The following day dawned sunny and bright. The town of West Valley was still asleep. A fresh coat of dew clung to the grass. The neighbourhood was silent. Inside Darcy’s house, she slept, snuggled under the covers of her bed. She slept soundly, her breathing shallow. Darcy was dreaming, a pleasant dream. In it, she and Campbell were walking along the water of a beach. It was nighttime, a beautiful crescent moon hanging lazily in the dark canopy that was the sky. Stars twinkled, lighting up the waves of the ocean that crashed against the sand. Campbell and Darcy walked hand in hand, barefoot, the sand cool beneath their feet.
Darcy looked down at her hand, at the large diamond ring on her finger. She ticked her gaze back upto Campbell, who spoke, but his voice was drowned out by the sound of the crashing waves. She smiled, teeth gleaming white under the light of the moon. Campbell smiled back and lead her along, walking past a bonfire who’s flames were slowly dying down. They both dropped down by the warm glow of the fire, embracing. Darcy smiled, looking up as the stars shot across the sky, silver against black. Campbell whispered something in her ear and held her close, his arms wrapped around her. She trailed her fingers lightly down his arm. The moonlight glinted off the diamonds of her ring. He kissed her neck, she smiled in contempt. Suddenly, without warning, she woke up, her eyes popping open.
Sunlight poured into her room through the window, and she squinted against the harsh light, muttering a curse under her breath as she sat up. I need water. she thought to herself, her mouth was very dry. She pulled back the covers and got to her feet. She took a glance around the room. Something lingered in the air. Some sort of weird energy. Darcy frowned. Unaware that someone had broken into her home hours before. That they had forced their way into the house from the backdoor. That the shadowy figure had stood by her bedside, watching her sleep.
Darcy made her way over to the bathroom door, pulling it open. Now she thought about the day before, when she had discovered Tammy Coleman on her front porch. She still couldn’t believe all the cruel things Tammy had said to her. That she blamed her for being blind. Blaming her for the killer attacking her. Darcy frowned. They had once been friends but now Tammy clearly resented her. And to think Shawn was behind Tammy’s unexpected visit. Darcy could still picture the smug look on his face. He had driven past her, Amy in the passenger seat and Tammy in the back. It made Darcy’s blood boil. She couldn’t believe he hated her that much.
It was he who had betrayed her. She had found him, her own fiancee, in bed with Amy, her best friend. She had moved to West Valley to get away from them. To start over. And they had followed. They were now living in what was once the Talley house. They were just a few blocks away. In a small town like West Valley, it was hard to avoid people. Darcy shook away her troubled thoughts, trying to think of more pleasant things. She padded over to the sink, rubbing the sleep from her eyes. She reached out with a hand to turn on the faucet, ticking her gaze to the mirror and suddenly stopped dead in her tracks. Her breath catching in her throat. Her heart dropped to her stomach as she stared at her reflection. At the stranger in the mirror.
At first she thought her eyes were playing tricks on her. Or that perhaps she was still asleep in bed and this was just a nightmare. But no, she was wide awake. It wasn’t a stranger in the mirror. It was her. Only she looked different. When she had gone to sleep, she had worn her hair loose, it flowed down her back like a golden waterfall. The usual way she wore her hair. And now, it was nowhere to be found. A whimper escaped Darcy’s lips as she ran a hand through her hair. Her short hair. Her hair was gone. It had been cut. While I slept! her mind screamed back at her. She began gasping for air, scared she was going to faint.
Darcy let out another whimper as she focused on the message scrawled on the mirror. Scrawled in red. Something she had seen before. Something familiar, that she knew all too well. A message from the killer. All she could do was stare at the mirror, eyes wide, tears threatening to overflow down her cheeks.
She wanted to move. To run, to get away from her reflection. To grab the phone and call the police. Or call Campbell. But Darcy couldn’t move. She couldn’t get her legs to cooperate. She stood rooted in place, the tile floor cold underneath her bare feet. In the reflection of the mirror she caught sight of a pair of scissors. They were placed on the closed toilet lid. Bits of blonde hair clung to the sharp silver blades. She recognized them, they belonged to her. She kept them in a drawer in the kitchen. She opened her mouth, and screamed. Screamed again. Screaming out in horror. Screaming her throat raw as it echoed through the house.
