It’s already been a week in witness protection and the police are still trying to trace the letters back to their original starting point, but so far, nothing. It honestly has been boring in the house Kate and I have been staying at. Don’t get me wrong, I am extremely grateful that Edna and John have opened their home for us to stay at, but from time to time, you get a little tired of late nights of scrabble and chess. Karen, Harry and, sadly, Michael have been coming over every weekend to keep us company which has been kind of nice. I get to talk to Harry a lot more now. Right now, it was a Saturday and Kate and I were ensconced under our covers, sound asleep.
The smell of bacon made my eye lids flutter open in the slightest. I grinned and looked at Kate. Soft snores left her mouth as she lay on her stomach, one leg curled to the side while the other was stick straight. Her arms were buried underneath her pillows.
“Kate!” I hissed and chucked a pillow at her. It hit her square in the back of the head.
“Ugh,what?” She grumbled and rubbed her face against the mattress.
“Bacon, that’s what!” I said and threw the covers off of me. I hopped to my feet while Kate sat up sleepily; rubbing her eyes, then squinted at me.
“What?” She asked. She suddenly perked up and jumped to her feet. “Bacon!”
I laughed and ushered her outside the room and down the stairs. Edna stood by the stove, a light pink apron wrapped around her.
“Morning girls, sleep well?” She asked us and stirred the sizzling goodness in the pan.
“Yeah we did, and you?” I asked politely.
“Very well, dear. Breakfast is nearly finished, pancakes are sitting in the microwave,” Edna explained, “I got up a bit early, so they’re a bit cold. Just heat them up.”
I smiled widely and looked into the microwave. Four pancakes sat on a single plate.
“How many do we get?” I asked.
“Each of you get two,” Edna laughed. I clapped my hands and got another plate from the cabinet. I set two on one plate and closed the microwave door, setting it to 30 seconds. Once the thirty seconds was up, I switched out the plates and pressed the button again. Kate stood beside me, watching the plate circle slowly inside the microwave impatiently. If anyone would have walked through this kitchen and saw us, they’d probably think we were little kids waiting for breakfast to be done… and we were. We both are little kids at heart.
When both plates of pancakes were hot, I set them on the counter and reached for the syrup.
“Mind getting the peanut butter, Kate?” I asked her, setting the bottle of syrup down. Edna was now setting the pieces of bacon on a plate covered in paper towels, letting the towels absorb the grease. My mouth watered at the sight. Ever since we’ve came here, Edna’s cooking is literally the only thing I think about when I wake up in the morning. Kate opened the cabinet and pulled out a little jar of peanut butter and set it on the table.
“Here girls,” Edna set a few strands of bacon on each of our plates. I let out a girly squeal and took my plate to the kitchen table, along with a fork and butter knife. I slathered my pancakes with peanut butter and coated them with syrup. Kate sat across from me and began to shove bacon into her mouth with one hand and spreading peanut butter on her pancakes with the other. Quiet the multi-tasker, that one, I thought and chuckled to myself.
“Edna? Aren’t you going to eat?” I asked her as she sat down at the head of the table with a cup of something hot.
She shook her head and smiled, “I already ate, dear.”
My mouth formed an ‘o’ shape. I nodded then went back to eating my breakfast.
“Where’s John?” Kate asked, her voice muffled by the food in her mouth.
“He’s still asleep, poor dear. Getting old, he is. Both of us are.” Edna gave a breathy laugh. This worried me a little. They are getting older as day by day pass and it is clearly taking its toll on them.
“Are you alright? You look a bit pale.” Kate spoke, dropping the peanut butter covered knife on her plate. Edna nodded and sipped at her drink with shaky hands.
“Why don’t you go rest and Brigh and I will clean up and all that,” Kate offered, continuing to stuff pancakes into her mouth.
