The cemetary. Where people came to bury their loved ones. A place of death. A reminder of how fragile the human life is. Footsteps on the dead grass. A lone figure appeared, taking in the sea of gravestones that spread out before him. They shone white in the moonlight, jutting out from the ground like crooked teeth. An owl hooted overhead somewhere in the dead trees that swayed in the wind. Warren Biggs looked around, wondering what he was doing here. Off to a distance in the purple sky, lightning flashed. Warren moved, making his way through the gravestones. His feet sank into the soft earth as he weaved his way towards his destination.
Passing by a sad looking angel statue, he thought he saw it’s face contort into a wide grin of evil. He stopped in his tracks, turned to look. Wondering if his eyes were playing tricks on him. The statue still had that sad look on it’s marble face. Warren frowned, taking a deep breath as he continued his trek. The moon floated lazily in the purple sky, an odd color considering it was a little past midnight. Something slithered past him in the grass and Warren startled, almost jumping out of his skin. A snake? he thought to himself. Above the sound of the wind, he thought he heard whispering. He looked around, was the whispering coming from inside the cemetary or was it coming from inside his head?
The whispering continued, getting louder as he neared his destination. Coming to a stop in front of a tombstone. There was no marking on the stone, but he knew that this was where his wife Scarlett had been buried. He gazed down, to the large hole in the soft earth. An open grave, red light emanating from within. A deep frown creased Warren’s forehead as a shadowy figure appeared behind him. He didn’t sense the presence right away, but heard the soft scrape of shoes against the grass. He turned quickly, his eyes wide. Underneath the cold light of the moon, stood his wife Scarlett.
Scarlett was dressed in a black gown, the gown she had been buried in. It was dirty, smeared with mud. Her skin was the color of alabaster, and her lips were painted bright crimson. Her hair was a mess of tangles, Warren could see dead leaves and worms in it. He shuddered at her appearance, crossing his arms over his chest. She was moving her mouth, trying to communicate with him, but no sound came from her lips. Instead, Warren could hear wet gurgling noises as she tried to speak. She stepped closer, revealing a wave of blood cascading from the wound across her throat. That’s how she had died, her throat had been slashed from ear to ear.
Warren had come home one night to find her lying on the dining room floor, dead. Her throat had been slashed. A message written with her blood had been left on the wall. Not only had the killer murdered Scarlett, but he had taken their daughter, Kaitlyn. She had yet to be found. Warren couldn’t take his eyes off Scarlett, who tried speaking as blood poured down the front of her dress. Suddenly, she smiled softly, pointing at Warren. No, at something just off to his side. He turned slowly to look, eyes widening in fear. There was another figure there, standing in the tall grass. His daughter, Kaitlyn.
She looked like something out of a monster movie. She wore a black party dress, dirt clinging to it. She had no pupils, her eyes shining milky white in the light of the moon overhead. Her hair a blonde mess of tangles, dirt and twigs sticking out of it. The top part of her lip was missing, exposing gums and decaying yellow teeth. She raised a hand in greeting, her fingers unnaturally long.
“Kaitlyn?” Warren called out, his eyes wide in horror at his daughter’s appearance.
“Daddy!” she replied in a sing-song voice. Suddenly, her mouth began to elongate. Stretching unnaturally wide. Warren watched at the ripple of movement underneath the skin of Kaitlyn’s neck. Suddenly, three snakes began exiting from her mouth, undulating down the front of her dress. Warren leaped out of bed with a shout before his eyes even opened. He awoke, gasping for air, his chest heaving up and down. His eyes glanced nervously around the bedroom, expecting to see the horrifying image of his daughter. It was then that he realized he had been dreaming. It had all been a nightmare.
It seemed so real. Warren thought to himself about the nightmare. He shivered, remembering how ghoulish his wife and daughter had looked. Warren clicked on the bedside lamp, feeling somewhat better with the lights on. He ticked his gaze to the side where Scarlett used to sleep, sadness glinting in his eyes. He couldn’t believe she was gone. That she had been the latest victim of the West Valley killer. It was three weeks later, and the police were upto their necks with the murder cases. There was also a missing child case linked to the murders and they were doing everything they could to get Kaitlyn home safe.
