Ciaran's mouth bubbled with blood, and the knife came down once more, making a clean cut.
I almost hurled, clutching onto Aliza in the equipment cupboard. Her breaths were getting louder and I tightened my arms, trying to suffocate her, shut her up.
The killer gleamed under a plastic cover, mask and dark clothes free of any blood. He stood up, and my heart stopped beating.
He had Ciaran's phone in his hand, one bloody glove smudging the screen with red.
Aliza pressed into me, and I felt craziness take over, feeling the urge to swing the cabinet open and just start beating the shit out of this guy. Just kill him, hit him so hard with one of the weights in this closet that his brains spattered out.
Slam it down onto him until he stopped moving.
I shifted, feeling my blood cool, my brain start to shut down under this pressure. Just kill him, I told myself.
The killer began walking away, down the corridor, his quiet steps echoing lightly.
"Now!" Aliza yelped, bursting out of the closet and pulling me.
Both of us crashed out and raced down the opposite way.
I can't hear him! My brain thundered with blood, and panic and I ran on shaky legs, all my determination gone.
I risked a look back.
He was running after us.
"Run!" I screamed, my long legs overtaking Aliza's sprint quickly, I threw myself against the double doors and dragged her down the handicap ramp, both of us slipping down the wet metal.
We ran past a pickup truck and Aliza pointed at her car.
I gasped for breath, forcing myself to run as fast I had ever run in my life.
She grabbed my arm, pulling me, and she fumbled with the keys, pressing wildly until the doors opened.
Both of us threw ourselves into the car, and I started yelling for her to drive immediately.
"Drive! Drive already!" I urged, my heart thumping wildly. "We have to get away!" Shit, he had been right behind us. I spun around, staring into the darkness, seeing nothing that made any sense, jabbing at the button to lock the doors.
"Is he still there?" Aliza yelled, her voice shaky, aggressively turning the wheel to get us out of here.
"I'm looking, would you please drive?!" I scanned the school grounds frantically. "Oh fuck, oh shit, oh my-holy shit, he's not there, he's not there, Aliza! Aliza, Aliza, what if he knows who we are?" I swallowed back the disgusting taste of bile, taking a deep puff from my inhaler.
She was breathing deeply, too deeply, and she didn't answer.
My arms were shaking, and I twisted my neck to look, to figure out where he was. I patted the back seats of the car even, inhaling desperately as I put my inhaler to my mouth.
"He?" Aliza asked, finally getting us on the road, with other, non-murderous cars, and I relaxed just a little.
"Aliza, what the hell is wrong with you, yes he! The murderous pyscho we just saw at the school! The guy who killed Ciaran!" I yelled, my voice cracking. So much for relaxing with this utter moron around!
"It could be a woman," Aliza muttered, and I threw myself back in my seat, astounded.
"It could be a woman?!" I snapped, slamming my hand against the dashboard. "That's what you're fu-Jesus Christ! You aren't worried that the maniac who cut up the bodies of twelve people may have seen us? You aren't worried that we told the cops it was Ciaran? YOU AREN'T WORRIED THAT THE DETECTIVE WE KNOW IS CHASING A DEAD PERSON?!"
Aliza turned to look at me with narrowed eyes. "Yo, calm the hell down! What's wrong with you?" What was wrong with me? I was responding like a normal, goddamn person!
"What's wrong with me?!" I wheezed, grabbing my inhaler again. "We almost died! And you're more concerned about your feminist agenda!" I spat out, cold sweat all over my body.
"Um, let's get a few things straight, you numbskull. While it is more statistically likely that the psycho is male, we have to keep all the possibilities open. We were wrong about Ciaran, and unlike you, I would really like to get the person responsible caught!" Aliza drummed her fingers on the steering wheel as we stopped for a red light. Somehow, she had transformed back into her obnoxious self in the span of two minutes.
"Oh shit, we told the cops it was Ciaran," I groaned. "Oh my God!" I shot up in my seat, remembering something important. "What if the cops think we did it? We told them it was Ciaran, and now Ciaran is dead."
Aliza scoffed. "Felix, do you always panic this much? It cannot be good for you."
"The light's green, drive." I pointed out and continued as she drove. "In fact, the only person we've told the whole story is Scar. I think we need to come clean, today."
"Let me get something straight, you just panicked 'cuz the cops might have thought we killed someone, and now, you want to give them evidence of obstruction, our presence at three crime scenes, and about how we've been helping Scarlett investigate the murders on our own?" Aliza turned without looking at me, her tone even.
"We are going to be in more trouble if we don't do this now," I argued, "And stop speeding, what if the guy in front of us stops all of a sudden?"
"Okay, you don't even have your learner's, can you please stop backseat driving? Also, what kinds of idiots kill the person they put forward as a suspect? If we are the killers, why would be get rid of Ciaran?"
"Seriously, do you think we're in some kind of teen movie? Cops don't think like that, they think based on evidence, and there's probably evidence where Ciaran's body is!"
