What I'm Watching:

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Winter Playlist

I wanted to change things up a bit so I thought I'd post some music that I have been listening to lately. Most of it is stuff that I'm not sure has a ton of exposure so I figured this would also serve as a good way to get the word out about several awesome bands. You'll probably recognize a few for varying reasons but don't let that stop you, I'm sure there's something you haven't heard. They range in terms of genre but I think you'll enjoy them regardless. So give them a listen and see if there's another band you can add to your music library.



Seriously, how good is that?

Crimson Summer - Part One

Part one? What is this sorcery? Don't worry, you didn't miss out on anything if you've been reading along, this is just a collection of the first nine chapters, together as one document. I felt it was appropriate since so many people had been telling me they wanted to know when I had a significant chunk up so that they could start it then. Well, here's your chance.

These first nine chapters are what I consider act one, so I feel it's appropriate to group them as part one. Once part 2 commences, the chapters are much longer, while still sticking to one central character. And I tried to make it as easy as possible to read so I've provided both a PDF and a MOBI file so if you're reading it on your computer, phone or kindle, you should be set.

There's a little questionnaire at the back of the document that I would appreciate you filling out. They're simple questions and you don't have to answer all of them but I would certainly appreciate the feedback.

Thanks for reading,
Tyler

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Crimson Summer - Chapter Nine

