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wickedvmpotter
 It was recently released but I've only seen versions ripped from youtube... anyone have the cast recording itself? 

Also, has anything surfaced from the English reading of Rebecca with Sierra Bogges and Pia Douwes? I'd kill to hear it.

Current Music: La haine- Roméo & Juliette

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Drought of '56

The drought of '56 began oddly enough. 
 
As the summer drew on, the series of events grew exceedingly bizarre; the climax thus culminating with the descent of summer into fall.
 
I was eighteen then. Young, naïve-- at least more so than I am today. Fresh out of my senior year of high-school, I saw the summer as a blockade temporarily preventing me from moving on.
 
Our town was nothing too special-- I mean, it's on all the state maps and things, but that's nothing. You've probably never even heard of it-- our account never made the news, save a slight anecdote in the local paper once I'd caught the beast.
 
It began with a death-- albeit a small one in comparison to the events that would follow. It was discovered by the local judge-- well, he buried the thing, but it was his eldest daughter, Karen who made the find-- my one and only love.
 
I haven't seen her in years-- after that summer, we wrote to each other about twice a month; after college (she, BYU, I, Pace)-- that number soon dwindled down to once a year, if that. We've lost contact entirely by now, as you can imagine.
 
I know it's fucked up to say, but I'm pretty glad I haven't seen her since that summer. I mean, a part of me's always gonna love that girl-- but it's more or less the memory of Karen Smith that I love. Seeing her again today-- now-- would totally distort that memory. Karen Smith-- a vision of beauty-- and she was mine (more or less). Sparkling white teeth, twinkling green eyes, long dark hair, a smile that never wavered. Her nose had been broken as a child-- the bridge always remained slightly crooked, and it was this minor imperfection that made concrete her impeccable grace and beauty.
 
That's the Karen Smith I remember-- and I always will.
---
It was she who told me of the discovery. We had retreated to the outside world to escape the heat of the house that night. Both of us were so damn young. I almost ache remembering.
 
The smell of her hair, the feel of her lips on mine-- the taste of it all-- our eyes locked-- the crescent moon slung low in the dark sky-- all of it sweet and strange. Our love untainted, feelings uttered, a promise ring round her finger. Everything.
 
Then she's different. Changed. Distant. She averts her eyes from mine, and the glow seems to be gone from the moon.
 
Her voice is shaky as she relates the story; earlier that day, she'd found an animal torn to bloody shreds and her father had buried it in the orchard.
 
My Karen. So sensitive, so caring, so young; unprepared for what lay ahead of us.
 
Then she is crying. And I kiss the tears away with ease. 
 
I was so damn sure of myself.
---
My forehead dripping with sweat… a racing heart… the heat… a muffled scream… the howl of the wolf…
 
The heat is intolerable.
 
My eyes snap open; I was only half asleep to begin with. The palms of my hands are dripping with perspiration.
 
I push open the window. To no avail; the heat is maddening.
---
Days pass with little development.
 
The heat does not pass; if possible, it worsens.
 
Sleep is out of the question; it's too hot to sleep.
 
Madness-- the whole town exhibits it. It's in the air you breathe; on the face of any random nobody you see ambling up the sticky streets.
 
Karen and I both want out. For good. But college is still two months away. The town is already dead to us.
---
Mid-July.
 
Hot as ever. Karen and I spend evenings together in the orchard where it is sometimes cooler. We talk of silly, childish things-- of marriage, of a future.
 
Dreams at night-- half-hallucinations as I remain awake-- haunt me. The howl of the wolf is heard throughout.
 
Karen dreams the same dreams as I.
 
What is becoming of us?
---
July 21st, 1956.
 
The first murder.
 
Discovered by a police officer, the corpse of the girl is severely mutilated. Bloody scratch-marks to her face-- she'd been missing for two days prior. A young thing-- seventeen-- she'd sat behind me in English.
 
We speak little of the incident-- I vaguely connect it to the death of the animal in my mind but mainly see it as an isolated incident.
 
How foolish of me.
---
My face is dripping blood and it's a struggle to push my lungs to breathe.
 
The room is darkening and Karen lies dead on the floor.
 
And all because of me.
 
Then, the eyes; the yellow eyes shot with red. The face-- the lips red with blood.
---
Then, sanity returns.
 
I wrench myself out of my semi-comatose state.
 
It's eleven at night. Over a week has passed since the discovery of the body. August looms.
 
No need to lay here.
 
I dress quickly and silently; itching to get out of the house before I lose my mind.
 
I push the window open with ease and slide myself out to the front-yard.
 
It's so damn hot.
 
My instincts possess me to walk towards the back of the property we own.
 
The night is surreal; I feel as if I remain within a dream.
 
My footsteps are silent; the dry grass stabs at my bare feet. My throat is parched but for whatever unfathomable reason, I cannot stop.
 
I used to fear the night-- the loneliness of it all-- but have grown out of it by my eighteenth year. Minus the heat, the night would actually be quite beautiful.
 
Then I see it-- her.
 
Cara Smith-- Karen's younger sister-- nicknamed her twin-- dead.
 
Fourteen years old and she's gone.
 
She glows beneath the light of the full moon. Beautiful, even in death. Her hair is matted with mud and leaves-- the neck twisted at an odd angle-- a pool of blood surrounding her lovely, ethereal form.
 
Who could do such a thing?
 
And then, the inevitable.
 
The howl of the wolf.
 
My heart races and I am face to face with the creature; its lips drip with blood, its teeth oddly long-- sharp as daggers. Our eyes lock for a split second before the thing rears its ugly head and attacks. 
 
I fall to the ground unconscious and do not wake until August.
---
When I wake, Karen is changed, obviously.
 
I stay be her side as often as I can. She spends most of the day crying.
 
It's no small wonder she nearly went insane once Bernice was taken.
---
The next murder is different from the others.
 
For starters, it happens in a house. Furthermore, it occurs in broad daylight.
 
His name escapes me. All I remember is that he was a doctor of some sort, and was in his early forties.
 
He was mutilated in the vein of the others; throat slashed, eyes nearly gouged out. His wife found him on the kitchen floor. She screamed so loud the ambulance was there in ten seconds flat. 
 
It was four in the afternoon; boiling hot as usual. For some reason or another, I'd walked into town that day and witnessed the body being carried out of the house. A pale limp arm dangled over the side of the stretcher as it was loaded into the back. The ambulance drove away slowly-- for there is no hope of restoring health to a corpse.
---
Our lips meet despite our fears; my tongue enters her sweet mouth and I breathe in the fragrance of her hair deeply. 
 
She whispers my name gently in that voice that drives me crazy.
 
My arms feel their way up her back-- my mouth her neck.

And then the howl of the wolf.
 
Disaster strikes.
---
Not fifteen minutes later, Karen learns that Bernice has gone missing.
 
She is beside herself with fear and grief and lets out an inhuman howl of despair that rivals that of even the monster that plagues us; its face burns clearly and harshly in my mind and I feel the urge to join her. Then she collapses into my arms and I long for safety to return to us all.
---
A week passes and a body is not found.
 
Karen is subject to mad fits of hysteria. She inches away at my touch and scratches at her pale, ghostly face. I fear for her. 
 
Our future is uncertain.
 
The howl of the wolf grows stronger each night.
---
It's one of those days. Hot-- humid-- gray skies teasing rain.

[KAREN GOES MISSING IN ATTEMPTS TO FIND HER SISTER; NARRATOR RESCUES HER AND THE IDENTITY OF THE "WOLF" IS REVEALED TO BE KAREN'S FATHER. KAREN'S SISTER IS SAVED AND SHE AND THE NARRATOR REFLECT ON THE EVENTS THAT HAVE TRANSPIRED].

