Brandon’s alive. Brandon’s alive. Fallon thought to herself, repeating the words over and over again in her mind. Trying to make sense of the huge revelation that she had just learnt. It was two days later that she and Faye had visited Brandon’s aunt in Oasis Springs. Shannon Wiles had been helpful, a stark contrast considering the first time they contacted her on the phone, she had yelled at them. Trying again, she had agreed to meet them in person. Fallon thought maybe Shannon had a change of heart, she had been pleasant once they had showed up at her door. While trying to figure out what had happened to Brandon, they had finally gotten their answer.
He wasn’t dead, like some had thought. He was alive. Being his next of kin, Shannon would have been informed. But she never had been. Brandon was still out there, somewhere. It was very well possible that he was behind the murders in West Valley. That he had returned to his hometown to extract his bloody revenge. Sitting on the couch in the comfort of her own home, Fallon frowned. She wondered why Brandon would return now. It had been five years since he had escaped from Sherwood Sanitarium. He had five years, but decides to go on a killing spree two months ago? Fallon thought to herself, her frown deepening.
She had a plan. Shannon had said there were probably some answers at the sanitarium. After all, Brandon had spent fifteen years there. Shannon had explained that it was possible that Brandon’s old files were still there in the dilapated building. Perhaps there were clues there as to how to find Brandon. Fallon had thought it was a great idea, and so had Faye. They had left the Wiles home hopeful. Shannon had been a lot of help, and they promised to keep in touch with her. When Faye had dropped her off at home, Fallon had jumped onto the computer, gone online and had found directions on how to get to the sanitarium.
Fallon was anxious. She was sitting on pins and needles to get some answers. With Faye’s help, maybe we can catch Brandon and put an end to this horror once and for all. Fallon had thought to herself, a small smile playing on her lips. It was that morning that Faye had called her. She explained that because of the sudden murder of Brad Landgraab, she had work to do for her podcast. She was going to interview the Landgraab family, interview Skye, and the owner of the motel where the murder had occured. Fallon was dissapointed, but understood. She wasn’t familiar with the Landgraab family, who didn’t live in town, but could only imagine what they were going through.
The idea came to her when she was sitting on the couch. Her eyes seemed to light up. Just because Faye is busy doesn’t mean that I can’t still go! she thought to herself. She wouldn’t go alone, she wouldn’t dare but maybe if she asked around, someone would volunteer to go with her. All they would have to do was find the files on Brandon, and take them. If the building was closed, she doubted they would have to worry about security. They could just walk in, get the files, and walk out. Surely nothing would go wrong?
Fallon was so excited, she didn’t notice Naomi walk into the room until she had sat down beside her on the couch. Naomi eyed her curiously, cocking an eyebrow in Fallon’s direction. “I know that look. You came up with an idea?” Naomi asked.
A small chuckle escaped Fallon’s lips. “You know me so well.” she told her friend.
“What is it this time?” Naomi asked.
“Well, visiting Shannon Wiles helped a lot.” Fallon explained.
“Because of what she said about Brandon?” Naomi asked.
“He could be anywhere. He could be right here in town and we don’t even know it. He could be right under our noses!” Fallon told Naomi.
“Well, that’s a whole other level of creepy. That’s helpful?” Naomi said with a shiver.
“What I mean is, Shannon gave us a lead. To check out Sherwood Sanitarium.” Fallon explained.
“Check out the nuthouse?” Naomi warily repeated.
“There’s files. On Brandon. Maybe we can figure out where he is.” Fallon replied.
“Hopefully not right under our noses.” Naomi muttered to herself, but just loudly enough for Fallon to hear.
Fallon rolled her eyes in annoyance. “Since Faye is busy today, I still want to go check it out.” she explained.
“Alone? That’s ballsy of you.” Naomi replied, her eyes wide in surprise.
“Do you think I’m stupid? No, not alone!” Fallon told Naomi. “I’d chicken out even before stepping foot out of the car.” she continued.
“Well don’t look at me! I’m too chicken to even drive to that place!” Naomi explained.
“Not even if I get a group of us to go together?” Fallon asked.
“Look, Fallon. I want these murders to be resolved as much as you do. I really do! I hope they catch whoever is doing this, and fry him..or her, in the electric chair. But do you really think breaking into a condemned insane asylum is the wisest choice?” Naomi asked with a frown creasing her pretty face.
“It’s the only lead we have right now. What if it helps catching Brandon?” Fallon explained.
“What if the murderer isn’t even Brandon? You would have gone through all that trouble for nothing and end up right back where you started!” Naomi said with a sympathetic smile playing on her lips.
“But at least we’d know it wasn’t him.” Fallon tried to rationalize with her friend.
“Fallon, I love you, but I think I’m gonna sit this one out.” Naomi replied.
“Sit what out?” replied another voice, startling the two girls. They looked over to see Blake standing nearby. He had a frown on his face.
“Blake! Can you explain to Fallon that breaking into Sherwood Sanitarium to find information on Brandon is not a good idea?” Naomi asked.
