Silence in the Adkins house. The main room was empty. The light of the sun shining in through the windows. Yet, there was something in the air. If you were in the house, you could feel it. It would creep up on you. Something had happened there. Not that long ago. Two weeks earlier, to be exact. Something had transpired there. Bloodshed. What was supposed to be a celebration, had ended in tragedy. An engagement party dinner had ended with the host being viciously stabbed in the stomach. And if you listened carefully, you could almost still hear the surprised gasps and screams of the guests lingering in the air. That night, looking for the keys to her new car, Darcy had gone outside.
But instead of finding the gift that her fiancee had gotten her, she had stumbled back into the house. She had blood pouring down the front of her dress. She was able to mutter out a few words before she collapsed to the floor. Her body limp, her breathing shallow as a pool of blood collected around her. Despite being caught off guard, her fiancee Campbell had ran for the phone. He dialed for the police, also calling for an ambulance while some of the guests huddled around Darcy. A few of them hung back, watching the scene unfold before them with wide eyes. Darcy’s parents were badly shook up. Mr. Adkins was pacing back and forth, while her mother sobbed, on her knees on the floor by her daughter. She held Darcy’s limp hand in hers, rubbing it, as if it would bring her back to conciousness.
It didn’t work. But soon enough the sound of sirens had filled the air. Two police cars and an ambulance came racing up in front of the house, lights flashing. The guests were questioned one by one, while the paramedics fussed over Darcy. She’d lost a lot of blood, her condition critical. They loaded her up onto a stretcher, wheeling it out of the house, Campbell following close behind. The destination; the hospital. He rode in the ambulance with her, while her parents followed in their car. After they were all questioned, the guests had headed home. Except for Fallon and Naomi. With tears in their eyes, worried expressions on their faces, they cleaned up the house. Once they were done, they locked up the house and hurried home, dissappearing into the night.
It seemed like years had passed since that night, when actually it was just two weeks ago. From time to time, Campbell would come home from the hospital to change. He’d be seen rushing in, and then five minutes later, he’d rush out. But for most of the time, the house remained empty. Void of any life. Only some people had news on Darcy, and how she was doing. Campbell had requested privacy, and visitors were kept to a minimum. Darcy could have all the visitors she wanted, once she returned home. That day had finally come the week prior. Whoever was out and about the neighbourhood that day, had seen Darcy’s long awaited arrival back home. Campbell had helped her out of the car, and had ushered her inside the house.
Now, in the quiet house, the silence was broken by the sound of the bedroom door opening. And Darcy stepped out into the main room. She walked slowly, carefully. Her wound was almost all healed, yet she didn’t want to overdo it. There was still a lingering pain, a dull throbbing that was now tolerable. Darcy made her way to sit down on the couch, passing by the spot on the floor where she had collapsed two weeks earlier. She sat down slowly, thinking back to that night. At what had happened once she had made her way outside. She was in search for the keys of the new car that Campbell had got her as an engagement gift. He had made a game out of it, a sort of treasure hunt.
Under the light of the streetlamp, Darcy had been looking through the flowers in the planter. She was unaware of the shadowy figure that slid up behind her. A familiar figure, dressed in a black hooded cloak that covered their face. The costume of the killer. But that was impossible, Scott Emerson was dead. It was too late for Darcy. As she turned around, before she could even acknowledge the fact that someone standing behind her, she was struck. There was a flash of silver and then a white hot searing pain in her stomach. She was able to let out a scream, but no one inside the house seemed to have heard her. No one came out to help. Her attacker ran off, dissappearing into the shadows of the night.
Clutching her stomach, bright crimson blood seeping from between her fingers, Darcy had lurched towards the front door. She struggled to stay upright, her legs felt like rubber. Time seemed to move in slow motion. The safety of the house seemed to be out of reach. But finally, she had made her way into the house. She remembered gasping out for help, her eyes wide. She remembered the look of horror on her guests’ faces. And then, darkness had swallowed her whole. She didn’t know how much time had passed once she had woken up. She had regained conciousness after surgery. She was in her own private hospital room, lying in the bed, Campbell sitting by her side in an uncomfortable looking chair.
A range of emotions played on Campbell’s face once he realized she was awake. Relief, happiness, yet still worried. He explained to her that she had been out for almost three days. The surgery had been a success, that she was out of danger. That was the important part. The doctors would review her file at a later date. That she had to now focus on mending. And so she did, and finally, the doctors gave her the okay to leave. She could now heal from the comfort of her own home. Lying in her own bed was better than lying in a hospital bed. Once she got home, the phone calls started, neighbours giving their well wishes. Wishing her a speedy recovery.
Yet every time the phone rang, Darcy couldn’t help but think it was the killer on the other end of the line. Calling to gloat. But that phone call never came. Darcy was fine with that. Whoever this new killer was, had already gotten too close to her. He, or she, had caught her with her guard down. Never again. she thought to herself with a frown creasing her pretty face. Darcy picked up the remote and turned the television on. Trying to keep herself distracted. This was the second day that she was out of bed. The second day that she wasn’t dressed in her pyjamas. She was dressed in her street clothes, even though she didn’t plan on venturing outside. She wanted to, but the furthest she would go was out to the mailbox.
