"Oh my god...`" Claire
whispered softly from the shadows. Slowly, she rose to her feet off the
darkened floor, shock in her scared eyes. Her ears were still ringing,
residual from the loud crack of the gunshot. The still room around her
seemed stuck in time as she looked down on the dead form of Faith,
lying in a small pool of blood on the floor. Seated across the room,
Trevor was still pointing the gun as if paralyzed, confusion dancing
across his face as he tried to understand. Claire suddenly felt her
body tingle with sadness, disbelief, still trying to comprehend what
had just happened. The whole world had gone insane.
Growing even more
terrified by the second, Claire looked past the gun into Trevor's eyes.
She could hear his breathing, strangely loud and fragile in the quiet.
a few shaky seconds, he took his eyes off Faith and looked up at her.
The gun in his hands was still pointed at Faith's body, until his
fingers loosened their grip, his eyes never leaving Claire now as he
lowered it. He placed it on the floor beside him, still watching her as
a tear fell downwards across the shadow of his cheek. A siren grew
louder in the distance, the sound growing clearer as it approached. The
police were coming nearer by the second, the wail of their cruiser
growing more distinct.
Trevor's face emptied,
still looking at Claire. And then she knew, knew that he saw it all in
one horrible instant. They both remembered what Frechette had vowed to
Trevor. Claire searched for something to say, but the finality in
Trevor's sad, glittering eyes stopped whatever she was struggling to
say. They both know deep down it was futile. Everything was different
Trevor spoke softly,
the police sirens no longer faint, still growing louder. "It's over..."
began, but Trevor rose and immediately dashed out of the bedroom door.
She immediately followed without thinking, chasing his running form,
fleeing from the image behind her of Faith's cold, emptied eyes,
running from the smell of blood and burnt gunpowder. She ran after
Trevor, and it seemed the world was invisibly crashing all around her.
frantically through the darkness of her upper floor hallway, racing
frantic down the stairs after Trevor. But he was fast, already out of
sight ahead of her. Her living room bounced and shook into view,
everything dark except for the curtains glowing with the streetlights
behind them. Claire looked frantically around for Trevor but he was
gone. Her front door was a square of light in the shadows, left open as
she ran towards it. Her jumbled mind registered the fragments of
shattered wood on the floor. Trevor had busted the door open when he
came in earlier, the crashing sound she had heard before. But she
didn't pause, diving through after him. wanting to be with him almost
without conscious thought.
Then Claire was out in
the chill of the night air, feeling it crisp on her skin. The rest of
the street in either direction was inexplicably serene, as if the world
hadn't just changed at all. She paused on the sidewalk, breathing
heavily as her mind fumbled over what to do. Trevor was nowhere in
sight. She had to find him. It couldn't end this way. Sirens were
growing louder now, outside in the night air, echoing off the houses up
and down the street. She didn't care, nothing else mattered except
being with Trevor through this before things got worse, wishing he
wasn't running from her. The wail of the police car crescendo'd. Around
the corner at the end of the block, red and blue swaths of light were
already sweeping over everything. Claire ran down the street, knowing
time was running out, searching, calling out Trevor's name.
By the time the
headlights of the police cruiser appeared around the corner, Claire was
gone. The car raced down the street, a dazzling swirl of blinding
colors as the siren screamed, cutting the serenity of the suburban
block. The car's tires screeched loudly to a halt outside Claire's
home. Beyond was the dark portal of Claire's shattered front door,
still open, as guns drawn, the police officers went cautiously inside.
The police officers faded to nothing, the sky above brightening to
morning light. There were more cars now, all fading into view around
the police car, a swarm of activity in the cold dawn, officers and
detectives moving across the scene.
Inside, the dim morning light was crisp and pure as it flooded in through the shatterred bedroom window. A cool breeze wafted into the now quiet room, sliding past the broken glass to billow through the curtains gently as people moved around inside, speaking to each other in hushed voices. There was the soft click of a camera, and a flash of light. Several detectives were moving about, taking notes as they looked at the mess, all dressed in simple everyday suit and ties. they continued to discuss it quietly amongst themselves. Then another man entered the bedroom, pausing beside the busted bedroom door, a brown file visible, held uncomfortably in his hand, gripping it tighter at what he saw all around. The detectives inside looke dover at him.
"Dr. Frechette..." the lead detective calmly acknowledged.
Dr. Frechette looked shocked, slowly bringing a fist towards his nose to fend off the suddenly strong stench of dried blood. His eyes were wide, trying to take in the unbelievable scene before him. His mind was already swimming with images. Police cars dotting the street in front of Claire Allen's home. The shattered front door, bullet holes in the wall, a shot out picture frame. It all seemed to be still tumbling together in his mind, never having experienced something like this. He had never imagined he would be in Claire Allen's home, and definetly not under circumstances like this. The echoes of recent violence were all around throught the shatterred remains he had walked past. And now, most shocking of all, was this. Frechette looked down, his eyes fixed on the floor before the window. The detectives saw the direction of his gaze and looked calmly away, giving him time to take it in.
There was still glass on the carpet. A large dark stain had dried on the floor, filling the air with a sickening smell. Laying on top of that, was Faith's empty body, motionless, like a frozen picture that had never been alive. Frechette's eyes crinkled in response, on the edge of open sadnness that he held inside as he remembered all the time he had spent in sessions with her. He never expected to see her like this. But then his brow hardened, an angry protective fascade on his face. His eyes seemed to go empty, the sadness swallowed deep, hovering behind, but still there.
"Dr. Frechette, thanks for coming..." the detective started again, stepping forward and offering Frechette his hand in greeting.
Frechette looked him in the eye for a moment, but his eyes returned to Faith's dead body. Ignoring the gesture, he stepped past the detetctive's hand, moving closer to where Faith's body was lying on the floor like a weighted mass.At his side, the detective explained. "Sorry about needing you to see this. But she has no family, and we need a positive ID. Plus we'd like to ask you a few questions."
"Me?" Frechette looked abruptly over, defensive. "What about?"
The detetctive looked at him cooly. "About Mrs. Simmons. Her circumstances...."
Frechette exhaled, anger in his eyes, looking at the detective, yet speaking in afalse calm voice. "And I have questions for you. Like what happpened here? And where's Clire Allen?"
Claire was freezing