Warren was trying to be optimistic that his daughter was still alive. Surely the killer wouldn’t harm a child? Warren hoped so. He rubbed his eyes tiredly, letting out a deep sigh. He made his way across the bedroom floor, out the door and into the hallway. He padded on bare feet to his daughters’ bedroom. The door was open, in case Taylor cried out for him during the night. She was taking the death of her mother, and the disappearence of her older sister, exceptionally hard. She was just a child, but she knew her mother was never coming back, and that an evil person had taken her sister.
That night, three weeks ago, Taylor had been at a sleepover. Warren went to pick her up the following day, breaking down as he explained to her what had happened. They had sat there, in the car, holding each other, crying uncontrolably. Now, he stepped inside the room, making his way over to the bed. Taylor slept peacefully, nestled under the covers. Warren ticked his gaze to the other bed in the room. The empty bed. Kaitlyn’s bed. Please let them find her. And soon. he thought to himself. He wondered what the killer was doing to her. If he, or she, was abusing her. Or if she was being treated well.
Warren hoped it was the latter. Kaitlyn must have been terrified, being held against her will by some psychotic stranger. Did she know her mother was dead? Was she calling out for her, or for Warren? Would she try to escape? She was just a little girl, she could be overpowered easily. Warren squeezed his eyes shut tightly. Trying to will away his troubling thoughts. He bent down, and gave Taylor a soft kiss on the forehead. He straightened up, glancing again at Kaitlyn’s empty bed. Daddy loves you, Kaitlyn. And we’re going to find you. I promise. he thought to himself. He made his way out of the bedroom, and into the hallway. He made his way back to his bedroom, intent on getting back to sleep.
The sign on the building read : SOPHIE GREENE – PSYCHOLOGIST. The double glass doors opened, and Julie Whitlow entered. She took in her surroundings. The seating area was empty. The receptionist behind the desk looked up, a smile on her lips. She gave Julie the go-ahead to enter the doctor’s office. Julie thanked her, and made her way to the office door. She pulled it open, and entered. She closed the door behind her and looked around the office. Even though it wasn’t her first time there, she was impressed with all the plaques on the walls. Dr. Greene wasn’t in the office, so Julie made her way to her usual spot on the couch.
She sat down, wringing her hands in her lap. She was nervous, she didn’t know why. Could it be because she knew what they were going to talk about? It was her fourth time there, and would it be the fourth time that they were going to talk about that fateful night? She remembered it clearly. In fact, it replayed through her mind ever since it had happened. Julie knew she was traumatized. That’s why she was there to see Dr. Greene. She had found her online, called the number given, and booked an appointment.
Now, it was three appointments later. Dr. Greene still wanted to see her. It did help, talking about it. Julie could talk freely, just letting it all pour out of her. The doctor wouldn’t judge, she was there to listen. She was paid to listen. The door opened suddenly, and Sophie Greene walked into the office. She had a warm smile on her face as she went over and shook Julie’s hand. She then made her way over to her desk, turning on the computer.
“Just let me access your file.” the doctor said. She typed feverishly on the keyboard. Julie nodded, a thin smile on her face. Dr. Greene looked up, arching an eyebrow at the other girl. “You cut your hair since our last meeting!” she pointed out to Julie.
“I did. I needed a change.” Julie explained.
“Change is good. I like your hair. Very stylish.” Dr. Greene replied.
“Thank you.” Julie answered.
The doctor pushed her chair back, standing up and going to sit in the chair across from where Julie sat. “So, has anything else changed since our last meeting? Are you still dwelling on what happened?” she asked Julie.
“I am. I just can’t get it out of my head!” Julie explained. “I could have been killed!” she told the doctor, who nodded.
“Explain to me again what happened.” Dr. Greene said, her gaze serious.
Julie closed her eyes as she spoke, trying to keep her breathing steady. “After Megan left the house, I was home alone. I was watching some silly scary movie on television.” she explained. She licked her lips nervously.
“And then what happened?” the doctor asked.
“I got a text, from Megan’s phone.” Julie explained.
“What did the text say?” the doctor asked.
