To situate the reader, the first chapter takes place several years after the prologue and the gruesome events that unfolded at Camp Crystal Lake. Sarah, the main protagonist, returns to the small lakeside community to visit her grandmother (bapcia). Only twinge is, Sarah was never made aware of the sadistic crimes commited by Pamela Voorhees. So here it is, chapter 1 of Friday the 13th.
A Sad Welcoming
The summer air brushed the leaves around Main Street, creating miniature tornadoes of brown, gold, and greens. The bright yellow taxi from the city flew by, dissipating the vortexes of leaves. Sarah Skrzek was in the backseat, looking at the scenery as it zoomed by her in speeds that probably went over the limit established in Crystal Lake. The driver, a short and pudgy New-Yorker, was chain smoking strong American cigarettes. The blue-grey smoke was creeping its way towards the back. Sarah opened a crack in the window, and immediately the fresh July breeze blew through her dark auburn hair. It lashed every which way, slightly irritating the cabby. She closed the window just as the car began to slow and then completely come to a halt. Sarah peered out the window at the house that stood before them. It hadn’t changed a bit.
“How you gonna pay, small one?” The taxi driver said, looking over his shoulder, his cigarette dangling from his lips. “Cash or credit?” he continued, sending ashes all about.
“Um…cash, here.” She handed him some money. He looked at it and smiled. He may have expected a bigger tip. Sarah grinned and stepped out of the cab. The driver yelled something before speeding off, sending bright green leaves flying around. Sarah stood silent, gazing at the house that towered ahead. It was a Victorian era farmhouse; pearly white wood siding all around, accented by light-yellow shudders and darker, golden-like awnings over the main floor windows. It had a hand-carved wrap-around balcony that joined the two main doors. She pushed open the gate of the white picket fence and noticed someone standing behind the screen door. The woman was holding a bouquet of flowers in her hand, and she was visibly shaking. Sarah dropped her school bag and ran up the creaking wood stairs, just as the woman walked out to greet her.
“How wonderful to see you again, Sarah” her grand-mother said, handing her the bouquet of purplish-pink carnations. Sarah admired the flowers, for they were her favourite, and then wrapped her arms around her grand-mother. “I missed you so much, bapcia. I couldn’t wait to finish my exams; I aced all of them except for economics. I simply couldn’t wrap my brain around the – “
“We’ll have plenty of time to catch up; you don’t have to tell me everything now” She laughed, gesturing to Sarah to go inside. “There’s some hot soup on the stove”. Sarah was about to enter the house when she turned and gave her grand-mother another big hug. “I’m so happy to be here this summer, granny!” Krystyna smiled and embraced the warmth of her grand-daughter’s love.
Sarah was just about finished brushing her teeth when a knock came at the bathroom door. She rinsed her toothbrush and opened the door. Her grand-mother peered in, smiling. “Your mother is on the phone, she wants to say goodnight to you.”
“Hi mom!” Sarah half-screamed when she took the phone from her grand-mother. Krystyna mouthed “I’ll be downstairs” and closed the bathroom door. Sarah tipped the lid to the toilet shut and slumped on it, smiling to herself. Through grin she sighed out to the phone: “I’m really happy I decided to come.”
“I’m happy too, Sarah. Just behave and be good to bapcia.” Her mother said with an authority Sarah only associated with kindness.
“I will, mom, I’m already having a blast with granny. Twice already has she mentioned that time in Poland where –“
“I refuse you speak another word of that!” Eva replied giggling. Sarah could hear her laughing in the distance.
“Ok fine. Did Travis call lately? I haven’t received a text from him in two days.”
“Yes he has, and it – “
The line went dead. Sarah called her mom’s name but she didn’t reply. “Great. Left dangling on the edge, once again.” She flashed herself a smile in the mirror and walked out of the bathroom. She turned left and made way towards her room for the summer. It was the largest of the room and had the best view of Crystal Lake during sunset. It was painted a mild taupe and had barely any furniture at all; the bed near the window, a massive oak wardrobe on the left wall and a very old secretary below the small window on the right. It smelled alright, she supposed, for an unused room. It could smell better. She dropped her used clothes in the basket besides the wardrobe and decided to join her grand-mother downstairs for some tea.
Krystyna was doing exactly that when Sarah appeared in the kitchen. Two steaming cups of fresh green tea greeted her at the table. She smiled and sat down with her beloved granny. They talked mostly about school, just as Sarah had expected. Her grand-mother rarely ventured anywhere past the basic columns of school, family, and friends. Because she believed that’s what guided someone to a good life, a healthy life. Besides, according to Krystyna, Sarah was too young to explore the fourth column; the column of love. So it came to a surprise when her grand-mother addressed the issue with such spontaneity.
