Once again it was Friday night. For Courtney that meant she would finally get to spend more time with John. They met on Total Drama during the Shipwreck season, where John was introduced as a new contestant to boost ratings, but it certainly wasn't love at first sight, then again with girls like Courtney there was no such thing, especially when the boy in question was a teenage cancer survivor with an unusual outfit. While stranded on an island that was later revealed to exist only in virtual reality, Courtney would often complain about how bad and unfair her life had become, but John showed her that it could be a hell of a lot worse when he showed her his surgical scars.
The event left Courtney traumatized, and for a while she jumped whenever she saw John, but when the next season, Total Drama Halo, came along she realized that she had very few allies, and in order to avoid getting booted she choose to befriend John since he clearly had the most skill at Halo. She thought it was going to be hard, but much to her surprise John actually seemed to enjoy talking to her. Soon she was teaching him how to play a musical instrument and they were playing endless games of chess. Courtney's plan was working perfectly, but even though she wouldn't admit it, she was beginning to fall for her mark. Not that she had played John for a fool, he knew the kind of person she was, but he was patient and willing to see if she really would develop feelings for him.
When it came time for the finals of Total Drama Halo Courtney only came in second place. She was mortified that she had come so close to winning only to end up one star short of a galaxy. On the ride home John did his best to console her, and then Courtney couldn't deny that she was in love anymore. Since she came in second place she won an all-expenses paid two week vacation for two to anywhere in the world she wanted to go. She and John spent two weeks alone on an island in the Caribbean. It was an almost too incredible experience.
Now they had been dating for several months. For a while Courtney was worried that their relationship would end as badly as the one she had with Duncan, but it quickly came clear to her that John was no Duncan.
"Duncan never sang to me… and he actually listens when I talk."
With his strong spiritual convictions, John certainly wasn't the type of boy who would kiss another girl behind Courtney's back; nevertheless she had taken precautions to make sure it wouldn't happen. In an interview with Sierra before the start of Total Drama Halo John revealed that he liked women with longer hair, for this reason Courtney had grown her hair out over the past few months. And during their trip to the Caribbean she almost did something even more drastic.
"I still can't believe I almost did that… I don't know what came over me."
Suddenly there was a knock at the door. Tonight Courtney was supposed to have the whole house to herself, so it could only be him.
"I thought Halloween wasn't until tomorrow." she said when she opened the door.
"Very funny…" said John taking off his helmet.
"Did the border patrol give you any trouble?" asked Courtney giving him a hug.
"Not after I gave them some autographs. I swear to God I never thought I people would actually ask me for one."
"You are the winner of Total Drama Shipwreck, and one of the final four from TDH."
"I hope you don't mind, I had to bring Angela with me. Mom is working late again."
"Not at all, the more the merrier."
Angela was John's little sister. Before Courtney and John became a couple she had only seen her before the finale of Total Drama Shipwreck. Since John's mother often had to work late John had to babysit, but he never complained since Angela helped take care of him when he went through chemo. Angela actually seemed thrilled about her big brother having a girlfriend.
"Hello Angela, how is everything?"
"It's been a little boring, ever since last season ended there's been nothing on TV."
"Which is why they invented DVDs." said John pulling out his bag.
Courtney, John, and Angela made themselves comfortable in front of the TV.
"So what will be our entertainment for this evening?"
Suddenly the phone started to ring.
"I think we may have to hold that thought."
"I'll get it." said Courtney "I'll be right back."
Caller ID told Courtney that it was her mother, probably just checking up on her and John.
But the voice that came out of the phone wasn't Courtney's mother, it sounded masculine, but distorted.
"You wish it was mom…"
"Who is this? What have you done with my mother?"
"You'll be pleased to hear that I've only cloned her phone."
"Duncan, if this is one of your sick jokes it's not funny!"
"I'm not Duncan… and does it sound like I'm laughing?"
"Well neither am I."
"Don't hang up on me…"
"Who was that?" asked John.
"Some freak trying to scare me."
"Probably just someone who's seen Scream too many times." said John "Tomorrow is Halloween. Besides, don't you have caller ID?
"Yes, but it said it was my mom, and he said he had cloned her phone."
The phone rang again.
This time John answered the phone.
"Hello Johnathan… You should really teach that girlfriend of yours some manners… I told her not to hang up on me."
"Who are you and what do you want?"
"I wanna play a game…"
"Oh yeah, real original."
"If you hang up on me I'll go Leatherface on all three of your asses!"
For a moment John was quiet.
"I assume I have your attention?"
John pulled out the twin katana that he always kept on his person and rushed to lock the doors.
"Nice steel Johnny boy… too bad it won't help you here."
"Johnny, what's going on?" asked Angela.
"Get away from the windows!"
John had seen enough horror movies to know that if you wanted to survive then you should never stand with your back to a door or window.
"Courtney, use my phone and call the cops."
Suddenly one of the windows shattered and Angela screamed.
"That was your one warning shot; the next one is going right up your ass!"
"John, by breaking that window he must've set off the alarm." whispered Courtney "The police will be here any minute, keep talking to him."
"What do you want me to say?"
"Just… keep him talking."
While Courtney tried to calm Angela, John returned to the phone.
"So… what kind of game did you have in mind?"
"You ask a question, and if I get it right we all live?"
"You know your horror movies. For that I'll give you a warm up question. In which of Shakespeare's plays does the main character cry, A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!"
"What?" whispered Courtney.
"Why are you asking me questions about Shakespeare?"
"That's the original part… Do you know the answer or not?"
"Yes! Very good, now for the real question… Think hard, your lives depend on it… Who's buried in Dracula's tomb? And no cheating!"
Courtney stopped reaching for her PDA. John thought he knew the answer, but he had seen the Scream movies enough times to know that this was probably a trick question.
"Are you talking about the fictional character from Bram Stoker's novel, or Vlad Tepes?"
"I'll ask the questions around here…"
"How can I give you an answer if you don't give me a clear question?"
"You'll give me an answer or I will hang all three of you by your own intestines!"
John wished the cops would hurry up.
"No one, and in the case of Vlad Tepes the alleged tombstone attributed to him in Snagov had nothing but animal bones in it."
"Excellent… you've given your girlfriend the chance to play an even better game."
"What? What are you talking about?"
"Don't worry… you'll find out soon enough."
Suddenly another window shattered and room started to fill up with gas.
"Shit! Courtney… get… Angela… out…"
Before John could finish his sentence he fell to the ground unconscious. Angela would be awoken later by the police, but Courtney and her brother would be gone.
Cody didn't want to open his eyes. The last thing he remembered was being ambushed in his bedroom.
"It must've been Sierra… and now she's kidnapped me and locked up somewhere to make me a slave to her will… I hope she hasn't found the key…"
"Uh… where am I?"
"Gwen? Is that you?"
Cody was locked in a very small room with Courtney, Gwen, Sierra, Duncan, Heather, Alejandro, Owen, Izzy, Lindsay, Tyler, Bridgette, and Geoff.
"What is this? A freaking reunion?" asked Heather.
"I don't think so, considering that there are only thirteen of us." replied Sierra.
"John! Where's John?" asked Courtney.
"Courtney? Almost didn't recognize you… Like the new look."
"We can talk hairstyles later, I was with John when some Ghostface wannabe called us and started shooting at my windows."
"That's nothing." said Geoff "Bridge and I were attacked by some maniac in black pyjamas."
"Me too!" said Sierra.
"Was that before or after you ambushed me?"
"Sierra, what's he talking about?"
"Well… I… did kind of sneak up on Cody with the intentions of…"
Before Sierra could finish her sentence a huge TV screen lit up in the room.
"Happy Halloween everyone… I trust you're all wondering where you are and who I am."
"You bet your ass Dracula." said Duncan.
"This is kidnapping! When I get out of here you're going to prison until you rot!" bellowed Courtney.
"I believe you mean, if you get out of here."
"You are all here because you've been contestants on Total Drama. Over time you've come to loathe your precious host with the most… but you could never despise Chris McLean as much as I do."
"If you hate Chris so much, then why the hell have you kidnapped us?" asked Alejandro.
"Yeah, who are you and what do you want?"
"You can call me Yin, as for what I want… I want to play a game…"
"Is that the best you can do, copycatting of a bunch of horror movies? If it is then you're even a sadder person than I thought."
"Ah Cody… the latest addition to the Total Drama All-Star family… I must say I never expected you to win last season, and I very much doubt you'll survive this game of mine."
"What do mean survive?"
"With Chris as your host the thirteen of you have played games for money and fame, but this Halloween you play a game for your lives. The rules are simple; you are locked in a haunted house completely cut off from the outside world. It is currently eight o'clock on Halloween night, and the doors will automatically open at the crack of dawn tomorrow, but there are many dangers lurking in this old house… I don't expect all of you to survive the night."
"And if we refuse to play?" asked Bridgette.
"Not a good option, because then I'll just flood the building with nerve gas and leave you to die."
"He makes a good argument."
"Not an original bone in his entire body."
"What have you done with John!" demanded Courtney.
"Young Johnathan is locked in another room somewhere in this mansion. If you play my game you will find him along the way. But surviving my game isn't enough."
On the TV Yin pulled up a huge suitcase full of money.
"I have here the prize money that was intended for the next season of Total Drama. It belongs to the first person who can deduce my true identity. If you are strong enough to survive my tricks and traps, as well as any supernatural forces at work in this mansion, then you should have wisdom enough to figure out who I really am."
"It doesn't take a genius to figure that out… Chris." said Heather.
"Eeeh! Sorry Heather, wrong guess. Would you like to go for Double Jeopardy where the scores can really change?"
"Oh great, now he's stealing lines from action movies too."
"Make no mistake, I'm in charge here, and I'm not asking you to play my game… I'm telling you. Your first task is to escape from this room. The only way to do that is with the keypad on the wall, one of you possesses the key your freedom, but I suggest you do so quickly, otherwise my friends will be having pancakes for breakfast… Let the game begin."
Without saying another word Yin vanished as the TV shut off.
"I have a feeling this is going to be a very long night."
For some reason the keypad was right above the floor. The combination could have four numbers in it, and ten different numbers from zero to nine could be entered.
"That means there are approximately ten thousand possible combinations." said Courtney.
"He did say one of us has the key to freedom."
"He also said if we don't hurry up then his friends will have pancakes for breakfast. What do you think he meant by that."
"Uh… Tyler… you look taller to me… why is that?"
"What do you mean Lindsay? I'm not getting taller."
"I think it's because the room is getting shorter!"
They all looked up and saw that the ceiling was slowly coming down.
"AH! WHAT DO WE DO?" exclaimed Owen.
"You know… This is almost exactly like what happened in Saw V." said Izzy.
"Courtney, you better hurry up and figure out what that code is!"
"That could take hours!"
"Try sixty seconds!" said Duncan trying to brace the ceiling.
"Come on… we've got to have something!"
Everyone searched their person for anything useful.
"I've got something!" said Lindsay.
"Is it a key?" asked Cody.
"Wait a minute… it's a black light!"
"Ultraviolet light! Police use them to search for forensic evidence! Maybe Yin left his fingerprints on the keypad!"
The campers hit pay dirt. Four of the keys had prints on them.
"Okay… a seven… one… eight… and a nine."
"Well that narrows it down to about… twenty four possible combinations."
"We don't have time for that!"
"Four numbers! Maybe it's a year!"
"Okay… 1789… 1798… 1879… 1897… 1978!"
Suddenly the ceiling stopped going down and part of the wall flew right up to make a doorway.
"That was easy enough…" said Tyler.
"It's going to be a very long night…"
"Ugh… Oh god, why does my head hurt?"
As John rose to his feet all his muscles felt sluggish.
"Where am I?"
John had absolutely no idea where he was, only that he was in the woods in the middle of the night. The moon wasn't out and there were no stars.
"Courtney? Angela? Where are you?"
John started running through the woods calling out their names. But he wasn't getting anywhere fast. He searched himself, but found that he had no wallet, no katana, no keys, and no cell phone. He still felt a little groggy, but other than that no one had seemed to have inflicted any bodily harm on him.
"Okay… Why would you kidnap someone, rob him, and then dump him in the woods without killing him?"
Suddenly it got a lot colder and the trees were shrouded in mist.
The voice was cold and deprived of emotion, it was like the hissing of a snake, but it had the power of a lion's roar.
"Remember me Johnny?"
Suddenly the trees behind John started to shrivel up and rot. Then a huge cloaked figure emerged through the mist.
"No… not you!"
"It's time Johnny…"
John took off in the opposite direction and ran, and he wouldn't stop running until his lungs gave out. The reaper followed him slowly, but not so slowly that John could lose him.
"You may have evaded me once before, but did you honestly think it was forever?"
John didn't answer, he just kept running. The reaper reached out with his long boney hand to touch him, but at that instant John fell down a huge steep hill he hadn't seen because of the mist. He landed with his face in the dirt.
"You are dirt… and to dirt you shall return…"
"Not today! Not if I have anything to say about it!"
When John got up he saw that he had stumbled into a graveyard. For a while since his treatment he had a fit every time he saw one. But the reaper had just reached the hill and was beginning to make his way down.
"I've got to keep going! For mom and Angela... for Courtney."
John raced through the graveyard, but there didn't seem to be any end to it, and the reaper just kept coming.
"Welcome home Johnny…"
"Leave me alone!"
After running through what seemed like miles of graves he came to a towering basilica. It looked as if it had been carved out black marble and was barely visible against the night sky. The windows were filled with an eerie orange glow, but John wasn't feeling picky at the moment. He heaved the huge wooden doors open and then slammed them shut. He praised God that there was a safety bolt. Within seconds there was loud rapping on the door, but it stood strong.
"Ha! You won't get me in here…" said John backing away.
He quickly made sure that there wasn't any other way into the church. For a moment he thought he was safe, but then he realized that he had overlooked one very important thing.
"What if he shatters the windows?"
John waited and waited, but nothing happened. Then there was a bright flash of lighting and a roaring blast of thunder. It was so sudden that he jumped, but he was still alone in the church. In no time at all he started to hear rain dropping on the building like pebbles, but despite this he could still hear metal tapping against the stained glass windows. He looked and in another flash of lighting he saw the reaper holding his scythe outside, John expected him to shatter the window any moment, but he just stood there and waved.
"If I stay here long enough, maybe he'll just go away."
John knelt down in one of the pews and prayed. The church smelled of incense and the candles cast flickering shadows on the walls, it almost looked like they were moving. Like most basilicas this one was filled with paintings, statues and other forms of art that Christians used to visualize angels, demons, saints, and of course Jesus.
"My God… you've given me so much… once already you've saved me from death's grip… you've given me financial independence… you've given me love… and in gratitude I have stayed true to you."
John had indeed stayed true, and he knew that God must know how hard that had been for him a few months ago in the Caribbean.
"Lord on high, deliver me…"
Suddenly the church was filled with a wicked loud laughter, and then the candles all went out, leaving the church utterly dark.
"Lord on high… deliver me…"
The laughing continued.
"God or no God… you can never escape me."
Somewhere inside the mansion Yin alone staring at the monitors that were set up. Right now Yin was the only one watching the campers as they played the game, but after it was over the whole thing would be posted on the internet.
"I very much doubt any network would air some of the things this video is sure to contain."
Courtney had been the one to punch in the key code, enabling all the campers to escape the first room.
"Courtney… I wonder what the cards say about you."
Yin took out a tarot deck, shuffled it, and set up a spread.
"What do the cards say about your past, present, and future? Let's find out…"
Yin turned over the first card, which represented Courtney's past.
"The Devil is right side up… Why am I not surprised?"
When right side up the Devil card meant the person was absorbed in material things, a lover of money. It could also mean lust and sexual obsession. Yin knew that a lot of the traits of the Devil card fit Courtney perfectly.
"Your present is… Death upright."
Probably the most misquoted card in a tarot deck, people often made the mistake of thinking the Death card was literally an ominous sign that their mortal life was coming to an end. What the card really meant was the beginning of a new life, the end of a phase in their life that had served its purpose.
"And now for a lifetime supply of vanilla coke… your future is…"
Before Yin could flip over the card some of the monitors started to flicker inexplicably. That had been happening a lot lately.
"Looks like I chose my stage well."
Yin had searched for a long time to find a real haunted house for the show. It was only here that the local claims appeared to be more than just superstition. Yin's work on the house seemed to have disturbed whatever lurked within the mansion.
"Where ever you run, and where ever you hide, you've got to face it baby, things go bump in the night."
"Okay… What do we do now?" asked Lindsay.
Upon exiting the first room the campers found themselves in an old library.
"We find a way to get the hell out of here."
"I thought Yin said we're locked in till dawn."
"Well I… agree with Heather." said Alejandro "Yin is probably just Chris playing a joke."
"Ever since they inexplicably started making out last season after the zombie challenge, Heather and Alejandro have a love-hate relationship. And I ought to know, last season while we were on Loser Island I lost count of how many times I caught them thrashing about like two fish out of water on the couch."
"Now that you mention it… It is Halloween." said Duncan.
"And Friday the Thirteenth!" exclaimed Tyler.
