Survival: The First Fear
September 28th. William Brooks and his wife, Cheryl Brooks, were brutally assaulted in their home in New York City at 7:28 PM. The culprit left nothing behind except the brutally mangled couple and overturned furniture and broken curio cabinets. When the police arrived at the scene, the couple was in a critical state. Further analysis on the couple proved that they had sustained head trauma and internal bleeding when the culprit was through with his dirty business. As the police combed the scene for any evidence as to find out the identity of the culprit, they came up short in the evidence department.
The only piece of evidence they found was an envelope that said in big letters on the front A GIFT TO DANNY BROOKS. The police were baffled by this, and the next order of business they decided to attend too was to find this person who was addressed on the letter, Danny Brooks. Right away they assumed that he was either a close relative, or the couple’s son. As the lead investigator of the case, Andrew Reese was about to look further into the matter at hand, he heard a commotion outside the premises and went out to see what the commotion was about.
When he got outside, he saw at least 4 officers attempting to restrain what looked to be a young man dressed in a blue jacket and was wearing black jeans. Andrew went up to the officers and asked one of them who the young man was. They young man heard this and said “My name is Danny Brooks, this is my house, where are my parents!?” Right away the officers took their hands off of the man, and Reese explained everything that had occurred that evening. “Son, your parents have been assaulted by an unknown culprit, we didn’t see much inside the house, but it looked as if there was a huge struggle between the culprit and your parents, there’s overturned furniture, blood everywhere and your house is in a mess.” Danny, listening in shock asked Reese “Are my parents ok?” To which Reese responded “They’re in a critical state, they were just taken to St. Bartholomew’s Memorial Hospital, and I can give you a ride there if you want.” “Ok, let’s hurry!” Danny said, and with that Danny and Reese went to Reese’s patrol car, and sped off the hospital.
When they got there, they found the room that Danny’s parents were staying in, it wasn’t a pretty sight at all. William and Cheryl were badly beaten up, they had bruises almost everywhere on their faces, they had lacerations above their eyes, and you could just tell that they were fighting for their lives. Danny, with tears welling up in his eyes said to Reese “What kind of person, would break into a house, and beat up two people, my parents didn’t deserve this! Detective I hope to God that you’re going to find the person who did this!” Reese turned and looked Danny right in the eye and said “I think you may be able to help me with that.” Danny, with a puzzled look on his face said “What the hell are you talking about?” Reese then pulled out the envelope that was addressed to Danny and said “I believe this is for you, we found it inside your house lying on a coffee table that was mysteriously left untouched.” Danny took the envelope out of Reese’s hand and looked at it, he then opened the envelope and he found a letter inside. He then read it out loud:
“Danny, if you are reading this now, then you probably saw the little gift I sent you. The two loves of your life, your parents, a bloody and mangled mess. Let me tell you right now, that it’s going to be a miracle if they survive, you see I know how the body works, and I know how to physically pick apart a human being, and if my calculations are correct, your parents will die within 2-3 days. Now you’re probably asking yourself ‘Who am I, and why am I doing this to you?’ Well my friend, you will find out everything and more, in the appropriate time. What I want you to do now is think about your past, and your current reputation that you so gloriously uphold. You have reached a rank of popularity in your school and in your overall environment, well let us see how well how high you hold your reputation after the death of your parents. Have a nice day Danny.”
Danny, after reading the last line, drops the paper and is speechless. Reese looks at Danny and says “It looks like this is a personal vendetta against you son, do you have any idea who would do this to you since it’s someone you know?” Danny, turns and looks at his parents and solemnly says “I don’t know, listen detective, can you give some time with my parents, if what that sick prick in the letter said is true, I don’t have much time with them, I need to say my goodbyes.” Reese looks at Danny and says “He could’ve been lying in the letter, he’s probably just trying to play with your head.” “No…I have a feeling that what he said is true, whoever this person is, knows me really well, and he’s trying to break me, but I will not be broken, I’m going to find the person who did this…alone if I have to.” Reese then says “You’re not alone Dan, I will help you. Why don’t you stay here with them, and I’ll try to uncover any info on my end, and when you’re ready, come down to the station and find me, I need to ask you a few questions.” “Alright detective, good luck” Danny quietly says.
September 30th, 9:34 AM. Danny looks down at his parents as a well-respected monsignor says Final Rites over Will and Cheryl. Both doctors and Danny himself know that Will and Cheryl’s timeframe is short, and Danny, being a devout Catholic asked his pastor Monsignor Muldoon to perform Last Rites over his parents. In the room along with Monsignor and Danny were 5 of Danny’s closest best friends, Daryl, Kenny, Mark, Lee and Dave, along with Danny’s girlfriend, Michelle. After Final Rites were performed on his parents, Danny thanked Muldoon and he left the room.
