WHO KILLED GRACE
Mandy Thomas was putting her books away when she saw her best friend
Tina Glass walking towards her
"Hey!" Guess what!"
My mom finally agreed to let me go to your aunt's beach house for spring break!"
"She did." Tina mumbled
"Yah, can you believe it!" Mandy cried out happily.
"What's wrong?" I thought you'd be thrilled?"
She asked noticing that Tina, had tears in her eyes.
Tina didn't answer her instead she reached
Into her back pocket and pulled out a winkled piece of newspaper
And handed it to her.
Mandy unfolded the paper the article in
the lower right hand corner immediately caught her eye
"WAS IT AN ACCIDENT OR WAS IT MURDER
HOW DID GRACE MORGAN REALLY DIE?"
"Oh!" terrific, this asshole can't leave it alone can he?"
Mandy thought to herself.
And by the time she finished reading the article she had this uncontrollable urge to strangle Ben Grant.
Mandy crumpled the article and threw it across the room
"What a jerk!" Maybe we should just forget about going to-."
"No, it's okay really umm, I already invited him,"
"Invited who?" Where?" Mandy frowned
"Ben, and before you freak out let me explain why.
"I'm hoping that if I could just talk to him someplace in where no one could
Interrupt us. Then maybe I can somehow prove that Paul; wasn't this crazed psycho killer that he writes about in that stupid newspaper of his.
"I know that Paul; wasn't no saint he sometimes let his temper get the best of him. "But that doesn't mean that he went around killing people just for the hell of it," Tina explained
"I know that I'm probably going to regret this. But if it'll prove that
Paul was innocent then, I think that I can put up with Ben Grant, for a week" Maybe!" Mandy laughed
The beach house was built on a tiny private island that was named after the founder of Bay Hills Fred Havens
"So where's this famous beach house of yours?" Ben asked. As he helped the drivers carry their things off the small charter boat
"It's just up that road," Tina answered him "But that's weird, I could've swore that my mom said that Fred was going to have someone met us here." She added
"Is your aunt going to spend the week with us? Lori Anderson, Ben's girlfriend asked
"No, she's going to the city for a business trip so no one will be home except for Fred. He's the housekeeper but he won't bother us so it'll be like having the place to ourselves," Tina replied
Guess he must have gotten the time mixed up or something looks like we've to walk."
She added shrugging
A few minutes later a stone gated house came into view
"If that gate is locked we're in real trouble," Ben frowned
"Don't be dumb Ben, why would it be locked?" Mandy smirked
"Well there's only one-way to find out," Ben smiled.
He walked over to it and gave the gate a push
But it didn't open
Why don't you try lifting the handle?" Mandy's boyfriend Tommy Hill laughed
"Oh wow!" Now why didn't I think of that," Ben smirked.
Still the gate refused to open
"You see I told you. "
"Hey guys! I opened it!" Lori cried
"I said I opened the gate," She repeated
"There was a latch on the bottom of it that needed to be pulled.
"Mr. I think I'm always right over looked it," She laughed
Then all six of them chatted happily as they made their way up towards the front entrance
Tina rang the doorbell a few seconds later the door was pushed opened a few inches
"Go away!" A voice yelled.
Then slammed the front door shut in their faces
"Wow!" That was some welcome," Ben mumbled staring at the door.
Mandy was about to answer him but the door opened again this time all the way. A tall man with white hair stood before them and smiled
"Please accept my apologies for Mel, I'm afraid that your arrival caught him a little off guard"
"Oh, excuse me! I'm afraid I'm just as rude as he's."
The man laughed
"Please come in it's really nice to see you again Miss Tina,"
"You too Fred, Tina replied kissing him on the check.
Did my aunt leave for her trip yet?"
"Yes, last week but to tell you the truth Mel, isn't the only one who is a little surprised by your visit,"
"Why didn't my aunt tell you that we were coming?" Tina shrugged
She did but then before she left she said that you changed your mind.
"To go ahead and start remolding the place," He explained
"But I never talked to my aunt," Tina frowned
"I see, well I guess this was just all a big misunderstanding then, but I'm afraid that I already hired Mel. "And he- "
"Hey!" got a great idea! Tommy interrupted looking around the room
"Adam and I took shop last year.
Maybe we can help Mel until the rest of his crew gets here,"
"I really don't think that's a good idea," A low voice muttered from the kitchen doorway.
