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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30. Twenty-Nine

 

A woman emerged in the door way, holding a file. She stood there for a few seconds and just smiled at me. It seemed odd. I was surely about to be interrogated. Why was she smiling at me?

"Hello, Felicity, I'm DC Karina Steps," she introduced and then she shuffled across the room. She dropped the file on the table and plonked her wide body into the seat opposite me. "I'm here to ask you a few questions. If that's alright?"

I nodded back at her because I guessed that was all I could do right now. I gripped at the ends of Ric's jumper sleeves, my hands hiding away like I wanted to. Yet I knew I couldn't. There was nowhere to hide.

"Okay, so first of all... your statement from the night of Friday the 4th says that you arrived at 6.40 with your friend April," she stated and I nodded again. "You then went to the bathroom shortly afterwards, where you found Robin Cross' body. Is that correct?"

"Yes," I replied and gripped the fabric in my hands harder. I didn't want to think about her dead body, how people had thought I had done it as I walked down that corridor. I would never do something like that.

"You don't wish to change that statement?" DC Steps asked, with a nonchalant expression.

I quickly shook my head, my thoughts racing through my head. Did she think I was just going to suddenly say that I actually murdered her? Because one person had said I had a knife, was I now a suspect?

She shuffled the file open and I pushed back further in my seat. It was a picture of Robin's body.

"Please... I don't want to see it," I could hardly get out. My voice shook and broke as I spoke. I looked away from the photos which she was laying out. No. No. No.

"This is what you saw when you entered the bathroom?" she questioned and she sounded so calm about it.

I nodded again, feeling the shaking in my legs intensifying. Why would she show that to me? Why did she do that? I didn't want to see them. I never wanted to see her dead body again.

Thankfully, after a few seconds, she shuffled the pictures back into the folder. Then I could just hear the smile in her voice. "It's alright, no one thinks you actually did it. Your story checks out."

I gripped harder at the sleeve ends. Then why show it to me? Were they just trying to torment me?

"Robin Cross died well before anyone else was said to have arrived. April McKinnon confirmed you were with her at the times you said you were," she commented and I could hear the smile again. I still wouldn't look at her, I couldn't speak again. Instead, she asked, "do you need a drink?"

I shook my head. I felt sick, the image of Robin still bored heavily into the back of my brain. I wanted to curl into a ball and cry. I didn't want to be here. Her change from smiley to nonchalant back to smiley was hard to keep up with. I didn't know if I should be scared or angry or believe everything was going to be okay. I just didn't know.

"Okay," DC Steps replied. "Then I'll continue." She cleared her throat. "Now, are you going to tell me about the knife?"

My eyes turned to hers slowly and reluctantly. She looked back at me but not in an accusing way.

"I know it was scary, seeing Robin's body," she commented and I could tell she was trying to look sympathetic. "You must be scared there's someone around here trying to hurt people." She was right. "But carrying around a knife is really not responsible, is it?"

I found myself shaking my head before I realised what I was giving away.

"So you did have a knife?" she questioned and I felt like disappearing through the floor. I had to tell the truth now, but I still didn't want to.

I shook my head slowly and she looked at me a little sterner. It's like she knew I was lying.

"Where did you get this knife from?" she questioned with the same stern expression. I knew I had to start telling the truth, I was probably getting myself in more trouble pretending.

"The garage, at home," I replied quietly. "It was one of my grandad's. From the war."

"Ah, I see," DC Steps said and nodded. Then she cocked an eyebrow. "We got a search warrant to search your house, no knife was found matching the description from the person who saw you with the knife. Did you hide it somewhere else?"

For a few moments I stared back at her in shock. A search warrant. That meant my parents knew. They probably knew I was here and why. I wanted to disappear even more.

"Felicity... Where is the knife?" DC Steps pressed me.

"I lost it," I replied and I knew that was a lie. Ric had it now. I was secretly relieved that he had taken it, that they didn't find anything when they searched my house.

"Lost it?"

I nodded again. "In a field."

"A field?"

"Yeah."

"Where was this?"

"Just between Pickett and Rook Valley."

"Why were you in this field?"

"Star gazing."

The answers were coming out automatically now. I was selling a story. It was half realistic but I knew I wasn't letting on about the whole truth.

"Why did you take the knife with you?" she questioned with a small frown on her face again.

"Protection," I replied swiftly because that was what it was for. She had to understand that, didn't she?

"From what?" she asked next. I felt like she should have already known the answer; that I was scared of whatever killed Robin. Everyone was scared about a murderer running around.

