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Authors: R.L. Stine

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BOOK: All-Night Party
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“You never said anything about bringing a gun!” Gretchen cried in a trembling voice.

“No big deal. I thought it would make our kidnapping more realistic,” Patrick explained. “You can check it out. It's not loaded or anything.”

“What's going on?” Cindy demanded angrily. “Do
you really have a gun? What are you doing in my house?”

“We're kidnapping you,” Gretchen told her.

“Huh? Kidnapping me? Why?”

“We're taking you away for an all-night birthday party!” Gretchen told her.

“You are?” Cindy squealed excitedly. “Where?”

“You'll have to wait and see,” Gretchen instructed. She followed Gil and Jackson out of the bedroom.

They led Cindy down the front stairs. “That's why you're blindfolded,” Hannah told her.

“You guys scared me to death,” Cindy said, shaking her head. “You really did.”

“That was the idea!” Gretchen laughed.

“Can't I take this blindfold off?” Cindy asked when they were all settled in the minivan. She reached up to pull off the blindfold.

“No way,” Gretchen answered. “It stays on until we take it off.”

“But I can't see anything!” Cindy protested.

“That's the whole point,” Gil laughed.

“Cindy loves doing her helpless routine,” Hannah grumbled, sliding into the front passenger seat.

“It works for her,” Gretchen joked.

Hannah sighed. “No kidding.”

Gretchen smiled uneasily, and started up the engine.

After all these months, she still hadn't figured out Hannah and Cindy's friendship. They were more like
rivals than friends, always competing for something. Grades. Attention. Boys.

When it came to boys, Cindy definitely had the edge over Hannah. Practically every guy at Shadyside High had a crush on Cindy.

Petite with big blue eyes and white-blond hair, she was the type of girl guys always fell for. Big time.

Boys just loved taking care of Cindy. That included Gil, who had been Cindy's boyfriend until they broke up at the end of last summer.

Gretchen turned to Hannah, who was fastening her seat belt. Tall and athletic, with freckles and a wild mass of red curls, Hannah didn't need anybody to take care of her.

“Why don't you turn on the radio?” Patrick suggested from the backseat. “If this is a party, we need some music, don't we?”

“I will if you answer a question for me,” Gretchen replied, pulling the minivan away from the curb.

“Shoot,” Patrick replied. Then he groaned. “Poor choice of words.”

“I still can't believe you brought a gun along,” Gretchen said. “Where did you get it? Why did you do it?”

Patrick hesitated.

Gretchen could sense there was something he wanted to confess, but was holding back. “What's wrong, Patrick? What's going on?” she demanded.

“I'm really not supposed to tell any of you this,” he said finally. “The police are keeping it quiet.”

“Keeping what quiet?” Hannah asked.

“Come on,” Jackson urged. “You can tell us. We can keep a secret.”

Patrick hesitated, staring out the van window. “No. I'd better not tell you,” he said softly. “It could spoil the whole party.”

Chapter
4

“T
ell us,” Gretchen urged. “You can't keep us in suspense. You have to tell us now.”

Patrick sighed. “My dad came to visit today,” he began. “You know he's a police officer in Waynesbridge where he lives with his new wife.”

Gretchen nodded. After his parents had divorced the year before, Patrick and his mother had moved from Waynesbridge to Shadyside. “What did your father tell you?”

“He told me that a prisoner escaped from the prison upstate,” Patrick revealed. “He was spotted in the Fear Street Woods.”

“Fear Street Woods!” Hannah gasped.

Patrick nodded. “I didn't bring the gun along for
the kidnapping. My dad gave it to me. Just in case we run into the prisoner on Fear Island.”

“Patrick!”
Hannah wailed. “You have such a big mouth! Now Cindy knows where we're taking her. You ruined the whole surprise.”

“Oh, wow. I'm sorry,” Patrick groaned.

“Never mind that,” Cindy said, pulling off her blindfold. “Tell us more about the prisoner.”

“What did he do?” Gretchen asked.

Patrick didn't answer.

Gretchen repeated her question. “Patrick, what did he
do?”

Patrick shook his head. “You don't want to know. Trust me.”

“Yes, I do. Tell us,” Gretchen insisted.

“He murdered three girls. Teenagers,” Patrick murmured softly.

“Whoa!” Hannah cried.

“How did he kill them?” Gretchen asked. She turned the minivan onto the gravel road that led through the woods to Fear Lake.

“Please!” Hannah protested. She covered her ears with her hands. “I really don't need to hear the gruesome details.”

“I don't know how he killed them,” Patrick admitted. “My dad didn't tell me. He only warned me to be careful.”

“Why didn't you tell us all this before?” Gretchen asked. She parked the minivan near the shore. “We could have changed our plans.”

“I promised my dad I wouldn't,” Patrick explained. He sighed again. “I wish I hadn't taken the gun out when we were kidnapping Cindy! Then you wouldn't have known. And we all could have had a good time. Now I've ruined the party for everyone.”

“Maybe we should go somewhere else,” Hannah suggested tensely. “To play it safe.”

“Hannah is right,” Patrick agreed.

Gil shook his head. “No way. I'm not scared.”

“Me either,” Jackson chimed in. “Anyway, we worked so hard to fix up the cabin. All our stuff is already on Fear Island. We'd still have to go across the lake to get it.”

