Darcy blinked back the tears that threatened to cascade down her cheeks. She wasn’t crying over Shawn’s murder. She was trying not to cry at her reflection. She stood in her store, standing in front of the mirror. Gazing at her new haircut. It had already been a week. She had woken up in the morning, gone to the bathroom, and had discovered her long blonde tresses had been cut, replaced with boy short hair. Someone had broke into the house and cut off her hair while she slept. When she had seen her reflection, she had screamed, and screamed, and screamed. There was a message written on the mirror in bright crimson. A warning. SOON.
Darcy knew what it meant. The killer had forced his or her way into her house while she slept. Once the police had arrived, they had discovered the lock on the backdoor had been tampered with. She was lucky to be alive, that the killer hadn’t done worse while she was sleeping. She could have never woken up. It sent an icy cold shiver of fear down her spine. She had put a hat on to cover her head as she went to replace all the locks in the house. Deadbolts and chains for the doors, and key locks for the windows. She wasn’t taking any more chances. Once her house had been dealt with, she had gone to the hair salon.
Monica, her hairdresser’s eyes widened in shock when Darcy had pulled off her hat. She lied, and said that she was so angry with what her ex-fiancee had done, she had cut off her hair in a rage. Monica seemed to believe her. It only took her a few minutes to fix her hair, and soon Darcy looked like a new person. She had pretended she liked it, fighting back tears. For as long as she could remember, she never had short hair before. She hoped it grew quickly because she thought she looked very androgenous. She knew that look was in, but it just wasn’t her cup of tea. She felt very self conscious every time someone would see it. Only Campbell and Fallon knew the real story as to what had really happened.
After a week of being away, Darcy had finally returned to the store. Opening the door, she had entered, letting the door close behind her as she turned on the lights. Everything looked just the way she had left it. It was time to get back to business. Yet for some reason, after starting up the cash register, she had made her way over to the mirrors on the wall. And stared at her reflection. She was tired of being a victim. Tired of being one of the killer’s targets. If he was playing a game with her, why hadn’t he tried to make a move? Was he waiting for the perfect moment to strike, or did he only want to scare her out of her mind?
She wished she had answer. She wished she knew who it was that was behind all the madness that had come to West Valley. Darcy moved away from the mirror, a frown creasing her pretty face. Someone else had fallen victim to the killer. She had seen it on the news. Shawn had been killed, his body turning up at the Miss Teen West Valley pageant. Darcy had felt like she had been punched in the stomach. She couldn’t believe what she had heard. Her ex-fiancee, dead. Her stomach had churned and Darcy had ran to the bathroom to vomit. Why would the killer target Shawn? He had just moved to town.
For a brief moment, Darcy had wondered how Amy was taking it. She had resisted the urge to go see her ex best friend. Darcy didn’t attend the funeral. Instead, she had sent a flower arrangment, the card unsigned. Fallon had gone, and she had heard from her that the funeral had been very sad and that Amy was a wreck. She’s going to be a single mother. Darcy thought to herself with a frown. She felt a pang of sympathy for the unborn child. He or she would be raised without a father. Amy would have to take on the role of both parents. Darcy doubted it would be easy.
You shouldn’t feel sorry for her, she stole your fiancee. Darcy thought to herself. She went over to the counter, rearranging the nail polish bottles on the countertop. She was so lost in her thoughts, she didn’t hear the door open. A shadowy figure slipped inside the store,standing still for a moment before making their way towards Darcy. She was unaware of the person who was coming up from behind her. She let out a sigh, oblivious. Suddenly, she felt the other presence. Darcy’s eyes widened, her body tensing as she spun around. She seized the wrist of the hand that was swooping down to slap her across the face.
Her gaze met the serious glare in Amy’s eyes. Darcy pushed the other girl away. “What the hell!” Darcy cried in surprise.
Amy’s body quivered with tension. “You’re glad he’s dead.” she hissed softly.
“What? You mean Shawn?! No, I’m not glad!” Darcy revealed.
“You hated him. Hated us!” Amy replied, she sniffled.
“Well, okay, yeah. But not to the point where I wanted to see him dead!” Darcy explained to the other girl.
“You would have killed him, if you had the chance.” Amy said, balling her fists.
Darcy frowned. “I think you should leave.” she told her.
“Or what? You’re going to slap me again?” Amy challenged, her nose in the air.
“Need I remind YOU were just about to slap ME!” Darcy shot back.
“Shawn is gone! He’s never coming back! And you don’t even seem to care!” Amy cried, blinking back tears.
