Moving at the end of my high school career is not what I imagined. My mother and father insisted that we move a few towns a way. Far enough to escape poor memories, yet close enough to the ones we wanted to keep.
The town we reside in now has a decent enough track record, and the crime rate seems to be pretty low. My father has become so quiet now, so sallow. I swear, my mother’s complexion will never come back.
They walk around aimlessly, searching for my twin. My lovely sister, who perished in our old town. The victim of a gruesome murder, an unresolved one at that.
At night, I like to stay up and listen to my parents reminisce over the beautiful moments they had with my sister. Tonight, the talk is a bit different. It is the five month anniversary of her death. These discussions always become intense.
“She was always a little crazy, you know?” My mother’s shaky voice trembles out the phrase, and I cannot believe what I am hearing.
“I know dear, but she was our daughter. It could not be helped that she sometimes got things mixed up. I think it was a defense mechanism.” The pale face of my father sinks even further back into his skull, and the sadness drips from his chin.
How can my parents do this? How can they belittle my sister like that? I barge through the front door, and make my way into the brisk night. The leaves of the trees fall, tickling my face as I dance though the cold, black streets.
Up ahead I see a dismal street lamp, and what appears to be a bench beneath it. A crusty looking man is sitting on the bench, his head between his knees. I slowly approach the figure, calculating my steps as not to scare the poor fellow.
Slowly, he lifts his head and stares directly at me. His look, if I can even call it that, is tortured. His yellowing eyes search my face, and my body. The stubble on his chin moves as his jaw cracks in a nervous twitch.
“She always liked to walk at night.” His voice is a stale mix of sawdust, and cigarettes. The pitch rises, then falls as he stretches the word “night.” His foul mouth twists into a beguiled smirk, and his hands ball into fists.
Will a glimmer of hesitation he rises from the bench, and I see a gleam coming from his pocket.
A knife, I presume. I feel as though I should run, but something is cementing me to the ground at my feet.
His black coat shuffles in the wind, and I catch a whiff of malt whiskey and smoke. What a poor man, he must not have a friend in the world.
I begin to follow him, and he does not seem to mind my company. He does not once turn around to greet me, but simply walks. He keeps mumbling that phrase, “she always liked to walk at night.” It is starting to drive me mad. Why do those words pierce my heart oh so much? I feel like I have heard them before tonight.
He mumbles the words once more, and I shout, “Who? Who loved to walk at night?!”
With a flick of his coat, the knife is in his palms, and I can feel it on my throat. His stale breath is making me ill, and his eyes burn holes in my skin.