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*


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.

4. Three


About 10 minutes later

The De-stress Dance was over. All the lights were on, people were sitting round on chairs as police officers went around and took people aside to take statements. No one was smiling, no one was happy, there was a sense of horrific reality hanging in the air, that someone was dead.

"When's the last time you saw Robin Cross?" asked the tall officer in front of me. He'd been questioning me for a few minutes now and I had tried my best to compose myself so I could speak. My heart was still thundering along in my rib-cage and the taste of metal in my mouth made me want to be sick.

Dead on the bathroom floor, is what I wanted to answer but I didn't.

"I arrived late," I answered. "I never saw her in the hall."

The officer scribbled down something.

"What time did you arrive?" he questioned.

"I think it was about 6.40," I answered, picturing the digital clock on April's car, that I had glanced at, when I climbed out of it. It seemed so long ago but in reality, we'd only been here for 15 minutes.

"As I take it, you were the first one to see her in the bathroom, weren't you?" he asked next and I gulped quickly, clenching my hands in my lap. I didn't want to think about it again or the images in my head would reappear more strongly.

I could only nod as the officer scribbled something again.

"So, that's the last time you saw her?" he asked further.

I nodded again.

"She was already dead?"

I nodded a third time, the sick feeling intensifying. Did he want me to relive the nightmare I had seen?

"Can you describe what you saw?" he asked me and I rose my eyes to his face, blinking quickly. He really wanted me to think about it again? He really wanted me to have to sit here and describe it?

"I-It was horrible," is all I managed to mutter, and I rose a shaking hand to brush away the new tears that had formed.

"These things are shocking to see," the officer informed me. No shit, Sherlock. "But anything you can tell me might help."

I swallowed hard as the image flashed before my eyes again. Blood, more blood. Guts. Red squirming flesh. The severed leg. Her face. Her poor destroyed face, ripped in half. And her one eye, almost the only thing left that wasn't red with blood.

I realised I was crying again, big sobs shaking through my body. The officer had sat down next to me and was patting my shoulder in an attempt to comfort me. I tried to take some big breathes in like he was instructing me but the image was still in my mind. I leaned over as I gagged and the officer patted my back, telling me to put my head between my knees and breath in through my nose, out through my mouth

In through my nose, out through my mouth. In, out, in, out. In, out. Finally, my breathing steadied. I kept my head down though, wiping at my eyes again. I just needed to breathe, think happy thoughts, not focus on the horror which I had seen. That was hard though when all around the room that was the only thing anyone was talking about. And the officer had wanted me to describe it. How could I describe something like that without breaking down?

After a few minutes silence, I had calmed down enough to sit up properly and the officer stood before me again.

"Anything else you want to add?" he asked me, clearly sensing that I wasn't in the right mood to describe anything to him.

I shook my head, wanting him to leave but as he turned I called out again. "Wait..."

He turned back.

"It was an animal," I said before I could stop myself.

The officer's brow furrowed as he stared back at me. "What?"

"I think it was an animal," I replied again, clasping my hands together, feeling the sweat rub between my palms.

"You think an animal attacked Robin Cross?" the officer asked and his pencil was poised over his notebook. He looked disbelieving but I didn't know what else I could say to explain my point. If he'd seen the body maybe it would make more sense. She was so mangled, I could only imagine an animal, some kind of monster had done it.

"Did you see an animal, Miss Flemming?" he asked me further when I had said nothing more.

I shook my head. "No."

He shut his notebook again and lowered his pencil. "I asked you what you saw, not what you think."

Then he turned away again and I was left to stare after him. Maybe I shouldn't have said what I thought. I wasn't a professional. I didn't know what dead bodies looked like. I only knew what Robin Cross's dead body looked like.

But it had looked like an animal had clawed her. Especially her face...

I leaned back over again and tried to breathe calmly. No, I don't want to see it again. I don't want to see it. Stop, stop, stop.

"Fe!" April's voice broke through the barrier and I snapped my head up once more.

"Yes?" I was breathless.

She reached out and held onto my shoulder, looking at me a little sympathetically. "We can go home now," she told me and pointed back over to the doors. "The officers said once you've made your statement you can leave."

I nodded my head and got up from my seat, my legs wobbling for a few seconds. April grabbed my elbow and steered me with her, falling into the same slow rhythm I was walking. I tried to avoid the looks people were giving me as we crossed the hall. They probably all knew I was the first one to see her dead.

People were crying in friends groups and hugging each other, wondering who on earth would do such a thing to Robin. She was head girl after all. She was clever and confident and everyone knew her name. Now she was gone.

Dalton was hovering by the doors still, catching sight of us as we exited.

"Are you girls alright?" he asked and I wanted to scream at him. Alright? How could anyone be alright right now?

"It's just shocking," April commented and her tone was sad. Dalton rubbed her arm in a comforting way as they muttered back and forth about how Robin didn't deserve this.

They were right, she didn't. She was always kind and never indicated any sense of being stuck up, even if she was head girl. She treated us all equally. She didn't have enemies, did she? No one at the school would kill her, would they? There wasn't a murderer in our midst, was there?

A murderer with claws...

I tugged on April's arm and she sensed my un-comfortableness, cutting her conversation off. 

"Drive safe!" Dalton called after us and even through all the horror April smiled back at him.

We walked to the car-park and back to the car. I zoned out as April continued to ramble about how horrible it was and kept saying, "poor Robin." I wished anything to be on my own, in my own bed, wrapped up safe. I just wanted to cry, cry where no one could see me.