“So who’s this Travis guy your mother talked to me about?” She blurted out between two sips of her home-made tisane; almost choking on the second.
“Um” She was caught off-guard. She didn’t know if she was embarrassed or just surprised. “He’s a guy in my class…” Sarah rushed the words out. “…That I like. Liked. I don’t know anymore.” She finished, looking at her granny with a slight twinge in her smile.
“You are too young for love. Wait until after high school. One more year, then you can search for your love. Then you can find a man to love. Not before. Now pass me the herbs, my tea has gone bland.”
Sarah grinned happily. Love had found her; she didn’t go searching for it. Travis had stumbled into her life. Although she wasn’t sure anymore if she wanted him to stay in it or stumble back out. She didn’t believe in the traditional behavior of dating after high school. I just turned sixteen, she thought, I’m old enough to know if I’m in love.
“Oh dear –“ Krystyna said, making her way towards the living room. A news bulletin was airing on the local station. A woman was live from a campground in Crystal Lake. As her grand-mother turned up the volume, the anchorwoman’s voice chilled the room with such monotony and clinical tone. She was talking about some murder that happened eight years ago.
“ …And this is where they found the butchered body of nine year old Melinda Stuart; One innocent life amongst many that were taken that frightful Friday the 13th, eight years ago.” She walked out of the log cabin and walked down towards the beach, her blonde hair blowing in the wind. “And just a few meters away from the cabin, detectives found the body of seventeen year old Lori Somerville. She had accidently stumbled upon the acts of carnage that were committed by famed psychopath Pamela Voorhees. In a bizarre twist of events that occurred that night, Jason Voorhees disappeared from the family home and…”
Krystyna shut off the television and cradled her frown with her hand. She tried to blink the tears away, to avoid scaring her grand-daughter. She stumbled back to the kitchen and quickly gulped the remaining tea. Sarah stood still in the hallway connecting the two rooms. Her heart was pounding heavily against her chest, threatening to break free at any given moment. She hadn’t been told about this. Nobody had ever mentioned that her childhood friend had been murdered eight years ago. Sarah leaned against the lilac-colored walls; gazing at the picture of her and Melinda as children, as companions. Emotions menaced her inside and her face twisted this way and that.
“No!” Sarah screamed at the picture, ripping it off the wall, clutching it to her chest, embracing it yet hating it. “No! No! No!” She crashed to the ceramic floor beneath her as salty tears gushed out of her cerulean-blue eyes. They slid down her porcelain smooth cheeks and tick-tocked on the glass cover of the picture, blurring Melinda’s face. Krystyna came back in the hallway. She clutched at her heart with sadness. She tried reaching out to her grand-daughter.
“Why didn’t you tell me?!” Sarah yelled, rage overcoming her. She threw the picture frame against the pantry door. It crashed hard, sending small fragments of glass flying everywhere. Krystyna gasped and cried some more. She lifted Sarah from the floor and wrapped her arms around her. She patted her hair and whispered in her ear. They both sat back down in the kitchen. Sarah felt numb, as if the world had stopped existing. She had such fond memories of playing with Melinda when she had lived here during her childhood days. She remembered saying goodbye to her best friend the day she had to move to New-York City. She hadn’t talked to her since.
“It’s my fault.” Sarah cried. She sipped her tea half-heartedly. “I shouldn’t have moved away. I should have stayed in contact.” She mumbled her words; spoke them lazily as if she couldn’t control her speech.
Krystyna poured more tea in her cup. “It’s nobody’s fault but that mad woman. I didn’t want to tell you, Sarah. You we’re too young to know.”
“And why didn’t you tell me afterwards? As if I didn’t fucking care that Melinda had died.” Sarah spat out with the venom of a snake. “I’m going to bed.” She emptied the remaining tea in the brass sink and watched it twirl down slowly into the drain.
“I’m so sorry Sarah. We can talk about this in the morning.”
“Goodnight, granny.” Sarah said, with such finality.
Krystyna watched her grand-daughter drag herself up the stairs. She knew she did the right thing by keeping the sad truth from her at that age. After time, she just thought best not to reveal it in her letters. Maybe I should have mentioned it when she was older, thought Krystyna. Oh Lord, she resumed, such a sad welcoming.