"Tyler, it's impossible for Friday the Thirteenth and Halloween to occur on the same day."
"How do you know that?"
"Because Friday the Thirteenth only occurs when the thirteenth of any month falls on a Friday, and Halloween always takes place on October thirty-first." said Gwen.
"We all know Chris is crazy… but actually resorting to kidnapping? I think that's more trouble with the law than it's worth. But… there is one person who would probably go that far."
"Well… are we going to stand around all day, or are we going to find a way out?" asked Heather.
Suddenly the TV in the room flared to life.
"You'd be wasting your time Heather." said Yin "All the windows have bars and all the doors are locked, and as I've previously stated they will remain locked until dawn."
"Well then I guess we'll just have to break one of these rotting old walls down." said Alejandro.
"I wouldn't do that either."
"And why not?"
"Look out the window…"
In the light of the full moon they could see several shapes moving quickly toward the house. In no time at all they were pressing against the barred window and growling.
"He has attack dogs?" asked Cody.
"Those aren't dogs…" said Izzy "Those are wolves."
"Not just wolves…" replied Yin "Those are Alaskan timber wolves, and I've managed to get my hands on a whole pack."
"Are they hungry?" asked Owen.
"Very… You're just going to have to face the fact that you're in for the duration. And I suggest you be careful… There are fouler things than wolves in this old mansion."
"What are you talking about?"
"I've already told you, the house is haunted."
"Go look in the hall…"
The scene in the hall was very eerie. There were at least a dozen jack-o-lanterns spread about, and their candles were the only source of light. Each pumpkin had a different face which it reflected on the wall. Alejandro instinctively made for the front door and attempted to heave it open, but it was locked shut.
"Jeez… It's like forty degrees in here!" said Courtney
Gwen was looking at a huge painting the hung in between two jack-o-lanterns. If anyone ever visited this house it would have been the first thing they saw across the room as soon as they opened the door. The woman in the painting looked as if she had only just turned twenty five. She had flawless white skin, her eyes were like sapphires, and her hair was like a long wavy pale golden waterfall. Judging from her attire, the painting had to be at least six decades old.
"Who is that?" asked Sierra.
"Whoever she is, she sure is pretty."
"She was the last owner of this house."
There was no TV in the room, so Yin's voice made everyone jump.
"Where are you?"
"I'm just a fly on the wall."
It was then that Gwen figured out where the sound was coming from. There was a speaker inside one of the jack-o-lanterns.
"This house used to belong to the beautiful young woman that you see in the painting. She had inherited it from her wealthy oil tycoon of a father. Her name was Rachel, and true to her name she was as pure as the driven snow, despite her rich upbringing."
"But?" asked Duncan knowing this story had to go somewhere.
"Like most women she was doomed to fall in love. Her diaries talk about it as if it were out of a fairy tale. Unfortunately for her the First World War wouldn't be the last. Driven by a sense of duty to his country her love went to fight against the supremacist dictators of the time and their followers. Accepting his decision Rachel told him that she would wait for him forever… but he never returned."
"I could have seen that part coming like an atom bomb."
"When she received the note of condolence her heart was shattered. That night she lost the will to live and died in her sleep."
"She lost the will to live?" asked Heather "Did you get your degree in poetry? Obviously Ms. Melancholy just couldn't go on without her precious lover and decided to OD on something."
"Oh no… the doctors couldn't find anything wrong with her. She was perfectly healthy aside from the fact that she was dead."
"Yeah right, and maybe tiny aliens are building an advanced civilization inside my brain."
"As per her last wills, the two lovers were laid to rest on these very grounds. But apparently that wasn't enough to put her soul at rest. For a while no one could afford to buy this property and the house fell into disrepair. Eventually someone did come to take a look at the house… IT WAS TERRIBLE! HORRIBLE! GRUESOME! You don't want to know…"
"You got that right…" said Tyler shivering in the corner.
"The bottom line is that to this day Rachel's spirit walks the halls of this old manor… waiting for the spirit of her intended to return to her… and she will take no other man."
Yin said nothing else. At that moment the wind roared outside, the wolves howled, the old wooden floors inside the house creaked, and the room felt even colder.
"Okay let's see here…" said Duncan "A loony in a mask, a haunted house, John's missing, and wolves."
"All that's missing is a spooky organ." said Owen.
Suddenly the house was filled with eerie sounding music.
"It's not missing anymore." said Bridgette.
"Come on, let's find out where it's coming from."
"Wait Alejandro! It might be dangerous… You go first."
"Ha! Young Frankenstein… Anyway, very important rule of horror movies and a few other kinds of movies as well, never go first or last."
The campers made their way down another hallway filled with more jack-o-lanterns. Apparently Yin had gone to great lengths to make sure that no two faces were the same. All the same the faces were very eerie, and with their reflected faces it was beginning to feel like the walls had eyes and mouths of their own.
"Whoever Yin is they obviously have way too much free time on their hands."
"Tyler… I'm scared…"
"We're all scared Lindsay."
"I hate these things… They give me the creeps." said Heather.
"Don't touch the pumpkins." said Gwen.
"Haven't you seen Trick 'r Treat?"
"Yeah right, like I'd really want to see some girl dressed up like Red Riding Hood getting eaten by a monster."
"I think that's clear that she hasn't seen it. Ha!"
They continued down the hallway until they came to a room without a door, that's when they saw the organ and the person who was playing it.
"There you are you sick…"
Alejandro charged at the open doorway, but there was some kind of transparent wall blocking it. On the other side Yin laughed.
"You are so dead…"
Alejandro started pounding on the wall with all his might, but it wasn't doing any good.
"What's this wall made of?"
Alejandro was so focused on pounding the wall that he didn't notice that Yin had walked up to it and was holding a gun.
"Oh you filthy mother…"
BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!
When Alejandro opened his eyes he was relieved to see that he was still alive. The bullets were lodged in the transparent wall. On the other side Yin was jingling a set of keys.
"When I get my hands on you…"
Suddenly everything went dark.
"Don't move! Everyone stay together!" said Gwen.
When the lights came back on Yin was gone but had left a message on the glass.
Need some clues?
"Please tell me that isn't blood…" said Bridgette.
"Please tell me that isn't John's…"
"It must be a trap."
"So what do we do?" asked Sierra.
"Spring the trap."
When they went back into the main hall they were in for a shocking surprise.
"What are you staring at?" asked Courtney.
"What do you mean?"
Cody pointed out that Rachel was missing from her portrait, leaving only an empty background.
"Whoa… that is too freaky." said Izzy.
"Don't get you panties in a knot." said Alejandro "Obviously Yin switched her portrait with an empty one."
"Well… I guess that does seem… feasible."
"Or maybe it was Rachel's ghost!" exclaimed Izzy "Maybe she really is haunting these very halls waiting for her beloved to return to her!"
"There is no ghost, just a lunatic in a mask! Now let's just find out who the hell he is so I can get my million and go home."
"What makes you think Yin is a he?" asked Bridgette.
"Because there's no way a woman couldn't lift Owen off the ground."
"Oh come on, as soon as you need to move your furniture, who do you call?"
Heather kicked him in the balls.
"Oww! Hey! I'm just telling it like it is."
"Well I wouldn't say no woman could lift Owen off the ground, what about Eva?" asked Duncan.
"Last I checked she was still incarcerated for breaking into Chris' house, destroying his car, and assaulting five of the cops who arrested her." said Sierra.
"And… when was the last time you checked?" asked Heather.
"Yesterday, shortly after breakfast."
As they ascended the stairs they creaked very loudly. Some of the girls jumped as something scurried out from underneath them.
"It's okay girls… just a rat."
At the top of the stairs there were even more jack-o-lanterns. They started searching, but the doors were locked.
"This is just like that instrumental song about a guy who can't find the way out." said Cody.
"Guys… I think I found it."
Around the edge and at the far end of the hall there was a door with words written on it.
Trick or treat…
"Well… What are we waiting for?"
Alejandro swung the door open.
"AH I'M DYING! I'M TOO YOUNG AND FULL OF POTENTIAL TO GO LIKE THIS! Huh?"
Izzy smelled the red stuff Alejandro's body was now covered with, and then she licked it.
"Corn syrup, the same stuff they use to make fake blood in horror movies."
Knocking aside the shotgun that had blasted Alejandro, the campers found themselves in an old nursery. There was another TV in the room and it instantly flashed to life.
"I suggest you be more careful Alejandro… The next one won't be filled with corn syrup."
"I HATE HIM…"
"Welcome to the nursery my dear victims… Little Rachel was born in this very room…"
"You mean to tell me she was born in this house?" asked Gwen.
"She was born in this house, lived in it, and she died in it. When this house was built her ancestors forgot to take into consideration the distance to the nearest hospital. Because of this her parents had some medical staff on standby when it came time for her to be born. Don't you think it's only fitting that life should end where it began?"
"Did you lead us up here for a reason?"
"Well you can't solve a mystery without clues, so I've hidden one in this room. But you'll have to find it by yourselves."
Yin vanished from the TV without saying another word.
The nursery was full of old toys and various other baby items that were decades old.
"What is it Gwen?"
Gwen had cleared some of the dust from one of the windows and looked outside. The full moon allowed them to see that the mansion was a lot bigger than they thought; it had its own cloister in the center, the walls were lined with gargoyles, and the building itself was surrounded by a sea of trees.
"Yin did say Rachel's father was rich, but this is ridiculous."
"Yeah, I've seen malls that were smaller than this place." said Bridgette.
"We can talk real estate later; right now let's get back to searching."
"We don't even know what we're looking for."
"Never mind… I think I've found it."
The dust had been disturbed around the crib. There was a box under the old blanket inside.
"Duncan… It's got your name on it."
"Oh boy… what now?"
Duncan shook the box. There was something heavy inside.
Inside the box was a gun with no bullets, and a note.
I know what you did when you were six.
"Duncan? You in there man?" asked Geoff.
"You look like you've seen a ghost."
"Nobody knew about the birdy incident…" he said at last.
"Birdy incident? What are you talking about?" asked Sierra.
"When Duncan was six he snuck out with his father's gun and shot a bird." said Gwen.
"How do you know?"
"Because he told me, Owen, and Heather back in season one back when we… confessed our sins."
"It was an accident! It's not like I killed anyone's pet, it was wild! And how the hell did Yin know about it anyway?"
"Why is everyone looking at me?" asked Heather "I didn't even remember that until you brought it up just now."
"Can we discuss this new development somewhere else?" asked Tyler "All these old dolls are kinda freaking me out."
They went back into the hall, but stopped dead when they saw who was on the other end.
"THERE YOU ARE!"
Surprisingly instead of pulling a gun, Yin just took off down to the other end of the hallway and disappeared into another room. Alejandro tried to get in, but the door was locked.
"Out of my way!"
"What are you doing?"
"I'm gonna get in there if it's the last thing I do!"
He charged down the hall toward the door…
Duncan walked over and banged on the door.
"Sounds like it's made of metal, clever to disguise it like all the other doors in this house."
"Sounds like you admire this freak." said Heather.
"Take into consideration that we're playing his game at the moment."
Yin was already safely back in the room with the monitors.
"I am so talented… and they are so dumb."
After Alejandro's failed attempt to apprehend Yin, the campers were going back down to the library to discuss the latest developments.
"You okay Big-O?" asked Izzy.
"I'm okay, it's just… I have to go to the bathroom."
"Number one or number two?" asked Gwen.
Before Owen could answer the question one of the doors that had previously been locked flew open. Owen looked inside and was relieved to see that it was a bathroom.
"You do realize this house is over fifty years old. I'm pretty sure they shut off the water a long time ago." said Heather.
"Would you like him to pee on the floor?"
"I see your point."
"Owen! What is it?"
Duncan stepped into the bathroom to see what was wrong. He didn't see anything at first, but that's when he looked in the mirror.
Duncan's reflection was nothing but a skeleton wearing his clothes. He looked behind himself, but there was nothing there. He moved his hands up and down, and made several funny faces, and his skeleton doppelganger mimicked his every move.
After Owen did his business everyone gathered in the library, but when they did they found that there was something in there that wasn't there before. Nestled on the dusty old desk was an envelope with Heather's name on it.
"Well… are you going to open it?"
I know what you do during 'alone time'.
Heather's face turned pink.
"What the heck is alone time?" asked Tyler.
"What happens in alone time stays in alone time!" said Heather.
"I'm gonna say… masturbating." said Duncan.
"Well then it gives me great pleasure to tell me that you're wrong… pervert."
"What does SD mean?" asked Alejandro.
"None of your business!"
"Hmm… South Dakota… San Diego… Standard Definition… Secure Digital…" suggested Cody.
"I told you it's none of your business!"
"Standard deviation… Sustainable Development… Spasmodic dysphonia?"
"What is Spasmodic dysphonia?"
"It's a voice disorder."
As soon as Lindsay said it Heather's face turned even pinker.
"You're a Scooby Doo fan?" asked Gwen.
"I thought women like Heather only watched soaps…"
"Duncan shoots a bird, and Yin follows up by telling us that Heather watches Scooby Doo in her free time?"
"Is that what you keep locked in that safe under your bed? Your Scooby Doo DVDs?" asked Sierra.
"You've been in my room?"
"New top priority, change locks."
"Heather I have a question. If Scooby is a dog, then how can he eat all that people food and not die?"
"I don't know Owen, maybe because he's a cartoon character." said Alejandro.
"He's not just a cartoon character; he was bigger than the Beatles!" exclaimed Heather.
The only person who wasn't laughing at the conversation was Courtney, who had hardly said three words all night.
"Please! Can we get down to business and figure out who the hell has managed to kidnap us?" she said at last.
"I can understand that Courtney probably has a lot on her mind. We're locked in a haunted house surrounded by wolves in the middle of nowhere, completely cut off from the outside world, and Yin has her boyfriend. I'd be acting the same way if it was Geoff."
"They could never understand…"
"Okay everyone, here's the situation. It is currently eight forty seven on Halloween night. According to Yin the doors will automatically open at dawn, and we have until then to deduce our captor's identity, at which time one of us will be one million dollars richer."
"And Yin will be going to the gallows to be electrocuted." said Duncan finishing Gwen's sentence.
"Don't they usually hang people at the gallows?" asked Geoff.
"That's why it's called a joke."
"Back to business… Yin claims to be doing this to get revenge on Chris, but it is feasible that Yin is in fact Chris yanking our chains."
"But we should also take into consideration that even though we all know Chris is crazy; we don't know if he would go as far as to face over ten years in prison just for ratings." said Sierra.
"If I know Chris McLean, and I do, he wouldn't last three hours in prison."
"Suspect number two is Chef Hatchet. Perhaps he's sick of being Chris' sidekick."
"He's certainly not someone you'd want to meet in a dark alley." said Cody.
"Yin's kind of short to be Chef…"
"Okay Sierra, so who do you think Yin is?" asked Heather.
"How about Blaineley?" said Geoff.
"Who's Blaineley?" asked Lindsay.
"Exactly! After season three her image went down the toilet. One night she's had too much wine, she snaps, and decides she can show her stuff by making a game where the stakes are ten times as big as they are on Total Drama!"
"Yin kidnapped all of us, and I very much doubt Blaineley would have been able to move an unconscious Owen even three feet."
"Probably the only woman we know who could do that is Eva, if you can call her a woman." said Tyler.
"And according to Sierra, Eva is still in jail."
"So Sierra, what are your theories? What kind of enemies does Chris have?" asked Izzy.
"Uh… Does anyone have a phone book?"
"Okay… let's see if we can narrow it down."
"Wait a minute… before we go any further there's something I want to know. Did Yin call any of you before kidnapping you?" asked Courtney.
"No, he or she just killed the lights and then put me out with chloroform."
All the others told stories similar to Gwen's.
"So why did Yin only play Scream with me and John?"
"Maybe you got special treatment for the same reason John is currently being held captive, because ever since he came on Total Drama he's been Chris' favorite."
"I think I should also mention that the first question Yin asked us was about Richard III."
"That's not a horror movie."
"I don't see what this has to do with anything." said Heather.
"Yin was imitating Ghostface, the persona used by the killer or killers in the Scream movies. In the Scream movies he asks people questions about horror movies. So why did Yin ask a question about one of Shakespeare's plays?"
"And this is important… why?"
"According to Sherlock Holmes the little details are the most important. I feel I should also mention that the second question Yin asked us was about Dracula, but Yin wasn't clear if it was about the fictional character or Vlad Tepes."
"Richard III and Dracula? What's the connection?"
"Does it even matter?"
"Why don't you ask the picture of Shakespeare on the wall?" said Duncan "He's been watching us since we came in."
The others turned around in time to see the eyes on the portrait being replaced with the proper ones.
BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG!
"What the hell was that?" exclaimed Cody jumping to his feet.
"Well if I had to take a guess, I'd say gunshots were fired, a woman screamed, and lightning struck."
Courtney was already out of the room and running up the stairs in the direction they had heard the shots.
"Well, I guess we better follow her before someone put a knife her back." said Gwen.
"Aren't we supposed to run away from gunshots?" asked Tyler.
