Estimated reading time — 9 minutes
Act 1 – Abby
(suggested track: Coming Undone, by Korn)
Abby didn’t know what to do. Since her best friend was now an orphan, she convinced her parents to let Wendy stay with them until they graduated from high school. After that, she was going to move in with her Aunt over the summer. Abby’s main reasoning was that Wendy was going to need someone to lean on after such a horrible tragedy.
Abby believed that she could be that person, but ever since Wendy moved in she had started becoming withdrawn from the world around her. Wendy hardly talked to anyone, she barely ate, and she often woke up screaming in the middle of the night. She always acted as if someone was following her, watching her, yet she always wanted to be alone. Not to mention her appearance had become startling from lack of sleep and care. When Abby tried talking to her, Wendy just shut her out. Abby didn’t want Wendy to deal with her pain alone, but what could she do? It wasn’t like before, when the worst thing that could happen to her was a petty argument with her parents.
Her parents. If only they were here. But if they were here, then Abby wouldn’t be having this problem. It was all his fault, oh how she hated him. From the moment she laid eyes on him, she knew he was trouble. But Wendy couldn’t see it; all she could see was someone she could try to save. Now it was her who needed saving. And he was still out there…somewhere.
A month after the murders, on a rainy evening, Abby lay in her bed. Across the room from her, Wendy lay in her own bed scribbling furiously in a diary she had been keeping. When she finished, she placed it on her side of the bookshelf with her other belongings. Wendy then peeked out of her window and froze for a moment before closing the curtains. She looked over at Abby, who was starting to fall asleep.
“Remember when we first met, in middle school?”
“I was just thinking back on my life, and how far I’ve come. I’ve been trying to write them all down. All the good memories I have to leave behind, after I’m gone.”
Abby sleepily propped herself up on one elbow to look at her. “Gone? Where are you going?”
Wendy didn’t respond right away. “Nowhere, it was just a figure of speech.”
Abby stared at her for a minute before collapsing back onto her pillow. “Don’t scare me like that.”
They were both silent for a minute. Abby started drifting off to sleep again.
“When we first met, I was the weird kid.” Wendy said, waking Abby up again. “I remember how nobody talked to me at first. I spent most of elementary school alone because I wasn’t into the same things as every other kid my age. Then one day, you spoke to me.”
“Yeah,” Abby slurred, trying to remember. “I told you I liked your dress, the one with the blue flowers on it.”
“Yep, and we’ve been best friends ever since. And after that, more friends came.”
“I never thanked you for that, for being my friend.”
“You didn’t have to thank me. I liked you; I liked the fact that you were different. At least back then you were, high school normalized you.”
They both chuckled.
“Yeah, I became ‘normal’, whatever that means. But I was still drawn to weird people.”
“Yeah…” Abby yawned.
“Remember all those guys I dated?” Wendy laughed. “Stephan, Drew…Gary, the guy who was obsessed with chins?”
“Jeff, the homicidal psychopath.”
Wendy was quiet for a moment. Abby sat up and looked at her.
“I’m sorry. But I can’t help being a little mad at you for this. It’s been a long enough time since the funerals for me to say that. I know you couldn’t have known. But the worst part is that you’ve changed on me. This is the longest conversation we’ve had since…”
“No, you’re right. I haven’t been a good friend, and I’m sorry.”
Abby lay back down. “No, don’t be sorry. I forgot about that golden heart of yours. You could never think ill of anyone, not even him.”
“He didn’t seem dangerous at all, while we were dating.” Wendy said in a quiet voice. “He was a bit distant, and quiet, but I thought he genuinely loved…”
Wendy looked up to see that Abby had drifted off to sleep. She got up and walked over to her friend’s bed. Crouching down in front of her, she tucked some stray hair behind her ear. Leaning down, she whispered in her ear.
“Thanks for being my friend.”
Abby opened her heavy eyes long enough to see Wendy quietly walk out of the room. “Wendy, where are you going?” She moaned. But sleep overtook her as her vision got blurry, and then everything went black.
The next morning, Abby woke up to find Wendy’s bed empty. In fact, it didn’t even look slept in. Abby sat up and tried to remember what happened the previous night. All that talk about looking back on her life and thanking her for being her friend, it almost seemed like she was saying goodbye. Abby searched the house calling her friends name, but she was nowhere to be found.
First she alerted her parents, then the police, and then the whole town. Some people claimed to have seen her on the night she went missing. But no matter how many search parties were sent out, no matter how much the reward was for any information on her whereabouts, no matter how much Abby wished, Wendy remained missing.
Two months after her disappearance, Abby noticed that the police were starting to give up. They had no leads, and no evidence of any kind. They began treating her as runaway because of her deep depression over the deaths of her parents. Never mind the fact that none of her clothes or other belongings were missing. They didn’t even bother to look through them.
They assured Abby and her parents that Wendy would return when she was ready, or that she would eventually be found. Abby wasn’t convinced, but she couldn’t convince anyone else to listen to her. Her mother and father cared about Wendy very much, but they were tired and wanted to get on with their lives. So Abby had to find her friend on her own, or at the very least, find out what happened to her.
Abby decided to start with Wendy’s computer. Her boyfriend, Tucker, was an expert hacker. He could hack into just about anything. So when Abby asked if he could come over to try to break into her computer, he was almost insulted that she even asked if he could do it. After they successfully hacked into her computer, they did a wide search. Finding nothing suspicious, they decided to check her emails. But even after hacking into it, there were no emails or messages of any sort to give them a clue.
“Ugh…” Abby sat back in her chair, exasperated. “This is hopeless.”