“Why would a prisoner go to Fear Island?” Cindy asked. “He probably wants to put as much distance between himself and the police as he can. I'll bet he's in another state by now.”

“The birthday girl has spoken!” Gil announced. Gretchen heard the van's side door slide open and saw Gil jump out. Hannah followed. Then Patrick, who helped Cindy out.

Gretchen suddenly found herself alone with Jackson.

“What about you, Gretchen?” Jackson asked. “Are you scared?”

Gretchen turned. She forced herself to stare into the depths of Jackson's dark eyes.

His words had sounded taunting. As if he were hoping she might be afraid. As if he were trying to frighten her.

“No, I'm not scared.”

“I think you are,” Jackson replied quietly.

Gretchen felt her throat clench with fear. “You're such a jerk, Jackson,” she snapped. “The killer is not out there. Hiding on Fear Island makes no sense.”

A smile twitched on Jackson's lips. “Don't say I didn't warn you.”

Jackson's smile chilled Gretchen.

What is he saying? Is he
threatening
me? she wondered.

How twisted is he?

Chapter
5

“C
ome on!” Patrick shouted. “We're wasting time. Let's party!”

After locking up the minivan, Gretchen followed the others to a dock at the lake shore. Gretchen spotted the rowboat that floated beside the dock on the dark water.

Patrick climbed aboard first. Then he helped Hannah down into the boat.

Gretchen shivered, burrowing deeper into her denim jacket. She couldn't wait till they got indoors again.

The wind felt damp on her skin, and thick clouds covered the night sky.

She didn't need a weather report to know that rain would soon be falling in buckets. Gretchen hoped
they wouldn't be caught in the boat when the storm began.

She boarded the boat last. Hannah gave her a hand.

Gretchen saw only one seat left, between Jackson and Patrick. She sat down, then stared straight ahead, pressing her hands between her knees.

Across from her, Gil sat between Cindy and Hannah. Hannah pushed off from the dock, and Jackson and Patrick began rowing.

“I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm freezing,” Cindy complained, her teeth chattering.

“We pulled you away so fast, we forgot your coat,” Gretchen said fretfully.

“Here. You can wear this.” Gil slipped off his jacket and draped it around Cindy's shoulders. “Feel better?”

“Mmm,” Cindy sighed. “Thanks.”

“If that's not enough, I know an even better way to warm you up!” Gil added with an evil grin.

Gretchen rolled her eyes. Gil was such an animal. She didn't know how Hannah put up with him.

Of course, Cindy was no better. She loved to wrap guys around her finger, to get them to do whatever she wanted. Gretchen hated to watch Gil—or any guy for that matter—turn into a drooling little puppy around Cindy.

But somebody else, she realized, hated it even more. Gretchen saw that Hannah was barely keeping her anger under control. It had to be hard having your boyfriend still be friends with his ex-girlfriend.

“Hey!” Patrick cried out suddenly. He stopped rowing. “What's that?”

“What?” Gretchen demanded.

“Something in the water!”

“How can you see anything?” Hannah asked. “It's pitch black out.”

“I saw a fin!” Patrick cried. “Over there.”

Jackson and Gil peered in the direction where Patrick was frantically pointing his finger.

Jackson raised an eyebrow. “A fin? In a lake? Give me a break.”

“I don't see anything,” Gil murmured.

“It's coming closer!” Patrick shouted. The boat started rocking from side to side as he hummed the theme from
Jaws
. “Dum-dum… dum-dum… dum-dum-dum-dum-dum-dum-dum-dum.”

Jackson rolled his eyes. “That's really lame!”

“You're such a loser, Patrick!” Gil laughed.

Gretchen groaned. It was another one of Patrick's dumb jokes.

“Grow up,” Hannah muttered.

Patrick shrugged. “Admit it. You fell for it—for a moment.”

“So is this the entire guest list for my party?” Cindy asked. “Isn't somebody missing?”

“Like who?” Hannah asked.

“Gretchen knows who,” Jackson sneered.

Gretchen felt totally confused. “I do?”

“You remember that tall guy with the long, black hair?” Cindy teased. “Your boyfriend? Marco?”

Marco
. Gretchen felt her body grow tense.

“I didn't invite him,” she answered sharply.

“How come?” Cindy pouted. “I like Marco. He's so cute.”

“I'm trying to give him a hint,” Gretchen explained. “Maybe if he finds out he wasn't invited to your party, we'll be history. Then she added, “If you want him, Cindy, he's all yours.”

“I'm sorry you guys are breaking up. I thought everything was going great,” Cindy said.

Gretchen dug her cold hands deeper into her pockets. “Not anymore.”

She stared out at the black water. She didn't feel like talking about Marco Hughes anymore.

Couldn't Cindy take a hint?

Sure, Gretchen and Marco
seemed
to be doing okay. Marco was totally different from the guys Gretchen usually went out with. There was something
dangerous
about him, and Gretchen had been instantly attracted.

With his long, black hair and silver hoop earring, not to mention the motorcycle he rode, Marco was a rebel. And they really had fun.

At first.

But as the weeks went by, she realized he was too wild. He didn't care about rules. He didn't care about schoolwork or grades or other people.

And he had a terrible temper.

Everything had to be done
his
way. Or else. The littlest thing could send Marco into a rage.

Gretchen didn't like admitting it to herself, but she was a little bit afraid of Marco. She'd been trying to break up with him for weeks.

BOOK: All-Night Party
12.9Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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