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ristin nodded eagerly.“ Yes, it would be very helpful for me to know what really happened in my house,” Kristin said in a somber tone.Nyila nodded. “ I thought you were the new owner, I saw your picture in the paper, and immediately recognized you at the front desk.”“ So… you’re his granddaughter then,” said Kristin slowly, trying to process all of this.Nyila smiled, “ Yup, the only grandchild of Anthony Lopez,” she replied.Kristin could feel herself getting excited.“ Alright then, could I have your phone number so I could call you?” Kristin asked as she pulled out her phone. Nyila nodded.“ 555-218-7745,” she said. Kristin typed it in, and saved it under Nyila Lopez. After that Kristin shut her phone and went back to the front desk with Nyila. Nyila got her a new library card, since she was new here, and rang up the book. Kristin put the book in her Coach bag, thanked Nyila and waited for Michael, who was looking at DVDs in the Video section. Finally he came back over to her.“ Movies?” she asked with a bit of sarcasm in her voice.Michael half-smiled and half-laughed.“ Yeah well, it’s for a project I’m doing.”“ What project?”Michael gave her a curious look.“Um well, it’s kind of about your house. You see, my Dad is having me do a project on historical places in this town, and I picked your house. I hope you don’t mind, but do you think I could you know, look around just to get a feel for the place,” asked Michael.Kristin really didn’t know what to say, she had to admit it was a bit weird.“ Oh, okay. I guess so,” she said, only half-heartedly.Michael gave her a huge grin, and hugged her. Kristin was squished between his masculine arms. Then he let go, and Kristin could breathe again. Then they made their way back to their cars, and Kristin followed Michael back to the main road. She hopefully could remember her way back to her house from there.While driving Kristin felt an odd feeling in her stomach, but couldn’t figure out what it was. She had a bad feeling about going back home, but then she tried to ignore it. She focused on what she had accomplished today. She had gotten a replica of the diary, which she could pull the facts and the lies from, and she would get to talk with the gardener to find out what really happened that night. Kristin could help but smile when she thought of how much she had gotten out of today.This was just perfect; it was like everyone had been placed here to help her! But then Kristin second thought that, what if this was all intentional? What if the killer planned all of this?And the last thought crept into her mind, what if they all were behind the killings?...Kristin was surprised when Michael pulled up to a house that was right next to the library instead of returning to the highway. Since she had no idea where she was, she followed him. The house casted an unwelcome presence with it’s huge irons gate and its gray brick structure. The house had many windows and had a simple rectangle shape to it.It was not at all homey or cozy.As Kristin stepped out of her car she saw Michael walking up the brick walkway to the front door.“ Who lives here?” called out Kristin.Michael turned around and smiled at her.“ Me,” he answered.Kristin could feel her face go numb with the shock and the cold winds. She was pretty sure that her smile faltered on her face and was replaced with a confused, and scared frown.She bravely walked up the pathway to where Michael stood, and went inside the house when he opened the door for her.The inside of the house smelled like printer paper, and old books. It was darkly lit with a huge, crystal chandelier hanging down from the roof. The walls were lined with sliver wallpaper and the entrance was huge. The floors had intricate rugs woven out of the finest cloth, and the house was beautiful. But the house had a strange feeling to it; it was like you were invading in on it.And that’s exactly how Kristin felt as she walked along the halls with Michael.Invading and intrusive.Michael was talking all the while, but Kristin wasn’t really listening to him. She was more focused on the fact that the librarian was the gardener’s granddaughter. That had been especially interesting, since Sarah had mentioned him in her diary. She wanted to know more about him, but Sarah hadn’t mentioned anything extensive about him yet. Kristin wanted to know why he was still in White Village if he was accused of the murders. Maybe he had something he was hiding?Just then, they came to a wooden door with a plague that had the name Michael on it. Kristin lost her train of thought, and stared at the door.“ Your room?” asked Kristin, getting out of her thoughts.Michael nodded.“ Yup, got the plague when I became business partners with hhDad,” he said with a shake of his head.“ Wish I hadn’t,” he admitted with a bitter look in his eyes.That sparked curiosity in Kristin.“ Why?” she asked rudely.Then realizing her rudeness she said:“ You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.”Michael gazed at her.“ Well I owe you something for spilling your coffee,” he said with a smirk.Kristin laughed.“ Yes you do!”Michael then opened the door for her, and then let himself in and shut the door.The room was a nice shade of red, with black furniture and black windows. It looked more like an office than a bedroom. Papers were neatly spread out along his desk, his bed was in the corner, and his swivel chair was behind his looming, large desk.“ Take a seat,” said Michael motioning to his swivel chair.Kristin took up on his offer and sat in the huge, leather chair, while Michael sat on his bed.“ So what’s up with your Dad’s business?’ she asked, trying to be polite.“ Dad just thinks that I want to be a real estate agent, and I don’t. I’d rather be a photographer,” he said.Kristin raised her eyebrows.“ What kind of photos?”“ Well, I’d like to take some pictures of your house and the cliff behind it. I think those would make great pictures,” he said with a smile.Kristin smiled condescendingly. She could definitely picture that being a great photograph.Michael suddenly got up from his bed, and excused himself to go put something upstairs.So Kristin was left alone.And she made full use of it. Kristin did not trust Michael or Edward Grant and she quickly decided to “ check up on them” in her own way.First she looked at the things on his desk. Most of them were papers about land, grants and whatnot. After seeing nothing important, she moved to the drawers.She opened up the first drawer and froze.Inside were pages of paper, diary pages.The pages that were missing from the Sarah Clark diary.Kristin grabbed them and started to look at them, but was quickly filled with fear when she heard footsteps approaching the door.The door opened slowly, and Kristin stuffed the pages in her purse, and waited for the person to reveal himself or herself.Edward Grant appeared in the doorway and Kristin tensed. He was the last person she wanted to talk to. He looked up, surprised at her.“ Kristin, what are you doing in my son’s room?” he asked.Kristin could feel an ashamed smile on her face starting to form.“ I met him at the coffee shop and he took me to the library since I had no idea how to get there.”Edward nodded, still looking suspicious. Kristin pushed back a lock of hair from her face and placed it behind her ear, a nervous habit from her childhood.“ I should be going now,” said Kristin as she got up, and grabbed her bag. She pretended she was looking for her cell phone, but she was making sure that the papers were in there.They were.Edward moved aside as she made her way out of Michael’s room and into the hallway.“ Kristin,” interjected Edward.She turned.“Yes?”“ Don’t come in our house again. I have done a lot to keep Michael away from silly things like girls. Do not mess with what I have established,” he warned.Kristin bit her lip.She wanted to tell Edward that Michael and her were not interested in each other. Besides she was way older than he was. That would be just too weird. But Edward obviously did not want to hear anything.