“Sherwood Sanitarium? I’ve been there.” he explained, looking over at Fallon.
“What? When? You didn’t tell me!” Fallon said, her eyes wide in surprise.
“I went not too long ago. Just to check it out since you’re really convinced that Brandon Covington is behind all this insanity.” Blake explained, embarrassed.
“I really think he is! Do you think you can take me there? Today? I mean, the sooner, the better, right?” Fallon asked excitedly.
Blake looked over at Naomi, who shrugged her shoulders in response. “Don’t look at me! I am so not down.” she replied.
Blake ticked his gaze back to Fallon. “Sure. Later on today.” he told her.
“Awesome! Thanks so much, Blake! Just think, we’ll be getting more answers!” Fallon said, excitement shining in her eyes as she turned to give Naomi a hopeful smile.
“I hope you’re right about this.” Naomi replied, shaking her head in disapproval.
Parking her car, Julie pushed open the driver side door, and stepped out. She closed the car door, locked it and made her way around to the curb. Stepping onto the sidewalk, she let out a sigh as she looked up at the building before her. You can do this. she thought to herself. Sadness glinted in her eyes, as if she had the weight of the world on her shoulders. It was her first time since her mother had returned. With her heels clicking on the pavement, she headed up the walkway. She reached out with a hand, grabbed the door handle and pushed the door open, stepping inside the building.
Hearing the door open, the receptionist looked up from behind the desk. Julie smiled lightly at her as the door swung shut behind her. She looked around the waiting area. It was empty. Julie wondered if she was the only one with problems in town. Did no one else have to go see Dr. Greene? Julie couldn’t help but feel a little self-concious. The receptionist told her she could head into the office, that the doctor would be with her shortly. Julie thanked her and made her way over to the closed office door. She pushed it open, and entered the room.
Julie closed the office door behind her. What was said in the room was confidential between doctor and patient. Julie made her way over to the couch, and sat down. Leaning back against the soft cushion. So many things were running through her mind. She couldn’t wait to talk to Dr. Greene and get it off her chest. While having her mother back did make her glad in a way, it also confused her. Her mother had been gone for so long she almost felt like a stranger to Julie. Christy Whitlow was acting like she had never left.
She had quickly reintegrated herself into the family. Julie no longer had to play the mother role for Megan. Sad to say, she had gotten used to it. But now, her mother was back, and she had stepped easily back into the mother role. She ironed clothes, drove Megan to school, did the dishes, prepared meals, and even took care of the garden. Julie had watched her, a sense of déjà vu coming over her. These were all things she remembered her mother doing before she had walked out on them two years prior. Julie wondered what her father would have said if he had seen his wife taking charge like that.
I wonder what dad would say about mom’s return. Julie thought to herself with a slight frown creasing her pretty face. Would he have been estactic? Or as confused as his daughters had been? Would he have welcomed Christy back with open arms? Or would he have pushed her away? Dad’s death is what brought her back. Would she have came back just because she missed us? Julie thought to herself. She didn’t have an answer for that, and it frustrated her. Suddenly, the office door opened, Julie looked up to see Dr. Greene enter the office. She was smiling sympathetically, closing the door behind her as she looked over at Julie.
“Julie, how are you?” Dr. Greene asked as she shook Julie’s hand.
“Honestly, I don’t know.” Julie replied, blushing slightly.
Dr. Greene went over to her desk. Sitting, she fired up her computer. She clicked a few buttons on the keyboard, bringing up Julie’s file. She peered at her information from their last session, checking where they had last left off. Clicking another few keys, she stood from her chair, making her way to sit down next to Julie. “Last time I saw you was right before your father’s funeral.” Dr. Greene said. Julie nodded in reply.
“I still miss him. I dream about him all the time.” Julie revealed.
“That’s normal. You’ll never stop missing him. But he’ll always be with you. In your memories, and dreams.” Dr. Greene explained.
“I’m here more for the fact that my mother is back.” Julie told the doctor.
“How are things going with her?” Dr. Greene asked curiously.
Julie shrugged. “I can’t believe she’s back.” she told the doctor.
“You’re not happy about it?” the doctor replied.
“I can’t help but feel that she’s only back because of what happened to my dad. If he hadn’t been..killed, would she have back eventually?” Julie asked with a frown.
“Have you tried asking her?” the doctor asked.
Julie shook her head. “No. I’m scared of her answer.” she revealed.
“You think she’d say no?” Dr. Greene asked curiously.
Julie nodded. “She left for a reason.” she explained.
“Well you already think she will say no. You should ask her. Prepare yourself for what she could say. If she says no, at least she’s here now.” the doctor told Julie.
“I’m trying to understand what she went through. Her depression is what made her leave. But she claims she’s fine now. She seems it.” Julie explained.
“That’s good. You should take advantage of that.” Dr. Greene told her.
“You think so?” Julie asked, cocking an eyebrow.
“She’s your mother. You should rebond.” Dr. Greene said as she stood up from the couch. She headed to her desk. She pulled her chair back as she sat down in front of her computer. “She is the only parent you have left. Don’t let that opportunity get away.” she told Julie.
