- Chapter 1 -
It is a stormy night on the 15th of January, 2005; everyone is soundly sleeping, cats were marauding happily down the street, wondering around curiously near the neighbour’s houses and three girls (me included) were strutting along the outskirts of Hector. Coming back from a friend’s party and heading towards home, Kate Hampton, Juliet Singer and I were talking amongst ourselves. Thinking back I realized that after this night, all our lives were changed forever and there was no going back from it.
Kate Hampton is my best friend. We have known each other for almost our whole life. She has blonde, long hair which ends at the small of her back, and when you look at her baby blue eyes they pierce right through your body. For looks, Kate is pretty, but sometimes the acne on her face demolishes the prettiness. But I don’t care about that. Kate and I have this sisterly bond, we both know straight away whether either one of us are in trouble or sad. She is the nicest person you could ever meet. She is one of those friends who would come over straight away when you become sick; she is one of those friends who would see through to the end of the day that you’d get better.
Juliet Singer is my other friend. She isn’t as close to me as Kate is, but she is good person. She is the only one who would help make decisions that impact our friendship. Sometimes Juliet has an anger problem, and she always takes it out on other people. Horrible I know, but she is basically the tough one of our trio. She has an older sister and her parents fight a lot. My mum doesn’t really like Juliet coming over as much because she was afraid that she might influence me into drugs or something. Juliet isn’t anything like Kate. Unlike Kate who would come over and help you, Juliet will be the kind of person who will tell you to get over it and suck it up. There was a reason why I wasn’t as close to her as Kate, a reason why were didn’t really bond with each other as much, because Juliet liked to say what she thought with no regard to the persons feelings or emotions. She is a very direct and controlling person. Maybe the reason we became friends in the first place, is because she is honest, and honesty is a good thing my opinion, even if it can be vicious.
We are walking silently now, and my heart is smashing into my chest. I look around me, and see only trees and houses. I try not to look up at the sky. I hate the dark. I just hate it. Maybe because I know what’s out there in the dark, things that can get to you before you can even react. I am a paranormal freak. I love reading about mysterious and scary mythical creatures and ghosts. I guess the consequences resulted in my phobia of the dark. You never know what’s out there. Just watching. Waiting. Great, now I’m paranoid. That’s what I get for letting my mind do all the thinking.
We are still walking down the street when a roll of thunder sounded. Kate stopped walking and looked up in fright. Juliet and I both stopped when we realized that she wasn’t with us.
“What the hell was that? Was that thunder?” She looked at me and Juliet with her eyes wide open. Juliet and I looked at each other. Kate has a phobia of thunder. We both nodded and started dragging Kate along as we started up walking along the sidewalk. Another crash of thunder filled the quiet night, followed by a streak of lightning which hit nearby power lines. Suddenly it became very dark and I didn’t like it at all. Shit.
This time it was me who looked around in fright, and because I have a phobia of the dark, I panicked even more. I grabbed a hold on Kate’s shirt.
“I can’t see anything! It’s too dark!” I cried out in fear. Kate pulled my hands away from her shirt and calmed me down softly. She was still trembling from before. Juliet just rolled her eyes at me. So much for helping me.
“You don’t have to be scared, we’re with you, and nothing is going to hap-“
Kate’s words were cut off by the sound of running footsteps near the trees. “What the hell was that?” whispered Kate fearfully, as she looked at me and Juliet once again with wide, shocked eyes. She jumped at basically anything, and always caused the rest of us to freak out a little.
“It-It sounds like someone running,” I said, I tried to comfort her a little, but my own heart was racing nonetheless. It’s just someone running, right? What else could it be?
“It’s coming this way!” hissed Juliet quietly.
We all held our breath, our hearts pumping and beating so fast you’d think we ran a marathon. I felt Kate stiffen beside me in panic.
The footsteps were getting louder. I was more terrified because I couldn’t see anything and the thunder and lightning seemed to make my phobia worse.
Juliet screamed and I think my heart almost failed, not to mention the height in which we all jumped in the air.
“Piss off Harley!” screamed Juliet angrily, as she pushed a laughing Harley Groves out of her way.
Harley Groves is in the same year level as us. He is the type of guy, who wanted to be hated by everyone, and so he annoyed everybody with his brainless and lame made up jokes, his irritating voice and sleazy gestures. Even though he brought it on himself, I kind of felt sorry for him. And by kind of I mean such a tiny feeling that it doesn’t even register that I’m feeling like that.
Did I mention he was a complete sleaze bag?
Harley burst out laughing, his crooked teeth visible as his mouth opened wide with laughter. The idiot tried to scare us and won. Kate and I were pulling Juliet back to stop her from beating the crap out of Harley. At one point Kate accidently let go of her arm but quickly grabbed it again. Harley jumped back from Juliet playfully.
“I’m surprised you haven’t been put on a leash, Singer. You need to be tied up,” teased Harley as he came closer and closer to a fuming Juliet, who was starting to go red in the face from seething anger.
“Shut up Harley!” I yelled angrily while still trying to restrain a fuming Juliet.
