The Phantom's Hauntings

Part II

(Poison's Ivy)

Note: Although Cresenta's story is rated M, my story is rated T. This matters because, as you all should know, PH part 1 and PH part 2 are two very separate stories


Two girls, driving in a blue Nissan Altima, flew by the streets as the car quickly passed the desolate neighborhood. One of the girls, Clover, twirled her blonde hair with a finger while leaning against the window. She sighed in a bored manner before her eyes widened as she remembered something to tell Sam. Clover turned around in her seat, making Sam glance at her from the corner of her eye.

"Sammie you won't believe what Mandy said to me today!" she said in a high pitched voice, her anger slowly unraveling in waves. Sam glanced at her friend from the corner of her eye, but kept her eyes on the road for the most part.

"I mean really!" Clover continued without caring that Sam didn't answer her. "Mandy accused me of stealing her boyfriend, when in reality she knows no one wants her anyway—"

Sam laughed at that and when she slowed down to stop at a stop sign, she wondered why Clover had suddenly quit talking. Making sure there were no cars around her, Sam turned her head to glance at Clover, only to find that the blonde had gone into a slightly comatose state.

"Clover?" Sam asked worriedly. Clover was staring straight ahead, her eyes devoid of any emotion, her arms limp at her sides. "Clover, what's wrong?"

A slight shudder seemed to pass through the blonde, and Sam put the car into park before shaking her friend. "Clover, Clover what's wrong? Answer me!"

Clover, still staring straight ahead, blinked twice before turning her head slowly to look at Sam, her face being a mask of emotionless expression.

"Do you think you could make a left here?" Clover asked softly in a monotone voice. Sam raised an eyebrow in response.

"Clover, are you okay-"

"I'm fine", Clover asked softly in a monotone voice. She pointed her finger to the road ahead of them.

Sam raised an eyebrow but nodded, despite her friend's odd behavior, and started the car to make a left turn onto the street ahead.

One left turn, two right turns, and one three point turn and left turn later, at Crooked Hill Lane, Sam stopped at a large cream colored house, with windows a dull shade of gray and wooden doors creaking and groaning in protest.

"Clover, why are we here-"

Sam was ignored once again as Clover unbuckled her seatbelt and opened the door silently.

"Clover!"

Her protests did nothing to stop the blonde girl from walking into the house, her legs making an even pace on the pathway to the large wooden door.

Sam shouted her friend's name but it didn't stop Clover from walking away into the house.

"Where do you think you're going?" Sam asked, but no response.

Clover, her gaze still straight ahead, kept walking until she came in front on the door. She stopped abruptly, leaving Sam to bump into her from behind.

"Clover-" , Sam started to say but the door creaking open interrupted her, and she turned around to face the opening door.

"Go inside please."

"What?" Sam turned her head to Clover, but Clover only pushed Sam ahead, her feet tumbling over the other, and in seconds she was inside the large house, with its marble tiles and hanging chandelier, its granite counters and its white carpeting. Sam turned to protest but the house's marvelous stature captured her eye, the gleam of the chandelier sparking in the corners of her eyes.

The door slammed behind her and Sam turned around frantically, running to the window and fidgeting with the doorknob, only to find she was locked in.

Seconds later, her car started and revved away, and running to the window, Sam found Clover had driven away with her car after pushing her into the house.

"Dammit Clover!" Sam thought, "If this is a joke I'm going to kill her!"

Of course Sam didn't know that when Clover was miles away, far from this unknown house, she would stop the car and shake her head in confusion, with no memory of what happened in the last hour. She would wonder where Sam was and why she was driving Sam's car, but to no avail. She would go home and tell Alex about the bizarre events to going from school only to end up on some strange road in the middle of nowhere, with no recollection of what happened in between.

"Hello?" Sam called out, her voice reverberating throughout the house, but no one replied. Sam rubbed her arms as she walked into the house, the large staircase staring straight at her, ready to swallow her whole. Her boots clacked against the marble tiles, the shiny while tiles with blue scribbles in them, and she wondered, as she walked, whose house this was.

"Is anyone home?" she tried again, but again no one responded to her call. Sam rubbed her arms harder through her cotton long-sleeved dress shirt, it reaching her thighs and a pair of black leggings covered her legs. "Hello?" she asked again, drawing the "o" of "hello" out, making her voice echo behind itself.

Sam brushed a strand of hair and tucked it behind her ear before realizing that the room temperature had gotten even colder. Sam looked around the room, her eyes scanning the large paintings on the wall on various places, the red colored wallpaper, and the white carpet on the floor with a tint of red dashed across it.