“I’ll try.” Julie told her.
“So go talk to your mother. We’ll discuss it in our next session. Call the receptionist to make an appointment.” Dr. Green said, a small smile playing on her lips.
“Alright. I’ll do that.” Julie agreed as she got up from the couch.
She thanked the doctor before making her way to the office door. She turned the doorknob, pulling the door open and stepped out into the waiting area. She closed the office door behind her as she smiled at the receptionist. She made her way to the door, pushing it open as she stepped out into the sunshine. The air was hot, bringing along the scent of lilacs from nearby trees. Julie took a deep breath, letting the sweet scent fill her senses. Talking to Dr. Greene always made her feel better. Julie was actually looking forward to going to talk to her mother. Maybe she could get answers.
Julie began heading back to her car when her phone rang. Instead of pulling out her keys, she fished out her cellphone. She peered down at the screen with a frown before she accepted the call. “Hello?” she said into the phone.
“Hello, Julie.” said a familiar voice from the other end of the line. A familiar, distorted voice.
“What do you want?” Julie asked. She couldn’t help but look around, scanning her surroundings with worry glinting in her eyes.
“To talk.” the voice replied with a chuckle.
“I’m not in a very talkative mood right now.” she explained.
“I think I can change that.” the voice replied.
“Thanks, but no thanks.” Julie replied.
“What if I said I want to talk about mommy dearest?” the killer asked.
“What?” Julie asked, scanning her surroundings once more.
Another chuckle from the other end of the line. “I thought that would get your attention.” the voice replied.
“You keep her out of this!” Julie seethed.
“But you know I have a thing for killing parents. Scarlett Biggs, Frankie Workman, Richard Jacks, Regina Olsen, and your father!” the killer replied.
“You’re going to get caught. You won’t be able to hurt anyone anymore.” Julie said. In the back of her mind, she was worried. Megan was at school, which meant their mother was at home alone.
The killer chuckled again. “You don’t sound so sure.” he told Julie. “Besides, who’s going to catch me? You?” he goaded her.
“Maybe I will!” Julie replied, challenging him.
“Last time we met, you were almost a goner. How easy you went down. Looking up at me with those wide eyes, you could have sucked my..” the killer was cut off when Julie interrupted him with a cry of disgust.
“You sick son of a bitch!” she cried. “You’re NEVER going to get me! I’ll make sure of that.” she seethed.
“What are you going to do? How far are you willing to go?” the killer teased her.
“I’ll kill you myself. Don’t you ever come near me or my family again! You’ll regret it!” Julie seethed, anger welling up inside of her.
“You’re cute when your angry. But you won’t be the one to stop me. No one can!” the voice told her.
“Don’t be so sure. You’re just some sick freak who would rather hide in the shadows than face the world!” Julie replied.
“Don’t test me, you little bitch! It was easy to kill your father. Your mother just might be next!” the killer replied. “Or maybe you!” he continued. Suddenly, there was a click on the other end of the line and then a dial tone.
Julie clicked off her phone, sliding it into her pocket. She pulled out her car keys, trying to ignore the quick beating of her heart. For a moment she thought it was going to burst out of her chest. Now mom is in danger. she thought to herself before she hurried down the walkway towards her car.
After waking up and showering, Darcy got dressed. The good thing about owning her own store, was that she could go in whenever she wanted. And today, she didn’t feel like it. She had decided while she was under the shower, the water cascading down over her. Once dressed, she made her way into the kitchen, preparing herself a quick breakfast. Once everything was put away, she stood near the kitchen counter, wondering what to do. It was another beautiful day outside. The sun shone brightly in a cloudless blue sky. Darcy was tempted to go outside, but couldn’t seem to bring herself to move.
She wondered why, a frown creasing her forehead. She found her mind wandering, and Campbell crossed her thoughts. She thought back to the phone call she had received from Thomas. He had broke the news that Campbell had been struck by a car downtown. Darcy had listened with wide eyes. Thomas had reassured her that Campbell would be fine. He had been lucky, and had walked away with only a broken arm. Darcy had asked if there was anything she could do. Thomas had told her no, but that Campbell had wanted to see her. Darcy had called a taxi and had hurried over to the hospital.
She had found his hospital room easily, she had barged in, worry glinting in her eyes. Campbell had seemed to be in a bit of pain, but he had smiled when Darcy hurried into the room. He didn’t look as bad as she thought he would. Sheepishly, he had explained what had happened. Darcy was relieved that he was alright. She had sat in the chair by his bedside as she ticked her gaze over to Thomas who stood awkwardly by the door, his arms crossed over his chest.
Campbell had looked over to her, and then to his brother. Coldly, he told Thomas he could go. Turning away, Thomas had slunk out of the room, leaving Darcy and Campbell alone. Darcy could tell there was still bad blood between them. At least Thomas had called for an ambulance and had not left Campbell by the roadside to fend for himself. That’s when the knock on the door snapped Darcy back to reality. She turned and made her way over to the front door. She unlocked it, grabbed the handle and pulled the door open. She smiled at the person standing outside on the other side of the door.
