Dusk was fastly approaching in West Valley. The sun had began to set in the sky, mixing blue shadows with the dying light of day. Word travelled fast in a small town like West Valley, and everyone was already talking about the incident that had occured a mere hour earlier. Darcy Adkins had been dining with a friend, and what had started as a pleasant meal, had ended in tragedy. An ambulance and two police cars had raced to the restaurant downtown, where a crowd formed on the sidewalk to get a glimpse at what had happened. Tammy Coleman, Darcy’s friend, was wheeled out on a stretcher, a bandage around her eyes. She was screaming loudly, horror mixed with pain. Darcy ran along side her friend, hopping into the back of the ambulance as it sped off to the hospital. The restaurant was evacuated, and the police questioned each patron seperately.
Fallon was writing in her journal when her phone rang. She had answered it, and it was Darcy on the other end of the line. Darcy was frantic, quickly explaining what had happened to Tammy. Fallon’s blood ran cold as she listened in shocked silence. Darcy mentioned how she was at the hospital, but couldn’t stay, and was heading home. She was afraid to be alone, so Fallon told her she would be right over. She tucked her journal away, and was running out of the house when Scott, her housemate, asked what had happened. She explained quickly, and Scott offered to come along with her to Darcy’s home. Fallon was secretly relieved. Dusk was approaching and she didn’t want to be walking the streets once the thick black shadows devoured the sunlight.
After locking up the house, Scott and Fallon walked in silence towards Murray Drive, where Darcy lived. Fallon’s mind was racing with thoughts. Who’s doing this? Is it connected to Brandon Covington? Or does it have to do with something completely different? she thought to herself as their footsteps echoed off the blacktop. Something sinister was going on in West Valley. Murders, people being attacked. It felt like something out of a thriller movie. Fallon enjoyed watching those types of movies, but living it was a completely different story. Someone, a sick individual was enjoying playing this twisted game. He could be anyone, anywhere. He could have been watching Fallon and Scott as they reached Darcy’s street.
Fallon couldn’t help but throw a glance over her shoulder. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. The sun was setting in the horizon, the sweet smell of flowers wafted through the air. Families were coming home, hurrying inside behind the safety of locked doors. Sprinklers watered lawns, and dogs barked happily.
“You okay?” Scott asked, breaking the silence. Fallon looked up at him as they crossed the street, drawing nearer to Darcy’s home.
“Just the paranoia kicking in.” Fallon replied. Scott frowned and looked behind his shoulder.
“Did you see something back there?” he asked with a frown creasing his face.
“No. I guess I’m just a little nervous these days.” Fallon explained.
“Well they say there’s safety in numbers. You don’t need to worry with me around.” he told her with a small, reassuring smile.
Fallon returned his smile as they stopped in front of 8 Murray Drive. “Here we are.” she said as they made their way from the sidewalk to the front door. She let out a sigh, brought her hand out and knocked on the door.
The front door opened, and Darcy peered out at them. She was wiping her eyes of tears. She was dressed very casually, her face void of makeup. That was the first time Fallon had seen her looking like that. “Come in.” Darcy said, stepping aside so Fallon and Scott could enter. She closed the door behind her.
“How’re you doing?” Fallon asked once she had given the other girl a warm hug.
“I’ve been better.” Darcy replied with a scoff, ticking her gaze to Scott.
“I hope you don’t mind that Scott came along.” Fallon said.
Darcy shook her head in reply. “It’s fine. Hey, Scott.” she said as Scott sat down on the couch.
“Nice to see you, Darcy. Despite the circumstances.” he told her with a sympathetic look on his face.
“How’s your friend?” Fallon asked with concern glinting in her eyes.
“They wouldn’t let me stay with her in the hospital because I’m not family. But I was there long enough to hear someone splashed her in the face with sulfuric acid, and she’ll never regain her eyesight again.” Darcy explained with a sniff.
“Oh, man.” Scott said softly from the couch, shaking his head in disbelief.
“Darcy, that’s so horrible! I’m so sorry! And no one saw who did it?” Fallon asked with a deep frown creasing her forehead.
Darcy shook her head. “I’m guessing he or she came in and out from the back entrance where the restroom was. All Tammy saw before he.. attacked her, was that he was dressed in black and his face was hidden.” she explained with a shudder of fear.