Faye stared in shock at the horror on the screen. She swallowed hard, moving the mouse to click away the grisly sight. She sat at the computer, having come across pictures of all the murders that had happened in West Valley so far. As a podcaster, she had to find different sources of information. Interviewing people was sometimes not enough. Sometimes you had to dig a little deeper than that. It doesn’t get much deeper than this. she thought to herself, her stomach flopping, as she sat back against the chair. Hacking just happened to be one of her talents, however it was something that she kept secret. It was something she kept to herself, she could get into a lot of trouble if people knew. She’d be in even more trouble if the police were to ever find out.
It wasn’t too difficult to hack into the West Valley police department’s system. In fact, Faye thought it was a little too easy. Not only can they not catch the killer, but their internet security sucks. Faye thought to herself. Soon, she had found what she was looking for. Files on each crime starting with the death of Felicia Talley, up until the recent death of Thomas Roe. She came across the crime scene photos, and taking a deep breath, she had gone through each one of them. She wished she hadn’t.
The photos seemed to get more disturbing as they went on. There was Felicia Talley, a knife in her eye. Everly Martin, who had been poisoned. Regina Olsen’s decapitated body, Harrison Whitlow with this throat slashed. And Thomas Roe, who had been savagely stabbed to death. She’d seen enough. After turning off the computer, Faye got to her feet. Pushing the chair back against the desk. She headed out of the room, and made her way into the kitchen. Ellie had gone off to the club, she had a meeting with Christy Whitlow. Tyson was already at school, the schoolbus had passed to pick him up not too long ago, and Lynn was somewhere in the house. Faye felt somewhat relieved that she wasn’t in the alone. After reading the files and seeing those pictures, she couldn’t help but feel uneasy.
She turned to look behind her, expecting to see the killer standing there. The space behind her was empty, and Faye let out a deep sigh. She made her way over to the fridge, pulling it open. She gazed inside before pulling out a carton of orange juice. She placed the juice down on the counter as she pulled a glass out from one of the cupboards. She poured the drink and gulped it down quickly. She had plans to go see Campbell. To go talk to him about the murder of his brother. She had gotten his number from Fallon. She had called him, surprised that he agreed to talk to her so soon. She had seen him at the funeral, but he wasn’t in any shape to talk. Faye put the juice carton back in the fridge, placing the empty glass in the dishwasher.
She looked up at the sound of footsteps on the floor, and smiled as Lynn walked into the kitchen. “Hi Lynn!” she said to the older woman.
“Faye! I didn’t realize you were still home. Can I make you something for breakfast?” Lynn asked.
“Oh, no thank you! I was just about to head out.” Faye answered politely.
“Do you have any new leads?” Lynn asked curiously.
“Not yet but maybe talking to Campbell will get things rolling.” Faye explained to the older woman.
“So tragic, what happened to his brother. Thomas was a nice young man.” Lynn revealed.
Faye nodded in agreement. “I wish we can get some answers soon.” she explained.
“I have something you might be interested in hearing.” Lynn replied, biting down on her lip as she went to sit down at the kitchen island.
Faye’s interest was piqued. She sat down on the stool next to the older woman. “What is it?” she asked, cocking an eyebrow in Lynn’s direction.
“At first I thought it was just my imagination. But I’ve seen him.” Lynn said in a whisper, as if someone else was listening in on their conversation.
“Seen who?” Faye asked with a frown creasing her forehead.
“The killer.” Lynn said simply.
Faye’s eyes widened in surprise. “What? You’ve seen the killer?” she asked.
Lynn nodded in reply.
“Who is it?” Faye asked.
“I’ve never seen his face. He’s always dressed in a black cloak.” Lynn explained.
She was talking about the killer’s costume. “Where have you seen him? When?” Faye asked urgently.
“It started after Harrison Whitlow was killed. Some nights, when I can’t sleep and everyone else is sleeping, I sit and gaze out the window. And I’ve seen him. Or her. Watching me. Watching the house.” Lynn explained with a frown creasing her face.
An icy cold shiver of fear slowly snaked down Faye’s spine. “Lynn, why haven’t you said anything up until now? You need to tell Ellie, or the police!” she replied.
“I’m afraid! Afraid if I tell, he’ll hurt one of us. He already killed my Richard!” Lynn said, looking down sadly with a sniffle.
“Is there anything you can tell me? Anything you remember seeing?” Faye questioned, her heart thumping quickly in her chest.
“He usually ran off that way, through the backyard.” Lynn revealed, pointing out the kitchen window.
“There’s a lot of houses in that area. Maybe he, or she, could be running home.” Faye explained, talking out loud to herself.
“You mean… it could be someone we know who’s doing this? Not some stranger?” Lynn asked, eyes wide with fear.