“That she forgot something and for me to open the door for her. So I did. And I went outside.” Julie said, swallowing hard.
“And you were attacked?” the doctor asked.
“He came out of the shadows, holding Megan’s phone.” Julie replied, a shudder running through her body as she remembered.
“How’d he get it?” Dr. Greene asked curiously, moving to sit down on the couch next to Julie, who opened her eyes.
“While she was walking to her friend’s house. He apparently jumped out of the bushes and tried to grab her, she dropped her phone and ran to her friend’s place.” Julie explained with a frown.
“So then he picked it up and text you, pretending to be your sister?” Dr. Greene asked.
Julie nodded. “He was on me so quickly, I didn’t have much time to react.” she explained.
“And you couldn’t see his face?” the doctor asked.
“No. He was in some kind of a hood. He started to strangle me.” Julie said, sniffling.
“But you were saved.” the psychologist asked.
“My dad. He’s a cop. He was working that night at the station. He knew I was going to be home alone, so he sent a patrol car to pass by our house. To check up on me.” Julie explained before taking a deep breath and continuing. “I guess they passed at the right time because they saw the killer standing over me. He heard the siren and took off running. I’ve never seen someone run that fast.” Julie remembered.
“Did they try to chase him?” the doctor asked with a frown.
“They tried, but he, or she, got away. Dissappeared into the shadows.” Julie said. “So they took me to the station, and they got my sister there too, so we would be safe.” she explained.
“But now you can’t forget that night. It’s normal. You were put in a very dangerous situation. It could have ended badly for you, but it didn’t. You have to move on, focus on other things. Look for a job, learn how to defend yourself. Take up a hobby. You were given a second chance for a reason. You should use it.” Dr. Greene told Julie.
“I’m going to. I promise.” Julie said with a small smile on her lips.
“I’d like to see you again in a week from today. Same time. We’ll see if you’ve made any progress, okay?” Dr. Greene said. Julie stood up from the couch.
“Thank you.” Julie said, shaking the doctor’s hand.
“You’re welcome. You take care, okay?” Dr. Greene said with a smile. Julie nodded, pulled open the office door, and walked out of the room. I’ve been given a second chance. Julie thought to herself as she made her way out of the building and into the sunshine.
Some time away was exactly what Darcy had needed. To get away from the madness in West Valley. To just relax and get peace of mind. She was glad to be back. Three weeks away, and she felt refreshed and energized. She had gone to visit her parents, who lived in Newcrest. They were ecstatic to see her, and when the time had come to go home, they tried talking her into moving back. It was something that Darcy thought about briefly, but decided against it. Newcrest was her old life, the one she got away from. West Valley was her home now. Even if there was a murderer on the loose.
With her heels clicking on the sidewalk, Darcy made her way downtown. It was a beautiful day, and Darcy couldn’t help but smile. It was mid-morning, and business downtown was beginning to pick up. Darcy was looking forward to opening up her store again, since it was closed while she was away. That was her destination, walking under the sun that shone brightly in a cloudless blue sky. When she had stepped out of the house, locking the door behind her, she had contemplated calling a taxi. She decided against it, wanting to get reaquainted with the town. Everything was just the way she remembered it.
She had thought now was a good time to return home. She had kept in touch with Fallon and Campbell, and they told her the good news. While the killer still hadn’t been caught, the killings had stopped. It was quiet for three weeks and people were getting back to normal. No more running inside the house once the sun went down. People could leave their doors unlocked. The townspeople of West Valley could finally breathe again, could live their lives without fear. The police were doing everything they could to search for the killer. They were also searching for Kaitlyn Biggs, to have her returned safely home. Darcy hoped they found her. I can’t imagine what Warren is going through. she thought to herself.
She had been surprised to hear that Scarlett had been killed. She had been the latest victim of the West Valley killer. Darcy didn’t know Scarlett that well, but she would have never expected her to get murdered. She had sent Warren a bouquet of flowers for the funeral. Just to be nice. Darcy had the urge to leave Newcrest for the day and attend the funeral, but something held her back. Perhaps it was because she was contempt with her peace of mind. She didn’t want to get thrown back into the chaos that had started when she had moved to West Valley.