“I was just thinking about you!” she said, stepping aside so Campbell could enter.
“Good thoughts, I hope?” Campbell asked curiously as Darcy closed the door behind him.
“Just thinking back to when you were admitted to the hospital.” she told him.
“I still have my souvenir.” he told her, holding up his left arm that was covered by a cast.
“How long do you have to wear that?” Darcy asked.
“The doctor said a few weeks.” Campbell explained as they went over to sit down on the couch.
“Does it hurt?” Darcy asked with a frown.
“Not really, it just aches. And it’s itchy.” Campbell replied.
“That guy should have been watching where he was going!” Darcy replied.
“It was an accident. He was rushing to a job interview. It could have happened to anyone.” Campbell explained to her.
“You’re just lucky that Thomas was there!” Darcy told him.
“I was arguing with him right before it happened.” Campbell replied.
“Are you ever planning on forgiving him?” Darcy asked curiously.
“I can’t answer that. I don’t know. I just feel so betrayed!” Campbell explained.
“I know how you feel! Seeing Shawn and Amy, having them living here in town, it doesn’t help.” Darcy revealed.
“We’ve both been let down by people we care about.” Campbell told her.
“I believe in karma. They’ll get what’s coming to them.” Darcy explained.
“If they don’t?” Campbell asked curiously.
Darcy shrugged, which didn’t seem to comfort Campbell. He looked away, a frown on his face.
“Maybe one day we’ll find it within ourselves to forgive them.” Darcy finally said.
“That one day can be years from now.” Campbell replied.
“So be it. Hopefully it won’t be too late.” Darcy replied reassuringly.
“Right. Hopefully.” Campbell muttered softly to himself.
Two hours passed, and over at the Biggs’ house, the front door opened. Warren stepped outside, his eyes scanning the front yard. Closing the door behind him, he headed down the porch steps. The neighbourhood was quiet, people were either at work, or at school. Warren had grown restless. Working from home will do that to you. he thought to himself. Since Kaitlyn had returned, Warren had some decision making to do. Scarlett was dead, and he was now the sole parent. He’d have to provide for his daughters. So, after much contemplating, he finally decided that he would work from home.
It seemed like the wisest choice. He could bring in money, and keep an eye on the girls while they were home. While Scarlett was still around, he would return home from work later on in the night, usually around the time that the girls’ would go to bed. He couldn’t do that anymore. So far, working from home seemed to be working out for him. He could prepare the girls’ breakfast and school lunches, wash their clothes, prepare dinner, help them with their homework, and tuck them into bed at night.
Warren was trying to stay strong for Kaitlyn and Taylor. He would think of Scarlett, miss her so much, that it ached. But in front of his daughters, he would put a brave face, push those thoughts to the back of his mind. He’d distract himself by whatever they were doing, he would smile and joke around with them. However, a lot of the nights, once the girls were in bed, Warren would just on the edge of his own bed and stare off into space. His mind rushing with thoughts. Like how had it gotten to this? That his wife would be murdered, his daughter abducted, and that he would end up a single father.
It was hard to fathom, hard to try and wrap his head around it. Life was complicated, he knew that now. It had a strange way of turning out. Never in a million years would he have thought his would end up this way. With a sigh, pushing those thoughts aside, Warren made his way over to the mailbox. He pulled it open and peered inside. Sure enough, there was mail. He pulled it out and went through the envelopes, shuffling through them. He closed the mailbox, and made his way over to the porch steps. He placed the mail down on the step and turned back, raising his head towards the warm rays of the sun above.
“Hey, Warren!” a voice called out from the sidewalk.
Warren looked to see Scott standing in front of the house. “Hey, Scott. How are you?” he asked as Scott walked across the lawn and over to him.
“Not bad, man! How about you? I haven’t seen you in a while.” Scott replied, fist-bumping Warren in greeting.
“Yeah, I don’t get out of the house as much as I used to.” Warren replied sheepishly.
“It’s cool! I understand. You gotta keep an eye out for your daughters. How are they?” Scott asked curiously.
“Fine, all things considering. Kaitlyn’s even behaving since she… came back.” Warren explained with a frown.
“That must have been tough. But you seem to be doing okay.” Scott pointed out.
“We’re doing the best we can. Somedays, it’s easier than others.” Warren replied.
“Well I hope they catch this crazy fuck soon, so it’ll be easier on the whole town.” Scott replied.
“Yeah, too many people have died.” Warren agreed, nodding his head. Again, the image of Scarlett flashed through his mind.
“My housemate, Fallon? She’s pretty sure she has a lead.” Scott explained.
Warren’s interest was piqued. He cocked an eyebrow in Scott’s direction. “What is it?” he asked curiously.
“She won’t tell me what it is yet. Just that she and Faye Abernathy, that reporter? They went to see Brandon Covington’s aunt and she gave them a lead to follow.” Scott explained.
“Wow, she still thinks Brandon is behind all this?” Warren asked.