Kenny asked Danny “Hey man, do you need anything? We were thinking about going to the cafeteria for something to eat, you haven’t eaten in 2 days.” To which Lee said “Yeah you’re probably hungry dude.” Danny, standing across from his friends said “No, why don’t you guys go get something to eat, I’m going to stay here and…watch over my parents during their last minutes.” Kenny, Mark, Lee, Daryl and Dave both left the room, but Michelle stayed with Danny, none of them said anything as they kept one eye on Will and Cheryl, and the other on the EKG monitor that was connected to them. About 20 minutes after Danny’s friends left the room, Cheryl and Will died of head trauma dealt to the brain.
3 days later, the funeral was held for Cheryl and Will at Pinewood Cemetery. Words were said over the loss of the couple, and grievances were dealt with. At the end of the funeral Danny met with Dave and talked about what was going to be the aftermath. “What are you going to do now? Are you going to talk to that detective and find out who did this?” Dave asked, to which Danny replied “Yeah I got to go down to the station and talk to Detective Reese about the homicide. Tell you one thing Dave…I will not rest until I find out who did this.” “What will you do when you find him, and maybe come face to face with him?” Danny looks Dave in the eye and says “I’m going to kill him.” Dave, a little taken aback by this says “I don’t think anybody would stop you, but just know that I’m with you man, and almost all of our school is backin’ you, we’ll do what has to be done.” “You’re damn right Dave.” Danny responds.
“What do you mean you have no lead on the case yet Reese?” Danny shouted at the tired looking detective. They were in Reese’s office, the room had papers and clipped out articles about the case thrown about in almost every corner of the room, and not one of them was helping the struggling detective get closer to the culprit behind the deaths of Cheryl and Will Brooks.
“Listen Dan, I’m working my ass off trying to go over everything, the forensic department came up with a dead end, the autopsy that was performed on your parents didn’t help us any, there were no fingerprints left at the scene of the crime, no murder weapon and worst of all no prime suspects!”
“Then you’re not doing your job correctly, what about the note that the killer left behind, can’t you analyze that and get something out of that?! Maybe you can tell if it was a man or a woman for God’s sake?”
“Yeah we’ve done that, but we have no other copy’s to compare it with, what do you want me to do? Have everybody in the city come in and write something down just so we could compare it to the note, do you long that would take?”
“We don’t have to do everybody in the city; I think I’ve narrowed it down to a few specific people.” Shocked by this, Reese gets out his notepad and starts to take notes on what Danny has concluded so far, he first asks, “How did you narrow it down?”
“It was actually pretty simple, once I cleared my mind and really thought about it, we both know that the killer knows who I am, the words and the language he used in the note suggest there’s a lot of boiled up tension between myself and this person. Now when a person of my stature and popularity gets to the peak of his or her life, people who are either jealous of what he or she has, or are trying to get a rise out of them, will do drastic things in order to make his or her voice heard.”
Reese, frantically trying to wrap his mind about what Danny is talking about, thinks long and hard about their current situation, and asks “So you’re saying it’s someone in your school?” To which Danny replies “I would bet my life on it. Someone who I know, or that someone who knows who I am, wanted to hurt me, but this person isn’t normal, instead of confronting me face to face, he chose the coward’s way out and decides to go after my family. It’s basic criminal psychology.”
“How do you know so much about this subject, you seem to have experience with this sort of thing…?” To which Dan replies “My mother had a hobby for crime sitcoms and novels, she wanted to become a detective just like you, but she wanted a family first and foremost, so she put her career aside. However she still studied up on the subject from time to time. Listen to me Reese, I need to play the field a bit and get to know people’s reactions to what’s happened, what they say or do and even not do can help us out immensely, I’ll see you later.” And with that, Danny left Reese’s office and decided to go hang out with his friends. Little did he know, that what he was about to encounter would completely change his complexion on the subject at hand.
“Yo man, we’re going to go check out that new mall that just opened up, you want to go with us?” Dave asked Danny as the two of them were walking along with another group of close friends.
“Yeah Dave, I think it would be good for me, clear my head you know?” Danny responded with a melancholy tone of voice. As Danny and Dave were walking with their group, one of the members, Kenny, said to Danny
“Is everything going to be ok with you? Who are you going to stay with?” To which Danny responded
“I’m going to stay by myself for a while in my house, my landlady who owns my house said she would give me 3 months until I’d have to start paying the rent, so within that time period I’m going to get a job so I have the funds.”
“Do you really think you’re going to be able to support yourself? Can’t you stay with your grandmother or one of your aunts?” Kenny asked.
“Well they offered, but I just can’t be with them right now, we’re all still in grieving, and we all need our space.” Dave then asked,
“Why don’t you stay with me man? I asked my parents and they said you’re welcome to stay with us just as long as you want.”
“I may just take you up on that, but I have some unfinished business to take care of first, I need to find the prick who killed my parents, and I don’t want to involve you or anyone else in that matter Dave.”