“How do you want me to care when he betrayed me?! You both did!” Darcy reminded Amy. “Don’t you remember? I walked into the bedroom. And there he was.. humping you! And then you saw me, and you both realized you were finally caught. All that screaming and crying, remember? I’ll NEVER forget it.” Darcy continued.
“I tried to tell you I was sorry! But you didn’t want to even hear me out! You just left town!” Amy explained. “And you were my best friend!” she said.
“A normal person wouldn’t do that to her best friend! You need to leave. Now!” Darcy shouted.
“I just hope you can forgive me one day. Shawn’s gone, and I have no one here.” Amy said softly before turning and walking to the door.
I hope I can forgive you one day, too. Darcy thought to herself as she watched Amy walk out of the store, the door swinging shut behind her.
It was nearly lunchtime as Meredith walked down the sidewalk. The air was thick and humid. She couldn’t wait to get inside. Her destination, the restaurant on Main Street. Since Ruby had the car, she had walked from home. Except for the humidity, she didn’t mind it. She had walked through the suburbs until she had reached downtown. The restaurants and shops were preparing for the lunchtime rush. She walked by Darcy’s Closet, waving at Darcy, who was changing the mannequins in the front window display. Meredith noticed Darcy’s new look, she thought she looked good. She kept moving down the sidewalk, passing the gym.
Meredith reached the restaurant, pulling out her phone to look at the time. She was a few minutes early. A smile played on her lips. She was there for a date. With Adam. Since they had met, this was their fourth date. So far, it seemed to be going well. Which Meredith was glad about. She liked Adam’s personality. There was something about him that appealed to her. Something that she wanted to discover more about. She thought he was unique. He had a certain sense of humor that many didn’t seem to understand. But Meredith got it. It was something she had picked up on on their second date.
Their first date was coffee and cake. They were able to sit and talk and get to know about each other. Their second date, they had gone bowling. Meredith wasn’t very good at it, but she had a good time. Adam had been patient and had given her some pointers. Their third date, a trip to the movies. They had gone to see some action movie, sharing a bucket of popcorn. The movie could have been better, but just being in Adam’s presence was good enough for her. He had taken her home, and walked her to the front door. He had kissed her goodnight, wrapping his arms around her waist, pulling her close to him. His lips warm and smooth.
Once she had gone inside, she had ran upto Ruby’s room. Ruby was sitting on her bed, reading a book. Meredith had joined her and talked about her night. Both girls squealing in delight when she revealed he had kissed her. Now, it was two days later. Adam had text her to ask her if she wanted to go have lunch with him. She had agreed and they made plans to meet at the restaurant. Meredith looked around, Adam didn’t seem to have arrived yet. I’ll go grab a table. she thought to herself. She pushed open the door and entered the restaurant. A hostess lead her to a free table, and she sat down, waiting for Adam.
As she scanned her surroundings, she realized she had heard about this restaurant before. About a certain event that had occured there. Where Tammy Coleman had been attacked. Meredith rubbed her arms, trying to warm the chill that wrapped itself around her. Adam had asked to meet there, he probably didn’t realize this was the place where Tammy had been blinded by the killer. Meredith herself had encountered the killer. She had been lucky, she had been able to get inside the safety of her own home while the killer lurked outside. He, or she, had toyed with her, letting her know that he was out there. Gazing at her through the glass of the backdoor.
That had been a few months ago. The most recent contact she had with the killer, was on the phone. He had called her, threatened her. She could still hear his voice in her mind, distorted and malicious. What am I still doing in West Valley? she thought to herself with a frown. People were dying. People she knew. How long until it would be her? The killer’s identity was still a mystery. What if they were never caught? What if the whole town was wiped out? A ghost town, like in the movies. She frowned, but looked up when she heard a familiar voice greet her. Adam had arrived, he pulled the chair out from across the table and sat down.
“You seem deep in thought.” he told her with a smirk.
Meredith felt herself blush. “Sorry!” she said sheepishly.
“What’s on your mind?” Adam asked curiously.
“It’s nothing.” she said, hesitating.
“Cmon! You can tell me.” he revealed.
“I’m just worried. Shawn Evans is dead, and the killer is still out there.” Meredith explained.
“I know. I wonder if they’ll ever catch this guy. Or girl.” Adam said with a frown.
“He’s contacted me, twice. The killer.” Meredith explained as Adam cocked an eyebrow.
“Was it physical contact? Because I’ve had physical contact with the killer.” Adam revealed.
“What do you mean?” Meredith asked with a frown creasing her face.
“It happened not too long ago. I was at the gym. The killer ambushed me. I took him on.” Adam explained.
Meredith’s eyes went wide in surprise. “You never told me that!” she cried.
“I didn’t want you to worry.” he told her.
