*WARNING: Please read! This scene takes place in the Devil’s Night world but does not feature Devil’s Night characters. It also ends open-ended, because nothing in Thunder Bay ever really ends, right? 😉 It’s just something I found intriguing and fun for Devil’s Night, so please do not read this if you hated how Nightfall and Fire Night ended. It’s not necessary to understand to read this in order to understand the series.

Over the years, I’ve wondered how other residents of Thunder Bay celebrated this time of year and what they thought of their town, Devil’s Night, and the horsemen. I always felt we needed another insider’s point-of-view who wasn’t connected to the main characters and to ALSO see how the tradition has changed over the years since the horsemen left school.

Because it has changed a lot.

Most of you don’t know this, but my original idea for Corrupt was that the flashbacks would span three nights—not just one. The events between Rika and the guys would’ve spread over Devil’s Night, Halloween, and All Saints’. However, it changed as I wrote it. My skill level wasn’t as great as my appetite at the time, too much was happening on Devil’s Night, and the book would’ve been the length of a bible if I’d done that, so I abandoned that idea and consolidated it into one evening.  

But…Devil’s Night HAS to evolve. It’s no longer the same as it was when the boys were in high school. The kids at Thunder Bay Prep would now find Michael, Kai, Damon, and Will’s pranks boring, so for the tradition to survive, it had to change. Devil’s Night is now three nights of celebration called NetherNight, spanning Devil’s Night, Halloween, and All Saint’s, and as much as I know many of you really miss the originals, don’t worry. There is something in the water in Thunder Bay. They’re all crazy.


P.S. While the original characters aren’t featured, they are mentioned. Annnnnnnd perhaps a little more than that 😉


Part of me feels like I should’ve changed, but I’m already late.

And why pretend I’m welcome for NetherNight anyway. I’m not. It’s like dressing for a dinner out with your mom only to come downstairs and discover you weren’t actually invited…To a dinner with your mother.

Yeah, that happened.

Did you lock up the house? A smirk curls as I stare down at the text from my father. As stepdads go, he’s easy to live with, mostly because he’s never home.

He used to be a big city lawyer, but now he has one client. Graymor Cristane, the umbrella corporation of Thunder Bay’s four families—the Fanes, the Moris, the Graysons, and the Torrances. He travels for them, buys property for them, closes deals for them…

Pays off the right people and makes any problems that arise simply disappear for them.

And for all that they pay him twice what he made at Sanders, Hogan & Wardwell. Which was already a lot. 

Oh, shit… I text back, leaves crunching under my combat boots.


I shake my head, holding back my laughter, even though I know exactly what he’s worried about and it’s more than just his daughter returning to an empty house, alone, in the dark, on Devil’s Night.

If they want in, they’re getting in, Dad. But I don’t tell him that.

Yes, locked up. I tap out on my phone. Gotta go.

All right, be safe. He replies.

I tuck my cell down into the neck of my white Polo, inside my bra, because I have no pockets. I roll up the waist of my navy and blue plaid school skirt like most of the girls do as soon as the last bell rings for the day, and then I tighten my ponytail. I have no idea where the night will go, and I’m freezing as fuck, but it’s my last year. I’m celebrating.

I cup my hands over my mouth and blow heat into them, feeling my nipples pressing through my shirt as steam seeps through my fingers.

Eyes turn my way as I descend the small hill toward the corn maze entrance, the target on my back burning until it’s almost all I’m aware of as they glare at me.

Some of them can’t believe I’m showing my face. Others are soooo excited I did.

I stop next to Arden as she tips back her flask and then hands it to me. I wave it off.

“Where were you?” she whispers as Eric Feldman passes his friends their masks.

“Barnes made me run,” I tell her.

She shakes her head, holding the flask back up to her mouth. “You gotta stop mouthing off to her.”

“I know.”

I push back against our tennis coach, because she’s the only one I can push back against. She can’t do anything to me.

My dad protects me, and Graymor Cristane protects him. The town hates us, but they tolerate us. They have no choice.

“You stopped by St. Killian’s, right?” Arden whispers.

“Of course,” I murmur.

Respect must be paid, after all. St. Killian’s is an old cathedral, and it was abandoned and forgotten for decades.

