A/N: I hope you guys enjoy the first chapter of Certain Rules to Survive!

All our times have come

Here but now they're gone

Seasons don't fear the reaper

Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain, we can be like they are

Chapter One: Just When Things Were Normal

October 2nd, 1996

9:26 P.M.

"So, are you sure you don't wanna come over, too?"

The blonde-haired girl giggled a little at the question that her good friend had asked about five times in the span of ten minutes. "I'm sure," she replied, although it was kind of a lie. She really did want to spend some time with her best friend but, at the same time, she was lazy and she had school in the morning. And here she was, home alone, being the loser once again. Just like she always was… but she was used to it.

"I mean, I would love to," she continued, "but I would definitely not like to see you swapping spit with my brother. So, no thank you." She could hear the girl's laugh on the other end and it made her smile.

But, then again, Casey Becker's laugh always made her smile.

"You're probably right," Casey replied with a giggle. "But, I'm just saying, it won't be as fun without your company. You need to come over more, not just stay home by yourself all the time. I miss hanging out with you like we used to." Although Casey didn't know this, the look on Amanda's face was one of true guilt and she suddenly felt bad. And this made her take a shaky breath, her heart sinking out of misconduct.

"Casey, maybe I should come over. You're right," she said, already getting off of the living room couch and pausing the movie she was watching. "I can go get some clothes for tonight and tomorrow and -"

"No, no, no!" protested Casey, making Amanda freeze in place. "You don't have to come over right now. Steve's almost here, anyway. He can keep me company. It'll be okay."

Amanda sighed, her face twisting into a slight grimace. "You sure, Casey? I can still come over and we can watch all the scary movies you want." She was silently praying that her best friend would say yes, but a part of her had the feeling that she wouldn't. And that would make her feel even more guilty if the latter ended up being the case.

She was right.

"Yeah, it's fine. Don't worry about it, Mandy. It's okay," Casey answered. "Besides, you only want to watch those films because you love them so much. I mean, seriously, how many horror films do you own?!"

Amanda scoffed, shaking her head as she sat back down on the couch and continued the movie she was watching: John Carpenter's Halloween. "Oh no, you don't!" she exclaimed playfully, running a hand through her hair. "You like scary movies, too, so don't you dare lie to me." She could hear Casey giggle on the other end and it made her laugh as well. "And what was your favorite one? The movie that I'm literally watching right now?!"

Casey couldn't stop laughing, although her demeanor became collected again after a few seconds. "Okay, you win," she relented, accepting defeat, and Amanda silently celebrated her victory but her best friend still heard her; she laughed more than she had in a while, and it made Amanda happy knowing this. They were just chatting like old buddies like they used to in the past, and it was easily the best part of her day.

Little did she know that this would be the last time she would ever hear Casey's voice.

"Oh, I know. I always win," Amanda proudly admitted, very smug with herself. Then her smile dropped, and she shifted a little on the couch. "Anyway, I'm gonna get off of here and get to bed in a little bit. I'll let you and Steve have your fun." She heard another chuckle, and she did the same thing, but it wasn't as genuine as before.

Amanda had a bad feeling in her gut, and she didn't know why.

"Okay," said Casey, that smile still in her voice. "We'll be watching horror movies for you, Mandy. I've gotta go, anyway. I need to make some Jiffy Pop and get some soda out for us. Stay safe tonight, okay?"

The girl nodded, and then remembered that Casey couldn't see her. "I will, don't worry," she promised. "Tell Steve I said hi and goodnight… from sister to brother. You guys be safe. Make sure you use protection, we don't want any irresponsibility." She chuckled after she said this, especially when her best friend feigned a gasp of shock, and she tried to not roll on the floor with laughter. She eventually calmed down in time to hear her reply.

"Don't worry, we will," Casey joked in response. "You always say that as if we're gonna do… that."

Amanda shrugged. "Who knows with you two?" she quipped, a deadpanned smirk planted on her young face. "You guys have fun, and make sure Steve doesn't stay out too late, okay? I'll see you tomorrow. Don't get too scared."