"Hello", said a male voice from behind her. Sam spun around in shock when her eyes landed on a man wearing a black trench coat and jeans.

"Oh my god!" she yelped out in surprise, resting a hand over her chest in an attempt to calm her pounding heart. Blinking her eyes to make sure the man in front of her wasn't just a figment of her imagination, she took another look at him, almost becoming shocked at how...how handsome he really was.

(Because he looked… ethereal. Inhumane. Beautiful.)

"I'm sorry...did I scare you?" he said softly with a small smile on his face. Sam felt her face turn hot so she turned her face away, only for her blush to grow stronger when she realizes she was in his home...

"I-I'm sorry..." she started to explain her embarrassing predicament. She looked up to look him in the eye when she saw the man's very presence...fade away into that air, his tan skin turning transparent, his brown locks blending into the area around him like a chameleon...

"W-what..." she tried saying, but the words died in her lips as she saw the man's body...disappearing into thin air.

He raised an eyebrow in a confused manner, one of the few things that were left of his face, before looking down at his body and opening his mouth in a small "o". He closed his eyes and soon his translucent body turned visible again. Chuckling, the man said, "Sorry about that. I don't really bother controlling it anymore", as if his fading into nothing was a normal, everyday thing.

Sam's eyes, already opened widely because of the bewilderment his actions placed her in, seemed to be frozen in that state. "How did you..." Sam blinked, the events happening in front of her not processing in her mind. "I-I mean, what?"

A melodious chuckle interrupted her stammering, a smirk growing on his face showing her his amusement. "Isn't it obvious as to what I am?" he asked, putting his hands in his pockets and giving her that lovely smile.

Sam furiously shook her head, denying any of the facts presented in front of her. She opened her mouth to answer but the words died on her throat. She just shook her head, showing him that she did not believe what she had seen, because sometimes seeing is not believing.

His smirk only seemed to grow bigger. "And what do you think I am, Sam?"

She frowned; the small etches of fear crawling up her spine, dancing along her fingertips, threatening to grow inside her faster than she could run out of his house. "How do you know my name?" she asked in a quiet voice.

Another ghostly smirk. "I'm psychic."

She frowned again, wishing she could once again step back into the realm of normalcy. "Stop joking."

The man threw his head back and laughed. He then walked closer to her, his hands still stuck in his pockets, and Sam took a few steps back until her back reached a wall, leaving her with nowhere to go. Sam felt her heart rate quicken.

"Do you know what I am?" he asked, her his cold breath freezing her cheeks. His eyes seemed full of swirling darkness though, as shown by the way his eyes darkened when he took another step closer to her.

Sam pressed herself against the wall as tightly as she could and gulped when his mouth was so close to her face.

"I don't know you", she said with as much muster as she could. His smirk, still inches from her face, only grew into a greater evil.

"That wasn't my question…" he whispered with arrogance lacing his tone. Sam's eyes narrowed as she glared at him. "I'll ask again… Do you know what I am?"

Her lips quivered as his eyes grew darker, like an approaching storm cloud was nearing his irises. She turned her head away. "No", Sam stated in a whisper, now looking for the nearest exit.

"I'll give you three guesses", he said, though the mockery in his tone was fairly obvious. He stepped even closer to her and Sam squirmed under him when he reached his hands out to grab her arms and hold them high above her head. Sam shivered under his touch and the chandelier seemed to shake with the house when he chuckled.

"Get off of me!" Sam said as angrily as she could. She was thankful to God for not letting her voice crack.

"On one condition…" he whispered, letting his face enter the crook of her neck where he nuzzled her skin. Sam's mouth opened in a gasp, not expecting this strange stranger to do anything like this. It gave her the strength to fight back, to struggle against his hold on her and it didn't seem to be working until her body dashed forward. Sam frantically opened her eyes and looked around; the man had disappeared, removing his hold on her and … fading from her sight.

'What the hell just happened?'

Sam didn't bother trying to find out the answer.

In seconds her feet were close to the door and Sam reached her hand out to grab the doorknob when the man appeared out of thin air and grabbed her wrist before she could do anything. Sam's eyes widened out of shock, her heart beating fast and thumping against her chest, feeling like it was going to fall out any minute.

The man tightened his grip on her as his mouth turned downwards in a scowl, "An annoying habit that I can't seem to shake…" he grumbled through his lips, before looking at her. When his eyes landed on her, Sam shivered at the way he smirked, the evil from him being felt through the air in large waves. He pulled her by her hand, and she stumbled forward, not expecting the sudden burst of movement. His smirk seemed more ominous the closer she got to him, because it was more apparent that an evil smile was tainting his normally beautiful face.

