I got home late that night, still lightheaded from my time with Jade. I grabbed the key that hung under the potted plant on the wall, inserted it into the knob, and turned. There was no resistance. I frowned and turned the knob. It was unlocked. That was strange, my mum usually never left the house unlocked. I stepped inside, a strange feeling of insecurity beginning to well up inside me. "Mum?" I called, frowning. There was no answer.
Then I heard a sob.
My mum was sitting in the living room, a tissue pressed to her mouth. Her eyes were riveted on the flashing television set.
My mouth fell open at the scene of destruction on the screen. The camera was trained on an all-too familiar kitchen, but it was barely recognizable. Blood covered everything. The scrolling banner at the bottom of the screen read TWO FOUND MURDERED, MUTILATED IN HOME.
A woeful-looking reporter was standing outside of Jerry's house, looking into the camera with a trained air of detached pity. I clenched my fists, sickened, barely able to take it all in.
"...while the scene here is terrifying, perhaps the most frightening thing about this crime is the message left in the backyard. Flaming letters, poured in gasoline and set ablaze, bear this warning..." The camera flashed to Jerry's backyard. Ten-foot letters of fire read THE GAME IS ALMOST UP.
I turned away and was sick.