“That’s not creepy at all.” Scott said sarcastically.
“And the worst is, I think Tammy got attacked because of me.” Darcy said softly as she and Fallon sat down on the couch.
“What do you mean because of you?” Scott asked curiously.
“Before he attacked her, Tammy said he told her to give me a message.” Darcy explained.
Fallon’s eyes widened in surprise. “What was the message?” she asked warily.
“That I was gonna wish I died in that smoke filled bathroom.” Darcy replied.
“So the guy who locked you in the bathroom, and the one who attacked your friend is the same person?” Scott asked.
“It seems that way, doesn’t it?” Darcy asked uncertainly.
Fallon nodded in reply. “It does to me! That’s crazy! What does he want with you?” she cried.
“To hurt me! But I don’t know why!” Darcy replied with another sniff, tears threatening to spill down her cheeks.
Now the sky was a black velvet canopy overhead. A half moon hung lazily, surrounded by twinkling stars. Stepping out of the library, Meredith was surprised to see that darkness had fallen on the town of West Valley. She had peered down at her watch just to make sure. It was almost nine pm, she had lost track of time. She had gone to return some books, but instead of returning home, she had spent her time talking with the girl behind the checkout counter. They spoke about new books that had come in, and somehow the conversation had switched to about the murders. They were so engrossed in their theories and ideas that the time flew by. Walking down the steps and onto the sidewalk, Meredith wished she had taken the car. Ruby had borrowed the car, she had gone out somewhere with Jeremy.
It was less than a ten minute walk from the library to home, but an uneasy feeling wrapped around Meredith as she began heading home. There was a warm breeze that ruffled the tree leaves high above her head. The sidewalk was bare, everyone had retired inside their homes for the night. Meredith’s heels clicking against the sidewalk was the only sound that broke the silence around her. She tried to ignore the thick dancing shadows that seemed to reach out for her. She kept her eyes on the concrete, walking with determination, eager to get home. She counted the blocks as she passed, it was when she was two blocks away from home that she heard a noise. Meredith stopped suddenly, listening attentively. She could have sworn she had a twig snap somewhere off in the distance. She threw a glance over her shoulder, unsure of where the noise had come from.
Nothing seemed out of the ordinary as she let out a soft sigh and kept walking. You’re almost home, you’ll be fine. she reassured herself as she slightly picked up her pace. Another noise, this time the sound of shoes on concrete. Meredith let out a small gasp as she spun around to reveal the empty sidewalk behind her. She thought she saw a slight blur of movement coming from the thick shadows between two houses. Her heart began to beat a little faster in her chest.
“Who’s there?” Meredith found herself calling out.
Receiving no reply, Meredith hurried along the last block, trying her best to move as quickly as she could in heels. A few moments later her house came into view, and she let out a sigh of relief as she hurried across the lawn and up to the front porch. While she was fishing out her house key, she turned to peer out into the shadows surrounding the house. She felt as if she was being watched. There was a blur of movement out of the corner of her eye. She let out a small shriek, sticking the key in the lock, unlocking the door, pulling it open, and dove inside, closing the door and locking it.
Breathing hard in fear, Meredith slowly made her way through the dark house. Peering through windows to see outside. There was someone definitely out there. She could hear them moving alongside the house, obscured by the darkness. Meredith reached out and clicked on a light to see better as she made her way over to the backdoor. She peered through the glass, nothing. There was no more movement and she couldn’t hear anything out of the ordinary. Whoever it was, she hoped they had given up and left. Or that it was some sort of prank.
“Who’s out there? You better be gone before I call the police!” she cried as she pressed against the glass of the door, her eyes scanning the backyard beyond. Suddenly, without warning, something slammed against the other side of the glass. A scream escaped Meredith’s lips as she peered through the glass at the figure that stood scant inches away, seperated by the glass of the backdoor. A black robe and hood, their face obscured. Meredith could feel the figure’s eyes burning into hers as she jerked back from the door with another scream. Who is that?! she thought to herself as her heart thundered in her chest.
She was about to grab her phone to call the police, when the figure stepped back, blending into the dark shadows of the night. Meredith panted in fear, unable to move from the spot where she stood. She wanted to move, but found herself too struck by fear to get her legs to cooperate. She wasn’t sure how much time passed, a minute or two, before she found the courage to step closer to the backdoor. She reached out with a trembling hand, going to grab the doorknob, when a figure appeared behind her. Meredith was unaware of the presence, her eyes focused in front of her.