“Well we know Brandon Covington is alive. Maybe he’s right here in town, killing people off one by one.” Faye explained.
Lynn gasped loudly, clamping her hands over her mouth in surprise. “Brandon Covington is alive?!” she cried out.
“You didn’t know? I went to speak with his aunt.” Faye explained.
“You mean Shannon? Richard and I were friends with the Covingtons back then. So were the Olsen family.” Lynn revealed. She frowned. “I heard about when he escaped from Sherwood, but he hadn’t been heard of or seen since. Everyone just assumed he had died.” Lynn explained.
“He’s alive. And he might be back in town.” Faye replied.
“And killed Richard? And Regina?” Lynn asked, worry glinting in her eyes. “But why? They were nothing but nice to him!” she continued.
“I wish I knew.” Faye replied sympathetically.
“They’ll find him, right? Bring him to justice? I worry about my daughter and grandson’s safety.” Lynn replied.
Faye couldn’t seem to find an answer. She patted Lynn’s hand reassuringly. “It’ll be fine.” she lied, wondering if the older woman could see the glint of uncertainty in her eyes.
With a roar from the engine, a car screeched to a stop in front of the Cosgrove house. The engine idled before turning off. There was a moment of silence before the driver side door opened, and Olivia stepped out. She held her phone to her ear, listening to the voice on the other end of the line.
“Each table should have a bouquet of pink roses. Not salmon colored. Pink! The pageant is tonight and everything must be perfect!” she barked out an order.
She closed the driver side door with her hip. With a roll of her eyes, she hung up the phone, disconnecting the call. She pressed on the car key with a perfectly manicured nail, the car chirping in response as the doors locked automatically. She dangled the keys on her finger, heading up the walkway towards the house. Her heels clicked against the pavement as she made her way onto the porch. Reaching the front door, she slid the key into the lock, unlocking the door and pulling it open. Pulling the keys out she stepped inside the quiet house. She closed the door behind her and locked it. Throwing the keys onto the foyer table.
Olivia was stressed. After months of planning, the Miss Teen West Valley pageant was finally here. She wanted to make sure everything was perfect. She had left the house at the crack of dawn, driving over to the banquet hall where the pageant was going to be taking place. She had made sure that the hall was clean, that the caterers had arrived on time with the food she had ordered. It had cost her a small fortune, but she was sure the guests would love it. She had also chosen and made sure the decorations were taken care of. She had hired the best DJ and had gotten him set up. The last thing to take care of were the flowers. She wanted a beautiful centerpiece at each table. The florist had yet to arrive when Olivia had headed home.
She had called them from the car, making sure they would bring the right colored flowers. Now inside the house, Olivia was able to finally take a breath. She could shower, get ready, and perhaps waste some time with having a drink or two. A nice glass of wine usually helped her calm down. She looked at the clock. Edwin was still at work, and Skye had gone over to get ready at Hanna’s. A whole bunch of other girls had gone over to get ready as well. I hope Skye memorizes her speech. she thought to herself. There was no doubt in her mind that Skye would win. Her daughter was always one step ahead of her peers.
It was just the way she had raised her. She had been raised the same way. Olivia was a pageant queen back when she was Skye’s age. Her mother had made her enter all of them, and she had won them all but once. It was something Olivia looked back on every once in a while. To this day, she would always remember her mother’s face when she had came in second place. Embarrasment, dissapointment. Her mother didn’t talk to her for a whole month. Skye’s grandmother had died about a year after she was born. Olivia was glad she wasn’t around anymore. If she had, she would be calling the shots, with Olivia silently in the background.
With a sigh, Olivia headed up the stairs. Making her way into her bedroom. She ticked her gaze to Edwin’s suit that she had placed out on the bed. He better not be late tonight. she thought to herself. Edwin would meet them at the pageant. He planned on coming home from work and changing before heading to the banquet hall. Olivia kicked off her heels, sliding out of her clothes. She made her way into the bathroom. She turned on the shower, adjusting the water temperature before getting in. She let the water rain down on her as she raised her face towards the shower head.
A few minutes later, she was out of the shower, throwing on a silk robe. She dried off before making her way back to the bedroom. She went over to the walk-in closet, pulling out her dress for the pageant. While Skye had her dress made by Darcy, Olivia had hers shipped from Milan, Italy. She slid into it before going for accessories and shoes. The final touch was hair and makeup, the end result was flawless. Olivia looked at her reflection in the mirror, a smile of contempt on her crimson painted lips. The perfect look for the perfect host. she thought to herself. Winking at herself in the mirror, a small giggle escaping from her lips.
