they lived close together. The group laughed. Half of them nodding in agreement. After shoving all their luggage into the bus compartments they took their seats and the driver started the engine. Music from the radio soon followed. Although after an hour the radio in the mini bus began to run out of range and there was no tape or CD player, so they contented themselves with singing any song they could remember the words to. Emily was sitting next to Katy Barbara, in the second row from the back. The whole bus was alive with chatter and singing.
“So how much of a hike did you say there is going to be, to get to where we are going?” Katy asked her groaning. Emily laughed.
“Three kilometers.” Emily replied. Katy groaned again. Katherine Leigh and Rebecca Tapper who were behind them groaned as well. Emily turned around and laughed at them. “It won't be too bad. We’ll be going pretty slowly, I mean look at all the stuff that everyone bought, plus we have the food bags. I told you all to pack lightly, most of you listened. Mel has two bags plus her purse.”
“So people can carry their own bags.” Kayla said from across the isle. “If they brought too much stuff it’s their own fault.” Katherine nodded in agreement. “See, I’m right. We’ll all help with the food though because we all need that. My bag has quite a lot of room spare so I can take a bit.”
Emily nodded. “We’ll separate it when we get there and start to walk.” She was glad that they were all volunteering to help carry the food. It was only four days but there were eleven of them. Her, Kayla and Katy had all gone shopping after collecting some money and some preferences from everyone. They ended up with one very full trolley in the end. Raegan Lester and Cathleen Bollard resorted to playing I-spy. Melissa Taylor was turned around talking to Kayla. Michelle Barrington, Cheree and Amy Monsma were having a very serious conversation in the two rows in front of Emily. It was a very good trip so far. Emily was pleased with it.
They arrived half an hour later than they thought they would. “Okay everyone, it’s nine-thirty. Lets get this stuff separated and head out. I've got a map to where our campsite is. We pass the public loos and bathrooms on the way so we can use them then. Its two and a half kilometers to the toilets, can everyone hang in till then?” she stopped and looked around. Nods all around. “Good. Then after that its just another half a kilometer to the campsite. The ranger that I talked to said that we’ll be the only ones there. Since we’re so large they said we could have run of that side unless they got too many more people otherwise they’ll send them the other way on the other trail. Okay has everyone got their share of food? Yes. Okay lets go then.” After Emily’s speech they started walking. They started off in excited chatter, dragging their bags along. The trail was quite rough; it looked as though not many people had been there for a while. When they reached the bathroom they all went so they wouldn’t have to come back until later that night. It was almost eleven by the time they reached the campsite. “After we set up we can start on lunch because it'll just about be time for it.”
“Then we can swim or whatever else.” Called Kayla. A cheer went up from the group. During their lunch the ranger showed up and told them all that they might be joined by a young woman who would be arriving about seven that evening. He told them that she was about their age and that’s why he told her to use this campsite as well. They all nodded a bit disappointed that it wasn’t just them anymore but they couldn’t really control that.
They ran to the water after they had eaten. Kayla sat under a nearby tree with a book on her lap and Cheree sat down next to her.
“Is it that time for you too?” Kayla asked Cheree. Cheree nodded. “Bummer.” She nodded again. “Glad you decided to come anyway.” The other nine splashed around in the water. They were all squealing and making a lot of noise.
“Hey, everyone watch this!” Melissa had climbed onto a small outcropping of rocks that wasn’t that much higher than the waters surface. There were several shouts of: “Be careful Mel.” She jumped. Or actually did a cannonball. A large splash. Everyone still watched. Bubbles surfaced. They all started to make their way over to where she jumped in. Then, “Aargh!” Melissa came up screaming. “My foot. I landed on a sharp rock or something.” Cheree ran back to the tents and came back with a medical kit. Melissa was dragged onto the shore. Everyone stood around, Kayla and Michelle sat on the ground drying her foot and bandaging it.
“Look at that, it’s only a small scratch. The water made it look worse than it really is.” Kayla said smiling.
“Really? It hurt a lot more than a little scratch.”
“You’ll be fine. Everyone can go back in, just don’t try anything like Mel.” Kayla and Cheree helped Melissa back to the blanket they were sitting on under the tree. Nothing else happened except some sunburns even though they would get out of the water every hour to reapply the sun cream.
At dinner Emily called for everyone to listen. “We’ve all had fun today aside from the little mishap at the beginning but that’s fine now. But please if anyone wants to go somewhere, don’t go alone. Please if you have to go to the toilet or something, wake someone up.” She emphasized this last bit. “Sorry to be ‘motherly’ but its for safety.” Nods all around. “Good. Now lets start on our night time activities.” Cheers arose from the group. Torches were soon brought out. A few large lanterns were also put up. The group sat on blankets in front of the only camp chair. All sorts of stories were told. Most popular were the ghost stories. Everyone had a turn at telling a story. People started to drift back to their tents. Soon only Kayla, Emily and Cheree were left talking quietly. Eventually they said goodnight and went to their tents.
