Spencer isn’t sorry she killed Toby. She’s just sorry she got blood on her favorite black hoodie in the process. Seriously, it was a bitch to wash out.
And it’s weird, because she remembers what happened—the croquet mallet and the cracking sound his skull made (...all eighteen times)—but after that, it’s a blur. She knows she’s missing time but doesn’t know how much, and where the hell is she, anyway? And why is there a fucking bag over her head?
If the two women dragging her around don’t let go soon and tell her what the hell is going on, she’ll be adding even more bodies to her count. That is, if she can get her strength back. Her senses are weakened, but Spencer can tell she’s groggy—fuzzy, like her brain has been stuffed with cotton balls—and seriously dehydrated. It scares her that she’s not sweating, given how damn hot her face is right now. Her throat is scratchy and dry, and the hot air she’s breathing inside this bag burns on its way down.
She hears what sounds like a heavy, metal door close behind her—but it’s hard to tell—and she’s slammed into a chair. One of the cops lets go of her arm and starts handcuffing her to something.
“Where is my mother!” Spencer yells. “This is bullshit! I’m a Hastings, goddamnit! You will never get away with treating me like this!”
There’s a sarcastic mumble from the cop furthest away, but Spencer can’t make it out over her grunting and the rattling against metal rings. The door opens again, and Spencer whips around even though everything is black. She’s going to run out of breathable air soon.
“Thank you, Eggs,” a new voice says. “Thank you, Detective Ravioli. You may go.”
A brief pause. “I hear no difference.”
The door in the distance opens and closes again. Soft footsteps circle Spencer as she jerks furiously against the chains. Her wrists are killing her, but she’s not giving up without a fight. “Where the hell is my mother!” It’s time for answers, now.
Without warning, the hood is painfully ripped off, and Spencer gasps, startled, at the rush of cool air against her face. Her pupils constrict suddenly, as all her senses adjust to the sharp contrast of her new surroundings. She’s in a gray room with a giant curtain on the wall to her right, doors on two of the other sides, a table a few feet from her, and a bright light overhead. But mostly, all Spencer can see is a tall, blonde woman in a navy-blue tracksuit, six inches from her face.
“So.” The woman’s voice is matter-of-fact, but friendly. “I hear you like to kill people.”
Spencer doesn’t so much as blink. No daughter of Veronica Hastings would ever respond to such obvious baiting. Still, something about this woman exudes power, despite the fact that she’s practically wearing pajamas. Through her haze—much milder now, thankfully—Spencer fixes on the woman’s eyes and just glares back. “Where. Is. My. Mother.”
The woman starts pacing around the room, and Spencer instantly feels the familiarity of a cat-and-mouse game.
“You’re a tough girl, Hastings. Determined, ambitious, mentally unstable but with an arrogant flair and cheekbones that could cut glass. You remind me of a young Sue Sylvester. Only…” The woman leans in close again to whisper, “At least I had the basic sense to dispose of the bodies.” Sue holds her gaze for a moment to let that sink in, then glances down. “And a better rack.” She taps Spencer’s forehead with her finger three times as she says, “I guess good grades aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.” And she grins, clearly enjoying herself.
“Don’t touch me,” Spencer growls, trying to back away even though there’s nowhere to go. “You can’t keep me here!”
What the hell kind of police interrogation is this?
“Ohh, I don’t think you’re going anywhere…” Sue resumes her pacing with a small skip in her step.
“I know my rights. You can’t question me without my lawyer present, and you clearly have no idea who you’re dealing with.” Spencer gives her best Hastings glare, the one that makes babies cry and accidentally killed her hamster when she was eight.
Sue just laughs and says, “This is my favorite part,” like she’s sharing a special secret with an old friend. Walking over to the heavy, maroon curtain, she pauses and turns to Spencer. “Tell me again how your mother’s on her way here right now?”
And with a dramatic flourish, she throws the curtain back to reveal a giant window and the empty, terrifying vastness of space—still, dark, and infinite. A few distant stars shimmer against the black, but otherwise....
Spencer gapes in horror, frozen. There’s just...nothing.
Sue, meanwhile, looks like a kid on Christmas morning. “I’m sure she’s just stuck in traffic,” she says with feigned reassurance.
But Spencer can’t hear anything over the pounding in her ears, and if she had any food in her stomach, it’d surely be all over the floor right now. Her head is spinning, but she holds herself together. This isn’t real. It can’t be. She’s not in space. How would she even get into space? It’s just some CGI bullshit intended to shock her into confessing a murder. There’s even a fake asteroid floating by—a piece of Styrofoam on a string, no doubt—as an extra touch. Well, nice try, gym coach. Spencer’s seen better special effects at the Children’s Science Museum.
She steels her nerves and shoots back, “You really expect me to believe we’re actually in space? Do you think I’m stupid?”
“Maybe!” Sue says cheerfully. “And here I thought a geek like you would cry tears of joy into her model rocket ship when she realizes what an opportunity this is. Life in space!” she exclaims, arms up. Sue pauses and lets her arms fall. “Oh come on, nerd. Give me a little something. You should be kissing my Reeboks with that over-privileged mouth.”
“We’re not in space. There’s oxygen. And gravity.” Spencer knows how space works. Four-year-olds know how space works.
“I’ve pulled some strings.” Sue walks over to lean a hand on the table. “Can’t have my prisoners floating around all willy-nilly like balloons at a birthday party.”
“Prisoners,” Spencer repeats. Surely, she heard that wrong.
“Well, ‘prison bitches’ seems a little on the nose.”
The truth hits her like a ton of bricks. “This is a prison,” Spencer says soberly.
Sue leans forward a bit and smiles again, a twinkle in her eye. “Can’t get anything past you, can I?”
Suddenly, everything makes both perfect sense and no sense at all. They caught her, but how? Spencer had been meticulous in her planning and execution, except for the part where she smashed Toby’s skull to absolute smithereens instead of one generous thwap. The clean-up got away from her, but she did the best she could. And until this moment, she thought she’d pulled it off. Everyone gets away with murder in Rosewood. It’s kind of the town’s deal. Only, maybe this really isn’t Rosewood after all. The scenery’s a bit of a clue.
In that moment of acceptance, Spencer’s reality crashes down around her. She stares out the window again, but she’s not really looking at anything. Her brain is stuck on five simple words, which she says out loud if only to make sure she’s not dreaming, or dead. “I’m in prison. In space.”
“Right again, Hastings.” Sue points with a smile. “You’re on fire today!”