Was she scared to get attacked again? Maybe. Or perhaps she was dissappointed with herself for not being more alert. If she had acted more quickly, maybe she could have fought off her attacker. Maybe she could have gotten the knife out of his or her hand. Maybe she should have screamed loud enough that someone in the house would have heard. Darcy frowned. Finding nothing good on television, she turned it off. Sat back against the couch. Eyed her surroundings. Campbell had gone out for a while. He had gone to run some errands. At first, he was reluctant to leave Darcy alone. She reassured him she would be fine. She’d lock the door behind him. That she wouldn’t answer the door to anyone she didn’t know.
He’d been gone for about twenty minutes now. And Darcy wasn’t the least bit worried. To her, it was just another day. That’s when the phone decided to ring. It’s the killer. she thought to herself. Oddly enough, she was surprisingly calm about it. Perhaps it was because she was expecting it. After two weeks, maybe he or she had decided it was now the perfect moment. Well, Darcy was ready. She answered the phone. “Hello?” she said, her voice strong, challenging. She wasn’t going to be meek.
“Ms. Adkins?” a voice asked from the other end of the line. A voice vaguely familiar to Darcy.
“Yes?” Darcy replied.
“This is Doctor Lucinda Hammond from West Valley General Hospital.” the woman explained.
That’s why Darcy recognized the voice. “Oh, hello.” she said.
“How are you feeling?” the doctor asked.
“Happy to be alive. Also, healing nicely.” Darcy replied lightly.
“That’s.. good. I was just reviewing your file. I have some news.” Doctor. Hammond said. There was hesitation in her voice.
“What is it?” Darcy asked.
“There seems to be some damage, from the wound. Internal damage.” the doctor said.
“What kind of internal damage?” Darcy asked with a frown.
“I wish there was a better way to say this. There was damage to your reproductive system. Which means… you won’t be able to have children.” Dr.Hammond revealed.
Darcy blinked softly. She thought she had heard wrong. Her breath caught in her throat. Her eyes stung, threatening to overflow with tears. The doctor was saying something on the other end of the line, but Darcy couldn’t focus on the words. “Thank you.” she said softly before hanging up the phone. Darcy felt numb. As if she had been submerged in ice cold water. I won’t have kids. I won’t have kids. she repeated to herself over and over like a broken record. She wiped away a few stray tears that dripped down her cheek. She thought back to the talk she and Campbell had the morning before the engagement dinner. About starting their own family one day.
Now, that would never happen. How am I going to tell Campbell? Darcy thought to herself as the tears came hot and quick, cascading down her cheeks.
Elsewhere, at the Raines residence, the mood was lighter. For the time being. The only evidence that someone was home, was the sound of the piano playing. A melodic, cheerful tune filled the air. A dark haired girl sat at the piano, her eyes on the keys, concentrating. It was Sasha. Playing the only song she knew. A song her father had taught her when she was a child. She could remember the memory so vividly. He sat at the piano bench, she sat next to him. She couldn’t even touch the floor, her feet dangling in the air. The memory brought a smile to her face. She remembered how fluidly her father played, how natural he was.
It was a song he had composed himself. He had even given the song a title. Heart Of Gold, Sasha mouthed the title silently to herself. She kept playing. She wasn’t as good at the piano as her father was. It had been a while since she had last played the song. She thought it would be hard to remember, but it came back to her as soon as she put her fingers to the keys. She wouldn’t have sat down at the piano bench if she wasn’t home alone. Her housemates were all out doing something. Isabel had gone shopping with Naomi Givens. Derek was working. Wendy had gone to get a manicure, and Sasha wasn’t sure where Adam had dissappeared to. She assumed he had gone to spend time with Meredith.
Sasha had heard from Adam about what had happened at Darcy’s home two weeks earlier. She was glad she hadn’t been invited. She imagined how she would have reacted if she had seen Darcy stumble in, blood pouring from the wound in her stomach. You’d probably pass out from seeing the blood. Sasha thought to herself with a frown creasing her forehead. She didn’t handle blood well, she was squeamish. Not only did they call an ambulance for Darcy, if she had been there, they would have called an ambulance for her as well. Two stretchers would have been wheeled out of Darcy’s house. Sasha tried to will away those troubling thoughts by standing up.
The house was silent now, the sound of the piano no longer filling the air. For a brief moment, Sasha wondered what she was doing there, all alone. Jeremy’s killer, Darcy’s attacker, had not been caught. He, or she, was still out there somewhere. A slow shiver of fear snaked down Sasha’s back. She made her way into the living room, standing at the window to peer out to the world outside. Another beautiful day. Yet there was something making Sasha feel uncomfortable. She couldn’t put her finger on what it was. Was it the fear of being home alone? Or the uncertainty of who the killer would target next? Could he or she be outside, watching Sasha through the window?
Sasha rubbed the goosebumps on her arms as she stepped away from the window. If there was someone outside, she didn’t want to be seen. She ticked her gaze to the clock, wondering when someone would be returning home. Silently, she made her way into the kitchen. She looked over her shoulder, expecting to see someone standing behind her. There was no one. Don’t overreact. The doors are locked. she reassured herself. She’d locked up after Isabel had left the house. Swallowing down a lump in her throat, Sasha made her way over to the fridge. She pulled the door open, and pulled out a large jug of water. Closing the fridge door, she placed the jug down on the kitchen counter. She went to grab a glass when she heard a noise. Sasha stopped in her tracks.