“I’m home!” a voice said, as Meredith spun around with an earpiercing scream of horror, her eyes wide in fear.
Ruby stood behind her, her purse in her hand. She jumped, startled by Meredith’s scream.
“Whoa! I didn’t mean to scare you. What’s going on?” Ruby asked, taking in the look of fear on Meredith’s face.
“There was someone out there!” Meredith cried, pointing out the window to the darkness beyond.
A frown creased Ruby’s face. “Who was it?” she asked with concern glinting in her eyes.
“I don’t know! Someone dressed all in black. Their face was hidden. I couldn’t even tell if it was a male or female!” Meredith explained with wide eyes.
“Meredith, that sounds like the person who attacked Tammy Coleman earlier! It fits the description she gave. Didn’t you see the news?” Ruby asked.
Meredith shook her head. “I was at the library.” she explained to Ruby. She got out her phone. “Should I call the police?” she asked.
Ruby shrugged. “It could have been someone just playing a prank on you. Someone who had heard the discription on the news. Or it could have been the real thing!” she said with concern.
“I’ll call Officer Whitlow, Julie’s dad. I know he’s working on the case.” Meredith said.
“Good idea. It should be brought to his attention, prank or not.” Ruby said as she put down her purse, watching as Meredith dialed the number. An icy cold chill of fear snaked down Ruby’s back. For some reason, she had a feeling that it wasn’t someone’s idea of a sick joke. The killer had targeted Meredith, and he or she know knew where they lived.
The Cosgrove house was dark, and silent. Everyone had called it an early night, and had wandered into their rooms before ten. Olivia and Edwin had gone to bed seperately, while Skye had spent some time lying on her bed, texting Hanna until fatigue overtook her. She placed her phone aside after programming her alarm, and had slid under the covers. As soon as her head had hit the pillow, she was out like a light. She slept soundly, her dreams filled with the images of Charlie Olsen.
Skye’s room was dark, she lay under the covers. It had been about an hour since she had fallen asleep, and the room was eerily silent. The soft glow of the moon filtered through the room from a door that lead out onto the balcony. Mid-dream, Skye suddenly stirred awake. Her eyes slowly opened, hearing a noise that had woken her from her sleep. It took her a moment to realize it was her phone ringing. She muttered to herself as she shot a glance at her alarm clock. It was almost midnight. She wondered who was calling at this hour, and hoped it was Charlie. She sat up, grabbed her phone and clicked it on.
“Hello?” she said seductively into the phone.
“Hello?” a distorted voice answered on the other end of the line.
Skye frowned. “Charlie, is that you? You woke me up from my beauty sleep.” she said with a giggle escaping her lips.
“Who’s Charlie?” the voice asked. Skye frowned again as she pulled the covers back, and got to her feet.
“If this isn’t Charlie, then who is this? You woke me up and I’m a total bitch when my sleep gets disrupted.” Skye said into the telephone.
“You’re a total bitch either way. Someone should bring you down a notch or two. Maybe six feet under the ground?” the voice said maliciously.
Skye clenched her jaw. “I’m the wrong person to be making threats to.” she hissed.
“Why? Because mommy and daddy are rich? They won’t be able to save you. In fact, you’ll get to watch them die first before I have my fun with you.” the voice said with a chuckle.
Skye’s eyes widened in surprise. “Who the fuck do you think you are, threatening me and my family?” she seethed into the phone.
“Who the fuck do you think YOU are? You’re nothing more than a spoiled little bitch. You think you mean something to this town? You’re nothing more than another life I’m going to take.” the voice hissed with anger.
Skye’s heart began to beat faster in her chest. “Brad, is this you? Are you trying to scare me? Because if so, all you’re doing is pissing me off!” she seethed into the phone.
“You think this is a joke? What will you think when I slit your throat and tear your head off your shoulders?” the voice asked.
Skye couldn’t help the small shriek that escaped from her lips. “You fucking psycho! I’m over this shit!” she said in anger, disconnecting the call. She tossed her phone aside and made her way across the floor to the balcony door.
