A beautiful snow blanketed the ground, as Lucy walked into her dance studio on a chilly, December night. Tis’ the season for wearing red and being merry, but Lucy was running from a psycho with a dangerous obsession. Snowflakes collected in her plaid scarf and a harsh wind blew up her red skirt. She danced passionately to a love song with her dance partner; he dipped her down low and she smiled genuinely. A dark figure stood outside of the dimly lit dance studio, watching. There was something magical about watching the girl dance…she was dripping with passion. The figure taped a letter to Lucy’s car window and disappeared into the winter night.
“Happy Holidays my favorite girl…have you been naughty or nice this year? I keep trying to be good, but when it comes to you I can’t help it. You drive me crazy, mad, insane. I have a special gift for you. I am inviting you to a Christmas party this weekend. Please, come alone. You’ll find the address shortly. I will give you a clue as to who I am at this soiree, but please darling, don’t tell. Detective Jones is giving up on Liam’s case and he has no clue who I am. He isn’t as smart as I am, or as smart as you are. Stay warm and I’ll see you Saturday.”
Lucy stood there in the parking lot feeling lost; snow glistened in her hair and covered her coat. She was alone in a game she wanted to win. She was terrified to discover the truth and yet, she craved it. Kenny texted her for the first time in weeks, “I miss you, but it isn’t safe for us to see each other. I am watching from the distance and I’ll always be here to keep you safe.” She called her friend Serena and they headed to the bar. Lucy found peace and comfort in a bottle of Jack Daniels. They danced and drank until two am, but Serena knew something was wrong. They were best friends…sadly, Lucy had to battle her current demons alone. Liam was dead and Kenny was afraid of his own shadow. She couldn’t involve anyone else she loved in the deadly cat and mouse game. As they took a final shot of something potent, a man wandered over to Lucy, with intentions. He smiled at her and she bit her lip. A flirtatious grin appeared on her face and she introduced herself. He wasn’t like the other guys who approached her with murky plans. There was something completely genuine about the attractive man who stood in front of her. They talked until the bar closed and he drove both women home. The attractive stranger’s name was Luke, a thirty year old success story. Luke and Lucy sat in her driveway laughing about nothing at all, and getting lost in each other’s eyes. It was ordinary and perfect.
“I don’t want to be forward, but can I come in?” Luke asked.
Lucy thought for a moment. “Luke, I like you…but, my life is a mess. If you know what’s good for you you’d leave tonight and never talk to me again,” she said with a serious smile.
“Well, there’s a slim chance of that happening. You’re one beautiful mess, Lucy.”
They parted ways for the night, but Luke didn’t leave before asking Lucy out on a proper date. Of course, she said yes. She smiled as she made her way to the bedroom, feeling happy and light. There was a package sitting on the bed, wrapped in a dramatic red bow. The smile on her face faded in an instant. She carefully untied the bow and opened the large box with innocent eyes. A gorgeous, black, sequin gown greeted her; she pulled the dress out of the box and studied its beauty. There was a note pinned to the bust of the dress from Omisha, which had the address written on it for the Christmas soiree.
Lucy told no one of her plans for the evening, as she slinked out of a cab. She stood there among traffic on a cold street, in a spectacular, floor length, black gown. The sequins shimmered and her eyes glowed beneath gold eyeshadow. She looked over at an address engraved in the brick of an old building. She walked through the illuminated doorway and entered into a winter wonderland. Fake snow fell from the ceiling and landed in her wavy hair. She recognized no one in the bar, and the music was so loud she couldn’t hear herself think. A man wearing all white handed her a martini and a note. She sipped the cocktail with flirty eyes and read the piece of paper.
“Meet me on the rooftop at midnight. Tick tock.”
The clock ticked and Lucy mingled with strangers, who were all there for a “Boozy Christmas Party”. Lucy was there for her own private party. She became dizzy from her fourth martini and her body felt hot; a man wearing an expensive suit winked at her, but her mind was distant. Midnight arrived and Lucy swallowed hard, tiptoeing up to the rooftop in her incredible gown and designer heels. As she approached the heavy door that led to the roof, she took a deep breath and closed her eyes, just for a moment. A harsh breeze greeted her as she opened the door and stepped out onto the roof. The view was breathtaking, but the brief moment of beauty was shattered by the figure standing behind her wearing a gorgeous, masquerade mask. There was something familiar about Omisha’s scent. As she stood there full of fear and anger, she felt comfortable with her stalker. Omisha touched her neck and moved her hair out of the way.
“Who are you?” Lucy asked.
Omisha took a deep breath and stuck a needle in her delicate neck. Lucy cried out as her eyes rolled back, but before she was able to react she fell to the ground; she was unconscious. Omisha bent over and inhaled her beautiful smell. Lucy’s body clung to the cold ground and her phone lit up with Luke’s name.
Darkness surrounded Lucy as she opened her eyes. She smelled a familiar cologne and cigarette smoke. The room she found herself in was dank and lonely, and the space ached with torment. Something tragic had happened in the room she woke up in. Her neck throbbed from the injection she had been given and she felt spacey. She looked down at her sequin gown and sighed, struggling to stand up. Lucy stumbled over to the door, which was locked and screamed for help. Her lungs ached and she barely possessed a voice. She looked over at an old wooden table and naturally, there was a handwritten note waiting for her.
I’m glad you’re awake. I’m sure you’re scared and wondering where you are, but don’t worry…I’ll take good care of you. If you pay close attention I am giving you subtle clues as to who I am. I also have your phone and I let Luke and Serena know you’ve been kidnapped. I’ll be sending them clues shortly. Lets see how smart the people in your life are, darling. Please enjoy the drink I left for you. I’ll see you shortly. Xo”
Lucy picked up a glass of something unknown. It smelled like water; she was too thirsty to say no to a glass of anything. The cold liquid washed down her throat and within moments she felt lightheaded. She was hallucinating and the room spun out of control. A loud bang echoed around her and the door began to open. Lucy pinned herself up against the wall, as tears streamed down her face. She ran her fingers through her messy hair and bit down on her lip. She refused to black out. A masked person appeared in the doorway and approached her with intent. The person’s grip was strong and steady, but Lucy wasn’t done fighting. She clawed at the mask as she felt hands creep up her dress. The pair of hands held her up against the brick by her neck. She stared at the person who was tormenting her with pleading eyes, but was too weak to fight back. She knew it was Omisha…the same person who stabbed her in the neck with a needle, and the same person who killed Liam with no regret. The room was still spinning and she was fading fast. As she felt her body collapse beneath her, Omisha held her closely and placed her head carefully onto the ground. The hands of her tormenter were similar to those of a lover at times, which confused her. She smelled that same known scent of cologne before falling into a deep, troubling sleep. Omisha removed the mask and kissed her forehead, as she drifted away into a nightmare she couldn’t wake up from.
“Sleep tight kitten. I love you,” Omisha whispered.