It sounded like a door closing, somewhere nearby. Sasha sucked in a breath, listening carefully. She definitely felt another presence now. Someone was walking around in one of the other rooms. She tried to call out, but couldn’t find her voice. Her gaze ticked to the knife block on the kitchen counter. She was going to reach out, pull a knife out. Yet she couldn’t bring herself to do it. She wondered why. Instead, her heart hammering in her chest, she went to investigate. Making her way quietly out of the kitchen and into the hallway. She listened again. The sound of a cough coming from nearby. Sasha crept quietly, heading in the direction of the noise. Someone was walking around in the living room.
With a yelp, Sasha burst into the living room. The other person spun around with a gasp. And then rolled their eyes. Sasha stared into a familiar face. Wendy’s face. Sasha almost burst out laughing. “You’re home!” she said to her housemate.
“I can tell you’re excited to see me. The way you burst in here..” Wendy said, cocking an eyebrow at Sasha.
This time, Sasha did laugh. “Sorry, I was just a little on edge!” she explained.
“Why? What’s going on?” Wendy asked.
“I just couldn’t help but think about what happened to Darcy. And how the person who did it is still out there.” Sasha revealed.
“Oh, that. You know, I thought it was over once Scott was killed.” Wendy explained.
“Me too!” Sasha replied.
“Obviously Scott wasn’t working alone.” Wendy pointed out.
“You’re saying there’s an accomplice?” Sasha asked with a frown.
“I, personally, think so. The question is, who is it?” Wendy replied.
Sasha bit on her bottom lip for a moment, thinking. “Brandon Covington?” she finally said.
“I would think yes. But I would also think that’s too easy.” Wendy explained.
“Whoever it is, I hope they get caught soon.” Sasha revealed.
Before Wendy could reply, the front door opened and closed. “I’m home!” called out a familiar voice. Adam.
“Oh, yay. Loverboy is home.” Wendy said with a roll of her eyes.
It struck Sasha as odd, but Wendy’s words made her think of something. It sprang up suddenly in her mind. “I need to ask Adam something.” she told Wendy, before walking off.
“I’ll be upstairs!” Wendy called out before making her way up the stairs to the second floor of the house.
Sasha met Adam in the front hall. He was slipping something into his pocket. Sasha raised an eyebrow in curiosity. “So where are you coming from?” she asked.
“From downtown.” Adam answered vaguely.
“Oh, I thought you were going to spend time with Meredith?” Sasha asked.
“I’m seeing her later. She’s spending the day with Ruby.” Adam explained, his eyes darting around nervously.
Sasha could tell something was up. She wondered how to ask him what was on her mind. Should I just come out and say it? she asked herself, a slight frown on her face.
“Is something wrong?” Adam asked. He swallowed nervously.
“I have to ask you something.” Sasha revealed.
It was Adam’s turn to frown. “Ask me what?” he replied.
“I found some pills. Rohypnol, to be exact. Are they yours?” she asked curiously.
She expected Adam to deny it. She didn’t expect him to lean in close, grab her roughly by the arm. “Where did you find that?” he asked her, his jaw clenched.
Sasha tried to break free, surprised by his sudden outburst. His grip was like steel. He was hurting her. “Let go!” she gasped.
“Where did you find it?” Adam repeated again.
“You left them in the bathroom!” Sasha cried.
“Did you tell anyone you found them?” he asked.
“No! Ow, let go of me!” Sasha cried again.
“You better keep your fucking mouth shut! I mean it.” Adam threatened. “If you don’t, you’ll be sorry!” he hissed. He finally let go of her arm.
Sasha’s eyes were wide in fear. Did that just happen? she thought to herself, watching as Adam stalked out of the room. There was no doubt in her mind now that the pills were Adam’s. But who was he using them on?
Ellie’s morning was uneventful. She’d woken up, showered, got dressed, and prepared Tyson for school. They’d had breakfast all together. Ellie, her mother, Faye and Tyson. They had stuffed their faces with blueberry pancakes, courtesy of Lynn. Ellie’s mother was a great cook. Once breakfast was done, they had all gone their seperate ways. Tyson was off to school, the school bus had come to pick him up as it did every morning. Lynn had gone off for a walk. Faye had gone to talk to Darcy. Not to talk to her about what had happened at her engagement dinner, but about what had happened the night Scott had revealed himself to be the killer. She was gathering information for her book.
Ellie was the only one who had remained at home. It was nice to have the day off. To have no plans whatsoever. Christy was taking care of things at Surge. Ellie knew she could handle it on her own. She had complete faith in Christy. So Ellie spent most of the morning around the house. She did the dishes, did a load of laundry before sitting down in front of the television. She had flicked through the channels, not really paying attention to what was on the screen. She turned the television off, and got to her feet. Making her way over to the backdoor. She turned the lock, and pulled the door open. She stepped outside into the sunlight, closing the door behind her as she did so.
Another beautiful day. Ellie though to herself. She momentarily ticked her gaze to a spot on her left. The spot where her father had been found, murdered. It seemed like it had happened almost a lifetime ago. Ellie’s father had been Scott’s second victim. So much had happened since then. Time was healing the family. They went on with their lives, keeping the memory of Richard Jacks alive. Ellie missed him. She had finally accepted that she would never see him again. But it wasn’t something that she was going to dwell on for every waking moment like she had once had. She shook her head, and made her way in the other direction.
She stopped and peered into the water of the swimming pool. She was tempted to go for a swim, but decided against it. Instead, she watched the warm breeze ripple the water. She went to sit down in the lawn chair. Ellie liked it when things were quiet. Two whole weeks of silence. She’d heard about Darcy’s attack. In a way, she was glad she hadn’t been there that night. She’d first heard what had happened from Naomi. And then she had seen the news reports. Darcy was fortunate to be alive. Once she was out of the hospital, Ellie had gone to visit Darcy. Ellie tried not to focus on how fragile Darcy had looked. She wore no makeup, lying in the comfort of her own bed.
