A Thorned Spectrum.

Crimson roses are beginning to appear around Spectrum Street... but who is causing this mystery?

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1. A Thorned Dawn

Sun floods through my windows, illuminating the dust mites that swarm the room. My neck's supported by two pillows, both of which are encased in My Chemical Romance pillow covers. The matching sheet's twisted around my legs, insulating them from the February cold.

I check the iPod dock next to me - 8:30am. Oh god, I'm gonna be late. It's Valentine's Day, I realise, but there's not time to celebrate until I've finished work. Almost tripping up over my duvet-bound legs, I tumble out of bed and hurry to pull on some vaguely smart clothes - skinny jeans, a fitted cotton blouse and a jersey blazer should do. I bring my layered, red hair into a scruffy ponytail, grab my keys from the desk and run downstairs.

Giovanna's on the sofa with a slice of toast in one hand and her tablet in the other, scrolling through a webpage.

"Hey, Grace!" she grins, wiping a trace of melted butter from her lips.

"Why didn't you wake me up?" I snap playfully in return.

Giovanna looks apologetic and slightly scared for a minute, before she realises I'm kidding.

"Have a good day." she smiles pleasantly.

"You too." I reply, pulling my hat from the sofa and jamming it over my head.

 

I take a step outside the door. I feel my Converse shoes step over something. Curious, I move my foot and look at what I was stepping on. A rose. A skinny-stemmed, red as red rose.

Teoh is my first thought. Teoh's my boyfriend - he works at the same magazine as me, and we took the same course at Southampton University. But then I look down the street, along the three other houses beyond mine, and a rose rests in the porch of every single one of them.

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