To Heather, her fellow student's happiness was morbid. How could they be so happy at a time like this. Isn't the idea of two people who were alive just last week having their closed-casket funerals organized tearing them up?
Maybe it was just her who was being eaten alive inside, but she certainly hoped not. The actions of her friends didn't help her case. They were acting like it was just a normal day, talking about what they were asked in the interview and whatnot. All the while their loving principal's voice was being blared over the speakers, practically begging them not to get murdered and make the school look bad.
"They asked me if I knew Casey." Sidney said.
"Yeah they asked me that too." Tatum replied. Heather was staring down at her lap with the ferocity of a tiger or lion or something. She didn't want to think about it anymore. She didn't want to think about what Casey would have looked like. All dolled up in all of her blonde glory, but with a swollen tongue and blood-stains on her sweater.
She was just thinking about whether or not Steve was wearing his lettermans jacket when she was shoved lightly on the upper arm.
"What did they ask you?" Asked Tatum, obviously annoyed that she wasn't trying in the conversation at all.
"Probably the same stuff," Said Heather in a small voice "How I was coping, if I watched scary movies a lot. Violent video games. All that kind of thing."
"Hey, did they ask you if you liked to hunt?" Asked Stu. The boys agreed, while Sidney, Tatum and Heather were confused as to why they weren't asked.
"Because their bodies were gutted," Said Randy nonchalantly, not even taking a break from stuffing food into his mouth. Heather looked away, feeling sick again.
"Thankyou, Randy." Said Billy, speaking up.
"They didn't ask me if I liked to hunt."
"Yeah, come to think of it they didn't ask me either."
"That's 'cause there's no way a girl could've killed 'em." Stu said, almost laughing. As if it was a joke. Heather didn't feel like arguing her case as a possible suspect. Even though she knew she didn't do it, she was still worried she might be accused.
"That is so sexist," Tatum began "The killer could've easily been female, Basic Instinct?" She did have a good point.
"And Friday the 13th, and Alice, Sweet Alice." Heather added, popping a grape into her mouth. All this horror movie talk was making her feel better already.
"That was an ice pick, not exactly the same thing." Said Randy, "And Friday the 13th and Alice is the same, it doesn't count if there's no guts."
Heather laughed slightly, trying to throw a grape into Randy's mouth and hitting him in the eye.
"Yeah, Casey and Steve were completely hollowed out." Said Stu, in an effort to make the completely disaffected Tatum scared, he just made the feeling in the pit of Heather's stomach come back. There goes her good mood. "And the fact is, it takes, like, a man to do something like that."
"Or a man's mentality." Heather snorted.
She looked over at Sidney and Billy, and right then felt supremely bad for being involved in the conversation. Of course they shouldn't have brought up something that gruesome this close to the one year anniversary of her mother's passing. Well, passing was a nice word, murder was probably more appropriate.
"How do you... Gut someone?" Sidney asked, in a disgusted voice that showed she didn't really want to know the answer to that question.
But Stu went on "Well, you take a knife," Everyone looked at Sidney, their chatter stopping and the atmosphere becoming more thick and choking. "and you slit 'em from groin to sternum,"
Heather groaned. She was going to puke, because she couldn't not picture Steve there, sitting in his scratched up wooden chair at the back of their shared calculus room, his insides on the outside. His face was purple and there were flies buzzing around his rotting corpse.
"Hey, it's called tact you fuck-rag." She shot an appreciative glance at Billy, who ignored it in favour of boring his eyes into Stu.
Heather allowed herself to fall out of the conversation, looking at the blue sky, and the fluffy tufts of woollen clouds that had arranged themselves in patterns especially for that day.
A few freshmen were throwing a frisbee around and running on the green grass. She wished she could be like them. Happy and carefree, and not stuck in her own head all the time. Consciousness was exhausting, and everything was boring.
The only this that wasn't boring was good old fashioned gore. At least that's what Heather thought before it happened in real life. Now she felt like horror movies were insulting compared to the real thing. She certainly wasn't bored, she was fucking terrified.
And then she was shoved again "Right Hally?" Asked Randy.
"I said you could vouch for me, I was at the video store last night, remember?"
"Oh yeah, sorry." Heather rubbed her head "We were there until, like eleven thirty I think, Frank Henenlotter marathon."
"Only the classics." Randy remarked flippantly.
"Nah, I didn't kill anybody." Stu said out of the blue.
"Really? Because the more you talk about it the more it seems like you did."
Heather walked home again that afternoon, and although the sun was on the opposite side of the sky, it had the same effect on her. Glowing golden orbs dancing on her baggy white tee shirt, leaping off and landing on the bitumen below.
Where the purple flowers once sat there was now small white buds, tightly wound. They were lost in the sea of green leaves.
Stepping through the door to her home she was immediately greeted by her mother, who swiftly grabbed her in a tight embrace.
"I heard about what happened to your friends. I'm so sorry baby." The sentence was muffled by her hair.
"They weren't really my friends, mom." She said when her mother released her from the hug "I didn't really even know them."
"Still," Her mother said "I was so worried about you. If you were ever hurt, even slightly I have no idea what I would do."
Heather smiled at her mother, trying to change the subject she said "Where's Katy?"
"She's at the Patterson's because I'm out tonight, which means you're not on babysitting duty."
"Cool." She walked over the the fridge and got out the jug of orange juice from a shelf setting it on the countertop, when she looked back, her mother was gone, the car already pulling out the driveway.
She jumped when she heard the phone ring, she was too jumpy these days.
"Hello?" She answered. The phone was tucked between her shoulder and her ear as she poured her juice.
"So are you staying over tonight or what?" Tatum's voice crackled on the line.
"Yeah, Satan herself is over at the Patterson's. You know, the one's who like kids too much?"
"Oh yeah I know them, the ones who like them, like a creepy amount?"
"Of course. I'll be over at, like eight or something."
"On it, later."