She pushed those thoughts away as she reached her destination. She looked up at her store. Business had been going well. Which is why she was able to close it for three weeks. She had meant to only go away for a few days, but the way she was feeling, how relaxed she felt, had kept her in Newcrest for a few more weeks. She didn’t even have to worry about running into Shawn and Amy. Her ex-fiancee and her best friend, who were sleeping with each other. Who Darcy had caught. Last she heard, Amy was pregnant with Shawn’s child. She had briefly worried running into them since they still lived in Newcrest, but had found out that they had recently moved away.
Darcy didn’t know where they had gone. And she didn’t care. She was happy, she was alive, things were looking up. Things with Campbell were going better. Before she had left, she had been confronted by his ex girlfriend, Robin. She had threatened Darcy to stay away. That had been the final straw, that had made Darcy head back to Newcrest. She and Campbell spoke every day for those three weeks she was away. She couldn’t wait to see him later on in the day. It brought a smile to her lips, her eyes shining with excitement. That’s when a voice snapped her out of her thoughts.
“What’re you so happy about?” the voice asked. Darcy looked up. Standing before her was a familiar face, her friend Fallon. The other girl had an amused smirk playing on her lips. Darcy’s eyes lit up. She rushed forward, and the two girls hugged.
“Fallon! It’s great to see you!” Darcy said, pulling away.
“It’s great to see you! What were you smiling about?” Fallon asked.
“Just glad to be back!” Darcy explained.
“When did you get in?” Fallon asked.
“Last night! How did you know I was back? Did Campbell tell you?” Darcy asked with a soft chuckle escaping her lips.
“No, actually! I was just on my way to pick up some cupcakes from the bakery.” Fallon explained. “And then I saw you here, of course I came to say hello!” she continued.
“It was fate!” Darcy joked.
Fallon laughed in response. She glanced at the building. “Going back to work, huh?” she asked.
Darcy nodded. “It was nice getting a break, but now it’s back to reality!” she explained to Fallon.
“Got to make that money!” Fallon replied with a laugh. “Anyway, I won’t keep you. But let’s try to get together, okay? If not tonight, maybe tomorrow?” she asked Darcy.
“For sure! I’ll keep you updated!” Darcy said. The two girls hugged again, and then waved as Fallon walked off. Darcy watched her go for a moment before she turned back towards the store. She fished out her keys and made her way to the doors. She stuck the key in the lock, turning it. The door unlocked as she pulled out the keys and pulled the door open. She clicked on the lights, letting the door close behind her. She took a glance around. Everything was just the way she had left it. A soft smile played on her lips.
She had taken a few steps forward when the ringing of her phone startled her. With a sigh, she fished her phone out. She clicked it on, bringing it up to her ear.
“Hello?” she said into the phone.
“Welcome back, Darcy.” a distorted voice said from the other end of the line. Darcy recognized the voice. The voice of the killer. But she wasn’t scared.
“Why am I not surprised it’s you?” she asked with a frown.
An omnious laugh rang out from the other end of the line. “I gave you a break. I was a good boy.. or girl..for three whole weeks. No killing, no phone calls.” the killer replied.
“What, do you want a medal for that?” Darcy asked sarcastically.
“But I heard you were back. I just had to see how you’re doing.” the voice said, ignoring Darcy’s attitude.
“I was doing fine until you called.” she told him.
“I couldn’t help myself. I missed you.” the voice said with a chuckle.
“The feeling’s NOT mutual.” Darcy replied.
“Whoa! You go away and come back with a backbone. Let’s see how long that lasts. I’m going to make a move, Darcy. You’re back in town, which means we can get back to playing the game.” the killer explained.
“I’m a little too old for games.” Darcy snarked back.
“I’m not. So here’s how the game goes. Who am I going to kill next?” the killer asked.
“No one. Because the cops will find your pathetic, sorry ass!” Darcy seethed into the phone.
“Wrong answer. Let’s hope the next one to die isn’t you!” the killer said with an evil laugh before hanging up.
Darcy put the phone away. She felt more worried than scared. They need to find this maniac. This town has seen enough death. Darcy thought to herself with a frown creasing her pretty face.