Everyone turned and noticed Mel standing there holding a large tray in his hand
"Oh, don't be such an old shoe Mel
I think it's a terrific idea!" Fred snorted
"But of course I don't except that you kids, spend all your time working
"I insist that you also work on your tans while you're here
now if you all excuse me it's been a long day good night kids,"
Mel, if I could have a word with you in the next room,"
He added getting up from the dining room table
THE NEXT MORNING
"Okay you guys, let's get to work and remember the faster we finish the faster we can hit the beach," Tommy said standing on the ladder
"Here," Adam answered handing him the sander
"Hey!" Why isn't this crap working?"
"Because it isn't plugged in yet genius!" Adam smirked
"Very funny now plug it in dork!" Tommy frowned
Paint and dust soon filled the air Adam walked over to the tool chest and took out two masks. He went to hand one to Tommy when Lori screamed
"Hey! Look out!"
The sander had suddenly developed a mind of its own
"Shit!" Tommy yelled.
As both the sander, him and Adam hit the floor with a loud crash
"Oh wow!" Tommy muttered.
When he noticed that the sander had pulled off a large section of wallpaper
"Are you guys okay?" Mandy asked
"Yah!" Oh hey!"
Check this out someone sealed wall paper right over this door," Tommy answered her
"Why would they do that?" Lori asked
"Don't know but let's see what's behind door number one!" Adam laughed tearing away the rest of the wallpaper. There was no knob just a small hole he placed his fingers inside and pulled it open
"It looks like some kind of secret passage way" He added putting his head into the open door way
" Let's go check it out,"
He then pulled out some flashlights from the tool chest and handed one to each of them
"What if Mel or Fred, come looking for us?" Lori asked
"We'll just tell them that we took a break or something,"
Their flashlight threw a bright light as they slowly walked down the hall a few Minutes later they came to a folk splitting the tunnel into two different directions
"Let's go this way," Tina said
"I bet one of these tunnels will lead us down to the beach,"
They continued walking until they came to a wooden doorway that was slightly open
"Well, go ahead open it Hill," Adam said
"Me?" "Why don't you do it you're closer," Tommy frowned
"Oh!" For god sakes grow up will you?"
Who do you think is on the other side Casper?" Ben smirked.
He made his way pass them and
Pushed the door farther open.
Inside was a small room but it was just big enough for all of them to squeeze in
"Hey, look what I found!" Ben said. He held up the old box so the others could see what he was holding
"Is that a magic box?" Lori frowned "Why would that be in here?"
"I don't know but I say we ask the spirits, why" Ben laughed
"I heard some pretty spooky stuff about that thing to leave it alone,"
"Oh, don't be such a big baby!" Man, it's only a game!" Tina laughed
She slowly placed the board on the floor
"Is everyone ready?"
They all nodded their heads, yes
"Okay, now who wants to ask it the first question?" She asked they all exchanged nervous looks to one another Tina gave Tommy a funny look and laughed
"Okay, I got one tell us does Tommy really love Mandy?"
Tommy was about to interrupt but the triangle slowly started to move. It floated around and it didn't stop until it landed on the space that read no
"Oh, you're so busted!" Adam laughed
"Very funny!" We all know that this stupid crap doesn't really work.
Now who moved it?" Tommy shouted
"Oh, but it does and the spirits never lie," Ben answered him in a spooky voice. Mandy was about to tell him off when Tina cut her off
"Okay, let's try another Ben it's your turn,"
"Okay, let's see is there anyone really inside this board? Or is it one of us that's moving it?" Ben asked
The triangle began to move again this time it landed on the yes spot
"Yes, what?" Ben asked
"What's your name?"
The triangle began to float faster and faster
"Lori, quick write this down!" Ben said
"Tell whoever it's to slow down; I'm having a hard time keeping up.
"So far I only have the letters G R A."
Tina suddenly jumped up to her feet and cried before she ran out of the room
"Was that supposed to be funny?"
"Well, I hope the jerk who wrote that is happy now!"
Mandy growled. Before she ran after Tina along with Adam
"Would someone like to explain what the hell just happened?" Lori asked
you mean your little boyfriend hasn't told you the story of how Tina's brother Paul, murdered his girlfriend last year on this
"What's the matter Benny slacking off?" Tommy yelled
"He murdered his girlfriend? Oh my god!" Lori gasped
"No, that's not what happened-." Tommy began
"And how stupid do you guys think I am?"
Did you really believe that this little stunt was actually going to change my mind," Ben yelled back
"What the hell are you talking about?" Tommy smirked
"Oh, come on Hall! It's no secret that you guys can't stand me!"
