As much as anything that had happened that night, Clare’s death weighed heavily on me, and I spent the rest of the school year earning my G.E.D. online while battling nightmares at night. Garrett went into some kind of witness protection program and disappeared to start a new life under a new name, apparently unable to face his old reality. Adelaide, amazingly, returned to school after less than a month away. We got together several times after the events of that night, but it seemed as though all we could do was bring up old wounds in each other, and we soon dropped contact.
After high school, I made the decision to enlist in the Navy right away. College just seemed too difficult, and I felt that a life of rigid structure and discipline might help me escape the nagging fears that seemed to lurk around every corner. Shortly before my departure to basic training, however, I decided to pay a visit to the hospital where they were keeping Bethany and the others. I didn’t know what I expected or hoped to get out of it, but I guess I was looking for some sort of closure, something to make sense of everything that had happened.
I remember sitting in that glass booth that separated me from those confined to the halls of that place and staring into Bethany’s face. Her disgust with me was apparent from the moment I arrived and it was clear that she wasn’t speaking to me by choice. After a long silence between us she spoke.
“What do you want, vile light-bringer?” she snarled at me, actually spitting on the glass between us. For awhile I didn’t know what to say, but finally a question formed itself in my mind.
“How did you come up with the Blood Game?” I asked. This was the one question that had been plaguing me since before the horrible events in her house, so it seemed like the best thing I could ask of her. She laughed.
“I didn’t,” she said, still laughing, and that was the only response she would give me.