"Horror film director Wes Craven was once able to keep one of his actresses looking scared after six takes. If he can do that I can do the same with these campers."
When the campers made it upstairs they saw that the steel door that Alejandro had run into earlier was no longer shut.
"Don't go in there! It's dark!"
"Don't you watch scary movies Heather? The dark is a bad place."
"Well, I don't think we have choice in the matter."
As soon as they went inside the door shut behind them.
"What did I tell you?"
"Quiet! I smell something!" said Izzy.
"What? What is it?"
Before Izzy could answer a TV flashed on.
"Time for your next test campers… Once again you find yourselves trapped like mice in a cage, but if you are successful your will be able to journey deeper into the mansion, and you will be that much closer to saving dear Johnathan, solving this mystery, earning the million dollars and your freedom. But if you can't solve this next puzzle then I will leave you in this room to rot… Oh, one thing I forgot to mention. This is no ordinary room… this is a room… WITH A COW IN IT!"
"NO! Wait a minute… did you say a room with a cow in it?"
A light flashed on, enabling everyone to see that there was indeed a fully grown live cow locked in the room with them. She was eating from a big tub filled with grass.
"Your knees are quaking with fear, are they not?"
"Not really. What's so horrible about a room with a cow in it?" asked Bridgette "I mean, sure that's a big cow, but so what?"
"You'll find out in three… two… one…"
"OH MY GOD!" exclaimed Geoff covering his nose "How did you turn cut grass into that?"
"There is only one way out of this room." said Yin "You must solve the six riddles that appear on the keypad. The cow holds the key to your freedom, but you also need to be able to see what your eyes alone cannot."
"What the heck are you talking about?"
But the TV had already switched off. At that moment something came up on the screen above the keypad.
I am the fruit of the sky and thunder. No mortal man can match me. I am he who slays lions, hydras, even his own wife and children.
"Yikes…" said Gwen.
"Does anyone have any ideas on this one." asked Duncan.
"What the heck did Yin mean about the cow holding the key to our freedom?"
"I'll ask her." said Izzy "Talking to a cow isn't much different than talking to a camel."
"Moo… mooo… mooo?" asked Izzy.
"She says she's very sad."
"That's helpful…" said Alejandro.
"Being able to see what our eyes alone can't… Wait a minute… Courtney! Do you still have the black light from the first room?" asked Gwen.
"Yeah, I've got it right here."
"Use it on the cow."
Some of the boys stood in front of the light in the room so Courtney could make out a message that was written on the cow's body.
Look to the stars.
"Look to the stars? That might be a bit more helpful if we could actually see the stars in here!" exclaimed Heather.
"Everybody calm down! It's a riddle; we just have to solve it."
"Guys, I've got an idea."
Courtney used the black light on the ceiling. Everyone was beginning to see strange shapes and patterns all across it.
"Wait a minute… those are the constellations!"
"Maybe the answer to this riddle is a constellation. Each one has a story behind it." said Cody.
"Don't look at me." said Geoff "I flunked Greek mythology."
"I think the answer to this riddle is Hercules." said Alejandro.
They punched in Hercules on the keypad, then one of the locks on the door opened.
"It couldn't have been Hercules. I saw that movie when I was girl, and he would never kill his wife or children."
"That was a Disney movie Lindsay." said Gwen "And a fair number of them aren't true to the stories they are based on."
"About the only thing they got correct in the movie was that Philoctetes was his friend. Hercules was the illegitimate son of Zeus and Alcmene. Hera was so enraged at Zeus for his infidelity that she sent Hercules into a blind frenzy, in which he killed his wife and children. After regaining his sanity he was sent by the Oracle at Delphi to serve King Eurystheus as penance."
"Are we going to be tested on this?" asked Tyler.
"Let's move on."
"What's the next riddle?" asked Owen.
We are the children of a swan. We are hunters who defy Heaven and Hell.
"That's an easy one. The answer is Gemini."
"What do you mean easy?"
"Castor and Pollux, the twins, were conceived when Zeus raped Leda while disguised as a swan. As for the second part of the riddle, one day when Castor was dying Pollux was given the choice by Zeus of spending all his time on Mount Olympus or giving have his immortality to his dying brother. Pollux opted for the later, and as a result the twins were able to alternate between Olympus and Hades."
After punching in the word Gemini another lock opened.
My cradle is my parent's tomb. My music can soothe even gods. I cheat death from his righteous victory.
"Wait, I actually know this one!" said Cody "The answer is Phoenix! As soon as they die they burst into flame, and are reborn from the ashes, and they are also known for their singing."
"It is a constellation…"
The next riddle was a bit harder.
I am he who walks on water. I am he who was blinded and can see again. I am he who angered the earth and am he who wears kings.
"It must be Jesus!" said Lindsay "Who else can walk on water?"
"Jesus isn't a constellation." said Courtney "And last I checked he was the one who enabled the blind to see, not the other way around."
"The answer is Orion."
"Orion was the son of Poseidon, the sea-god, as a result it was said he could walk on waves. He was blinded by Oenopion and was later healed by Helios. As for the final part of the riddle, the stars of the constellation known as Orion's belt are sometimes known as the Three Kings."
"Did you memorize this stuff?" asked Duncan.
"Unlike some people I work hard in school so I can get ahead in life." replied Alejandro.
"And yet, I became a millionaire before he did."
I am a symbol of something that cannot be defeated. I am sign of something that ruins empires and civilizations. I am a symbol of something that brings man from infancy, to adulthood, and to dust.
"We're looking for a constellation that is a symbol of time." said Cody.
"That's my Cody-wody." said Sierra giving him a hug "He's so smart, skilled, and sexy…"
"I wonder if poor Cody's been able to keep his virginity since last season. I know that look on Sierra's face."
The answer to the last riddle was Horologium.
"Is this the last riddle?" asked Bridgette "The smell of the cow's…"
"Bad Jessica!" said Izzy.
"Well she's got to have a name."
By gold I was born, by the underworld I am unseen, by the tortoise I can fly, by wisdom I am not stone. I am my grandfather's murderer.
"A flying tortoise? That sounds like one awesome tortoise!" said Geoff.
"How can a tortoise fly?"
"Even Alejandro seemed puzzled by this one for a while.
"Hurry up before I pass out." said Heather struggling to keep her nose covered.
"It must be Perseus."
"Care to explain?"
"Acrisius was warned by the Oracle at Delphi that one day he would be killed by his daughter's son. To keep her childless Acrisius imprisoned in a bronze chamber open only to the sky. One day Zeus came in the form of a shower of gold and impregnated her. One day Perseus was sent to acquire the head of a Medusa, who could turn her victims to stone. For this task Hesperides gave Perseus a special knapsack to contain Medusa's head. Zeus gave him an adamantine sword and Hades' helm of darkness which would make the wearer invisible. Hermes, whose symbols include the tortoise, lent him winged sandals so he could fly. And finally Athena, the goddess of wisdom gave him a polished shield, which he used to see Medusa's reflection so he wouldn't be turned to stone."
"Zeus may have been the king of the Greek gods, but from the sound of things he wasn't an ideal husband."
After punching in the word Perseus, the door opened.
"Oh thank the lord…" said Heather taking a deep breath.
"What I'd like to know is what all these Greek legends have to do with Halloween." said Cody.
"All in good time my dear victims…"
Suddenly Yin saw something weird on the monitor.
"Freeze that image!"
Yin then looked at the picture under several different wavelengths.
After escaping the room with the cow in it, the campers proceeded down another long hallway and down a flight of stairs. Once again the only source of light was the jack-o-lanterns that had been placed there.
"I demand to know who came up with these creepy things." said Heather.
"That would be the Celts. By the way, have you ever heard the old Irish legend of…"
"Irish legend of what?" asked Owen.
"Stingy Jack." replied Gwen "There are several different variations of the story, but the main thing is that a lazy yet shrewd farmer called Stingy Jack trapped the devil, and only agreed to let him go by making him promise never to take his soul. Years later when Jack died, his life had been too sinful for him to go to heaven, but since the devil had promised never to take his soul he was barred from hell as well. Jack now had nowhere to go, and didn't know how he would see where to go, as he had no light. The devil mockingly tossed him an ember from the flames of hell that would never burn out. Jack carved out one of his turnips, which was his favorite food, put the ember inside it, and began endlessly wandering the Earth for a resting place. From that day forward he was known as Jack of the Lantern."
"Turnips? I thought we used pumpkins."
"Well, traditionally in places like Ireland and Britain the lanterns were carved out of vegetables. But when people started coming to North America they began using the native pumpkin instead since it was more available and much easier to carve."
"Why would you carve lanterns out of vegetables in the first place?" asked Lindsay.
"To wade off evil spirits."
"Guys! I think I've found the way out!"
Geoff was wrong; he had just found the door that opened up into the cloister. But there didn't seem to be anything else to find in the part of the mansion they had previously been in, so they decided to press on. A chilly autumn wind whipped by, and that's when the moon came out from behind the clouds.
In the center of the cloister surrounded by a circle of jack-o-lanterns was a big black marble statue of Death. In one hand he held his scythe, and in the other he held an hourglass. In addition to his skeletal form he had two broad wings coming out of his cloak.
"Since when does the Grim Reaper have wings?" asked Duncan.
"The Grim Reaper is just a personification of death. In some cultures the personification of death has wings."
"Do the Greeks give him wings?"
"Why do you ask?"
"Look at the base."
Duncan was pointing at the inscription carved into the statue's base.
Αυτό που ενώνειόλους τους ανθρώπους
"I don't suppose anyone can read that?" asked Geoff.
"Guys… what are those?"
At the statue's feet there were thirteen small skulls. After getting a closer look at them they saw that each one had one of their names written on it.
"AHH! Get me out of here!"
Tyler, Owen, Lindsay, Cody, and Sierra all ran back the way they came, but the door was sealed shut.
"Wait a minute…"
Alejandro took the skull with his name on it and smelled it.
"These are sugar skulls."
"These were invented by the Mexicans to use as decorations during Día de los Muertos. I think Yin is playing a joke on us."
"Because the names written on the skulls are traditionally those of the deceased."
"You had me at sugar." said Owen picking up his.
"Don't put that in your mouth. These are meant for decoration, not for eating."
"Aww… but I'm hungry."
It was just then that the others realized how hungry they were. They hadn't eaten since last night, and had spent the day unconscious. Suddenly they heard something they didn't expect to hear.
"Is that a ringtone?" asked Bridgette.
"It sounds like Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor." said Courtney.
"Who cares what the song is, the point is where there's a ringtone there's a cellphone! Where is it?" asked Heather.
They found the cellphone wedged in-between Death's head and the inside of his hood. Gwen ignored the incoming call knowing it must be Yin.
"Even if we call the police, how will they find us?" asked Tyler "We don't know where we are."
"Maybe they can the trace signal."
"It's a no-go guys." said Gwen.
The phone started making a strange beeping noise after Gwen had dialed.
"Obviously this phone was rigged to only receive calls, not make them."
"You can do that?"
"Clearly you've never seen Saw before."
"Well unrig it." said Courtney.
"Do I look like a phone technician?"
Suddenly the phone started ringing again, this time Gwen answered it.
"You shouldn't ignore the phone when someone knows you're there, that's just rude…"
"What do you want?"
"I couldn't help but overhear, it sounds like the thirteen of you are getting a little hungry."
"What's it to you?"
"I guess I could reward you all for making it this far… but first you'll have to answer one question…"
"Traditionally, on which day of the year would people go souling during the Middle Ages?"
"Souling?" asked Sierra.
"It's what trick-or-treating is based on, only back then poor people would go door to door asking for food in return for prayers to the dead on All Souls Day."
"I'm waiting…" said Yin.
"November first, on Hallowmas."
"Yes, very good. Now catch…"
Something came tumbling down from the roof and hit the ground. It had been a piñata shaped like a skull.
"Candy!" exclaimed Owen, Izzy, Sierra, and Cody.
"Are you sure you want to do that? Yin probably poisoned it."
"In that case… Heather, you taste it."
The phone rang again.
"The candy is harmless I promise, unless you have a serious case of diabetes. But the next one of my traps you encounter won't be."
Cody was scooping up a huge handful of candy when suddenly…
"Gnooool oooos neeeeb sti esuooooh yyyym ni sregnarts."
"What's wrong?" asked Gwen.
"Didn't any of you just here that?"
"That noise that I just heard."
"Oh yeah…" said Alejandro "It sounded like Mr. King of the Canyon asking stupid questions."
Cody looked up, but all he was the stone gargoyles perched at the top of the cloister walls basking in the moonlight. Like the jack-o-lanterns scattered throughout the house no two were the same. These stone demons came in every shape and size. It almost felt like they were looking back at him, and it sent a chill down his spine.
"I know I heard something…"
"Maybe it was just the wind?" suggested Lindsay.
"It's never just the wind!" said Sierra.
Meanwhile Yin sat at the monitors watching the whole thing unravel.
"All it needs is some music…"
With the press of a few buttons the computer started playing the theme from Halloween.
"Hurry up, we're burning moonlight!"
Some of the others were waiting to see if Yin's little reward had indeed been tainted or not, but Courtney didn't care about the noises her stomach made. There would be plenty of time to eat a late dinner after she had found John and they were both back home safe and sound.
"Is it getting cold out here, or is that just me?" asked Owen.
"It is Halloween night." replied Bridgette.
"I know, but it just feels so cold… even for autumn."
"Maybe its Rachel's ghost!" said Izzy.
"Maybe you're just a paranoid escaped mental patient. If Scooby Doo has taught me anything…"
Heather had let her family think she outgrew Scooby Doo years ago, but she had a whole collection of DVDs under her bed, and sometimes she still slept with a plush Scooby, but no one was supposed to find out about her secret love affair with the talking dog. There may have been no point in hiding it anymore, but she still didn't like talking about it.
"If I've learned anything it's that there's no such thing as ghosts, ghouls, goblins, witches, or monsters."
"Actually I believe Mystery Inc. has encountered several real monsters during their adventures." said Gwen.
"I'll give you three; Zombie Island, Witch's Ghost, and the 2002 live-action film."
"Do you count Boo Brothers, Ghoul School, and Reluctant Werewolf?" asked Cody.
"We'll finish this argument later, let's get going before Courtney has a meltdown." said Duncan.
They went over to the door at the other side of the cloister.
"What is it?"
"Yin said that the next trap would be fatal. Maybe the door is booby trapped."
"So what do we do?" asked Geoff.
"Get away from the door."
Duncan stood to the side of door, slowly turned the knob, and tugged slightly.
As soon as the others were far enough away he swung it open, still up against the wall to the side.
"Definitely not filled with corn syrup." said Gwen.
The hall the campers found themselves in was just as old and creepy looking as the others. Once again the only source of light was a set of jack-o-lanterns.
"I will never celebrate Halloween again…"
"There is no way one person carved all these."
"How many people lived in this old house all those years ago?"
"Who the heck designed this house? Herman Munster?"
"Uh guys… I think Yin's given us another clue."
There was an envelope with Cody's name on it hanging from the ceiling.
"So… what's your little secret?" asked Alejandro.
Cody hesitated before opening the envelope. Inside there was a piece of paper inside with "I know…" written in bold. When he took it out he saw that there was a picture underneath. He looked at it and his face turned red.
"Well… What is it?"
"Uh… I'd rather not say."
"Let me see that."
Alejandro ripped the picture out of Cody's hand and looked at it. Then he started laughing like he had never laughed before.
"Oh god, seriously?" he asked.
"What's so funny?"
"See for yourselves."
Cody just wanted to jump into a black hole as the others looked at the picture and started laughing, except for Sierra.
"What is that?" asked Lindsay.
"It's a chastity belt." said Gwen.
Bridgette took a minute to explain it to Lindsay.
"Then how do they go to the bathroom?"
"That's what I'd like to know." said Tyler.
Without warning Izzy kicked Cody in the balls, as she did she heard a metallic clang.
"Yep, that's a belt alright."
"Do that again and I'll bop you so hard you'll never have children."
"Whoa… Calm down Sierra, take a chill strip."
"You know, put it on your tongue and it dissolves, and you chill."
"What's wrong Mr. King of the Canyon, does mommy not trust you anymore?" asked Heather.
"No one, not even in my family, is supposed to know about it."
"Somebody does." said Gwen holding up the cellphone Yin had given them.
"Oh my god… the poor dude actually took my suggestion. HA-HA!"
"So that's how he keeps his virginity…"
"Ever since I won last season Sierra hasn't left me alone. I have to check under my bed every night before I lock my door to make sure she isn't there. The way she looks at me… I don't even want to think about how embarrassing it would be to be a boy who got raped by a girl."
"So Cody's playing hard to get… This complicates things. Well at least I don't need to worry about any unworthy wenches trying to take him from me… But I would feel better if I were the one holding the key."
At that moment the sound of a rusty old iron bell ringing echoed throughout the mansion.
BONG! BONG! BONG! BONG! BONG! BONG! BONG! BONG! BONG!
"What the heck was that?" asked Geoff.
"If I had to take a guess I'd say that it's nine o'clock."
As soon as Alejandro finished his sentence the cellphone started ringing.