"You know I won't, Amanda," said Casey, still smiling like she always did. "Have a good night's sleep. See you tomorrow. Bye."

The girl hesitated slightly, but spoke anyway. "Bye, Casey," she whispered, before clicking the button to end the call. For some reason, Amanda was completely creeped out and unnerved and she was trying to figure out why; but not much as a horrible thought crept into her mind. She just had a bad feeling in her heart and she was beginning to think that she shouldn't have listened to the older girl that she was talking to just seconds ago.

Maybe Amanda should have packed one of her bags and went over to the Becker residence. She honestly wouldn't have cared what Casey and Steve did, as long as she herself was there to keep them company. It could have been a fun night of horror movies and popcorn, along with tons of soda.

But here she was, being the loser sister that always chickened out of everything. Once again. And she felt guilty just like those other times.

Amanda Orth was a small and young junior of sixteen, with straight and natural blonde hair that just barely traveled past her shoulders. Her slightly pale complexion went well with the color as well as her sky blue eyes that were always bright and happy despite everything that had happened in the past year. She was currently dressed in pajamas as she lounged on the couch, watching the school scene from the first Halloween movie, a bowl of popcorn sitting beside her.

Although she herself didn't see it, Amanda was the spitting image of her mother, Melissa. She had her hair and physical form, although the young girl begged to differ every time someone pointed it out. But she also had her mother's kind attitude, and was polite to everyone she either met or just hung out with. Despite this, she was also very casual and laid-back around her closest friends, which made her a very likable student at Woodsboro High… even if she wasn't the most popular of them.

That's right. Amanda was always overshadowed by her older brother, Steve, when it came to popularity in the school. You see, while she herself was the normal teenage girl - the 'girl next door,' if you will - and she had an ordinary life, Steve was the football player and the jock of the senior class. He was (arguably) the most popular student of the school and he was loved by nearly everyone, except for those who were jealous of how cool he was.

Was Amanda jealous of her brother's popularity? Absolutely not.

In fact, she had never strived to be like he was. People didn't worship her like they did with him. The only reason people turned their heads around her was because of him; but she never paid attention to that, always ignoring it.

Despite the fact that they weren't as close as you might think, Amanda loved her older brother to pieces and always looked after him. And he was the same way when it came to her. Steve was very protective of his baby sister when it came to certain situations and, although it annoyed her at times, she appreciated it. They barely fought or even bickered and they were what you would call the 'picture perfect' siblings.

So, even though they were entirely different when it came to personality, the two loved each other very much and were quite close.

Because of this, Amanda found herself feeling pretty lonely and she missed Steve's presence in the rather quiet Orth residence. Their parents were gone on a business trip and they wouldn't be back for another week, and she really worried about them. She loved her parents and they were good to her and Steve, but they were always gone due to business, even if they didn't want to be. The young girl thought it was okay and felt that their job was important, but that didn't change the fact that she missed them every time.

Amanda continued to watch the movie, now on the scene where Annie and Laurie were in the car and smoking weed. She chuckled a little, since she knew that one of the rules to survive a horror film was to never do drugs. In her opinion, that was the first red flag, since it also affected your health horribly. She herself had never tried it, but she knew that it was a bad thing to do in life, not just in horror films.

After a while, when the end credits of Halloween finally began to roll, Amanda got off of the couch and turned off the television. She went around the house, making sure that every door and window was locked. Even though she and her family practically lived in the middle of nowhere, she couldn't help but be extremely cautious of her surroundings. She calmed down a little when she saw that nobody was outside.

She walked up the stairs and went to the bathroom, brushing her teeth after she had entered it. She then went to her bedroom, gently shutting the door behind her and began to head for the bed. At that moment, something caught her attention.

A sound coming from outside.

Police sirens.

Flashing blue and red lights.

Amanda walked over to the window and looked outside, only to see at least five police cars speeding frantically past her house, followed by an ambulance. It made her eyes widen in surprise, since the young girl had never seen anything like it in this town; Woodsboro was usually very peaceful and quiet and nothing major happened, unless you counted the horrific murder of Sidney Prescott's mother that happened almost a year ago, and she did.