Ellie closed her eyes, tilting her head towards the warm rays of the sun. That’s when she heard the ringing of the phone. Ellie’s eyes snapped open as she jumped to her feet. She hurried across the backyard, up to the porch and over to the backdoor. She pulled it open and hurried into the house, making her way into the kitchen. Don’t hang up! she thought to herself as the phone continued to ring. She picked up her phone off the counter, and accepted the call. Bringing the phone to her ear.
“Hello?” she said into the phone.
“Miss Jacks?” said the voice on the other end of the line. A voice filled with urgency.
“Yes? Who is this?” Ellie asked with a frown.
“This is Charlotte Dugan.” said the voice on the other end of the line.
Tyson’s principal. Ellie thought to herself with a frown. She sensed something was wrong. “Is everything alright?” Ellie asked.
“You need to come down to the school right away. It’s an emergency.” Principal Dugan told her.
Ellie’s breath caught in her throat. “I’ll be right there.” she said, hanging up the phone.
Sliding her phone into her pocket, Ellie locked the backdoor. She ran through the house, grabbing her car keys. She didn’t bother taking her purse, she was too much in a rush. With her heart beating wildly in her chest, she ran down the hallway to the front door. Pulling it open as she stepped out onto the front porch. She closed the door, locked it. And didn’t look back as she ran for her car parked at the curb in front of the house. She pressed on the key, the car chirping as the doors unlocked automatically. She threw open the driver side door and slid into the car. She started it up, the engine roaring to life. Without a second thought, she pulled the car away from the curb.
She drove as fast as she could. Going over the speed limit was the last thing on her mind. She raced through the streets, heading towards West Valley Elementary School. What had happened? What would be waiting for her when she arrived? Ellie gripped the steering wheel so tight, her knuckles turned white. She stared straight ahead. The streets zooming by. Just another few blocks and she would be at her destination. Soon, she was double parked in front of the school. She didn’t care, she jumped out of the car and hurried towards the school entrance. She slammed through the double glass doors, entering the main area. Standing waiting for her, was Charlotte Dugan, the principal.
Ellie couldn’t ignore the worried look on the other woman’s face. Her heart leapt into her throat. “Where’s my son?” she asked, looking around.
“Let’s go into my office.” Principal Dugan said, holding her office door open for Ellie. She stepped into the office, Charlotte closing the door behind her.
“Where’s Tyson? What’s going on?” Ellie demanded.
Principal Dugan took a deep breath. “It seems like Tyson never came back from recess.” she explained.
Ellie’s eyes widened. “What?” she said. Her breath caught in her throat. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing.
“The children were playing out in the school yard. The bell rang and they were all accounted for. Except for your son.” Principal Dugan explained.
“Oh my god! Call the police!” Ellie cried. She felt numb.
“I did. They’re on their way. We asked Tyson’s classmates if they had seen anything. James Archer said he saw Tyson walk off with a man.” Charlotte explained, biting her lip.
Ellie felt like she had been punched in the stomach. Her legs wobbled, and for a moment she thought she was going to fall. Principal Dugan held her by the arm, keeping her on her feet. “Oh god. Please, no. Not my son.” Ellie gasped. She couldn’t help but think back to when Kaitlyn Biggs had been abducted.
“Do you need to sit down?” Charlotte asked her.
Ellie pushed away from the other woman. “How can you be so calm? My son’s been kidnapped!” she cried.
“Let’s just wait for the police.” Charlotte tried to calm her down.
“Well what the hell is taking them so long?” Ellie cried. She thought her heart would burst out of her chest. She was breathing hard.
“They’re on their way.” Charlotte reassured her.
This is a nightmare. I’m going to wake up and everything is going to be fine. Ellie told herself. She paced along the office floor. What if it was too late? What if they would never find Tyson? How was she going to explain it to her mother? How was she going to explain it to the rest of the town? Kaitlyn Biggs had been lucky. She had been let go after three weeks. She had been returned home. Ellie looked up at the sound of sirens filling the air. The police had finally arrived. Ellie wrung her hands nervously, waiting for them to enter the office. She hoped they would be able to help. That they would find Tyson as quickly as possible.
She didn’t know how much time had passed, but the police had left after asking her some questions. They were off to look for Tyson. Ellie sat in Charlotte’s office, waiting for her to return. She had gone off to get Ellie a glass of water. Ellie wrung her hands nervously. She took a deep breath. Trying to stay calm. Suddenly, she heard a commotion coming from outside. Ellie jumped to her feet. The office door opened, and Charlotte stuck her head into the room. Her eyes shining in excitement.
“Tyson’s here! He’s back!” Charlotte said.
Before Ellie could make it to the door, Charlotte stepped aside and someone entered the room. It took Ellie a moment to realize who it was. Someone she hadn’t seen in years. But it was someone she had contacted not long ago. Someone she was hoping would have helped find the location of the killer. It was Tyson’s father, Gage. Her ex-boyfriend.
“Ellie. Tyson was with me.” he explained sheepishly.
“With you? But what are you doing here?” Ellie asked with a deep frown.
Gage shrugged. “I wanted to see my son.” he explained.
