It was another day in the town of West Valley. The fourteenth consecutive day without any madness. Two weeks of silence since the West Valley killer had claimed his latest victim. The whole town had heard about the murder. They’d had plenty of time to react to it. Reactions of sadness, surprise, shock, even relief. Relief that they had lived to see another day. The police were investigating with no such luck thus far. That came as no surprise to most of the people who lived in the small town. The first killer had been hard to catch, why would this time around be any different? The killer was out there somewhere. Bidding his or her time before they struck again. Not many people had encountered the killer and survived.
The majority of the people had fallen victim to the sick and twisted mind of the West Valley killer. They all had been brutally murdered. From stabbings, beheadings, poison ingestion, throat slashings, knives in the eyes, knives through the head, the killer showed no mercy. He’d pick his victims at random. No one knew who would be next. It put everyone on edge. Still, life went on. People were cautious as they went to school, went to work, shopped, things one would do on a daily basis. People were planning marriages, buying houses. They were planning for their futures, assuming they would have one. The house on Birchview Drive stood silently in the morning light. It had been recently bought and moved into. It was the new house to a well known couple in the town of West Valley.
There was a lot going on in Darcy Adkins life lately. She and her fiancée, Campbell Roe, had moved into this new house after weeks of house hunting. They had finally found a place they had both adored. Their plan was to be all settled in before their wedding day, which was approaching fast. While being excited for this next big step, there was also tragedy that had touched their lives. Darcy’s business, her clothing store, had been burned to the ground in an arson. It was the doing of the West Valley killer. As if that wasn’t enough, she had also been attacked by the killer at her engagement party. She had barely made it out alive. She had stumbled back into the party from outside, viciously stabbed in the stomach.
She had eventually pulled through, she was still healing nicely to this day. But there had been so much damage, she could not have children. She hadn’t told many people. She hadn’t even told Campbell yet. She planned to, she was just scared of his reaction. He had really wanted a family. How would he react once he found out she couldn’t have kids on her own? The only way now was adoption or a surrogate. Darcy had been secretly looking, to no avail. They weren’t looking to have kids right away, but it was something for the near future. It was on Darcy’s mind, and had been even now as she pulled her car up to the curb in front of the house. She shut off the ignition and stared through the windshield at her new home.
She had been gone for most of the morning, she had gone to visit her parents. There was still a few last minute details for the wedding to go over with her mother. She pushed open the driver side door, stepping out and closing the door behind her. She pressed on the alarm, the car’s security system chirping in response. She still couldn’t believe Campbell had gotten her a car for their engagement present. She couldn’t help it, a small smile played on her lips as she made her way to step onto the curb. She looked at the house again. We did it, we actually own this place together. she thought to herself. She shook her head in slight disbelief as she made her way up to the front door. Sticking the key in the lock, she unlocked the door.
She pushed the door open, stepping inside. She loved the look of the house. There was just something about it that comforted her. Perhaps it was because she and Campbell had discussed the decorating together. Surprisingly, they had agreed on mostly everything. From the light fixtures, to the colors, even down to the furniture they chose. Another quick, light smile flashed on her face as she closed the front door and locked it. Nobody in West Valley kept their doors unlocked anymore. While it was rare for the killer to attack in broad daylight, you could never be too sure. Darcy didn’t want to take any chances. Even though the sun was shining up in a cloudless blue sky, she felt safer knowing the door was locked.
Because she had no job at the moment, she was home alone a lot during the day. Not that she stayed cooped in the house all day. She went to do stuff. She shopped, went to visit friends, went for drinks, worked out at the gym, and went jogging through the town. Plus, a great thing about the new house was that it had a swimming pool. She loved to swim. She loved to just sit by the pool and gaze into the water. She made her way through the house, heading through the dining room, into the kitchen and out to the backdoor. She unlocked it, pulled the door open and stepped out into the warm spring air. She closed the door behind her as she gazed into the bright blue water. Most of the houses in West Valley had swimming pools in their backyards.
When Darcy had first moved to town, her first place was too small to have a pool. She was surprised she could even fit in the house. It was small, but nice. A bigger house had always been on her mind. She now had the big house, the car. She had a fiancée who was crazy about her, and she was crazy about him. She was still uncertain if she was going to keep her family name, or change it to Campbell’s. Darcy Roe. she thought to herself with a small smile playing on her lips. It had a nice sound to it. Campbell had told her it wasn’t a big deal to him if she kept her name. She had until the wedding day to decide. She gazed out to the bright blue pool water again. Looked at the sun in the water’s reflection. She was suddenly tempted to go for a swim.
She turned, heading back towards the house when she heard the ringing of the phone. She hurried, pulling the backdoor open and stepping inside. She made sure to close and lock the door behind her as she made her way into the kitchen. She picked it up the phone, an uneasy glint in her eye. Who would be on the other end of the line? Her pulse quickened as she took a deep breath, and answered, bringing the phone to her ear as she did so. She tensed, waiting to hear the distorted voice of the West Valley killer on the other end of the line.
“H-Hello?” she stammered. She couldn’t help it.
“May I please speak to Darcy Adkins?” a cool, calm voice asked from the other end of the line. A woman’s voice. Darcy didn’t recognize it.
“This is Darcy.” she answered. For a brief moment she wondered if the killer had been able to disguise his voice. A frown creased her pretty face.
“This is Jane Porter.” the woman on the other end of the line said.
Jane Porter? Why does that name sound familiar? Darcy thought to herself. Then it hit her. Jane Porter, the clothing designer. “Jane Porter? As in Jane Porter Clothing?” Darcy asked curiously as she wandered into the dining room.
