The blood red words grinned sickeningly at him from the wall. Brian heard the gasping come from his throat and then he felt his knees beginning to disappear beneath him. Desperately he clutched at the doorframe, but his legs still refused to hold his weight and he felt himself sinking to the floor.
Someone knew and someone had been inside of his house to leave him a little message for when he returned.
Slowly Brian raised as his head hoping that, by some small sliver of a chance, the words had faded into oblivion and that it had only been his imagination, but they still leered at him from the wall. His eyes traced the blood red letters… what if they had been written in blood?
Gasping, Brian fled from the room, slamming the door hard behind him. He began to climb the stairs and his legs did not stop until they had led him into his own bedroom. He flicked the light on and his eyes spun about the room wildly, checking to make sure that the intruder had not written any messages up here as well. The walls were blank as usual and Brian closed the door securely behind him. He stood with his back to it for a moment and his eyes squeezed tightly closed. He wanted to wake up, he wanted this to be a nightmare, he wanted to be safe… Why was reality so harsh?
His hands had tensed themselves into fists and as he opened his eyes and looked down he saw that they had turned a sickly purple. He forcefully unclenched them and slid down to sit down upon the carpet.
The tears threatened to spill from his eyes and Brian covered his face with his hands. Why was this happening?
It had only been an accident. Liam had invaded his home; had tried to KILL him! He had hardly even made a move to defend himself. He had grabbed the knife, but Liam was the one who had pulled Brian closer to him, causing the knife to pierce his heart. Brian had never wanted to kill him. He had just wanted everything around him to cease its terrible spiral into hell.
"What am I going to do?" he whispered. His own voice was a small comfort to him in his cursed home, but would do little to help him.
The thoughts circled his head, snapping at him viciously with sharp memories of Liam's face as he had choked upon the blood. Every time he pushed the image away, another one would surface. He would see Liam's cruel eyes and then the knife moving to his throat and then Liam lying in a pool of blood upon his carpet.
He wrapped his arms about his body and rocked himself unconsciously. His eyes were wet and the tears had finally forced their way out into the open.
Murderer. Someone knew.
What was he going to do? What if that person was watching right now ready to pounce as soon as he made a move to call for help?
He wanted Kevin with him. He wanted Kevin to help him through everything like he had in the hospital and at the police station. He sniffed slightly and used a trembling, sweaty hand to wipe the tears away, but he only served to smear his cheeks. Kevin… He was only a phone call away, but what if that person saw him? What would he do if Brian tried to call for help? For a second he imagined another Liam in front of him brandishing a carving knife and he whimpered slightly and buried his head in his arms.
Kevin, Nick… So close yet so far. He closed his eyes for a moment and conjured up Nick's face and wished that he had decided to stay at his home one more night. With Nick, or any other of his friends or family, he could forget all of his worries… but it seemed that he could never escape them completely.
He imagined that Nick was with him right now and talking to him. What would Nick tell him to do?
'You're being paranoid! There's nobody watching you and nobody can get inside without you knowing!'
No, the front door was locked so nobody could get inside without breaking a window and Brian would hear that. He was safe inside of his house… but what if someone was hiding in one of the other rooms? He began to regret ever buying such a big house…
Slowly he stood up and crept over to his bed, careful not to make any sound. His eyes stealthily stared at the phone by his bedside table. Just a call away, that's all they were…
He turned and glanced back at the door suspiciously. He bit his lip and then grabbed the chair from beside the wardrobe and rammed it up against the door before turning the key in the lock.
He was safe now. No one was going to get to him.
He fidgeted with his hands nervously, feeling his clammy fingers sticking together as they rubbed against one another. Nervously he looked up at the window that glared out at the night world beyond. Anybody could see his bedroom light on from outside…
His hand leapt up and smacked the light switch, quickly dissolving the light in the room. In the darkness, he crossed over to the window and tentatively peeped out into the street beyond.
There was nobody there.
Brian carefully stood up and looked out of the window properly. There was nobody watching him.
'I was paranoid, but it's okay…'
Or it was until he saw the person standing in the street.
Brian quickly ducked back down below the windowsill, gasping for air as if the entire room had suddenly been filled with toxic gases. Someone was out there!
