The Talley house. It was once the home of Owen and Felicia. A cozy, welcoming home where the couple lived. Many joyous moments had happened there. Parties, dinners, barbecues, dips in the backyard pool. The Talleys were known around the neighbourhood, they had many friends. Felicia was an outgoing, active girl who got along with almost everyone. Her husband, Owen, was more reserved and self assured with a love for the outdoors. Their friends in the town of West Valley used to love going over to their house. However, one night changed all of that. No longer was the house warm and welcoming. Not since the night Felicia was murdered inside her own kitchen.
Owen had found her, lying on the kitchen floor, a knife stabbed into her eye. Blood was splattered all over the kitchen floor. Owen was never fully over the brutal death of his wife, when tragedy struck again. Owen himself, had been killed. Murdered the same way as Felicia. The house was then abandoned. People would cross the street to avoid it, as if it was cursed. It wasn’t before long that a FOR SALE sign was staked into the overgrown grass. The people of West Valley wondered just who would buy the house. Who wouldn’t be scared away when they had found out what had happened to the previous owners?
They had gotten their answer four days earlier. A new couple had moved into the Talley house. It was news, along with the death of Harrison Whitlow. That was bigger news. Most of the town was more focused on the fact that there had been another murder. The West Valley killer had struck again and had claimed his eighth victim. Shawn Evans and Amy Rayburn had moved there for several reasons. The first, being that Amy was pregnant with Shawn’s child. She was on almost three months along now. She was excited. She couldn’t wait to be a mother. The second reason, was that they wanted to start a life away from Newcrest. Away from the prying eyes of people who watched them, who judged them.
Shawn had once been engaged to Darcy Adkins. Amy was Darcy’s best friend. Darcy had no idea that she and Shawn were sneaking behind her back. It had started innocent enough. They flirted, sending each other texts. It bloomed into something more. Amy thought Shawn was cute, and one night, when they were spending time together while Darcy was at work, Shawn had kissed her. Amy was surprised at first, and then found herself liking it. The kissing turned into something more physical. Amy felt bad about it at first, but Darcy didn’t seem to have a clue what was going on, so they continued their tryst.
Amy had almost told Darcy a few times, but Darcy was more focused on planning her wedding to Shawn. All that changed one fateful afternoon. Shawn and Amy were in bed fooling around, when Darcy walked in. She had come home early from work. Amy would never forget the look on her face. How her eyes widened, her face turning tomato red. How her body shook before she started screaming and crying and throwing things around the room. Amy and Shawn had both tried to calm her down, but she kept on, going as far as throwing Shawn’s clothes out the bedroom window where they fluttered to the ground below. Amy had gotten dressed and had gotten out of there as fast as possible.
After that, Darcy wouldn’t even look at them. And before they knew it, she was gone. She had left Newcrest. They had no idea where she had gone. Amy was surprised about that. She was also surprised at the morning sickness she began having. Before long, Amy discovered she was pregnant with Shawn’s baby. When she told Shawn, he was surprised as she was. He had told her that now that Darcy was gone, they could still be together and focus on the baby that was on the way. But people, particularly Darcy’s mom who still lived in town, was snooping on them. Amy was sure that the older woman was going back to Darcy and giving her info.
Shawn and Amy decided maybe it was better if they moved. If they could start their new lives elsewhere. If Darcy had left, why couldn’t they? They began house hunting. A few days later, they had been watching television when they had seen news on an attack in West Valley. They were surprised that they knew the girl who had been blinded. It was Tammy Coleman, and Shawn remembered she was friend’s with Darcy. He found her number and had called her up to see how she was doing. She explained how she had been in West Valley, and how Darcy was living there now. She explained that she had been with Darcy when she had been attacked. After hanging up, Shawn turned to Amy and told her how they were going to move to West Valley.
They were finally there. They had bought the Talley house and moved in. Shawn had gone looking for Darcy, and had found her. He happened to come across Meredith, who was nice enough to give him Darcy’s address. He went over there, Amy deciding to stay away for now. She had stayed at home and worked on the decorating of the house. When Shawn came back, his eyes were full of excitement. He laughed at how Darcy had reacted. She looked like a deer in the headlights, uttering a few words before she slammed the door shut in his face. Amy didn’t find that particularly funny, but Shawn couldn’t stop talking about it.