She made her way out of the bedroom and over to the stairs. She descended them, reaching the main floor. Now was the perfect time for that glass of wine. Olivia made her way into the kitchen. She made her way over to a cupboard, pulling the door open. She reached inside and pulled out a wine glass. She went over to place it down on the kitchen counter. She was on a search for a bottle of red wine, when the phone rang. Olivia rolled her eyes in annoyance, but slid out her phone and accepted the call.
“Hello?” she answered.
Silence on the other end of the line. “Hello?” Olivia repeated.
“Hello?” a voice replied from the other end of the line.
Olivia frowned. She didn’t recognize the voice. In fact, it sounded a little distorted. “Yes?” she asked.
“Who is this?” the voice asked.
Olivia ticked her gaze around the kitchen. Where is that bottle of wine? she thought to herself. “Olivia, who’s this?” she asked.
“This is….one of the pageant contestants. I’m afraid I have to drop out.” the voice replied.
Olivia huffed, the caller had her full attention now. “But the pageant is tonight! This is so typical. You can’t handle one little pageant? All you have to do is look pretty and talk when they ask you questions! I know some of you girls have the attention span of a gnat, but this is ridiculous!” she hissed into the phone.
There was a laugh on the other end of the line. “I’ve riled you up, I see.” the caller said.
“You think this is funny? This isn’t a joke!” Olivia replied.
“It’s more of a game, actually.” the caller said with a chuckle. “And you’re the lucky contestant.” he told her.
“I don’t have time for this! If you’re dropping out, let me speak to your mother.” Olivia said.
“How about you talk to me and play the game instead? Someone’s very life can depend on it.” the caller asked.
“What are you talking about?” Olivia asked, puzzled. An uneasy feeling wrapped itself around her.
“I’m going to kill someone tonight, Olivia.” the voice said matter of factly.
Her eyes widened. “That’s not funny!” she said.
“I never said it was going to be a fun game. For you. Me? I’m having fun already!” the voice explained.
“Stephanie Workman, is this you? Are you trying to intimidate me because I set up the whole pageant??” Olivia asked.
“It’s time you start listening, Olivia. All you have to do is answer my question.” the voice told her.
“And if I don’t?” she asked.
“If you don’t, or get the answer wrong, someone dies. Simple as that.” the voice revealed.
Olivia’s eyes widened. “Dies?” she repeated.
“Are you ready? If you get it right, I won’t interfere with the pageant. Get it wrong, someone’s going to have to die.” the killer chuckled.
“I..I can’t do this! Please, don’t make me!” Olivia protested.
“Simple question : Who am I going to kill next?” the voice asked.
“What?! How could I know the answer to that?!” Olivia cried into the phone.
“Take a wild guess!” the voice replied.
“I..I don’t know! My lord! Don’t make me do this!” Olivia stammered.
“You have five seconds.” the voice said.
“I don’t know! Dawn Olsen?” Olivia guessed.
“That’s the wrong answer! Sorry, Olivia. You lost. You’ll find out who dies soon enough. I promise.” the killer said before hanging up the phone.
Olivia stood stunned in the middle of the kitchen. Listening to the dial tone in her ear.
The silence surrounding St-Gregory’s Church was broken by the sound of footsteps on the grass. A lone figure appeared, approaching the back of the old building where the graveyard was. The sun shone high above but it’s rays could not warm the chill that had come over Fallon. She had spent most of the morning over at Darcy’s. She had gotten a phone call, it had woken her up from her sleep. She had been about to answer the phone and curse whoever it was on the other end of the line. When she had seen it was Darcy calling. It was still fairly early, it had striken her as odd. So she had answered the phone, and listened to the hysterical cries of Darcy on the other end.
Her friend kept shrieking about her hair, and Fallon had to calm her down to clearly understand what had happened. Darcy was able to explain that she had woken up, and had discovered someone had cut off her hair while she had been sleeping. Fallon’s stomach dropped as she listened in horrified shock. She couldn’t believe it. She had told Darcy to call the police, which she already had and they were on their way. Her friend asked her if she could come over, which Fallon agreed. She had hung up, jumped into the shower and raced over to Darcy’s in record time. By the time she had got there, the police and Campbell were already at the house.
