The theatre was big and old. Plush chairs, balcony, huge proscenium stage. Sidney entered through a side house door. She pulled on it, releasing the emergency lock. She made her way down the aisle toward the orchestra section. "Hello?"
The stage was dark and bare with the exceptions of the furniture from the Deathtrap set. Then, there was a noise.
"Hello!" Sidney yelled again, moving down front to the little bridge that extended out over the orchestra pit. She crossed it and moved to stage center, peering into the wings on either side of her.
Something dripped down from above and onto Sidney. She wiped it from her face when...
A spot light turned on, illuminating Sidney center stage. She jumped at this, unnerved. She looked to her hand, covered in red.
Again, there's a noise from above..ropes, pulleys moving. Sidney looked up as a set wall comes plowing down at her. She leaped out of the way, falling to the floor.
The wall fell into place on the stage. It is the back wall of the set that's dressed with framed pictures and antique weapons and...
Mickey. Who hung from it, pinned up against the wall, very much dead, arms outstretched, crucified. His body was a bloody mess. Sidney stopped, stunned. She stood frozen in horror. She backed up, moving, racing toward the wings when another wall flew in, sealing the backstage area off, trapping her. She looked in shock at...
Cici. Strung up, her body hanging lifeless. Blood everywhere. Sidney screamed, when a third wall came flying in. Attached to it was Dewey.
Though he wasn't dead. He was bloody, and looked like he just had some kind of confrontation with the killer, but Sidney could see he was still breathing. "Dewey?" She went up to him. He was passed out, and she gave him a good slap. But there was no response.
Suddenly, she heard clapping. She turned and spotted The Ghost masked killer walking up to her.
Sid bolted. She spotted the set door up center, near Mickey's body. She went for it, ripping it open to find..
Cotton Weary, standing the doorframe.
Sid screamed. But then saw his face, he looked scared. And then, Cotton's body fell forward to the floor, his arms and legs bound by electric tape. Sidney turned back to the front of the stage. Ghostface had made his way on the stage, knife in one hand, camera in the other. There was a light attached to a video camera. She was being filmed. "You're fast Sid." The killer said.
Sid looked back to Cotton who looked up to her with pleading eyes. "Quick, untie me." She was panicked. She didn't know what to do. She leaned down to untie him but stopped.
"You've seen this movie before, haven't you?" The killer said, but this time it wasn't the voice changer. It was a voice she recognized. A voice she knew.
Sidney looked to the voice.
The killer took off his mask to reveal…
He smiled at her. "Say hi to the camera."
Sidney remained silent. Her eyes fixed on her former boyfriend.
"Sid, c'mon." Cotton pleaded. But she backed away from Cotton. She didn't trust either one of them. Derek watched her, amused.
"Go on, untie him." He told her, cocky grin still in place.
Sidney shook her head. "No. This is a set up."
"Please, Sidney." Cotton said. "He's going to kill us."
Derek began filming again. "You must be dealing with some serious trust issues right about now."
Sidney said nothing. She edged away, moving to the wall where Cici hung. "Sidney, you can't keep your back to the audience like that." Derek said. "Could you cheat a little forward for me?"
"Please, Sidney." Cotton pleaded once again.
"You're really stumped, aren't you?" Derek asked with a smile. "You know there's two killers but you don't know who they are. I'm a given. The boyfriend. Way obvious. But now you're torn. Everyone else appears to be dead. Except for Cotton. Hmmm? Hmmm?"
Suddenly, Cici came to life behind Sidney, reaching out, grabbing her. Sid jumped. She spun around to find Cici breaking out in a torrent of giggles. Very much alive. "Paaaaiiin... yah, such pain... The story of your life, Sid."
Sidney stared in mortal shock as Cici cut herself down from the wall with a big hunting knife.
"Need some help, honey?" Derek asked her.
"I got it.." Cici told him.
Sidney's eyes went back and forth between the two.
"You should really see your face right now, Sid." Derek laughed. He was right. Sid's face appeared completely tortured.
"Yeah, you look quizzical yet pensive." Cici said. The blonde's face was completely different from what Sidney knew. She almost didn't recognize it. She saw pure coldness in her green eyes.
"Yeah, how can we help? Do you have any questions regarding the sequel of your life?" Derek asked as Cici walked over to him, side by side.
Sidney stared them down. She's been here before. "Why?"
"Good question. You took the bait."
"Ever see Natural Born Killers?" Cici asked. "Well, Derek and I have this whole Mickey/Mallory thing going on." Sid was waning."C'mon, Sid, don't fade on us. We've been planning this baby for a year. Humor us."
