Warren’s death not only affected Damon, Raven, and Kiara. It had an impact on Rylee as well. Even though she never knew him or Kiara, they were her unofficial uncle and aunt.
With no luck finding Warren indoors, Raven stepped onto the back porch and gazed across the expansive plot of land. The backyard was nearly empty. The only landscaping that filled the area was a large pine tree that had very little life to it. The brunette looked up at the sky to see the sun beginning to set. In her peripheral vision, Raven noticed Warren's hoodie draped over the edge of the wooden platform.
Curiously, the girl hopped down onto a small patch of yellow grass and began to investigate. She lifted the jacket and found a small crawlspace in the side of the porch. From there, there was nothing; darkness. Forgetting about her initial search for Warren, Raven poked her head into the dark space and reached in blindly. As she extended her arm, her hand met something hard and plastic. It had a long, plastic handle and was flat at the end, with a switch off to the side; a flashlight. Instinctively, Raven attempted to turn on the source of light, but it was no use, it did not work.
Raven continued to reach into the darkness until her hand met something stiff, covered in denim. Raven's heart nearly skipped a beat when she realized the fleshy object was in fact a leg. With her morbid curiosity taking hold, Raven grabbed the object and backed out of the crawlspace. As the girl dragged what was most obviously a corpse, the identity of the cadaver was revealed.
Raven gasped as she stared into the graying face that lifelessly looked back at her; Warren!
The body had already begun to harden and color; any signs of life had completely disappeared. Hardened over his chin, chest and stomach was a layer of bile, and there was a deep needle mark in his arm.
"Damien! Damien come here!" Raven exclaimed frantically.
Damien poked his head out from the kitchen window. "What do you want?"
"Just come out here, asshole!" Raven hollered.
In a moment of annoyance, Damien growled and pulled the window open just far enough for him to climb through. When he crossed to the other side of the porch, the dark haired boy jumped in surprise.
"See, this is why I don't mess with junkies." Damien snarled, kneeling down next to his deceased friend.
The two simply stared at the body; they were speechless.
"So, I guess we need a new camera bitch." Raven said somewhat awkwardly trying to break the uncomfortable silence.
Damien turned around and opened his mouth to insult Raven, but decided against it, turning back to Warren and touching the gnarly needle mark in the boy's arm.
"Don't touch it, dude! He's probably got AIDS or something!" Raven exclaimed, trying to be funny.
Once again, Damien turned around to face the girl, obviously not amused. "Raven, go back inside, I don't need this shit right now."
Raven was surprised by Damien's reaction to her comment. She believed that since Damien could not feel, he shouldn't be upset by Warren' death. Ultimately, Damien was not upset or hurt, but there was a sense of emptiness, as if there was something missing.
"Sorry. I didn't think you'd get so offended over your little junkie ODing like a freaking dumbass. In my opinion, he deserved to die…" Raven said as she put her hands on her hips.
"Raven, get inside! I'm not messing around!" Damien demanded sternly.
Recognizing the danger, Raven rolled her eyes and retreated inside. Besides, if she wasn't with Damien, she would get the privilege of breaking the news to Kiara on her own.
Inside, Kiara was sitting alone in a room with her small sketch book drawing mindlessly, trying to take her mind off of her still sore wounds that appeared to be blistering, possibly second degree burns.
Raven walked up behind the blonde to see her drawing an obscure picture of Damien and Raven in distorted positions.
"Hey Kiara, whatcha doin'?" Raven greeted with a saccharine tone in her voice and a twisted grin.
Startled, Kiara held the notebook to her chest, hoping that Raven didn't see the scathing images she had drawn in a moment of anger. "Nothing," she responded defensively.
"Warren is dead." Raven said matter-of-factly, not flinching at all.
Suddenly, Kiara's face twisted into a look of pain and heartbreak. "What?!" She squealed.
Raven laughed and walked away, "Oh, and his body's in the backyard if you wanna see it." The brunette called back as she disappeared into the rest of the house.
Kiara gingerly stood up and walked to the backyard, unsure if she wanted to know for sure if Raven was lying. As she stepped onto the porch, there was a faint smell, a familiar one. It was the smell of death. It was a terrible, indescribable stench that seemed to penetrate the air.