“Isn’t Reese getting closer to figuring out who did the crime? He’s a detective after all.” Dave said.
“Yeah, he’s trying, but there’s standard protocol he has to go through, he can’t just start a witch hunt, so that’s where I come in, I’m going to start one. You and I both know the facts, according to the letter that was addressed to me and left behind at the crime scene, the killer knew who I was, and wanted to hurt me. So he went after what was precious to me, my parents, but that’s all we know.”
Kenny then asked, “So it was someone in our school? Someone we know? God, what kind of sick person would do that to someone like you?”
“What do you mean by someone like me Ken? I’m just an average, everyday guy.” Danny responded to Ken’s statement, Dave then added.
“Don’t be so modest Dan, you’re a popular guy, you’re super nice to everyone, you have a hot girlfriend, anybody would be jealous of you if they didn’t know you personally.
“Yeah Dave, you’re probably right, but that’s no excuse to commit murder. Killing someone in cold blood is just wrong.” Kenny added, but after he said that he looked at Dan and saw him staring back at him with a worried look in his eyes. Ken then immediately added
“Murdering in cold blood is wrong…but in self-defense, it’s a necessary evil.” Danny, Dave and Kenny then rejoined the rest of their group and went inside the mall, where they spent the rest of their night trying to forget about the last few days, as Danny was trying to figure out the meaning behind the letter, he couldn’t stop thinking about what was next.
“Danny, I wish I could do something for you, steel your pain or just turn back time so you could save them.” Michelle, Danny’s girlfriend said while they were at her house in her bedroom. Michelle was a stereotypical high school girl, she was about 5’5 ft. tall, weighed a 125 lbs. had blond hair, was the captain of the cheerleading team and was a bubbly, good looking girl with an amazing attitude, but she wasn’t a dependent girl, she didn’t rely on other people, she is a strong girl, who isn’t afraid to say what’s on her mind.
“Thanks gorgeous, I appreciate you, now more than ever I need you here with me, my friends are fine, but I also need you.” Said Danny as he looked at Michelle.
“It’s been almost a month, has Reese gotten any closer to discovering who did it?” Asked Michelle, to which Danny responded,
“No, neither him nor I, all my leads keep on coming to dead ends, I mean after all it’s kind of hard to get any good suspects at the top of my list with all the outpouring of support I’ve had over the last few days, but I can’t help thinking that amongst all the support, that one of them is ill placed, meaning it’s not real. I can’t help thinking about that note, the words were so chilling and so personal, that it could have been a close friend of mine who did the crime.”
“You think that one of your friends did it? Why? What’s there to go on, this seems like a stab in the dark.”
“I know what it sounds like, completely insane, but I can’t stop thinking about it, I just don’t know sweet pea, I just don’t know.” Danny said with a defeated tone in his voice. Just then, his cell phone rang, the number was detective Reese’s personal number that he gave Danny in order to stay in close contact with him. When Danny answered the phone, he heard Reese on the other line saying.
“Son, you need to get down to the station immediately, I think we have something, but it’s not pretty, I hope you didn’t have anything to eat in the last few hours. Please just get down here as soon as you can.” And with that Reese hung up, leaving a curious Danny to ponder what that something that Reese had was.
“Michelle, I need to go down to the station, Reese needs me for something. Do you want to come with me?”
“Yeah of course hon, just let me get my keys, and I’ll meet you down there.” Said Michelle.
“Jameson, make sure everything is ready, I don’t want this to slip through our fingers.” Said Reese to Dr. Scott Jameson, the lead forensic advisor to N.Y.P.D. The forensic team is in charge of analyzing and studying any biometries that are found at crime scenes to further understand and maybe even figure out who was behind them.
“Doctor, with all due respect, why wasn’t this subject brought up when the bodies were in here for autopsies? This kind of crap needs to be addressed first hand, if we knew this 4 weeks ago, we could’ve done more!” Reese shouted at the good doctor, to which he replied.
“I’m sorry detective, my assistant did the autopsy while I was away on business, and he was very inexperienced, due to the fact that it was his first autopsy, he didn’t think it was nothing at the time. However he included it in the formal report, and when I called him on it, he apologized and I immediately called you in.”
Just then Danny and Michelle entered the police station, and when Reese saw them he went over and said,
“Danny, I need you to hear what our lead forensic advisor Dr. Scott Jameson has to say, he apologizes firsthand for not bringing it to your attention sooner, doctor?”
“Hello Danny, you may want to sit down for this, it’s pretty disturbing.” Said the doctor to Danny, to which then Danny and Michelle sat down on the sofa in the main foyer of the police station. Jameson then continued,
“Your mother, Cheryl was in pretty bad shape as you knew, but there was something else that wasn’t addressed as it properly should’ve been…we found traces of…semen in and around her, well you know, genitalia area.” A horrified Danny then muttered the words, “So…she was raped doc?”