 And then the unexpected.
 
A drop of rain.

Then another. And another; masking the scene, washing away the blood from us and taking with it the summer-- our final summer as kids.
 
We don't say goodbye. No need; words are meaningless. She is beautiful and our lips meet in one final kiss.
 
I think about those times often.
 
I blame myself oftentimes-- survivors' guilt, I suppose.
 
Karen Smith passed away last year; I can't help but to wonder if she grew to be as miserable as I.
 
My memory grows fuzzy.
 
Should it?
 
No matter.
 
And the past subsides into nothing. 

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Act One Synopsis

 

The year is 1981 and all of the Wizarding World is celebrating the demise of Voldemort and it’s all thanks to THE BOY WHO LIVED. Harry Potter grows up and eleven years after his parents’ deaths, not knowing who he is reflects: IF ONLY. When he accidentally does something to his cousin, Dudley that is no-doubtedly magic, Vernon denies (THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS) MAGIC. It is then that THE LETTERS FROM NO ONE begin to appear; his aunt and uncle make sure Harry is not allowed to read them. Upon his eleventh birthday, Hagrid, THE KEEPER OF THE KEYS arrives, and informs Harry that his mother and father were, in fact, a witch and a wizard. He spirits Harry away to Diagon Alley, in order to shop for his school things before school starts. Harry meets Mr. Ollivanders, who informs the two of his love for WANDS. Harry arrives at Hogwarts and Professor Dumbledore explains his philosophies in NITWIT, ODDMENT, BLUBBER AND TWEAK. Harry becomes fast friends with Hermione Granger and Ronald Weasely and reflects on his new-found fame and fortune: I BELONG. The following morning, Harry meets his professors, including THE POTIONS MASTER, who seems to hate Harry for no reason whatsoever. He also meets Draco Malfoy who sings a mocking THE BOY WHO LIVED (REPRISE). While discussing end-of-the-year exams with his Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Professor Quirrel, to Harry’s horror, Quirrel reveals that Voldemort is on the other side of his head and forces Harry to take THE PHILOSOPHER’S STOEN from out of the Mirror of Erised. Harry pockets the stone, and Quirrel dies at his touch; Voldemort’s spirit disappears, and Dumbledore gives Harry a brief talk about THE PAST, but omits certain elements, hinting that Harry will know only when he is ready.

            Harry enters his second year at Hogwarts and meets Ginny Weasley; Ron’s sister. Immediately taken with Harry, she reflects on her secret and forbidden love in THE BOY WHO LIVED (REPRISE). Students are being petrified, and Harry is immediately blamed by many students; egged on by Peeve’s constant OH POTTER, YOU ROTTER. Harry discovers that he can speak parstletongue (a gift associated with Voldemort) and is cited as ODDLY MAD by Ron and Hermione. Disaster strikes when Hermione herself is petrified and Ginny is taken into THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS, where Harry meets Tom Marvolo Riddle who reveals himself to be THE HEIR OF SLYTHERIN. Harry destroys Tom’s diary (his way of bewitching Ginny) and destroys the basilisk that had been petrifying students. Hermione and the others reflect and Harry is forgiven in FINALLY.

            His third year at Hogwarts begins and Harry learns that Sirius Black, THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN has escaped. Harry is suddenly attacked by a dementor who is guarding the school shortly after THE DEMENTORS’ RIVERDANCE. He is mocked by Malfoy, Snape and the Slytherins who now refer to him as WEAKLING. However, the new Defense-Against-the-Dark-Arts teacher helps Harry produce THE PATRONUS which wards dementors off. (I JUST CAN’T WAIT) TO TEACH DADA reflects Snape in secret that night. Harry learns that Sirius Black is trying to kill him, that the man is his godfather and is the reason his parents are dead. He tells Ron and Hermione and they comfort him; soon after, Professor Trelawney, the Divination teacher tells Harry THE PROPHECY; Voldemort’s servant will return to him and he will rise to power. Snape’s, Lupin’s and Sirius’s TRUE INTENTIONS are revealed and Harry stuns Snape in order to hear more. Ron learns that Scabbers, his rat, is Peter Pettigrew, and Animagi and the true betrayer of Harry’s parents: BACKSTABBER he reflects as the history of THE MARAUDERS is revealed. The dementors find the quintet and attack; Harry wards them off by producing a patronus and he and Hermione help Sirius to ESCAPE-- and the entire school is paranoid as ever.

            During his fourth year at Hogwarts, THE TRIWIZARD TOURNAMENT is held and Harry is selected as one of THE FOUR CHAMPIONS; the school is divided over this unexpected occurrence and Ron abandons Harry, tired of being overlooked: BLOODY BASTARD. THE TASKS are held, and Cedric and Harry are unexpectedly transported to a graveyard at the end of the third; Wormtail kills Cedric. To his horror, Harry watches as Voldemort is brought back to life and his followers, the Death Eaters return to his aid: FLESH, BLOOD AND BONE. After Harry is nearly killed dueling Voldemort, he manages to grab the portkey and disappear with Cedric’s corpse. Harry is deemed the winner of the tournament but grieves over the loss of Cedric along with the rest of the school as Dumbledore tries to inform them all that HE HAS RETURNED.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Act Two Synopsis

 

Grieving over the loss of Cedric and worrying over the return of Lord Voldemort, Harry is spending THE WORST SUMMER EVER with his aunt, uncle and cousin. Suddenly, and without warning, dementors appear on Privet Drive and try to suck out his and his cousin’s soul; Harry performs a Patronus and the dementors rush off: YOU SAVED ME, sings Dudley as an apology to Harry for his years of torment and bullying. The Dursleys are advised by Dumbledore himself to go into hiding in order to keep themselves safe now Voldemort’s returned; Harry realizes Petunia loved him and that he loves her and Dudley as well despite the ways they harmed him growing up: GOODBYE. Dumbledore whisks Harry away to 12 Grimmauld Place where Harry is reunited with Ron, Hermione and his godfather; he also meets Kreacher, a house-elf, who, angry that the house is being “torn apart by Mudbloods” relives the past in MASTER’S LOCKET. Harry learns of Sirius’s parentage in DARK TIMES before starting his fifth year at Hogwarts where he is introduced to LOONY LUNA LOVEGOOD, who is taunted by Peeves and various other students. The Gryffindors meet the new Defense-Against-the-Dark-Arts teacher, Dolores UMBRIDGE, who is immediately despised-- especially by Hermione and Harry. Harry attempts to explain to the class that Voldemort has returned but is told that these are RIDICULOUS LIES. Harry is given detention with Luna Lovegood and while Umbridge is looking the other way, explains her outlook on life: THE CRUMPLEHORNED SNORKBACK (AND OTHER MATTERS). Dumbledore is suddenly sacked and Umbridge assumes power: RIDICULOUS LIES (REPRISE). Malfoy and other Slytherin students are made to be part of THE INQUISITORIAL SQUAD and after Harry is caught trying to flee the school in order to find Sirius after having a vision of him being murdered, they are caught and Umbridge tries to force information out of Luna, Harry, Ginny, Ron, Neville and Hermione over the whereabouts of Dumbledore. Hermione breaks down and in COME WITH ME, leads Umbridge to Dumbledore’s “hiding-place,” deep within the forest. The six then flee to the Ministry of Magic, where they are ambushed by Death Eaters. Harry learns that the vision was a lie in order to lure Harry to the Ministry to make him get the Lost Prophecy; he smashes the thing and they begin to fight. Sirius arrives, along with other Professors at Hogwarts and Sirius is killed by Voldemort who then begins to fight Dumbledore; Harry mourns: IF ONLY (REPRISE). After quieting things down at the Ministry, Dumbledore takes the students back to Hogwarts and tells Harry of THE PAST (REPRISE)/THE PROPHECY (RREPRISE); telling Harry that neither can live while the other survives.