Read the rest HERE

“Louie”
"Thank fuck that's over," Louie said, pouring half of a beer down his throat. All of the counselors, consisting of Marion, Diane, Keith, Barry, and of course Louie, were gathered around the fire, beers in hand. Carol was noticeably absent as she rarely joined them at night, disapproving of their alcohol consumption. It was time for their celebration of being done with the first day of dealing with campers. The beer somehow tasted even better than the previous two weeks of late night drinking. Maybe because now they had a purpose: stress relief. Louie wasn't sure but he popped open another beer to take part in the increased experience, at least that's what he told himself. "If I have to deal with one more immature little shithead, I may just lose it."
"Oh, they're not that bad this year," Marion said and was probably right, but Louie couldn't resist the urge to argue.
"Yeah, easy for you to say miss 'I pick the best campers.'" Louie immediately made everyone uncomfortable, like he was one to do. It was hard to tell if he was joking or being serious, just the way he liked it.
"You realize I have absolutely no background on eighty percent of these kids right? And the court-assigned ones I give to our perfect citizen molder, Carol. So if you get stuck with shit then that's all by chance. No collusion necessary," Marion stated. Louie could sense how annoyed she was by the accusation. He was never quite good at sarcasm.
"Yeah, I know you don't. Just . . . yeah, ignore me," Louie said.
"Done and done," said Barry, returning from a pee.  Fuckin Barry. Louie didn't like Barry. Not at all. Barry reminded him of every bully he had ever encountered in high school. The way he talked, the words he used, his mannerisms. There was no one that left a worse first impression on him. Unfortunately, he ended up being perfectly cast in the role, being as big of a douchebag as his appearance let on. The years had just soured their relationship further with Barry constantly berating him in front of everyone else. This time though, Barry followed it with a, "Only messing with you, Louie."
        Louie? What the hell is he playing at? Louie thought. Barry wasn't one to say he was joking. Because he rarely was. Let alone the fact that he wasn't calling him 'Louise', a nickname that only Barry prescribed to.
"Why did the last two weeks have to end?" Diane said, shaking her fists at the sky. Diane was pretty cool but a little too girly for Louie's liking. She would often get too drunk and become the "we need to be friends forever" kind of person. Not that it wasn't cute, but her lack of contact during the off season made Louie question her honesty in it. And not to mention that he found it difficult being friends with those that couldn't hold their own. The multiple nights of getting carried back to her cabin the last two weeks made it clear which category she fell into. Still, she was a lot of fun, and Louie still held out hope she'd drunkenly stumble into his cabin one night. A guy can dream.
"Best part of camp for sure. Makes me feel like a little kid in a candy shop. The whole camp to ourselves and no kids around," said Barry.
"Minus one Carol and you really have yourself a party," Louie said, Diane and Barry nodding in agreement. 
"Oh she's not that bad," Keith proclaimed. Keith was Louie's cabin-mate, so they knew each other pretty well. Outside of the occasional beer by the fire, Keith was the definition of health and fitness. He ran five miles and did yoga every day, keeping a strict diet in the process. How someone could be that handsome and not bang every hot girl he came in contact with, Louie would never know. Still, it was a nice change of pace having someone around that seemed genuinely good.
"Not that bad? Excuse me?!" Marion said, clearly with loads of ammunition, "She wakes up at 5:00 AM every day. And her being the loudest person ever when she's getting ready means that I get up at 5:00 AM every day. Then I get to wake up, terrified, as she's staring directly at me. Every time. So yes, she really is that bad."
"At least you don't have to deal with Mr. Pushups over there," Louie said, signaling to Keith, "The man does like a thousand a day --"
"Five hundred," Keith corrected him.
"Oh, I'm sorry, don't mean to be hyperbolic, Mr. Pushups," Louie snorted, "Regardless, that man sounds like Hulk Hogan in No Holds Barred when he does pushups, and he wakes his ass up at 6:00 AM to do them so yeah, I think I feel you."
"Hear that, Keith?  You're getting compared to ole Carol. How you feeling about that, chief?" Diane asked.
"I'm perfectly fine with it. Carol is a pleasant person. She's just really passionate about her job," said Keith.
"That's putting it lightly," Diane said, taking another swig of her beer. She was well past the point of hammered. Maybe tonight.
"Who needs one?" Barry said as he stood up, walking to the beer filled cooler, "Diane? Louie? Marion?"
Diane and Louie motioned for one while Marion just shook her head.
"Oh come on, one and done?" Barry questioned her.
"You know I like to smoke more than drink," Marion said and shrugged her shoulders.
"I don't know why you waste your time with that stuff. Rots your brain." Barry said defiantly.
"You say after you've killed how many brain cells chugging down that thirty rack?" Marion shot back.
"Are we seriously gonna argue about this, in this day and age? Put your dunce hat down and chill the fuck out, Barry," Diane said. The words seemed to have great effect as Barry just sat there, quietly sipping on his beer. Goddammit, he's into her, Louie thought, hating Barry a little more. "You've been hanging around those little kids too much."
"And how is it with our little toddlers?" Marion asked.
"Hardly toddlers. I think the youngest is nine. I swear we had more last year. Though there's this little girl Holly and she is absolutely adorable. Little chubby but always has a big smile on her face. Oh my god and that giggle. Slay me now. I want to adopt her."  Diane couldn't be more honest if she tried.
"I wish I could be guaranteed a fat daughter," said Louie, apparently trying to outdo Diane. 
"Wait, you want a fat daughter? What on earth would make you specifically want a fat daughter?" asked Diane, hardly able to control her laughter, "And I mean that in the health way, not in the superficial way you're all thinking."
"Are you kidding me? I'd much rather have to take her for some dialysis appointment than have her getting railed by every guy from here to California," said Louie.
"People have sex. Deal with it dude," Diane said as casually as possible. Was that a hint?
"While that may be true, when it comes 'Daddy's little princess', sex is not to be had. Ever. In the eyes of her father, she will die a virgin," said Louie.
