Independence, Ohio

17. Hollow

Friday Early Morning

With the body still cooling in the floor, Zhu receives another call on the phone. It is the 911 call centre trying to find out her address, but Zhu manages to convince them that it was a hoax call.

Hugo gets some whiskey and hands it round, and they get to packing the body into bin bags and take it downstairs and then out. There is discussion about what to do and who Hugo really is. Eventually they take the body with them to Lookout Point and head off into the woods to bury the body.

Frday Morning

They are careful in clearing up after themselves, and about 8:30am they finish with the burying it. Zhu gets a call from her mother who has clearly panicked about Zhu not having been home. She demands that Zhu comes home so they can talk.

Hugo & Jonah go back to Hugo’s house, and Jonah then heads off to school (arriving late), whilst Hugo stays home to try to clean. He thinks that he is safe to take another day off school, but about 11ish the school calls asking for a doctor’s note. Hugo manages to brush them off and promises a doctor’s note for Monday (whilst pretending to be his own father).

Meanwhile, Zhu goes home and has an uncomfortable talk with her mother and grandparents and they tell her that they are thinking about sending her to a boarding school in Pennsylvania. She upsets her mother further and eventually asks to go in to school. Zhu’s mother drives her in and when she sees Jonah in the car park, her mother shouts at Jonah to “Stay away!”.

Jonah & Zhu talk in school about what to do.

Friday Afternoon

Hugo spends the afternoon trying to clear up the blood. [Extended Task: Six hours per roll, 10 successes total. So far, so good.]

About five, a police officer arrives to talk to Hugo about the break-in (an earlier one, when she left some evidence of herslf). The policeman seems to indicate that they no longer think that it is the maid, but rather possibly a young man/young woman.

Zhu goes in to Chinatown and talks to Chan Jiu, who says that they are suspicious of him and think he might actually be in town to investigate them. He says that they will be putting someone in contact with Zhu, someone who will be able to ‘deal’ with Agent Coulson.

Friday Evening

When Zhu eventually gets home, “the5thwarrior” contacts her and says that he knows that she needs help dealing with her mother, and escaping that night. He offers to help, but asks her to write about her memory of his death. He says he can’t explain why, and is cagey about asking some of her other questions.

Around about 11pm Zhu begins to feel a presence in her room. When she looks round behind her, there is a shape lying under the covers. It has dark black hair, like her, but when she investigates more closely, she can smell smoke, and burning, begins to hear the crackle of fire in her ears and briefly blacks out. When she comes to, she decides to leave it be and leaves by the window to meet up with Jonah & Hugo.

Together, all three drive out to near Lookout Point and set up hidden around the bore-hole where the Footballers performed their previous ritual. Sure enough two cars soon begin to wind their way up the road towards the bore-hole and eventually six footballers get out, amongst them Billy Jackson], Hank Svensson and Waldo Emmett. Billy, in particular is looking unwell and the others warn him that he might need to be bled quite heavily.

Hugo notches an arrow, Jonah grips his shotgun more firmly and Zhu prepares her various throwing implements…

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