“ Why do you keep him so sheltered?” she asked, knowing that she might not get an answer.He didn’t answer her: he just turned around and walked into a room.Kristin didn’t even want to follow him. All she wanted to do was get home.So she made her way down the hall and was headed towards the door when a hand stopped her on her shoulder.Kristin frightened, turned.It was only Michael.“ Why are you leaving? Did my Dad say something to you?” he asked.Kristin just smiled at him.“ No,” she lied, “ I just have to go.”Michael nodded. He was so clueless!For once Kristin was glad that she was smart.“ So when can I come over your house to take the pictures?” he asked.Kristin thought about it.“ Why don’t you just give me a call? Your Dad has the number I presume, right?” she said with a smile.Michael nodded, smiling ever so slowly.“ Yeah, he does. Alright I’ll give you a call.”Kristin said goodbye, got into her car, and then realized she had no idea how to get back to her house from her.“ Screw it,” thought Kristin as she put the car into gear, “ I’ll figure it out on my own.”Kristin drove for an hour, and then she found the coffee shop. She was glad that she found the coffee shop after only an hour. Any longer and she would have given up. Kristin could find her way home from the coffee shop.She arrived home at four, after being out for six hours. It hadn’t seemed like a long time, but it had been. Kristin had been on the couch ever since she had come home. Kristin had reflected on the day’s accomplishments. She had gotten rare pieces of evidence that could be very useful in the future. The visit at Edward’s house had been… interesting. But she still considered them as main suspects. Kristin had a very distinct view of the Grants now.Dangerous and clueless.Separate they were not that harmful, but together what were they like?...Kristin flopped down on the couch in her living room. She was exhausted. But then she remembered the papers that she stole, and she ran upstairs to grab her purse. She went flying through her purse searching for the papers.The papers were gone. And so were the diary, the real one, and the library one.Kristin couldn’t believe it. She had been home for four hours alone, working on a project for work. She had heard nothing. Bill was out gardening, and he had gone home two hours ago.Nobody could have been in the house.Kristin was perplexed. There was no explanation for this, unless she had lost them earlier. Maybe she left them at Mr. Grant’s house.“That could be a possibility,” thought Kristin as she searched through the house.She searched everywhere, under the bed, in closets, and even in the yard with a flashlight.They were gone.Kristin, exhausted and frustrated, decided to call her Mom.She grabbed her phone and dialed the number.“ Mom,” she said as soon as the rings stopped.“ Honey? Oh, Kristin I miss you so much,” choked out Jane.Kristin smiled.“ I miss you too Mom. How are things?”Jane sighed.“ Not too good, sweetie. Money’s tight, and I can’t afford to buy anymore alcohol.”Kristin tensed. She hated it when her Dad spent all the money on alcohol instead of real things.“ Mom, why don’t you just come live with me? Please, it would make me feel better,” pleaded Kristin.Jane thought about it.“ How about I visit you? You know how picky I can be about houses,” she joked.Kristin felt the fear behind her voice, and knew that her Mom was never going to leave. She was too scared. Not that Kristin blamed her; Dad could be scary. It’s just that she didn’t have the courage that Heidi or Kristin had to get away from it.Jane Maddow just didn’t have it.But Kristin was sick of worrying over her, so she needed to get away.“ Mom, you need to get away from him,” said Kristin, her voice sharp and distraught at the same time. She twirled her blonde hair around her fingers absent-mindedly.She always twirled her hair when she got nervous.“ Honey I know I do,” replied Jane.“ Then why don’t you?” shot back Kristin. It turned out harsher than she intended, but the point was made.Jane looked around her house, which was filled of alcohol bottles and shots. Did she really want to live here?“ Your Father’s home now, I’ll come visit you in two weeks,” said Jane as she spied Kevin trudging through the door. She accented the word visit; the real meaning meant that she would move in there with her.“ By visit you mean live with, right Mom?” asked Kristin practically crying because she was so proud of her Mom.Jane sighed, looking at the house. She never really liked it anyways.“ Yes, honey I mean it,” she said as Kevin grabbed another bottle and chugged it down.Jane was sick of it, and now she would finally get away from him.Kristin was so bubbly the next day that Bill thought she had a fever.“ Ms. Maddow, why in blazes are you so bubbly today? Are you sick?” he asked her at breakfast. Kristin looked up from her regular bowl of cereal, Raisin Bran, and smiled at the old man.“ No, Bill. My Mom’s coming to live here!” she trilled, falling off her seat and hugging him.Bill chuckled to himself and let go of her.“ Why is she coming here? I already have enough trouble with you!” he joked.Kristin gave him a look, and washed out her cereal bowl in the sink.“ She’s coming here to get away from my Dad. He’s an alcoholic, and she needs to get away,” she explained, shutting off the water.Bill nodded thoughtfully.“ You really want her here after all the complaints and legends about this place?” he asked, finishing his apple.Kristin stopped dead in her tracks.She hadn’t thought about that.Was it really a good idea to have her Mom here when someone might be trying to kill her?Kristin paused a moment.“ I’d rather have her here than anywhere else,” she stated.Bill smiled at her, and then left to go do his chores.Kristin went up into her room to work on her project.Her project was to design a poster for a movie that was coming out about a haunted place. Kristin hadn’t gotten all the details, like what the place was, but she started it anyways.She turned on her computer and went straight to paint.After painting for two hours, she had a product.Kristin hadn’t even thought about what she was doing, she had just painted and went with her gut.The picture looked like the cliff outside of her house.It was an exact replica of it.Except Kristin had put a new message on the tree:Leave me alone!Chapter SevenJane Maddow arrived at the Clark Mansion the following Tuesday. She at first, had been skeptical about moving in with her daughter, but she knew it was for the best. Kristin had been right when she had said that Jane needed to get away. Living with a drunk for about forty years was not how Jane planned to live her life. Kristin knew that, and that’s why Jane had listened to her.Jane stared at the huge mansion that her daughter had bought with awe. The only word that came to her mind was fairytale.The house was like a fairytale. It was whimsical, and eye-catching at the same time. The windows, and the balcony reminded her of the castle at DisneyLand.Jane was proud of Kristin, not just because the house was beautiful, but because she had done what Jane hadn’t.Lived.Jane then noticed curtains moving along the windows, and guessed that it was Kristin.“ Mom!” cried Kristin as she ran out of her door, and onto the grass.Kristin felt like a child doing that, but it felt right. She hugged her Mom tightly for a while. Kristin assessed her while hugging her. She looked good. Her blonde hair was pulled back into a ponytail, and her small figure looked healthy. Her Mom’s purple dress was a bit young for her, but Kristin didn’t say a word.Jane pulled back to look at Kristin.She was the picture of youth, except with just a few laugh lines. Her blonde hair that was the exact same texture and color as Jane’s shone in the sunlight. Her green eyes stared into Jane’s blue ones with utter excitement. Her red shirt with ruffles, and black pants seemed rock-ish to Jane, but she said nothing. Kristin and Jane didn’t see eye to eye about clothes.Jane didn’t know why, but she felt like she was looking into Heidi’s face for a moment. Sadness filled her for about a second, but then she pushed it away.“ So,” said Kristin smiling, “ What do you think?”Jane smiled back at her.