Carmen Stevens: To Love is To Bury

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Go to sleep. Go to sleep. Go to sleep, little baby.

Somebody hummed while Carmen screamed. This was a memory, not a nightmare. She was a little girl. She could see blood everywhere. This man was going to kill her.

Carmen snapped out of the memory when her phone started to vibrate. Several hours had passed since she survived the attack from her neighbour. The poison that paralysed her entire body wore off eventually. The first thing she did was return to her dead brother and take his body away from her house by driving it to the woods.

'Hello?' Carmen said out of breath down the phone. She wiped her forehead with the back of her hand. Her hair was drenched and her brow shone with sweat. She looked around the trees that encased the clearing she was burying her brother in.

'Carmen, this is Doctor Mayer from Lakefield Hospital...'

'Is my mum okay?' Carmen asked before he could finish his sentence. She couldn't tell exactly but she was sure she heard Doctor Mayer give a small laugh.

'She's going to be fine, we've just got her out of surgery. It wasn't easy but she's stable and on her way to recovery,' he said, his warm voice an unexpected comfort to her. She felt herself laugh and cry at the same time.

'Oh my God, thank you so much,' she said with a beaming smile. Finally, some good news after a night of Hell. 'I am so grateful for everything you have done. Thank you, thank you so much!'

'It was my pleasure Carmen; will you be coming in at all today? There are just a few things you need to sign. Neither you or your brother showed up after the paramedics brought her in.'

Carmen couldn't think of a lie to tell him. 'I'll be there in about an hour. I'll see you then.'

Carmen cancelled the call and put the phone back in her pocket. She couldn't tell him the truth about why she hadn't been to visit. She looked up at the sky where her brother was most likely looking down on her. Or not, but she didn't want to think about the alternative.

'I'm sorry Rhys. I didn't want to do this. I am so, so sorry.'

A rustling of leaves behind Carmen diverted her attention. 'Hello?' Carmen called out. 'Is anybody there?'

She prayed for no response and returned to shovelling the dirt back into the shallow grave she had dug for her brother. Unfortunately, she didn't get her wish.

'Well, well, well,' a familiar female voice responded from the trees as a woman slowly came into view. Carmen dropped the shovel and looked up at Detective Winifred Tremaine followed by several police officers pointing guns in her direction. Carmen stumbled back in shock, putting her hands up. Tremaine moved closer to her. 'Looks like I've just uncovered a killer.'

*

Carmen sat perfectly straight in the cold box of a room for the first time in hours. Tremaine sat across from her, resting her arms on the table. The detective sighed as she looked hopelessly at the suspect in front of her. Carmen, obviously frightened, looked away from Tremaine's unwelcoming gaze.

'You're going to have to talk soon, Carmen Stevens.' Tremaine had finally broken the silence. She didn't take her eyes off her for a second. 'It was your brother I found you burying in the woods. Why were you doing that? Did you kill him and try to dispose of the body before anybody could find him?'

'I didn't kill him,' Carmen stated, affirming a connection with Tremaine's eyes. She was terrified; she wanted more than anything to tell her the reasoning behind her brother's murder. But she couldn't let Tremaine know she committed the act. 'I... I just found him last night. Dead.'

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