“Oh good, you’ve heard of me?” the woman said pleasantly.
“Of course! I love your clothing! But why are you calling me?” Darcy asked, arching an eyebrow.
“I pulled some strings to get your number, which wasn’t easy to find. I heard about your recent misfortune. The fire at your store. That must be horrible.” Jane explained.
“Oh. Yes, it was. I lost everything.” Darcy said, sadness glinting in her eyes.
“Well, I’d like to help. I’m going to be in West Valley within the next few days and I would love for us to meet.” Jane replied. “Perhaps over a cup of coffee?” she asked.
Jane Porter is asking to meet me over a cup of coffee. Darcy said to herself, trying to process it. “Sure! That sounds great.” she said excitedly. She wasn’t going to pass up the chance to meet one of her favorite designers.
“Wonderful! I have your number so I’ll give you a call when I’m in town. I’m looking forward to meeting you!” Jane explained.
“Likewise! Thanks for calling!” Darcy replied.
“It’s my pleasure. Bye now.” Jane said before hanging up.
Jane Porter just called me. Did that really happen? Darcy thought to herself as she hung up the phone, a smile on her pretty face. If there was one design that she was most proud of, it was her wedding dress. She had made it herself. She had bought the materials, had sowed them together to make her dream dress that she had wanted since she was a little girl. It was a shame that she would only get to wear it for one day. However, it was going to be a reminder of what was going to be the most important day of her life. Darcy headed out of the dining room and over to the stairs. She made her way up the stairs to the second floor of the house. She pushed open the bedroom door and walked across the floor to the closet.
She pulled the closet door open and stared at the wedding dress. She imagined walking down the church aisle, her father at her side. She imagined Campbell waiting for her, flashing his trademark grin. The sound of the front door opening snapped Darcy out of her daydream. From downstairs, she heard Campbell calling out to her. He had returned home from his last tuxedo fitting. She closed the closet door and hurried out of the bedroom. She descended the stairs to the main floor of the house. Campbell was relaxing in the living room, sitting on the couch, his ankles crossed. He smiled widely at her as she entered the living room. Darcy went over and sat down beside him.
“How was the fitting?” she asked after she had kissed him.
“Still fits fine. So I didn’t gain any weight. I plan on doing that at the reception. There’s going to be so much food.” he told her with a slight chuckle.
“Hopefully you don’t eat that much food. Don’t forget, we’re going on our honeymoon the following day. You got to have that beach body.” she reminded him with a giggle.
Campbell let out a sigh of contempt. “It’ll be nice to get away from West Valley for a few weeks.” he told her.
Darcy nodded in reply. “It will.” she said. Now’s the perfect time to tell him. she thought to herself. She turned to look at him, her smile fading.
“You alright?” he asked her, cocking an eyebrow.
“I need to tell you something.” she told him.
“What’s going on? You’re not having second thoughts, are you? About getting married?” he asked her, worry glinting in his eyes.
“No, it’s just..I have to tell you something and it’s not easy. It’s going to affect us. Our future.” Darcy explained.
Campbell frowned. “This sounds serious.” he replied.
Darcy held back tears. “It is.” she said softly.
“Just tell me what’s going on.” Campbell said.
“Do you remember what happened the night of our engagement dinner?” Darcy asked.
He nodded in reply. “How can I forget. That was terrifying. I thought I was going to lose you.” he said.
“Well, a few days after I came home from the hospital, they called me.” she explained.
“They did? You didn’t tell me that. What did they say?” Campbell asked curiously.
“That the stab wound had caused some damage. Campbell, they told me I can’t have kids.” Darcy said.
Campbell’s eyes widened slightly in surprise. “You can’t have kids? Ever?” he asked.
“I’m so sorry.” Darcy said.
“It’s not your fault! That’s.. wow. I’m shocked. You know I want kids, eventually.” he told her.
“I know. That’s why it was so hard to tell you!” she said, sniffling.
“I fucking hate this killer! Whoever they are, they’re ruining peoples lives!” Campbell cried.
“There’s other options.” Darcy said, blinking back tears.
“I know. We’ll look into it. I want to have a family with you. I’m just upset that some sick fuck took away our chance of having a baby on our own.” he explained to her.
“I know! I know! It’s not fair!” Darcy replied, tearing up.
Campbell pulled her close, and held her in his arms.
Footsteps on the sidewalk. A lone figure appeared, stopping in front of a certain house. Eyes gazed towards the house, taking in the eerie silence that surrounded it. Beth hadn’t planned on stopping in front of the Jacks’ house. That was not her destination. She was headed downtown. Yet when she realized she was walking by the Jacks’ house, she couldn’t help but stop in front. Terrible things had happened there two weeks earlier. Lynn Jacks was dead. She too had fallen victim to the West Valley killer. It had happened right inside the house. The elderly woman had been stabbed to death. It had been quick, she had died almost instantly. She had been found in the downstairs hallway in a pool of bright crimson blood.
By her own grandson. Beth thought to herself. An icy cold shiver of fear snaked down her spine. She couldn’t imagine how horrible it must have been for Tyson to discover his grandmother’s body. He was only seven years old. From what Beth had heard on the news, he had been woken up by his grandmother’s scream of terror. He had headed down the stairs to find the hallway splattered with blood, his grandmother lying on the floor. With quick thinking, he had headed over to the phone to call his mother. Ellie had still been at Surge celebrating Faye’s book release when she had gotten the call. She had rushed out of there without another word, and had headed home, calling the police on the way. She had gotten there first, and had collapsed next to her mother’s body once she had seen the carnage.