"Oh yeah, then how would you explain all the pregnancies in the world?" asked Marion sarcastically.
"Mary."
"Wait you mean of--"
"Of Mary and Joseph.  No sex had, yet babies were made.  I'll just make sure she takes that route," Louie said.
"Oh yeah, is this what your dad taught you?" asked Diane, shaking her head.
"I have three sisters. Where do you think I got this from? I learn by example, darling." Louie's dad certainly gave him more than enough reason to actually think this, but it was less an ideal and more a general thought on the subject. Louie just found it funny.
"I think you're taking more of the learn through fear route," said Keith, "Always fearing that your hypothetical daughter is gonna do what's only human nature."
"No, taking the fear route is the Al Rodgers way of living, am I right?" Louie said, trying to make a joke but without any proceeding laughter. Shit, these guys can't really be that tense about this. People even joke about 9/11 now. I probably shouldn't say that.
"Hey, I mean nine --" Louie started, but was quickly interrupted.
"Louie, you certainly do love sticking your foot in your mouth don't ya, buddy," said Keith. Charming even when you don't want him to be.
"What's it been, three years since Julia passed?" Louie asked.
"Four. It's been four," said Marion. Given her time spent with Al going over boring business stuff, it would have been more surprising had she not known. Marion was the go-to for information on the camp since no one had the time to listen to Carol's hour long explanation.
"Either way, I was making a joke about Al. Not like I was talking about his dead dau --"
"Louie!" everyone exclaimed. Further putting his foot in his mouth always seemed to be Louie's specialty.
"Okay, I'm just going to shut up now," Louie said, settling back into his chair. He had embarrassed himself enough.
"So do you know if Liz did her scary story night?" asked Barry.
"Oh god, I hope not. The last time that one girl's parents threatened to sue us for 'allowing them to sleep where such grisly crimes happened,'" said Marion with a mocking tone, "What a fucking joke."  
Louie remembered that. He thought it was a joke when it was first mentioned but soon enough a lawyer turned up at the camp, delivering papers and nearly causing Al to have a heart attack. The family didn't have much to go on but they were clearly out for money and willing to do anything to get it. (Un?)Fortunately for Al, he didn't have any money for them to take so the lawsuit died, but as did Al's passion for the camp. Louie was glad though, the less Al cared, the more fun could be had.
"Wait, I thought they happened in the house?" asked Keith, referring to the murders.
"They did.  That cabin wasn't even built in '91," Marion explained, "Liz just likes to say it happened in that cabin and make my life a living hell."
"As long as that story stays far away from my campers ears, Liz can continue living," Diane stated. Louie imagined Liz telling Diane's group of younger campers the story and the mayhem that it would cause. He couldn't help but smile thinking about it.
"Oh please in this day and age, I bet that's not anything big. The Internet has scarier stories than that. Honestly I've never seen the big deal," Louie reasoned. It was honestly what he believed too. The way he saw it, murders were such rare occurrences that a repeat was much less likely given that one had already happened there. Marion once told him that was just him trying to reason with his fear. He wasn't sure which he believed. "I feel like that's life though. A series of lessons and interactions that ultimately lead to an untimely demise."
"Okay, Psych 101. I'd just like to think that not everyone just up and dies," Diane said.
"Oh so you're one of those immortal sympathizers?" Marion joked.
"No, I'd just like to think that there's something more at the end of the tunnel than just suffering. Like, I wanna go out quietly, in my own bed, in my sleep, at the ripe old age of two hundred -- shut up, we'll be advanced enough by then -- and not to mention with a dozen grandchildren filling my house."
"Wait, so in this scenario do the grandchildren all live with you or are they there for like a party?" Marion asked
"Yeah, like celebrating your death?" said Louie.
"I think it's usually called celebrating life." Keith clarified.
"I know what I said."
"They can't really be that great of grandchildren if they're celebrating your death like that. Who's going to watch them now? Is this a Lord of the Flies scenario?" Marion continued.
"You guys suck. They would be there because they would want to be around their sweet grandmother while she's dying," Diane reasoned but the others just wouldn't let up.
"You know, I've heard no mention of their parents. So are they dead in this scenario? Is that why you only have grandchildren at your house?"
"Are you trying to be a makeshift foster care?" Louie asked.
"Wait, did you kill your children and take their children because you secretly hate adults and only want to be around children?"  Marion would let up.
"So she's just going to kill her grandchildren and take their children when they have them?"
"Don't be silly . . . she'll be long dead by then,"
"I hate you all," Diane pouted.
This was a pretty common occurrence in the group, going off on long tangents of nonsense for the sake of a good time. Diane was usually the brunt of it, but she often brought it upon herself, what with her oddly Stepford Wife way of thinking.
"I get what you mean though," said Marion, trying to save the conversation, "No one wants to go out in some horrific, painful way. That sounds terrible. But the likelihood of one happening above the other? Yeah, I'd bet I’m much more likely to die in a car crash than die peacefully in my sleep."
"That's just being pessimistic," Diane said, shaking her head.
"Or maybe you're just being too optimistic," Barry finally chimed in, but not really adding much to the conversation. Fuckin Barry.
"If wanting to die in my sleep is being optimistic then the world is a sad place."  Diane certainly wasn't wrong.
"Hell, if you're just wanting to die in your sleep, I've got a pretty stiff pillow and I've seen enough Cuckoo's Nest to know the technique," Marion joked. She proceeded to put her hands up, holding an imaginary pillow and pushing it towards Diane, who acted like she was suffocating. She stopped suddenly and cocked her head to one side, genuinely curious.
"Wait, does that make me Jack Nicholson? Because I can totally deal with that."
"It also makes you brain dead," stated Keith.
"Worth it. I'm now a badass." Louie could have sworn Diane shot him a seductive look after saying this, but he couldn't be sure. The lack of blood rushing to his head and heading elsewhere was at a peak. Or maybe that was for a different reason.
"I've got to go drain the lizard," said Louie.