"Someone murdered Robin." I swallowed hard. I wasn't going to detail my theory to her. "I'm scared... I felt like I needed protection." 

"And that's the only reason?" She asked and I nodded quickly. 

"I would never hurt anyone." I looked at her desperately. I wanted her to understand. 

She looked back at me, like she was trying to read me and then smiled. "I believe you." 

I didn't know if I wanted to dislike her or not. She'd shown me pictures of Robin, something which traumatised me but then she kept smiling, and now she believed I didn't do anything. I didn't know what to think but maybe that was the point. Good cop, bad cop, all rolled into one person. Her act had certainly tricked me into letting slip about the knife, something which I hadn't planned. If I'd just kept my mouth shut then it would have worked out better. They didn't find the knife in my house and I had an alibi for the time of Robin's death. It would have looked like I'd done nothing wrong and I didn't really have a knife after all. But because I had slipped up they knew I had, that I did have a knife. DC Steps may have believed I wasn't using it to hurt anyone, but I knew walking around with a knife certainly wasn't within the law.

"Am I... am I in trouble?" I asked, finding my voice again. There was no doubt about the note of fear in it.

"That depends," she replied and cocked an eyebrow. "Carrying knives is a criminal offence."

I swallowed hard. She got up from her seat muttering, "wait here," before she exited the room with a bang of the door. I stared after her, my chest feeling tight as I wondered what was about to happen. I wasn't the right kind of person for prison... they wouldn't actually charge me would they?

The door opened again and DC Steps walked back through. She dropped another coloured file on the table.

"Today's your lucky day," she said and I stared back at her. How was I lucky? She continued, "you're 17... which means I can just give you a youth caution." She smiled at me. "Not four years in prison."

My eyes went wide. "What?"

She looked like she was going to laugh at my shock but didn't. "Now... usually possession of a knife would mean you would be charged and sent to trial, and this would usually result in a four year prison sentence. That's usually for adults though," she continued and the breath restricted in my throat. She lent forward some more and fixed me with a look. "Look, I'm going with my better judgement here. I am supposed to arrest you but you're a good kid." She pointed to the file on the table. "We've been looking at everyone in your school. Everyone's school records through the year, everyone's background. I know all the people in your school now. And you're not the first person I would pick out as a criminal. Your school records are good and you have no criminal record. I know your parents too, they run the vegetable shop, they're good people. You're a good kid, Felicity. I don't think you would hurt anyone... So, we're offering you an alternative."

I certainly liked her now. I preferred the good cop side, but I was still worried about what this alternative was.

"I spoke to Brown," she commented. "And whilst I know you did have possession of a knife, the fact they didn't find one in your home wouldn't do well in a court anyway, not for getting you sent to prison anyway. If the knifes gone, you practically look like an angel. So, we've decided on a youth caution."

I stared back at her, almost confused by her tone. It was happy, almost like she found the whole ordeal funny. "What's a youth caution?" I found the words to ask.

"Well, I guess it's like a warning, from me to you saying, don't do stuff like this again," she replied and I could hardly tell she was a professional from the way she was talking. "And we have to contact a youth offending team who will decide on the level of intervention they want to take. Usually means some kind of diversion programme." She smiled at me. "A lot nicer than a prison sentence."

I nodded quickly. Of course it was. I'd prefer what ever the diversion programme was, over prison.

DC Steps then tried to force a serious expression onto her face. "I'm going with my better judgement here. Am I right to do that?"

"Yes." I felt like a verbal response was needed. "Thank you." You could visibly hear the relief in my voice.

"You better mean that, or my jobs gone," she told me and she sounded firm again. "Well not gone. It depends if you go around stabbing people after this."

"I won't," I replied quickly and my eye brows raised.

"Good." She smiled and then got up from her seat again. "Wait here. I'm going to call your parents to come and get you. They've got some forms to sign."

I wanted to protest that part but didn't. It was either this or get sent to jail. I didn't want the latter. I'd got off lightly and I didn't want her to change her mind about me.

DC Steps opened the door but didn't walk through at first. She looked back at me. "I just remembered... I saw you at the funeral," she commented. "You were sitting next to Cedric James, weren't you?"

I nodded and stared in question at her. What was the relevance?

"I think you should stay away from him too," she answered in a warning tone again. Then she turned away, the door banging closed in her wake, no more explanation to what she had said.

I frowned. Why did she say that? Why would a member of the police force say that?

He wasn't a bad person. Deep down he had a bad past, I had seen him get angry but he wasn't a bad person. He'd been kind to me, we'd become good friends, and together we had worked things out. I didn't understand what she meant. What did she know about him? Was I missing something?

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