The Workman house was quiet. There was no sign of life. Hanna and Quintin were both at school, and Stephanie’s whereabouts were unknown. If she was home, there was no sign of it. Somewhere in the distance, a clock ticked softly. The morning was over, and now it was a little past noon. Suddenly, the silence of the house was broken by the sound of a key turning in a lock. The front door opened, and Hanna stepped inside the entryway. She closed the door, locking it behind her as she dropped her backpack to the floor with a sigh. School had let out early, which she was glad about.
She would have been happier if she hadn’t had to come home right away after school let out. Skye was getting together with a few people, including Paul Hathaway, and had invited Hanna to come. Hanna would have gone, if she didn’t have to go home and check on how her mother was doing. Skye had pouted and begged her to come along, but Hanna declined. She was surprised Skye didn’t make a smart-mouthed remark about it. I guess she’s being sympathetic, after everything that happened. Hanna thought to herself as she made her way into the kitchen.
She made her way to the fridge, pulling it open. She scanned the contents inside until she pulled out a pitcher of lemonade. She placed it on the counter, making her way over to a cupboard. She pulled it open, grabbed a tall glass, and made her way back to the counter. She poured the lemonade into the glass, and took a long sip. She frowned, she couldn’t believe she passed up an opportunity to spend time with Paul. Her makeover had helped, just like Skye said it would, and he had noticed Hanna. He had told her how he liked her new look. She had squealed with excitement inside, but played it cool in front of him. Putting the pitcher back in the fridge, Hanna made her way to gaze out the kitchen window.
Stephanie was doing a little better. It was almost a week now that she had been home from the hospital. Hanna thought back to that afternoon she had found her. Stephanie was lying in bed, out cold. Her pulse very faint, an empty bottle of pills on her nightstand. Hanna had called 911, and the paramedics had come in less than five minutes. Hanna rode in the back of the ambulance with them, not before dropping Quintin off at the Jacks’ household. They got to the hospital, rushing into the emergency room where doctors and nurses fussed over Hanna’s mother.
They had pumped her stomach of the pills, and once she was in the clear, sent her upstairs to her own room to recupperate. She slept most of the time, Hanna sitting at her bedside, her eyes wide, anxious. When Stephanie had woken up, and saw Hanna staring back at her, she had began to sob. She apologized many, many times. Stating that the death of her husband had drove her to depression. She didn’t want to accept the fact that he was truly gone. Hanna had hugged her mother, clinging to each other as they sobbed in each other’s arms. Stephanie had promised that once she got out of the hospital, she would focus on getting better. She had even gone to see a psychologist, Dr. Greene.
“I thought I heard the door.” a voice said from behind her. Hanna turned to see her mother standing in the kitchen doorway. She looked much better than the day before. She was dressed in street clothes, casual, with makeup and jewelry on.
“Mom! I thought you were sleeping!?” Hanna asked with a small smile on her lips.
“I was. Before. I was just sitting in bed reading a book when I heard the door. You’re home early.” Stephanie said, a slight frown on her face.
“We had a half day today.” Hanna explained to her mother. “How are you doing?” she asked, going over to give her mother a hug.
“Feeling less and less tired. The nap helped. You finished school early and didn’t go do something with your friends?” Stephanie asked curiously, a small smile on her lips.
“I can hang out with them another time.” Hanna replied, rolling her eyes.
“You don’t have to worry about me. I’ll be fine.” Stephanie said, brushing Hanna’s hair away from her face. “And again, I like your new look. You’re growing up.” she said admiringly.
“Well, I am fifteen.” Hanna replied.
“Growing up!” Stephanie repeated. “Your father would love your look too.” she said wistfully. “I have an idea, though!” she told Hanna.
“What is it?” she asked her mother curiously.
“Let’s go pick up your brother when his school lets out. And then I’ll take you both for ice cream! How does that sound? You can drive!” she told Hanna.
Hanna’s eyes widened in excitement. “Who are you, and what have you done with my mother?” she joked.
Stephanie laughed as they walked out of the kitchen.
