VIII: In Too Deep

22.7.2010

10:50 PM

I've always liked reading. Always. But this is not the same as saying I read widely. I only really read books (no graphic novels, newspapers or the like) and I only read a couple of genres (fantasy, romance…).

I keep the books I don't want to read on the topmost bookshelf in my room. The old school textbooks I never got round to throwing out, the Mills and Boons paperbacks I'm ashamed of owning… and every horror novel I've ever bought. There aren't many. I can never finish them.

I'm not brave.

I'm scared of heights and spiders, and every great once in a while I have to sleep with the lights on. I can't watch horror movies and the supernatural novels I used to read were just romantic crap about teenage girls falling in love with vampires. I don't have a heroic bone in my body.

I don't know what I thought tracking down Faye's killer would be like. Maybe I wasn't thinking at all – or I had some cutesy, Nancy Drewish idea of police work. If I had thought, maybe dad's old cop shows would've come to mind, and then maybe I would have backed up a bit. The thought of examining bodies and beating down witnesses…

But y'know what?

Right now, I'd take The Sweeney over reality in a heartbeat. Cuz reality… reality doesn't make sense anymore. Reality feels less like a cop show and more like one of the horror novels sitting on my top shelf. Except with reality, I can't just put it down and pretend everyone gets out okay.

I read a lot of newspapers today, and I went to see Tyler Jameson – the boy who took Faye to prom. He said he felt like he was going insane, and at the time, I wasn't too impressed.

Once I got home, I stayed up, reading a book I kind of stole from the library. It's called Folklore of Feyton, and it has all these old myths and legends about the town…

Including one about an ancient race called the Nenii.

Suddenly, I know how Tyler feels.

If I'm to believe that book, then this whole thing is a lot bigger than me or my sister. It's a lot more evil than I could have ever imagined, and a lot older than I ever thought. But that's the question.

Do I believe any of this?

Am I supposed to believe that a princess of some lost race murdered Faye as part of a tithe, and the only reason every child in Feyton isn't dead is because of some witch woman hundreds of years ago? It's all too insane for words. It can't be true.

I don't want it to be true. I don't want any of it to be true. If it's true, I have to go out and do something about it.

The thing is, life's not like a book. If this were a book, everything would've been different. If this were a book, I think I would have been the one who died, and Faye would have been the one to avenge me. Or at the very least, I would be braver. There'd be a heartfelt romance in there somewhere, and a dramatic final battle between the heroine and the princess of the Nenii (if she exists). And everything would end happily.

But life's not like a book.

Faye is dead. I'm all that's left.

And I'm not brave enough to go any further.


The Feyton Star

UPDATE ON PROM MASSACRE: ONE STUDENT REMAINS MISSING

23rd July 2010

Cathy Newman

Today, Feyton still grieves for the loss of its best and brightest youths, still staggered by the shock massacre of three days ago. But as if this tragedy were not terrible enough, it has now come to light that one family has been left hanging, unable to mourn.

Although seventeen students were reported killed, only sixteen families have been notified of their losses. The body of one male student (Ethan Hewitt, 16) remains missing, and the police urge anyone with information to step forward. But why is this even necessary?"

"There was a lot of confusion," DCI Chase claims stubbornly. "We simply couldn't keep track of all that was going on. The students said seventeen died, and we assumed seventeen were taken to hospital."

His mother, Tabitha Hewitt, is heartbroken, and angered by the ineffectuality of the police. "My son is dead," she says tearfully, "and we can't even mourn. Our boy's gone and they don't even know where his body is. What kind of organization is that?"

What kind of organization indeed? The Feyton police force has long been accused of shoddy investigation, low standards, and a quality of service that leaves a lot to be desired. Readers may well remember the destruction of James St. Clair Sixth Form College a year ago – a fire the police claimed was started by a gas leak. So why, we demand, were three unidentified persons seen running from the college late in the night, and why, we demand, were petrol containers discovered upon searching the interior of the fire damaged college? And why, we beg to know, would the police attempt to cover up what may have been a teenage arson attempt? Are these really the people we entrust the safety of our town to?

