Chapter 4 – Spread the Word
I entered the room and instantly marched into the bathroom. I knelt down already at the entrance and slid down to the toilet, reaching it just in time to empty my stomach. A gross mixture which decorated the bowl only made the other round emerge quickly after it.
I heard the room door shutting. „(F/n)? (F/n), are you alright?“
„Jera!“ I wanted to shout out, but found myself whimpering in response. I felt a lump in my throat becoming bigger and yet another round of.... absolutely nothing flew out. It might be an itsy-bitsy of yesterday's dinner and it might be just stomach acid. Either way it was disgusting. Another lump rose, but this time, to my relief, it wasn't a vomit, but tears.
I leaned my head against the toilet seat, feeling like my head will explode every moment. I gritted my teeth while I was holding my breath, making the pressure in my head grow even stronger. I felt as if my head was a balloon which is being filled with air and could burst every moment.
Finally, I breathed out. And in. And out. And in. And out and vomited once again. Somebody touched my back. I felt absolutely dizzy as I turned my gaze aside at bright green eyes of my loyal friend. Only, they weren't so bright anymore. Her lips were pressed together and her eyes were red. No matter how big the rivalry between Dakota and Genna and her was, no matter how big difference, Jera cried after them. And she cried about Elodie's horrible faith. About the thing she'll have to face with every time she looks at the mirror.
I sniffed in deeply, squeezing my eyes shut in pain as I grabbed my stomach. „J-jera...“
„Mh...“, was the only thing she said, petting my back gently.
„Do you...“ I stopped, swallowing hardly. „Do you think I could have... done something?“
Jera was imaginative person. And she didn't like simple answers. Actually, she'd always try to be poetic; she'd always say it either in sarcasm either in practical joke. But this time, it wasn't a case. This time, not even looking at me, she simply said: „No.“
≈Half an hour earlier≈
I was awoken by a murmur. At first it didn't bother me cause at home, in New Jersey, the street noises are common in the morning. But then it got louder, meaning more and more people gathered where ever that was. Rather annoyed, I grumbled, cramming a pillow over my head. But the murmuring got even louder and, when I heard somebody scream, I sat up violently. Hearing the blade emerging from scabbard, I looked over and saw Jera sitting with her sword out.
„So I wasn't hallucinating“, I spoke up with hoarse voice.
„Darn, you weren't“, Jera spoke up before both of us jumped off the beds and quickly got dressed.
Out there, on the left side of the deck, somewhere in the middle of the ship, the crowd was aggregated around something which was obviously very interesting. I realized ''interesting'' wasn't appropriate word as soon as I heard: „Where are these doctors?“ „It's gonna be fine, miss, the help is on the way.“
That was when the crowd moved away, letting two men dressed in red and white trough. And I saw who was the center of all this mess.
But it was the only thing I managed to see. Then I saw professor Ravenhill emerging from the crowd, holding his head. His teeth were gritted and pure stress drew some extra wrinkles in his face. He looked really frightened and shocked. And he never was. Not even when we crashed one of the classroom windows a long time before. He just got over it, keeping his calm cool. But something horrible happened obviously.
„Professor Ravenhill, what's going on?“ Jera stopped him.
He waved his head towards her. His eyes were red. Seriously, what was going on? „What happened? What's wrong with Elodie?“ I asked. He was just staring into the blank, motionless and miserable. Then, out of the blue, he squeezed out: „That sick fuck happened...“
We were supposed to be surprised and frightened for him swearing in front of us, but the subject of sentence was what made us shiver. I saw Jera's eye muscle twitch as she closed her fists. And when Jera was angry, absolutely nothing could calm her down until she destroyed the source of her anger.
After twenty minutes, we got to see Elodie. She was in medical department, a part under the deck. The halls and passages leading to it were narrow and creepy. Obviously they weren't meant for people; not being nicely decorated and all, they just seemed like emergency rooms.
The air was stuffy. And smelly, making me dizzy. It stank like medicines. I felt Jera grabbing my wrist. „Dude, I don't like this.“
„Me neither“, I answered as quiet as possible. „Can't believe something like this exists on cruiser.“
We moved along in silence. The only sound audible was silent buzzing of various ship's engines. Still it was better than complete silence. We both felt relieved when we reached the medical department. There wasn't any people walking around, but we could hear doctors shouting in the rooms. Are they arguing about Elodie?
