Chapter Sixteen


never took huge amounts of time planning her murders. Obviously Luella’s had
been less elaborate than Ms. Dahmer’s but it still never took more than a week
of planning.

Malory wanted to get the barn just right. She wanted something that would be
like a house of horror when Arianna walked in. Malory still had to buy a length
of rope with which she would hang people off the beam. She never approved of
cruelty to animals but planned on testing it out on a rabbit or cat or
something like that. It would be a pity to have spent money on rope, lured a
victim up there and then have it not work so that she had to go to the trouble
of using her knife after all.

after school she went to the barn, ignoring the stench of the rotting Ms.
Dahmer, she made sure that all her matches and candles were still under the hay
bale, left the knife, hammer and nails with them, checked how much blood had
drained into the bucket (to her satisfaction it was almost full) and did other
gruesome jobs.

came back the next day as well, with more matches and thicker candles that
she’d found in the utility room cupboard at home, as well as rope that she’d
bought in the hardware store.

also carried a box with a stray cat in it. She nailed the rope at the top of
the beam as soon as she got up the uneven ladder, cat under one arm. It was a
calm creature, didn’t squirm or scrape, which made Malory feel worse about
killing it. It was overwhelmingly odd to have murdered two people and not feel
anything and then to feel remorse at leading a stray cat to its death.

pulled up the rope and knotted it around the cat’s neck. Then she dropped it
from the beam.

screeched as it fell to its death, a sound that pierced Malory’s heart like a

The End

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