“You’re lucky to be alive!” Meredith said.
“It was a challenge, but I kicked his ass!” Adam replied proudly.
“You’re sure it was a guy?” Meredith asked.
“Pretty sure. He was strong. I don’t think a girl could have that much strength. Unless she was on steroids or something.” Adam explained with a frown.
“We might be onto something!” Meredith announced.
“How so?” Adam asked curiously.
“We now know the killer is a guy.” Meredith replied.
Adam nodded. “I’m ninety-eight percent sure it was a guy.” he told her.
“So how about we focus on the menu and not on the killer for a while?” Meredith asked, flashing a smile.
“Focus on our date? Sounds good.” Adam replied.
“I feel like having the grilled chicken breast. How about you?” Meredith asked, looking up from the menu.
“It’s hard to choose! All this food on the menu sound delicious!” Adam replied with a chuckle escaping his lips.
“I can choose for you if you can’t find anything.” Meredith said with a smile.
“Would you? I hope you wouldn’t order the frog legs for me.” Adam joked.
“Well, I am curious to find out how they taste. I just wouldn’t try it.” Meredith replied.
“They taste like chicken. Every exotic dish tastes like chicken, didn’t you know?” Adam replied with another laugh.
Meredith giggled in response. “So for you, I’ll order the Salisbury steak.” she told him, glancing down at the menu.
“That’s more like it! Better than frog legs.” Adam replied.
The waitress came over and took their order. After writing it down, she walked away, and Meredith focused her attention back on Adam. “So while we’re waiting, what other restaurants in town do you like?” she asked, leaning in so she and Adam could talk privately and enjoy their date.
With footsteps on the grass, Michael Olsen exited through the backyard. It was his day off work, and he didn’t want to spend it cooped up inside the house. It was far too much of a nice day to do so. Outside was humid, something he didn’t mind. The hotter the weather, the better. There was no one home, so he decided to take advantage of going out and doing something. Dawn had gone off to see Dr. Greene. She had recently just started going to see her. She needed someone to talk to after the brutal murder of their mother. Regina’s face flashed through Michael’s mind as he made his way over to the sidewalk.
His nephews were at school. Finn had boarded the schoolbus earlier that morning. And Charlie had overslept. He hurried to get ready, late for school. He had come home late the night before, having gone to the movies with Megan. A smirk played on Michael’s lips. Charlie was at that age where girls were noticing him. He had been invited to the Miss Teen West Valley pageant by Skye. Charlie had gone, but his interests lay more in Megan. They were seeing each other, and Michael wondered when his nephew would break the news that she was his girlfriend.
Speaking of girlfriend’s, Claire was also out of the house for a while. She had gone shopping. Much needed retail therapy, she had called it. She was still in shock at what had happened at the pageant. Michael had only heard about it when she and Charlie had returned home. Instead of looking happy, they both had disturbed looks on their faces. Michael had asked what had happened, and they had told him. Shawn Evans was dead. His body had turned up at the pageant. He had been stuffed in the rafters above, his body coming free and falling to land at Skye’s feet.
Michael had taken it personally. He didn’t really know Shawn, but the Olsen family had been victimized before. Regina was a victim in the killer’s body count. After everyone had gone to bed, Michael had gone off by himself to the gym. He had pummeled the punching bag, taking out his frustrations. It helped. Michael thought to himself as he headed down the sidewalk. Leslie Snow stopped him as he passed her house, asking him how his family was doing. She was a friend of his mother’s, he hadn’t seen her since the funeral. After assuring her everything was fine, he kept moving. Listening to the sounds that one would find in the suburbs.
The sound of cars on the more busy streets. A lawnmower somewhere off in the distance. A dog barking excitedly. You wouldn’t hear these sounds at night. People were still afraid and seeked safety inside their houses once the sun went down. The killer was still out there. Still hadn’t been caught. Michael wondered to himself when that would be. So that the people of West Valley could go back to living their lives without fear. He had just passed the Roe house when the chirp of his phone caught his attention. He fished his phone out of his pocket, looking down at the screen. It was a text message from Claire.
FEEL UPTO A TREASURE HUNT?
ME BEING THE TREASURE.
COME FIND ME DOWNTOWN. ❤
Michael smiled. She sure knows how to make things interesting. he thought to himself. He put his phone back into his pocket and made his way downtown. A few minutes later he was crossing the busy street. He passed by the children’s park, it was empty. School wasn’t out yet for another two hours or so. He didn’t know why, but the deserted park sent a shiver snaking down his spine. He frowned and kept moving. He stopped in front of Darcy’s Closet. It was Claire’s favorite store. Michael looked around, there was no sign of her. He pulled out his phone, about to text her when it chirped in his hand.
