Saturday, October 13, 2012

Chapter 13: Don't Become the News

Donovan turned the lights on in the office, dropped his bag beside the chair of his desk and hurried to the printing room. Unlocking the server room door, he prepared the campus newspaper for press by setting the amount of copies and getting the first edition scanned. Turning on the television he took a seat behind his computer near the window and listened to the news as he organized the stories.

Local police are having a field day with reports concerning
the Animal of Cyprus-Gray and are following sightings
everywhere from the University itself to Interstate-80.
City Officials as well as law enforcement agencies are
urging everyone to avoid contact with the animal and
leave this in the hands of the authorities. In related news
the father of one of the Animal’s victims has been reported

Skip Larsen, parent of Joy Larsen the Animal’s second
known victim, was reported missing by his ex-wife Diana
Benedict when he failed to show for a schedule meeting
concerning their daughter’s memorial service.
Benedict claims that her ex was on his way to the
University to speak with Campus Officials regarding
their lax security measures and the danger he feels
is in direct relation to his daughter’s death. A search team
has been assembled to track down the Cyprus-Gray
football alumnus but no word on his whereabouts
yet. Larsen has been missing since Friday.

An alarm sounded in the press room and Donovan glanced in the direction of the machines. Noticing the red light blinking rapidly on the copier, he rushed forward to prevent the equipment from blocking and getting jammed. “No, no, no,” he groaned as he shut down the process and began pulling out reams of paper from the bottom tray. “Of course you act up on deadline day.” 

He kicked the tray in frustration and noticed the large ink blots staining the paper supply. With a sigh he started off towards the supply room to grab more and get the printing going once again. The door to the office closed with a slam drawing his attention towards the front office. “Hello?” he called and waited for a reply.

Shrugging it off he continued hunting for paper within the cabinets stacking a few high, he started back towards the room. Another door slammed shut but this time it was the supply door closing in front of him. “Uh, Amber is that you?” he asked dropping the paper to the cabinet and peering out the window to get a better look.

Turning the handle Donovan found it locked and began pounding against it to get it to open. “Hey! Let me out of here!” he shouted hammering his fist against the glass pane. He could hear someone walking around outside the room and again peered out to see. Coming into view of a shrouded figure with glowing red eyes, Donny jumped back in fright landing hard against the cabinet. “What the…?” Scratching sounds against the wall made him move further into the tiny space away from the door. He rubbed at his eyes assured that he was seeing things and looked around for something to defend himself with. 

Suddenly the vents began pouring smoke and gas into the room. He looked up in time to see a large object being pushed against the door and rushed forward again. “WAIT! NO! LET ME OUT OF HERE!” For every breath he inhaled he choked a little more. The room was quickly filling with the toxic vapors and he was finding it harder and harder to breathe. Reaching for his cell phone he tried to call Amber or anyone that could get to him and open the door.

Donovan felt his throat constricting and his chest tightening. He hastily punched in a number desperate to free himself of the room and get help. His vision was blurry and his eyes were watering. The pounding in his head began to amplify and he fell to the floor in a foggy haze as the darkness took over.

“Hey? Hey? Are you alright?” Donovan was shaken awake by a large hand. Dreamily he awakened from the forced slumber and shot upright against the hardwood floor.

“Where is he? Where…?” he rubbed his hand against his head and tried to stand up. Kayne placed a hand on his shoulder to keep him balanced and he dropped back to the floor beside Amber and rested. “What happened?”

“We were just about to ask you the same thing. Kayne and I came in here and found a small fire burning in one of the trashcans in the pressroom and the door to the supply room boarded up! I saw you on the floor through the window and he was able to move the cabinets away and drag you out of there. What happened Donny? How did you get locked in that room?”

“I don’t know. I was getting the paper ready for printing and the machines started acting up. I went to grab more paper and the next thing I know someone locked me inside. There was smoke filling up in there quickly but I couldn’t get out!” he coughed again and Amber handed him a bottle of water to help clear his throat.

“It’s a good thing I have such a positive work ethic then! I almost talked myself into sleeping in but I didn’t want to leave you with all of the work.”

“Yeah. I’m glad you got here in time.”

“Kayne might have beat me,” she smiled looking up at him. “I found him outside the door when I came up.”

“Yeah I was uh, waiting to see if you needed me still for the interview pool. I didn’t know you were in here already…I must have just missed whoever did this to you man, I’m sorry.”

“Don’t worry about it. You saved my life, thank you.”

“Hey, how much do I owe you?” Professor Steward asked leaning against the front desk. The clerk begrudgingly stood from his chair producing a creaking sound that echoed in the tiny office and sauntered slowly towards the man.

Looking at the ledger on the counter in front of him he sighed and took a sip of the bottle sitting beside his foot before responding in a throaty tone. “That’ll be $65 for the two hours.” Professor Steward handed him the money and glanced around the office taking in the cheesy blue interior design with a frown.

The clerk punched the register a few times for the drawer to open to break the $100 bill Randall handed him. Looking up into the professor’s face, he shifted the cigarette around his lips a moment and smirked. “Don’t I know you?”

