The Flowers

Spohie is a small-town girl attending her 4th year of college at age 21. The year starts normal, with crushes, bestfriends, and simple girl drama. But then, the notes start coming. Calls from a mystery number fill the answering machine. Flowers are left by the door. But who could be leaving these gifts? At first they seemed harmless, but now her boyfriend is being targeted. Even her ex has been involved. The cute "I <3 you" notes turn violent, and no one can figure out who the stalker is.

Roses are red, violets are blue. You can't see me, but I can see you...

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2. A Favor

     "What is it?" Ilia asked, turning off the raging alarm clock. I just held the note in my hand, shaking my head in disbelief and utter confusion. Eventually, Ilia came and took the note, reading it out loud. "'Did you like my gift?' ...What? That's it? That's not that bad, I don't know what you're so freaked out about!" I looked at her like she was insane.

      "We went to bed at almost 1:00 in the morning, Ilia. It's 5:30 right now. How did they know we were asleep? And how did they get in? Again? I don't know about you, but I find this," I said, snatching the note, "really fucking creepy!"

     "Oh, calm down. It could be a lot worse! Besides, I think it's kinda cute. Little chocolates being sent, rose petals on the bed, it's so romantic! You're lucky to get free stuff. The only free stuff that I get is headaches." The thought of someone breaking into my room and leaving petals on the bed made my stomach churn. Something was seriously wrong. But I just couldn't figure out what.

     I sighed, "Maybe you're right. Maybe I'm just overreacting." I took a deep breath to calm my nerves. I told myself, It's cute, not weird. I'ts harmless, not dangerous. It'll be over soon. I got ready for the day, running those words over and over in my head, trying to convince myself to believe them. But I just couldn't get shake this bad feeling.

    All through my classes, I was zoned out. I stared out of the window, thinking and thinking about who the mystery man was. Or mystery woman... ew. Even now, at lunch, I'm distracted. No guy has ever shown any sign of a crush, but then again, I'm pretty oblivious to that kind of thing. Almost every guy friend that I've had somehow developed a crush on me, told me, and stopped talking to me once I rejected them. I always told them "I just don't date, there's no point to it, not yet." Which really is true. Why date at 7? It won't last. Why date at 16? That won't last either. I promised myself that I'd wait until I was at least 21 and far into school. Obviously I'd already broken my rule with Bredon, who was more of an experiment. I don't take our relationship seriously, and he doesn't either. I've never confronted him about it because I know I'll break it off, but I know that he's cheated on me. Multiple times. Multiple girls. He's a jackass, sure enough, but I really didn't care. I kept hearing this annoying psst and my concentration was broken by one of my friends.

    "Sophie! Hey! Can I have your notes?" It was Joseph, who I had all my classes with. I handed him my blue notebook.

    "The page with the paperclip on it," I said. He eagerly grabbed it, flipping to the page and reading. His mouth twisted into a frown, his brow furrowing. He tossed it back to me.

     "It's like trying to read hy-ro-gli-fivs," he said with mock stupidity. I looked at him with a questioning smile. "The stuff that Egyptians used," he guessed.

     "Hy-ro-gly-fics. You almost had it!" I laughed. He looked at me, some realization dawning on his face. He grinned.

     "So, what's the plan for tomorrow? It's the big 2-1, so there's gotta be booze! It's legal now!" His grin turned into a mischievous smile, his short black hair bringing out the white of his teeth. Aw, shit... my birthday! I've been so busy with mid-terms...I laughed again, "No! No booze! Besides, there is no plan. I completely forgot about my birthday!" He looked at me like I had just murdered someone.

    "What?! How do you forget a birthday?! You haven't got any birthday calls from family yet? Early presents? Hints on a surprise party?" I shook my head. He took my hands and yelled, "You poor thing! You're so deprived of the joys of aging!" This is what I loved about Joseph. No matter what mood I was in, he could always make me smile. It was a great distraction.

    "You do know that birthday calls come on birthdays, right? And a surprise party is meant to be a surprise?" I explained, trying to fight the giggles.

     "You have to have a party! At least invite a few people over! And one of them better be me!" I just shook my head, "No, no party. Not unless someone has been keeping a surprise party a secret really well." We both fell into an awkward silence as we noticed that he was still holding onto my hands. Joseph quickly let go and stuffed his hands in his hoodie pockets. After a few moments, I decided to break the quiet 

    "Hey, can you do me a favor?" I asked. He seemed grateful for a new conversation.

    "What is it?" I pulled out the note left by the door from my coat, the cold wind rustling the paper.

     "Can you find out whose writing is this? I need to know who it is." Joseph took the note and examined it carefully. He had near perfect memory, but never remembered the right stuff. He knows a lot of random facts and trivia, but not anything important in school. I knew he could recognize the handwriting.

     "This isn't hand-written," he said.

    "What?"

    "This isn't hand-written. It's a good font that looks like handwriting, but it's not. You can see here how there's no differentiation between the 'I's, and that there's no indentation on the back of the paper. When you write, you press into the paper, causing an indent. Let me show you." He whipped out a piece of paper from his bag and drew squiggly-lines in pencil, and then flipped it over. Then he took another paper and laid it on top of it. Scratching the pencil back and forth, you could see what was written on the paper because of the lighter shading. He did the same with the note, but nothing could be seen. Damn, he was good. His CSI classes were paying off.

    "So, how do I know who sent the note?" I asked, a look of defeat threatening to take over.

    "You don't. Whoever sent this knows what he's doing. Or, at least, has beginner's luck. Why do you want to know so badly?"

     "Well, it's just creepy. I don't like the idea of someone sneaking into the girl dorm and leaving presents. That's just....weird." I explained.

      "Wait, someone snuck into your room?" He got serious, and looked concerned.

    "Oh calm down," I said, "they left it by the door in the hallway." He left out a breath and looked at me. I thought I saw his cheeks tinge red, but it might have been my imagination. "It might of been a prank or something, but can you keep a look out anyways?"

     "Yeah, sure. I'll tell you if anything pops up," he mumbled. I picked up all my stuff, throwing away the note. It was no use to me now.

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