The setting: A Black Friday “Purge”. [For those who don’t know, a Purge is a day when laws do not exist. Anyone can do anything and not have any repercussions for it, aside from the ones they may apply to themselves after the mayhem]
The prompt [supplied by trinket]: That was it; the last time I would ever visit her. I couldn’t go back, not after what happened.
You will see during the text [#] in certain places. This indicates where a person stopped writing. There is a posting legend after the story so you can see who wrote what portion. Enjoy!
Black Friday Purge
That was it; the last time I would ever visit her. I couldn’t go back, not after what happened. I still couldn’t believe that the day had started with all of us standing out, in the chilly dark, waiting to get into that Big Box store, sipping hot chocolate and coffee and breathing morning breath on each other. And it ended in a bloodbath; the things I had seen her do.. our relationship would never be the same. I couldn’t reconcile the girl I had known since second grade with that wild eyed woman screeching and taking such pleasure in it all.
I should have suspected something was wrong when I saw that glazed look in her eyes as we pulled into the parking lot. When I heard her whispering “Take no prisoners…” over and over to herself. I should have listened when she said “I pity the person who gets between me and that large screen HDTV. But I had no idea what she was carrying in her purse. I keep telling myself that over and over and over now.
I should have known better. She always had a thing for explosives, but I never thought she could be THAT crafty. The slithering sounds coming from her purse while we were waiting outside should have been questioned, but I pawned it off as just her buzzing with excitement. How do you even put bombs inside of snakes?
The air horn fired in a distinct tone. Old morse code reading S-O-S. People learn things in one of two ways: Repetition or Poignance. This, we all had learned, from both. An impromptu Purge period. No one knew how long it would last. But it seems that she knew when it would begin. Her clear blue eyes flashed a wicked glint as she ran into the store, dropping something from her purse at the entrance. I knew I had to be close at her heel. So I lit off after her.
I watched in silence as several people around her had no idea what was happening. Somehow, she knew beforehand that it was going to happen. These things always started randomly with messages from the organisers of some secret government organisation. It was to be kept a secret until the time of the Purge. All of this taken in while chasing those goddamned turtles. I wasn’t exactly innocent.
Sure, I drove her to that Best Buy after we had stopped off as Pets Mart to steal the turtles that we would use to pad the explosives so that, at the very least, the shrapnel wouldn’t get in her panties. But after it was all said and done, there was something left that I had to do. I flipped the knife out of my pocket, and while that wild ire gleamed in her eye, I was grateful she had talked me out of inviting my little sister along with us today. That girl was pretty useless in a fight.
When we got inside the store, the cages had already come down around each register. There wasn’t an unarmed/unarmored store attendant in sight. Lucky them. Rebecca snickered and lobbed a snake from her purse at a ratty looking old woman who shuffled in behind us with her cane. She screamed and flailed as she gripped onto a cage where a young looking teenager glared wide eyed as the fangs of the snake sunk into her neck. Then the explosion hit and the fucking old lady’s poor blue font hair was painted crimson.
Amidst the free-for-all was a calm like no other; unlike all of the frenzied vessels inside the store. I couldn’t help but stop in my own tracks while she was stuck there, as if she was petrified to move. I was afraid to let my gaze follow the path of her own. She stood there, staring at me with her wild eyes; wide and afraid. This wasn’t the first time we’d been out on this day of carnage, but this was the first time I’d seen her kill somebody and enjoy it.
I adjusted the high neck of the thick leather jacket I was wearing; I’d paid a premium to have it lined with chaine mail, and seeing all the blades flying around, I was glad! Pushing her out of her moment of frozen enjoyment, I pressed two hands into her back direct between her shoulders and sent her toward aisle five. There were those really plush towels on sale – three for $15, and it would be over my dead body that I didn’t get them this year! Ha. No Pun Intended.