Gwen hummed to herself she made her way down the sidewalk. The sun had began to set in the sky, puffy grey clouds threatening to bring rain. Gwen wanted to get inside the house before the downpour. She was returning from downtown, where she and Isabel had got together for a cup of coffee and some cupcakes. Gwen would have brought some home for Marco, but he was not home, he was at work for the evening. Gwen feared she would have eaten all the cupcakes to herself, so she had decided not to pick any up to bring home.
Gwen and Isabel had a good time. Isabel seemed to be doing better now that she discovered she wasn’t actually pregnant. She joked around and gossiped with Gwen while they sat at a table, sipping coffee and wolfing down cupcakes of assorted flavors. Gwen felt better herself, as well. Three whole weeks had passed without any sign of the killer. Sure, she still thought about Owen’s death, but it wasn’t something constantly on her mind as it had been a month earlier. People seemed to be moving on with their lives, and Gwen wanted to do the same.
Gwen looked up as she reached the house. She pulled out her keys, making her way over to the front door. She went to stick the key in the lock, when the door swung open. Gwen frowned, puzzled. Didn’t I lock this when I left? she thought to herself. She stepped through the doorway, closing the door and locking it behind her. She listened carefully, the house was quiet. Silently, she moved into the living room, her eyes scanning her surroundings, her shoulders tense.
Everything seemed normal. She relaxed, letting out a breath. Yet something nagged at the back of her mind. I’m positive I locked the front door when I left. she thought to herself. She knew that people were feeling safer now. Gwen did too, but she wouldn’t just leave the door unlocked like that. She wasn’t taking any chances. Anyone could just walk in. With a shrug, Gwen headed for the couch. Before she could sit down, her phone rang, breaking the silence of the house.
Gwen pulled out her phone, eyeing it warily before she answered.
“Hello?” she said into the phone.
“You home yet?” a voice asked from the other end of the line. Gwen frowned.
“Isabel? What’s up? Is everything alright?” she asked.
“Everything’s fine. I just forgot to tell you something, earlier.” Isabel explained.
“What is it?” Gwen asked, arching an eyebrow.
“You’ll never guess who just moved to West Valley!” Isabel said in excitement.
“Umm.. It’s not Johnny Depp, is it?” Gwen asked with a chuckle.
“I wish! No, it’s Faye Abernathy!” Isabel explained from the other end.
“Faye Abernathy? The famous podcaster?” Gwen asked.
“The very one!” Isabel explained.
“She’s really moved on up! I remember when she first started out as a commentator on Who Wore It Better?” Gwen replied.
“She started from the bottom, now she’s here!” Isabel joked with a slight chuckle. “Anyway, she rented out an extra room at Ellie’s!” she told Gwen.
“Oh wow, she’s staying with Ellie!?” Gwen replied curiously.
“We’ll probably get to meet her!” Isabel said. Before Gwen could reply, she heard a noise. She stopped, lowering the phone from her ear. Isabel was still talking. Gwen looked up towards the ceiling. Sounds like it came from upstairs. she thought to herself. She brought the phone back up to her ear.
“I’ll call you back, okay? Something came up.” she told Isabel.
“Everything okay?” Isabel asked.
“I’ll call you back.” Gwen repeated.
Hanging up, she slid the phone into her pocket and made her way out of the living room. She stopped at the bottom of the stairs, gazing up to the second floor landing. She bit down nervously on her lip before she made her way up the stairs. She reached the second floor landing. She tiptoed to the bedroom she shared with Marco, peeking her head in. The room was empty, just the way she had last seen it.
Gwen ignored the beating of her heart as it picked up pace inside her chest. She moved across the hall to another bedroom door. A guest room, the door was closed. She stood outside the room, listening. It sounded like there was movement coming from Inside the room. Was that where the noise came from? Is there someone in there? Gwen thought to herself. She couldn’t bring herself to reach out for the doorknob.
Inside the room, a black clad figure stood. Listening carefully. They knew the girl was right outside the door in the hallway. Would she find the courage to enter? He could just imagine her reaction when she did. Her eyes would go wide, she would scream. She would probably slam the door shut or turn and run. But he was ready. He would pounce once the door opened. He waited, eyeing the door in anticipation. His eyes ticked to the second floor balcony doors. If he caught her, pushing her through the glass would cause too much noise, it would probably alert the neighbours. If he through her over the balcony, the fall would injure her, but probably not cause much damage. He contemplated, as the doorknob to the room turned slowly.
