"We wish you a merry Christmas and a -"
"Shut the fuck up." Maggie Emerson stopped singing and leaned back in her chair as if she were trying to vanish inside it. Marion Fairvale was glaring at her; she was very stoned and very drunk so Maggie didn't really want to upset her anymore. She bit her lip and stared out of the window at the falling snow. At least some people around the campus still liked Christmas, there were fairy lights everywhere and some students had even decorated some of the trees on the quad. The university was closed for the season but not everyone wanted to go home for the holidays. Maggie was one of them, she liked Christmas but not at home. It just meant tantrums and lectures and she got enough of that on campus.
Marion on the other hand had been banned from every one of her families gatherings from now untill at least the end of time. She had started too many needless arguments and her father had finally put his foot down and told her that untill she could be more pleasant, like her sister, then she wasn't welcome. Unfortunately for Marion, there had been a very expensive glass coffee table under her father's foot when it had come down. Marion claimed that she didn't know how the table had got there but then her father had always been unreasonable.
Janine Captain, another of their merry band of Christmas haters, preferred not to be around her parents at any time of year. Her father would become sullen and miserable after his first bottle while her mother would become hyperactive and over cheerful as if trying to compensate for her husband. They would fight and argue and throw things. Janine was fairly certain they could manage that without her for a year or two.
Other then Maggie, Anita Green was the only one left behind that actually still liked Christmas despite having no family left thanks to a drunk driver a few years back. Any kind of celebration was fine by her even if it was just in the dorms with a bunch of people who hated the season.
"I'm starving. Anybody else want something from the kitchen?" asked Maggie, hoisting herself up from her window seat. Marion looked up, she might have been wasted but the girl could handle her drink, she didn't slur at all.
"Just bring a bunch of stuff and we'll crunch and munch as we go." Maggie gave a thumbs up; she pulled a cardigan round her shoulders before heading out of the room. Janine leaned over from her space on the couch and twisted the volume knob on the stereo as far as it would go, Marylin Manson blared from the speakers so loud that Anita thought her brain was going to trickle out her ears. Marion usually liked a bit of Manson but not when she'd been on the funny fags for most of the day, she twisted the volume back down to a more sensible level and glared at Janine when the other girl tried to turn it back up.
Anita swallowed and cleared her throat, she said the first thing that came into her head to try and disperse some of the tension.
"Guess who I saw today?"
"Who?" snapped Marion, pushing her glass away from her and turning a little green.
"Ross Tulley." Marion actually snarled before reaching out for the beer that was no longer there.
"Jesus H Christ's fluffy pyjamas I bet that was a barrel of laughs for you." Anita stared out of the window as tears stung the backs of her eyes. Ross Tulley was a dick. He'd basically worked his way through the four of them because he figured they'd never find out, they didn't share roommates or classes and had nothing in common. It had been about a year before they had found out about eachother and by then, they were the laughing stock of the entire university.
Marion had been the one that had wanted revenge but revenge on a grand scale. She had talked Ross into one last fling; she had talked him into dressing in her underwear and then tied him to the bed. Anita and Maggie had taken photos while Janine pinned them up all over the campus. They had left the door to his room open and left him tied to the bed. They hadn't seen much of Ross after that.
"What did he have to say?" said Janine. Anita shrugged.
"Not much. He asked how I was and if we were going home for the holidays, I told him we were stuck here again and he just kinda smiled and nodded. I think he's on something; he didn't seem to hear anything I said. Creepy dude" muttered Anita. Marion laughed and took a huge swallow from her plastic cup and belching.
"He's probably caught something off some poor skank and its eating his brain" she said. Janine giggled and sipped from her own cup. Marion took a deep drag from her joint and stared at the door for a moment before breathing out the sweet smelling smoke and climbing to her feet.
"Where's Maggie? Is she cooking a roast or something?" She stubbed out her joint and walked across the room without weaving at all. Given how much she had drunk and smoked in the last few hours, Anita and Janine were suitably impressed.
Marion put her hand on the doorknob, she was about to yank it open but stopped, she frowned and laid her ear against the wood. She waved her arms at the other two.
"Turn the music off and shush for a sec." Janine switched off the music and they stood in silence for a moment, Anita looked at her but Janine shrugged.