Sid turned to Cotton. She kneeled down and began to untie him.
"Nope. You had your chance." Derek said and dummy lunged at her with the knife. Sidney backed off. Derek then lifted up his shirt, to reveal a gun held there. "Amazing what you find on dead officers isn't it?"
Gale approached the side theatre door. She pulled on it. It was locked. "Shit." She moved down along the theatre to another door. Meanwhile, Cici and Derek move around Sid, taking turns filming her with the camera.
"We met on the internet." Derek told Sid.
Cici giggled, "He sent me the cutest e-mail."
"I read her postings on the horror movie chat boards and fell hopelessly."
Cici looked at Derek with loving eyes, "We have our own website now." She said, turning back to Sidney. "We dedicated a whole page to you."
"You'd be amazed at how many of us there are out there. It's a whole world, Sid. You're really popular amongst the demented."
Cici smiled. "You're the one who got away."
Suddenly, a different voice spoke up. "You guys are fucked." It was Cotton, still on the ground, bound.
Cici frowned, "Actually Cotton, and I think critics would agree, it's the other way around."
"Poor Cotton, could life be just a little more cruel?"
"You're not going to get away with this." Sidney told them. Her face was hardened. She was more angry than hurt at this point. As she thought of the mind games they played on her. The lives they took and damaged.
Cici laughed, "Of course not. Who wants to? What's the point if we don't get caught? Where's the glamour in that?"
Derek was nodding."The way I see it. We'll be arrested. Go to prison. Cash in on the home footage. Secure a book deal. If all goes as planned, our trial should coincide with the release of Stab II."
"A verdict and premiere all on the same day. I love it."
"We're hoping for the death penalty." Derek said. Sidney couldn't believe any of this. How these two could blend in so easy in her life, and she had no idea. How she trusted these people. She had her suspicions about Derek, but not Cici. Though she knew she should've. "Anyway, we hope you're ready, Sid. We got one last surprise for you."
Cotton pulled and twisted on his bound wrists. Sid had loosened them somewhat. He tried to finish undoing them.
"A twist ending if you will." Cici added.
"Yeah, we really had our work cut out for us. It really is the curse of the sequel. The Billy/Stu thing's been done."
"... so we had to be different but yet the same because if you venture to far away from your original story you completely alienate the audience..."
"And we didn't want to do that, Sid. We wanted to give you your money's worth."
"So we found a compromise."
"Or it found us."
"We have a surprise guest star waiting in the wings."
"Just for you, Sid."
"Wait a sec, Derek. We forgot to flip." Cici said, and Derek reached in his pocket for a coin.
"Oh yeah." He then looked to Sidney. "We figure the one of us that actually kills you will get a little more press. It's been an ongoing discussion." He turned to Cici. "Heads or tails?"
"Tails." She replied.
He flipped the coin. It landed in his right hand and he smacked it over to his left arm, looking. "Shit! You win."
Meanwhile in the auditorium, Gale emerged from the lobby. She found a way in. She eyed the proceedings on stage. She saw Sidney standing over Cotton. And then Cici and Derek on either side... knives in hand. She raced down the aisle. "Sidney!"
They all turn, spotting Gale. Sid moved forward, happy to see her. For once. "Gale!"
Gale moved down the aisle, not sure what's going on. Only that the two killers were here. Sidney moved down center but Derek cut her off just as the curtain dropped. Gale glimpsed the terror on Sidney's face just as the curtain separated them.
On the stage, Derek grabbed Sidney, holding her, the knife at her throat.
"It's about time she showed up." Cici said to Derek with clear frustration in her voice.
In the auditorium Gale moved to the exit door and into a stair well. She eyed a door that was marked "STAGE DOOR". She opened it and stepped in coming face to face with a large revolver.
Gale's eyes moved down the end of the gun to find...
Debbie Salt. Standing, lips pursed. "Hello, Gale, we've been waiting for you."
Gale's face was a mass of confusion.
Meanwhile, Derek released Sidney, shoving her, and she fell to her knees, next to Cotton. Sidney looked up at them. "Okay, look, you guys - I applaud your methodical expertise but I have a question. What's going to happen after I die? I thought the heroine is supposed to live."
Cici smirked, "Not this time." She said, and starting moving in on her.
Derek nodded. "Yeah, we're trying to send a message to Hollywood. I'm really getting tired of all the happy endings. It's just not reality. In the real world the good guys die, the innocent are punished, and the murderers inherit the earth."
"You fucking freaked out movie nut psychos..." Sidney hissed.
Then a different voice spoke up. "Don't blame the movies, Sid. Movies don't create psychos."