Kiara stepped down off of the porch and found her lover propped up against the side of the house; lifeless.
"Oh my God," Kiara whispered as she approached the body, sitting down next to it and holding it close, tears welling up in her eyes and spilling out of their ducts. She grieved as she sobbed into chest of her boyfriend's corpse. "I love you, Warren…"
Nothing in the small, Arizona residence seemed quite the same since Warren' passing. Kiara had become lifeless; the shell of the girl she used to be. Instead of trying to make the most of life, Kiara had begun spending her days curled up in an empty room, trying desperately to comfort herself. Warren was the love of her life, and the only thing keeping her together. He provided stability, the care the orphan greatly needed, but most of all: Protection. Without Warren by her side, Kiara was terrified of what the future held for her.
"Tick, Tick, Kiara.”
Raven's words repeated themselves in Kiara's head. They were haunting her.
"You know you can stop crying any day now." Raven said with a snarky tone from the door way of the room, holding the small camcorder Warren carried nearly everywhere.
Kiara glared at the smirking girl, "What do you want?"
Raven snickered as she opened the screen of the camera, "Did you know Warren filmed himself shooting up? I think the camera even got a little bit after he started puking all over himself. It's pretty disgusting."
"Will you shut up and leave me alone?! Haven't you hurt me enough?" Kiara hissed at Raven who refused to pay attention to Kiara as she continued to look at the camera screen with a large grin on her face.
"You can't see anything, but you can hear everything. I think he said 'help me' a few times. Weird, huh? Why didn't you help him, Kiara?" Raven taunted meanly, becoming a little giddy from the reaction she was receiving from the blonde, and ignoring her demands.
As the question left Raven's mouth, Kiara's facial expression immediately shifted. What began as the look of the girl trying to be strong in front of the person, who intimidated her most, became the expression of someone who had their heart ripped out. Kiara had been trying in vain to convince herself that Warren' death was not her fault. She was the only person home when it had happened, and at the time, she thought it was odd that Warren wanted to be alone, but she hadn't thought much of it until after it was too late.
"You don't know?" Raven sneered. "Is it because you didn't love him; because you wanted him to die?"
Kiara became hysterical with emotion as Raven relentlessly prodded at her, "Stop, Raven! Please!" She begged as the memories of Warren' dead body flashed before her eyes.
Satisfied with her work, Raven turned around to leave, but before she exited the room, "I hope you know you have to take his place. Welcome to the family, you're our new camera bitch." Raven set the camera on the table near the door before she left and joined Damien in the other room as Kiara fell apart where she lay. Tears poured out of her eyes as the girl shook and every ounce of emotion poured out of her. She was not okay. There was no way she would last more than a week in the wretched home she had been brought into.
Rylee knew that after Warren’s death Kiara changed. She used to be upbeat but after Warren died… She changed. She became cold, unloving. She was more involved in the murders. Rylee was in her room, avoiding Ethan and Sean, trying to keep sane. Nico was sleeping next to her, and she’d look over at her every time the little girl made a whimpering noise in her sleep. Rylee had an idea. Let’s clean! Something a normal 18 year old wouldn’t want to do. They’ve lived in the house together for years, and never have they done a deep clean. Inside and out.
Rylee ran downstairs to break the news to the boys. When she got downstairs she was not expecting what she saw.
A body. On the floor, covered in blood. Tears welled in Rylee’s eyes when she saw his face. Ethan. Sean was standing over his body, knife in one hand and the camera in the other.
“What have you done?!” Rylee screamed.
“Didn’t I do a good job? Isn’t this what you wanted? A cold blooded killer?” Sean’s voice sounded cold and mean. It resembled Damien’s voice on the tapes a little too much for Rylee’s taste.
“Sean,” She said through gritted teeth, “Go. Right now. Go outside and dig a hole. Not just a hole for any old body, you dig a hole by the house, and you bury him.” They both paused for a second, glaring at each other.
