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AN: 'My Soul To Take' had a pretty good setup, Agatha Christie style backstory, the works. It just... wasn't executed very well. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't bad, it just wasn't very original, nor was it impressive. Entertaining, though; I'll give it that. So, I wanted to write this more as a way of seeing how far I could explore each one of the Riverton Seven. Maybe you'll agree with my interpretation, maybe you won't.


I

There's a part of him that's actually surprised it wasn't him.

When he was faced with those grateful stares of townsfolk that could only imagine what he'd been through (poor boy, he was never going to have a normal life with a father like that and he should be grateful we never told him) he could only think of the alternative. The alternative that would have been reality if he'd let Alex live.

Because Adam could have said 'yes'.

It wouldn't have been hard to do. Pinning the blame on Jerome and walking out of that house under Alex's wing. It's easy being under Alex's wing, he knows how to fly better, and if the sky is really as big as he says it is then maybe Adam is better off not seeing it.

Fame was never Adam's intention in life because he didn't really have an aspiration anyway, but now it seems he has no other option than to face the cameras and act humble on television. He's not just a local hero, he's a national one, all because people are sensationalists and they're going to enjoy watching him recount how he saw his best friend die.

Smile for the camera.

Adam's ready to admit he's not a role model for anyone. Neither is he a bad influence, or someone to be ignored, or cast aside. He's just... there. He's happy with life and he's happy existing, the remnants of his mother staining the floorboards where she fell and died. Just like that, lights out.

He is a bug and he always has been; luckily for him, Condors are carnivores.


II

Alex is proud of his death.

There are, of course, better ways to die than at the hands of one's friend, but Alex doesn't mind. It could have been Brendan that finished him off and that would have been awful. His last thoughts are of Brendan, but he doesn't like admitting that. He always felt alive when Brendan struck him to the ground, perhaps because of adrenaline but probably because being hated is just such a human thing.

The knife twists. Feels good.

Adam looks like he's going to start crying and Alex really hopes Adam doesn't, because he'd rather not have tear stains on his corpse. There are a few seconds left, he supposes. A few seconds until his soul is taken, because it was never his to keep in the first place.

He dies in misery and he wouldn't have it any other way.


III

Jerome never felt like he was truly one of the Riverton Seven.

They hated each other, most of the time. They were rivals and competitors and foes, when what they should have been doing was sticking together. Not quite hand-holding and walking-off-into-the-sunset together, but together. Maybe if they'd been closer they wouldn't have ended up dead.

It was superstition, he knows, that bound them into one group. Connected by their birthday on the surface and a serial killer's legend underneath. Jerome liked that notion. He's not sure why, but he liked it a lot. Fate, destiny, whatever, but it was something and he was part of something.

He just wasn't part of them.


IV

The name 'Penelope' comes from an Ancient Greek religion, a religion that believed in fantastical characters like Zeus and Hera and Hercules. It's sort of ironic that she's a Christian. After she dies, her name is printed in the newspapers and nobody pays much attention to her, classing her as a 'religious and kind girl', an 'upstanding pillar of the community' with a 'strong faith that we hope will serve her well, wherever she is'. Penelope finds it all a bit pretentious.

Naturally, her faith defined her, but she liked other things too. She liked history. It was her favourite lesson in class. She knows it's stupid (or, at least, she knows others might find it stupid) but she prays for old historical figures. May God have mercy on the souls of those that died in famous battles. May God forgive fallen villains of dreadful crimes.

(May God look after her, too.)

Penelope (the Greek Penelope, the Penelope in the myths and stories) spent her life waiting for the return of her husband Odysseus. Penelope (the American Penelope, the Penelope of the Riverton Seven) has always pitied the other Penelope, but only a little.


V

Contrary to popular belief, Brandon doesn't like horror movies.

He's a typical teenager in many ways, but he never saw the attraction to gory slasher movies designed to terrify the crap out of people that stupidly decide to watch them. He knows his Dad likes them, but Brandon doesn't like his father particularly that much either. There's not actually a lot of things Brandon likes, if he puts his mind to it and tries to come up with a list.

He doesn't like school and he doesn't like homework. He doesn't like Fang and he doesn't like Bug. He doesn't like Adam and he doesn't like Penelope. He doesn't like it when people don't understand how important he is because of his birthday and he doesn't like it when people don't know about the Riverton Ripper.

But he likes sex.

Maybe if he'd seen some of those horror movies he never got around to watching, he'd know the people that have sex without any consideration always end up dead.


VI

Brittany didn't deserve to die.

That's what her family will say as they take to the podium at a local council meeting, eyes swollen from crying far too much over a daughter that didn't care about them as much as they cared about her. She loved them. Just not enough.

Brittany was a nice girl.

That's what her old teachers will say, as they reminisce about one of her excellent presentations on global warming or something boring like that, reciting how many A-grades she achieved during her time at the school before her life was cruelly stolen from her.

Out of the Seven, she was the good one, the one that lost her way just a little bit, the one that could have had a normal life and been somebody when she left town to go on to bigger and brighter things.

She could have been President.

Brittany knows she could have been better.


VII

Jay died first. That kind of sucks.

It's alright, he's not bitter. There's no point in being bitter. What's done is done, and to be honest he didn't really have a plan for life to begin with. If he'd had the time, he would have made one, but there's no point in dwelling on the past. What's done is always done, no comebacks.

The minute Jay fell from that bridge- no, the split second he fell from that bridge- he knew who'd killed him just from the look in his killer's eyes, even though they were the eyes of a mask and the eyes of a beast.

He just didn't live long enough to warn Adam.

How are they all, Jay wonders as he stands under the bridge where he died and looks over the water, and are they going to know what to do when the Riverton Ripper comes looking for them?

They probably won't. That kind of sucks.


End.