Outside Haddonfield in the corn fields surrounding Billow's Woods, the Haddonfield High School student rave was in full swing. The makeshift dance floor, which consisted of stamped-down hay, was packed, as the teens were getting down to Avatar's 'Smells Like A Freakshow'. The dirt road approaching the scene was packed full of cars, as more of the town's youth continued to pour in the adjacent parking area.

At the head of the stage was DJ Drake, or rather 'Drake-Ulla', as the sign above him now read. Dressed in a lousy interpretation of a vampire costume, the DJ stood atop a hastily constructed platform and spun the vinyl records, with two huge sets of speakers to his left and his right.

Bright white spotlights lit the immediate area, along with flashing strobe lights and purple and orange Halloween lights, which were carefully strung up by the three techies earlier in the day. Besides that, everything else around them was pitch black. Large 'Happy Halloween' signs hung on each side, one atop the large stacks of hay bales that signaled the "legal" perimeter of the rave, and the other above the refreshment stand on the right side.

Sherry Robinson and Brandon Farson, still dressed in their Skellington attire, approached the stage to Drake's left, just as he was changing the song, this time to Lacuna Coil's 'Trip The Darkness'.

"Nice setup, Drake," Sherry commended.

"Man, your techies are a bunch of chumps!" Drake shouted, making sure she heard him over the loud music.

"What do you mean?!" Sherry asked just as loudly, with a puzzled look on her face.

"They totally bailed on me this morning!" Drake complained. "They strung up a couple lights and moved a few hay bales, but that's it. I had to hook up the equipment and build the stage ALL BY MYSELF!"

Sherry and Brandon exchanged an odd glance.

"They wouldn't do that," Sherry insisted. "They were so excited about it yesterday."

"Well, whatever," Drake groaned. "No harm, no foul, I guess. But if I see them, I am totally gonna kick their asses 'cause they tore up my power cords. I had to scramble around at the last minute to get replacements."

"Bill the school," Sherry stated. "I'll just tell them the others shorted out."

"Good enough," the DJ reluctantly agreed.

"Oh, one more thing," Sherry commanded. "Make sure you shut down by midnight. Town ordinance."

"Yes, m'am," Drake acknowledged, giving her a thumb's up as he put his large headphones back on. "Now get out of here. I got work to do!"

Satisfied, Sherry nodded and re-joined Brandon at the base of the stage. Together, they weaved their way through the mass of partygoers and managed to make it to the refreshment stand.

As they did, the chorus of the Lacuna Coil song kicked in, and gave Sherry pause.

Come to me
Come to me
I am waiting for you
Come to me
I can't wait

Follow me, follow me
As I trip the darkness
One more time
Follow me, follow me
I awake from madness
Just in time...

"Sherry," Brandon called out, to no reply.

Noticing she was in a trance, he approached her and tapped her on the shoulder.

"Sherry!" he shouted, this time a lot louder, thinking maybe she couldn't hear him over the music.


"Here you go," her boyfriend stated, handing her a glass of fruit punch.

"Oh, thanks hun," Sherry said with a smile.

Just then, Sienna St. Clair, whose innocent red riding hood costume had been pawed at and torn somewhat on the dance floor, wrapped her arms around Sherry from behind, and hugged her.

"PARRRRRRRRRTY!" she exclaimed, clearly inebriated.

Brandon smiled, and Sherry took one glance down at her drink. Inhaling a strong odor of alcohol, it didn't take long to realize what was going on.

"I guess Connor and Logan succeeded after all," Sherry stated, handing Brandon her cup. "Don't drink that. And make sure they don't sell any more. Come on, sexy, let's get you sobered up."

"Hey, wait a minute..." Sienna slurred.


"Have you seen Connor?"

"Not since we left the festival. Don't worry, he'll show. If he really did spike the punch, you know he'll be here to gloat about it."

"Where could he be?"


Out along the dirt road approaching the rave sat a blue Chevy Cavalier, idling among the line of cars waiting to get in.

Inside sat a very impatient Dayna Jordan and her reluctant passenger, Connor Lowe.

"Can you believe this shit?" Dayna complained, running her hands through her hair. Connor, still sporting the remnants of his Big Bad Wolf costume, was equally irked and nodded in agreement.

"I thought Sherry organized it better than this," she continued. "Those techies totally dropped the ball on this."

At the mention of the techies, Connor opened his mouth to say something, but Dayna quickly cut him off.

"Don't you say a word!" she groaned.

Surprisingly, Connor obeyed her, and continued to sit quietly in his seat.

"I can't take much more of this," Dayna informed him. "What do you say we make our own parking space?"

As the line of cars inched forward, Dayna maneuvered her Cavalier off the safety of the dirt path and pulled off into the barren woods to the right of the road. None of the other cars in line seemed to take notice; they merely seized the opportunity to move forward and get that much closer to the party.

"Yeah! Now you're talking!" Connor exclaimed.

The sounds of the other vehicles' motors faded into the distance as Dayna did her best to traverse through the rugged terrain of Billow's Woods. Both she and Connor were bouncing around the inside of the front seat as she hit bump after bump, branch after branch, and struggled to maintain control of the Chevy, which was clearly not built for off-roading.

"You sure this thing can make it through all this?" Connor asked, nearly hitting his head on the ceiling of the car.

"Are you kidding?" Dayna piped back. "The Whovian is a tank! She'll get through anything!"

But Dayna was clearly mistaken, as after she hit a particularly rugged patch of woods, a loud clunk echoed underneath them, and smoke immediately began bellowing out from under the hood.

"Just a little further, come on girl," Dayna playfully whispered to her car, trying to coerce it to continue forward.

Soon after, the smoke became too much, and she couldn't even see out of the windshield any more.

"Fuck!" she complained.

"Great plan, Einstein," Connor groaned.

"Shut up! You were all for it back there!"

"Watch out!"

But before Dayna could react, a large oak tree came into their field of view, and thanks to the smoke and fog, she didn't see it in time.

The blue Cavalier plowed headfirst into the thick trunk of the oak tree, splitting it nearly in half and putting a big dent in the front grill of her vehicle.

And a big dent in her plans.

Proceed To Chapter 23
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