Claw Marks and Corridors

Felicity saw something she shouldn't have. A dead girl in the bathroom at school. Not just any girl, Robin Cross, the head girl. Since that night all she's had in her head is images of a creature ravaging her body. But Robin was just stabbed excessively, right?

Felicity's life is shattering as she struggles to find the truth and anyone who will believe her. Even the corridors start to not feel safe anymore.

*First Draft*

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Author's note

This is a first draft, meaning that a couple of the chapters are going to be changed/need serious editing at some point! Please bare this in mind.
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19. Eighteen

 

Clambering back into the car, I found it extremely hard to act normally. April looked back at me with this expression on her face, the one where you knew she wanted to know everything. I just wasn't going to reveal everything. I sat there and remained as stone faced as I could, until she gave up and broke the silence.

"So, what's the answer to the mystery of the missing sheep?" she asked. Dalton turned round in his seat also, craning his neck.

Ric and I shared a look, before he answered for us. "Just foxes." Yep, definitely true.

April just frowned a bit and turned around again like it wasn't that interesting in the first place. She then busied herself with starting the engine and turning the car around to make our way back down the track. It was now silent again and I chose to stare out of the window, an action easily becoming one of my favourite things. I felt like less people would distract me from my thoughts that way, as I looked like I was in a weird sulky mood and didn't want to be bothered. I mean I probably was in a weird sulky mood most of the time.

I watched the bushes pass, the sky now a darker shade of blue as the evening was slowly rolling in. It felt different as I stared out. I felt even more on edge than before, like any second I would see some mad monster burst out of the bush. Before, it had been in my head, I could have forced myself into believing what I saw was just wounds from a jagged knife, but now I couldn't. Two sets of claw marks and a whole stack of attacks that could be from the same monster. It was more real now. It was believable.

"April," I suddenly said and I turned my head back to the front.

"Uh-hm?" she mumbled back as she was concentrating on navigating her way into town.

I swallowed and glanced at Ric's questioning face, before I spoke again. "I want to show you some stuff."

"Stuff?" she sounded confused.

"We haven't really just been investigating missing sheep," I replied and I could still feel the uncertainty in my voice... but I had promised to myself I would explain to April. I'd said that I would tell her my theory again when it was more believable, when there was more evidence. Now there was. I just hoped it was enough.

I saw her readjust her hands on the steering wheel and a frown passed across her face in the wing mirror. For a few minutes she was silent before she sighed. "I guess, if it's alright that I go into the house."

Dalton nodded beside her and craned his neck around at me. "Do I get to know too?" He sounded eager.

I shrugged slightly. If April was going to see what we had found, I guess he could too.

"Okay then," Ric replied instead and I turned and looked at him. There was a hint of annoyance in his features but I tried not to let it bother me. I knew we had agreed not to tell anyone else but April was my best friend, I wanted to let her in on the information, and if that meant Dalton had to know too, then so be it.

We fell to silence again, continuing on to the small car-park. I could feel the nerves running around inside of me as I got out of the car and followed the others through the town. Ric hung back slightly and I fell into step beside him.

"Are you sure this is a good idea?" he questioned quietly. I looked to the ground as I walked. "Do you really think we should tell them everything?"

I raised my eyes, looked at him sideways. "I don't know, Ric. I just... I just want April to know. I kept it from her because she didn't believe me before but she might believe it now."

Ric didn't reply and we remained quiet all the way back to the house. Once inside we led Dalton and April through to the archive room, stood in front of the table, our wall of newspaper articles stuck up still. They glanced at each other, shared confused looks for a few seconds.

I cleared my throat and looked at April carefully. She stared back, questioning in her eyes. I spoke first, "there's a pattern of attacks." I took in a big breathe as I watched April's face contort into worry. "Over the years there's been attacks on sheep, missing animals that could have been killed and crop destruction, like something ate and destroyed it." I paused and pointed towards the wall. "This is a timeline of articles of incidents, from 1950 to last week when those farmers sheep went missing."

