Eclipse first noticed something was wrong when Victoria had stopped coming to visit her at night, after the first time, Eclipse had asked Victoria if she was angry with her? Victoria had smiled at her and told her of course not, she had just been to tired, but Eclipse wasn't sure she believed her, especially as Victoria looked like she'd recently been crying. After Victoria failed to show up a further three nights, Eclipse had decided to go and see her.
She waited until she was sure Chapman had checked in on everyone and gone back to his office work, then slipped out of her room. Hers was on the top of four floors, Victoria and Ryans rooms on the next, with the bathroom, and the three younger boys on the next. She slipped on her pink dressing gown and tip toed down the stairs, trying to stay low and quiet, the floor boards creaked loudly. Eclipse reached the bottom of her stair case, then froze, she could hear someone coming up the stairs, but they hadn't turned the landing light on?
Eclipse crouched down low and waited for whoever it was. It was Chapman, he was carrying a large steaming cup, he stopped by Ryans door and put his ear to it, smiling a moment later at whatever it was he had heard. Then he moved to the next door, the one with a huge boy band poster on it, Chapman regard it for a moment, he looked upset, as if the good looking boys in the photo had done something wrong?
He put his ear to Victorias door, looked back down the hall quidkly, then opened it, smiling through to where Victoria must have been in her bed, and walked in, closing the door. Eclipse snuck out of the shadows on the stairs and crossed the landing to the door, she put her own little ear to it, holding back her long dark brown hair, and listened,
"Here we go, sweet heart, just to help you sleep!", Chapmans voice, he sounded different, less like a fun teacher, and more like someone trying to persuade a child to take a medicine they didn't want, she didn't like the voice, it just sounded wrong!
"But I don't need help sleeping!", Victoria sounded scared,
"Victoria!",he voice was high pitched, "don't be a bad girl, drink your hot milk!",
Eclipse couldn't hear anymore aftert that, their voices dropped to low, she snuck back to the stairs, knowing she should just go back to her room, yet someone telling her she should wait, make sure Victoria was OK. So she waited, she waited so long she even began falling asleep, then the door finally clicked op, and Chapman walked out, he was carrying the cup, which now appeared to be empty. He closed the door quietly, then turned so Eclipse could see his face, lit up by the moon light, shinning in through a window across the landing, he looked pleased with himself, very pleased, he turned back to the poster and said to the photograph,
"See....It's me che wants!", then he strolled away, back down the stairs.
Eclipse waited for a while, then went to Victorias door, she opened it as quietly as she could, and slipped inside. Victorias head was just visible above her duvet, Eclipsed moved across the room to her, she reached out with a tiny trembling hand, and tugged at her shoulder, she did not move. From the way she was breathing, Eclipse realised she was in fact asleep, perhaps she had been wrong? Maybe Chapman had just been bringing her some milk?
Eclipse left the room, blowing Victoria a kiss from the door, then headed back up to her own room, scrambling into her own bed, wishing she could sleep. The next morning, when the six children were eating breakfast, five of them getting ready for school and Eclipse, who was still off, her psychologist still not satisfied she was ready to go back, he wasn't convinvced that she should be back in an enviroment that couldn't always be montiored properlly, he didn't think she was ready for the kind of questions the other children would eventually ask, most impoertantly, why she wasn't living with her daddy anymore!
Eclipse was left at the house all day, Chapman had aquired school work books for her age, setting her lessons for each day, which she happily completed at her bedroom window, watching people shopping and working in the town centre, she just wished it wasn't so loud all the time! That evening, the three boys arrived him at four O'clock, one of the carers meeting them from the primary school just down the road, Ryan usually wondered back in around six form dinner, usually covered in mud and smelling strongly like cigarettes. Victoria was usually home at about five, staying out with friends after school, but that evening, when Ryan wakled in, knocking one of the littler boys out of his way to trundle upstairs, Victoria still wasn't back?
By nine, the carers were becoming very concerned, the homes curfew was eight thirty. Victoria had, apparently, only been out past curfew once before, but she had called the home to explain her friends father, who was meant to drive her home, had not returned from work yet, but wouldn't be long! The carers went to call the police, Chapman stayed with Eclipse, he was sitting at the head of the kitchen table, the three small boys in their room, Ryan in his, probably smoking out the window as usual. Eclipse watched him, he was staring into space, running a finger a cross his lip, he seemed very anxious!
