Bloody Ice Part 3: Trapped In The Storeroom

This hub is a continuation of a short mystery that I have written lately. You might understand this hub better if you read parts one and two.

What should have been a three-hour drive took Nathan Todd seven hours. He got lost in back roads, ran out of gas 10 miles away from the nearest station, and ended up in the wrong Chilankoly. Apparently, there are two towns in the area with the same name. It was 11:48 pm; too late to keep looking for the Parkins family or do anything about them.

He parked his car in a recess in the woods and made his plans for the next day, Saturday. He was determined to do everything it took to find out what Sylvia Parkins knew about him. Especially if people believe that she can tell the future and read people's past the way her mother could. He could not risk anyone finding out that he was a murderer.

"Sylvia. Sylvia honey, it is time to get up. We're gonna be late for church." Joseph Parkins knocked on his daughter's room door. He dreaded having to do this every weekend. Never once had he had to fight her out of bed to go to school. He pushed the room door open, the light from the passage following him to the side of her bed.

"Sylvia?" He looked down at the thick long black lashes that rested on his daughter's cheeks. Perfect replicas of her mother's cheeks that used to turn a beautiful rose pink when people questioned her prophecies and religion.

Religion. Church. He is going to be late for church!

Joseph tramped around the room pulling the blinds open and throwing open the windows. "Sylvia you need to get up. I cannot keep doing this every week. This isn't funny anymore."

Sylvia just moaned and pulled the covers over her head.

"Sylvia, come on!" He grabbed the corner of the cover that hung off the foot of the bed. "You gotta get up."

A weary voice floated out from under the sheets, "no, sleep now," she said, pulling on her end of the sheets.

"You can't sleep now. Get up." He pulled again and she pulled back.

Their little tug-o-war continued and Sylvia, now kneeling on the bed, pulled her end as her dad dug his heels into the carpet. Joseph gave one big pull on the cover and let go, letting Sylvia fly backwards into the fluffy pile of pillows on her bed. They both burst out laughing, each thinking how lucky they were to have the other.

"Now that you're finally awake, you're breakfast is on the table. Get dressed; I am leaving in 30 minutes. We cannot be late. I'm moderating the service today."

"Ha ha ha. Yes Dad."

Nathan Todd's 2001 Honda Civic fit in nicely among the other vehicles in the parking lot. He hoped he would blend in as well as his car did. He looked at a group of men going into the church and then studied his own attire. He was wearing a dark brown turtleneck and the black dress pants he had worn to work on Friday.

Todd followed the men into the church and sat in the back row. It was not very hard to find the man he was looking for. He remembered the face of the man he had seen at the car on Friday. He smiled when he saw him at the podium thanking everyone for coming and asking if everyone would please stand for the benediction. He almost laughed aloud at his luck when he saw his targeted red-haired beauty in her white robe at the front of the choir.

"I'm not lucky yet," he reminded himself. "I have to find a way to get her alone and find out what she knows."

Benediction said, Mr. Parkins stepped up to the podium and cleared his throat into the microphone to get everyone's attention. "Before you leave, there are refreshments in the study area and all choir members are asked to bring their gowns to the storeroom as the key to the chorale room has been misplaced. Thank you."

Todd was not familiar with what should happen after the services but if rumors were anything to go by, Sabbath worshipers could stay on the grounds and fellowship all day. The best thing to do is to get the girl and get out as soon as possible.

He watched Sylvia as she and the other choir members crossed the churchyard into what he assumed to be the storeroom. Afraid anyone would notice him he headed in the opposite direction and walked around the church under the cover of trees and bushes.

Todd stooped in the bushes nearest the door to watch and listen. He could see the entrance to the storeroom and the entire churchyard. Almost all of the people were towards the front of the yard.

How long did it take to slip out of a simple gown? He seemed to be waiting there forever, listening to the droning chatter of the girls that remained inside. Then he heard her voice.

"Come on guys, I need to lock up. We'll meet back here in three hours and run through our song for tonight."

A couple minutes later, they started to file out of the little building. He wiggled to make sure he would not be stuck on the bush and waited until he saw her push her head back inside the building to see if everyone had left.

He lounged at her the second she pulled out her head.

Sylvia's heart skipped a beat as she felt the big heavy hand clamp down over her mouth. She felt the matching pair wrap around her wrist as this monster threw all his weight on her, propelling them into the dark little storeroom. She heard him kick the door shut behind them as he twisted the keys from her fingers. She clawed at the hand over her mouth.

She did not have to see him to know who he was or that he was bad. She remembered his smell. She remembered the feelings of guilt and regret that had emanated from him that afternoon at the University. Only those feelings were gone from his aura, if only temporary. She could feel his anger and pride bouncing off the walls in the room.

"Stop it!" If you try anything, I will have to hurt you and I do not want to hurt you OK? I just want to talk. Understand?" Todd whispered. He tried to make his voice as reasonably calm as possible. "I'm going to let you go now. I don't want any trouble."

Sylvia raised both hands above her head. Todd loosened his grip then he stepped back until he was an arm's length away from her. She spun around as soon as he took his hand from her mouth.

"You're not going to get away with this you know. My Dad's probably looking for me right now."

"I just want to talk to you..."

"Why? You could've just come up to me like a normal person you know, instead of man-handling me!"

"Come on, if you had seen me you would have bolted like you did yesterday."

"Well…"

"Why did you bolt yesterday? Are you afraid of me?"

"Should I be afraid of you?"

"Answer the question!"

"No, I'm not afraid of you. In fact, you disgust me," she spat. "It’s disgusting how you think you can get away with anything." She paused as she felt a surge in his anger.

Then she began to see it all as clear as day. It seemed so real that she could almost smell the warm blood as it slushed its way into the cracks of the ice that covered the ground. She saw the three bodies huddled together sharing a bloody icy grave.

Sylvia's eyes shot open and she stared into the face of the man now hovering over her. She blinked quickly and tried to figure out if she was still seeing the vision. The face of the man kneeling over the bodies with the bloody stalactite in his hand was undoubtedly the same face staring at her now.

A million thoughts went through her mind. Within seconds, she knew exactly what she needed to do.

See part four: Final Decisions

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