I exchanged a look with Ric before I pressed on. "Except these animals they're not just going missing. We believe they're being attacked... attacked by the same thing which hurt Amanda and killed Robin." I paused and I could see the worry turning more into disbelief. I wanted her to believe me. I continued, "It can't just be a coincidence. And, we... we found claw marks in that farmers field."

I turned to Ric and he loaded a picture up, turned it to face them. They peered in at it but their faces didn't form into shock. There was still disbelief.

"Fe," April said gently and she raised her head.

I didn't let her interrupt. "Don't you see. There is something, something bad out there." I took Ric's phone and looked down at the photo. "Robin had claw marks on her face too. Those sheep were taken and killed by it too. It's the same creature. It's the same monster."

Silence echoed for a few seconds. Dalton was looking at Ric with worry on his face and April was looking back and forth from the wall and my face.

Finally she said something. "These attacks... they could be random."

I shook my head quickly. "No... don't you see the pattern?" I gestured at the wall, pulled her closer. "The attacks are always in the summer months. It always hunts for food then, the rest of the time it must hibernate close by."

April backed away from the wall. "Robin was stabbed with a knife."

I felt my hands clench tightly. "You didn't see what I saw. You didn't see how ripped up she was." I took in a shaky breathe. "I know that a monster attacked her, I know it." April still backed away. "Please. There's evidence now, there's patterns and pictures and... it's true, April. There is a monster."

She lent back against the shelf, breathing quickly. Her expression was wild and scared but still in disbelief. I looked at her closely, wanting an answer, wanting some more of a response but she just stood there. I glanced to Dalton and he was looking worriedly at Ric still.

"Dalton?" I questioned. Maybe if April didn't believe me, he would?

His eyes shifted to me and he sighed. "I think you need to leave."

"Leave?" I could hear the surprise in my voice. "Why?"

"Please." He sounded urgent. "I need to speak to my brother."

I looked between him and Ric. He was staring at the floor with an unreadable expression.

"I... Ric..." I tried to speak but I couldn't. April shared a look with Dalton, as though understanding something in his features, she nodded and gripped my arm. She started to pull me away.

"Come on," she said. "Give them some privacy."

"But..." I tried words again but I was almost to the door. April kept guiding me out of the house. "April?"

She shook her head and kept walking. "Come on."

"Why did we need to leave?" I said more to myself. "I just wanted to tell you what I thought."

She said nothing all the way to the car-park and as we climbed into the car. She fumbled with the keys, starting the engine and reversing. Her face still looked shocked and worried. I tried to get her to look at me but she wouldn't, staring straight ahead at the road.

"I thought you would believe me now," I whispered as I looked down into my lap sadly. I heard her shift her hands awkwardly on the steering wheel.

After a few moments silence she replied. "I was stupid thinking it was just investigating missing sheep." She sighed, almost sounding annoyed. "I took you to that farm because I thought it was a nice thing to do. You and Ric were working on something together... something more normal. I thought you were finally forgetting all the monster stuff but no, that was all part of that... and I just helped you more down that stupid path."

I felt my hands clench again. "April. April, it's not stupid."

She sighed angrily again. "Those attacks, those missing sheep, don't you think it could just be like you said foxes? I don't know, or some other wild animal... but a real wild animal."

I tried to speak again but words failed me, so she continued.

"Why can't you just let this thing go, Fe?" she said hoarsely and when I lifted my head, looked round at her, she seemed sad. Sad and hurt, and that hurt me.

"April... I'm sorry. I just," I faltered. "I know what I saw. Everything is adding up, April. Don't you see?" I was almost angry now, so desperate for her to just believe me, for her to agree with me. 

She gripped the steering wheel tighter. "The only thing that I see is that you need to stop. You need to stop this stupid, pointless investigation before you... before you take it too far."

