As soon as he got home, Reilly was greeted by his mom handing him the telephone;

"It's Josie," she said.

Reilly eagerly picked up the phone.


"Hey Reilly, it's me."

"Hey Josie, how are you? Are you back yet?" She had told him the day before that she would be getting out the next day after all.

"Yep!" she said brightly.

"Cool, can I come over and see you?"

"Well, Josh is coming over now; you might want to come later..."

"Yea, maybe that's a good idea. So, are you glad to be out of the hospital?"

"Yea, it's nice to be in a real house!"

"Even if Kristy's there?"

"Well, she's not here now, she's still at school, I think she's got cheerleading practice."

"Oh, so it must be nice and quiet then?"

"Yea, even my aunt and uncle aren't home, they're still at work."

"Then how did you get back?"

"Well, my uncle picked me up from the hospital, but he had to go back to the office, and he told the neighbors that I might call them if I need help."

"Oh, okay then."


"So when's you're brother supposed to get there?"

"Anytime now."

"And what time do you think he'll be leaving at?"

"I don't know, he might stay for supper, so maybe you could come over after dinner?"

"Sounds good to me, I'll call you then, okay?"

There was no answer on Josie's end of the phone, Reilly repeated himself.

"I'll call you then, okay Josie?"

Still there was no answer.



Her voice was strained and quiet.


"Seventeen," she breathed.

"Seventeen? Seventeen what? Wait a minute are you talking about-"

He heard the phone clatter to the floor and someone screaming in the distance.

The seventeenth attack.

"Josie!? Joz?! Can you hear me? Try to wake up, Josie! JOSIE!"

He gave up, he hung up the phone and went running out of the house.

Down the street, onto the boulevard and along the street, as fast as he could. The streets wouldn't get him there fast enough, we would have to cut through the park and forest and across the top of the hill. He was running through the small forest between the park and the hill when he tripped.

"Oof," he fell with a thud, the wind knocked out of him. He didn't turn around to see what had tripped him, he just got up and tried to keep running.

But he couldn't.

"Do you honestly think I would let you hurt my sister and let you get away with it?"

Josh was standing in front of him.

"Josh, what are you-?"

He took out a knife; "You are going to pay, boy."

"What the hell, Josh?"

"I told you, if anything bad happened to her, I'd kill you."

"But she's fine! She's alive! She'll walk again, the tumor isn't cancerous, she's a freaking miracle, what more could you ask for?"

"She almost fucking died because of you!"

"But she didn't, she's fine!"

"I don't care, she's better off without you; she won't have any attacks anymore."


"Yea genius, I know about her attacks. She's worried about you being next, if I just kill you, she won't have to worry anymore."

"How do you know about them?"

"It's a family thing, the tumor? We both have it. But her attacks will be over soon."


"Because after the person you care the most about dies, they end; I'm just speeding up the process."

He lunged at Reilly, attempting to put the knife through his chest. Reilly moved out of the way.

Was Josie seeing this?

Was she seeing her brother trying to kill her best friend?

Was she going to see Reilly die?

"Look, Josh, you don't have do this."

"I do if I want the best for my sister, and I do."

"Do you really want to go to jail for this?"

He just laughed; "Do you really think I'm going to let them find you body?"

He was going to die. It hit him like a bullet. He was going to die.

Josh swung the knife at him again, Reilly decided to run for it, there was no talking Josh out of it. But where could he run to? The police? He didn't have anywhere to go.

Josh was insane.

And Reilly was going to die.

Reilly ran thought the trees, he could hear Josh tearing after him. Where to go? Out in the open? Hide in the trees? Nothing entirely made sense; he had to escape that was the only thing that was clear.

He found himself on the chest of the hill, he looked behind him, Josh was still coming after him. The only place to go was down the hill. He started running again.

But Josh was faster.

Josh had longer legs and now that they were out in the open and going downhill he caught up to Reilly with ease.

Neck and neck, Reilly tried to stop, but gravity pulled him downwards towards the bottom of the hill, he couldn't stop or outrun Josh.

He was going to die.

Josh made to stab Reilly again but missed his footing. He stumbled and fell. Almost in slow motion, Reilly saw Josh fall down the hill, somewhere along the way Josh's own knife became lodged in his chest, when he lay at the bottom of the hill his neck stuck out at an odd angle and the knife was protruding from his chest. He was beyond help.

Reilly wasn't going to die.

Not today.

There was no point in staying with the body; he hurried onto Josie's house. He needed to make sure that she was alright, all the time the incoherent thoughts running through his mind.

Josh was dead.

Josh was dead in his stead.