Friday, December 24, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Runaway


Book Description:

Shadyside. It sounded like such a nice town, the perfect place for a runaway like Felicia. Nobody here would know about her dark powers. Nobody would know what she had done. For once, she could be a normal girl. She could be safe. But someone in Shadyside discovered Felicia's secret. Someone found out about the awful things her parents made her do. Felicia doesn't want to run away again. But if she stays, she might lose control. And then people would start to die.

My Description:

I'm finally back. It's a Christmas miracle! Or something.

Felicia Fletcher walks into Shadyside on a rainy afternoon. She's never heard of the place which explains why she isn't screaming and running in the opposite direction. She thinks that Shadyside could be a good place to start over (HA!) since she can't return home, not after what happened. She also thinks about all the doctors that were studying her, especially Dr. Shanks. Yes. Dr. Shanks. Let that one sink in for a moment. Dr. Shanks (not a butcher...although I'm sure some would beg to differ! HAR HAR HAR!) is a bad man. We can tell because he has greasy hair, a beaky nose, and EVIL eyes. Felicia remembers a very scientific test Dr. Shanks conducted in which he commanded her to move a pencil with her mind. She nearly moved it right into his eyeball, but he dived away at the last second and the pencil stabbed a cork board instead. Felicia is horrified that she actually wanted that pencil to pop Dr. Shanks's eyeball like a juicy bing cherry. She realized the power she possesses is pure EVIL. Dr. Shanks didn't care that he was almost blinded. He was too excited about witnessing her telekinesis.

Felicia is snapped out of her trip down memory lane (a.k.a. Shanky Road) as a car almost runs her over. Damn teenagers! The car is a red GTO and the driver turns and pulls up next to Felicia to inform her that wandering in the road is a good way to be killed. Thanks, genius. Felicia admires his goatee and shaggy hair. We know this guy is a real bad ass because he has acne scars, muscle-y arms, and a barbed wire tattoo with drops of blood. WOW. He apologizes for nearly killing her and offers her a ride which she accepts. He introduces himself as Lloyd and says his friends call him Homicide. "Because I'm a killer!" Are you sure your friends don't call you Brain Damage? Felicia is freaked out by Homicide and asks him to let her out, but Homicide views this as disrespect and pulls out a switchblade. "I gave you a ride. Now you have to pay for it." This isn't the meaning of hospitality, LLOYD. He stomps on the gas and the car is going at breakneck speed, but Felicia still considers leaping out. She doesn't have to, though, because Lloyd crashes the car into a tree. He's bloody and unconscious, but after a few moments, it seems like he's waking up so Felicia attempts to get out of the smashed car, but she's trapped. She climbs out the window and runs to flag down a car. Apparently she didn't learn a lesson from her joy ride with Lloyd. Just as he starts screaming that he's going to kill her, a guy picks her up. He immediately says that hitchhiking is stupid. THANK YOU, Captain Obvious! Any other nuggets of wisdom for the girl who was almost killed and couldn't give a shit less about what you have to say? "Guess you're having a bad day." *sigh* Never mind. The guy's name is Nick and Felicia tells him all about her adventures with Homicide. Nick doesn't seem too shocked which is a sure sign he's from Shadyside. He doesn't bat an eye when she says she doesn't wanna go to the police. Speak of the devil...a cop car with siren on and lights flashing pulls up behind them. Felicia nearly wets her Tweety bloomers because she thinks they've found out about the deaths she's responsible for. (WHAT?!) But Nick pulls over and the car speeds past, much to Felicia's possibly urine soaked relief.

Nick wants to know what's up, but Felicia refuses to tell him anything and demands he drop her off at the Donut Hole. He does and Felicia feels bad about being so hostile toward him so she kisses him. He drives off and she goes to the bathroom to change into the dry clothes in her backpack. She orders a bagel and coffee and listens to some college lumps in the next booth talking about how Bobby (one of these guys) has to take care of Professor Jones's house and cat and how he can't go on a vacation full of debauchery with his buds. TRAGEDY! Felicia pretends that she knows the prof and offers to take Bobby's place. He quickly agrees, not even bothing to ask if Felicia is a kitty killer. He tells her that Professor Jones is gone on safari for the next month and all Felicia has to do is feed the cat, water the plants, and check on the house to make sure no-one is robbing the place or squatting there like Felicia is planning to do. He gives her $50, the house's address, says he'll be back in two weeks, and bails with his friends. Fool.

Professor Jones lives in a big Victorian mansion on Fear Street. Felicia lets herself in and is greeted by a big gray tabby cat. He collar reads 'Miss Quiz' because her owner is a professorial dork. Felicia makes herself comfortable...

