They are not liked being here from the start, although, honestly, nostalgia still brighten impressions. It's too quiet streets and all these curious faces of citizens who are willing to gut a freshman, just to learn all his secrets. Kat turned away from the window of car, eyes closed. She was homesick when she was 13, but now in Springfield, not Sherwood, was her home. So she wasn't going to go out from her grandmother's kitchen, but two months later she had to go to school. Kat reminded herself often, why did she agreed to move back — only a year here and then she can go anywhere when she graduate from Westerburg.
She would like to be James. His only problem was only a new-old classmates who could remember him as a thirteen-year-old wild boy, which is was possible to piss off from the one word. However, if they will wishing to have fun now, they will not be succeeded - her brother for four years learned to control himself, and even recall his second (girly) name could not cause any violent reaction. Perphaps, just sharp sarcastic jokes as an attempt to repel the attack.
“Arrived,” sighed the mother, looking at them through the rearview mirror. “Smile grandmother at least.”
“You smile – we smile.” Immediately replied James, getting out of the handsome "Fiat".
Oh, he certainly wanted to play on his terms! Could choose the better time! Filled with annoying towards her sibling, Katherine went out after him, adjusting hers rumpled black jacket. Mother not even brushed her black clothes, this is not important for her. She returned to her native city, from which she was escaped four years ago with such joy, and came back for the worst of reasons — the death of a friend. And now, standing on the threshold of hers parent’s house, Veronica couldn't pull the damn doorbell. However, it was not necessary, grandma opened the door for them, barely teenagers after the mother has crossed the first step.
“Ronnie!” she exclaimed, drawing her daughter in big hug. “Honey, they're here!”
Going into the house, Kat plunged into the almost forgotten atmosphere of the old elegant environment in which almost nothing has changed. Even pictures hung on the walls in the same places. She and her brother took turns hugging grandma and grandpa, who helped to bring things to the second floor. And then there was a second reason to hate the homecoming — a joint room. Actually, this used to be their mom's. In shades of blue, rather small, with a dim table lamp, which they remembered, again. The only difference: two beds instead of one.
“Mine.” J. sat on one that was closer to the window.
“Enjoy,” snorted the sister, throwing a backpack into a corner.
He behaved himself like a child, and it is not only irritated, but angried. The two of them it J. couldn't, damn it, grow up. Even now, when they arrived at the fucking funeral.
Two hours later, when all the stuff was moved into the house, Sowyers, not even unpacked theirs bags and boxes, went to Church, late for a memorial service. There was not as many people as siblings would expect, but everybody was quite a sincerely mourned the dead. James with his mother and sister went to the grave of the deceased, which the twins could still remember how his godmother. Kat could only see a pale and obviously too much embellished the face of aunty Martha, but even from this view she became very sick. Mom stood surprisingly strong, looking at the face of a old friend.
“I should to be there...” she whispered, tapping the shoulder of the deceased.
“Hey...” Kat barely touched her sibling with elbow.
J. looked even calmer. Katherine can call herself brave, but she always was weaker than him. Brother's look turned to her, excited.
“Get out?” he asked, without answer realizing her condition.
Making sure that the mother can be left alone, they hurried to leave the Church, sitting under the fence into the grass of the old cemetery. And that’s how the childhood is died — with the weeping mourners mixed with the funeral music. Kat breathed deeply the fresh air, trying to get rid of the smell of incense that is ingrained in her nose. J. pulled off his jacket and tie, showing a black shirt that was little tight — they do not have time to buy a new one before moving.
“And now what?” asked Katherine, lying her head in knees. “Mom will not standing. Aunt Martha was her mainstay since childhood. If it weren't for aunt Martha, we would not have borned...”
“Mom is stronger than granite, that was said by aunty Martha too, remember?” brother smiled sadly. “We still have aunt Heather.”
Miss McNamara, of course, was still the kind aunt who gave them the caramel and helped to gather in the school, when the mother left them with her, but she could’t be supporting. She now cried even more than Veronica. However, J. was right. Mom at least has a place to go.