            Harry enters his sixth year at Hogwarts and after overhearing Malfoy boasting to his friends believes him to be a Death Eater; he tells Ron and Hermione but they are unconvinced: ODDLY MAD (REPRISE). Snape assumes the post of Defense-Against-the-Dark-Arts teacher AT LAST and Harry receives top marks in his Potions class thanks to writing in his book from THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE. Dumbledore takes Harry through memories in order to show him Voldemort’s past and asks him to retrieve a memory from Slughorn; Harry does so eventually by putting Slughorn through a guilt-trip: YOUR MOTHER. Harry and Dumbledore celebrate the information on HORCRUXES; Dumbledore reveals that two have been destroyed thus far; the diary and the ring. Harry once again overhears Snape and Malfoy and tells Hermione and Ron, who don’t believe him: I’m NOT A NUTTER, Harry insists, and he and Ginny begin dating at last deciding to LET US LOVE. Furious that it was Snape who told Voldemort of the Prophecy, Harry storms to Dumbledore’s office but forgets the matter at the chance to locate another Horcrux; he and Dumbledore leave and Harry forces Dumbledore to drink the potion on Dumbledore’s orders though hating it all the while: FORGIVE ME. Returning to Hogwarts, they find the Dark Mark over the tallest tower and Malfoy’s TRUE INTENTIONS (REPRISE) are revealed after Dumbledore hides Harry under his invisibility cloak. Snape performs Avada Kedavra, and as Dumbledore dies he laments: FORGIVE ME (REPRISE). Harry chases after Snape and learns (THE IDENTITY OF) THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE. During Dumbledore’s funeral, he breaks up with Ginny, but she assures him that I CAN WAIT. The trio decide not to return to Hogwarts for their seventh and final year and decide to go with Harry to locate and destroy the remaining Horcruxes; he is unsure, but they decide that WHATEVER HAPPENS, they will remain by his side.

            They return to 12 Grimmauld Place and Harry questions Kreacher over the whereabouts of the locket; they learn how it came to be there and where it is now during KREACHER’S TALE. They go to the Ministry of Magic and take it away from Umbridge and free the Muggles being sentenced; a dry-spell follows and Ron decides to abandon his friends: BLOODY BASTARD (REPRISE). MY LOVE, Hermione laments, confessing her true feelings for Ron as he leaves, she denies them to Harry as he learns the truth about Dumbledore’s past: YOU DECEIVED ME. Ron returns and successfully destroys the Horcrux; the trio head off to Xenophillius Lovegood’s, where they learn THE TALE OF THE THREE BROTHERS and of THE DEATHLY HALLOWS. Xenophillius reveals that Luna has been taken by the Death Eaters and that he is ready to hand them over to take her place. They escape just in time and find their way to Gringotts, where they destroy Hufflepuff’s cup, they are captured and taken to MALFOY MANOR where they free Luna and the other prisoners, who accompany them to Hogwarts just as Voldemort takes possession of THE ELDER WAND. Snape is revealed to be THE NEW HEADMASTER IN TOWN. After finding and destroying THE LOST DIADEM, Hermione and Ron at last kiss and decide that it’s time for OUR LOVE. Snape is killed by Voldemort and Snape reveals to Harry that he loved Lily in HER EYES. Harry then learns that the final Horcrux resides in him and he must die to kill Voldemort; he is upset and as he makes his way to Voldemort, discovers the resurrection stone: HE DECEIVED ME (REPRISE). Harry is killed by Voldemort in the forest and taken by Hagrid to be viewed by the others in (THE DEATH OF) HARRY POTTER. Neville then kills Nagini, Harry reveals himself to be alive and kills Voldemort. HE IS GONE the students and teachers celebrate as they bury the dead. NINETEEN YEARS LATER show Harry, Ginny, Ron and Hermione sending their own children off to Hogwarts for the year.

 

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Act One

 

The Boy Who Lived- Company

If Only- Harry

(There’s No Such Thing As) Magic- Vernon

The Letters from No One- Harry, Vernon, Petunia and Dudley

The Keeper of the Keys- Hagrid

Wands- Ollivanders and Company

Nitwit, Oddment, Blubber and Tweak- Dumbledore
I Belong- Harry

The Potions Master- Snape, Harry and Company

The Boy Who Lived (Reprise)- Malfoy

The Philosopher’s Stone- Quirrel, Harry and Voldemort

The Past- Dumbledore and Harry

The Boy Who Lived (Reprise)- Ginny

Oh Potter, You Rotter- Peeves, the Slytherins and Company  

Oddly Mad- Ron and Hermione

The Chamber of Secrets- Harry, Tom and Company

The Heir of Slytherin- Tom and Company

Finally- Hermione and Company

The Prisoner of Azkaban- Company

The Dementors’ Riverdance- The Dementors

Weakling- Malfoy, Snape and the Slytherins

The Patronus- Harry and Lupin

(I Just Can’t Wait) to Teach DADA- Snape

The Prophecy- Trelawney and Harry

True Intentions- Snape, Lupin and Sirius

Backstabber- Ron

The Marauders- Lupin, Sirius and Peter

Escape- Harry, Hermione, Sirius and Company

The Triwizard Tournament- Dumbledore and Company

The Four Champions- Cedric, Harry, Viktor, Fleur and Company

Bloody Bastard- Ron

The Tasks- The Champions and Company

Flesh, Blood and Bone- Harry, Peter, Voldemort and the Death Eaters

He Has Returned- Dumbledore, Harry, Ron, Hermione and Company

 

Act Two

 

The Worst Summer Ever- Harry, Vernon, Petunia and Dudley

You Saved Me- Dudley

Goodbye- Harry

Master’s Locket- Kreacher

Dark Times- Sirius and Harry

Loony Luna Lovegood- Peeves, Luna and Company

Umbridge- Hermione, Umbridge and Company

Ridiculous Lies- Umbridge

The Crumplehorned Snorkback (And Other Matters)- Luna

Ridiculous Lies (Reprise)- Umbridge and the Slytherins

Inquisitorial Squad- Malfoy, and the Slytherins

Come With Me- Hermione

If Only (Reprise)- Harry

The Past (Reprise)/The Prophecy (Reprise)- Dumbledore and Harry

Oddly Mad (Reprise)- Hermione and Ron

At Last- Snape and the Slytherins

The Half-Blood Prince- Harry, Ron and Hermione

Your Mother- Slughorn

Horcruxes- Dumbledore and Harry

Not a Nutter- Harry

Let Us Love- Harry and Ginny

Forgive Me- Harry

True Intentions (Reprise)- Malfoy

Forgive Me (Reprise)- Dumbledore

(The Identity of) the Half-Blood Prince- Snape and Harry

I Can Wait- Ginny

Whatever Happens- Ron, Hermione and Harry

Kreacher’s Tale- Kreacher

Bloody Bastard (Reprise)- Ron

My Love- Hermione

You Deceived Me- Harry

The Tale of the Three Brothers- Xenophillius

The Deathly Hallows- Xenophillius, Harry, Ron and Hermione

Malfoy Manor- Company

The Elder Wand- Voldemort and the Death Eaters

The New Headmaster in Town- Snape and Company

The Lost Diadem- Company

Our Love- Ron and Hermione

Her Eyes- Snape

You Deceived Me (Reprise)- Harry

(The Death of) Harry Potter- Hagrid, Voldemort and Company

He Is Gone- Company

Nineteen Years Later- Company

Current Location: A Mile above Oz
Current Mood: excited excited
Current Music: Nikki Blonsky, John Travolta and Company- Welcome to the '60s

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I prefer Coke Cherry Zero, but yesterday, I decided I'd like Diet Coke Cherry instead. It still tastes good and all, but I don't like the can's new design. God, I'm persnickety. :-p Only around three more weeks of vacation left; damn, it went by pretty fast. Oh, well. I'm kind of looking forward to Junior year for Criminial Justice, French 3 and Journalism which hopefully won't piss me off as much as it did last year. I am dreading AP US History, but who isn't? I hope I like Anatomy more than I did Chemistry-- too bad my teacher barely knew the subject! I can't believe how fast high-school is going by... and I still need to start on my CAR hours which are like community service thingies. I need sixty, and currently have zero. :-\ Oh, well. I'll try to do fifteen before January, fifteen before June, fifteen during the summer and fifteen during senior year. I'm not going to not graduate. Hell no I won't!