No further information is available as to the perpetrators of this crime.


The Feyton Star

POLICE TAKE THREE INTO CUSTODY

25th July 2010

Cathy Newman

Two men and one woman were taken into police custody last night after confessing to the prom massacre of five days ago. They have been identified as Edward Yates, 27, Ava Gardner, 25, and Alex Warner, 29. It is believed that the perpetrators are mentally unstable, and were not in their right minds when they committed the murders. Doctors claim that Warner suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, and most likely led Gardner and Yates, both of whom are mentally retarded, into the crimes.

Meanwhile, the body of Ethan Hewitt remains


26.7.10

3:41PM

I don't know why I'm still keeping this diary.

I don't know why they've taken those three into custody – Warner, Yates and Gardner. They can't have done it.

Did they even autopsy the goddamn bodies? No human could've created those wounds.

I don't know.

I feel tired most of the time right now, but I don't sleep a lot, if I can help it. Coffee sorts that out. Coffee and caffeine pills. I don't wanna sleep. When I sleep, I dream. I dream of rotting corpses and blood on the dance floor. Even when I'm asleep, I can't escape the guilt.

I don't believe in witches and princesses, I don't, but Faye does – the dream-Faye I mean. The one who's always ten years old and always wearing that white dress. She won't leave me alone.

I think she's angry because I haven't done anything.

But I'm scared.

I'm so scared.

And I think I'm losing my mind.


On the day of the funeral, Grace felt more tired than she'd ever felt in her life. This wasn't because of the stress, or the fact that she was a teenager, or the emotional trauma… she just hadn't slept in three days. She didn't want to sleep. Sleep was bad.

Sleep meant dreams and dreams meant Faye and Faye meant themindcrushingguiltshe'dbeenlivingwithforthepaste ightdays.

She was sitting between her mother and her father, desperately trying to keep her eyes open. The former was crying, while the latter just stared ahead with a dead look in his eyes.

And once again, Grace felt sorry for them. One daughter dead, and the other insane and jacked up on caffeine pills.

Must be a hard life.

Yes, she was beginning to think she was insane. Even beginning to think she'd been wrong – about absolutely everything.

Cuz the Nenii – or the Fair ones, whatever you preferred to call them – just couldn't have been real, could they? She'd tried telling her parents otherwise a couple of days ago and they'd set her straight pretty quick – them and Dr. Franklin. These people aren't real, Grace. You're just not well, Grace. That was what they'd assured her of, before they tried to force those pills down her throat.

She'd tried to show them the book, Folklore of Feyton, to prove she was telling the truth and- well, that had just been the worst of it, hadn't it? If they hadn't thought she was crazy before then, they definitely thought it after, what with her trying to force them to read a blank book. Dr. Franklin had explained it all so rationally ("It's common, that in order for the patient to support their delusions, they'll attempt to create evidence – or what they think passes for evidence… the thing is, she really believes this is true.")

It was funny.

Because Grace had been so sure it really was true.

But then there had been that whole mess with Tyler, and of course that had just made things even worse for her. ("Grace, you never came to see me, I swear." But hadn't she thought there was a touch of denial in his tone?)

Her witnesses had denied her. Her evidence was wiped clean away.

And Grace was no longer sure what was reality and what was fiction.

It was beginning to rain a little as they lowered Faye's coffin into the open grave, and Grace let the raindrops fall on her upturned face.

As her sister was sealed away, Grace had three last thoughts, which she whispered to the sky.

"Who killed Faye? How did they do it? And why?"

The dirt trickling through the priest's hand made a soft, pattering noise on the coffin lid. The diggers began to fill the grave in.

No one spoke.


A/N: And that's all, folks. I've always thought the ending is very weak, so any thoughts regarding it are appreciated. You've all been wonderful.

Cheers

Harriet