Authors: Christopher Pike
IT BEGAN WITH BLOOD . . .
IT WOULD END THE SAME WAY
Mary Carson walked into the party and shot two people. She said they were no longer human. The police think she’s crazy and so does her best friend Angela. But then Angela discovers the hunger.
The hunger that won’t leave her alone, the hunger that can only be satisfied with blood . . .
It began with blood.
It would end the same way.
Angela Warner was on the couch finishing her third beer when Mary Blanc entered
Kline's house carrying a loaded shotgun. The time was close to ten;
's party should have been good for another two hours. Angela was having a great time. The party was the first she'd been invited to since she moved to the small town of Point the previous June. It was now late September. School had started a couple of weeks earlier, and Angela saw her invitation as a sign that she had finally been accepted into the local social scene. Especially since it had been
Kline who had invited her. Stud football jock
– possibly the most handsome guy in the school. Yet Angela had not let the gesture go to her head. She knew better than anyone that
belonged to Mary. Beautiful, confident Mary – Angela's best friend in the whole town.
Mary, Mary. The one with the loaded shotgun.
“Hi, Mary,” Angela said as her friend burst through the front door. A nice normal hi it was. But that was only because Angela's mouth was ahead of her eyes. When she saw the shotgun, she couldn't think of anything to add to her greeting. Her eyes followed only the gun. She watched with great interest as Mary raised the weapon and pointed it at Todd Green's mid-section. Angela had only met Todd that night. He was a linebacker on Point High's football team and seemed like an OK guy. Just before Mary pulled the trigger, Angela had the ridiculous thought that Mary sure knew how to liven up a party.
Mary shot Todd directly in the belly.
The blast went right through his gut and painted the wall behind him a lumpy red. Todd groaned and slumped to the floor. A stunned silence choked the crowd of about thirty. No one moved, except Mary. She pumped her shot-gun and whirled in the direction of the kitchen. She didn’t go far – apparently she didn't have to. Between Mary and the kitchen stood Kathy Baker, head cheerleader for Point High. Kathy was a blonde piece of cream pie. All the boys loved her, and as far as Angela had been able to ascertain, Kathy loved a number of the boys. She was young and fresh and had the face of a model.
Mary pointed her shotgun at Kathy's face and pulled the trigger. The blast caught Kathy in the forehead and took off the top of her skull, plastering a good portion of her brains over the railings of the nearby staircase. Kathy – her dead body – flew backwards and landed with a muted thump on the carpet.
The shocked silence thickened.
Mary pumped her shotgun once more, and her eyes, like twin lasers, searched up the stairs. Angela studied with dream-like fascination the look in Mary's eyes. She was still seated on the couch in the living-room, not far from the front door and Todd's messy remains, her empty beer can still in her hands. Mary was fifteen feet away, off to her left. Yet Angela could have had Mary's head under a microscope, she could see so much detail. Mary's pupils were wide, but not crazed. They scanned the visible portion of the second floor with fixed calculation. Mary had her mouth closed; she was breathing through her nose steadily and deeply. She had just blown away two people, but she seemed to be in total control.
Mary was not yet done.
Someone stepped to the edge of the stairway railing on the second floor and peered down. It took Angela a moment to register that it was
Kline. Angela's eyes jumped from
to Mary, then back and forth once more.
's handsome jaw dropped a couple of inches. A hard line appeared in the centre of Mary's forehead. Angela sat up straighter as Mary once more raised the shotgun to her shoulder. Everyone else at the party continued to stand and watch and do nothing. The suddenness of the attack had to be to blame. Six seconds couldn't have passed since Mary had come through the front door. Angela was barely on her feet and stepping towards Mary when Mary pulled the trigger for the third time.
“Stop!” Angela streamed.
The shot missed.
had leapt back just as Mary took aim. The buckshot exploded a crater in the second storey ceiling. Smoky white plaster drifted through the air.
was now out of sight, probably running for the nearest exit. Angela doubted he was going to make it. She watched as Mary swore under her breath, pumped the shotgun again, and leapt on to the stairway, taking three stairs at a time.
stop her now,
The stairway – made up of three right-angle sets of carpeted steps – described a rough spiral as it made its way to the second floor. As Mary scampered on to the first landing, Angela was able to reach through the painted white posts of the stairway to grab Mary's right leg above the ankle. Mary tripped and crashed to her knees, momentarily losing her grip on the shotgun. Angela was smart. She immediately let go of Mary, grabbed the barrel of the gun, and began to pull it through the posts. Mary could chase
all she wanted, Angela thought, but if she didn't have anything to kill him with, it wouldn't matter.
It was sound strategy.
Until Mary kicked Angela in the face with her right foot.
“Don't!” Mary swore at her.
“Ah,” Angela moaned, losing her hold on the gun and taking a step back. She tasted blood in her mouth and the room spun in a dizzy circle. But her vision was still sharp enough to record Mary's reclaiming the gun and continuing up the stairs. Angela literally willed her dizziness to pass. She knew she didn’t have time to circle the stairway and startup at the proper place. She wasn't a big or strong girl but had always been an excellent athlete. Reaching
with both hands and springing off her feet, she grabbed the posts, and in a single fluid movement yanked herself up and over the railing. Mary was already off the stairs and running down the upstairs hallway that led to the bedrooms. She was definitely after
. She had pushed between a couple of petrified girls without saying so much as boo to them. Angela couldn't see
but assumed he had barricaded himself in one of the rooms.