It startled him, he almost dropped his phone. He looked down at the screen. Another text from Claire.
GO ANOTHER FIVE BLOCKS. =P
Michael shook his head, letting out a soft laugh. He passed a few more buildings. He passed by Surge, stopping to look at the sign in front. It was a notice about the grand reopening. He’d heard about it a few days ago. Ellie now owned the club with Christy Whitlow. They had gone into business together. Michael took mental note of the date of the reopening. It could be fun to attend. He and Claire loved dancing. Especially dancing together. A night out could be just what they needed. Michael looked around, taking in his surroundings. He found himself in the older part of downtown now.
A frown creased his face. Why does she want to meet here? Michael thought to himself. There were a few restaurants and stores, with shabby apartments on the second levels. Another text. Michael looked down at his phone.
YOUR TREASURE IS WAITING FOR YOU
BETWEEN THE CAFE AND FLOWER SHOP!
Michael smiled, looking for the cafe and flower shop. He spotted the buildings and made his way towards them. His footsteps on the pavement. As he got closer, a frown creased his face. Between the two buildings was an alleyway. Claire wanted to meet there? Michael found it a little bit odd but made his way into the alley. It was dark, full of shadows. The light of the sun didn’t reach into the tight, narrow space. Looking down at his phone, Michael saw he had no service. Also odd. he thought to himself as he took a few steps deeper into the alley.
Something was pulling at the back of his mind. The feeling that something wasn’t right. And yet he kept moving forward, hoping to exit from the other side of the alley. From behind him, a figure slinked into the alleyway. Dressed in black, blending in with the shadows. Michael was oblivious to the other presence. Not until he suddenly stopped. And from behind him, he heard the shuffle of a boot against the pavement. Michael slowly turned around. Someone’s there. he thought to himself, picking up on the slightest movement in the shadows. He turned and kept moving, walking a little faster now. And suddenly stopped again.
For there was no other way out of the alley. It lead to a dead end. Michael’s heart began racing in his chest as he whirled around. And came face to face with the killer. Michael assumed it was the killer. Black cloak and Hood that covered the figure’s face. Michael’s eyes widened, his breath catching in his throat. Before he could protest, the killer lunged at him. There was nowhere to go, Michael tried ducking underneath the killer’s arms but was slammed against the brick wall of the alley when the killer lunged again. Michael hit the wall, but spun around, throwing a punch. The killer darted backward out of the way, and Michael’s punch hit nothing but air.
He wasn’t going to go down so easily. Michael flashed out with a kick, which the killer grabbed his ankle and pulled, throwing Michael off balance. Eyes wide, Michael hit the concrete on his back. He was momentarily stunned, the wind knocked out of him. The killer swooped down for another attack and was met with a kick to the chest. The killer stumbled backward, enough time for Michael to climb to his feet. Why was no one coming to help him? Couldn’t they see what was going on? Could no one in the cafe or flower shop hear the commotion that was going on outside?
As the killer was regaining his balance, Michael made a quick decision to try and run past him. Fuck this! he thought to himself as he took off running. It took the killer a split second to realize what was happening. As Michael ran past him, he lashed out with a hand. Grabbed Michael from the back of his shirt, and spun him around. Right into the brick wall. Michael let out a groan of pain as the killer grabbed him by the head and bashed it against the wall. Once, twice. By the fifth time, Michael was no longer struggling. The killer let his unconcious body drop to the pavement. Grabbing Michael by the leg, he dragged him away.
It was ten minutes later when Michael stirred. He could feel the pain before he even opened his eyes. The pain was unbearable and Michael couldn’t help but let out a cry. He sat up, dizzy. The palms of his hands touching cool wood. He opened his eyes, blinking hard a few times. His eyes scanned his surroundings. He had no idea where he was. It seemed like some kind of workshop or storage room. Michael took a few deep breaths, gritted his teeth, and climbed to his feet. The corner of his lip was cracked open, caked with dried blood. That was the least of his worries. Spotting a door, he lurched over to it. He tried the handle, and was not surprised that the door was locked from the outside.
He looked for another escape route. There were windows, but they were too high and too small for him to reach or climb through. He looked around the room. There was covered furniture, wooden boxes, paper boxes, old computer parts strewn across the room. And a coffin. Michael’s eyes widened. Is it empty or is there someone in there? he thought to himself, his heart jackhammering in his chest. He didn’t want to find out. He turned back to the door, and pounded his fists against it. It was no use, it didn’t budge. With a sigh of defeat, Michael slid to the floor, burying his face in his hands.