At half past ten, Chapman and the other carers insisted that Eclipse go to bed, even if she wasn't going to sleep, as she climbed the stairs, she heard Chapman tell the others there was nothing else they could do, and to go home. Eclipse passed Victorias door, her heart panged, she missed Victoria, and something inside told Eclispe, she was never coming back. Eclipse opened her bedroom door and went straight for her chair, she would just sit here and wait, just in case Victoria did come home.
Midnight came, and still nothing, the police had been by to tell Chapman they had checked out all of Victorias friends and all her hang outs, including the school, but as yet, nothing had been found, they were convinced her friends knew nothing, and as nothing was missing from her room, if she had run away, it was a spare of the moment idea, and she would probably come back of her own accord, considering her age, it was unlikely she'd been snatched, but they would be dropping in on the sex offenders on their lists for the area, just as part of their enquiries.
Now, nothing, just drunks trying to get home, the occassional car zooming past. Eclipse had her face in her hands, not really looking at anything anymore, lost in thought about the previous night, the voices she heard, how scared Victoria had sounded, the tone Chapman had used. Then there was a knock at her door, then it opened. Chapman walked in, closing the door quietly,
"Hello, Eclipse, how are you feeling?", Eclipses neck hair stood on end, he was using the same voice she's heard the night before, he walked over to her, putting a cup of warm milk in front of her,
"I just thought I'd bring you something to help you sleep!", he bent down next to her, Eclipse didn't like how close he was,
"You miss Victoria, don't you? So do I", he did look very upset, his eyes were red, asthough he'd been crying,
"You know", he continued, "we should be helping each other through this!", Eclipse sat a little further back in her chair, she didn't like the way he was smiling at her, "Do you love Victoria, Eclipse?",
"So do I!", his voice getting slightly higher with each word, "and she loves me!", his face turned into a wide grin, as though he were boasting, "we used to play games together, she liked my games, do you love me, Eclipse?!", she didn't know what to say, she didn't want to make him angry, so she nodded, his grin widened,
"Why don't you drink your milk?", he asked
"I don't want any milk", she replied in a whisper of a voice,
"But I made it for you, you don't want to upset me, do you?!", he actually looked very concerned, he was confusing her, why did he want her to drink the milk so badly, it was only milk!
"No thank you!", she said, slightly louder, more clearly.
The grin vanished from Chapmans face, he stood up and began pacing the room, eventually stopped, facing her, his eyes narrowing,
"You know what I think!", he said, all trace of attempted sweetness gone from his tone, "I think, YOU told Victoria to go!", Eclipses heart began to race faster and faster, she didn't understand, why would she make Victoria leave? She'd loved Victoria like a big sister!
"NO!", Eclipse yelled back,
"You told her to leave because you want me for yourself!", he sneered at her, forcing the words through gritted teeth, "You couldn't stand her having me to herself, could you! No! You told her that you wanted me and that I didn't love her! DIDN'T YOU??!!", he stormed over towards her, Eclipse didn't know what to do, so she did the only sensible thing she could think of, and caled out for the closest thing to an adult left in the house,
"RYAAN!!!!", she screamed, "RYAAN HELP!!",
Chapman laughed, "No point calling for piggy!", he leered over her, she felt glued to the chair, unable to move through sheer terror, "Piggy was a good little porker!", Chapman continued, "and drank all his milk! He'll be asleep for hours!!". Chapman bent down low again, his narrowed eyes bore into hers, he reached out, and put his hand on her bare knee, "So, now you have me to yourself, what are you going to do with me?!", he smiled again, his hand slowly moving up her leg.
Eclipsed lepped out of her chair and ran across the room, Chapman stood up, still smiling,
"Ooh, your a little tease aren't you!", he slowly started across the room, moving into the only passage between the bed and the door, cutting off any escape route, accept over the bed. Eclsipses whole body was shaking, every inch of her trembling so hard, she thought she might shake to pieces! Chapman was at the foot of the bed, maybe if she could jump over the bed and out the door, she could run to Ryans room and try to wake him!