The next day, she worms her way into Shadyside High by telling the secretary that the transcripts from her old school are on the way. First, what school would allow a kid to enroll without their parents present or without asking any questions? I mean, this secretary just enrolls Felicia in classes, gives her a schedule and books, and sends her on her way. Doesn't she want to know if Felicia is a telekinetic murderer who's illegally hanging out in a stranger's house? Second, why is Felicia even bothering with school? She's not going to be here that long anyway. You're really stretching this one, Stine. Anyway, Felicia is happy to be doing something normal and ordinary. At the end of the day, as she's putting books into her locker, she spots Nick coming over. He seems really happy to see her. Probably trolling for more kisses. Dry lips are more addictive than a crack rock. Nick asks where Felicia is headed and when she says "Fear Street" he starts acting all weird. He tells the age old story we've all heard before about how horrible things happen on Fear Street. Actually, that's all he says before asking if Felicia wants to get a hamburger. Smooth. He works at Burger Basket so the only reason he asked her is because his shift is about to start. Again, smooth.

When they arrive, Nick gets to work and Felicia asks his boss, Barry, about a job. He agrees to let her work this weekend and asks if she would be good with nights. She definitely is and a few moments later, she meets Zan. "I'm Zan. It's short for Alexandria." Zan is cold one moment and all smiles the next so Felicia better watch her back. When the girls are alone together, Zan points a knife at Felicia's chest and says "You might owe Nick your life. But he's going with me. Remember that." What a psycho. And what are the odds of Felicia being threatened at knifepoint twice in two days?! This confrontation triggers Felicia's power and suddenly french fry grease is splattering everywhere, the lights are flickering, and trays are falling to the floor. Then it stops and everything continues as normal. Zan apologizes for pulling a knife on Felicia and all is ok. For now.

At school on Monday, Felicia sits with Zan and Nick at lunch. They talk about work, the girls make fun of Nick's messy eating, and they congratulate Felicia on doing the job she was hired to do as well as she possibly can. They toast with Cokes because no other drink exists in Shadyside. Later, Felicia is at her locker thinking about Nick and her comfy set-up at the Professor's house when she notices an envelope taped to the inside of the door. It contains a note which reads "I KNOW ALL ABOUT YOU!" Either Miss Cleo attends Shadyside High or Felicia is being stalked! Below the message is a photocopy of Felicia's driver's license which has her real name (which is?) and her address back in Ridgely where she accidentally killed those people. She notices that her photo has been burned away. Extreme. Of course Felicia freaks out and all the locker doors swing open and shut over and over again. Spooooky. Thankfully, this is the end of the day so no-one witnessed Felicia's EVIL power. She flees the school and runs to the Donut Hole where she calls Nick from a pay phone and begs him to meet her. Zan is off today so there's no chance of Felicia getting her chest flayed open and her heart cut out. Felicia sits down with Nick and tells him she may have to leave. After all, she's a runaway. It's in her nature to run. And lie. And kill. ACCIDENTALLY! Nick says he really wants her to stay and after a bit, Felicia feels better. Nick goes back to work and Felicia stays behind thinking about her past. "...the way I hurt Andy and Kristy. I'll never use my power that way again. My power to kill." This leads to a flashback...

Ridgely

Felicia and her friend Debbie are walking on the beach and talking about the amazing Shanks. Debbie is extremely intelligent which is why she is involved with Shanks's experiments. But her whip smart brain has not rendered her telekinetic and she is jealous of Felicia's powers. The two stop in front of an old, delapidated beach house and Debbie tells Felicia to tear it down. Felicia says she can't do it, but Debbie goads her on until she does. The house explodes and crumbles. Then the girls hear screams. They spot two cars nearby that they recognize as belonging to Andy Murray and Kristy List, a couple they go to school with. Debbie and Felicia run over to the rubble and uncover the maimed bodies...

Shadyside

Felicia shakes the memory away and hurries home. Once united with Miss Quiz, she realizes the door was not locked and she was certain she locked it before she left. Then she hears a creaking noise. Footsteps? She clicks on some lights and goes into the den where someone has trashed the place. They destroyed what few things Felicia owned and ransacked the Professor's desk. They also left a quaint message on the wall in what looks like blood but is almost certain to be red paint: "RUNAWAY! GET OUT NOW! I KNOW EVERYTHING!" Why don't you do something more productive than writing stupid anonymous notes and save us the trouble of plodding through 80 more pages? No? Be that way then! Felicia checks the entire house to make sure no-one is lurking about and after finding it empty, begins scrubbing away the not-yet-dry message. Once she finishes cleaning the room, it's nearly 5 AM.

