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Teens & Young Adult Thriller Fiction

This story contains themes or mentions of physical violence, gore, or abuse.

When you have to choose between your best friend or your family. Who would you pick?

I didn’t think that today would be the day to hear the words I killed someone, coming from my best friend.

I startle awake and sit up straight in my bed. Just a dream. But then I hear someone breathing loudly by my bedside. My hand searches for my phone on the nightstand. I almost drop it on the floor. I decide I don’t have time to turn on the flashlight. My heart gets stuck in my throat as I shine the light from my lock screen on the person’s face.

“What the hell, Bailey!” It’s Bailey Henderson. In my room. I feel a sudden rush of heat in my body. Bailey looks terrified. I flick away the blanket and sit up on my knees, leaving my phone on the bed. And I hold Bailey’s face with both hands and look at her. She looks flushed in the moonlight that’s shining through my cheap curtains. My eyes still haven’t fully adjusted to the dark so I search for the light switch. I have to blink a few times even though the light is dim.

“I’m so sorry,” Bailey gasps. What is going on? I notice Bailey’s hands, which she holds up. And my eyes get bigger, my mouth falls open, and I get hot again.

There’s blood dripping from her hands on my floor. Blood all over her sweater. Blood on her arms. Blood on her pants. Her hair clings to her sweaty face and rosy cheeks. Her pupils are big even though I turned on the light already. I don’t know what to say.

“I didn’t mean to,” Bailey sobs, “I didn’t, I—I’m sorry, I—” she stutters.

“What—” I say confused as if I didn’t already piece it all together. Bailey, bloody hands, in my room, something bad. I try to gain my composure, but my hands are shaking like crazy.

“What did you do?” There’s a shiver in my voice.

“I—” Bailey looks shocked at me, then looks away.

“Bailey, look at me,” I hold her bloody hands. They’re warm and slippery.

“I’m so sorry,” she wails. What did she do? My mind thinks of the worst things. An image of Bailey standing over a body in the middle of the street flashes before me. She’s holding a knife or a gun. Did she kill someone? What happened?

“Bailey, what did you do?” I say firmly. She seems to calm down as I stroke her hand with my thumb, making little bloody circles, almost like paint. Which would make me the artist.

“I killed someone,” she says. Suddenly she stops crying, realizing what she just said. I want to let go of her hands (I knew it!), but she’s my best friend and I said I would do anything for her. So instead of letting go, I hold onto her hands tightly. Bailey Henderson. In my room. With bloody hands. Killed someone. A crime. I don’t want to call the cops on her. I would never do that. I squeeze her hands, feeling betrayed. I squeeze her hands again. There must be a perfectly good explanation for all of this.

Bailey sits down next to me, staining my bed sheets. She looks at me all seriously and I get scared.

“I think, erm,” she starts, “I don’t think,”

“It’s okay. You can tell me,” I say. But I am terrified of what she is going to say. Bailey takes a deep breath.

“No, it’s not. I killed your brother,” she says quickly, looks at me, then looks down at her hands.

“What! Why? Why would you? Wha—why?” What the fuck, Bailey! I start to sob. But what I didn’t realize, is that Bailey killed my brother. All I know is that he is dead now. But after a second, I start to realize. I look at Bailey with tears and anger, and I don’t know what else I feel. It’s too much.

“I’m sorry,” Bailey strokes the blood on her hands. My brother’s blood! I want to punch Bailey, but I can’t. I want to take a knife and twist it all in her twisted self. But I can’t. I love her.

I should never have let Bailey date my brother. And this never would have happened. I get up, walk towards a wall, and want to punch it, but I can’t. I know that if I do, I will scare Bailey and she might run.

I have to remember that she came to me first. She killed someone. She needs help. And I am the first person she thought of. I have to help her. Even though she fucking killed my brother. I don’t want to ask for details. I don’t want to know.

“I don’t want to know,” I whisper. Bailey looks at me with questions. And it seems she didn’t hear me. I sit down beside her again, wipe the tears off my face, and take Bailey’s hand, touching my brother’s blood. I try not to think about it. I don’t want to know.

I need to be here for Bailey.