Hell! The only reason that you guys even invited me up here, was to hope to prove that he didn't do it,"
"Look I don't mean to sound rude. But I really don't care about what happened last year."
So if you guys only brought us up here for some sort of sick pay back just tell me now.
So I can take the next boat out and away from you crazed idiots!" Lori shouted at both of them
Tina wasn't at breakfast the next morning which wasn't unusual since she liked to sleep late
"I wonder where Ti's?" Mandy asked.
As they washed their hands in the big steel kitchen sink
"She never sleeps this late." She added
They went up to her room after lunch but it was empty next they searched all the other rooms along the hallway. Still there was no
Sign of Tina,
Mandy was about to knock on Mel's room when a loud noise made her draw her hand back. They all moved closer to the door to listen to a heated agreement that was taking place inside
"You're completely crazy!" Someone was yelling
"Who are you calling crazy?" A voice that sounded a lot like Tina's
"You!" They should've locked you up!"
"I'm not crazy take it back!" Tina yelled
Look okay you're right you're not crazy, I'm sorry okay now put that down!"
No don't!" The man screams were followed by a gunshot
A few seconds later Fred appeared wearing a dark robe and leather slippers
"What's going on here?" I thought I heard a gunshot?" He asked
"We don't know we were looking for Tina, when we heard her fighting with Mel, about what?" Who knows?" But whatever it was
it must of have been pretty big because they were really going at it
then there was this bang like a gun going off," Ben
Tina and Mel, fighting?"
But they hardly know each other why would they be fighting about?" Fred frowned.
He took out his master key from his robe pocket and opened the bedroom door
"That's strange there's nobody in here,"
Ben frowned looking around the room
"Okay kids, your little joke is over you can tell your friend to come out now," Fred smirked
"But we're not joking we all heard them!" Adam yelled
"Okay, have we entered the twilight zone or what?" Tommy asked plopping down on Mandy's bed
"No, we just have to go back inside of Mel's room and-
"Oh, yah right!" Lori interrupted
"We'll just take a quick look around," He answered
"Besides its best that we all stay together from now on."
A few minutes later they were back inside of Mel's room
Look at this I think I just found something that will solve one of our little mysteries," Ben stated holding a picture in his hand
The others moved closer so they could see over his shoulder
"Oh my god! Is that Tina?" Mandy cried pulling the picture out of his hand
"Yah!" And look what it says at the corner," He answered
She read the captain out loud:
"THANKS FOR EVERYTHING
"What the hell is going on around here?"
Why didn't she tell us that she knew him?"
Mandy asked in a confused and angry tone of voice handing the picture
back to Ben
"Because she's deranged and is probably going to kill us like she did Mel," Ben answered
"Ben, let's just get out of here while we still can Tommy, already told us why they brought us here.
"How do we know they're not in on it with her," Lori interrupted
"What?" I swear we don't know what's going on!" Tommy pleaded
"Look Lori, this ain't the time to blame who planned to do what to whom. "We're in this together now and we're going to get out together
"I understand that you're scared, but right now I need you To trust me okay?" Ben answered. Lori just slowly nodded her head yes
"That's my girl," He smiled giving her a kiss on the check
"Maybe we should let Fred, know what going on maybe he could call the cops. "I'd feel a lot safer knowing that they were on their way," Mandy added
"Okay, okay but let's go please we've wasted enough time,"
Tommy sighed. Then without another word they crept outside the house until they reached the iron- gate
Adam was about to pull it open but something stopped him
"Now what?" Tommy asked
"That little psycho bitch pad locked the gate!" Adam yelled as he kicked the gate out of anger.
The rain came without any warning
"Let's go!" Tommy yelled
"Let's go where?" Mandy asked
"To the gatehouse!" He answered her
They started to run no longer worried about being seen by Tina.
Tommy pulled the door open and they all ducked inside Adam clicked on the florescent lights
"No!" Turn them off!"
What if Tina sees them!" Lori cried out
"No, it's okay these things don't shine so bright that you can see them from the outside,"
Adam answered her
"So now what?" Mandy nervously asked
"We try to figure out a way off this island without-." He started to explain
"And why would we want to do that?" A voice asked. They all turned around and saw that Tina was standing by the doorway Holding a rifle in her hands."
I've been looking for you guys, all over the place what are you doing in here?"
