The walk home with Santiago seemed a lot quicker than it actually was. They talked about everything and anything, school, work, family.
Alys told him about the arguement she'd had with her family before going out earlier that evening, and about how her brother Dan, was in the army, and was home on leave for tonight, and would be gone for another two weeks.
Santiago liked talking about Alys' life, and encouraged her to carry on as much as possible. He liked that the simple things in her world kept him thinking about his own.
"And so I only went out tonight to leave the Fleur De Lis. Kyle - he was kinda my boyfriend- is the leader, and he went mental. It was him who shot up the diner. Oh, Santiago, I'm so so sorry for that! I really am."
For the second time that night, he stopped her dead in her tracks, and looked her straight in the eyes.
" I told you. Not your fault. Stop blaming yourself. I'm going to walk you home, your going to sort things out with your family, everything will be fine. Ok?"
She nodded at him wordlessly, and they continued to walk towards her home.
They reached her house in silence; it seemed empty. The lights were off, and there was no sound. The idea that they too had gone out for the evening crossed Alys' mind.
" Well, I guess this is goodbye. It was amazing to meet you, Santiago. Really. " She grabbed him and hugged him so tight, he thought she wouldn't let go. He didn't really mind that.
He let her go, and kissed her softly. She didn't really mind that either.
"I'll see you tomorrow?" He asked her quietly.
"Sure" She answered, completely devoid of intelligent thought. He grinned, kissed her again, and walked away with the pace of someone who didn't want to be alone on the streets.
Alys fumbled with her keys in the lock, but managed to let herself in without too much of a trauma. She stopped in the doorway. Didn't even take two steps into the hall. She noticed that scratched just above the front door handle, was a small fleur de lis.
Blood covered the walls in places she didn't think it possible to reach. Like someone had painted it there. Literally. A wave of nausea passed over her, but she knew that the worst was coming. It felt like she was in some kind of horror movie, and she prayed to God that she wouldn't find her family strung up in some sort of horrific manner.
As she rounded the corner into the living room, the stench hit her. So did the sight of her mother.
She was tied to a chair, her throat cut so deep her spinal cord was severed and her head was held on by a single flap of skin on the left side. Someone had been kind enough to balance her head back on to her neck.
Her eyes, once a bright, lively blue, were now dull, and lifeless. There was a look of betrayal in them, and Alys couldn't bear to make eye contact.
There was hardly any blood on her clothes, and Alys assumed, with a sick feeling in her stomach, that someone had caught the blood in a container.
She walked past her mother, and laid on the floor behind the sofa, was Dan. Any composure she had left disintegrated as she saw her older, stronger, faster brother crumpled and broken in the corner of the place they had called home for their entire lives.
His hands were tied behind his back, helpless. He couldn't have even defended himself. She cried silently, tears streaking down her face. This wasn't how he'd wanted to go. Dan had wanted to die at war, in a blaze of glory, not tied down like an animal.
She gasped as she got a good look at what was left of his face. They had bludgeoned him to death.
She couldn't take anymore, and there was no telling what state her father was in, wherever he was. She ran from the living room, back through the blood-stained hallway, and out into the street, collapsing on the floor in hysterics.
After a few deep breaths, she pulled out her phone, and called the police.