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ZOMBIE SHARK HIGHWAY
I said it was coming fast and here it is - Chapter 12!
The rain, guys….😱
"So you're out with your friends, you're skipping class." The detectives sat across from Kayla on her grandfather's porch, stiff suits and stern faces. "Did you take anything before the incident? Anything to drink or..."
Kayla sighed, glancing over at Bo and Robbie who stood in the doorway, arms folded. They both winced at the detectives' question, faces pained. They'd listened to her recount the whole event, yet again, and she could see them whither with every detail. Embarrassed for her. Because they didn't believe what she was saying. Not even Bo.
"No," she said, watching the rainfall through the screen. The park was drenched, streams of water pouring off roofs, gutters spewing geysers. "I wasn't drinking and I didn't do any drugs."
The wiry detective who did most of the talking, Detective Bakker, nodded, the leathery corners of his face drooping in a considerate frown. His partner, Detective McKinley, shook his fat head doubtfully.
"Ask the others if you don't believe me."
Detective Bakker leaned forward, "I thought you said they aren't corroborating you're story because they are too afraid."
"Yeah," snapped Kayla. "They are. They're all afraid you'll look at them the way you're looking at me right now. Like I'm crazy."
"We're not here to judge--"
Kayla leaped to her feet. "But you are judging! Justin Heard was right. The truth doesn't matter to you people. You don't even want to listen to me when I tell it. It's easier to write me off as insane!"
"Kay," Bo warned.
"Well I don't care if you don't want to hear it, because I know what I saw. Those sharks came up out of the water. They were dead one day and alive the next and they killed people. They killed my dad. And if you're not going to do anything about that then I guess we're done here."
Bo reached out but Kayla shoved passed him, into the trailer. She slammed her bedroom door closed and collapsed on the bed, screaming into the pillow until her lungs wouldn't power the sound anymore.
It doesn't matter what they think, she told herself. Whether they believe me or not, it doesn't change what happened to Dad. Nothing changes that. But it did matter, didn't it? Because if no one believed what she said, if Justin and Joey and Maddie didn't say they saw it too, how could anyone know what really happened to the people that were lost? The danger was real. It was out there. Still.
What if someone else got hurt because she didn't try hard enough to make them see?
She listened to the pounding of the rain outside and closed her eyes. I'm not crazy.
But if she was, some part of her whispered, how would she know?
Voices drifted in through the window, over the sound of the rain.
"She mentioned one of the others," Detective Bakker was saying. "Justin Heard."
Kayla sat up.
"Is she closest to him?"
Bo cleared his throat. "She, uh, swam with him, a couple years back."
"And you interviewed him?"
"Of course," said Robbie. "He changed his story a good three times. I'm not convinced drugs weren't involved. But I have his tapes if you want to take a look."
She heard car doors open, and then Detective McKinley. "No, thanks anyway, but I think we should talk to this Justin Heard ourselves."
A double slam, and the sound of the engine. The detectives were leaving.
She remembered what he said, standing outside the porch yesterday. How could I ask them to believe something like that?
He wouldn't tell the detectives the truth. He said he wouldn't.
But he had to.
There was a growling, grinding, whizzing sound and a curse from Bo.
Quietly, Kayla crept to the living room and peaked out the window to see Bo and Robbie joining Detective McKinley behind the detectives' SUV. Detective Bakker was still in the driver's seat, spinning the wheels in a foot worth of rain-sogged earth.
The rain was on her side.
Kayla ran back to her room and pulled the screen off her window. Stepping up on to the bed she crawled out, dropping outside at the back of Bo's trailer where he kept her bike. The drops that pelted down were fat and hard, but they were working for her. The more Detective Bakker kept his foot on the gas, the deeper the car sunk into the mud.
She could get to Justin first. She'd make him tell the truth. Just to the detectives. Just for her dad, for Sarah and Mike. He could do that. He needed to do that.
She pedaled hard against the relentless wall of water coming down from the sky. Her muscles aching as she forced her way through the streets that were quickly becoming streams in the downpour.
By the time she got to Justin's neighborhood, her sweater was heavy and soaked, clinging to her uncomfortably, her hair slicked flat over her head and down her neck.
A truck rolled up to the stop sign at the corner where she was about to turn, a dude with a ponytail and angry frown behind the wheel. Kayla didn't recognize him, which wasn't a regular occurrence in Point Chester, but she recognized his passengers -- Maddie and Justin Heard.
The truck drove past, none of its three occupants noticing Kayla alone in the rain.
She watched them drive up Main, stop at the intersection, the turn signal blinking orange for left.
They were heading back to Highway 3.
Why would they go back there?
As the truck rounded the corner, Kayla's foot found the pedals, and she followed. Whatever Justin Heard was up to on Highway 3, Kayla would find out.
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