A/N: This is my first time delving into horror or suspense, so please be gentle.
This piece was originally a part of the Countdown to 2014 - Fact or Fiction. If you'd like to read the other stories, as well as the collab, head on over to www . fanfiction s / 9731139 / 1 / Countdown-to-2014-Fact-or-Fiction (make sure to remove the spaces or it won't work).
Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I've always loved having the opportunity to be someone I'm not for an evening, especially when it meant I could wear a wickedly fun costume. You can hazard a guess as to whether this is factual or fictional while you read, and I'll reveal the answer at the end.
Thanks so much to Breath-of-twilight for organizing this event! Thanks to WitchyVampireGirl for giving this a once over and reassuring me it doesn't suck. Lots of love to you both.
One last thing – this is my official character death warning. One or more of your favorites might not make it out alive. If this is a hard limit, I wouldn't go any further. There is also some gore in here, so you've been warned about that as well.
I'd love to hear your thoughts! Enjoy!
As always, these characters belong to Stephenie Meyer. The fucked up shit that may or may not happen to them is entirely my doing.
November 1, 2013
Charlie Swan took a swig of his coffee and glanced at his surroundings. The small Forks Diner was packed with people, which was nothing unusual. A steady stream of chatter filled the air, and the town's police chief couldn't help but smile as he enjoyed his breakfast. There was something to be said about small town life, and the Sunday morning scene before him was a perfect example.
"More coffee, Chief?"
Charlie nodded. "Thanks, Leah." The waitress grinned and filled his mug to the brim. He was about to dig in to his eggs when the television above the counter caught his eye. He set his fork down and pushed his plate away. "Leah, can you turn the volume up on that set?"
"Sure, Chief." She grabbed a remote and did as he requested, causing the voices around him to die down.
"Jessica Stanley is live on the scene of what Seattle police are calling the most gruesome crime in the city's history." The picture changed to that of an attractive brunette in a KING5 fleece jacket. Crime scene tape and police cars acted as a barrier between her and the large white house that loomed in the background.
"Thanks Mike. Officers are on the scene investigating what appears to be a mass murder in the Georgetown neighborhood." The news anchor moved aside and gestured to the home behind her. "Police received a call from a neighbor at two this morning, complaining of loud music and screaming coming from the home. What they found inside can only be described as something one would see in a horror film."
Georgetown? Didn't Bella say she was at a party in Georgetown? Charlie swallowed back the lump that had formed in his throat and reached for his phone. He knew his daughter's number by heart, but he just couldn't seem to get the digits entered correctly. By the time he finally got the call connected, his pulse was racing.
"Hey, this is Bella. Sorry I missed your call, but if you leave your name and number I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Thanks!"
"Fuck," the chief muttered. The feel of a hand on his shoulder startled him.
"Everything alright, Charlie?" Billy Black looked back and forth between the chief and the television.
For fucks sakes, Swan, get your shit together. Bella probably told you she was going to a party on the other side of town last night. Hell, you don't even know if there was a party in that house last night. He took a deep breath and shook his head in an effort to compose himself. "Everything's fine, Billy. Just catching up on the news."
"Crazy shit, isn't it?" Billy took a seat on the stool next to Charlie and shook his head. "There are all sorts of nasty people in this world. I'm just glad none of them have found their way to Forks."
"So am I, Billy," Charlie muttered. "So am I." The chief turned his attention back to the television, where the newscaster was once again discussing the crime scene.
"The remains of what appear to be eight bodies have been recovered from the home. Police Chief King is expected to hold a press conference within the hour, where he will make an official statement about the situation. We'll go back to Mike Newton in the newsroom." The screen changed once more and Charlie frowned.
There was no reason for him to be worried. Bella was probably at home, recovering from a hangover and lounging with her boyfriend. She'd forgotten to charge her phone on more than one occasion, and the fact that she probably did it again wasn't a cause for worry.
There was no way his daughter was lying lifeless beneath one of the tarps on the front of that Georgetown lawn.
She simply couldn't be.
One Day Earlier…
"No way! Too cliché nowadays."
"Nah, there will probably be five girls there with that costume already."
"That's what you went as last year, Rose. You can't be the same thing two Halloweens in a row." Bella Swan crossed her arms over her chest and frowned. They'd been to three different Halloween stores that morning, and the selection of good costumes seemed to dwindle more at each one. "Maybe we should have figured this out sooner."
"May I remind you, we just got invited to this clam bake two days ago. In fact, if I recall correctly we were all planning on boycotting Halloween this year." Rosalie Cullen pulled a bag containing a skimpy Playboy bunny costume off of the rack and held it up. "How about this one? It even comes with a fluffy little tail."
"How did we get invited anyway?" Bella asked, pretending not to notice the ridiculous scrap of fabric.
"I guess this Jasper guy is in Emmett's o-chem class. He and his wife moved here shortly before the start of the semester, and they don't have many friends in town. Em felt like he had to say yes when the guy asked him to come to the party."
"Have you met him? I mean, does he seem legit?" Bella grabbed a bag containing a Wonder Woman costume and tucked it under her arm.
"I don't know; not a crazy psychopath?"
Rosalie laughed. "No, I haven't met him, but I'm sure Emmett only RSVPs to parties hosted by non-psychopathic individuals."