“I’m afraid so yes…” said the doctor. At that moment, Danny then broke down and started weeping, as Michelle and Reese were trying to console him, Jameson continued on by saying,
“However, we have DNA now, so all we need to do is match up the forensic properties in the semen to another sample, but it doesn’t have to be semen at all, it could be blood, so I recommend asking specific individuals who you Danny, or you detective , think are somehow connected to the crime, and if they refuse to come in, then that means they have something to hide.”
Danny, having gotten a little bit more stable, then says “So we’re finally getting somewhere, finally, doc is there anything else that was ‘neglected to mention’ the first time?” To which Jameson says,
“Yes, apparently, there was an object lodged in your father’s throat, it was determined that it was, and this totally floors me, but it was a small flash drive, small enough to swallow and still be able to breathe but only slightly.” To which Reese then said,
“Give us the flash drive! There might be something useful on there.” To which Jameson responded,
“Here it is detective, we will need it back though for further testing.” Then Jameson left the room, leaving Reese, Danny and Michelle with the flash drive in their hands. Danny then said, “Detective, what do you think is on there? Could it be like that note that he left?”
“I don’t know Dan, but I intend to find out.” And with that, Reese, Danny and Michelle left the police station, and went to Danny’s house to see what was on the flash drive, when they got to Danny’s house, Danny called up Dave and Kenny, and told them everything that had happened and asked them to get to his house as soon as they could.
Dave and Kenny arrived about 10 minutes later, when everyone was around the computer in the den, Reese plugged in the flash drive, and Danny opened the menu to it. The only available icon on the flash drive was a folder that contained a filmed video titled “Was it good for you too man?”
“What the hell is this? Was he recording the whole thing?” Dave asked, to which Danny replied,
“No…I can see my parents lying motionless in the background, it must’ve been moments after, this sicko is just toying with me now, but the question is why is he so confident, he’s been strategically planting evidence for us to find, lets finish watching what’s on the flash drive.” When they resumed the video footage, all they saw was a man, about 5’9’, 130 lbs. and he was wearing a ski mask. The video footage didn’t show much else, just the man parading about the house, knocking over furniture, and making himself at home. After a few minutes Kenny said,
“Wait, what’s that on his arm? Is that a tattoo?” To which Reese responded,
“Yeah, it looks like a falcon eating a snake, it’s very revealing, but this may be something since we now know that our felon is a kid you guys’ age, that is skinny and has a tattoo of a falcon devouring a snake. What do you say Danny, do you know anyone that has a tattoo?” After a few minutes Danny said,
“No, I don’t know anyone with a tattoo, this should be intriguing, it’s time to do some snooping around, I talk to everyone who’s close to me or an acquaintance of mine, and I ask flat out if they have a tattoo, and if they fit the description of the guy in the video, then we have our culprit.”
“All I’m saying is that I’m worried about him Dave, he’s not himself anymore. He’s disinterested in everything; he’s lost his confidence, and even Michelle says he’s lost his persona.” Kenny said to Dave after they left Danny’s house and went over to Kenny’s to talk about the situation at hand.
“Do you blame him Ken? The man lost his parents at the same time, he’ll never have them around anymore, they’ll miss his graduation, him getting married, and worse of all, grandchildren.” Dave responded with a look of distraught to his friend. The atmosphere in the house was dark and gloomy, and there was a certain heaviness that was clouding Kenny’s living room. The two friends were obviously broken over what happened to their best friend, they both wanted to help him, but didn’t know how to, for they couldn’t turn back time or erase what had happened to him.
Finally, after what seemed like forever, Dave spoke up and said “Look brother, I’m just as scared as you are, I can’t stop thinking about what him and I were talking about before all this happened. We were talking about our biggest fears, and he said ‘Dave my biggest fear is losing my family, I couldn’t live without them, call me weak if you want to man but if that ever happened…I’d probably punch my own ticket’.” As Dave said this, Kenny was staring at him with a worried expression on his face, he then said,
“He seems to have a purpose though, he wants to find the prick who killed his parents, he’s depressed, but he’s tough, you and I both grew up with the guy! He’s not going to take himself out; he has a purpo-…” As Kenny was about to finish, a thought crossed his mind, and then the color was drained from his face, then he said,
“Unless, he’s waiting to do himself in until after he’s found the culprit…yes, that must be it, the only thing that’s keeping him going is the fact that he still has a job to do, and he won’t be allowed to rest in peace until that job is done, Christ, I can’t believe it.” As Kenny and Dave came to this realization, they made a vow to do whatever it took to stop him once the situation arose.