Even now, four days later, Amy hadn’t come across Darcy yet. She stood in the kitchen, taking a look around, they were finally settled in. She ignored the fact that, a few feet from where she stood, was where Felicia’s body had been discovered. Home sweet home. Amy thought to herself with a small smile on her lips as she rubbed her stomach. She was hoping the baby would be a girl. She’d find out the sex soon. She peered out the window, to the darkness beyond. A full moon hung lazily in the black velvet sky. She turned as the backdoor opened, and Shawn entered. He smiled, closing the door behind him and locking it.
“The new pool pump has been put in, and the shed is all set up.” he told her, his eyes shining with excitement.
“Great! I can’t wait to swim!” Amy told him as they made their way to the kitchen table. They sat down, getting comfortable in their chairs.
“So you haven’t seen Darcy yet, have you?” Shawn asked her curiously.
“No! But I did meet one of her friends. Scott something-or-other.” she explained to Shawn.
“Yeah that Meredith girl I met is a friend of her’s too. Darcy’s always been a friendly one.” Shawn revealed.
“I don’t know. I guess I’m kind of scared to run into her. I mean, she did ask me to be her maid of honor. And then her fiancee ran off with me.” Amy said, wringing her hands nervously in her lap.
“Darcy’s all talk. You should know that by now. All bark, no bite!” Shawn said with a cruel laugh escaping his lips.
“Well, I did hear she owns a clothing store downtown. Maybe I’ll stop by tomorrow. I just don’t want to get punched in the face.” Amy said with a frown creasing her face.
“Are you kidding? Darcy? Punch you? She’s scared of her own shadow.” Shawn explained.
“And yet she’s still living here where a murderer is on the loose. If she was scared of her own shadow, she would have split a while ago. Maybe she’s changed.” Amy told Shawn. I know what her reaction was to seeing Shawn. What is she going to do when she sees me? she thought to herself, swallowing down the lump in her throat.
“I wouldn’t worry. What can she do now? We’re here. We’re together with a baby on the way. She just needs to get over it. And she will. Just give it some time.” Shawn reassured her with a wink.
“I don’t know. After what we did, she has every right to hate us.” Amy replied.
“I told you not to worry! It’s not good for the baby.” Shawn told her before changing the subject. “So have you come up with any names?” he asked her.
Amy smiled and nodded. It was still so surreal to her that she was going to have a baby. That there was a life growing inside her. They had nearly seven months to prepare for the baby’s arrival. “Caleb, if it’s a boy. And Madison, if it’s a girl.” she revealed to Shawn.
“I like those names! I’m excited to be a father.” Shawn told her.
“I’m excited too. And also a little nervous. I don’t know the first thing about being a parent!” Amy said, chuckling softly.
“We’ll figure it out as we go. I’ll help you, I promise. I’m not going to be one of those deadbeat dads.” Shawn replied with a soft smile on his face.
“You better not be! I’ll kill you!” she joked, a laugh escaping her lips.
“In that case, I’ll behave!” he told her with a laugh, holding his hands up in mock surrender. He pushed his chair back and got to his feet. “I hear we have a new big screen that’s ready to be used. Let’s go watch some tv.” he told Amy. With a smile, she got to her feet and followed him out of the kitchen.
The rest of the night passed without any interruptions. Soon the moon was replaced by the sun as it slowly began to rise in the sky. Faye was already up and dressed, making her way out of the house. The rest of the Jacks family was still sleeping, they would be waking soon. Faye walked down the sidewalk, familiarizing herself with the town. She took in her surroundings. By the looks of it, you would never guess a killer was on the loose here. she thought to herself. She made her way towards her destination, the scent of fresh morning dew invading her senses. She took in a deep breath, a smile on her lips.
If she was going to get some answers, she had to do it where there were no distractions. Somewhere she could work, where she could hope to find something that perhaps the police had missed. She thought the library was the perfect place to do it. She could work the microfiche machine and search the internet for anything that could lead her to the killer’s identity. It wasn’t before long she found herself standing in front of the building. She wasn’t too sure what time it opened, and hoped that the doors would already be unlocked. With another glance around, she made her way up the walkway and up the steps to the double glass doors.
She pulled on the handle, and the doors swung open easily. Another smile played on Faye’s lips as she made her way inside the library. From what she could see, the building was almost empty. That was fine by her and she made her way into the history section. It wasn’t long before she found a book about the history of West Valley. She pulled it open, and began skimming through the pages. She was at it for a few minutes before she put the book back where she had gotten it. Dissapointment flashed in her eyes. Nothing inside the book was of use to her. It was a book about the history of the town and not about the first families who had come to settle there.
She moved on, making her way towards the stairs that lead upto the second floor, where the computers were. She stopped, turned with a frown when she heard someone calling her name. There was a girl who stood before her, a mix of excitement and concern in her gaze. “Hello?” Faye said to the other girl.
