Cruel Sacrifices

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18

“No, that’s all right. It’s cool. Do you want something to drink or smoke or eat?”

Shannon lit a cigarette. Andrea didn’t know she smoked.

“Maybe something to drink will be nice.”

“What would you like? We got coffee, soda, tea, juice?”

“Uh, um, soda would be fine.”

“Okay, let me get you one. I’ll be back in just a second.” Shannon disappeared into the kitchen.

Andrea continued to look around the living room. She saw a flat screen, toffee-colored sofas, a blond wood table.

A picture of the twelve disciples, a lone picture of a man who was supposed to represent Jesus. I didn’t know she was religious, she thought.

Andrea saw many portraits of beautiful landscapes of nature, animals, popular destinations, and framed pictures of James Dean and Marilyn Monroe. She heard a loud thump from somewhere outside the house.

“Can you get that mail, Andrea? Just put it in the drawer by the door!” Shannon instructed her.

Andrea was startled from her trance. She picked up the contents of mail from the floor that just popped in the door stoop.

She opened the drawer to put the mail inside and came face to face with a .375 Magnum resting among some papers.

Andrea gasped. She almost dropped the mail on the floor but caught it in time and place it beside the gun. Her hand went to her mouth.

Why does Shannon have that gun? And it’s the same gun from the news reports. She turned around quickly when she felt someone standing over her. Shannon handed her a glass of soda.

“Shannon, I didn’t know you had a gun?”

“Yeah, we do. It was my dad’s. It’s for protection. But I don’t even know how to use it! Cody is a sharpshooter. I’m no expert like he is!” Shannon joked.

“Really?”

“Yeah, our dad used to take Cody hunting all the time. They went camping and fishing, building things. You probably would never have known that just by looking at him.”

“I see.” Andrea drank the soda. It was root beer. Andrea sat down in a recliner. Shannon sat beside her and reached over to pick up her laptop. Andrea saw explicit pornographic pictures of sexy men on a website.

“Wow, that’s hot!” Andrea comment.

“Yeah, I know right. That guy there,” Shannon pointed, “Is gonna be the father of my babies,” she laughed.

Andrea finished her drink as Shannon logged out of different sites. She snubbed the cigarette out in an ashtray.

“Look, Shannon, I want to tell you something very important. It’s the reason why I came over here in the first place.” Andrea put down her glass.

Shannon looked at her. Andrea saw a hard expression forming on her face. Shannon had her hair parted with curls. She had on a blue jean dress and sneakers.

Andrea clutched her hands in her lap tightly. Then she smoothed back her hair. She had it comb back. She looked down at her blue jeans, t-shirt, and boots.

She didn’t know how to tell Shannon about the dare. Where would she start? Andrea opened her mouth again but before she could talk, she noticed Shannon wasn’t paying any attention to her now.

She was watching a video on the internet. A video of Rebbie and Cody having sex. They both saw Rebbie grinned for the cameras.

Andrea sighed. “Oh my God,” she moaned. Andrea saw Shannon didn’t take her eyes away from the video at all. They watched the whole video.

“Oh my God is right,” Shannon finally spoke. Looking up at Andrea. “Is this what you wanted to tell me?”

Andrea remained silent. Shannon had a blank expression on her face. “Shannon, I am so sorry.”

“Is there more of her and my brother?”

“Yes.”

“I figured. Now I’ma have to show these videos to Cody. He’s going to be a wreck,” Shannon groaned. “How could she do this? Did you know about this, Andrea?”

All Andrea could do was mutter yes.

Shannon shook her head. “I thought you all were our friends. Especially you, Andrea. I mean I’ve grown extra sweet on you.” Shannon continued to speak in calm, even tones.

“I’m so sorry. I tried to stop them,” Andrea replied.

“I bet you did, huh. How in the hell could you embarrass him like that? You humiliated my brother! This video has been viewed millions of times! I figured the rest was probably up to no good. But you, Andrea? I thought you were better than that!” Now Shannon gradually raised her voice.

“All I could say is I’m sorry. Please accept my apology, Shannon,” Andrea became teary-eyed.

“Why did she film this? Was this some kind of dare, cause that’s what I’ve been hearing around school. The rumors are right? Am I right?”

Andrea again shook her head yes.

Shannon jumped up, she looked pissed off. “Get the fuck out of my house, bitch!” she screamed at her.

“Shannon, please, I am so sorry about what happened. I am your friend,” Andrea pleaded with her.

“Some friend. With friends like that, who needs enemies?” Shannon stalked to the door and open it wide.

Andrea got up and followed her. “I hope we can talk later, ya know after you cool down,” Andrea tried again.

“This never should have happened,” Shannon replied quietly, not looking at her. She seemed to be in a daze, looking beyond her.

Andrea walked out. Shannon slammed the door and locked it behind her. Andrea jumped in her car. She hesitated for a minute before driving off to visit Lee. Andrea’s phone rang. Gloria Estefan’s “Conga” played loudly inside the ride.

“Hello,” Andrea answered.

“Hey, honey, where are you?” her father, Benny, wanted to know.

“Uh, I’m headed to my boyfriend’s house.”

“Your mother and I are staying out late tonight. We’re going to be at that new bed and breakfast. You know the one over on McCain.”

“Yeah, I know.”

“There’s dinner in the warmer at home. And don’t be out too late sugar.”

“I won’t.”