“Ken, we should probably not jump to any long term conclusions, we both know that he’s a little unstable, but we can’t talk to him about this, it would just make him feel worse, we need to be there for him, and help him any way we can. We can start off by looking for a guy our age and has that Falcon/Snake tattoo, are you in or out?” Dave asked Ken, to which Kenny responded
“You bet I’m in brother, until the end, I’ll let Lee, Mark and Daryl know what we’re doing, they’ll be in for sure. Now let’s find that bastard who destroyed the life of our best friend.” Kenny and Dave both then left the house and thought about what to do next, but neither of them knew that what they were about to undertake would cause multiple complications and repercussions that would eventually tear their loyalty apart.
Surrounded by an almost dark and suffocating atmosphere, the house of the Brooks stood. At the front door stood Danny, looking up at his old house that he once spent his best years at with his family. Being an only child, he was very close with his parents, for they were all they had, sure they had friends and relatives when it was convenient for them, but when it was down to the bare minimum, it came down to Will, Cheryl and Danny. With his parents gone, Danny felt that he had no other purpose in life, where does he go from here? As Danny took a breath, held it, and let it go he stepped inside his old abode.
Right away the first thing he noticed was that the house hadn’t accumulated much dust or cobwebs. As he looked around he was thinking about how much pain, love, anger, frustration and bliss had been circulating around his household, and now all of it seems to have been washed away. Now he would do anything to get any part of it back, but, like his family, it was all gone. Danny went into the living room, and scuffled through the bookshelves in search of some mementos of his parents. Eventually he came across an old family photo book that had almost every memory that his family had, starting from when Danny was born, to just about a year ago. As he flipped through the scrapbook a bunch of memories started to flood back and he was reminded of better times he had with his parents.
As he went through other books, magazines and other mementos of his past, he eventually came across old videos that his father had recorded, and one of them was depicting Danny’s birth. Danny just sat on his couch, looking through scrapbook after scrapbook, watching home video after home video, trying to lose himself in his old life that he wanted so desperately back. After about 3 hours of watching and reading, Danny decides to go to the kitchen to make something to eat. He then discovers that his dad still had a couple bottles of whisky left, a good vintage, year ’96, so he decided to have a drink in order to toast his parents.
For the rest of the night, Danny sits on in front of his TV, watching his old videos of his family, flipping through family albums’ and drinking his pain away. Around 3 AM, he hears a knock at his front door, then another, then another. Danny doesn’t respond, and that’s when he hears a voice saying
“Danny?...Danny are in there, it’s Michelle and Dave, can we talk to you for a minute? Danny?” Michelle then knocks a few more times, until Danny says, “Its, uh, open!” Michelle and Dave enter the house, and find Danny in a drunken state, Danny then says
“Oh hey babe, you lookin’ fine tonight, DAVE! Yo what’s up buddy?” Dave looks at his friend and asks “What do you think you’re doing?” To which Danny responds “What does it look like?” He then takes a swig of Whisky from the bottle, Dave then asks “where’d you get the bottle?” Danny then cracks an innocent smile and says in a very playful and non-serious tone “Found it…first good thing to happen to me in a…a…while, my dad, you gotta love him, he still had 2 bottles left, can you believe it?” Michelle didn’t say a word, but she just looked at Dave with a helpless look in her eyes, to which Dave then said to Danny,
“Hey man, take it easy, I think you’ve had enough…why don’t you just give me the bottle and get some sleep, that’s what you need-…”
“TO HELL WITH YOU! Do you not get what’s going on here ‘brother’? I’m just trying to forget! Right now, I-Am-Screwed! My parents are both dead, we got the killer messin’ with me, playing with my emotions, and Reese has hit a brick wall in his so called ‘investigation’, Hell if now ain’t the time for a drink?” Danny then took another swig of Whisky. Dave then said,”Dan, I can’t pretend to know what you’re going through, so I’m just going to say this…you’ve always been there for me man, you always had my back when it mattered, I know what I’m doing right now seems to you that I’m against you on this, but I’m not, I’m with you until the end, so is Michelle, Kenny and every one of our friends, you have to believe me.” Danny then looked at his friend, then his girlfriend, and he realized that getting wasted isn’t going to help anyone, especially himself, so he gave the bottle to Dave.