Sid stopped dead in her tracks as these words still her very soul. The voice came from the wings. They all turn as Gale Weathers appeared. Behind her, with gun in hand, is Debbie Salt. Derek grabbed the camera. He didn't want to miss a second. "Don't you know that by now?" Debbie asked. "It's about family. It all starts at home. It starts with the father...and the mother."
Sidney's mouth dropped, her face aghast, as she looked to Debbie Salt. She recognized her immediately. "Mrs. Loomis?"
Gale stopped cold. "What!?"
Sidney was stunned. "Oh my God."
Gale turned to Debbie Salt. "Jesus. It can't be."
Cici and Derek watched this, proud of themselves. "Told you we had a guest star." Cici said. Didn't see that coming, did you?"
"Everything's taken on a hyper- reality, hasn't it?" Derek added.
"You're Billy's mother?" Gale asked.
"I couldn't believe you didn't recognize me. You even interviewed me for your book." Debbie told her.
"You're all in this together?"
"We had to have financing. Tuition's expensive."
Sidney turned back to Debbie. "Why Mrs. Loomis?"
"Where should we start? Your mother ruined my marriage by sleeping with my husband. You ruined my family by killing my son. Gale aired it to the world. Should I go on... isn't that enough?"
"Jesus, you're just as whacked as your son." Gale shot.
But this only put a smirk on Debbie's face. "Where do you think he got it? Mental illness is hereditary. From the beginning I knew it wasn't Cotton who killed that slut you called a mother. I always knew it was Billy."
Sidney was completely horror stricken. She stood in total disbelief.
Derek was grinning, "Yeah, she's been great, Sid. We never would have been able to it without her."
Mrs. Loomis looked to both Derek and Cici, smiling. "And I couldn't have done it without you two. Now who won the coin toss?"
Cici raised her hand. "I did."
Mrs. Loomis pointed the gun at her, quickly, simply, and fired. Sidney and Gale screamed as a bullet through the forehead sent Cici flying back against the flat wall. Her body dropped to the floor. Dead.
Derek dropped the camera, completely taken back. He looked to Debbie. "What are you-" But Mrs. Loomis turned the gun on him and fired again. Derek moved, but the bullet caught him in the stomach. He dropped to his knees. Mrs. Loomis fired again, and Derek took another bullet. This time dropping. His body fell near Cotton who has remained suspiciously quiet through this ordeal. He eyed Derek's gun that now lay near his wrists.
Sidney and Gale turned to Mrs. Loomis in complete horror, whose face was completely normal. "Nice kids but a little out there."
"What are you going to do?" Gale asked.
Mrs. Loomis looked to them. "Finish what my son started."
"But you'll never get away with it."
"Enter Cotton Weary." She said. Cotton looked up. "Think about it. An innocent man wrongly accused. Spends time in prison where he just sits with his righteous anger, waiting, planning his revenge. His life so incomprehensively ruined he's forced to take revenge on the people responsible. It's perfect."
Cotton groaned. "No... not again."
Mrs. Loomis smiled down at him. "Sorry, Cotton. I guess you were just meant to be a killer."
"You'll never get away with this." Sidney told her, eyes fixed on the woman whose house she always went to after school. The woman who always greeted her kindly, and asked all the time if she wanted to stay for dinner. Then anger started fill her. As she thought of Randy. And Dewey. And Tatum. It all led back to her. Debbie Loomis.
Mrs. Loomis moved to Cotton, looking down at him. "Who would you like to shoot first, Cotton?"
Sidney spotted the second knife on the ground, near her. Rage increasing. Mrs. Loomis wasn't looking at them. Before Gale could react and try to stop her, Sidney picked up the knife and in an instant, charged at Mrs. Loomis.
Mrs. Loomis turned, but it was too late as Sidney stuck the knife in her shoulder, though aiming for the heart. Debbie yelled in pain and tried to push her off, but Sid wouldn't let go. They struggled, fighting for the weapons they both had in their hands.
Gale moved quickly, going to Cotton and trying to unbind the rest of his ties. Sidney kneed Debbie in the gut and sent her to the floor, her gun sliding over near the pit. Sidney ran for it, but Debbie grabbed her leg, and Sid fell to the floor. They struggled on the ground. "Gale!" Sidney screamed to get her attention. Gale turned and saw the gun. She ran to it.
Suddenly, Mrs. Loomis pushed Sidney off and jumped over to the gun, picking it up. She turned to see the reporter running to her before stopping as the barrel was directly in her path. Mrs. Loomis shot the gun, and the bullet hit Gale right in her side, and she fell in the orchestra pit.