“Sorry to bother you, Ms. Abernathy. I just wanted to introduce myself. I’m Fallon McQueen.” the other girl explained.
Faye reached over and shook Fallon’s hand. “Nice to meet you. Your name is Fallon? Ellie mentioned you, I think.” she explained.
“I heard your staying at the Jacks house. Do you really think your podcast will help catch the killer?” Fallon asked curiously.
“I’m hoping so. That’s why I moved to West Valley.” Faye explained to the other girl.
“Have you ever thought that maybe it could be Brandon Covington?”Fallon asked.
“Now I remember! Yes, you’re Fallon! Ellie mentioned that you think Brandon is behind the murders.” Faye remembered.
“It’s a theory I have. I think it could be possible.” Fallon explained.
“Well, I was about to head upstairs to do some research on the computer, why don’t you join me?” she asked Fallon.
“Sure! That’d be great.” Fallon replied. They headed together to the stairs, ascending them to the second floor landing. Once they were on the second floor, they made their way over to the rows of tables where the computers were. Faye slid into a seat while Fallon stood. “How are you going to start your search?” Fallon asked curiously.
“Well, I was thinking of going to the source. I’ll search Brandon’s parents first. Since they created a monster.” Faye explained, typing quickly on the keyboard.
“They’re both dead.” Fallon pointed out.
“So I’ll search for their obituaries.” Faye answered, pressing a few keys before the page she wanted came up on the computer screen. She leaned in close and read, the screen reflecting on her glasses. Her eyes widened a little as she pulled back, and turned to look at Fallon. “I think I found something!” she said, excitement in her tone.
“What? That quickly? You are good!” Fallon replied, her eyes shining.
“So listen to this. I found Emma Covington’s death announcement. Her name was Emma Wiles before she married Mayor Covington. In the announcement it says she’s survived by her husband, her son Brandon, and her sister Shannon.” Faye explained to Fallon.
“So what does that mean?” Fallon asked with a frown creasing her pretty face.
“That means I’m going to do a search for Shannon Wiles.” Faye replied, typing again on the keyboard. A page came up on the screen that made Faye smile widely. “Check this out. I found her! She’s some hot shot lawyer in Oasis Springs! This is her website. And there’s a phone number!” Faye cried excitedly.
“You’re going to call her? What are you going to say?” Fallon asked, her eyes wide.
“Well, she’s Brandon’s aunt! She must know if he is still alive or not, right?” Faye asked before continuing. “If he did die, they would have to contact his next of kin. And she’s it!” she explained to Fallon.
“Oh my god! You’re right! Call her! Call her now!” Fallon said with excitement.
Faye smiled, pulling out her phone. She peered at the number on the computer screen before punching it on her phone. She brought it to her ear, waiting as the phone rang. After the second ring, someone picked up.
“This is Shannon Wiles, attorney at law. How may I help you?” a cheerful voice answered from the other end of the line.
“Hello. My name is Faye Abernathy. I’m a podcaster, and I was wondering if I can ask you a few questions?” Faye asked politely.
“I’m a little pressed for time, but sure. I think I can spare a minute or two.” Shannon replied.
“Wonderful! Thank you so much! I’m calling from West Valley, surely you’ve heard about the murders that have been going on here?” Faye asked.
There was a pause of silence on the other end. “Yes, yes I have.” Shannon finally replied.
“Well, some people believe that your nephew, Brandon, may be behind it. I was just wondering if you can clarify that. Is Brandon still around? Or did he pass away?” Faye asked curiously. There was another pause of silence. For a moment, Faye thought Shannon had hung up on her. “Hello?” she said with a frown. Fallon looked at her curiously.
Suddenly, there was a bellow of rage from the other end of the line. “How dare you! How dare you call me! Let me live my life! Let the past stay in the past! Don’t EVER call me again!” Shannon yelled. Faye sputtered before the phone was slammed down on the other end, and the dial tone rang in her ear. Faye turned to look at Fallon with wide eyes.
“What did she say?” Fallon asked with a frown.
“I…don’t think she’s going to.. talk to us.” Faye replied.
“What? Why?!” Fallon asked.
“She went apeshit when I mentioned Brandon.” Faye explained. She could still hear the woman’s voice in her ear, could still hear the rage in it.
“Are you serious? She’s not going to help us?” Fallon asked.
“She’s not, no. We’re on our own.” Faye replied, a frown on her face.
