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Please review below or skip this one.
 Category:  Mystery and Crime Fiction
  Posted: October 19, 2020      Views: 9
Chapters:
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Chapter 19 of the book Pewter's Homecoming
Marcy learns about a party.
"Chapter 7 - Before Homecoming" by teols2016
Background
Five years later, a closed homicide gets a second look.


Previously in "Pewter's Homecoming":

Marcy Sellers starts her junior year as a new student at Pewter Public High School in western Texas. She meets Lily Harvey, who shows her around. A few weeks later, both girls are attacked. The police quickly arrest a suspect, but, five years later, Roland Davis, a lawyer from Dallas, is given a chance to review the case.


Five Years Ago:

Taking her tray, Marcy stepped away from the register and studied the cafeteria. She knew she didn't have many options and made a beeline for her usual seat. Her one saving grace was that Jeff was in the other lunch period.

News of their meeting in the library the previous week had trickled through the school. Though few people addressed the matter with her, Marcy noticed many more staring and whispering when they thought she wasn't looking. The general consensus was disbelief that this jock was interested in the new-in-town bookworm.

Lily, Amber, and Cassidy were already assembled in their usual seats. Marcy slid into hers and began picking at her sandwich.

"Hey," Lily said with a big grin on her face.

"Hello," Marcy returned in the flattest tone she could manage.

Lily kept grinning.

"You planning to share what happened?" she queried.

"What?" Marcy replied, sure she knew the answer.

"Jeff. Everyone knows he talked to you in the library. Nobody has details and you aren't posting on Snap Chat. Tell us. What did you talk about?"

Marcy had a Snap Chat account, but she was glad for its sparse content.

"Nothing much," she said with a satisfying shrug. "Mostly classes and Eagle Pass and how I liked living there and here."

"Did he ask you to the dance?"

"No."

"I heard he was nervous," Cassidy chimed in.

"I think so," Marcy said. Glancing across the table, she noticed Amber wasn't interested in this conversation. She was casting long glances further down the cafeteria, where some football players were eating. Ethan was visible in the center of that group.

"It's obvious he wants to ask you," Lily said, drawing Marcy's attention back to the conversation. "How about you beat him to it? Imagine how that would feel."

Marcy was spared from responding when Amber gasped and pointed. The skinny, black, bald custodian was nearby, mopping up some spilled soda.

"Can't believe they let him back in here after what happened last week," Amber remarked.

"What happened?" Marcy asked, grateful for this change in topic. She couldn't fathom this quiet, shy, and possibly delayed man doing anything wrong or scandalous.

"Amanda told me how he walked in on some girl in the bathroom by the science wing," Amber explained in a hushed but animated tone, waving her hands as she spoke. "The girl ran out of there and he was watching her the whole time. Creepy."

Marcy knew she'd been that girl, but Amber's narrative didn't suggest that was known to anyone.

"Word got back to the principal," Amber continued, caught up in her excited monologue. "He and the head janitor guy spoke to this creep. I don't know what was said, but he should have been fired right there. I don't want some sicko looking at me in the bathroom."

Cassidy cringed.

"Maybe he didn't mean any harm," Marcy suggested. "Maybe he walked in on the girl by accident."

The other three girls shook their heads in unison.

"He's definitely a pervert," Amber declared. "Before that bathroom thing, I wore this really hot pink top to school. I swear, he followed me all day. He could not stop staring at me."

Marcy reflected on how no one with normal testosterone levels could stop staring at Amber that day. She was surprised the girl wasn't written up for a dress code violation. Plus, she'd sat with their usual group at lunch, and that custodian had never entered the cafeteria that day.

"Did that stripper costume even work?" Lily asked.

Amber nodded.

"Oh yeah," she said with infallible conviction. "It planted the seed in Ethan's head. I'll make my move at Amanda's party on Friday."

"Are you coming to the party?" Lily asked, nudging Marcy. "Should be good now that we know we'll have a show."

Amber pouted.

"I don't know," Marcy said. "I didn't even know there was a party. Who's Amanda?"

Amber gasped.

"She's Vice President of the Student Body Government," Lily explained. "She doesn't actually do anything for the school, but she throws great parties. Her folks both travel for business and seem incapable of sorting out their schedules, so she has the house to herself for at least half the year."

She grinned again.

"Bet Jeff will be there," she added. "You could make your own move then."

Marcy searched the darkest corners of her mind for a tactful way out of this, but no options revealed themselves.

"Where does Amanda live?" she asked.

She figured that, if the party was as legendary as advertised, Jeff might never find her.

"I'll bring you there," Lily offered. "I can come by your house before then and help you pick something to wear."

Marcy was both excited and terrified over the suggestion.

"Two potential hook-ups with a fifty-percent chance of catastrophe," Cassidy remarked. "This party might seriously raise the bar for everything after it."

Amber scowled while Marcy wanted to crawl under the table forever. Her mind was now evaluating all the possible scenarios that could result from this party, most of them bad. She remembered Todd from Eagle Pass. It all started for him at a party. Now, her life seemed to be taking the same turns and she saw no way to avert that fate.

"It'll be great," Lily was saying, not seeming to realize Marcy's anxiety.

No one noticed the custodian glancing at them as he walked by with his mop and bucket.

The book continues with Chapter 7 - After Homecoming. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.

Author Notes
These chapters are, for the most part, divided into 3 sections: "Before Homecoming", "After Homecoming", and "Present". There will be a couple exceptions to this structure in the last few chapters. The "After Homecoming" section also has the largest time shift throughout the chapters,.

Pewter is a fictional town in fictional and rural Alter County in western Texas.

Cast of characters:

Marcy Sellers: a new student at Pewter Public High School,, starting her junior year. Was raped and left comatose in the girls' locker room after the Pewter Homecoming game.

Lillian "Lily" Harvey: a junior at Pewter Public High and a cheerleader. Was raped and murdered in the girls' locker room after the Pewter Homecoming game.

Andrew Mooruff: custodian at Pewter Public High. Convicted and sentenced to death for the locker room attack. Awaiting execution on Texas's Death Row.

Amber Rose: Lily's friend and fellow cheerleader.

Cassidy Ada: Lily's friend and fellow cheerleader.

Ethan Huntley: junior at Pewter High and Running Back on the school's football team. Lily's ex-boyfriend.

Jeff Edwards: junior at Pewter High and Left Tackle on the school's football team.

Feedback, specifically suggestions for additions/subtractions/alterations, is always welcome. Enjoy.
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