Bella couldn't help but smile. An outsider would probably think their conversation was crazy. People who knew them well, however, had come to expect this type of banter over the years.
Bella and Rosalie had grown up next door to one another in the small logging town of Forks, Washington. They hated each other's guts until seventh grade, when Mr. Molina paired them up for a semester-long history project. Hours spent together revealed that Bella wasn't as straight laced as Rosalie presumed, and that Rosalie's arrogance was simply a mask she used to hide her glaring insecurities. The two became inseparable after that. When the Masen brothers moved to town the spring of their sophomore year, Rosalie made it her mission to hook Bella up with Edward, the younger of the two. She succeeded, and at the same time ended up falling for Edward's older brother Emmett.
At the end of Emmett's senior year, the four friends made a pact to attend the University of Washington in Seattle. Three years later they were doing just that, and renting a house together off campus.
"I've got it – Cat woman!" Rose exclaimed, pulling the costume off a rack and inspecting it. "Shall we try these on?"
"Yes, we shall." Bella led the way across the store to the makeshift fitting rooms.
"What is Edward going as?"
"He won't tell me," Bella answered, checking her reflection in the mirror. The costume fit perfectly and showed off the few curves she had.
"Well at least you aren't going as a themed pair this year. No offense Bells, but that shit stopped being cute years ago."
"Gee, thanks for waiting until now to clue me in on that."
"You're so welcome," Rose drawled, sarcasm hanging on her words. She shoved the Catwoman ensemble back into its package and flung open the curtain between their two rooms. "Wow. You should go as topless Wonder Woman."
"Get out of here," Bella mumbled, crossing her arms over her bare chest and kicking her friend in the butt. Rose simply laughed and made a beeline for the register.
Half an hour later they were back at the house. Rose grabbed a bottle of vodka from the freezer and poured two shots.
Bella looked at the alcohol warily. "You do realize this party doesn't start for another four hours."
"It's one shot, Bells, not the whole bottle. You'll have plenty of time to get your head righted before we leave." Rose pushed the shot across the counter and grinned wickedly. Bella shook her head and rolled her eyes, but picked the glass up.
"Cheers!" the girls exclaimed, clinking their shots together and tipping them back.
Here's to a night we'll never remember, Rose thought with a smile.
With friends that we'll never forget.
Edward Masen liked to keep things simple. Fortunately dressing like a vampire was just that. It took him a total of ten minutes to get ready for that night's Halloween celebration.
"Bella! Are you – Jesus fucking Christ." His breath caught in his throat when his girlfriend appeared at the top of the stairs. The red and gold corset top fit like a second skin, hugging her frame perfectly and drawing attention to her already-ample breasts. Her long legs were covered in thigh-high red stockings, held up by garter straps that disappeared beneath a blue mini-skirt. Matching red stiletto heels added a good five inches onto her short frame, making her legs look like they went on and on forever. Her dark hair, adorned with a gold tiara, hung in loose waves around her head, and a light but noticeable amount of makeup coated her face. Edward swallowed hard and reached down to adjust his erection.
"Like what you see?" Bella asked, descending the stairs and sliding her arms around his waist. She could feel his arousal, and it made her giggle.
Edward bent his head down and gently pressed his lips against her earlobe. "I'd like it a lot better if it was in a pile on the floor." His warm breath cascaded across her neck, leaving a trail of goose bumps in its wake.
"It has to go somewhere later," Bella teased, standing on her toes and giving him a chaste peck on the lips. "Now we better go or we're going to be late."
"You're such a fucking tease," Edward muttered, giving her a light swat on the ass and grabbing his keys and the directions Emmett had jotted down. The drive to Georgetown took twenty minutes, and Bella found herself in awe when Edward pulled the car to a stop in front of Jasper's house. It was three stories high, white in color, and covered with at least a dozen single paned windows, all framed by black shutters. A porch wrapped around the front of the house, and Halloween decorations were dispersed throughout the yard. Black lights illuminated the windows on the first story, and Bella could see shadows looming behind a few of them. A chill ran up her spine, and for a brief moment she contemplated staying in the car. She brushed the fear aside and scolded herself, however, chalking her anxiety up to watching one too many scary movies in high school.
"This place is sick," Edward commented, grabbing Bella's hand and leading her up the walkway. He didn't have a chance to ring the bell before the door opened.
"Welcome!" A man dressed as a doctor stood before them. Brown eyes peeked out between his medical cap and surgical mask. He stepped aside and gestured to the space behind him. "Please, come in to the Whitlock House of Horrors."
"Wow," Bella breathed. The inside of the house matched the splendor of the outside. A winding staircase led to the second and third levels, and a grand piano decorated the foyer. Creepy Halloween music and a fog machine created a haunting ambience. "It really does look like a house of horrors. Well, without all the gory stuff."
"That comes later," the nameless doctor said with a wink.
"I'm guessing you're Jasper?" Edward asked, slipping his arm around Bella's waist and pulling her to his side.
"You guess correctly. And you are?"
"Edward Masen." He stuck his hand out and gave Jasper's a shake. "And this is my girlfriend, Bella."
"Ah, yes, Emmett's brother! I'm glad you two could make it. Alice and I haven't gotten acquainted with many people in town, so if the guests seem sparse, that's why."