The police and the coroner had arrived a few minutes later. They had worked quickly, taking the body away. But the damage had been done. Ellie and Tyson were traumatized. That’s so horrible. First her father, and now her mother is murdered. Beth thought to herself with a deep frown creasing her face. It seemed like Ellie was just beginning to move on from her father’s murder, and now her mother had suffered the same fate. Whoever this killer was, he or she was showing no mercy. Beth glanced nervously behind her. The sidewalk was empty. Yet Beth couldn’t shake off the sudden feeling of unease that wrapped around her. She turned back towards the house. She caught sight of a curtain fluttering in a downstairs window. Did someone see her just standing out there, peering up at the house?
If they did, they didn’t come outside. The front door remained shut. Maybe that was her cue to leave, to keep walking. Even though a part of her wanted to go up and ring the doorbell. That’s none of your business. she thought to herself. Beth didn’t really know Ellie. She had seen her once or twice, had only spoken to her briefly. Ellie was going through a huge ordeal right now, and Beth had the feeling that she wanted to be left alone. She had only been seen at her mother’s funeral. Other than that, she was taking time off work to be with Tyson. She barely came out of the house, only to see that Tyson got on and off the school bus, and to pick up the mail. Christy Whitlow was taking care of the club in the meantime.
With one last glance at the house, Beth kept walking. She looked both ways for any cars before she crossed the street. It was a beautiful day. It’s deceiving. Because somewhere out there, is a killer. she couldn’t help but think to herself. The uneasy feeling seemed to tighten around her. She couldn’t help the wary look she gave her surroundings. Could the killer be hiding in the bushes that lined the street, watching her? Or could the killer be in the car with the tinted windows that she had just walked past? Or could he be in one of those houses she walked by, peering out the window at her? She crossed her arms over her chest as she picked up her pace, heading for downtown. She was lucky enough to have not encountered the killer. She hoped she never did.
Beth felt a little better once she had reached downtown. There were people around. Not a lot, but she passed them by on the sidewalk every once in a while. She stopped to peer at what was left of Darcy’s Closet. Which was not much of anything. She kept moving, walking past the gym. She was planning on hitting up the gym when she could find some free time. She walked by Surge, spotting Christy outside. She waved with a small smile as Beth walked by. Beth waved and kept moving. All the horrible stuff aside, at least the people here are nice. she thought to herself. Soon, she found herself standing in front of a bakery. She had heard they made really great cupcakes. She made her way up to the entrance, pulling the door open and stepping inside.
The door closed behind her as she took a deep breath. It smelled heavenly. Beth tried not to drool as she made her way over to the counter. The girl behind the counter smiled. Beth peered at the cupcakes on display before finally choosing two. One was red velvet, and the other was pistachio flavored. The girl placed them on a plate, handing it over to Beth. Thanking her, Beth made her way over to a table. She pulled the chair back, sitting down. Again she took a deep breath. She could smell lavender, vanilla, chocolate. It invaded her senses. Her stomach growled hungrily as a small smirk played on her lips. She grabbed the pistachio cupcake. She was saving the red velvet for later. She took a bite. Yummmmm! she thought to herself.
She was so preoccupied, she didn’t see a lone figure walk in. A girl. She ordered a cupcake, and walked over to where Beth was sitting. Beth didn’t notice her until the other girl spoke.
“Is this seat taken?” she asked.
Beth looked up, startled. She eyed the girl who stood before her.She was pretty, and dressed fashionably. Beth could tell she had money. She stood on the other side of the table, her hand on the empty chair. “Oh! No, it’s not! Feel free.” she told the other girl.
“Thanks.” the girl replied with a smile as she pulled the chair back and sat down across from Beth.
“I’m Beth. Beth Myers.” she told the other girl.
“Nice to meet you! I’m Isabel Marcus.” she replied, extending her hand.
Beth shook Isabel’s hand. “I just moved here not too long ago.” she explained.
Isabel frowned slightly. “You heard about the murders, right?” she asked curiously.
“I did. How do you still live here with everything that’s going on?” Beth asked, taking another bite from her cupcake.
Isabel shrugged. “This is home. Although one of my housemates was killed.” she explained.
“Oh wow. I’m sorry to hear that.” Beth said, her eyes widening slightly.
Isabel shrugged again. “I wasn’t a fan of his. He was a thundering asshole.” she told Beth.
“What was his name?” Beth asked.
“Adam Raines.” Isabel replied.
“Oh I remember hearing about that. It happened recently. Didn’t he drug his girlfriend for fun?” Beth asked, cocking an eyebrow.
“That’s not the only thing. He and I had a pregnancy scare. And he wanted me to get rid of it.” Isabel answered.
“Oh wow. He sounds like a class act.” Beth replied sarcastically.
“He probably has kids all over the place.” Isabel said, scoffing lightly.
“What kind of girl would get involved with a guy like that? His girlfriend must have been blind.” Beth replied.
“She’s a smart type. Guys didn’t really pay attention to her. So when Adam showed interest, she fell for him. He can be very charming. He can be a lot of things, if it means he gets what he wants.” Isabel replied with a frown.
“If that girl was so smart, she should have seen right through him.” Beth said.
“Anyway, enough about him. I want to hear about you! What made you move to West Valley?” Isabel asked curiously. Both girls sat back, losing themselves into their conversation.