But not completely. Years ago, the reigning horsemen of Thunder Bay Prep started Devil’s Night and used the cathedral for gatherings, parties, and all the bad shit teens aren’t supposed to do. They’re grown up now, and more horsemen have come and gone since, but none as iconic as Will Grayson, Damon Torrance, Kai Mori, and Michael Crist, the latter now living in the renovated cathedral with his wife and children.

Maybe the glory days of the horsemen weren’t as glorious as the stories make it seem, but nonetheless, every student still travels through the cathedral gates at the beginning of every Devil’s Night, down the driveway, and tosses a log onto the bonfire that burns all three days of the celebration.

To the cardinals—and their vision.

To the call of the void.

She swallows a mouthful, the flowery scent of the gin distinct and mildly comforting. I didn’t realize that was the scent coming off my stepbrother’s breath when I was fourteen, but now that I know, so much makes sense that didn’t before. His moods. His descent.

That night.

The dry leaves dance across the grass as the wind blows my ponytail, and I draw in a deep breath, closing my eyes for a moment. I’m now the age he was when he got in that driver’s seat, killing all three of his friends. Some say he was drunk. Some say he crashed on purpose.

It didn’t matter. Accident or not, when you kill three horsemen—all-star basketball players reigning Thunder Bay—you’re a public enemy. His friends are mourned. I have to miss him in private. See his name scraped off every plaque in the trophy cases at school. Hear the boos when they show footage of old games at pep rallies and he’s on the court.

See dummies dressed in his letterman jacket hanging from the bridge. God, I miss him. 

For four years, I’ve kept my ass on lockdown for fear of this town using NetherNight—a three-day celebration spanning Devil’s Night, Halloween, and All Saints’—as the perfect little coverup to taking their revenge out on me when they couldn’t on my stepbrother, Mane. What better time of year to not get caught doing bad things? Masks, prop weapons, commotion, craze, liquor, crowds, darkness, and all the little places to hide things in this town.

But I’m eighteen now. A senior. My last chance to celebrate as a student.

“Do not take off your masks,” Eric Feldman continues his instructions. “Or your face paint. What happens in the maze, stays in the maze, and don’t forget…” A twinkle lights his blue eyes. “They can catch you, anything more is up to you.”

People snicker, whispers going off as most of the boys leer behind their disguises and girls smile behind their face paint.

He’s saying that in case someone is recording. Someone is always recording.

“But…” Dorian Castle adds, meeting my eyes through his white skull, “if you’re dirty, may as well get dirtier, right?”

More laughter as he stares at me, swipes a hand across his bare chest, making a show of spreading the black body paint over every visible inch of skin, including his hands.

No one knows what happens in the corn maze on Devil’s Night. All that’s clear when you emerge is that you’ve been touched and where. I eye the grease caked in the cracks of his knuckles, my stomach quivering. There are a couple of girls amongst the horsemen, and a couple of guys amongst us, hoping a basketball player will admit they’re not straight for a few minutes between the cornstalks.  

My feet connect with the earth under my boots, keeping me planted. I’m sick of the stalemate. The taunts. The threats. The hate. I’m tired of hiding.

I stare at Dorian, refusing to break eye contact. My brother took his. Now he takes me.

Unless I can make it out of there before he catches up.

“Get ready!” Eric shouts.

Everyone spreads out, giving each other room to charge the maze without creating a traffic jam, but I just remain at the back, waiting my turn. 

I stare past Dorian Castle, feeling his eyes on me as I gaze into the darkness of the stalks behind him and the path barely visible until it disappears into the deep.

The void…

There are things I’m afraid will happen, but I need something to.

“This isn’t a good idea,” Arden mumbles.

I meet Dorian’s eyes. “It’s just foreplay,” I tell her. “He’s not going to hurt me.”

But even as I think it, I’m not sure. His white mask isn’t like the skulls the boys used to use. It’s like a chiseled face with a sharp jaw and cheekbones and black eyes that I can’t see behind but that make my heart shake, because I know he’s looking at me.

“So if your plan is just to keep running from them, why not stay home?”

“I’m not running.” I glance at her. “They’re chasing. There’s a difference.”

I just won’t hide anymore.

“The prey has their head start,” Eric tells us, “but we cut these paths, so we know the way out and all the dead ends. God help you, if you get caught in one.”