She unlocked it, turned the knob and pulled the door open, stepping out into the warm night. She took a few deep breaths, trying to calm herself down. Who was that?? she thought to herself with a frown creasing her pretty face. She could still hear the malicious voice in her ear. She tried to think of people who disliked her that much to threaten her like that. She realized the list of names was long. She wasn’t exactly a pleasant person, and she had given many people a hard time. The caller could have been anyone. For a brief moment, she wondered if the phone call had anything to do with the murders. But she pushed that thought aside. Somewhere in the distance, she heard an owl hoot. She remembered what time it was, and that she should head back to the comfort of her own bed.
Skye was unaware of the shadowy figure that stood on the sidewalk in front of the house. They were watching her as she took a glance up at the sky, oblivious to the fact that she was being watched. The black clad figure had been watching the house since the Cosgrove family had gone to sleep. They had waited, biding their time before pulling out a cellphone and dialing Skye’s number. They had threatened her, and her smart mouth had angered them. The shadowy figure felt like striking again, starting with the parents before dealing with Skye. But they decided against it. The timing wasn’t right, but eventually it would come.
With one last glance at the home, the black-clad figure slinked back into the thick shadows, dissappearing into the night.
The hours passed uneventfuly. St-Gregory’s church stood omniously silent as dawn approached. The town of West Valley would be awake shortly. But some were already awake, and the silence surrounding the church was broken with the sound of footsteps. A lone figure appeared from the street, stepping onto the curb and making their way onto the circular path in front of the church. A female figure with dark hair. Scarlett Biggs. She looked up at the building looming over her. Somewhere in the distance, an owl hooted, and a slow icy cold shiver of fear slid down Scarlett’s spine. She had no reason to be there, and yet she couldn’t figure out what had brought her there. She had woken up in bed, her husband Warren snoring next to her. She had peered at the time, a frown creasing her face. She didn’t know what had woken her, but she found herself pulling the covers back, getting to her feet.
She dressed quietly in the dark, making her way out of her bedroom and stopping to peer into the room her daughters shared. Kaitlyn and Taylor were both sleeping in their own beds. Relieved that they weren’t awake, Scarlett made her way down the stairs to the main floor of the house. She grabbed her keys, and unlocked the backdoor, exiting the house. She had closed the door behind her, knowing no one would have heard as she made her way around the side of the house to the sidewalk. For a moment she had thought of getting into the car, but feared Warren would hear and wake up from his slumber. So once she stepped onto the sidewalk, Scarlett found herself moving through the night, no particular destination in mind. She listened to the chirping of the crickets, to the warm breeze that ruffled the leaves above her head. It was a peaceful walk, and soon enough Scarlett found herself heading towards the outskirts of town.
Thick shadows danced in the wind, the chirping of the crickets getting louder. Once St-Gregory’s came into view, a frown played on Scarlett’s face. She was unsure of what lead her there, but looking up at the building, memories flashed through her mind.
She and Warren had gotten married there, three years prior. It was a wonderful ceremony they got to share with family and friends. Even though they had children out of wedlock, there was something even more special with having their daughters there at the ceremony. After exiting the church once they were married, the guests threw rice at them as the whole family got into a white limousine that had JUST MARRIED on the back window. They had then headed off to take pictures before the reception. A soft smile played on Scarlett’s lips as the bell tower began to ring. Signaling it was five o’clock in the morning. Her family wouldn’t wake up before seven, so Scarlett had plenty of time to walk back home. Yet right now, she found herself moving. Making her way across the soft grass towards the back of the church.
It was only a few days earlier that she had been there, when she had attended Mr. Jacks’ funeral. It had seemed like the whole town had been there, gathered to mourn. Scarlett still couldn’t believe he had been murdered. So far two people had lost their lives, and they were both buried in the garden behind the church. She wasn’t close to either of them, but had payed her respects by attending. No matter how uncomfortable she had felt. Warren had accompanied her, and she had held his hand tightly throughout the funeral service.
Now, Scarlett found herself standing infront of the graves, which were side by side. An uneasy feeling rumbled in the pit of her stomach. The police were nowhere near catching who was responsible for the two deaths. The killer was still out there, and Scarlett couldn’t help but throw a glance over her shoulder. Expecting to see someone looming over her, a knife in hand. But the space behind her was empty. A sigh of relief escaped her lips. She glanced up at the lightening sky. The sun would be out soon and she wouldn’t have to worry about who could have been hiding in the thick, dark shadows. Scarlett decided it was time to head home. She wanted to be back in bed by the time Warren woke up. She placed a hand on each grave stone before she turned and headed alongside the church. As she walked along the path bordered by stones and flowers, Scarlett caught sight of something out of the corner of her eye.