“Although the fantasy of you being tied up is actually better than I thought it would be,” Juliet growled and tried to claw Kate and I, as she tried freeing herself to attack Harley. But Harley ran away laughing uncontrollably because he knew that he stirred up the raging animal in Juliet.
“Juliet!” I panted, as Kate and I were struggling with a scratching and angry Juliet. “Stop it! You’re stooping down to his level!” This last line stopped Juliet, and after a few seconds of calmness, when Kate and I thought it was safe to unhand Juliet, we let her go carefully. She whipped around to face us angrily, her eyes piercing with accusation and hatred.
“Why the fuck did you two grab me for?” Kate and I looked at each other like that wasn’t the easiest question in the world.
“We grabbed you because you would’ve attacked Harley,” Kate said even more angrily, mainly because Juliet had sweared at us. Juliet turned to Kate, I could see the anger etched in the lines of her face, and I wondered at this point why I became friends with Juliet. She is such an angry person, I had no idea how I became friends with her in the first place.
“Whose side are you on Kate?” seethed Juliet angrily. “Are you on Harley’s side?” Kate stammered, but I jumped in to save her. Kate never really did well in fights. I turned to Juliet angrily.
“How can you talk to your own friend like that? We are not on anyone’s side. Yes he was in the wrong with what he said, but you are also in the wrong when you tried to attack him. That makes you no better than he is,” Juliet fumed even more, but we all froze in shock as a sickening scream shattered the conversation to silence.
“What was that?” whispered Juliet to Kate and me fearfully.
“I think that sounded a lot like Harley don’t you think?” I said to Juliet and Kate, also at the same time trying to hear the screaming phenomenon again. Kate nodded in agreement.
“I think it –“ But Kate was cut off by Juliet who quickly shushed her.
“Shhh! Can you hear that?” All three of us suddenly became quiet, and sure enough the same scream was heard, but this time it was moving further away. Juliet started running and stupidly, Kate and I instantly did the same. We ran along the road, our loud running footsteps scraped the pavement as we ran faster and faster, the sound of the scream was getting closer and closer and my heart was thumping in my chest it hurt. It was still too dark to see, but with the help of dim streetlights, I was following Juliet and Kate. As we ran across the road, we headed to Denway Park. The sound of the scream had to be here, I wondered in my head while running and nearly tripping over at the same time. The sound of the scream was so close, we all halted in our steps with shock at what we saw.
In the night we could barely see, a black hooded figure kneeling over something, sucking noises coming from its black hood, like it was eating something, I knew then that the creature was eating someone. The person was making gargling and choking noises. My gut was pulled back and I suddenly felt sick in the stomach. Suddenly the person became quiet. I turned my face away and took a big gulp of air to take the queasiness away. Kate accidently stood on a twig making the black hooded creature look up from his prey and look in our direction. We all froze, trying not to move. I think my heart stopped for that moment. It just kept looking at our direction as if it couldn’t see us. Luckily for us it didn’t seem to see anything, and after what felt like forever, the creature went back to devouring the poor soul who was lying helplessly on the ground.
I felt my heart start beating again; it was beating frantically against my chest. I looked at Kate’s face, it was filled with horror and shock, and Juliet’s face seemed to be a bit sick. The three of us stayed halted in the same place, unable to move, afraid it would actually see us this time.
When the creature finished, it stood up. It was as tall as a full grown man, we all kept silently still, not even breathing, afraid the creature was going to find us too, but all it did was open its black cape, with hands I couldn’t see, and to our uttermost horror, sprouted black wings. It protruded from its thick body, and with the wings flapping so powerfully, it flew off from the ground and into the clouds.
The three of us waited for a couple of minutes in case the creature came back, but when it didn’t we all slowly headed cautiously to where the dead mass lay gruesomely mangled on the Park ground. We all gasped in shock as we reached the body. Judging from its hair, and mangled face, it was indeed Harley Groves, the lifeless body lay still and silent. Kate burst into loud tears and Juliet quickly took her away from the body, telling her to shut up at the same time. I didn’t follow them, but I did move closer to the body because something had caught my eye. I didn’t go too close however, but the body was laid in an awkward angle, his stomach was ripped wide open and all the insides were nearly, completely eaten away, leaving chunks of intestine and possibly other organs lying on his body and on the ground.
Shit. I covered my mouth with my sleeve, afraid at the thought that I might chuck up all over the dead body. I don’t know why I did it but I started examining his face, with my sleeve still on my mouth.
The skin was viciously ripped apart at the forehead down to the nose. The only way I could identify Harley was because of his unique stud which was now dangling from what was left of his lip. My eyes remained on Harley’s mangled face, studying every tear that was used to be his skin. It seemed like the creature has claws. I could see the muscles through the torn skin. There was a bleeding hole where his left eye used to be. His right eye was torn open, and a white fluid was seeping out of what was left of his eye.