Brother put his arm around her, and if someone would made a comment kind of "What are you doing under the fence?" they both would have get off a stranger. This is could not be any worth... Their godmother was killed, they had to move this damn Sherwood with its whirlpool of crimes and horrors, and all of their friends, all of their calm pretty life left in Springfield. Stuck in this strange hole, which they left with joy four years ago, was the most crappy situation. How it all could change so much just for four years?
“The witness said that the car was dark...” they heard a voice behind them.
Kat looked up, exchanged glances with her sibling. He also froze, not intending to cast the votes. In this, their views have converged. J. clung to the fence tighter to avoid being noticed, Katherine responded.
“He wanted to drop poor Martha from the bridge directly into the rocks...” the woman sniffed loudly. “Escaping of responsibility! Unhumanity!”
“Maybe Martha could jump under the car by myself? However, seventeen or eighteen years ago...”
“Police said,” a woman quickly complained him, “that the witness was sure of what he sees! Fucking punk, I'm sorry Lord, run over her twice!”
“But who is this witness, damn him!” her companion nearly choked on the cigarette. Siblings felt the sharp smell of tobacco that passed through the cracks in the old fence.
“They let me know when killer will be cached,” the disappointment could be heard in the voice of the weeping ladies. “Otherwise, it... Ohhhhhh!..”
This sorrowful moan turn Kat's inside upside down. J. frowned, becoming incredibly serious. It was clear that this short conversation reproduced more of an impression. Without a sound, he whispered to his sister:
“It was Mrs. Dunstock.”
Kat slightly hit her head into the fence, before lifting off the ground. Now when she's used to the sunny fresh streets, she began to feel her dark head hot. Its had to come back to mom and aunt Heather, but they want to know more about what happened to their godmother.
“If the police have a witness who saw the murder, they will find this monster, sooner or later,” with obvious fury said James, and then, slapping his hand over his knee, rose with a grunt. “Aunt Martha doesn't deserve this.”
“Did you hear what that man was said?” Kat doubtfully pursed her lips. “Why he thinks that the aunt could jump under a car? What was that seventeen years ago?”
They only knew that it was theirs mother's senior year, which about she doesn’t like to talk. Some teachers in middle school said sometimes about some "incident eighty-ninth in Westerburg High", where were studied Veronica Sawyer with hers friends and probably the father of the twins, which about they knew nothing. ‘Nothing’ means ‘absolutely nothing’. But the question now was not about him.
“We can find in Sherwood Internet cafe and read,” J. shrugged. “Or, what is even more interesting, scudded in the library. With a computer it will go faster, but in the library admission is free and information is more, after all, how many Newspapers had accumulated up to eighty-ninth... Or,” he grinned, “we can quickly and free of charge, from the horse's mouth.”
“You're a talker,” Kat could not help but grin in response. “So I think I'm go into the library. You are really believe that Internet cafe could appear an Sherwood?”
James really doubtfully pursed his lips.
“Well, to dream,” he chuckled. “The day after tomorrow we go in Westerburg High, to the Principal. Today I saw in the stadium the players training. So let's have a couple useful contacts.”
In fact, this misplaced enthusiasm could be justified: they are for the first time in their life became interested in what was happening in Sherwood many years ago. When they were ten, they already knew that this subject in their family imposed a tacit taboo, in the thirteen years they were interested about that in the least, and the years that’s they lived in Springfield it is forced to forget about "the incident oh Westerberg High" even mom. And now, finally, had a great chance. If they wanted to know why Aunty Martha died, it was necessary to start with the past.
Their first three days in Sherwood were not as bad as described by the sister. At least J. liked it here. Despite the fact that Internet cafes are still not there, in the library they were given a whole bundle of Newspapers and eighty-ninth year, from May to December. They could only hope that the book mites will not spread to them, and that the mice hadn’t eaten the page that was really needed. Kat is now the third day was reading the newspaper last semester eighty-eight, sometimes coughing from the dust, and then a thousand times washed her hands from her. J. didn't like such a fuss and so quickly began to search for acquaintances.
Today he returned from school himself, saying to his mother went back home without him. Mom was not happy, but he just had to stay. At the school stadium, somewhere in the corner of the stands, sat a company of boys, gushing beer. He approached him, spoke, and then to swing so much that he returned to his sister late in the afternoon, but it was worth it.