“ It’s wonderful, dear.”Kristin then realized that her Mom had bags, and she quickly grabbed them with one arm.“ Kristin I can-“ started Jane.“ No, I got it,” called Kristin as she walked away from her Mom with a smile forming on her face.Jane followed her, and was even more in awe when she saw the inside of the mansion.The first thing that she saw was the black iron staircase, and after she saw that, that was pretty much what she stared at. It had caught her full attention.“ Oh, wow. This is-“ Jane trailed off, unable to express her feelings.“ Yeah, I know, replied Kristin squeezing her Mom’s shoulder just a bit.Kristin then proceeded into the room with the red walls and black bookcases. Jane fell in love with the antique desk just like Kristin had.After Jane and Kristin had successfully toured the whole house, they sat down on the couch to relax for a bit. It was about mid-afternoon, and Kristin had delayed working on her project as much as she could today. The whole thing that it had been changed had scared her, and she really didn’t want to work on it anymore. They were watching a rerun of Golden Girls. Jane just loved Betty White and so did Kristin.“ Mom,” said Kristin putting down the bowl of popcorn she had made for them, “ What did you tell Dad?”Jane paused before answering. She really didn’t want to go back to what had happened when she had told Kevin she was leaving.“ Well, sweetie… I just told him that… I just… told him that I was leaving…for good.”Kristin didn’t know whether to cry or smile.“ Mom… that’s great!” she choked out, hugging her.Jane leaned in for the hug, and enjoyed Kristin’s praise.“ Thank you sweetie. I’m glad I did it.”“ I’m so proud of you,” whispered Kristin.Jane felt a bit of pride swell up in her, and that caused her to laugh nervously.Kristin joined in, and soon both of them were in hysterics over nothing.Kristin was glad to have spent some time with her Mom. It felt like the good old days. But Kristin was getting bombarded with emails from her boss to finish that poster.“ Mom. I have to go work for a bit, do you mind if I leave you alone for an hour or so. I kinda need some peace and quiet to work,” she asked, feeling like a four year old again.Jane looked at her.“ Yeah, you can. Kristin just because I’m here doesn’t mean you have to ask for everything.”Kristin laughed at herself, and went upstairs to go work.She had finished the cliff and the river by the time two o’clock came around.The only thing that stopped her from finishing was hearing her Mom scream…Kristin ran down the stairs to find her Mom talking eagerly with Bill.“ Mom! What happened? Are you hurt? Where is the burglar?”Jane turned to face her daughter who looked like she was ready to pounce on her.“ Honey,” she said sipping on her coffee, “ Your handyman here just surprised me, that’s all!”Kristin frowned, and relaxed her posture.“ Oh, well I just thought-“ she trailed off when her Mom gave her an apprehensive look.Jane set down her coffee cup, and moved closer to her daughter, looking at her face. Kristin seemed tense, and fidgety.“ Darling,” Jane said slowly, “ Are you alright?”Kristin bit her lip, and suddenly noticed that Bill was nowhere to be found. He had just left.Kristin stared at her Mom. She didn’t even have to think about the question, she knew the answer.It was a no, but her Mom couldn’t know that. Kristin hadn’t been all right since Mr. Grant had threatened her a few days ago. Just the thought of a serial killer scared her. Nevertheless trying to figure out who it was. The picture, and the diaries had been a warning that Kristin should’ve had listened to.Kristin had been on the edge ever since the diaries had been stolen.“ Yeah, Mom. I’m fine,” she lied as she made herself some coffee.Jane let the matter go, and she picked up her coffee.“ So, Bill is a nice man, Kristin. I’m glad you’re not alone here up in the mountains by yourself,” Jane’s voice had a tone to it, and that made Kristin feel like she was a kid all over again.“ Mom, please don’t start that again. I am thirty-six, I don’t need a babysitter.”“ But you need a man!”Kristin groaned at the thought of her ex-fiance that she always thought of when people mentioned men to her.“ I’m sorry, honey, I didn’t mean to crash into those waves,” apologized Jane, setting down her coffee cup for the twentieth time.Kristin turned around, coffee cup in hand, and looked at her Mom.“ What waves?” she asked pushing by her to get to the couch.Kristin smiled when she heard her Mom mumbled unintelligent words as she came into the living room and sat next to her.“ All right don’t talk about it,” she snapped, knowing her daughter’s stubborn ways.Kristin almost choked on her coffee.“ Okay, I won’t,” she said.There was an awkward silence between them, and it lasted for quite a while.Finally, about 7 o’clock, they started speaking again.“ Why did you move up here in the mountains?” asked Jane as she turned on Golden Girls again. Kristin sat besides her in the dark; the TV screen was the only light.“ I needed to get away, Mom. You know that. It was Alex, and…. Heidi.”Kristin knew that she was entering the snake pit for mentioning Heidi. Her Mom was still sensitive about her death.“ Oh,” said Jane looking down at her lap.A few moments passed before she said anything else.“ I can understand that,” said Jane softly.Kristin looked over at her Mom.“ Mom, do you want to talk about it?”By it she meant Heidi’s death.Jane looked over at Kristin.“ I haven’t talked about it since it happened,” she whispered.Kristin felt that guilt well up in her, and she wrapped one arm around her Mom.“ It’s okay, Mom. It’s hard, hard for all of us.”“ She was such a pretty girl, so smart, and she had such a future. I curse that damn place, LA or AL for getting her hooked on that man. That’s what got her killed.”Kristin couldn’t have agreed more. La had changed her sister; it had gotten her in love with love.“ I know, Mom.”Jane looked at Kristin with teary eyes. She wiped them, and then she sat back on the couch.“ I kinda like it here, you know. It’s cozy,” said Jane after a while as another commercial came on, “ How much did you have to pay to get this?”Kristin, glad for a change of topic, smiled.“ A lot, Mom.”Jane smiled at Kristin.“ Why do you want to know?” she asked.Jane shrugged, “ Just trying to make conversation, Kris.”Kristin smiled again, and looked out of the dark window. Lightning flashed, and Jane and she both jumped at the thunder.“ Oh, I hate storms, “ complained Jane with a teasing smile when suddenly all of the lights went out.Kristin wasn’t worried though, she knew that Bill would come soon and fix it. So, Jane and she sat on the couch in the dark and waited for Bill.Five minutes passed by, and nothing.Ten minutes and there was still no sign of Bill. The thunder got louder, and the repeated booming cut off all noises.Thirty minutes, and there was no sign of him. Jane had finally fell silent, after much fussing about how Kristin should know how to fix the lights. So it was silent between them.Then after about forty-five minutes the lights came back on.Kristin blinked at the harsh light, and gasped in horror at what laid before her.Corpses, dead rotting corpses laid on the floor.Their skin was rotted and reeked, their bodies mangled and twisted.Kristin didn’t remember hearing anything, and she looked about to find her Mom.She found her, dead on the floor next to the other corpses.Kristin couldn’t breathe. She was just shocked to her core. Her Mom was dead, just like Heidi. Her Mom had no injuries on her; maybe it was something in her coffee? Poison in her coffee. But that didn’t seem likely since Kristin had drunk the same coffee.Bill came running in, his sneakers wet, and his baseball cap soaked.“ Ms. Maddow are-“ his words were cut off when his eyes traveled to the gruesome sight before him. He didn’t move, he just stood there, all the while saying how unfortunate it was while Kristin held a blank, and unchanging stare.Kristin didn’t move off of the couch for a long time. She felt like her whole world had spun out of control.