Tuesday: August 15, 2028
9:04 PM; CLINSTONE, THE WEAVER HOUSEHOLD, LIVING ROOM
Jared Weaver sat on the couch, a gaming controller clutched in his hands. Gia Weaver sat beside him, eyes on the screen. She nudged him with her elbow, leaning into her own controller as she ducked her character behind cover.
“Stop tryin’ to get me killed,” Jared said.
Gia giggled. “It’s more fun that way,” she said. She popped up from behind cover and shot at Jared’s character.
He grunted, forcing his character behind a wall. “It’s cheating if I’m out of ammo, you dick.”
“Ah, shut up, you loser.”
“No!” Jared exclaimed as the television shut off. With the game gone, it took him less then a second to realize the lights in the house were off, as well. “Aww, shit. We musta blown a fuse. Did you have something going in the kitchen?”
“Shit, yeah. I had the heater on in there. Sorry.”
Jared sighed, tossing his controller onto the couch. “S’okay. I’ll go dick around with it,” he said, pushing himself to his feet. He pulled his phone from his pocket and turned on the flashlight. “Be back in a sec. Throw out a shout when the lights come back on, would you?”
“Aye, aye, Captain.”
Jared walked out of the room, phone in hand. He walked back toward the bathroom and flipped the light switch. He frowned. The bathroom was on an entirely different circuit than the living room and kitchen.
Brow furrowed, he tugged open the basement door, playing the light over the stairs. He sighed and headed down the stairs.
At the far wall, he opened the small door to the circuit break panel. He shone his light on the panel, a frown on his face. The main breaker had been tripped.
That hadn’t happened before.
Jared reached out for the breaker switch, grunting as his side hit the wall. A hand covered his mouth, and a second hand through the cell phone to the ground. Jared’s eyes widened as he stared at the shadowy figure in front of him.
“Parents. When’re they coming back?”
Jared responded frantically, voice muffled by the stranger’s hand. The stranger rolled his eyes, pulling his hand back ever so slightly. “Soon.”
“I–I don’t fucking know, man,” Jared whispered, his voice cracking.
“You almost got it, Jared?”
“Almost!” Jared shouted back, turning toward the stairs. “P–please don’t hurt us. Or her. You can do whatever you want to me, but don’t hurt her,” he whispered.
“When’re your parents gonna be home?”
“I don’t know.” Jared flinched, recoiling as the man leaned closer to him. “I swear, I don’t fucking know, dude. I swear.”
“Hmm.” The stranger clamped his hand over Jared’s mouth and, with a simple flick of a wrist, slit the teenager’s throat. He held the boy in place, watching the life drain from his eyes. The stranger released his hold on the boy, letting him slide down the wall. The stranger reached out and flipped on the main breaker.
“Lights are back! You got it!” the girl shouted upstairs.
Knife in hand, he stalked up the stairs.
He walked into the living room, eyes on the young girl. She sat in front of the television, powering up one of the gaming consoles beneath it. “We should be able to pick up right where we left off,” she said.
The stranger nodded. “I was thinking the same damn thing.”
She stood with a gasp. “Wh–who are you?”
Her eyes zoned in on the bloody knife. “Oh, God,” she whispered.
The man rushed her, shoving her back against the television as he locked a hand over her mouth. “We’re gonna have some fun, you and me.” She shook her head, tears welling in her eyes. “So much fun.”
BOOK TWELVE: END
BOOK THIRTEEN: THE BLACKOUT KILLER
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