“I want to shoot,” Lucy said with a smile. Her friend Nathan handed the beauty a cold beer.
“Shoot what?” Nathan asked hesitantly.
“A gun,” Lucy whispered.
Lucy stood in the back of her store chatting with a sales associate. The store phone rang and then came a deafening silence. Another associate approached Lucy with caution and sadness; the phone call was from the chief of police.
“Lucy Marshall, I need to speak with you regarding your ex-fiancé Liam Reynolds.”
“Hi, what about Liam? I spoke with him two days ago,” Lucy explained.
“Miss Marshall…Liam Reynolds was found murdered last night. We found a note in Liam’s suit pocket that leads us to suspect a close friend of yours is responsible for his death. I will need you to come to the station immediately,” Detective Jones stated somberly.
Lucy was silent. She felt the way you do when first emerging from a nightmare. Lucy’s sales associate held her closely as tears streamed down her soft face. Harsh mascara streaks appeared on Lucy’s cheeks, and a moan of heartache emerged from within the fragile girl. She wanted to speak, to say anything, but there were no words. Flashbacks flooded back to her in strong, painful waves. They washed over her like a high tide.
“Lucy, I’m very sorry for your immense loss and I am here for support. We will find out what happened to Liam and justice will be served,” Detective Jones remarked.
As Lucy drove to the police station, hysterical, she realized Liam’s death wasn’t a coincidence. She clutched the diamond-heart necklace around her neck, which had been a gift from her anonymous stalker. She ripped it off and threw it out the window. The piece of jewelry disappeared among oncoming headlights. Her phone rang; it was Kenny. She answered and took a deep breath. Breathing hurt and so did existing.
“Lucy, where are you?” Kenny asked.
“I’m heading to the police station, Kenny. I’m sure you’ve heard about Liam. Will you be with me tonight?” Lucy wondered. She needed comfort.
“Lucy…I am at the police station being interrogated. They claim there was a note found in Liam’s pocket signed by me. They’re searching my house as we speak. Lucy, I would never kill a man. I would also never hurt you,” Kenny exclaimed.
A harsh gust of wind pushed against her sportscar. Lucy was quiet. She began questioning everything. She felt overwhelmed with feelings. Kenny still spoke in the background, but Lucy was unable to hear anything but her own, terrifying thoughts. The police station was visible ahead of her. She hung up the phone and ran into the beautiful, old building. A man greeted her with a metal detector. She stood there like a ghost. Detective Jones brought her into a tiny room, filled with files and a small seating area. He handed her the note which was found on Liam and said nothing. Lucy looked it over and felt as though she was going to be sick. The handwriting was identical to her stalker’s pretty marks. The note read:
“Lucy, I am so sorry for what I have done. I always loved you and Liam was too foolish to appreciate what he had. He doesn’t deserve you and he doesn’t deserve to live for the pain he put you through. I’m the one who held you after he broke your heart too many times to count. I love you always Lucy, despite the fact that it has never been our time. Please forgive me.
She dropped the note to her lap and leaned her head back, releasing a painful sigh. Meanwhile, Kenny sat alone in a dark room with nothing but his mind to keep him company…none of it made any sense. Kenny never pursued her the way she wanted him to; if he killed out of love, there would’ve been a thrilling pursuit. She didn’t believe Kenny was the killer, but the police were banking on their theory. Detective Jones asked Lucy a series of questions, first about Liam and their tangled relationship, and then about Kenny. She was exhausted, but there is no rest for the heartbroken.
Two days had passed since the death of Liam and the fall of Kenny and Lucy’s passionate friendship. Her stalker fell silent, which scared Lucy, because she knew there’d be more to come. She sat at the police station once again, but this time she was in the room with Detective Jones and Kenny. He looked broken and dazed. His eyes were distant and his strength had vanished. She had never seen him like that before, but when she looked at him she still saw her dear friend and lover.
“Lucy, I have brought you here today to share with you new evidence in the killing of Liam Reynolds,” Detective Jones explained as Lucy bowed her head for just a moment, for Liam. She pictured him alone and cold, which killed her.
Kenny watched as Lucy grieved quietly. He wanted to hold her. Detective Jones placed a bloody knife on the table in front of them both. Lucy’s eyes grew to the size of a full moon. Kenny retreated into a dark place, trying to escape the insanity around him. The weapon was massive and Lucy instantly felt the sharp tip piercing through her skin. Liam was stabbed multiple times.
