Rated: R for explicit violence
Authorís Note: Thanks to my awesome proofreading chicas, Laura and Kilby. And keep an eye out for two more winners of the "Unmask the Murderer" Sweepstakes: Diane, who makes a cameo as a candy striper at Capeside Memorial Hospital, and Chris, an ill-fated Screen Play Video customer.
The fictional Womenís Health Center of Manhattan is my own creation and should in no way be assumed to be part of Planned Parenthood of New York City or any other group of centers that participates in abortions.
* * *
Capeside Memorial Hospital
"Wow. So thatís what happened," T.C. said, leaning back in her chair in the hospital cafeteria. "No wonder thereís tension between you and Dawson." Pacey nodded.
"And Joey just wonít understand why I canít forgive him."
"I donít think sheís expecting you to forgive him. I just think sheís asking you to be civil to him right now. Heís had a rough day and she wants you to be there for him, like she is." Pacey mulled this over while staring out the large window on the left wall.
"Do you think thatís what I should do?" he finally asked. She nodded.
"Like I said, heís had a rough day. I completely understand how you canít forgive him just yet, but I really believe that you should try to be nice to him right now." Pacey turned back to the wall.
"All right," he finally said. "Letís go visit Dawson."
* * *
Capeside Memorial Hospital
"There it is," Pacey said, pointing to Dawsonís bed. Joey was perched precariously on an orange chair and she and Dawson appeared to be engaged in a lighthearted conversation. Pacey led T.C. over to the bed and gave Joey a quick nod. Her face instantly lit up when she realized that it was him. "Hi, Dawson," he said.
"Hello, Dawson," T.C. said warmly. "And hello again, Joey." Joey nodded politely at the greeting.
"Hi, who are you?" Dawson replied, smiling slightly at the two of them. "I donít believe weíve met, but you seem to know me."
"We havenít met, but Iíve heard a lot about you. Iím T.C. McGonigle, with the Boston P.D. Iím investigating the recent murders here in Capeside," she explained, extending a hand to Dawson. He glanced helplessly between it and the huge bandage wrapped around his useless right shoulder.
"Iíll have to give you a rain check on that handshake," he said finally. T.C. quickly returned her hand to her side.
"Iím sorry, I completely forgot why youíre in the emergency room. So, how do you feel?"
"Like Iíve been shot," he cracked. Everyone smiled at his small, albeit painful, joke. "The doctor was in here about half an hour ago and he said Iím doing fine. Itís looking good," he said seriously. Joey made a move to say something else, but they were interrupted by girl with blonde hair and bright blue eyes, dressed in a red and white striped jumper and white tennis shoes. She flashed them a winning smile and practically skipped to Dawsonís bedside.
"Hi there, Iím Diane. How are you doing, Mr. Leery?" she said, still smiling broadly.
"Please, call me Dawson. Iím doing much better than I expected, after being shot."
"Great! Because the doctor said youíre set to go home, and Iím here to wheel you to your car."
"Iím being released?"
"You sure are! Ready?" Joey rolled her eyes at Dianeís perkiness.
"You bet," he said, trying to sit up. He grunted from the effort, but couldnít manage to lift himself up more than a few inches.
"Here, Dawson," Pacey offered, gripping his good arm. Joey reached around his back and the two of them helped life him to a sitting position. He swung his legs over the bed at the same time that Diane returned to the room with a wheelchair. Pacey helped him settle into it and Diane whisked him out of the room expertly, with the others following.
"How about that; they released him a lot sooner than I thought they would," Joey marveled. "He was only in there for a little over an hour."
"Heís a lucky guy," T.C. said.
"No, heís not," Joey disagreed. T.C. nodded.
"Youíre right, heís not. But itís good that he was released so soon."
"Whereís your car?" Diane called over her shoulder as she maneuvered out of the exit.
"Did either of you drive here?" T.C. inquired. Pacey and Joey shook their heads.
"My truckís still in the parking lot of the church," he said.
"I walked to the church and hitched a ride in the ambulance to here," Joey replied. T.C. sighed.
"I guess Iíll have to page Steve to come and get us, then." She deftly dialed his pager number on her cellular phone and left the message. "Weíll have to wait for our ride," she called up to Diane and Dawson.
"Thatís quite all right. I have to run back inside for a few minutes, but Iíll be right out," Diane said. "Just hang on to his wheelchair so he doesnít go flying down the sidewalk," she instructed as she placed Dawson next to a bench. The other three sat down beside him and waited for Steve to arrive. Joey placed a hand on the wheel of Dawsonís chair, in accordance with Dianeís instructions.
"This could take a while," T.C. said apologetically. "Steve certainly isnít known for his punctuality." However, to her surprise, his taupe Taurus came flying into the entrance almost immediately after the words left her mouth.
"Hop on in," he called as he pulled up to the curb. Pacey and Joey helped Dawson into the back seat, then sat down themselves, while T.C. climbed into the front.
"Iím Steve," he said as Diane came running out of the exit to retrieve the wheelchair. She waved to the group as Steve floored it out of the parking lot. "Iím working with T.C. on this case."
