Awhile later Jill suggested we have a campfire, an idea welcomed by all. There was a fire ring not far from t©he cabin. We roasted marshmallows and made s’mores. I felt like I was a little kid again, at Girl Scout Camp. I suggested we tell ghost stories. Everyone loved the idea. We decided we would tell one story per night. Karl requested to go first.
“Wait!” I cried, before Karl began, as a stroke of brilliance hit me. “Why don’t we tell the stories we wrote for Miss Bennett’s class! We were just talking about how none of us wrote flowery tales!”
That idea was agreed upon as well. Don said that he would think up something, seeing as he did not have Miss Bennett for a teacher.
Karl began talking and did not stop until his story was complete.
* * *
There was once this guy named John. He was a student by day and a serial killer by night. He loved to kill his victims slowly and painfully, watching the blood spill over the floor or soak the ground. He got a sick high knowing life was flowing out of someone; it™ turned him on more than his girl, Alison, could in her wildest dreams. It made him feel strong, immortal even.
Everyone in town knew of the mysterious deaths. Most people were scared out of their minds. Little children couldn’t sleep and when they did, terrible nightmares kept them tossing and turning all night long. John’s victims were young and old, male and female, black and white, short and tall, fat and skinny, blonde and brunette. He had no preferences.
The only way anyone knew the deaths were connected was by John’s trademark. He couldn’t help but leave one. He was an arrogant teenager and couldn’t resist playing with the minds of the authorities. He always left a heart drawn with the victim’s blood with the letter “D” inside. The “D” stood for Death, but only John knew that. Others could only ponder its meaning.
No one suspected John; no one knew, not even Alison. John was very well-liked. He was “graduating in a week. For the Senior Superlatives in the yearbook John had been voted, “Most Likely to Succeed,” and, “Nicest Smile.” His smile sure was a winner. It could light up any room, charm anyone. He never looked pretentious, while often he was.
On the night we enter John’s story, it is a very special night for him. The air is heavy and humid. It feels like an enormous pillow trying to suffocate him, but John does not mind. Nothing can bother him, not on this night. He’s planning to kill Jennie Campano, his ex-lover, and if he’s fortunate enough, he will also kill Jennie’s new boyfriend Bob Durant. He knows Jennie’s parents will be out and he suspects she will invite Bob over.
The littlest thing could push John to his murderous impulses. Once he had killed a science teacher for accusing him wrongly of cheating. Another time he killed an old lady who lived a block away. She had yelled at him once for stepping on her flowers while he was walk◊ing home from school. But tonight was no such case. He had loved Jennie. They had been best friends since kindergarten. They had shared everything. Then Jennie started going out with Bob. She had forgotten about her old friend John. When he called she was on the other line with Bob. When he tried to talk to her in school, she would push him away with a condescending smile and laugh with Bob about it. Now she would pay. The only problem was that Jennie was Alison’s best friend. John hoped that wouldn’t complicate things too much. Truthfully though, he didn’t care much for Alison. He had only gone out with her in hopes of getting closer to Jennie. That was in November that they started going out. He had begun to feel desperate about Jennie. She started going out with Bob in the beginning of January. John’s killings had begun in late January.
John crept up to Jennie’s back door with his favorite knife in his pocket and a confident smile on his lips.
Yet there were things John didn’t know. He really underestimated Alison. She deserved tenfold the credit he gave her. She was no dumb blonde as he often referred to her as. Alison had thought for a long time that John was the killer. She could read it in his eyes. Alison was quite gifted at discerning others’ feelings. She had never told anyone of her suspicions. She also suspected John would go after Jennie that night. She didn’t know how she knew this, she just did. She had asked Jennie if she could stay over for the night, not telling Jennie why. Jennie was happy to have her and did not ask for an explanation. Alison was not trying simply to protect her best friend, rather she wished to confront John and also to kill him. She felt he deserved it.
John glanced Alison’s profile through a window and decided he would try a different tactic. Instead of sneaking in through the back, he circled to the front and rang the bell. Jennie and Alison answered promptly. ◊ Alison held the door open, letting John in. “How did you know I’d be here?” she asked as he stepped inside and hugged her.
“I called your house and your mother told me you were here,” he answered, lying through his teeth and wondering exactly how he would pull the murder off. Hell, he’d murder them both. Alison had never done that much for him anyway.
“No one’s home at my house,” Alison answered, her voice straining to sound light and without anxiety.
“I know,” he said quickly, flashing his charismatic smile, “I’m just psychic, that’s all.”