It was mid morning when the bus stopped downtown. It pulled up in front of the curb with a loud screech from it’s tires. The engine idled loudly as the doors opened with a hiss. A lone figure stepped out onto the concrete, scanning their surroundings. It was a woman, she seemed to be in her late thirties, early fourties. She seemed out of place, standing on the curb in front of the bus that had NEWCREST as it’s destination. She had no luggage on her, no overnight bag or even a purse. With a loud rumble, the bus sped away and the woman took a few steps forward, her heels clicking against the concrete.
As people passed her on the sidewalk, they didn’t give her a second glance. She was a little nervous that someone would recognize her. Butterflies fluttered in her stomach as she took a deep breath. It had been a while since she had last been in West Valley. From where she stood, she recognized the buildings that had been so familiar to her. And yet it felt like she was in a foreign land. As if she was seeing the town for the first time. Has it been that long? she thought to herself. She couldn’t help feeling uncomfortable, a frown creasing her face. She began walking, looking at the buildings around her.
Sadness glinted in her eyes as she peered into store windows. She stopped to look at her reflection. At the way her mouth curled down in a frown. It was as if there was a heavy weight on her shoulders. She sniffled, and kept moving, making her way past shops and restaurants, the sun shining above her. The nice weather did nothing for her mood. Maybe she would feel better once she had reached her destination. The thought of it made her stomach swirl nervously. Would she be welcomed back with open arms? I doubt that. she thought to herself.
Hearing about the murders had made her drop everything. She felt like she was needed in West Valley. A seven hour plane trip had brought her back to the states. And then a four hour bus ride had brought her back to town. She couldn’t believe that people were dying, that there was a serial killer on the loose. She didn’t know all the victims, but she knew a few. One of them, she knew very well. Almost as well as she knew herself. She didn’t want to believe that they were actually gone. They would never be coming back. She worried about the people that they had left behind.
A wave of sadness came over her. She blinked back tears as she walked, making her way towards the suburbs.
Meanwhile, Jeremy was on the phone. The phone had been ringing non-stop the entire morning. It had woken him up, and it had woken Ruby up as well. She lay beside him, naked underneath stratigically placed bedsheets. She had spent the night. The events of the night flashed through Jeremy’s mind and he smiled to himself as he held the phone to his ear. After the second phone call, Ruby had gotten dressed. Jeremy had asked her to stay, half listening to the voice on the other end of the line. She couldn’t, she had promised Meredith that she would drive her to her doctor’s appointment.
It was a good thing that Ruby hadn’t stayed, the phone calls kept coming. Some lasted a few minutes, while this particular one was reaching almost an hour. Jeremy found himself in his office, listening to his agent ramble on from the other end of the line. They were talking about new movie roles. He didn’t really want to leave West Valley again for a month. While he was filming in Hollywood, he was relieved to hear the killings had stopped. It was a few weeks of silence and peace before they suddenly started up again. He was glad he was back, as he could keep an eye on Ruby.
“You should think about what you’re going to do next.” his agent told him.
“Are there any auditions to go on?” Jeremy asked.
“A few. Some movies. But you’d have to audition in person or over Skype.” his agent revealed.
“Skype would be easier.” Jeremy answered, ticking his gaze to his computer.
“I don’t understand why you left Hollywood for that small town. It’s actually safer here in L.A” his agent replied from the other end of the line. “It was just for a movie role. But after everything that’s happened there, what happened to Everly..” his agent trailed off.
Jeremy frowned briefly. He would never forget what had happened to Everly Martin. He’d never forget the look on her face as she downed the glass of poison. It would forever be burned into his mind. He had never seen someone die before. I hope that’s the first and last time. he thought to himself. “It would have been me, if not for Everly. She saved my life, in a way.” Jeremy told his agent.
“But no one saved hers. I still can’t believe she’s gone. She won’t even be in the tabloids anymore.” the agent replied sadly.
“She’d so hate that.” Jeremy answered with a slight chuckle escaping his lips.
“But really. You should really consider coming back to Hollywood. It’s not safe there and we are all worried about you.” his agent explained.
“I can take care of myself.” Jeremy replied. He paced the office, holding the phone to his ear.
“Is it because of that Ruby girl? Bring her with you! She’d love it here.” his agent explained.
Another chuckle escaped Jeremy’s lips. “Keep her out of this. So what kind of roles are we looking at?” he asked curiously.
His agent was silent for a moment. “Well, after Following Lust, and the fact that you’re over there in West Valley.. we’re getting offers for some horror movies.” his agent explained sheepishly.
Jeremy’s eyes widened slightly. “You’re kidding?!” he asked.