“ Mom,” she whispered even though she knew that she wouldn’t get an answer.Kristin wrung her hands, and paced back and forth wondering how someone could have killed her Mother without her knowledge. They were the only ones in here.How was it that someone could-?Kristin stopped dead in her tracks and called the police station immediately after a sudden revelation. She had people in mind that could have killed her Mom and she had a feeling she knew who it was.Finally the police came, and asked Kristin to explain what happened.She did and then she told them about her three main suspects that she had come up with since the beginning.Number One, Edward GrantNumber Two, Michael GrantAnd,Number Three, Bill Beckingfield....Kristin had still been in shock throughout the next week about her Mom’s death and the rotting corpses. The image of her Mom had been permanently burned into her memory.It was all she could think about.All she could dream about.All she could talk about.The doctors had said that she had died from toxic fumes that had been pressed onto her mouth by a cloth. It had been murder, not an accident.Her death had caused Kristin to mull things over in her head about that night in her bedroom all alone.What had happened that night?It had seemed to Kristin that they had been all alone, but they apparently weren’t.Who had been there?There was a possibility that it could have been Bill seeing as he is the caretaker of the household. But no murderer would have enough time to change into other clothes without causing a disturbance.Then there was Edward. The creepy realtor who had something up his sleeve, and had no intentions of telling Kristin what it was.And last but not least, there was Michael. He could be clueless, but maybe even deceptive if he was working with his father on some old family grudge against the Clarks?Michael was the only one that didn’t have the motive to do it. The other two had motive, at least that’s what Kristin thought.But who was the real killer? And was this killer connected to Sarah Clark?...It was a Tuesday night when the most unexpected thing happened to Kristin.Kristin was upstairs in her room, grieving in her black dress, when the doorbell rang.In no mood to hurry, Kristin slowly descended down the stairs, and opened the door.In the doorway standing with a beer bottle in his hands, was her father.His mustache, fully grayed hair, and green eyes were unmistakable to Kristin and she blinked in surprise.“ Dad?” she said, her voice wavering on disbelief.He glanced at her, dropped the beer bottle, and embraced her hard. Kristin, stuck between his crushing arms, had no emotion in her whatsoever and just wanted to crawl back into bed and grieve. Her whole body just felt numb, it was like she wasn’t even living her own life.When Kevin let go, Kristin stepped back and just stared at him.“ I hate you,” she said, her eyes glaring at him with intensity.Kevin looked sheepish at his youngest daughter.“ Krissy, now you know you don’t-““ I said I hate you!” shot Kristin, too angry with him to act like an adult.Kevin looked affronted. “ What do you mean, you hate me?”Kristin let out a cross between a squeal, and a shriek, and walked away from him.Kevin, to her surprise, followed her to the living room.“ Kristin, now will you just stop this!” he yelled as she sat down on the couch with her back turned to him. He sat down next to her, and fumbled with something.Kevin mumbled under his breath as he sat there.“ Well, are we going to talk about this or not?” he roared.Kristin slowly turned her head around and looked at her father.“ Talk about what?” she said, her voice lifeless.Kevin mumbled again.“ You know damn well what we need to talk about! I want to get this over with as much as you do, so let’s talk,” he yelled, turning purple in the face.Kristin shook her head. “ Mom was sick of you, I was sick of you, hell- we all were sick of you, Dad! You turned into a monster!” shouted Kristin.She took a deep breath, and then dissolved into tears.“And now Mom’s dead, and so is Heidi, and I’m stuck here with you!” she cried, her voice thick. Her words had come out harsh, but Kristin had no remorse. She was grieving, and her father had no right to disrupt her.Kevin sat there, silent while Kristin sobbed. Finally she stopped, and he said something.“ You do know that I loved her, right?” he said quietly.Kristin wiped the smudged mascara off of her face with her fingers, and looked up at him.“ I guess so.”Kevin’s face almost grew into a smile.“ Then why are you so angry at me?”Kristin chewed on her lip, thinking of ways to put this gently without losing her temper or sanity.“ It’s just,” she took a breath, “ because you and Mom never got along. You were always fighting, and always drinking. It made a big impact on Mom. I just… didn’t like that she was so skittish and so afraid of you. I didn’t like the way you treated her, Dad. You treated her like shit. Now she’s dead because she wanted to get away from all that.”Kevin sat back in the couch, whistling all the while.“ I never realized-“ he started, “ I- I never realized that I scared her. I never meant to do that, Krissy; I never meant to harm her. I just got so stressed, I felt good when I was drunk, I thought I was being a great father, and a great husband.”“ Well, you were wrong on both accounts,” snapped Kristin, loosing her cool for a moment.Kevin looked at her, his green eyes matching hers.“ I know that now, thanks to you,” he said softly.Kristin felt that awkward feeling that she had felt whenever she confronted an adult about something. She felt invaded in some ways.“ Why don’t you stay here, Dad? Just stay here until you’re sober enough to drive. I don’t want any more accidents,” suggested Kristin, getting up off of the couch, and walking into the kitchen.Kevin stayed where he was for a moment.“ Just like her Mother,” he mused, and then he got up and followed her.Kristin turned on a single light in the kitchen, and sat down on the chairs next to the table. Kevin sat next to her, his slightly overweight body covered by his red shirt, and jeans.“ Kristin,” said Kevin as he glanced around the room, “ You’ve made quite a life for yourself haven’t you?”Kristin smiled just a bit.“ Well, I was always the one who wanted the huge house with the big trees,” she said remembering her childhood.Kevin’s face was manifested with a smile immediately.“ Ah, yes, your princess days. The castles, and the knights.”“ Don’t forget the fights, and the crocodiles in my lake,” laughed Kristin.They both looked at each other. At that moment, they both saw the younger versions of each other. Kristin, as a six year old, posing for her pictures, and smiling all the time. Kevin in his youth, working on inventions and whatnot.They both sat there for a while, just mulling that over.“ So, do you want to talk about it?” asked Kevin after a while.Kristin gripped the tiled countertop gently, and bit her lip hard.“No.”“ Do you know who did it?” asked Kevin gently.Kristin shook her head.“No.”Kristin felt that word slip out of her mouth before she could realize it. No. No, that had always been a word that had been captivating to her. It could be so powerful, and yet so weak in some situations.They sat in silence again.It was now about 11’o clock, and they both had no intentions of sleeping.Suddenly in the middle of a conversation about the house, the phone rang.Kristin leaped up, and answered it.“ Hey, Kristin, uh it’s Michael! I think you should come outside of your house and see this!” he said with panic in his voice.Kristin was immediately confused and disturbed that he was right outside of her house.She dropped the phone, and ran to the window, furiously pulling back the shades.There he was, standing a few feet back from the house, staring at…. Something.Kristin cursed under her breath, ran outside, with no shoes on, and looked at the horrible sight that was to be seen….Chapter EightKristin ran outside, and stood in horror at the scene above her.On the windowsills of her house were the rotted corpses from her Mom’s death, and the corpses were just hanging on the sills by ropes tied around their necks.It was a gruesome and terrifying sight.Kristin stood next to Michael with the same scared expression on her face.“ Who did this?” she whispered.Michael shook his head.