Hanna was glad once the final bell of the day rang. It had been a long day of school, and she couldn’t wait to get out of there. Once the bell had rang, she had hurried to her locker. She took what she needed before running out of the building, heading home. She got there before Quintin’s schoolbus dropped him off. When he came through the door, she had already prepared snacks for them. Crackers with cheese slices, and fruit punch as drinks. They had done their homework together, sitting at the dining room table like they usually did. It wasn’t long before their mother returned home. She looked over their homework, in Hanna’s case, a book report she had to hand in the following day.
Once that was done, she had gone upto her room. She had closed the door for privacy. Throwing herself on her bed as she pulled out her phone and dialed Paul’s number. They talked for nearly an hour. Talking about their school day, about what their weekend plans were. They flirted. Once Hanna had hung up, she had jumped up and gone over to her closet to change. She had bounded down the stairs, telling her mom she was going over to see Skye. She hadn’t seen Skye in a week. Not since what had happened at the pageant. Skye was out of school for a week, and they stayed in touch through text message.
Her heels clicking on the sidewalk, Hanna headed for Skye’s home. She was worried about her. She replayed the events of the pageant through her mind. She could still see it clearly. The body dropping from above, hitting the floor with a loud thud. People rising from their chairs, screaming, running out of the banquet hall in a panic. Skye staring down at the body at her feet. Opening her mouth and letting out an ear-piercing scream that could have shattered glass. Skye being lead off the stage by her parents, still screaming, in a state of shock. Hanna had witnessed it all. Once they were outside, the police cars pulled up. And then the ambulance, the morgue van, and the reporters.
The police had asked her a few questions while they rolled Shawn’s body out in a body bag. That was something that Hanna didn’t think she would ever forget seeing. She pushed those troubling thoughts aside as she stopped at the curb. Looking both ways before crossing the street. She threw a glance over her shoulder. Maybe she was just being paranoid, but it felt like she was being watched. She could feel a stare burning into her back. But there was no one in sight, she kept walking, passing the house that Fallon shared with her housemates. Blake was outside, getting the mail out of the mailbox. He waved at Hanna and she waved back.
A few moments later she was approaching the Cosgrove house. She stopped and looked up at it before making her way down the walkway. She headed up the porch steps to the front door, and rang on the doorbell with a perfectly manicured nail. Silence from inside and at first Hanna thought maybe no one was home. She went to knock when the door was pulled open and Skye’s father was looking out at her. He moved aside so she could enter. Informing her that Skye was upstairs in her bedroom. After thanking him, Hanna made her way up the stairs to the second floor landing. Skye’s door was closed so Hanna knocked before pulling the door open.
“Knock, knock.” Hanna said, closing the door behind her.
Skye looked up from the bed, where she was sitting, deep in thought. She saw it was Hanna and flashed her a small smile. “Look what the cat drug in.” she told Hanna as she got to her feet.
Hanna raised an eyebrow at how casual Skye was dressed. “I thought I should come see you before you forget what I look like.” she said, trying to keep the mood light.
“Aww, you missed me!” Skye replied.
“Everyone does. Riley, Malcolm, Lori, Matt, Paige, Noah. They can’t wait for you to come back to school.” Hanna told her.
“I’m sure they’re holding down the fort. There’s a reason why they’re my minions.” Skye replied with a chuckle escaping her lips.
“They’re just worried about you.” Hanna revealed.
“I’m fine! My doctor just thought it was wise for me to lay low for a few days. He even gave me something for my nerves.” Skye explained to the other girl.
“Pills?” Hanna asked curiously.
Skye nodded. “I’ll try to save some for when we party.” she told Hanna with a wink.
“None for me, thanks. Need I remind you what happened to my mom?” Hanna pointed out.
“Oops! Speaking of your mom, she let you leave the house dressed like that? It’s kind of dressed up just to come visit me.” Skye replied, taking in Hanna’s outfit.
Hanna smiled. “I’m meeting Paul after. We have a date!” she revealed excitedly.
“You’re shitting me! What do you have planned? Although one look at your outfit, I can tell.” Skye said with a wink.
Hanna shook her head. “Shut up! His brother’s band is having a concert tonight. A battle of the bands type thing.” she explained to Skye.
“Isn’t Paul’s brother in college?” Skye asked, cocking an eyebrow at her friend.
Hanna nodded. “He is. He’s a sophomore.” she revealed.
“You whore! You’re so lucky. You’re going to be around college boys!” Skye replied.
A chuckle escaped Hanna’s lips. “His brother is single. I’ll give him your number!” she told her friend.
Giggling, the two girls sat down on Skye’s bed and began gossiping.