We reached the door with the number they told us. 216. I looked at Jera who gripped my wrist harder, her green eyes shining with anxiety and worry. Gulping, I pressed the handle and quietly opened the door.
The room was all white and small. It was so small that it was barely enough for bed, sink and nightstand. Elodie was sitting on the bed's edge, facing us with her back. Her brown hair was unkempt, protruding in all directions and that big blond lock that was once falling down perfectly like a brook was devastated, looking much like a broom brush. Her head was lowered and her shoulders slumped forward in misery.
„Elodie?“ I called out.
„Don't step closer“, she held out a hand aside. „Don't look at me.“
„Elodie—“, I stepped forward.
„I said don't step closer!“ she yelled, breathing heavily.
„Elodie, please.... when did we do any damage to you? You can trust us.“
„Please, Elodie“, Jera supported me.
The only sound in the room was Elodie's accelerated breathing. Not even the doctor's shouting noise was audible. As if this room was separating us from the rest of the world. Poor Elodie. I really hoped her to get out as soon as possible.
But I realized it'd be impossible when she started to turn around. First I saw the line on her face. And I thought it was a hair shaft, but I realized it wasn't her hair color. It was red. And it seemed deep. Like a perfectly straight crack in the ground. When she was completely turned towards us, I couldn't do nothing. Just stare at her deformed face – that cut in smile. Deep. Straight. Not allowing her to frown never again, making her look like she's been crying tears of joy the whole night.
„Elodie...“ Jera mouthed in shock, probably not having slightest idea what to say as we were both staring into her face marked by an infamous serial killer. Her eyes were red from crying and all puffy.
„Tell everyone... that I wont stop... I wont rest... I wont be at peace until every fucking human here is not laying on the floor marked as you will be. Until every single drop of blood belonged to me. Until I officially reigned this ship! That was his message. To the whole ship. He wanted me to spread that word. H-he killed them... Jera, (F/n)... he killed Dakota and Genna... and I told them it was a bad idea!“ Her voice cracked after every sentence spoken.
„Wha- Dak and Genna are--“ I mouthed in disbelief.
„He killed them!“ Elodie shrieked again. „Son of a bitch, sick fuck killed them!“
„Girls“, we heard the strong voice behind us as Elodie kept screaming all the ''wonderful'' titles for the murderer. Turning around we saw an elder man in white coat, holding medical records. „I think it's better for you... and her, to leave.“
Jera nodded and pulled my arm. I kept staring at Elodie who was screaming in shock, insanity and misery. Her curses filled my ears making something boil inside of me.
„(F/n), come on!“
I knew instantly what it was. A hatred. Towards him. All until now I had absolutely no reason to hate him. But now... it has all changed. Now I had another point of view at him. He killed two people who weren't my friends at all, but I knew them... and it was enough to induce the hatred. He damaged one girl — who was Dakota's and Genna's friend, but trough all these years didn't say or do anything against us — physically maybe not forever, but mentally yes. I doubted she'd ever recover fully.
All these reasons built up such a hatred that I couldn't even hear Elodie's screams anymore. I couldn't hear Jera calling out my name, nor feel her grip on my hand. The only thing I felt was a pure rage.
Waving my head off, I ran out of the room; Jera's voice that mentioned my name became a distant hum as my ears clogged. I ran aimlessly, not knowing where I'm going. This was supposed to be awesome school trip for seven days. And it turned into a threatening nightmare. We were supposed to have fun, to dance in discos, to play games, to hang out with each other. Instead, this ship is terrorized by a serial killer on lose who just killed two of our classmates. Did God just told us He turned His back on us...?
„How could this happen?“ I kept asking aloud nobody special, even though I knew Jera was here with me. „What were they thinking?! And imagine what their parents are gonna do! Professor Ravenhill will be in trouble and it's not his fault in the slightest! Why did they go outside in the middle of the night? Did they drink something? Now their parents will sue him and he'll lose his job! And all because of that pale fucker!“
Normally, Jera would already say something or would constantly calming me down, but she was silent. The only thing she did was gripped my shoulder harder and I looked aside to meet her eyes. They were narrowed and had that sparkle I've seen in movies sometimes; when actors did it – that gaze full of revenge. I've never seen vengeance in her eyes before. She was always so positive, so joyful and filled of hope.
„J-Jera?“ I called her out, thinking that maybe she didn't hear a single word of what I've said. But she lowered her gaze, her eyes given even darker spark than before as she spoke: „Not any longer, (F/n)... Oh no, he wont...“