“Oh, are you?” Alison muttered under her breath. Neither of her companions heard her, or if they did, they chose to ignore it.
They talked for a bit, about nothing. All John and Alison said was pretentious. Each thought they were in control of the situation. Jennie did not appear to know what was going on. John kept looking over at Jennie with a crazed look in his eyes. It was as though she were a delicious chocolate ice cream cone that he wanted to devour but couldn’t because it was melting just out of his reach, melting while he was watching with his mouth-watering. In essence, that could be a good analogy. He felt his chances at achieving his goals slipping steadily away from him with each passing second. How would he pull it off?
Alison noticed John’s looks, but Jennie did not seem to notice. Alison was becoming a little scared. She knew she had to kill John, but didn’t know if she could do it. She was afraid he might beat her to the chase. John kept reaching into his pocket as if he were going to pull out a knife or a gun, but always came up empty-handed. It was driving Alison mad.
Finally Alison could take it no longer. She reached into her own pocket and withdrew a gun, a semiautomatic revolver. “Let’s cut the crap,” she said to John, her voice a deadly cold sheet of ice.
“What!?!?” he exclaimed, completely taken aback. Things were going worse than he’d ever expected.
“I know you have a knife in your pocket and I know you came here only to kill,” Alison declared in the same deadly voice.
John looked scared, really scared, as Alison edged closer to him. She rested the end of the revolver barrel on John’s temple. “How do you know?” he whispered.
“I know everything,” Alison stated, smiling smugly. “I know you are shaking with fear, are you not, Johnny? You never thought this would happen did you, Johnny? Am I right in what I say?”
“Yes,” he murmured, barely audible.
“You should be,” Alison replied, smiling again. “Because soon you will die. Then I will bury your filthy body in the dirt where it belongs, you goddamn murderer.” Alison was certainly enjoying her night.
Jennie, who had been silent and still, spoke then. Shy, courteous Jennie said, “I’m afraid you are wrong, Alison. It is you who will be buried in the dirt.” Upon saying this, Jennie reached into the cushion of the couch behind her and withdrew her own gun. “Now is when the real fun begins. Maybe I’ll draw you a little lover’s heart, Allie.” She shot Alison before Alison had a chance to say anything, or shoot John.
“I’m glad she’s out of the way,” Jennie said confiding in John triumphantly. “She really came between the two of us. I mean, I’ve loved you for so long and Alison knew that but she did not care. She went out with you even though she didn’t want you, just to make me jealous.”
“What about Bob?” John asked, dumbfounded. He still did not have a firm grasp on what Jennie was saying. Jennie threw back her head and laughed. “Bob? He was Alison’s true love. I was getting some sweet revenge. Don’t tell me you actually thought I liked him! Oh my God, you must be so confused! Every time I would laugh at you when you tried to talk to me was because Alison was always nearby and I wanted to appear happy with Bob, and as though it didn’t bother me that you were with Alison!” She continued to laugh and now John laughed with her.
When they stopped laughing Jennie said seriously, “You know Alison was the killer, don’t you?” John stopped moving altogether at those words. After a brief hesitation he said, “Well, I had my suspicions but I couldn’t be sure. I thought I might need some protection. That’s why I was carrying a knife.”
“And she tried to blame it on you!” Jennie exclaimed. “She must think I was a real fool to believe that crap. I mean, she was trying to make you say it, too! Anyone will say anything when there’s a gun at their head, so that doesn’t prove anything!” Again she laughed.
Later the police came. Jennie decided she had better call them. After all she didn’t want Alison’s dead body staying too long, stinking up the house. John and Jennie told police that Alison had been the murderer and had tried to kill them. Jennie had then used her father’s gun purely for self-defense. The fact that a loader revolver with only Alison’s fingerprints on it lay beside Alison helped their story greatly. They faced no charges.
And the killings did stop after that. John found there were things that turned him on more than blood pouring out of wounds he had inflicted. Besides now Jennie occupied all his evenings. She was a lot better than Allison.
* * *
That was the end of Karl’s story.
Another installment of Affinity for Darkness, a novel I wrote in the winter of my junior year of high school. To read from the beginning:
- Affinity for Darkness – Prologue
- Affinity for Darkness – Chapter One
- Affinity for Darkness – Chapter Two
- Affinity for Darkness – Chapter Three
- Affinity for Darkness – Chapter Four
- Violets are Blue
- The Perfect Couple
- The Colors
- Night of Evils
- The Darkest Moon
- Pretty Little Liars – Please, Not Now!
- Tower of Tales by Alison Stuart