Pauline Harris kissed her young daughter’s goodnight before heading back downstairs. Sophie was in the kitchen cleaning up the dinner table when her mother walked in.
“It’s such a shame what happened to Anna and Rebecca’s parents. And poor Rebecca, how are you feeling?” Her mother asked her. Anna and Rebecca were both Sophie’s best friends from school. Pauline found it hard to talk to her daughter since they heard the news about Rebecca’s death. Sophie had broken into tears and she didn’t stop crying for hours. How could there be someone so cruel in the world to murder a child. Rebecca Charles still had a life ahead of her and now it’s been ripped away from her.
“Are the girls asleep now?” Sophie sighed.
“Rachel is asleep, but I think Lily is pretending as usual.” Pauline laughed.
“She will fall asleep eventually.” Sophie smiled. Pauline grabbed a cloth from in the sink and started to wipe down the table. She picked up the placemats and cleaned them too.
“Want me to put them in the drawer?” Sophie asked. Pauline handed Sophie the placemats and she put them neatly in the drawer by the sink.
“Have you spoke to Anna recently?” Pauline asked.
“I haven’t recently, but I have heard that she is due to come back to school next week.” Sophie told her. “The last time I heard from her was when she called me about Rebecca. The police were asking about me and I believe they want to talk to me. Probably because I’m close to Anna and Rebecca.” Sophie mentioned.
“You don’t have to go to school tomorrow. You can take some time off, they will understand. You’ve lost a close friend.” Pauline said. Sophie glanced up and Pauline saw tears in her daughter’s eyes. She put the cloth down on the table and wrapped her arms around Sophie. Her tears were falling again for the third time today. Pauline didn’t say anything and just let her daughter cry.
Pauline grabbed a clean tea towel and started to dab Sophie’s eyes. Sophie giggled.
“Alright mum, you can stop now.”
They both paused for a moment when they heard a noise coming from the living room.
“Lily has probably come down. I will go and put her back to bed.” Pauline said as she headed off into the living room.
Sophie turned back to the last of the dishes and when she finally finished, she started to wipe down the counter tops. She folded the cloth and put it next to the sink. She turned around to find a man in a mask standing there. He put his finger to his lips, but Sophie was frozen to the spot. Her heart was thumping in her chest and her eyes were wide. She knew he was the man who killed Anna and Rebecca’s parents and Rebecca. Sophie screamed as loud as she could, but the man launched forward, putting his hand over her mouth. He pushed her against the counter as she tried hard to fight him back. He put his free hand around her neck and started to squeeze.
Pauline came rushing down the stairs after hearing Sophie screaming. She ran into the kitchen and saw the masked man choking her daughter. She grabbed the glass chopping board and smashed it over his head. He let go of Sophie instantly and she ran to her mothers side. Pauline pulled her daughter behind her as the masked man turned to face them. He reached over to the knife block and grabbed the biggest one there. He pushed forward towards Pauline as she protected Sophie.
He jabbed the knife and missed Pauline as she dodged it. She dragged Sophie around the kitchen counter, heading for the phone. The man stopped her and pushed her back, jabbing once again. Pauline crashed into the back of the counter and he stabbed her right in the chest. She looked down at the knife in horror as she heard Sophie screech behind her. She turned to Sophie and fell into her arms. They both dropped to the floor as she struggled to hold her mother’s weight.
“Mum,” Sophie shouted. Sophie glanced up to see the masked man had disappeared. The tears were falling down her cheeks as her mother struggled to breathe. Sophie could hear faint sirens coming towards them. “Hang on mum, hang on.” She whispered. Sophie glanced up to see a figure standing in the kitchen doorway. Lily was standing there with a phone in her hand.
“Sophie,” Lily trembled. She saw her mother laying in her older sister’s arms.
“Lily, the police are coming. Go and wait by the front door and lead them straight in here.” Sophie told her. Lily nodded and ran out of the door.
Sophie could hear her mothers breathing becoming wheezy, getting quicker and quicker until it came to a stop.
“Mum,” Sophie trembled. She shook her gently, hoping it would wake her up. “Mum,” she whimpered as the tears started to fall down her cheeks and dripping onto her mothers face. She shook her again but fiercer. “Don’t you dare go, not now. Mum,” Sophie yelled. The blood spread around them. Sophie glanced up to see Lily running back inside with two paramedics. She already knew it was too late. The police officers guided Lily out.
A female police officer put her hand on Sophie’s shoulder. She glanced up to see the officer, but she didn’t want to leave her mum. The officer convinced Sophie to come with her and when she stood up, she was covered in her mother’s blood. She followed the officer outside and a paramedic wrapped her in a blanket. She was guided to the back of an ambulance as they checked her over.
“Rachel, she’s upstairs.” Sophie said. The police officer nodded and headed back into the house.