“Thank you pal, I’m so sorry, about everything…Michelle I love you, I’m sorry.” Danny said to Dave and Michelle, and at the moment, the front door of the house was kicked down, and at the doorway, there stood a man, about the same height as Danny and was about 135 lbs. Danny stood up and said
“Who are you? What are you doing here?” The man in the doorway said, “Danny, quite frankly I’m surprised, I expected you to go out on the streets and search day and night for me, but instead you’re here, wallowing in your own despair, and surrounded by your witch of a girlfriend, and your kiss-ass best friend, how pathetic.” Dave then asked,
“Wait a minute…Dan…what’s that on his arm?” As Dave then pointed to the man’s arm, Danny noticed that the man had a tattoo…of A Falcon devouring a snake. Once it all clicked inside of Danny’s head, the man then entered the house, and drew a gun of Danny, Michelle and Dave, he then asked, “So…Danny, who do you want to die first, your girl…or your best friend, choose…”
The man with the gun was wearing a mask that covered his face entirely. He was wearing a blue t-shirt that was covered with a black leather jacket, and he had a brooding presence. Danny, still in shock of what was happening, was able to get the question out,
“Who are you? Why did you kill my parents?” To which the man then responded “That’s not really important is it you worthless piece of trash? What’s more important is that I am giving you a very special gift…the power to choose. You get to choose between your girl and your boy, two enter and one leaves.” Danny, Dave and Michelle just stood where they were at a loss of words. The armed assailant then said
“Hey, I don’t got time for all this! Danny, either you choose one to die, or I kill both of them. This would be a shame to kill two birds one stone. I mean I don’t want to send you spiraling any further out of control, I mean look at you now. You’re drunk, and you’re turning against your own people. So I’ll ask you again…let die the girl you love, or sacrifice your best friend in order to save her, now CHOOSE!”
Danny, having sobered up a bit after his late night drinking looked at Michelle, then he looked at Dave, and then he turned to face the assailant, he then said to him,
“I choose neither, I will not sacrifice anybody, no one has to die today not them, not me, and truth be told you don’t have to either. I don’t know what I did to you that was so awful that it got to the point that you decided to take away two of the most important things to me in this world, but I know your type. You probably weren’t popular in school, and your family didn’t give a damn about you. However you have the power, the power to do what is right, and treat others in this world better than the world has treated you.” Danny then proceeded to walk towards the man with the gun, to which the man then said,
“STOP, you don’t get it do you Danny, and therein lies the problem.” The man then took off his ski mask and stepped into the light, revealing for the first time who he was.
“No way…Vince? Vincent Gillespie? Oh my God it was you the whole time?” A shocked Danny responded to the man with the gun. Dave then said “I don’t believe this, Vince how could you? I mean I know you are always treated like dirt in school, but you’re one of the brightest kids we have, your GPA is off the charts! Why go after Danny and his family?” Michelle then added “Yeah, Danny was never mean to you, hell he didn’t even talk to you! This seems to be like a stab in the dark. What you just decided to walk into a random house and kill anyone who was there? Wait a minute, but that doesn’t explain the note that you left him.”
Vince then said “I’ve had enough of these accusations, I’m killing someone today, now Danny choose, choose who you want to-“ Vince didn’t get to finish his sentence because at that moment he got clobbered in the back of head with what looked to be a shovel. With Vince knocked out the person who attacked him was none other than Kenny, who had seen Vince with the gun from outside the house. Kenny then ran inside and asked
“Are you guys ok, I heard most of the conversation, I can’t believe it was that loser Vince all along.” To which Danny replied “Yeah man we’re fine, and we’re lucky as hell no one got hurt, I’m going to call up Reese, tell him we got the guy, and a full confession out of him, Dave and Kenny will you take Michelle home please, I think she needs some rest, baby I love you, I’ll see you tomorrow.” Danny then kissed Michelle to which she responded
“I love you too Danny, I’m glad we got him.” Danny then proceeded to walk into his kitchen to call Reese, but just then, unbeknownst to the group, Vince was regaining consciousness, and went for his gun that he had and pointed it Danny. Michelle saw this and rand towards Danny screaming “DANNY WATCH OUT!” Michelle then pushed Danny out of the way, then it almost seemed like an explosion happened, everything went into slow-motion and all that was heard was a loud popping noise.
Once the dust settled and everything resumed to normal time, Danny noticed two things that had happened while he was what could only be described as some sort of time paradox, one, Vince had disappeared from the house and two…Michelle was on the floor, bleeding.
“MICHELLE!” Danny screamed with a sense of urgency. As he got up from the floor he went over to his girlfriend, she was laying on her stomach and not moving a muscle.
Dave! Call an ambulance, tell them that someone’s been shot, Kenny help me check her vitals!” Danny shouted at both Dave and Kenny. As Dave got out his phone to call the police, Kenny went over to Danny to check on Michelle. Michelle had suffered a gunshot wound on the lower part of her stomach, on the surface it didn’t look fatal. When Danny checked her pulse it was there but very faint, meaning that she was still clinging on to life, but unless she had got medical attention soon she wouldn’t survive.
“I called the ambulance they’ll be over here soon. How is she doing?” Dave asked after he got off the phone with the police.
“She…she’s bradyocartic, her breathing is…is s-shallow, she won’t last for too long, the bullet seems to have hit her very close to the lung and kidney, but it doesn’t look serious, how long did they say they’d take?” Danny asked as he cradled Michelle in his arms.
“They said they’d be here in a few minutes, Jesus man, I can’t believe he did this, Vincent of all people, he’s the one who did all this, your parents and now Mi-“
“Don’t finish that sentence Dave!” Danny cut Dave at the last minute. “She’s going to be fine, the ambulance will get here, and she’ll get medical attention and she’ll pull through! You understand me?!”