"I didn't touch the body, neither did you, it's a high school, there's tons of evidence there, people's fingerprints, hair." Aliza's phone buzzed and both of us looked down at it.
"I'll get it, but for the record-"
"Yes, I know." Aliza interrupted. "You want to do the right thing and get us arrested, now pick it up."
"No, for the record, if you hadn't left your phone here, maybe we could have called 911!" I hissed furiously and snatched up the phone.
"Oh, right, I forgot, your uncharged phone helped us so much in there!
Such a bitch. "Hello?" I asked annoyedly, itching to call 911 and be done with it. Ciaran's sliced up, bleeding body would feature in my nightmares for days.
Speaker, Aliza mouthed and I jabbed at the button, holding out the phone.
"Felix? Where are you guys? Somebody called 911 and the cops are at the school." Scarlett whispered instantly, sounding worried. "I think someone's dead!"
Aliza muted us. "Listen, we cannot tell her yet!" I saw the panic in her eyes but honestly didn't give a shit. I want that guy caught, I want him dead, locked up, something.
"Why the hell not? Isn't she like a second Sherlock Holmes?" I asked, scowling. I also realized that Aliza had been driving us nowhere in her panic, I have no idea where the hell we are.
"We went to the school without her, how did she get there so fast? I bet she's the killer, she's about five nine. The killer probably called 911, and told the cops we were there to throw off the blame, and if we don't come up with an alibi, fast, we're gonna become suspects."
"Hello? Guys? Felix, you're scaring me, are you guys okay?"
"She sounds worried! You think the freaking monster, that was definitely taller than five foot nine, would sound like this?"
"Psychopaths are excellent at faking emotion," Aliza said decidedly.
"Yeah, I can see that," I said pointedly, irritated. "She was with us alone multiple times, why not kill us then?"
"Oh come on, you can't be serious. She'd be the obvious suspect, not to mention, you're taller, I'm on the rugby team, we could probably take her."
"Guys?" Scarlett asked again, sounding increasingly anxious. "What's happening?"
"Yeah! We could take her, the person that chased us around, don't even lie, okay, they were so much more terrifying!"
"We are not telling her yet. Do you remember when she found Alice's body? There was something so weird about that day! Also, she was the one that pressured us to not tell anyone from the start. So no, okay? We are not telling her!" Aliza exhaled forcefully.
I stared at Aliza, pissed off more than I could explain. Scarlett, who never made eye contact, dressed like a lesbian and walked on her toes, that Scarlett, was the killer? "You are so wrong, I swear to God, you actual moron!"
Aliza reached over and unmuted. "Hey girl, how are you?"
"What the hell? I almost called 911!" Scarlett snapped, her voice thin. "You guys, what-what the hell are you doing? Ciaran is dead!"
"What?" I yelled, and Aliza rolled her eyes at me, making a face, and muting us again.
"You are such a little-"
"I said this already!" Scarlett growled into the phone. "He's dead at the school! Where have you two been for the last few hours?"
I unmuted, improvising wildly. "My phone died, and we were just getting-"
"Coffee, we wanted a break from all this." Aliza cut across me smoothly. "Scar, I can't believe it wasn't Ciaran."
"Are you sure he's dead?" I asked, attempting to go for an innocent sort of tone.
Aliza made an incredulous face at me, and I winced, knowing I was laying it on a bit thick.
"Ugh, yes I'm sure, my dad told me. I can't believe it was him." Scarlett sighed. "He just finished yelling at me for telling the cops my stupid theory. He thinks I'm the reason Ciaran is dead." Scarlett muttered softly, her voice croaky with tears.
Aliza muted the call. "You see?"
"Dude, what the fuck, listen to her, she's clearly upset!" I unmuted us. "Scar, we all thought it was him, listen, why don't we drive over? Where are you right now?"
There was a deeply ominous silence.
"Scar?" I asked, nervously.
Aliza muted the call. "It is her! This is all a ploy!"
"Would you please shut the hell up?" I unmuted and asked again, "Scar? Are you there?"
Scarlett made a breathy gasp. "Why is your phone here?"
"What?" I asked, my blood running cold.
"Your phone! Your phone is here." Scarlett sounded faint.
Oh shit, my phone. I felt woozy all of a sudden, and I heard Aliza take her phone from my limp hand.
"Scar, it is not what you think," Aliza said, and I opened the window to vomit out of the car. "Jesus, Felix- Scarlett, we can explain!"
"I am telling the cops!" And she hung up.
"Scarlett! Scarlett, you don't understand!" Aliza yelled, but it was too late.
I feel so empty. I'm going to vomit again.
All the lights were blurring together, long wispy tails trailing off each one.
"Felix, Felix you need to use your inhaler!" Aliza urged me, one hand on the wheel, one hand placing the phone between her shoulder and ear.
"Aliza, watch the road-" I slurred, unable to feel anything but complete and utter nausea. Everything was happening in slow motion.
I felt the truck crash into us.