“ Don’t know. I just came over here to return to you those papers that I saw you take, they were in my father’s desk by the way, and I saw … this.”Kristin’s gaze turned to the papers that were in Michael’s hands.“ Here,” said Michael as he gave them to her, “ I know you want to read these, so here.”She took them from him, and looked them over.They were the papers that Kristin had tried to steal.“ Thanks, Michael,” she said still staring at the bodies.Michael shrugged, “ No problem.”They both then stared at the corpses swaying in the breeze on the windowsills.“ Kristin, what in the blazes-“ yelled Kevin as he ran out of the house, and looked at the corpses. He stood still, as if frozen in time.Then he looked from Kristin to Michael with utter confusion on is face.“ Is this some type of wilderness joke? Who the bloody hell did this?” he screamed, gesturing towards the rotted bodies.Kristin glanced at them, and then turned to her father.“ I don’t know, Dad,” she said, worried.Kevin gave her a harsh look and stared at the sight.“ Well, I’m going to find out who did this!” he called as he started to walk away.Kristin followed him and grabbed his arm.“ Oh, no you’re not! You are going home, Dad. I’ll take care of this. You are too drunk, and you need to go home!” she persisted.Kevin stared at her for a long time before mumbling to himself, and getting into his car.“ Dad!” called Kristin, running towards him, “ Let me drive you home.”Kevin grimaced, “ Fine,” as she got into the car, and started up the engine.Then they drove to the local train station, got Kevin a ticket to Albany, New York, and sent him off on his way. He had persisted to stay, not wanting to leave Kristin to fend for herself, but Kristin hadn’t listened, and had him put on the train.Kristin returned back to her house in thirty minutes after a much-heated argument with her father about her safety at the train station.When she returned, Kristin found the corpses burning in her front lawn, and Bill and Michael standing there, just watching.“ What in the world?” exclaimed Kristin, getting out of her car, and walking towards them.Bill turned to look at her, and so did Michael. Their faces were covered with soot and dirt, and black smoke billowed from the fire’s flames.Kristin could feel the heat of the fire, and got a bit closer. Soon enough, she was standing in between Bill and Michael.“ What’s all this about?” she asked, looking at the burning corpses with fear.Bill smiled darkly.“ A warning, Ms. Maddow,” he said as he lugged another log into the fire, “ A warning to the S.O.B that put those corpses up on your windows.”Kristin shivered.“ So, you know who did it then?” she assumed.She looked to Michael, hoping that he would tell her. Michael’s face remained dark, and he just stared at the fire.Kristin then turned to Bill.“ So who is it?”Bill pulled his old baseball cap down on his head.“ Ms. Maddow, you already know who it is.”Kristin felt confused, and she stared at Bill waiting for an explanation.“ I tried to catch him, Ms. Maddow, I really did. But he’s just too clever. Well, at least we know now whom we can trust, and who we can’t, can’t we Michael?” said Bill with an apologetic tone to his voice. Michael’s face remained impassive, and Kristin wondered what could be wrong.“ I still have no clue who it is,” she admitted.With that, Michael started walking away from the fire, mumbling under his breath that he had to leave.So, Kristin was left alone with Bill, and the burning corpses.The darkness of the night filled Kristin with dark thoughts, and made her feel drowsy. The smoke, and the fire felt surreal to her, and she just wanted this all to be a bad nightmare. But she knew that this was no nightmare, this was her life. And as much as she hated it, it was hers.Bill poked the fire a bit more, and the last remains of any corpse disappeared as smoke into the night sky. Kristin looked up at the sky with loathing. The sky didn’t have a serial killer after it, now did it?Kristin sighed, and looked back at Bill.“ Will you just tell me who it is?” she snapped, annoyed.Bill’s face turned dark, and Kristin was momentarily scared of the old man.“ Ms. Maddow, “ he paused, “The killer is your realtor. A Mr. Edward Grant, I believe that is his name…”Kristin stared at Bill with utter shock on her face.“ What?” she exclaimed, hoping that he was just kidding.He nodded, and glanced at the fire.“ I saw him, running away near the forest after the bodies were put up. I ran after him, yelling all the while, and he just got away from me. I’m so sorry, Ms. Maddow. I’d rather have him in jail than running around here, just waiting to get you.”Kristin swallowed uneasily.“ Thanks, Bill. That’s make me feel real better,” she said sarcastically.He smiled just a bit.“ Anytime, miss.”She glanced at his face with a little bit of compassion. She felt bad for the old man; he was only trying to help her.“ So, is that why Michael ran off?” she asked.“ Yup, poor kid,” mused Bill sadly.Kristin could relate, and her hear lurched for Michael. He may not have been the smartest person, but he had been caring.“ So how did Edward do all of this?” questioned Kristin, still hoping that he was kidding.Bill gave her a sharp look.“He knows the house inside and out, knows every corner, crook, and nanny in the place. He has the house under surveillance, and he has a key. Ms. Maddow, the real question is; how could he not do this and not get caught?”Kristin understood his logic, but for some reason still didn’t believe him.“ Also,” continued Bill, “ Michael told me that his Dad has been missing since this morning, and he hasn’t seen him since.”“ But, it just doesn’t add up!” interrupted Kristin, throwing up her hands into the night sky.Bill frowned.“ Ms. Maddow, on the contrary it does all add up. He is the realtor; he knows everything about you and the home. He knows your work hours, and your schedule. It’s the perfect plan.”Kristin thought about that for a while, and stared at the extinguishing fire. The flames seemed to taunt her that that was not the right answer. She suspected that Bill was trying to hide something, and she felt a surge of fear take over her.Finally she thought of something to say without giving too much away.“ Bill, have you ever watched those crime shows on TV?” she asked.Bill looked wary but he answered her question.“ Yes, loads of times.”“ Then you would know that sometimes the killer is not the one who has the perfect plan in place. Sometimes it’s the person you’d least expect it to be.”With that, she walked away with Michael’s papers in her hands, and locked herself in her room. Not even the light pink paint of the walls could comfort her; she was too scared.Quickly, as if someone was watching her, Kristin whipped out her phone and dialed Nyila’s number.“ 555-218-7745,” she said out loud as she punched in the numbers.It rang three times before someone answered.“ Hello, this is Nyila Lopez, who is this?” said a sweet voice on the other end.“ Oh, Nyila, how glad I am to hear from you!” gushed Kristin without telling Nyila her name.“ Oh, hi… Kristin! How are you, it’s kind of late at night for a phone call from you,” she yawned.Kristin yawned as well.“ Well, I had to speak to you as soon as I could, and I’m sorry if I disturbed you. It’s just everything is getting so… out of hand with the house and the murders, and I don’t know if I can take much more of this!” cried out Kristin fearfully.Nyila sighed frustrated.“ Can you stick it out one more night, and then why don’t you come over and talk to my Grandfather?” suggested Nyila.Kristin thought about that, biting on her lip for a while.“ Alright, I will. Where does he live?”“ 22nd Heart Street in the Bouland Nursing House, Apartment 4B,” answered Nyila.Kristin wrote it down on a piece of paper, and tucked it into her purse.“ Okay, thank you Nyila,” she said, relieved.