Before she could stop herself, Ellie’s hand flashed out. And slapped Gage across the face. The sound echoed through the office. “You son of a bitch!” she seethed.
He glared at her. “I see you still hit the same.” he told her.
“You kidnapped my son!” Ellie cried.
“I didn’t kidnap him. I took him out for a soda.” Gage explained. “And he’s my son too.” he told her.
“What happened to not wanting to be a father?” Ellie asked accusingly.
“I just wanted to see him.” Gage replied.
“No! You do not get to decide that. You haven’t been around for the past six years!” Ellie said. “If you wanted to see him, you could have waited until after school. You don’t just show up here and take him out for a soda.” she continued.
“I was going to have him back before his recess was over.” Gage explained. “He’s back in class, he had fun with me. What’s the big deal?” he asked.
“Just go. Leave! Before I press charges. You’re not welcome here.” Ellie replied, eyes blazing.
“I’ll go. But if I want to see my son, I will. You can’t stop me.” Gage said, staring her down. With that, he turned away and stalked out of the office.
Ellie watched him go. She let out a deep breath, not realizing she was holding it. A troubled expression crossed her face, Gage’s words echoing through her mind.
Footsteps on the sidewalk. A figure coming to a stop in front of the Whitlow house. It was Megan. She was returning home from school. Yet she didn’t head into the house. She stood outside on the front lawn. She was sure she had just aced her math exam. Yet there was a troubled look in her eyes. A sigh escaped from between her lips. Charlie had promised to meet her once her exam was done. He told her he would wait for her outside of the school. So once she was done, she had hurried to her locker. She had deposited her books inside, and then hurried through the hallways to the main entrance. The wide smile on her face had dissappeared when she saw Charlie was nowhere to be found.
So she had waited. Five minutes passed. And then ten. Finally, Megan had pulled out her phone. Texted Charlie. She sat down on the school steps, waiting for him to reply. It never came. With a sigh, she had called his phone. It rang before going to voicemail. She left a message, asking him to call her back. She waited. By the time she looked at the time on her phone screen, fourty minutes had passed. A deep frown had creased her pretty face as she got up to her feet and headed for home. The whole way there, she had looked down at her phone. No answer from Charlie. She hoped everything was okay. She was getting slightly worried. Where is he? she thought to herself with a frown.
Megan slid her keys out of her pocket and made her way up to the front door. She unlocked the door, and pushed it open. Stepping into the quiet house. Her mom was at work, and she had no idea where Julie was. Not that it mattered, she wanted to be alone. She closed the door behind her and locked it. She made her way through the house and into the kitchen. Making her way over to the fridge. She pulled the door open and pulled out some juice. She placed the container down on the counter and went to find a glass. Finding one among the dry plates in the dishwasher, she brought it over to the counter. She poured the juice into the glass, and took a sip. Her eyes scanning her surroundings.
Once the orange juice was back in the fridge and that the glass was washed, Megan made her way out of the kitchen. She went into the living room, sitting down on the couch. She pulled her phone out, peered down at the screen. Still no answer from Charlie. Should I go over to his house? she thought to herself. She peered at the time. Surely someone would be home. Maybe they knew where he was. She got to her feet, and was heading for the door when she suddenly changed her mind. Maybe it would be better if she called his house first. She pulled out her phone, dialed his house number, and brought the phone to her ear. It was ringing. Once, twice.
On the fourth ring, someone finally picked up. “Hello?” said a familiar voice. It was Charlie’s mother, Dawn.
“Hi. It’s Megan.” she told Dawn.
“Megan, hi! How are you?” Dawn asked from the other end of the line.
“I’m fine. I’m looking for Charlie. Is he home?” Megan asked curiously.
“You haven’t spoken to him?” Dawn asked.
“No, I can’t get a hold of him.” Megan explained.
“Well he called here just before to say he wouldn’t be home for dinner. He told me he was going to the mall with Hanna, and…Jillyan? I think her name is.” Dawn said.
Hanna Workman and Jillyan Rayburn? Megan thought to herself with a frown. What was he doing with those girls? And why wasn’t he answering her calls or texts? “They’re at the mall?” Megan asked.
“Yeah. I think they’ll be there for a while. Maybe you can catch up to them?” Dawn said.
“I plan on it.” Megan replied. She was glad Dawn couldn’t see the icy glare in her eyes.
“Well I have to go. I’m going to pick up Finn from school.” Dawn explained.
“Thanks. You were a big help. See you soon!” Megan said as cheerfully she could muster. She hung up the phone and slid it into her pocket.
Charlie, you have some explaining to do. she thought to herself as she turned on her heels and headed for the front door.
Faye had no plans on slowing down. She had worked a lot on the book in the past two weeks. She was surprised that the book was almost done. She only had two more chapters to work on. That’s why today, the book was the last thing on her mind. It could wait another two days or so. Today, she was on a mission. She had other plans. The idea had come to her suddenly as she was sitting in Darcy’s living room. They were talking about that night, the night Scott revealed himself as the killer, over a cup of tea. Faye listened carefully while Darcy recounted the events of that night once again. Darcy mentioned something Scott had said, something about Brandon Covington.
It was at that moment that Faye had a brilliant idea. It was almost as if a lightbulb went on over her head. Like something you would see in a cartoon. Darcy didn’t seem no have noticed, she kept talking. They had been talking for hours. Faye listened, but in the back of her mind, she was already coming up with a plan. Once they were done, she thanked Darcy, and made her way outside. Instead of making her way back home, Faye headed down the sidewalk. Her heels clicking against the pavement with another destination in mind. The Library. She’d be able to work on her plan with no interruptions. She hoped it would work, a determined gaze in her eyes as Darcy’s words repeated, swirling through her mind.
