Friday The 13th Part 6 by Simon Hawke
First Printing 1986
This novel doesn't differ too much from the movie. The only major differences are the beginning and end of the novel.
There's something about being in the woods after the sun's gone down and the stillness descends. The shadows lengthen and the night cries start - listen, what was that? Somewhere close by, it sounded like a scream. Only a night bird, perhaps. Or maybe it was something else, something - or someone - encountering a predator out in the dark, alone. Alone and vulnerable. Maybe that's what it is about being in the woods at night; you feel the vulnerability, buried memories from a long forgotten time begin to echo deep in your subconscious and you remember, why down inside, what it was like to be alone out in the dark, alone and vulnerable, while all around you, things you cannot see are on the prowl. Sometimes you can hear them. Very close. A rustling in the bushes just behind you. The snapping of a twig. The safety of civilization seems very far away now, almost an illusion, and instinct tells you to huddle close around the fire as the flames die down. There is safety in the light, but maybe even that is an illusion and, in any case, the fire will soon die down to embers as the darkness gathers close. The darkness that shelters the unknown. It comes out of the darkness, violent, swift and terrible, and when it comes, there's no escape. There's only a brief, hysterical paralysis as you freeze like a frightened little animal and feel the pain, savage and incandescent, and then the final darkness gathers you and, somewhere, perhaps not too far away, people huddle by a fire hear your scream and try to tell themselves that it was only a small creature of the night. Huddle close and listen. This is how it all began.
The time was summer of 1958. The place was . . . Crystal Lake. A young boy drowned. He was a very quiet boy, not exactly shy, just . . . quiet. He kept to himself a lot. The other children all avoided him. There's always one; one child the others isolate for one reason or another, the one who becomes the victim, the outsider, the one who's picked on and made fun of. But no one ever picked on Jason Voorhees. They just stayed away from him. And if you asked them why, they really couldn't tell you. There was just something about him, something strange and eerie, something that made your skin crawl. Even the counselors avoided him. He kept to himself and did everything alone. Like that night, that very unlucky night, that Jason went out swimming in the lake alone. Alone and in the dark. They never found his body.
The scene changes. One year later, two counselors are murdered. A young boy and a young girl. They had been making love. The newspaper wrote about the savage, brutal slaying. The bodies had been slashed to ribbons. Blood was everywhere, splattered on the walls and dripping from the ceiling. Then there were the fires, clearly arson, and police suspected that whoever was responsible was the same one who did the killing, but the case was never solved. The camp was closed. The buildings slowly went to ruin. The woods moved in and took over the clearings. Camp Crystal Lake became abandoned, overgrown. . . but not forgotten. Sometimes, at night, the townspeople would gather in the bar - the modern equivalent of a tribal campfire - and they would tell stories about what happened in the woods at Crystal Lake. Stories about someone - or something - hiding out there in the woods, watching and waiting.
They tried to open the camp again in '62, but there was some kind of trouble with the water. The official story was that "it was bad." But the townspeople gathered in the bar and talked about the water being poisoned. Camp Crystal Lake received a brand new name as the stories circulated. It was referred to as "Camp Blood"
Superstition. Legends. Stories told around the campfire to frighten little children. That was what the people said who opened the camp again just recently, only a few short years ago. And then people started dying horribly. The Christy family, the original owners of the camp, went broke, but Steve Christy was determined to prove that it was just bad luck and nothing more. It was bad luck, for Steve Christy. He lost the twenty-five thousand dollars he spent refurbishing the camp and he lost his life, as well. He became one of the victims. Seven people died that year and there was only one survivor, a young girl who managed to live long enough to learn the awful truth. The killer had been Jason's mother, driven mad with grief and bent on vengeance, blaming those who worked the camp for the drowning of her son. The girl who survived was almost killed herself, but in the struggle by the lake, she managed to pick up a machete and, with a wild, desperate swing, she chopped Mrs. Voorhees's he'd off. They found the woman's headless body, but they never found her head. The girl was taken to an institution, babbling about a drowned boy in the lake. "He's out there," she kept saying, over and over. "He's still out there."