“ No problem, I’ll see you tomorrow!”Then she hung up, and Kristin was left in the darkness and silence.Kristin was not going to lie to herself. She was scared straight. Everything she thought she knew would be turned upside down in a few hours.In a few hours Kristin would know the truth.Kristin lay down on her bed with her black dress still on, and tried to sleep.But it was to no prevail. She just couldn’t sleep. So, she took out the diary pages that Michael had gave her and started to read them.Dear Diary, November 21 1936I went to go see Dr. Henry Grant yesterday, and he informed with the most terrifying news I could ever hear. William is becoming an alcoholic, and he was a disease that most people don’t know about. But I cannot remember what the name of it is…. Anyway, he told me that the reason for William’s strange behavior is because of this disease. He becomes abusive and violent whenever he is angry. William told me that tomorrow he and I are going to talk. I don’t know if that is such a good idea. We are having a party for our dear old friend, the Dr. Henry Grant. He has been such a help to us whenever Jennifer was sick or anything like that. He said that he would keep a close eye on Will for me. I am relieved to hear that. Will keeps talking about my parent’s money and he keeps threatening me that he’ll kill me if he doesn’t get the money soon. But I stood my ground, and told him no.We haven’t spoken since, and that was two days ago.Oh, Diary I am so fearful of tomorrow.Kristin realized that this was the last diary entry Sarah ever made, and she cringed. Kristin put the diary down, and fell into a deep sleep.Just then, a shadow of a figure appeared in Kristin’s window.Kristin didn’t notice; she was too tired and sleepy. The figure stared at her, figuring out the best time to get rid of her before she knew too much and went to the police. The figure reached out its hands and slowly and carefully opened the window to Kristin’s room, and climbed in.Kristin never woke up.Chapter NineKristin awoke from a hard night’s sleep to her window being open. Being as paranoid as she was, she immediately jumped out of bed and ran to the window to investigate. Nothing she saw could be connected to a burglary.Darn she thought, I thought I caught him.Kristin moved sluggishly back to her bed, and stared at her room with suspicion. She could have sworn that someone had been in here last night.But as no evidence showed up, she dismissed the idea and went about on her daily routine. She got dressed in her navy blue skirt, and navy blue top and her white heels.Then she went downstairs with her purse around her wrist, and the diary clutched in her hand. She walked straight out of the house, and got into her car.She drove all the way to the nursing home in about five minutes.She got out of the car, and started to walk up the brick pathway to the building when she noticed something in her car.She peered into the back window and saw a horrible sight.It was Mr. Edward Grant’s body stuffed in the back of her car. At the sight, Kristin screamed and ran into the nursing home in a dash.The gold walls and carpet could not comfort her at all. She ran up to the front desk, panting.The receptionist glanced at her over her rimmed glasses. Her red hair cascaded down her shoulders. Her green eyes bore into Kristin’s with a sense of loathing.“ Can I help you, Miss?”“ Yes, there is a dead body in the back of my car, and I did not put it there,” gasped Kristin.The receptionist’s face turned alarmed.“ Excuse me, Miss?”Kristin groaned.“ THERE IS A DEAD BODY IN MY CAR!” she shouted, annoyed at her.The whole place went silent, and everyone turned to stare at Kristin.Kristin could feel herself blush with embarrassment. She knew that what she was saying was ridiculous, but there really was a dead body in the back of her car.The receptionist gave Kristin a small smile.“ Okay, Miss. Why don’t you just calm down, and I’ll go check your car. But remember, you need to use your indoor voice when you’re inside, okay?” she said with a cheesy smile.Kristin stopped for a moment. This woman thought that she was crazy. Maybe she was crazy, but she knew that there was a dead body in the back of her car.Kristin decided to shut up as the lady got out from behind her desk, and proceeded outside.“ Which one, Madam?” she asked rudely.Kristin pointed to her car, and the receptionist walked over to it.As soon as she looked inside, she screamed and ran back into the building.Kristin didn’t move from her spot. She stood there, silent and still.Then the receptionist came back out with a funny look on her face.“ I called the police,” she said stuttering,” They’re coming to take you in.”Kristin gaped at her, and looked around the empty parking lot.“ Me? Why me?” she asked.The receptionist gave her a baleful glare.“ The dead body is in your car, Madam.”Kristin understood what she meant. If the dead body was in her car that meant that she killed him. But that was completely opposite of what was true.Kristin wondered, as she waited for the police, who put the dead body in her car. Suspects rolled around in her head like an impossible question.Who could have done this?Just as the police cars pulled up, Kristin spotted Nyila and immediately grabbed her before she could go inside.“ Nyila, you need to take your Grandfather to the jail and meet me there, please?” she asked, begging.Nyila nodded, unsure of what she was talking about. That was when the police came and took Kristin away.A figure stood near Kristin Maddow’s car who was glad that everything was going according to plan. The next step was to get rid of the bubbly New York girl who had ended up in so much more than she had ever anticipated....Kristin sat in the jail cell anxiously awaiting Nyila’s and her Grandfather’s arrival. She needed to know the truth, now more than ever.She sat in the gray-celled box tapping her feet lightly on the cold, hard floor. People of all ages surrounded her, most of them dirty and staring at her with a creepy expression on their faces.Then Nyila’s face came into view, and Kristin sighed with relief. Nyila pushed a man in a wheelchair; who had a wrinkly face with puffs of white on the top of his head.“ Grandpa, this is my friend Kristin. She wants to talk to you about The Clarks,” half-yelled Nyila in her Grandpa’s ear. The old man nodded, and looked at Kristin.Nyila came close to Kristin’s ear.“ He’s a bit deaf, but he does hear you. I’m going to talk to the police about getting you out on bail, okay?”“ Thank you so much,” said Kristin, hoping that this would never happen again.Then Nyila turned the corner, and disappeared.Kristin moved closer to the old man, he was about 75, maybe even 78.“ Mr. Lopez, can you tell me what happened the night that Mrs. Clark died?” she said in a loud clear voice.Mr. Anthony Lopez stared right at her.“ You mean, Sarah right?” he yelled.Kristin nodded, and took out the diary.“ This was hers,” she said passing it to the old man.Lopez gently turned it over and over looking at it carefully.“ Yes, this was Sarah’s.”“ Mr. Lopez,” she said catching his attention, “ Can you tell me what happened that night?”Anthony got this pained look on his face, like he was being confronted by the ghosts of his past.“ That night, that horrific night, is that what you want me to talk about?” he asked. His face turned harsh, and his brown eyes glared with hate.“ Yes… please.”Anthony sighed.“ I was at the mansion, of course, I was always at the mansion. The party had already started, and everything seemed to be going smoothly. Sarah looked beautiful in her whit satin dress. She was socializing with the other women in a corner. My job was to watch Jennifer, Sarah’s daughter, but my God that little girl could run faster than I ever could. The party went along as it did usually. And then Will walks by with another whiskey in his filthy hands, and he trudges over to Sarah during the party, and grabs her by the arm.‘ Come on, Sarah,’ he said, his voice angry. Sarah looked back at me, and only me. And once they left the party, I followed them out there. They were fighting and there was no mistaking that. You could’ve heard them yelling at the party if you were paying good enough attention,” said Anthony, pausing for a moment.Kristin could clearly picture it in her mind exactly what happened. So they had been hosting a party when William took Sarah outside to talk or to argue for that matter.“ Do you remember what they were arguing about?” encouraged Kristin.