THE FEAR MASTER

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Chapter 20: TICKETS

Keith drank the last of his chamomile tea. He hated the taste but was trying to be polite. And he didn’t want to rush off and leave Debbie in such a frightened state.

He’d sat by her while she phoned her mother to make sure she was all right; but even knowing that her mum was safe, she was still clearly rattled. The Fear Master had been in her house. He’d messed with her.

“He’s going to kill us, isn’t he?” Debbie’s tone was flat, as if she not only expected to be killed, but accepted it.

“That’s one thing he isn’t going to do.”

“What makes you so sure?”

“If he was going to, he’d have done it by now. And he hasn’t. So he won’t.”

Debbie shook her head. “He’s leading up to something. Like murder. And just because it hasn’t happened doesn’t mean it can’t. There’s always a first time. Look at that guy who climbed to the top of some tower in Texas and started shooting people – I bet he never did anything like that before.”

“If it’s any consolation,” said Keith, “he hasn’t done it since.” He made his hand into a gun and pretend-fired.

Debbie flinched. Then forced a laugh. “Sorry.”

“I am. That was stupid.”

“I still want to call the cops.”

“They’ll brush it off as a prank. Besides, we don’t know who he is where he lives. Yet.”

“What about the number plate?”

“Fake.”

“This is so frustrating – we’ve been in his house, and he’s been here – but if he can pick locks or however he gets in, he’s smart enough not to leave fingerprints.”

“Depend on that. But we don’t have exactly nothing. We have this.” Opening his wallet, he removed a piece of paper, which he unfolded. “Exhibit A.”

“E12 and E13. What’s that?”

“Theatre tickets. I found a pair in his jacket when I was handing it to him in the hearse. I put them back in the pocket and kept repeating the numbers over and over in my mind until I got home, then I wrote them down.”

“So?”

“He’s going to see a play next Tuesday. All we have to do is show up – with a camera, of course – see who’s sitting in those seats, and we’ve got him.”

“What’s he going to see, Mary Poppins?”

Keith smiled. “Wait Until Dark.”

“And the next class is on Wednesday.”

“There won’t be a next class. He won’t try anything once we know who he is – and believe me, everyone who reads the Herald is going to know. So you’re going to get your wish – the Fear Leaders are disbanding!”

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