No one answered her
"Well Adam, I'm waiting," She asked her boyfriend
"Umm, well we want to leave," Adam mumbled
"And miss the party, why?" Tina frowned
"What party?" Adam asked
"The surprise party that I've planned he'd be so disappointed if-." Tina began
"He who?" Ben interrupted
"Why Paul, silly" She giggled
"You're nuts Paul's dead!" Adam exploded
"Watch who you're calling crazy Adam!" She raised the rifle higher then pulled the trigger.
But by doing so she fell backwards hitting her head on the corner of a wooden table
The others didn't wait to see if she was alive or not they just took off running
"Where are we going?" Lori asked breathing heavily
"Who cares just keep running?" Tommy shouted. And after a couple of more feet she yelled out again
"I can't run anymore my legs are about to buckle,"
They stopped and huddled close together underneath a wide oak tree
"Is she coming?" Adam asked
"I don't think so," Tommy whispered
"We've to go back inside the house it's our only hope," Ben suggested
"Are you crazy?" Lori asked
"Maybe. But hopefully I'm not as crazy as she's-. "
Ben was interrupted as a loud gunshot echoed off the tree followed by a harsh crazed laugh
"Run!" He yelled
They ran all the way back and didn't stop until they were inside the house slowly they made their way into the TV room. Tommy picked up the phone and was about to call 911
"Don't even bother Tommy the line is dead,"
Tina then raised the rifle up as if she was staring at it
"Yep, it's loaded"
"Tina, can we please at least talk about this?" Mandy pleaded
"What's there to talk about?" Tina frowned
"Well, let's see the reason you want to shoot us would be a good place to start don't you think?" Ben answered her sarcastically.
Tina lowered her rifle and smiled
"Oh, is that what you're worried about?" That's silly I wonder what's keeping Paul, he should've been here by now,"
"Well maybe we should look for him," Ben suggested glancing over towards the other hoping that they'd catch on
"That's a great idea!" Tina clapped
"Great! So why don't you go upstairs and we'll search down here," Ben smiled
"By myself?" She frowned
"Well didn't you say that it was a surprise party? If he sees you with one of us" He might get suspicious and you wouldn't won't that now would you now?" Ben slowly explained
"Oh no!" Not after all the trouble I went through I don't want anything to go wrong," She replied in a little girl's voice
"Shh! I think I hear someone coming quick go hide!" She cried.
Ben just stared at the others and shrugged
"You heard her hide!"
"Wow! That was weird the way you got her to believe that we were going to help her look for Paul," Lori whisper. Once they were out in the hallway
"Yah, but it also shows you how whacko she's."
"Hey!" Let's go inside the secret pass way we'll figure out what to do from there," Tommy suggested
"Yah, she's never remember that place." Adam agreed
"We need a flashlight I can't see a thing." Lori whined
"Hey!" Why don't you go and ask Ti, for one" Ben joked
"Oh, that was very funny!"
"Thanks," He smiled grabbing her hand.
They pressed themselves against the wall and followed the dark tunnel
"What was that?" Tommy asked pointing to a yellow light that was coming out a tiny crack underneath a close door a few yards ahead. They stared at the door and heard someone from the other side coughing
"Well go-ahead Adam, open it," Tommy instructed
"I'm not going to open it you do it!" Adam frowned
"Oh, for crying out loud!
Didn't we do this already I'll open it!" Mandy cried.
She pushed against the door it gave way easily
"Fred?" Mandy asked in a surprised and confused tone of voice
"How did you kids ever find me?" Fred asked looking as surprised and confused as everyone in the room
"The question is how did you get in here?" Ben asked
"Well, that's a very long and confusing story," Fred sighed "But it seems that one of your friends has become," Umm, well how shall I put this,"
Whacko?" Ben smiled
"Yes whacko!" Fred exclaimed "When I confronted Miss Tina, about having a disagreement with Mel." "She whacked me across the head and the next thing I remember is waking up in this forsaken place."
"Umm, I really hate to break up this happy reunion but "We've to get out of here and try to reach the beach. Before whacko girl realizes that we've tricked her," Ben told them
They had only stepped a foot away from the darkness of the tunnel. When they were all met with an unexpected visitor "Hey!"
Aren't you supposed to be dead or something?" Adam asked. Mel slowly shook his head and sighed
"I'm so sorry; I didn't know how crazy she really is until---."
"So Mel, since you've magically came back from the living would you mind telling us what the hell is going on!"
