The Window by Carol Ellis
Title: The Window
Summary: It should have been the skiing holiday of a lifetime. But Jody sprains her ankle and finds herself alone with nothing to do but gaze out of her cabin window.
Gazing into the cabin of a beautiful neighbor she witnesses the fight, the murder and the killer… or does she?
And if the murder is real, has the killer been watching Jody?
Tagline: She’s seen the killer. Has the killer seen her?
Note: I will use “Bad Guy” throughout my reviews to refer to the anonymous killer/prankster/whatever. Doesn’t mean it’s a guy.
I remember this being one of my favourite Point Horrors of all time, right up there with Funhouse and Camp Fear. Camp Fear is still a lot of fun, so I have high hopes for this, since both are by Carol Ellis.
We open with Jody praying that the van won’t crash. She’s on a road trip to Brevard Pass, the skiing destination for anyone even faintly interested in strapping themselves to two chunks of fibreglass and whizzing down a mountain, while dodging rocks, trees and other idiots doing the same. In case that description of skiing didn’t make it clear, Dove has tried skiing, Dove does not like skiing. She does, however, like looking at snow and drinking hot chocolate.
[Wing: Has never tried skiing, but is tempted now based on that description.]
[Dove: Wing, when are you going to learn? Just because something sounds fun, does not mean we should try it. Also, you hate the snow. HATE. The only way you could hate snow more is if it was covered in spiders.]
[Wing: And now I hate you.]
Jody Sanderson: our protagonist. She doesn’t really know anyone else that she’s with. She was invited by Kate, her BFF, but Kate got the flu and couldn’t come along.
Christine “Chris” Castella: Focused on Drew. Spiky blonde hair, blue eyes, our default haughty blonde. Jody knows her a little from school and doesn’t like what she’s seen this far.
Ellen Cummings: Light brown hair, focused on Drew also. She is our default mousy brunette.
Drew Hansen: “very good-looking, in a brown-eyed, brooding sort of way”. To quote the Furies:
Billy Feldman: to quote Jody, “Billy was kind of a klutz, that’s all she really knew about him.” (My young self immediately cast Corey Feldman in this role, because of the surname and my younger self was absolutely besotted with him.)
Cal and Sasha Wolf: boy/girl twins, described together because that’s twins for you. Beautiful, tall, slender, dark hair, blue eyes. Sasha is driving, and it is terrifying.
[Wing: I’m fond of Sasha’s driving. She drives it like she stole it. Get it, Sasha. Get it. I’m also picturing her with wildly curly red hair, because of Sorsha from Willow.]
Also mentioned, but not present, is Leahna Calder, and again, I’m going to quote: “Kate said she was poison. She said she needed Jody to keep an eye on Cal and let Kate know if Leahna started sinking her claws into him.”
Because boys have no choice in who they date, it’s all about how aggressive the girl is when pursuing.
To give Jody credit, she has no intention of being Kate’s cock-block, she’s just there for the skiing.
[Wing: Pretty sure Jody would be a cunt-block.]
[Dove: She’s definitely a fun-block.]
Billy and Jody, who haven’t been to Brevard Pass before, expected the sign to be more extravagant, since it’s such a great skiing place, and Chris kind of shuts them down, and she is definitely established as being a bitchy girl. Because we have to have one of them. Although, to be fair, these are not Jody’s BFFs, so it makes sense she doesn’t like them all. Unlike most PHs where, everyone secretly hates each other.
[Wing: Because friendship means always hating you a little more.]
“Brevard’s got class.”
“Okay. Just as long as it’s got snow, too.” Billy laughed a little too loudly at his small joke. His liquid brown eyes reminded Jody of a puppy’s. The poor guy, she thought, he’s got a thing for Sasha. She hoped he realized he’d probably have to wait in line.
“There’ll be plenty of snow,” Ellen said seriously. Her voice was airy and kind of singsongy. “I listened to the weather report this morning and Brevard got two inches last night. The base is packed, and it’s almost eighty inches, they said.”
Sasha and Cal exchanged another quick smile. Jody could almost hear them saying, “Great! The slopes are going to be perfect.” At least that’s what she imagined they might be saying. The two of them seemed to communicate without words half the time. Kate said they were really close, being twins and all. Jody supposed it was normal, considering, but it made her feel a little left out. Why couldn’t they talk out loud, like everybody else?
First, Billy is not making a joke here. If anyone laughs at that, they need shooting.
Second, Sasha and Cal have twin language. Of course they do. If Jody can so easily interpret what they’re saying, why does she feel so left out? And how do we know they’re talking with twin telepathy? Couldn’t they just be smiling at each other? If they seem “to communicate without words”, perhaps they’re not communicating, perhaps they enjoy silence. Wing and I have the luxury of being able to spend a day together and not talk. It’s blissful knowing someone doesn’t expect you to talk all the time.
To quote Mia Wallace, of Pulp Fiction:
That’s when you know you’ve found somebody special. When you can just shut the fuck up for a minute and comfortably enjoy the silence.
Conversation about the skiing ensues.