“I don’t think so,” Professor Steward quickly dismissed and turned away again to avoid being recognized. 

“Yeah, yeah I do! You taught my Biochem class over at Cyprus! It’s Tommy Turner! You know Ta-Ta-Tommy the Terror? Damn that had to be some twenty years ago! Haha you haven’t changed much! Wow…” he leaned forward and stared out at the room he’d rented the professor and smirked. “So who was it huh? Let me guess Lady Minx aka Debbie Miller the school nurse. Damn was she a fox! You know a lot of the guys had their bets about who she was fucking on the staff. We knew someone had to be tapping that fine piece of ass!”

“Can I have my change please?” Randall exhaled in frustration and snatched the bills from Tommy’s hands.

“Geez and everyone thought I was the rude one. Don’t worry Doc, your secret is safe with me,” he winked and laughed as he trotted back towards his chair and the television that was calling his name. “I promise not to name you in the lawsuit either.”

Professor Steward stopped in his tracks and turned to face his old student with a confused expression. “Oh you haven’t heard? The school’s faulty upkeep cost my little girl her life and I’m suing every last one of you bastards for damages! Someone’s going to pay for what happened to Reagan!”

“What happened was an accident. It had nothing to do with faulty upkeep.”

“No? Then why were the cables frayed through as if someone deliberately sawed through them? And let’s not forget the cuts and bruises found on her! They are trying to say this animal had something to do with it but does that even make sense to you? This was a purposely thought out murder! What animal do you know can think to scratch up someone, throw them into an elevator shaft and then slice the cables to make it fall? No; someone did this to my Reagan and I’m gonna find out who it was if my life depends on it!”

Tommy exited the lobby and started towards the back room ignoring the Professor’s last statement about being careful what he wishes for. He had been in pain since the discovery of his daughter’s body and sank deeper and deeper into an alcoholic coma while he tried to come to grips with the fact that his little girl will never come home again.

He sat a new bottle of vodka on the back of the toilet and started the water for a bath. He needed to soak away his concerns otherwise there was no telling what he would do in the mental state he found himself. Turning the faucet to shut off, Tommy sank into the warm water of his tub and leaned back. He ripped the top from his bottle, pressed it to his lips and didn’t come up for air until a third of the bottle was down his throat. 

With a satisfied sigh he placed the bottle to the floor, turned the radio up louder and closed his eyes to try and relax. The day he learned about Reagan’s death he contacted a lawyer to check on his options. Sure he wanted justice for her and to be able to give her a proper burial. But the idea of money wasn’t lost on him. The last few days he’d thought about what any amount of money from the University could do for him and how his life would change. The dreams made him smile and very soon he’d hoped they’d become reality.

Turning the radio louder, Tommy’s head started tapping to the beat. He was so immersed by the hard rock booming from the speakers he didn’t hear the door opening up or the footsteps that steadily closed in on him. Louder and louder he sang along to AC/DC’s “Back in Black” ignorant to the dark presence looming just above him. “‘Cuz it’s getting’ me high, forget the hearse ‘cuz I’ll never die, I got nine lives.”

The gloved hand reached for the radio being careful not to unplug it and just as Tommy’s eyes opened the electronic device came crashing down into the water on top of him. Sparks flew energetically as Tommy’s body shook violently around the tub. Jolt after jolt of electricity rocked through his system frying him from the inside out.

Continue ---->


  1. Ok wow. Now the animal is taking out father and daughters???? Interesting.

    No more close calls like that!!!!!!!! I was trying not to rush through to see if Donny was ok. Geez that was terrible. Kayne's no good ass sitting outside. Doesn't look good for him. Although not sure why he would have it out for Donny but he is a self absorbed jerk so anything is possible.

    The good Professor who was he seeing??? And some one was watching so is secret is not so safe.

    1. Ha it is pretty interesting :) Maybe you will be able to put it all together soon.

      Aww yeah it was pretty close for him but luckily Amber arrived in time. Wow you didn't click to the end? You're getting better! :) Not at'd think he'd have seen the person that came by for a small visit if he really was waiting down below. Anything is possible and there may be a reason Kayne would want to harm anyone. He is very self absorbed, maybe Donny touched his comb? :P

      No one is as safe as they believe! Professor Steward's world, like so many others, is about to get shattered.

  2. DAMN ok, that was The Animal: second worse way to die so far. Can't say I feel bad for him. I hate when people turn a tragic accident like that into a way to get money.

    Kayne... do I even have to say what I'm thinking? Lol

    I first thought maybe the killings were at random but now I'm thinking there is a reason and some kind of a list. I really can't wait to find out what's going on.

    Oh and I bet the Prof was with the blonde skank.

    1. Yeah his thoughts of making it big on his daughter's death was very sad and pathetic and spoke volumes for who he was. He was a grieving father but he was very much about to forget his baby girl for dollar signs. I don't think I'd want to die that way but yeah no sympathy.

      :D probably not.

      The animal's first victims seemed a bit chaotic and out of place. And as Eden's said it seemingly "hated cops" lol. But there is a method to its madness.