“Great news!” exclaimed J. immediately throwing the dirty shirt on the bed. “This weekend we're going out of town. In the neighboring town there's one cool club where we go to hang out with students and not to catch the eyes of the residents of Sherwood. We will hang out with the best quarterback of this season...”
“Why should I go?” Katherin chuckled in her usual style a little evil introvert.
“Because I said I'd be with my sister. Come on, Kat, don't be lazy and unpack your decent clothes. We are the freshman’s in the senior class, so to join a good company will not interfere.”
“We’ll be studying with them just one year. I won't even remember their names,” snorted the sister.
J. agreed her right, but he still wanted to be sure that this last year in school he'll be in good company, quietly and without any scoring from slow-witted cruel boys. For this it was necessary to make friends with a couple local players. This cold calculation should have worked.
“By the way, I almost was able to talk to these guys. Surprise, they are not as stupid as I thought. I asked them about what kind of crap was going on in the eighty-ninth and you know what I heard?”
Finally, in the eyes of Katherine appeared genuine interest. She looked at him irritably and impatiently, saying, tell me already. But J. affected with being a little dramatic, but now it is impossible to resist.
“We were talking in the stands,” he grin. ”Quarterback Ed showed me on the field and said that in the eighty-ninth someone blew it up. That is, in less than an entire trimester since the beginning of September, and someone blew up the stadium! The field was restored for another six months.”
“You said, our mother saw such crap and haven't been told to us?” Kat even jumped out of bed. “Now I understand why she doesn't want to talk about her high school. She had real military action...”
“Flowers,” J. said, citing new friend. “Boys said that there was a large batch, it all happened about three months, but they really cannot tell, because don’t know anything more. They promised to recall to the party. It seems to be something about three or four suicides...”
“What?!” Kat stood dumbfounded. “Suicides? The explosion of a bomb? Maybe they are just mocking on you?”
“I doubt that. Why would they lie?”
“Let me think, to get you to that party, for example!”
“Well, I would have going to it anyway,” J. smirked. “Just now there is a standing reason. And if you haven't noticed, we now know exactly where to look: from September to November.”
Glances again turn on the thick stack of papers.
“If it turns out that the guys didn't lie, we just have to go to learn more. They will tell you what you want.”
“Because they need to put their dicks in any girl!” contemptuously spat out sister.
“Oh, you know how to get the guys off, so I doubt that they will succeed,” J. grinned again. “Come On, Kat. We have here such a sensation, planned...”
Katherine looked at him askance, snorted angrily with deep breath, but agreed. J. internally cheered.
The party was planned Sunday evening, what is meaning tomorrow, so they still had a lot of hours to prepare for it. That's just James chose clothes and was counting the money, and Kat was reading the newspaper, complaining that the autumn releases looked like they were soaked in the puddles before you give to the library. J., when his finished his preparing, helped her with reading, taking the October issue and his notebook. It was necessary to build the whole picture before go to the deal of aunt Martha.
“J.” whispered the sister. “Look.”
He looked over her shoulder and saw on the first page of one of the September editions of a photo of a girl about their age, with a beautiful and such a proud face expression that confidence to seep through the image. She had blonde wavy hair, blue eyes, bright red lips and clothing brand, is also in red. Too much for Sherwood and his weekly newspaper. "The young student of Westerburg high committed suicide!" — read a catchy title.
"’Body of Heather Chandler seventeen years old was discovered at her home the morning of 30 September’," began to read sister. “’Next to her body was found a suicide note with Abyssinian the reasons for such a terrible act, as well as orders concerning her personal property. All the evidence points to suicide. The Westerburg High school, where has studied Ms. Chandler, grieve deeply, because, according to teachers and classmates, Heather was a General favorite. A memorial service will be held tomorrow at eleven in the morning’... So, Heather...” Kat looked thoughtful. “Remember that aunt... I mean, miss McNamara told us? She and miss Duke was in the same company in high school. Miss Duke also named Heather. And, it turns out, this company consisted of girls with that name. And, if Ms. McNamara was friends with our mom, she would know that Chandler girl. We need to ask aunt Heather...”
