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Halloween Party: Chapter 22


A single anguished wail from Philip split the air.

Terry froze when Justine had swerved and headed back to the burning house. But as soon as she reached the steps, he began running too, almost without realizing he was doing it.

Running after her.

Running toward the heat and the flames.

From the corner of his eye he sensed motion, and just as he reached the steps he saw that Alex, too, was running after Justine, just behind him.

Without slowing down, Terry ran up the steps and onto the blazing porch.

Justine was standing just at the entrance to the house, swaying slightly, her clothes beginning to burn. She turned around, and when she saw Alex and Terry her eyes widened and she started into the house, which had become an inferno of flame.

“Grab her!” Alex shouted.

Terry reached out and grabbed for Justine. He got her arm and pulled with all his strength. But with the strength of the insane, she lunged in the opposite direction, pulling him into the house after her.

Both of them tumbled onto the burning floor.

Terry screamed as he saw the flames, spreading to within inches of where he lay.

The next thing he knew, someone had grabbed him, and he was rolling out of the house, down the steps, and into the mud. Someone rolled him over and over, the cool mud soothing the heat.

He sat up, dazed, to see Alex standing over Justine, beating out her flaming clothes with his silver jacket.

Justine was sobbing now, not in insanity, but in defeat, and pain.

Alex came over and bent over Terry, his pale face frightened and drawn.

“Hey, man,” he said. “You all right?”

Terry nodded. “You saved my life, Alex. Thanks.”

“You tried to save all our lives,” Alex said, putting a hand on Terry’s shoulder. “I guess we were just too stubborn to listen.”

For a moment the two boys just stared at each other, and Terry saw something he had never expected to see again—the look of friendship and respect. He hoped that his face showed the same things.

A moment later the yard filled with the flashing lights and wailing sirens of emergency vehicles. While the firemen began to battle the blaze, medical personnel examined Terry and Alex for burns.

Niki stood close beside Terry, holding on to his arm as if she would never let go. “What do you think will happen to Justine?” she said.

“She will get the help she needs,” said Philip sadly. “I should have seen that she had it long ago.”

They watched as Justine was strapped onto a hospital gurney.

A few minutes later the police ambulance pulled out of the yard, its siren wailing.

Overhead a shower of sparks erupted, illuminating the ruined skeleton of the Cameron mansion.

Behind the black smoke, the red morning sun made its first appearance.

“Hey—we made it all night. It’s morning!” Ricky cried. “It isn’t Halloween anymore!”

“I don’t know about that,” said Niki, holding on to Terry’s arm as they began to walk away. “It’s always Halloween on Fear Street.”


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