He’s been watching her for several trials and always saved her for last for a particular reason he couldn’t pinpoint yet.
He kept asking himself what about her intrigued him to his very core ?
Was it that cute face of hers ? Was it her way of hiding from him ? Was it her strong survival instinct that compelled her to evade him ? The way she works on the broken generators, constantly checking her surroundings and swelling her chest in labored breaths? Was it her low, suppressed squirms when his knife met her soft, glistering skin ? Or perhaps the way her wet arms slipped through his hands few times he tried to snatch her before vaulting a window ?
The questions washing over his mind as he calmly worked his way around the forest could only bring him to one conclusion: all those things together, stirred him up. She was the perfect prey... for him. He had never experienced a more thrilling feeling for the hunt, than the one that particular young woman gave him. But she wasn't brought to him in this trial.
He approached the small shack with careful steps, turning so silent he almost became a ghost. The dead generator was clearly being revived by someone, and the survivor wasn’t very aware of how noisy he was, neither was he checking the entrance behind him. Ghost Face slowly clasped the wooden frame in a firm grip and carefully tilted his head to check on the man working relentlessly at the generator.
He stalked him few seconds until he stepped into the entrance with his knife ready, tightening his grasp until the leather glove squeaked on its handle. In a split second, the man felt pressure in his chest and he recognized the feeling immediately, but it was too late to take any action. As soon as he turned around and prepared to dash past the killer, he felt the knife digging deep in his stomach. A loud, prolonged cry of pain escaped his throat as he collapsed on the floor.
'Jake ?' Claudette muttered as she heard his voice rippling through the forest.
'We’re the last ones, focus' Feng brought her back to reality as she snapped two fingers in front of her.
'You know there is no way for us to escape both' Claudette whispered as she moved around a tree’s trunk, sitting down next to Feng.
Feng knew she was right, there were 3 more generators to fix before the exit doors could even be powered, not to mention the extra time they needed to open any of them before actually escape. She looked at her teammate and forced a faded smile.
'Not both of us, no' she spoke in a low voice.
'Let’s split up and try to work on different generators, at least he’ll have 2 distractions' Claudette started hopeful.
'Right' the other girl nodded before helping herself up.
Claudette crouched around the tree and rushed past the brick walls to the coal tower. She sneaked around the outer wall and entered the building with trembling legs. She threw a quick glance at the windows and the stairs above before hurrying at the slumbering generator upstairs. With each crank, she was getting closer to fully repair it but simultaneously approached her own anxiety’s peak. The lack of a heartbeat made the whole trial a psychological torture. She would take any other killer at that point and would’ve preferred to get herself injured several times but have that heartbeat throbbing in her chest rather than never knowing when the killer was coming after her.
Feng took a deep breath and headed for the only generator in the open. Her hands were shaking in anticipation. Her eyes landed on something to her right, deep into the forest. A shadow, a black shape of some sorts or was it only a figment of her imagination ? Was it perhaps what she wanted to see ?
With that hope in her heart, she closed her eyes and let the generator blow-up in her face. She knew the bait was a success when that familiar sharp pain in her chest didn’t fail to come. The heartbeat almost ripped through her t-shirt and she knew he was behind her. His powerful and overwhelming aura almost engulfed Feng entirely, like the Fog itself. She moved her head to a side, catching the faintest glimpse of his mask when she let out a loud yelp the second he caught her throat, forcing her to face him.
He seized her and hoisted her body over his shoulder, gracefully moving towards the nearest meat hook. He didn’t hurry, he didn’t stall, he seemed to simply enjoy his walk of victory. Feng struggled and hit his back several times in a failed attempt to escape, but the killer could only smile at her futile efforts as he coiled his arm harder around her waist.
When the hook pierced through her shoulder, a blinding, sharp pain ripped out breaking gasps from her lungs. She snatched the long, sharp legs trying to gain distance to her heart, when she suddenly exhaled one last time and allowed the Entity claim her.
Claudette raised her head from the generator and looked instinctively at Feng’s direction.
'No' she whispered concerned as she heard the sacrifice completed 'what have you done Feng?'
Ghostface turned on his heels and proceeded with a predatory gaze onward.
‘Warehouse, go, end it!’ The Entity whispered in his head over and over.
The girl abandoned the building as soon as she finally felt that heartbeat she was hoping for. She ran as far as her legs would take her, but she could still feel him tailing her.
Although she was making a beeline to the shack where Jake was found, the sound of the underground tunnel leading out the trial brought her to a halt. She looked to her right, to the main road and saw the hatch opened at the Entity’s mercy. With a quick squint she noticed the killer stopped as well looking at the same direction as she was. They both started to race towards it and she couldn’t help but understand there was no chance she would make it out alive unless he would take a swing at her prematurely. However, he was too smart to give her such opportunity and she knew that when she was literally running side by side with him and the man refused to hurt her in any way.
Crying in desperation, knowing that’s the only escape she has, she took a shot and as she ran towards the hole, she let herself slide down and slip through the hatch, when the killer grabbed her shirt. She was half into the hatch, feet on the ladder, but she was forced to grab hold of his forearm as leverage, not to fall down into the abrupt tunnel. She tried to remove his grasp off her, even tried to move down the ladder and just let him rip her clothes, but the killer had no desire to spare her and in a surge of adrenaline, frustration and excitement, he refused the Entity’s demand and just snatched Claudette out of the hatch, climbed on top of her and stabbed her three times.
(Back at the campfire)
Claudette walked out of the forest and drew closer to the survivors gathered around the huge campfire. She removed a small twig from her hair and shuddered at the feeling of that hunting knife carving in her flesh even though the stab wounds were now gone.