“I-I’m sorry alright, I’m just a little shaken up, I was held at gunpoint by a homicidal murderer, while my best friend and his girlfriend were nearly killed.” Dave explained back to Danny. It was apparent that there was some tension building between the two, as the three friends waited for what seemed to be forever for the ambulance to get to Danny’s house. The paramedics finally arrive and do a check on Michelle. After a few minutes the doctors said to Danny
“It looks pretty bad, she’s still alive but just barely, we’re going to wheel her in to the ambulance and drive her to the hospital, if you and friends wanna follow us there you’re welcome to do so.” To which Danny, Kenny and Dave got in Danny’s car and followed the ambulance to St. Bartholomew’s memorial hospital…the same hospital that Danny’s parents died in.
When they got there, Michelle got checked into a room and was examined by doctors and nurses, while Dave, Kenny and Danny waited in the waiting room, anxious for the news. 4 hours had pass when finally a doctor by the name of Dr. Pierce came out and talked to Danny.
“Hi there son…you may want to sit down.” Dr. Pierce said to Danny, Danny however just shook his head, the doctor nodded and said
“Your girlfriend is alive…but barely, the good news is that the bullet didn’t destroy any vital organs, the bad news is that she’s lost a lot of blood, and the blood loss has caused her to slip into a coma.” Danny at this point finally collapsed and started crying to which Dave went to him and held him in his arms to console him. Kenny, barely able to get the words out asked the doctor,
“How long? What’s the time frame that she has, when…when will she wake up?” To which Pierce then responded
“I’m not sure, it could be a few days, weeks, months or even years before she wakes up…son I’m really sorry, if you want too you go in and see her but only for a couple of hours, visiting hours will be over in a while.” Then the doctor took his leave and left the trio in the waiting room. Danny, now able to regain his composure walked somberly to Michelle’s room to which Dave and Kenny followed. Michelle was not a pretty sight to see, she was hooked up to machines, you could barely see her face, to Danny, she looked like a mere shell of her former self. After two hours had passed, a nurse came into the room and told the trio,
“I’m incredibly sorry to tell you all this, but visiting hours are over, you guys can come back tomorrow, but for now I got to ask you guys to scoot okay?” To which Danny then looked at the nurse and asked “…Do you have a chapel?” To which the Nurse said “Yes we do, its downstairs you can’t miss it.” Danny then stood up and headed downstairs to do something that he hasn’t done in a while…talk to God himself.
While Kenny and Dave decided to head home for the time being to rest after their ordeal, Danny spent the rest of his night at the chapel that was in the hospital. He walked up to the altar and genuflected before God and then he said
“I know it's been a while since I've talked to you Lord, I apologize, but things haven't been really going to well for me. I'm losing everything...my family, my girlfriend, my friends think i'm going off the deep end, pretty soon the only thing i'll have left to lose...” Danny didn't finish his sentence because something got his attention. Out of the corner of his eye, Danny could've sworn he saw a figure dash out from one of the pews, when Danny turned to face in the dierection of the figure, he saw what seemed to be a person standing 10 feet away from him. He couldn't make out the figure entirely, it seemed to be covered by a cloak of some sort. Reajusting his eyes, he now realized that the person who was standing before him, wasn't entirely corporal, he could see through the figure to the other side of the wall. Quivering and shaking Danny asked
“Who are you, what do you want from me?” To which the figure just stood in the same spot as where it had been almost fixiated on the spot. Danny then took a few steps forward, and to his horror it was now apparent to him what he was seeing. The figure, in a gentle, nurturing, compassioate voice said
“The answer lies within the holy tabernacle, you chose how this affair ends, be warned your choice will affect not only you, but those around you...goodbye.” The figure then dissappered from Danny's sight. Danny then went to the tabernacle behind the altar, he opened the tiny door and what was inside stunned Danny to the point where he almost fainted, but was able to maintain his compusure , for the only thing that was inside the tabernacle...was a gun, with a single magazine full of ammo.
“Danny? Are you in here? Danny? It's Reese, Dave and Ken told me you'd be here.” Detective Reese came into the chapel doors where Danny was at. Danny quickly took the gun and ammo from the tabernacle, unbenknowist to Reese, and then said
“What do you want Reese? Please tell me you've done something usuful and figured out where that bastard is hiding.” Danny shouted to Reese, to which Reese then replied
“Dave told me everything about what happened, to Michelle, and that the killer has made himself known to you, I was about to go arrest him and thought you wanted to come along, he's going to do time son, hard time.” Danny, looking at Reese wonderingly asked
“How do you know where he's at? Don't tell me he's at his house or something.” To which Reese then replied “Vincent doesn't know that you know me, and he knows that you don't know where he lives, but I have files on almost everyone in this city, his parents are away on a personal vacation to Las Vegas, we can book him tonight if we just go to his house, are you in or out?” Danny, not wanting to waste anymore time nodded his head and the duo went out of the chapel and outside to Reese's squad car.
