It’s crazy how you can be rocking along, living life the best way you know how, and then something like this happens and in a moment everything comes crashing down around you. I seriously woke up this morning, Kyle sleeping between Carrie and I, feeling like every bit of color had been drained out of the damn world. My stomach is still in a knot, but at least Kyle’s safe. Thank you for all of the support. We’ve never dealt with anything like this before, and hopefully never will again, and it’s nice to know people care. Here’s what’s happened since my last post.
Detective Carr dropped by the house last night around 7:00 p.m. I could tell he’d had a long day—his thinning hair was a bit frazzled like he’d been running his hand through it and texts and calls kept popping up on the cell phone which he’d dropped on our coffee table. He put the phone on silent and slid it into the case on his belt as if to say *I’ve had enough for today, thank you very much*.
He reminded me about the plainclothes officers he dispatched to Orange Circle at 3 o’clock yesterday. The cruiser stayed parked in a nearby driveway with a clear view of lot 3 for the better part of an hour, he said. The officers didn’t see anyone, which didn’t really surprise me. That culdesac backs up to an undeveloped forested area, which means whoever wrote the note could have come and gone without using Orange Circle. Likely the reason he chose it.
When no one showed, the officers walked down the street and took a quick look around. The house is abandoned, just like I thought, but they found one of the back doors pried open. They couldn’t go in (no search warrant yet), but they’re requesting one today.
The detective asked a lot of questions and Carrie and I answered them to the best of our ability. Have we made any enemies lately? Has anything happened at the church? Have we seen anyone strange at Kyle’s tee ball games? Good questions without good answers. We racked our brains, but couldn’t come up with anything that would set someone off like this. Carr seems to think it’s someone we know, or at least, who knows us. Someone smart, probably with a college education.
The forensics lab has the note and they’re checking it for fingerprints, but the detective thinks this guy is too smart for that. Also, fingerprints are only helpful if the person has been arrested before. I have a sinking feeling this person never has been. He’s also requested the entire missing persons file on Suzanne Kerrington. They keep those old case files in the basement of City Hall and he’s hoping it can be tracked down. Maybe it will have some clues as to who this guy is.
When the detective left, I realized I felt exposed. Vulnerable. I started questioning every stern word I’ve ever spoken, every slight I’ve dished out—no matter how small—and every one of my relationships. Had Carrie and I somehow brought this on ourselves with something we said or did? The way we treated someone? It’s like that guilt you feel when you’re trying to go to sleep but you know there’s something you’ve left undone. You know it’s useless to think about, but your brain won’t listen. It’s awful trying to rationalize why something like this is happening to you.
Last night we slept—if you can call it that—with Kyle between us. He’s still going to school, because frankly it’s safer there. You can’t get in without being buzzed in and there are security cameras everywhere. Even if this sicko is one of his teachers, which I highly doubt, he wouldn’t dare do something to Kyle out in the open. That’s not his game.
Our cameras are being installed this afternoon. They couldn’t come yesterday, but I wish to God they had. I saved this part for last, because transcribing this made my skin crawl.
This morning, when she went out to get the paper, Carrie found a single, white envelope in our mailbox. Inside was a folded note.
Dean and Carrie,
Brilliant, just brilliant!
(I know what you did).
Did you really think I wouldn’t see?
I WARNED YOU that talking
would bring me a-knocking
and now there is NOWHERE to flee.
You’ve broken your vow
(and you both know by now)
You’ve brought this down on your own heads,
I gave you a chance,
But in this soundless dance
You only get one ‘fore you’re dead.
Remember that I am the faceless,
the shadow that hunts in the night.
Or no one, and clearly,
You’re both unprepared for this fight.
A reprieve, I believe,
(though short, I admit)
is in order before we begin.
If I can’t get to Kyle
I’ll paint on my smile
AND START WITH ONE OF HIS FRIENDS.
I heard Carrie scream as I was sitting down at the breakfast table. I swear, that feeling of dread that coursed through me felt just like an electric current. I knocked my cereal bowl from the table as I scrambled out of my seat and toward the front of the house. I opened the door just as she reached it, and she collapsed into my arms, hysterical. She was only barely holding things together before.
Now, she’s just broken. I don’t know what we’re going to do.
I think Detective Carr is going to put something in the paper tomorrow. And I’ll have to talk to Kyle about this, finally. I didn’t want to needlessly scare him, but it’s time he knows. I really want to just get the hell out of here, but it seems impossible. We have no savings to speak of, I’m paying off student loans, and we have bills. We can’t just leave our jobs. Until we figure this out, we’re stuck here.
Stuck here, questioning the motive of every person we come across, thinking is that him?