The worst part was that Sidney was one of her best friends, and she had to help her get through the tragedy. And she still was.

Someone must've got into an accident, she thought to herself, a slight chuckle leaving her lips.

At least, she hoped it wasn't anything worse than that.

She walked towards her bed after turning off the light, got under her covers, and fell asleep.

God, she hoped that Steve would at least go to a friend's house if he stayed out too late.

8 Hours Later

October 3rd, 1996

6:30 A.M.

Upon waking, Amanda burrowed herself into the warm, soft sheets. She rubbed the remainder of sleep from her eyes and gazed out at the horizon, its vivid light extended across a beautiful and rosy sky. Streaks of sunlight penetrated the window and blinded her and it made her sit up in her bed and rub her knuckles against her eyes again. She stretched her arms above her head as she yawned, her legs dangling above the off-white polyester carpet.

After a minute or two, she got off of the bed, slumbering over to her vanity to grab her black hairbrush. She ran it through her slightly tangled blonde hair, and it wasn't particularly difficult to do, since she had done it so many times; she also found the feeling of the bristles against her scalp to be strangely soothing every time she brushed her hair. But, a few seconds later, she lazily dropped it back down on the counter. She then walked over to her closet, trying to pick out some clothes to wear for the day.

Amanda softly groaned in irritation, wishing that it would be a little easier to find something to wear. But, at the same time, she never really cared what she wore to school. She always aimed to look as casual as possible, not pretty at all; and that seemed to solve her problem when she finally found the perfect outfit. She walked out of her closet, changing out of her pajamas and into the school clothes, before looking at herself in the mirror.

Since it would be slightly chilly today, she had chosen to wear a blue plaid shirt with a black tank top under it (she decided to leave the plaid shirt unbuttoned, since she preferred it that way) along with skinny jeans that had no holes in them. She wore black converse with it and the outfit came together and looked perfect for her. And that was just fine to her.

Amanda felt a sudden knot in her gut… just the slightest sensation of dread filling her heart. It was almost as if she felt that something terrible was heading her way and she wouldn't see it coming. She didn't want that to happen to her, she was ready to refuse the negative vibes eating away at her emotions. It caused her usually bright eyes to dim in their positivity and she sighed heavily, grabbing her backpack from where it was hanging on the hook that sat on her door. She slung it over her back and left the bedroom.

It was very quiet in the house, which was the first red flag in her mind. That meant that Steve still wasn't home yet, and she was instantly worried. But she then began calming herself down by thinking that he had crashed at a friend's house for the night; he had probably stayed out too late. Great job, Steve, Amanda thought to herself and she finally smiled a little, feeling slightly better about her worries.

She then got a pack of Pop-Tarts, planning to eat them in secret on the bus before she got to school. She normally rode her bike to school, but her paranoia made her want to change plans, and that was exactly what she was going to do. This happened from time to time, but everything ended up being okay in the end. Her worries would fade away and die by the time she even got to school, so she wouldn't know what she was so concerned about in the first place.

And she was sure that she would be okay today. She would hang out with her friends and see Casey and Steve being the cute couple they always were. She would talk to Randy about horror trivia just like good times; she would chat with Sidney and Tatum, as well as Lauren and Erin like she always did every single day. These thoughts were enough to make Amanda take a deep breath and assure herself that absolutely nothing would go wrong today.

Boy, oh boy, was she so wrong.

A little while later, she heard the school bus pull up to her house and honk the horn. She switched off the kitchen light and made a dash for the front door, making sure to lock it behind her when she closed it. She sprinted to the bus and got on as quickly as possible, finding a seat in the very back and sitting there. She began to eat her Pop-Tarts, kind of wishing that Lauren and Erin rode the same bus as her.

But, alas, they didn't. They lived in the middle of town.

Amanda eventually began to feel all of her concerns die down and she felt a lot better just as the bus entered downtown Woodsboro.

Little did she know that within the next hour, her entire life would change forever.