“ Yes. I remember exactly what they were arguing about. You see, Sarah’s parents were enormously rich, and they died in a tragic car accident. Sarah, being their first-born received all of the money that her parents had had, and her entire inheritance. That was a lot of money back in those days, Ms. Kristin. So they were arguing about her parent’s money. William thought that the money should be his, since he was the man in the house. Sarah, she didn’t like that. She thought that if it was her money, that she should get it. Will didn’t like that, thought that it was too independent for a woman to be thinking like that. So, he brought her out to the cliff, and tried to reason with her.I followed them and hid behind a bush near the cliff. They were really yelling at each other now. I could see that Sarah was scared of him; Will had a temper when he drank. They yelled some more, and Sarah tried to grab the bottle from William’s hands. He didn’t like that and then he pushed her. I heard her scream, and then there was a sickening crack, and William left the scene. I peered out of the bush, and saw her mangled body sprawled along the rocks, blood flowing out of her into the river.I immediately felt anger and I ran back to the house. Everyone from the party was gone, and I searched the house trying to find William. I figured that if I couldn’t prove that he killed her that I shouldn’t say anything to anyone in the house. After running around the house for a while, I ran outside. I didn’t see him, and went around back to get back in. The doors were locked, all of them. It was then that I saw William with a match in his hands. I tried to stop him, but it was no use. He put the burning match to the wooden house, and it burst into flames with a help of a few more matches. I watched in horror as the smoke billowed into the dark night, and the screams of the servants. The worst part was the screams of Jennifer and Madeline. I couldn’t bear to listen to that.”Kristin stayed quiet for a while.“ So, who is this person who’s trying to kill me?” she asked.Anthony’s lips pressed together tightly.“ Let me finish telling the story,” he snapped with a glare.Kristin nodded, and shut up.“ Now, William had caught the attention of everyone in the neighborhood, and he grabbed me and gagged me with his hands. I tried to get off of him while the neighbors gathered around. ‘ I don’t know what happened,’ lied William. ‘Sarah’s dead, and the gardener killed her. I saw him, that’s why I have him trapped. He murdered my wife and set fire to my house.’”Kristin stared at Anthony with her mouth wide open.“ So, he blamed you for the deaths,” she whispered.Lopez nodded.“ Then after the fire, I got put into jail, and he changed his name and left this town for a while.”Kristin’s ears pricked up.“ What do you mean he changed his name and left this town for a while?” she asked, staring at him knowing that he knew something.“ Kristin, the person who wants you dead is someone you know very well. What is another name for William, sort of a nickname?” he asked.Kristin thought and thought.“ I don’t know,” she answered looking at him.“ Bill, Ms. Kristin. Bill is another name for William. Now, do you know anyone who’s name is Bill?” he asked.Kristin stared horror-stricken at him.“ You don’t mean? It couldn’t possibly-““ I’m afraid it’s true,” sighed Anthony Lopez.“The killer is no other than Bill Beckingfield.”Chapter TenKristin stared at the old man who had just told her that her caretaker for the house was a murderer.“ Explain,” choked out Kristin, numb with shock.The old man ran a veined hand through the tuffs of his white hair.“ Do you need an explanation, Ms. Maddow? Or do you just want to hear one to get confirmation, because something tells me that you knew this a long time ago.”Kristin, baffled for a moment, sat down farther away from the man, and thought about that. She had suspected him of course, but never would have tied him to the murder.Just then, Nyila came striding through the door with a smile on her face. Kristin could only give her a meek smile back.“ Did you guys get everything sorted out?” she asked, pushing Anthony away from the cell.Anthony looked at Kristin with a secret buried in his eyes.“ Course,” answered Kristin falsely.Nyila gave her a dazzling smile.“ Okay, well we’re gonna go now! You do know you can come out of there now. I got you out! You owe me 15,000 for it though!”Kristin smiled falsely as she got out of the cell and headed out with them.Nyila turned to Kristin while in the parking lot.“ Do you want us to drive you home?”Kristin then realized that her car was gone, still in the parking lot at the Home.“ Thanks so much. I really appreciate this, Nyila!”She got into the front with Nyila, and Anthony was in the back. The car ride home was awkward. Anthony kept staring at Kristin with this sad look on his face, and Kristin desperately avoided his eyes, and tried to talk to Nyila.“ Were the police officers nice to you?” she asked.Nyila smiled.“ Yes, well as it happens, I happened to know the jailer so I told him that you were a friend of mine and he said no problem about letting you out.”Kristin faked a smile at her, and then stayed quiet the rest of the trip. Soon enough, they rounded the corner and pulled into the driveway.She felt an overwhelming sense of fear well up inside of her as she saw the mansion.Suddenly Kristin didn’t want to go inside.“ Will you be alright here?” asked Nyila.Kristin blinked, and nodded.Before she left, she saw Anthony give her a mysterious look.“ Ms. Maddow, I have some advice for you,” he said looking at the house.Kristin turned around and looked at him, while Nyila rolled her eyes at his statement.“ Oh, Grandpa, leave her alone. No more of your ridiculous stories about your cat!”Anthony ignored her, and stared at Kristin.“ Just don’t get caught near the boiler or the cliff, will you?” he said stone-faced.Kristin nodded slowly and opened her door.Then she got out of the car slowly and walked up to the front door. She watched with fear as the car left the driveway and disappeared.Kristin waited a few moments before taking out her keys and opening the door.Then she slowly walked inside and shut the door behind her. She lingered leaning up against the door, thinking about what was to come. She really should have called the police, but with no proof they would never believe her. And there was no proof at all.There was nothing that could connect Bill to being William Clark, except for the fact that Bill is a nickname for William.Kristin’s thoughts were going at a mile a minute. This seemed all surreal to her. It was like she was in a bad horror movie. Sometimes she really felt like she was in one.She clutched the diary that was tucked in her purse tightly. With the other hand, she pulled out her cell phone.She dialed Michael’s number quickly.He didn’t pick up so she left a message.“ Hey, Michael it’s me, Kristin. Um I was just wondering if you could stop by the house as soon as you can, I just don’t’ want to be alone right now. I have a bad feeling… well never mind just come as soon as you-“A hand tore away her cell phone and it landed on the floor. Kristin watched as a foot stomped on it, crushing it.Shaking with fear, she looked up to see who it was.It was Bill.Kristin wasted no time trying to run away, but in a second Bill had her pinned down.She struggled furiously all the while screaming, cursing herself for stupidly not having Nyila come into the house just in case.Bill put a gag over her mouth and roughly tied up her hands.Kristin soon realized that this was the fate of many of the skeletons buried in the walls of her house. Bill must have killed them all too.Bill directed her across the lawn, and onto the cliff where Sarah had died. Once there, he uncovered her gag, and she screamed. After that he put the gag back on her, and tied her up to the tree near the rushing river.Then he pulled out a knife.Kristin nearly cried in fright, and tried to get her hands free but it was no use.Bill stalked towards her, and kept his eyes on her face.