Excitement rolls off everyone gathered, and I look down to make sure my laces are tied.

“Ready?” Eric shouts.

Dorian cocks his head as the other two horsemen—Slater Ciccone and McGivern Ellison—pull on their masks and clear the path leading into the maze.

“Three!” Eric calls out.

The wind blows the stalks, the moon shining through the clouds, and the chill charges my legs, my muscles tensing.

“Two!” he yells and everyone gets ready to push off. “One!”

We shoot off, howls rising into the air as we dash into the corn, laughter, squeals, and yelps echoing all around. I can’t help it. I smile, because I can’t process the fear any other way right now. I run, digging in my heels and go harder and faster, pushing past Arden and whipping around to grin back at her.

But she’s shaking her head and bidding me to follow her as she dives into the rows. I stop, people slamming into my shoulders as they run past, nearly knocking me over.

She’s not supposed to go off-path. I’m tempted to follow her, but that would be cheating, and I didn’t come tonight to take a shortcut. Even though I know she’s trying to help me.

I stare back down the long path at the entrance, seeing the boys in their masks and feeling the string between them and me. They’re coming—just waiting the obligatory thirty second head start.  

I don’t smile again, but the tornado in my stomach is something I don’t entirely mind.

Spinning around, I dart around the corner, my combat boots gripping the dirt as the Bell Tower chimes the hour across town. My skirt brushes my thighs, and the chills spreading across my skin aren’t from the cold.

I inhale, drawing in the scents of wood, earth, grass, and fire. The torches that surround the maze. The bonfires lit around town. The lanterns glowing throughout the village. And the faint hint of the sea over the cliffs from where the bell rings.

Running down the path and to the left, I race forward and then left again, but the corn cuts me off.

I halt, breathing hard. Dead end.

“Shit.” I pivot on my heel, but then bellows pierce the air, a manic howl, and roars that seem to come from every direction. I twirl around, sucking in a breath.

“Aaaaaliccccce!” they cry.

My shoulders fall.

I scurry back the way I came and take another left, hearing them at my back. “Come out, come out, wherever you are!”

Laughter echoes in the night, my head twisting every which way, following the voices. I stumble, losing track of the turns, but I take a right and see a long path ahead, so I bolt, running as fast as I can. At this point, even if I decided to dive into the corn, I wouldn’t know which direction was out anyway.

But as I stop short at the end of the row and glance left, then right, stalks loom over the dark pathways, and my head spins. The world tilts in front of me, and I can’t even remember the direction I was running. I turn and turn again. Where did I come from?

Where is everyone? The menacing void of the paths to the left and right consumes whatever lies ahead, but one thing is for sure. I’m alone in here.

With them.

A twig snaps to my right, and I stop breathing. For a moment, I’m paralyzed. Then, slowly, I hunch over just a little and peer into the stalks.

Tall stems rise high, arms stretching with ears of unharvested corn and thick leaves. I pan right and left, trying to detect anything, but beyond a few feet, my view is lost in the darkness. And in acres and acres of corn and hidden rows.

Too quiet.

“We’re going to find you!” another shout comes, closer than before.

Then a grainy growl, a little quieter adds, “And we’re going to fuck you.”

“And kill you,” a whisper comes from behind. I stifle my cry and spin around, cackles echoing in the distance. 

I charge right, then left, then right again, hearing rustling in the stalks. I fake right but take another left, and voices carry just feet away from another row.

My heart skips, and I dive into the corn, off-course like I’m not supposed to. Screw it.

Slipping between the stems, I slide as quietly and carefully as possible, so they can’t detect movement, but I have to go deep. I should’ve changed my clothes. A white Polo was a bad idea. 

Movement catches my eyes, and I quickly dip back behind two stalks and crouch down, facing the path about fifteen feet away.

I see legs run up and stop, joining another pair from the direction I came. “Did you see her?” one of them asks.

“No,” the other pants. He sounds like he’s got asthma. My guess, Slater Ciccone. He’s been smoking since he was fourteen. 

“Did you come from the exit?” the other presses, his voice muffled by his mask.

I rise slowly until I’m standing, seeing a full-face red devil and knowing the second one is McGivern. They’re not supposed to come from the exit to cut people off before they can make it out. But I’m hiding, which is also cheating, so…

I don’t hear Slater answer, but McGivern growls, “You fucking idiot…”

Where the hell is Dorian? He’s the one they listen to. If they catch me, he’s the only one who can stop them. If he’s so inclined. And he has to, right? They’re not actually trying to kill me, are they? Just scare me.