      HAHA Rachael? Gunning for some good grades huh? :D

  3. Wow this story has just gotten crazier. Awesome, but crazier.

    I love all your stories but this my favorite from you by far. All your characters are so relatible. Everyone is so interesting and the story is entriquing.

    I wonder what's the Animal's reason for killing the father and daughter's. I'm thinking that this has to be someone or something closely related to the school.

    1. The Animal is definitely taking everyone on a wild ride.

      Thank you very much for that :) I am pleased to know they are coming across as they should because I think that is usually one of my hardest things to write, realistic characteristics (I often slip on a few). So hearing that really makes me smile.

      Ooh your deductions are great and you may be on to something :) If he is indeed prepping to destroy CG everyone had better be on guard because the Animal is not holding back!

  4. For a minute there I thought you were going to kill Donovan. I would've had to cut somebody. *dead serious*

    And it's funny how Kayne managed to get there before Amber. Almost like he was there the whole time HMMM HMMM HMMM...

    Poor guy. That part with the guy in black in front of the tub was creepy as fuck though, don't know if you intended for it to be that eerie. I think it's the position and that fact that he's just so dark against all the white. :O

    Great update as usual! :D

    1. *gulp* would that "somebody" have been me? O.o

      LOL very curious indeed! Hearing him say he was waiting for an interview wasn't suspicious (at first) to Donovan and Amber but the longer they think about it the more it might become!

      Yes he did suffer a little. I thought it was funny he was singing AC/DC and that happened (not only because of the currents but the lyrics as well). What?! Haha Jim is telling ME that MY story is creepy?? I thought you cornered that market Dear Friend! Perhaps it was his bony fingers...they kinda weirded me out :P

      Thank you :)

  5. I love the dynamic you have created here. Anyone of the guys can be the "animal". There's the mysterious nerd Ezra, the jealous manwhore Kayne, The hotty Remington, and now the professor may have entered the mix.

    Although I think maybe the professor took out the lowlife because when Donovan came in contact with the beast, he was burning files for some reason. Id think the professor would have to go to such lengths to get someone's file, so I'm thinking this last murder by 80's stereo is unrelated. Can't say he didn't deserve it simply because he was so dumb he kept his stereo right on the edge of the bathtub. I mean who does that anymore? O_o Doesn't he ever watch thrillers? Everyone knows what happens when a stereo is sitting on the edge of a bathtub!

    I'm also wondering what is the connection with Chrissy's appearance at the school as well. It's funny how Remington was acting all suspicious. ACTUALLY, his suspension may have lead him to maybe access some files? Aha! So Remy is the animal! :P

    I am really excited to see what happens next!

    1. Thank you! That's exactly where I was hoping to get the audience's mindset, SUSPECT EVERYONE and follow the clues. I left subtle little hints in every chapter pushing the action forward in this one we got just a little bit more about the Animal's possible victims.

      Professor Steward is up to no good and he's being captured on camera because of it. He would very much have reason to destroy news articles/records. I'm sure there are things he doesn't want anyone to see. And the Animal most certainly couldn't risk exposure at a time like this! It all has a meaning :)

      "I mean who does that anymore? O_o Doesn't he ever watch thrillers?"
      ^^HAHA! I know! It's like he was BEGGING to have that thing thrown in with him! He did deserve it though for multiple reasons (aside from being a scumbag). The Animal enjoyed it I'm sure :D

      That is something to keep in mind! She seemingly set off the series of events that started it all. Having moved away to Washington and just now making a's curious why she's come back again! Ooh interesting! He was told to get some information about Chrissy and learn about her. BUT this was the Campus Newspaper that had burning records, not the Administration/Student Records office :)

      Thank you! :)

  6. Oh la. Wow.
    Donovan was really very fortunate that someone came by. I thought it odd that it wasn't the typical "animal" action, and then grew suspicious of Kayne outside. How convenient. I hope that fact wasn't lost on either Donovan or Amber.
    And that sleazy professor having an affair in a cheap motel. I bet it's Rachael. haha... I sort of feel bad for Reagan's Dad, at first, but not anymore. His daughter's death and money in the same thought is just wrong.

    1. Oh but consider Donovan's morning actions before it happened. He was preparing the newspaper to print for their deadline. It is possible Donovan was getting too close to telling a story The Animal didn't want to come out...then again anyone might have that kind of issue considering Amber and the other news reporters tell everything they can. (A few people are displeased about this).

      It is very possible :) Yeah he was a grieving man when we first saw him then he turned into a low life leach trying to get everything he could off of her death. It's sad that he thought of her tragic demise in such a way :(

  7. I had to go back and recap, and I found myself trying to find a pattern but so far no luck. I did briefly wonder if it was someone at the school, Tommy was going to sue. Just for the record, Tommy seems to be a Pos...more excited about getting monies than the fact that his daughter ws gone, grrrr.....edenz~

    1. It is very possible it's someone with a connection to the school past or present. The Animal appears to have a real hatred for that place and everyone there. Tommy is a slime! He was counting his money before his daughter was even in the ground :(

      It's great to see you again Shay :D