Current Mood: anxious anxious

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 Chapter Four: Love & Death

The sobbing, the creepy atmosphere of a church when you have no strong belief in God, the overwhelming sense of unhappiness.

I hate funerals.

I mean, I'm twenty years old and I've buried more friends than senile great aunts-- where's the logic in that? Don't they say the life expectancy is around seventy-four years for a healthy male? Not nineteen; it's mind-boggling and disturbing as hell. It makes you want to write to those damn scientists and point out that they need to do some recalculations.

You feel this great wave of emotions at a funeral-- depression, pity, guilt-- it's the latter that eats you up the most. I'm feeling a lot of guilt right now; knowing that someone who had hopes and dreams just like you before meeting an unplanned an untimely demise really tears you apart. I felt a lot like this when Lilly Kane died; a lot of that guilt is what drove me to ultimately find and destroy her killer. I hope that I can do the same.

I mean, sitting here, dressed all in black, it's still so difficult to believe that he's gone-- and how a simple phone call managed to wreck everything...

---

After Dad had finished delivering the blow, he hung up and promised to be home in about fifteen minutes; apologizing for telling me over the phone.

I was devastated; the phone was hurled to floor due to my anger and grief, and I joined it soon after; sobbing like I was a kid again.

When Dad got home, I jumped up and threw myself into his arms, my shoulders heaving.

After that, I stayed in bed for a week; getting up every day or so to take a shower, feed Backup, eat some take-out Dad had left me in the refrigerator. I was sulking-- but, hell, who wouldn't given the circumstances?

On the third day, the unexpected occurred; I got a call. From Logan.

I stared in disbelief at the name on the Caller-ID; after all, despite one ambiguous look we'd shared the last time we met, we still, to my knowledge, were on shaky ground; I mean, he had beaten my boyfriend to a bloody pulp due to a rash reaction to a false accusation.

"Logan?" I asked casually, picking up the phone.

"Hey, Veronica," he whispered; he sounded shaken.

"I heard... on the news... I'm sorry-- I know you two were--"

"We weren't dating or anything," I suddenly snapped surprised at myself, "I mean, of course I'm..." I drifted off, unsure how to finish the statement. I mean, it was simple; I was grief-stricken-- angry at the bastard who had blown up the fraternity-- but at that moment, it was almost too hard to think what with actually talking to Logan for the first time in over three months.

"Is that Veronica?" a voice suddenly screeched in the background; Dick-- he was drunk-- as always.

Logan ignored his roommate, "Listen, I'm sorry about what you're going through, but--"

"Look, I know, Logan. But, I want-- I need to be alone for now. It's too..."

I drifted off.

"Understood. See you around," and he hung up, leaving me to wonder...

---

"Stosh Piznarski was a well-rounded youth and has left behind many friends on this earth. After completing his Freshman year at Hearst University in Southern California, he attended an internship to broaden his music career," I hate these the most about funerals-- hearing about peoples' broken dreams; I cast a glance over at Mr. and Mrs. Piznarski; they're crying, obviously. My eyes burn with tears at this site alone; having been unmoved by the long casket which remains closed to prevent the horror of seeing his unidentifiable body. A picture of Piz, smiling and holding a guitar has been placed upon the casket to make up for this. I grimace at the site of it; it brings back so many memories-- once lively and bright, now tainted for good.

Wallace squeezes my hand gently; he, Mac, and I made the trek up to Oregon alternating with me and Mac behind the wheel in two days. Mac hadn't known him as well as Wallace and me, but had nonetheless decided to come along for the trip. It's funny and kind of sick; we're the only Hearst students here-- it seems as though any surviving members from the fraternity that had been rushing him would have decided to show. They chose not to, which is kind of odd, if you ask me. Piz must've known one of them on a rather personal level. I mean, putting aside the fact that it makes no sense whatsoever that Piz would've up and decided to join a cultish gathering, the fact that no one came is rather distressing. Who are these frat members and what are they trying to hide...?

---

Logan's

"Aren't you a little under dressed?"Dick asks exasperatedly, pointing at his roommate's clothes.

"Since when did you care so much about appearances?" Logan asks, remembering the numerous occasions upon which Dick had thought it appropriate to show up to a sorority party shirtless and wearing a Tye. He looks down at himself; a pair of jeans and a tee-shirt. Not so bad in the scheme of things-- considering he doesn't give a crap about tonight.

"Suit yourself, but Joan doesn't--"

"'Joan?'" Logan repeats, "As in Crawford?!"

Dick stares at him, "Who?"

Logan shakes his head; a double date. And a blind one for him; he'll try less to be miserable as long as Joan doesn't look like a dude...

---

The funeral ends; we file outside into the cool fall air as the casket is carted off to be buried. A reception is to be held at the Piznarskis'.

Mac, Wallace and I get into the car. I insert the key into the ignition and do nothing else, "Well?" Wallace demands, kindly.

"We wait," I reply.

"For...?"

"The burial to end-- I don't think it's considered Orthodox to arrive fashionably early for a gathering such as this."

---

About a half hour later, the cars begin to head onto the highway; we follow them, "Veronica, were we even invited to this thing?" Mac asks after a long and rather awkward silence.

"Not exactly, but I don't think they generally look down on more people coming. Besides, we're out-of-towners. I was Piz's girlfriend... at one point. You were his roommate and you were an acquaintance. They'll love us."

Mac and Wallace exchange dark looks, "Veronica," Mac begins, "What exactly are you trying to prove here?"

"Call me determined."

---

The restaurant

Jen and Joan excuse themselves to the bathroom, "Wondering why girls always go to the bathroom together, because one time--"

"Not exactly," Logan replies slightly fuming.

"Look, she's not much to look at-- but she's nice. She just lost her teeth in a roofing accident."

'Roofing accident?' Logan repeats in his head, wondering if this night can get any worse.

---

Dick puts away his seventh beer in a single go as Joan rambles on about where she got her new shoes.

Shoes, Logan thinks, She looks like a horse's ass and she's worried about shoes... Perfect...

"Another round for the Casablancas table!" Dick calls and Logan is thankful that Dick's name still has enough of a pull to get them illegal drinks.

Logan drinks his fourth beer, his fifth beer, his sixth-- he's still not sober and Joan is now going into much detail about her childhood in Tennessee and how much she loved his father before he went "crazy." Logan finishes off his beer trying to remember if he said more than hello to the ghastly girl.

Can this night get any worse? he wonders again for the hundredth time.

"Logan Echolls," a voice calls.

Logan turns. Weevil.

Yep, it just got a hell of a lot worse.

---

"Mr. and Mrs. Piznarski," we're from Stosh's school. We're so sorry."

"He wasn't even supposed to go there," she sobs, "he was all set to go to the University of Oregon and cancelled at the last minute-- if I had only pressed him," she dissolves into a fit of wild emotions at the memories of her son and what could've been-- that tonight could have been like any other.