I looked further down near his stomach area where his chewed up organs lay on the ground. I gulped back a bit of vomit and moved my face away from the body to breathe. After a couple of minutes when my stomach settled down, I turned back to the body. I over-looked the intestines and looked at the gaping hole in what used to be Harley’s stomach. Nearly everything was gone. It was like the creature had sucked out nearly everything of his insides, spilling out bits of flesh around the body.
As I was gawking at Harley’s open stomach, something else caught my eye. Something solid was protruding out of his left jacket pocket and curiosity got the best of me as usual. I pulled my sleeves up further and made sure my hand was covered; I reached into his left pocket and pulled out a small black bag. I examined it carefully and instantly knew what it was. The hex bag was the size of my palm, it had white string tied tightly around it and an unusual aroma was coming from the bag. The smell wasn’t strong, but it was sifting through my nose, making my stomach lurch again. My gut suddenly had a bad feeling and I knew that this hex bag meant no good. But nevertheless I carefully got a spare plastic bag from my purse and put the hex bag into it. I shoved the plastic bag into my own bag and continued to examine the body. I know I shouldn’t be doing it, but for some reason a feeling was telling me I had to.
I got up, unable to look at the body again. I looked up at the sky, it was still overcast and dark, and my brain went into panic mode once again. Calm down, I comforted myself as I looked away from the sky. I have bigger problems than the dark right now. Yeah, real comforting Selena, that’s real helpful right now.
Near the bushes, Kate and Juliet were standing near the trees, watching me look at something on the ground.
“How can she even go near the body?” sobbed Kate quietly. Juliet patted her back once and quickly took her arm away.
“She can handle these kinds of things. We can’t,” whispered Juliet resentfully.
“What the hell was that thing?” said Kate, whose voice was getting louder by every word. Juliet shushed her and looked to where I was.
After I finished, I got up and went to Kate and Juliet who were huddled by the bushes.
“Are you done?” Juliet said quietly. I nodded speechless. Kate was listening attentively. “What happened?”
I looked at them, all the clues and evidence that was stuck in my mind, it felt so terrible I didn’t want to say it. I gulped back tears that were finally trying to come out.
“From the looks of it, Harley was chased down and fatally attacked like we saw,” Kate looked worryingly at Juliet. But Juliet’s stern look still didn’t change.
“How do you know he was chased down? You can’t conclude a hypothesis just from looking at the body,”
“From what we heard it was pretty obvious. I wasn’t only looking at the body. Follow me,” I showed Kate and Juliet a fine patch of green grass near Harley’s body. “Have a look closely, you can barely see it but you’ll see footprints,”
Kate and Juliet leaned in close where the grass was. You had to lean in pretty close to see because there was no moonlight and sure enough, there was a one set of footprints that was imprinted in the grass, but there was something wrong.
“The footprints are like one foot away from the body,” said Kate, who was still half sobbing. “How is that?” Juliet realized what Kate was on about and turned to me for answers.
“Well Sherlock Holmes, what do you think?” I gave Juliet a dirty look; I always hated it when Juliet called me Sherlock Holmes, she made it like I was some kind of crazy person that loves playing detective all the time, which wasn’t true of course.
“I realized it when I was walking back to you guys actually. I think that the creature was chasing after Harley, grabbed him while it was still flying and killed him right there,” I indicted the bloody mass that lay on the ground two feet away from us. I wiped tears that were slowly coming out of my eyes.
“What makes you think he was running?” asked Kate fearfully, as she deliberately avoided looking at Harley’s dead corpse. I showed them the footprints again; clearly you could see that the footprints were far away from each other.
“The footsteps are far apart from each other. When we walk, the footsteps are closer together. But when you are running, your footsteps have a larger gap between them. Then there is a large break where his footsteps and body are,” I quickly wiped away more tears. “Because the creature can fly, we can only assume it must’ve grabbed him. Plus you know what we heard before this happened. If it were flying at you, you’d run too,” We all looked at the dead, eaten corpse of Harley Groves.
- Chapter 2 -
Suddenly for me, it became quiet. Too quiet that the silence was deafening to my ears, I couldn’t hear the thunder anymore and I suddenly realized that I couldn’t stand being here any longer. I closed my eyes and prayed that I was just in a nightmare and soon I will wake up hoping it’ll come off as a bad dream. But when I opened my eyes, I was still in Denway Park standing with Kate and Juliet, and I knew that this wasn’t a dream at all. I decided to break the silence. I turned to face Juliet and Kate, who were also lost in thought.
“We have to go. We have to go to the police and tell them what happened,” I started to move with Kate, when Juliet grabbed my shoulders. I turned around to face her. “What is it?” Juliet’s face suddenly looked serious.
“You can’t tell anyone what happened,” Juliet said quietly. I scoffed at her, as I couldn’t believe my own ears. What is she talking about?
“What the hell do you mean don’t tell anyone?” I said, glaring at Juliet angrily. Behind me, Kate was agreeing with what I was saying. Juliet came in front of me and put her hands on my shoulders again.
“It’s going to look suspicious if we tell the cops what we saw just then,” I looked at Juliet with a dumbfounded look. I looked at Kate then back at Juliet, I still couldn’t believe my ears.