He wasn't shouting nor was he whispering, yet his voice felt so loud in her mind. "So… What brings you here, Samantha?"

She wouldn't stutter in front of him. "My friend brought me here." Thank God.

"What a nice thing for her to do. Tell her I…" he smirked, bringing his head closer to her, "Say thanks." Sam's fear grew. He was mocking her. Did he plan this? Did Clover plan this? Was he in on her plan?

Was there even a plan?

The paranoia started to bubble in her stomach, burning her defenses down.

The worry must have shown on her face because he backed away from her slightly with a frown on his face. He was quiet for two minutes before he sighed inaudibly and looked at her with somewhat regretful eyes.

"… I'm sorry." Sam's eyes widened in confusion. The man looked at her with half-lidded eyes, the energy he was once displaying now gone in a flash. "I don't want to be mean to you."

He sounded sad. Sam's confusion just grew.

"I'm just…" he looked up to the ceiling, as if the answers would be written there, "Angry. About dying I mean."

'…'

Sam's stomach felt heavy and her eyes felt tired. To say she was confused at the sudden mood swing would be an understatement.

The man sighed again, this time more loudly, before putting his hands in his pockets and turning away from her. "I'm sorry. I'll let you leave…" Sam felt the door hit her back softly, and when she turned she saw that the beautiful mahogany doors were indeed open.

Sam wanted to step back but before she could something came over her. The natural curiosity she had been blessed with was now deemed a curse because she did not turn around and leave but instead she stayed to look around the beautiful house that seemed to be lonely and confused, like a fog covering a forest.

Her eyes naturally drifted down, toward the man whose hands were still in his pockets, his head still down and his back hunched over forward, as if he expected her to leave.

Leave him. Because he was alone and would always be that. Alone, like a single lamppost blinking in an abandoned park, surrounded by dark trees and dark pathways and dark skies.

Despite her gut clenching, despite her blood running cold at the sight of his haunting figure, despite the way the room just seemed to freeze at his entrance, she said something that she never realized would make her heart stop later.

"… Is there anything I can do to help you?"

She didn't even feel her mouth move.

And the way he turned his head, slowly and foreboding, reminded her of the horror films she'd watch with Clover and Alex when they'd have sleepovers on Halloween, reminded her of the way she'd curl her toes underneath the blanket and reminded her of the way she'd have the covers ready under her grip to pull up at the sight of a spike filled helmet closing in on Michael Mark's head. (1)

Frightening.

And then came his smile, curling up quietly and she realized a smile would look good on his face, if it weren't for the light of the chandelier playing twisted shadows on his face, letting his beautiful cold eyes gleam in the darkness.

Petrifying.

"That's nice of you", he said in a nice tone, but Sam could feel the humor under his comment, like he knew something she didn't.

Foreboding.

"There… is one thing."

The air grew colder. She could feel its hands gripping her arms. Nails digging into skin. Feet frozen to the ground. His eyes watching her move, knowing how she would bolt out of this door once he stopped talking, unless he did something to keep her here.

Horrifying. Terrifying. Anxiety, nervousness, pacingomgomgomgsomethingisn't right

"Sam?"

Sam looked up, breathing when she saw she was in the mansion.

"… Yes?"

He was closer to her now, only an inch away. Sam gasped at the sudden movement and stepped back, expecting to slam on the door that was opened, but she only hit air. Sam looked behind her; the door was closed.

Locked even.

The man (ghost) put his finger under her chin and made her look at him again. He sent a small smile her way before speaking, "Will you do something for me?"

Her lips were frozen.

No. Something isn't right; YOU'RE not right—

But she said, "Sure."

He smiled chillingly. "I want you to bring me… the men who killed me."

'What? How could I possibly find them? I know nothing about them; I don't even know anything about you—'

She felt herself nod. What? Why did she nod? She didn't want to nod; she wanted to go home! Something wasn't right!

His eyes bore into hers. His cryptic, ambiguous eyes that had no ending, just layers and layers of depth and fear and hatred and vengeance and -

He smiled. Sam felt her mood lighten. "There are a few of them… but first I want you to bring me Jack Sanders. Can you do that Sam?"

'Jack Sanders. Grade 11. Beverly Hill High. Soccer player. Brown hair. Brown eyes. Dating Tina Farrell.'

She nodded without consent again, like there was some puppet controlling her head, tying strings around her ears and pulling the head up and down. Up and down. Agreeing. Not disagreeing.

Another smile. Cryptic. Ambiguous. Beautiful.

Chilling.

His hand cupped the left side of her face, and he moved down to kiss her forehead.