The second that the bus pulled up to the school, all of Amanda's worries returned two-fold. She instantly perked up when she saw what sat outside of the building, pulling her backpack onto her shoulders again. She got out of her seat when the vehicle stopped completely, tossing her trash in the garbage can and stepping off of the bus. Amanda began scanning the campus, the only emotion she felt being utter confusion. She honestly wasn't expecting the school to be like this, and it kind of scared her.

Woodsboro High was a large, three-story brick building nestled in the shade of old elm trees. It looked like your typical school in a small town or even a city, and it made Amanda feel at home every day.

But not today.

Something was terribly wrong.

The campus was abuzz with police officers and reporters, several cop cars and news vans parked along the street next to the sidewalk. Lots and lots of people were gathered on the outside of the school grounds, wondering the same things Amanda was wondering. Most of them were confused, but some looked mortified and the young girl had no clue as to why that was the case. She saw that certain sections of the campus were blocked off by yellow police tape.

Behind this, Amanda saw officers questioning other students and reporters interviewing others. Luckily for her, none of them seemed to notice her in the chaos surrounding her at the moment. She even saw the principal, Mr. Himbry, talking to a red headed reporter, and she saw that something horrific had occurred in the past few hours.

But the problem was this: she had no idea what that was.

She was about to find out, however.

Right now, she was incredibly baffled at what she was seeing, but she kept strolling across the campus anyway, trying to listen in on what was going on. She could barely hear what they were saying, since some of the students were yelling like they did every morning; but, unlike those other mornings, it really annoyed her this time, since she was genuinely curious as to what had happened to cause this type of mayhem at her school. She thought that it was all insane.

She then heard something from one of the reporters. Something that chilled her to the bone.

"...when two young teenagers were found brutally murdered…" Amanda heard her say.

Murder? she thought in her head. Was that what the reporter said? God, she hoped not. Now she was beginning to think that this was some sick, twisted dream; she even pinched herself to make sure. And, sure enough, she felt pain. She needed to find Steve and talk to him about this if it were true, since this was the craziest thing she had heard about in years. It was absolutely insane.

Amanda dashed inside the school, just as she caught a glimpse of Tatum Riley and Sidney Prescott discussing what was happening.

The second she entered the building, people began staring at her; some of them had shocked expressions, others had sympathetic ones. This just puzzled her even more as she pushed through several students, trying to find her brother amidst the crowd and tell him what she had heard moments ago. Surely he had to have been laughing about the ridiculousness or having a serious conversation with either his friends or Casey. He had to be somewhere close by so she could bring it up to him before she went to class.

That was when she started thinking of the problem.

Neither Steve or Casey were anywhere in sight.

Amanda was instantly worried.

This made her push through more of her peers to see what was going on. She had to figure out where her best friend and brother were before the bell rang but, for some reason, she couldn't find them anywhere. Her heart started hammering against her ribcage and her breathing slowly quickened, especially since she saw some students gathered at the end of the hallway. She darted over to them to see what was going on, tapping several on the shoulder. Some turned to her and she saw tears running down their cheeks, their faces red in sorrow.

"Would someone like to tell me what's going on?!" she practically demanded, startling some of them. "Nobody is telling me anything!"

One of the students and Amanda's best friend, Erin Barnett, stepped up to her. She was certainly a much prettier girl than Amanda, having short, platinum blonde hair and a beautiful figure that even she herself was slightly jealous of. But her good looks didn't fool you; Erin was single, and she had only dated one person in her life, and that was when she was ten. And her looks didn't hide the fact she was a very kind person that looked after Amanda and her other friends. Just like she was now, despite the fact that she was crying.

But Erin kept herself together… for Amanda's sake.

"Um… Mandy…" she began, stammering a little as she struggled to get the words out through her crying. "I wish someone would have told you sooner, and that I d-didn't have to… but… just come here and look." She then took Amanda by the arm and gently pulled her through the small group of people, which only made the young girl even more confused but she followed her lead.