We head inside unsure if we should stay to comfort her.

I shake my head at the news about Piz's former college arrangements. It's strange, "Okay, you two stay in here and mingle-- I'm going to head upstairs for a look around."

"Veronica, are you crazy?" Wallace and Mac demand in unison.

"Well, it's great knowing how supportive you two are of me-- if you don't mind," I turn my backs to them.

"Veronica," Wallace demands, my foot on the stair.

"Don't--" Mac calls as I head up.

They'll understand in the end.

---

The Sheriff Station

Keith stares around him in disbelief; Leo just handed him the name of the last victim. That brings the grand total to fourteen; fourteen bodies ID'd and either buried or in the process of being buried.

He sips a hot cup of coffee and it warms him-- a little. He's surprised at how quickly things went south; it's almost as if he bit off more than he could chew. There's so much work to do; paperwork, more paperwork, press conferences-- and even though all the bodies have been ID'd the remains of the building are still being scoured and sifted to find something more.

For now, finding more is a pipe-dream.

---

The restaurant

"You do seem to go through a lot of them fast," Weevil says, gesturing towards Logan's date.

Logan rolls his eyes.

"Who is that, baby?" Weevil's date asks.

"That's Logan Echolls, Carol-- you know-- his dad's the one who killed Lilly Kane."

"Shut up, Weevil."

"Why? Am I telling something untrue?"

Logan rolls his eyes once again as Dick notices Weevil and Carol; Dick is plastered as hell, "Hey, you two wanna join our table."

"My pleasure," Weevil replies and Logan sinks deeper still into his chair.

---

I enter Piz's room on the second try; I really don't know what I'm trying to prove.

I look around; a lone guitar stands in a corner never to be played again. The site of it fills my eyes with tears once again. I pull out a drawer; tee-shirts he'd outgrown, a couple pairs of pants... what's this...? Letters from some Becky? Okay, I know it's wrong and illegal as hell, but it's a huge stack of letters and it might help me to understand who Piz really was in life.

I head back downstairs after a quick look-over of the room proves fruitless; Mac and Wallace are waiting at the foot of the stairs for me, "Okay, let's boogie," and we head out into the crisp cool night air without a second glance back.

---

The restaurant

Jen and Joan are gone; Jen dissolved into tears after being told by Dick she was "trampy," and Joan, in a haste, had scribbled down her number and thrown it at Logan-- and commenting how much they had connected that evening, followed her friend out the door.

The second her back was turned, Logan had tossed the scrap of paper into an empty beer bottle; it was nearing three in the morning-- he could only hope that the worst evening of his life would be drawing to a close.

Dick and Weevil were getting along swimmingly, while Carol sat in a corner occasionally meeting Logan's eyes across the table. Twelve beers in him, Logan was finally feeling a little better-- and drunk as hell; Weevil's snide comments were now bouncing off of him like rubber to glue.

Logan felt himself growing drowsy and hastily stumbled from the table to the men's room; the voices of his companions sounded faraway and distorted the second he stood up. Halfway there, he passed out.

---

Wallace's snores from the adjourning room tell me he's fast asleep. Mac's staring at a local news program on the TV tells me the opposite, "What's up?" I ask, "That forlorn look-- missing Max?"

She stares at me as I flick on the lamp, "No, the opposite. I think that's why I'm feeling like crap. I don't get it, Veronica-- it's like, I don't know him anymore and we're just... sex buddies," she finishes lamely.

"Ah, you've hit the nail on the head. Maybe you guys should talk."

"That's the trouble. There's no time. He's always too busy writing an essay or digging up the answers to some test."

"Well, if you want to break up--"

"I don't know what I want anymore."

---

Logan's

His eyes open; he stretches. His head is throbbing like hell and he feels a slight lump. A glance at the clock informs him that it's already noon; he doesn't even remember how he got home-- and why isn't he wearing any clothes...? Movement beside him; what the hell? His heart drops as he realizes that he spent the night with Weevil's girlfriend.
---

The Sheriff Department

Keith stares at the list of names and shakes his head.

A knock at the door; it opens to reveal Leo on the other side; he looks frazzled, "Keith, it's Liam Fitzpatrick-- he says he knows something about the bomb."

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 Chapter Three: Only the Loadie

A week has passed since the Hearst bomb; a week of sitting at home, no school, and countless boxes of pizza take-out-- basically, a week of nothing.

All residents of Neptune California have been reduced to the likes of this-- sitting at home, glued to the local news-- waiting for more bodies to be ID’d in an insatiable hunger to know any and everything concerning what had recently been labeled as “California’s greatest tragedy” in a brief statement made by our governor. So far, four other names have joined that of Tom Greenfield; David Friedman, Robert Wilson, John Mann and Matthew Young (who had joined their ranks this very morning). All fraternity members; all between the ages of eighteen and twenty. And thanks to a few interviews with various students at Hearst, an intriguing fact had been added to further fuel the flame; this particular frat had been rushing at the time of its demise.

One lucky frat member-- Rob Lane-- “groceries” at the time (most likely condoms and booze) supplied evidence that this claim was indeed correct; a list of twelve names of guys they’d been rushing at the time; these names are all currently being withheld from the public in order to avoid mass hysteria-- although a recent news report had one Angela Leslie claiming that an “inside source” had confirmed the suspicion that seven of the names on this list matched recently filed missing persons’ reports. Only time would tell if this intrepid girl reporter’s “hunch” was indeed correct.

As you can imagine, business has been lousy-- nonexistent in fact. Maybe it’s selfish of me to even be complaining about such trivial matters, but without schoolwork to occupy my time coupled with lack of cases to solve, I am simply going out of my mind. There’s nothing to do.

The phone rings; I immediately snap out of my stupor, snatch it off the table and answer, “Hello?”

“Hey, is this Veronica?”

“Indeed it is. How may I be of service?”

“I’m in a bit of a fix-- my nephew told me you could help me out; this is Eduardo Navarro-- Weevil’s uncle. We met a few years back-- you were trying to find a piñata full of steroids in a stolen car-- anyway, I tried the office and no one answered but that cute little message told me to try here.”

Thank God I took Dad’s advice and left my home and cell number in that recorded message at the office.

“I’m glad you did.”

Did I mention how grateful I am for recording that message?

“So, if you’re free, I’d like for you to come down to my office and we can--”

“I’ll be there in ten minutes,” I hang up in the phone and jump off of the couch for the first time in three hours; Backup stares up at me quizzically, “Backup, m’boy,” getting work makes me all a thither, “We’ve got a case!”

He barks excitedly and jumps up on me; I guess dogs suffer from boredom too.

---

Wallace’s

He heaves out of bed, realizing in the process that it’s already four in the afternoon. He groans, looking at himself in the mirror; his mom’s been a wreck since the Hearst bomb: “It could’ve been you, Wallace-- it could’ve been you,” and he was sure that he’d seen the worst following his discharge from the hospital: “Honey, are you all right…? Do you need anything? Honey, are you sure you want me to take Darrel to practice?”

The way she’s acting, it’s as if he’s made of glass-- all he lost in Darfur was a goddamn hand-- not his mind-- not his ability to live. The way she’s acting, it’s as if his mortality is some ticking time bomb liable to cease at the drop of a hat. He hates her for this-- resents her, almost. He stares at the spot his right hand and nearly wretches at the site of it-- of course he’s bitter. Who wouldn’t be? But, here he is, with a goddamn smile on his face as he walks out of his room and takes a long cleansing shower; he doesn’t forget the bitterness-- despite the smile. How can he? It’s impossible; everything that went down in Darfur-- and its aftermath consumes him-- from the inside out-- but to show this to others-- to show everyone he isn’t the same Wallace Fennell that left on that goddamn plane three months ago is to give in; to wipe that goddamn smile off his goddamn face is like giving the sick bastard who ruined his life the ultimate satisfaction.