“Drew!” Sasha called out. She lifted her hand and waved, a wide silver bracelet shining on her wrist. “I was wondering when you’d surface. Have you been asleep or were you just sunk in one of your moody spells?”
“Neither, Sasha. I was praying we wouldn’t go off the highway whenever you didn’t bother to slow down for the ice.” Drew’s head sank down behind his seatback again.
Jody grinned. At least one person was on her wavelength.
Jody, honey, not wanting to plunge to your death over an icy cliff thanks to a reckless moron at the wheel doesn’t make you and the cute guy soulmates, it makes you human.
[Wing: But reckless driving by a stranger is hot, right?]
They finally arrive, and Sasha points out their cabin.
“Big windows and no curtains. Don’t walk naked to the shower… unless you like being watched,” she added.
Jody thought that was sort of an odd thing to say.
Why? Why is that an odd thing to say? First, her kink doesn’t have to be your kink. Second, saying something like “don’t do X unless you like [weird thing]” is a perfectly acceptable way to speak.
[Wing: I am more confused as to why she has to say it at all. They’re sharing rooms. There’s lots of people in the house. If one of them walks naked to the shower, odds are good they’ll be watched even with curtains on the windows. LOGIC, PEOPLE.]
[Dove: Wing… you want logic from PH?]
[Wing: And yet another spider woman character. For someone who hates spiders, I sure do enjoy black widow characters.]
Sasha has set up a party for their first night. The main lodge does five foot sub sandwiches (yum! My kingdom for a meatball sub right now) and she’s going to order a couple. She also acknowledges that she’s bossy and takes charge. Shut up, Sash. I think you’re awesome. You’ve made an effort to talk to Jody, because she’s new, you’re organising a party so everyone can meet your friends at Brevington (and told everyone they don’t have to go, they can go skiing if they’d prefer – night skiing by moonlight and floodlight is a thing, apparently), and you’ve even said that anyone else can drive on the way home because you’re a reckless driver. Keep being awesome, ok? *hugs*
[Wing: RIGHT? She’s bossy, she’s a confident driver who can drive fast and furious (heh), and she’s actually trying to have people get along and get to know each other. Also, I’m still picturing her as Sorsha. Get it, Sasha.
And Dove, a five foot meatball sub would be taller than you are.]
[Dove: I would share it with you.]
[Wing: Much like with the cheesecake, you only offer to share because I don’t like it and you get to keep it all to yourself.]
They arrive and unload and Jody and Drew have a sidebar about voting Cal drives back, not Sasha. And Jody immediately falls in love with him. Then she looks up and sees Chris.
All Jody’s good feelings froze like the hard-packed snow under her feet. Chris’s face was a mask of hate.
Dun-Dun-DUNNNNN! 1 (Cliffhanger endings of chapters for no reason other than to build false tension and piss me and Wing the hell off.)
Fuck My Little Pony! Friendship is not magic! 1 (previously All my friends are a bag of dicks – Something strange and evil is happening. Since I hate all of my BFFs, it’s bound to be one of them.)
Also, brand new counter:
I hate the hot chick! (And she hates me.): 1 (Because girls can’t be friends, AMIRIGHT? For some reason, this girl, who is utterly desirable in the looks department, hates the ever-loving fuck out of our protagonist. And, despite claiming to not care, our protagonist makes digs about her all the time.)
Oh my god, I’m at 1,200 words and I’ve only done one chapter. WTF, self? Even Wing isn’t this wordy.
[Wing: *preens* I’m so glad I shouted at you until you went ahead and recapped this. NOW YOU KNOW MY PAIN.]
Jody tells herself that she was imagining Chris’ hateful glare, then contradicts herself by thinking that she’s butting in on Chris’ turf (Drew). Because men are property and girls are rivals.
Just before she pulled down her goggles, she saw Ellen, looking very pretty in pale blue, get off the lift. Behind her came Sasha and Cal. Sasha was wearing red and black, very dramatic, Jody thought. It made her own teal and yellow seem washed out, but Jody figured Sasha probably made most girls feel washed out. She wondered if Cal, long and lean in black and silver, had the same effect on guys.
Seems like I’m not the only one with a crush on Sasha. And, Jody, I also see you checking out Ellen. It’s ok, you know.
[Wing: Not the only one with a crush on Sasha. Also, how in the world can teal and yellow seem washed out?]
She skis off the lesbianism [Wing: *cackles*], and has fun by herself for awhile, then she runs into Billy, who is not just rubbish at skiing, but he’s also a moron, because he forgot to put on sunscreen and lip balm, and he’s burnt/chapped. Billy confides in Jody that he’s there for the laughs – if he’s not telling jokes, he is the joke. Also he fancies Sasha. As Jody heads back to the queue for the lift, she looks back and sees him cluelessly gawping at Sasha. Because why bother just making him clumsy when we can make the poor guy a socially inept moron too?
Later the group congregate, and start the orange peel challenge, basically a really dangerous ski route, where there’s a bit of orange peel (why someone was eating something you have to peel, while doing a sport where you wear gloves is not explained), you need to stab it with your pole and if you don’t die, you win. Billy is timekeeper because he’s rubbish. Fuck non-skiers!