"No need to explain, man. Smaller gatherings are more our scene." Edward smiled and looked around. "Is my brother here yet?"
Jasper shook his head. "I thought he'd arrive with you."
"Normally we'd ride together, but his girlfriend had some last-minute costume crisis," Edward explained.
"Did someone say costume crisis?" A short, thin girl wearing a nurse's costume appeared next to Jasper. Her dress was the same sea foam green color as his scrubs, and she also had a surgical mask and medical cap on.
"Edward, Bella, this is my wife Alice. Alice, this is Emmett's brother Edward, and his girlfriend Bella." Jasper threw his arm over the girl's shoulders and gestured back and forth between her and their newly arrived guests.
"You can't possibly be having a costume crisis," Alice said to Bella. "Wonder Woman looks amazing on you!"
Bella smiled. "Thank you! It was a last minute decision, so I'm glad it worked."
"Saying it worked is an understatement! I have to get a picture of you in that!" Alice grabbed her hand and tugged Bella toward the staircase. "I keep a scrapbook of all our Halloween doings. Cool costumes, fun moments, wicked looking decorations, and all that kind of stuff."
Bella glanced over her shoulder at Edward and shrugged. He simply smiled and waved at her before turning back to Jasper. "So, what do you have to drink around here?"
"Follow me," Jasper said, leading Edward to the kitchen.
The night was young.
And the famed Halloween party had only just begun.
"Do you think they suspect anything?"
"No way! This is going off without a hitch."
"I love when things go as planned. It makes the element of surprise that much more powerful."
"I know, baby. I know."
"It's about time you got here!" Bella exclaimed. Rose simply laughed and fixed her hair.
"Sorry, we got a little … distracted on our way."
"Oh, God. Please spare me the details."
Catwoman rolled her eyes. "Someone needs more to drink I see. Where's the beverage station?"
Bella grabbed her best friend's hand and tugged her in the direction of the kitchen. "This way."
"This house is ridiculous," Rose noted, taking in her surroundings. "How do two college kids afford something like this?"
"One – or both – of them must come from money," Bella said, stopping when she reached the keg.
Rose grabbed two cups and filled them with beer. "I don't get it. If you have a house this size, why only invite eight people to your party? There's room for ten times that."
"Who knows? Maybe-"
"Candy?" Alice appeared randomly, cutting her off. She held a glass dish between her hands.
"No thanks. I'm not a fan of caramel." Bella answered, turning to Rose. "Have you met Alice yet?"
Rose shook her head. "Nope. Are these your digs?"
"They are," Alice said, smiling. "You must be Emmett's girlfriend? The one with the costume crisis?"
"That would be me. And thank god for electrical tape," Rose said, gesturing to her leg. "Catwoman's suit can't be ripped apart this early in the night."
Alice threw her head back and laughed. "I don't know how you got into that thing, but more power to you for doing so. You'll probably need to cut it off by the end of the night!"
"Only if I eat those caramels."
"Aw, you two have to try them! I made them myself this morning!" Bella looked over at Rose, who shrugged and grabbed one of the cellophane-covered candies. Not wanting to seem like a total bitch, Bella grabbed one too, unwrapping it and popping it in her mouth.
"These are actually really good," she told Alice, ignoring the funky aftertaste the caramel seemed to leave in her mouth. Rose nodded in agreement, and the girls grabbed two more candies each.
"Come find me if you want more! I don't want to have any leftovers in the morning!" Alice skipped off, leaving the two friends alone in the kitchen.
"Where's Emmett?" Bella asked, unwrapping a second caramel.
"Jasper wanted to show him something in the basement. Collector sports memorabilia or some shit. What about Edward?"
"I'm right here," Edward said, coming up behind Bella and sliding his arms around her waist. "Did you and my brother get lost on your way over?"
"That's one way to put it," Rose giggled.
"Please, don't give her any encouragement." Bella turned and wrapped her arms around Edward's neck. "Where have you been?"
"Jasper gave me a tour," her boyfriend explained. "And I stopped to chat with Jake Black."
"When Emmett said this would be a 'small gathering' I thought he meant a couple dozen people," Rose complained. "Where are the other guests hiding at?"
"There's a fire out back; that's where I found Jake. And Jasper said there are more people on the way, so things should liven up." Edward pressed his lips against Bella's cheek and smiled. "Want to check the rest of this place out? I have a few things in mind for that costume…"
A blush colored his girlfriend's cheeks. "Oh really? What kinds of things?"
"Follow me and I'll show you." Edward took her hand in his and headed for the stairs.
"Don't worry about me!" Rose called after them. "I'll make sure the keg keeps working." She filled her cup with more beer and perched herself on the counter, pulling her cell phone from the clutch she carried.
I found the keg. Now come find me in the kitchen.
She read the text over once and sent it to Emmett.
So far the party was a bust.
Rose hoped a drink – or four – would help change that.
"How long have you been collecting sports stuff?"
"Since I was a child. I was storing it all at my grandfather's farm, but now that Alice and I have a place of our own, I finally moved it here." Jasper fiddled with the lock on the basement door.
"Man, Rose will be so relieved to know that I finally have someone I can discuss all things sports with. Don't get me wrong, my brother likes to take in a game or two on occasion, but I'm the only one that's been watching – and playing – for all these years."