“No, I couldn’t do that! You’re the guest here and-“
“It’s really no problem. You have already done so much for us by letting us stay here and all. I think we kind of owe you.” I said truthfully. Edna looked like she was about to say something, but Kate launched into a full explanation about how she should go get some rest and let us take care of the mess. Edna finally agreed, quite reluctantly. As soon as she finished her steaming cup of what I am guessing is tea, she headed straight upstairs after she gave us each a kiss on the cheek.
I had finished my pancakes and drank my juice, then put all of the dishes into the sink and dumped dishwashing soap on them. I turned on the water, waiting for the cold to turn at least lukewarm.
“Are Karen and Harry coming over today?” I asked as I swished the water around to create more bubbles. Kate giggled.
“You forgot to add Michael!”
“Oops,” I said, monotone. Yeah, I forgot.
“You’re so mean, and I think they are coming over. Why?” Kate questioned. She carried her plate to the sink and leaned against the counter.
“What do you mean ‘I’m so mean’? Do you not remember what happened last time we were at the mall? He fucking slapped me across the face!” I exclaimed, my fingers tightening up into fists. Kate went silent.
“Oh, I forgot about that.” She said quietly. “In that case, you have every right to be mean.”
I laughed, “Perfect, maybe when they come over here, he’ll just magically fall out a window.”
Even Kate snickered at that. “No, you will not push him out of a window.” She scolded but there was a light smile on her face. We continued cleaning up the kitchen and even wiped down the counters and sprayed some good smelling air freshener things. When we were done, it was half past nine. Usually, Karen, Harry and Michael would get here around eleven or noon-ish so we had plenty of time to kill before they get here.
“What do you want to do till they get here?” I asked Kate. I flopped down on the living room couch and tucked my legs up under me. She shrugged and plopped down beside me.
“Wanna watch some T.V.?” I asked.
“I guess. Don’t put on one of the stupid cupcake war shows, because for one, we aren’t American and two… it’s just weird.” Kate furrowed her eyebrows. I giggled.
“Why is it weird? I think it’s really cool.” I stated. Kate rolled her eyes.
“Yeah, well I don’t.”
In the end, I actually ended up putting on Cupcake Wars, not to piss Kate off, but because there was nothing else on and that was the only thing to watch. It was either this or My Strange Obsession and that show is really weird. When eleven-thirty rolled around, Edna and John were up and seated in their usual spots in the living room. John with his daily newspaper in the “man chair” as he liked to call it and Edna in one of the little chairs by the couch with a book in her lap. Thank god she didn’t know how to knit, then it’d be cliché and I don’t like cliché. We were in the middle of watching an episode of some season –I forgot which season it was- of Cupcake Wars when John eventually decided to join us.
“C’mon! There’s only five minutes left and her cupcakes aren’t even out of the oven!” John exclaimed loudly. Edna laughed softly while Kate and I shared a look of amusement. “She’s going home. She’s not going to make it in time.”
John shook his head and sighed deeply. Once the five minutes were up, the pastry chefs or whatever the fuck you call someone who bakes cupcakes for a living, were called up to the front table where they explained the cupcakes that they made to the judges. The one that John had been complaining about did go home in the end, making John groan.
“She was my favourite,” He mumbled and picked up his newspaper again. As soon as the commercials came on, my stomach growled. Kate must have heard it because she burst out laughing. I shoved her away from me and stood up. All of those cupcakes made me want a cupcake.
“Hey, Edna?” I asked sweetly. She looked up from her book and raised an eyebrow.
“Do you by any chance have the ingredients to make cupcakes?” I questioned, trying to pull the innocent look by widening my eyes and jutting out my bottom lip slightly. I honestly don’t think it worked, but she sighed and waved her hand at me.
“Yeah, in the pantry.”
“Awesome! And is there any chance you would let us make some?”
Edna sighed again, not an annoyed sigh, but a thoughtful sigh. “John? What do you think?”
John put down his newspaper and rubbed his thumb and index finger against his chin. “Eh, I don’t care as long as I get the first cupcake.”
Kate and I laughed and nodded, “Deal!”
“Just ask if you need help at all, girls and don’t make a mess.” Edna warned.