---

Keith’s Office

He sits in the chair in front of his desk, pulls out a pad of paper to jot down anything that comes to mind, and pulls out a sharpened pencil from the cup labeled “#1 Dad” Veronica jokingly mailed him a week before she returned from Washington. He shoves the pencil into his mouth and begins chewing-- a nervous habit he’s recently picked up in lieu of this recent tragedy.

A week has passed since the bomb-- a week-- and it feels like so much longer. From seven to four every day this past week, he’s been supervising the excavation of what remains of the fraternity building. No more bodies have been found-- thank God-- but, on the other hand, a significant clue hasn’t been found to boot. What they have found is small-- miniscule-- unimportant; empty beer bottles filled to the brim with cigarette butts, charred articles of clothing, text books, term papers from the previous year-- and a couple condom wrappers. Nothing significant-- nothing helpful to the investigation.

It’s enough to drive any sane man crazy; he bows his head over the pad of paper in shame; he should be doing something-- making a difference; a week into the investigation and not one single suspect; nothing to by save for six ID’d victims. Keith Mars bows his head ashamed; almost wishing he hadn’t snapped those incriminating shots of Vinnie Van Lowe.

---

I pull up to Eduardo Navarro’s office-- if you can call it that-- get out of the car and slam the door shut. I knock on the door and hear a voice, “Come in.”

I open the office-door and step inside, “Mr. Navarro, V Mars PI,” I take a seat in front of his desk after he gestures for me to do so; he takes a long drag from his cigarette-- I notice with some disdain that it’s unmistakably marijuana. Oh, well; to each his own.

“Care for a drag?” he asks noticing my eyes are glued to the thing.

“No-- thank you; Reefer Madness rule.”

“Huh?”

Damn these people who are unfamiliar with the so-bad-they’re-good flicks of the thirties.

“I’ve got a case for you.”

“I’m all ears.”

“Seems somebody’s been stealing hubcaps off me.”

Stealing previously-nicked hubcaps; novel idea.

“Do you have any ideas who the thief is?”

“I’m pretty sure it’s someone who’s working for me,” he puts the joint out in an ashtray, “I can give you a list.”

He pulls out the aforementioned list and hands it to me; three names. This should be easy.

“I’ll get right on it tomorrow morning,” I get out of my chair, “Pleasure.”

He nods and I high-tail it out of that room before the stench can escape with me.

---

Mac’s

It’s nearing seven and she needs to get out of the house before her head explodes; her mother’s been popping into her bedroom every couple of hours since she came home yesterday, saying “Cindy, why can’t we just talk for a bit? We could go out for lunch, Cindy-- would you like that?” the way her mother was acting, it was as if she was a little girl.

Mac had stifled the need to simply begin screaming at her mother.

Mac shuts off her computer and fishes the key to Max’s apartment from out of her jeans; she needs Max for whatever reason women need men in times of stress-- Max’s annoying qualities pale in comparison to her mother’s.

She checks her hair more out of tradition than need; Max rarely notices her appearance; all he’s interested in nowadays is something along the lines of a quickie before committing himself to “work.” He comforts her in some ways in doing so-- he doesn’t really need her anymore; nor does she need him…

She rushes out of her bedroom and out of the house without even saying goodbye to her mom-- what the hell is wrong with her?

---

I park my car quietly outside a dumpy-looking house and taser in hand, get out; and a few seconds later, after having easily scaled a fence find myself in a weed-infested backyard. Carefully grasping Mr. Sparky in my left hand, I pull out a flashlight to get a better look at things; a tire-swing (they’re obviously kids here), a couple empty beer bottles-- no hubcaps. I turn around.

“Hey!”

Great. I shut off the flashlight.

The sliding-glass door that leads into the house opens quick as hell; a woman’s voice-- she’s angry as hell; the blast of a gun-- the bullet misses me by an inch. Anyone willing to shoot a gun off at midnight means business; I scale the fence once again, jump into my car and zoom off into the distance before any more disaster can ensue.

---

“How do you manage to rope me into these things?”

“My good looks? I dunno-- last night’s routine search proved to be a disaster-- so I need reinforcements. Now, remember: you’re Weevil and I’m your girlfriend, Lianne.”

“Sure thing, V,” he rings the doorbell.

The door opens a few seconds later to reveal a slightly stocky balding man holding a can of beer even though it’s only two in the afternoon, “Eli!” he exclaims, clapping Weevil on the back, “Who’s the blonde?” he asks, somewhat suspiciously.

“This is Lianne,” he wraps his arms around me, “my new girlfriend.”

“You dumped that Carol girl?”

“Yeah.”

Without further ado, we’re ushered inside, “Is it okay if I used the restroom?” I ask with my most annoying blonde voice.

“Sure, Lianne,” the guy says, “it’s down the hall-- to the left.”

As Weevil and him disappear into the kitchen, I retreat down the hall as advised and make a quick look into all the rooms; no hubcaps to be found. Hoping this one doesn’t carry a firearm, I slide the door to the backyard open as quietly as possible and head out; I look for near five minutes-- no hubcaps.

I head back into the house, tell my “boyfriend” that my kid sister threw up on the monkey bars, and we get out of the house before we’re suspected.

---

“It doesn’t make any sense, does it?” I ask Wallace from across the table after we’ve given the waitress our orders.

He shrugs his shoulders and takes a long drink from his glass of Sprite.

“Damn it-- and I wasted that whole ‘Weevil’s girlfriend’ bit on it-- I’ve been saving that one since Junior year of high-school.”

He laughs… and an immense guilt suddenly develops in the pit of my stomach as I remember for the first time that evening that Wallace’s case still remains unsolved-- and all because of me; my face reddens and I take a drink of Diet Coke.

“So, you checked out all the guys’ houses--searched thoroughly-- almost got shot-- and found nothing?”

I nod.

“Do any of these guys own garages-- they might be smart enough to know it’s stupid to leave stolen hubcaps lying around their backyards.”

“Crap. You’re right-- I guess the week’s lack of cases wrecked my intuition. I’m just thrilled we decided to take our relationship to the next level by going out on this little date.”

He smirks; I smile.

---

After double-checking, I learned that two of the three guys owned storage units. And you’ll never believe my luck: the first guy (whose wife tried to kill me) ended up having the hubcaps tucked away in his. And, let me tell you, it was quite difficult convincing the guy who works there that my father had locked my mother’s birthday present away in the storage unit and had lost the key. It seems he nicked the hubcaps in order to help pay for his wife’s long-desired nose job.

I made four hundred dollars off the case (though Mr. Navarro initially offered to pay me in hash).

---

Keith’s Office

A knock at the door; Keith looks up from the paperwork he’s filling out, “Yeah?” he calls.

The door opens; Leo comes in, “Keith?”

“Yeah?”

“They’ve ID’d another victim: out-of-towner. From Oregon,” Leo hands Keith the newest pile of paperwork; Keith stares at the name, “Damn it,” he whispers.

---

I scratch Backup behind the ears, sit on the couch and pop in a DVD; four hundred dollars richer and out of my rut, I feel way better than I have in a week.

The phone rings; Dad.

“Yeah?”

“Honey, have you been watching the news?”

“No. Why?”

“They just ID’d another victim. Honey, I’m sorry but someone you know died in there.”

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Chapter Two: Watchful Waiting

“Thank God it wasn’t one of the sororities,” I turn around to face one Hallie Piatt; bi-curious member of the Theta Zeta Beta sorority who’d got into the pants of both Selma Hearst Rose and her then-husband, Budd. Talk about libidinal drive-- it almost figures she’d be unphased by seeing fourteen charred and as-of-now unidentified bodies being wheeled out on stretchers from the pile of rubble that remains of the building. That’s what I hate about these damn sorority girls; always worrying more for themselves than others.