“We recovered this weapon from Kenny’s house. The blood on the knife is an exact match…Lucy, your friend is going on trial for Liam’s murder. I will need you to testify and to take the stand, which will be one week from today,” Detective Jones said firmly and without remorse.
Lucy felt faint and as if the life she once knew had shattered completely. A part of her was madly in love with Kenny, who was now going on trial for the murder of her ex-fiance. She was ready to speak up about her stalker and a possible connection, but she couldn’t breathe. She could feel Kenny’s touch and taste his lips. The pain was way too deep.
“Lucy, you have to believe me! I didn’t kill Liam. I’m being set up. I promise you someone is trying to frame me. Please, help me fight this,” Kenny yelled as guards escorted him out of the room. On his way out he tried reaching for her. She looked at him and it was incredibly hard to see the man she spent countless nights with, cuddled up in sheets, being dragged away by armed guards.
It was days before the trial and Lucy was living in a perpetual nightmare. Kenny and Liam both haunted her, every second of the day. She felt them with every exhale. She went to Detective Jones and told him about the dangerous game she had become involved in. He believed Kenny was her stalker, and after comparing the note found on Liam and the notes Lucy received, they were identical. As she was leaving the police station she noticed a piece of paper sticking out of her glove box. She pulled the paper out and screamed; the paper was covered in what appeared like blood.
“Lucy, I’m sorry about Liam. Kenny didn’t kill him; I did. Yes, this page is smeared with his blood. I need to remove those closest to you from your life so that you can dedicate more time to us. I know you’re dying to know who I am, right? I am very sad that you threw the beautiful necklace I bought for you out the window, but I bought you another one. It’s waiting for you at home. Please, put it on. If you show this letter to the police I will slit Kenny’s throat and I promise you, they won’t find that murder weapon. Have a good weekend and best of luck at the trial.”
Lucy jumped out of her car, trying not to stumble in her designer heels. She ran into the police station and demanded to see Kenny, immediately. Tears covered her face and Detective Jones looked puzzled. He was beginning to realize the case he found himself a part of was far from simple. Detective Jones liked to tie up his cases with perfect, little bows, but this murder wasn’t going to be easy to put to rest. He sat Kenny down across from Lucy and allowed them a supervised visit. Kenny looked at the girl he admired and felt dizzy from memories. She reached under the table and touched his hand, which sent chills through his body. The handcuffs had created scars on his wrists, but those little scars were the least of his worries.
“You know I didn’t kill him, don’t you?” Kenny questioned.
“Yes, of course I do. I always did. I am sorry I didn’t act quicker. The game has me questioning everything, Kenny. I found a letter in my car this morning from my stalker and it was covered in Liam’s blood. My stalker admitted to killing Liam. I need to plead with the judge and find a way to convince them that you are being framed,” Lucy said with a determined look.
“Lucy, you need to hand that letter over to Detective Jones,” Kenny exclaimed.
“I can’t do that Kenny,” Lucy replied.
“Why on earth not? You need to do something or I am going to be sent away for a crime I didn’t commit. This stalker of yours isn’t playing a game anymore Lucy…”
“My stalker said that if I bring the letter to Detective Jones your throat will be slit, and I’m sorry but we now know that these threats aren’t empty,” Lucy cried.
“Lucy, I will be fine. Please, show Detective Jones right now.”
Kenny looked into her fiery brown eyes and she knew that they had no other option. She’d protect Kenny, even if she had to lose herself to do so.
She turned the letter in to Detective Jones and returned home, saying goodbye to Kenny until tomorrow. She woke up to a phone call from Detective Jones.
”Good morning Lucy, are you feeling okay about today’s trial?” He questioned.
”No, this trial has me craving liquor and answers,” she expressed.
”Well, have a drink after the trial today. Answers are always present. We just need to ask the right questions,” Detective Jones said simply.
The courthouse was crowded with people, and Lucy caught the attention of many. She wore the new necklace from her stalker, who had left a note asking to be called “Omisha”. Omisha is a female name meaning “the spirit of birth and death”. Lucy told Detective Jones her stalker could be in fact a female. He informed her that a stalker as clever as her own wouldn’t be dumb enough to reveal his or her gender. The game was far from over, which meant the name was mentioned to distract Lucy from the truth.