“All right then, see you tomorrow.”

“Same here.” Andrea drove to Lee’s place. She locked her car and jogged over to the porch.

Lee opened the door before she even rang the bell. “What’s up?!”

“Nothing much.”

They hugged and kissed.

“Oh baby, you smell great. You look nice, as always,” Lee bragged.

“Thanks. So do you.”

“Come in love.” Lee took her by the hands.

“Either you’re psychic or-”

“Or I saw you coming through the window.”

They walked through his house. It looked the same as before.

“I was outside, shooting some hoops,” he told her.

They walked out the side door to his garage. It felt cooler than the rest of the house. Andrea saw tools, junk, knives such as machetes, more junk, his rides and what look like dozens of pistols.

A gun collection of every gun she can imagine. She saw sawed-off shotguns, Berettas, Glocks, Smith & Wessons, MAC-10s, 9 mms, .357 and .375 Magnums, AK-47s, .45s, weapons of every kind.

She also saw awards that Lee had won for shooting. Most were top awards for first place and others were certificates for prizes, money, and other miscellaneous gifts.

Wow! Andrea thought. Another one with two of the weapons from the news. The Magnum and the machete. She shivered. Why did he take me this way for? She wondered.

We could have just gone out the front door. The only reason I could think of is he wanted me to see his prized possessions. Andrea thought glumly. Lee snatched a basketball from the garage and they walked to his court.

“You got a lot of guns!” she remarked.

“I know.”

“Are they for protection?” She thought about what Shannon had told her.

Lee gave her a puzzled look. “No, I don’t need protection. I’m all the protection I need.”

Andrea smiled. He sounded like Tony, she thought.

“Anyway, have you use all of those guns?”

Lee threw a shot and it went in. “Yep, they’re for my hit list.”

“Hit list?” she questioned, confused.

“Huh, I meant they’re for show. Ya know when I’m target practicing with my brother and our friends. Michael got more guns than that.”

“He does?”

Lee threw another shot and missed this time. He looked directly at her now. “You wanna play?”

“I don’t do basketball.”

“Neither do I. I only do females,” he laughed.

“Dumb joke.”

“Yeah. Why are you asking me about guns? Oh, I think I know. That killer from the news. I already know who that is. Case closed.”

“Who?” Andrea piped up.

“My brother Michael!” Lee laughed loudly.

“Are you serious?”

“Nah, I’m kidding. But if there ever was top prize for psycho, Michael gets it!” Lee joked, making another basket.

They played around outside for a little while longer. Then they went inside Lee’s bedroom. Andrea sat down Indian-style on his bed. Lee took off his shirt.

He flaunted his muscles in the mirror. That really turned Andrea on. She loved to look at bare-chested guys. Lee pulled at her legs.

“I want to have fun,” he remarked.

“Is that what you think I came over for?”

“Yeah,” he chuckled.

“I don’t feel like it. I’m on my period,” she said.

Lee looked at her deadpanned.

Then they both laughed. He laid near her on the bed.

“Let’s talk instead,” she suggested.

He rolled his eyes. “About what?” he scoffed.

“About our relationship.”

Lee yawned.

“Aw, don’t be bored all of a sudden!” Andrea teased.

Lee gave her a sexy smile. “Are you for real?” he questioned.

“About what?”

“Duh, yo whatchamacallit?”

She laughed. “Yeah.”

Lee rolled his eyes. “Then why are you here? To tease, cheese me?”

They both laughed again.

“Hey, do you really think your brother Michael is a killer?” she was serious now.

Lee seemed to think for a moment. “I don’t know. But circumstances around him seem suspicious. I mean come on, he just happens to be the boyfriend of that dead girl Kylie. After she breaks up with him, she winds up dead. The police already consider him a suspect, oops, the so-called PC term- “person of interest.”

"Michael is a trouble maker. Trouble follows him wherever he goes. This killer started his crime spree in Baton Rouge, right? That’s Michael’s hometown. When he was there, the killings started and now since he moved here, they started again. Does that seem suspicious to you?"

“Yeah. But I know quite a few people from Louisiana. That’s Tony’s hometown too. He was born there but was raised here. He goes back and forth between Arkansas and Louisiana a lot. Shannon is from there too. Anyway, she had trouble in her past as well. She’s also pissed at us for pulling that dirty prank on her brother Cody. I was over her place today, and saw a .375 Magnum hidden in her drawer.”

“For real. A lot of people got that type of gun. Michael got a bunch of those guns.”

So do you. And so does Tony and the other boys, Andrea thought. “I know. But it’s the same pistol that crazy murderer from the news used. It’s the weapon that he constantly uses on his victims,” she replied.

They were silent for a moment.

“Are you enjoying high school?” Lee teased her.

She smirked. “I bet as much as you enjoy college.”

“You’re just a baby. I remember when I was seventeen.”

“But I’m a baby you enjoy having fun with, honey.”

She kissed him on his lips. They both felt an electric spark. They kissed several more times. They each took time to instigate it.

“They’ll catch this person. Hopefully soon,” Lee said.

“I hope so before it’s too late,” Andrea muttered.

***

All five girls--Andrea, Rebbie, Maria, Joyce, and Trish saw the ugly life-sized doll hanging by a rope on Rebbie’s front door. A note lying on the ground beside it simply said:

THIS WILL SOON BE YOU WHORE!!!

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