The girl let out an ear shattering scream as she cowered in the closet. The killer was busting through the door with his fists, trying to grab at her. His hand brushed the front of the girl’s shirt as she let out another scream of horror. His white expressionless mask loomed down towards the frightened girl, his breathing hard and ragged. The girl scrunched her eyes tightly shut, opening her mouth to scream again. And suddenly, without warning, the channel was changed. That was the last thing Hanna wanted to see as she sat on the couch, channel surfing. She blinked softly, wondering why she hadn’t changed the channel right away. Instead, she had lingered on the horror movie, watching the scene unfold on the television screen.
A soft sigh escaped Hanna’s lips as she flicked through the channels. She was bored. Her mother wasn’t home, she was still at work. And Hanna was stuck babysitting Quintin until she got home later on. Hanna muted the television, listening carefully. Her little brother was in his room, playing video games. She could hear the cheery music from where she sat. Good, he’s behaving. she thought to herself as she focused her attention back on the television screen. Instead of a slasher movie, there were now models walking down a runway on the screen. The corner of Hanna’s lips curled up in a soft smile as she sat back and watched. This was much better. The slasher movie was only a reminder of what had happened weeks ago at her slumber party.
Three of her friends were dead. They had been killed around the house, their bodies hidden. The police had found them once they had stormed through the house. Jillyan and Hanna had watched from the back of a squad car as the coroners had wheeled out three bodies on stretchers. That sight would never leave Hanna’s memory. It sent a shiver of fear down her spine. She and Jillyan were lucky to be alive. The coroners could have wheeled out five bodies from the house. There could have been no one watching from the back of the squad car. Hanna was trying to put the events of that night behind her. She was trying to move on. It seemed to be working, at times. But sometimes the memories of that night would rear it’s ugly head.
It would happen randomly. It had once happened in class while Hanna was taking a final exam. She had been bent over her paper writing when it had suddenly hit her. Her mind flashed back to that night. She could see herself clearly, cowering in the corner of the living room. She was screaming, watching as the killer loomed over Jillyan on the floor. Hanna had sat up straight at her desk, dropping her pencil, her breathing coming out in short gasps. She was almost hyperventilating. She had to leave the classroom, waiting until she calmed down before returning. Her friends were supposed to be taking that exam with her. But their seats remained empty. It was so surreal to Hanna, she would never see them again. She had lost so many people in so little time.
Her father had been first. And then her best friend, Skye. All people she had cared about. A pang of sadness hit Hanna. She sniffled, blinking back tears. She tried focusing back on the television screen. A few minutes later, Quintin scampered into the room, declaring he was hungry. Hanna stood from the couch, turning off the television and making her way into the kitchen. I’ll make some hot dogs for dinner. she thought to herself as she puttered around the kitchen. Quintin sat at the table, watching her as she headed to open the fridge. That’s when the doorbell rang. A slight frown creased Hanna’s face as she made her way out of the kitchen. She made her way over to the front door. She reached out, hesitating. She wasn’t expecting anyone.
Who would be on the other side of the door? Hanna took a deep breath. She unlocked the door and pulled it open. Staring out to a familiar face. She smiled. “Hey!” she said to Jillyan.
“Hey there. Busy?” Jillyan asked with a smile on her lips.
“Nope. I was about to start making dinner. I’m stuck babysitting my little brother.” Hanna said, rolling her eyes in annoyance.
“Your mom isn’t home?” Jillyan asked, arching an eyebrow.
“She’s working.” Hanna explained.
“How can you be alone in that house after what happened?” Jillyan asked with a shudder.
“I ask myself that all the time. Do you want to come in?” Hanna asked.
“Amy would have a coronary if she knew I was here.” Jillyan replied.
Hanna frowned. “So then what are you doing here?” she asked.
“I wanted to see how you were. I can’t stop thinking about that night.” Jillyan said with a frown.
“I know what you mean.” Hanna replied. “I wish we could move.” she told the other girl as she looked back at the house.
Before Jillyan could reply, the front door of the house opened. Quintin stuck his head out. “I’m hungry!” he complained.
“Just a minute!” Hanna told her little brother before turning back to Jillyan. “You sure you don’t want to come in?” she asked.
“Nah. I want to be home before it gets dark.” Jillyan explained.
“Alright. I’ll text you later.” Hanna said. She waved, and made her way back into the house while Jillyan hurried down the sidewalk.
Blood dripped off the edge of the hallway table. Slow, almost rhythmically. It hit the floor where it collected in the pool of blood. What was supposed to be a fun night had turned into a night of horror. All it took was one phone call. One distraught phone call from a child. The events of that night played back in Faye’s memory like a broken picture show. She was signing books at Surge when Ellie had gotten the call from her son. Faye didn’t have to hear the conversation to know something had happened. Something horrible. The look on Ellie’s face said it all as she held the phone to her ear. It was a mixture of shock, disbelief, sadness, and terror. Without a word to anyone, she had turned on her heels and had rushed out of the club, pushing past people as she ran for the exit.
Faye had handed a book to Fallon, walking away from the table where she had been standing. Other people had noticed Ellie’s quick exit, they had asked if something was wrong. Why had Ellie ran out like that? Faye didn’t have an answer to that. But she went over to Christy to ask, hoping that maybe she had heard something. She hadn’t. She was as clueless as the rest of them. Faye had a funny feeling in the pit of her stomach. She just knew something was wrong. She had made her way out of the club, pulling out her phone. She had called Ellie, but the other girl’s phone had just rang and rang before going to voicemail. As if it was perfect timing, a car had pulled up to the curb in front of the club. Faye saw Blake behind the wheel as he parked in front of the building.