"Nine o'clock and you're all still standing…" said Yin "But are you any closer to solving this little mystery?"
"You can't fool me Chris."
"Chris is crazy, but he's not that crazy. It's gotta be Blaineley."
"For all we know Eva could have been planning this while incarcerated, and then when everything was set up she could have broken out and kidnapped us. She's already proven she's crazy enough to break into Chris' house and destroy his car. I heard that when she was through with it, the thing didn't look even remotely like a car."
"Finding John is my priority, but if I had to take a guess, I'd say Yin is one of Chris' enemies that we've never met. Which means the game is either rigged so there's no way to win, or Yin wants Sierra to win. She's the only one who would have an extensive knowledge of Chris' enemies."
"Here's something all those other boobs haven't thought of. What if Yin has an accomplice?"
All at once the light in all the jack-o-lanterns seemed to dim inexplicably. The hall felt a lot colder and was filled with the sound of chains being dragged along the floor.
"What's that noise?" asked Lindsay sounding nervous.
"It came from over there."
"Wait, don't you watch scary movies? Investigating strange noises is a bad idea!" said Owen.
"Yeah, so is giving up your virginity." replied Alejandro.
"Don't make me mad…"
As they made their way down another dimly lit hallway, Owen and Cody were walking backwards.
"What are you two doing?
"Watching our backs."
"Good idea! That way the ghost can't take us by surprise!" said Izzy.
"There is no ghost! It's just some lunatic in a mask trying to scare us." said Heather.
"I like Scooby Doo as much as the next girl, but I can't wait to tell her, 'I told you so'. And by the way, people have lost their virginity in horror movies and still survived, but assholes and bitches never make it."
"Esruc dehcterw siht fo deeeeeeerf eb yllanif lliw iiii thgin eeeeeht ssssi thginot ebyam."
"I know I heard something that time." said Cody.
"It's just Yin playing games."
"Then what's that?" asked Gwen.
At the end of the hallway there was a shadow on the wall that didn't belong to any of the campers. Whoever it was they were bound in chains. The shadow moved down the left side of the wall and out of sight, its chains rattled as it did so.
"Hold it right there!"
Alejandro, Duncan, and Geoff all raced after the shadow, but around the corner there was nothing but a dead end and a message written in blood on the wall.
You're getting colder…
"It's not just me… that was really scary right?"
"That was scary… that was very scary…"
Yin decided it was time to check on John. Thirty minutes ago he had been kneeling down and was praying on the monitor. Now he was lying on the ground in a fetal position. Yin wanted to make sure he was still alive.
"Hmm… What's this?"
John's skin appeared to be covered with more than just sweat. It may have been dark, but Yin recognized the smell. Sure it was a faint smell, and not one most people are able to detect, but it was one that Yin knew all too well.
John may have been sweating blood, but that just meant he was terrified. He was still breathing and had a pulse.
"For a moment there I was worried I had given him too strong a dose."
Yin had never used the drug before, but was told it would give the desired result. Yin was many things, but a junkie wasn't one of them. People who indulged in drugs always ended up destroying their bodies and emptying their wallets while they did it. Yin had tried beer once, it tasted like ginger ale mixed with vinegar. Yet for some reason there were just as many people who tried to drown out their problems with alcohol as other people did with drugs. Yin understood long ago that the only way to get rid of your problems was to face them, because if you ignore something it doesn't just go away.
"Still… I wonder what he sees."
To answer Yin's question, John believed he was still locked in a basilica with Death lying in wait just outside. He was beginning to get hungry and thirsty, but he couldn't leave the building.
"Gotta stay… Death will get me… Gotta stay… Death will get me…"
Death must've heard John despite the thunder and rain outside, because he started to taunt him.
"Johnny-Johnny whatcha gonna do?"
"This portion of the house is even bigger than the last one." said Bridgette.
"Rachel's father must've been really loaded."
"We can cover more ground if we split up."
"Split up? Don't you watch horror movies?" asked Owen "The boogeyman always strikes when no one can hear you scream! Forget that one rule and you're worm food!"
"Okay how about this… What if we split into two teams, one group of seven and one group of six?"
"I think that'll be fine." said Gwen.
"Okay then; Owen, Izzy, Cody, Sierra, Duncan, and Gwen you'll be a team; and the rest of us will be the other team. You guys take that hall and we'll the other one. If anything bad happens, scream."
"Like this?" asked Lindsay "AAAAAAHHHHH!"
"Yes… like that…"
Unsurprisingly most of the doors were locked, much like they were in the first part of the house. Duncan tried picking them, but it didn't seem to be going anywhere. Obviously Yin had replaced the locks the doors had decades ago with new ones.
"I hate locked doors, but at least that usually means there is either someone or something worth locking up behind them. Either that or Yin is just trying to get me angry."
They finally came to a pair of large doors covered with peeling white and golden paint. Fortunately this one wasn't locked.
The six campers found themselves in what appeared to be a huge ballroom. The room was filled with dust and huge cobwebs. You couldn't even see outside the window.
"I don't think we're going to find anything here." said Gwen "If Yin had hidden something in here there would be disturbances in the dust."
"Okay… let's move on."
They had barely turned their backs and gone three steps when…
"What the hell was that?"
They turned around to see that the big chandelier that had been hanging from the ceiling had come crashing to the floor.
"I hate this place."
"So Sierra, how does it feel knowing a key stands between you and Cody?" asked Izzy.
"I already have a key."
"No you don't." said Cody.
"Yes I do."
"No you don't."
"Yes I do."
"No you don't."
Sierra thought before she responded.
"How do you know that I don't?"
"I'm not telling."
"I've seen Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End twenty times. I'm not stupid."
"So Izzy, who do you think Yin is?" asked Owen.
"How about Leshawna?"
"Leshawna?" asked the others confused.
"Izzy, in the movies the killer or whatever is usually a Caucasian male in-between the ages of…"
"Exactly! It's the perfect alibi! Besides it's usually the person you least suspect."
"Leshawna only hated Chris as much as the rest of us, I don't see her kidnapping all of us to get back at him." said Cody.
"Yeah, what would her motive be?"
"In the millennium motives are incidental."
"Okay…but you overlook one very important point. Yin is way too skinny to be Leshawna."
"Okay… who do you think Yin is?"
"If I had to take a guess, I'd say one of Chris' ex-girlfriends." said Gwen "You know, the yin to his yang?"
"Sierra, does Chris have any ex-girlfriends?"
"Do dry leaves burn? It's one of the topics covered in my unpublished book, Dark Secrets of the McLean Family Revealed."
"Interesting… What kind of dark secrets are we talking about?" asked Owen.
"If I tell you then you won't buy my book."
"If you don't tell us we might just look up the information online." said Duncan.
"I'll take my chances."
Meanwhile in another part of the mansion the seven other campers were going down a different hall lined with jack-o-lanterns.
"When I get my hands on Chris, I swear to god I'm going to kill him." said Heather.
"What makes you think the person behind this is Chris?" asked Alejandro.
"Who else could it be?"
"Alright Hercules, what's your theory?"
"You really think I look like Hercules?" he asked smiling.
"Just answer the damn question."
"Well to be perfectly honest, I don't know who Yin is yet… but I'm pretty sure he or she isn't working alone?"
"Whoever Yin is they've gone to a lot of trouble to learn a great deal about us. Duncan felt confident the only people who knew his little secret were among us. All they showed us was that the four of you had some kind of secret, they didn't tell us what, but what if that information was included in the unreleased deleted scenes from season one?"
"I never thought about that."
"So whoever knew Duncan's secret would either have to be someone he told about it, someone with access to the deleted footage, or someone who managed to obtain access to it."
"That doesn't explain how they found out about me and Cody."
"Tell me something; when you bought those DVDs did you go incognito?"
"Did it fool anyone?"
"Okay, I'm not a master of disguise, but a blonde wig and some sunglasses have kept people from asking for my autograph."
"Who would want Heather's autograph?"
"I don't think a wig and sunglasses would fool someone like Sierra."
"Who in the world knows more about us than the queen of stalkers? She's already admitted that she's broken into your room once, and only she would be interested in Cody's reproductive organs."
"You think Sierra is working for Yin."
"I'm saying it's very likely."
"Why would Sierra work for Blaineley?"
Courtney couldn't stop thinking about John. For all they knew Yin had been lying to them from the very beginning and he was dead already. She tried not to think about it and tried to distract herself by pondering the cryptic clues Yin had given them. Surprisingly it wasn't the promise of the million dollars that motivated her; instead she thought that solving the mystery might be the only way to save her boyfriend. She was studying to be a lawyer, not a detective, but she was determined to figure it out.
"According to the others Yin only played with me and John before kidnapping us, and John is the only one who has been left out of the main event, instead he is being used as bait for the rest of us. Most likely this is because Yin claims to have a grudge against Chris, and John has been Chris' favorite since TDS. For some reason Yin asked us questions about Shakespeare's plays, Richard III to be exact, and Dracula; but it's unclear if he or she was referring to the fictional character or Vlad Tepes. In either case, why would Yin ask us questions on those two topics? What's the connection? It could be nothing, but John said the little details are usually the most important, and he's read a lot more detective novels than I have."
When Courtney first met John during TDS she never expected to fall in love with him, especially not after he punched her and showed her his surgical scars, even if she had it coming. During TDH she sought to recruit him as an ally since he was by far the most skilled player, and everyone liked him. She was just going to use him to get further in the game, but then they got to know each other, and even though she tried to deny it she had fallen for her mark. When she failed to win TDH John was there to console her, shortly after they officially became a couple. It was no surprise that she chose him to accompany her on her all expenses paid vacation, which she won as a consolation prize. During those two weeks in the Caribbean something happened that made her realize just how deep in love she was, something that never happened when she was with Duncan.
"I've got to find him… The answer to this mystery is somewhere in the details… Chris… Yin… Scream… Ghostface… Shakespeare… Richard III… Dracula… Vlad Tepes… Impaler… Son of the dragon or demon… vampires… thirteen campers… fourteen if you count John… Halloween…. ghosts… jack-o-lanterns… wolves… Duncan killed a bird when he was six… Heather likes Scooby Doo… Greeks… Constellations… Hercules… Gemini… Phoenix… Orion… Horologium… Perseus… Cody wears a chastity belt… There are too many clues!"
Courtney's train of thought was interrupted when Alejandro and the others found a door that wasn't locked.
The found themselves in some kind of gallery. The room was filled with very elaborate paintings. Each painting was protected by a thick layer of glass. It was clear that the glass had been dusted only recently.
"What is this?" asked Tyler looking at one of the paintings.
"Well… it says here its Horus battling Seth."
"It's only one of the most famous scenes in ancient Egyptian mythology." said Alejandro "After Seth's murder of his brother Osiris, Isis and her faithful servant Anubis searched for the scattered parts of his body to bring him back to life. Then Isis conceived and bore Horus. Soon Horus went to war with his uncle for control of Egypt. The war between the forces of Seth and Horus lasted for years, finally Horus lost his left eye but Seth got emasculated."
"What the heck does that mean?"
"It means he lost his… you know."
Feeling that Yin must've dusted these paintings for a reason, they decided to search the room a little more. Some of the paintings depicted more religious legends like Horus and Seth, and some of them depicted scenes from fictional stories. Geoff found a painting that depicted Victor Frankenstein coming face to face with his creation for the first time since its monstrous birth, Bridgette found one depicting the labors of Hercules, and Alejandro found one depicting Jonathan Harker's first meeting with Dracula. The freakiest thing was that these paintings seem to have been so well made they actually seemed to be alive. The people in them seemed to look back at the ones observing them, and it sent a chill through their bones.
"Rachel loved it here. According to her diary, whenever she heard a story that she loved her father would have someone paint a scene from it. The funny thing is… the best painting in the house isn't even in this room…"
The campers had no idea where Yin's voice came from, but it almost sounded as though he or she was right there in the room with them. It was probably just another speaker, but it had come so suddenly that it still made them jump.
"Yin must know that we've split up."
Just then there was a flash of lighting and soon the sound of rain battering against the ancient windows could be heard.
"Oh great, obviously it wasn't enough that we we're locked in a creepy old house surrounded by wolves on Halloween and on the night of a full moon." said Bridgette "Now it's raining."
There was another sudden flash of lightning. As they jumped Alejandro saw something that he hadn't noticed before.
In the darkest corner of the room there was a red X on the wall.
"X marks the spot!"
"Wait a minute."
All Yin's previous messages had been written in blood, but the red X looked different. Bridgette felt it with her fingers and then smelled it.
"Why would Yin be using lipstick?" asked Lindsay.
"My theory is looking better by the second! I can practically taste the million!"
Alejandro started hammering against the wall where the X was. It gave away with minimal effort. He found a space in the wall in which there was an envelope with his name on it. He tore it open, and as soon as he looked at its contents he looked like a bull that had just seen red.
"YOU SON OF A BITCH! WHEN I GET MY HANDS ON YOU YOU'RE DEAD!"
Meanwhile, the other group of campers were searching another part of the mansion. It didn't take them long to notice the change in the weather. Shortly after that they heard Alejandro. Before they could decide what to do the phone started to ring.
"Don't get your boxers in a bunch." said Yin "Alejandro is just upset that I know his secret."
"And that is?"
"He still sleeps with the same teddy bear he's had since he was a baby."
Yin even sent them a picture of it.
"I'm turning this picture into my screen saver! If we ever get out of here…"
After laughing at Alejandro's little secret they continued to search the hall. Finally they too found a door that wasn't locked.
The room they entered was very dark save for the lone jack-o-lantern that was hanging from the wall. Scattered throughout the room were various objects, the most prominent being a human skull that was resting upon a small altar.
"I think this is a chamber of reflection." said Cody.
"A chamber used by Freemasons to meditate in. If I had to take a guess I'd say Rachel's father was a member."
"That explains a lot."
There was one item however that didn't belong in the room. After a quick search they found nestled behind one of the altars was a small box with Sierra's name on it. Inside was a note with the familiar "I know…" written on it, but underneath it the campers found something they did not expect. There was a pill container that was cloven in two.
"Mamonite? What the heck is that?" asked Owen.
"It means Sierra has been trying to make her boobs bigger." said Izzy.
Sierra's cheeks turned pink.
"All for Cody!"
"Why exactly is this thing cloven in two?" asked Cody.
"I think the more important question is why Yin is revealing all our little secrets in the first place." said Duncan.
"Red herrings." said Gwen.
"What do you mean?"
"You see it all the time in mystery novels. Whoever Yin is, he or she is giving us meaningless clues to confuse us. Duncan shooting a bird when he was six, Heather liking Scooby Doo, Cody's belt, Alejandro sleeping with a teddy bear, and Sierra working on her breasts, these things mean nothing."
"Sounds good to me, let's go with that."
"So how do we find out who Yin is?"
"Maybe we'll get lucky."
After progressing a little more they found themselves in grand hallway where the walls were lined with windows at the foot of a grand staircase. Outside the barred windows they could see some of the wolves staring hungrily at them.
"Apparently the rain doesn't bother them…"
"Why is this staircase better than the one we saw at the front of the house? Is the master bedroom upstairs?" asked Cody.
"Why would it be? Rachel's nursery was all the way on the other side of the house."
As if in response to Gwen's question the phone rang.
"This house wasn't always as big as it is… Originally the other half you were previously inside was the whole house, but then the money just kept coming in. You're closer to saving poor Johnathan than ever before, upstairs you'll find the final clue to bring you to him, but be careful… I imagine you don't want to get too far ahead just to lose it."
"What the heck does that mean?"
"It means the key to shutting Courtney up is right up these stairs."
As they ascended the stairs they creaked with every step, Duncan was about to touch the floor when suddenly…
Cody pulled him back with all his might, he nearly sent Duncan tumbling back down.
"What's the big idea?"
"Get over to the side, get down, and observe."
After the others did as he told them, Cody pointed to a small tripwire on the landing that none of them had noticed before. He pushed it down with his arm and a huge spinning blade shot horizontally out of the wall. It flew straight forward, past where Duncan's neck would have been, and embedded itself in the wall. Duncan was speechless.
"How did you see that?" asked Gwen.
"Because I was looking for it."
When they finally came onto the floor they saw that there was a lot of fresh blood on the ground.
"Oh boy… I don't like the looks of this…"
"Someone was dragged from here. The tracks go off in this direction."
"Do we really want to follow a bloody trail?" asked Owen "Last I checked that was a bad thing to do in horror movies."
"Do you want to be the one to tell Courtney that her boyfriend is probably dead?"
They followed the trail until they came to a big pair of ancient twin holly doors with a bloody message written on them.
She died in here…
"Okay, this is definitely the wrong place to be." said Izzy.
"Well tough rocks." said Duncan "Obviously there's something in here that the freak in the mask wanted us to see."
As Duncan hammered on the door Sierra clung tightly to Cody, and Izzy did the same with Owen.
"No good, it won't budge."
"And I think I know why."
Gwen pointed to another keypad on the wall. Above it was another message written in blood.
Schulz created those who knew
Between Charlie Brown and Linus lies the clue
"The Peanuts? What do they have to do with this?" asked Gwen.