“ I guess little boy Anthony told you all about me, didn’t he? Yeah, that’s what I thought… Well, I just have to confirm it all now don’t I? Well, Ms. Maddow. It’s true.I am William Clark. Yes, yes I know, a bit old and wrinkled, but still the same on the inside. I bet you want to know why I brought you here… well, I need to have you killed. You just know too much about me to live. And I’m very, very sorry about doing this, I really am. You were actually one of my favorite owners of this house. But you just know too much,” he paused, “ If only you hadn’t gone looking for answers to a mystery that was not yours to solve! “He raised the knife, and she shut her eyes tightly and waited.He pulled her up onto her feet, the ropes on her arms and her gag cut loose, and dragged her to the edge of the cliff. Kristin tried to keep her balance, but she was slipping.She now knew what had happened in this house. She knew what horrors it contained, and what more horrors will come if she couldn’t stop Bill.This would go on forever if Bill was never stopped. There would be more killings, and no one would ever know the truth.Kristin stared at the fatal waters down below, and took a breath.“ I really am sorry, Ms. Maddow. But if Sarah died this way, so do you,” said Bill as he pushed her down into the rocky waters. She fell with a scream, and Bill heard no more from her.Just then a force pushed Bill into the water, and he fell into the rocks with a sickening crack. He died in an instant.Michael Grant franticly looked for Kristin in the crashing waves below. He saw a spot of blonde hair, and he called out her name. No answer.Kristin sputtered water from her mouth as she swam upwards for air.She couldn’t believe that Bill had tried to kill her.She finally reached the surface and gasped for air.Kristin looked at the brown, high rocks that felt like they were closing on either side of her. She spied a man’s build on the cliff, and she tried to call out for help, but she stopped abruptly when she saw Bill’s mangled body float past her, and down the river bend.She felt like she couldn’t breathe.Suddenly strong hands grabbed her and pulled her to the shore.She looked up at her savior, and started to pour out the whole story.Kristin blurted out the whole story to Michael, all the while sobbing hysterically because she had almost been killed. Michael had listened with understanding eyes, and had comforted her until they got back to the mansion.Once there Kristin curled up on the couch, and Michael sat down next to her.“ Once you called me,” he said with a sigh, “ I knew, I just knew it was him, and I ran to find you.”Kristin was too touched to say anything so she kept quiet as Michael kept talking.“ Want to know how I knew it was him?” he asked, not waiting for an answer, “ My Dad kept these files in his desk, and right after he disappeared I found them. They were all of the testaments against Bill from years ago, and my Dad was going to try and help you out. But he didn’t know if you knew or if you were too scared to do anything. But when Bill murdered him, I just had to be sure that you were safe. So as soon as you called me, I got the police and drove like crazy to get here.”Kristin smiled, “ So what are the papers about?”Michael’s face turned serious.“ Here, you look,” he said giving them to her. He turned away and stared at the trees while Kristin looked.All of the testaments said the same thing about each of the things that William Clark, or Bill had been accused of.GUILTY of:Manslaughter, disorderly conduct, abuse, alcohol charges, and last but not least: murder.But why no one had ever brought these up, or even had them in their possession was a question that Kristin had to know the answer to.“ Who had these documents before your Dad?” she asked, shuffling them neatly into the cover.“ My ancestor, Henry Grant, the doctor that Sarah Clark had gone to see. Apparently she had hid these documents from Will, saying that she had gotten rid of them, but she gave them to my ancestor instead.”“ That’s so interesting,” she said lifelessly.Michael gave her a concerned look.“ You look a bit shaken up, do you want to go back into the house?”Kristin froze at the thought of going back into the house, but then she agreed and headed back inside.When inside, she got bombarded with questions from the police. After an hour of asking stupid and pointless questions, they left with Bill in a body bag being carried away to his grave.Kristin shuddered as she looked back at the cliff. It seemed to almost be a ghost of her past now. Like it had faded away and it’s memory was left in it’s place.She mulled over what had happened today. Lies. That’s all it took for Bill to get away with all of this. Just one little white lie at a time helped him cover up his murders.It was sickening to think about, but that’s all.Kristin pulled her knees closer to her chest, and put her chin up on her knees in an attempt to relax.She couldn’t stop saying it over and over again in her head.Bill had tried to kill her.She never would have guessed it. Not in a million years.Suddenly the doorbell rang, and she froze, thinking that it could be Bill at the door. Michael, after realizing that she wouldn’t move from the couch, got up and walked towards the door.“ Are you crazy?” cried out Kristin. He whirled around, giving her a strange look.“ I’m going to open the door, is that now considered crazy?”Kristin shifted her weight on the couch, “ No. But it may be… Bill,” she said looking at her lap in embarrassment.Michael sighed, and approached the door once more.He opened it, and he gasped in shock. Kristin peered around, and over him trying to see what had frightened him.All of a sudden, a whirl of white passed by Michael and came near her.The smoke appeared as a woman. A woman with blonde hair, blue eyes, and a pale, pale white dress on.Kristin knew who she was in a matter of seconds.She was Sarah Clark, the ghost of Sarah Clark.She only appeared for a moment, and then she disappeared. Evaporated into white smoke, and was never seen again.Kristin and Michael were both baffled by this for the rest of the night, and Kristin went to sleep upstairs in her room while Michael had the couch.In the morning, Kristin awoke to her father and Alex, her old fiance, staring at her.“ Alex, Dad? What- what are you doing here?” she asked, rubbing her head, and eyes in confusion.“ We came here as soon as Michael called us to make sure that you were okay. I knew that damn gardener was up to something!” cursed Kevin as he patted Kristin’s hand. Kristin moved slowly, hoping that she was dreaming. She glanced at Alex, her ex- fiance with his black hair, and dark brown eyes.“ I’m just here to apologize,” he said in his calm voice.She frowned; clearly annoyed that he had came. Kevin noticed his daughter’s lightening bolt looks at Alex, and he coughed to get her attention.“ Kristin. Stop it,” he said glaring at her. She glared back; annoyed that she was irritated this early in the morning. She looked at the clock; it was 6am.She looked at both her father, and fiance.“ I have to get dressed now,” she hissed. They both looked at each other, grinned, and left the room. Alex stayed behind just to say one thing.“ Kristin,” he called out. She looked up at him, lightening bolts shooting from her eyes.“ What?”He smiled, and her heart unexpectedly melted.“ I missed you, and… I still love you.” She scoffed, and he moved closer to her.“ Listen, while we were apart, I spent every dollar I had trying to find you. I realized that I was stupid, and made a mistake of not going to our wedding. I hope that you can forgive me.”Kristin softened up a bit after that. Alex leaned in, and kissed her softly and only for a moment.“ I guess… I can forgive you,” she mumbled, blushing. He smiled, and she couldn’t help but smile back. Then he left the room, and shut the door.Slowly Kristin got out from under the sheets, and started to get dressed when she noticed something odd.She smelled smoke. Fire-like smoke, like something was burning to the ground. Then she heard screams, and shrieks. She quickly got dressed and ran down the stairs.Halfway down the stairs, she stopped short and gasped.The w

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