Fallon had sat next to Darcy and listened as the police took her statement. Fallon couldn’t believe someone would sneak into the house in the middle of the night and do that. But who would do such a thing? Was it the killer? Someone with a grudge against Darcy? That’s what the police were trying to figure out. Her friend looked pretty pitiful, tears streaming from her eyes, her hair now boy-short. That was when a police officer had discovered that the backdoor had been tampered with. It had been forced open, allowing the intruder access to the house. Fallon gripped Darcy’s hand tightly in hers as they listened to the police officer speak.
After the police had left, Fallon and Campbell had stuck around for a bit longer. They both tried to comfort Darcy, to no avail. She seemed traumatized. Fallon tried to think of just who was tormenting Darcy, and why. It had started when she been nearly killed in the bathroom of her store. Then, her friend Tammy had been attacked. After that, they had both discovered Felicia’s body in her coffin which had been left on Darcy’s front lawn. Now it was sneaking into her house and chopping off her hair. Could it have been Shawn? Fallon had thought to herself with a frown. Probably not, he had already gotten back at Darcy by having Tammy show up on her doorstep.
It has to be the killer. But why is he targeting Darcy? Fallon had thought to herself after she had left Darcy’s place so she and Campbell could be alone. Fallon had walked back home, but instead of going inside, she kept moving down the sidewalk. She wanted to go visit someone, and soon found herself heading towards St-Gregory’s. Once the old Church came into view, Fallon made her way around to the back. She stopped in front of a gravestone, placing her hand down on it. She bowed her head, a deep sigh escaping from her lips. She took a step back, reading the engraving on the stone.
THOMAS ERIC ROE
1994 – 2006
SLEEPS WITH THE ANGELS.
Fallon felt a pang of sadness hit her. Maybe if Blake or I would have moved faster, Thomas wouldn’t have been killed. she thought to herself. Fallon didn’t know why Thomas had wanted to come along to Sherwood Sanitarium. He said he wanted to so that he could get on Campbell’s good side again. But Fallon didn’t understand how that would clear the air between the two brothers. Now Thomas was dead, and she felt somewhat responsible for telling him he could come along. She thought about what they had discovered at the sanitarium. Brandon Covington had been obsessed with a girl named Rose. If he was back, and killing the people of West Valley, maybe Rose was in town as well. They just needed to find out who she was.
It could be anyone. Fallon thought to herself with a frown. She was so lost in her thoughts that she didn’t see the figure appear, didn’t hear the sound of footsteps on the grass until a voice called out to her, startling her.
“Fallon?” the voice called out her name.
She turned to reveal Scott, who was looking over at her with worry glinting in his eyes. “Scott? What are you doing here?” she asked curiously.
“I was at home, I glanced out the window and I saw you walk by. You didn’t come in and you had this worried look on your face. So I decided to follow you.” Scott explained sheepishly.
“Oh. It’s been a rough day.” Fallon explained.
“And it’s not even noon yet. Do you want to talk about it?” he asked.
“There was an incident. At Darcy’s.” Fallon revealed.
Scott’s eyes widened slightly. “Is everything okay?” he asked curiously.
“I wouldn’t say okay, but things are calm. For now.” she replied with a frown creasing her forehead.
“Don’t you find it kind of weird that once Darcy shows up in town, all this craziness starts happening?” Scott asked.
“Well since you mention it, yeah, and…oh my god!” Fallon cried, her eyes widening in realization.
“What is it?” Scott asked, a frown on his face at her sudden outburst.
“Oh my god!” she repeated. “What if Darcy is Rose?” Fallon asked.
Scott contemplated that. “I guess it could be possible! You only met her when she moved here. What do you know about her past?” he asked her.
“She was born and raised in Newcrest. She’s an only child. Her mom’s a nurse and I can’t remember what her dad does. She was best friends with Tammy Coleman and Amy Rayburn. She was engaged to Shawn Evans, but he slept with Amy. Darcy found out and left Newcrest and came here.” Fallon explained.
“Maybe we should ask Shawn and Amy?” Scott asked, cocking an eyebrow.
“They didn’t know her when she was a kid. That’s when she was at Sherwood, and when she would have known Brandon.” Fallon revealed.
“Maybe we should talk to her parents. Do you have their number?” Scott asked.
Fallon shook her head in response. “I don’t. But I do have their address! We need to go see them. We need answers!” she told Scott.
“We’ll take a drive to Newcrest as soon as possible! Whatever you do, don’t tell her what we’re upto!” Scott explained.
Fallon nodded. “I promise.” she told him.
“Alright. Let’s get out of here.” Scott said, taking her by the arm and leading her away.