Dad’s here; he’ll be holding a press conference in a couple of hours. He looks up from the rubble and spots me; I give him a strained smile-- just to let him know I’m all right.

Finally, something good happens around here.”

I turn to the side to see Nish Sweeney surrounded by a small cluster of her loyal feminist followers-- by the look of things, she’s picked up a few incoming Freshman to join the clan.

“How can you be so cold?” I ask angrily.

“What do you care, Veronica? You’ve signed away any respect I could ever hold for you after that Piz tape…” I redden as her fellow feminists nod their heads in agreement. Nish continues, “I couldn’t believe you’d been reduced to a common slu--”

“Watch your language there, Ma’am,” a brown hand clamps down on her shoulder. It’s Weevil.

“Thanks, Weevil. We’d better get over here before the media swoops in like the vultures they are. Thanks for the reality-check, Nish-- I’m really going to take to heart advice from an untalented journalist who’s never going to get anywhere in life. And Hallie--” she turns to face me, “--nice implants! You can hardly tell they’re fake. Did Budd pay for them before or after you seduced his wife?”

A few members of the crowd gasp; I guess they weren’t familiar with Hallie’s oh-so-interesting sexual conquests; it’s great to enlighten people.

“Let’s get you out of here before you cause a riot.”

Weevil and I head off through the crowd.

“Did that blonde job say anything to you today?”

“No, actually-- she said something that annoyed me. So, a shot at her boob job and string of lovers was a must.”

“Still the same Veronica.”

“As always.”

“So, how’s the PI business treating you?”

“It’s pretty okay considering no one expects a cute blonde to be packing thousands of volts worth of tasering; a necessary ruse for the biz.”

“So, who do you think is behind it?”

“Who knows? If Nish and her allies ever took the opportunity to study up on explosives, I wouldn’t put this past them-- what a tragedy… Their parents…”

“How’s your friend-- Wallace--?”

“You heard?”

“Yeah.”

“He’s better. He’s basically acting like nothing happened…” We come to a halt in front of my car, “I’d better get home… I’ve got a hungry pit-bull to feed-- not to mention a date watching Neptune’s very own Keith Mars’s first press conference of 2007.”

“Drive careful, V.”

“You too.”

---

Driving home, the day’s events swim before my eyes-- almost blurring my vision; the explosion-- and Weevil’s mention of Wallace.

I’m not about to stand around and let these things go unsolved-- I learned a harsh lesson in Washington and I’m not about to let history repeat itself-- not in this day and age.

---

A day after arriving, the internship began.

In addition to Chris Huber (the guy I mentioned earlier), four other guys and two other girls from across America had been invited for various reasons to take part in the internship. Other than Chris, I’m not going to mention names; no one too special. No one said a thing against me; they kept to themselves as did I.

The first few days of the internship went along swimmingly; nothing too special. Our supervisor gave us the protocol for dealing with suspected serial killers, rapists and whatnot-- okay, I might’ve rolled my eyes a couple times-- but no one noticed and I nonetheless took notes along with my fellow “classmates.”

That’s basically how I thought the entire summer would go.

I was wrong; four days later, a body was found.

If it wasn’t for Chris Huber, his selfishness and stupidity, the killer would be behind bars awaiting trial.

---

I pull up, get out of the car, clamber up the stairs and find myself home again. I have things to do-- plenty. First things first: business has been moving rather slow at the office so I’d better get a crack on finding the bastard responsible for Wallace’s handicap-- nothing to do yet on this latest Hearst event-- maybe I should’ve rethought transferring to somewhere out-of-state-- I need the names of the victims first before I try to do anything productive; that could take the coroners a month depending on if any witnesses pop up-- people who know who was there/what they were doing, that is.

I get out my cell and dial a number I jotted down the night; if there’s one good thing about Veronica Mars, it’s that she’s smart-- Veronica Mars has her connections and those connections have as of last week, gone global. I don a previous unused accent (Southern African-- I’ve got to play the part); he answers on the fourth ring, “Hello, this is Nish Sweeney and I was hoping you could help me.”

Who said all my aliases needed to be original-- you need to work with what you have sometimes-- and besides, nobody’s perfect.

---

Max’s

She aims the remote and promptly changes the channel; nothing much is on-- a Friends rerun and some ignorant PBS show her little brother stopped watching when he was four.

She sighs; maybe she expected something… more out of this relationship-- his snoring depresses the hell out of her-- this apartment depresses the hell out of her; Max moved in the day after he was officially kicked out of Hearst-- he’d asked her to move in but she’d declined; now she lives in-between home and here; she gets home late, leaves for school; a vicious cycle that, a mere two days in, is already leaving her with a feeling of drowsiness and irritability.

She waits around for him for what seems like hours each and every day; he’s taken to sleeping in till seven or eight at night-- going to bed at noon. Their time together is fleeting and every now and then it’s enough to make her want to scream.

Max has changed her in some way; whether it’s for the better or the good, she doesn’t know.

---

Logan’s

He stares at the television not believing what Sheriff Mars-- Veronica’s father is saying-- a bomb at Hearst? It’s too-- unworldly-- surreal; he can’t describe it. He’s relieved he missed witnessing it firsthand-- something like that would disrupt his sleeping pattern all the more. At least he doesn’t have to worry; Dick is safe and sound in bed as he opted to sleep in as opposed to accompanying Logan to school.

“How many bodies were recovered from the house, Sheriff Mars?” a reporter asks-- Logan recognizes the stooge as one of the bitches who’d harassed him after Lilly’s death-- and after Lynn’s the following year.

“We’ve found fourteen in total-- but there may be more. We’re resuming out search tomorrow.”

“Have any of the victims been ID’d?”

“That could take up to a month.”

“Has Dean Murray commented further on the decision to shut down the campus until the winter session begins?”

Logan turns off the TV and heads to the bathroom to shower.

---

The Sheriff Department

“Any calls, Inga?” Keith heads into the Sheriff Department; almost wishing that he could shut the day’s events out for good. Shortly before the press conference was held, he’d seen the bodies. Fourteen bodies-- all of them charred beyond recognition; he’d thought-- and hoped not to see a crime scene worse than that of Lilly Kane’s.

“Just one. From Veronica-- she asked if you wanted chicken or shrimp egg rolls.”

“If I know my Veronica, she went with chicken.”

“She expected you to say that and--”

“Sheriff Mars, the coroner’s ID’d a victim.”

Keith stares at Leo in disbelief, “This soon? How?”

“An ID bracelet if you’ll believe it--”

“And Veronica told me in the second grade those were ‘un-cool.’ Specifics?”

“One Thomas Greenfield. Sophomore, aged nineteen. His family was out-of-town.”

“You’ve had them contacted them, then?”

Leo nods.

“Inga, I’ll be in my office-- take my calls.”

He heads off with the paperwork Leo’s handed him; he closes the door behind him, slides into his chair and mourns with Tom’s parents over the loss of their son.

---

I absentmindedly flip through the channels not really seeing or hearing anything; the warm colors and pleasant glow of the television fill my void. Backup sniffs me eagerly looking for a handout; I successfully polished off more than half the Chinese delivery playing the waiting game; stir-fry, egg rolls, fried rice, beef and broccoli-- I’ve ruined my sodium intake for a month at least-- I wasn’t even too hungry after the first couple of egg rolls and stir-fry I scarfed down; playing the waiting game is a dangerous thing for the figure. The rest of the food is calmly waiting for Dad in the refrigerator.