Let the orange peel challenge begin!
Sasha ignored him. “Of course I’ll go first,” she said, pulling down her goggles and getting into position. “I expected to go first.” She looked over at her brother, and Jody saw that Cal was already getting ready to go next. She couldn’t tell if he’d decided on his own or if Sasha had somehow egged him on without saying a word. Or maybe he was just silently sticking by her.
Or maybe he’s just preparing to go in case she gets injured. Or because they’re friends. Telepathy isn’t a default state for twins. Stop treating them as one person – or, more accurately, stop treating them as “Sasha and that thing that looks like her and does what she says”.
I’m starting a new book-specific trope based on this:
Cal can’t think for himself: 2 (one for this, and one for the earlier twin thing)
Sasha doesn’t get the peel, neither does Cal, Chris knocks it out of place, and Drew and Jody are “on the same wavelength again” (fuck off!) when they decide that they’re not going to try for it because Chris knocked it out of place. Again, this does not make you soulmates. So far, you two have agreed on things that I would class largely as “sensible self-preservation” and most humans would agree with you. When Jody realises she’s making googly eyes at him, she pulls back, suddenly remembering that Ellen is into him. She expects Ellen to be giving her a deathglare like Chris did, but Ellen just looks sad. This is because Chris is hot, and therefore a bitch, whereas Ellen is mousy, and therefore wearily resigned to being overlooked by men. Or at least, that is what reading PH has taught me.
Anyway, nobody gets the peel, and then Leahna Calder shows up and gets it. Drew immediately looks pissed off. Cal is besotted, however.
[Wing: I’m going to read this as Drew is pissed off because Cal is besotted. Drew loves Cal. Screw all you girls trying to compete over him, he can make his own decisions. Bring back the lesbianism, too.]
[Dove: If Drew is “Mmmm, Angel”, that probably makes Cal Spike then. And Leahna is Buffy.]
[Wing: Where’s Oz? NEEDS MORE WEREWOLVES.]
Back at the cabin, Chris forgets to be a bitch because exposition is needed for Jody. Long story short: Drew dated Leahna, he got all strung out on her, and then she was all “laters bitches, I’ve got other poor saps to make my man-slaves!”
Why the fuck do we not have a Black Widow counter? I’m starting one here and seeing if Wing finds it appropriate to use it elsewhere.
Black Widow: 1 (an evil woman who loves to have men at her feet)
[Wing: Mmmmm, Black Widow. Another dangerous redhead. Happy thoughts.]
Drew told her she’d be sorry one day.
Red Herrings: 1 (Fairly obvious, but in Point Horror, there’s basically a neon sign above them stating “sinister as fuck”.)
And Drew’s trying to get her to come to the party, but Leahna might be flying to Antigua tomorrow, so she needs her beauty sleep. And there we have our convenient excuse for why we never see her again.
“Well, maybe she will be tomorrow,” Jody said. “Then you can…” she stopped, but Chris picked up on it.
“I can go after Drew again?” she asked. “Yes, I plan to. The question is, will I be the only one?” Chris eyed Jody, a small smile on her lips.
It was a challenge, Jody knew it. She was tempted to say something, but the thought of exchanging nasty remarks with Chris was really kind of disgusting.
Chris was still watching her. The look in her eyes made Jody nervous, so she got up and started rummaging through her duffel bag for some eye makeup.
I hate the hot chick! (And she hates me.): 2
Kate then calls Jody and bitches about Leahna. This bumps three counts:
I hate the hot chick! (And she hates me.): 3 – Leahna
Cal can’t think for himself: 3 – re: Leahna
Red Herrings: 2 – Kate wants to murder Leahna
Ellen then confides that she’s in love with Cal, and she hates Leahna too, and thankfully – OMG, I LOVE YOU ELLEN – it’s not over a guy! It’s because Leahna pretended to be friends with her, and stole her essay and submitted it. Ellen was too afraid to bring it up with the teacher. See, this is good. Now we are establishing Leahna as a user, rather than “I hate the hot chick!” Also, if Ellen was too afraid to confront Leahna, we’re also getting spite or danger from her (depending on whether Ellen meant she feared the bullying that would ensue after a confrontation or actually feared for her life).
[Wing: CHARACTERISATION THAT MAKES SENSE! I don’t even know what to do with this.]
[Dove: I don’t even care whether or not it made sense, I was just made up it wasn’t about a boy!]
Ellen blinked and shifted her gaze to Jody. “But she’ll pay for it some day, you know. She’ll pay for everything, I’m sure of it. I just hope it happens before she gets to Cal, because she’ll hurt him, too. She takes and takes and never gives. She’s rotten.”
Ellen was talking softly, as usual, but there was ice in her voice. Jody shuddered a little.
Red Herrings: 3
Jody asks Ellen why she doesn’t ask Sasha if Cal would be interested in her, and Ellen laughs. She states she’s not laughing at Jody, but doesn’t clarify why it’s funny. Twin Magic, I’m assuming.
