EXCERPT FROM TEMPTING DEATH BY ELIZABETH HOLLOWAY
The creep is back.
I may not be able to see him, but I know he’s here, somewhere. Call it intuition. Or maybe it’s just the eerie memory of when the guy stared me down last night. I don’t know, but I’m not taking any chances.
I hunch over my history final and release my thick hair from behind my ears. It swings forward like a dark-brown curtain and hides my face.
Show’s over, buddy.
I can’t look around, not with Mr. Winkler on “cheater duty.” Hopefully, the guy will get bored and go wherever the hell he went last night when he took off.
The final is what’s important. I need to focus on this test.
I read the next question on the page, but the loser’s gaze bores through my dark shield of hair and my arms erupt in gooseflesh. Before I can skim the multiple choice answers, my eyes betray me and shoot up to scan the classroom.
Mr. Winkler sits at his desk scratching at some poor schlub’s paper with his red pen of doom. His bald head gleams in the harsh fluorescent light. God, I hope it’s not my paper he’s destroying. I can’t afford another bad grade in this class.
I quickly scan the rest of the classroom through the part in my hair, but everyone is working. Eerie feeling or not, nobody’s looking at me.
But I know someone is watching. Just like last night, I can feel his stalker stare.
This is ridiculous. I shake my head and rub my arms to dispel the goose bumps. This guy has freaked me out so much I’m imagining his eyes on me now. I don’t have time for this. I have an exam to finish.
The tip of my pencil hovers over the letter C, and something in my peripheral vision shifts. I snap my head up and finally see him.
The guy I caught staring at me at the art show last night, the guy who warned me something bad was going to happen to me today, stands at the tiny rectangular window in the door. He tilts his head and his ice-blue eyes lock on mine, sending a shiver through my body.
Shake it off, Libbi, I tell myself. He’s just a crazy boy with a crush.
Actually, with his tousled black hair and his nose pressed against the glass like that, he looks a little like a lost puppy. If he wasn’t so creepy, I’d almost feel sorry for him. But couldn’t he choose a better time than the middle of my history final to eyeball me? Plus, he said he wanted to talk to me alone, and this is most certainly not alone.
I point to my partially finished test and mouth, “Final exam.”
He nods. A half-smile lifts the corners of his lips.
“Bye.” I wave my hand.
“I need to talk to you,” he mouths.
“No,” I reply, but he continues to stand at the door.
Dude, catch a clue already. I spin away from the door, sneak a peek at Mr. Winkler, and shove the eraser of my pencil between my teeth. I yank the eraser out of its metal holder and flick it at the back of Haley’s head. Her chair squeaks as she jumps and whips around to glare at me.
“What?” she whispers.
“Look.” I point over my shoulder with my pencil to the classroom door. “That crazy guy I told you about is at the window.”
We turn to the door together, but the window’s empty. He must be a shy creeper.
“Where?” Haley says.
“Never mind. He’s gone.” I slump back in my chair. At least I can finish my test in peace.