“What, you think the cops are going to say that we killed Harley?” Kate said slightly angrily and horrified at the thought she had given. But I didn’t listen to what Kate had said; I was just looking at Juliet, trying to comprehend what was going on in her mind. I suddenly realized why Juliet said what she said.
“You’re not trying to protect us,” I said heatedly. “You’re trying to protect yourself,” Kate looked at me confusingly, wondering what on earth I was talking about. Juliet took her hands off my shoulders as if she got electrocuted and glared at me with her hazel eyes, like a hawk about to attack its prey.
“What the hell does that mean?” said Juliet, equally as angry as me. “I didn’t kill the fucking bastard!”
“I know you didn’t kill Harley, but you do have motive for killing him. He said some things to you and you got angry, the cops will see you as a suspect,” There became silence again. Juliet and I were glaring at each other and Kate was looking at us both trying to figure out what to say. But it was Juliet that spoke up first. With her eyes still on me, she spoke.
“I call for a vote. Hands up for those who want it to be kept a secret,” Juliet put her hand up, with her angry eyes still on my face. I kept my hand down and looked sideways at Kate, who had her hand up too.
“Kate, what are you doing?” I looked at Kate surprisingly and half angry. Kate still had her hand up, but she looked at me sadly.
“I’m sorry Selena, but I’m going with Juliet on this one,” said Kate sorrowfully. It looked like she was going to cry. “I don’t want my parents to find out what happened; I don’t want to be a suspect,” I looked at Kate dejectedly, but I couldn’t blame her. Juliet’s eyes lit up, and she gave a quick smile to Kate. When she looked back to me the smile faltered and became a thin line of anger again. They both put their hands down and stared at me.
“Majority rules, Selena,” I looked at them both, trying to wonder how they can keep this a secret. “We’re keeping this a secret for our own safety,” Juliet looked at Kate who nodded in agreement, and then she turned her look to me.
“Are you with us Selena?” I looked at Juliet again, but I knew in my heart that the decision was made, and I had no choice but to accept it. I was only making the decision for Kate.
“Fine,” I said miserably, knowing that I had been defeated. “I won’t tell anyone, but I still think this isn’t a good idea,” Juliet gave another quick smile.
“Good, because no good will come out of this if we tell anyone,” said Juliet carefully. It’s still no good even if we don’t tell anyone, I said thoughtfully.
We all started walking back to our houses without a last glance at the dead corpse of Harley Groves lying on the grass in Denway Park. There was no talking this time, each one of us was lost in our own thoughts. I was fuming inside. How can Juliet control us like that? What right does she have to tell us what to do? How can I keep this secret, knowing that it’s going to eat away inside of me as the days pass by? This has to be the most stupidest thing I’ve ever done, I thought to myself as our feet was scraping loud against the pavement as we walked. As we kept walking silently, we passed Kate and Juliet’s house, without even talking, we each gave each other a nod and they both went into their houses, closing the door shut behind them.
I was on my own now, walking home by myself scared. I kept sneaking glances up the night sky, searching for signs of a large creature with wings. That thought sent my heart running again. What if it came back now? What was I going to do? Shit.
I still couldn’t believe what happened. I saw a murder for the first time my life. It was all starting to crash down on me, my throat swelled up and my eyes burned with tears.
“Selena, what’s wrong sweetie?” The voice quickly snapped me out of my thoughts and I realized that I was suddenly at home; standing in the living room and in front of me was the worried face of my mother.
“Oh,” I said quickly lost for words. “It’s nothing Mum. I’m just tired,” Mum looked at me; I quickly raised my eyes and looked at my mother, I could tell she didn’t believe me. I took in my mother’s appearance.
She is beautiful. Everybody always says that if there was a beauty pageant, my mother will be crowned first place. She is a lot like me, long brown hair, dark brown eyes, and a smile so beautiful that it becomes contagious to anyone around her. Okay, I admit I went a little overboard with the contagious part. I turned my attention back to Mum. She looked even more worried.
“Are you sure you’re okay? I called you when you came in, but you didn’t say a word. You look like you’ve seen a ghost,” I nodded. You got that right.
“It’s just been a long day and I’d really like to go to bed,” I forced a smile, went up to my mother, hugged her tightly, although she wouldn’t let go, and went up the stairs and into my room. I closed my door and I fell onto my bed; more thoughts came to my head. What was that creature? What was it doing there in the first place? Why did it kill Harley? Why did he have a hex bag on him? What is inside it? Why did my life have to start falling apart at this moment?
Suddenly thinking at how exhausted I was. I climbed into my covers, with my clothes still fully on, and drifted off into an uneasy sleep, dreaming of the horrific incident that happened only a couple of hours ago. After all this time I think back, I realized that this was the catalyst for events soon to come, and there was no stopping it.
I opened my eyes wearily and looked around. I was in my room and it took me a while to realize that I still had my clothes from last night on me. When I sat up in bed thinking of the events that took place last night, I looked at my clock, which showed twelve-fifteen in the afternoon. I had slept in. Shit. I got out of bed and stretched, I then went to my wardrobe and got out a long dark skirt with a white top and went into the bathroom to take a long and needed hot shower.