Jody then recaps the three conversations she’s just had: EVERYBODY HATES LEAHNA, IN CASE YOU FORGOT.
This recap is sponsored by the WWE: 1 (Recap! Recap! Recap! Something happened last chapter. Tell us about it! Tell it again. Then tell it one more time. Because otherwise we’ll forget.)
Fuck My Little Pony! Friendship is not magic! 4 (one for everyone who wants to murder Leahna)
Party time! Things that happen:
- Sasha leaves Billy minding the food, like a flunky. I’m seeing parallels between her and Leahna where Billy is concerned. And now I’m over Sasha. [Wing: But you love hot mean women.]
- Jody encourages Billy to go talk to Sasha, he knocks a drink over on a Navajo rug and is mortified and scrubs it in the middle of the party.
- Sash and Cal have an argument about Leahna.
- Drew heads over to Leahna’s cabin to encourage her to come to the party.
- They play “Truth”, a game where one person sits in the middle of the group, and you write stuff about them, and they answer true or false. We establish that Billy is indeed mock-worthy (“If you didn’t laugh at yourself, you’d be the only one not laughing,”) and someone thinks he hates Sasha – he thinks Jody wrote that about it.
- Drew admits defeat on Leahna and says Cal’s free to try his luck. [Wing: So glad Cal needs permission from the ex-boyfriend.]
We get a scene with Billy and Jody in the kitchen, and I remember my young self shipping them, and I still do. Billy is only “lol, what a klutz” around other people. With Jody he’s thoughtful and friendly. They have far better conversations than she has with Drew, which tend to go: “Fairly bland statement. OMG, me too! Long lingering gaze.” Anyway, Billy admits he does hate Sasha, because she let him think that rug was priceless, when truthfully, if it was, it’d be on the wall, not the floor. She’s careless with people’s feelings – just like Leahna. Jody is “Shaken by the anger in his voice”.
Black Widow: 2
Red Herrings: 4
Fuck My Little Pony! Friendship is not magic! 5
Sasha expresses concern about Billy, after the whole “if you didn’t laugh at yourself…” comment, and Jody wonders if Sasha’s not quite the evil bitch that Leahna is. However, with no follow through, I’m thinking no. She’s just kinda “Is he ok? You think he is? Brilliant.” And still, Billy has a valid fucking point about the rug.
They’re still playing Truth and someone thinks Ellen wishes Leahna dead.
Red Herrings: 9 (I gave it five, because I’m getting pissed off. Anyone without a penis wants her dead. Let’s move on.) [Wing: Not true. I’d have hot hate!sex with her.]
Jody goes to bed, wakes up later to be informed by Chris that everyone has gone out. Jody decides to stay where she is. She stares over to Leahna’s window and sees that Leahna has a visitor and they argue – she sees a glint of something on the Bad Guy’s wrist, watch, bracelet, whatever – and Bad Guy shoves her. Leahna gets up and looks out of the window, Jody drops to the floor, not wanting to be caught spying. When she gets back up, Leahna is gone and so is the Bad Guy.
Next day the slopes are fast and icy, even Leahna falls over, much to Chris’ amusement. Jody takes a bad fall
The patch of ice took her by surprise, and as soon as Jody hit it, she knew it was all over. Her left ski shot out from under her, and she felt her body lifting into the air. She got rid of the poles and told herself to relax, go with the fall. But the edge of her right ski caught on something – ice, dirt, a root, she didn’t know – and her right leg was dragging, going the wrong way. It finally joined the rest of her, but not before Jody felt a sharp pain in her ankle, a pain that shot halfway up her leg and made her cry out even before she’d hit the ground.
The landing knocked the breath out of her, and she was dizzy. She lay sprawled in the snow, black spots dancing behind her closed eyelids. She couldn’t remember hitting her head, but she must have. Afraid to lose consciousness, she opened her eyes. The tops of the pine trees spun sickeningly in the bright blue sky, and a wave of nausea hit her. She closed her eyes and panted, frightened and hurt.
She is rescued by Leahna, who goes to fetch help, with an efficiency that leaves Jody no time to thank her.
Her ankle is sprained, not broken, and they want her to stay at the lodge overnight.
“Not your ankle,” the doctor said. “Your head. There’s no evidence of concussion but that doesn’t always rule it out. You should be watched for twenty-four hours, just in case.”
Jody was worn out. “Watched for what?” she asked tiredly.
“Dizziness, blurred vision, tingling in your fingers or toes, vomiting, unconsciousness.” He reeled them off like a chant.
No evidence of a concussion? She’s sick, dizzy, confused and can’t remember hitting her head but assumes that she must have because her head hurts. That’s a lot of evidence there is a concussion. Which is serious fucking business. These things can kill, that’s why – outside of movies and TV, where people get knocked out willy-nilly and it’s all for the lolz – they are taken so damned seriously. I could go off on a side rant about this, citing many examples from wrestling, but I’m not going to. Suffice to say that Dove is pissed off.
[Wing: Walk it off, Jody. Walk it off.]