“I’m not.” his agent said simply.
“Well, that’s in bad taste. Send me a script, I guess. I’ll take a look at it.” Jeremy replied.
“Will do. I gotta run but I’ll call you later.” his agent said.
“Fine. Bye.” Jeremy said, hanging up the phone. He shook his head, making his way out of the office and into the kitchen. He was headed for the cupboard when his phone rang. A heavy sigh escaped Jeremy’s lips as she slid his phone out, and answered the call.
“Hello?” he answered. There was a slight crackle of static before someone spoke.
“Hello, Mr.Ashford.” a distorted voice said from the other end of the line. Jeremy frowned, he didn’t recognize the caller.
“Hi?” he asked again. “Who is this?” he said, arching an eyebrow.
“Your biggest fan.” the voice replied with a chuckle.
The voice sent a shiver of fear snaking down Jeremy’s spine. “My biggest fan?” he repeated.
“That’s right. I just loved Dead In The Club.” the voice replied.
Jeremy frowned. “What? Who is this, really?” he asked.
“We’ll be making front page of the newspapers, you and I. Only I’ll be standing over your eviscerated corpse.” the voice said with a cruel laugh.
“That’s not funny, asshole!” Jeremy cried.
“Let’s hope your friend Everly has some room for you where she is.” the killer replied with another cruel laugh before suddenly hanging up.
Jeremy lowered the phone, a sense of dread coming over him.
The lunch hour rush downtown had just ended. The sidewalks were more calmer now. One could walk freely without brushing shoulders with other people. Downtown was where all the business was. It was the hot spot of West Valley. Parking his car, Adam stepped out onto the pavement. He closed the driver side door, locking it as he pocketed his keys. He made his way around the front of the car to the curb, stepping onto it. With some free time on his hands, he had decided to hit the gym. He would have preferred going with someone, like Derek, but everyone was busy. They all had their own things to do that day.
As he headed for the doors to the gym, the doors swung open and a beautiful female stepped outside. Adam stopped in his tracks and stared at her. She wore skin tight lycra shorts that seemed painted on with a matching midriff baring sports bra that was cut low, exposing ample cleavage. For some reason, it made him think of Isabel. It was a few weeks later after her little pregancy scare. Adam had really dodged a bullet. Being a father was not on his list of priorities. It wasn’t something that was even on his mind. He couldn’t see himself having kids. He had no patience for them. Even passing them on the street turned him off.
“Hi!” he said to the girl as she walked past him. A smirk played on her lips as she checked him out. She said nothing as she walked away. Adam turned to watch the way her hips moved, the way her shorts hugged her figure. A smirk played on his face as he turned back towards the building. He didn’t know who the girl was, but hoped to see her again. He made his way to the doors, pushing them open and stepping into the building. The doors closed behind him as a blast of humid air hit him in the face. It was warm inside, a mixture of sweat, and steam. Adam wrinkled his nose, making his way over to the reception desk. As usual, no one sat behind it.
Wonderful. Adam thought to himself with a frown. He moved away from the desk, heading towards the locker room. He could hear splashing coming from the pool. He hoped it wasn’t crowded. After his workout he always went for a swim to cool himself down. With a sigh he pushed open the locker room door, and entered, letting the door shut behind him. He made his way over to the locker he rented out. He spun the combination, and pulled the locker door open. Something fluttered out, falling to the ground. It was a piece of paper. He bent down to pick it up. He looked at it, a frown forming on his face.
What is this? he thought to himself. He held the paper in his hands, reading it over and over. Scrawled angrily in red, a stark contrast against the white of the paper, was a message. I’M GOING TO KILL YOU. It read. Adam slammed the locker door shut, the noise echoing through the room. A quick glance around revealed that Adam was alone in the locker room. So why did it feel like someone was watching him? He crumpled the paper up in his fist, tossing it into the garbage can as he made his way out of the locker room.
Stepping into the hallway, Adam heard more splashing coming from the pool. He frowned, gazing down the hallway towards the doors that lead into the pool area. He took a few steps forward. That’s when he heard it. At first, Adam thought he was hearing things. He stood very still, and listened carefully. Someone was calling for help over the sound of the splashing. Shit! Is someone drowning?! Adam thought to himself. He took a quick glance around. There didn’t seem to be anyone else around. It was upto him. He had to act now. He took a deep breath, and ran.