'Did you make it ?' Feng approached the girl.
'No,' Claudette frowned slightly angered 'What the hell was that ? Why did you sacrifice yourself ?'
The other survivors resumed to simply stare at the two women without interfering.
'You said it yourself, there was no way we would both escape' Feng tried to reason with her.
'So ? We still try...together.'
'What a lousy thank you' Feng replied moving around the campfire.
'Thank you for what ? Killing yourself ? Getting myself mori-ed ?'
A deep silence reigned for more than enough to become awkward. Everyone knew how unpleasant was to be ended by the killer’s hand instead of being sacrificed. You could feel their anger, rage and sick pleasure whenever they did that. A sacrifice was never so personal, you’d never experiment the killer’s feelings in a sacrifice.
But a Mori ? That is something personal, an intimate journey into the killer’s mind and you, as a survivor could feel all his or her emotions with each hit.
'Fine, sorry' Feng complied and walked at the storage tent to help Laurie sort the items all the survivors gathered throughout their trials.
Claudette wished to echo Feng’s apologize, but she let her head down embarrassed. She knew the girl only wanted to help and thinking about the act itself, she realized it was a very nice and altruistic gesture, but the brutal encounter with the killer clouded her judgement.
Kate followed the whole discussion with interest but she was never the kind of person to debate with the others their dramas so she kept her thoughts to herself and continued eating the plain porridge.
'Who’s got you so worked up, girl ?' Ace asked playing with some cards in his hand.
'Ghost Face' Jake answered as he saw Claudette ignoring the question.
'Oh ho, the new killer' Ace smirked worryingly excited. 'I’ve encountered him once since the Entity brought him to this realm, but I got lucky and escaped before I would literally face him.'
Kate’s brows furrowed at the mention of the killer’s name and barely swallowed the lump in her throat.
'I actually never saw him' David joined them 'What’s he like ? How can I counter him ?' the man asked as he gulped his last spoonful of the tasteless porridge.
'Well' Jake started in a whisper 'You’d have to make sure to stay low for as long as possible. Check your six all the time. He loves to stalk his prey, he is always trailing you, without having you know... just like a ghost.'
'So he’s another Myers ?' David observed.
'You may think of him as another Myers' Jake added 'BUT it takes him less time to take you down.'
'Maybe we should ask our little princess here how she escaped him' Ace gave Kate a nudge and she barely managed to keep her plate in balance not to spill over that disgusting mush of oats, because as much as they hated it, it was one of the very few things they could eat there.
Kate looked at him unimpressed and mumbled annoyed.
'I asked you to stop calling me that.'
'Okay...Kate' he resumed mockingly 'why don’t you share some of your wisdom? You’re the one that faced him the most times and survived more than half of these trials against him.'
'I need to stretch my legs' she set the plate down, next to the log she was sitting on and stood up.
'You know, it’s not very nice of you to keep information from your fellow survivors' Ace caught her attention again. 'I mean, look at Claudette, she got stabbed like a rag doll and you act so smug about it.'
'Acting smug ?' Kate scoffed at him. 'Maybe you should all stop acting like you’re entitled for anything and see the killer for what he really is… a killer. Stop taunting them, stop challenging them, just do your job and survive. Maybe if you’d stop strutting around them so cockily, you wouldn’t doom yourselves and your teammates' she concluded before resuming her pace.
'Where are you going ?' Claudette finally opened her mouth.
'Going to look for some chalk powder' Kate said and the other survivors could see her silhouette vanishing in the forest.
'Is this how you escape the killer ? ' Ace shouted after her. 'Burning offerings to the mighty Entity to grant you some mercy ?'
Although Kate disappeared from their line of sight, she did hear Ace’s comment.
Still staring in the depthness of the woods, as if she still saw Kate, Claudette shifted her eyes back on the fire and then saw Laurie coming out of the storage, arms crossed on her chest.
'Stop teasing Kate, Ace' the girl started.
'Jesus' Ace jumped up startled 'you should be a killer too with this sneaking up on people. Come on, can't you all tell I'm joking? I call her that because she's beautiful. Should take it as a compliment.'
'You're saying it sarcastically. '
'Is she okay?' Jake asked concerned.
'Yeah, I suppose' Laurie replied.
'I’ll go after her, make sure she’s safe' David jumped on his feet.
'How sweet of you' Laurie grimaced at him 'but she’s safe out there. Killers are not allowed to bring us any harm outside the trials.'
'How do you know ?'
'I know, Laurie enforced in an abrupt tone. Just let her be, she obviously doesn’t need company otherwise she’d stay with us.'
'The others should be back by now' Jake tried to loosen up the tension but managed to receive in return just simple nods.
Laurie watched at the thick forest stretching before her eyes and exhaled tired, allowing herself to lean onto the big log, ignoring the survivors’ chatter.
Kate walked at such a low pace as if she didn’t sleep for years. Her feet moved one in front of the other by instinct, automatically, like her body was controlled by someone else. She realized she almost reached her destination when she saw in the middle of the MacMillan woods that ancient giant tree.
She retrieved the small pouch from her back pocket and loosen up its thin string. With a quick scan of the area, she dared to approach the tree’s trunk and kneeled down. Her fingers started to dig vigorously into the dirt around the overgrown roots, when she felt a chill down her spine and a whisper in her head:
'Shit, no, not now' Kate dropped the half filled pouch and her body collapsed unconsciously next to it.
When she woke up, she found herself on the grounds of Father Campbell's Chapel in the killer’s shack with Dwight next to her. As soon as she stood up an icy sensation riding down her spine dragged her down to one knee and she knew all too well what that meant: she was the killer’s obsession.