Sasha gets Jody back to the cabin and Jody goes to bed. Where people drop by and give her sweets and magazines. Jody makes an internal dig about Chris, despite the fact that Chris didn’t say a single mean word, and actually hasn’t at all. All she did was glare at Jody – which Jody later chalked up to squinting in the sun – and be a bit snarky on the drive to Brevard because Jody expected bells and whistles on the sign.
I hate the hot chick! (And she hates me.): 4
Jody flirts with Drew, then tells Cal and Ellen that Leahna rescued her and she didn’t say thank you. Ellen warns her to thank her “before it’s too late”.
Red Herrings: 5
Then comes Billy, who has prepared food for her. Actual food. Soup and salad. Prepared food. Drew brought her a copy of Popular Mechanic. Sure, I know Drew’s all “mmm, Angel”, but Billy seems really nice – a decent human being who thought of her needs, rather than what was easiest. For the love of all that is holy, Jody, ask Billy out. Of course, after being sweet, Billy hightails it out of there, because he’s still feeling awkward about the whole “I hate Sasha” thing, which he claims he didn’t mean.
Jody frowned as she watched him leave. Last night, when Billy had talked about hating Leahna and Sasha, he’d sounded a lot more honest than he had just now. He said he’d lost his sense of humor, but Jody couldn’t help wondering if he ever really had one. She didn’t know if he was really a joker, or if it was just an act, a cover for some very unfunny feelings.
Fuck My Little Pony! Friendship is not magic! 6
(Just FYI, I am now on my third week of attempting this recap. Wing has two completed and scheduled. I should be before the first of those two. I HATE RECAPPING THIS. I don’t even know why. It’s not as if it’s Cusick. I like Ellis. I like this. Why is this so hard?)
Right, everyone is getting ready for a party, but they’ll call every so often to make sure she’s not dead. Sasha notices that Jody has written her name on the window in the condensation. She glares. Subtle.
(I’ve set up the book exchange, and taken photos of my books, and watched a few Rainbow Loom tutorials. Why is this recap not over? Why am I not even at the murder yet?)
[Wing: I think this is the problem. The premise could be awesome. The author could be awesome. And yet, because of all the trope use, we don’t care, and because we don’t care, the story drags, and because the story drags, we hate the recap.]
[Dove: Yep. I’m bored as fuck here.]
Everyone goes out and Jody takes a pain pill that knocks her out. She’s woken by Ellen calling. Ellen says everyone has lost track of each other. After the call Jody is wide awake so she starts watching Leahna again. Thankfully, Bad Guy is back, so it won’t be dull creepy stalking. Just regular creepy stalking.
I have no idea how she knows it’s the same Bad Guy as last time, since she can’t tell whether it’s male or female, let alone who it is, and it’s not like Leahna is short of people to argue with, given that everybody hates her. Oh wait, there’s the metallic glint again, so now we can at least confirm that Leahna only argues with people who wear something shiny on their wrist. So, Jody finally admits that she likes to watch…
Hrmm? Oh, I was just leaving Wing space so she could put something pornographic in there. I’m the sweet sister.
[Wing: I do not need your pity porn.]
[Dove: The readers need your pity porn.]
[Wing: Fine. Clearly Jody likes to watch. All the characters like to watch and be seen, what with the giant windows without curtains and all the walking around naked to the showers.]
So Jody goes to get the binoculars, and while she’s gone, all the action happens, because by the time she focuses the binoculars, both Leahna and her Bad Guy have left. However, there’s a bloody splatter on the wall. Jody tries to convince herself it’s nail polish.
DED FROM STUPID: 1 (Exactly what it says on the tin. If you do not understand this trope, then you are the cause of this trope.)
[Wing: Well, Dove, you know nail polish can look like other things, particularly when it’s spattered on a keyboard.]
[Dove: You had to remind me of the phantom keyboard spaffer. Good god, that needs a tag.]
The phone goes and it’s Sasha checking in, checking whether Jodie was asleep. Hi thar, Lil Miss Murderous. Oh, and there’s no background noise, which Jody actually picks up on and asks about. Sasha claims they’ve moved the party to a new cabin and not yet got the stereo going. After the call, Jody heads to bed, too tired to put away the binoculars. Cal reappears to check up on her, Chris calls (upping the count again), and it’s all to show that nobody is with anyone else, so anyone could be the killer. Although Jody still thinks all that blood is nail polish, so currently, anyone could be the nail polish thrower.
I hate the hot chick! (And she hates me.): 5
She eyeballs Leahna’s cabin again, but nothing is happening. (And I fear that I will spend the rest of this recap typing that sentence.) But wait! Bad Guy is back to remove the body. Although Jody, barely functioning moron that she is, tells herself it’s trash. Yes, because Leahna strikes me as the kind of person who thinks, “Oh, you know what? I’ll clean up to save the paid cleaners the task of coming in after me.”
DED FROM STUPID: 2
The next morning she’s still going back on forth on the whole corpse/trash thing. She asks both Ellen and Cal separately if they saw Leahna last night, neither are happy about being asked about her.