She left through the door, feeling the hit of cool air as the breeze passed her. Sam looked back at the empty mansion, it looming over her small figure.

She never even got his name.

Sam blinked, reality hitting her as she looked outside into the street, where the sky and street never seemed clearer.

'What… just happened?'

"Hey Sam are you okay?"

Sam gasped and looked up, finding the smiling kind face of Jack Sanders looking back at her.

"W-what?"

Jack chuckled at Sam's dazed behavior. "Helloooo? Anyone there?" he asked jokingly as he waved his hand in front of her. Sam blinked a few times, finally registering Jack's voice and the students milling around him, eager to get to class.

"I'm sorry… what just happened?" Sam blinked again, taking a deep breath to make sure she was breathing properly. Jack furrowed his eyebrows and narrowed his eyes before putting his hand on Sam's forehead.

"Are… you okay Sam? You're not coming down with something are you?" Jack asked in a concerned voice. Sam sighed and shook her head, sending him a small smile to quell his worries.

"Anyway…" Sam said trying to change topics, "What were you saying?"

Jack raised an eyebrow, his expression telling her he did not believe she was all right, but chose to respect her wishes. "Well… you were telling me you could tutor me in Calc tonight."

Sam nodded, not remembering telling him any of this, "Right. Uh, your place?"

Jack frowned, "I can't do it at my house. I have family over. I just told you that, remember?"

Sam's eyes widened, or at least they threatened to open. Sam attempted to look calm, "Oh, heh"', Sam nervously chuckled, "Right. How silly of me. Um, how about my house then?" She turned around and fiddled with her locker as to not let Jack see her nerve wracked face. 'Why can't I remember anything?'

Jack's suspicion of Sam's odd behavior only increased. "Uh yeah… Sure. What's your address?"

Sam inwardly let out a breath of relief. "141 Crooked Hill Lane."

'Wait a second. That's not my address.' Sam opened her mouth to stop Jack from writing the address down, but instead she said, "Why don't we just go after school? We can just go in my car."

'What's going on?' Sam wondered in worry. Why couldn't she control her own mouth?

Jack smiled, like a perfect picture of innocence, "Sure that'd be great!" He put his notebook and pen away before waving to Sam, "Thanks Sam! I owe ya for this."

Sam watched him go, feeling the anxiety sneak up on her, bubbling in her stomach. "It's okay. I'm happy to help!"

Jack sent her another bright smile, his green eyes twinkling, before he fully turned around and left for class.

Sam's own smile turned into a frown.

She immediately hurried to the bathroom, opening the door quickly and putting her books on the counter before going to the sink and splashing her face with cold water.

Sam gripped the edges of the sink, looking up at her reflection in the mirror, seeing no one but herself.

But her hair was in a ponytail that she did not remember ever pulling up, and she was wearing a white hoodie that she couldn't remember putting on.

'Did I really just… drift off the whole day?'

The lack of memory was frightening. She was not the type of person to zone out… especially for an entire day!

'Think Sam. What's the last thing you remember?'

Jack Sanders (why was that name ringing in her mind?), … saying her address was Crooked Hill Lane, going to Crooked Hill Lane yesterday, Clover dumping her, the ghost—

'The ghost!'

Sam's eyes widened as she remembered him, his haunting and terrifying sea foam eyes that glittered in the darkness of his mansion, his cold icy exterior that froze the room he was in, his loneliness that was encasing him in her unbreakable grip, his wishes, his death, his favor.

That she was granting.

He wanted her to bring him the people who killed him…

'Does that mean Jack killed that man?'

Sam took a shaky breath, suddenly glad that she was holding onto the sink otherwise she would have fallen on the gray and white small tiles that were covering the bathroom floor.

Jack? JACK? The same Jack who had gotten onto one knee with a bouquet of roses and had asked Tina to go out with him in the courtyard? That same Jack was capable of killing a man?

No. No she refused to believe it. There was no way Jack could KILL a fly, let alone a man!

But why would the ghost lie to her? Why would he lie about his death? Because in the end, whether Jack was innocent or not, or whether the ghost had gotten his facts wrong, the man was still trapped in a ghost form. In the end, he was still killed by someone or something.

'But… I have no idea if Jack didn't kill him.' It was true. Jack had begun to hang around with some people that Sam knew didn't do things that were… socially acceptable. He could have been set up to kill the man, or…

He smiled chillingly. "I want you to bring me… the men who killed me."

The men… more than one. It was a group killing… Sam felt her heart drown. Who would have the heart to kill a man, especially in a situation where he was outnumbered?

Even if it wasn't Jack… the ghost still thought he was the killer. She should at least try to find out when he died… if Jack had an alibi that checked out… or if he really was the killer.