"It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown!" joked Cody.
"According to Yin no one has lived in this house since World War II, which would put Rachel's death sometime between 1939 and 1945. The Peanuts weren't launched until 1950, so why would anything about Charlie Brown or Linus be in this house?"
"Probably the same reason this house is filled with jack-o-lanterns." replied Sierra.
"Good point… I guess it's time to go Peanut hunting."
They started searching the rest of the upstairs when suddenly the floor creaked a lot louder than usual when Cody and Sierra stepped on it. Then they heard something snap.
The floor gave out beneath their feet and both Cody and Sierra fell through. It wasn't a long fall, but it still hurt when they hit the ground.
"Oww… Cody, are you okay?"
"I will be as soon as you get your foot out of my nose."
The only source of light in the room was from the whole in the ceiling. If not for that you wouldn't have been able to see your own hand in front of your face.
"Are you guys okay?" called out Owen from above.
"Fine… I think we're back on the ground floor."
"Hang on, we'll come back down and try to find the door!"
It wasn't long after Owen and the others left that the light from above started to fade and go out.
"Guys? Hey guys! What are you doing up there?"
Just then the room got a lot colder, so cold you could see your own breath. It felt like Cody and Sierra had fallen into a freezer. That's when the room was filled with the noise of rattling chains.
"Duncan? Alejandro? Geoff? If this is some kind of joke it's not funny!"
For a moment everything is quiet.
"Sierra, don't touch me there! Jezz… your hands are frozen."
"I'm not touching you… unless you want me to…"
"You're not? Then who…"
Cody turned around and wet himself. Floating there in midair was the spectral form of a woman in a wedding dress. Her eyes were completely deprived of any irises or pupils, and her arms were bound in chains by a heart shaped lock suspended above her bosom.
"Pleeeeeeh ruoooooy deeeeeniiiii…"
John was feeling absolutely sick to his stomach. As the Death's taunts echoed throughout the church he felt his forehead. Not only was his skin all hot and sweaty, it felt sticky. He looked at his hand and saw that he was sweating blood.
He couldn't hold back anymore. Now there was a thick puddle of vomit spreading across the floor. John hadn't sweated his blood since the horrible nights he had before his treatment. After he found out he had cancer he would have nightmares of running from death, but no matter how hard he tried he couldn't escape. As if John's own pain wasn't enough, he could remember hearing his mother and Angela crying in the night. They had already lost Dad in a car accident, and it looked like John would soon be going to join him.
"It's too bad Johnny boy… This time mommy and sister dearest aren't here to save you… No one can protect you forever… We're playing a game you can't win."
"I can't go out like this… I need to keep fighting for mom… Angela… Courtney…"
After John's treatment he looked like any other cancer patient at first. He had to work hard just to lose the weight he gained, not to mention everything he did to increase his muscle mass. But no amount of muscle could fix the surgical scars on his face and chest. The whole reason he wore his costume was to hide them. For a while he was worried that he'd never find love, but then he met Courtney. Sure it wasn't love at first sight, but his mom told him that wasn’t usually the case. During Total Drama Halo, Courtney learned to overlook his physical imperfections and he learned to overlook her flaws. After the season they officially became a couple, and a few months ago they almost got too close.
"I think I'm beginning to regret my decision… No… I can't think that way… I have to see her again… But I feel so weak… I want to die… and he's waiting outside all too eager to grant my wish…"
Lightning flashed, the wind roared, and rain continued to beat against the windows. But Death's face was as crystal clear on the other side. He was flying around in circles, waiting patiently for John to give in.
"It doesn't matter what god you worship… no building can protect you from me."
John threw up again. He rolled away from the puddle towards the pews. All his muscles hurt from lying on the ground in the fetal position for so long. He looked up at the ornate crucifix and wondered if this was how Jesus felt when he was being crucified.
"My god… my god… why have you abandoned me?"
"Haven't you read the Bible John? God hasn't abandoned you, and he never will."
John recognized that voice, but he hadn't heard it in a long time, and he couldn't believe his ears.
"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will neither leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."
John was familiar with the verse, but he still couldn't believe the voice he was hearing.
John turned around and looked at the altar. There was his father looking exactly as he did the last time he saw him alive.
"This can't be real… I was at your funeral… you're…"
"My son, just because I've left this world it doesn't mean I've left you."
"No you're not dead… I've come back to you, even if it's only in spirit. I can see that you are in desperate need of help."
"No offense dad, but I don't see what you can do… unless you can get rid of Death."
"I'm afraid that's not possible. Death is a natural part of life; it is a path we must all take. Even Christ himself walked the path, but you can't let it stop you from living."
John had a million questions that he wanted to ask his father. But right now only one of them seemed to make its way out of his mouth.
"The only way to overcome fear is to face it. If you face Death eye to eye then he loses his power over you."
"Take courage in the fact that others have gone before you, as I myself have done, and so did Christ."
John had seen Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ at least twenty times. It was a probably the most accurate cinema depiction of what went on that fateful day in Jerusalem. Just like in the Bible it described just how scared Jesus was before his arrest and execution. But even so he obeyed his father's wishes, even though it cost him his life.
"But I'm not Jesus… And you were killed almost instantly in a car accident; you didn't exactly have time to think about death."
"Think about your mother and Angela… think about Courtney… They're all counting on you."
After what happened in the Caribbean it was clear just how much Courtney loved John. He thought about what would happen to her if he failed, and it brought a tear to his eye.
"I won't let you down Courtney… I won't!"
"That's my boy…"
"What? No! Come back! Don't leave me!"
"I love you John… Take care of your mother and Angela for me…"
"Father! Don't leave me…"
"I'll always be with you… and one day we will see each other again."
For a moment John just laid on the floor and cried. Then he looked up and saw that his katanas were sitting at the foot of the altar where his father had been.
"How long do you want to do this boy?" asked Death's booming voice "I've got all the time in the world, but the same can't be said for you."
Despite the pain, John forced himself to his feet and limped toward the altar.
"I feel so much better." he said as he picked up his swords.
It was on one Halloween after his treatment that John was taking Angela trick-or-treating that they were attacked by a man who had child molester written all over him. They were saved only by the mother of one of his victims who had been waiting to catch him in the act and put an end to him. Ever since then John learned to fight so they would never be helpless again, he didn't need his swords to beat someone in a fight, but they always hardened his sense of security.
"I don't need the helmet."
John wore his helmet to hide the scar on his face; he had taken it off after he locked himself in the church because for some reason it became unbearably hot. He felt better now, but his father told him to face Death eye to eye, and that was what he was going to do.
"Ready or not… here I come."
John limbed to the door and unbolted it. The huge ancient doors were blown open by the wind, and Death was standing right there in the rain waiting for him.
"Well-well… It looks like the little baby has become a man."
"You talk pretty big for someone who doesn't have a tongue…"
"And you talk pretty big for a dead boy."
One moment Death was about fifteen feet away, the next he was right in John's face. He swung his scythe, but John blocked it with his swords.
"Sorry bonehead, but I'll be damned if you think I'm going to come quietly."
"It is not my place to choose where you end up, I'm merely the one who takes you there."
"I'm not going anywhere… Not today."
"Maybe not today, but you won't always be this strong and defiant. I however am not a slave to the sands of time."
"Maybe after eighty or ninety years I won't have to be this strong anymore. Maybe you won't find any resistance at all. Maybe someday I'll welcome you like an old friend."
"Maybe if you live that long…"
Much to John's relief, he backed off.
"As someone famous once said, I'll be back."
"And I'll be ready, and if not then you'll find yourself another fight."
The reaper disappeared without saying another word. Then everything went black.
"Uh… Where am I? Yuck!"
John found his face lying in a puddle of his own vomit. He wasn't anywhere near the church he had spent the last several hours inside. Instead his limbs were chained to a stone wall in a room as dark as the catacombs in Rome. He felt sick to his stomach, his muscles felt like they had been in a trash compactor, and there was blood and sweat all over his skin.
"The whole thing was just a dream?"
"Good evening Johnathan. Happy Halloween."
John looked up and saw that there was someone in the room with him. Whoever it was they were dressed head to toe in black, if not for the flashlight he or she was holding they would have been completely invisible in the darkness."
"Who the hell are you? What is this?"
"My identity is something your dear friends are going to have to figure out. As for what this is, I thought you'd like it if someone wiped the caca from your face."
"What are you talking about?"
As Yin wiped John's face he remembered the events that took place before he lost consciousness and had his little nightmare.
"What have you done with Courtney and Angela, you sick fuck!"
"Now that was rude… I think you need a little discipline."
Yin fastened a rather large gag around John's mouth. John struggled against it and the chains until he heard the sound of a gun cocking.
"Are you going to behave?"
John didn't make a sound or move.
"Good… I estimate your friends will be here soon enough, then the game can begin."
Screaming was never a good sign, especially when you're locked in a haunted house. All the campers quickly closed in on the direction they head the screaming, suddenly…
"Hey! Watch where you're going!" said Alejandro.
At that moment the two groups of campers came together.
"Cody and Sierra are trapped somewhere on this floor!"
"Not anymore, they just ran over Alejandro."
They found Cody and Sierra back in the cloister; they were trying to break through the door that led to the first half of the house.
"What are you two doing?" asked Heather.
"MAKING LIKE HOCKEY STICKS AND TRYING TO GET THE PUCK OUT OF HERE!" bellowed Cody.
"Did you wet your pants?" asked Duncan.
"YOU WOULD HAVE WET YOUR PANTS TOO IF YOU WERE BEING CHASED BY A SOUL SUCKING ALBINO PUPILESS BRIDEZILLA!"
"What are you talking about?" asked Courtney.
"Ba-back there… da-da-da-da-da."
"Would you care to explain, Sierra?"
"Uh… sure… da-da-da-da-da…"
"Well this clears one thing up." said Bridgette "There's da-da-da-da-da back there."
"We're going to die here… I'm too young to die! I'm still a virgin, and Cody's still wearing his belt!"
The campers went and checked the room where Cody and Sierra claimed they saw Rachel's ghost.
"There's nothing here."
"Maybe she disappeared, ghosts can do that you know." said Izzy.
"There's no such thing as ghosts. It's just that lunatic Yin trying to scare us."
"Then why wasn't I able to touch her?"
"When she touched me I felt like I was locked in a freezer."
"This whole house is freaking freezing, get used to it."
"Obviously Heather doesn't watch enough horror movies, if she did then she'd know that the bitch never makes it."
"Well, now that we have that straightened out, any developments on your end?" asked Gwen.
"As a matter of fact, yes." replied Alejandro "I've deduced Yin's identity."
"What?" exclaimed the others.
"If he ends up walking out of here with the million dollars, I will scream."
"The man behind the mask is none other than… John Swarner."
"John? He's been kidnapped like the rest of us you numbskull!" said Courtney.
"That's just a red herring. He's the only person who's not here. Why would someone go to the trouble of kidnapping him, and then not letting him join the rest of us?"
"Why would John try to kill us?" asked Owen.
"I've seen enough horror movies to know that there's always some bullshit reason to kill your friends."
"Very interesting theory Al…But you've overlooked one very important point."
"My name is Alejandro, and what is that?"
"It's stupid, it's the stupidest thing I've ever heard!" laughed Geoff.
"John a killer? Not in a million years! But then who is it?"
"Maybe the butler did it! Or… wait a minute… Noah! I knew he was evil!"
"I think it's… Chef?"
"Yin wants us to see something in Rachel's bedroom, but we need a code to get in. Unfortunately all we could find was a very cryptic clue."
"What did it say?"
"Schulz created those who knew, between Charlie Brown and Linus lies the clue."
"We know where that is! Let's go."
As they rounded the corner there was a box with Cody's name on it in the center of the floor.
"What? I thought Yin already did Cody."
Cody looked at the note attached.
I knew you would need an extra set of pants before the night was over.
"This is so embarrassing."
After Cody was finished changing, they proceeded to the other side of the mansion.
"Any booby traps on your end?" asked Gwen.
"Nothing but a giant crossbow."
"We got an enormous razor-sharp spinning blade."
As they made their way down the hall Cody and Sierra walked backwards. In the movies ghosts always snuck up behind you, and then disappeared when you looked.
"Here we are."
Inside the room they entered were two skeletons lying on twin beds.
"Calm down, these are plastic." said Courtney.
"Oh… my bad."
"What does this have to do with the Peanuts?"
"Take a look." replied Bridgette.
One of the skeletons was holding a trick-or-treating bag that was full of rocks, and the other was holding a picket sign that read, "Still waiting for the Great Pumpkin."
"That joke's not in bad taste, right?" asked Izzy.
"Who cares? I mean who names their kid Linus?" said Heather.
"What would you name your kids?"
"None of your business."
"Back to the matter at hand, Yin said the clue would be in-between Charlie Brown and Linus."
The only things in-between the two skeletons were a painting of Egyptians titled "Feast of the Valley" and a small cabinet. Inside were four strange looking jars.
"These are canopic jars."
"The ancient Egyptians used them for mummification. These jars were used to contain the vital organs that they removed from the body. The lids represent the four sons of Horus; Duamutef who represents the east contained the stomach, Qebehsenuef who represents the west contained the intestines, Hapi who represents the north contains the lungs, and Imseti who represents the south contained the liver."
"Are we gonna be tested on this?" asked Lindsay.
"I certainly hope not."
"So where's the clue?"
"Where do you think?"
Understandably none of the campers were eager to open the jars.
"Please tell me there are no organs in these jars…" said Bridgette.
"That would be like, so sick." said Izzy.
"Okay, on three… one… two… three!"
The ones who were brave enough to open the jars were hesitant to open their eyes.
Inside each jar was a piece of paper. When put together they formed a message.
The New Year is born as summer dies, darkness and death shall soon reign. Light the bonfires, carve your idols, reap the fruit of your toils in the fields, and choose which animals to slaughter. Do so wisely or soon the Lord of the Dead will claim you for his own.
"Oh come on… Does it have to be a riddle?" asked Courtney.
"Yes, it wouldn't be much of a game if it was a straight answer." replied Duncan.
"New Years? I thought it was Halloween." said Owen.
"New Years on Halloween…" said Tyler "That can only mean one thing… and I don't know what it is."
"Don't worry guys, this is an easy one." said Gwen.
"The riddle describes the Celtic festival of Samhain, which was celebrated on October thirty first. Samhain was the Celtic Lord of the Dead and Darkness. His festival was celebrated as the Celtic New Year, the end of summer and the start of winter, so it's time to harvest."
"So the combination to the lock we found upstairs is Samhain?"
"Only one way to find out."
They made their way back to the side of the house that Gwen and the others had previously investigated. Cody and Sierra flinched as they passed the room they had been trapped in. Finally they came to the stairs, then lightning flashed and the wolves outside howled.
"A thunderstorm and a full moon on Halloween? What are the odds?"
They ascended the stairs and came to the bloody floor.
"If that bastard has harmed one hair on John's head..."
At Rachel's door Gwen punched in the word Samhain on the keypad. They heard the lock open.
"Maybe we shouldn't…" said Cody.
"Don't you watch horror movies?" asked Owen "According to Yin this is the room that Rachel died in! We're walking into the belly of the beast!"
"Yin's just trying to scare us."
"Well it's working."
Courtney had her fingers crossed as they opened the door.
"Calm down you babies."
At first glance there was nothing in the room except an old elaborate looking bed and some jack-o-lanterns. But that's when they noticed there was something under the covers.
"One… two… three…"
"Oh my gosh!"
Underneath the covers were John's katanas covered in blood.
"He's never without them…"
On the wall in-between two jack-o-lanterns was the biggest and most extravagant painting yet. A beautiful young woman clothed in flowers was dancing hand in hand with Death. On her side of the painting the background was a beautiful summer day, and on Death's side it was a cold winter's night.
"It's hauntingly beautiful." said Bridgette.
"I don't get it."
Once again lightning flashed outside. The phone rang and Gwen answered it.
"Hello campers… It's been quite the evening hasn't it? But do any of you know why we celebrate Halloween?"
"You bastard! What have you done with John?" demanded Courtney seizing the phone from Gwen.
"It isn't just a night when kids dress up and beg for candy while teenagers and adults sit at home watching horror movies… Halloween is a mesh of many different celebrations that either occur or have occurred at some point in history at time at this time of the year. The celebrations all have one thing in common… day and night… summer and winter… light and darkness… life and death."
"Where is John!"
Yin ignored Courtney and the lightning flashed again.
"Do you know what the Greek inscription on the statue in the cloister says? It reads, 'What unites all men.' Unlike the Chinese Emperor Qin Shi Huang, the Greeks understood that there is no elixir of life, no fountain of youth, no holy grail. The ancient Greeks, the people of the first great European civilization understood that death is an inevitable part of life; in fact the ancient Egyptians welcomed death, believing that some glorious afterlife was waiting for them. Their Festival of the Valley is a lot like the Mexican Day of the Dead. Remembering and trying to feel close to those who have left us, much the same way Christians do on All Souls Day."
"TELL ME WHERE JOHN IS OR I WILL RIP YOUR HEART OUT AND ROAST IT!"