Red Herrings: 7
“Did you see her, Sash?” Cal asked quietly.
“No.” Sasha ran her fingers through her hair. “Don’t you remember, Cal? We were together almost the whole time, except when you went to get the CDs. So you didn’t see her, either, did you, Cal?”
Cal just stared at his sister, his face blank. Finally he shook his head.
Cal can’t think for himself: 3
Settled in bed again, Jody wondered where Drew was. She wanted to see him, not just to ask about Leahna, either. When he tapped on the door and smiled across the room at her, she realized how much she was getting to like him.
Why do you like him? You have more conversations with Billy. You have better conversations with Billy!
He re-bandages her ankle and then comments that she has green eyes. I’m too bored to care. Jody thinks he’s going to kiss her, instead he comments that she sees a lot. She asks about Leahna, he says she’s “out of [his] life for good”, then kisses her, then walks away without looking back.
Later, when everyone had left the cabin, Jody could still feel the touch of Drew’s lips. She’d expected a kiss earlier, when he was talking about the color of her eyes. But when he did kiss her, it was just after he said Leahna was out of his life, for good. And he’d sounded so intense, almost mad. The kiss took her completely by surprise, and she didn’t know what to make of it. Why would he kiss her when he was angry? She should have been happy, but instead, she felt cold.
This recap is sponsored by the WWE: 2
Right, so Jody, why are you into this assclown?
[Wing: Hate!kissing is awesome.]
Jody calls Kate, deciding that she’ll ask if she knows the number of Leahna’s cabin and Kate is in a foul mood. I mean, she’s got the flu and she was woken up by a telephone, but Jody thinks her behaviour is odd. Because god knows the absent BFF must answer your calls when you need her. [Wing: Good friends just know, Dove. Obviously.] Don’t know if I mentioned this, can’t be bothered to check, but Jody called Kate last night and got no answer. She accuses Kate of going out, and Kate tells her she slept through the phone ringing. Jody internally wants to know why Kate heard this time, but not last time, and I basically think Jody is a dick. Because she’s ill, you barely functioning moron! Last night was at the end of the day when you are more tired. Today is the beginning of the day when you are less tired. This is not fucking rocket science! And –
Cheer on the killer: 1 (Because the protagonist is such an insufferable wretch that you can’t help but side with anyone who wants him or her dead.)
Yep, I’m there. I didn’t think I would, but FUCK YOU, JODY. The poor girl has the flu. Not a cold. Not a sniffle. The flu. Quite frankly, it’s a wonder she’s even awake for this call. Stop being a terrible friend. And on that note:
Fuck My Little Pony! Friendship is not magic! 7
Jody asks Kate how she could get in touch with Leahna, and tells her she’s been spying – though doesn’t mention the argument/murder – Kate basically tells her to fuck off and hangs up. Jody thinks someone was lurking in the doorway, eavesdropping on her conversation. It’s probably the killer, realising that taking Jody out would be totally acceptable.
Jody resumes her watch of Leahna’s cabin. She sees a shiny thing in the snow, but can’t pick it out again. She remembers the metallic glint on Bad Guy and now amends the shiny thing to be a bracelet or a ring, rather than a watch or a bracelet. Chris comes in, wearing lots of rings, just in time for this revision of past of events.
Chris sniffed and pointed a finger toward Jody. Her ring – a silver one – flashed, and Jody narrowed her eyes, trying to see if any of Chris’s rings were missing. But Chris wore so many and changed them so often, it was impossible to tell.
Then Jody noticed what Chris was pointing at – the binoculars.
Does anyone else have a lot of rings and change them often, because I sure don’t. I have three rings and I either wear them or I don’t. I’ve never known anyone cycle through rings. Necklaces, earrings and bracelets, sure, but not rings.
[Wing: I have, at times, had enough silver rings that I could have cycled through them, but even then, I didn’t. I wore the same ones until I lost one, then put one in its place. Now I have four rings, and I either wear all of them or I don’t.]
Anyway, Sasha and Ellen mosey in, notice the binoculars and leave, after a brief discussion over whether or not Jody should go home. Then Billy comes in, and I awake from my boredom-induced stupor. Honestly, I feel like Jody’s mum: I’m disappointed in her, I hate her boyfriend, and I’m desperate for her to make a more suitable choice. Like Billy. Or Ellen, for that matter.
Nothing happens. Cal turns up. Nothing happens. Billy leaves. Nothing happens. Cal leaves. Drew shows up. He gives her long-stemmed roses, just like the ones in Leahna’s cabin. Drew leaves.
The roses remind her to spy on Leahna (I’m sure she needs no encouragement, the thought “spy on Leahna” must float around her brain like a kind of screensaver). Leahna’s flowers are still in the vase, but now they’re dying. If Leahna is in Antigua, why has nobody thrown them out?
Maybe the maid service is shoddy? Maybe they only come in on Fridays. I don’t know and I DON’T CARE.
By five it was starting to get dark, and at six, Drew called. “What do you like?” he asked. “Chinese chicken, barbecued ribs, lasagne, Swedish meatballs?”