The moon was out in full force so it illuminated most of the walk away from the fire towards the woods. Trying to get far enough away that the others couldn't hear his stream, he stopped at the tree-line, satisfied with the distance. It was hard to see too far into the woods buts still, he took a quick peek to make sure no one was there. Last thing he needed was a camper saying he had exposed himself to them. He unzipped his pants and relief washed over him. He had been holding that in for too long considering he had drained a six pack without breaking the pee seal. It was long overdue.
He could hear the others back at the fire laughing and hollering something. It must have been Barry being an idiot, only he would make such a mongoloid noise. Otherwise the night was oddly quiet and Louie couldn't believe how much he enjoyed it. He knew that some of the people at the camp didn't want to be there but getting the opportunity to be out at a lake for two months during the summer? It didn't get much better than that.
He leaned his head back, taking a deep breath of the fresh air and looked up at the stars. They were so bright tonight. So beautiful.
A twig snapped from what seemed like just feet away and Louie was quickly drawn out of his daze. He swiftly finished up peeing and zipped his pants back up. His eyes scanned the forest, trying to see if there was a deer or something nearby. No matter how much he squinted, it was nearly impossible to see more than fifteen feet given the thick coverage of the trees. He leaned against the tree he had been peeing next to and peered deep into the forest.
"Hello?" Louie said and immediately regretted. Great, now you're going to get murdered by a psycho axe-man. He quickly retreated away from the tree-line, the hairs on the back of his neck standing up. He didn't like this. He had seen far too many horror movies and drank far too much beer to not be paranoid. And he knew he shouldn't have smoked that joint. Diane once told him that the paranoia would die down but Louie wasn't sure if Diane realized how much his brother had tortured him with scary movies. He didn't trust the dark.
Deciding that he'd had enough of the woods scaring him, he retreated back towards the fire, glancing over his shoulder as he did. What the hell? Louie thought as he saw something move behind the tree where he was standing. Did he just see that? Did that really happen? No, must have just been his eyes playing tricks on him. He returned to the fire, still unsure of the movement in the woods.