Suddenly, the surge of the crowd separated us… I lost sight of her as I was pushed over into electronics. Suddenly a man out of the crowd tackled me to the floor… pinning me with his weight, licking at my neck even as crazed shoppers walked over his back. I reached out desperately but my fingers only found a discounted stereo cable with gold pins. He released me as soon as I drove them into his neck.
My fingers dug into the cable while I screamed and pulled the gold pins out of the man’s neck and drove them in again and again. In my moment of terror, someone pulled the man with blood spewing from his neck off of me and grabbed my hand to help me up. My entire body was frozen in fear, completely petrified and the person that saved me from drowning the the man’s blood was no where to be found. All around me the cavernous store had turned into a bloodbath. I scrambled to my feet, searching for my benefactor for only a moment before I heard Rebecca shout my name from near the stereo equipment.
“Kaitlin! Get your ass over here!” She had left me there to die, or be maimed or worse by this psycopath, and my savior was someone I may never meet.
It should have struck me then, but hindsight is 20/20. All of this for a flatscreen? No. There was something more to her mania. Rebecca was wild and indiscriminate in her bloodlust, but there was a purpose to her path through the carnage-soaked electronics superstore. She made for the TV display, then hung a sharp left and headed straight for the customer service counter.
As I hurried after her, trying to keep my footing on all the blood and gore lacing the store’s flooring, I saw that someone had put out Slippery When Wet signs. A cruel joke from a small chance, fate, whatever. Rebecca had no-slip shoes on. So did I. We had learned years ago that there was no point in dying over stupidity. She took the intercom.
“Amanda Carmichael. Come out from that manager’s area bitch. I have a bone to pick with you.”
I shuddered. A vendetta, of course. Rebecca is ruthless, and jealous as fuck. And this girl, well… let’s just say she wasn’t the top. It hadn’t occurred to me that this could be her testing me; pushing me to see just how far I’d go. She always tested our relationship, whether it be her laying on the cold floor of our grubby kitchen motionless or this. Amanda was my high school girlfriend, you know the type. We had stupidly planned out our life at the back of the maths class, but it never works out. I knew Rebecca had always had bitter resentment towards her, but I didn’t think she could ever stoop so low. I hadn’t spoken to Amanda properly since we broke up, but we always exchanged pleasantries, but the thought of Rebecca hurting her made my stomach wrench.
I stood there, frozen in dread and anticipation, while time seemed to slow around me. In slow motion, I watched Amanda step out from behind the rack of heavy blankets and other bed dressings. It was insane, but it seemed she was going for the “I’ll go to the left and get outta dodge” option, hoping for luck to be on her side. Then, time moved warp-speed and Rebecca lunged, leaping higher than I’d ever seen her move.
I jumped also, screaming and gripping Rebecca’s ankle just as her knife pushed from her sleeve and glinted bright in the UV lights of the store. Rebecca’s leap fell short and the knife blade embedded itself to the hilt in the countertop. Rebecca looked back at me in fury, and her eyes softened if only for a moment. Then they almost blazed red as she pulled on final, fatal item from her purse and in a voice I’d never heard from her throat before, shouted “GET…. OUT!!!”
Then I realized that her ankle had done a 180, snapping the bones and her foot was facing the opposite direction that it’s supposed to. She didn’t seem to be bothered by it at all though. The blind rage in her eyes was centered on me while Amanda made her get away. I only had seconds to force my brain to tell my body to move and when I did, in one swift motion, I jumped toward the cashier’s cages.
Rebecca had blind fury on her side, fueling her passions, but I now found myself with a maneuverability advantage. I hit the first one. Checkstand 1. Gift cards and a quivering redhead lay below me. As I lept for Checkstand 2, my footing gave out. I slammed into the side and skittered to the ground. As I turned over, my eyes widened as I saw  both Rebecca and Amanda running in my direction. They came from either side, and they were fixated on me. Both of them had weapons out, and they were paying no attention to each other.
