“Holy shit!” Eddie Sayers said as he read his sister’s story on the death of Tor. “I gotta go talk to Nancy about this.”
He tried calling her on her phone, but it was busy, so he sent her this text message: “We need 2 talk about this news story U wrote about Tors death When RU free”
About ten minutes later, she texted this reply: “In 2 days I’m too busy right now”
Eddie: “Ok Ur home Thurs”
“Hi, Eddie,” Nancy said that Thursday evening, opening the door to her apartment and letting him in. “So, what do you want to know about Tor’s death?”
“Well, it’s just that he was my friend,” Eddie said.
“He was?” she asked with her eyes and mouth wide open.
“Yeah,” Eddie said. “In fact, he’s the second friend of mine to have been killed in freak accidents recently.”
“Oh? Who was the first?”
“My buddy, Ari Schneider.”
“Oh, my fucking God.” Her eyes were opened even wider now.
“He died in a motorcycle collision with a truck.”
“I know,” she said, eyes still agape. “I wrote an article about his death, too.”
“Wow, what a coincidence. Small world.”
“Much too much of a coincidence, Eddie. Much too small a world.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Because there’s something strange about their deaths. Those accidents should never have happened. They should have easily been able to avoid their accidents. Ari and Tor were neither drunk nor stoned. They weren’t suicidal, according to their families; nor were they self-destructive in any way.”
“Oh, yeah,” Eddie said. “They were the happiest dudes I’ve ever known. We partied hard all the time together, with my other friends I’m getting together with tonight. Talking about Tor and Ari dying is gonna darken our party tonight.”
“What do you guys usually do together?”
“You know, the usual. Go to dance clubs, get drunk, chase pussy. Man, this one time, about a month ago, we took this one girl to…Virgil’s apartment, I think. It’s hard to remember in detail. We were all really drunk, and we…oops! Never mind. You don’t need to know about that.”
“I don’t, don’t I?” Nancy asked, looking askance at Eddie.
“She consented.” He avoided her eyes.
“Really?” Nancy glared at him. She saw a confession of guilt in his eyes.
“What am I, on trial here?”
“Look, forget it. Just be careful tonight with your friends. Don’t do anything stupid. I have a bad feeling about what happened to Ari and Tor. And your naughty partying is giving me even worse vibes. That woman’s OK, right?”
“Of course. What do think we did…kill her?” He was doing a bad job of hiding that guilt on his face.
“No, but whatever you all did with her, or to her, after that she may have wanted to kill herself.”
“Oh, come on! What’s this bullshit? She was fine when we left her. Really.”
“Really?” she asked, looking hard in his eyes.
“Yes, really,” he said, looking back in her eyes with a more assured attitude.
“Look, something weird is happening to your friends, it seems. It almost seems supernatural. As crazy as it sounds, I don’t know any other way to explain it.”
“Do you think her ghost is coming after us, or something?” he asked with a dopey look on his face, mocking the absurd attitude she seemed to have.
“No, of course not. Just be careful tonight, OK?”
“OK, Ms. Paranoia.” He left her apartment, sneering.