Welcome again to YAFF Muse: blog rounds. The ladies of YA Fiction Fanatics have come together for YAFF Muse. To have a little fun, explore different styles of writing and to give you some kick-butt shorts to read. Enjoy!
The Room By:trublueboy
My eyes adjusted to the darkness, strobe lights pulsing like an erratic heartbeat. As I rounded the corner decapitated body sprung at me, holding its head in its hands.
“Ah!” I screeched, covering my face.
Geneva Watkins turned around with a sneer. “What’s wrong, Celeste?” she asked. “Too much like looking in a mirror.”
I narrowed my eyes. God, I hated her. Why the hell had Tony, who was supposedly my best friend, insist on asking her out. All she’d done since we got to the haunted house was say stupid shit to me.
Warm lips touched my neck and I leaned back, letting my boyfriend Jake, hold me. “Ignore her. She’s just jealous,” he said. “Besides, people like that, always get what’s coming to them.”
I craned my neck just enough so I could kiss him. “Explain to me why you agreed to let her in free too?”
He chuckled. “A favor for a friend.”
“As much as I’m enjoying your love fest, can we move forward?” My friend Tara giggled behind us.
My cheeks warmed, but I started to walk again. Macabre images filled each room we entered, massacre scenes with dismembered bodies, zombies jumping out of the woodwork, werewolves devouring campers. Everything gruesome. And each time something leapt from the darkness, I practically choked on my heart.
“Hold up a second,” Jake said, lifting his cell to his ear. He talked to someone on the other end, then hung up. “Listen, my dad needs me to check the animatronics. You and Tara finish up here and I’ll catch you at the end.” He kissed my forehead, and then disappeared through an “employee only” exit.
“Come on.” Tara looped her arm through mine.
“I wonder where Tony and Geneva went?” I said, ducking as a fake bat swooped toward my head.
“Who cares, Tony can handle himself. Besides, that girl’s a bitch.” Tara led me into what looked like a large bedroom.
My eyes fell on a huge bed, with sheets twisted around a pair of legs and a torso. A silver ankle bracelet caught my gaze. Oh God. There on the floor was a bloody head, mouth open as if it had been caught mid scream. Familiar blonde tresses, dripped crimson.
“Geneva,” I screamed, reaching for Tara. Shit, this wasn’t happening. “Run!”
Tara gripped tight to my arm as we raced through the haunted house. At last, we burst into the cool night air. People stared at us like we’d lost our minds, but I didn’t care.
“Di—did you see that in there?” I asked.
Tara started laughing. “We’ve got overactive imaginations.” She pointed at the back door where Geneva was stumbling out, Jake and Tony right behind her.
“Son of bitch.” Great, Tony had set me up.
“I’m going to get the car.” Tony chuckled.
“Yeah, I’m gonna head home.” Tara gave me a quick hug. “See you at school.”
Geneva hurried toward the parking lot. Her shoe fell off, but she kept walking. As much as I hated her, I rushed over to pick it up. My hand stopped mid-air. Inside the shoe, was a plastic mannequin foot. For a moment, all I could do was stare. Fingers trembling, I picked it up and ran after her.
“Geneva, you lost your shoe,” I said. God, this wasn’t real. I was losing my mind.
In a jerky motion, she turned and smiled. But she looked fake. Her eyes too wide, her nose too perfect. She held out her hand to take the shoe from me, and my fingers brushed against cool plastic.
“Thank you,” she said.
Backing away from her, I ran to find Tony. We needed to get the hell out of here. My thoughts turned to Jake, and how he must’ve done something to her.
“Tony!” I waved him down.
He stopped the car in front of me and opened the door.
“Don’t stop driving,” I said as I slid inside. “Just go until we can’t go any further.”
“What are you talking about?” Tony quirked an eyebrow.
“Geneva’s dead,” I said. “She’s a fricken piece of plastic now. I think Jake—”
“I know.” Tony touched my hand. “But we did it to keep you safe, Celeste. Jake and I won’t ever let anyone hurt you again.”
He smiled. “We’ve been watching out for you. You see, Jake’s my cousin and they needed new props for the haunted house anyway.”
Bile burned the back of my throat. “But you killed people.”
“They deserved it. They hurt you.”
A few minutes later, Tony dropped me off at my house. I wanted to call the cops, but what in the hell would I tell them? Hey, there’s some girl that got killed and now a mannequin is walking around in her place. Yeah, they’d have me shipped off to a nuthouse.
And I didn’t know what they’d do to me if I said anything. Besides, it wasn’t like Geneva didn’t deserve what she got. Shit. I sounded psychotic. Maybe this was just a nightmare. And in the morning, I’d wake up and have a laugh.
The next day I hurried toward my locker and shoved my duffel bag inside.
“Morning beautiful,” Jake said, wrapping his arms around me. He planted a kiss on my forehead.
“Morning.” I hugged him. Last night had to have been a dream. There was no way that my boyfriend would kill someone.
We walked into first hour history, with my least favorite teacher Mr. Isaac. I sat down right as the bell rang and the teacher turned to look at the class. Oh God. It was real. Mr. Isaac glanced at us with the same glassy eyes as the mannequin Geneva.
Tony plopped down in the seat in front of me, then turned around. He touched my cheek, while Jake held my hand.
“See, I promised we’d never let anyone hurt you again,” he said.
As I stared around the class, I realized that they were all plastic. “You—you guys did this for me?”
“I love you,” Jake said. “And Tony loves you. You’re ours to protect.”
And in some sick way, I suppose it made sense. But now, looking around the room, I realized that no one would every bother me again. In fact, I could live the life I wanted and never have to worry again. Because no matter where I went, Jake and Tony would protect me.