Blood splatters on the floor, Regina’s body lying still near the bed. Her decapitated head lying a few feet away, it’s face frozen in a scream of horror. Dawn could see it all over again, flashing through her mind like a broken picture show. She blinked hard, gazing around the room. It was her first time in the bedroom since her mother had been killed. That had been over a month ago. She had kept the door shut, no one wanted to go in there. No one wanted to be reminded of the grisly murder that had occured. Regina had been alone in her room when the killer had struck.
Dawn remembered vividly the sounds she had heard coming from inside the bedroom. The sound of something shattering. Dawn had thought perhaps her mother had dropped something, and she had gone to see if everything was alright. She spotted her mother, and at first she thought she had fallen. Dawn had gone to help her up, which is when she saw the blood. And then a scream had erupted from her throat. Clawing at the sides of her face as she had looked down at her mother’s headless body. Blood pumping profusely from the stump. She had kept screaming, unable to move from where she had stood.
Her screams had alerted her family, and they were as horrified as she was. Her brother Michael had led her out of the bedroom and into the living room where he sat her down on the couch. Meanwhile, her sister-in-law Claire, had ran over to the phone to call the police. They had arrived in record time, shocked that another murder had occured. It had been quiet for three weeks, but the killer had struck again. Dawn pushed her troubled thoughts aside as she walked over to her mother’s dresser. She picked up a perfume bottle and sprayed the sweet scent on her. It reminded her of her mother. With a deep sigh escaping her lips, Dawn put the perfume bottle back down on the dresser and made her way out of the bedroom.
She closed the bedroom door behind her. Eventually her mother’s things would have to go in storage. I don’t know if I can do that. Dawn thought to herself as she made her way into the living room. She went over to the couch, and sat down. It was quiet. Her brother Michael had taken her son Finn to buy a videogame. Charlie and Claire were in the house somewhere, but she wasn’t sure what they were upto. Dawn reached over and grabbed the remote control. She turned the television on and channel surfed until she found a cooking show. She must have been watching for a few minutes when she heard the sound of footsteps nearby. Dawn looked up to see Charlie. She smiled at his appearance.
“Oh my goodness! My oldest son is dressed up!” she teased.
Charlie rolled his eyes in reply, but smiled. “How do I look?” he asked.
“Spiffy! All those beauty queens are going to be throwing themselves at you!” Dawn replied with a chuckle.
Charlie scoffed. “Please, most of them are lame.” he explained.
“So then why are you going?” Dawn asked curiously.
“Because if I don’t, Skye is going to annoy me forever.” Charlie replied, rolling his eyes.
“Doesn’t she know you’re kind of seeing Megan?” Dawn asked.
“Like that’s going to stop her.” Charlie scoffed. “Anyway mom, I gotta go.” he said.
“Alright, have fun!” she said, watching him head out the door. She got to her feet and was heading towards the kitchen when she heard other footsteps. Heels clicking against the floor. She looked over to see Claire walk in, dressed to kill.
“Whoa! Don’t tell me, you’re also going to the pageant?” Dawn asked.
“I’m one of the announcers.” Claire replied.
“And here I was thinking you were one of the contestants! Great dress!” Dawn told Claire.
“I know, right? It was not cheap.” Claire explained, striking a few poses.
Dawn chuckled. “You’ll give those beauty queens a run for their money!” she replied.
“Too bad I’m too old to enter. I would have won. That bratty cunt Skye Cosgrove wouldn’t know what hit her.” Claire gloated.
Another chuckle from Dawn. “We all knew a girl like her when we were teens.” she told Claire.
“I WAS like her!” Claire revealed.
“What a shocker!” Dawn replied with a giggle.
“Your brother didn’t seem to mind! Anyhoo, I gotta go. I’ll drive Charlie home when the pageant is done.” Claire said.
“Thanks! Have fun! Let me know who wins!” Dawn said as Claire headed out of the house.
And I’ll be here alone. Dawn thought to herself with a frown.
Shawn had a smile on his face as he pulled open the front door and stepped into the house. He closed it behind him, locking it. You couldn’t be too careful these days. There was a killer on the loose. Shawn felt like it was something out of a thriller. But it wasn’t something that was going to stop him from living his life. He had gone for a walk around the neighbourhood, and was replaying the events of the other day in his mind. His plan had worked. He had called up Tammy Coleman, and it hadn’t taken her much convincing to come to West Valley.
