Chapter OneThe tree branches moved swiftly in the wind, casting sad shadows on the ground. This was it. She had been preparing herself, mentally, for this for months. And now it was time. With a grin plastered to her face, she placed her finger gingerly on the trigger. Her heart thumped and slammed itself against it's bone cage over and over. Her pulse increased with adrenaline rush.
She stayed completely still, although it wouldn't have mattered. She couldn't have picked a better night. The clouds
Danielle's hand was becoming sweaty, and she was about to wipe it away, when a distant noise caught her attention. It was a voice. She leaned forward slightly to get a better listen. "Yes. Look, I'm almost home, I'll call you when I get home. Josh....Okay. I love you, too. Bye."
Trisha Henningway turned the corner as she put her phone back in her pocket. She was about ten yards from where Danielle was waiting, sitting in a tree branch, hidden from her sight. Trisha twisted her ponytail around absentmindedly, unaware of what the future held. She wasn't in a hurry, she took small, slow steps on this abandoned road.
Impatient, but very content, Danielle waited, seconds away from her victory. She had watched Trisha walk home on this road every night for the past two months. She wasn't a stalker, she was doing research. The best part, this road was abandoned. No one lived around here. Danielle had enough time to get away.
Only steps away from her death, Trisha stopped suddenly, looking at the tree, something had caught her attention. Danielle held completely still and watched with eagerness. Trisha shook her head, clearing her mind and stepped forward. At that moment, Danielle's gloved hands touched the trigger and lightly pulled it, allowing the bullet to escape. A perfect shot.
Trisha didn't scream. She touched her punctured chest, looked at the blood on her hand and dropped to the ground. Danielle after a moment, very carefully jumped out of the tree, dropping the gun by the trunk of the tree. She walked over to Trisha, who was still slightly alive but in shock. "Trisha, I told you never to get in my way. And I meant what I said."
Danielle pulled a dead and brittle rose from her coat pocket and dropped it on Trisha's legs. She blew her a kiss, smiling at the fear frozen in Trisha's eyes and then ran. She ran down the street, the way Trisha had come, across a field, through the cemetary, and into the park. She slipped into a group of kids from school, unnoticed.
"Did anyone hear that?" A blonde, stuck-up, cheerleader asked.
"Yeah. I did."
"Me too." She turned around and looked at me.
"What do you think it was?"
She masked my excitement with confusion. "I don't know. It kind of sounded like a gun. Maybe somebody was target practicing."
"In the dark?" A red-headed tomboy asked.
"Maybe," Mark Taylor, the quarterback said. "My dad sometime does."
"Yeah, but were not by where anyone lives. Maybe we should report it." the redhead girl said.
"Yeah, anyone have a phone on them? Mine's at home." She asked.
"Yeah, we can use mine." Another guy said from within the shadows.
Everyone gathered into a tight circle around the guy with the phone as he dialed 9-1-1. He put it on speaker just as a lady was answering.
"Yes, hi," The cheerleader started. "Um, my name's Lacey and I'm here in the park with a bunch of friends and we think we just heard a gunshot. It was pretty close sounding."
"Okay. Can you tell me all the friends that are with you?"
"Yeah, Mark Taylor, Chris Smith, Danielle Conners, and Missy Craig."
"Okay, you guys stay there. I'm sending someone over to check it out now."
"Okay, thank you," She said and hung up the phone.
This couldn't get any better. Soon, Trisha's body would be found. She couldn't wait to see the look on these kids' faces when they saw Trisha. And Danielle would act, right along with them. They would never know they were standing next to a killer.
They heard the sirens right before the cops pulled in beside them. Two cops got out of the car, Officer Robins and Officer Collins. They asked the kids a series of questions about who they were, their age, how long they'd been here and all of that nonsense. "Okay," Officer Collins began. "How long ago did you here the gunshot?"
Mark answered, "Just a minute or two before we called you guys."
"Okay, and can you point to which direction it came from?"
Danielle pointed to the same place as the other kids and luckily, it was right towards where Trisha's dead, bleeding body lay.
Another cop car pulled up. Officer Robins must have called it in. "Okay, we're sorry about this but we need you guys to split up into the back of the cars."
"Where are you taking us?" Missy asked.
"Well, we're heading to check out that scene but we need to bring you kids along. We can't allow you to go running around until we have figured out where the bullet cam from."
"Okay." They said in unison, and piled into the cars. Danielle got a window seat next to Mark and beside him, Chris. The other girls got into the other car.
Danielle just wanted to yell to the world about what she'd done but she distracted the sttention of the cops to herslef by having a conversation with the boys. "So I heard you guys won your game last night."
The boys high-fived. "Yeah it was 41 to 13."
"Who'd you play again?"
"The Spartens. Were you there?"
"No, I had to babysit my little sister."
"Oh that sucks."
"Yeah but I'm coming to Thursday's game."
They stopped talking as the car pulled over to the side of the road and both officer's got out. They left their doors oopen, running towards a bloody body in the road. In the other car, the girls were out, their faces twisted in horror. "Hey, Danni, get out so we can check it out."
They ran over to the other girls and watched the cops work frequently to revive the body. Officer Robins was yelling into his radio. "Who is it?" Chris asked.
"Trisha Henningway." Missy whispered.
They all fell silent. Danielle pretended to be horrified and grabbed Mark's arm, like she was protecting herself. "Are you okay?" He asked her, grabbing her like she might fall.
"I don't like blood." She lied.
"It's okay. Wait, Trisha, wasn't she one of your best friends?"
Danielle sniffed and shook her head yes. Mark hugged her and said, "It's gonna be okay, just don't look."
She buried her face in his shoulder, pretending to sniff and get upset. But she was such a good liar.