“I like them all,” Jody said.
“Okay, I’ll bring you some of each.”
Jody laughed a little. He was obviously still in a good mood. “Great. Where are you?”
First: well done, Drew for finally caring what Jody wants.
Second: this shit about Drew’s moods? Pissing me off. I know, I know, he’s “intense”, which means he can be a bag of dicks to everyone for no reason, but seriously, this is not ok. You call someone on their bad behaviour. If they are dicks but they don’t mean to be for whatever reason, you have alerted them to something they might not have noticed. I have moods, very up and down, and sometimes my manager will call me while I’m in the middle of an awful spell. I warn her that now’s not the best time, and even if she’s calling to tell me that I’ve won the lottery, I’ll just be pissed off that she’s called me while I was in the middle of working out an equation, so I’m going to have problems communicating. She respects the heads up and lets me call back when I’ve got myself back into the right frame of mind.
If they’re a dick who doesn’t care that they’re being a dick, then why on earth are you friends with them? I also work with someone like that. Sometimes I have to say that I’m not ok, and now is not the time to chat, and he will insist on staying on the phone (for non-work related reasons mostly), and telling me about his day. Not ok. I’m paid to put up with that shit. Why on earth do these morons (Ellen, Chris, Jody) put up with it?
Fuck My Little Pony! Friendship is not magic! 8
Right, I’ve hit a wall. I’m going Wing on this one. BULLET POINTS! [Wing: Hilarious, because I picked it up from you.]
[Dove: When the hell did I use bullet points? I swear this was you.]
[Wing: Ok, I checked, and I did use bullet points (ish) in the Camp Fear recap, but not because I was furious, it was because I enjoyed it so much I was too wordy and the recap needed to be trimmed. You picked up the bullet points to cut length from me. However, while I was the first to do rage!bullet points in the Arcadia 2: Room 13 recap, I only did them because you sat there taunting me with them. I blame you.]
- Jody watches again, Bad Guy comes back for the shiny thing they dropped.
- Bad Guy sees Jody.
- Kate calls Jody. Jody tells her everything.
- Bad Guy listens in overhears.
- We establish either: cabin door was locked; or Drew is lying about locking it.
- I don’t care.
- Big storm. Snowed in. Phones down.
- Still don’t care.
- Jodie gets hungry but doesn’t eat because of the nerves. Cool people don’t eat tag – third use. Woo!
- Jody wants to ask Drew to stay in the cabin with her, but there are too many interruptions, and Drew doesn’t come back to ask what she wanted. Nice.
Fuck My Little Pony! Friendship is not magic! 9
- Jody drinks tranqued tea. Wing and I want some. Not only do we love tea, we have insomnia. In a fictional world, there are drugs that help you sleep that do not eat away at your liver. In the real world, you only get tranqs if it would be more dangerous not to tranquilise you.
- Leahna’s body is found by ski patrol.
- Jody, barely functioning moron that she is, suddenly realises that she’s witnessed a murder. And the Bad Guy saw her.
- Jody recaps the ENTIRE FUCKING BOOK FOR US IN CHAPTER 22.
This recap is sponsored by the WWE: 12 – I gave it 10 because I’m pissed off. [Wing: SO PROUD.]
- Then she tries to convince herself she didn’t see a murder. Nail polish, not blood; trash, not corpse; etc. FUCK YOU!
DED FROM STUPID: 52 – I gave it 50 because I’m REALLY pissed off now. [Wing: *wipes a tear*]
- Oh wait, her tea wasn’t merely tranqued, all seven of her pain pills were in there. Someone was trying to kill her! Yay.
Cheer on the killer: 2
- Chris comes back and is threatening. She’s not the killer.
Red Herrings: 8
“What is this, a test?” Chris was heading for the door now. “I don’t know what everybody else is doing, Jody. I only know what I’m doing.” She eyed the binoculars on the bed, then looked at Jody. “I know what you’ve been doing, too. Better be careful, Jody. You might see the maniac.” She smiled another nasty smile and left the room.
Mental health: with tact and sensitivity: 1 (Essentially, “crazy” is a blanket term for a bad person with no qualms about killing anyone and everyone. Often because they are “crazy”. Because that’s how mental health works.)
- MOAR FUCKING RECAPS ON MOTIVES!
This recap is sponsored by the WWE: 32 – I gave it 20 because this chapter has been NOTHING BUT A RECAP OF THE ENTIRE FUCKING BOOK WHICH I HAVE JUST FUCKING READ AND I’M SO ANGRY I’M NOT DEALING WITH PUNCTUATION FUCK YOU BOOK JUST FUCK YOU. [Wing: I HAVE NEVER BEEN PROUDER OF YOU, DOVE. NEVER.]
- Sasha is the killer. She did it for Cal, because Leahna is evil.
“I love Cal,” Sasha said. “We were always so close. Well, you probably guessed that. We didn’t have to talk half the time. Our minds just seemed to communicate without talk. We argued plenty of times, but we always stuck up for each other against somebody else. No one could come between us.”
