Against Jake's wishes I attended the dinner party. 'Yes' I thought as as I glanced up at the large Estate. 'It turned our perfectly' The interior lights gleamed their brightest through every glass window, making the entire structure twinkle like an enormous chandler. And soothing was Mozart that flowed softy through the open front door for which Matthew Higgins stood.
“Magnificent isn't it?” He asked as I inched my way towards him. Large bouts of excitement rushed through me when I stepped across the threshold and entered the grand foyer. And welcoming were he rich scent oils that swept past my face. Before me, my work sprung to life.
Allowing my eyes to trace over every inch of the living room, devour I did every morsel of detail that I had created. Everything from the the cream walls too the fourteenth century brass scones that hid the direct lighting scream sheer elegance. Even the gold etched mirror that hung above the fireplace spoke perfection. “Please!” I pleaded which inching my way across the oriental rug that covered the dark cherry wood floor. “I'm dying to see the conservator” But Matthew only stared at me in surprise. “Wouldn’t you like a drink first?” He asked.
“In a few....” Suddenly my words trailed off when Matthew plucked a glass of white champagne off a nearby tray, and handed it to me. Accepting the drink, I then followed him down a mahogany hallway. Once again devouring every inch of the detailing my interior decorating skill had too offer. “I want to talk to you about your father” I heard Matthew say, but all I could bring myself to do was raise my glass and peer over its rim.
“I'd rather not talk about my father” I said, but Mathew's eyes only narrowed in anticipate, forcing me too question his curiosity. “I tried my best to make this evening special” Matthew added. No longer able to avoid Matthew’s eagerness too discuss my family legacy, I uttered only but a sigh when he sat his glass down on a Louis eighteenth table with polished trim. “Yes! And I do not wish to ruins this evening by talking about my father” I snapped.
Although I knew very little about my father, what I did know, I did not like. A flood gate of nightmares opened up for my family when the authorities responded to an urgent call that the abandoned monetary had caught fire. Even the police were unable to save any trace of evidence of the five women murdered there, and it was far too late to catch the mad man that did it. My fathers death was not considered justice by the families that lost their loved ones, his death was considered an act of a coward. A label was placed upon my family; placed on us by those who chose not too comprehend what took place behind closed doors.
“I thought maybe you knew” Matthew uttered.
“Knew what?” I asked. I knew now there was no escaping this man's obsession with my families dark and tragic history. It seemed the very moment the story made the headlines, Matthew dug his heels in search of answers. For five years now he's been grafting bits and pieces of the puzzle, a mere attempt to solve a mystery that no one, not even the authorities could un-reveal.
“I thought you knew about your fathers book of prophecy?” He softy uttered. “The book is believed to be the driving force behind the killings” From my lips slipped the silver etched, crystal wine glass as a mouthful of champagne lodged in my throat.
“There's no such a book” I said.
“Apparently there is” Matthew replied. “Your father created a book from the skin of the woman he murdered” Although I could only bring myself too laugh about such a disgusting, cruel notion, I soon fell silent when Matthew shot me an utmost serious glare.
“Are you trying to tell me that my father deemed himself a Prophet?” I asked.
“No! More like a leader” replied Matthew. “To him those women were only lambs” 'Lambs sent out to slaughter' my mind screamed.
:”Dear Lord!”I cried. For the very thought of such an act sent an icy shiver up my spine.
“It gets better” Matthew added.
“How could this possibly get better?” Having turned up my nose in disgust, I then leaned back against a set of French Doors and awaited an answer.
“Have you ever heard of a Blood ritual?” Matthew asked.
“No! Please! Spare me the details” I pleaded, but Matthew only smiled in contempt.
“It's a ceremonial sacrifice” Although I prayed that the whole ordeal with my father would one day come too an end. It felt as if Matthew had re-opened Pandora's box, and all I wanted was to close the lid before nasty things could slither out.
“My father was a trouble man, not the devil” I said, hoping to end the discussion, but the look in Matthew’s eyes screamed otherwise, for the discussion too him had only begun.
“Is that what you believe?” He asked.
“For Pete Sakes Matthew!” I cried. “You're a psychologist and you know very well that my father killed those women due to a warped reality” Unaware that I had placed a death grip on the stem of the glass, I allowed him to pry it from my fingers. “Amanda! Someone has retraced your fathers steps” He said setting the glass down beside his own.
“Where is this book?” I asked.
“I don't know” Matthew's response only arose a terrifying conclusion, and I felt no need too bring up Jake's outburst, no matter how suspicious or fitting it appeared to be. :Five woman have turned up dead in the very same fashion” Matthew continued. “I know!” I said. “I read the paper”
“So it's only a mere consequence that Jake was once a follower of your fathers prophecy?” Matthew asked. In utter rage I felt my jaw tighten, for the notion that Matthew was toying with me grew stronger by every passing moment, and there was nothing I could do to escape.
“For God Sakes! Let's drop this!” I cursed, but Matthew only proceeded to come at me like a coiled, striking snake.
“What is it you're hiding from me?” He asked. “And what makes you think I'm hiding something?” I knew I was fueling the fire, but I had too do all I could too keep Matthew from tweaking that my relationship with Jake was falling apart.
“We're child hood friends Amanda! And a friend knows when something is wrong” I couldn't deny that Matthew was right, for close friends could indeed read each others emotions, and he was no exception. He had been reading her since they were kids. Always knowing when something wasn't quite right.
“And a successful doctor doesn't believe in hocus pocus either” I said while incing my way to the table too retrieve my drink, but my trip was short lived. Clamping a hand over my mouth, I then bit back a scream for Jake had emerged from the shadows, my champagne glass tight in his hand. “I told you not to come here!” he screamed as he hurled the glass at he French doors. The impact harsh enough to crack the stained colored glass.
“Settle down Jake before you do something you'll regret” Matthew pleaded, but Jake only shot him a cold calculating glare.
“The only thing I'll regret is allowing you too live” Jake uttered.
“Stop this! This is insane” I cried, but Jake only pulled his revolver.
“You haven't got the guts!” Matthew said.
Grabbed by the arm, I then braced myself, but planting my feet firmly in the floor rendered itself useless, and I could only prevent a near nose dive by slipping out of my heels. Gagging on the foul stench of vomit that drifted off Jake's shirt, I then stumbled forth when he begun dragging me towards and out the front door.
Outside, tears cascaded down my cheeks when Jake slammed my face against the door of his car, before spinning me around. “I told you too stay clear of here!” he screamed. “Stop this!” I pleaded when blood poured from my nose, rendering me near breathless. “Get in!” Jake barked. “You're drunk” I said through swollen lips, but only a groan escaped his lips as he opened the car door. “I said Get in!” He screamed!” I bared no choice but do as I was told, for the barrel of his revolver rested against my head.