Monday, March 11, 2013

A Game of Secrets: Day One

A Game of Secrets

Post #1: Caelyn’s Story

This is the first part of a series of guest posts by the ladies over at The Secret Life of Writers blog. Over the next two weeks, the five of us will be telling a collaborative story that we hope YOU will interact with and then help finish (which will win you AWESOME PRIZES MADE OF AWESOME. You know, if you’re into that sort of thing.)

For full event details, prize info and more, follow the link!

Today’s post is by Stefanie Gaither:


It began with a scream.

Which, to be honest, reeeally didn’t help fix what was already an incredibly sh***y party. I mean, a masquerade ball? Seriously? It was 2012. Yeah, hello there, hostess, the Renaissance period called, and they want their lame-**s tradition back. Yet another reason I should have held a party at my place that weekend—because Isabelle Stone was clearly an amateur at it.

Also? If it had been at my place, then Isabelle might not have ended up dead.

Anyway, most of us ignored that scream at first. I sure as h*ll did, because that Jägerbomb that Seth Lancaster had just mixed for me wasn’t going to drink itself, you know? And I mean maybe it wasn’t the first I’d had that night either, in my attempts to drown the lameness of my sparkly, masquerading classmates. And maybe Seth kept trying to inch a little closer to me with every drink he mixed, too, and so maybe—god of sex that he is— I was a little…distracted.

So sue me.

So what if I don’t know how many screams there were before the lights went out? It’s not like I came to these parties—the lame ones and all— to observe things. The only reason I came to them, actually, is so I could drink until everything slid as far as possible out of focus.

Of course, you’d have to be some screwed-up combination of deaf, blind, and dumb to have been able to ignore those last few screams, especially since everything had gone sort of eerily quiet the second the lights started flickering. So quiet that you could hear the shuffling of footsteps upstairs, the creak of a door hinge, the sound of someone clearing their throat. And that was all I heard, for at least a solid minute. Then the lights flicked back on, and people started freaking. Some ran for the door, some—mostly the beyond drunk ones—started laughing hysterically. Some started screaming themselves. A few drifted toward the foot of the stairs, looking up like they were going to do something important about it all. But the majority of those people just ended up wandering off, probably while hoping no one saw them wuss out.

So why did I decide to go upstairs at that point? Dunno. Curiosity killed the cat, maybe, but I guess I figured I still had at least five lives to spare, so I hopped to my feet. Seth tried drunkenly hooking an arm around my waist as I slid by him. “Where you going, Californ-i-a?” he asked, and I rolled my eyes. My name is Caelyn, but I earned that nickname because one time—one freaking time—I wore my sunglasses in first period, because those fluorescent lights in Bio Lab were murder when you had a hangover.

I shoved Seth off, tossing the contents of my shot glass into his face. Looking back, that’s probably my biggest regret of the night. Jägermeister is expensive.

At the top of the steps, I saw that Simon kid—the nerd who I used to bribe into doing my Geometry homework— just hanging around, being his weird, quietly creepy self. Not sure what he was doing. Maybe he’d just finished with a meeting of the Outcast Society Club. A high possibility, since the next person I bumped into was Emery Chase, Queen of the Outcasts herself, who shot me a look that could probably have gotten her convicted for attempted murder. I raised my empty shot glass to her and kept moving toward the end of the hall, where a group of people were gathered around an open doorway. They all looked nervous. Arms crossed, eyes downcast, and just pacing, pacing, pacing all aimlessly around.

And at the center of them—no surprise—was Hayley, who I was pretty sure was under the impression that being voted “class president” gave her the authority to boss people around outside of school, too. Because it looked like that was what she was doing now. She pointed into the room, then turned back and shoved a cellphone into the hand of some terrified little freshman girl I vaguely recognized from gym class.

I hung back and tipped the shot glass into my mouth, hoping for one last stray drop. No such luck. I was about to curse about that when I caught a few of the hushed words of the crowd ahead.

Call the cops. Isabelle. Dead.

My second biggest regret of the night? The fact that I dropped my shot glass then, and it shattered on the wooden floor. And then everyone turned and stared at me. At me. Like there wasn’t a dead hostess in the room right the hell in front of them. Like I had something to do with this whole thing—which I obviously didn’t, because I was downstairs the whole time. You can ask Seth. My guess is that he hauled ass out of the house the second someone mentioned the word “cops”, but still.

Find him. He’ll tell you: I had nothing to do with this. 


Stefanie Gaither knows a thing or two about murder, since her debut novel, FALLS THE SHADOW (Simon and Schuster BFYR, 2014), contains a murder mystery along with clones, fast cars, and swoon-worthy boys. You can add it on Goodreads


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*This may, or may not be an over-dramatization on the part of Gabrielle Carolina, but who knows, that's part of the SEKRITING!

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