1 - Shadows - part one
Kathy watched her parents putting their suitcases in the car.
''Honey, if you need anything, don’t hesitate to call your uncle,'' Mrs Bloom reminded her daughter for what felt like the 100th time. Kathy rolled her eyes but nodded and hugged her mum. She was 18, she can take care of herself for a week. Of course, there’d be no reason to call the police.
Her dad hugged her tightly and secretly handed her some money. ''Don’t tell mum,'' he said, winking. She grinned and quickly hid it in her pocket. Mrs Bloom started the car. ’’See you soon, baby,’’ he said and kissed her forehead. She waved them off and watched them leave the street. ‘One week of freedom’ Kathy thought to herself, doing a little victory dance and going inside the house.
Putting on some music, she started baking cookies. Kathy’s day was off to a great start. She was making a mental to-do list of what needed done today. Eventually she concluded that all she needed to do today was to have a bath and study for her chemistry test. And she had all day to get it done. Kathy danced around the kitchen singing and waiting for the cookies. This was something she could most definitely get used to.
Time flew by and the day was coming to an end, so Kathy switched off the TV. She started running a bath for herself, so she could go to her room to get her bath salts and chemistry book. The smell of vanilla filled the bathroom and Kathy lit some rose quartz candles. As she lowered herself into the bath, she thought she heard a door slam. ‘Better safe than sorry,’ she thought grumpily and threw on her silk dressing gown.
Walking slowly around the house, no one was there. She locked the doors to be safe anyway and went back to her bath. For the rest of the night, her house was quiet.
''Kathy, you must throw a party, come on!'' complained June. Kathy was growing annoyed with her best friend.
''For the last time, no!''
’’Because my parents will kill me that’s why. I’ve already got ’Bob the Cop’ waiting to hear from me, I’d love for it to not be because the neighbours complained.’’
''But, like, throwing a party would be awesome! What about just us and the gang?''
’’June, no, you’ll bring ‘just us’ plus 50 people. No.’’
''Ughhhhhhhhh.'' June groaned. ’’Okay, what about just me? I’ll bring drinks and you can have company for the night. Kathy rolled her eyes.
''Dude, you know my parents’ rules,'' she told June.
''Yea, but they won’t know,''
''BOB the COP,'' Kathy answered loudly, flicking June’s nose and wondering how the hell they were friends. They continued this debate for the whole day. Kathy walked home at the end of the day smiling to herself. She was tired and had a lot of homework, but with some work she’d have it done fast.
At home she decided she’d have take-away for dinner and decided to check in with Bob as well. Two phone calls later, she had noodles and a happy uncle. An hour later Kathy threw her books into her bag. Finally, all done. She put on her pj’s and switched on the TV.
Kathy jumped. She definitely heard it this time.
’’June, I swear to God, if that’s you you’re dead meat.’’ Nothing.
Kathy gulped and grabbed the TV remote – pretty pathetic weapon, but all she had now. She got her phone ready, in case she would actually have to call the police. Every room was empty.
''I’m going crazy,'' she said out loud. Walking back into the living room, she switched off the TV and decided to go for a walk. It was going to be sundown soon, so she’d have plenty time. She got changed and locked the door behind her.
Kathy wandered the neighbourhood, listening to music. Being outside had calmed her down a little and she couldn’t help but feel like she had acted irrationally. Surely there had been no one in the house in the first place.
On her way home she stopped in the supermarket. Armed with chocolate and crisps, she walked home. It was dark now, so she’d taken off her headphones.
Slow footsteps echoed behind her. Kathy glanced behind her. No one was there. She walked home quickly, glad to lock the door behind her. The house was dark. Switching on the lights, she threw her coat on the coat hanger and fell onto the couch, her heart racing.
The kitchen light, she noticed, was on. Kathy couldn’t remember ever leaving a light on before leaving. Getting up, she walked into the kitchen. She took deep breaths, calming herself down. No one was in the kitchen, just a cup she’d...
‘Wait,’ she thought. Did she drink coffee today? She racked her brain. Kathy couldn’t remember whether she had coffee that day, but she was confident she’d not made herself any. Shrugging, she put it in the dishwasher and switched off the light.
Kathy woke up tired. Her alarm was going off, but she couldn’t be bothered to go to school. Groaning, she switched it off and went downstairs. The coffee cup was on the same spot as yesterday. She raised an eyebrow, but shrugged and put it in the dishwasher again, pulling out a fresh cup. A cup of coffee would be just what she needs today. The coffee maker whirred as she ran upstairs for a jumper.
It was a mental race between the sleeves of the jumper and the coffee maker. The coffee maker was currently winning. Kathy slid along the hallway, giggling to herself, imagining how it would appear to a stranger looking in. Sipping her coffee, she checked her phone for texts. One was from June, one from her parents.
She closed her phone and drank her coffee. The house was quiet, the pattering of the rain on the living room window the only noise. Once done, all she had to do was get dressed and grab her bag. Thirty minutes later, she was in school.
The day dragged on slowly, since June was off with a hangover. Eventually, the last lesson finished, and Kathy could go home. As she walked along her street, she noticed the door wide open. She froze. Could she have not closed it properly? Reaching for her pepper spray, she warily walked towards the house. The house was empty, yet Kathy couldn’t help but feel a sense of being watched. She shrugged it off and locked the door behind her.
She woke up tired again. ‘Only 3 more days until Friday,’ she told herself. Throwing on her silk dressing gown, she wandered along the house. The cup was on the bench, but she didn’t think anything of it today either. Yesterday was a long night studying, so she probably just forgot.
Checking the door, it was still locked. Kathy had goosebumps remembering the day before. As she left the house today, she made a point to lock the door behind her, even pulling on the handle to make sure of it.
June didn’t show up at school again, so Kathy was left to herself. She sat with her classmates at lunch, reading and waiting for the day to pass. Something felt odd, but she wasn’t quite sure what. The day finally came to an end and Kathy raced home, just so she could assure herself no one was home. She sped down her street, ignoring the neighbours’ greetings and ran to the house. As she turned to her house, her heart stopped. The door was unlocked. Again. Kathy pulled out her phone, ready to call the police. No one was in the house. She slammed the door and locked it. Why was this happening to her??
Her eyes wouldn’t shut that night. Kathy contemplated calling her uncle but decided to leave him alone. He would be tired from work anyway. Around 3am she heard shuffling downstairs. Grabbing her switchblade from under her pillow, she carefully walked down the stairs.
The kitchen light was on, and the coffee maker was whirring. Her heart started racing wildly as she quickly ran back to her room to call the police. Phone and blade in hand, she walked towards the kitchen. The door was locked, and it seemed like no windows were open. How could they have gotten in?
Kathy slowly creeped towards the entrance. When she was only two steps away, the lights flickered. A step closer, they switched off completely. Her heart stopped. Flipping open her blade, she quickly switched on the kitchen light. Empty.
To be continued....