"Which sports did you play?"
"Football, hockey, and baseball. I was in it for the girls to start with, but once I met Rose it became all about the passion I had for it."
"Are you at U-Dub on a scholarship?"
Emmett shook his head. "I was good, but not good enough to get scouted."
"Perhaps we can all take in a game sometime? I've never seen the Mariners or the Seahawks other than on TV."
"Hell yeah, man," Emmett said, giving Jasper a fist bump. "That would be awesome."
The lock popped and Jasper swung the door open. "Should I grab us a couple more beers?"
"Sure! Do you care if I head down?" Emmett flipped the light switch, but nothing happened. "Dude, the lights aren't working."
"There's still some electric work to do, but the switch at the bottom of the stairs works." Jasper turned in the direction of the kitchen, stopping long enough to glance over his shoulder. Emmett took the bait, and as soon as he stepped onto the basement stairs, Jasper spun around and kicked him hard in the back. The tall man tried to grip the walls, but it was no use. He screamed loudly and fell forward, tumbling down the stairs and landing at the bottom with a thud.
"What are you doing?" Alice sidled up next to her husband, peering down into the darkness. Their guest was motionless, with one arm pinned awkwardly behind his back, and blood trickling from a cut on his forehead. Even if he wanted to ascend the stairs when he woke, he would likely be in too much pain to do so.
"Carpe diem, baby. I had to seize the moment," Jasper whispered, smiling slyly. "He's twice my size. I had to do something to immobilize him."
"That wasn't part of the plan!"
"Not all things go according to plan." Jasper closed the basement door and latched it. "Did you give the girls the candy?"
Alice nodded. "Neither one of them will be coherent within an hour."
"Perfect." He tucked his thumb beneath her chin and angled her face toward his. "This is all working out perfect, baby. Nobody knows what's coming, and as a result they aren't prepared to react."
Alice ran her fingers over Jasper's chest and looked up at him through hooded eyes. "They never know how to react."
"I know," he murmured, dipping his head and pressing his mouth against hers. She dragged her teeth over his bottom lip, nipping gently.
"What would we do without each other?"
He laughed. "I don't even want to think about that."
"I don't either."
He kissed her once more. "I'm going to get some things from the garage and take care of Emmett. When the girls are good and ready let me know which one wants to play first."
"Of course." His girlfriend grinned slyly and headed for the backyard. "Who wants a caramel?"
Jasper took a deep breath and snuck off to the garage. Once he had gathered the items he needed, he made his way back inside and slipped downstairs.
One guest down; seven left to go.
"Shhh!" Edward held up a single finger and cracked open one of the upstairs doors. Bella bit her lip in an attempt to stifle the giggles that threatened to escape. She was suddenly drunk – very drunk – and more than ready to find a guest bedroom.
"Hurry up or I'm going to take my clothes off in this hallway!"
"Don't you dare," he whispered gruffly, grabbing her hand and pulling her in the room.
"Should I lock it?" Bella slurred as she closed the door. Edward spun her around, pressing his lips to her neck.
"I'm going to fuck you hard against this door. Nobody will come in."
Bella moaned when Edward dipped his hands in her skirt and pushed it down. He kicked her feet apart and slid his fingers through her folds, pinching her clit and spreading the arousal that had already pooled there.
"Edward," she breathed, tipping her head back against the door. He smiled and pressed his lips against her skin, trailing kisses down her collarbone and across the top of her breasts.
"This top has to come off," he said, reaching around and trying to undo the snaps. Frustration got the best of him, and he grabbed the fabric and tore it off.
"Mmm, Rose will be in approval of that."
"What the fuck?" Edward mumbled between kisses.
"Nevermin- ahh!" Bella cried when Edward's mouth found her nipple. He bit gently on it, looking up at her with lust-filled eyes. His hand trailed down between her legs once more, and she gasped when he slid two fingers into her.
"You're so fucking wet for me, baby. You don't know how much I want my cock inside that pussy." His words drove her crazy, and even though everything else in her head had become ridiculously foggy, the desire she felt for him was clear as day. He moved his fingers faster, curling them upward each time he pumped them in. Stars speckled Bella's vision, and moments later she was screaming out her boyfriend's name.
"Edward! Oh, fuck, Edward, fuck, fuck, fuck me!" The words fell off her tongue and her walls clenched around him. He stilled his fingers inside her, but continued to rub his thumb around her clit.
"I'm going to fuck you, Bella Swan. I'm going to fuck you so hard you won't remember your name tomorrow." Edward pulled his fingers out and shoved them between her lips. Bella could taste her arousal, and it excited her.
She grabbed Edward's belt and unbuckled it hastily. She pushed his pants and boxer briefs down and wrapped her hand around his cock, stroking it roughly. Edward groaned and slid his arms beneath Bella's thighs, picking her up and pressing her bare back against the cold wood door.
"Do you have a condom?" Bella mumbled, using her thumb to spread Edward's arousal around the tip of his cock. He bit his lip and shook his head. "Oh, fuck it. I'm on the pill anyway."
Edward wrapped one arm around Bella's waist to hold her in place and covered her hand that was still on his shaft with his free one. He used their joined fingers to slide the head of his cock through her folds before lining it up with her body. He pulled their hands away, entwining his fingers with hers and holding her arm against the door above her head. Edward pressed his forehead against hers and slammed his hips up.