She didn’t give him time to turn off the engine. She had thrown herself into the passenger seat, asking him to drive her back to the Jacks’ residence. Seeing the panicked look on her face, he had agreed. He had sped through the streets as they sat silently. Faye’s heart was hammering in her chest. Finally, a few minutes later, Blake pulled up in front of the house. She had jumped out, thanking him as he drove away. As Faye hurried up the walkway towards the open front door, she could hear the screams of horror coming from inside the house. She had no idea what she was about to walk into. She had took a deep breath, and had ran through the open doorway into the house. She had skidded to a stop on her high heels as she came across the scene unfolding before her.
She had thought the screams had sounded familiar. They were coming from Ellie. She was covered in blood. Not her own, but from her mother’s dead body. She was on the floor, holding Lynn’s body in her arms. Tears streamed down Ellie’s face, her mascara running. They left black smudges on her cheeks, but she didn’t notice. She was too preoccupied screaming her mother’s name. From somewhere upstairs, she could hear Tyson crying loudly. The hallway looked like a bloodbath. There was a pool of blood on the floor. There was blood on the walls, even dripping off the edge of the hallway table. Faye’s eyes widened at the ghastly sight. It felt like someone had punched her in the stomach as all the air seemed to leave her. She had struggled to breathe, afraid she was going to pass out.
Snapping back to the present, Faye stopped the car in front of the curb by the Wiles’ house. She killed the engine, pushing open the driver side door as she did so. She stepped out, closing the door behind her as she locked the car. She made her way onto the sidewalk, looking up at the house. She was keeping her promise that she was going to find Brandon Covington. That was her plan after her book came out. Well it was out, in the two short weeks, it was doing well. People were definitely interested in reading it. Had it not been for Lynn’s sudden murder, Faye would have already been on the road. She would have already started looking for Brandon. But I couldn’t just leave Ellie like that. she thought to herself.
Standing in front of the Wiles’ house, Faye flashed back to that night once again. It was almost as if she was back in the downstairs hallway. She had tried not to keep her eyes on Lynn’s body. That was the first time she had ever seen the aftermath of a murder. She had reached out and steadied herself against the wall. She couldn’t help it, she let out a scream as well. It was then that Ellie realized she was not alone. She had looked up, eyes wide as tears poured down her cheeks. She saw it was Faye, screamed incoherently at her. Faye wanted to help her, to kneel down by her, but she couldn’t bring herself to move. She could only stand on shaky legs, and watch helplessly while Ellie held her mother’s dead body close.
As if on cue, the sound of sirens were heard coming from outside the house. The police and the coroner had arrived. Faye had stood back as they rushed into the house. They fussed over Lynn’s body, helping Ellie to her feet. She was covered in her mother’s blood. She was still screaming, her hands at the side of her face. She had left a smudge of blood on her cheek, but she didn’t seem to notice. Faye felt hot tears running down her own cheeks, realizing she was crying. Poor Lynn. First her husband had been killed, now her. Ellie had lost both her parents to the West Valley killer. It was horrible. Faye couldn’t believe it. Didn’t want to believe it. She was hoping it had all been a bad dream. Unfortunately, it wasn’t. She snapped back to the present where she was standing in front of the Wiles’ home.
Here goes. she thought to herself as she headed up the walkway to the front door. She was hoping Shannon Wiles had some news for her. Shannon was Brandon’s aunt. Faye had met her before, but it had been a few months since they had last spoke. Reaching the front door, Faye took a deep breath. And knocked on the front door. She took a step back, waiting for someone to answer. Would they be happy to see her? She was showing up unannounced. She waited, crossing her arms over her chest as she did so. Someone had to be home, lights lit up the house from the inside. Suddenly, she heard the sound of the lock turning. The door was pulled open. Shannon herself was standing on the other side of the doorway, a curious look on her face. When she saw it was Faye, she smiled.
“Faye! Hello!” Shannon greeted her.
“Sorry to show up unannounced.” Faye said sheepishly.
“Nonsense! It’s great to see you. Come in!” Shannon replied, stepping aside so Faye could enter.
“Thanks.” Faye replied as she stepped through the front door. She closed it behind her.
“Sorry I haven’t kept in touch lately. I’ve been neck-deep in a DUI case.” Shannon explained. She was a lawyer.
“That’s alright. I’ve been a little busy myself.” Faye replied. She was keeping it modest. She had been plenty busy with the book.
“That’s right. The book! I heard about that. I can’t wait to read it!” Shannon said.
“Actually, I brought you a copy. Here you go.” Faye said, handing over the book to the other woman.
“Thank you! This is just wonderful.” Shannon replied, her eyes shining in excitement. She hugged Faye.
Faye smiled. And then her face turned serious. “I’m here because I’m about to start my search for Brandon.” she explained to Shannon.
“Do you really think you can find him?” Shannon asked.
“That’s why I’m here. I need your help. I need you to think of anything. Any kind of lead that could help me track him down.” Faye explained.
“Like what?” Shannon asked, arching a perfectly plucked eyebrow.
“Well, it seems like Brandon can’t get over what had happened to him as a child. Was there anywhere he loved going to? A favorite place? A place that had significance to him?” Faye asked.
“I would say the sanitarium, but that was recently torn down, wasn’t it?” Shannon asked.
Faye nodded. “Because of Thomas Roe’s murder that occurred there.” she explained.
“Hmm. Let me think.” Shannon replied, losing herself into her thoughts.
“Take your time. This is extremely important. We MUST find him. Before someone else is killed.” Faye said.
“Well, he did like going to look at the trains.” Shannon finally said, looking up.
“Trains?” Faye repeated.