Sam gulped.

She looked up into the mirror, her green eyes darkening with determination. She would solve this, and the first step would be taking Jack to the ghost's home… and find out what the ghost's intentions were before actually handing Jack to him.

The rest of the day seemed to be a blur, but at least this time Sam could feel the aching of her hand as she copied down every word the teacher said. At least the bell buzzed in her ear instead of avoiding her hearing all together.

And at the end of the day, Sam was waiting by her blue Nissan Altima, remembering something along the lines of telling Clover to not wait up for her. Sam bit her lip, trying to calm down her hammering heart, when she saw Jack walking towards her with his arm around Tina. He smiled and kissed her, before whispering something in the brunette girl's ear and giving her one last kiss before walking towards Sam.

Jack waved to her and Sam did her best to smile, hoping that her anxiety would stay still instead of hyperventilating in her stomach.

Not many words were spoken as Sam entered the driver's seat and Jack buckled into the passenger seat besides her. Sam turned the key in the ignition before driving out of the Beverly Hill High parking lot and heading towards Crooked Hill Lane.

141… How do I get there again?

Sam attempted to go back on the street where she was when Clover went into her awkward trance… make a left at the end of the road, turn right… turn right again into Daleny Drive, and make the second left…

Crooked Hill Lane.

Sam sighed as she pulled into the driveway of the beautiful home, telling Jack to stay in the car for a minute while she went inside.

Rubbing her hands together, Sam took a deep breath before putting her hand on the doorknob… hoping it would open.

It did, with the melodious creek instilled in horror films.

Sam gulped before opening the door fully and poking her head inside.

"Hello?" she asked, letting her voice bounce around the walls and trying not to let it bother her. She went inside cautiously, knowing the ghost's tendency to want to frighten people. Like her.

In seconds a figure materialized next to her, and Sam had to chastise herself for jumping in shock. His warm smirk greeted her, and Sam had to pull at her lip to stop herself from smiling at how comfortable he looked leaning against the wall with his hands in his pockets.

"You called?"

Sam had to work to not make her resolve melt into a puddle at the sound of his voice. She had to be logical here; she was supposed to be solving a murder.

Questions first.

"What do you plan on doing with Jack?" Stern. Straight to the point. Good Sam.

The ghost raised an eyebrow, letting his smirk grow wider as he sauntered his way over to her, hands still in his pockets, until he brought them out to wrap around Sam's waist. He pulled her close, letting his arms tighten around her, "Why? Did you bring him?"

Sam struggled out of his grip, avoiding his gaze on her. "That's none of your concern."

He chuckled, "You know, I have windows for a reason…"

Sam glared at him.

"But in all seriousness", he said, moseying his way closer to Sam and tightening his grip on her, "I just want to know why I was killed. That's all."

He sounded sincere, but something in Sam's gut told her he was lying. She let the thought cross her face, and the man soon realized that she didn't believe him. He visibly frowned and said, "Okay… maybe put in a punch or two if he doesn't confess, but that's all. I promise."

Sam sighed, looking away from him, "Yes but he should get a fair trial… No offense, but you seem like a violent person. Who knows what you'd do to him." Sam then put her hands over his hands that were over her waist and attempted to push them down.

He tightened his grip.

"Do you mind?" Sam said suddenly when she was failing to get him off of her, "I don't even know your name."

If she listened closely she would have heard the growl under his breath.

"Tim Scam", he said, bringing his head closer to hers. "Now, please, bring me the boy and go. home. Am I making myself clear?"

Sam felt the pull towards him but she tried resisting by shaking her head. "How do I know I can trust you to be alone with him?" she asked angrily, fed up from trying to get his arms off her.

Scam's features softened at her tone. He brought his hand up to brush a lock of her that had escaped her ponytail. "Because I know he's one of the men who killed me… And I don't want to risk leaving him alone with you."

Sam felt her lip quiver, and she slowly gulped as she saw the compassion that was raging in his eyes.

"Please trust me here", Scam whispered, "I intent on keeping him here, unharmed, until you bring the other men to me. I just want to question them together. I need Nick Karafant next."

Don't melt, don't melt, don't melt…

Sam looked down, away from his powerful gaze, "How do you know their names?"

The corners of Tim's mouth almost dropped but he managed to keep his sad façade up. "… I'm a ghost. I have plenty of free time."

"… Then why can't you just bring them yourself?"

Scam frowned, "… I was killed in my own home when four men snuck in to rob me. I can't leave the place I was killed, no matter how powerful my intent to stay on Earth is." Seeing Sam's eyes widen, he continued, "That's the reason I can touch you; it's because I'm powerful. But…" he faded into nothing before reappearing again, "My power comes with some… limitations."