"What do you hear?" whispered Janine, she followed Anita to the door and waited. Marion opened her mouth to speak but before she could something heavy fell against the door, a gurgling sound floated through the wood. Something scratched at the surface outside, the knob jiggle a few times and then the gurgling came again. Marion shoved the bolt across and turned the key in the lock before she jumped away from the door.
"Who's out there?" whispered Anita. Marion shook her head, backing away from the door.
"Not a clue. But they're not getting in." Janine moved across the room and pulled the curtains.
"What if it's Maggie? Playing some dumb joke on us?" said Anita, not really believing what she was saying. Maggie would never pull any kind of joke that would scare them.
"Why don't you stick your head out and take a peek?" growled Marion. Before Anita could answer there was another thump, more gurgling and then a choked cry before silence. Anita turned to Janine.
"Do you think we can make it out the window?" she asked. Janine was peering through the glass, she shook her head.
"No. There's nothing to hang onto and we'd freeze before we were half way down." Something heavy hit the door and Anita screamed, the scratching started again and she clamped her hands over her ears to block out the awful sound. Marion grabbed a chest of drawers and pulled it untill it was across the door, she took a shaky breath.
"There. Nobody can get in now."
"What about Maggie? Where is she?" whispered Janine.
"I don't know. Look, the janitor will be in soon. He comes every other day remember? He's due any minute, we just have to watch out the window and tell him to call the rozzers" snapped Marion. Janine and Anita clasped hands and stared out of the window, leaving Marion to watch the door.
The scratching stopped for a while so Marion joined her friends at the window. It was dark outside but they could just make out the path, all three kept their eyes glued on it.
"Where the Hell's Maggie?" muttered Marion. Anita glanced back at the door and almost jumped out of her skin when Janine suddenly screamed for help at the top of her lungs. Anita swung back to the window. There was a dark shape on the path, it stopped and turned towards the window at the sound of Janine's scream.
"Hey! Over here! Help us! Call the frigging police!" screamed Marion, she was waving her arms and almost fell out the window. The shape just stood there for a moment before jogging across the snow covered quad and entering the building by the main door.
"Oh thank you Jesus" whispered Marion, almost falling to the floor in her relief. Anita and Janine hurried to the door and pulled the chest of drawers to one side, Janine reached out a hand to push the bolt back but the wood of the door suddenly splintered and the tip of an axe gleamed in the dim light of the room.
"Holy shit!" screamed Anita; she yanked Janine away from the door. Before Marion had the chance to push the drawers back across, a fist had punched through the hole and pulled the bolt. Janine and Anita backed into a corner as the hand turned the key, the door swung open and the shape they had seen on the path stepped into the room, axe in hand.
"Oh God, please no" whispered Anita, the bundled up shape pushed back its fluffy hood and a familiar face smiled out at them.
"Ross? What the fuck?" screamed Marion, she rushed towards him. Ross Tulley swung the axe and almost decapitated her, Marion dropped to the floor. Blood spurted from her neck, her body twitching before laying still.
"MARION!" shrieked Janine, Anita yanked her back before she could run into the range of the axe. Ross smiled and stepped into the room, the door swinging on its hinges. Anita gasped and pushed back against the wall as if trying to vanish into it. The bottom of the door was covered in bloody scratches, Maggie was propped against the wall with her throat slit and her eyes rolled into the back of her head. The nails on both her hands were streaked with gore and splinters of wood, she must have managed to escape Ross and tried to get back to them but they had locked her out. Maggie had bled to death in the hallway, terrified and alone.
"Oh Maggie" whispered Anita, Janine burst into terrified sobs and curled up into a ball. Ross smiled again, a strange light dancing in his eyes.
"Yes. Oh Maggie is about right. I found her in the kitchen and slit her throat, but not deep enough and she ran. I couldn't find where she'd gone. So silly of me, I searched all your dorms but never thought to check the main living room!" He thumped the heel of his hand against his forehead and laughed, it was a high pitched laugh that lasted a little too long.
"I was searching the quad for lights when you actually called for my help! I couldn't believe it!" Ross twirled the axe in his hand like a baton, drops of blood flying in all directions. Anita and Janine clung to eachother as he approached them, the smile dropping from his face.
"You know, I learnt from the best. Revenge is best served on a grand scale." He hefted the axe over his shoulder. Anita and Janine began to scream.