“And then come back in here and tell me what was going through your fucking mind!” She finished. The tears were gone, and she was no longer sad. She was beyond pissed off. She sat on the couch with her hands over her face wondering if she did something to make Sean snap. She must’ve fallen asleep; because she heard Sean’s footsteps enter the room.
“Check this out.” He said, “I found a box buried in the back yard. I opened it up and there’s a tape in here.” Rylee’s interest peaked, and she snatched the tape out of his hand and played it on the tv. "My name is Kiara Jennings, and it is 5—something on October 25th, 2012." Kiara whispered hoarsely into the camera, scooting away from the door."Whoever finds this, please help us before it's too late… I'm so afraid, every day that they're going to kill me… Oh god… I really hope someone finds this… They're going to kill each other, or kill me and I can't deal with this… I don't want to die… Please… I wish none of this had ever happened. I wish I would just leave and everything would be better…" Tears fell down her cheeks, and her voice cracked. "Oh my god… I can't believe all the things I've seen – done. Hurting innocent people, families, even. My boyfriend is dead and it's more than likely my fault… Everyone around me dies! Horrible deaths! I can't do this anymore… I can't stand to see everything that’s happening to these people. I don't know what happened to me, but I feel like my world is collapsing beneath my feet, and I can't do anything about it… I thought they were my friends; my family. I just wanted to be accepted… To have a place where I belong. Why can't my life be normal? Why does everything in it have to make me sad? Why do I have to make everyone I care about sad? No one will ever love me… Who am I kidding…? I'm probably not even going to get out of here alive. Oh god… Someone help me… Please? I don't want to die…" The tape came to a stop and Sean had a confused look on his face,“I don’t understand…” he said, “If she wanted help, how did this end up in a box, buried in the ground?” Rylee squinted her eyes.
“Don’t you dare try to get out of this! What the hell were you thinking?! Ethan is your brother!” Rylee stood up and walked away from the den area, “Why the hell would you kill your own brother!? We don’t have many people in our lives, Sean! We have to stick together!” Rylee yelled on, and with every word that came out of her mouth tap danced on Sean’s anger even more.
He grabbed her neck and had her pinned on the kitchen table, “You remember this? You had me pinned, because I pissed you off? Well now you’re pissing me the fuck off.” He squeezed tighter and Rylee squirmed a bit. “You want to know why I killed him? My own brother? Because of you” He loosened his grip and Rylee took a deep breath in, filling her lungs as much as she could. “You walk around the house like you’re the shit. Like you’re your mom or something. You strut through here teasing us until we decide you have to choose.” Sean leaned down to meet his mouth with her ear and whispered, “Sooner or later you would have known that we need sex, Rylee. It’s been years and you haven’t touched either of us.”
The look in Rylee’s eyes turned from fear to anger and she jerked away from Sean. Surprising him, she was able to release herself from his grip. She pushed him over the couch, and he landed on the floor.
“You want me to touch you?!” She gritted her teeth and walked around the couch to kneel next to him. She swung her leg around his body, sitting on his torso and pinning his arms down. He didn’t even try to resist. “You want to know how I do it?”
Rylee leaned down and bit Sean’s shoulder hard, the fabric of his T-Shirt ripping. Her back arched and she dug her nails into his wrists. “Is this what you want?” Rylee was sadomasochistic and seemed to be into hybristophilia, and she knew it.
“You know what we haven’t done in a long time?” She stopped. “We haven’t killed anyone in a while.” She glances at the pool of blood and rolls her eyes. “Well I haven’t killed anyone in a while.” She stood up and grabbed the camera off the counter. Sean showed signs of annoyance in his face. He was turned on, and now had to ignore it. Rylee tossed the camera to him and grabbed the knife and stared at it. She sighed at Ethan’s blood. She set the knife in the sink and sat in the chair thinking.
“What haven’t we done yet? I want to do something creative.” She pondered all of the things she’s seen on the tapes and all the things they’ve tried themselves. Rylee’s eyes lit up. She had an idea. A brilliant idea.
“We need to go.” She said.
“Now?” Sean asked.
“No. We need to go at around 2 in the morning.” Sean walked up to her and put his hands on either side of her on the table, his face close to her’s.
“Well what should we do to pass the time?”