It’s nearing midnight and Dad still isn’t home; it’s expected given the unpleasant circumstances of the day. Today has not been a productive day; who knows? Maybe I got my hopes us thinking it’d be a cinch to solve the mystery concerning Wallace and the travesty that went down Washington without a hitch-- a month later, throw in another thing-- it’s enough to drive anyone insane. Take Wallace for instance; any clues found-- that’s thousands of miles away-- could be picked up by just about anyone-- and maybe clues concerning this case being found is wishful thinking.

The call I made today proved to be a bust; the guy I reached informed me there’d been no similar incidents since the one that took Wallace’s hand-- it’s either my extreme distrust towards others-- or wishful thinking once again that’s led me to believe there’s that slight possibility that lies are being told--

---

Mac’s House

She unlocks the door, shuts it and locks it again; it’s three in the morning and the silent is dark and silent-- as always.

“Home sweet home,” she mutters sarcastically cracking a smile in spite of herself.

She’s halfway to her room when she hears it.

“Cindy?” she turns; a light flickers on-- her mother’s standing in the entryway; she’s wearing a nightgown and her face is slightly damp.

“Mom, what are you doing up?” she asks.

“Honey, I’ve been worried sick about you,” before she can disappear into her room, her mother’s practically choking her in a tight embrace.

“What is this?” Mac asks trying to mask her annoyance with indifference.

Her mother pulls away, “You haven’t heard?”

Mac stares more intently at her mother.

“There was a bomb at Hearst-- one of the fraternities--”

“I know, Mom,” she surprises herself by how easily she can snap now.

“If you knew, you could’ve at least called,” her mother’s angry now; Mac frowns.

“Well, if you knew me, you’d know that I don’t hang around fraternities. Good night,” and she heads up the stairs, into her room, shuts the door and locks it.

She lies in bed; what was that?

---

I hear keys jingling from outside the door; Backup stirs as he’s been waiting patiently in front of it since around two; I check the clock. It’s already five in the morning-- surprising how quickly the night went by.

Backup jumps up excitedly on Dad, “What are you doing up?”

“Couldn’t sleep-- not with all this going on… You hungry? There’s some Chinese in the fridge.”

“Inga told me. Thanks but no thanks-- it’s six in the morning-- I was thinking something more along the lines of pancakes. Want any?”

“No… I’m still full from dinner… I’d better get to bed; no school today-- no school for months.”

I stand from the couch, flip off the TV and stretch, “G’night.”

“Honey?”

I turn, “Yeah?”

“Did you happen to know a Thomas-- Tom Greenfield?”

I shake my head, “No. Why?”

“He’s the first identified.”

“It’s horrible.”

“I know.”

Feeling slightly awkward, I rush over and give Dad a tight hug, “It’s okay,” he whispers reassuringly.

“It’s going to be,” I whisper, pulling away.

“Goodnight, Veronica.”

“Goodnight.”

Every now and then when you’re hurled into the middle of something extremely chaotic, the only sure thing is the notion that a parent’s love can save you for the time being; giving you the strength to move on; I’ve got a full plate in front of me but I’ve done the impossible before. And whatever the case, I will solve these problems and I will find and hold those responsible for their wrongs.

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Chapter One: The Day the Quad Stood Still
Chapter Two: Watchful Waiting
Chapter Three: Only the Loadie
Chapter Four: Love & Death

Chapter Five: Shadows of the Past
Chapter Six: Tune Raider
Chapter Seven: Dean of the Dead
Chapter Eight: Date Crepe
Chapter Nine: Lighter Shade of Pale
Chapter Ten: Frosty the Barman

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Okay, so Health finished after a rather quick go on Friday-- I got an 'A' which is no accomplishment. :-p So, summer came and everything's speeding up again; I can't believe Harry's gone. :'( The book was awesome; I got it at around 1:30 AM Saturday morning after having waited since 11:00 at Barnes and Noble. The excitement was enough to make me scream-- the people who dressed up were annoying as hell, but you gotta take the good alongside the bad in this life, right? Anyway, I'd accidentally read the seven-page epilogue online and I was like "This crap is fanfiction." The first thing I immediately did when I got my hands on the book was flip over to page 759 to see if the last two lines were "The scar had not pained him in nineteen years. All was well." They were; I was frickin' pissed. >:O Well, me and my sister got home and it took me from around 2:00 AM to 7:00 PM to finish (I took breaks obviously); I really liked the book. It was thought-out, amazing well-written, and apart from the epilogue, flawless. I was frickin' surprised and mortified by the deaths of Hedwig, Dobby, Fred and Tonks. Dobby, in particular. When Molly killed Bellatrix, it rocked, but, I wanted Neville and/or Harry to kill the bitch; it was still awesome. I was pretty sure one of the Horcruxes would be in the Room of Requirement-- I was indeed correct. :-D The Ron/Hermione and Ginny/Harry love was much needed and had been long-anticipated on my part, so that made me smile. The Seven Potters chapter was awesome and it was surprising and freaky how everything went to hell so quickly-- Voldemort scared the shit out of me because of how he was flying through the air on his own accord. Disturbing! I was worried as hell that Harry would lose Hagrid in that chapter-- only Hedwig, though. :'( Poor owl. The chapter in which Snape's love for Lily was described was cool-- at least readers finally got to discover the importance of Lily's eyes-- poor Snape. It was surprising that Dumbledore had been dying since finding Marvolo's ring. The explanation of RAB wasn't too surprising-- and the locket had also popped up in Order of the Phoenix. I was glad the locket ended up being sold to Umbridge-- it was hilarious seeing her again-- though under much grimmer circumstances. Ron's hesitation to destroy the locket was freaky-- as were the fake Hermione and Harry making out in front of him. Nagini pretending to be Bathilda was scary as well. It was scary when I thought harm had come to Luna! I was freaking out until they found her safe and sound in Malfoy Manor. When Bellatrix killed Dobby, I cried-- it was the saddest death for some reason-- other than Hedwig's because Dobby had loved Harry so much-- and had reached so It was kind of out-of-character for Dumbledore to have known Harry was meant to die-- yet kept it to himself-- but, that's really the only problem with the first 750 pages of the text. The epilogue! EW! EW! EW! So godamn fluffy and cliche-- what the hell was JKR thinking? The names of the children are so vomity! LOL.

Moving on to Hairspray; I was surprised by Zac Efron. I mean, in all fairness, I thought he was just some annoying talentless pansy fresh from High School Musical, but ended up having a pretty good voice in the movie and on the soundtrack. I downloaded the soundtrack last week and my favorite tracks are "(The Legend of) Miss Baltimore Crabs" and "Without Love." Amanda Bynes has an amazing voice so it sucks they cut "Mama I'm a Big Girl Now" as her voice is only heard during "Without Love" and "You Can't Stop the Beat." Newcomer, Nikki Blonksy has amazing vocal abilities-- and looks so much like Ricki Lake it's borderline scary. John Travolta is certainly less scary than Divine. Lol. Michelle Pheiffer was hot in this movie (obviously) and has a great voice-- same goes with Brittany Snow. Hairspray, by no means is better than the 1988 original but is great. As Amber would day of the songs: "they've got great beats and you can dance to them." Lol. I loved the cameos made by John Waters and Ricki Lake (Waters's is hilarious!) I The only thing that was kind of weird were the huge changes they made to "Without Love" in the film; Link singing and making out with Tracy's picture was a little... disturbing-- and the song "(You're) TImeless to Me" has always been... weird. The soundtrack is much better than the OBC recording as well-- although it sucks Amber's "Cooties" has been reduced to a bonus track by some country singer (?) However, I'm looking forward to seeing it again next weekend! 

Current Mood: busy
Current Music: Nikki Blonsy, Zac Efron, Amanda Bynes, Elijah Kelley- Without Love

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