They reached the front of the crowd and Amanda didn't know what she was looking for at first, but when her eyes locked onto the two objects in front of her, her eyes widened to the size of saucers. She froze in place and the scream that desperately wanted to be released refused to leave her throat and all that could come out was the slightest of whimpers. It was as if time stopped completely for her, and she wished it would reverse itself.

Sitting in front of her was a table and there was a shrine set up onto it, which held two pictures. Candles resided in front of the photos and the fire blew slightly each time her heartbeat continued, making the situation much worse and real for her. And, behind the flames, she was able to recognize the people in the yearbook photos; she pointed out short and straight blonde hair accompanied by light brown eyes in the picture to the right, and light brown hair that went perfectly with blue eyes in the one to the left.

Amanda's eyes.

The girl's breathing suddenly became shallow and she clutched at her stomach, her normally pink cheeks turning an ashen color. She could barely hear Erin calling for assistance and the voice of someone else she didn't recognize. Amanda instantly knew what was going to happen when she felt her stomach contract, as if a giant hole were forming in her intestines. The nausea crawled up her ribs as she whispered one word:


And everything went black.

Her eyes opened. She was looking at a bright, white ceiling. She then closed her eyes… it was too bright. More cautiously this time, Amanda opened them and squinted until the light stopped blinding her majorly. She slowly moved her head around and almost immediately knew where she was: the nurse's office. She softly groaned to herself, eventually feeling the ice pack on her forehead which only annoyed her further. She felt for it and pulled it away, sitting up on the bed she was laying on.

A part of her couldn't remember what had happened before she ended up here, but she did recall seeing a table with pictures on it. People had been crying and she couldn't find Steve… and that was it. She couldn't remember anything after that, and that really frustrated her to no end.

What happened? she thought to herself in a rush.

No answer came to mind.

About a minute after she had woken up, a middle-aged woman entered the room with a concerned expression on her face. "Oh, my God, Miss Orth," she said with genuine worry. "Are you okay?" Amanda nodded, although she was still very confused as to what was happening.

Nurse Thompson was a woman in her early fifties that sported dark brown hair and bright green eyes. She had kindness written all over her demeanor and she cared about all of the students of Woodsboro High, which automatically made Amanda take a liking to her when she started attending the school two years ago. And, right now, Nurse Thompson was very concerned for the young girl sitting in front of her.

Amanda, however, was puzzled.

"Nurse Thompson," she started, her voice a little quiet, "what happened?"

"You just fainted, sweetie," the woman answered rather easily in a gentle tone.

"But why?" pressed Amanda. "That never usually happens to me, so I don't know why it would now."

The older woman waved her hands around to make her be quiet. It worked. She then pulled out her rolling chair and sat down in front of Amanda, wiping a single tear from her face and the girl noticed right away. Nurse Thompson took a trembling breath and began her explanation.

"Miss Orth… Amanda… I don't really know how I'm going to be able to explain this. Before I tell you, I will say that you will be going down to the principal's office after you get a little better. Sheriff Burke and Deputy Riley would like to ask you a few questions, and that's all that will happen, okay?"

Amanda nodded slowly, her heart beginning to race again. She then regained focus on the situation at hand once more, prying her lips apart to ask her question again. "What happened, Nurse Thompson? Where's Steve?"

The nurse visibly flinched hearing the name said aloud and it startled Amanda a little. But the woman regained her composure, taking another trembling breath; she despised having to be the person to tell this poor girl news that she was supposed to hear before, and it angered her a little. But she opened her mouth and cut to the chase, although she was hesitant.

"Amanda… I'm very sorry to tell you this, but… your older brother was killed last night…. Casey Becker was killed as well… brutally."

A/N: As my followers know by now, I am infamous for putting cliffhangers in my stories, so... deal with it. Sorry lol

ANYWAYS, what did you guys think of this chapter? Was it a good start to this wild ride of a story?

What do you guys think of the character of Amanda? Is she cool and interesting? Do you hope she will survive?

Will she live or meet her end at the hands of Ghostface?

Anyways, I hope you guys enjoyed this first chapter! Be looking forward to the next one! Have a great day, and until next time!

- Hermione Romanoff