Chapter Eleven

You're still in your ninja clothes when you wake up. Your head is throbbing and your eyes are poofy. You remember Pip coming in last night. You don't remember him leaving, but he must have because he's not here now. You blink a few times and go into the living room. Pip is sitting on the couch with Ursula.

"Hey, Luce," he says. You yawn. "Are you feeling any better?"

"A little, thanks," you say and then slip into the bathroom. You can hear him talking to Ursula. When you come back out, you can hear Toph in the kitchen. Britt and Thor are coming out of his bedroom. You giggle when you remember that his name is really Ashley.

You slip into your room and change into jeans and a tee-shirt. Something that you don't like. You wonder if the police have your letter yet. You wonder what Melanie's doing right now. You wonder if she told Ruby. You wonder if she told her parents. You wonder if they told anyone. If they insisted on going to the police, if she stopped them. If she didn't.

You go into the living room. Toph made nachos and you all sit around the TV. You don't even care what the movie is. You're glad you have people surrounding you. You did what you had to do and it's all going to be over soon. Pip gives you a little hug and Ursula give him a playful glare. You grab some ice cream from the freezer and dig in with a spoon.

"You okay, Luce?" asks Britt, raising an eyebrow.

"She broke up with Melanie," says Britt.

You listen to them all exclaim over it. They weren't expecting it, of course. They want to know the details, but you just shrug them off. And then you all watch the movie.

The door bell ring as you're scooping out the last of the ice cream. You take a deep breath because you know this is it.

Thor looks around and counts. Everyone is there, except Pip. But he's in the bathroom. No one ever rings the door bell here.

Ursula hops up and pulls the door open. There's a cop there. You know it before you look up. You bite your lip and take a deep breath. Oh god. You didn't think it was going to be this hard. It wasn't this hard last time.

"Good afternoon, Officer. What seems to be the problem?" she asks with a smile.

"Does an Autumn Raleigh live here?" he asks.

"No," she says. She looks confused. Of course she looks confused.

"Yes," you say. You forgot they didn't know your first name. You go by your middle name like Thor does.

They all stare at you in confusion. You stand up and you walk over to the door. Ursula steps aside. The police officer looks a little bit dazed by the whole ordeal. As if you couldn't be the girl he's looking for. Not you, the small redhead wearing a Mickey Mouse sweatshirt. It almost feels unreal. As if this isn't happening, maybe it's just a dream. You know it's not.

"Autumn Lucille Raleigh, you are under arrest for the murder of Conner O'Brien, Kataura Dee, Joel Carter, Rose Winters, Peter Donovan, Richard Summski, Erin Mollind and Gabriel St. Roy. You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney, if you can not afford one, one will be provided for you."

You turn around and hold out your hands for him. You keep your face expressionless. Pip walks as they're putting the cuffs on.

"What's going on?" he asks, wiping his hands on his jeans slowly. "Luce?"

"This young lady here killed eight people. We're taking her into custody," he says. His name tag said Officer Albert Ramero.

"What?" says Pip. He looks confused mostly. Shock.

"There must be some mistake," says Britt. "She won't even fucking kill a fly."

Denial, just as you expected. She's right though. You don't like killing flies. You don't see how it's any different than killing people. It's still a life.

"Lucy, why aren't you saying anything?" says Ursula, with an eyebrow raised. You can tell, she thinks there must be some mistake.

"It's true," you say softly. Britt still doesn't believe it. You wonder how long it's going to take for her to believe it. Thor is just staring at you. He's not saying anything. Ursula has let her mouth fall open just a little bit. Toph has stood up and he's taken a few steps back, as if you might jump out and kill him too. And Pip. His hands are still on his pants, as though he just stopped moving. You can see the realization sinking in. You can see him realizing what you've been talking about. You can see him finally understanding that you don't deserve a friend like him.

You look down. You don't want to look at them anymore. You don't want to see the shock fade away, as much as you want to know what it fades to. You keep your eyes on the ground as Officer Albert Ramero walks you out of the room.

"Holy shit," you hear Pip say.

It's all over now.

A new chapter in your life is about to begin. A new chapter in all your lives is about to begin.

Tink raises her eyebrow when they lead you into the cell.

"Hey now, Curiosity, I wasn't expecting to see you back here."

"You ain't gonna believe the charges," says the guard. His name is Wilson and he doesn't like Tink. He always used to like you though. You don't know if he still does.

"What did you do this time, Curiosity? Rob a toy store?" says Tink. You can see the laughter in her eyes. You wonder what it would be like to rob a toy store. you kind of wish you'd gotten a chance to try that.

"Eight counts of murder," says Wilson with a dirty smirk. "She's pleading guilty."

"Holy crap," says Tink and then the doors are pushed shut. "I knew you had it in ya, Curiosity. But damn. Eight? You're a fucking serial."

You watch the laughter fall away from her eyes. You watch the realization set in. It's not as hard as it was with your friends. You don't have as far to fall. Tink's seen a lot of things. This is in her realm of possibility.

"And a damn good one," you say, finding some of your old pride in it. You used to smile every time you realized that you had achieved what most people can't even dream of. You committed murder at age six and got away with it. You kept going. You were a fucking successful serial killer. Until yesterday, they didn't even know they were looking for a serial killer. You used to find pride in that. You used to find pride in that when you listened to all the other inmates talk about their crimes. You always said you stole a book. And none of them, not a single one, except Tink, could have ever imagined.

You're not proud of it anymore. You're not proud of the pain you caused. It was a pride rooted in concept, not reality.

"Not good enough. You're here."

"I confessed," you say. "It's been thirteen years and they didn't even know that the bodies were connected. I've done enough. It's time for me to pay for it."

She shakes her head and you lay down on the top bunk of the bed. You put your hands behind your head and you smile.

"Why the hell would you confess?"

Tink never understood the idea of a moral compass. She needed the crimes to survive. You didn't. You had the power to chose between right and wrong. She didn't.

"I fell in love with a girl and I realized I had killed her best friend. I'm here for her because she deserves to be able to move on with her life and be happy."

"Goddamn, Curiosity. You can make even fucking serial murder seem sappy."

You grin and look up at the ceiling.

"Hey, you know what they say. Curiosity killed the cat. You only get nine tries and then you die. I've had my chance. I did what I did and I'm owning up to it. I've got my whole life to live here. I might be caged up, but I'm free of the guilt that was weight me down and the girl I love is going to be okay. That's what matters."

"You crazy," she says. Even though you can't see her, you know she's shaking her head.

You just smile. You're pretty sure you're going to be okay.

AN: So this is it. I'm going to go back and edit this one, so any feedback you guys have would be appreciated. I hope you enjoyed the story! Thank you for reading.