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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6. The Fire

     Damn. There's Dakota for you. Straight forward, ignorant, and always saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. Why did Ilia ever fall for this guy?

     Ilia and I just looked at each other and pointed to my bed. If we said anything, we both would have busted out into tears again. Joseph's arm was still around me, something I had failed to notice earlier, and he seemed reluctant to take it off. I decided to help by standing up. Somehow, even though we were just friends, I felt guilty. I felt like I was betraying Brendon, but I knew I wasn't thinking straight. I had just been through something horrible, and although it wasn't his fault for not being here, Joseph was there. It was simply...logical. Besides, we might was well not be together anyways. I made a mental note to break it off with him soon. One mess at a time, I thought.

     "We were having breakfast earlier when we got a call," I began. I told them what happened, leaving no detail behind, up until the pitiful crying session. I was pretty sure they could figure that out for themselves.

    When I was finished, they both looked dumb-struck.

    "Do you know who it is? Has he hurt you?" Joseph asked. He fired question after question and although he had good intentions, he finally got on my last nerve.

    "Joseph!" I snapped, "If I knew who it was, don't you think I would have done something yet?!"

    "Well...why haven't you called the police yet?" Dakota questioned. I was taken aback at first, but my rampage wasn't quite through yet. I almost, almost, said: Because who would believe two college girls, probably hell-bent on drinking and upset because their boyfriend's either out of town or a fucking ignorant dumb-ass and need attention?

     But, Ilia being Ilia came to the rescue. "Whoever put the roses is probably watching Sophie. If we call the police, we might scare him off and then never catch him. We need to be careful about this." They all nodded in agreement.

    "What about......his offer?" I asked, "If we play this right, we could catch this bastard."

    "No, it's too dangerous. No matter what, you should never meet face to face, or even talk on the phone with a stalker," Joseph explained, "It can worsen their obsession and put the victim in danger." We all fell silent as we thought about what to do.

    Then, I finally broke the silence, "He's right, but.....Anyone wanna have a bonfire?"

    We all snuck out to the woods next to the campus, but not before we grabbed everything on my bed and stuffed it in a plastic trash bag. Joseph and Dakota quickly built a make-shift fire pit with rocks, dry twigs, and branches. They then started the fire and stepped back. I dumped the plastic bag full of roses in the flames. Then I took a twig out of the fire, one end holding a flickering flame. I placed it under the note I held in my hand and watched as it burned from the inside out.

    Once that had disintegrated into ash, I finally took out that beautifully hideous dress. I tore a long strip of it off and stuffed it in my pocket as a souvenir. Looking into the flames, I threw the dress in the fire and watched as it licked eagerly at the flammable silk. I felt Ilia slip her arms around me and hug me tightly. This time, it really was Ilia. I hugged her back, and we watched as the fire slowly died out. And although I should have felt small and pitiful because I was in "mortal danger," I didn't. I was angry.

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