There was a shovel propped against the brick wall of the building. She would have thought nothing of it, she would have just assumed someone had left it out. Perhaps the caretaker. But from where she stood, she could see the red stains covering the blade of the garden implement. Scarlett found herself moving towards it for a closer look.
Scarlett looked over the shovel’s appearance with eyes widening slightly. There was dried blood staining the shovel blade. Scarlett had a flashback to hearing about Richard Jacks’ murder on the news. The reporter had said the police had suspected the elderly man had been beaten to death with a shovel, which had gone missing. But now, it seemed like she had found it. Is that the murder weapon?! Scarlett thought to herself. What was it doing there? Had the killer hid it there, thinking no one would come across it? Or was it left like that to be found? Scarlett swallowed hard, taking a look around. Had anyone seen her? She didn’t think so. There was no one in sight. She didn’t want anyone who saw her getting the wrong impression.
So she took a few steps back, her heart racing in her chest. She wondered what to do. Should she report what she saw? Or should she keep quiet? Scarlett headed across the grass, heading back for the sidewalk. A solution came to her quickly. She decided that once she got home, she would anonymously call the police station and report what she had found.
Thomas knew it was early. It was a little before eight in the morning. He had woken up, and had jumped out of bed. He had gotten dressed in a rush, and made his way out of the house. His stomach rumbled with hunger, but since he was heading downtown, he was just going to grab a bite to eat later on. He had other things on his mind as he headed down the sidewalk. He walked with determination, the sun peeking through early morning clouds in the sky above. The town of West Valley was slowly beginning to wake as Thomas approached his destination. The town library. It was already open, and Thomas wanted to take advantage of that. He knew it would be empty at this hour of the day. He crossed over the grass, making his way up the steps to the door.
He pushed it open, entering the building. There were a few people who ran the front desk, and he smiled briefly at the male sitting behind it. He got a nod in greeting. Thomas kept moving, making his way for the stairs that lead up to the second floor.
Once he reached the second floor landing, Thomas made his way through the rows of bookshelves. It was quiet there, the only noise being the gentle hum of the fluorescent lights overhead. He noticed one of the lights was flickering, shrugging softly to himself. He moved across the floor until he reached the section he was searching for. He ran a finger along the titles of the books. To the common person, using the card catalogue would be simpler to locate a book. But Thomas didn’t need that, and after a few moments of searching, he found the book he was looking for.
WEST VALLEY : A TOWN HISTORY
The title read. Thomas smiled, pulling the book off the shelf as he headed back the way he had came. Descending the stairs to the main floor, he headed to the desk to check the book out. He received a curious look from the guy behind the desk. Thomas cocked an eyebrow in response.
“This book hasn’t been taken out in a while.” the male behind the counter said. Thomas read the name tag he was wearing. NICOLAS SNOW, it revealed.
“It’s for research.” Thomas replied.
Nicolas must have accepted the explanation, he stamped the book and handed it over to Thomas. Thanking him, Thomas made his way to the door, pushing it open and stepping out into the daylight. There was a bench nearby, so Thomas made his way over to it and sat down. He opened the book, and began to read. The first chapter was about how the early settlers had come to find West Valley, and it was an interesting read. Thomas lost track of time.
“Thomas? Thomas? Hello?” a voice called his name, snapping Thomas out of this thoughts. Realizing someone was standing before him, Thomas lowered the book, getting a good look at the girl who peered at him with a slight frown creasing her face. He knew her, Robin Calloway, she had dated Campbell, his brother. Thomas blinked, surprised to see her standing there. It had been a while since he had last seen her, nearly a year. Thomas put his book aside as he got to his feet.
“Robin? I never expected to see you here at the library.” he said with a chuckle. She frowned in response.
“I was walking by and I saw you sitting. How are you!? It’s been a while!” she said with a smirk on her face.
“I know! Not since you and Campbell broke up. It’s a small town, where have you been hiding?” Thomas asked her curiously.
“Well, me and the girls travelled. We went to Spain!” she explained. Thomas knew the girls she was referring to were her four other housemates. He nodded as she continued speaking. “And I’ve been busy with getting my career going.” she told him.