Shannon nodded. “There was a train station, not too far from here. Emma, my sister, sometimes brought him there to look at the trains. Brandon loved trains.” she explained.
“Could be something to check out. Do you have the address?” Faye asked.
“Let me find it for you.” Shannon replied, walking away.
Maybe we’re finally getting somewhere. Faye thought to herself as she waited for Shannon to return. She was ready to put a stop to the murders, once and for all.
Shannon returned, a piece of paper in her hand. She hesitated before handing it over to Faye. “This is the address. But please, be careful.” she told Faye.
“I will. And once I have news, you’ll be the first I’ll call.” Faye explained.
Shannon smiled lightly. “Thank you. Take care of yourself.” she said to Faye. She lead her to the front door, pulling it open. With a wave, Faye stepped out into the night. Shannon watched as she walked over to her car. Shannon closed the front door, locked it. She leaned her back against the door, letting out a deep sigh.
Gwen couldn’t sleep. After watching television for the most of the night, she had gone up to bed. She had gotten changed into her nightgown, sliding under the sheets. Laying there, all she could do was stare at the ceiling. She was wide awake, sleep evading her. She had laid there for a while, listening to the soft breeze outside against the window pane. After an hour or so, confident that she wasn’t going to fall asleep anytime soon, she had gotten out of bed. She had made her way over to the dresser, pulling out some clothes and changing quickly. She had walked out of the bedroom and down the stairs to the main floor of the house. She grabbed her keys, shutting off the lights as she headed out the front door. She closed it and locked it behind her as she headed down the walkway to the sidewalk.
The neighbourhood was silent. Eerily silent. What do you expect? It’s late. Gwen thought to herself with a frown. She headed down the sidewalk, her heels clicking against the pavement. A soft breeze ruffled the leaves of the trees over her head. She looked up at the sky, at the stars twinkling high above. She crossed the street, not bothering to check for any oncoming cars. The neighbourhood was like a ghost town. Most of the houses were dark. The light of the moon and the street lamps guided Gwen as she headed for her destination. It was approaching midnight, but heading downtown was her best bet. Surge was open, and so were some other restaurants and lounges. As she walked by the Whitlow house, a feeling overcame her.
She could feel someone’s eyes burning into her back. With a slight gasp, Gwen spun around. There was no one there. So why did it feel like someone was watching her? Was there someone there, in the shadows by the Whitlow house? Gwen’s eyes adjusted to the dark. There was no one there. Letting out a breath, she picked up her pace, walking faster down the sidewalk. Just a few more blocks and she would be downtown. She tried to stay calm, walking briskly, the clicking of her heels breaking the eerie silence that surrounded her. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea. she thought to herself with a frown. Gwen was tempted to turn around and head back home. But downtown was closer now.
With another glance over her shoulder, she hurried along. She could still feel eyes on her back. But she let out a sigh of relief once she saw the lights of downtown. Her pace slowed down as she passed by what was left of Darcy’s Closet. A few doors down she could hear music blasting from Surge. But that wasn’t where she was headed. She headed over to the restaurant. She went over to the door, pulling it open and stepping inside. The door closed behind her as she took a look around. The restaurant was practically empty. Not that she minded. Gwen made her way over to the bar. She pulled the stool back and sat down. The bartender came over to her, asking her what she liked to drink.
After a few moments of thinking, she decided to go with an apple martini. The bartender puttered away, going to make her drink. Gwen drummed her fingernails on the bar top, looking around. The feeling that someone was watching her was gone now. She was less tense, waiting for her drink. A few minutes later it was placed down in front of her. She thanked the bartender, paying for the drink. She brought the glass to her lips, letting the sweet liquid flow down her throat. Best martini in town. Gwen thought to herself with a small smirk playing on her lips. As she sat at the bar, she found her mind wandering. A face flashed through her mind, someone she hadn’t seen in a while. A frown creased Gwen’s face.
Why was she thinking of Marco? He had once been her boyfriend. Now, they were exes. It had been a while since he had left town. He had just up and left one day. His excuse, that they were looking for different things in life. Gwen was ready to get married and have kids, Marco wasn’t. It had come as a shock to her. There was no warning or any signs prior that Marco was having doubts about them. Even now, months later, Gwen couldn’t believe that it had happened. She had wished that Marco would change his mind and come back to town. So far that hadn’t happened. She wasn’t even sure where he was living now. I wonder how he’s doing. she thought to herself as she took another sip from her drink. She shook her head sadly.
She didn’t want to admit it to herself, but maybe she still missed him. She still thought about him from time to time. Sometimes, she still woke up in bed reaching for him. But the spot beside her was always empty. A sigh escaped her lips as Gwen downed the rest of her drink. She slid the glass over to the bartender, who took it away. When he returned, she ordered a second one. The bartender cocked an eyebrow in her direction, but didn’t say anything as he hurried to make her another apple martini. Gwen didn’t usually go out drinking alone. She would have called Ellie to join her, but her friend was going through a lot lately. Gwen couldn’t believe that Ellie had lost her mother. The West Valley killer had claimed another victim. She shook her head in sadness once more.
Maybe Marco was smart to leave. Before the whole town is wiped out by the killer. Gwen thought to herself as the bartender came over with her second drink. He placed it down in front of her, asking if she was planning on driving once she was done there. Reassuring him that she was walking, the bartender nodded as she paid him. He walked away as someone else waved him over. Gwen raised an eyebrow. Even though she was two drinks in, she didn’t feel the alcohol just yet. If she was driving, she would have been just fine to do so. She grabbed the glass and brought it to her lips once more. Soon enough, her glass was empty. She slid the glass away. With a sigh, Gwen pushed the stool back and got to her feet.