“Lights out.” The usual call rang through the cells. Alana put her book down and sighed.
“It’s time Alana.” The cold voice returned. “Get up.” She complied. Her cell door was opened before her but no one stood there. She stuck her head out the door. Peering into the cell next to her she noticed no one was moving. She slowly walked out. Passed the rows of cells. No movement. No sound. It was eerie like this. Doors opened for her as she came near them but still she didn’t know who or what was doing it.
“Hello?” she offered to the silence. No reply came. As she reached the front gates they too opened for her. Swallowing she stepped out into the night. A taxi sat as though waiting for her.
“You Alana?” a gruff voice asked from the drivers seat.
“Y… yes.” She stuttered.
“Get in.” Alana hesitated. “Get in, I have orders.” She slid into the backseat. The trip was quiet. The driver paid no more attention to her. His radio was turned off. No sound but the sound of the engine was present. She sat in silence not daring to talk, unconsciously playing with her fingers in her lap. She stared out the window as forests of trees passed her on both sides. Not many cars were on the roads. She wasn’t sure how much time had passed when the driver suddenly turned off the highway onto a dirt road. A short while later he stopped and got out. Alana stayed in the car. “Get out.” She slowly climbed out standing a few feet away. “Take this.” He handed her a bag. “And this.” A tent bag. He then got in the taxi and drove off with Alana blinking after him. She looked through the bag and found a torch and a map and a few other items in the bag.
Cathleen and Raegan were the first up. They walked to the bathroom together. When they came back everyone had been woken up. Everyone made breakfast and the two discussed about organizing a hike for the group. Most of them agreed. So after breakfast the group that were going packed some energy munchies and water and started off. Cathleen and Reagan were left to plot the course. They took a trail that led off to the right from the campsite. An hour and fifteen minutes later they came to a small clearing on a beach. They stopped and had a bit to eat, drink and to dunk their feet in the water. They decided to head back when they had all rested for a bit. Emily stumbled on a rock jutting up from the ground and fell. She scraped her knees and the palms of her hands. They splashed some ointment on the cuts. When they got back to the campsite the people that had remained were almost finished cooking lunch for the group.
“Well that was good timing wasn’t it?” Rebecca said cheerfully making her plate up. They spent the afternoon doing different things; Kayla and Cheree went back to their tents for a nap; Emily, Katy and Melissa sat and talked; the rest swam. A kookaburra laughed which brought everyone back to the campsite as they realized that they were all hungry for dinner. The night almost mirrored that of the night before. Two people had done a to-be-continued story for tonight. They sat listening to each person’s story. Again everyone started to drift off to their tents. Soon all were fast asleep.
Amy woke up and grasped for her watch and torch. 2:31 AM. She groaned. She had to go to the toilet but she knew she couldn’t hold it. She stepped out of the tent. “Is anyone awake?” she asked the still tents. No one answered her. She went back into her tent and tried to shake someone awake. No one responded. She tried each tent. No response from anyone. “Fine, I’ll go by myself.” She said out loud. She started off to the bathrooms. Halfway there she met someone she didn’t expect to see. “You!”
“Yes, me. Who else were you expecting? The Easter Bunny? Santa Clause perhaps? Or maybe even the tooth fairy?” the figure zoomed in close. Cold steel then presented itself against her throat. “I never thought it would be you this time. But anyway…” Amy was shoved hard against a tree three feet from the path. She hit hard. The figure followed. The steel now hovering over her left breast. Amy was still upright against the tree. The blade then stung her flesh as it was forced deeper. The figure twisted it causing Amy more pain. The knife was driven deeper. Amy tried to call out but already blood had started to fill her lungs and all that came out was a trickle of blood. She gasped for breath still trying desperately to call out. The figure had an inhuman strength about her. Suddenly Amy was released from the pressure. The knife was held up in front of her face. Her own blood ran down the blade. She dropped to the ground in a coughing fit, spluttering blood onto the grass in front of her. Her body twitched and convulsed. Until she lay still. Face first. Unmoving. Dead.
It was almost lunchtime on the third day before anyone noticed Amy was missing. A group of them had gone hiking early that morning.
“Did she go to the bathroom or toilets without telling anyone?” Katherine offered.
“If she has then she’s been there ages.” Michelle said.
“But why would she have walked off by herself?” Kayla challenged.
“Maybe she wanted alone time.” Michelle replied.
“I don’t know. Maybe. We should go look for her.” Emily said. “Half stay here and half come with me.” Emily had a bad feeling in the pit of her stomach as she led the search team. Half an hour later Emily decided to head back and see if Amy had come back.
