“Your grandpa also thinks the world is going to end soon, that Jesus is coming back any day now.” Allison quipped with a smirk, elbowing Jason in the ribs.
“I know where he’s buried,” Drunk all but shouted, leaning back in the trailer of the truck against a sealed keg. “My dad helped bury the remains.”
“That’s nice, I’m sure you’re very proud of the secrets you keep.” Allison said with a reassuring smile. “But as I think it’s all a bunch of bulls-”
Allison’s reply was cut off by a high pitched shriek, long and loud, coming from the darkened woods off in the distance. Even in Allison’s semi-drunken state of mind, she immediately snapped to attention, dropping her cup to the ground as the crowd began murmuring amongst themselves.
Running from the edge of the darkness and into the light was a shirtless boy, a wiry scorpion tattoo over his left pectoral and three long gashes running right next to it, blood oozing from the wound at a steady pace. He looked white as a sheet as he dropped to his knees near one of the campfires, looking over his shoulder in fear of whatever had chased him into the light.
Allison pushed her way through the crowd, a growing sense of dread filling the pit of her stomach. That’s the piece of trash Linda went off with… she thought to herself as she jogged over to him. Ignoring his injuries, she grabbed a handful of his greasy hair and yanked his face up towards hers, causing a pained yelp and tears to well up in his panic stricken eyes.
“Where is she?” Allison asked, yanking at her fistful of hair with each word.
“I-I-I don’t know man! One minute she was… and then the next someone was on us, howling and laughing! He drug her off after cutting me deep, so I bolted!”
Allison spit on him, pushing him down to the ground, hard. “Coward,” she hissed as she jogged off towards the woods, patting at her skinny jeans for her tiny flashlight that her father had forced her to attach to her keys. The thing was small, but man was it bright when turned on.
Fishing it out and clicking the button, the dead grass and gnarled branches lit up as if in the midday sun. Waving the flashlight about, she found the boys hurried tracks easily enough and made her way down the beaten path. If memory served her right, this was the path to a dried creek bed that the teens often used for midnight rendezvous during these parties. Plenty of little hidden spots that someone could hide in, let you get down and dirty without worry of someone finding you.
Allison dreaded the idea of what could be going on in one of those little alcoves right now to Linda.
A high, wheezy cackle echoed from deeper in the woods, off the path she was on. Allison immediately moved into the brush towards the source of the noise, hoping against hope that Linda was alright.
As Allison pushed through a thick expanse of undergrowth, her light wavering about as she pushed limbs and branches off of her so she could better move, all of Allison’s hope drained as she caught sight of Linda, hanging from a tree.
Her green halter top was now nothing more than dark rags, soaked through with dripping blood. Her trim belly, something she’d been proud of, was sliced open, and beyond the blood draining from the wound onto the soft forest floor below, a slip of purple and gray tissue laced out from the wound, winding several times around her neck before being tied off on a particularly thick branch of a solid looking cedar. Linda’s glassy eyes stared back at her, glimmering in the light, blood oozing from the sides of her head where her ears had once been. Carved into her forehead was a crude number fifteen.
The cackle echoed from deeper within the woods once more, though Allison could barely find the courage to move from the spot where she was rooted. She stood there in silent horror as she watched Linda twitch and squirm against her own binding, gasping for breath from her own intestinal noose.
She wasn’t dead.