"All the other campers took a step back."
"Courtney looked like she was ready to kill."
"Since the dawn of time man's greatest fear has been the knowledge of our own mortality. Even though death is an inevitable part of life, to this day people still cower in fear before it. If you wish to save your friend, then ask yourselves this… What gives man the courage he needs to face death?"
Yin hung up without saying another word.
"What gives man the courage he needs to face death?"
"That's a hard one."
Everyone expected Courtney to explode with anger, but for some reason she didn't.
"I actually know this one."
"I've spent too much time with John to not know it. The answer is God."
"Isn't he omnipresent?" asked Izzy "That means John could be anywhere."
"Maybe not… Maybe there's an old chapel somewhere in this mansion."
Suddenly the room felt a lot colder, and the candles in all the jack-o-lanterns were extinguished.
"We shouldn't be here…" whispered Cody.
"Eeeeeem esaeler lliiiiw slatrom uoooooy, ecnatsixe lufitip siht fo erit iiii…"
"It's the ghost! The ghost!" exclaimed Sierra.
"Oh come on… Yin obviously has one of his speakers in here and is trying to freak us out."
"Believe whatever you want to believe, I'm getting the hell out of here while I still have a head!"
Cody was about to open the door when he realized something.
"I don't remember any of us closing that door."
"You people are by far the biggest collection of babies I've ever met. It's obviously a trick."
"I'm not sticking around long enough to find out!"
Owen opened the door, and there she was chains and all.
"Deined eb ton lliiiiw iiii, modeerf yyym roooof sedaced gnitiaw neeb evah iiiiii erehwyna, gniog siiii eno on."
"So what movie is this from?" asked Heather "Revenge of the Ghost Bride?"
"Ton ro em ni eveileb uoy od, dnim dna hself latrom fo namow!"
"Is this supposed to scare me Chris? Where's the film projector?"
"Heather was so dead."
"Better her than me."
"In fairness, she has been a royal pain in the ass."
"Lufniap si ecnarongi ruoy…"
"Sorry lady, but I left my English to nonsense dictionary at home."
Everyone was frozen on the spot waiting for the ghost to make her move, but she just hovered as if lost in thought.
"What's wrong did your film break?"
"Uoy ot erutcip noitom a ekil kool i od?"
"And warming ekil kool i od to you to."
Suddenly the ghost flew inside Heather's mouth.
"Oh boy… That's not gonna be good…" said Geoff.
Heather turned around, and her eyes were glowing.
"Wow… I forgot what it was like to have body… Can you understand me now?"
"Good… Forgive my manners; it's been a long time since I've had company. My name is Rachel."
"And I am going to give you ten seconds to get out of Heather before I tear you a new one!" said Alejandro.
"You can't kill me big boy… I'm already dead."
"Wait a minute… aren't you supposed to suck the life out of us and paint the wall with our organs or something?" asked Izzy.
"That's disgusting. Not all us ghosts are vengeful monsters, some of us just want to pass on."
"I almost stopped breathing…"
"I almost wet my pants again."
"Why have you been speaking nonsense all night?"
"Apparently every time I try to speak the words come out backwards."
"Backwards? Of course!"
"What do you mean of course?" asked Tyler.
"She's a ghost, the words come out backwards because she's on the other side. Like redrum in The Shining" said Gwen.
"Whatever, now what's it going to take to get you out of there?"
"Wait a minute! Does this place have an old chapel or something in it?" asked Courtney.
"You scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours…"
"Wait… what would we have to do?" asked Cody.
"My love was killed in the war, and I couldn't live without him, but my spirit has been trapped in this house because he didn't keep his promise."
"Well… I don't think he can possibly come back alive." said Bridgette.
"He doesn't have to. Before he left to fight in World War II I gave him a ring, I made him promise that upon his return he use it to ask me to marry him."
"Wait a minute… You gave him a ring so for him to propose to you with? That doesn't make any sense."
"He thought he was too poor to marry me, it was my way of showing him that I didn't care."
"That's very romantic, but what exactly does that have to do with the fact that you're a ghost?"
"They were kind enough to bring his body back, but until the ring is back in my possession I can't pass on."
"I could've asked why she can't pass on because of a ring, but in all honesty I just don't care."
"Here's what I need you to do; Flip the reaper's secret hourglass lever, and it will reveal a tunnel that will lead you to the means to free my soul forever. In my lover's crypt you will find a ring that to my own crypt you must bring, only then will I be free, and like an angel for eternity shall I of my salvation sing."
"Did you prepare that, or did you just rhyme by accident?" asked Duncan.
"Irrelevant, are my instructions clear?"
"Then repeat what I just said."
"I know!" said Lindsay "Flip the reaper's tunnel lover and for eternity its hourglass shall sing like a secret crypt lever in a ring."
"Don't worry… I heard you right." said Gwen.
"If we do this will you show us where John is?" asked Courtney.
"Don't worry about it."
Rachel came bursting out of Heather like lava from a volcano.
"Whoa… what happened?"
"To say the least, you've had an out of this world experience. And I guess now would be as good a time as any to say, I TOLD YOU SO!"
They made their way back to the cloister, to the statue of Death.
"Honestly, who has a big statue of Death in their house?"
"Maybe a mason?" suggested Cody.
"Whatever, let's just get this over with."
"Okay, Rachel said flipping the reaper's hourglass will reveal a hidden tunnel."
Gwen gently pulled the hourglass that the reaper held in his hand. It felt like it was stuck.
"If this is a secret door, then it hasn't been used in forever."
"Let me give it a try."
"Just hurry up so we can get out of the rain."
Duncan pushed hard against the stone hourglass until it was flipped upside down. Then there was a loud rumbling and the statue rose into the air, revealing the passageway underneath.
"Okay… who wants to go down the long dark creepy tunnel first?" asked Bridgette.
Meanwhile Yin was trying to figure out what was wrong with the surveillance system. A few minutes ago the camera in Rachel's room just inexplicably shut off. The other cameras showed the campers all unscathed and heading toward the cloister.
"It would seem they're getting some inside help… These anomalies in the system are alright, but if I could just get one clear shot of that ghost it would really kill anything Chris has ever done."
The stolen million dollars and the missing campers were all over the news. Some people thought it was just a publicity stunt, but they were going to be in for one hell of a surprise before the night was over. Some people were also wondering why some of the other campers hadn't gone missing.
"DJ in a haunted house? He would have a heart attack and die if someone snuck up behind him and said boo. Katie and Sadie, those two are so far in the closet they've discovered a whole friggin new galaxy in the universe of Narnia. And as for this group, not only can they not fight their way out a wet paper bag, but it's smarter than those three idiots."
On the monitors Yin noticed that they had found the door.
"Time to build up the drama…"
As the campers descended down the tunnel the phone rang.
"I was wondering Courtney, why are you so desperate to get John back?"
"Because he's my boyfriend you filthy… person."
"Filthy… person?" asked Geoff.
"I could've come up with a better line than that." said Tyler.
"Your boyfriend? During the finale of season one you abandoned Duncan and ran off with the money… What makes John so special? What happened between you and him that didn't happen between you and Duncan?"
Yin hung up without saying another word.
"You know… I've been wondering about that myself."
"From what I can tell John simply listens when Courtney talks, but there has to be more to it than that, otherwise she might have driven him nuts by now."
"Is she pregnant? Yeah and maybe bulls will come flying out of my ears. HA-HA! Maybe they just shagged… Nah… John is Mr. Evangelist, and Courtney is so stiff you could use her as a marionette."
"What if… No! Yin can't possibly know that! Could he?"
"Yes I could… because I am the thing that goes bump in the night, I am the annoying insect on your wall, I am the freak who sits next to you on the bus…"
"What is that smell?" asked Lindsay.
"That's the smell of a decades old crypt during a thunderstorm." said Duncan.
Finally they came to a large stone door with words engraved upon it.
Quipervenerimus adfinem itinerispax
"What the heck is this?"
"It's Latin." replied Alejandro "It says, may those who've reached the journey's end find peace."
For no apparent reason Izzy started singing.
"They wrap you up in a long white shirt; they put you in a long pine box, and cover you over with dirt and rocks. The worms crawl in the worms crawl out, they eat your guts like sauerkraut. Your eyes pop out your teeth decay, and that's the end of a peaceful day!"
"Let's do this freaking thing before Yin decides to trap us down here."
Alejandro heaved the door open. It was dark inside, and the only thing they could see was an envelope hanging from the wall with Courtney's name on it.
"Oh boy… this I've got to see."
Courtney reached the envelope before anyone else and tore it open. Inside there was a picture of her and John from their vacation in the Caribbean.
"Okay… so you two sat together in a hammock in-between two palm trees in your bathing suits. Big deal." said Owen "It's not like you two ran naked through the woods."
"I really didn't need that mental image…" said Gwen.
Courtney's relief was short lived, because when she flipped the picture over there was a message written in bold.
I know what you did in the Caribbean.
Courtney's face turned red on the spot. Her expression was one of utter embarrassment and shame.
"Oh my god… How could he possibly know that? Wait… that night… I thought we were alone… but I could've sworn someone else was there."
"What did happen in the Caribbean?" asked Duncan.
"None of your damn business!"
"You've heard our secrets, what's yours?" asked Heather.
"Go to hell."
Izzy thought she recognized the look on Courtney's face.
"Oh… my… god… you didn't."
"She didn't what?" asked Lindsay.
"If you were all alone with Tyler on a island what would you do?"
"Make out until the sun rises?"
"Uh… take it up a level."
Duncan slapped his forehead and laughed.
"Holy Moses…" said Gwen.
"OMFG! All the readers on my 'The Princess and The White Dragon Knight' blog are going to have a field day!"
"I did not have sex with him!"
"No one said you did."
"Did you?" asked Bridgette.
"I… I wanted to…"
"You did something to press the matter." said Izzy "I can see it in your eyes. Did you show him your boobs?"
Words failed Courtney.
"So… Perfect Princess Courtney wanted to give it up… Wouldn't that ruin your career?" asked Duncan.
"Shut the fuck up!"
"Now that genie's out of the bottle, it won't hurt if you explain what happened." said Bridgette.
"You cannot judge me… John actually cares about my feelings, and when you get past the scars he's… he's…"
"Yes… And I don't know whether it was because of that, the fact that we were all alone on a tropical paradise island, the way the sky looked as the sun went down, the heat, or the scented candles, but my body just seemed to take over."
"And being the devout catholic that he is, he politely refused you?"
The phone rang.
"Hello Courtney… It is your ambition to become a lawyer. If you succeed it will be your duty to deliver justice. It will be up to you to make sure that criminals are punished, and to make sure that the innocent don't end up in the electric chair."
Suddenly lights in the room flared to life. The room the campers found themselves in wasn't just an old tomb, it was a whole chapel.
At the far end of the room John was chained to the wall with a gag in his mouth. The only thing in-between him and the others was a large transparent wall. Duncan looked around and found a rusty old crowbar and tried smacking the wall with it, but it didn't even leave a scratch. At that moment Yin appeared on TV screen that was on the wall.
"Ever since John's battle with cancer his greatest fear has been untimely death. Last time he was saved by some very skilled doctors. But tonight the only thing that stands between him and death are the thirteen of you."
"What the hell are you talking about?"
"Let him go!" demanded Courtney.
"That all depends on you…"
"Tell me what you want!"
"What I want is simple… As two famous horror icons once said… I want to play a game…"
"I don't know what's freakier… Yin or the irony."
"Well, if you don't fell like it… I could just kill him right now."
"Which is it… which is it?"
"Cody's right, whoever Yin is he doesn't have an original bone in his body."
"Okay, so my John theory was way off. At least we know whoever it is; they're a horror fanatic… Harold on stilts perhaps? That would explain why both he and Leshawna isn't here."
Courtney wasn't the kind of girl who watched a lot of horror movies. She didn't know what to do. Tears were forming in her eyes as she looked at John through the seemingly unbreakable glass wall.
"Play along." said Gwen "If we don't he'll kill him for sure."
"You try my patience girl…"
"What kind of game?"
"Seriously, we're going to get sued."
"You don't work very well in teams Courtney, on Total Drama you've acted only for your own benefit. You don't trust anyone because you know eventually it will be every camper for themselves, and yet you've never been the last one standing. And you won't be able to save John by yourself either."
"What do you mean?"
"I've been watching you for some time, and I know you don't watch a lot of horror movies… So you're going to have to trust your fellow campers, because we're going to play a game of Scream."
Suddenly the transparent wall that stood in between Courtney and John turned into a scoreboard. On John's right there was big green zero with the word "campers" above it. On his left there was a red zero with the word "Yin" above it.
"Here's how we play… I ask you all a question and you give me an answer, one question one answer. For every question you answer correctly you score a point, score seven points and John goes free. But for every question you answer incorrectly I score a point, plus a surge of electricity will go through John's body. Every time I score a point the voltage spikes, on the sixth point the voltage will be fatal."
"Wait a minute, that's not fair! Why do we have to score seven points to save him, but six wrong questions will kill him!"
"Because seven is a lucky number and six isn't, and if you're friends know their horror movies than it shouldn't be a problem… Or should I just kill him now?"
"NO! WE'LL PLAY! WE'LL PLAY!"
"Alright then… Let the game begin."
Courtney stared at John through the wall, he looked sick as a dog. There was no telling what he had endured the past several hours. Now he was completely helpless, his fate in the hands of a madman. He had told her all about his ordeal with cancer, she could only imagine what was going through his head. Anything he tried to say was drowned out by the wall and the mouth gag, but she could tell he was begging. It was only made worse by the fact that Courtney didn't want to lose him either.
"Don't worry, I've seen every single SAW movie fifteen times each, John is as good as saved!" said Izzy.
"First question… Name one African American who has survived a horror movie…"
"Yikes…" said Duncan under his breath.
"Please tell me one of you has an answer."
"Courtney, I don't want to sound racist, but to survive a horror movie you pretty much need to be Caucasian." said Geoff.
Cody was going over every horror movie he had ever seen in his head.
"Wait! I've got one!"
"Are you sure?"
Cody pulled the others together and whispered his idea to them.
"Joel, Gale's new cameraman in Scream 2!"
For a minute it looked like Yin was checking their answer on the internet.
"Yes, very good…"
"One down, six to go." said Bridgette.
"Next question… What is Jason's body count in Friday the 13th?"
"None!" yelled Izzy.
"Eeeh! Sorry, wrong answer."
"What do you mean wrong answer?" exclaimed Gwen "Jason wasn't in the first Friday the 13th, the killer was his mother Pamela Voorhees!"
"I was referring to the remake."
"That's not fair!"
The room was filled with the sound of electricity, and John twitched uncontrollably.
"Save it for the funeral… next question… What is Freddy Krueger's favorite swear word?"
"No one answers the question until we come to an agreement!" said Courtney.
"You don't have to yell."
"Yin can't trick us with this one." said Gwen.
In the whole Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, there was one word that Freddy Krueger used more than any other.
"The answer is bitch."
"If you're such a Saw expert Izzy, then you should know the answer to this one. Name the person who Amanda had to kill to obtain the key for her reverse bear trap?"
Izzy looked speechless.
"What's wrong? Cat got your tongue?"
"I thought you said you knew this!" said Courtney.
"It's not her fault!" said Owen "Yin's cheating again! The person she killed was never given a name, this question has no answer!"
"I'm offended." said Yin "Apparently none of you have ever played the game SAW II: Flesh and Blood. Otherwise you would have known that his name is revealed to be Donnie Greco in the case file that describes her trap."
Once again John was shocked.
"You sick bastard! Let him go!"
"Five more questions…"
"If we lose this, I'll kill all of you!" yelled Courtney.
"We like you too…" said Heather.
"Moving on… What movie is widely regarded as the first feature length zombie film? Is it Evil Dead, Night of the Living Dead, or The Last Man on Earth?"
For a moment everyone was quiet, and Gwen appeared to be lost in thought.
"Yin's trying to trick us again." she whispered "None of the answers are correct."
"Are you sure?"
"Courtney, if there is one thing I know it's zombie movies."
"Okay, so what do we tell him?"
"Leave it to me."
"I'm waiting… What's your answer?"
"None of the above!" said Gwen "The answer is White Zombie."
Yin looked confused.
"White Zombie? Hang on while I look this up… I don't see any… oops… she's right."
"Everything's going to be fine Courtney." said Bridgette "We just need four more."
"So does Yin…" said Alejandro.
"Next question… In Scream, how many times does Ghostface call Casey before he kills her?"
The campers were straining to remember the opening scene of the iconic horror film from the nineteen nineties. The only difference between it and their current situation was that Yin was shocking John instead of cutting him open.
"Hello… who is this… what's your favorite scary movie… I told you not to hang up on me… No, you listen you little bitch! You hang up on me again I'll gut you like a fish… You should never say who's there… your call…"
"The answer is six…"
"Yes it is…"
"True or false… Vampires can be killed by driving a wooden stake through their hearts."
"That's an easy one, true!" said Tyler.