"Hi, Steve. Iím Pacey, thatís Dawson with the bandage, and thatís Joey," Pacey said, pointing to each of them as Steve watched in the rearview mirror.
"Nice to meet you guys, finally."
"That was pretty fast," T.C. commented, changing the subject. "I thought weíd be waiting for hours."
"Funny, T.C.," Steve said sarcastically. "Actually, I was driving past the hospital to the motel as soon as your page came in. Some jerk at the bar spilled a margarita down the front of my shirt and I wanted to change as soon as possible."
"You were drinking at noon?" Steve shrugged.
"Yeah, who doesnít?"
"Me, for one."
"Youíre not old enough to," he scoffed. "Another couple of months, remember?"
"How could I forget; you remind me every chance that you get," she chided. "But even if I was, I wouldnít. And I know plenty of people who donít. Itís not normal to drink that early."
"Whoever said I was normal?"
"Not me, thatís for sure."
"Are you two married?" Dawson inquired from the back. Steveís jaw dropped while T.C. gave Dawson a withering glance.
"No," they answered simultaneously. Dawson raised his good hand in defense.
"Sorry," he apologized. "You bicker like an old married couple; I just thought that you might be married."
"To this jerk? Never," T.C. scoffed.
"To this overly analytical psycho? Never," Steve mocked.
"They donít sound like an old married couple," Joey realized. "They sound like Pacey and I did before we started dating." And to this, T.C. and Steve could offer nothing.
* * *
"Here we are," Dawson announced. "Make a left at that mailbox." Steve turned down the gravel driveway and pulled up in front of the garage. The group quickly exited the car, exchanged small talk as they made their way to the front door. As they walked up the front stairs, Dawson fumbled in his pockets.
"What are you looking for, Dawson?" Joey inquired. Dawson sighed.
"The keys that I now realize are inside the house. I went to the funeral with my parents and I didnít even think to bring my set."
"You have a spare, though, right?" T.C. asked. Dawson shook his head
"Not for this door. Weíll have to go around back." The group walked back down the stairs and around the corner of the house, avoiding tree branches. When they reached the back door, Pacey was the first to notice the white envelope propped up against the door.
"Whatís that?" he questioned, pointing at it. Dawson glanced quizzically at it while he removed the spare key from underneath the mat.
"I donít know," he admitted, picking it up. "I canít imagine why someone would leave an envelope at the back door; we rarely use it." He handed the envelope to Joey, who quickly ripped it open and gave it back to him. Reaching into the envelope, he removed a single sheet of white paper, folded into thirds. He scanned it quickly, his eyes growing wide. Joey and Pacey exchanged worried glances; they knew what it was.
"What is it?" T.C. inquired, noticing the looks on all of their faces. "What does it say, Dawson?"
"It says," he started, his voice wavering. He quickly cleared his throat. "It says:
* * *
The Leery Kitchen
"Okay, letís sit down and think this through logically. Give me the note, too," T.C. began, pulling out a chair at the kitchen table. She was joined by Pacey, Joey, and Dawson, who handed her the note as he sat. Steve refused to join them and instead leaned against the counter.
"Logically?" Joey snorted. "How on earth can you go through a serial killerís pattern logically?"
"Joey," Dawson warned. "Sheís the expert, not you." Joey gave Dawson the evil eye, but became silent.
"As I was saying, we have to go through this logically. Now, if-"
"Do we really need to do this now?" Steve asked in a bored voice. "I mean, come on, T.C. This poor kid just got shot and his fatherís dead. Canít we cut him some slack?"
"I donít mind," Dawson piped from the kitchen table. Steve sighed and ran a hand through his hair.
"Well, to be perfectly honest, I do. Iíd rather not sit here and rehash what happened."
"Let me guess, youíd rather be at a bar," T.C. said dryly. "Getting drunk is more important than figuring out who killed his father." Steve shook his head.
"I didnít mean that. Itís just that weíll be examining this aspect of the case for quite a while with the cops and Iím sure theyíve already interviewed Dawson."
"Actually, they havenít," Dawson interjected. Steve rolled his eyes in exasperation.
"Fine, since youíre so eager to talk about it, talk. T.C. can discuss it with you. Pacey and Joey, how about I give you two a ride home?"
"Sounds good," Pacey said, standing up and walking toward the front door. Joey shook her head.
"No thanks, I can just row home. Itís faster. Iíll walk out with you two, though."
"Catch you later, T.C."
"Yeah, whatever, Steve," she replied.
"Bye, T.C. Bye, Dawson," Joey and Pacey said at the same time. They smiled at the coincidence, then exited the house. Steve and Pacey headed to Steveís Taurus, waving to Joey as she walked out on the dock to her rowboat.
"What a jerk," T.C. said as she watched Steve and Pacey pull out of the driveway, shaking her head.
"Itís all right. Are you ready?"
"Whenever you are."
* * *
Near Screen Play Video
"I didnít know that you liked war movies," the tall, muscular seventeen year old said to the girl next to him as the two of them walked hand-in-hand down Capesideís main drag. His girlfriend, a tall girl with long, curly auburn hair, shrugged.
