Knock Knock

I heard someone knock loudly, and then there was a scream.

A body was found. Could be illness, old age... but it wasn’t - because the next day two bodies were found.

Knock knock, who’s there? The joke is far from over...

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9. True

I'm not entirely sure what made me trust Daniel. When I first saw him I thought he would be the same - good-looking but arrogant, single but uninterested. When you live in a town like La Roche it's hard to trust people. My parents could hardly afford to put a roof over my head. Food was a rare luxury. We were crippled by taxes, crippled by fear of Jack Hunter's cruel regime. I remember once when I went to collect water with my father. He was grumbling because his old boots didn't fit any more, and I, as usual, wasn't paying much attention to him. 

"I can't stand this anymore," he said. It was a Wednesday - tax collection day - and he had just had his few coins taken from him; no wonder he was miserable. But I was fed up.

"Two things are certain in life, father: death and taxes," I snapped, hoisting the bucket of water onto my shoulders. He wasn't following me. Instead, he sat down by the river, picking up pebbles, skimming them across the water, watching them sink.

"When the death is caused by the taxes, something is not right," he muttered, launching another pebble and watching it shatter the surface of the water. I sighed and turned away, too tired to care for my father's words. Now I wished I had sat down beside him, throwing pebbles into the distance, wishing for a life that was out of reach.

 

Daniel rapped his knuckles on a door that bore Jack Hunter's name. I was hidden, pressed against a wall a few feet away, but still it felt so close. Too close. I bit my lip and shot Daniel a worried glance. He put his finger against his lip, motioning for me to remain silent.

"Knock knock, who's there?" a voice chanted. Daniel twisted open the door, shutting it behind him. I crept up and pressed my ear against the cool wooden door.

"Ah, Daniel!" a voice boomed across the room. 

"Sir," Daniel replied. I could hear his voice crack.

"Have you found her?" he asked. Five seconds. Ten. I heard a sickening crunch.

"Yes." Daniel sounded strange. My heart thumped in my chest. Was this it - would he turn me in?

"Bring her to me." he said.  "Dead."

A creak suggested Jack Hunter had taken a seat. I backed away, into the shadows, too afraid to stay but too afraid to run. The door opened. Daniel looked afraid. He stepped towards me, dragging a hand through his hair in a familiar gesture. I had seen him to that so many times, but I couldn't help think this would be the last.

"Mia, I'm so sorry," he whispered. He took a step closer, reached for my hands. I bit down on my lip, tasted the blood. I waited for the shackles to bind my wrists.

"That wasn't Jack Hunter, Mia," he said, tucking a strand of hair behind my ear. "That was Christopher."

 

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