*****************

        Louie sat back down with the others at the fire and a figure in the tree-line continued to watch him.  To watch all of them.

        Time to get started.
END CHAPTER NINE

BOOK REVIEW: Best in the World by Chris Jericho

Best in the World: At What I Have No Idea
by
Chris Jericho


I'm certainly not an avid book reader (just look at the sidebar and notice that Feast for Crows may never actually get crossed out) but when it comes to auto-biographies, I can fly through them.  Especially when they just so happened to be written by one of my favorite wrestling personalities of all time: Chris Jericho.

I had read Jericho's previous books (A Lion's Tale and Undisputed) in about two weeks total, so I was expecting to fly through this rather quickly.  And I did.  I read all of 'Best in the World' in about three long reading sessions and enjoyed almost all of it.  I think that the biggest problem with the book is that Jericho seems to think we don't want to hear about what he already went over in the last books: the wrestling.  Sure, there's plenty of wrestling stories in the 226 page duration but they often just get glossed over.  He spends more time talking about meeting Metallica backstage than his exit from the company in 2010 (something I was quite interested in since I attended the Raw that ended up being his last match in that run).

I'll never tire of hearing stories about Vince McMahon and Jericho has those in spades.  From the time that Kofi Kingston fought McMahon on the private jet, to hearing how upset Vince gets when someone bleeds on Television, it's all wonderfully fun and opens up a different view of who has otherwise been presented as a scary authority figure.  Don't worry though, he's still that.  And Jericho clearly is both gun shy and respectful of him.  It's an interesting dynamic that provides endless entertainment throughout the book, particularly Vince's text messages.