“Ah, Selena you’re awake!” said Mum happily, as I came out from the bathroom, and into the kitchen area still looking tired.
“Mornin’,” I said softly and hoarsely, as I still hadn’t found my voice yet since waking up. I sat on the table just as my Mum put a plate of bacon and eggs in front of me. I was yawned loudly.
“It’s the afternoon now,” she said softly as she kissed me on the forehead. “I let you sleep in a bit, after last night,” I nodded without speaking and looked at my plate. The egg was leaking on my plate and my mind suddenly flashed back to the blood and torn flesh of Harley. I groaned and pushed my plate away only taking the bacon.
“Where are Kale, Karen and Dad?” I said my mouth full of bacon. Mum sat down opposite me and took a piece of bacon from my plate.
“It’s a Sunday, so Kale is over at Jackson’s house, your father is still at the construction site working and Karen is still out with her friends. Don’t know when she’ll be back.” I rolled my eyes while my Mum looked away. Karen is only four years older than me. She thinks that she can control me because she is the oldest. She shows off to her friends in front of me, treating me like a child. Even more to my humiliation, Karen gossips about me and the family to her friends, something which I hate among all other things. But even though she can be a bitch sometimes, Karen does have a good side which is loving and sort of sisterly like. Kale on the other hand is like any other little brother, annoying. He is three years younger than me and even now he still likes to peep into my room or flick through my out-dated diary once in a while. But unlike any other little brother, Kale was my first and only best friend. We will tell each other most things and help each other out, which makes my mother very proud of us.
When I finished my late breakfast, I went up to my room, and shut and locked the door behind me. I went to my desk, set a large piece of paper on the floor, went to my bag and got out the small black, hex bag I found inside Harley’s jacket. I set the hex bag onto the paper and opened the white string with my hands, and when the black bag opened up a strong horrible smell wafted from inside the bag which made me nearly throw up again. I got up again, went to my desk a second time and got out a pair of white disposable gloves from my drawer. I went back to the floor and sat down.
Picking though the objects in the bag, I found the following:
A piece of bone, not sure what it was, but I was sure to check it out soon; two really small baby teeth, one dead black rose, three black pebbles and two small rocks. I knew that this was a hex bag, the contents inside confirmed it. I got out a notebook and a pen and starting to record my findings.
“It is the 16th of January, 2005. I found a small black hex bag in the jacket of Harley Groves. I opened up the bag and found the following items:
• One unidentified piece of bone.
• Two really small teeth, very likely from a toddler or a child.
• One dead black rose.
• Three black pebbles.
• Two small rocks from an unidentified location, very likely from a graveyard.
NOTE: Find out what kind of bone it is.”
I quickly put down the pen and re-read what I wrote. I suddenly forgot one more thing, the smell. You see, when you make a hex bag, you put a certain kind of aroma on the bag for it to effectively work. If there is no aroma, it can be rendered useless, thus it won’t work. I quickly wrote down some more notes.
“Hex bag has a certain kind of aroma. Smells like something you get from the ocean mixed with a stale smell of an unknown source,” I closed the notebook and started drifting into my thoughts. From the evidence I could gather from the hex bag, someone tried to curse him, I think. The hex bag, if cursed, probably worked, Harley Groves is now dead and decaying on the ground in Denway Park. But now so many more questions were running through my head. I wonder if anyone found his body. Who would want to curse Harley? There were so many people in school who hated him, so many people who’d give anything for him to die or get hurt. Why did that person put the hex bag in his jacket? Does the hex bag attract the creature that killed Harley? Or is the creature and the hex bag two different things all together? Maybe Harley crossed paths with someone who is into witchcraft, or was it meant for someone else? The questions kept coming and coming, and every time I tried to answer a question, another question will pop up as well as many theories. I came back to my senses again when there was a knock on my door.
“Who is it?” I called out as I quickly scrambled around putting the objects back into the bag (leaving out the piece of bone) and stuffing them into a drawer and locking them inside.
“It’s Kate,” said a silent and shy voice of Kate. “Can I come in?” I quickly put the bone into a pouch, stuffed it in my school bag and went to open the door.
Kate was standing there in a medium sized white skirt, with a pink blouse. Her hair was tied back into a ponytail today. She gave me a massive hug. I patted her back sympathetically, knowing what conversation was going to come up.
“Are you okay?” I said sympathetically, as we both parted and sat on the bed. Kate looked at me with tired and sad eyes. Her eyes were puffy and red. She had been crying. She shook her head.
“I’m not okay Lena,” said Kate whose voice was starting to break up. “I couldn’t sleep the whole night last night. My eyes are red and puffy from crying so much and I’m just scared. I also feel guilty for taking Juliet’s side and not yours,” I looked at poor Kate, who had tears starting to well up in her eyes again. I passed her a tissue from my bedside table.