“He just might be! The aunt told them that Brandon is still alive! Isn’t that freaky?” Scott replied.
“Brandon’s alive!? He.. could be the one that killed Scarlett? He could have abducted Kaitlyn?! ” Warren replied, his eyes widening in surprise.
“Crazy, right? He could be, yeah!” Scott told him.
“How are they going to find him?” Warren asked.
“Kaitlyn doesn’t remember anything about where she was held captive?” Scott asked curiously.
Warren shook his head. “She never saw it. She was blindfolded.” he explained to Scott.
Scott frowned in response. “What about the van she was taken in?” he asked.
“She didn’t see that, too.” Warren replied, dissappointment flashing in his eyes.
“There’s got to be something. We just don’t know it yet.” Scott replied.
“Kaitlyn seems to be over what happened. I can ask her again about it. Maybe she’d remember something that she didn’t think of before?” Warren explained.
“Hey! That’s a great idea! Maybe that, and whatever Fallon finds out, can lead us to Brandon!” Scott replied excitedly.
“I’ll talk to Kaitlyn when she gets home from school. She’ll be home in a few hours. I’ll call you once I’ve spoken to her.” Warren replied.
“Sounds like a plan! I’ll be waiting for your call.” Scott replied. “Anyway, I have to go. I was on my way to meeting Derek for a drink.” he told Warren.
“Derek Vance? Tell him I said hi.” Warren replied.
“You sure you don’t wanna come? You’ll be back before the girls are home from school.” Scott told him with a smile.
“Tempting offer, but I got to get back to work.” Warren replied, motioning towards the house with his head.
“Alright. Well we’ll talk later. See ya!” Scott said before turning and heading back to the sidewalk. Warren bent down, picked up the mail from the step and made his way into the house, closing the door behind him as he did so.
Amy replayed the slap over and over again in her mind. She remembered how her face had stung when the palm of Darcy’s hand connected with her cheek. How the sound of the blow had echoed through the store. Amy still couldn’t believe that Darcy had hit her. It was days later, and she still was in shock. Then again, she felt like she had deserved it. Did I really think she would welcome me with open arms? Amy thought to herself, a frown creasing her pretty face. After it had happened, she had gone home. She didn’t want to admit it, tried to ignore it, but she felt ashamed of herself.
Soon enough, a purplish bruise formed where Dacy had slapped her. When Shawn had come home, he had noticed it right away. Amy had lied and said she had tripped over the lawn chair in the backyard and had fallen. Shawn seemed to believe her, he told her she should have been more careful. She couldn’t bring herself to tell him the truth, that his ex-fiancee had caused it. She knew if she told him, he would just go to confront Darcy. And she had told them to stay away from her. It would just cause more problems, so Amy had kept her mouth shut.
She sat quietly in an armchair. The house was silent, Shawn had gone downtown to run a few errands. Amy wondered when he would be back. It was a little unnerving, what with a killer on the loose. Amy turned in her seat to look at the spot where Felicia Talley’s body had been found. A slow shiver of fear snaked down Amy’s spine as she turned back around, focusing her attention elsewhere. While she had met a few people already, Amy didn’t know them well enough to call them up and ask if they wanted to do something. She was still getting used to the town, getting familiar with it.
There were a few places that she had seen, that she enjoyed. She thought St-Gregory’s Church was a sight to behold. Apparently it was the oldest building in town, which had been around since the time of the first settlers. There was something about old buildings that fascinated her. Perhaps it was the history there. Another place that piqued her interest was Surge, the night club that was open at all times of the day. She had walked by it one day, surprised when the door open and a steady flow of people exited, laughing and talking.
At one time, she would have made her way inside, but since she was pregnant, she had decided against it. Amy looked down, rubbing her stomach with a small smile on her lips. She got to her feet, and made her way into the kitchen. I’ll make myself some tea. she thought to herself as she stood by the kitchen counter. She reached out for the teapot when from out of the corner of her eye, she caught movement from outside the window. Amy frowned, stopping in her tracks. Was there someone in the backyard? Had Shawn returned home already?
Amy stepped closer to the window, and peered out into the daylight beyond the glass. She could see the toolshed, the inground swimming pool, the patio set. Everything seemed normal. There was no sign of anyone. Amy’s frown deepened. I could have sworn I saw something. she thought to herself. A cloud rolled over the sun, and the kitchen grew dark. Despite the heat outside, Amy was suddenly cold. She rubbed her bare arms, when suddenly, a noise met her ears. She listened carefully. It seemed to be coming from the front of the house. Amy took a few hesitant steps forward.
What is that? she thought to herself. She moved slowly across the floor, making her way past the armchair where she had been sitting minutes before. She made her way over to the front window, peering outside. The sidewalk was empty, the neighbourhood quiet. And then, the noise, right in her face. Amy gasped and jumped back, almost tripping over the coffee table. It took her a moment to realize it was just a tree branch scraping against the glass of the window. A nervous chuckle escaped Amy’s lips. She shook her head.
