When Death Comes Knocking, Pt. 2
Read Part One here.
Kara couldn’t look away. Bile formed in her stomach, a sour taste filling her mouth. Her vision blurred, the hot moisture of tears rolled down her cheeks. Her skin grew cold and clammy; her breathing seemed struggled.
Kara’s mind was a flurry of thoughts, and at the same time, static. The buzzing in her ears grew louder with each passing second until she felt a hand shake her. The world spun around her as she looked up at the Sheriff.
Kennedy looked at her with a worried look and led her away from the door. He found a place she could sit. A few feet away stood a vending machine, and he went to get Kara a bottle of water.
Kara struggled to open the bottle. Shaking hands made it hard to grip. When she was able to loosen the cap from the bottle, she dropped it and spilled some water onto herself. It pulled her back into reality, at least for a bit.
Kennedy reached down and picked up the bottle cap. He watched her for a moment then helped her close the bottle.
“Can you tell us anything about the victim?”
“His… his name was… was Nathaniel Smith,” Kara replied. Tears and guilt etched her voice. The hoarseness and quietness made it difficult to hear her well. “He… was 31… my fiancé…”
“What time did you leave for work today?”
“9:30, sir. I… I made coffee and… and cinnamon… rolls. They were his favorite.”
Kara’s voice broke with the confession. Finally, she gave way to the overwhelming emotions. Her face moved to her hands, and she sounded like a banshee; wailing, crying, screaming in frustration, sadness, and guilt. Her chest hurt; the act of breathing hurt, and her heart was shattered in millions of pieces.
“Miss Lane, could you come to the station for proper questioning?” Kennedy asked. “We can speak of getting you proper living accommodations for the time being.”
“Yeah…” her tone was flat. Empty.
Kara walked outside with Kennedy. She would ride with him to the station for a formal statement, though she didn’t quite feel like talking. Then he would take her to the hotel for safety precautions. There she would stay, until deemed safe to return to her apartment, or until she found better living accommodations.
It didn’t take long before they reached the station. Kennedy stepped out of the car, let Kara out, and together they made their way to one of the small investigation rooms. He knew she felt miserable, so he wanted to try to make it as brief as possible.
“You said his name was Nathaniel Smith, and he was 31?” Kennedy asked as he viewed the notes he had taken briefly at the apartment complex. “How long did you and Mr. Smith know each other?”
“Since childhood. I don’t quite remember, second or third grade maybe. We began dating halfway through junior high, though as children we didn’t really look at it that way.”
“How were your high school years together? Good? Troubled?”
Kara looked down at the table and sighed. “We were good kids. I mean, a bit rebellious against our parents, but what teens aren’t? We kind of fit in with everyone; the loners, the misfits, the Goths. He was always really nice to people, never once got into anything illegal like assault, heavy drugs, robberies.”
“So, no enemies you can think of? Someone who would want him dead?”
“No. I can’t think of anyone unless there were people he saw behind my back. And, I trusted him too much to do that. He didn’t do drugs. So, he wouldn’t have… owed anyone money.”
“I see. Thank you, Miss Lane. Only a few more questions.”
Friends, relatives, occupation questions. The clock in the room seemed to tick louder with each question, and Kara could not wait for them to end. She answered each one to the best of her ability. They had a few friends but rarely spent time with them because they were all so busy with work. They moved away from their families when they left for college. Nathaniel had kept in touch with his sister and parents, but Kara had distanced herself from hers. Nathan’s job was tough; he would work for three weeks away from home, then would be home for a week. Kara hated it, but the income it supplied meant they could live comfortably. They chose to live in a studio apartment to save up for their wedding and a house.
The ride to the hotel was a slow one. The storm had passed, though Kara wasn’t sure if it ended recently or hours ago. Pulling her phone out of her back pocket, Kara unlocked it to look at the time: 4:47 pm. Where had the time gone? The call that started all had been around 1 or 1:30 pm. She couldn’t remember anymore. Everything felt in slow motion. Even the car felt like it moved slower.
Her phone read 5:20 pm when Kennedy pulled into the front of the hotel doors. Kennedy helped her out of the car and carried the one bag she had, taking her inside. Once the secretary checked Kara into the system, Kennedy turned to look at her.
“Will you be fine from here?”
“Yeah, thank you, Sheriff.”
Kara took the room key and her bag, turning away from the desk. She barely heard her room number but brisk-walked to the elevator and took the first floor to the third floor, room 306. Unlocking the door with the card, she hurried inside, slammed and locked it.
“Well… Let’s hope I don’t have neighbors…” Kara whispered to herself. She looked at her phone once again before moving over to the bed, sitting down. It was then when she noticed the email notification in the top left corner. It was probably something unimportant, but she went against that thought and checked it anyway. A soft gasp escaped her, and she almost dropped her phone.
It was an email from Nathaniel; he had sent it close to her lunchtime, about a half hour or so before his murder. Kara opened it, frowning as she read over the contents.
Yeah, I know you’re at work, but this is the story I mentioned last night. It’s really eerie and kinda makes me think about that article you’re writing. Creepy, right? Anyway, you should check it out. Talk to ya when you get home! Don’t forget to call me, you butt.
“That story… He did mention one, but I didn’t want to listen,” she spoke to herself, tears beginning to fill her eyes again. In the email was a link to a website which she followed. “Looks like one of those creepy story websites. Heh, it shows this is an urban legend of Ireland?”
The tale spoke of a girl who hated existing. She wanted nothing more than to disappear without a trace. One day the girl succeeded in taking her own life, and soon after her parents found her body. A few days later, her parents were found dead and dismembered. The girl’s spirit found those who learned of her tale and knocked on their doors until they answered. Then she would kill them by tearing them apart limb by limb.
A loud knock snapped Kara out of her thoughts. She blinked at her phone then shivered hard. It knocked twice, paused, and about 15 seconds later, knocked again. Though Kara’s instincts told her to ignore it, the knocking seemed to grow louder and louder. Like the tale she had just finished.
She pushed the thoughts away as she stood from the bed and went over to the door, unlocking it and yanking it open. The anger that had fueled her seconds before seemed to fade, as there was no one at the door. Looking both ways down the hall, she wondered if the neighbor had thought someone was inside. Or, someone had the wrong door. Maybe she’d even been hearing things.
With a heavy sigh, she closed and locked the door and turned around. She screamed upon the sight of a girl standing right in front of her, pale as a ghost. Those screams turned into gurgling sounds as Kara’s eyes rolled back into her head, blood pooling from her mouth.
Out in the hallway, from beneath the door, a small puddle of blood began to form. A faint voice whispered, “knock, knock.”