'In Continuation...' Contest winning story

The countdown had begun. People were shouting at the top of their voices, they all were happy, unaware of what was going inside Sarah’s head. She was not sad, but she was not happy either. She came to the party because he was supposed to be here. He did not come. She was disappointed. She was tired of not letting her mood rub onto the mood of her friends. They had absolutely no idea that she had arranged to meet Sammy.

10 … 9 … 8 … 7 … 6 … 5 … she looks towards the door for one last time
4 … 3 … 2 … 1 … Happy New Year! Everybody shouted. This time, she joined in. People then started wishing each another. She wished her friends. Finally, her closest friend Amy noticed the sadness in her voice

“What’s wrong?” she wanted to know
Sarah shook her head, trying to say “Nothing” against the loud music that now filled the room. People had already started dancing to the new numbers.

She made her way out of the dancing people to reach the corner seat. Amy followed.
“Has this something to do with Sammy?” another question
Sarah could never lie to her best friend. She did try a couple of time but she got caught on all the occasions. Amy was really good of reading in between the lines.

“He said he had to talk to me about something important” Sarah explained.
“Did he say what it was about?” Amy was always full of questions.
“No. He just said that it was something important and he would be here before zero hours” Sarah said avoiding looking towards the entrance. Amy did that for her, involuntarily.
“But he is not here.” Amy said scanning the crowd. “It is high time you forget about him” the serious tone set in, slightly anxious touch to it.

“Are you alright?” was Sarah’s first question to Amy.
“Yeah, I am fine. Let me get you a drink” saying so, Amy got up and walked towards the bar. Sarah watched her for a while and then scanned the crowd, hoping she could find Sammy. There was no sign of him. She should have been angry but she was not. Strangely, she was worried. Her intuition was warning her against something.
Amy brought two drinks and handed Sarah’s to her.
“Cheers” she said and smiled.
Sarah drank the entire content of the glass in one single gulp. She should have not done that but she was thirsty.

“Happy New Year” Amy said as Sarah started drifting into darkness.

Continued by Swetha Sadanand

When she woke up, Sarah felt her head throbbing. She rarely drank and hangovers were not something she was accustomed to. The whole room was lit up and as she slowly opened her eyes, she realized something. She was not in her room! She got up from the small bed she was lying on and looked around, it was a tiny space, almost like a garage and there was only a glass jar filled with what she assumed was water, in a corner. She immediately started shouting for help but gave up after five minutes because she knew she was trapped and nobody could hear her.
After what seemed like hours, she looked up and saw Amy’s face through a small opening in the garage door. She was looking at her tear-strewn face and seemed to be smiling.

“Are you insane? Why the hell have you kidnapped me?” Sarah yelled at the top of her lungs, trying to grab the attention of a passerby so that she could escape.
“Relax, this is for your own good.” Amy replied, coolly. “And don’t try to be smart, this isn’t a normal garage. It is a room within a room. And both the rooms are sound-proof.”
“What?” Sarah asked, confused. “I don’t care what this place is, just let me out, this is not funny!”
“Sarah, remember when we were kids and obsessed with hunting ghosts?” Amy asked, her face becoming clearer as Sarah’s eyes adjusted to the brightness. “We wandered around the forest behind our colony and found a supposedly haunted building. You were too scared to enter and so I couldn’t either. Years later, here we are!”
“Please tell me you didn’t drug me and entrap me here in order to satisfy some pathetic childhood dream of finding a ghost.” Sarah said. “Damn it, I need water!”

“You’re dehydrated because of the liquor. And that roofie-like thing I mixed in your drink, the pharmacist was very specific about the amount I should use to ensure that I wouldn’t accidentally kill you.” Amy said, laughing like a maniac. “People get easily convinced to do illegal things against their professional ethics if cash is involved.”
“What is this about, Amy?” Sarah asked, after gulping down half the content of the water jug.
“It’s obviously not about ghosts. I don’t believe they exist.” Amy said. “I just happened to find this isolated owner-less building because of that day. I spoke about it to give you some context, that’s all.”
“What is this about, Amy?” Sarah asked, almost shouting now.

“You already know. It’s about Sammy. And you. And me.” Amy said, in the most dramatic way possible.
“Wait, is this because you like my boyfriend?” Sarah asked, not believing her ears.
“He was never your boyfriend, Sarah.” Amy said and abruptly closed the tiny window that she was talking through, leaving Sarah all alone again.
Sarah banged the window but it didn’t budge. She tried punching the walls and hurt herself. She was tired and hungry. And even though her anger at having been kidnapped by her best-friend in order to get to her boyfriend was what dominated her mind, she could not do anything about it.

When Sarah woke up from her nap, she found a plate full of food in front of her. She immediately gobbled up the whole thing. She saw a portable toilet in a corner of the room and groaned. Amy was not going to let her out anytime soon! She could not yet process how someone like her had turned into a psychopath. She had no idea that she was into Sammy. They were always formal to each other whenever they met. But then she thought about the meetings. What if it was because of her presence? Was it possible that Amy and Sammy were having an affair behind her back? She wondered if Sammy was behind this too and felt her stomach tighten. She loved him and he betrayed her. She threw up whatever she ate into the toilet.

“I see you have eaten.” Sarah heard Amy’s voice and did not bother looking up.
“I have refilled your water jug, here.” Amy said and that made her lift her head to see if she had actually entered her room.

