Death By Dusk

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
Four friends are enjoying their lives together, but when one day Rachel dies, it's up to Alexis, Sapphire and Adeline to try to find out who did it, and try to stay alive in the meantime.

Submitted: November 03, 2016

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Submitted: November 03, 2016

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A A A


Death By Dusk

 

 

“I’ve got a royal flush!!!!!” screamed Alexis, pumping her fist in the air. All the other girls groaned. “You’re not supposed to tell us, you dolt!”

It was storming hard outside. The power had gone out,  and the four friends were sitting around a small table, playing poker. Rachel, Alexis, Adeline, and Sapphire were all sitting around a small desk, complete with a single candle. The other girls giggled as Alexis fell back into her chair, looking embarrassed, but grinning sheepishly all the same. She tossed back her caramel hair and leaned forward to see Rachel’s next move.

Rachel pulled out a card and slapped on the hardwood table, her dark eyes glinting with mischievous malice. “There. Saff, whaddya got for me?” Sapphire stared thoughtfully, drumming her fingers on the table, then lay a single chip on the table. “A club of two,” she responded. Adeline smiled slightly. Leave it to Saff to make rash decisions, she thought.

It was late by the time Adeline got home. She yawned and immediately fell into a dreamless sleep.

Monday mornings were never Adeline’s favorite part of the week, but she didn’t hate them nearly as much as other students. She left for school in high spirits that day, especially since they had practically no homework. As she headed towards the bus with her friends, she pulled out her phone, which told her of the arrival of two new messages, one from her mom, and another from her friend Skylar, who was out of town for the week. “Hey guys,” she waved to her friends. Then she noticed an empty seat, and it dawned on her. “Guys, where’s Rachel? Is she sick?” Sapphire and Alexis shrugged. “Yeah, probably.” Alexis frowned. “By the way, did you guys hear something last night? It was like, a scream or something. Really loud. Our neighbor, that creepy fortune-obsessed lady, she claimed it was a ‘cry of the ghosts’, whatever that means.” At that

time, Aaron chose to drop in. “Hey girls, where’s Rachel? She owes me five hundred bucks for that necklace I gave her,” he added conversationally. “Just kidding, just kidding,” he added hastily, at the arrested look on Adeline’s face. “Aaron, this isn’t funny,” she said crossly, ignoring Alexis’ snickers. “What? I just wanted to have a good time, ya know,” he responded with a wink. “Aaron, Rachel is sick or something,” interrupted Alexis. “You can probably find her at home….if you want to skip school,” she added disapprovingly.

Adeline took the bus home. She hadn’t even gotten to the front door when Julie, Rachel’s little sister, came running toward her. “Adeline!” She turned around to see Julie holding an armful of flyers with the heading being “MISSING: Rachel Marlowe” Missing? Adeline thought. How could Rachel go missing in just a few hours? “Adeline!” said Julie again, “Have you seen Rachel at school today? She wasn’t home last night or this morning, and mom’s just called the police.” “No,” she replied, “We all thought she was sick or something. So Rachel’s missing? Or are you doing an early April fool’s day joke?”

“Yeah, didn’t you just hear me? Here, take these,” she handed Adeline some flyers, “Give them to people you see and hang them somewhere too. I hope she just got lost….” Then Julie ran off to hand. Adeline stared until she was out of sight, then turned to look at the flyers in her hand. Missing…… Where could she possibly be?

Addi88: Guys. Julie came by. Rachel is missing! What should we do???

sapphireBlue: yeah, she came by….Ugh, I wish she’d come back and stop our worrying!

AlexisAS1999: WHAT??? OMG I thought she’d have the sense to come home by now! unless she was well, I don’t wanna think about it

 

Adeline stared at her phone screen. We have to find her. But first…..

 

Addi88: Aaron, Rachel is missing. We should try to find her soon.

AaronTheGreat: ahem, “Adeline, this isn’t funny.” sound familiar?  

Addi88: I’m serious. Julie came by with “Missing” flyers this afternoon.

AaronTheGreat: Wait. Whatttt????? Gtg. gimme any info you have on her

 

 

Adeline slumped back. Despite how much she tried to convince herself Rachel was fine, she couldn’t help thinking about the cry of the ghosts Alexis mentioned……

 

They didn’t have school the next day. Adeline was planning to have Sapphire and Alexis come over to discuss what happened to Rachel. However, by two o’clock, Alexis still hadn’t arrived. Adeline searched her phone to find a new text.

 

AlexisAS1999: In the library. Sry I couldn’t come. Visited old neighbor Miss Jones. Come @ 4:00.

 

Adeline showed the message to Sapphire. “Well, let’s get on with it….”

 

Adeline went to the library to check on Alexis, but there was something wrong. Police cars circled the scene. An ambulance wailed nearby. And there was a stretcher on which a caramel-haired girl lay, her chest  splattered with what seemed to be blood………

 

Adeline got a letter a week later. Alexis wrote this to you and Sapphire, it said. It was from Alexis’s mother. Adeline saw blotches on the writing. Tears spilled from her own eyes as she opened the letter. Why did you have to go….? We miss you……

 

 

 
 
 
 

Adeline, Saff,

I will be dead by the time you read this. Don’t worry, it was meant to happen. I’ll be happy where I am. But there is some important news I have to share with you. A killer is coming after us. I don’t know who he is or what he wants. I know this is a lot to take in, but stay strong. Keep it together. I luv you guys-

- Alexis

PS I saw him just now. Hiding behind a shelf. I think I’ve seen him before…

Sapphire seemed so down lately. Adeline explained this to Aaron, but left out the fact of the letter they had received.