Rather, Rebecca’s eyes held betrayal in them, and Amanda seemed to be unsure of whether she was going after me or Rebecca, but if I didn’t do something quickly, I was going to wind up  fucked. I was fucked, and not in the way that I typically liked. I vaulted. I ducked. I got my ass into the sports department, the one place with the rifles just hanging out on display. Granted, I didn’t know a damn thing about killing with lead, but if this didn’t slow them down, I don’t know what would.
I aimed the butt and jabbed for her face, and as the butt connected with her freckled features, Amanda yelped.
“I thought I had been good to you, shitter. I should’ve helped Rebecca stab your ass if I’d known you were gonna come for me too.”
I stepped on her chest and slammed the butt into her mouth, hearing the cracking of a few teeth. It brought me no satisfaction, but I realized my mistake as Rebecca hobbled toward us, using the exploded old ladies cane and wielding that knife in front of her like a ward.
“Nice job, babe,” she said.
The moment after I had done it, I dropped the rifle to the floor like a dead weight. Hearing the noise of her teeth cracking sent a chill down my spine, and not one I enjoyed. I thought I was unable to move, but I just let Rebecca drag my limp body, following her blindly. I couldn’t even cry; all that was going on right now was disgust. I couldn’t tell if the blood in my hands was from random, massacred bodies, or from the crescents of my nails digging into my usually pristine hands.
And honestly, I didn’t really care. I was helpless and my mind was blank, barely registering that I didn’t see another person standing in the whole joint. The sirens sounded again, the deep throbbing of the air horn, signaling the end of the impromptu purge. That sound, the pattern of the bleating, always seemed to jolt my heart back into a normal pattern, and I stopped being dragged by my best friend, pulling away just a bit, to cast a critical, disbelieving gaze upon her own face, which mirrored my expression.
“Ka…Kaitlin. I can’t believe yo…. You killed her.” Rebecca, the warcrying vixen. Rebecca, the hotheaded psycopath who laid waist to countless hordes before my unstable gaze was as white as a ghost. “We… we just went in there for cover. I can’t believe you called her… of course she came to you. Kaitlin. You’re a monster.”
I just stared at Rebecca. I opened my mouth several times to speak, but my throat wouldn’t give way to sound, just strangled noises pushing out on my panted breaths. I caught my reflection in a mirror, and I was covered in blood and gore. Some of it was mine, I was sure. My body ached, my heart thumped erratically, and my vision was starting to swim. I couldn’t believe she was calling me the monster after what she instigated. I clenched my fists. Disgust rattled my ribs, and without a word more, I turned my back to her. Stupid, I know, but I had to walk away. Just give in, and leave.
There was no fisticuffs with a monster. As the dawn ascended across the sky, I stepped out into the parking lot. It reeked of iron, and even the pavement was splattered with bodies. But I – we – survived. For better or worse, Rebecca and me, we made it. But then I heard someone whimpering, the closer we got to the car. The purge was over, but as I saw Rebecca coming up behind me in my peripheral, I saw that she still had her knife out. The kid had gotten himself stuck in the window, trying to break in. He was bleeding a lot, he looked pale as a sheet.
“Rebecca, no. Leave him. We should call an ambulance.” But she wasn’t listening. She gripped his dark hair, pulled his deep blue eyes back to face my amber ones. “Just leave him alone, Becca!”
“No! He tried to take our shit.” And she sliced his neck across.
That. That was just too much for me. The Purge. It was over. The sounds had gone off again. If we didn’t follow those rules, we’d be lawless. She’d broken those rules. She’d lost it, and gone off the reservation. I just stood, and stared. Slackjawed and with tears pouring over my cheeks, dripping from my jawline. I thought back to the night before, when I’d spent the evening at her house, sitting on her couch drinking wine.
And I knew. Down to my toes, I knew. That was it; the last time I would ever visit her. I couldn’t go back, not after what happened.