Carmen Stevens sat uncomfortably in her chair. She closed the curtains of the room prior to sitting down, feeling like the morning sun was interrogating her. The beeping of the heart monitor next to her was annoying. Her confused feelings overwhelmed her, so much so that she wanted to smash the damn thing. The entire hospital room infuriated her, right down to the aggravating nurse that was checking her mother's breathing.
"You seem to be getting along splendidly," the nurse said with sickening positivity. She was very young and pretty; someone Carmen thought might have just graduated out of medical school. There was no way she had experienced any sort of death in her life. Her facial features were unmarked from such tragedy. Carmen's face, on the other hand, looked aged and tired. She was embarrassed to admit she looked older than she actually was.
Caroline Stevens simply nodded, her eyes glazed over in an attempt to block out anything around her, like her daughter. The nurse didn't take offence, instead she continued in her happy tune, "so how about we get some paperwork filled in and get you discharged later today? Doesn't that sound wonderful?"
Neither of the Stevens women replied. The nurse, evidently uncomfortable now, grabbed her equipment and headed out of the room. Once she was gone, the room returned to a sub-zero atmosphere of silence. Carmen was now getting uncomfortable, looking at her mother with pleading eyes.
Her mother never took one look at her. She kept staring ahead, her facial expression showing some bitter resentment. Carmen wanted to speak to her, to sort things out, but she couldn't pluck up the courage to form a word.
The icy atmosphere was extinguished when another figure entered the room. Carmen didn't look at first until the words that came from this new person sounded all too familiar.
"Caroline Stevens, may I have a word with your daughter?" Detective Tremaine asked. It was probably the most courteous thing she had ever done considering she was used to just doing what she wanted without asking for permission. Tremaine waited for some kind of response from Caroline, but she never gave one. The detective wasn't fazed by it, instead she turned her full attention to the girl sitting by her hospitalised mother.
"I have nothing further to say to you," Carmen spat, trying hard to remain calm in her presence. It was hard to do when she was secretly terrified of her.
"I believe you do, Miss Stevens. We still haven't solved the mystery of your brother's death. You are still my number one suspect. You were found with the body, after all...."
"I told you," Carmen interrupted her. "I found him and I got so scared of what would happen that I panicked and did what I thought was best for my family. I didn't want my mother to see him like that or know he was dead. She's been through so much already." Carmen lied, scaring herself by how good she was at it. She almost believed herself when she said she didn't kill her brother. The terrible nightmare of Rhys's death still haunted her beyond measure, but she was starting to move on. She hated thinking it, but she believed he deserved it.
"And what does your mother think about that, then?" Tremaine asked coyly while turning to Caroline. She still wouldn't speak, but instead her face just presented more hidden anger than before. "This is all very strange. We are no further forward of who killed Rhys Stevens, nor in identifying who stabbed your mother in the back. Is there anybody you can think of, other than yourself Carmen, that would target your family?"
Carmen had a couple of ideas. The Bellisario family, for one, could have stabbed her mother. "How about the person who killed Stacey Hawkins? She only died about an hour before my mother was stabbed on the same street. Do you have no idea who killed her then, detective?" Her tone challenged Tremaine.
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Ashes of the Innocent (Abyssal Sanctuary #2)Horror
The second book in the award-winning 'Abyssal Sanctuary' series! GOLD Award Winner for Horror Fiction at the 2016 Global eBook Awards! One week has passed since the Bellisario family massacre and the staff of the Pandora Cafe try their best to move...