Hi all. This was written for the third lounge challenge. I want to thank my new beta ranDUMM for looking over this and correcting all my mistakes! Thank you!
Hope you enjoy!
Principal Havers slammed the newspaper down on the desk in frustration. The headlines screamed, Brutal Murder at Woolton High: School deemed unsafe. He let out an exhausted sign and massaged his temples. Just under a week ago, a senior student Emmaline Edwards, had been found under the bleachers, her body mutilated and abused. The small community of Woolton had been in absolute shock.
Woolton was a community where everyone knew everyone. You could leave you're door unlocked without fear of theft and you couldn't even step outside the house without meeting someone you knew. What made it worse was that Emmaline had been a model student. A pretty, popular student, straight A's, captain of the debate team and destined to have a bright future. Now, her stiff, cold body lay deteriorating in a wooden coffin, buried deep under the earth.
The office door open and a young, burly man strode through.
"Ah, Chief Watson. Any news?" Havers asked, pouring two cups of coffee. The police chief sighed and ran a hand through his hair. Crows feet were already threatening to appear despite his young age.
"I'm afraid I must be the bearer of bad news," he said, accepting the offered cup.
"We've reached a dead-end in our investigation. The infuriating thing is, no one saw anything. No-one knows who Emmaline was with or what she was doing near the bleachers that late in the afternoon. Her father's breathing down our necks which makes investigating a little more stressful." Watson sighed and both men took a sip of the now lukewarm coffee.
"Do you think drugs were involved?" Havers asked. Watson's reply was lost as the small office plunged into darkness. Shrieks were heard down the corridor at the sudden darkness, indicating that it wasn't just faulty light globe.
Havers cursed and stood abruptly.
"Must be a power surge or something. Did you see how dark the sky was this afternoon? I'll just call Michael and see what's happening." He picked up the phone and placed it to his ear. There was no dial tone. He slammed the phone back into the receiver and began to scrounge around for a flashlight. Watson pulled one of his belt and turned it on. The room became dimly lit by the light and Havers stressed face became silhouetted against the wall.
"I suppose we should let the teachers and students know what is going on," Havers mused and the two men set off down the hallway.
Meanwhile, Dana, Penny and Michelle all let out screams of terror. They had just finished showering in the girl's locker room when the room had been plunged into darkness.
"Calm down," Dana said, placing a comforting hand on Michelle and Penny. "There's obviously been a blackout or something."
"Does anyone have a torch?" Penny asked in a quiet voice.
"Of course. I always carry a bloody torch with me," Michelle replied sarcastically.
"Look. We don't need a torch. We'll just sit here until the lights come back on," Dana said quickly, hoping to avoid any conflict between the two. Suddenly, a siren went off signalling that an announcement was to be made over the PA. There was a crackle of paper followed by the chilling voice of a girl;
"Three pretty birdies. Think they have it all.
One by One, they start to fall.
First I'll stab, than I'll hang.
And these birdies won't come back again."
Once again, shrieks filled the classroom. In the locker room, Penny began to sob.
"We're going to die!" she cried, "There's a psychopath loose in the school."
"I'm not a psychopath," the same chilling voice said from the doorway, "But I am clinically insane".
The three girls screamed. "Leave us alone," Dana screamed, "We didn't do anything to you!"
"Oh!" the voice exclaimed, "But you did. Don't you know who I am?" The girls didn't answer. Dana grabbed both of their hands and led them through the darkness and into an empty shower stall. The girls crouched down and sat, frozen with fear as they heard footsteps approaching the stall.
"It's me, Stephanie Norton. Remember me?" the voice called. Stephanie made her way throughout the locker room, a menacing grin on her face and a knife poised in her hand.
"I tried out for the cheerleading team and you all just laughed. You told me I was a 'worthless, uncoordinated freak'." She continued through the room, kicking open the unoccupied toilet stalls.
"Come out, come out, wherever you are," she screamed.
"The fun is just beginning. How about, you give me a cheer and if it's not good enough, I'll kill you?" she cackled. She entered into the shower stall and approached the cowering girls.
"Let the fun begin."
Havers and Watson entered the last classroom in the corridor. After the PA announcement, they had furiously rushed through the rooms making sure each student was accounted for. As soon as they entered the classroom, Miss Peterson exclaimed, "I've got four students missing," before bursting into tears. Havers rushed to calm her while Watson flashed his torch around the room.
"Havers, get here quick!" he yelled. He flashed his light towards the blackboard. Written in rather messy handwriting was, 'I used to be invisible. Now everyone will know my name.'
"Who are the missing students?" Havers gasped, "And where would they be?"
"Michelle Thornton, Dana King, Penny Munro and Stephanie Norton. Michelle, Dana and Penny were given special permission to practice for the upcoming Cheerleading Titles. Stephanie is supposed to be here," she managed, before bursting into tears.
The two men looked at each other worriedly. Havers burst out of the classroom closely followed by Watson, as they made their way towards the gym. They sprinted through the gym and crashed into the girls locker room. Watson stopped in his tracks and Havers gasped.
A large spotlight had been set up in the corner, lighting up the whole room. Dark red pools of blood covered the creamy white tiles and the stench was overwhelming. Havers and Watson cast their eyes upwards and were met with a horrific sight. There, hanging from the ceiling, were the limp bodies of the three cheerleaders. They were covered in cuts, their lips blue and faces still etched with their final screams. Watson had to turn away and Havers retched in disgust.
They heard a click of a camera and their attention was drawn towards the wooden chairs of the room. A slim, lanky girl sat on the chair, a camera pointed towards the bodies. She looked up at them. Her clothes were soaked and her face smeared with blood. She gave them a chilling smile, "Just admiring my handiwork."
Havers eventually resigned. The outcry from the media and the community, at the deaths of the four girls was too much for him to take. He moved to Alaska where he became a recluse, writing horror novels under the pen-name, Stephen Norton.
Watson could finally breath a sigh of relief. After the initial shock and horror at the brutal murder of the four girls, the town of Woolton resumed ordinary life. The bloody massacre, though unforgettable, a thing of the past.
Naturally, Stephanie was charged with the murder of the four girls and readily pleaded guilty. She was aquitted to a mental institution for life without parole. On her death bed she made her peace with God, repenting for the murder of the three girls. That's correct, three girls. Stephanie Norton had never murdered Emmaline Edwards. In fact, she never knew her.
A/N: Hope you enjoyed! Please Review!