“You don’t have to feel guilty about anything Kay. Just because you are like family, doesn’t mean you have to take my side on every issue that comes along. I had nightmares of what happened last night too. It was a horrible experience for all of us. I never want to go through that again,” Kate quickly took the tissue and started dabbing at her eyes. I looked at Kate for a bit wondering whether I should trust her enough to tell her about the hex bag. Kate looked at me while cleaning her eyes. She frowned at me.
“What? Why are you staring at me like that?”
“Can I trust you with something?” Kate looked at me, wondering what on earth I was going to tell her about. She nodded her head. I told her about the hex bag, about how I was looking through Harley’s body, finding the hex bag, opening it and discovering it contents and my theories. When I finished talking, Kate looked at me with her mouth wide open.
“You stole evidence,” Kate said slowly, as though trying to comprehend what I said to her. “You opened up a cursed bag which you think made Harley a target to that creature, and you stole evidence,” Kate sighed disappointingly as she looked at me. “I know you Lena; you would never do something like this, stealing evidence. First you looked at his dead body and now you do this. Why are you trying to play detective all of a sudden?”
“I’m not trying to play detective,” I said defensively, feeling slightly hurt by Kate’s response. “And I took the evidence because of a gut feeling I had, and you know about my gut feelings,” I added, glaring at Kate who looked a taken back. “I am telling you these things because I can trust you, if you break this trust and tell anyone else, even Juliet, I’ll never confide anything to you again,” Kate nodded.
“Why don’t you want Juliet to find out?” asked Kate. I scowled at her.
“Because of what happened last night. I don’t trust her; I’m not as close to her as you are Kate. I only put up with her because of what she’s going through with her parents,” Kate nodded again, but this time more slowly. “What did you do when you went back home last night?”
“Everyone else was sleeping, so I just went to my room and tried to wait for sleep to come. But I couldn’t stop thinking about what happened. I still can’t believe it. What was that thing?” I knew how Kate was feeling because I was feeling the same way too. But before I could reply, my Mum was calling for us.
“Selena! Kate! I want you to come down here now!” called Mum from downstairs. The tone of my mother sounded panicky, and Kate and I looked at each other in fright and ran downstairs into the living room, where the television was switched on.
“Mum, what is i-“ But Mum shushed me and pointed my direction to a breaking news report that was playing on the television. Nicolas Papas who was the Channel Seven’s reporter, was speaking from the news desk. My heart was pounding, as I knew what this news report was about. I stood and listened.
- Chapter 3 -
“Police this morning were called to the attention of a dead body of a teenage boy found by an elderly woman who was walking her dog in Denway Park early this morning. The witness who doesn’t want to be named called the ordeal ‘the shock of her life’ and is now in hospital being treated for shock. The body of the teenager has not been identified. Police are now calling it a Homicide and further investigation into the murder will be pending effective immediately. Anyone with any information about the murder is to call the Hector Police Station. Nicolas Papas, Seven news,”
Mum switched off the television and sat down in shock, Kate and I quickly looked at each other in fright.
“How could this have happened? A murder in Hector?” I sat down next to Mum and put an arm around her, comforting her.
“I know, it’s really shocking for us too,” I looked at Kate who was staring at me speechless. Mum looked at me.
“He was just a teenage boy. He would’ve gone to your school wouldn’t he?” I stared at Mum.
“Yeah,” I said slowly, trying to catch my words. “Probably,” I hugged Mum and closed my eyes.
Once again the flashes of last night were flickering in my mind. Mum suddenly stiffened my arms. She broke away and looked at me.
“Where were you girls last night?” I suddenly became rigid in my seat, staring at my mother. I fought my eyes from looking at Kate. “After the party did you go anywhere else?” I shook my head.
“N-no, we came straight back home. We didn’t go anywhere else,” I added when my mother kept staring at me suspiciously. Kate nodded fervently behind her.
“Then when you came home, why did it look like you’d been crying? What happened?” I looked at Kate and back at my mother.
“It was nothing. Nothing happened,” Mum didn’t seem to believe still. Luckily, Kate jumped to the rescue.
“It was just the dark, Mrs. Gordon. The lightning took out the power and Selena just freaked out. You know how it is,” I glanced at Kate and nodded. She gave me a slight smile back. Mum’s face looked at me for a couple more seconds and her face softened. Pity took over her face.
“Well if that was it – “
“It was,” I interrupted, speaking quickly. “It was just the stupid darkness. I hate it and I got scared,” Mum gave me a piteous smile, kissed my forehead and walked away.
Later on during the day, Mum, Kale, Dad and I were sitting around the dinner table eating steak and mashed potatoes, while talking about murder that has put the whole town into discussion mode. Karen was not home yet, though typical Karen, she wouldn’t even phone to tell us she was coming home late.
“I heard from Jackson’s parents that the killer is someone we know,” said Kale, who quickly stuffed mashed potatoes into his mouth while flicking his hair out of his eyes. Mum scowled at him.
“The police haven’t found the killer yet, so how could Jackson’s parents possibly know?” Kale shrugged and continued eating. Dad was sitting next to Mum and he was frowning. He always frowned when he was thinking. His wrinkles increased every time he did, which was funny in a way. His brown hair was shining from the light above us, giving him a sort of halo on top of his head. He was a very handsome man. He pushed his glasses up from his nose.
