I held my phone to my ear and in that moment my whole world stopped. It was crazy how the simple action of answering a call could change everything that I had ever known.
Mere seconds ago I had been a nineteen year old girl from Atlas with a loving family, a beautiful home and my whole life ahead of me. Skip to now and suddenly, in this moment, I was an orphan.
“Did you hear me Quinn?!” Came my best friend’s shrill voice on the other end of the line.
I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t answer. My heart was racing and all I could muster was a small nod of my head.
“Quinn. Quinn are you still there? Did you even hear me?”
I cleared my throat and licked my lips. I could taste the salt from tears that I didn’t even know had been running down my face.
“Yes Cami, I heard you” I whispered.
Cami sucked in a breath and let it out slowly “What are you going to do? You can’t go home, the police are everywhere...obviously...”
Cami trailed off and I knew she was watching my house whilst on the phone to me.
“Does anyone know you are there?” I asked, hoping she hadn’t made her presence known.
“Of course not. I ran here as soon as I got your text but it was too late- oh Quinn! I’m so sorry, there was nothing I could do so I just legged it. Literally two minutes later the cops rocked up, I don’t know how they knew though, I certainly didn’t call them”
I felt a chill run over my body as every hair stood on end. I shivered, I knew who called them. I knew who would want the police involved. Police meant media and media meant that there would be no way I could escape knowing what this sick bastard had done to my only remaining family.
I had grown to know that there were evil people in this world and not just evil people, but evil things.
My parents were...different, they had beliefs and raised me to be as open as possible to all the different beliefs out there.
There were beings that walked amongst us, part animal- part human. I had never come across such beings but my parents made sure that I was educated as to who they were and who I could and couldn’t trust.
The monster that killed my parents was one such being.
I felt the bile rise in my throat and I struggled to swallow it back down. No doubt my parent’s end had been brutal, no doubt it had been bloody.
A sob escaped my lips and I quickly wiped away the new tears that ran down my face.
I wasn’t going to ask Cami how they were killed, the longer I could keep from having that image in my head the better.
“Quinn honey. I’m sorry I wasn’t there with...”
“What? So he could kill you too!? No Cami, I’m glad you weren’t there. There would have been nothing you could have done. I should have been there, I should have known better, he was always going to find me”
The tears were coming thick and fast now. I could feel my chest tightening, my legs were shaking and my face was numb with pins and needles.
Mum and dad were gone. They were gone.
I lent backwards against the brick wall for support and slowly slid my weight down until I was sitting on the ground, my knees firmly held against my body.
“Where are you babe? Let me come to you, you shouldn’t be alone right now” Cami cried.
No, alone is exactly where I should be. If I hadn’t gone back to my parents this never would have happened.
They would still be alive.
It was my fault that my parents were dead and I would have to live with that for the rest of my life.
Cami didn’t know the extent of the trouble I was in, she knew I had a dark secret and she knew I had been running from a horrible man for the last 6 years...but she didn’t know that he wasn’t actually a man.
“You can’t come find me Cami, promise me you won’t ever come looking for me” I whispered into the phone.
“Quinn don’t do this” Cami whined. I knew she was crying which made me sob even harder.
If Cami came to find me then she would end up the same as my parents, or worse. I felt the bile rise in my throat again.
“Goodbye Cami, thanks for everything...” I struggled getting the last word out as I lowered my phone from my ear. I could hear Cami yelling at me on the other end but it didn’t matter what she had to say...I couldn’t see her again, I couldn’t risk her life.
I hung up the phone and put it on the ground next to me.
What was I going to do? I had none of my personal belongings with me, everything was back at the house and I knew I couldn’t go back there. Not that he would think for a second I was stupid enough to go back now, but I still couldn’t risk it.
I stood up slowly, my legs still weak. I took a deep breath.
Breathe Quinn, we have done this before. We can do it again.
I looked down at my phone as it rang and vibrated on the concrete, Cami’s name flashing on the screen.
I knew she wouldn’t let me go that easily.
I lifted my foot and sent it back down, crushing my phone underneath.
“Goodbye Cami” I whispered under my breath. I kicked what was left of the mobile under a nearby hedge and pulled my coat tighter around my body.
It was cold and getting dark, I needed to get moving.
Six years I had been running. Six years.
When I had received the call from my mother three months ago saying that it was finally safe to return home I was elated.
Part of me knew that it was too good to be true but the other part just wanted to see my mum and dad so bloody bad, regardless of the risk.
My parents had told me at a very young age that I was special, that I was something precious. I always just took this as the ramblings of parents that thought their only daughter was the apple of their eye but as I grew older I knew they meant something else.
Whatever this special thing was about me it was enough to have some psychopath hunt me down for the last nineteen years and have me on the run for the last six.
Now it was time to run again but this time I would never be able to stop. I had to change my name, I had to be someone else, I could never be Quinn Roberts again.
6 years ago...
“Mum, I have to leave!” I screamed as I pulled my arm from my mother’s grasp.
My bags were already packed, they had been for weeks but I hadn’t mustered the courage to leave.
“Quinn, let us come too! If you just wait a few more days, let us sort a few things out. We are a family!” Mum cried. She was a mess, violently sobbing as she tried to grab my bag in a frantic attempt to stop me.
Mum was a stunning woman. Long black hair that stopped just above her waist. She was tiny, but fierce. She had these big brown eyes that drew you in and looked straight into your soul. She was my rock, her and dad were my everything.
I pulled the bag back away from her. The hurt in her eyes nearly killed me as she looked at me, pleading with me.
“No mum! You two will only slow me down. I need to do this by myself. It’s not you he is after, it’s me! This is my life we are talking about! Do you want to get me killed?!”
I knew this would wound her. I blinked back the tears as mum gasped at my hurtful words.
She took a step back and placed a hand over her mouth, shaking her head.
I didn’t want to hurt her but I needed to go now, if I stayed any longer he would track me here and mum and dad wouldn’t stand a chance.
“I’m sorry mum. It’s just the way it has to be”
I turned to face her as I walked out the front door.
“Tell dad I’m sorry and that I love him. I love you both”
I didn’t give her time to reply as I slammed the door behind me.
I could hear her wails as I walked away from the house, as I walked away from everything I had ever known.