'It could be anyone,' he thought, trying to reassure himself. Or it could be Liam… but Liam was dead, the message confirmed that. But who had written it?
He crawled along the floor until he reached his bed. He clambered up onto the soft covers and his hand stretched out to seize the phone in wet, shivery fingers. Desperately he wriggled forward on his belly until he could reach the digits with his hand.
Kevin. He had to call Kevin!
His fingers fumbled slightly as he punched in Kevin's number and then he heard the familiar sound of the phone ringing in his ear.
"Please be in," he prayed to himself. "Please God let him be in."
"Hi," a voice said.
"Kevin!" Brian cried.
"Sorry I'm not in right now but leave a - "
"No!" Brian screamed. His fingers tightened about the phone. "Kevin! Kevin, Please!" The sobs were coming now. There was nobody to help him…
Suddenly the message was stopped abruptly and was replaced with another voice.
Brian gasped in relief at the sound of his cousin's voice. "Kevin!" he sobbed. He was in after all…
"Brian? Brian, what's wrong? Has something happened?" Kevin gabbled anxiously, startled by the sound of his cousin's voice.
"Kevin! Kevin, thank God!" Brian stopped as another sob filled his voice. "Kevin, someone knows," Brian whispered, trying not to choke on the tears.
'Someone knows…' "Knows what?"
"What I did! Someone knows and they wrote a message on my wall!"
"What message? I was there yesterday and there was nothing!"
"Well, it's here now!" Brian said frantically. "Someone's written 'murderer' on my wall! Kevin, I'm scared!"
’Help me please…'
"Brian, just calm down for a second. Where are you?"
"At home. I - I just arrived and I found the message…"
'Someone knows! Murderer!'
"Is there anybody else in the house?"
Brian froze slightly, a slow drop of sweat slowly sliding down his arm that seemed to freeze him on its icy passage along his skin. Someone else in his house? Kevin voicing his own fear only served to intensify it. He felt his ears craning forward to try and locate any slight sound within his home. What if they were still here? He spun around, trying to hold in the gasp that threatened to erupt any moment. His eyes furiously darted about the room, almost bulging from their sockets as they attempted to take in his entire surroundings in all at once. He shivered slightly as he pressed his back securely up against the wall to make sure that nobody could creep up from behind him.
'No, stop it!' he told himself. 'I'm being stupid! There's no one in this room and there's no one here! Stop panicking… breathe…'
"Brian! Is anybody there!" Kevin shouted the words almost.
'Breathe… There's nobody else here. There's nobody else here!'
Or was there?
'Stop being paranoid,' he told himself, but his words did nothing to soothe or regulate his pounding heart. "I - I don't think so," he said to Kevin, but he felt his voice crack slightly. "Oh God, what if there is? Kevin, what do I do! I can't go through this again!"
"Brian, hold on I'm coming up to see you and I'm calling the police as well," Kevin said quickly.
"No, not the police!" Brian begged. "He knows I told them and that's why he's come back!"
'He's coming to get me…'
Liam knew that he had told and now he was back to complete the job that he had started.
"Brian, is there someone else there!" Kevin's voice was becoming hysterical almost.
"I don't know!" Brian wailed. "I'm in my bedroom! Kevin, what if he's in one of the other rooms?" 'Breathe… Just breathe… Don't lose control…'
"Get out of the house now and wait for me outside."
Outside? Brian clutched the phone tight in his hands. What if the message writer was outside? What if they were inside? Where should he go?
Thump, thump, thump, thump. He could hear the heart beat in his ears…
"What if he's waiting outside?" he said, his voice fast and loud to compensate for his brass drum of a heartbeat.
"Brian - "
Brian heard the sob come from his mouth. He pressed his eyes closed, wanting to seal away the world but the grisly red letters of the message were waiting for him inside of his mind. He could hear his heart thumping so hard in his chest it hurt and there was a sick shivering tingling through his body and covering him with a glaze of sweat. He opened his mouth to try and reply, but it seemed as if the darkness about him was spinning wildly.
'Calm down… Breathe…' he told himself.
And then he passed out.