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Olivia: You guys, I’m so glad you all came! I prettied this place up so it wouldn’t be as scary, and if you can’t last the night, you’ll be uncool forever!

Meema rolled her eyes as she heard Olivia’s words. As long as Jayson was there, she could stay. People like Sierra and Elijah certainly helped, too.

The place was pretty creepy. It was old and rotted, with dark, disgusting wood floors and walls. Pink decorations and furniture filled the place, and only two lights hung from the ceiling, swinging precariously. Olivia had put on an old, lame horror movie for them to watch, and it was obvious to Meema that Jayson was trying hard not to laugh. There were several bottles of strong alcohol sitting on the table, a few of which had already been emptied by the cheerful Olivia.

Elijah and Sierra seemed to have no interest in the movie, so Sierra chatted with Olivia most of the night. Meema was a little confused, but it seemed that Olivia’s birthday brought everyone together. Or perhaps the alcohol. Or it was just the creepiness of the house on the hill.

The movie only lasted a few hours, and almost immediately after, they dubbed it bedtime.

Olivia: Now, everybody. Just so you know, that door there leads to the hall. The first door on your left –

Jayson: The only door on your left

Olivia: – leads to the bathroom. Don’t go through the door on the right.

Meema raised one eyebrow as she heard Olivia’s warning. First Jayson, now Olivia? What was it about the door on the right that even a drunken Olivia had the brains to warn people about it? It didn’t matter. Jayson reached to turn the lights off, and they all went to bed.

There were two loveseats and one full-sized couch. Meema slept on the couch, while the twins each took a smaller loveseat. True to his suspicion, Jayson and Olivia slept in a large, fit-for-a-queen bed. Meema hated the idea of sleeping in the same room where Olivia was probably all snuggled up to Jayson, assuming that he would protect her, but she didn’t have much of a choice now.

* * *

Everyone was sound asleep. Everyone, that is, except Meema. For some reason, she just couldn’t sleep. Jayson’s and Olivia’s warnings rang in her ears, and just like the time she investigated the basement under the girls’ dorm, she had to know.

She stood up and very cautiously walked past Jayson’s bed. Between the darkness and the blurred forms before her, since she wasn’t wearing her glasses, Meema couldn’t make out Jayson’s features, but she figured it best. She opened the door, which opened with a dramatic creak. Meema closed her eyes and tried to stay silent, hoping that it wouldn’t wake any of the others. Nobody stirred, so Meema continued through the hall.

It was a narrow hallway, with a door immediately on the left and a door on the right at the end of the hall. She walked over and reached for the doorknob, assuming it would be difficult to pry open. But no, it turned with ease, and the door swung open.

Meema’s eyes grew wide as she looked around, and she let out a scream of terror.

She wasn’t sure what to do. Did she run and get the others? Did she leave quietly and try to pretend she hadn’t seen it? How could she, you can’t un-see things like that. Did she run out of the house and get Miss Crawley? No, because Miss Crawley would be mad at them for going in the house on the hill, and she might discover the alcohol. They would all be in trouble. No, she had to keep this quiet. The others would be mad at her, especially since Olivia and Jayson had both warned her not to go into the room. But all the skeletons on the floor, some old and some new, some still with flesh on their bodies… And the one body that lay in the corner, one that had barely begun to decay, would haunt Meema Gunner forever.

Jayson: Meema? Are you okay?

Meema: Jayson, Jayson, look! Don’t look! Oh my god, Jayson, it’s so horrible! Did you know about it already?

Jayson: Olivia and I explored this place already, trying to make sure it was safe for the party. We couldn’t lock the door, so we just warned you guys not to come here. We don’t know who any of these are, or what we should do about them. We can’t call the police in, since we’ll get in trouble with the teachers and your father for coming in here.

Meema: My daddy can’t get mad at you…

Meema pointed across the room at the limp body that lay in the corner. Jayson looked over and his eyes grew wide.

Jayson: Oh god…

He wrapped his arms around her and held her tightly, knowing she needed it.

Meema: Jayson, who would kill my daddy?

Jayson: I don’t know, Meema, but in the morning, we’ll call the police and they’ll get to the bottom of this, I promise.

Meema: Jayson, don’t leave me alone…

Jayson: Of course not, Meema. Never.

Meema could barely sleep for the rest of the night. While everyone else was out cold, sound asleep, Meema tossed and turned on the couch, too scared to sleep.

Jayson had no trouble sleeping, since he already knew about the body bin at the end of the hall, but seeing Meema’s father there, dead, made him uncomfortable. While he could of, he refused to go to sleep, for Meema’s sake. Every half an hour or so, he would hear Meema whimper his name, and he simply whispered that he was still awake, and she would silence again.


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