Sam was struck speechless.

Scam moved his eyes to the black car waiting outside where the blonde boy was sitting. Sam followed his gaze and nodded.

"Jack come inside!" she called out as Scam let go of her waist. Sam stepped outside, watching Jack smile and open the car door to get out, and she looked back at Tim Scam for a moment, entranced by his grateful smile. He motioned her to leave once Jack came, but before she did, she turned back.

"Bye Tim."

He smiled.

"Bye Sam…"

Sam went outside and smiled at Jack, telling him to make himself comfortable, she'll be right inside. Jack of course nodded and listened to Sam, and the minute Sam got into her car and sat down she heard the front door of the house slam.

Sam sighed. It was for the best, right?

She closed her car door and drove home.

Sam tuned the radio station to play her favorite channel, letting the music filter through the speakers and calm her nerves. Tim would only hold Jack. That's it. She would bring Nick to him as soon as possible, and then the other two men, and Tim would find out why he was killed. That's it.

So why was she feeling so nervous?

'It's nothing. It's nothing.'

Sam kept repeating her mantra over and over again, even well into the next day when she was sitting in English class with Nick right next to her, passing notes to one of his friends.

Getting Nick to go to Scam's house would be another problem. Sam wasn't very close to Nick, but if Tim truly did believe that Nick was one of the men who had killed him that night, then she would have to make a miracle happen.

Sam twirled her pencil for the rest of the period, feeling her mind bored with the lack of ideas she had for getting Nick to Tim's home. In front of her, Sherry Johnson had passed a note to Nick through three different people and batted her eyelashes while doing so. (From what she had heard Sherry had her phone taken away a couple of periods ago.)

Actually… that gave her an idea.

Nick was next to her, so he passed the note to her and Sam had to quickly hide it because their teacher had turned around and was currently asking Sherry a question about Shakespeare. Sam took this distraction to quell her morals and peek at the note; thankfully Nick hadn't bothered to close the note completely. It was about coming to her house on Friday…

Sam got an idea.

A fully thought one, actually.

Enough time had passed when Sherry had answered the teacher's question. She had written that she had just moved to a new address, and Nick was asking her if tonight was a better time.

While making sure no one was watching, Sam scribbled a message back to Nick in Sherry's handwriting.

141 Crooked Hill Lane. Tonight after school would be perfect!

Sam passed the note back to Nick, as if she had just gotten it from Sherry. Nick paid no attention to how the note had arrived.

Sam thanked her luck.

After school Sam got into her Nissan and drove to Crooked Hill Lane (remembering how to get there easily this time around), and parked before entering the home.

"Tim?" she called out, smiling as she noticed him walking towards her. In seconds he had wrapped his arms around her yet again, (a favorite hobby of his, she noticed), and he was quick to nuzzle her neck, feeling satisfied at her coming.

"Hello Sam…" Sam blushed when he kissed the crook of her neck, biting her lip and feeling even more embarrassed by the redness of her face.

"N-Nick should be here soon…" Tim removed his face from her neck to smile at her.

"I don't know how to thank you for this Samantha…" Sam blushed again.

"It's not a problem, really—"

"But I want to thank you anyway…" he whispered, "But I'm dead and I can't do much… So I'll leave you with this."

And then he kissed her, and Sam could feel herself melting like chocolate in her mouth when he kissed her. She thought the butterflies were just a chemical reaction of hormones being secreted, and weren't really butterflies but that's all she felt. Butterflies. Flying in her stomach. Lightheadedness and it was all worth it for the feel of his lips against hers.

Sam didn't hear anything (she didn't hear much of anything nowadays) but Tim claimed that Nick was coming close to this house and she didn't want to risk the chance of Nick seeing her. Tim placed another kiss on her lips while mumbling another name before letting her go.

So with a blush as red as a tomato on her face Sam left, too embarrassed to look back.

She was still blushing the next day (pathetic, that's what she was) but through all the doodles of Samantha Scam on her notebook and through all the trouble of hiding the actual notebook from Clover who had seen hearts and had become curious instantly, Sam had somehow managed to find Sean Valerez in the midst of the hallway and had asked him to come over today for the Speech project they had coming up.

By now the routine was simple.

Even as she drove to Crooked Hill Lane, the butterflies (butterflies, she had determined, were much better than any chemical secretion), were dancing along her spine. She looked at her rearview mirror where the silver car was following her.

She was, in a way, glad that Sean was following her this time. As much as she would love to see Tim, she didn't think she could without blushing the entire time…

Sam pulled up in front of the familiar house and walked towards Sean who had just gotten out of his car and was staring at the 141 house in bewilderment.