Eclipses jumped onto the bed and tried to slide over, but a large hand grabbed her ankle and pulled her back,
"See!", he said in triumph, "you just can't wait!", he pulled her close and pulled her nighty to her waist, then to her horror, he began undoing his belt,
"Lets see if you enjoy me as much as Victoria did!", his flies open, he put his hand down over her mouth, pinning and silencing her, he looked away, and put his free hand into his under pants, then screamed and let Eclipse go, he looked at his hand, it was burning like he'd just put it on a hot stove! The skin was dark red, even blackened in places, huge blisters had coverd his palm, he couldn't move his fingers! Chapman looked down at Eclipse, and screamed, her eyes, notrils, mouth were filled with blazing white light! An aura had engulfed her whole body, he was almost blinded just trying to look at her!
Chapman fell off the bed as it began convulsing up and down, crashing on its feet, Eclipse sat up, her face contorted with rage and anger, even her thick, long hair had turned a brilliant shade of white, she looked down at him, her aura and eyes growing brighter, then dimmer, then even brighter, the speed of the fluctuations getting faster each time. Chapman watched in absolute fear, his mind snapped completely, he stared, transfixed in madenss at the burning, white angel of death, before the bed, then the room and him, were consummed in an explosive ball of emense, white light!
The next thing Eclipse knew, she was being carried, two huge arms, one under her legs, the other supporting her head and neck, she felt like a little baby again, then everything went black. When she finally came to, Eclipse was looking up into the eyes of a woman, she was beautiful, but stern looking, her hair tight back in a very tight bunch, thin reading glasses percehed on the end her nose, her lips pursed, she slowly smiled as she realised Eclipse was awake,
"Do not be scared, Eclipse, you are with people who can help you now!", her voice was stern, but also reassuring, at that moment, however, Eclipse really didn't care, she just wanted to sleep, she had had to be quiet brave and adult enough for one night.
One Hour Later;
Faulkner parked his own car on the outskirts of the scene, dozens of vehicles, police, paramedic and fire were parked along the relatively small road,
"Oh Jesus, not again!", he muttered to himself as he closed the car door, and pinned his warrant card open, putting it in his shirts chest pocket. He pushed and poked his way through crouds of people, who had all gathered around the site after hearing the blast, the children's home stood alone, on the corner of Willow Tree road, some of the flying debris had hit other houses, but no one else was hurt, the children's home was a different matter! Faulkner finally spotted his own Inspector, a tall, tower of a man names Bailey,
"Inspector", Faulkner greeted his superior,he took in the scene, there was nothing left of the house, barely a brick lay intact, the cloud of dust its destruction had raised, not yet settled, fire fighters and police men all over it trying to hear for survivors, so far they were having no luck, the paramedics were checking supplies, getting ready to be called in to help someone,
"Chris? What are you doi......", he broke off, "Oh, of couse, the girl!", he looked somber,
"Where did you find her? Is she OK?!",
"Wow, wow, slow down Chris, look, we need to talk!", he led Faulkner back to his own car, "Chris, we haven't found anyone yet, its been over an hour and the house wasn't that big", Chris just stared at Bailey, "We've been looking for over an hour now, If we were going to find anyone....",
"Yeah, I know!", Chris interrupted, "but Eclipse wasn't in the house last time, she was found five hundred yards away in the park!",
"Chris we've been over the entire area, all we can find is debris!", he opened the car door for Faulkner, almost pushing him in,
"How many people were in that house?", Chris asked, Bailey sighed, leaning down to the window,
"Six Chris, five kids and the lead carer, guy called Chapman!",
"Chapman?....Chapman?? Why do I know what name?!", Faulkner replied,
"He was the teacher accused of raping a pupil a couple of years ago!", Faulkner's stomach dropped, he could feel his skin turning cold, everything was becoming that much clearer.
"Look, take tomorrow off, you've barely slept in days, If we find anything, we'll call you, OK?!", Bailey tapped the roof of the car, and turned to walk back towards the chaotic scene. Faulkner didn't looked convinced, in fact he looked as though he would rather get back out of the car and help searching, "just go home, Chris, please!", but he wasn't asking.
Faulkner nodded to the Inspector, fastened his seat belt and drove away, slowly, his eyes combing both sides of the road, looking for any sign of Eclipse, but she wasn't there, yet he could not shake the feeling, the same feeling he'd had nine months ago, the feeling that was endangering his career, breaking up his marriage and kept him studying the case off duty, the feeling that he would see that poor, sad little girl again.