“Somebody stop her!” Angela cried. The paralysis caused by the gruesome deaths had finally begun to lift. Statues were melting. A couple of guys from the living-room headed for the stairs to help her. The majority were running out the front and back doors, though. People were making noises – mainly gulping crying sounds. The two girls in the upstairs hallway were still in the silent whimpering stage. They weren't going to do anything to attract Mary's attention, and the guys coming up the stairs weren't going to get to Mary before she got off another shot, Angela saw.
have to stop her,
Angela thought again, going after her.
Mary was at the closed door at the end of the hallway, trying the handle. It was locked. She didn't waste time pounding on the door or asking
to open it for her. She retreated a couple of steps, pointed the barrel at the doorknob, and blew it away. The act took a couple of seconds, however, and she was just kicking the door open when Angela crashed into her from behind.
“Leave me!” Mary yelled at her as they toppled on to the floor of the master bedroom. Angela felt as if she had hold of a wild animal. They were both approximately the same size, but Mary tossed her off easily. Angela rolled on the carpet and struck her head on the bottom of the open door. Again stars swam in her vision. She caught a glimpse of
at the window and then one of Mary climbing to her feet and pumping the shotgun once more. Angela had to turn away momentarily to get her arms under herself so she could get up. During that moment an explosion of shattering glass from another shot rent the air.
This can't be happening!
Angela hadn't been standing so close to Mary on the previous shots. But now Mary was only four feet away, and the noise from the gun was deafening. Angela's hands flew to her ears. It was too late to block out the blast; perhaps she was trying to block out the madness.
Mary hastened to the ruined window and torn curtains and stared out into the night. Disgust crossed her features, and Angela realized that the window had shattered because
had dived through it – not because of Mary's shot. Mary raised her gun to her shoulder, started to pump the gun, then must have thought better of it.
had to be out of range. Mary whirled and stomped towards the bedroom door. Angela grabbed at her as she passed, but Mary raised the stock of the shotgun, and Angela let go, towering beneath the anticipated blow. She slipped back down on to the floor. Yet Mary didn't hit her. She just ran out the door to take off after
– her boyfriend.
“God,” Angela whispered. She didn't know how long she sat there on the floor. It might have been a few seconds or a few minutes later that the two guys from downstairs entered the room and helped her to her feet. They were both the colour of chalk and like Angela were trembling. “Did they stop her?” Angela croaked.
The bigger guy shook his head. Angela had been introduced to him earlier, but the excitement of the evening had somehow caused her to forget his name. “She got away,” he said.
?” she asked.
The guy shook his head. “I don't know. They both ran into the field, in the direction of the lake.” The guy tilted his head
the side. A siren was approaching in the distance. “Sounds like the police,” he said.
Angela took a breath and hurried downstairs. Todd and Kathy lay where they had fallen. Angela tried not to look but did anyway. Kathy's head was a lop-sided red ball. The shot that had caught Todd had cut him almost in half.
The blood of the victims had combined into an expan
it was everywhere. Angela's shoes were soaked in
She ran out of the
house and into the front yard. The
bulk of the party was now standing in
the lawn. Guys were throwing up and girls were pas
out. Wails tore the air. Two cop cars, their flashing
lights spinning, came to a halt at the end of the drive
way. Four cops jumped out.
The kids who were still cohe
rent pointed in the direction of the fi
They went that way!
The officers didn't know what they were talking
Angela had yet to catch her breath, but she ran
nearest cop. He was Asian
in plain-clothes. Although
was short and lightly built, it was clear at a glance that
was in charge. He steadied her by the shoulders as
started to collapse in his arms.
She shot two kids
She gestured weakly. “In the house.”
Who shot them?
the man asked.
“My friend. Mary.”
“What is she armed with?”
“She's not inside now?”
The man glanced in the direction of the field
led to the woods that surrounded most of Point
Angela knew the area well; she lived on the opposite
of the lake with her gr
could reach the trees before Mary cut him down,
he'd have a chan
The man gestured one of the uniformed officers into
istened for a moment to the babble surro
ing him and seemed to understand the general situa
Several kids were describing Mary.
Who's she chasing?
” the man asked Angela.
. Her boyfriend.”
I don't know why. To kill him. She
already taken two
shots at him.”
“Is he wounded?”
“I don't know.”
shots did Mary fire altogether?”
Angela had to think. “Five.”
“She'll have to reload,”
the man muttered. He motioned the other
two officers to his side. “
Do you kno
w why she killed the other two?”
” Angela said. “
She just burst into
the party and started shooting.”
“Do you live around here?”
n your opinion, which direc
on will the boy run?
Angela didn't hesitate. “
Towards the south end of the lake. The trees are thickest there.
Does Mary know that?
“I'm sure she does.”
Can we ta
ke our cars across this field?”
Right away you'd run
into a couple of wooden fences.”
The man nodded to his partner
s. They drew their guns. “Then we'll go on f
” he said. “
When we get to the trees, we'll spread out, circle around.
” He turned away. “We'll get her.”
Angela grabbed his arm. “What are you going to do?”
The man spoke firmly. “
We're going to stop her
ou can't kill her!”
We'll try our best to
have her surrender peacefully.”
But she won't surrend
er. Something's happened to her.
doesn't know what she's doing.”
The man gent
y undid her grip.
She's killed two already. She's trying to kill a third. We must stop her
– whatever it takes.”
Angela wouldn't give up. “
Then take me with you. She's
friend. She'll listen to me
The man and his partners were anxious to get going.
Did she listen to yo
u inside the house? No. she didn’t.
You can't come. I'm responsible for your safety
ay here. Keep the rest of your friends togethe
r. We'll be back.”
the man called back
He and hi
s partners were
already running into
the field. There was no moon. It
was not long before they disappeared in the dark. She
just met the guy, but she knew he was competent
n she remembered the resolve in Mary's eyes. The cops
uld probably have to kill her.
Angela said to herself.