"According to "The New Annotated Dracula", and the Batman vampire trilogy, a wooden stake only immobilizes a vampire. If the stake were made of silver and was dripping with garlic or holy water it might be another story."
"I thought silver was used to kill werewolves." said Geoff.
"Works on vampires too… now back to business."
This time they could almost hear John scream.
"Just be glad I put that gag in his mouth, otherwise he might've ripped his tongue off by now."
"It's okay Courtney; we just need three more points."
"So does Yin…"
"Alejandro, if you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem!"
"Next question… In the 1992 film adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula, in the scene where Jonathan Harker first meets the Count at his castle, what's wrong with the robe that Gary Oldman is wearing?"
"What do you mean, what's wrong with it?"
"Honestly, don't any of you read?"
"Do I look like a girl who reads vampire novels?" asked Heather.
"Just answer the damn question!"
"Please tell me one of you knows the answer…" said Courtney.
"It's not… accurately Romanian?" said Cody.
"Wrong… According to Bram Stoker's novel Dracula is dressed head to toe in black, the robe that Gary Oldman is wearing during the scenes at Dracula's castle is red. So sorry…"
This time some vomit came oozing out from behind John's gag.
"Hang in there dude…" said Geoff.
"Next question… In the 1994 film adaptation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein there are several inconsistencies with the novel. One of these is the order of deaths. Place the following characters in the correct order they die in the novel; Alphonse Frankenstein, Henry, and Elizabeth."
"Please tell me someone knows this one…"
"As a matter of fact I do." said Gwen.
"The proper order would be Henry, Elizabeth, and then Alphonse Frankenstein."
"What about Igor?" asked Tyler.
"Igor wasn't in Mary Shelley's novel."
"Regardless… Gwen's answer is correct."
"In what year did Jason Voorhees allegedly drown at Camp Crystal Lake?"
Everyone was thinking their hardest. If they got this question right then John would be one question away from being saved. If they didn't get it right he would be one question away from a dirt nap.
"Jason was born in 1946, but he didn't drown until he was eleven years old… So the answer is… 1957."
"Okay… just one more question. We can do this."
Yin decided it was time for something really tricky.
"What state do the SAW movies take place in?"
"I… don't think they ever divulged that information."
"Then you should pay closer attention to the fucking movie." said Yin "In SAW V it's revealed that the area code for Peter Strahm's cellphone is 212, which is in Manhattan. So the answer is New York… So sorry."
This time John when stopped screaming and shaking he passed out, but from her side Courtney couldn't tell.
"Calm down, we're not finished yet… Final question and its do or die… are you ready?"
Courtney was coming apart.
"Oh my god…" breathed Bridgette.
"Okay Chris, the joke's over. Let us go." said Heather.
"For the last time, I'm not fucking Chris, and does it sound like I'm laughing? You'll have to get this question right or Scarface here will be feeding the worms."
"If you kill him I'll make sure that you spend the rest of your life behind bars, and to top it all off it will be a very short sentence!" said Courtney.
"Make all the threats you like, my life can't possibly get any worse."
Courtney took the crowbar from Duncan and pounded against the wall as hard as she could, but it did absolutely nothing.
"If you let him go I'll give you whatever you want!" she cried "Money! Women! Men?"
"All I want is for you to answer the fucking question… On the fateful Halloween that Michael Myers came home, how many people did he kill?"
Cody knew this had to be another trick question.
"Before we answer, we need to know one thing… Are you referring to the original or the remake?"
"I'll ask the questions here boy…"
"You expect us to just make a wild guess?"
"There are two versions of the night Michael Myers returned to Haddonfield, the original and the remake, if you answer correctly John lives… very simple."
"That's not fair!" said Owen.
Courtney was on her knees and crying with her hands against the wall. She had been reduced to begging.
"Please… let him go…"
"Answer the question and I will…"
All the others huddled together.
"Okay… in the original Halloween Michael only kills four people, but in Rob Zombie's remake he kills thirteen people if you count everyone he killed escaping from the asylum." said Duncan.
"Last time Yin was referring to a remake, he wants us to assume he's referring to a remake again."
"So should we just say four?"
"Wait a minute, don't the original Halloween one and two take place on the same night?" said Cody.
"He's right! So what's the combined body count?"
"There was that guy whose clothes Michael stole, Annie, Bob, Lynda, Alice, Mr. Garret, Budd, Karen, the doctor, those three other nurses, and the Marshal. So that's… thirteen."
"So… we can't lose, we just have to say thirteen."
"Wait! What about Jimmy?" asked Izzy.
"The paramedic in Halloween II that took a liking to Laurie, I thought he died too."
"It's not confirmed on-screen." but the TV version of the film contains a deleted scene that shows he survived."
"Can we really take that risk, we're dealing with a lunatic here." said Bridgette.
"Why did Michael kill everybody?" asked Lindsay.
"Tick-tock-tick-tock… What's your answer?"
"Jimmy survived the original Halloween II, it's confirmed in the comic books 'Halloween: The First Death of Laurie Strode', Michael didn't kill him until later. You have to trust me." said Cody.
"You're trying my patience…" said Yin.
"Thirteen! The answer is thirteen! Right… am I right?"
There was no immediate response. For about ten long seconds Yin didn't even move. Then the TV shut off and the score board disappeared.
"Did we win?" asked Lindsay.
Suddenly John's chains were unlocked and the transparent wall flew up like a garage door.
"Out of the way, I'm a certified CPR!"
Bridgette forgot how much voltage had just been pumped into John's body, when she touched him she felt a shock.
"Bridge, what's the verdict?"
"Just a minute… He's… out cold, but he's still breathing."
"Thank you God!" cried Courtney taking John in her arms.
"Okay… that was intense."
"Ever since season one, we've all had our differences, but none of us have ever been zapped within an inch of our lives."
"That could have been my Cody!"
It took a few minutes before Courtney stopped crying.
"It's okay, we won… Yin tried to be beat us and we freaking won."
"Someone get that gag off his mouth."
When they removed John's gag more vomit came oozing out of his mouth.
"Yin must've drugged him with something, there's a mark here on his neck."
"I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm getting him out of here, money or no money." said Courtney.
"But Yin said we're stuck here till dawn."
"What time is it?" asked Tyler.
Suddenly the same rusty iron bell the campers heard earlier began to toll again.
BONG! BONG! BONG! BONG! BONG! BONG! BONG! BONG! BONG! BONG!
After the last stroke the phone rang.
"Ten o'clock, the holiday is nearly gone… but we're not finished yet… Since I'm feeling generous I will give you all a one hour recess, then we can finish our little game."
Meanwhile, somewhere else in the mansion, Yin began uploading the videos of everything that had happened so far.
"Even if they manage to trace these files back to the source… unlikely… I'll be long gone before anyone reaches this place… I just hope Chris is still awake to watch them…"
"Can we head back up to the mansion?" asked Cody "Being down here in this dark old underground chapel is kinda freaking me out."
"But don't we have to help Rachel first?"
Izzy was pointing at two of the tombs positioned near the front of the chapel. One of them was adorned with a weathered old American flag with the name "Arthur Pashan" inscribed on it, the other was covered in old ancient withered flowers and had the name "Rachel Bates".
"Okay, let's do this freaking thing before Yin decides to trap us down here." said Alejandro.
Alejandro took the rusty old crowbar in his hands and shoved it into Arthur's crypt. A foul disgusting odor erupted out of it.
"Oh my god! What is that?" exclaimed Lindsay.
"That's the smell of a corpse that's over seventy years old."
They boys pushed the lid aside.
"Calm down, it's just dead body."
"First dead body I've ever seen…"
"Actually there's not much left of him."
"Doesn't matter, all we need is the ring. So who wants to get it?"
Naturally there was silence.
"Well don't everyone volunteer at once."
"Not it!" exclaimed just about everyone.
"What? No way!"
"Sorry Cody, but Total Drama is very clear on the 'not it' rule."
"We're not on Total Drama; we're locked in a haunted house on Halloween night all thanks to a raving maniac."
"Just get the damn ring."
Obviously Cody hesitated for a few minutes.
"Ugh… Sorry Mr. or should I say Captain Pashan, we mean no disrespect. We're just trying to help your girlfriend."
"You do realize you're talking to a bag of bones." said Heather.
"It used to be a human being." said Gwen.
Cody slowly felt around the Captain's withered old outfit. Finally he found what he was looking for.
"This must be it."
The ring looked like it was brand new, despite the fact that it had been in a dead man's tomb for over seven decades. In the center there was a large diamond, and there were words inscribe on the band.
Rachel and Arthur for all eternity
"That's a nice ring."
"It belongs to Rachel." said Sierra.
"Whatever." replied Heather.
"Okay, get her box."
When they opened Rachel's tomb they were met with another blast of foul air.
"I must say, she looked a lot better as a ghost."
"Put the ring on her finger." said Sierra.
"Because she wanted to marry him."
Cody slowly slid the ring onto Rachel's ancient finger, for a moment he was worried it was going to snap off.
"Note to self, if I get out of here I need to wash my hands."
"Rachel did say that all we had to do was return her ring."
"I say we get out of here before she decides that she needs a human sacrifice."
Owen had to help Courtney carry John up the stairs. When they got back up into the mansion it was still as dark and in as much disrepair as it had been all night, but it felt as though a veil had been lifted. Soon John began to stir.
"I think he's waking up!"
"Ughhh… Mommy… I don't want to go to school today."
"I don't think you need to worry about that."
Courtney pulled John up and kissed him.
"You are easily the luckiest man I've ever met."
"How do you feel?" asked Owen.
"Well… I imagine this is probably how Darth Vader felt after he chucked Palpatine down that bottomless pit."
Suddenly John remembered something.
"We don't know, Yin only kidnapped us, hopefully she was found by either the police or my mother." said Courtney.
"We got your swords back though." said Cody.
"I'd tell you that I feel a lot safer… but my muscles feel like hell. Our captor drugged me with something that made me think I was spending hours locked inside a basilica with the Grim Reaper outside."
"We've spent the last few hours running around this house trying to save you and figure out who he or she is."
"I have a feeling we have much to discuss."
The others quickly filled John in on the situation.
"I suggest we use this time to put the facts together and see if we can't solve this little mystery."
"Okay, so what do we know?"
"Last night we were all kidnapped by person or persons unknown, but John and Courtney were the only one's who got special treatment. Most likely because John has been Chris' favorite since Shipwreck."
"And whoever Yin is, he or she has seen way too many movies." said Courtney.
"Though that may be the case, I don't think that's why we were kidnapped and why I was nearly killed back there." said John "Movies are not responsible for our actions. The only reason Yin has done all these terrible things is because he or she has chosen to, the question is why?"
"Because he or she claims to hate Chris McLean more than anything." said Gwen.
"But then why kidnap us and have us and play their sick game." asked Bridgette.
"Because it's obviously not enough to simply kill Chris, Yin wants to outdo him. For that purpose he or she has kidnapped some of the most popular contestants on the show to play a game even Chris wouldn't be allowed to have us play, and has also stolen the million dollars intended for the next season to offer up as the prize."
"I've been thinking about that… Who in their right mind would steal a million dollars just to give it away?" asked Geoff.
"Someone who doesn't need it, or someone who doesn't think we'll figure their identity out."
"But we can… can't we?"
"We shall see."
"Yin may have some interest in horror movies, but for some reason the first question Yin asked me and Courtney before kidnaping us was about one of Shakespeare's plays, Richard III to be exact. Then we were asked about Dracula's tomb, but Yin did tell us if that meant the fictional character or Vlad Tepes. Naturally I gave answers for both. But the real question is why would Yin ask us questions about those two topics when in the Scream movies Ghostface specifically asks questions about horror movies."
"Maybe Yin just did it to confuse us." suggested Gwen.
"It is a possibility." replied John "They do that a lot in mystery novels."
"Also, whoever Yin is, he or she has gone to great lengths to learn a great deal about us. Duncan's bird incident, Heather's secret love affair with Scooby Doo, Cody's belt, Alejandro's bear, Sierra's breast enlargement pills, and your incident in the Caribbean."
"Excuse me?" asked John.
"Yin said something happened between the two of you there, and Izzy guessed it."
"Big deal! Ever since Shipwreck she and Owen have been like rabbits on viagra!"
"I didn't need to hear that…" said Heather.
John was relieved to hear that Courtney told them what really happened.
"I've done the right thing… but my mom is going to kill me."
"Since everyone who had been told about Duncan's secret is currently locked in this house with us, it's clear that Yin has to be someone with access to the deleted footage from season one, either that or it was someone who simply got access by any means necessary. For the rest of us they simply had to follow us around without us being aware, or find a way into our homes and discover our secrets for themselves."
"Yin also has to be someone intelligent, someone knowledgeable in the history of civilizations past and the origins of Halloween."
"They also have to be well financed to have all the tricks and traps we've encountered in this house."
"Which gets us where?"
"Let's look at the suspects. Chef has been Chris' sidekick for years. Maybe he's finally had enough and wants to be the host with the most for a change."
"He certainly has the psych profile for it."
"Also it should be noted that Sierra's bottle of pills was cloven in two, for some reason." said Cody.
"That might just be another red herring." suggest Gwen.
"Besides, I'm telling you Yin looks kinda short to be Chef." said Sierra.
"So who else do we got?"
"Blaineley!" said Geoff.
"True things seem to have gone downhill for her since World Tour, and she has gone to lengths to get rid of people in the past, but I don't see her as the type of woman who watches a lot of horror movies."
"But in Rachel's gallery we found an X written on the wall using lipstick to mark the place to find Alejandro's envelope."
"Show it to me…"
They came back with some of the lipstick smudged splinters from the piece of wall that Alejandro had broken.
"I don't think Blaineley uses this color." said Sierra.
"Maybe she purposely used a different color to throw us off!"
"Well… we'll come back to that."
"What other suspects are there?"
"It could be Eva. She's certainly crazy enough to pull off something like this."
"I don't think Eva could be that creative." said Duncan "She's more of the smash and grab type. Besides, last we checked she was still incarcerated for breaking into Chris' house and destroying his car."
"Let's give it the benefit of the doubt and assume she could have planned this whole night while incarcerated and broke out to fulfill it. She is one of the few people we know who could lift Owen of the ground."
"I still think Yin could be one of Chris' bitter ex-girlfriends." said Bridgette "The yin to his yang, so to speak."
"It's possible, but Sierra doesn't seem to know any of Chris' ex-girlfriends with the means or motivation to pull off something like this."
"According to her Chris also has a lot of enemies, but she won't divulge why simply because she wants us to read her book."
"Well excuse me for thinking about my bank account."
"What's your theory Alejandro, who do you think Yin is?"
"How about our little buddy Harold?"
"Harold? A killer?" asked the others.
"Because he's too short to be Yin." said Sierra.
"There's a very simple explanation for that. He's wearing stilts. It would also explain why Leshawna isn't here, and he would is probably the only person missing from our number that's seen a lot of horror movies."
"And what would his motive to be?"
"Elementary my dear Watson, Harold has seen enough horror movies to know that it's a lot scarier when there is no motive. After all, did they ever decide why Michael Myers killed members of his own family?"
"In the remake they say it's because his mother is a hooker, his stepfather is an asshole, and his older sister was a bitch."
"If you ask me, Alejandro would make a much better Billy Loomis than a Sherlock Holmes."
"I don't care what everyone else says, Yin can only be Chris. Why else would he keep telling us that it's not him, and who would want to outdo Chris McLean more than himself?"
"I actually think I know…"
"I know who Yin is…"
"I've got a pretty good idea…."
"It is obvious, we're dealing with one sick son of a bitch."
"I was never very good with puzzles."
"Rabbits on viagra? Okay, so occasionally we go skinny dipping, big deal! I don't understand how a world so preoccupied with sex can also be so offended by nudity."
"It could only be one person."
"You can't fool me…"
"I haven't a clue… but whoever it is, let's go kick his butt!"
"The only way to know for sure who Yin is would be to unmask him or her. We need to come up with a plan."
"Well whatever we're going to do we better do it fast, we've only got thirty minutes." said Bridgette looking up at the clock."
"And something tells me that the final part of Yin's game is the big chase scene." said Cody.
"Yin has been watching us all night, we're at a great disadvantage."
"Especially considering that Yin is the one with a loaded semi-automatic pistol, and who knows what else." said Duncan.
"Yeah, don't get shot."
"I have a plan!" said Lindsay "But I'll need the following; a golden tiara, some of Rachel's paintings, and some candy!"
"I won't even ask…"
"My guess is it's something worse than the time Scooby and Shaggy rode on a flying washing machine."
"I'm hoping you have a better plan." said Courtney.
"As a matter of fact I do." replied John "As long as your ghostly friend doesn't mind."
Yin had been monitoring the campers all night, but for the past hour they were given some privacy to make the final game a little more interesting. It wouldn't be much of a show if they were all shot dead without any difficulty; Yin had to give them a chance.
"It doesn't really matter who wins or loses, because in the end I'll be the only one to get what I want."
Yin's plan had gone off like clockwork. As soon as the mansion had been prepared all it took was a few payoffs to have the other campers kidnapped while Yin went to acquire Courtney and John. But even upon completion Yin didn't pay the hired help anything but a bullet in the brain.