Camp Blood was closed again, declared off limits by the town police. And the stories kept on being told, stories about the boy who had never really drowned, but who had survived to live alone out in the forest, like a wild animal. It was said that he had seen his mother being killed, witnessed her decapitation, and there was another story, the one about the girl who killed Jason's mother. She was found brutally murdered in her home, hacked to pieces, several months after what happened at the camp. And that case, too, was never solved. Legend, some said. Superstition. Stories told around a campfire to frighten little children. But others nodded knowingly and mumbled. "He's still out there."
Scene changes once again. A country cabin near the shores of Crystal Lake. A quiet place named Higgins Haven, rented to vacationers. There were ten bodies this time, seven kids who had taken the cabin for the summer and three bikers who had come to raise some hell - and found it. There was only one survivor, a girl who was driven mad by the ordeal. They found the body of the killer in the barn, but she kept insisting that he wasn't really dead. Yet, he seemed dead enough. They found him with an axe embedded in his head. It had penetrated the think plastic of the hockey mask the killer had taken from on of his victims and it had split his skull. He was dead, all right. No one could survive that. They took his body to the morgue and the papers wrote about the death of Jason Voorhees. The terror of Crystal Lake was finally over. And then they found the bodies in the morgue. And the killer's corpse was nowhere to be found.
A dozen killings later, they found Jason once again. He had returned to Crystal Lake and taken vengeance on a houseful of vacationing high school students and the family that lived next door. The Jarvis family. Little Tommy Jarvis spent the next ten years locked up in various institutions traumatized by the self-defense murder of the killer. They found him standing over Jason's body, hitting it repeatedly with a machete, screaming, "Die! Die!" They had to drag the boy away. They put Tommy Jarvis in a padded cell and they buried the mutilated body of Jason Vorhees. This time, the people in town said it was really over. This time he's dead and buried.
Years passed and then the killings started once again. It happened at a place called Pinehurst Sanitarium, a halfway house for people coming out of institutions and getting ready to go back into the world. A place to which Tommy Jarvis had been transferred from the Unger Institute of Mental Health. It began when one of the patients suffered a violent relapse and attacked another patient with an axe. By the time they were able to restrain him, the lawn was covered with the scattered pieces of the victim's body. The sight of the dismembered corpse brought back all of Tommy's nightmares. Jason began to haunt him once again. And then the patients started dying. One grisly murder followed on the heels of another and Tommy Jarvis started to believe that Jason had possessed him, that he had become his own worst enemy, but the spree of killings ended when Tommy confronted "Jason" in the barn at Pinehurst Sanitarium and threw him from the hayloft to his death. It wasn't Jason, but a local paramedic, one of the men who had brought Tommy to Pinehurst from the institution. The boy who had been killed by the patient suffering the relapse was the paramedic's son and the sight of his own child's dismembered body had unhinged the man. He had assumed Jason's identity to cover up his crimes, but the story became added to the legend and it was said that Jason cast his influence out over the town even from the grave. For Tommy Jarvis it was real.
Dead or not, Jason had possessed him and he could not drive the thought of him out of his tortured mind. One night, he broke out the window of his room and his therapist found him, wearing Jason's hockey mask and brandishing a knife. She brought him out of it, and with her patient help, Tommy Jarvis began to come back. But he knew it wasn't over. The violence was never very far away. It always lurked just below the surface, ready to strike, terrible and sudden, and Tommy was convinced that there was only one solution. He kept it to himself, because if he told anyone about it, he knew they'd put him right back inside the padded cell again.
And now he's out. After years of living with the nightmare, Tommy's out, determined to lay it to rest once and for all. The only way to deal with mindless fear is to confront it. And that means a return to Crystal Lake.
Now it begins again.
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Martin crouched down over one of the graves in the Eternal Rest Cemetery, pulling up weeds. It was a warm day and the old caretaker worked slowly. No need to work up a sweat, he told himself, 'cause these folks ain't in no hurry, they sure ain't goin' anywheres. He chuckled at his own witticism. Yep, it sure is a good day, he thought. Sun shinin' down gently on a man's back, warmin' up his insides, soft breeze blowin' from the north, no forecast of rain for a change, so the arthritis wouldn't be actin' up and a full bottle of Wild Turkey waitin' for when he finished up his chores. He sighed with contentment, grateful for the fact his job was still secure. He'd be all right so long as didn't ever have to sober up. A shadow fell across him, and the old alcoholic looked up, startled.