Being a CM Punk fan, it was particularly enjoyable to hear Jericho discuss their 2011 feud, which culminated in a tremendous Mania match at XXVIII.  Hearing that the original plan called for Jericho to tattoo Punk in the ring was both insightful and disappointing, given that they ultimately went with the less-than-stellar family history of alcohol abuse.  Ugh.  Don't even remind me of that stupid storyline.

Jericho can certainly get a bit full of himself at times -- In fact, most of the beginning concerns a Middle East tour that he makes out to be some kind of war movie -- but he still makes for an entertaining narrator.  Even if it means having to how brave and badass the WWE crew was for getting booked in one of the most dangerous places in the Middle East during war time.  We get it.  Now tell us what rib Malenko pulled while on the tour.

I think that my main problem with the music sections is that most of it comes off as braggy.  He's constantly name dropping, even when it doesn't really feel relevant to the story.  It's hard to tell whether he's doing this intentionally or if this is really just how his life works and he's oblivious to how he sounds repeating it but it definitely makes for less grounded writing.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little disappointed but that's mainly due to my own expectations.  I'm a wrestling fan so I wanted wrestling insight and awesome stories and while that does exist within this book, it's not the meat and bones of the content.  Regardless, I'm still really looking forward to whenever Jericho does his fourth book.  I just hope that it can be as insightful as the first while still providing that unique Jericho charm.

Crimson Summer - Chapter Eight

Get caught up on the rest of Crimson Summer here

“Sally”
Getting corralled into the cabin she'd be spending the next month in wasn't exactly a pleasant experience for Sally but she made do. It was a madhouse the moment all the girls walked in and realized all the beds varied drastically in quality. All at once they sprinted, trying to find a bed that wouldn't squeak or leave lumps in their backs. Sally stood near the rear, not really caring much about which bed she got. She just wanted her stuff. They had taken it earlier and Sally didn't like the idea of it being handled without her permission. Her counselor Marion stood at the back, laughing at the sight of the girls going crazy over the beds.
"Hold up," said Marion, raising her hands to get everyone's attention, "Your stuff has been placed at the assigned bed. Yeah. So, Nancy, you can get off Alice's bed any day now."
        Sally looked over at the twins, seeing the brunette dressed in pink jump off the bed, pouting as she did. She wasn't too happy about losing her prime spot.
"Why the hell are we assigned beds? This is stupid," the pink-wearing Belar twin said. 
"Alice is right, we've never been assigned beds before. This is dumb," the green-wearing Belar twin said, as if she had to affirm her sister's statement.
"Did you not see what just happened?" said Marion sternly.
"You could have avoided that by telling us before we got into the cabin and just assumed," snapped Alice.
"And miss out on you pouting like someone half your age? Never. It's too adorable," Marion said, smiling wide.
"You suck," said Nancy. This seemed more like usual procedure between them rather than any animosity, or at least from what Sally could tell.
"No, I just really like seeing your sister pout since it's just so gosh darn cute. But since she's not a big baby, I just have to settle for you," Marion said, acting like she was going to pinch Nancy's cheeks.
"I really hate you sometimes," Nancy said through gritted teeth.
"Oh I know you do. And again, it's adorable," said Marion, hugging Nancy. What an odd relationship, Sally thought as she found the bed that housed her luggage.
Sally had packed light for the month, with simple short and shirt combo's for every day. The website said they had free laundry so she was going to be sure to take advantage of that.
Liz's bed was next to her own, a fact Sally was happy about. Liz seemed like a cool girl from what she had gathered. Plus she was friendly with that cute boy Chase. Sally had been waiting for a moment to spark up conversation with her but Liz hadn't really left Marion's side. Now was perfect.
"So I take it you've been coming here a while?" Sally asked Liz.
"Oh yeah. Years and years. Camp veteran. All that jazz. No worries, not a suck-up though. Marion is just really cool. Total hippie," said Liz like a she was in severe need of some Ritalin.
Sally looked over at Marion who was helping one of the girls flip her mattress, revealing a nasty stain on the other side and ultimately leaving it as it was. She certainly looked like she'd be fun to hang out with but still, she was the head counselor. Sally had her doubts. Just as she had doubts about the laundry after seeing just how much Liz had packed.
"How's the laundry here?" Sally asked.
"You're kidding right?" said Liz, laughing as she did.
"That's not a good sign," said Sally, already regretting not packing more.  She could practically hear her mother saying 'I told you so.'
"Unless you enjoy having your clothes come out dirtier than when they went in. Because then you'll be in heaven," Liz joked.
"Great . . ." Sally wasn't sure what she was going to do once she ran out of clothes, but she quickly decided that would be a problem for future Sally to sort out.
"Okay ladies, I'm leaving you to it. My cabin is right next door so if you need anything go there. If I'm not there, Carol will be and she will be more than happy to answer every question you may have . . . and probably some that you didn't even ask. All the lights go off at 11pm. No exceptions. Except if there's a cute boy just dying to get in your pants. Kidding. The entire camp is on a timer and errrthang shuts off at 11 outside of the main office. You're gonna need all the beauty sleep you can get. Depending on who your counselor is, you may be in for a super fun day or a super . . . not so fun day. Good night my sweet princesses," Marion said, closing the door behind her. Sally could see what Liz was talking about; Marion was pretty great.

