She approached the door slowly, fear and apprehension building within her. She didn’t know why she felt so on edge; it was probably the news report. But then who would be knocking at her door at this time?
The handle was cold and smooth beneath her touch and she had to take a deep breath. The figure standing behind the frosted glass of the door was unidentifiable; dressed in black and standing too far away for her to get a really good look at them. She hesitated.
‘Jenna?’ the voice behind the door said. ‘Is that you?’
‘Oh.’ She pulled the door open and sagged in relief, suddenly feeling incredibly stupid.
‘Why do you look so tense?’ her big brother crossed the threshold, giving her a weird look. She hadn’t seen Tom in about a week; he was always either out with his girlfriend or stopping round his friend’s house. Her nineteen year old brother practically left her as an only child, which was fine by her. Still, she was happy to see him all the same.
‘Nothing,’ she shrugged. ‘You made me jump that’s all.’
He walked straight through the kitchen and into the conservatory attached to the back of the house; his makeshift bedroom for the nights he stopped at home.
‘You forget your keys or something?’ she followed him.
‘Yeah, left them at Hannah’s,’ he replied, referring to his girlfriend.
‘Of course you did. You’re so disorganised.’
‘You’re one to talk.’
She smiled at that and left him alone, returning back to the living room. The telly had cut to the adverts now, some shampoo commercial Jenna had seen hundreds of times. The world had seemed to go back to normality, despite the fact that there were two less occupants in it. Jenna wondered to herself if the killer would strike again, and mostly importantly, who would their next victim be? Askyn village wasn’t too far from where she lived, perhaps only about fifteen miles or so.
Bridgehill University was even closer.
She shivered once, pushed the dark thoughts to the back of her mind and went into the kitchen to get the drink she had originally come downstairs for.
* * * * *
The buzz of the small café was inviting. All around her, people chattered away blissfully unaware of the murders that would rip this small town apart should the killer intend to do so. Jenna had had a fitful night’s sleep, for reasons she couldn’t even begin to explain all she could think about was the murderer. How he or she was still out there, how they could strike at any time. She couldn’t stop it. Nobody could.
But now, she lost herself in the gentle collective murmur of the voices that surrounded her. Emily was late, precisely ten minutes late, but this was nothing new; she was renowned for being tardy. It was part of her charm though. Jenna checked her phone to see if she had missed a call from her best friend, curious as to what was keeping her so long.
‘Jenna!’ The voice from behind her made her whirl round in surprise.
‘Emily! I didn’t see you there.’ She gave her friend a warm hug. ‘It’s good to see you. Ten minutes later than we planned…’
‘Sorry,’ Emily grinned. Did Jenna imagine the blush that crept into her friend’s cheeks? ‘Got held up.’
‘Oh, by who?’
‘Just a guy.’ She laughed slightly, uncomfortable.
‘Spill it.’ Jenna plucked the menu from the stand and began skimming it, waiting for details.
‘Nothing to spill,’ Emily replied. ‘Just saw a guy and got talking. He got my number. We’re meeting tomorrow.’
‘So you gave a guy you met off the streets your number?’ Jenna arched an eyebrow, lowering the menu and looking right at her friend. Emily was a fun, lively girl who believed in living life to the fullest, never missing a second, never looking back and all that crap. She flirted with guys shamelessly, was out clubbing every weekend and her confidence was through the roof. But why shouldn’t it be? With her bright red hair and gorgeous figure, she had every reason to be perfectly sure of herself. Beneath her exterior though, Jenna knew that she was insecure and desperate for attention. It all contributed to the fact that her parents left her home alone every other week as they jetted off to another vastly expensive ‘romantic’ vacation.
The two girls spent the rest of the afternoon gossiping and giggling, catching up on what they’d missed when they’d been apart.
They were completely unaware of the boy watching them from the café window with a steely gaze and a morbid grin that twisted his sardonic features.