Scott was in contact with Brandon Covington. He’s not in West Valley, but he was still pulling the strings. Faye thought to herself as she walked, stopping to cross the street. She looked both ways before she hurried to the opposite sidewalk. She kept moving. Brandon dissappeared from Sherwood Sanitarium five years ago. she thought to herself. He must have been hiding out somewhere, maybe even living out in the open in a new town somewhere. Somewhere where no one knew him. They didn’t know what he looked like. Maybe he had started a new life for himself. And maybe I can find him. Faye thought to herself with a smile on her lips.
A few minutes later, she found herself standing in front of the Library. She headed up the steps to the front door, pulling it open and stepping Inside. It was quiet, nothing unusual there. Yet an uncomfortable feeling seemed to creep up on Faye as she headed for the stairs. The computers were on the second floor. She’d need one to work on her plan. She ascended the stairs, trying to ignore the uneasy feeling that seemed to be wrapping itself around her. She glanced over her shoulder, but there was no one standing there. Keep calm. Faye thought to herself as she made her way over to a computer. She pulled the chair back and sat down.
She clicked on the computer, waiting for it to load. She stole another glance around the room. It seemed like she had the Library to herself. She hadn’t even seen the librarian. She drummed her nails on the desktop, breaking the silence. Finally, the computer was ready to go. She typed quickly, bringing up the web browser. Ok, think, Faye. she thought to herself. She brought up the websites of all the major real estate agencies. Now, all I have to do is look for all the houses sold in the past five years in a thousand mile radius. she thought to herself. It sounded pointless, there must have been a hundred homes sold in the past five years. But Faye was determined to find something that looked out of the ordinary.
Faye kept on the lookout for male owners. There were quite a few. But she wrote down their names and the towns they lived in. Once I’m done with the book, I can go look at these towns. Maybe I can find Brandon and put him behind bars where he belongs. Faye thought to herself. She could see it now, her picture on the front page of every newspaper across the nation. She could see the title now, PODCASTER/ AUTHOR BRINGS BRANDON CONVINGTON TO JUSTICE! It brought a smile to Faye’s lips. She looked over the list of names she had. Satisfied, she got to her feet, turning the computer off. She made her way back to the stairs, descending them to the main floor of the Library.
She pushed the door open, stepping outside. It was time to head back to the Jacks house. She had taken a few steps when her phone rang. She slid it out, looking down at the screen. UNKOWN CALLER. With a slight frown creasing her forehead, she answered the call. She brought the phone to her ear.
“Hello?” she said.
Silence on the other end of the line. She could hear someone’s soft breathing. Her frowned deepened.
“Hello?” Faye said again.
Finally, someone spoke. “Hello, Faye.” said the distorted voice from the other end of the line.
“Hi?” she said, she didn’t recognize the voice.
“Looking for someone?” the voice asked omniously.
It took her a moment to realize what the caller was saying. Her eyes widened. “How do you know that?” she asked.
A laugh. Full of malice. “I know everything.” the voice said.
Faye looked around. Could the killer be out there, watching her? She contemplated going back inside the Library. “Who are you?” she asked.
Another laugh from the killer. “It isn’t going to be that easy.” the voice replied.
“You’re watching me, aren’t you?” Faye asked.
“And watching your computer activity.” the killer explained.
Computer whiz? she thought to herself. “Not smart. The cops can you find you like that.” she told the killer.
“The police of West Valley don’t scare me. Besides, I’m untraceable!” the voice laughed with glee.
“Is this Brandon?” Faye asked, arching an eyebrow.
“Brandon Covington? Maybe, maybe not. Would you like it to be?” the voice asked.
“I’m kind of hoping it is. I’m going to find you.” Faye replied.
Another laugh. “Not if I find you first!” the killer said omniously.
“If that’s supposed to scare me, you’ll have to try harder.” she replied, rolling her eyes. She was getting annoyed.
“I scare myself by how badly I want everyone in this miserable little town to die. That includes you, Faye!” the killer replied.
And with that, with no warning, the killer hung up. Faye listened to the dial tone in her ear. Replaying the killer’s threats in her mind. She was scared.
Dusk. A pale sliver of a moon hung in the endless dark ocean that was the sky. Most of the town of West Valley was settling down for the night. In the suburbs, there were less people out on the sidewalks. Families were sitting down to have a late dinner, some were parking themselves in front of the television or the computer. Homework was being done, baths were being drawn, babies were being put to bed. Some people, like Beth, were feeling restless. The front door open and she stepped outside, letting out a sigh. She closed the door behind her, walking across the front porch to gaze up at the sky. She was bored being cooped up in the house.
After dinner, she had suggested to Preston that they go explore the town, but he had declined. He was too preoccupied with sitting at the computer, getting ready to Skype with his parents. Beth had rolled her eyes, and had gone up to her bedroom to change clothes. Her destination, downtown West Valley. That’s where the action seemed to be once the sun went down. She contemplated driving there, but decided perhaps walking was better. With one last glance at the house, she moved off, making her way down the walkway to the sidewalk. Her heels clicked against the pavement as she went. A soft breeze ruffled the tree leaves above her head as she walked past a lit up house. She could see the silhouettes of people from behind the curtains.