“Calm down, Amy.” she said out loud to herself. She turned, heading back towards the kitchen, when the front door opened. Amy turned to see Shawn walk in. She smiled, glad that he was home. “Find everything?” she asked curiously.
Shawn closed the front door behind him and put down the bags he was carrying. “The prices in this town are incredible!” he told her.
“That expensive, huh?” she replied.
“No! They’re cheap!” Shawn told her.
“I can tell you’re glad we moved here.” Amy replied with a chuckle.
“I am! Besides the murders, and Darcy, and stuff.” he explained. He bent down, grabbed the bags, and began emptying them out. “Have you spoken to her?” Shawn asked her curiously.
“Umm.. yeah. Kind of.” Amy replied, shifting her weight uncomfortably.
“Really? She was civil?” Shawn asked, surprised.
“It wasn’t as much as what she said. It’s what she did.” Amy muttered softly.
Shawn raised an eyebrow. “What did she do?” he asked curiously. Amy muttered something that he didn’t quite catch. “Say that again?” he asked her.
“I said, she slapped me.” Amy replied, speaking louder.
Shawn’s eyes went wide in disbelief. “She did WHAT? That rotten bitch!” he cried.
“I didn’t want to say anything because I know this was how you were going to react!” Amy explained.
“That bruise you had, that was from her? You didn’t actually fall?” he asked, seething.
Amy shook her head. “I didn’t want to worry you. I’m fine, really!” she told Shawn. “I deserved it.” she told him, shifting her gaze to the floor.
“No! No way is she getting away with this!” Shawn cried, as he pulled out his phone from his pocket.
“What are you going to do?” Amy asked, worry glinting in her eyes.
“She wants to play dirty? Fine. I can play dirty too!” Shawn replied as he punched in a number.
“Don’t get yourself in trouble!” Amy told him.
On the fourth ring, someone finally picked up. “Hello? It’s Shawn Evans. I need your help.” he explained to the person on the other end of the line. “It’s about that bitch, Darcy! You’re going to help me get back at her.” he said into the phone, his eyes narrowing coldly. He nodded a few times. “Alright, see you soon!” he said before he hung up the phone. He slid his phone back into his pocket and turned back to face Amy.
“Who was that? What are you going to do?” Amy asked with concern.
“Let me handle this! Darcy will be taken care of.” Shawn replied with a cruel smirk on his face.
Elsewhere, at West Valley High, the last bell of the day rang. Students flooded the hallway in a wave of sound. Laughter, footsteps, and the sound of locker doors opening. Another long school day had come to an end. The students were excited to start their weekend. Plans were made. Shopping, the movies, a house party. With her books in hand, Hanna walked out of her last period science class. A small smile played on her lips. She too was excited that the weekend was finally here. It had been a long week and she was looking forward to relaxing. She had no definite plans but was sure that would change before the day was over.
Weaving her way past running students who shouted excitedly, Hanna made her way to her locker. She turned the dial on her lock, and pulled the locker door open. It opened with a screech of protest. Hanna rolled her eyes in annoyance. Either they fix this door or I change lockers. she thought to herself. She put her books away, and faced the small compact mirror hanging on the inside of the locker door. She checked her reflection, smoothed out a few stray locks of hair that had fallen out of place. Satisfied with her reflection, she reached into the locker and pulled out her phone.
On her screen was an alert of a new text message. She tapped a few buttons until the text appeared on her screen. She scanned it with her eyes, and then a smile broke out on her face. It was from Paul. It read:
LET’S HANG OUT THIS WEEKEND!?
YOU BETTER BE FREE!
Hanna was about to reply when something caught her attention. Two lockers down, two girls that Hanna didn’t really know where having a loud conversation. Hanna usually minded her own business, she wasn’t one to eavesdrop, but she heard one of the girls mention Brad Landgraab. Hanna closed her locker door, slid her phone into her pocket and listened in on the conversation. It was two freshmen girls, and they were talking about the murder. Hanna had seen it on the news. She couldn’t believe Brad was dead. She had immediately called Skye, but her father had answered the phone. He had told Hanna she couldn’t talk at the moment, she was being questioned by the police.
Hanna had been worried. Why was Skye being questioned by the police? She got her answer the following day. She called Skye again, and this time she had answered. She sounded terrible, but explained she had been with Brad when he had been killed. The West Valley killer had struck again and had claimed another victim. Hanna had heard enough, she turned away from the two girls who were still talking, and headed down the hallway, her heels clicking on the floor.
Hanna pushed the double doors open and stepped out into the day. The parking lot was still full of cars. But Hanna was the sole person around. They must have been in a hurry to get out here. she thought to herself. She walked down the steps and scanned her surroundings. Somewhere off in the distance, she could hear the whistle of the track coach. She could hear the running steps of the track team as they practiced. An uneasy feeling seemed to wrap itself around Hanna. She glanced nervously over her shoulder, her stomach fluttering.
Suddenly, a loud bang almost made Hanna jump out of her skin. Her heart jumped as she spun around, the sound of footsteps on the stairs behind her. Someone had just came rushing out of the school. A girl, who was calling Hanna’s name. Hanna placed a hand on her heart. “You almost made me pee myself!” she cried to the other girl who walked down the steps.