He wanted to put Darcy in her place. To bring her down a notch or two. He was still angry at the fact that she had slapped Amy. What gave her the right? he had thought to himself. So Tammy had showed up on his doorstep, her eyes covered by large sunglasses. She was all for confronting Darcy. So he, Tammy and Amy loaded up in the car, and had driven over to Darcy’s house. He had parked the car a few houses down and let Tammy walk over to the front door. Darcy wasn’t home, but just their luck, she was walking upto the house. The look on her face was priceless. A mixture of confusion, worry, and uncertainty.
He had wished he could have heard what Tammy was saying to Darcy. He knew she blamed her for being blind for the rest of her life. It had been a message from the killer, dousing Tammy in the face with sulfuric acid. She was the wrong place at the wrong time. If things had gone down differently, would it have been Darcy getting a faceful of acid? As he headed into the kitchen, Shawn wondered why the killer was so interested in Darcy. Her arrival in town had jumpstarted the murders. The first murder had happened just a few feet away from where Shawn was standing.
He turned to look at the spot. Felicia’s body had been found right there. It was no wonder the house was such a steal. The real estate company was in a rush to sell it. He and Amy hadn’t put much money down to purchase the property. Besides it’s checkered past, the house was nice enough for the two of them. Amy was pregnant and the guest room upstairs could easily be converted into a baby’s nursery. Shawn gazed out the kitchen window into the backyard. Amy was gone for the day, she had gone off to some sort of expecting mother’s seminar. There was also the beauty pageant being held later on that evening.
Busy weekend here in West Valley. Shawn thought to himself. He was turning away from the window when he heard a loud crash. He stopped in his tracks and listened carefully. It didn’t seem to be coming from inside the house. The noise had come from outside. A frown creased Shawn’s face as he peered out the window into the backyard. His eyes scanning for the source of the noise he had heard. At first he thought it was Amy, but no one came into view. It was too early for her to return, she had left two hours prior. With a sigh, Shawn headed for the backdoor.
He unlocked it, and hesitated for a moment before he pulled the door open. He stepped outside, closing the door behind him as he did so. He took a glance around, his eyes scanning the perimeter. The backyard still seemed empty. He gazed towards the street. No one there. he thought to himself. He took a few steps forward, when he heard another noise. A shuffling sound. Out of the corner of his eye, Shawn thought he caught the slightest sight of movement. He tensed, frowning. Someone was there, near the tool shed. Yet he wasn’t scared. Just a little anxious.
It was broad daylight. Maybe it was a squirrel or a chipmunk just moving through the backyard. He made his way towards the tool shed, and stopped when he saw the lock on the shed door was broken. He frowned. Could someone be in there, sneaking around? He slowly approached the shed, stopping in front of the door. It was silent now, just the soft whisper of a breeze ruffling through the leaves above. Shawn reached out, gripped the shed door handle, and pulled the door open. Expecting to have something fly out at him. Nothing. The small space inside was empty, dusty. He rolled his eyes in annoyance, closing the door.
That’s when he was hit from behind. Before he could even turn around, he was struck on the back of the head. There was a loud crunch and Shawn was able to let out a soft grunt before he dropped to the ground. As the ground rose up to meet him, he could make out the outline of someone holding a crowbar, and then the world went black. The killer peered down at Shawn’s unconscious form before dragging him away.
Skye stepped outside, letting the door swing shut behind her. She needed some air, needed to take a breather before the evening gown competition began. After the swimsuit competition was over, she had headed into the backroom to change into her dress. She then headed out of the room, across the banquet hall and over to the door. She walked down the steps. She was doing great so far and she had a feeling she would be crowned Miss Teen West Valley. A smile played on her lips as she thought about it. She couldn’t wait to see the other contestants faces when she won the crown.
Some actually think they have a shot at winning! Skye thought to herself, a chuckle escaping her lips. She shook her head at how delusional they were. Did they really think they had a chance at winning when she was there? Skye turned around, made her way up the steps, and went back inside the banquet hall. Most of the seats were taken. She saw Charlie sitting at a table with Liam Alston. They were deep in conversation, probably talking about sports. Skye was glad Charlie had decided to attend. Liam’s sister Mariah was also a contestant, and he was there to support her.
Walking across the floor, Skye went to the back of the hall. She ran through her speech again, she had memorized it all. The sound of clicking heels met her ears and at first she thought it was her mother. Turning, she saw it was Hanna, who was making her way over, a nervous glint in her eyes. Skye had to admit, she liked her friend’s dress.
“There you are. I was looking for you.” Hanna revealed.
Skye looked around, distracted. She waved to Noah Shipp, a classmate of her’s. “What is it?” she asked Hanna.