A look of tense, frightened recognition passed over Martin's face and he quickly dropped the weeds and struggled to his feet, dusting his palms off against one another. When he spoke, his voice was overly friendly, obsequious, his manner that of a fawning, servile dog.
"You...ha-ha...frightened me," he said, slouching, almost genuflecting. "I was just, you know, cleanin' up the place, you know."
The tall man in the dark suit stood motionless, silently staring down at the old caretaker. Martin squirmed beneath the directness of the gaze.
"Er...nice to see you again, Mr. Vorhees," he said, bobbing his head, avoiding the man's eyes. "Haven't seen you in Crystal...er, Forest Green, in quite some time."
The thin, pale face was framed by long, dark red hair heavily streaked with gray. It showed not a flicker of expression. The features were fine and chiseled, deeply etched. The mouth was thin and cruel. But the eyes...Don't look at them eyes, thought Martin, no matter you do...
"Hey, I've been takin' real good care of your wife and son's graves," said Martin, his voice trembling slightly. "Go look. You'll be real pleased."
Those eyes were like a snake's eyes, cold, feral, ancient; they made Martin think of mausoleums and crypts shrouded with cobwebs and covered with the dust of centuries; they made him think of beasts snarling and snapping at each other, teeth rending flesh and crunching bone; they made him feel as if a thousand worms were writhing underneath his skin.
The man silently reached into his back pocket and his gnarled hand withdrew a wad of bills. Wordlessly, he handed the money to Martin, who took it gingerly, careful to touch only the wad of bills and not that clawlike hand.
"Thank you, Mr. Vorhees, thank you," Martin said, bowing and scraping like a serf before an aristocratic warlord, his face averted, looking at the ground, at the man's feet, shrinking from the burning gaze of those ancient, baleful eyes. "I'll leave you in private, like you like. Okay, er...bye. Thank you. Thank you."
The old drunken caretaker scuttled away between the tombstones, clutching his money like a starving dog hangs on to a bone. Sweet Jesus, he thought, sweat pouring off him, sweat that stank of sour mash. Thank God I got that grave cleaned up. He would've blamed me if he knew, but I cleaned it up, new sod and everything and it looks good, thank God. Oh, Jesus...
Vorhees walked slowly between the rows of headstones with a stately, measured tread, almost gliding, like a dark, predatory jungle cat. He stopped before the pair of tombstones marking the graves of his wife and son. He stared for a long moment at the simple inscriptions, then his gaze slowly traveled downward to stare at his son's grave.
The burning eyes narrowed slightly as they bored intently into the mound of earth. He leaned closer and his eyes grew wider; his pupils dilated. It seemed as if he was looking right down into the earth, his gaze penetrating, the soil like X-rays, seeing the coffin of his son and strange, broken body that it held now, the corpse of Allen Hawes.
Slowly, Jason's father straightened and turned to look after the old caretaker. Inside his shack, Martin upended the bottle of Wild Turkey and drank deeply, feeling the fire of the whiskey burn his throat, unable to stop shaking. He suddenly felt cold, as if someone had walked over his grave. He couldn't stop shivering. He sank down onto the floor in the corner of his little shack, hugging the whiskey bottle to him with both arms, trembling like a leaf and saying over and over, "I didn't, I swear I didn't, Mr. Vorhees, I didn't know, I swear--"
Vorhees turned away, his gaze scanning the horizon, searching. His gaze traveled in the direction of the lake, several miles away, not visible from the cemetery.
Crystal Lake was tranquil, sunlight sparkling on its bright blue surface. But underneath, something started rising, something white, something that moved quickly toward the surface...
The hockey mask bobbed up and floated on the surface of the lake, like a face gazing up at the bright sky with sightless eyes. For a moment, everything was still--utterly still--like the silence of the grave or the calm before the storm. Then the wind picked up and swept across the lake, through the woods, toward the town of Forest Green. A bank of thunderheads moved in, roiling in the sky, and as the shadows lengthened, the tall dark man silently turned and left the cemetery, slowly weaving back through the maze of tombstones like a specter.
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