That night, Felicia is sitting with Nick as he finishes his Burger Basket Bellybuster. She confesses she's been having nightmares and not sleeping well lately which is why she looks like a microwaved corpse. Then she blurts out some things about her past. Her parents are dead, she lived with her Aunt Margaret, and the local college was performing tests on her brain. She never mentions the power or the deaths because, obviously, Nick would be horrified and stone her to death in the village square. She goes on to say she felt totally alone in Ridgely so she ran away. They kiss (ON THE LIPS!), but Barry interrupts and they get back to work. Mercifully, Zan isn't working tonight. But at 10 PM, a knock comes at the back door. It's Zan and she's there to pick up Nick. A few moments after they leave the building, Felicia follows and hears them arguing. She hears Zan say "You watch yourself, Nick. I know the truth about Felicia. I know everything!" If only that were true. Zan goes on to shout at Nick to stay away from Felicia. Felicia is already freaking out over Zan knowing something so she races home.

The next morning, Felicia catches Nick at his locker and asks about Zan. He says she likes Felicia, but she's really jealous of any girls who pay attention to Nick. He tells Felicia not to be mad at Zan because she has had a hard time lately, but he can't tell her about it because it would break Zan's trust. Shut up already, Nick.

On Friday, after school, Zan asks Felicia is she wants to spend the night at her house and Felicia agrees. I'm scared! That evening, Felicia arrives at Zan's palatial mansion and is in awe at the house and Zan's room and rich people are amazing and blah blah. They eat popcorn and watch The Birds ("It'll scare you to death." Except not.) After the movie, Zan leaves the room for more soda and snacks and Felicia takes the opportunity to snoop Zan's shelves. She pulls out Zan's yearbook from her sophomore year and giggles over Nick's goofy picture. The next two pages are stuck together and Felicia slowly peels them apart. She sees a photo of Zan with a guy whose face has been marked over with what appears to be brown marker. But Felicia scratches at it and thinks it has the metallic scent of blood. Uh-oh. Zan comes back a few minutes later with nachos and Diet Coke and Felicia immediately asks where the bathroom is so she can scrub the so called blood off her hand. When she comes back, she asks Zan how long she and Nick have been together and Zan says since freshman year. Felicia believes that's a lie because that dude in the picture with Zan definitely wasn't Nick. Also, that bloody photo had a caption that was partially obscured by "blood": 'The Couple Most...'

At school on Monday morning, Felicia goes to the library to find the yearbook identical to Zan's. She locates it and finds the photo of Zan and the mystery man. The guy with her is Doug Gaynor and the caption reads 'The Couple Most Likely To Last Forever' (or at least until one of them finds something better). She recognizes the name and remembers where she's seen it. She walks down the hall until she comes to a plaque on the wall that reads 'In Memory of Douglas Gaynor'. "Zan's old boyfriend is dead!" Freaking A, Sherlock.

After school, Nick drives Felicia to the Burger Basket. Their shift starts in 15 minutes, but Zan doesn't have to be there for a few hours. In the parking lot, Felicia tells him how she came to be living on Fear Street. Nick thinks nothing of it. Then she tells him someone is stalking her and knows about her past. She also mentions the messages and he holds her against his flannel clad chest because he's such a MAN. Such a strong teenage MAN! But Nick feels guilty because he supposedly loves Zan. Felicia brings up Doug Gaynor and Nick says Zan killed him. ACCIDENTALLY! The story: Zan and Doug became boyfriend and girlfriend in 7th grade. They lived in bliss until Doug started getting bored and went on a date with a girl named Kathleen. Zan found out and lost her damn mind. One night, she and Doug were arguing on the balcony outside her bedroom. She started hitting Doug, he pushed her away, she pushed back, and he fell over the railing. Doug's death was rather nasty. He fell on the pointy iron fence that surrounds Zan's property. "Four spikes slashed through Doug's back. Another slashed through his left arm. The TV news said that he didn't die right away. It took some time." RIP. Felicia is horrified and begins thinking that if Zan was capable of killing her own boyfriend, what could she do to Felicia? Felicia suddenly believes it is definitely Zan who has been leaving her messages and says so to Nick. He tells her to get a grip on reality and she makes him promise to never tell Zan. Unfortunately, Zan has quietly creeped up to the window of the car and heard Felicia say her name and now she wants to know what the hell they were talking about. Felicia says Nick was just asking her advice about something. Nick says "I wanted to take you out someplace special. I thought Felicia might have some good ideas." Except she's only lived here for a few days and has no clue about ANYTHING in Shadyside, idiot. But this makes Zan's bitchy attitude fade and she apologizes for being so suspicious. They all walk inside and get to work.

Later, Zan asks Felicia to change the lightbulb in the storage room. Felicia agrees to and finds that someone spilled the mop bucket in the room. She decides to leave it for the messy slob who spilled it. She climbs a stepladder to change the bulb and realizes that someone cut open the copper wiring and Felicia could have been fried. She jumps down and runs to the breaker to turn off the electricity before anyone gets hurt, but before she can, Barry enters the room, pulls the chain to turn on the light, and gets quite a nasty shock. In a moment, the entire place is on fire. Felicia pulls Barry out, but realizes Nick is still inside with Zan and some customers. She goes back inside and uses her power to push the flames back enough so that everyone can escape through a window she shattered with a chair.