“Don’t give up yet, babe.” Tucker said, getting up and massaging her neck. “I’m sure there’s no need for any of this anyway. She’ll come back.”
“Yeah, and when she does I’m going to beat the living crap out of her.”
“Shhh…” he whispered. He massaged her neck a little bit harder, causing her to moan softly.
Tucker smiled. “Hey, I still have half an hour before I have to meet with up with the guys. Your parents are out, wanna fool around a little?”
Abby leaned her head back to grin at him. “I could use some comfort.”
After he left, Abby straightened herself up and then continued to explore Wendy’s computer. Looking at her search history, Abby wondered just what was going through her friends mind before she disappeared. There were searches about night terrors, sleep paralysis, and articles on other recent disappearances happening around town. Abby eventually found herself back in Wendy’s email. She hadn’t thought before to check the spam folder, so she clicked on it. Abby was shocked to find that there were hundreds of messages in the folder, all from an anonymous email address.
Abby clicked on an email, which read: I’m coming for you.
Abby was more than a little spooked. She clicked on another one.
Gonna get you, baby.
Abby was frightened, but she clicked on another one, and another, and another. The more she read, the colder the chill creeping up her spine became.
Don’t try to run.
No one can save you from me.
There’s no escape.
There’s nowhere to hide.
You’ll be mine again.
You’d better not tell anyone, or they’re next.
The messages dated all the way back to the day after her parent’s funeral. Abby shook her head as hot tears ran down her cheeks. So, she had been dealing with this all by herself, for so long. No wonder she had changed so much, and wouldn’t let anyone in. Abby composed herself, and clicked on the very first message sent to Wendy.
I want you, but we won’t be separated for much longer. Jeff is coming.
Abby’s hand flew to her mouth. Jeff, of course. There was no denying it now; Jeff had something to do with it. But first she needed more proof. Abby quickly wiped away her tears and began to look through all of Wendy’s things. She looked through her book bag, her side of the closest, under her bed, and her side of the bookshelf. She flipped through some of her notebooks. What she found were messages sloppily scrawled by her friend in the margins of almost every page:
Jeff is coming.
Jeff is coming for me.
There’s no escape for me, it’s all over.
I can’t run, I can’t hide.
He won’t stop.
I have to protect them.
No one else needs to die.
She tossed it onto Wendy’s bed to give to the police and looked through her other notebooks and textbooks, all the same. How could she have kept it inside all this time? Abby glanced at all the titles until her eyes rested on Wendy’s journal partially hidden underneath a World History textbook.
Cautiously, she picked it up and read the first entry.
If you are reading this, stop right now. By now I have probably disappeared, and I know you want answers. But it’s too dangerous. Just forget about me, and move on with your life. You’re strong, stronger than I am, but there is evil in this world that even you just can’t fight. You’ll definitely lose, so just put this down. In fact, bury it, or burn it. It doesn’t matter now that I’m gone. I only kept it so that I could stay sane. I wanted to right down everything I could remember about my life, so that I wouldn’t forget. I wanted to talk to you so badly, but that would have been sealing your doom. I won’t make the same mistake twice. Goodbye Abby, you’re my very best friend and I love you. Have a great life.
After a few moments of uncontrollable sobbing, Abby wondered why she left the journal behind if it was so dangerous. Maybe she didn’t get the opportunity to get rid of it. Abby stared at the journal, conflicted about whether or not to continue reading. She decided to take the chance. She flipped to the next page, but it was just an entry about her earliest memory. It went on like that for the first half of the journal, as if she were trying to write down every single memory of her life that she could remember. Even the memory of when they first met was there. Abby smiled as she tried to blink back tears.
But then it took a dark turn. Wendy began to write about nightmares that she had been having, one about a pale-faced figure chasing her through the cornfields. Abby had heard about that night when Wendy was telling the police about her parent’s murder. She remembered feeling infuriated about the fact that the police couldn’t find the killer, even though he was just a teenage boy.
The entries continued, apparently Wendy sometimes couldn’t sleep at night because she heard noises outside the window. Sometimes when she thought she was alone, she would feel like someone was watching her, but when she looked, no one was there. But there was someone there, as confirmed by the messages she was receiving.
There was even a time when she actually saw him. It was a cold night, about a week before she disappeared. She had gotten up to close the window when she saw him. He was standing outside their window with his hood up, head held down. Since their bedroom was on the second floor, he couldn’t reach her.
Still, he slowly lifted his head and locked eyes with her. Wendy gasped at the sight of his face, but she didn’t turn away. They stayed like that for what seemed like hours. But when Abby shifted in bed, blissfully unaware of any danger, Wendy turned to make sure she was still asleep. When she turned back to the window, he was gone.
“If she knew it was him, then why did she gasp when she saw his face?” Abby wondered aloud.
She sank down onto the bed. So he was here this whole time, yet no one even knew? No wonder Wendy felt so alone. Abby continued to flip through the journal, reading about many more mysterious things happening to her and about Wendy’s depression and loneliness. But it wasn’t until she got to the back of the book that Abby shrieked and let the book slip from her hands.
Abby dropped to the floor and slowly opened the book again. On the back cover of the journal was a sketch of Jeff, dated a week before Wendy disappeared. But this was no ordinary portrait. He still wore The Joker makeup, but his face was now horribly mutilated: his eyelids, nose, and lips were all missing. The only color on the picture was the area around his mouth where Wendy had scribbled in red ink. And underneath his picture, also written in red, was one last message:
Jeff is here.
Credit To – Angel Rocket
This is the first entry in the five-part Beware of Those Who Would Do You Harm series.