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Red sky at morning. Shepherds' warning...

A prism of red light shattered a calm night sky the week after the Bellisario family massacre. The fragments of the town were now scattered amongst the damned of Lakefield View. Whilst there was not a lot to be told in the years leading up to it, that fateful October night when Stacey Hawkins was slaughtered struck the townspeople like the Black Death. Stacey's murder was not the only talk of the town like people would have initially thought - it was the kidnappings of Hunter Donovan, Katherine Lacey and Christopher Mayer that had people guessing; the murders of Frank Watson and Rhys Stevens that had everyone chatting; the reappearance of Claudia Hawkins that shocked even the unshockable; and the realisation that Justin Rutherford, Tiffany Hawkins, Eric Watson, Christina Mayer and Carmen Stevens were bang in the centre of it all that made them question who they really were.

"That gay has everything to do with the disappearance of that Hunter fellow," one woman spoke at a book club. They were discussing everything but the book they had set for the week. "Hunter was such a respectable lad before Justin came along and tainted his soul."

"If you ask me," another elderly lady said, though nobody did ask, "Justin has always been a strange boy. I used to live opposite the Rutherford's house years ago and the things I saw..."

"Like what?" The first woman asked with a burning intensity.

"Well, I would always see Justin in his garden digging and talking to somebody who wasn't there."

"That's nothing; kids always talk to imaginary people!"

"Not quite like this, you see, objects around him would move of their own accord!"

Every single woman at the book club gasped.

"Do you think...?"

"He's the work of the devil! Everything about him reeks of sin!"

A book was slammed intentionally on the table, attracting all attention to her. "First he's one of those dirty homosexuals that plague this town, then he gets his boyfriend kidnapped under strange circumstances, and now he's the devil apprentice with all the power of Satan!"

The youngest of the group spoke out of nowhere, "we just read Carrie last month."

"Great book, though it could have done with a bit of sex..."

Not everybody had the name Justin Rutherford on their tongue. Brenda Williams met with her best friends Trish and Cece to discuss the events involving their disgraced friend.

"Tiffany kind of deserves it though, don't you think?" Trish questioned as she sat with her cold latte in the centre of the Town Square. "I mean, the body that was... floating... from just six feet away from us last week had something to do with her."

"That is true Trish," Brenda confirmed, sucking up her iced tea through a multi-coloured straw. She resumed talking after smacking her lips to the annoyance of Cece. "To be honest, I do feel pretty sorry for her. She must be all over the place after Claudia showed her face again."

"Do you think Claudia came back because Stacey was killed?" Cece chimed in.

"Well we don't call you no-shit-Sherlock for nothing, do we?" Brenda gave Trish an eye-roll. "Now Eric is somebody I definitely feel sorry for."

"Me too!" Trish said in a dreamy voice. The three girls smiled at nothing and began steamy daydreams that kept them preoccupied for the next ten minutes.

Eric's girlfriend, Shenae Anderson, walked past the girls and glared. She thought them to be pathetic, even though she loved the fact that they hated Tiffany just as much as she did.

Ashes of the Innocent (Abyssal Sanctuary #2)Read this story for FREE!