The twins had begun arguing at the other side of the cabin, still annoyed that they didn't have the beds that they wanted. Sally was quickly reminded of why she always got along more with boys than with girls. The shrill voices and pompous demeanor made her crave something more down to earth. These girls were absolutely crazy.
"Fine, bitch. Can't wait to see what this cabin looks like with Alice colored paint. Wonder how crimson it'll be? Think it'll be more like a movie theater or more like an opera house?" said Nancy, angrily. 
"Oh please, like I'd miss out on camping to get deflowered by one of the boys from this camp," Alice shot back. What on earth was she talking about? Sally thought, looking over at the other girls, trying to gauge if she was the only one left in the dark. 
"What are you talking about?" said Samantha, as if she were reading Sally's mind.
"Oooh! I want to tell it!" Alice shouted.
"You? You can't tell a story to save your life. Liz is so much better," said Nancy who then leaned in towards her sister, "Don’t you remember that girl? What was her name? Sandy? Betty? -- I don't know, doesn't matter -- She got her parents to come pick her up the next day all because of Liz's story. Fucking genius. That girl was a bitch anyway."
"Bullshit," said Brenda, a stout Mexican girl with an attitude.
Liz cracked her fingers, drawing all of the attention towards her.
"Didn't you notice how . . . off Al seemed once that guy mentioned '91? See, this was before Al was even running the place. He was just another counselor. His dad, Abe, was still holding onto the family business. Didn't think that Al was mature enough to run it yet," said Liz.
"How could you possibly know that?" asked Brenda, not believing a word coming out of Liz's mouth.
"Are you going to let her tell the fucking story?" the Belar twins sounded off in unison. Brenda sat back, rolling her eyes yet still silent, part of her wanting to hear more of the story.
"As I was saying, Abe was still holding firmly onto the family business and Al was a counselor -- not even head counselor, mind you -- and that didn't sit well with Al. Not one bit. So much so that he can hardly even take it anymore and Al decides that he's going to go down by the lake on the last day of camp and end it all. Shoot his own brains out with his dad's .22. He had the suicide note written and everything. Stole the gun out of his father's desk; even cleaned it to make sure it wouldn't jam. He did everything he needed to prepare, now with only one final step remaining. But all of that changed with a single blood curdling scream. It interrupted him just moments before pulling the trigger. His first reaction was to protect the campers so he ran to the cabins, stumbling and falling as he did; Al was never the most agile. Once he came to the cabin, he couldn't figure out what was wrong. It looked as quiet as ever. Everyone was out camping for the final night and the cabins were empty. Or so he thought.
"A shadow moved across one of the cabins and he went to investigate. He wasn't prepared for what he'd see upon opening that cabin's door. The entire room was covered in blood. Two campers lay dead, bits and pieces of them all over the room. The sight was too much to handle and Al fainted. Right there in the doorway. They say this is the only thing that saved his life. For there was another person in that cabin. The one that killed the two campers. When Al awoke, all he saw were police sirens and some disembodied voice telling him his father was dead."
"Wait, are you trying to say that Abe fucked one of the campers?" interrupted Mary-Ann, the girl with too much cleavage.
"What? No! What the hell is the matter with you? Let me finish the story. You see, the killer passed up on killing Al because it wasn't necessary --"
"Wait, who's the killer, did we already get to that part of the story?" Samantha blurted out.
"Okay, maybe I need to describe how storytelling works to you folks but sometimes leaving out certain details and then revealing them at another time is to greaten the effect," Liz tried to calmly explain.
"I just thought you forgot . . ." Samantha said with an edge.
"Holy fuck," Liz said to herself, then turned to Alice, "Go right ahead."
Before Alice can even get a word out, her sister's hand was to Alice's lips, keeping her quiet, and urging Liz to finish the story. Sally agreed, along with most of the other girls. Liz was much more of a natural storyteller than the girl who just earlier told of the awkward time she got fingered in the back of her grand-parents car.
"Okay, are we done? Can I do this," said Liz, looking at the others for any objections, "Okay then, where was I? Oh yeah, so this had just been a fit of -- god dammit. You know what?" Liz had enough of the whispering and eye rolling from Samantha and Mary-Ann. Thank god too, because Sally just about had enough of them too. 
"Fuck it, the killer was a camper who caught his girlfriend having sex with another one of the campers. Boom!" Liz said, annoyed at having to rush through her story but satisfied by the widespread disappointment.
"Awww," the Belar twins echoed each other's sentiments.
"Shut up, you two have heard this story a million times," Brenda spat back. So much for her not caring about the story.
"Doesn't mean we can't appreciate it," the girls said together. It was odd just how in sync these two were. Sally had never been around twins and, while these girls certainly were an odd example, they seemed to fit every stereotype she knew growing up.
"Wait, so how did Al's dad die?" asked Brenda, on the absolute edge of her bed.
"He took an axe to the face when he went to investigate a strange noise."  Liz commanded the room with every word she spoke.
"You'd think running a summer camp, he'd be a little more up on his horror movie clich├ęs," Nancy said.
"You'd think so but how many times have you investigated an odd noise, just to find nothing there. Well what if something was there? Hell even if you were smart enough to bring a bat, would it really make that much of a difference? An axe wielding psychopath is still an axe wielding psychopath."
It scared Sally just how right Liz was. In that situation there wasn't much anyone could do. Would a gun have helped? What about the gun Al had taken from his father? Would Abe have had that had it not been for his son. Sally could vividly remember the times she heard a strange noise while babysitting and immediately took care of it. How vulnerable was she being without even realizing it. She suddenly felt a little more sympathy for the idiots in horror movies.
"Was it in the main office? Is that why that big window's broken?" asked Samantha.
"No, you can thank 'Wild Thing' over there for that," Alice said, pointing at her sister.
"You should have caught that ball," Nancy said.
"You should have thrown it better."
"Okay wonder twins, deactivate," Liz settled them down, "Like Alice said, the window wasn't from that. No, this happened at the house."
"The house?  What house?" Sally asked. She hadn't really thought about other houses being around the lake, she had just assumed the camp owned the entire area.
"Just because we're told not to venture off into the woods, doesn't mean that area doesn't exist, dumbass," Alice said and Sally's eyes went to the floor.
"The house is where the Shepards used to live. Al grew up there actually. But he hasn't stepped foot in it since. He absolutely refuses to. That's why there's all those 'Trespassers will be shot' signs on the west side of camp."
"Not like it works though. You remember that sick party the boys threw in there last summer?" said Nancy.
"Yeah, and I remember you getting boned in the upstairs bathroom by Darren Matthews.  Uck," Alice gagged.
"Whatever. He was sweet."
"So is that it?" Brenda asked, "Is that all the resolution we're getting."
"They cleaned everything up. Al took over the camp. We're here now. End of story. It's not a real complex one," Liz said and glanced down at her watch.
"Thanks for the wisdom," said Mary-Ann, rolling her eyes.
"You want real wisdom?" Liz asked, tucking her bottom half into the covers, "Just try not to bring any boys back here. Best wisdom I can give you." 
"Thanks for the parental advice, mom," said Mary-Ann, clearly not taking to the advice since this seemed to interfere with her plans to hook up with every cute boy in the camp. At least that's what Sally assumed based on how much she put her boobs on display.
"Hey I'm just looking out for you. No one wants to lose their v card in the cabin where a double homicide happened. Okay. G'night!" Liz said abruptly.
What was she talking about? The campers were . . . murdered here? In this cabin?


        Before Sally even had time to ask, the lights turned off, leaving the room in pitch black. She had one thought on her mind: When could she go and investigate the house?

END CHAPTER EIGHT

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