He slammed his shoulder into the doors as he burst into the pool. He skidded to a stop when he noticed there was no one in the pool. The water was calm, bright blue. A frown creased Adam’s face. He stared at his reflection in the water. And at the black cloaked figure that stood next to him. Adam’s eyes widened as he spun to face the figure. In the back of his mind, he knew that it was the West Valley killer standing next him. He remembered hearing a description of the costume the killer wore. A black cloak with a black hood pulled over his face. Or her face. Adam couldn’t get a good look, the hood was obscuring the features of a face.
Adam wanted to move, but couldn’t. He had been caught by surprise. That’s when the killer pounced. With a burst of movement, he seized Adam and propelled him backwards, shoving him against the wall. Adam’s back hit the wall hard, as he let out a soft grunt. There was a flash of silver, which Adam knew was the blade of a knife. His heart thundering in his chest, Adam reached out, grabbing the wrist of the hand that was aiming for his gut. He and killer struggled, the knife blade gleaming underneath the ceiling lights. Adam gritted his teeth as he pushed the hand holding the knife away, trying to give himself some distance from being stabbed.
He was surprised at the killer’s strength. The knife blade inched closer as Adam suddenly released one hand from the killer’s wrist to throw a punch. His fist smashed into the side of the killer’s head, who let out a soft grunt. The knife clattered to the floor and before the killer could swoop down to grab it, Adam was on him again. He reached out, grabbed the killer by the front of the costume, and spun him, using the momentum to toss the killer over the pool’s edge. The killer fell into the water with a loud splash. His black costume billowing around him in the bright blue water.
Adam kicked the knife away, it skittered along the tiled floor. He took that opportunity to run. He turned, pushed open the pool doors and ran out into the hallway. It was time to call the cops. His shoes skidded on the floor as he ran to the front desk. Finally, there was someone sitting in the chair behind it. The young woman looked up in surprise as Adam came running up, his chest heaving. “Call the cops! Now! The West Valley killer is here.” Adam explained breathlessly. The receptionist’s eyes widened in fear as she reached out and grabbed the phone.
Before she could punch in the number, there was a loud shattering sound that came from the pool. The young woman jumped to her feet with a cry of surprise. She came around the desk, and hurried down the hallway towards the pool. “Hey! Be careful!” Adam cried, hurrying after her. Why is she going back there? Adam thought to himself as he followed her. She pushed open the door and stepped inside the pool room. As he stepped in after her, Adam saw the pool was empty. The knife he had kicked away was gone, the spot on the floor bare. And one of the large windows in the room was completely shattered.
The killer had escaped.
It was almost as if a black cloud hung over the Whitlow residence. Harrison was dead, and Megan and Julie were on their own. The house stood silently, no sign of the sisters. They had barely been seen since Harrison’s murder four days earlier. No one saw Julie around town, and Megan was excused from school. People didn’t bother to go up and ring the doorbell. The town had seen so much tragedy already, they left the girls to grieve in private. When they were ready, they would face the world outside of the house walls.
It was Julie that had answered the door that night. The doorbell had rang while she was waiting for her father to come home. She had been in the kitchen, fixing him something to eat. He usually came home hungry when he was working late. When the doorbell rang, she was puzzled. Had he forgotten his keys? She made her way to the front door, a slight smile playing on her lips. Her smile dissappeared when she opened the front door. Instead of her father, there were two police officers standing on the front porch. The look on their faces revealed it all. Julie let out a shriek before her legs gave out under her, and she had tumbled to the floor.
It felt like she had been slapped in the face by a wrecking ball. She had lowered her head, sobbing, her tears dripping onto the floor underneath her. A police officer had placed a comforting hand on her shoulder as he broke the news to her. Her father was dead. Not just dead, he had been murdered. The latest victim of the West Valley killer. Julie couldn’t believe it. Her father, a police officer. Someone who knew how to take care of himself. Who carried around a gun. She continued sobbing, her body shaking uncontrolably as the officer explained what had happened.
A call about a disturbance had come in, and since he was nearby, he had gone to check it out. It lead him to St-Gregory’s Church, where his throat was slashed. He had been found by the groundskeeper, lying inside the church, a pool of crimson collecting underneath his limp body. Julie’s stomach had jumped to her throat, she turned her head and vomited on the floor. Through all the commotion, she was aware of footsteps behind her. Heard the surprised cry of her sister. With one look, Megan also knew what had happened, felt it in her gut. She wailed, dropping down next to Julie. She had wrapped her arms around Julie’s shoulders as they held each other, sobbing in grief.
Julie gazed out the window, the events of that night flashing through her mind like a broken picture show. She still felt numb, wondered when she would feel like herself again. She felt as if she was watching herself from outside her own body. After the police had broken the news, Megan and Julie had to go down to the morgue to identify the body. Megan waited outside while Julie went in with the attendant. He had lead her to a metal table where there lay a body underneath a white sheet. Tears streamed down Julie’s face as the attendant pulled the sheet back.