“Sorry! I was just coming out of the locker room when I saw you walk out the door.” the other girl replied. Her name was Jennifer Rollins, and she was yet another member of the popular group in school.
“Oh, right. You have gym last period on Fridays.” Hanna remembered.
“I was just trying to catch upto you. Not easy to do in four inch heels.” Jennifer replied with a frown.
A soft chuckle escaped Hanna’s lips. “You got to keep practicing.” she teased. “What’s up?” she asked Jennifer.
“Isn’t it crazy? About Brad?” Jennifer replied.
“It so is.” Hanna nodded in agreement.
“Is Skye back yet? I didn’t see her today.” Jennifer asked curiously.
“She won’t be back to school for another few days. She’s still traumatized!” Hanna replied.
“Did you hear Brad’s family is suing the Peachtree Motel? And they might sue Skye’s family, too!” Jennifer explained with wide eyes.
That was news to Hanna. Her eyes widened in surprise. “Why do the Landgraab’s want to sue Skye’s family?!” she cried.
“Well it’s Mrs.Landgraab that wants to sue them. Because Skye was there, she feels like she could have saved Brad.” Jennifer explained, excitement dripping from her voice.
“Or Skye could have gotten killed too.” Hanna replied with a frown creasing her face.
“I know! It’s not Skye’s fault. It’s this West Valley killer! He, or she, is uber crazy!” Jennifer explained.
Hanna scoffed lightly. “Trust me, I know. He killed my dad, after all.” she reminded her friend.
Jennifer nodded. “The killer is the reason why my dad bought a gun! He hides it under his mattress!” she told Hanna.
“How about we go see Skye?” Hanna asked.
“Is Mrs. Cosgrove still mad at me?” Jennifer asked, a guilty look in her eyes.
“You mean because of that one time you borrowed her Birkin bag without asking?” Hanna replied, cocking an eyebrow at her friend. Jennifer nodded in response.
“She forgot about it by now! I think you’re safe.” Hanna explained with a chuckle.
“Alright, then! Let’s go!” Jennifer replied. The two girls walked off, talking excitedly among each other.
Fallon looked up at the building before her. It intimidated her, looming over her and the two others who had accompanied her. She looked over at Blake and Thomas. They looked back at her, uncertainty glinting in her eyes. Fallon then turned back to look at the building. They stood in front of Sherwood Sanitarium. Tonight was the night that they would hopefully get answers. The last remaining rays of sunlight shone in a dark blue sky. Dusk was falling. They’d have to hurry because no one had brought a flashlight along. Fallon doubted the lights still worked inside the abandoned building.
Somewhere in the distance, a dog barked loudly. It almost sounded like a warning to Fallon. She bit nervously down on her bottom lip. Blake looked over at her and motioned with his head for her to follow him. She nodded, sucked in a deep breath, and moved, following closely behind Blake. Thomas followed behind Fallon, and she could feel his nervousness. Fallon still wasn’t sure what he was doing there. From what she understood, Blake had run into him earlier on in the day. He had explained how they were going to break into the sanitarium to get some answers about Brandon Covington.
Thomas had asked Blake if he could come along. He mentioned something about making it up to his brother, Campbell. They weren’t talking and he thought maybe finding out where Brandon Covington was and turning him over to the police, would get him back in Campbell’s good graces. Fallon had heard why Campbell and Thomas weren’t talking, but didn’t interfere. So she had agreed that Thomas could come along. Safety in numbers. she thought to herself as Blake pulled open the gate. They entered, the gate swinging shut behind them. Blake lead the way over to a side door.
A few moments later, the door was opened, and Blake, Fallon, and Thomas stepped inside. The building was cold, and shadows danced along the cracked walls in the dying sunlight. Fallon’s heart picked up it’s pace in her chest. She wrinkled her nose, a smell invading her senses. It smelt like cleaning products with a mixture of dust and decay. Thomas coughed loudly, and Fallon turned to shush him. He gazed at her, embarrassed, while Blake went over to look at a sign on the wall. Finding what he was looking for, he motioned for them to follow him. They headed down the hallway in a single file.
A few moments after they stood in front of a door that read OFFICE. Blake reached out, grabbed the knob and turned, pushing the door open. It squeeked in protest but opened only halfway. Blake slid inside, followed by Thomas. Fallon was last, suddenly turning to look down the hallway they had came. Something fluttered in the shadows, and Fallon let out a soft gasp. A bat? she thought to herself. She turned back to the door, and slid inside the office. Blake was pushing away a few chairs that were blocking some file cabinets. Thomas stood nearby, his eyes wide. Fallon couldn’t tell if it was a look of excitement or fear etched on his face.
Finally making room, Blake pulled open a drawer of the file cabinet. Fallon hurried to stand by his side. The sound of the drawer opening echoed through the office. If there was security in the building, they would have heard that. Fallon turned to look over at the door, but no one came in. She relaxed, untensing her shoulders. She turned back to the cabinet as Blake rifled through the files.
