He? He who? Savannah's mind automatically went to Jessup, who had been covered in blood. Trembling with fear, Savannah tried to turn the keys, but they fell out of her mummy wrapped hand and clattered to the floorboard. The car lurched again as something threw itself onto the front. She continued the search for her keys, but her mind ran wild. It had to be Jessup. The psycho killer was trying to get her. She gave up looking for her keys and just screamed her brains out.
'Vannie!" Morgan cried out, but Savannah was too busy screaming to hear her. She shouted again and shook her by the shoulder.
"Whaaat?" Savannah cried, and as Morgan looked soberly at her, she finally heard the laughter.
She looked at Ronnie in the back, wearing a ridiculous set of pointy, furry ears and a canine snout nosepiece. Then Monica bouncing up and down, perfectly uninjured. Both of them were laughing up a storm. Their friend Kurt came out of the shadows in hysterics. His girlfriend, Bridgette, was behind him in fits of giggles. The only people not laughing was Morgan, Kurt's brother Miles --who seemed to have just arrived -- and Savannah herself. Embarrassment swept through her, replacing all of the fear she'd just felt. A killer indeed. Jessup might be weird, but it was no reason for her to assume he was a killer. He had probably just spilled something on himself. And her friends...
"What gives, jerks?" Savannah complained, stepping out of the Tempo. Suddenly, the place wasn't as terrifying as it had was before the bejeebus were scared out of her.
"Sorry, Vannie," Bridgette said, tears of laughter in her hazel eyes. She had her light hair curled as usual. A black hairpiece with a dark veil was pinned in, though it was pushed to the back. Her outfit, a short black elegant dress that showed a lot of leg and too much chest, appeared to be somewhere between gothic bride and stripper. "Kurt wanted to scare Miles, but you two got here first and it was just too tempting."
"Glad I missed the party then," Miles said with a raised brow behind his thick rimmed glasses. He didn't have much of a costume on at first glance. He wore plain jeans and a blue button up shirt that matched eyes. Savannah started to ask who he was supposed to be, but then she noticed the top of his shirt was unbuttoned and she could see the blue latex paint and just a hint of red and yellow. Clark Kent, she realized. Superman's alternate identity. It suited him, she thought.
"Hey, it would have been hilarious," Kurt, in a bloody Dracula outfit, said as he threw an arm over his brother's shoulder. Miles -- though one year younger -- was an inch taller. "It could have been like summer camp. You remember? You whizzed yourself so bad!"
"I was twelve," Miles said. "And never attended Camp Deadwood again."
"Blah," Monica teased as she neared Savannah's car, her hands held up in claws as if she were hanging on an invisible net. Her costume looked something like a cave woman. It looked sinisterly primal with all the fake blood on her.
"Ha-ha," Savannah mocked. "That looks like real blood, not like that fake Halloween stuff they sell in gallons at All-Mart. And, gross, it kinda smells. Where did you guys get that?"
Monica sniffed her bloody arm. "Yeah, it's pretty gross. Smells like road kill."
"It's stage blood, from the high school theatre," Ronnie said proudly. He was probably the one that procured the blood, being the one that usually did sneaky things -- which was odd because he was the largest and most noticeable of the group.
"I wasn't fooled for a second," Morgan declared. No one was surprised. "Really guys," she shouted over the groans, "there's no way you would still be moving around if you were hurt bad enough to bleed that much..."
"Maybe we weren't, eh?" Monica said. "Maybe it was someone else's blood."
"Then why were you flopping around in it and throwing yourself at windows?" Morgan asked.
"It doesn't matter." Kurt cut their squabble short. "This year the code word is blood. If we arrive in a costume that consists of blood, we get into the Grimwood's Halloween festival for free. You guys in?" He held out a jug of the scarlet substance.
Miles sniffed it and mock gagged. "They're right, it smells like rot. What is it?"
"I don't know what she uses, probably just egg whites to make it sticky. They've probably gone bad," Kurt said airily. "But it still works. Come on it's not so bad once it dries."
Miles shook his head. "No thanks. I'll just pay to get in, bro," he said. Bridgette and Savannah readily agreed.
"This," Bridgette indicated her flawless face, "is from Urban Decay, and it took an hour, okay? This costume is hand sewn by real nuns from specially ordered fabric straight from Italy. I'm not ruining this look with that junk."
Savannah was shocked that real nuns would see anything like that.
"I just don't want to smell like that stuff or try scrubbing it off later. You're all probably going to be dyed red from food coloring or something," said Savannah.
"I'm game," said Morgan with a shrug.
She got out of the car and stood still while they poured a few cups worth over her head. It oozed over her skin slowly, the way thick mud would. After watching, Savannah wasn't thrilled about Morgan getting back in the Tempo. At least not any time soon. Luckily, the festival was only a few blocks away and they'd be walking the rest of the way. There would be plenty of time for the gooey stage blood to dry. The mess was already smeared on her windows, door, and trunk. She would have to visit a car wash tomorrow.
"Ick," Morgan complained, likely regretting her decision.
"Come on guys, you don't have to be covered. A few smudges would be fine," Kurt said.
"Now he tells me," said Morgan.
"You have been trying to save for that motorcycle part, right Miles? Nine bucks..."
Savannah was stunned. Miles? A motorcycle? He wasn't the type. Miles was the kind of guy you'd find experimenting in the chemistry lab, not carelessly zooming through open highway with wind blowing in his dark hair.
Miles saw reason and let his brother smear a couple blood streaks on his face. He looked like he was about to play a gory game of football. Kurt smeared some on Savannah with his fingertips.
"Hey!" she cried, her face scrunching up at the overwhelming stench.
Kurt turned toward Bridgette. "Babe?" he said expectantly.
She seemed torn between being the only one out and allowing the gunk to touch her flawless skin. Finally, her need to fit in won over. "Oh, fine. Just smear some on the back of my hands."
A/N: Remember to vote if you like Zombie Marked and let me know what you think. I love hearing from you guys!
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In friendship, they are linked. In eternal friendship, they will suffer. When a group of popular high school students decide to get matching henna tattoos at the Grimwood Halloween Festival, they had no idea what fate had in store for them. It was j...