Sidney watched in horror, as Mrs. Loomis now aimed it at her, getting up from the floor. She looked to her shoulder to see a fresh stab wound. "Nice one Sidney." She then moved her dead eyes over to Sidney. "But this…will be even better." Then..
There was a bang.
But Sidney was unharmed. So was Debbie. They both turned to see the bang came from Cotton, who fired Derek's gun into the air. "Nobody fucking move!"
Despite his order, Debbie lunged at Sidney, grabbing her, holding the gun to her head.
"God damn it!" Cotton yelled, pointing the gun at the two women.
"I could help you Cotton…" Debbie told her, eyes wide and crazed.
Cotton scoffed, "You seemed to do a real good job of that when you tied me up."
"Come on, you don't need her, let me kill her! Then, you're all that's left, you're the star! She sent you to prison for over a year! Personally, I think that's quite poetic…"
Cotton absorbed this. And Sidney saw it. "No Cotton, don't you listen to her!"
He smiled at her. "Woah! Ha ha! Woah! What a predicament you're in Sid. I mean, she does make a good point. I bet that Diane Sawyer interview is looking pretty good right about now…" He stood, gun fixed, eyes locked on her.
Sidney stared back. "…Consider it done."
And in an instant, Cotton fired his gun.
Sidney and Debbie both fell. Cotton stared at them, in shock at what he had just done, and afraid he may have hit the wrong person. But then he heard a cough, and saw it was the young brunette. She coughed again before looking up at Cotton. Not knowing what to think.
"Woah." Cotton began. "That…. was intense" Sidney stood up and walked towards him, almost expressionless. "Sid, you know that I would never, ever hurt you-"
"Cotton give me the gun."
He nodded, "Okay, yeah sure." He said with a nervous smile, handing the gun to her.
Sidney walked over and kneeled down next to Debbie, studying her. Her son came back, she can too.
Cotton then walked around and kneeled down on the side of Debbie. "Look Sid, maybe we should discuss about what went on here, get our stories straight... for the, you know, press."
Then suddenly, a hand from below grabbed Sidney's and her and Cotton both jump.
It was Gale. "Could someone get me out here!"
Sidney quickly helped her. "Gale, are you alright?
"Of course not, I've been shot..ow!"
Cotton reached down and helped, "Give me your hand Gale, Jesus you scared the crap out of me. There aren't any more down there right?"
"No." Gale replied as she was pulled up.
Sidney walked over and picked up the gun that Debbie once held.
"Nothing like reporting from the trenches, huh Gale?"
Cotton looked at her gunshot wound, "How bad is it?"
"Just bounced off my rib."
"Jesus Gale, you got more lives than a cat. "
Gale only rolled her eyes as the three of them stood, fixated on Debbie's body. "Give me one of those…" Sidney handed her the second gun. "Is she dead?"
"I don't know." Sidney said. "They always come back."
The suddenly, they both heard a roar behind them, and they all jumped and turned to see it was Derek. Bloody, but alive and ready to charge. Gale and Sidney lifted up their weapons and fired. Cotton dived to the floor as the two girls unloaded their clips on the college student who flew back against the wall and dropped. Very dead.
"Woah!" Cotton yelled, slowly getting back up as the three of them stood, watching Derek's body, still anticipating another come back.
Sidney then looked to Debbie. And without, she fired the gun right at her head. Gale and Cotton looked at Sidney in amazement, who looked back. "Just in case." Was all she said, before dropping the gun and walking off.
The wee hours of the morning brought the sun shining over the campus, forever tainted by the deaths of five people. Dewey was being taken in on a stretcher into the back of an ambulance, with Gale right behind him.
Sidney watched this, though relieved that one of the people closest to her was alive, but still upset beyond belief that he got hurt in the first place. She watched as the former cop was pulled into the vehicle and Gale climb in. The medical persons closed the door and got in the front, and the ambulance drove off.
Then, a mob of reporters rushed her. "Sidney! Sidney!" They all yelled simultaneously. She was flustered, like her body was there but her mind wasn't. She didn't comprehend it all yet, given everything that had just happened.
Then, Joel came, pointing the news camera directly at her. "Sidney, tell us, how does it feel to be a hero?"
Her beautiful, dark brown eyes stared intensely at the camera, and then looked up at Joel. "Talk to Cotton. He's the one you want to interview…he's the hero."
And just like that, they all rushed over to Cotton, who turned and looked at Sidney from afar. He gave her a nod. And she understood what it meant.
She watched, before moving off through the campus.
She had one more thing to do.