"Fuck, baby, you're so wet and so tight." He slid out until just the tip was left inside, then slammed into her again.
"Ungh," Bella moaned, wrapping one arm around Edward's neck and fisting his hair in her hand. She tugged his head back and bent hers forward, biting down on his shoulder.
"Jesus fuck," Edward yelled. He moved inside her faster, pushing her body into the door with each thrust. The hinges and the lock jiggled, and Edward had no doubt that someone downstairs could hear them. He didn't care, however. All he wanted was to stay buried in her.
"I'm going to come," Bella moaned, closing her eyes and tugging on his hair. When Edward let go of her hand and began sliding his fingers over her clit, she came undone. "Edward! Oh my God!"
"That's it, baby. Come all over my dick." He thrust hard two more times and then stilled, finding his own release inside of her.
"Don't move," Bella whispered, slipping her fingers through Edward's sweaty hair and sighing.
"I don't want to move," he said, looking up at her with a sheepish grin. Bella giggled and pressed her lips against his.
"That was amazing," she slurred, wrapping her legs around his waist and pulling him closer to her.
"It's always amazing." They stayed like that, her legs wrapped around his waist and his body pinning her against the door, for what felt like an hour before Edward finally spoke again. "Are you feeling okay, Bells? Your face is really pale."
Bella tried to open her eyes, but the lids felt too heavy. "I'm fine. Really drunk and tired."
Edward tightened his grip on her body and turned slowly, walking the few steps needed to get to the bed. He gently lifted her off of him, gasping at the loss of contact, and set her on the bed. "I'm going to go find a bathroom and a towel to clean us up. Will you be alright waiting here?"
Bella let herself fall backwards onto the soft comforter. "Mmm hmm."
Edward leaned down and pressed his lips against her forehead. "I love you, Bella Swan."
"Love you too," she mumbled. Her head rolled to the side and he could tell she had passed out.
"So beautiful," he whispered, trailing his fingers down her cheek. He hoped Jasper and Alice didn't mind if they crashed in the guest room. Bella never got this drunk, and Edward didn't think he'd be able to get her back downstairs, let alone out to the car.
"I'll be right back, sweetheart," he whispered, giving her another kiss on the cheek and going off in search of the bathroom.
Twenty minutes later Edward still wasn't back.
And Bella had disappeared.
Bella's head was groggy and her limbs felt heavy. She tried to move her arms, but her wrists burned with pain each time. The air around her was cold, damp, and musty, and she couldn't open her eyes to figure out where she was.
"She's perfect," a female voice whispered.
"Edward's a lucky guy," a male voice agreed.
"Was a lucky guy. It's too bad he didn't get a chance to say goodbye."
Bella rolled her head to the side and cracked her eyes open. A blurry figure that looked like Alice stood several feet away, holding a long, silver object in one hand. A faint voice in the back of her head was telling Bella to run like hell, but when she tried to move her legs, the same searing pain that burned her wrists burned at her ankles. The grogginess she felt subsided long enough for her to realize that she was tied up.
"Who…Edward…Why…" Bella tried to form a full sentence, but the words wouldn't come out right. She attempted to flip on her side, but screamed out loud when the ropes that bound her dug into her skin.
"She's a screamer." This time, Bella could tell it was Jasper speaking.
"That's my favorite kind, baby." Alice sauntered around the table that Bella was tied to and pulled off her surgeon's mask. She grabbed Jasper's chin and pulled his face to hers, kissing him hard and pressing her body against his. He grabbed her and sat her on the edge of the table, sliding his palms up her legs and beneath her dress. Alice tipped her head back and moaned.
Bella blinked several times and the room came into focus. She lifted her head slowly, taking in the sight before her. She was naked from the waist up, wearing nothing but the blue miniskirt. Bloody scrapes covered her knees and her legs were bound to the table with thick rope. The silver object in Alice's hand was a knife, and she and Jasper's once-clean costumes were splattered with blood.
"Please untie me," Bella whispered, her voice wavering.
Alice looked over at Bella and gave her an eerie smile. "That's not an option."
"Please. I'll do anything," Bella pleaded. Alice laughed and turned her body, straddling Bella and leaning forward until her lips grazed the woman's earlobe.
"You don't know what you're saying," Alice whispered, running the tip of the knife down Bella's arm. Jasper stood and walked to the head of the table, looking down at Bella and pulling his surgical mask back on.
"I want to play doctor," he said, reaching in the pocket of his scrubs and pulling out several surgical instruments. "And I want you to be my patient. Your friend there wasn't so keen on the idea, but I have a feeling you'll be much more cooperative." Bella followed Jasper's gaze with her eyes. What she saw made her sick. Rose's lifeless form was suspended from the ceiling. Large hooks pierced the skin on her ankles and shoulder blades. Her abdomen had been cut open and her organs removed, leaving a bloody cavity. The expression on her face served as evidence that Rose had felt everything they'd done to her.
Bella's lip began to tremble and she felt tears welling in her eyes. She wanted to run, but she knew she couldn't. Whatever they'd given her to get her in this position was only just beginning to wear off, and although her mind was starting to clear, her limbs still felt like lead.