“Now it's eight o'clock, at this time we not go away. Why don't we go to our aunt tomorrow?” J. shrugged his shoulders. “And now you can read the rest of the Newspapers... Although, this is proof that the guys didn't lie to me!”
James saw sister rolled her eyes and suppressed the urge to give her an elbow in the rib. It has been such that he went too far with the force of the blow, and the sister then sulked for a month, looking at the giant bruise on his side.
“Okay, you guys didn’t lie, but I still choose to believe aunt Heather.”
“If she will tell you anything,” muttered the brother.
Already happened that they asked about first love of Veronica Sawyer from her friends. Aunt Heather was already evasive, preferring to talk about difficult exams and how their mother was very upset by her senior year, being pregnant with twins. Although she knew that the twins want to know about the other. But aunt Martha was not avoiding this issue, or told a thousand stories, except those that were needed really. She said, "I have no right to talk to you about it behind your mom. If she wants to, she tells herself. You just should give her a time. Grow first". And only several years later, the guys realized that aunt Martha, in general, did the right thing. What a pity that four years they haven't seen her alive, and now never talk to her, and won't be able to watch "the Princess Bride", even though J. was sick of this movie after ten revised happy endings. Now they must to understand why their godmother deserves such an unfortunate end. How it all began?
It's been ten o’clock of the evening. Kat decided to take a shower, and her brother, meanwhile, took up her boring post, flipping through a sheet of newspaper in search of any mention of the school, except announcements of football games between the different schools. With a rapid rate after these announcements usually went mention that the team of Westerburg High once again got their asses handed to the enemy. J. tried to remember what news heard about the team when he was in middle school, but quickly realized that no special Westerbergs at that time were not allocated. Apparently, during their peak has passed. Somewhere in October he saw one torn page, once again on the front page, a photo of two players, both in the form, bruised and happy. Apparently, another match was a success. The irony of J.'s gone, when he read the text the column called "Pair suicide shocked the city". James grabbed the Notepad, quickly rewriting excerpts from the article, and then, when his sister came out of the shower, threw her:
“Two more! Imagine pair suicide!”
Katherine, wrapped in a bathrobe, stared at him. Of course, when you come out of the shower, least expect to learn from the crazy brother about what he found the news of double suicide.
“What?” she was confused.
“Here,” the brother put it in the hands of the binder with the open page. “look. These are two of the most talented players of Westerberg. Fan favorites, the treasure of the city. Their death called a loss for all humanity.”
“Why would they die together?” puzzled asked Katherine, finding the right line, but the sibling answered quickly.
“They, as it turned out, was gay. And died from that,” J. quickly came across the contents of the note in the newspaper, “’could not open their love to a disapproving world’. And then at the funeral their fathers have recognized each other in love, but this is the second page...”
“So, three of the popular and beloved students end up with life because of... Misunderstanding from others?” Kat grimaced. “That... Sounds like gibberish.”
“We have not yet reached a possible third suicide and blast soccer fields,” James took the paper from her. “Maybe everything will become clearly soon. And while, Yes, it sounds crazy.”
Kat shook her head, tightly closing his eyes.
“Look... my eyes are already cloudy. I’ll not sleep away if we keep this up...”
“Well then go to sleep, and I still read,” J. sat down at the table and turned on a dim lamp.
A sister approached him and turned off the device.
“Okay, detective Poirot, maybe you've had enough? James, I'm serious. We are for these three days only learned of stuff that I need at least week to think about it. Dosage information, heard about it?”
The young man rolled his eyes, but then lowered his head and suppressed a yawn. Today he really drove through the city and many heard, and one more day he could lie in bed. Kat was right again.
“Okay, mom,” he gasped. “By the way, how's mom?”
“Well, she's at dinner looked quite good. We hoped that by the end of dinner you will come back, but then you called and we didn’t wait for you.”
James was sorry to do this to mom, but after all, the cause for which he stood was an important one. Yes, if the mother told them before that she had lost three of her classmates, he would still have schools agreed to go home.
This evening to wish each other sweet dreams was just a mockery, so the twins turned away from each other, asleep in the silence.