“You know what Charlotte? Kale could be right, it might actually be someone we know,” Mum scoffed again. “Hear me out. This is a small town; everyone knows everybody and we’re basically the kind of town who can’t keep out of each other’s business. Who’s to say it isn’t someone we know, someone who is capable of mauling a teenager to death?” I looked at Dad in shock when I was halfway through putting a forkful of steak into my mouth. Mum looked up at Dad in surprise.
“Mauled to death? Where on earth did you hear that from Reece?”
“It was on the radio when I was on my way back from work. Apparently the police found the body severely mauled apart, no human could’ve done this,” I looked at Dad again. Too right it wasn’t human, I thought in my head. I looked at Kale who looked disgusted. He put down his fork and glared at Dad.
“Thanks a lot Dad, now I’ve just lost my appetite,” Mum glared at Kale.
“No you haven’t, you just want an excuse not to eat. Finish your food. And no more talking about the murder,” she said, directing the last sentence to my Dad. Dad just shrugged and continued eating his steak. I sat there in silence, listening to the bickering conversation.
“It could be a bear or wolves,” said Kale after a while, quickly giving a look to Dad. Mum slammed her fork on her plate and Kale and I jumped in our seats. We all became silent, except for Mum.
“I told you Kale, stop talking about it,” scolded Mum, Kale nodded. “There are no bears or wolves in Hector anyway,”
After dinner had finished, I quickly did the dishes and announced I was going to bed.
I tried to sleep, but I kept tossing and turning in my bed. I kept worrying, worrying that the police were going to find my prints on Harley’s jacket. No that can’t be, you were careful, I thought quietly to myself. As I kept thinking what had happened, my eyes slowly started to close.
There was a loud screeching sound and my eyes jumped opened in fright. My heart only relaxed when I realized it was my alarm clock ringing, and I grumpily leaned over my bed and hit my clock with my hand causing the alarm to stop. I sat up, still tired, I felt like I hardly slept. I didn’t want to go to school today, but I knew I had to, at least it’ll keep my mind off things, I thought. I found out I was wrong when I reached school.
I go to Hector Secondary School and I am in my final year. The school is good. Good teachers, good education, good students, the only thing that wasn’t good, was gossip. I suppose everyone get’s rumors about themselves spread at school sometime in their life, but now, the rumors were bigger than ever. As I stepped off the bus, all around me there were groups of students huddled together, whispering to each other. As I walked down the pathway near the classroom areas, I realized that it was quiet; it’s never been quiet before in our school. It suddenly became uneasy. People were still whispering to each other when I headed to the front of the library. It was just how any library would look. It was old, antique looking. The detailed structure of the outside was fading and peeling slightly, but it was a nice looking building.
“Howdy!” The familiar voice made me spin around.
“Charlie!” I looked at Charlie Ashmore and smiled; his short blonde hair and brown tips shone brightly from the sun. I have known him since primary school. His cute little smile always makes me smile, and he is always there for me. Charlie is tall, thin, and one of the brightest and smartest people that I know. Charlie smiled sweetly as we hugged each other.
“How are you Charlie? How was your weekend?” Charlie looked at me, his smile faltering slightly.
“Not that good actually I guess we’re all hyped out about the murder in Denway Park,” I cleared my throat and nodded my head. But before I could speak, Charlie leaned closer to me. “There are rumors flying around,” he whispered. My heartbeat went fast again. I looked at him.
“What do you mean?” I whispered back, knowing I was going to dread the answer.
“Rumor has it, that the body found in Denway Park was someone from our school,” My heart was beating fast, and guilt started to well up in my gut. I think it showed up on my face, but Charlie mistook my guilty look for a sad look. I gulped, afraid that he’d seen my guilt, my guilt of seeing Harley being murdered and not telling anyone about it. I felt like an accessory to murder. But Charlie just clicked his tongue and patted my back. I nodded, hiding my face slightly.
“I thought that old woman found him?” I said looking at Charlie’s face. But Charlie just shrugged, looked behind me and smiled.
“Lena!” cried out a male, deep voice. Before I could even react, big arms had grabbed me from behind hugging me. I panicked and tried to fight the arms, but the laughing from behind me made me stop.
“Jonathan!” I said angrily, but smiling at the same time. I turned around and jokingly hit my close friend Jonathan Barone. I have known Jonathan since primary school, to tell you the truth I actually had a crush on him at one time, but that faded away after a couple of years. Jonathan is tall, and I mean really tall, he was about seven foot high, with tight abs and muscles. Jonathan was a funny guy and he loves being around with his friends as much as he could. When I hit Jonathan, he just laughed and we both gave each other a proper hug.
“Don’t scare me like that!” I said, my head painfully being crushed by Jonathan’s hard chest. We pulled apart and I saw Jonathan and Charlie hug. They pulled apart as there was a loud ringing sound. It was the school bell, but listening clearly, there was an announcement being broadcast from the speaker.