Beth kept walking. Humming softly to herself. Somewhere in the distance, she heard a car come to life. Up ahead, something scurried into the bushes. Beth ignored it. Probably a squirrel or something. she thought to herself as she kept walking. It was a pleasant night, and she couldn’t help the small smile that played on her lips. It would have been better if Preston would have joined her, but she was going to make the most of the night. She was going to enjoy herself. She turned the corner, the sidewalk stretching out before her. She tapped her hand against a mailbox as she walked by it. In the distance, she could see the inviting lights of downtown.
She didn’t know where she would go first. Perhaps she could check out Surge. She’d heard good things about it. She’d also heard bad things about it. Two people had died there. One had been Everly Martin, the actress. She remembered hearing the story about it on the news. Everly had drank a glass mixed with poison and had dropped dead right there in the middle of the club. The other person who had died there had been an employee. West Valley had seen it’s fair share of tragedy, but things seemed to have calmed down now. If it hadn’t, Beth wouldn’t have moved there. She wouldn’t have even been out walking past dark. She did feel a little uneasy, but pushed that feeling away as she kept moving down the sidewalk.
A smile played on Beth’s face as she rounded the corner and found herself standing downtown. Main Street stretched out before her. It was lit up, and there were more people on the sidewalk than she had seen on her way over. Stores were closing up while the restaurants, bars, and clubs were starting to pick up. Beth walked by Darcy’s Closet, it’s windows dark. Her heels clicked on the sidewalk as she watched some people head into a restaurant a few doors down. Music spilled out into the street as the door was opened, and Beth found herself standing in front of the building. This place looks good. she thought to herself.
The door opened, and a smiling couple stepped outside. The male held the door open for Beth. With a quick smile, Beth entered the restaurant. The door swung shut behind her as she looked around. Nice place. she thought as she approached the bar. None of the people’s faces looked familiar. They were all strangers to her. No matter. She was a friendly person and liked to talk. She was sure by the end of the night she’d have made a new friend. She made her way over to the bar and sat down. She looked around at the smiling faces around her. People were having a good time. If they weren’t seated at their table eating, they were sitting at the bar having drinks. That’s what Beth was there for. She’d have a few drinks before heading back home.
“What can I get you?” the bartender said, sliding upto Beth.
“Hmm, what do you recommend?” Beth asked curiously.
The bartender raised an eyebrow. “I can make any type of alcoholic drink on this side of the hemisphere. If you want juice, you’re shit out of luck here.” the bartender replied with a smirk.
A small chuckle escaped Beth’s lips. “I’ll have a dirty martini.” she said.
“Coming right up.” the bartender said, moving away to make Beth’s drink.
From her spot at the bar, Beth looked around. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. She caught bits and pieces of different conversations going on around her.
“….Attacked? Here in this restaurant?” she heard someone say.
The conversation caught Beth’s attention as she listened to the two girls talking at a nearby table.
“Yeah! Her friend went to the restroom, and got a faceful of acid. She was blinded.” one girl told the other.
“The restroom in the back?” the other girl said with wide eyes.
“The one you used, yes!” her friend replied.
“That’s disturbing! What are we even doing here?” the other girl replied, looking around.
“Having our lobster steak. The food here is amazing. What happened to that girl happened months ago.” her friend reassured her.
Before Beth could listen to more of the conversation, her drink was placed in front of her. She thanked the bartender and took a sip. Great drink! she thought to herself. She turned her attention back to the two girls, but they were talking about something else now. Something about a television show. Beth brought her attention back to her drink.
Three martinis, and a shot of vodka later, Beth pushed open the restaurant door and stepped outside onto the sidewalk. The door closed behind her as she took a glance around. Main Street was fairly empty now. It was late, and now Beth had to head back home. She felt light headed. She wasn’t drunk, she felt good. Instead of heading down the sidewalk, she headed down the side alley along the restaurant. Making her way around the back to the concrete path that people used as a shortcut to get home. A light breeze ruffled her hair, made the shadows around her dance. The path ahead of her was dark. Beth stared ahead with uncertainty before she finally began moving. Her heels clicking on the pavement broke the silence of the night around her.
Creepy. she thought to herself. She walked, heading into the thick black shadows. Humming to herself, trying to keep her mind preoccupied. She hadn’t gotten far when something caught her attention. Movement from out of the corner of her eye. Beth stopped in her tracks. She should have kept moving, but it was if her legs had suddenly decided to stop cooperating. Something was moving in the dark. Beth opened her mouth to call out, but couldn’t seem to find her voice. She frowned. She could feel someone’s eyes on her. Watching her. She let out a shaky breath. A noise now. Humming. Someone was humming the song she had been humming to herself. Someone was definitely there and she couldn’t see who. Beth’s heart raced in her chest.
“Who’s there?” she was able to finally call out.
No reply. Only the sound of the humming, and the crunch of footsteps on the grass. The figure was getting closer. Beth’s heart leaped as she finally found herself moving, running away down the dark path. Her heels clicking hard against the pavement. Running for the safety of her home.
It was quiet at the Raines house. Everyone was in their rooms, sleeping. Or mostly everyone. Light flickered from the television in the living room. Evidence that someone was still awake. The television sound was muted. Someone was lying on the couch. Not sleeping. Thinking. A sole male figure with red hair. Adam. Staring up at the ceiling with a frown creasing his forehead. Thinking about what had happened earlier that day. He replayed it through his mind. Sasha had confronted him about finding the Rohypnol. It was his. He had been careless and had left it lying around. He had the pill bottle in his pocket right now. He sat up, and pulled it out. Stared at it. Rolled it between his hands.