But Amy was intelligent. She knew that Sarah could overpower her within seconds and manage to escape. She was handing her the jug through a small compartment with a sliding door. Sarah wondered if she could somehow punch her and get out of there but she had no clue where the psychopath had placed the keys!
“I want you to watch this.” Amy said, handing her a cassette. “There’s a video player right there.”
Sarah looked up and found a small TV. She was informed that her parents thought she was spending the night with Amy when they had called. She took the tape and obeyed whatever Amy said because she had no energy left in her and angering her was not going to help, according to the many serial killer movies she had watched along with her. She figured her parents would not buy into Amy’s lie forever and prayed that they would come find her eventually, if she wasn’t already dead by then.

The video started playing and Sarah was least interested to watch it but it showed Sammy’s face and that jolted her up.
“Hey sissy, wake up!” Sammy spoke to a girl beneath the covers. Sarah didn’t know he had a sister. She looked on and went limp when she saw her! It was Amy!
“He’s your brother?” she asked, shocked but Amy was not around.
“Sammy, please…” Amy’s voice came on and Sarah turned her attention completely towards the TV. What followed after that, left her in tears. Sammy was sexually assaulting his sister, her best-friend, and filming the deed on tape!
After she was done watching the atrocity, Sarah began knocking on the window. She knew Amy was on the other side, probably sobbing like she was and she needed to talk to her!
“Come in, please.” Sarah begged, when she opened the small window.
“No.” she said, in a small voice.
“I won’t harm you, Amy! Why didn’t you tell me he was your brother? Why the hell did you let me date him? Oh god, you could have talked to me about this!” Sarah said, heartbroken for herself and getting upset about her friend’s traumatizing experience.

“He blackmailed me. He is my cousin and he started living with us because his parents died and we were the only close relatives he had. But on the first night, he came into my room and kissed me thinking that I was asleep. I was in shock and had no idea how to tell my parents. Then, he joined our college and saw you with me and instantly took a liking towards you. I thought I was safe because he went on to pursue you. He had warned me not to reveal to anyone that we were related. I should have cautioned you but you seemed to like him and as long as he was into you, I knew he would not come to me. But I was wrong!” she said, almost collapsing with exhaustion.
“Here, drink some water.” Sarah offered her the jug.

“I can’t drink that, I have mixed it with the drug to knock you out so I could come inside and keep the food and other things without you attacking me.” Amy said.
“Amy, I don’t understand why you couldn’t just tell me all this. Why did you have to trap me here?” Sarah asked, keeping the jar away.
“Because nobody believes me! Sammy is a good boy, that’s what his image is! I told my Mom and she didn’t believe me!” Amy started crying.
“You should have shown her the tape.” Sarah said, feeling disgusted at having mentioned it but not being sure of how she could help Amy.
“He had all the tapes with him, he threatened to release all my nude videos which he took stealthily by placing cameras in my bedroom and bathroom to the public if I ever resisted or complained.” Amy said.
“How did you get this one then?” Sarah asked, trying to calm herself down because she could not understand how the man she loved had a rapist side to him.

“I got hold of the key to the compartment during his last visit. It had everything inside. I was not the only girl he molested.” she answered, not looking at Sarah.
“Amy, can you atleast let me out now? Let’s go to the police and hand him over. I will come with you, I’m on your side! I am not going to let him get away with hurting my best-friend!” Sarah said, trying to hold Amy’s hand through the opening in the wall. Amy backed off and glared at her.
“I took care of it, Sarah.” Amy said, after a few minutes. “I killed him.”
“What?” Sarah shouted in disbelief.

“His body is on this side of the door.” she said, looking at something towards her left. “He was going to ask you to marry him during the party, in front of everyone. I had to stop him! So, I took a knife and just plunged it into his chest after he had called you, in front of me, to inform you that he would be attending the party.”
“Are you serious?” Sarah asked. “Are you sure he’s dead?”

“I stabbed him twenty times. My bedroom was all bloody and thankfully, my parents were not yet home. I managed to dump Sammy’s body into a sack and threw away my bed sheet and everything else that could be evidence into the car trunk in the middle of the night. Luckily, none of my neighbors saw me, they probably assumed my Dad was going to attend an emergency surgery or something. I brought him here and had no idea what to do. So, I just acted like he had left on his own accord when my parents questioned me after I was back. I got dressed up for the party and hoped to seem normal. But I needed your help so I drugged you and brought you here. I’m sorry!” Amy said.

“What do you need help with?” Sarah asked, slowly.
“To live with this sin.” Amy answered, in a pleading tone.
“Let me out, Amy.” Sarah said and she obliged. Sarah grabbed Amy into a tight hug as soon as she was out, instead of giving her a slap, like she would have if all the events that led to her best-friend going partly insane were not made evident to her.
“We need to start by disposing off the body.” Sarah said, looking at the sack placed in a dilapidated tub filled with ice. “And then, we’re going to walk out of here and act like Sammy never existed.”

The two got busy burning the body and collecting the ashes to throw into the sewer. They scrubbed the entire haunted mansion to clear off fingerprints. Both of them went over the whole scenario multiple times in their murder-mystery loving heads to ensure they hadn’t forgotten anything. Upon Sarah’s instruction, Amy told her parents about Sammy’s behavior with her and showed some pictures to prove it. As predicted, they expressed anger and vowed to never let him enter their house again and hence did not bother filing a missing complaint to get him back. They spread a rumor in their friend circle that Sammy had gotten a job abroad and had found a foreign girlfriend there to settle down with. People forgot about him after a few weeks because he was never really close to anyone anyway and his social media presence was always negligible so, people did not suspect that something was amiss.

But Sarah and Amy remembered his face every day. They were practically inseparable because they had committed one of the biggest crimes possible and lived in constant fear. Years later, when they had moved continents and settled into new lifestyles, they still managed to make time for each other and ensured that everything was okay. It was a routine and neither could live without the other’s constant reassurance that everything they had done, was for the best. And so, they survived.