“Could all students please come to the assembly area and line up where your homeroom teachers are please? All students,” The broadcast ended and I heard people all around me talking to each other.
“It must be because of that murder,”
“I think it’s someone from our school!”
“Do you think they’re going to tell us who the killer is?”
I rolled my eyes knowing full well no one other than Kate, Juliet and I knew who the killer was, and walked with Jonathan and Charlie to the assembly area, also wondering in my head where the hell Kate and Juliet were too. I walked silently as Jonathan and Charlie were talking to one another, I was curious as to what this assembly was about, and my gut feeling was telling me that it was definitely about the murder. As we halted to a stop, we looked around trying to find our homeroom teachers. Jonathan and Charlie waved goodbye to me as they walked off to where their homeroom teacher was, leaving me alone. I felt like I was being left by myself quite a lot lately. I looked around trying to find people from my class, but my gut feeling suddenly went bad at the site of two police officers standing on the front of the stage, waiting for everyone to be seated. I suddenly found my teacher Mr. Holmes, an English teacher, a very nice old man. I sat down with my other classmates and looked around trying to find any sign of Kate or Juliet. There was a tap on my shoulder which made me jump, I looked up and saw that it was Kate, who gave me a quick smile, and Juliet who was beside her looking very smug. We all gave each other a nod and turned to face the front of the stage. The room suddenly became very quiet and I was afraid my rapid breathing would be heard. Then, the police spoke.
“I’m sure all of you know of the murder that took place at Denway Park, two days ago,” said a male police officer who was very young and attractive looking. “My name is Officer Reeves and here is my partner Officer Jane,” Officer Reeves gestured a hand towards a serious and young looking woman. She nodded at the audience. “Now, I’m sure there are rumors surrounding what happened, and I am here from the Police Department to let you know what is going on,” He stopped for a while, the silence was too much, I couldn’t stand it. My heart was pumping at a rapid pace I was scared it would suddenly stop. But then Officer Jane stepped in, her tied up brown ponytail swinging back and forth as she paced across stage with her hands behind her back.
“We have identified the victim yesterday afternoon, and only now we can tell you who it is. It is a student from this school,” Officer Jane stopped for a couple of seconds, all the students held their breath. I think I actually stopped breathing at one point. “The student’s name was Harley Groves, his parents were notified early yesterday afternoon,” When Officer Jane said his name, everyone gasped and broke up in talks and whispers. All the teachers were shushing them but at the same time looking shocked too. When the talks had died down, they put in their full attention at Officers Jane and Reeves. I looked at Kate, whose face looked scared.
“We don’t have any other information for you, only that it was a murder, and that we’ll find whoever did this and they’ll be going away for a long time. Are there any questions?” called out Officer Reeves as he looked at the students carefully. All the students put their hands up. “Besides who the killer is,” He added quickly. Most of the students groaned and nearly everyone put their hands down. Only one person had their hand up.
“It’s a question about Harley sir,” said a small third year male, he looked miniscule and his voice was slightly squeaky.
“Keep going,” urged on Officer Jane. The little boy spoke again.
“When are you going to release the body for a funeral?” All the students looked at him. I don’t think they’ll go for the funeral, I thought quietly to myself, if they go, they’ll only go for the curiosity and publicity. It was Officer Reeves that spoke this time.
“The body will only be released after the investigation into the murder is finished. Otherwise the body will stay in the morgue pending the investigation,” The boy nodded quickly and didn’t speak again. The Officers turned back to the audience again.
“While the investigation is still ongoing, the Police Department will be notifying the occupants of Hector of any new news that comes to our attention. But if anyone has any insight on what happened, please tell let us know,” Both Officers gave a quick nod to the teachers and walked out of the assembly area. Just as the Officers left, students began muttering and whispering to each other.
“There’s an investigation!”
“I heard he was slashed up in pieces!”
“I can’t believe that kid asked about a funeral!”
“What a douche,”
I couldn’t take it listening to people voices, so I grabbed Kate and Juliet and went outside near the trees where we couldn’t be heard.
“What’s the matter?” said Kate in a concerned voice. Juliet nodded.
“What’s wrong?” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
“What’s the matter? What’s wrong?” I whispered furiously, looking around at the same time in case anyone heard me. “It’s everything! I can’t take this anymore, we have to tell the police what happened,” Juliet scoffed and Kate recoiled beside her.
“Like they’ll believe us, a monster in Hector? Might as well be a human who could fly maybe that’ll be more believable,” said Juliet in a scorned voice.
“How can you talk like this?” I said frowning at Juliet angrily. “This isn’t something you can get over within three days. I really can’t take it; I can’t stop thinking about it,”
“Calm down Lena,” said Kate, as she put a hand on my shoulder. “We’re all as freaked out as you are. But we can’t say anything to the police, they won’t believe us anyway,” I looked at Kate and Juliet, I thought about the hex bag, I thought about that night, the night that changed our lives. I nodded and then I started walking away, hoping Kate and Juliet weren’t following me.
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