Chapter Thirteen: The End?

"Sarah!" Whytnee rushes to her side, suddenly remembering that she's been there the whole time. "Come on, honey, we've got to go." She nudges her, but Sarah doesn't move. Whytnee bends down and shakes her gently, causing her to roll over.

"No!"

Sarah's been stabbed several times, the gashes running together in most places. Whytnee glances over at Thomas, who lies motionless on the ground, his arm outstretched with the knife in hand. It seems he'd used his last ounce of strength to off one more person. Whytnee reaches over and flicks the knife out of his reach, shuddering. Thomas stays motionless, but she doesn't trust that he'll stay that way. She grabs the knife and the holster, now on the floor, and attaches it to her own waist, slipping the knife inside.

She runs from the scene, heading the way she thought Amanda had come from. As she ran, she heard voices. When she turned the corner, she ran right into Deputy Andy. She bounced back and hit the floor.

"Whytnee?" Andy says, shock crossing his eyes. "What are you doing here?"

"The killer-I don't," Whytnee stammers, sobbing. "He got them, Deputy. He got them all!" She reaches for the knife and holster and unhooks it, holding it up. "I took this from one of them. I didn't want to take chances." Andy takes it carefully, slipping it into a specimen bag. He lowers the bag into a case sitting on the floor next to them, and pulls Whytnee to her feet.

"Where did you come from? Did Amanda find you guys?" Whytnee's eyes tear up again at the mention of Amanda's name. "He got her, too," she whispers. "She didn't have a chance."

"Who's he?" Andy demands. "The killer?"

"Nick Carson," Whytnee says, breathing hard. "And Thomas Grafton. They're both dead, too."

"Show me where," Andy says. Whytnee starts back down the hallway, leading the way to the scene of horror.

. . .

"You're sure this is where it happened?" Andy asks, scratching his head and looking around.

Sarah was still there, blood pooled around her now, and so was Thomas, but Nick was gone.

"I swear," Whytnee insists, "Nick was right there!" She points to the spot. "He was about to stab me, so I grabbed Amanda's gun and shot him. Four times. He was dead. I know it."

"They were just rubber bullets," Andy says, causing Whytnee to gasp. "They're meant to stun the assailant, not kill them."

"But I shot him four times," Whytnee presses. "Even if they were rubber, that much impact had to have done something."

"They don't go in the way normal bullets do," Andy explains. "The force is much less than that of a metal bullet, so it doesn't go in as far. Sometimes, it barely even breaks the surface of the skin, and instead makes a welt form."

"So he's still alive? That's fucking great," Whytnee says furiously.

"We have to find him," Andy says, reaching for his talkie. "This is Deputy Andy Michaels," He says slowly, "Requesting immediate backup at Wexford Central High School. Do you copy? Immediate backup. Send every patrol available." He puts the talkie away. "Alright. We'll start at the bottom, and when the rest of the squad gets here, we'll-"

"Wait a minute," Whytnee says suddenly, thinking of the cafeteria. Nick had run into Phoebe there, but only because he'd been on his way to set up the next step of his sick and twisted plan. He almost gave up on it, because he wanted to keep her safe. "I know where he is."

IN THE CAFETERIA…

"I'm so sorry, Phoebe," Nick whispers, cradling her head in his lap, rocking back and forth. "This wasn't supposed to happen. You were supposed to live. We were supposed to be together!" he shouts the last word, and he looks up just as Whytnee and Deputy Andy burst through the door. Nick ignores them, looking back down at Phoebe's dead body. "I know you can't hear me, but I love you," He says, and suddenly, he's yanked away from her.

"Nick!" Whytnee says, covering her mouth with both hands. Nick's arms are covered in long gashes. The blood runs down his fingers and drips to the floor. "What did you do to yourself?"

"I deserve it," Nick says simply. "I'd have done worse, but luckily Phoebe talked me out of it."

"Um, what?"

"Phoebe's dead, Nick," Andy says, feeling for a pulse on her neck. "She had been for a while."

"Nick, I think you need help," Whytnee tells him softly. She points to Andy. "This man can help you, Nick. Give yourself up, and he can get you the help you need. It'll be okay."

"No! I can't leave her," Nick says, crouching down next to Phoebe again. "She deserves better than this." He tried to lift her up, but he's too weak.

"Nick, stop it," Whytnee says, walking over to him. She quickly takes away his knife and holster before he notices, and holds it back for Andy to take. Andy steps forward and gets it, letting Whytnee continue. "You need to go with him," she continues. "I'll make sure Phoebe stays safe. I promise."

"You promise?" Nick asks hopefully, eyes glistening. He frowns, considering. "Okay," he says finally. He stands up and looks at Andy. "Take me away, Officer." He holds his arms out, and Andy slaps a pair of handcuffs on him. Nick throws Whytnee one last pleading glance. "I'm so sorry, Whytnee." Tears start falling again, and he turns away as Andy leads him to the front door.

Whytnee runs outside and watches as Deputy Andy gets Nick into the back of the squad car, and Nick looks up at her one last time. Whytnee gives him a tiny smile, as if saying, it's alright. The door slams closed and Andy comes over to meet Whytnee in the courtyard. She's standing at the picnic table she stood at when she told her friends of the first murders. She sits down on the bench on buries her head in her arms.

"An ambulance will be here soon," Andy says, coming up behind her. "We'll get those scrapes and bruises checked out. They may keep you overnight for observation."

"Okay," Whytnee mumbles, raising her head. She looks at him. "Where will they take him?" She asks, as sirens fill the silence. Two more squad cars pull into the parking lot, followed by an ambulance and three CSI vans. The air is filled with pulsating blue and red lights.

"They'll take him to the hospital first," Andy says, "and keep him long enough to get his wounds taken care of. Then they'll send him to Wexford Mental Institution." Andy looks over at the car that contains Nick. Nick stares out the window, watching everyone rushing, some people running into the school.

"And he'll stay there until"-

"The rest of his life," Andy says. He sighs, and then frowns. "Such a young boy. He had so much ahead of him. Why'd he give it all up like this?" Andy looks at him again. "What could he have possibly been thinking?"

"He was thinking that he was being a good friend," Whytnee tells him. "He was thinking that he was supposed to do this, because all those people were mean to us." Whytnee looks up at Andy, who's staring at her now.

"He was thinking this is what best friends do."