“It’s gonna be okay,” I manage to sound calm with my red puffy eyes.

“How?” A tear rolls down Bailey’s cheek. She looks so innocent.

“Well, first of all, you need to get rid of the blood,” I stand up, ready to take action. Ready to save Bailey. I push her toward the shower and point to the clean stack of clothes next to the sink. I put those there for tomorrow, but now they are Bailey’s lifeline.

“There are fresh clothes right there, put those on after,” I say. And before Bailey can say another word, I close the bathroom door.

It’s okay when it’s not. It’s like she took that knife and twisted it in me. And there is only one thing that I can do to save Bailey. Or well, save myself. I guess.

My stomach drops as I think about my brother. Dead. But I remind myself not to cry. I need to—Don’t cry. But I cry anyway. My blurry eyes search for my phone somewhere on the bed. I don’t want to make a sound. However, as soon as I hear the shower turn on, I start to wail. And if someone could see me now, I wonder what they’d think. Not about the ugly crying, but the fact that I am about to betray my best friend.

911, the phone rings.

I look at my phone, exactly four minutes and 55 seconds go by when I hear the bathroom door open. I quickly toss my phone on the bed, hoping Bailey didn’t see it. And she didn’t, as she adjusted my gray sweater. It looks so good on her. She exchanged the bloody white pants (why white?) for a dark blue mini-skirt. And I know now that it wouldn’t look good on me. But it looks amazing on her. Just then, I hear a siren and blue light bounces through the windows. then red. Blue. Red. And the sound grows louder.

I look at Bailey, who looks shocked. But not at the window. She has her eyes fixed on me. Or rather, my hands. My bloody hands! Fuck! I forgot to wash the blood off. My brother’s blood. Fuck!

“Fuck!” I yell. I see Bailey searching for something, anything to save me. Maybe a wet cloth, I don’t fucking know. I can’t focus. My vision starts to blur.

“Here,” Bailey’s voice makes me regain my strength and I catch the towel she throws at me. The towel is soaked and dripping on the floor. As fast as I can, I wipe the blood off.

I can hear the police gathering outside the house. They’re banging on the door. So loud, it looks like an earthquake. I decide to do something rash, just to save Bailey. Because I love her. And I would do anything for her. Literally anything.

“I’ll tell them it was me,” I say, wanting to save the day. I throw away the towel under the bed.

“No,” Bailey sobs again and I can’t take it.

“Bailey, look at me,” I say as I stare into her perfect eyes, so blue. So perfect. I fucking love her. And I would do anything for this girl right here. “I’ll tell them it was me.”

“No,” Bailey echoes. But I know she doesn’t want to go to jail.

“Bailey, I love you. But you’re so stubborn. I’ll tell the cops I killed him. You don’t need to go to jail. I need you to be free. Enjoy life while you can,” I rant, hoping she would get it. And she looks at me, tears in her eyes.

“No, I love you. I don’t want you to go to jail for something that I did. I can’t do that to you,” Bailey says. And I knew she would say that. That’s why I called the cops when she was in the shower. And I fucking regret it now. But it’s for her own good. So she won’t hurt anyone else again. Including my brother. Did I lie? Best friends never lie, right? My mind changes rapidly. Protect Bailey. Report Bailey. Because she killed my brother. Protect Bailey. I love her so much, it’s not even funny.

The door swings open and bounces back a little, leaving a huge dent in the wall. A cop stops the door from hitting him. He’s wearing black gloves. There’s another cop behind him. And another one. I look at Bailey and we don’t break eye contact. My heart beats fucking fast. And a tear crawls on my face, down my chin, falling on the floor.

“Emma Howard, you’re under arrest for the murder of Hunter Howard, anything you say—,”

And all this time I keep looking at Bailey. Everything around me seems to go slower. A cop is holding Bailey back, who wants to save me, with tears all over her face. I feel a tight grip and then handcuffs cutting into my skin. I don’t flinch. I just stare at Bailey the whole time. Then I see the hallway and the door closes behind me with a thud.

And Bailey is left standing in my house, wearing my clothes, and killed my brother.

March 15, 2024 23:20

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