"…Anything wrong?" Sam asked while putting her keys in her pocket.

Sean glanced at Sam quickly before letting his gaze go back to the house. "Uh, Sam… Isn't this the house where that serial killer was found dead?"

Sam frowned. Serial killer? What serial killer? Sean was probably making excuses because he remembered this house; perhaps he was remembering and regretting the events of the other night.

Of course, she wouldn't let his guilt stop him from facing the man he killed.

"What? No!" Sam said, faking the shock that would be perfect for the situation. "I live here and you don't see me murdered, do you?"

Sean sighed before letting out a small laugh, "Yea you're right. Sorry about that."

Sam walked up to the front and knocked on the door, Sean being right behind her. She entered the house and told Sean to take a seat. While he was looking away, Sam looked for Tim and winked at him when she found him. She gave one last look to Sean before leaving quickly.

Sam looked back at the house.

It was two days since she had seen Sean, three since she had seen Nick, and four since she had seen Jack. Something wasn't right. Sam bit her lower lip; maybe it would be better if Andrew stayed home instead of coming with his car later. Something about him wanting to drive with his car. She had just dropped him home and told him to come to her house quickly.

Sam remembered Tim telling her how he was waiting for all four men before he talked to them… but wouldn't their parents be getting suspicious?

Her gut squirmed.

Sam sighed, trying to calm her nerves. Looking around the street to find Andrew, she was confused when she saw Sean's and Nick's cars… missing. Did they already go home? Perhaps Tim already talked to them instead of waiting for Andrew as well.

Speaking of Andrew… That was his car down the hill wasn't it?

Sam bit her fingernail. 'It's nothing. It's nothing.'

Andrew was driving a lot faster than Sam had expected. (What? Why would she think that? Didn't she want Tim to know the reason behind his death?)

Sam looked up at the 141 house, her mind sending her warning signals about what Sean had said the last time she had seen him.

"Uh, Sam… Isn't this the house where that serial killer was found dead?"

At first she had thought Sean was simply joking, but in Calculus she had heard some rumor (or, something she had dismissed as a rumor) of some secret serial killer dying recently.

Sam looked at Andrew who was approaching just as quickly.

'Well… It couldn't hurt to check.'

Sam quickly took in her iPhone and quickly held her jacket together to protect herself from the chilly winds. Typing in "serial killer 141 Crooked Hill Lane", she hoped… hoped she would get nothing.

'Why do I have to hope? It's just… just nothing.'

Her gut was telling her otherwise.

Sam scrolled down the links that had popped up, and tapped her screen to go on a promising sounding link.

Tim Scam is the Snake.

'Tim? A snake? What?'

HONK!

Just then Andrew pulled over and waved at her. Sam sent him a half-hearted smile, before putting her attention back on the small screen, only to find that her iPhone had turned off because it was out of battery.

Once Andrew parked, he walked over to Sam and gave her a small hug, something Sam returned.

'Maybe Andrew knows something.'

As Sam walked up the pathway, she turned her head towards Andrew to ask him about Tim. "Hey Andrew, did you ever hear anything about… the Snake?"

Andrew froze in his tracks. Sam had to go back when she realized he had stopped.

"Andrew?"

He looked up at her with his black slanted eyes, "The Snake was a serial killer who killed a lot of students… our age. I heard there were five students who survived his wrath because Snake died before he could kill them."

Sam's eyes widened. The Snake… was a serial killer?

Which meant—

The doors to the mansion opened with the wind, with the ethereal image of Tim Scam at its doorways.

Gates of Hell.

"Please…", he said smirking, "Come in."

Sam felt a pull of her shirt as she was pulled into 141, as if the air had suddenly gotten hands and had grabbed her shirt.

Tim smirked as Andrew and Sam were brought into his home with the door slamming behind them in a cacophony.

A feral smirk grew on his lips as he walked closer to Sam, letting his hands trail over her waist, her stomach, her arm, before letting his transparent form become real, tangible, allowing Andrew to see him.

Angry, he let his hand travel down to her waist where he kept her close, his body touching hers, her body heat harshly colliding with his icy exterior. Sam stiffened under his touch but he didn't mind; he had heard how she had found out the truth. There wasn't any point hiding from her now.

With a quick flick of his hand Tim sent Andrew flying, letting him crash into a wall, his body making sounds that they shouldn't have been making. Tim clenched his fist and Andrew's body followed suit, his legs bending over his arms and his stomach curling backwards, while his screams echoed throughout the whole room. Another quick flick of the wrist made the crystal chandelier pieces come loose, and soon they were flying rapidly into Andrew's body, cutting into his skin like bullets into water, staying in his skin to tear his ligaments and tendons apart.

