A cold wind blew into the kitchen, waking up Riko who’d tried hard to stay awake but failed. It was no surprise she’d been exhausted and working on adrenaline, which wasn’t sustainable. Sandrine, Blane, Zane, and Kate were all unconscious on the floor, the bottles of tequila laying empty between them.
The breeze carried the scent of fresh air that comes the day after a rain storm. The breeze reminded Riko of her summers camping. Wait… where was the breeze coming from?
Pulling out her gun, Riko stood, looking over the metal island they’d overturned the night before. The door to the dining room was open and two large barrels had been placed in the middle of the dining room. There was something with wires on top of it.
“Guys wake up!” Riko yelled. The others drowsily started to wake. “BOMB!”
The other four woke up quickly after that. “What? Really?” Sandrine sounded annoyed more than worried as she lifted Kate into her wheelchair.
They left by the kitchen’s back door, and starting running over the smooth field towards the forest that was behind the hotel. They almost made it to the treeline when their cellphones rang. As they rang, an explosion rocked the hotel. Gouts of flame erupted from the roof in multiple places.
It took a few seconds for the shock wave of heat and debris to reach them. Riko turned to look at the explosion and barely had time to see a piece of glass, the size of a butter knife, flying towards her. She tried to move out of its way, but it embedded itself into her right forearm.
It took all her self control to not rip it out of the arm.
“Holy shit,” Zane turned white then green as he rushed to a bush to puke.
Blane was much calmer and came up to her saying, “Don’t touch it. Let me look.” He held her arm still and looked at it.
Shooting flames of pain raced up her arm as he poked and prodded at it.
“Can you flex your hand?” She could but it hurt like crazy. “I don’t think it hit an artery. We should get it out but without bandages or antiseptic I really don’t want to.” He ripped a piece of his shirt off and wrapped it around the glass and her arm. She knew it was to prevent it from moving and causing more damage. “There was a first aid kit in the boathouse.”
“That’s on the other side of the flaming building,” Kate said sounding exasperated and winded. “It might be a flat field but it’s not exactly easy.”
“I know this is what people say in horror movies when I stop watching, but we should split up,” Blane said.
“She needs to be patched up,” Zane agreed, after wiping his mouth.
“I’ll stay with Kate,” Sandrine offered.
“Me too,” added Zane. “We’ll head to the garage and look for gas to burn the rest of this place down.”
Blane looked like he was going to argue but instead he leaned over and pecked Zane on the lips. He said, “Don’t die,” and turned around towards the burning house.
“Are you sure?” asked Riko as they walked towards the path that would lead them by the burning house and to the boathouse. “I could get the kit and bring it back.”
“No. I’m not letting you go alone when there’s a psycho out there.” Seeing her raised eyebrow, he continued, “I wouldn’t let anyone go alone and I won’t let anyone else die.”
They walked in paranoid silence expecting every breeze or rustle to be the killer. “You really don’t think it’s Ethan do you?” asked Blane.
“No. I’ve worked with him for years and he’s been fair, almost to a fault. He wouldn’t just start to kill people.” She didn’t sound convinced even to herself.
“At this point I really don’t care who. I mostly want to know why.”
“I don’t know. It must have something to do with high school.”
“Do you think it’s something to do with the grad party? It keeps coming back up,” Blane sighed.
The two of them stopped and at the same time said, “Kingsley.”
Riko continued with, “She hated us for that night and not inviting her. This seems a little excessive.”
“Unless we wiped out their entire family, any motive would seem excessive.”
The boathouse was filled with gardening tools and boat paraphernalia. An old motor was on a cart in the corner with its propellers in the air.
The first aid kit was on the wall and Blane pulled it off, quickly taking things out. Riko turned her head away, not wanting to see what he did.
When he said, “This will hurt.” She braced herself and tried not to clench her arm. The pain was blinding and caused a roaring in her ears.
Her vision cleared but the roaring didn’t. The engine across the boathouse had turned on and was slowly moving towards them. She reached, with her good arm, for the gun, but she jarred her bad one and dropped the gun.
Blane finished wrapping her arm, took a rake and pushed the engine into the water. It sputtered and sunk.
“Where did you get a gun?” Blane asked.
“It was Ethan’s,” she replied and told him about where she’d found it.
“Seriously? What if he tinkered with it or something?”
“He wouldn’t,” she started, but remembered that he’d been the one to teach her how to cause a gun to backfire. He’d done it to teach her how to make sure her weapon was safe and she hadn’t checked this one.
She picked up the gun and looked it over. It seemed clean. “It’s fine. Lets get back to the others.” She tried to put it back in her belt and flinched.
“I’ll take it,” he said forcibly. She didn’t argue. With her arm now in a sling and bandage, she was useless with a gun.
As they walked back, the fire had started to smoke and with almost no wind to blow it away, it was impossible to see more than a few feet away.
They were nearly next to the house when a dark shadow ran towards them in the smoke. Blane gestured towards the left to avoid the figure just as they heard a loud clicking noise. He’d stepped on a landmine. He gestured for her to leave.
“I’m not leaving you,” she said. The person in the smoke seemed to be holding a bat or something else similar.
“I’m already dead. Get out of here.” He lifted the gun and aimed it at the shadow.
Riko kissed him on the cheek and ran the other way. As she ran, she heard multiple gunshots followed shortly by yet another explosion. She raced back to where the others had been. They weren’t there and she made her way to the garage. Standing outside the garage were Sandrine and Kate.
When she came close enough, Kate asked, “Where’s Blane?”
“He stepped on a landmine…” Riko cried quietly, she was tired of crying for her friends.
“And where’s Zane? When we heard a boat motor, he went out to find you.” Riko started to sob when she saw that they were both holding baseball bats like the shadow in the smoke.