“Burr…Carlysle.. Christensen…Connelly…Covington!” Blake read the names out, finally pulling out a thick file folder of papers. His eyes were wide in excitement as he opened the file and began going through the papers.
“What does it say?” Fallon asked.
“Well this page is a list of meds they were giving him. There’s a lot on here. And I can’t pronounce any of them!” Blake explained.
Fallon almost let out a laugh but swallowed hard. “Keep looking. That’s not important!” she told him.
Blake nodded and turned to the next page. Fallon looked over at Thomas, who paced nervously. “Are you okay? Do you want to sit down?” she asked Thomas.
“Let’s just get what we need and get out of here. This place is creepy!” Thomas replied.
“We’re going as fast as we can.” Fallon told him.
“Hey! Check this out!” Blake called out excitedly.
“What is it?” Fallon asked, leaning in for a closer look at the paper he held in his hand.
“Listen to this! It’s a report. About Brandon and another patient.” Blake explained. He began to read. “Brandon is showing signs of obsession towards… The patient’s name is scratched out. But it says she is five years old. Brandon would have been ten. The patient was admitted to Sherwood because her parents thought she had drowned her little two year old sister in the bathtub. She was only there for about four months before she was released. It ended up being an accident and she left Sherwood. But while she was there, Brandon was obsessed with her.” Blake explained.
“Oh, man.” Thomas replied.
“He called her Rose, because she always carried around a fake rose in her hand.” Blake explained before continuing. “Brandon went postal when she left. No joke. He through such a fit, he had to be put in solitary confinement!” he read.
“Oh my god!” Fallon muttered.
“He was in solitary for almost a month!” Blake replied before grabbing something out of the pile. “Look! It’s a picture of Rose! But you can’t really see her. She’s facing away from the camera, you can’t really see her face!” Blake cried, holding up the photo. Fallon grabbed it and stared at it. Something about the little girl struck her as familiar, but she couldn’t quite put her finger on why.
Fallon opened her mouth to speak when something clattered outside the door. “What was that?” she jumped, dropping the picture.
“I’m getting out of here!” Thomas cried, running and slipping out the door into the hallway.
“Hey! Wait!” Blake cried, dropping the file and running after Thomas.
“Guys!” Fallon cried, running and slipping out the door into the hallway.
Up ahead, Fallon saw Thomas run around a corner. Blake followed closely behind. Fallon ran after them, her footsteps echoing off the cracked walls around her. She turned the corner, and looked at the stairs blocking her path. With her heart pounding, she hurried up the steps, until she reached the second floor landing. “Blake? Thomas? Where are you?” she called out. Something scurried across the hall in front of her. She jumped back with a small shriek. She hugged the wall, walking slowly, her eyes scanning the thick shadows. “Guys!?” she called out. Her voice echoed around her.
Stay calm, Fallon. she reassured herself. There was a doorway up ahead. She reached it, and glanced inside. Her eyes adjusted to the dark. A patient’s room. Empty. She kept moving. That’s when she heard the scream. Fallon stopped in her tracks, eyes wide. Her breath caught in her throat. She listened. A sound of a struggle, nearby. Another scream rang out. Horror mixed with pain. There was another doorway, just up ahead. Silence now, only the gasps of breath coming from Fallon. She reached the door, and peered inside. A body lay on the floor. Blood collecting quickly around it. It took Fallon a moment to realize it was Thomas.
“T-T-Thomas?” Fallon stuttered. He didn’t move. Fallon felt like she had been punched in the stomach. Her head spun, and she gripped the doorway to keep from falling. He’s dead. she thought to herself. Suddenly, there was movement in the corner of the room. Someone hiding in the thick black shadows. Fallon’s eyes went wide, as she backed into the hallway. All her senses told her to run, so she listened. She turned, and ran, no longer hugging the wall. She was near the staircase when suddenly, the floor gave away under her feet. She let out a scream as the floor opened up, wood and concrete giving away as Fallon fell down into the room below from what was now the ceiling. Landing with a thud among the wood and debris.
She hit her head, and the world went black. She lay motionless, one arm outstretched. A black spider crawled over her hand. A minute passed before Fallon let out a small groan. She stirred, her eyes blinking open. She sat up slowly, bringing her hand to her head. She pulled her hand back and saw blood staining it. She winced in pain, and got to her feet. The world spun around her, but she hurried away, trying to ignore the pounding in her head. “Blake!” She screamed as she made her way into the hallway. Was the exit up ahead? She took a step but stopped when she heard the sound of footsteps behind her. She spun around, ready to scream, and through the haze of pain, saw Blake hurrying towards her.
“Are you alright?! We got to get out of here!” he cried, taking Fallon by the hand.
“Thomas?” she asked, even though she already knew the answer.
Blake shook his head. “I found him! He didn’t make it.” he said, sadness glinting in his eyes.
He lead Fallon over to the side door where they had came in from. She winced in pain at the pounding of her head. Blake pushed open the door with his foot, and lead them outside to safety.