"Aw, Jazz, you made her cry." Alice swiped the blade of her knife across Bella's cheek, piercing the skin and causing Bella to scream.
"Please," Bella whispered once more, tears streaming down her face. Jasper laughed and lowered the instrument he held to Bella's neck.
"Relax, Bella. This will only hurt a bit."
"Bella! Emmett!" Edward rounded the side of the house and looked up at the porch. He hadn't seen any of his friends since he and Bella had their tryst, and none of the other guests at the party had seen them either. The bedroom they had shared was now empty, which led him to believe his girlfriend had wandered off somewhere in her drunken state. He wouldn't put it past Emmett to play some type of Halloween prank, but he couldn't see Bella going along with it.
I better check inside again, Edward though with irritation. He wasn't sure how many times he had combed the grounds thus far, but he was getting tired of searching everywhere for them.
Just as he reached the front door, all of the lights in the house went off. The music died and was replaced by blood curdling screams, which seemed to be coming from every which direction. Edward stumbled forward, tripping over the rug in the foyer and falling to the floor.
"Fuck!" he exclaimed. Pain radiated from the corner of his mouth, and when he brought his fingers up to feel why, a sticky substance coated them. He silently cursed himself for choosing to go with adhesive porcelain vampire fangs, as one had lacerated his lip when he fell.
"HELP!" a female voice pierced the air and brought Edward back to the situation at hand. Something royally fucked up was going on, and he needed to find his friends and get the hell out of there.
He stood and brushed his knees off, then reached out until his hands met the wall. He used it to guide him through the living room and into the kitchen area. From the corner of his eye he could see through the patio door. The bonfire was going strong, but it looked like the crowd around it had dispersed.
"STOP!" the woman screamed again. Goosebumps pimpled Edward's skin and the hair on the back of his neck lifted. He couldn't make out who the voice belonged to, or where it was coming from, but he felt like he was obligated to find out.
"Where are you?" Edward shouted into the darkness. When he didn't get a response, he tried again. "You have to tell me where you are so I can help you."
"I'm in the – Oh God, no, please!" A sound similar to that of an electric chair filled the air, and another scream followed. "Basement! I'm in the basement!"
"I'm coming to find you!" Edward yelled, re-tracing his path along the wall. The basement door was situated on the opposite side of the foyer, and he somehow found it without inflicting any further injuries on himself. He grabbed the handle and yanked hard at the door, expecting it to be latched. Instead, it flung open, sending Edward crashing into the wall behind him.
"Son of a bitch," he muttered. "Hello?" His call was met with silence. He took a deep breath and cringed as a foul stench invaded his nostrils.
Dread filled Edward's stomach as he descended the stairs to the basement. The screams he'd heard minutes earlier had abruptly ceased, and the only sound that filled his ears now was that of his own beating heart.
The basement, like the rest of the house, was shrouded in darkness. Edward dragged his fingertips along the concrete wall next to him until he felt open air, signaling the bottom of the staircase. He kicked the toe of his shoe downward, and it collided with what felt like dirt. Once he was certain he was standing on stable ground, Edward withdrew his cell phone from his pocket, using the illuminated screen to help him better see his surroundings.
The floor was dirt, as he'd suspected, and littered with various metal instruments and what looked like scraps of clothing. The smell he'd noticed at the top of the stairs had grown much more pungent, and it burned the insides of his nostrils and made his stomach churn. He took a few shaky steps forward, then looked off to his left and to his right. He couldn't see more than a few feet in front of himself, but Edward swore he could make out the silhouette of a large table on the other side of the room.
Taking a deep breath, he began moving in the direction of the object. The darkness slowed him down, but it didn't stop him. He was a few steps away when the basement lights suddenly turned on.
Edward blinked his eyes several times, allowing them to adjust to the brightness and bringing the room into focus. The object before him was in fact a table; a large, wooden table that resembled a rack upon which people were stretched and tortured. Bloodstains decorated the surface of the wood and the fibers of the ropes attached to either end. Edward's stomach lurched, and he clamped a hand over his mouth. He wanted to inspect the rest of the room, but something had caught his eye. A plastic tiara was perched on the corner of the table. It was gold in color, with a large, sparkly red star on the front. Strands of brown hair were matted into the combs on the end of it.
"No," Edward gasped, shaking his head and running his fingers through his hair. Tears sprang to his eyes and his phone fell to the ground with a thud. There was only one Wonder Woman at the party that night, and she was far too important for him to even fathom losing her.
He stumbled forward, bracing himself against the edge of the table and taking quick, shallow breaths. He knew he needed to try to calm himself and gain some rationality, but his imagination had started running wild, filling his mind with various scenarios of where his girlfriend could be and what might have happened to her.
This must be a joke of some sort, he thought to himself. Bella is hiding somewhere in the house and Emmett and Rose are with her. Everyone is fine and later today we'll all wake up hung-over and laughing about my ridiculousness.
He took a deep breath and closed his eyes. He wasn't willing to accept any other explanation for his friends' disappearances. When he'd finally managed to calm himself down, Edward stood and squared his shoulders. He needed to investigate the upper floors once more now that the power was back. When he turned to head for the stairs his stomach dropped once more. An old, yellow refrigerator stood several yards behind the head of the table. Blood was smeared on the handle and part of the door, and appeared to be dripping out the bottom and pooling on the dirt below.
