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“I can tell you about Bloody Elle,” the kid whispered in a conspiratorial manner. “I was there, at that party.”

I tried not to look skeptical as I placed the tape recorder in front of him. He frowned at it.

“Oh man,” he muttered, “You wanna tape it? I thought you could, like, take notes or something.”

“It’s just for my reference,” I told him. “I want to get the story in your exact words, and I can’t write as fast as you talk. The tape just makes sure I don’t miss anything. I delete them all afterwards.”

He looked at me for a few moments before sighing. “Well, okay. But I’m not saying my name or anything.”

“That’s fine,” I said with a smile, reaching over to start the recording. “Anonymous male’s account of Bloody Elle, 11th May 2009. In your own time.”

He took a deep breath and leaned forwards, resting his elbows on the table and bracing his head on his hands close to the tape recorder. He looked up at me again, his blue eyes looking incredibly young behind that droopy fringe all teenage boys seemed to have.

“It was Hallowe’en,” he said in voice barely above a whisper. He paused, and I nodded and smiled to encourage him to continue, my pen poised over my notepad. He coughed and spoke again, a little louder.

“It was Hallowe’en and there was a massive fancy dress party. Everybody was there, like, practically the whole school, everybody who was anybody, anyway. Most of us were underage, but a bunch of guys with fake IDs had brought beer, so everybody was kinda drunk. There was this blonde girl called Elle, I knew her ’cause she was a cheerleader and she was in my sister’s class, and she was wearing a white dress cause she’d come as a ghost. So had her friends, Jessie and Andrea.

“It was close to midnight and people were telling scary stories, trying to freak each other out, when somebody mentioned Bloody Mary. You know the thing, you go into a dark room and look into a mirror by candlelight and chant Bloody Mary’s name, when you get to thirteen she’s supposed to appear and tear your face off. One of the jocks made a bet, said they’d buy drinks all year for any girls who dared do the whole thing or something. Jessie and Andrea said they’d do it, and Elle kinda shrugged and said OK. They went into the bathroom cause there was a big mirror in there and everybody stood outside listening.

“They said the first “Bloody Mary” all together, real loud, and then they all giggled. They said the next few together too, and everybody outside was counting loud enough for them to hear inside, but when they got up to like seven or eight, they weren’t giggling any more. I heard one of ’em start crying, and one of ’em started shouting “Stop it!” but Elle kept on chanting. When she got to the thirteenth “Bloody Mary” they all screamed and there was crashing from inside. One of the guys tried the door but it was stuck, or locked. He started kicking it and suddenly it just fell open. Elle was stood there in the middle of the bathroom, there wasn’t a scratch on her but her dress was stained completely red, just soaked through with blood. She stared at us all, she looked completely crazy, then she just charged out of there, pushed people out of her way and ran clear out of the house.

“There were two bodies lying on the bathroom floor- Andrea and Jessie. We couldn’t tell which was which because they’d both been dressed the same and… Well, they didn’t have their faces. They’d been torn off and they were lying on the floor like masks. But the worst thing, the thing that made us all yell and run out of there…

“There were three faces on the floor.”

The boy nodded and sat back, looking up at me for a reaction. I smiled at him brightly, knowing it wasn’t the reaction he wanted, and reached out to stop the tape.

“That’s great, thank you.” I put the tape recorder back into my bag and looked at my notes.

He stared at me, a little sullen. “You don’t believe me, do you?”

I smiled again. My cheeks were beginning to ache from being so cheerful, but it was a tactic that usually worked.

“It sounds a lot like an urban legend, don’t you think? But then, these stories always start somewhere. Now I just wanted to check a couple of details with you. This Bloody Elle story has been on the internet for a while now, in various forms. You look pretty young to have been there.”

He looked down at his feet before replying. “I was fourteen then. My sister was invited but mom wouldn’t let her go without me.”

I scribbled on my notepad. “And you say Elle was unharmed but covered in blood. Did you get a good look at her, then?”

He looked up at me and pushed his fringe back from his face so I could see his eyes clearly. “She pushed me out of the way. I looked right in her face and she was as gorgeous as ever but totally crazy, y’know? Her eyes, they were just… Crazy. It scared me. I was just waitin’ to use the bathroom, I didn’t wanna see that. I still get nightmares, man.”

I stopped smiling and nodded. He seemed so utterly sincere, as if he truly believed every word, and that sent a chill right down my spine.

© Kari Fay

(Author’s Note: Struggling to get stories up at the moment, since our home internet is not yet connected, so here’s another old story that I wrote a while back, to tie in with a City of Villains character I made. I do like to use puns in my names for that game…)