"STOP!" Sam screamed in surprise. She thrashed around in his tight grip but Tim managed to keep his skin tangible so that he could hold her in place.

"WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" Sam cried, trying to bite Tim's hand to let her go but she suddenly froze in place, and Tim removed himself from her to focus on Andrew for the time being.

'I… I can't move', she thought in shock. Sam tried moving her limbs, but unfortunately was helpless. She looked up and stared at Andrew's broken body, his tearful sobs and his pain.

She couldn't do anything. She brought Andrew to this ... this madman. She brought him… And Jack and Nick and Sean. She had ignored all the signs, ignored them.

And now she had caused Andrew's death. And Jack. And Nick. And Sean. They…

"I heard there were five students who survived his wrath because Snake died before he could kill them."

'Snake died…' Sam looked up at Tim, realization shining through her eyes, 'Tim died. Jack, Nick, Sean, Andrew… those were four students he was planning to kill.'

Andrew's screams tore through the room as Tim raised his arm to bring Andrew's body up, and then threw it back to the ground, shattering his bones completely. His labored breathing and agonizing screams stopped along with his heartbeat.

Tears fell from Sam's eye and the spell on her body vanished, and she fell to the floor in a crumpled mess.

'He had me bring them here so that he could kill them…'

Tim turned around and walked to the sobbing girl and pulled her up with one arm. Soon her lifeless form was in his embrace, and he somewhat struggled to keep his form tangible so he could just ... hold her in his arms.

Sam gulped, the tears streaking her face, but she stiffened at Tim's touch and tried to pull herself away from him.

'But… but who's the last student?'

"Let go of me", she whispered harshly, gulping as his grip on her tightened more. The lights flickered, the chandelier swinging back and forth, casting shadows against the blood stained walls. A low growl rumbled in Tim's throat as he stepped closer to her, his head dangerously leaning over hers.

Tim smirked, his smile taunting and serious, frightening and foreboding, petrifying and chilling.

"My dearest Samantha… what ever made you think I was letting you go?"

Horrifying. Terrifying. Anxiety. Nervousness.

Sam's eyes widened. 'Oh God…'

The lights flickered, threatening to turn off.

'I'm… My name is the last name on that list.'

"I'm not allowed to leave this house… and by the time I'm done with you…" Tim grinned, "You won't be allowed to either."


"Snake" Strikes Even In Death; 5 Teens Murdered

By Andy Baker

This past week, five bodies of Beverly High Students were found dead at 141 Crooked Hill Lane, in the home of the now deceased "Snake", the serial killer who the Federal Bureau of Investigation was attempting to catch during his lifespan. Snake's real name was never revealed until the unexpected heart attack that had befallen Tim Scam. Friends of Scam found a list hidden deeply in his home that listed all the victims Snake had murdered, as well as the names of Beverly High students Jack Sanders (above), Nick Karafant (above), Sean Valerez (above), Andrew Niomal (above) and Samantha Simpson (above), the newest five teens who were suspiciously murdered after Scam's death. The F.B.I. as well as local law enforcement are investigating the possibly of a copycat killer, someone who idolized Snake's image and murders and decided to finish Snake's fatal list.

Sanders, Valerez and Niomal were all last seen leaving school with Simpson. Investigators theorize the possibility that Simpson was in cohorts with Scam while he was alive, but because Simpson was murdered as well, her murderer is unknown and the theory will most likely not be investigated because Simpson's death shows no signs of suicide.

These five deaths of students are tragic, and a ceremony will be held on Saturday, November 1st to honor their lives, as well as the lives of the other students who Scam had brutally murdered.

(Story continued on page 8.)


;P

1 – A scene supposedly from Saw II; I never saw the movie so this is all based off of Wikipedia.

I'm going to pretend to be clever here (and take a page out of Tony Morrison's Beloved) and say that 141 equals 1 plus 4 plus 1 which equals 6. As in, 6 people died in that house. Hah. :P (That actually was NOT planned. How cool is that!)

Anyway, this is the second instalment of The Phantom's Hauntings. PLEASE NOTE THIS STORY IS DIFFERENT FROM THE FIRST CHAPTER. Please review them separately.

And also… Review please :) Cresenta and I had this planned for a while, but last year we were not able to finish our individual stories. This year we were late by 1 day (notice how the funeral ceremony for Jack, Nick, Sean, Andrew and Sam are all on Nov. 1st. Check the day this was published.)

Loves from both of us.

Love,
Ivy