Gwen pushed the door open and stepped through the doorway into the room. She frowned, the room was empty. From where she stood, she could see the balcony doors were open. A shiver of fear snaked down her spine. Before she could make her way to the balcony doors, something caught her eye. She turned towards the wall. There was a message, scrawled in red. Gwen’s breath caught in her throat as she stared at the writing on the wall, wide eyed.
Dawn felt sick to her stomach. She didn’t know how she was able to keep quiet for three weeks. Did her mother even realize why she couldn’t look her in the eye when they spoke? She never had even asked if something was bothering Dawn. It was three weeks later after Dawn had found the stack of letters in the basement storage room. Love letters, written by Stuart Covington. It had come as a shock to find out Regina Olsen and the ex-mayor of West Valley were having an affair. Regina had kept it a secret for twenty years. Twenty years. How didn’t mom’s concience eat away at her? Dawn thought with a deep frown creasing her face.
Dawn’s own concience was eating away at her. She couldn’t keep it in much longer. She had to tell her mother that she knew her secret. And that she was so ashamed. Regina was the reason why Emma Covington was dead. She had walked in on her husband and his mistress. She was the reason why Emma fled the house with Brandon, driving through the rainstorm. It had ended in tragedy, the car had crashed through the bridge, plunging into the river below. Emma had died instantly, while Brandon was able to make it to the shore. Dawn had heard the story many times before, it stunned her that her family had a connection to it.
Dawn took a deep breath. Her mother was home, sitting on the couch. She and Dawn were the only one’s home. Claire and Michael had taken Charlie and Finn to go see a movie. They would be home shortly, since it was a school night. No better time than the present. Dawn thought to herself. She made her way into the living room, sitting down next to her mother on the couch. She couldn’t look at her.
“You must be enjoying the peace and quiet tonight!” Regina said, a slight chuckle escaping her lips.
“They’ll be home soon.” Dawn replied simply. She was nervous, butterflies fluttering around in her stomach.
With all the courage she could muster, she turned to look at her mother. “Mom, I need to talk to you.” Dawn said. Regina turned, cocking an eyebrow in her daughter’s direction.
“Talk to me about what?” she asked curiously.
“Do you remember the photo album I was working on?” Dawn asked.
“You finished it. It came out wonderful, didn’t it?” Regina asked with a smile.
All things aside, it had come out pretty great. Dawn was proud of the finished product. “It did.” Dawn replied.
“So what do you want to talk to me about?” her mother asked.
“While I was looking through the boxes for pictures, I came across.. letters. Love letters, from Stuart Covington, to you.” Dawn explained.
Regina paled, her eyes wide in surprise. “You read them?” she asked Dawn.
“A few. Enough to know about the affair. Mom, is it true? You were Mayor Covington’s mistress?” Dawn asked, a deep frown etched on her face.
“Oh, god. I didn’t realize that’s where I stored them.” Regina said.
“Mom! I asked you something! Is it true?” Dawn cried.
Regina lowered her head in shame. “Yes, it’s true.” she said softly.
Dawn jumped to her feet. “You’ve been keeping this secret for twenty years! How could you? How could you do that to dad?!” Dawn cried.
Regina shrugged. “I’m not perfect, okay?? I screwed up. I met Stuart at a town meeting and he was just so charming.” she explained.
“That doesn’t give you the right to jump into bed with him!” Dawn replied, crossing her arms over her chest.
“He was bored of his wife! And I felt your father and I were just stuck in the same old routine. I wanted some adventure in my life, some excitement!” Regina revealed.
“Well you could have found that by going on a safari. Not cheating on your husband!” Dawn said, her eyes flashing with anger.
Regina looked down in shame, letting out a deep sigh. “I know. I’m sorry.” she told Dawn.
“And what about the concequences? Did dad find out about the affair?” Dawn asked.
Regina shook her head. “I was going to tell him, but it was too late.” she said sadly. “He died before I could tell him.” she revealed.