The sun was setting in the sky when Julie exited the house. She closed the front door, and locked it. She made her way across the front porch and over to the curb where her car was. She went around the front and stuck the key in the driver side door. She pulled it open and slid inside the driver seat. She closed the door, reached over and put on her seatbelt. Sticking the key in the ignition, she turned it, the car purring to life. She fiddled briefly with the radio before she found a song she liked. “Cheap Thrills” by Sia blared out from the sound system. She put the car in drive, and pulled away from the curb. Behind her, she heard a loud honk and a screech of tires.
Julie jumped a mile, and then blushed, embarrassed. Letting the car behind her go ahead. She turned to see Derek Vance in the other car. It turned the corner and dissappeared from sight. Having an accident is not what you need right now. Julie thought to herself. Once Megan was home from school and her mother back from the club, Julie had called up Dr. Greene. She had a free spot in her schedule, so Julie took it. She was off to the doctor’s office. She liked the doctor. She was patient, she would sit back and let Julie talk. Let her get everything off her chest before she would give her opinion.
Julie felt like she had a lot to talk about. She missed her father terribly. The feeling would hit her at the most random times. It was something she kept to herself. Something she didn’t confide about to Megan or her mother. They were both trying to move on, and Julie didn’t want to cause them any further pain. They would visit his grave from time to time, all three of them sniffling and crying silently. Lately Julie found herself waking up in the middle of the night, calling out for her father. He was never there to respond to her, and Julie wondered if her mother or sister had heard her. If they had, they hadn’t mentioned it.
Julie was hesitant at first, but she was glad that her mother was back. She could see that she was trying to make an effort. She had even gone to Ellie Jacks and asked to co-own Surge with her. Ellie had agreed, which Julie was surprised about. She didn’t remember her mother being so persuasive. Stopping at a red light, Julie drummed her nails against the steering wheel. She pulled the visor down and looked at her reflection. She brushed her hair out of her face before pulling the visor up, the stoplight turning green. She pressed on the gas pedal and the car zoomed off. A few moments later, she was pulling up to the curb in front of Dr. Greene’s office.
She switched off the engine, pulling the key out of the ignition. She unbuckled her belt and pushed the driver side door open. She stepped out onto the blacktop, closing the door behind her. She locked the car and made her way around the front of the car to step up onto the curb. She gazed up at the building, and then took a glance around. The sun was almost set in the sky, blue shadows dancing around in the light breeze. A light sigh escaped her lips as she made her way up the walkway and over to the door.
She pulled it open, and stepped inside, the door swinging shut behind her. The waiting room was empty. No secretary behind the front desk. A frown creased Julie’s pretty face. She ticked her gaze to Dr. Greene’s office door, which was shut. Where is everyone? Julie thought to herself. She took a few hesitant steps forward across the floor. Unaware of the bright crimson splashes on the floor by the secretary’s desk. Reaching the closed office door, she knocked. Silence. No reply from within. Julie reached out and knocked again. The door remained shut.
It struck her as odd, but Julie reached out and grabbed the door handle. Turned the knob and pushed the door open. Pitch darkness inside. Stepping into the office, her hand groped the wall for the lightswitch. She heard the sound of something dripping before her hand found the light. She flicked it on, blinking several times against the brightness. Once her eyes adjusted, Julie found herself staring at a bloodbath. She blinked hard. Once, twice. Thinking she was seeing things. And then her eyes widened in horror, her breath coming hard and fast. The office looked like something out of a horror movie.
There was blood everywhere. On the floor, the walls, even the ceiling. A whimper of fear escaped Julie’s lips as she stared in horror. She ticked her gaze to the blood dripping off the corner of Dr. Greene’s desk. She turned to see a blood splatter on the window. Julie’s stomach heaved but instead of running out of the office like most people would have done, she took a few steps forward. No sign of the secretary, but Julie’s gaze fell on the body on the floor. Dr. Greene’s body. She was dead, Julie was certain. There was a knife through her skull. There’s no way anyone could survive that. she was able to rationalize.
The blade was rammed through one temple and exited the other. Bright red blood was still cascading down the doctor’s face. It must have just happened, and Julie spun around with a shriek, expecting to see the killer standing somewhere in the blood splattered room. But the room was empty. Her wide eyes watching the blood drip down the wall. Terror welled inside her, threatening to break free. She ticked her gaze back to Dr. Greene’s limp body. Finally, something inside her broke, and she screamed. Screamed again, loudly.
She turned on her heels, almost slipping in the blood on the floor and ran out the door of the office. She ran through the waiting room and slammed out the door into the night. Julie ran for her car, never looking back.
