So I left you guys on a pretty nasty cliffhanger at the end of Timeloopers #1, so maybe I can atone for that with a little teaser from Timeloopers #2, The Ghost at Retreat Lake:
After they’d announced the rules and schedule, Iris raced back to her cabin to charge the cell phone and made it there before anyone else. Or so she thought. She found Samantha and Anneliese already inside, lounging on the bunk bed by the window.
They glanced up at her, and their mouths clamped shut, like they’d just been talking about her.
Iris narrowed her eyes. “Did you guys skip out on the rules? You know, those were important safety announcements.”
“No, we were there,” said Samantha flatly.
“Then how’d you get back so fast?”
“Shortcut.” Sam cocked her head to the side, as if daring Iris to call her out.
“Right,” Iris sneered, “like you somehow found a shortcut that beats a straight line. I’d like to see that.”
Samantha and Anneliese caught each other’s eyes and broke into a fit of giggles.
Just great. Of all the people she could share a cabin with, it had to be them.
Seething, she stooped to dig out her cell phone charger. Something wasn’t right, though.
A panicky desperation rose in her throat. “Who went through my stuff?” Her gaze narrowed on Samantha, then Anneliese. “Did you guys go through my stuff?”
“No,” said Sam.
Anneliese sat up. “Is anything missing?”
“No one went through her stuff, Anneliese. She’s just being paranoid,” said Sam.
Angry blood rushed to Iris’s cheeks. Screw them. Fingers trembling, she plugged her charger into a sketchy looking socket tucked behind her bunk. Caught in the sunlight, her hair burned her neck.
Next, she plugged in the phone from the future. The screen remained black. Had to wait for it to charge. She set her own cell phone down next to it, also nearly out of charge—no reception either—and straightened up and shoved her hair out of the way, already sweating.
In the noon heat, the cabin grew more stuffy by the minute.
“Why do you have two cell phones?” asked Sam, her voice accusing.
“Because one of them’s from the future.” No point in lying. Sam was way too dumb to put it together.
“And why is there blood on one? Did you murder someone and steal their cell phone, Iris?”
“Can you just . . . shut up for five seconds?” said Iris.
Two girls entered the cabin, chattering like annoying little birds—Brooke Abbott, a shy redhead, and Priscilla Griffin, a girl who never went to school in anything less than five inch heels and spent more time in the bathroom doing her makeup than in class, and yet still managed to get straight A’s. Cory’s name was mentioned repeatedly, followed by giggles and dreamy sighs. Enough to make anyone puke.
They spotted Iris and froze.
“Wait . . . we’re in a cabin with Iris.” Priscilla’s lip curled. “I specifically put her on the list of people I didn’t want to be put with.”
“Me too,” Brooke whispered, horror dawning on her face.
“We all did,” said Sam. “We’re just the ones that got unlucky.”
“Maybe she chose us,” said Anneliese.
“I bet she wanted to be in the teachers’ cabin,” Sam said. “She probably put all their names down and everything.”
Iris glared at her and thrust up her middle finger, though she couldn’t hide the red-hot blaze stinging her cheeks.
The retreat had officially just become hell. And to think she’d played a part in saving Samantha’s life. She should have burned Cory’s note.
“Hey, Pris,” Sam said sweetly. “Take the bunk next to us.”
“Okay!” She pranced over. “At least I got some of the people I wanted to room with.”
Iris busied herself with her sleeping bag, face hot.
Please let me die soon.
She unrolled the sleeping bag on the bare mattress, over what looked like coffee stains—or shit stains. Fuck this retreat. The zipper screeched open, and she yanked back the top layer.
Something came into view, and abruptly skittered deeper into the folds.
She took one look and screamed.
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