My eyes blurred and they remained like that as we continued on our way, back down the road which we had come from.Three lefts and then into the village that April and I both lived in. She stopped outside my small house, reeling off something about hoping I was alright and to call her if I needed anything. I didn't reply, not meaning to be rude but I wasn't in the right state to open my mouth.

I trudged inside and my parents were immediately on my case, worrying and hugging me. April had called them to tell them what happened. The noise of their voices had woken my little sister up and she was crying and screaming like I wanted to. Mum was scampering off to sort her out and dad was still hovering by me, talking in words of comfort, as I got a drink from the kitchen. Nothing anyone was saying was recording properly and even Kitty's crying was muted. I just felt numb, detached from everything as I thought about what I had seen and the true fear I had inside me.

I finally went up to bed and sunk below my duvet, wrapped it around me tightly and cried myself to sleep. My dreams were filled with monsters and blood, waking me up several times a sweaty mess. I couldn't stop seeing her ruined body. All the blood. A monster ripping at her till there was nothing left.

You should have helped me.

It was Robin's airy voice. One blue eye was staring at me through blackness.

You should have saved me.

Then screaming, louder and louder. Then a bang and my eyes flew open. I had fallen out of my own bed onto the floor, the duvet twisted round my body. I leant back onto the hard floorboards of my room, my breathing heavy and rasping. It was a dream, a terrible dream.

Robin Cross was already dead when I entered that bathroom, I told myself. I couldn't have done anything to save her. I couldn't have helped her.

But I still felt guilty.

Her one eye, it had looked so alive whilst the rest of her was dead. What if she could have been saved but I ran away?

No, she was already dead.

There was a war in my head as I picked myself up from the floor, flung my duvet at the bed and grabbed my phone from my bedside table. It was 7.30 in the morning on a Saturday. At least I wouldn't have to deal with school today. It would have probably been hell to walk into there, pass the bathroom which was a crime scene and have to see the tormented faces of all her friends, all the people that knew her. I couldn't imagine how awful they were feeling.

I didn't know Robin well, but I had always seen her around. Laughing, smiling, so alive.

Now the image of her in my head was twisted, horrible and dark. She was dead. 

I padded my way quietly downstairs, pouring out cereal that I couldn't eat because I felt sick. I'd felt sick for hours and hours, ever since I walked into the girl's bathroom. It wouldn't stop.

I answered my ringing phone, hearing April on the end, telling me she couldn't sleep properly and she wanted me to come over. So, I said yes and went to shower, got dressed and poked my head into mum and dad's bedroom to tell them where I was going. I left the house, feeling the early morning sun beat down on my skin, warming it as I slowly walked down the street. I was so alive. I was living and breathing. Yet I felt a dead weight on me. The dead weight of Robin Cross.

I shivered a little as I rounded a corner which clearly wasn't from the weather. I was nearly to April's house, one of the biggest houses in the village, sitting proudly on the little hill that rose up. It was all cream and glass and shine. It represented all the money that our family would never have.

April answered the door, hauling me inside where her parents were there to hug me and say that everything that happened was awful. I didn't need to be told it so many times, I knew it was.

Then we went to her room and sat on her squishy sofa and watched films on her TV. We didn't talk much, just sat there together and watched the screen. It was like now someone we knew had died, we didn't know what to do. We couldn't act normally so instead we were quiet, thinking to ourselves, but trying to comfort each other by being together. I wondered if everyone who knew Robin was doing the same.

We did this till lunch time when her mum came in with a plate of sandwiches and was saying how Robin was on the news. The police said she was stabbed and mutilated with a knife. April's mother said again about how awful it was and April was sobbing and scared. Her mum sat with us, told us it was okay and we were safe, and that they'd find whoever did this.

I couldn't speak. I just let April's mother hug me and her words wash over me. Were we really safe? Someone murdered Robin Cross. Someone with a knife?

I couldn't believe it. Just a knife can't have done the damage I saw, could it? All I could think of was her flesh being ravaged and torn, her screaming echoing in my head. A creature - the shadowy monster in my dreams - killing her.

It wasn't a knife. It couldn't have just been a knife.

I wanted to be sick again, excusing myself from the room and locking myself in the bathroom. I threw my head over the toilet as vomit rose in my throat, tears streaming down my face again. This was too much. I wish I'd never gone into that girl's bathroom last night. Maybe I would have coped better with this if I hadn't seen her body. If I just knew by words she was dead, it wouldn't have been so bad.

But I did walk into that bathroom. I did see her body. Someone or something had destroyed her. And what if it was still close by?

I was sick again, my throat searing as it was almost like I was expelling fire from my mouth. I collapsed against the edge of the bath and sobbed, ignoring the banging on the door till I could find the words to speak.

"I'm fine!" I called back to April's worried voice but I wasn't fine.

I had to try to be though. I couldn't sob on the bathroom floor forever.

I finally stood up, flushing the toilet and washing my hands and face. I sprayed on some of April's deodorant and opened the door again to see April's tear stained face. She pulled me into a hug and smoothed my hair.

"It's okay," she whispered and she buried her head into my shoulder.

"It's okay," I echoed back.

We stood there for a little while just holding each other, trying to restore some kind of comforting feeling which had been lost in the last day and hours. Then we went back to her room and turned on the TV again. April got out her makeup, sat there and painted her nails. It was the whole feigning normality thing again. It was easier to deal with like that.

I sat and watched her, tried to remain calm as my thoughts raged in my brain, trying to get me to speak them out-loud but I wouldn't. I couldn't tell April what I thought. I just couldn't.

The creatures and monsters would have to stay in my imagination for now.

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