Word got around fast, and by nine o’clock, the news was already reporting about Sophie Greene’s murder. Darcy sat on the couch, watching the television in shocked horror. It had been a long day. Once evening had came around, Darcy had closed up the store and headed home. Dinner consisted of treating herself to a microwave meal. She had then gone out for a run, considering it had last been a while since she had done so. Once she had returned, the sun had set. The moon now shone in the dark velvet canopy that was the sky. Breathless and sweaty, she had gone to take a shower.
She had exited the shower feeling refreshed, had thrown on some clothes and had gone over to the couch. Sitting down, she had turned on the television. She watched two sitcoms, back to back before the news came on. Right away, the biggest headline of the day was the murder of Sophie Greene. Darcy couldn’t believe what she was hearing. Someone else had died. The police were certain she was the victim of the West Valley killer. An icy cold shiver of fear ran down Darcy’s spine as they explained how she had died. She had been found with a knife rammed through her head.
Julie Whitlow had found her, walking into her office that was covered in blood. The police explained it looked like there had been a struggle before the doctor had been killed. Julie had called it in, calling from her car phone, hysterical. Darcy swallowed down a lump in her throat as she listened. Why would the killer go after Dr. Greene? Was it because she was seeing patients from West Valley? Was it something more personal? I’m glad I was still undecided about going to talk to her. Darcy thought to herself with a frown creasing her forehead. Darcy brought her attention back to the television as the reporter on the screen explained that Dr. Greene’s secretary was missing.
Darcy had heard enough. She grabbed the remote control and switched off the television. She climbed to her feet when her phone suddenly rang. The shrill noise echoing through the house. She pulled her phone out and answered the call, bringing the phone to her ear.
“Hello?” she said into the phone.
“Hello, Darcy.” the familiar, distorted voice said from the other end of the line.
It’s him! she thought to herself, looking down at her phone screen. UNKNOWN NUMBER.
“What do you want?” she snapped impatiently, bringing the phone back to her ear.
“I called to gloat.” the killer chuckled.
“About what? Sophie Greene? Shawn? Or about my hair?” Darcy seethed.
Another chuckle. “I take it you didn’t like your surprise?” he teased.
“You’re a psycho fuck! That’s the first and last time you come into my house!” Darcy hissed angrily.
“That’s no big loss. Lots of other people to torment!” the killer replied gleefully.
“You’re going to get caught. It’s just a matter of time.” Darcy replied.
“Did you ever think the reason they can’t catch me is because I’m waiting to reveal myself?” the killer asked.
Darcy frowned. “So you want people to know who you are?” she asked, confused.
“Not people. Just you. Only once you find out, you won’t live to tell anyone!” the killer chuckled.
“What makes me so damn important?” Darcy asked, cocking an eyebrow.
“It’s the way someone wants it.” the killer replied mysteriously.
“Who?” Darcy asked.
“You’ll find out soon enough!” the killer replied with a chuckle before hanging up the phone.
I’m over this. Darcy thought to herself as she put her phone away. She checked to see if every door and window in the house was locked. Once she felt safe knowing everything was locked tight, was when she headed for bed.
With the murder of Sophie Greene, the townspeople of West Valley were informed to remain inside during the night. Finally, the sun had risen in the sky, and the town was slowly starting to stir from their beds. The silence in the Givens household was broken by the sound of a door opening. Fallon exited her bedroom, closing the door softly behind her. She didn’t want to wake anyone, they were still sleeping. She made her way through the house before stepping inside the kitchen. Sunlight filtered through the window, and Fallon blinked a few times, her eyes adjusting. Today was the day. She and Scott were going to drive to Newcrest to see Darcy’s parents.
They didn’t know they were coming. They hadn’t told anyone what they had planned. Not even Darcy. Fallon felt bad going behind her back like that, but they needed answers. More innocent people like Dr. Greene were dying, and they needed to know why. If it so happened to be that Darcy was in fact Rose, they would know it all came back to Brandon Covington. Fallon went over to the conter and started up the coffee machine. While it brewed, she opened the fridge and pulled out some eggs. She made herself some scrambled eggs, turning off the coffee machine once it was ready.
Soon she had a plate of scrambled eggs and a cup of coffe before her as she sat at the counter. Why wouldn’t Darcy say anything? Fallon thought to herself with a frown creasing her pretty face as she brought the cup to her lips. Did Darcy know more than she let on? Was she too scared to speak out? Fallon put her cup down on the countertop and let out a sigh. She hoped Darcy’s parents had some answers. She hoped they would help them. That they would tell them everything they knew. Fallon brought a forkful of scrambled eggs towards her mouth.