“Last time I heard, you did an open mic night at Surge and there was a music producer there.” Thomas said. Robin nodded, her eyes shining in excitement.
“You remembered! Well I signed to a record label and right now we’re working on some songs and holding auditions for my backup band. Hopefully I’ll have a single out in the next few months!” she explained to Thomas.
“Oh, that’s great! I’ll keep my fingers crossed.” Thomas told her, flashing her a smile.
Robin nodded, her smile fading from her face. “So how’s Campbell?” she asked curiously.
“He’s doing fine. Busy with school.” Thomas explained.
Robin sniffed. “I heard he’s been seeing that new girl. What’s her name? Marcy?” she asked with a frown.
“Darcy. And I wouldn’t say they’re seeing each other. They hung out once or twice.” Thomas revealed to Robin.
“I heard he saved her. Her knight in shining armor!” Robin said with a giggle escaping her lips. Thomas frowned, she almost sounded cruel.
“Well she almost died. It’s a good thing he was passing by when he did!” Thomas tried to reason.
“Does he ever talk about me? I miss him, you know.” she revealed.
Thomas smiled thinly. Campbell did talk about Robin once in a while, and not in a good way. He would complain about how clingy she was, how dependent she was of him. Thomas withheld that information from her. “He’s so busy, he doesn’t have time to think!” he joked.
“You’re so funny, Thomas! I guess Campbell still doesn’t know you and I hooked up? ” she said with a wide smile playing on her lips. “While he and I were still together, no less.” she said, her attitude changing suddenly. Thomas’ eyes widened in surprise.
“You said we’d never speak of that again.” he told her, nervously glancing around.
“I’m just saying. Maybe you should make sure he and Darcy don’t get close. So I can have a second chance with him. He’ll see that I changed. You help me get her out of the picture, and I’ll make sure our little tryst stays a secret between you and me!” she explained. “Anyhoo. I got to get going. It was nice seeing you! We’ll keep in touch!” she said with a wink before walking away.
A deep frown creased Thomas’ face as he sat back down on the bench. Should I do what she says? Campbell will never forgive me if he finds out. he thought to himself.
Gwen descended the stairs, fresh out of the shower and dressed for the day. She had the morning free, but was planning on meeting Isabel for lunch. Isabel had called her, sounding serious when she told her she wanted to meet up and talk to her about something. With Marco off at work, Gwen had the day to herself, so she had agreed. She had asked Isabel if something was wrong, to which the other girl had said she would tell her when she saw her. With some time to kill, Gwen unlocked the back door, pulling it open and stepped out into the sunlight.
Gwen wondered what Isabel had to talk to her about. It must have been serious if she couldn’t talk about it over the phone. She had something she wanted to get off her chest as well. She wanted to start a family soon, but Marco wouldn’t hear of it. He hated children. He would sneer just passing them on the street. Gwen had agreed at first but now she was having second thoughts. She thought children would bring her and Marco even closer than they already were.
She knew what Marco would say. That he didn’t have the patience for children. That his job as a personal trainer was beginning to pick up. That they were both still young to start a family. With a sigh, Gwen moved across the back patio and sat down in a patio chair. A light breeze brough the scent of lilacs and Gwen couldn’t help but smile softly to herself. She was glad it was hot year round in West Valley. She didn’t like the cold. She sat back in her chair, contempt and relaxed. Gwen stood, pushing the chair back as she rose, and headed across the patio to the back door. She pulled it open and stepped inside, closing it behind her as she did so. With breakfast on her mind, she made her way into the kitchen. First, a cup of coffee, which she had every morning. She was moving over to the coffee machine when she was startled by the ringing of her phone. She pulled it out and answered the call.
“Hello?” she said into the phone. There was some static, followed by soft breathing. Gwen frowned. “Hello?” she said again.
“Hello?” said a voice on the other end of the line. Gwen didn’t recognize the voice, it sounded distorted.
“Yes?” Gwen replied, cocking an eyebrow.
“Who is this?” the distorted voice asked.
“Who are you trying to reach?” Gwen asked curiously. She took a glance at the coffee machine.
“I’m trying to reach….Brandon Covington?” the voice said.
Gwen frowned. “Very funny.” she said, rolling her eyes.