Time seemed to go in slow motion as Edward moved toward the fridge. He stopped directly in front of it and wrapped his fingers around the handle, opening the door before he could talk himself out of it. The sight before him was horrific. Dozens of human limbs had been hastily shoved onto the different shelves. Some looked clean cut, others looked like they were ripped from the victims. There was blood everywhere, dripping down the shelves and the door. It was a sight Edward would never wish on anyone, and a sight he never wanted to see again.
He reached out and tugged at the fingers on what appeared to be a male arm. Several of the limbs fell to the floor at his feet, causing Edward to jump back and gasp. When he looked back up at the refrigerator, he began to scream.
Rosalie's head, which had previously been hidden, was jammed onto the top shelf. Her cheek was pressed against the roof of the refrigerator, and her face was contorted into an expression of pain and shock. Chunks of her hair had been torn from her scalp, while blood matted other strands to her cheek and mask. Her eyes were open, but their gaze was lifeless and glassy.
The shoe pinned beneath Rosalie's head belonged to his brother. He could see it was still on Emmett's foot, which had been severed at the ankle. His stomach lurched and the feeling of dread in his chest multiplied as the realization of things started to dawn on him. When his eyes landed on the scattering of limbs that had dropped to the floor, Edward let out a loud scream and fell to his knees.
"No. No, no, no, no, no," he cried, cupping his neck with his hands and squeezing his eyes shut. A slender, pale arm lay on the dirt in front of him. A gold colored plastic cuff was still wrapped around the wrist, though the sparkly silver star on the top it was now dingy with blood and dirt. The fingers were curled into a fist, and the Wonder Woman logo was cut into the flesh above the elbow.
"That's not Bella," Edward said out loud. He stood once more and closed the refrigerator door. He placed his palms flat against the front of the fridge and leaned against it, doing his best to avoid stepping on the collection of limbs below his feet. His face felt hot, his head was starting to spin, and he felt as if he might pass out at any minute. He tried to choke back the bile that was slowly rising in his throat, but it was no use. He tipped his head down and heaved violently, emptying the contents of his stomach onto the dirt beneath him.
He wanted to run. He wanted to turn the clock back and tell Emmett he wasn't interested in any Halloween parties. He wanted to scream, to kick the shit out of someone, and to light the house on fire. His body had other plans for him, however, and all Edward could do was stand there and sob.
"Like what you see?" A gravely voice startled him. Edward whipped around and came face-to-face with Jasper. His surgeon's mask hung loosely around his neck, blood covered the front of his scrubs, and he held a dirty sternum saw in his hand. Alice stood behind him and off to the right, holding a dish of candy between her hands and wearing an eerie smile on her face.
"Who the fuck are you?" Edward shouted. Jasper cocked his head to the side and took a step forward, causing Edward to take two steps back.
"You know who I am, Edward," Jasper said calmly. "I'm Jasper Whitlock. This is my Halloween party. Or, as I like to think of it, my personal house of horrors."
Goose bumps peppered Edward's arms, and a cold sweat sheathed his skin. He took a deep breath, attempting to quell the anxiety he felt, but it was no use. Fear and anger coursed through his veins.
"You're fucking crazy," he spat out, taking another step backward and feeling the refrigerator behind him. Fuck. "What did you do to Bella? What did you do to my brother?"
"Bella didn't make it, unfortunately." Jasper's lips pulled up in a smile. He ran the tip of his finger over the blade on the saw and narrowed his eyes. "Neither did Emmett. Of course he was a bit more difficult to do away with, but it worked out to our advantage in the end."
"'Our advantage'? What the fuck do you mean by that? There's more than one of you in on this?"
"Edward, Edward, Edward," Alice set the candy dish down on the table and sauntered toward him. "You don't think Jasper dreamt this all up on his lonesome, do you?"
"You did this?" Edward gave the small woman a once-over and laughed.
"Well, not this part." Alice gestured to the limbs scattered in the dirt. "Don't get me wrong, I like to get my hands dirty just as much as Jasper here does, but this time I wanted to play a more active role in the planning. And what better way to round up eight unsuspecting victims than to throw a run-of-the-mill Halloween party."
Edward thought he might heave again. "This time?"
Alice nodded and stepped around him. He tried to move so he was facing them both, but Jasper had stepped in the way, leaving him pinned between the two.
"We've been doing this for months," Jasper explained. He pulled the trigger on the saw, and the blade whirred back and forth for a brief moment. "College campuses are a great place to find victims. Especially the larger ones like UW."
"Bella's father is a police chief. You'll never get away with this!"
Jasper tipped his head back and laughed. "A police chief, huh? I guess we better hurry up and finish what we started."
"Fuck you," Edward spit out. "You're not finishing anything."
"Is that a challenge, Edward?" Alice's eyes were on Jasper as she asked the question. She reached behind the fridge and withdrew a hammer, sliding it behind her back even though Edward couldn't see her.
It's now or never, Edward thought to himself. He lunged at Jasper, but Alice was too quick. The hammer hit his head with a sickening smack. Edward opened his month to scream, but no sound came out. The room was becoming blurry, and large, red spots had started to cloud his vision. He took one, then two steps forward before falling to the dirt. Blood poured out of the open wound on his head, running over his ear and down the side of his face. Jasper's boot appeared in front of him and the sound of the sternum saw filled his ears. He reached across the earthy floor and grabbed a hold of Bella's severed arm, tugging it to him as everything went black.