I take a step back, a dried, broken stalk cracking under my boot. I suck in a breath, shoot my eyes up, and see them stop, turning their heads.

I bite the inside of my cheek.

“Get her!” one shouts. 

I run. Through the corn, the wind blowing my hair, and laughter behind me. “Whoo!” one of them screams.

“I need you, baby!” the other shouts. 

“Come on,” I say, but I’m not sure if it’s to them or to myself. I leap out of the stalks, cross the path, and jump back into the next brush, swerving and running as fast as I can until I’m sure I’m shielded. Bending down, I keep my eyes peeled, scanning between the stems as I pull the blade out of my boot.

I don’t normally carry it, but rumor has it the cardinals do. At least Banks Mori and Erika Fane, our mayor. People say Banks has a strap of blades around her thigh at all times. They say Mayor Fane throws them. She can hit your skull from fifty feet.

It’s all bullshit, of course. Another scary story that gets passed around like the ones about the mayor’s husband killing his brother and Damon Torrance killing his parents, because everyone idolizes them. These people would be in jail if any of that shit were true.

But it’s intriguing to imagine it is. One day last spring, I found a switchblade at an estate sale and snatched it up. They’re illegal, so who knows when I’d ever see another.

Steam pours out of my mouth, billowing into the air, but sweat coats my back.

I listen. Footsteps shuffle the dirt path, and I see black clad legs slowly walk past.

Dorian? Slater, maybe? That was the point of the disguises. The one I should be wearing and aren’t. Everyone can fuck around in here and not have to face each other at school.

Or identify people who want to get away with it all.

I raise my eyes, making out the red mask through the brush. “If you come out now,” McGivern says, “it’ll just be me.”

I focus every muscle on not moving. I close my mouth to hide my breath in the cold.

He’s lying.

Something crunches to my left, and I turn my head. I can’t see shit in the darkness, but I know I’m being surrounded.

“Find me before my friends find you,” he taunts.

I look back at McGivern, feeling the walls closing in around me, and flick the lever, exposing the blade. Fuck you.

I walk, stepping out of the corn stalks and see his head snap to me, his eyes meeting mine.

The black paint all over his naked torso, the black military pants and boots, and the blood red mask, the only color on him. His eyes flash to the blade in my hand. Every few years a new set of horsemen reign, but they aren’t chosen. It simply ends up being whoever can take the throne.

McGivern might be a fucking Chad, but I’d be stupid to underestimate him even when he’s alone.

“Your brother killed three horsemen,” he states. “This town deserves retribution no matter what the cardinals say.”

“The cardinals know that those horsemen deserved it.” I tighten my grip on the handle of the blade, my lips curling into a smirk. “But you don’t care…”

“No, I don’t care.”

Right. Because people need a crusade, and weak ones more than most. It doesn’t matter that the last horsemen killed a kid—bullied him so hard one night in the caves that he died—or that my brother was also in that wreck. It doesn’t matter that this town hated everyone who burned up in that car, because Loren Foster didn’t deserve what they did to him, but they were going to get away with it anyway. My brother Mane was a horseman—in the caves that night and saw everything—and he couldn’t let any of them get away with it.

It doesn’t matter that the cardinals protected my family in the wake of it all. A debt is owed, because a couple of those dead pieces of shit had brothers who are all grown up now.  

“Come on,” I egg him on.

He tips his chin down, and I widen my stance. 

“Come on,” I growl.

He shoots one foot back, preparing to use it to launch himself, but before he can move more, I growl and swing my foot dead center between his fucking legs.

He sucks in a breath, I grab the mask off his face, and then I spin around, running in the opposite direction.

“You fucking cunt bitch!” he howls.

But I’m running and not stopping. I’m going to get out of here with his mask as my goddamn trophy. Their humiliation will be sweet.

I turn right, run twenty feet, and then turn left, running into a dead end, but I can’t stop. I crash through the stalks, into the fray, and keep going as screams and calls rise up into the air.

“Alice!” they bellow and then harder, “ALICE!”