Feeling broken is often inevitable, but Lucy wanted the aches to disappear. What was truly sad was that Liam’s death had more to do with Lucy than himself. Omisha only cared about one person, and that was Lucy. Everyone else was merely a part of the cruel game on Omisha’s way to take the queen.
At the trial, Lucy sat in a crowded court room wearing a perfect, black, designer dress and eight-inch nude heels. She wore her hair back in a high, curly ponytail and the red lipstick she wore distracted even the jury. The judge looked at Kenny and then at Lucy. Detective Jones announced that the blood on the letter Lucy received was a positive match to Liam Reynolds. He also noted that Kenny’s handwriting wasn’t a match to the writing which appeared in the letters. Lucy felt sick. She shut her eyes tightly and then looked at Kenny, who was noticeably shaking. He could still calm her nerves, despite where he found himself. Lucy bit her lip as they asked Kenny countless questions, many of which had everything to do with his feelings towards her.
His answers gave her goosebumps. The words were true and delicate. Lucy faced the judge and addressed the jury. She looked beautiful and poised, but on the inside she was screaming.
“Miss Marshall, please explain honestly why you don’t believe that Kenny killed your ex-fiance.”
“Kenny is a good person with a kind soul. He saved me when I fell down the rabbit hole and brought me back to life. When he looks at me, I know he actually sees me, and I see him too. A person like Kenny doesn’t wake up one morning and decide to murder someone; leaving behind the life he has built, for the life of a criminal. He also would never hurt me…and killing Liam hurt me, incredibly. I brought letters and the knowledge of a relentless stalker to the attention of Detective Jones. I am wearing a necklace around my neck which Omisha, my stalker told me to wear. The necklace possesses one of my favorite minerals. I bet if you ask Kenny what mineral can be found in my necklace, he won’t know the answer…but my stalker, the one who killed Liam does,” Lucy spoke. She took a breath and the judge looked over at Kenny.
“Kenny, do you know what mineral is found in Miss Marshall’s necklace? Detective Jones is aware of what mineral is present in the jewelry.”
Kenny couldn’t name one mineral. He looked at Lucy and thanked her without words. Kenny could’ve been lying about not knowing what mineral was found in her necklace, but the final say was left to the jury and the judge. Kenny was comfortable with taking a lie detector test. A friend of his also came to his rescue by giving an alibi at the time of Liam’s death. Lucy made sure his friend would show up; she’s would’ve done anything to save Kenny.
“Alexandrite is the mineral found in Miss Marshall’s necklace. Minerals aren’t easily recognized or remembered. Lucy was once a collector of minerals, which she apparently never shared with you,” Detective Jones stated.
Silence filled the court room as the judge announced that a verdict had been made. Lucy froze and she looked at Kenny, hoping he could feel her support through her gaze.
“In the case of the Commonwealth verses Kenny Drake…we find the defendant not guilty of murder in the first degree.”
Lucy cried and smiled at Kenny. He looked down at the floor and she knew he was tearing up. A text appeared on Lucy’s phone from an unknown number.
“Oh, Lucy…do you think this is over? Good job beautiful, but you better start running. Kenny is a dead man walking and you will make a gorgeous corpse. Sleep tight angel. Love, Omisha”.
Rounds of bullets propelled into a target, leaving their mark. Lucy aimed the gun at her desired target and shot. Her long hair was pulled back in a pony tail and she wore tall, black, high-heeled boots. Nathan appeared beside her and smiled. She was getting good. She was focused and determined; if only Nathan truly knew what was going on in her pretty, little mind as she was firing rounds. The investigation of Liam’s murder was ongoing, and at night Lucy felt tormented by ghosts of her past. Kenny was safe for the time being, but Lucy was worried. She was worried for herself and those she loved. Omisha was everywhere and nowhere, all at once.
“You better start running,” Lucy whispered under her breath as she cocked the gun back. She bit down on her cherry red lips. Nathan looked at his friend; he was blown away by the powerful and strong person that she was.
“You’re one hell of a storm Lucy,” Nathan said with a smirk.
“Sweetheart, you have no idea,” Lucy responded.