The older man hauled the last of the suitcases out of the car by himself and slammed the trunk closed. Just as the car beeped and locked, he had the strange sense that he was being watched and felt the hairs on the back of his neck prickle. Being a police chief and relocating from the big city, his senses had strengthened when it came to self-preservation. He straightened abruptly, and when he looked around, saw nobody familiar in his company, turned towards the wood that bordered the property line. Shadows were dancing along the trunks of trees with the setting sun, and a light wind was rustling through the leaves. Victor couldn’t hear any twigs snapping like in the movies, but he was sure that if he was close enough, it would probably happen. However, he couldn’t help but silently pray that he hadn’t seen a dark figure hunching in the shadows, watching him just as intensely as he was watching it.
A shrill, but familiar voice rang through the yard, yanking Victor from disturbing thoughts.
“Coralie! Come unpack your bags!” Victor jumped at the sound of Tina hollering out the front door, thankful that she had called her daughter instead of making him do it. After all, her bag was the heaviest, and she never listened to him anyways.
The man started toward the blue farmhouse, yet still felt uneasy. He whirled around immediately, completely freaked out, but when his gaze fell onto the spot where he thought he saw the figure, there was nothing but an entrance into the woods. He’d never walked so fast in his life, never retreated into the safety of a house so quickly.
Tina shot him a weird look when he entered the house, but continued to scope the property for their daughter. There was no sight of her.
“Where do you think Cora went?” The woman asked her husband when she slammed the screen door and followed him into the house. Victor journeyed up the wooden staircase with luggage clutched in his large hands. He didn’t answer her until he’d already unzipped the floral suitcase in Coralie’s assigned bedroom. His wife was never patient and immediately began pacing the length of the empty bedroom.
“Let me think for a second, Tina. Probably anywhere that doesn’t involve human contact,” Victor said angrily as he shoved a pair of jeans roughly into one of the dresser drawers.
Tina shook her head and sighed audibly. “Victor, you’re being too hard on her. Maybe this is her time – she can finally blossom into the flower we’ve raised her to be.”