She felt a little light headed, but fine. It was nothing to worry about. She turned, and made her way across the floor to the door. She gripped the handle as she pushed the door open and stepped out into the night. The door swung shut behind her as she took a few steps across the sidewalk. Next door, she could hear music pumping from Surge. She couldn’t figure out what song was playing. She shrugged, turning and began to walk home. She made her way across the empty street. Her heels clicked steadily on the pavement as she did so. She scanned her surroundings as she took a shortcut to get home. On her way over, she had the feeling that someone was watching her. But now, that feeling was gone. She let out a sigh of relief.
Gwen felt less tense as she headed home. She walked at her own pace, she didn’t have to hurry like she had on her way over. Whoever had been watching her, was gone now. Or it could have been your imagination. she thought to herself. She wasn’t one to let her imagination get carried away. She hummed softly to herself as she walked, making her way through the backroads of downtown. She had just walked by the gym when she thought she heard something. Gwen stopped in her tracks, looking around. There was no one in sight. Yet something had been knocked over not too far from where she stood. Perhaps it was a cat, knocking over a garbage can. Or maybe the breeze had knocked the garbage can over.
The breeze isn’t that strong. Gwen thought to herself with a frown creasing her pretty face. For a brief moment, she was tempted to go investigate what the noise was. And for some reason, every horror movie she had seen flashed through her mind just then. The girls in those kind of movies would always go investigate a strange noise. Which lead to them being hacked up to pieces. Biting gently down on her lip, Gwen decided she was just going to ignore the noise. It was better if she just kept heading home. She wasn’t sure who or what had knocked over the trashcan, but she wasn’t going to stick around to find out. Her senses screamed at her to keep walking, to just make it home. As she passed by what was left of Darcy’s store, the darkness exploded out at her.
It took Gwen a split second to realize someone was lunging out of the shadows. Her eyes widened in fear as a small shriek escaped from her lips. The other person was a blur of dark clothing as they reached out for Gwen. Her heart thundered in her chest as she was able to get a good look at the figure before her. A long black hooded cloak, pulled over their face. She couldn’t tell who was underneath the hood, she couldn’t see a face. Yet she knew, her mind screaming at her, that this was the West Valley killer. Gwen stumbled back, trying to keep out of reach of the killer’s hands. There was a flash of silver, and Gwen realized the killer held a knife. A knife that was flashing towards her. A scream of terror erupted from her throat as she ducked under the killer’s outstretched arms.
That moment was all she needed. Wishing she wasn’t wearing heels, she ran as fast as she could. A quick glance over her shoulder revealed that the killer was chasing after her. Eyes wide, Gwen screamed. It echoed through the night around her. Her mind was racing, she had to get away. She pumped her arms as she ran, listening to the running footfalls behind her. They sounded so close, she expected to feel the blade of the knife slicing into the skin of her back. But that didn’t happen. She threw another glance over her shoulder. The killer was still giving chase, the knife glinting in their gloved hand. OH MY GOD! NO! Gwen thought to herself as she ducked into an alleyway between two buildings. The killer was still giving chase, yet Gwen reached out, and was able to knock a trashcan into the killer’s path.
He went down in a flurry of limbs, hitting the pavement hard. Gwen had just bought herself some time. There was a doorway up ahead in the side of the one of the buildings. She had no idea where it lead, but she would take that chance. Anything to get her away from the killer. She ran to the door, gripped the knob and turned. It didn’t budge. Eyes wide, gasping for breath, Gwen threw a glance over her shoulder. The killer was slowly getting to their feet. Gwen pounded her fists on the door, a scream of frustration erupting from her throat. She tugged at the doorknob, hoping by some chance it would open. When it didn’t, she moved on, running out of the alley. The sidewalk and street remained empty. There was no one in sight to help her.
Where is everyone?! Gwen thought to herself. Did no one hear what was going on? Did no one happen to look out their window and see the West Valley killer chasing someone? Suddenly, Gwen skidded to a stop. Her eyes widened in fear. Her path was blocked by construction. Just beyond the signs, there was a large crater in the road. In the back of her mind, she remembered hearing that they were working on some of the roads downtown. Gwen spun around, a flash of silver filling her vision. She let out a scream as the killer’s blade sliced her upper arm. Blood trickled from the wound as with her other hand, Gwen made a fist and swung with all her might. She caught the killer full on in the face. He, or she, went down with a grunt. Gwen almost took that moment to throw the hooded cloak off.
All she needed to see was the person’s face. If it was someone she knew, she could go to the police. It would be over for the West Valley killer. But she only seemed to have stunned them momentarily. Instead, she ran off, running along the side of the construction in the road. Her heels pounded the pavement as she ran. She thought of taking her shoes off, it would make it easier to run. But she didn’t have much time. The killer could be upon her in seconds. So she gritted her teeth, holding her bloody arm with her free hand as she ran. She took a glance behind her, the killer had disappeared. Gwen skidded to a stop. Her eyes looking wildly around as her chest heaved up and down. Where did they go? she thought to herself. Had the killer given up? Or were they hiding somewhere in the shadows, ready to catch Gwen off guard?
She took a few step backwards, and bumped into someone. She opened her mouth to scream, but a gloved hand clamped over her mouth. Her eyes widened. This was it. The killer had caught her. She was about to be the next victim. Gwen squeezed her eyes shut. DO SOMETHING! YOU’RE ABOUT TO GET MURDERED! her mind screamed at her. Her eyes still shut, she pushed back against the killer with all the strength she could muster. She caught him by surprise as he tripped over the curb of the sidewalk and fell, pulling Gwen along. She hit the pavement, rolling away with the momentum. She was free. He had let go of her. With a shriek erupting from her throat, she sprang to her feet. Ran blindly through the street. Her heart hammered in her chest, she thought it was going to burst.
