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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5. Four

 

Over the weekend it seemed like the whole school and neighbourhood now knew of Robin's death. There were many Facebook posts and RIP messages popping up all over the internet. Commemorative services were being planned. In two days, the whole town of Rook Valley and the small neighbouring villages knew what had happened to her. Robin Cross had been stabbed and mutilated by a cold killer. 

There was a murderer close by. Everyone was scared. 

I was scared. But I was also in disbelief. 

Robin Cross had not been murdered by a human. I was sure of it. Whatever ripped her to shreds, it wasn't human, it was a creature, a monster. I knew it had to be. There was a monster close by. 

On Monday morning walking into school was as bad as I knew it would be. The bathroom was sealed off with tape, an officer standing outside to stop people trying to contaminate the scene. People were laying flowers outside her locker and weeping. Her friends were all in states, not one of them looked like they should be in school. It was awful, watching their pain, knowing there was nothing any of us could do to bring her back. 

You could have saved me. 

I held onto my bag tighter, trying to shift her voice from my head. My dreams were filled with her enough, I didn't need this during the day too. I focused on walking, putting one foot in front of the other, as April and I entered the Sixth Form common room. It wasn't any better in here. Robin had been in Upper Sixth. Everyone was shocked and scared and sad. It wasn't noisy like usual. People were huddled close together, whispering and sighing. All I could sense was the death of one of our own and the true fear that everyone now had in them. 

But I was the one who saw it. It had been all of one minute that I had looked at her but that was enough. Enough to scar my thoughts for life.

Our head of Sixth Form, Mr Sinclair, came walking into the common room and everyone fell silent. He looked sweaty and uncomfortable as he shifted his glasses up his nose and shuffled pages around. He waited a few minutes for most people to arrive before he started his usual Monday morning update. This time it was different though.

"As I'm sure most of you know, there was a situation on Friday night. Our head girl Robin Cross was found dead," he started off and I could hear sobs around the room again. "This is a tragic, tragic situation and I'm sure we can all agree that our thoughts are with her family at this time. She was close to many of you and I'm sure this is hard hitting for us all. If you feel you need extra support at this time, our school counsellors are well prepared for helping others deal with loss."

He paused as he checked his papers again. "The police have also asked me to make sure you all have their number for the main investigator of the case. They are looking for any or all information which might help them understand what happened to Robin Cross and who is responsible. I will stick up a contact sheet on our noticeboard, outside my office."

He paused again, shifting his glasses nervously up his nose for the second time. "At this time, it is important that we stand together united so we can honour Robin's memory. It is going to impact everyone in the school but it is important to stay close with your friends and to try and deal with it in the best way we can. We should also be careful, make sure we are safe. Robin Cross was murdered and the police do not yet know who it was. This means that we are unsure of their location."

A lot of panicked faces appeared around the room as he said this but he still continued.

"As your head of Sixth Form I feel it my duty to make sure you understand the importance of safety. You must not go anywhere alone, if you're out at night please make sure you have a phone on you and people know where you are. If you see anything suspicious or anyone behaving strangely, make sure you get into a public area which is safe and if needs be, call the police. We do not want what happened to Robin to happen again, to any of you."

There was a long silent pause after that as Mr Sinclair's words sunk in. It wasn't hard to tell that everyone around the room was scared, no one knew what to say or do. Usually people would talk through his assemblies but today everyone had hung on to every single word he said.

Mr Sinclair sighed and folded his papers. "That is all for today ladies and gentlemen. Please remember what I've said." Then he turned and walked back through the doors, leaving us all to stare after him in silence.

Slowly, chattering found its way back into the room but it was still pretty quiet. April nudged my elbow and I turned to face her, taking in her worried expression.

"I can't believe something like this happened around here," she breathed out. Her cheeks were less pink and happy today.

I moved my hand to hold onto her arm, trying to comfort her. "I know."

She leaned back in her seat. "A murderer, an actual murderer," she mumbled with a shudder.