It took about 20 minutes to drive from the hospital to the place where Reese said that Vincent 's house was. Danny was in the backseat and very quiet on the ride over, while riding however Danny got out his gun and loaded it with the magazine then put it back on his side, halfway tucked in underneath his shirt so is not to alert Reese of his intended actions. When Reese pulled up to the house, the duo both got out and went to the front door. The door however was slightly open and Reese said to Danny
“Let's go, I got you covered if anything goes down.” Resse then pulled his gun out of his holster and assumed a defensive pose aiming at the door, he then said
“You go first, if you see him at all get out of the way and i'll make the arrest, hopefully this will go nice an smoothly.” Danny nodded his head and went inside the house. The two walked about 5 feet inside and immediatly, Danny saw Vincent with his back towards him, right when Danny was about to move, Vincent put up his hand and said,
“Ah, Danny nice of you to stop by, I wanted everything to be perfect for your visit, afterall I don't get many visters. You did a fine job...and you make me proud...Uncle Reese.” Reese then cocked his gun and pointed it at Danny's back. Danny then said
“I knew it was too perfect, nothing is ever this perfect, so “detective” Reese, this piece of shit is your nephew?” Vincent then said
“Now now come now, don't be so rude to a man of the law, I just had my Uncle bring you here so we could have a talk, sit down over there.” Danny did as he was instructed and sat down on a living room chair, while Vincent down in a rocking chair adjacent to Danny's and Reese stood standing still having his gun aimed at Danny. Vincent then said
“I want to apoligize for what happend to Michelle, that bullet wasn't meant for her, but she got in the way and an accident happend.” Danny then said
“An accident!? That bullet was meant for me! So if that was an accident then what about my parents? Were their deaths acidental too?”
“I had to do it, in order to send a message to you, the message was that...no one can live a perfect life, you had it all, the family, the hot girlfriend, the friends, you had everything I ever wanted, but I couldn't get it...have you ever...hurt someone you care about?”
“My parents...I wasn't always their perfect child, when I was 13, I ran away from home because they wouldn't give me a new bike I wanted, I didn't even leave a note, I just left. They found me a week later, I was staying at a homeless shelter, I hurt them, so bad, but they forgave me.” Vincent then asked
“Have you hurt anyone else?” to which Danny responded
“Dave...he was always there for me, we were best friends since 1st grade, we did everything together...when we started high school though, I started dating and naturally started paying less attention to him, we didn't do a lot of stuff that he wanted to do with me...when he asked me about it I told him that I needed to focus on more important things, and when I said that, the look on his face...I hurt him...so bad...but he still forgave me, he's a true friend.” Vincent then said
“I hurt my parents too, everything I did just pissed them off, especially my father...what would you rather be called? “Maggot” or “Little Shit”? That's what he always calls me, and my mother, she doesn't even care about me, I know because, they took a trip to Vegas a few days before my birthday, it's today as a matter of fact...Do I look like a monster to you Danny?” To which Danny said
“I was so jealous of you for so long, and I've taken almost everything away from you, now there's only one thing left for me to do...I'm going to hurt you so bad. Danny listen too me, hear me out before what happens next. After I killed your parents, after I wrote that letter and inserted that flash drive in your father's mouth...I was the one who raped your mother's corpse. Now then, Uncle Reese is there anything you want to say to Danny before what happens happens? Reese looked at Danny, still aiming his gun at him and said nothing to which Danny then said
“So everything was just a lie, your compassion towards me? Your work on the case, you were just helping your nephew by screwing me over?! Talk about monsters, you're just as bad as Vincent...no you're worse, compared to you, Vincent's not too bad...get him Kenny!” As Reese turned to face the door, Danny pulled out his gun, aimed it, and shot Reese in the head, killing him instantly. Danny then turned to face Vincent, horrified by the turn of events that had transpired, he begged with Danny saying,
“Danny, you don't know what you're doing, the cops will find you, Reese was the only one close to you, without him, you'll go to jail for killing me!” To which Danny then said
“I don't care whether I live or die, my whole goal to this point was to find you and make you pay for your sins, I didn't know how I was going to do it, but then my answer came in the form of a figure who appeared to me in the chapel in the hospital, it told me what I had to do.” Vincent then asked
“Who? Who appeared to you?” Danny then looked down and tears started to well in his eyes and he looked at Vincent right in the eyes and said....”My Mother.” Then Danny pulled the trigger and killed Vincent. After his triumph over Vincent, he left the bodies of Reese and Vincent in the house and walked out of the house, where he then decided to head to Dave's house...he had some catching up with his best friend to do.
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