A Game of Secrets: Post #2: Hayley's Story
This is the second part of a series of guest posts by us 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.)
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Today’s post is by Andrea Hannah.
I never wanted to go to Isabelle Stone’s ridiculous party.
In fact, I wouldn’t have ever set foot in that cesspool of sweaty bodies and liquor-laced tongues, but Isabelle had made it virtually impossible to stay away. For one, I knew Seth Lancaster would be there, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have tiny thing for him. I don’t know why—Seth was, like, one more underaged drinking charge away from an extended stay in juvie, and being with someone with a rep like that could seriously kill my run as class president. But he was hot. And maybe I could keep our hook-ups a secret. At least for now.
The other reason I had to be there? Isabelle had lost the presidency by only two votes. Even though it’d been over a month, some of our classmates still hissed at me down the hall, tried to blame me for rigging the whole thing. And a nation divided is at its weakest. right? I think I read that somewhere. Anyway, I had to convince them that I was the right woman for the job, that I’d won it fair and square. Even if I hadn’t.
But no one could know about that. Ever.
I was shuffling through the crowd when some girl almost poked my eye out with the nose of her emerald-colored mask. I swiveled and the plastic brushed my cheek instead. “Watch it,” I growled. She mumbled something, but I didn’t hear her. My eyes were on Seth.
His head was tipped back, mouth stretched open as a stream of Jägermeister danced on his tongue. Definitely drunk already.
I quickly swabbed some gloss over my lips and made my way to Seth. It wouldn’t be hard to lure him into any one of these shadowy bedrooms.
But then I saw her.
Caelyn Rodriguez: super lush and b**ch extraordinaire. Everyone knew she was easy, that she’d give it up for a bottle of vodka. Or rum.
Or, apparently, Jägermeister.
Disgusted, I wove through the crowd and sunk onto the staircase. The carpet beneath me stuck to my legs, and the air was thick with smoke. I coughed. Yep, this party sucked. Like I knew it would.
Just then, I caught a glimpse of the only reason I was still even here, and it was a good thing, too. Isabelle Stone was perched just on the other side of the staircase, leaning into a boy I recognized from Advanced Calc. Simon, I think his name was. He pushed his glasses up his nose as her red lips spoke in hurried whispers.
My stomach twisted.
Simon was on the student council volunteer committee He’d been the one in charge of tallying the votes for class president. I knew that because I remember watching the back of his over-gelled head while I slipped two more votes into the ballot box.
Isabelle broke away from Simon and shuffled up the stairs, right passed me, without even looking at me. My heartbeat roared in my ears. I had to know what she was up to. So I followed her.
But, I swear to God, I only made it halfway up the staircase before I heard the first scream. And then the second. Only the first was filled with fear, and the second—well, the second was softer. Diluted.
I rushed into the first room, but it was as dark and nondescript as the rest of the rooms in this house. The light from the hallway, spilled into the entryway, casting geometric patterns on the carpet under my feet. That’s when I saw them.
Three drops of blood, still shining like forgotten rubies.
This time, I was the one who screamed. And then I bolted.
I flew down the stairs and slammed right into a cluster of people, their faces a blur. I just remember Simon’s slicked back hair, and Queen Outcast, Emery Chase, with her kohl-lined eyes. And some other girl I’d never seen before it my life. She seemed like the safest bet.
I threw my phone at the mousy-looking girl. “Call 911. NOW.”
And then I got the h*ll out of there before anyone could suspect me of anything. Because, really, that’s what they’d do. If Simon knew the truth about the votes, he’d try to tell the cops that I’d done something to Isabelle, so good thing he saw me freak and tell that girl to call the cops. Because you know what? I may like to win, but I wouldn’t kill anybody over something stupid like a class presidency.
They had to know that. They had to.
Andrea Hannah writes thrillers about crazy people, clues, and creatures that may or may not exist. She's never written a book without a murder somewhere in its pages. Her novels are represented by Victoria Marini of Gelfman Schneider.
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*Gabrielle Carolina barters in strange things. Don't ask to see a painting of her.
It is corrupted.*