Once the plate and cup were empty, she loaded them into the dishwasher. Just as she pushed the butoon on the dishwasher, there were footsteps behind her. Fallon turned to see Scott entering the kitchen, already dressed for the day.
“You ready to do this?” he asked Fallon curiously.
“I guess so. Can I make you something?” she asked.
“Nah! I’m too anxious to eat.” he told her.
She nodded in reply. “When do you want to head out?” she asked him.
“Now’s good. I’ll drive.” he told her.
They headed out of the kitchen and over to the front door. Pulling it open and stepping outside. Birds were chirping in the trees. Scott locked the door and made his way down the walkway over to the curb, Fallon following close behind. He went around the front of the car, unlocking the driver side door, pulling it open and slid into the driver’s seat. Closing the door he leaned over and unlocked the passenger side door for Fallon. She pulled the door open and slid inside the passenger seat. Once their belts were on, Scott started up the car, put it in drive and pulled away from the curb.
Fallon zoned in and out of her thoughts during the two hour drive to Newcrest. Scott had the radio playing, but Fallon hadn’t listened. She stared out the passsenger side window, deep in thought. As they got into Newcrest, Scott had asked for the address to Darcy’s parents house. Fallon gave it to him and soon they were coming to a stop in front of a house. Announcing they had arrived, Scott made his way out of the car. Fallon pushed open her door after unbuckling her seatbelt. She closed the car door behind her as she stepped onto the sidewalk. She stepped up next to Scott as they stared at the house before them.
“I think it’s safe to say Darcy’s parents have money.” Scott replied.
“Come on.” Fallon replied, leading the way up the walkway and over to the front door. She reached out and rang the doorbell.
A moment later the door opened and an older looking woman poked her head out. “Yes?” she asked, arching an eyebrow.
“Mrs. Adkins? I’m Fallon McQueen and this is Scott Emerson. We’re friends of Darcy’s and we were wondering if we can come in to talk?” Fallon said with a thin smile.
“Fallon! I’ve heard so much about you! Is everything alright? Is there something wrong with Darcy?” her mother asked, worry glinting in her gaze.
“Darcy’s fine! We just want to talk to you and Mr. Adkins.” Fallon replied.
“Come in!” Mrs. Adkins said, moving aside so Scott and Fallon could enter the house. “Make yourself at home.” she told them, motioning towards the couch.
“Thanks.” Fallon replied, sitting in an armchair. Darcy’s mother sat on the couch across from her as an older man came into the room. Fallon assumed it was Darcy’s father.
“Tess? Who are these people?” he asked his wife curiously.
“Friends of Darcy’s, Roy.” Mrs. Adkins replied.
“Is everything alright?” he asked with a frown.
“We just need to ask you a few questions.” Scott replied.
“Sure, go on.” Tess said with a smile.
“I don’t know how to say this so I just will. Was Darcy ever at Sherwood Sanitarium?” Fallon asked.
Tess’ smile faded as she looked over at her husband. “Yes, she was at Sherwood many years ago.” she told Fallon.
“So it is true. She killed her sister?” Fallon asked, her stomach churning.
“We jumped to conclusions. We thought she did. We found her in the bathroom and her sister drowned in the tub.” Tess replied with a sniffle.
“Her sister’s name was Nicole. Darcy was five when it happened. We really thought she had done it. She was always jealous of the attention we were giving her little sister.” Roy explained.
“She was there for a few months?” Fallon asked.
Tess nodded. “In the end, it turned out to be a tragic accident. Darcy never hurt her sister.” she said.
“While she was there at Sherwood, so was Brandon Covington?” Scott asked.
Roy nodded. “He was. He called her Rose. Because she had found a stuffed rose in the rec room and had decided to keep it for herself.” he explained.
“He wasn’t happy when she left Sherwood, was he?” Fallon asked.
“He wasn’t. He pulled a fit, apparently.” Tess revealed.
“It’s a shame about his family. What he did to his father.” Roy said.
“It was. But now we have the whole story. Thanks.” Fallon said, standing up from the chair.
“You were a great help! Our questions have answers now.” Scott replied.
“I’m glad we could help. But let me just say, Darcy doesn’t remember anything about her time at Sherwood. She was too young.” Tess replied.
“Good to know. Thanks again!” Fallon replied as she and Scott headed for the door.
Once out of the house, they headed for the car. Scott in the driver seat and Fallon in the passenger seat as Scott started up the car and drove away. A few moments later there was the slightest blur of movement at the side of the house. A figure appeared. Her eyes gazing in the direction of where the car had driven off. No one had known she was there. She head heard everything. Listening from one of the windows at the side of the house. Her eyes narrowed, her gaze icy. A few more steps on the grass as she came into view. A familiar face. Darcy.