She almost fainted when she saw it was her father lying under the sheet. Her knees buckled, the attendant grabbing hold of her before she fell. She had nodded, and with his free hand the attendant pulled the sheet back up, covering her father’s face. Megan had looked up with wide eyes once she walked out of the room. Julie nodded softly. Megan had covered her face in her hands and sobbed. Julie had sat down next to her, holding her sister. She couldn’t remember how much time had passed, but a police officer had driven them home.
Once at home, they had found themselves in their father’s room. They sat on his bed, staring off into space. The scent of his cologne still lingered in the air. Julie had ticked her gaze around the room, taking things in. A sock sticking out from one of the dresser drawers, a family picture on the dresser, a crumpled pillow on the bed. Megan had started crying again while Julie stared blankly off into space. Soon after, Julie and Megan had fallen asleep on the bed. Waking up the next morning had realization kicking in. Their father was gone forever. Julie had jumped out of bed, running to the bathroom to vomit once again. Once she was done, she had crumpled to the floor, sobbing against the toilet bowl.
There were still things to take care of. Yesterday, Julie began planning the funeral. It would be held in two days. It would be held at St-Gregory’s, since it was the only church in the town of West Valley. It was a morbid coincidence that they would have to hold the funeral the same place where their father had died. Would she be able to point out the spot where he had gotten his throat slashed? Julie’s stomach churned as she sucked in a deep breath of air. She focused her gaze out the window, to the bright blue sky beyond. She didn’t hear Megan walk into the room until she spoke.
“So I just got off the phone with Willow Moran. She told me what homework I missed.” Megan explained, startling Julie.
Julie turned to look at her sister. “What?” she asked, confusion glinting in her eyes.
“I said I called Willow, my classmate. She told me what homework I have to do.” Megan explained, rolling her eyes in annoyance.
“Oh. Ok. Will she be at the funeral?” Julie asked her sister.
Megan glared at her, a frown playing on her face. “You don’t hand out invites to a funeral, Jules. She’ll come if she wants.” she explained.
“Well I hope she has a shred of respect for you that she will come. Dad was liked by everyone.” Julie pointed out.
“Except for Edwin Cosgrove, Skye’s dad.” Megan pointed out to her sister.
“The Cosgrove family is not welcome at the funeral. Skye is a first class bitch to you.” Julie said.
“Charlie mentioned she made some comments today in class… about dad.” Megan revealed.
Julie frowned. “What kind of comments?” she asked Megan.
“He wouldn’t say. He didn’t want to upset me.” Megan explained to her sister.
“Skye’s not worth anyone’s time or energy. She’s going to get what she deserves.” Julie replied, anger flashing in her eyes.
“And if she’s not careful, I’m going to be the one who gives her what she deserves.” Megan revealed.
“You should stay out of trouble. I’m your big sister, let me deal with Skye.” Julie told her.
“You don’t see Skye at school every day like I do.” Megan pointed out.
“Well I could come to your school. Or go over to her house. Or wherever else she’s whoring around.” Julie revealed.
“I don’t need you to fight my battles.” Megan replied softly. She peered over at her sister. “Julie? What’s going to happen to me? They won’t send me away, will they?” she asked, concern flashing in her eyes.
“Megan, don’t worry about that! I’m sure they’ll grant me to be your legal guardian. You’re not going anywhere.” Julie replied with a soft smile on her lips. She was about to say more when the doorbell rang. “Who could that be?” she asked Megan, who shrugged in response. “Wait here.” she told her sister. Megan nodded as Julie headed down the stairs to the main floor. She made her way over to the front door, reaching out with her hand, when she suddenly hesitated. She frowned, wondering who was out on the front porch.
Julie took a deep breath, turned the lock, and opened the front door. She stepped out onto the front porch when she saw the familiar figure standing before her. Her eyes widened, her breath catching in her throat. It can’t be! What is she doing here? Julie thought to herself. The other woman looked over at her, a nervous smile on her lips. It had been two years since they had seen each other last. Two years of no contact, of not knowing where she was. Two years of resentment. Julie wondered if she was dreaming. She squeezed her eyes shut for a moment before opening them again. The woman still stood on the front porch, looking over at Julie.
“Hi, Julie.” the mystery woman said.
Does she know about dad? Is that why she’s here? Julie thought to herself with a deep frown creasing her forehead. “Mom?! What are you doing here?” she cried in surprise.