Dawn sniffled, blinking back tears. “If I would have found out sooner, I would have told him myself!” she told Regina.
Her mother nodded. “You always did the right thing.” she told Dawn.
“I must have gotten that from my father.” Dawn replied coldly. “Don’t you see what your affair caused? If it had never happened, Emma Covington and the mayor would still be alive today. Maybe Brandon wouldn’t have gone crazy and splatter movie killed his own father!” she explained.
Regina stood up from the couch, rubbing her temples. “Stop! I can’t do this. I’m done talking for the night.” she explained, walking away. “I’m going to my room.” she told Dawn. She pulled open the door, and stepped inside the bedroom, closing the door behind her. Dawn stood in the living room, shaking her head in disbelief.
With a sigh, Regina turned on the bedroom light, and froze. She focused on the black clad figure that stood in her room, standing in front of the open window. Her eyes widened in fear, her mouth opening to scream as her heart thundered in her chest. There was a blur of movement as the figure was upon her.
Dawn was still standing by the couch, about to turn away, when she heard a loud crash coming from her mother’s room. What is she doing, trashing her room? she thought to herself. She listened. It was silent now. No other noise was coming from the bedroom. Dawn took a step forward. And then another. With a sigh she made her way over to the closed bedroom door. She stuck her ear against the door and listened. Still nothing. She frowned again and rapped against the door with her hand. No reply. Dawn gripped the doorknob, and turned, pushing the door open. She stuck her head in the room. No sign of her mother. She stepped through the doorway, into the dark room.
She clicked on the ceiling light, her eyes focusing on the open bedroom window. Her gaze ticked to the shattered lamp on the floor by the night table. So that was the crash. she thought to herself with a frown. Dawn turned towards the en-suite bathroom when she saw it. She blinked a few times, trying to process what she was looking at. Her mouth opened, closed. She took a step back, a small gasp escaping her lips. Her knees buckled, and for a moment Dawn thought she was going to collapse.
“M..m…mom?” she was able to stammer, her heart jackhammering in her chest. She stared down at the floor, at the pools of blood on the wood floor. This isn’t real. That’s not actually my mom’s.. she trailed off, mid thought. Her mouth opened again, and an ear-shattering scream erupted from it. She gripped the sides of her head as she screamed, and screamed, and screamed. Screaming her throat raw, gazing down at the grisly sight on the floor before her. At her mother’s decapitated head.
Warren couldn’t sleep again. He had dozed off for a few moments, but woke suddenly with a start. He found himself gasping for air. He lay back down, his head against the pillow, staring up at the ceiling. Trying to calm himself. He grew restless, and slid out from the bed. He sat down in the arm chair, gazing out the window at the moon. He shifted uncomfortably, and with a sigh, got to his feet. He crossed the floor of the bedroom, and stepped out into the upstairs hallway. Taylor was fast asleep in the other room. He didn’t bother going to check on her.
Something in his subconcious was telling him not to. He knew she was safe. All the doors and windows in the house were locked. It made him feel a little better as he stood out in the hallway. He sighed, and made his way to the stairs.
Descending the stairs, he reached the main floor. He headed into the kitchen. Warren made his way over to the fridge, pulling it open and peering inside. Maybe some food will help keep my mind off things. he thought to himself. He reached into the fridge, pulling out a container of potato salad. He placed it down on the counter, going to grab a plate. That’s when he heard something. He stopped, listening. It sounded like something was out on the front porch. Warren walked slowly, carefully, out of the kitchen and into the downstairs hallway. He peered at the front door, taking slow, quiet steps towards it.
That’s when he heard the soft crying from outside. Warren’s breath caught in his throat as he made his way over to the front door. He unlocked it, sliding off the chain as he grabbed the doorknob. He pulled the door open, his eyes wide. There, standing before him, was a sight he prayed he would see again. His heart jumped, staring at the person who stood outside crying. Tears of joy ran down Warren’s cheeks. It’s her. It’s really her! he thought to himself. She looked a mess, but otherwise fine. She was dressed in a white robe. She looked over at him, relieved to see him after all that time away.
“Daddy!!” she cried between tears. It was his daughter, Kaitlyn. He didn’t know how, but she was finally home.