I still held on to her arm and contemplated saying what I thought about it, that it wasn't a human murderer. She looked so scared, so worried about it all I couldn't tell her. Not yet.

She leaned forward again and gripped my arm. "Fe, you must feel awful about this. I mean you were the one to... actually, you know... see her there."

She was right. I did feel awful. I was haunted and uncomfortable and the images would not get out of my head.

"Maybe you should speak to the counsellors," April suggested and her eyes softened as she looked at me.

I shrugged at her. "I'll be fine." But I didn't know if I would be.

The bell rung overhead and I got up, pulling my bag over my shoulder. "You coming?" I asked as I looked back at April who was still looking at me worriedly.

She nodded her head and got up too, following me out of the room. It was sweet of her to worry but I didn't want her to. I could handle it on my own, it was my own brain after all, my own mind tormenting me. It didn't have anything to do with her. What I thought was just what I thought.

Yet I still wanted to tell her about my suspicions, about the monster I thought was lurking about somewhere.

I spent most of the rest of the day being quiet but almost everyone was. Even the teachers who were usually happy and bouncy were sullen, and the pupils who usually caused raucous in classes were subdued. From person to person was the muttering comments of 'oh my god there's a murderer nearby' and 'who did this to her'. Every time I heard them, all I wanted was to tell them what I thought. That we should be scared of a monster. The one in my dreams was unclear, it was only black and horrifying but it was definitely something. I didn't know what sort of monster had killed Robin Cross, but I knew that something had.

Her shredded body, the marks across her face and her torn off leg. How were they just done with a knife? How?

By lunchtime I was desperate to word my theory and the one person I was closest with was April. I had to tell her at least.

"April," I said slowly and quietly. We were sitting, eating our lunches, on a bench outside.

She made a noise of recognition as she was forking her anaemic looking salad into her mouth. She cast her brown eyes to my face as she munched on her mouthful of lettuce.

I took in a huge breath, preparing myself for what I was about to say. "I don't think it was a normal murderer," I commented.

April chewed for a few seconds and then swallowed. A frown passed over her face. "What do you mean?"

"I don't think they were human," I continued, and I'd put down my half-eaten sandwich. I was feeling sick again as I thought about what was in my head. All the bloody, horrifying images.

April stabbed her fork at some more lettuce leaves as she let my words sink in. "I don't know what you're getting at, Fe," she said finally after contemplation.

I tried not to sigh too loud as I scooted closer to her and hushed my voice. "I saw her body, April."

She nodded and put her fork down. "I know you did," she said as she patted my arm again.

I shut my eyes briefly, turned my head to the floor before I found the courage to say what I thought. April was moving around, replacing her lunch box into her bag. I lifted my head again.

"I think it was a monster."

She seemed even more worried as she got up, was adjusting her bag but when I looked at her more firmly she stopped. There were a few moments silence before she said anything.

"Whoever it was they're probably a sick psycho," April commented as she met my eyes. "They're a monster of a human being, I'll give you that." 

"But no, not just that," I whispered back and I reached to grip her arm, stop her from walking away, "I think it was an actual monster." 

She didn't seem able to reply to it, taking her arm out of my grip. "Fe, I'm sorry but I need to go." She paused slightly and looked at me sympathetically. "I'm meeting Dalton, we've got a school council meeting."

I just nodded and looked at the floor again. She patted my arm for a few seconds before she said, "I'll see you later, okay?" and walked off.

I raised my head to stare after her, sighing a little. It didn't sound like she believed me but maybe she was too scared and worried right now to think about what I said properly. Telling someone you thought a monster had attacked someone wasn't exactly what you wanted to hear over eating your lunch.

I didn't know what I had expected, maybe for her to suddenly whip her head round and go: "oh my god, you're right!"

I chucked my sandwich in the bin in frustration and walked inside again, feeling stupid about what I had said. What had I really thought I could get out of it? Yes, it had been good to word my thoughts out loud but I still felt as weighed down and fearful about it, as I was five minutes ago.

Maybe April was right. Maybe it was just some sick psycho... but that just didn't seem right to me.

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