The sun was setting in the sky. Darcy didn’t know why, but it was making her nervous. She stood near the window, watching the sun slowly start to dissappear in the horizon. She hoped Fallon would make it over before darkness fell. As she had gotten home from work, she had gotten a call from Fallon. She had asked Darcy if she wanted to hang out. Darcy had agreed, she needed someone to talk to about the fact that Shawn was now living in town. She hadn’t mentioned it to anyone, she had kept it to herself. Maybe talking about it would help.
Darcy hadn’t even told her mother. Mrs. Adkins didn’t seem to know much, only that Shawn and Amy were no longer living in Newcrest. She wondered where they had went. Darcy had just changed the subject, she didn’t want to talk about it at that time. All it would do was upset her mother. Her mother called at least twice a week to check up on her. She was still worried about the fact that the killer had not been caught. But Darcy reassured her she was fine. That was the partial truth. While it still creeped her out, Darcy hadn’t heard from the killer in a few days. He’s probably busy tormenting other people. she thought to herself with a frown.
That’s when the doorbell rang, snapping Darcy out of her thoughts. She crossed over to the front door, unlocking it. She grabbed the knob and turned, pulling the door open. Fallon stood on the front porch. Darcy stepped aside so her friend could enter the house. Darcy poked her head outside, scanning the front lawn. People walked along outside, heading home for the night. Darcy saw a few familiar faces and waved before she went back inside, closing the door behind her. Fallon sat on the couch, a pensive look on her face as Darcy sat on the couch across from her.
“So did you do anything interesting today?” she asked Fallon.
“Well, I played detective with Faye Abernathy this morning.” Fallon revealed.
“You met Faye Abernathy? What’s she like?!” Darcy asked, excitement and curiousity flashing in her eyes.
“She’s nice! She really wants to get to the bottom of all these killings. She wants to know who is doing this as much as we do!” Fallon explained.
Darcy nodded in response. “So does she have any ideas?” she asked.
“We thought we found a lead. We were able to track down Brandon Covington’s aunt, and we gave her a call.” Fallon said.
“His aunt? Whoa! I didn’t know he had other family!” Darcy replied.
“It was overlooked. He might as well not have. She didn’t seem to want to be associated with the name Brandon Covington. When Faye brought it up, she went apeshit.” Fallon explained.
“She freaked out?” Darcy asked, a frown on her face.
“By a simple question. Just to have an idea if he is still alive or not.” Fallon replied.
“That’s strange!” Darcy said. Fallon wasn’t paying attention anymore. Her eyes were focused on something outside the front window. A frown creased her forehead as she got to her feet, and went over to look out the window. “What’s the matter?” Darcy asked her curiously.
“What is that on your front lawn?” Fallon asked.
Darcy got to her feet and went to stand next to her friend, peering out the window. “That wasn’t there a few minutes ago!” Darcy said. On the front lawn was a long rectangular box. Darcy moved away from the window, heading to the front door. Fallon followed close behind as she unlocked the door, and pulled it open. The two girls made their way outside, approaching the box. That’s when Fallon stopped dead in her tracks, her eyes widening in fear.
“Oh my god. Is that a coffin??” she asked.
Darcy took a few steps closer, her heart thudding in her chest. She could see now that it was indeed a coffin. Long and black, with silver handles on the side. “Who the hell put that there?” Darcy cried.
“I don’t want to know!” Fallon replied, fear glinting in her eyes.
“Is this some kind of a sick joke? I bet you this is Shawn’s doing!” Darcy seethed.
“He sounds like an ass, but would he do something like this?” Fallon asked with a frown.
“To try and intimidate me, maybe.” Darcy replied.
“You don’t think there’s someone in there, do you?” Fallon asked with a nervous gulp.
“If there was, that means he would have graverobbed. I’m sure he just stole it from the funeral home.” Darcy explained.
“I don’t like this.” Fallon replied, eyeing the coffin nervously.
“Watch, it’ll probably be empty.” Darcy said, grabbing the lid of the coffin.
“Oh my god.” Fallon whispered in fear, yet she stepped up next to Darcy and also grabbed the lid.
They pulled the lid of the coffin open. They were hit with a foul smell, Fallon coughed loudly while Darcy stared inside the coffin with wide eyes. Fallon glanced down into the coffin as well, her expression mirroring Darcy’s. They glanced at each other, and then back at the contents inside of the coffin. They opened their mouths, and let out ear-shattering screams of horror that rang through the night.
For inside the coffin, lay the decomposing body of Felicia Talley.