November 1, 2013
"We're live on the scene in the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle, where Police Chief Royce King is preparing to make a statement about last night's murders."
Charlie looked up at the TV screen once more. He'd met King once, and he wasn't impressed with him. The guy was young, not seasoned enough, and cocky. When he appeared on the screen, however, he looked ill.
"Good Morning. I'm Royce King, Chief of Police for the Seattle Police Department. At approximately two o'clock this morning our department received a call to a residence on Greely Street. Upon entering the residence, officers found what appeared to be a manmade torture chamber, and the remains of what we believe to be eight bodies."
A cold sweat coated Charlie's skin and his leg began bouncing. He struggled to grab his phone, but when he finally did, he redialed Bella's number while continuing to watch the press conference.
"The home was rented to a couple by the name of Jasper and Alice Whitlock," Royce continued. "Our department obtained surveillance footage from a Home Depot store in Everett where the couple was seen yesterday morning. After reviewing this footage, we have determined that these two individuals are actually Mary Brandon and Phillip Hale, the criminal masterminds behind a six-month killing spree. The two are wanted for murder in Texas, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, and Oregon. They are also wanted for questioning in today's horrific crime."
"Fuck!" Charlie cursed the call when it went straight to Bella's voicemail yet again. He reached for his wallet and tried to count out enough cash to pay for his breakfast. His hands were trembling violently, however, and he just couldn't seem to think straight.
"The Federal Bureau of Investigation has provided us with these photographs of Brandon and Hale." The picture on the screen changed to that of a young man with wavy blonde hair and a young woman with a brown bob. Charlie's stomach filled with dread. "We are asking that anyone who has seen these individuals, or who may have further information, call the FBI tip line, or the Seattle Police Department. These two individuals are considered armed and dangerous, and should not be approached by citizens."
"Christ, they're just kids," Billy muttered. "They can't be much older than Bella and Jake."
"No," Charlie spat out, dropping his wallet on the Formica countertop and grabbing his phone. His pulse quickened and thick drops of sweat lined his brow. He tried to enter the unlock code, but kept hitting the wrong buttons. "FUCKING UNLOCK!"
"Charlie?" Billy's eyes were wide and lined with fear.
"We are currently working on identifying the Georgetown victims. More information will be available when this portion of our investigation concludes. Thank you." Royce stepped away from the makeshift podium and the picture went back to that of the KING5 newsroom.
The chief tried to take a deep breath, but it was no use. He'd seen Mary Brandon and Phillip Hale before. It hadn't been in person, but it had been recent - as recent as the night before, in fact.
Charlie sucked in a breath and handed his phone to Billy. "Can you punch 9524 in on the keypad for me?" Billy did as his friend asked and handed the phone back to him.
Charlie opened his text messages and scrolled through everything Bella had sent him. The color drained from his face and tears filled his eyes when he found the photo he was looking for.
Bella was on the far right side of the photo, striking an entertaining pose that displayed her Wonder Woman wrist cuffs. Rosalie stood next to her, curling her fingers in the air like cat claws. Beside them stood a young couple dressed as a doctor and a nurse. They had their surgical masks pulled down around their necks, and sinister smiles plastered on their faces. An outsider might view them as genuine, but Charlie could see right through it. Their eyes were cold, hard, and void of any emotion. He'd seen that look in a killer's eyes before and could recognize it anywhere.
Phillip Hale was the doctor, and Mary Brandon was his nurse.
Charlie had to get out of there.
He had to get to Seattle.
The chief tried to stand, but his legs wouldn't hold him. He swayed back and forth until Billy grasped his elbow and eased him back onto the stool. He felt dizzy, nauseated, and out of breath. People in the diner were staring at him and Billy was trying to ask him a question, but he couldn't hear anything. All Charlie could focus on were his heart's fast beats and the blood pounding through his veins.
He glanced at the picture on his phone once more before it slipped from his hands and crashed to the floor. Charlie slouched forward and let out an ear-splitting scream of his own.
A/N: Some of you may have guessed, but this piece is ... completely fictional! And actually, this part gives me a good giggle, because most of the reviews on the countdown guessed it as being based off of fact. However, all of this came tumbling out of my own twisted mind. ;)
On a side note, I haven't updated or posted anything in what seems like forever, so I'd like to take this time to thank whomever is responsible for the nominations I received in the Fandom Choice Awards, as well as the TwiFic Fandom Awards. I can't tell you how much things like that mean to me. I'd also like to thank everyone who is still around reading my work. Which segways into my next ramble...
Hot Commodity. It's been months and I know this. Writer's block came at me out of left field, and then when my mojo seemed to be coming back I was hit with the holidays and family tragedies, unfortunately. It's been a rough few months, but I'm still here, the light at the end of the tunnel is growing larger by the day, and I promise anyone who reads that story that it will complete. I'm not going to give a timeline, but I will say the final chapter is almost finished and close to being ready for posting. Of course there are also two epilogues following that, but I've started them both as well, so please don't lost hope or faith in me.
Thanks again for being here! Happy New Year to all! Here's to a year filled with love, laughter, peace, and joy.