NaNoWriMo 2015: The Horrorphiles, Part 16
By Stephanie Thompson;1,506 words
Catch up with previous posts below:
- Part 1
- Part 2
- Part 3
- Part 4
- Part 5
- Part 6
- Part 7
- Part 8
- Part 9
- Part 10
- Part 11
- Part 12
- Part 13
- Part 14
- Part 15
Chapter 16 (I call this a pointless afternoon)
The bars are on her phone flickered to life. Or at least the one bar did. Followed by a flood of missed calls, voicemails, and texts messages, all from Becky.
She tried to listen to the voicemails because Becky rarely left messages unless it was an emergency but they were too full of crackle and static. She thought she was hearing every other word but it didn’t make sense put together. How could she make of sense ‘home explain need’ or “have to forget please.’
The flood of text messages started off normal and then deteriorate to weird then urgent and mysterious.
“Ok. Good. Have fun this weekend.” In response to “I’m here. It’s even creepier in person.”
“Lol. Send pics.” In response to the stuff about Adam.
Then “Who is this?” Just random out of the blue. Then after she said Jordan arrived, Becky sent another text along the same lines. “Is this some sort of fucking sick joke? Who the hell is this?”
“If this is you, Ronny. . .just come home. You need to come home, it’s important.”
“It’s more than important, urgent.”
“Forget whatever is happening, just come back. We’ll figure it out when you get here.”
“Please, please, come back.”
Ronny kept reading the messages over and over again and no matter what she imagined, she couldn’t make sense of it. What? What’s happened? Are you okay? And I’m sorry there’s no service here, I would’ve responded right away. I hope everything is ok.
She leaned against her car wishing she was wearing more clothes and maybe shoes. The wind was violent and frigid enough to blow right through the seams of her clothes. Her fingers hurt from the cold. If she had been thinking clearly she would have brought her keys too and could sit in a heated car but. . .
Suddenly she realized there were no other cars around. Not in the big circular gravel drive, not parked on the expense flat expanse of lawn on the left side of the house. No personal vehicles, no catering trucks, no band rv’s. Just Ronny’s lone blue Nissan.
Her phone vibrated in her hand and for once she was too stunned to be startled.
There was an accident. You need to come back. Back home.
OMG, was anybody hurt? Are you in the hospital?
Well, yes and no. Just come back and I can explain.
What do you mean? Was it very serious? Do you need a kidney or something?
Look, just come back.
Ronny wanted to leave, very much so. But she couldn’t. She had to finish running the event. Hell, she still had pay Mr. Peabody. And there didn’t seem to be a real emergency.
Becky, this weekend is too important for me to just leave. Unless you are seriously injured and you need me to take care of you, I can’t leave. I’m sorry, I just can’t.
Jordan is here. He wants to see you. Wants to speak to you.
You have got to be kidding me! Is there even an emergency? Was there even an accident?
Why would I lie about that? This is very serious.
Becky, Jordan is here. We’ve already talked about getting back together. I told you that. Look I’m freezing so, I’m going back inside and I’m going to lose service again. Idk what game you’re playing but it’s not funny. I’ll be back on Monday.
Please, please don’t. Please come home NOW. For me.
Ronny turned off her phone and went back to Greyson Manor. She’d made it this far, she wasn’t going to quit now.
After she put away her cell phone, she went to the cold lunch buffet, miraculously finding it the first, mostly by following other people. She was relieved to be getting food since now she was pushing 24 hours since the last time she ate. On the other hand she didn’t feel hungry per se, she just wanted food. Good thing too because what was left by the time she got to the food was a lot like what she imagined would be served in hell. First was cucumber sandwiches, but she was allergic to cucumbers. Next was tuna fish sandwiches which she despised since eighth grade when Aunt Wanda visited Costco for the first and fell in love with bulk shopping. When she bought a case of canned tuna and they had tuna sandwiches, and tuna casseroles, and tuna melts, tuna aspics and anything else Aunt Wanda could find a recipe for to use up the ridiculous amount of tuna. She carried a tuna sandwich for school lunch everyday for two months and hadn’t touched it since.
There was a third plate with nothing but crumbs. She was left to imagine what kind of delicious sandwich it could be that she couldn’t eat. Something delicious like Italian sub? Ham and turkey club? Or another horrific concoction like bologna and white bread? There were sides to, maybe a spoonful of three types of unidentifiable mayonnaise based salads. The most plentiful thing left was the jello and whipped cream fruit salads and while that sounded nice, Ronny didn’t feel like making a meal of it.
She abandoned the mission to finally fill her stomach and looked around the dining room for Jordan. It was full of people still, most of them done eating but still sitting around the tables and talking about the afternoon screenings and whether they would enter the costume contest that evening. None of them were Jordan. She remembered what Becky had said, that he’d gone home but it still didn’t make sense. Why would he leave and not tell her, not say goodbye? Had they got in some kind of fight the night before?
She decided to find either Adam or Jordan and finally find out how she ended up looking like a losing prize fighter this morning. Instead she found Dan by nearly running into him coming into the dining room just as she was leaving.
“Oh I’m glad I found you Ronny, I wanted to tell you something.”
He had small smile like whatever he was about to say was going to make him laugh, make him happy. Which meant she wasn’t going to like it one bit.
“I think the panel went very well. Much better than I expected. I knew you could never run this group without me, you barely ran when it was tiny, now it’s crumbling all around you and barely making a splash in the horror fandom.”
She had no patience left to be polite to this smug little man any more.
“Oh, blow it out your ass, Dan.” She said quietly through a clenched toothy smile. “I ran the old group perfectly fine without you in the first place, I certainly don’t need your help now. And it’s the last time I invited to one of these events since you can’t be a freaking adult about anything and ruined what could have been an interesting discourse with your petty and snide attitude.”
“You’re a hopped up little bitch,” he said with a snarl.
Ronny seethed. They’d argued pretty much from the first instant they met each other. But what they argued about was always horror movies, who should be in charge, and even who was talking first. They never resorted to direct personal insults before, and what he’d said was much worse and thoroughly less founded than what she’d said to him. She didn’t know whether she should verbally assault him, physically assault him, or take the high-ish road and storm out. Dan kept standing there just reveling in her silence like his smack down was so great there was no way she could respond.
She really, really wanted to verbally dress him down, shout at him, so everyone’s attention was was on them and make him look like a fool. Or just stomp on his foot because she didn’t think she actually had the physically strength to actually punch effectually but she’d stepped on plenty of toes accidentally and knew that if she really tried she could cause some pretty serious pain. She knew that walking away would have no affect on him. He wouldn’t think she was taking the high road he would go around thinking he’d won, that he’d somehow gotten the upper-hand, and that would somehow fuel his ego for the next few years.
Then like a bolt from the blue, Ronny realized she didn’t give a flying fuck what Dan thought of her, what he felt about anything, or what inflated his ego. She no longer had to interact with him twice week, she no longer had to interact him for the rest of her life if she didn’t want to, and she sure as hell didn’t want to. So she walked right past him like she was originally planning, without looking back to see if he stomped his foot three times and disappeared in a screaming puff of smoke like Rumpelstiltskin even if she very much still wished he would.
Keep Reading in Part 17