"I donít. But this is Spielberg, so itís not just any old war movie, Chris. The manís a genius." The two of them turned down a narrow alley on their way back to Katyís house. Chris kicked an empty soda can and the echo bounced off the deserted buildings lining the dark, empty alley.
"Spielberg this, Spielberg that. This is obsession, Katy!" Chris threw his hands up in annoyance, but the twinkle in his deep brown eyes showed that he was only teasing her. Playing along, she stopped in the middle of the alley and put her hands on her hips. "Chris Hayner, I may be slightly obsessed, but he won Best Director for this movie. So that makes "Saving Private Ryan" an automatic good choice for tonight, no matter what you say."
"I donít know about that," Chris mused, stroking his chin. "I thought "Debbie Does Dallas" would have been better."
"Pervert," she said, swatting him on the arm.
"You love it."
"You know I do," she replied, kissing him full on the lips. He responded by wrapping his arms around her waist while she ran her fingers through his hair. The two of them were so engrossed in each other that neither noticed the shadow behind them, nor the quick movement of the killerís arms as a stainless steel toaster was smashed against the side of Katyís head with a sickening thud. Chris gasped in horror as his girlfriend slumped to the pavement. He turned directly at their attacker and was rewarded with a broken nose from the toaster. He fell to the ground, tripping over Katy as he tumbled. His foot caught in her elbow and she rolled over onto her back.
"Katy! Oh my God, Katy!" he screamed as he finally saw the extent of her injuries. The toaster had collided directly with her cheekbone, shattering it and pushing some of the bone fragments through her skin. The blood gushed freely over her face and her breathing was incredibly ragged, due to all the blood that must have entered her lungs. "You bastard!" he cried at the black figure above him as he held his hand up to his gushing nose. The killer was wearing a Scream mask, identical to the one the police had found near Kristenís body, and a heavy black cape. "You bastard!" he said again, the tears flowing freely as he stared at the disfigured body of his girlfriend.
The killer responded by removing a knife from underneath the cape. Chrisís face contorted with anger and fear as he realized that he was going to be next. He quickly glanced around behind him for a weapon, but could find nothing in the deserted alley. He contemplated crying for help, but he knew that no one would be able to hear him. Instead, he decided to fight back. As the killer lunged forward, plunging the knife into his abdomen, Chris wound up and delivered a hard hook to what he believed was the killerís face. Instead, his hand collided with a hard strip of metal inside the mask that helped to retain its shape. He doubled over in pain, clutching his broken finger. The killer took this opportunity to deliver a pair of stab wounds to his upper back, tearing through the muscle. Chris collapsed on the ground.
When he or she realized that Chris could no longer fight back, the killer removed a fire poker from underneath the cape and advanced toward Chris. He paled when he saw the weapon and tried to scramble to his feet, but kept slipping in the puddle of blood surrounding Katyís body. "Please donítÖoh dear God, please donít!" he screamed.
"Shut up!" the killer growled in an indistinguishable voice as it approached Chris. Chris gave up trying to stand and merely sat on the ground, sobbing.
"Please donít!" he whimpered. "Please, please, please, please, pl-" He was cut off as the killer calmly slid the sharpened fire poker through his torso, hitting all the major organs. Chris gasped as the end of it exited through his back; he resembled a piece of meat on a skewer. The killer laughed briefly as Chris examined the poker protruding through his stomach. He attempted to pull it out, but stopped almost immediately because of the pain. Instead, he rolled on his side and closed his eyes in preparation for his last breath.
While Chris was slowly dying, the killer examined Katy. Although she was bleeding profusely and unconscious, she was still alive. A swift push with a foot turned her onto her right side, where the blood could pool more easily. The killer picked up the toaster lying next to Katy and contemplated the sizable dent in the middle. Shrugging, the killer threw it against the wall and returned to examine Chris. When no pulse could be detected, the killer carefully removed the poker from his torso and placed it directly through Katyís left temple and out the right. Her breathing stopping almost instantly. The killer quickly shed its black robe and mask, leaving it next to the bodies and knife, and strode into the street.
* * *
The Leery Kitchen
"Öthen I heard the doors at the back of the church open, and-" He was interrupted by the high-pitched ringing of T.C.ís cellular phone.
"Hang on a moment, Dawson, I should probably get that," T.C. said. She quickly pressed the button on the phone and held it up to her ear. "T.C. McGonigle," she said briskly, hoping to get whoever it was off the phone as soon as possible so she could return to their discussion.
"Itís Steve," the voice on the other end answered. "Weíve got a pair of bodies."
Whodunit? Who (or what) killed Katy and Chris? And what sort of sicko would kill someone with a toaster? Speaking of sickos...where has Karen been lately? What about Jen? Where's good old Mrs. Leery? And what earlier series character will be making a comeback in coming parts? You've gotta send feedback to find out! I don't write unless I get it!
Like it? Hate it? Want more? Let me know by sending me FEEDBACK!
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