“We won’t!” Kate said and steered us to the kitchen. I located some flour from the pantry, then stopped and looked at Kate.
“What are you looking at?” Kate asked, eyeing me weirdly. I grinned and clapped my hands excitedly.
“How about we make some pumpkin spice cupcakes? I know the recipe by heart from my Nanny. I swear it’s literally to die for!” I said with enthusiasm.
“Oh my god, those sound so good right now! Does Edna have all of the ingredients?” asked Kate.
I shrugged my shoulders, “Let’s find out.” I looked into all of the cabinets and pulled out what ingredients I needed. Flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, salt, baking powder, baking soda, some butter and sugar. All I need are some allspice, nutmeg, cream cheese and vanilla extract. I mentally patted Edna on the back for having the ingredients that were missing.
“Yep,” I said, re-counting all of the elements before getting out a large mixing bowl. Just then, there was a knock at the door. Right before I could get it, Edna beat me to it.
“Karen! How wonderful of you to come over! Harry, Michael, Kate and Brigh are in the kitchen.” I heard Edna greet them. I groaned lightly at the mention of Michael’s name. Stupid fucking Michael, I thought. Harry appeared in the door way shortly after and rushed into the kitchen, looking over his shoulder every now and again.
“Hey,” I offered.
“Hey,” He rushed and looked over his shoulder again.
“Are you alright?” I asked, a smile threatening to break through. He glared at me.
“Michael is fucking annoying. Fuck, he won’t shut the hell up!” Harry hissed, “I seriously don’t know how long I can take this.”
I struggled to contain my laughter. “D-do you want to help us make cupcakes?” I said and clamped my lips closed quickly after.
Harry sighed, “Sure. Just keep Michael away from me. I’ll seriously kill him in his sleep.” I don’t know what stunned me more; his…unkind words or the seriousness of his voice.
“Okay,” I said lightly and nudged his shoulder with mine, sending him a smile to which he returned. We almost didn’t hear the kitchen door open until someone cleared their throat.
“What are you guys making?” Michael asked in his drone, annoying voice. I rolled my eyes and pointedly ignored him.
“Whatever.” He muttered. When his footsteps thud out of the kitchen, I cracked a smile.
“I don’t understand how Karen is so sweet and then there’s Michael who is all…heartless.” Kate suddenly whispered next to me. Harry burst out laughing. I liked the sound of this laughter. It was contagious. I laughed next to him and continued to direction Kate and Harry on what to do with the ingredients, which Harry kept spilling all over the place. This was going to be a long day…
Right when Brigh put the pan of pumpkin spice cupcakes in the oven, Harry started to get restless and twitchy. I was about to ask what was wrong, but he whispered something into Brigh’s ear that made her shiver in the slightest. I rolled my eyes at them. I still don’t know about Harry though, he seems kind of…off. I pretended to busy myself with drying off my hands with a wash cloth while trying to catch a snippet of their conversation.
Brigh had a confused expression on when Harry suddenly left the kitchen.
“What did he say?” I asked curiously.
“Just that he had to make a phone call.”
I laughed. “And where is he going to get a phone? Didn’t they say no phones aloud?” And by ‘they’ I mean the police.
“Yeah, they did. He’s probably going to use John’s or Edna’s or something.” Brigh shrugged and bent down to peek into the oven. Something didn’t feel right.
“Well, I need to use the restroom. Be right back, Brigh.” I said and scurried in the direction Harry went to. Call me nosy, but I just want to see what he was doing. I found him by the front door, his back pressed against the wall. I spotted a place where I was close enough to hear what he was saying without being caught.
“You there?” Harry whispered. Why was he whispering? I thought. I placed both hands on the wall in front of me and waited for him to continue.
“Of course I sent the letter! Why wouldn’t I?” He was talking quietly now to the other person on the end of the phone. What the hell is he talking about? Suddenly, something clicked. The letter. The letters that have been coming into the police station signed by the copycat killer. The letters that have no evidence of finger prints, just the blood of his victims used as ink.
He was the copycat killer.