Felicia awakens outside about 15 minutes later with Nick hovering over her. She looks at the wreakage of the restaurant and can't believe how quickly it burned. But everyone survived thanks to her. Suddenly TV reporters are swarming and Felicia panics. Nick gives her his keys and tells her to take his car; he'll keep the news buzzards back. Felicia almost makes it to the car, but Zan has other plans. "Why didn't you just die?" She pushes Felicia to the ground and starts babbling about Nick being her's. Then she begins chocking the life out of Felicia. Will this girl never catch a break?! Nick pulls Zan away before she can do any more damage. Felicia sees them hugging and hears Nick say "Why can't you stop trying to hurt [Felicia]? She's nothing! She means nothing to me!" Felicia is incredibly hurt by this and puts Nick's keys in his glove compartment before beginning her long walk to Fear Street. So sad.

Once she reaches the Professor's house, she decides to pack her things and leave before something else happens. But she remembers that she taped the only photo she has of her father in her locker and she can't leave without it. She decides she'll get it first thing tomorrow and then she's gone. She has to leave before anyone else gets hurt...

Ridgely

Kristy and Andy are decaying corpses and they're talking to Felicia. And she's probably not even high! They say she killed them and they want to know why. They always thought Felicia was their friend. This turns out to be nothing more than an unhappy dream. Felicia wakes up and sees Debbie tapping on the window. Felicia motions for her to come around to the front door, then they both go to Felicia's room. Debbie says she just got away from the police station after being questioned for 4 hours about Felicia's powers. Good old Shanks told the cops all about Felicia and now they're gonna pin the deaths on her. Debbie tells her to pack a bag and run. Felicia agrees and Debbie lends her car and her apologies for daring Felicia to tear the house down. Felicia drives off, but she doesn't get far because her powers have flared up and she gets out of the car just before it explodes. Sorry, Debbie.

Shadyside

Felicia hurries to school to grab her picture so she can get the hell out of hell. Unfortunately, Nick interrupts by grabbing her and kissing her. He apologizes for everything, but Felicia says she still has to go. Then Zan appears out of nowhere, walking down the hall with a knife. She cuts Nick across the knuckles and grabs Felicia, holding the knife against her neck. Students scatter screaming when they see her, but no-one runs for help. Felicia makes the mistake of mentioning Doug and Zan flips out, but she admits she killed him because he made her feel bad. Just as Zan prepares to cut Felicia's juggular, the POWER! rears its ugly head. The tip of the knife bends back on itself, windows shatter, and lockers rattle. Zan is slammed against some lockers and Felicia commands Nick and another guy to hold her down. Felicia does nothing but grab her picture from her locker and run just as the principle and some teachers approach.

Felicia bursts into the house, grabs her things (or what remains of them), and flees. But someone grabs her arm...it's Debbie. Who wants to kill Felicia because she was on the news for her heroism. Well, no-one knows it was Felicia who saved everyone in the fire, but Debbie had a feeling it was her and it made her sick so she came to kill Felicia. Seriously? It turns out Debbie has powers, too. In fact, she used them to make her car explode in the hopes that Felicia would be killed. But noooo. Also, she never talked to the cops and neither did Dr. Shanks. She only said that to get rid of Felicia before Felicia's guilty conscience drove her to tell the cops herself. Oh, and Debbie was in love with Andy Murray, but he wouldn't leave Kristy so she killed them both in the beach house collapse. Felicia's response? She slaps Debbie in the face. Their exchange is hilarious:

Debbie: "What was that?"
Felicia: "That slap in the face you deserve!"

Justice is served! They engage in the obligatory wrestling match that occurs at the end of every Fear Street book ever written (almost)...except they use their massive minds instead of their puny fists. Debbie uproots a tree and Felicia snaps up a light pole, but Debbie destroys it. Debbie picks up a recycling bin and dumps the contents on Felicia's head. Felicia gets cut by a Coke bottle. Out of all the things that could have gashed her head open, it HAD to be the damn COKE bottle! Just before Debbie moves in for the kill, Nick comes speeding up. Debbie nearly beans him with a mailbox, but Felicia pushes her powers and Debbie is suddenly in a comalike trance.
Nick and Felicia are talking about Zan and Debbie ending up at an insitution (hopefully in the same room) and Felicia going back to Ridgely. She already contacted her aunt and everything is fine. Nick tells her she'll never have to run away again.

Conclusion? Not too shabby. Although double doses of psychopathia make my brain hurt. Unless that's just my powers coming to life...

Next time: "99 Fear Street: The Second Horror" Behold! The house of eeeeeeevvvvillll.