He hoped Sasha wouldn’t tell anyone about it. About how he had threatened her. He could get in a lot of trouble if the authorities found out he had it. He wondered what Meredith would do if she ever found out. He was using the pills on her. For fun. To make things interesting. Adam swallowed nervously as he put the pills away. He tried focusing his attention back on the television screen. But couldn’t. He hopped to his feet and paced around the living room. The light from the television distorting his shadow as he paced from one end of the living room to the other. He wrung his hands nervously. If Sasha tells anyone, I’m screwed. he thought to himself with a frown creasing his forehead. Worry glinted in his eyes.
The chirp of his phone stopped Adam in his tracks. He made his over to the living room table where his phone was lying. He picked it up and stared down at the screen. A notification that he had a text message. Clicking a few buttons, he stared down at the text. Read it. Fear swelling inside of him as his eyes widened in surprise. Who sent this? Adam thought to himself, his heart thudding in his chest. He looked at the number, it was blocked. He read the text message again, hoping it was a joke.
MEET ME AT ST-GREGORY’S IN 20 MINUTES.
OR ELSE I TELL THE COPS WHAT YOU’VE BEEN DOING
TO YOUR GIRLFRIEND.
Was the text from Sasha? Had she told someone? Adam picked up his phone, and slid it into his pocket. He grabbed the remote, turned off the television and made his way out of the living room. He made his way through the dark and over to the front door. He unlocked it, pulled it open, and stepped out into the night. Outside, it was quiet as he closed the front door as softly as he could. He didn’t want any of his housemates to know that he had left. He looked up towards the house, expecting to see someone standing in the upstairs window. There was no one. With that, Adam hurried off, dissappearing into the shadows of the night. He was silent as he made his way through the neighbourhood, heading for St-Gregory’s.
He was out of breath by the time he reached the Church. He had made it in less than twenty minutes. The building loomed omniously over him. Adam stared at the building, waiting for his heart rate to return back to normal. But it didn’t. It continued to race nervously. He took a step closer, his eyes scanning the darkness around him. There was no sign that someone else was there. So Adam waited, listening carefully for any hint of movement. There wasn’t any. Yet he couldn’t shake off the uneasy feeling that wrapped itself around him. He moved quietly for the front entrance, heading up the stone steps to the door. He reached his hand out, hesitated for a moment.
He stole a glance over his shoulder, expecting to find someone standing behind him. No one. He reached out, grabbed the handle and pushed the door open. It was unlocked, the door creaking omniously as he slid inside the building. The door shut with a boom, almost making him jump out of his skin. He let out a sigh. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. Adam thought to himself. His footsteps echoed off the high ceiling as he made his way deeper into the Church. An icy cold shiver of fear snaked down his spine. He reached out with a hand, finding the light switch. He flicked the lights on, blinking hard against the harsh lights. If someone was there, he wanted to see them coming.
“Hello?” he called out. His voice broke the silence around him.
There was no reply. Just the sound of his footsteps against the floor. He wondered who had text him. He expected to see Meredith walk in, anger flashing in her eyes. Maybe Sasha had told her. Or maybe the cops were going to ambush him. Adam swallowed nervously. He took a few more steps when he heard a door creak shut somewhere in the building. He stopped in his tracks and listened. He turned, a frown on his face. He opened his mouth to speak, but no sound came out. He passed a doorway, peered into the next room. It was empty. No sign of anyone. He kept moving, keeping close to the wall as he made his way towards another doorway. The other room was also empty. Someone is here. Adam thought to himself.
Moving along the wall, there was one more door ahead of him. A wooden door, light filtering from underneath. Adam took a deep breath as he approached it. He reached out, gripped the handle and pulled the door open. A staircase, leading up to the steeple. Above him on the stairs, he saw a flurry of movement. Someone was up there. It’s too dark, I can’t see who it is. He thought to himself with a frown. Yet he headed for the stairs, the door closing behind him. There was no turning back now. He headed up the stairs, gripping the railing as he ascended towards the top of the steeple.
“Who’s there?” he called out. His voice echoed around him.
There was no reply. Yet he climbed higher and higher. He saw another flutter of movement. Someone moving in the darkness above him. He was too determined to find out who it was, that he was no longer scared. He no longer felt uneasy. A few moments later, he found himself at the top of the steeple. There was no window at the top, just empty space that overlooked the ground some eighty feet below. Where are they? Adam thought to himself as his eyes scanned the darkness around him. He took a hesitant step forward just as the other figure lunged out of the darkness next to him. Adam turned, eyes widening in fear.
Before he could react, there was a glint of silver in the figure’s hand. Adam was punched once, twice, a third time in the stomach. White hot waves of pain rolled over him as he clutched his stomach. His hands were coated with dripping liquid. He raised his hands, they were covered in bright crimson. His own blood. He lowered his hands, stumbled on his feet. The black clad figure took that opportunity to reach out and grab him by the collar. Adam was propelled backwards until there was just open air underneath his feet. He felt himself falling backwards, watching the figure grow smaller and smaller as he suddenly hit the ground below with a loud crunch. Blood splattered on the pavement as Adam’s vision went dark.
The moonlight glinted in Adam’s open unblinking eyes. His body lay limp in a pool of blood. He was dead.