“She’s just sad that…...Alexis won’t be with us anymore,” he said sadly.

Adeline agreed, but still had an inkling of suspicion of what was in Alexis’s farewell. A killer? She thought, why would a killer come after us? What have we done to him, whoever he is? And she said that he looked familiar…….?

 

As Adeline went on the bus the next couple of days, she was always confronted by a blank-faced Sapphire, who seemed to be always staring at the abandoned church at Mahogany Street whenever they passed by it, with a deadend and greyed out expression in her eyes, as if they were dead. Then one day, Sapphire wasn’t on the bus. Adeline thought she was sick, like what she thought had happened to Rachel, but something told her otherwise. No, this can’t be happening. Saff must be missing too. Her lungs were squeezed by the icy hands of cold, and she nearly passed out at the thought of this. He must be coming for me soon. I don’t have much time to waste.

“Hey, uh, Mr. Shelton?” Adeline called. The bus driver peered into the rear mirror and smiled. “Yes, Adeline? What do you need?” he inquired. “ Can you let me off at Mahogany Street #13? I need to do….um…..something.” Mr. Shelton was puzzled by this news he hesitated for a moment, before replying, “Okay. I know Alexis’s death has been hard on you. Go ahead…” The automatic doors creaked open as Adeline flung herself outside to face the church. It was all battered and old looking, much like a haunted house. It brought back memories of the times when she was little and played games with her friends and her dad. The sky above it told her that it was dusk. This has to be it. This is where Saff was staring at all the time! She tiptoed through the, once again, creaking doors, and waved at a cloud of dust that was formed by the doors. She started for the middle door, her heart hammering with each step, everything seemed to be happening in slow motion. As she made a turn right, she stopped. There was a bloody hook hanging from the ceiling, and on it hung a corpse. It had blonde hair. As Adeline stepped closer to it, her eyes widened with fear. No…...no it can’t be……. Then she turned the corpse over with a broom. It, no - she - rather, had blue eyes, like those of a glimmering blue gemstone. Only they had been greyed out and were now blankly staring at the wall in front of her. It was Sapphire.

“Oh my god,” whispered Adeline, trying to comprehend. “First Rachel, then Alexis, and now you?” Sapphire’s hand was held into a loose fist, a crumpled piece of paper in her hand. She took it from her hand, trembling, and uncrumpled the paper. In it wrote:

 

Adeline,

If you ever find this, I want you to know that I still will always remember you. All this over missing and murder has been too much for me. I will have reunited with Alexis and Rachel, if she’s there, by now. I’m so sorry, but this is what I want.

Love from Sapphire

Adeline choked back her tears and tried to swallow the lump in her throat, which only seemed to grow bigger with each attempt. Then she noticed more writing on the back. It was only four words in dark red:

FURTHER DOWN THE HALL

Further down the hall? Does she mean this hall? Adeline glanced down the hallway before her. It was dark, moldy, and haunted-looking. If this is where she wanted me to go, then I’ll have to go this way. She walked slowly through the hall, there was a door in front of her, some 10 feet away. She stepped closer and closer and paused again. A foul odor reached her nose. There was yet another girl in front of her, wearing a bright red jeweled necklace... Oh no…Rachel…. Then there was footsteps. Fast footsteps. Adeline swirled around. They were coming her way, faster and faster and louder and louder. Her heart hammered harder and louder than before, she was frozen in place, and all the instincts that yelled at her to hide were numbed out by this sheer fright. Then a man appeared. A tall, menacing man wearing a half-peeling mask and tattered, dark clothes appeared in the doorway. A vaguely familiar face….? “D-?” Then there was a rushing of footsteps with the deadly swish of a knife. Then there was a scream. A splattering. A thud. Silence. Then footsteps left the scene, leaving a bloody corpse in the hall, staring at the ceiling blankly. And three dripping words besides it:   DEATH BY DUSK

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

The letter to no one

 

Three hours. Three hours since those girls died. And among them was my daughter.

I will be long dead when this is discovered. The police will find three dead bodies, five deaths in a week, and an unsolved mystery.

I remember those four so well. Adeline loved to play cards with them. I would’ve stayed, but my hate for her wretched mother was so much more than my love for her. I left them all.

I could feel the heartbeat of Rachel’s heart. THUMP THUMP. THUMP THUMP. Like the ticking of a clock. They called me a madman-but tell me, could a madman have done those murders? To get back at his foul wife? NO, those were clever murders a madman could not have done.

I can hear Alexis’s scream. Sapphire’s final words. And my daughter’s betrayal. Why, that is why I did this! I FREED her from her mother!! I FREED her from her WRETCHED friends!!! I KILLED them ALL!!! Dusk was Adeline’s favorite part of the day. I gave her the privilege of a night death. And so will mine.

The knife, stained with the red of all her friends’ blood, in my hand, will enter my heart. There will be a splutter. Silence.

And all will be forgotten.

 
 
 


© Copyright 2017 Pythagora. All rights reserved.

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