“The swimsuit competition made me so nervous. Do you think I’ll win it?” Hanna asked.
Skye almost laughed in her face. “Have you ever heard of the saying; every woman for herself?” she asked Hanna.
“It’s just, being up there in front of everyone in a bathing suit, you didn’t feel nervous?” Hanna asked.
“Actually, no. I was too busy looking over at Charlie. I think he liked what he saw.” Skye replied with a wink.
“He might have actually been looking at Megan, I think I saw her lurking around earlier.” Hanna replied.
“No one invited her. She probably crashed. I’ll deal with her once the pageant is over.” Skye explained.
“What are you going to do?” Hanna asked curiously.
“Remind her that she’s just an ant underneath my five inch heels!” Skye replied with glee.
“I don’t know what Charlie sees in her. She’s more Trevor Hagen’s type.” Hanna said.
“Charlie is going through a moment of insanity. He’ll come around. And realize he wants me!” Skye chuckled. “Megan and Trevor are perfect for each other. They’re both freaks!” she continued.
“Did you see Trevor? Running around here taking pictures for the school newspaper.” Hanna revealed.
Skye rolled her eyes in annoyance. “I know. He caught me at an unflattering angle, earlier. I told him to delete it right away.” she explained to her friend.
“And he almost stepped on my dress!” Hanna said.
Skye gasped. “He’s such a clutzy little troll!” she huffed.
The two girls giggled, not aware that a third person had joined their conversation. Skye looked up to see her mother standing beside them.
“How are things, girls?” Olivia asked.
“Great! I just know I’m going to win!” Skye replied, ignoring the frown on Hanna’s face.
“Remember, if you win, you get a car!” Olivia replied before gazing around the room nervously.
“Looking for someone Mrs. C? I know Megan Whitlow is here uninvited.” Hanna revealed.
“Your mother already caught her and kicked her out.” Olivia told Hanna. “I’m just thinking if maybe we should have gotten security for this event.” she continued, gazing nervously around once more.
“It’s fine. The pageant is almost done, anyway.” Skye replied.
As if on cue, Claire Olsen went up to the microphone and declared it was time for the evening gown competition. All the girls, including Hanna and Skye hurried to the stage. Olivia watched as each girl lined up, stepped forward when their name was called, striking a pose before going back to their spot. Because there were quite a few girls, this lasted a few minutes. Olivia watched, distracted. Thinking back to the phone call she had received earlier. Was someone going to die? Was the killer actually going to strike again because she got his or her answer wrong?
Whoever it was, sounded serious. Olivia thought to herself with a frown creasing her pretty face. She tried to focus, pushing the thoughts to the back of her mind when Claire announced it was time to reveal the winner of the pageant. She was handed an envelope, tore it open and looked at what was written on the card inside. She looked up at the crowd, a secretive smile on her face. Olivia sucked in a breath, holding it as Claire called out the name of the new Miss Teen West Valley. Skye Cosgrove! The room exploded into thunderous applause as the other contestants cleared the stage, only Skye remaining.
She won! Olivia let out her breath, clapping loudly. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Hanna slink over to her mother, looking like a dog with it’s tail between it’s legs. Stephanie said something, and then turned to look at Olivia, her gaze icy and cold. Olivia focused her attention back to Skye, who was standing on the stage with a big smile on her lips. She was about to give her speech. Olivia couldn’t be more proud, tears threatening to spill down her cheeks. She looked over to Edwin, who was standing nearby. He was grinning broadly, and caught her eyes. He gave her a thumbs up and turned back to focus on his daughter on the stage.
“You chose me! I just want to say thank y..” Skye was cut off when suddenly something fell from the rafters above. At first Olivia thought it was a sandbag. It hit the stage at Skye’s feet with a loud thud that seemed to echo off the walls. The other guests gasped, jumping to their feet. There was a scream. And then another. Olivia took a step closer for a better view. And stopped in her tracks. Skye’s eyes were wide in terror, staring down at the dead body of Shawn Evans. Olivia’s stomach did a somersault as more people began screaming. Skye couldn’t seem to move, couldn’t get her legs to cooperate.
Olivia took a few steps closer as the whole room was now screaming. Some people were fleeing out the door. She got a good view of Shawn’s body, and clapped a hand over her mouth. His throat was slashed, and his face was all bloody and mangled. Bile rose in her throat, and Olivia swallowed it down. She could see Skye clearly, her daughter’s chest heaving up and down. Skye ticked her gaze to her, and then back down to the body. She opened her mouth, a loud scream of horror erupting from her throat.