Mel sat on one of the rocks and sighed again
"Tina's mom and my dad are good friends. She took Tina to see him right after Paul was arrested" She was so scared that the stress of
what was going on with Paul, that Tina would have some sort of mental break down,"
"Ha!" There's understatement!" Adam interrupted
"Anyway, I was working at my dad's office at the time and we became good friends. We'd go out to lunch after she finished her sessions with my dad
"A couple weeks ago she called me and told
Me about the stories that Ben, was writing about Paul "I calmed her or so I thought I did and told her not to worry about them," Mel explained
"Hey!" I was only writing those stories as a plot to get at the truth of what happened I knew that he didn't do it," Ben interrupted.
Weeks after Paul, was arrested I went to see him and had a long talk we came up with this plan." In where I'd write these stupid stories blaming him about what happened to Grace, in hopes that the real
Killer would think that they had gotten away with it" make some sort of mistake. And get busted in some way"
"That my friend was never going to happen," Mel interrupted sadly
"And why not?" Ben frowned
"Because Tina killed Grace," Mel mumbled
"Oh, this just keeps getting better and better!" Adam cried out
"Tina; was obsessive with Paul ever since their father walked out on them." Then when Grace came along she threatened Tina's illusion of her happy home" And was afraid that she'd take him away from her
And when he told her that he planned on marrying Grace; right after graduation Tina, just snapped" Mel sadly explained
"But if she loved him so much?" How could she just let him take the blame for something he didn't do?" Tommy cried out angrily
"I guess that she'd rather have him locked up someplace where he could be free to fall in love with someone else," Mel shrugged
"This is unbelievable," Ben mumbled "If you knew all of this why didn't you just tell us?"
"I wanted to but-. "
"But what Mel?" A strong and harsh voice interrupted him "Tina I-
How come you're not rotting away someplace?"
Tina raised the rifle up to her shoulder and was about to pull the trigger.
But Mandy stepped in front of her
"Put the rifle down Tina,"
Tina slowly lowered the rifle from her shoulder and stared at
Mandy with a confused look on her face
"Mandy, what the hell are you doing!" Tommy yelled He tried to pull her out of the way. But Mandy gently pushed herself away from him
"Give me the rifle Ti,"
She whispered softly reaching out for it
"No! I don't want to- "
"Give it to me Ti,"
Tina just shrugged and raised the rifle back upon her shoulder
"Okay Mandy, get out of the way she's going to shoot you if you don't!"
"Go ahead Ti, shot what are you waiting for we all know the truth Paul's dead. "And I'm glad because he's back with Grace in a better place far away from you!"
"You little bitch you're so fucking dead!" Tina yelled as she fired the rifle
"Don't you think it's time that you stop?" Mandy asked
Tina's eyes opened wide with disbelief
"That's right and since you can't kill me twice, why don't you just give me the rifle," Mandy demanded
"No!" I got rid of you once and I can do it again!" Tina snapped.
She went to walk away from Mandy but ended up tripping over Mel's foot
Tommy and Adam moved quickly and got a hold of Tina's arm
"Get off of me!" She screamed "And where's Paul! I want to talk to Paul!"
"It's over Ti, but if you're a good girl I promise not to trick you again and take you to him. "Do we've a deal?" Ben asked. Tina just nodded her head
"Do you really promise?" I'll be good I swear!" "Okay let her go," Ben smiled
"What?" You gotta be kidding!" Lori began
"A promise is a promise," Ben interrupted winking over in Tina's direction.
After the boys let her go Tina went up to Ben and gave him a quick peek on the cheek
"Thank you," She whispered then ran off yelling for Paul
"No Ti, wait!" Mandy cried watching where Tina was running to but Tina just ignored her.
And the others pleas for her to return she just kept running farther and farther into the ocean waves. Yelling out for her brother over and over again
An hour later after the police finished taking their reports Mandy stared out towards the beach. She jumped a little when Tommy slipped his arms around her waist
"Why do you think she did it?" She sobbed
"Ti; was a very sick person I'm sure not even Ben could figure out why she did what she did. "But how did you know about the gun-."
"Sorry dude, but I'll never reveal my secret!" She laughed
"Shh! Let's not think about that okay let's just think about what a great story," Ben's going to write. In the next issue of the school newspaper
I can just see the headlines now
"How I and the other goof balls I was stuck with spent our spring break!" Mandy laughed
She then kissed him long and hard
"You're weird you've been hanging around Grant to long!" Tommy laughed
"Thanks, I think you're pretty weird too," She smiled Then reached up for another kiss
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