I race through the stems, shoving leaves out of my way, and leap into the next path, moonlight peeking through the clouds. Someone comes at me, and I twirl around to see McGivern charging me. I cry out, step back, and roll my foot on an ear of corn, both of us falling to the dirt with him on top of me.

“No!” I shout. He fucking knew the shortcuts. They cut the paths, after all.

I drop the mask and push at him with one hand as he grabs my wrist and pounds it against the ground until I lose hold of the knife.

“What are you gonna do?” I bite out. “You gonna do me like Loren Foster and raise hell for the horsemen again? Huh?”

Thunder Bay Prep can’t take another scandal. If they continue to lose control, someone will come to control them.

He pins my wrists to the ground and stares down at me as I squirm.

But then I stop. I gaze up at him, forcing my breathing to slow down and my muscles to relax.

“Just…” I almost choke on my breath. “Just don’t hurt me, okay?”

I offer a whimper to sell it, and he pauses just long enough. Slowly, I open my legs, bending them at the knee, and let his groin sink in between.

“Just you, okay?” I cry.

He stills, his chest rising and falling a little harder, but he remains, staring down at me.

“Please,” I beg again. “Just don’t hurt me.”

A gleam hits his eyes, and he thrusts, rubbing on me through his clothes just as he comes down and bites my jaw. “Fuck…” he breathes out.

He drags his lips over my face, kissing and nibbling, and finally coming down on my mouth, his own wet and cold. I groan and kiss him back, rolling myself back into him as he dry-fucks me.

“Fuck me bare,” I plead and then stick my tongue in his mouth, his moan vibrating down my throat. “Take off my panties.”

And he can’t stand it. He releases my arms, and I reach down, unfastening his belt and pants as he grabs my panties under my skirt.

He yanks them down, I dive into his pants, grab his semi-hard little dick, and squeeze it just as I lurch forward and grab his ear with my teeth. In less than a second, I’m biting and squeezing, prompting a jerk and a blood-curdling scream from him.

“Ah!” he cries.

I chomp down harder, tasting his blood, and feeling his body shake on top of me. I release him, pushing him away, and reach for my knife.

But he gets it first, raises it high, and I rear back, holding my arms over my face to shield myself, but…

It doesn’t come. He doesn’t hit me.

His weight is gone, someone grunts, and I hear a shuffling. Opening my eyes, I see two of them now.

Someone has him.

I sit up and scramble backward, watching them fight. Both in black military pants. Both in body paint.

Except the other is wearing a black mask. None of the four wear a black one. Dorian is white. McGivern red. Eric is silver, and Slater’s is blue. Who is this?

McGivern runs off, the other follows, and I climb to my feet. What the hell was that? Who was that? My switchblade lies in the dirt, and I run over, snatching it up, but when I turn to make my escape while I have a chance, reason leaves me.

Grabbing McGivern’s mask, I run into the corn, following their path of broken stalks and fallen leaves. I should go. Get out of here while I can, but I can’t explain it. I want to see. Was this a trick? A prank?

What the fuck is going on?

I follow in their wake, and the further I go I start to feel like I’ll never get back, but I need to keep see. I fought him off. I fucking fought him off.

I stare at the trail, but then I see two pairs of legs all of a sudden and immediately halt. I follow them up, over their bodies, and see them standing there, facing me in the corn, staring at me.

I nearly choke, taking a step back on instinct. What the fuck?

The black mask, like Dorian’s white, chiseled and muscular, stares back at me. The dark eyes behind are like something that isn’t real.

He rises over McGivern, easily six foot four. He has to be one of his teammates. I clench my thighs, my belly dipping like I’m on a roller coaster.

He holds McGivern up in front of him, his arm wrapped around his neck and the point of a knife at his jugular.

“Alice…” McGivern gasps. “What the fuck is going on? Help me.”

He thinks I’m in on this. Or he’s pretending. This is a prank.

The other one refastens his grip, unblinking, as if he’s daring me to stop him, but I won’t be fooled. He rears the knife back like he’s preparing to stab him, holds for a second as he watches me and waits for me to shout in protest, but…

I just shake my head. “Do it.”

He spears him, burying the knife in McGivern’s neck, the boy crying out, but it’s immediately lost as blood spurts out of the fake wound.