Sasha nodded. “I told Cal that Leahna wasn’t any good for him. And she wasn’t – he knew she wasn’t. But he wouldn’t stop hoping. He wouldn’t listen to me.”
“But…” Jody knew she shouldn’t argue, but she couldn’t help it. “You mean, you killed her to get her out of his life? Sasha, there’ll be other girls after Leahna.”
“Sure there will.” Sasha sounded so reasonable. “You don’t understand, Jody. I don’t want to keep girls out of Cal’s life. Don’t be silly.”
When she spoke again, Sasha sounded back to normal, whatever that meant. “Leahna didn’t care about Cal. She didn’t care about any guy, really, but Cal’s the one who mattered to me. See, Jody, he was crazy about her. He actually thought he was in love with her, that he had a chance with her. I tried to tell him he didn’t. But he wouldn’t listen. I told him he’d get hurt, and he said he didn’t believe it. And he didn’t care. But I cared!”
Really? I don’t believe you, Sash.
Incest is relative: 1 (Yeah, so he’s my fraternal twin, but I’d totally give him one.)
There’s more but thematically, that’s it. He’s her twin, she owns him. No girlies for him.
Cal can’t think for himself: 4
“It doesn’t matter.” Sasha’s voice was low now, almost a whisper. “It doesn’t matter what anybody asks. I did all this for Cal, and he’ll understand, Jody. Don’t you get it? Don’t you remember? We stick up for each other, we always have. You’re right – Cal’s not stupid – he might start to wonder. But he’d never do anything about it. He’ll understand, Jody, and he’ll stick by my story. He’ll stick by me.”
Then Cal turns up thanks to Twin Magic.
Cal can’t think for himself: 15 – giving this a blanket 10 for all the instances where Sasha tells Cal what to think.
Cal tries to talk her out of murdering Jody, but Sasha decides to kill Cal if he won’t go along with her.
Jody twats Sasha with the binoculars, which hit her head and makes a cracking sound. And DOVE IS RIGHT BACK TO CONCUSSIONS BEING SERIOUS FUCKING BUSINESS, OK?
[Wing: Also, that escalated quickly. I WILL PROTECT CAL FROM EVEN THE SLIGHTEST EMOTIONAL HURT to I WILL FUCKING KILL HIM.]
[Dove: Some people would say Wing and I were co-dependent. And I think it’s safe to say that Wing would rescue me from a burning building (literal or metaphorical). I don’t think she’d murder me if I decided not to back her attempt to slaughter a mutual friend. Also, Wing’s right, new counter.]
[Wing: Yes. Yes I would. And no, no I would not. Even though I’m pretty sure you would back my attempted slaughter no matter what, but theoretically, no, I would not murder you just for not supporting me.]
Well, that escalated quickly: 1
Sash staggers to her feet, and Billy rugby-tackles her. And if this was real life, she’d throw up all over him. But it’s not, so she just passes out.
Scene break. I’d end it right there, except Chris gets a face turn, in which she says she’s glad Jody’s not dead, which makes one of us. Ellen’s going to stay with Cal to take care of him, because god knows that poor boy needs someone to replace Sasha, otherwise he’ll have to start making his own decisions.
“Sasha told me Leahna had laughed at him.”
“She probably did,” Ellen said. “And Cal said it made him feel terrible. But it made Sasha furious. He said Sasha’s always tried to protect him, but he didn’t need her that way anymore.” Ellen was staring at the fireplace, her eyes still shiny with tears. “Anyway, after the night – I guess the night Sasha killed her – Cal knew something was wrong. He didn’t know what, but he knew. He could read Sasha’s feelings, he said, and even though he never thought of murder, he knew she’d done something.”
Twin Magic strikes again!
[Wing: So why didn’t he do anything?]
[Dove: Because nobody told him to. Keep up, Wing. Cal is the most passive human being that ever human be’d.]
Billy will one day, when he’s ready, talk to Jody about what happened. And Drew and Jody are going to be dating when they get back home. Jody, you are a barely functioning moron.
Oh, wait, one more thing:
This recap is sponsored by the WWE: 102 (I gave it 70, because again this chapter was a fucking RECAP OF THE BOOK).
I’VE HATED EVERY LIVING MINUTE OF THIS RECAP.
I don’t know why. It’s not as bad as anything by Cusick, and yet this was a painful recap. Maybe because it’s tiresome when nothing happens except for recapping, and I’m already recapping, therefore it’s bloody pointless. In short:
- Cheer on the killer: 2
- DED FROM STUPID: 52
- Dun-Dun-DUNNNNN! 1
- Fuck My Little Pony! Friendship is not magic! 9
- I hate the hot chick! (And she hates me.): 5
- Incest is relative: 1
- Mental health: with tact and sensitivity: 1
- Red Herrings: 8
- This recap is sponsored by the WWE: 102
- Well, that escalated quickly: 1
- Black Widow: 2
- Cal can’t think for himself: 15
Final Count: 182
Quote is from Angel, Series 3, Episode 3: That Old Gang of Mine.
[Wing: Let’s keep the Black Widow count, because yes.]