know him. Until they see him for what he really is.” Nobody ever did, even as the bodies started to pile up.
But now, too late for it to matter, Audrey understands at last. The devil of
Fairview has been courting her for days, and watching her for much longer than
that. The murderer is her boyfriend—and he’s been killing on her behalf.
His name is Jack Maddox, but everyone calls him Mad Jack. He’s planning a
party, where everyone is invited, especially Audrey’s tormentors—especially the
Audrey will have her revenge, whether she wants it or not.
Because, in Miss Drake’s class, the devil will have his due.
cleaned the knife, she fought her way back to the surface. Eventually, she
managed words. “I still don’t know which parts of this were real. Or if I’m
crazy, Audrey,” he reassured her. “You never were. No more
than I was. And you’re not crazy now. Just the opposite, in fact.”
the silence stretch again, making it meaningful, he continued.
problem is the same as mine. You see things how they really are, and it makes
you sad. Makes you angry. What happened here wasn’t a hallucination. What
happened here was justice—for you.”
the blade, he glanced at her sidelong, expectantly.
holding a knife, she
said to herself. And spoke her mind anyway. “I’m nothing like you.”
“You’re nicer than me, that’s for sure. No contest.”
like the devil, Jack.” Please don’t kill me. You can read my thoughts,
I know it now. You’ll know if I lie. I’m being honest with you. I want the
Jack said, chuckling. “Not sure if I believe in ‘the devil.’ Never been to the
other side, either way. But I know from pictures he has red skin, pointy tail,
horns, carries a pitchfork… usually has pretty big eyebrows.”
her hand over his wrists, stopped his polishing. “No, Jack,” she said. “The
devil is far too smart to look like that. Everyone loves the
devil, until they know him. Until they see him for what he really is.”
regarded each other.
mean we can’t be friends?” he joked. “Bet you never thought you’d have first
period English with the devil.”
said. “I never did.”
description,” Jack said, his smile fading. “The devil was in
Miss Drake’s class. But it wasn’t me.”
Audrey said, giving up. “I want to go home. Can I go home, please?”
tossing the knife in the sink, turning around, and leaning up against it. “You
have to do something for me first. Don’t worry. I don’t think you’ll have a
problem with it. I hope not, anyway.”
narrowed her eyes. She wasn’t afraid. After tonight, she didn’t know if she had
any fear left in her. “What?” she asked.
for you to understand the ‘what,’” he said. “You first have to understand who Ireally am.
Completely—or at least as much as I understand, myself. Time is short, so pay
various times throughout his life, he played bass guitar for the garage heavy
editorials in The Potomac News and The Freelance Star. Currently,
while not plotting his next foray into fictitious suburban mayhem, he spoils
his nieces and nephews and teaches middle school English.