My stomach sinks a little at how real it looks—eyes rolling into the back of his head as hot, red blood spills out of his neck and down his chest, his legs giving out from under him.

The man in the black mask continues to watch me as McGivern falls out of his arms and collapses onto the ground. I look at him there, waiting for the prank to end, but he grabs his neck as blood continues to pour. He sputters and fights for air, his body convulsing.

And in the moment he stops moving, laying there, a wave of dread washes over me, and I can’t look away from his lifeless form. I don’t move, breathe, or blink as the killer watches me…watching McGivern.

Red continues to spill, staining the rotting corn on the ground.

Black Mask moves, and I raise my eyes as he presses a finger to his lips. “Shhhhh,” he tells me.

A shiver paralyzes me, and I feel a warm stream down the inside of my leg. Oh, fuck.

Oh my God.

I stumble backward, waiting for him to chase me.

I turn, nearly falling, and muster every ounce of strength to run as hard as I can. I push through the corn, not wasting my time with the path, and run and run and run until I stumble out onto some road. I’m not even sure where I am, but I know it’s not the exit. There’s no one around. Where is everyone?!

I move quickly, racing down the lane and eventually see the sign for the turn for Coldfield-the haunted house.

I should go back for my car, but I can’t. I don’t know what just happened or who was all in on it, but I just go. I race home, looking behind me every few seconds, and once inside, I lock my door, set the alarm, and pull out my phone to call 911.

But I hear a noise and fly up to my room, looking out the windows.

Jesus. What was that? Who was that?

I rub my hands up and down my face. It wasn’t real. It couldn’t have been. They were probably filming that, and I fucking wet myself like a child. My humiliation will be epic tomorrow when I wake up.

I pause, searching my tree line for movement in the darkness. But it seemed real.

It seemed so real. Would I be sorry if it were? Is McGivern a loss? God, I need to think.

I set my phone down on my bedstand, ripping off my school uniform and climbing into my shower. I scrub the dirt and dried tears off my face as I push my drenched hair out of my eyes. I rub the bar of soap over my skin, over my arms, and try to clean out the dirt under my nails. I clean my legs and wash the insides of my thighs.

Turning off the shower, I climb out, dry off, and dress in some of my brother’s old boxer shorts and my green Thunder Bay tennis team T-shirt.

Carrying the towel into my bedroom, I use it to dry my hair as I lock my door and check my windows. Picking up my phone, I stare down at it.

I should call my dad. He’ll come home.

But the phone suddenly rings. I jump, nearly dropping it. The number isn’t familiar, and hardly anyone ever calls me except Arden.

I wonder who it could be, but it’s too much of a coincidence not to already know. 

I swallow through the lump in my throat, but I force myself to swipe over the green button.

“You should not have seen that tonight,” a voice says.

I stop breathing for a moment. How does he have my number? He knew me in the corn field.

He continues, “But watching you wet your little panties pleased me.”

Tears burn my eyes, but I can’t hang up.

“You know me,” I say.

“I know all of you.” His words are resolute with a patience that sounds so unlike what I saw in the maze. A snake burrowing into my ear, slow and calm. “Thunder Bay is my center. My pulse.” And then in a murmur, “I know all of you.”

I step around the foot of the bed, trying to wet my parched mouth and my head swims with questions I don’t have the answers to. Is it Dorian? Or Eric? I didn’t see either of them in the maze. Maybe one of them switched masks.

But why would they kill a friend? Were they protecting me?

Or saving me for themselves?

“Where is McGivern?” I ask. 

“Where we left him.”

A chill spreads up my spine. He says we like we did this together.

“Do you think I won’t go to the police?” I find my growl.

But a dark laugh tickles my ear. “Tomorrow will be so much more interesting if you don’t.”


“I’m not done,” he clarifies. 

My heart skips a beat, and I clench the phone. The grandfather clock in the foyer chimes downstairs, and he must hear it through the phone, because he tells me, “It’s after midnight, Alice.”

I shiver at my name coming out of his mouth.

“Halloween,” he states. “You should stay home for this.”

And he hangs up, while I stand there, the phone still at my ear.

Halloween. Coldfield. Trick or treating.  

He’s just getting started.


See what happens on Halloween tomorrow! Check back for Part II at 3pm EST tomorrow!

Happy Devil’s Night!

(and feel free to repost and/or translate this)