“I’m not laughing.” the voice said seriously.
“Look, I think this town has had enough with these Brandon Covington stories. People just want to live their lives and forget about what happened in the past.” Gwen told the caller.
“That’s ironic. Because someone is going to lose their life if you don’t play my game.” the distorted voice said menacingly.
Gwen’s eyes widened in surprise. “Look, whoever this is, this isn’t funny!” she said into the phone.
“If you don’t play, someone is going to die. If you play, and get the right answer, I’ll spare them. It’s a simple game. Kind of like hide and seek, you’ll like it.” the voice said with a cruel laugh.
“Stop! I’m not going to play!” Gwen cried.
“Even if you can save someone’s life? Someone you know?” the caller asked.
Gwen’s heart thundered in her chest. “Someone I know?” she repeated.
“Answer right, and they live. Are you ready? Where is the mistress of Brandon’s father, Mayor Covington?” the distorted voice asked.
Gwen thought hard. “I don’t know! They never revealed who she was!” she cried into the phone. She was telling the truth. Whoever it was, her name had been taken out of the police report and withheld from the media.
“That’s not the answer I was looking for. Lucky for you, you get to live. But I’m afraid someone you know is going to die!” the voice said on the other end of the line.
“No wait! Please!” Gwen pleaded, almost in tears.
“And the person I’m going to kill next is…” the voice said before suddenly hanging up. Gwen felt numb as she listened to the dial tone.
With the screech of tires, a car pulled up in front of Surge. The engine idling before turning off. There was a moment before the driver side door opened, and Owen stepped out onto the blacktop. He closed the car door and locked it. He took a quick look around his surroundings. Downtown was already bustling with activity even though it was only mid-morning. People came in and out of office buildings, stores and restaurants. Surge was already open, but Owen had yet to start his shift. He had come early to take care of some things for Ellie, who had still not returned to work. Clicking on the television earlier that morning, Owen was surprised to see there was new information concerning the death of Richard Jacks, Ellie’s father. An anonymous call to the police had lead them to St-Greogry’s church.
There, they had found the murder weapon of the terrible crime. A blood stained shovel. It was one hundred percent Mr. Jacks’ blood on the blade. But there were no fingerprints or any kind of DNA left behind by the killer. It brought back memories to Owen, dealing with his wife Felicia’s own death. He had found her in their kitchen, a knife stabbed in her eye. The police and the detectives had found no fingerprints or any kind of evidence left behind the killer. Whoever had commited these two horrible crimes, was making very sure they left nothing behind that could lead to them getting caught. Knowing the killer was still out there gripped Owen with an uneasy feeling.
He swallowed down the lump in his throat as he made his way across the concrete to Surge’s front door. Pulling it open, he stepped inside, letting it swing shut behind him.
There weren’t many people inside the building at this time. Which was fine by him. He could do his work in peace without worrying about being interrupted. He nodded to the bartender on duty as he made his way across the floor. Music blared from the giant speakers installed across the club. “House Every Weekend” by David Zowie. A frown creased Owen’s forehead. Felicia loved that song. She would sing and dance around every time she would hear it. He blinked back tears, willing them away. He missed Felicia so much. She was all he could think about.
A soft sigh escaped Owen’s lips as he made his way to the restroom. Ellie had said a light had burnt out, and it was on his list to replace it. First he would have to take a look at it. Reaching the restroom door, he pulled it open and stepped inside, letting the door swing shut behind him. The bang of the door startled him, causing him to jump out of his skin. Get a grip on yourself. he thought with a frown. He looked up, indeed there was a light that was burnt out. The restroom was silent and shadowy. A shiver of fear snaked down Owen’s spine. He went to turn, reaching out for the door handle when something stopped him in his tracks.
“Owen!” the whisper of a voice echoed through the small restroom. Owen frowned, and before he could protest, one of the stall doors slammed open, and a figure lunged out. There was a blur of black, and then a flash of silver. Owen’s mouth dropped open in shock as a loud scream escaped from it. A horrible scream filled with pain. As he sunk to his knees, the restroom door swung open, the black clad figure fleeing. Owen teetered dizzily before falling to the tiled floor with a thud. He lay unmoving, his eyes wide open in fear, unblinking. A knife was stabbed into his eye, the same way his wife Felicia had been killed.
Like Felicia, Owen was dead.