"There are limits to what Chris McLean is allowed to do with his show, but unfortunately for him the same can't be said for me. I'm going to give the audience what they really want… uncut… uncensored… unrestrained action, suspense, drama, and violence! No one will remember Total Drama one hundred years from now, but this is one Halloween that they'll be talking about for a very long time."
One hour ago Yin had uploaded every second of the campers' adventure on the net. Despite how late it was it seemed like the whole continent of North America was watching the videos.
"And now it's almost time for the grand finale… I'll bet Chris has never hacked into the Time Square Jumbotron before."
Yin was hacking into every system imaginable to make sure everyone would be watching what was about to go down. The last and part of the game would be a live from Yin's point of view.
"Ladies and gentlemen, the holiday is almost over, and I say we send it out with a bang. Right now I have fourteen campers from Total Drama locked in a haunted mansion. Now comes the scene where the unknown maniac takes them out one by one. Do any of them have the skills to take me out, or the wisdom to deduce my identity? The battle for survival will begin shortly."
"Are you sure this will work?" asked Courtney.
"Trust me; this plan is simple but foolproof."
"A Grand Power K100 carries seventeen shots, eighteen if he has one in the chamber. And if Yin has any brains then he or she is probably carrying an extra clip or two." said Duncan.
"Which is why the rest of you will stay on the ground and keep quiet until I tell you otherwise."
"Why are we whispering?" asked Tyler.
"Because Yin is probably listening."
"I hope Rachel wasn't too attached to any of this stuff."
"If she's passed on then she won't need it."
Suddenly the phone rang.
"It's nearly time my friends. Are you excited? Scared? We've been building up to this all night…"
"Well since we still have some time, why don't we talk like civilized human beings." said John taking the phone from Gwen "What is the problem here?"
"I'll tell you what the problem is… INJUSTICE! You've all suffered at the hands of Chris McLean, but you can't even imagine how he wronged me!"
"Well whatever it is, I hardly think it justifies kidnapping fourteen people and then attempting to kill them."
"You talk pretty big Cody… If I were you I'd be thinking about how to spend my last fear filled moments of life, because the bell is about to toll for you and all your friends."
"I wouldn't bet my last stick of gum on it…"
"We shall see… and so will the whole damn world, because we're live."
"Damn… if Yin's been watching us this whole time then this might not work…"
"All your loyal fans are about to watch you die through my eyes, thanks to the camera in my mask."
"You obviously don't know your audience that well…"
"On the contrary Sierra, I have worked very hard to give the people what our dear friend McLean couldn't. So tell me… have any of you managed to figure it out? Do you know who I am behind the mask?"
"We each have our theory." said Gwen.
"You might want to tell me now, after all I you might not get another chance."
"We'll save it till after we've beaten you."
"We? If you watch horror movies then you know there is usually only one survivor… if any…"
At that moment the bell struck eleven.
BONG! BONG! BONG! BONG! BONG! BONG! BONG! BONG! BONG! BONG! BONG!
"Eleven o'clock… ready or not… here I come."
Before leaving the surveillance room Yin set the speakers to play the music from the scene in Halloween where Michael chased Laurie. The hallway was dark and was filled with the smell of smoke. All the jack-o-lanterns had been extinguished.
"Like that will stop me."
With the press of a button the lenses on Yin's mask activated their night-vision setting.
"I feel like Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs."
Yin proceeded down the hallway wielding the same gun that had been used to spook Alejandro and then then the others right before the constellation challenge.
"Eighteen bullets are plenty."
Suddenly Yin heard movement and spun around, but it was only a rat. The extinguished jack-o-lanterns were leaving smell than Yin thought.
"I guess it's a group effort, I did make plenty."
Yin doubted the campers would have all stayed in the hallway that led to the cloister. And some of them were obviously too stupid to know the first rule of horror movies, never go off alone. Every single room had to be checked.
"Come out… come out… wherever you are…"
Yin kicked up the door to the old billiard room, but there was no one inside.
"Hmm… Maybe one of them was too stupid to get rid of the phone."
Yin took out the disposable cell phone and dialed. For a moment it rang and then someone answered it.
"Don't any of you know you're not supposed to extinguish jack-o-lanterns before midnight? Whatever happened to tradition?"
Yin didn't hear an echo, so the phone wasn't close by, there was no answer either.
"Hello… anyone there?"
After about five minutes Yin was ready to hang up, but then Cody answered it, apparently doing his best Ghostface impression.
"Are you alone in the house?"
"That's the worst impression I've ever heard."
"So Yin… What's your favorite scary movie?
There was still no echo. Yin decided it would be best to keep Cody talking while moving down the hallways.
"Take a guess…"
"Well… I'd have to say either Halloween or Scream."
"My favorite is Scream. Unlike most horror movies it could actually happen."
"Then I guess you know that at the end of each one the person dressed as Ghostface gets shot and dies."
"The only people getting shot tonight will be you and the other campers."
"You have to find us first you cloak wearing wannabe!"
The smell of the smoke was stronger than ever.
"Okay, something definitely burning around here."
Yin followed the smell to a door with a thick cloud of smoke creeping out from under it.
"Trick or treat… smell my feet… give me something good to eat."
With one kick Yin broke down the door and smoke poured into the hallway. Apparently the campers had used some of the candles from the jack-o-lanterns to start a fire. Yin held the gun at up ready to shoot, but no one came out.
"They couldn't have stayed in there… They wouldn't have been able to breathe."
Yin called the campers on the phone, a moment later the ringtone could be heard inside, but no one was answering.
"They must've ditched it…Well they've either made it through the locked door in the cloister, or they've gone back down this hallway."
Yin quickly performed a sweep of the hallway that led to Rachel's gallery, but the all the rooms were empty.
"If they had broken out the wolves would have taken care of them… They must be in the other side of the house."
Yin went back to the room where the fire was.
"Wait a minute… I don't remember closing that door."
Once again Yin kicked the door down, but no one came out.
"Ideal for an ambush… I've got plenty of bullets, so I'll just scare them out. Hell I might just hit one them by accident."
Yin pointed the gun at the center of the doorway.
There was no response. The campers had to be on the other side of the mansion. Yin hesitated before entering the room.
"Night-vision isn't going to help me in a room filled with smoke… I guess I should have paid extra for the infrared bonus… A little late for should haves."
Yin crept slowly into the room ready to act at the first sound of movement.
"Olly olly oxen free…"
At that moment Yin heard something hit the wall.
As soon as the shot was fired someone kicked Yin in the back of the head, knocking him or her to the ground.
"Get the gun!"
Izzy scrambled for the gun but Yin got to it first, they tried to wrestle it out of the others hands.
"You know Izzy, I would have told have left a message for you, but the whole world already knows how sexually active you are."
"For the last time skinny dipping with your boyfriend is not sex."
"No, but there's plenty of that in your life too… and no one who give up their virginity ever survives a horror movie."
"Tell that to Sidney Prescott. She survived the whole freaking Scream franchise."
"Well unfortunately for you this isn't a horror movie directed by Wes Craven. In my movie everyone dies…"
"Consider this an alternate ending…"
Just then Izzy bit Yin in the finger.
As soon as the gun hit the floor Owen came charging out of the smoke and tackled Yin to the ground.
"Get off of me you…"
Yin pulled a dagger out of his or her cloak. Owen jumped off just in time.
"I'm going to carve a jack-o-lantern out of your belly."
Yin had been shot just above the right knee.
"You shot me you bitch!"
"Don't move, or the next one is going in your brain." said Courtney.
"Wow… nice shot." said Bridgette.
"You didn't go for a kill shot?" asked John.
"Well… I guess some of your morality is starting to rub off on me."
Suddenly everyone could hear sirens.
"Never thought I'd be glad to hear that sound." said Duncan.
"Well… that was quick…"
"Well Yin… as a very famous horror icon once said… Game over." said Gwen.
"Doesn't matter… I still got to make my show…"
"And where will you be checking your ratings? That's right, from inside a padded cell."
"Fourteen counts of kidnapping and fourteen counts of attempted murder." said Courtney "You're going away for a long time."
"But I will be remembered even longer."
"I always knew you were crazy Chris, but this time you've taken it to a whole new level." said Heather.
"For the last time I'm not…"
Before Yin's sentence was finished the door into the cloister was broken down.
"Holy smoke! Someone put out that fire!"
In no time the campers heard fire extinguishers.
"We're in here!"
"Well-well-well… What have we here?"
Chris entered the room backed by Chef and a small army of cops.
"What the hell took you so long?" asked Duncan.
"As soon as Yin uploaded those vids on the net the boys in blue here managed to trace them back to the source."
"Some of you actually thought I would kidnap you and then try and kill you? I'm hurt."
"Damn it…" said Heather.
"And what the hell makes you think I'd do it either?" asked Chef.
"No offense Chef, but you can be really scary at times."
"So… you're the one who stole the million dollars and kidnapped my campers… Not cool dude… dirty business."
"Okay, let's find out who this asshole is…"
"It's gotta be Eva!"
"None of the above."
"Owen, do the honors."
Owen went over and reached for Yin's mask.
Chris pulled out a tape recorder and played it. It was some kind of dramatic music.
Owen pulled off Yin's mask.
Millions of fans were clued to their seats as Owen moved to unmask Yin.
"I knew it!"
"Wait a minute… Yin bleeding right above the knee proves that he or she isn't wearing stilts. And Ezekiel is too short."
"Boy, do I feel stupid…"
"Then who is this?"
"I'll show you…"
Alejandro pulled off this second mask, but he found himself surprised.
"Justin?" exclaimed everyone.
"Justin? It can't be!" said Owen.
"Yeah, not only does he not fit the serial killer profile, but I'll bet he doesn't know the first thing about Halloween."
"Cody's right, Justin may be a model, but he's a dumbass." said Duncan.
"Show me the money!" said Geoff pulling off the mask.
"I was right! You're gonna fry bitch!"
"Don't celebrate too much…" said Chris.
"As soon as you all started disappearing, the police checked to make sure where the other campers were. And Blaineley has been locked up at home all day."
"But it has to be her."
"Sorry… but you're wrong."
This time Chris was the one to pull of the mask.
"Who wears that many masks?"
"When I say secret identity, I mean secret identity."
"Noah? Harold? Eva?Jeff Probst?"
"I think this is the last one…" said John looking at Yin's mask.
"Wait, before we show the world who you are, tell me one thing." said Courtney "Is it Mister or Miss McLean?"
"Miss what?" exclaimed Sierra.
Courtney pulled off the mask.
"Who were you expecting? Michael Myers' mother?"
"Of course! You can't have a successful mystery/thriller without impossible to guess and confusing endings that you never see coming!"
"Like looking in a mirror, isn't it? Only my hair is longer, and better."
"So it was Chris after all!" said Lindsay.
"How can that be me when I'm standing right here?" said Chris.
"So if you're not Chris… that makes you…"
"His twin sister." said Courtney.
"You forgot to say his superior, but correct. My name is Christina by the way."
"But I don't have a sister."
"I guess Sierra is missing a chapter from her book… It turns out mom and dad felt they only had room in their budget for one of us… By chance they choose to take you and put me up for adoption. You grew up to have your own friggin reality show while I was left to be raised in some second rate orphanage, but enough about me. Tell me Courtney; since you didn't know Chris had a sister before now, how did you deduce who I was?"
"I confess that for most of the night I was completely lost. Saving John had been my priority, but even after I knew he was safe and I was able to think straight your clues were almost subliminal. But as Sherlock Holmes once said, it is the little details that are the most important."
"Uh… which clues are we talking about?" asked Geoff.
"Well… We knew it had to be someone who hated Chris. When Sierra mentioned that she was writing a book about the family's dirty secrets, I began to wonder what could they have done."
"Who's writing a book about what now?" asked Chris.
"My first clue was the questions you asked me and John before you kidnapped us. In Richard III the Duke of Gloucester kills anyone in his family who is in the way of his rise to power. As for that bit about Dracula, Vlad Tepes' throne was stolen from him by his younger brother Radu. You also left a clue in your constellation riddles."
"She did?" asked the others.
"The answers to your riddles were six constellations, but only one of them was also a sign of the zodiac, Gemini, meaning twins. Also I'd like to state that I have seen a few horror movies, I just don't obsess over the details like some of you."
"What does that have to do with anything?" asked Tyler.
"It was clear from the beginning that Yin was a Scream fanatic. All Yin's other clues reminded me of the ending of Scream 3, Sid's long lost half-brother did it. But the biggest clue of all was the name you gave your alter-ego; Yin, as in the yin to Chris' yang."
"I thought it would end up being one of Chris' ex-girlfriends."
"How could anyone possibly figure that out? This game's fixed…"
"OMG! I've got a whole new chapter to write!"
Christina should have expected this. Earlier this evening she had used her tarot cards to see what was in store for Courtney. The card representing her past was the devil upright, symbolizing her desire for physical and material things and her own selfish desires. The card representing her present was death upright, symbolizing the end of what had gone before her and the beginning of a new life. But the card that represented her future had been the Empress upright. When upright the Empress signifies well-being and security, the achievement of goals and growth, and sometimes marriage and pregnancy.
"Now then… if you please Ms. McLean… one million dollars."
"Wait a minute! Technically the million dollars wasn't hers to give away." said Chris.
"Aw what the hell, we can also get another million dollars for next season."
"What is the next season Chris?" asked Sierra.
"Like I'm gonna tell you."
"Go ahead and take the money, I didn't need it anyway… I've already got what I wanted… I've done everything you couldn't… Mr. host with the most."
"And where will you be basking in your newfound glory?" said Chris with his usual grin on his face "Oh that's right, from a padded cell for what will probably be the rest of your natural life."
Christina reached for something inside her cloak.
"Oh no you don't!" said Cody grabbing her by the arm.
"Why are you so tense? The game's over."
"I've seen enough horror movies to know the killer never goes down without a fight."
"Be sure not to cut yourself with this lethal key. The million dollars is in a briefcase, down that hall, sixth door on the left."
First the cops made sure that the door wasn't booby trapped, and then they came back with the briefcase.
"You might want to make sure it's real first." said John "In the movie Screwed the suitcase that was supposed to have the ransom money was filled with junk."
Courtney opened the briefcase, and that was when it really sank in, she had finally won.
"Okay if that is all, take her away boys."
Christina was going to be taken somewhere where they could take care of her leg, then she was going straight to the nearest jail to await her trial. As the campers made their way back to the front door they heard something.
He turned around and there was Rachel, but she was no longer bound in chains, he pupils had returned, as had the color of her skin and hair. She looked as she did in life, albeit a little transparent.
"I thought you were going to pass on…" said Bridgette.
"Any time now." replied Rachel looking at the clock "I believe I'll depart this world at the stroke of twelve, but if not for you I might've been trapped her for who knows how much longer."
"Why is it always midnight?"
"Why couldn't you just get the ring yourself?" asked Heather.
"Because I'm a ghost, I am but a spirit bound to the earth, in other words I can't touch anything. The hour approaches! Farewell my friends, I go now to join my love."
"Wait! Before you go I need to know one thing!" said Lindsay "What's the one true religion?"
"How should I know? I'm a ghost, not an angel."
"What's the difference?"
"There's actually a big difference." said John.
Most of the campers were being driven home, but John going to be taken to the hospital to check the extent of the damage Christina's drugs and shock therapy had done, and Courtney was going with him. No doubt their parents would give them hell after learning their secret, so they were going to enjoy the time they had. As the ambulance pulled away from the mansion they heard the bells begin to toll.
"Twelve o'clock… another Halloween has come and gone… But all I wanted to do tonight was take Angela trick-or-treating and maybe watch a few movies… Well, I guess there's always next year."
"Won't she be a little old for trick-or-treating by then?"
"Nonsense, I went trick-or-treating till I was thirteen."
"Well… I think this is sweeter than any candy she would have obtained tonight." said Courtney holding up her prize.
"Maybe, but now I won't get to see you in your costume… I think you make a very sexy Princess Kitana."
John had never used the s-word before.
"Given everything that has happened tonight… do you regret our decision?"
"When I felt I was going to die, yes… But I guess virgins always have a better chance at surviving a horror movie."
John was willing to wait until after Courtney had gotten through law school and established her career. If she had lost him tonight she would never find anyone else in the world like him, especially considering most boys today either didn't or couldn't wait that long.
"Are you sure your patience will hold out that long."
"Courtney, Christians have been waiting over two thousand years for their messiah to return to them, and even after all that time they're still persistent. I think I can give my girlfriend a few years to make her dreams come true."
"I love you…"
"I love you too."
For a while they just sat there in the back of the ambulance.
"How do you feel?"
"Sick as a dog, I've never had to pee so badly in my life, all my muscles hurt, I can't walk on my own, but it still beats cancer."
"I think you still have a better chance of walking again than Christina."
"I wonder what Chris is planning for the next season…"
"I don't know and I don't care. I got my million dollars, I'm done."
"Courtney, what could Chris come up with that is possibly worse than what went down tonight?"
Happy Halloween everybody!