"It's not pointless!" I snapped out. My heart was beating ferociously in my chest.

"They're just bad things that happened, Fe. They might seem connected but that's only because you want them to be," she replied and although I had raised my voice, she had lowered hers. She was looking sadly at the road.

My chest hurt and I wanted to cry, feeling a lump in my throat. What did I have to do to get her to believe me? What did I have to do to get her to see it how I did?

"Stop the car!" I said suddenly and April breathed in quickly.

"What? Fe..."

"Stop the car, April," I said more firmly. She hesitated but slowly pulled to the side, applying the breaks. She looked at me worriedly but I just ignored it, opening the car door.

"Fe! What are you doing?" she called after me as I started to walk away.

I was looking for something. I was looking for the red. Maybe if it was blood, maybe if she saw it too, that would just be another piece of evidence that something was off in this town. Something was hunting close by, hurting animals and people. I kept on stumbling through the grass, April called my name and hurried after me.

"Felicity, this is not safe. We're right next to a road. We need to get back in the car," she told me desperately but I just continued my search, my eyes investigating the ground feverishly.

Come on, come on, come on. You have to be somewhere.

Finally I saw it, red in the grass up ahead. I quickened my pace, April tried to pull me back but I was too determined.

"Look, April, look at this," I snapped and stood before the red. It was blood, I knew it was. A small, splat of it soaking into the grass.

I heard April's breath hitch and she gripped my arm. She tried to pull me back. "Let's get back in the car."

"Don't you see, April. There's so many things in this town, weird things. Things that add up."

"Felicity, let's go." She pulled me again.

I wrenched my arm from her grip and looked round at her. "If you want to go, you can go. I can walk home myself."

Her eyebrows creased in worry. "No, Fe. Don't be stupid, you can't walk all the way home."

"I can." I turned back, looked around me. Maybe there was a blood trail, maybe there was more of this. I looked to the bush beside me, gripped at some of the branches, pulling them back. There could be something in the field behind it.

"Fe, what are you doing?" April's worried and desperate voice said behind me. "Fe, don't do that."

I continued to grab at the branches, breaking them back, forming a way through. I then crouched and crawled through, April still calling behind me that I shouldn't be doing this. I didn't care. I wanted to see if there was more blood, more clues.

April had crawled through the gap too, twigs in her hair and a scared look on her face. I started to walk out into the field, look around me but it was all green. I couldn't spot anymore red.

I stumbled forward some more, April in my wake.

"Felicity, we shouldn't be here." 

I ignored her again, still searching. The field was just mud and grass and the occasional worm. There wasn't any more. I felt frustration flood into me.

"Felicity, please... please let's just go." April was almost pleading now. She tugged on my arm. "There's nothing here."

I pulled my arm out of her grip again but I knew she was right. There may have been blood on the side of the road but there was nothing more I could see here. It was just a grassy green field. I slowly stepped back, turning back around. April looked so scared, so worried, biting at her lip... and it was my fault.

"I just wanted you to believe me." I breathed out and I felt tears in my eyes. Then I pushed past her again, striding back to the hole in the hedge. I heard her follow me, tripping on the uneven ground slightly.

I crouched and crawled back through, a twig scraping at my arm, snagging at the material of my t-shirt. April crawled through soon after and started to walk back towards her car, legs shaking. I didn't follow. I stared back at the blood. It was definitely something. It had to be another clue. I took a picture of it and turned, just as I heard the engine switch on again. April gestured at me from the front desperately. 

She just wanted to go, wanted to leave, didn't want to be next to me anymore. I knew I had scared her and upset her... but she didn't believe me. She didn't believe me and that hurt me too.

My legs slowly walked me back towards the car, my feet dragging on the grass. That's when I saw the other car turn around the corner, a flash from the silver bonnet bounced rays into my eyes and I couldn't even make a sound before I heard the crunch. Then I heard the scream. April's scream.

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