What’s that? she thought to herself, spotting something just off to her side. A door. It lead into the building blocking her path. Praying, she ran, tried the doorknob. It opened! She threw a glance over her shoulder. The killer had spotted her and was walking slowly towards her. She raced inside, slamming the door shut. She struggled with the lock, couldn’t get it to turn. Spinning around, she realized she was in a staircase that lead up. Without much thinking, she hurried up the stairs. At the top of the stairs was another door. Gwen sucked in a deep breath and tried the handle. It also opened. With a cry of relief, she threw herself through the doorway. She slammed it shut. She tried the lock on the door. It turned, the door locking. Gwen backed away, taking in her surroundings.
She seemed to be in some sort of storage room. It was bare besides a few boxes and a chair. Other than the door, the only way out she saw was a window. She went over to it, peering through the glass. The killer was nowhere to be seen. Gwen spun around, eyes wide as she stared at the door. A whimper of fear escaped her lips as the door suddenly shook. The killer was on the other side, trying to get in. Oh my god! How am I going to get out of here!? she thought to herself. She turned back to the window, struggled to open it. It wouldn’t budge. With a shriek, she turned to look back at the door. It didn’t seem like it would hold much longer. It shook on it’s hinges, groaning in protest as the killer slammed against it. Gwen had to move, and she had to move now. Hopping on one foot, she took off a shoe. She held it tightly in her grip, heel pointing outward.
Gwen slammed the high heel against the windowpane. Once, twice. On the fourth try, the window shattered outward. She glanced back at the door. It was about to come off it’s frame. She dropped the shoe in her hand, sliding a leg out the broken window. She stuck her upper body out, looking down at the ground two stories below. She then peered down the street. She saw the twin headlights of a car heading in her direction. A police cruiser! she said to herself in relief. She waved an arm, hoping that they would spot her. Suddenly, there was the splintering of wood behind her. Gwen turned to look back into the room. The killer was rushing towards her, knife ready to plunge into her body. With a scream of terror, Gwen threw herself out the window. She screamed all the way down as the ground rushed up to meet her. She hit the ground, everything going dark.
It was an hour later. The neighbourhood was still quiet. Houses remained dark, people sleeping in the comfort of their own beds. No one was aware about what had happened downtown. At least not yet. They would once the sun would rise. But for now, all was calm. Including the Biggs home. Warren was inside the house with his two daughters. They were all asleep. Warren in his bed, which he no longer had to share with his wife. Scarlett had been dead for months now. She was one of Scott’s many victims. Warren was getting over her death. He and Naomi had something going. Although lately she had been distant. He had asked her what the problem was. At first she didn’t want to tell him. She thought it would upset him. But eventually she had explained what had happened.
The new killer had called Naomi. Had threatened her. Whoever the killer was this time around, had told her to stay away from Warren. If not, someone else was going to die. And someone had. Lynn Jacks. Naomi had explained how she felt like she was responsible for the older woman’s death. The killer had warned her. If she didn’t keep her distance from Warren. Yet sometimes, it was hard to. They had something. It was deep, and meaningful. They cared a lot about each other. And Naomi cared a lot about Taylor and Kaitlyn. It was almost like she had taken over the role of their mother. Even though she wasn’t looking to be Scarlett’s replacement. She helped the girls with homework, helped them pick out new clothes, among other things.
She felt sorry for them, they had lost their mother to a horrible crime. The girls were glad that they had a female figure coming around the house. Yet they missed their mother. Sometimes, Warren would find the girls staring at Scarlett’s picture. They would have sad smiles on their faces. Sometimes, when the girls were sleeping, Warren would hear Kaitlyn calling out for her mother. Just like she was doing now. Yet Warren was still sound asleep in his bed. With a start, Kaitlyn sat up in her bed. She’d been dreaming. It was still fresh in her memory. She and Taylor had been having a picnic with their mother. Suddenly, Scarlett had shrunk, becoming the size of ant. Which is when an ant came by and dragged her away.
Kaitlyn shivered, pushing the bedsheets aside as she got to her feet. In the other bed across the room, Taylor slept soundly. Kaitlyn was about to crawl into her sister’s bed, but decided otherwise. She headed across the bedroom floor and out into the hallway. She headed for the upstairs bathroom, heading inside and closing the door behind her. A few moments later, the toilet flushed and Kaitlyn headed out of the bathroom. She headed down the hallway, and over to the stairs. She descended the steps, reaching the main floor of the house. She made her way into the kitchen, turning on the light. She went over to the cupboard, pulling the door open. Her eyes scanned the items inside before she pulled out a box of cookies. She carried the box over to the kitchen counter.
She stuck her hand inside the box, pulling out a handful of cookies. She munched on them slowly, taking her time. Once she was done, she made her way back over to the cupboard. She placed the box inside, closing the door and making her way out of the kitchen. She closed the light behind her as she headed down the hallway towards the stairs. That’s when something caught her eye. She approached the front door, peering out the window. Outside, a shadowy figure stood on the front lawn. Watching her. A figure dressed in a black hooded cloak. Kaitlyn had a flash to when she was abducted. The little girl’s eyes widened as she took a step back from the front door. She opened her mouth to call out to her father, but no sound escaped her lips. She could only stare as the killer stared back at her.