Alana woke late in the day. she rolled over and smiled as the trees shadows played on her tent. She climbed out of the tent and yawned. She picked up the bag the taxi driver had given her. She pulled everything out and studied the items. A photo of her old school group; Em, Kay, Katy, Micki, herself, Amy and Goon in the first row. The second row Mel, Chaz, C-leen, K-lene, Sara, Kat, and Tapper. K-lene and Sara had been crossed off; a few books, food rations, a timer, a smooth rock the size of both her fists clenched together, utensils and a large knife and a note.
Emily got the group together and took them to the phones. There were three. Emily took one and tried the police. The phone was dead. Two others went to ring their families. “Do your phones work?” she asked them. They both shook their heads. Dread fell heavily on the group. “Okay, tomorrow the bus will come at four. We will go back and sleep, if you can then we will come her and wait. Very solemn nods replaced the enthusiastic ones from the night before. Everyone went to bed early. They decided on having people on watch. Katy and Michelle were the first ones when it hit night. They sat on the beach talking amongst themselves. The rest slept silently.
“This is scary Micki.” Katy said looking out across the water. She heard a dull thump. She turned and something heavy slammed into her face.
Michelle was woken with water splashed across her face. She could feel a blindfold across her eyes and her hands were bound. It felt as if she were sitting in water up to her neck.
“Don’t move Michelle, or Katy gets it.”
“Micki!” Katy called. She too was blindfolded with her hands bound. But she was on shore. Something cold and hard pressed against her throat.
“What did I say? Quiet.” Katy started to plead.
“No, please no.” a soft chuckle was her reply. She was jerked up roughly by her hair. “Ow!” Michelle heard them get closer. One pair of scraping feet was heard though the water. She was splashed as Katy was shoved down beside her.
“Drowning you both is too simple.” Michelle heard the voice mumble. Katy was sobbing beside her. She felt a blade on her neck. “Go on, plead for your life.” She didn’t answer. “Fine then.” Michelle’s throat was cut. “Bye.” Michelle’s lifeless body was pushed out with the tide. “Now you. Will you plead?” Katy sobbed louder. “Shut up.” She pressed the steel on her throat. Katy felt the point sink into her skin until it pierced her throat. Water slowly filled her lungs. And Katy was pushed out into the water like Michelle had been.
Alana wondered into a campsite. She heard a scream from the beach. The tents stirred, people poured out and froze as they realized who it was.
“Alana!” Emily fumed. “You. It was you. How did you get out? Amy. What did you do to her?”
“What? What are you talking about?” Alana said. The group stood back, behind Emily.
“How could you do this? How could you?” Emily was almost in tears.
Then another scream echoed from the beach. Everyone including Alana ran to the beach. Raegan was hovering above the water’s surface with a figure. The pale blue outline shone on the waters surface.
“I see Raegan has woke you all.” The figure smiled and released Raegan. She splashed into the water and then scrambled up and over to them.
“Kayla? What’s wrong with you?” Emily cried.
Kayla laughed. “I’m dead you fool. I had to get rid of Kathlene and Sara first. They were dangerous to keep around. they had found out I was dead.” She looked at the gathered group. “And then Amy saw me regenerating so she had to go. You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to regenerate. How do you all think I lost all that weight? It was easier to regenerate to this size.
“You convicted her.” She indicated Alana and shook her head. “But sadly I fooled you all. Well, all that is except Alana. She knew. She tried to get rid of me but I was too stubborn to go. She couldn’t figure out how to do it.” She paused. “As the police dragged her away, I added the last finishing touch. It took me a while to figure out. Controlling a foreign body. Or at least her voice.
“Now look at your numbers. Two more are missing from your numbers. You didn’t even notice.” Emily looked at those gathered behind her. “Tsk. Tsk.” She shook her head again. “And now I should rid the world of the rest of you. You know my little secret.” She smiled sadly.
Alana ran to the water’s edge and held up the knife in her left hand and the rock in her right. “Föétwo tokrëh mastïï paläfür.”
Kayla’s smirk faltered. “What do you think you’re doing?”
Alana ignored her. “Föétwo tokrëh mastïï paläfür. Föétwo tokrëh mastïï paläfür. Föétwo tokrëh mastïï paläfür.” She screamed at Kayla. Kayla’s form started to shimmer. “Föétwo tokrëh mastïï paläfür.”
“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!” She flew at Alana with the knife held out in her hands.
“Föétwo tokrëh mastïï paläfür.” The group mimicked Alana. Kayla’s form shimmered one last time. The knife she was holding bounced off Alana’s clothes and fell into the water. Alana stumbled back and fell to the ground.
“It’s over.” The group stared at her.
“Alana how…?” Emily asked.
Alana placed the rock in front of her and stabbed it with the knife. It sunk in like it was made of butter.
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.” The group sat around at the campsite as Alana told them what had happened.