Scarlett Red:(In the Shadows)

By: P.T Michelle

A Billionaire SEAL Story,Part 2

Mom yells for me to get the phone from her nightstand, her voice pitched higher than usual as it echoes down the hall. I open my eyes and try to shake the stuffy grogginess from my head. What phone? Has she forgotten our phone’s been disconnected? Stupid medical bills. I glance at the clock. One-eleven glows back at me. Mom must be getting ready to go to bed. She usually stays up late reading. She claims it helps her escape from the pain. I rub my face and wonder if I dreamed her calling me. Mom screams at the same time I hear the door to our apartment slam on its hinges.

What’s happening? I stumble out of bed and run blindly toward my mom standing at the front of the hall. Other than streetlight bleeding through the blinds and casting shadows on the walls, it’s dark in our apartment.

A man in a ski mask approaches Mom. “Move,” he barks in a gruff voice.

“We don’t have anything.” Her words are low and shaky. “Even the TV is broken.”

I skid to a stop behind her, but she throws her arms outward. She’s not letting me past her. “Stay back, Sebastian.”

I’m big for a seventeen-year-old. The masked man must’ve felt threatened. He quickly points the gun at me and narrows his dark eyes.

“No!” Mom screams, jumping in front of the gun just as it goes off.

Her slight frame flings back into mine and I catch her. “Mom!” I yell, stunned into immobility. As we fall to the floor together, the intruder empties his gun into us. Heart pounding in fear for my mom, all I can do is clutch her close and jerk with each bullet jolting her body.

I try to yell, to scream at the motherfucking bastard, but nothing comes out. I’m in shock, and all I can do is lay there frozen, while the man turns and ambles out of our apartment like he’d just delivered pizza, not shredded my mother to bits.

Warm blood oozes over my fingers. I don’t have enough hands to stop all the blood flowing from her wounds. I crawl over her, gulping my fear back. I try, but there are just too many holes.

You need to dial 911. Get your head on straight! Call. No fucking phone! No neighbor will dare offer help for fear they’ll be next to catch a bullet. Mom had said something about a phone in her nightstand. I gently set her aside and run to her room. Dragging open her drawer, I find a small flip phone inside. Where did that come from?

I grab it and dial 911. Once I tell the operator where to send an ambulance, I rush back to my mom’s side to wait for the sirens.

My heart races as I frown at the phone in my hand, my fingers sticky with blood. Where did she get this? Opening it once more, I scroll through to see who she has called. No past history. One number is stored under contacts.

No name. Just a number.

I dial and put the phone to my ear.

“Hello?” A man says sleepily.

“I think I have the wrong number,” I say, sounding hoarse.

Just when I start to hang up, the man replies, “Sebastian? Is everything all right?”

I frown, my stomach churning. “Who is this?”

The man sighs heavily. “Is your mother all right?”

“No,” I croak, shaking my head. “She’s not moving.”

The man’s speaking but sirens begin to blare in my ear. They get louder and louder until it feels like my eardrums are going to explode. As soon as I yell for it to stop, my eyes fly open.

Exhaling a harsh breath, I scrub my hands down my face, then grab my ringing phone from the nightstand. Five a.m. glows red on the display. “You have five seconds to make this early call worth my time,” I growl into the receiver.

“I’m assuming you’re Sebastian. I’m detective Bill Danvers. Carl Resinski over at the ninth precinct recommended your firm—well, you—saying you see stuff others don’t. We’d like you to come take a look. At this point, I’m willing to pay the damned Tooth Fairy to catch this bastard.”

“On behalf of BLACK Security, fuck you, Danvers.”

Just when I move my thumb to end the call, the man calls out, “Wait! Sorry, that came out wrong. Listen, I’m at my wits’ end on this one. This is the second redhead this year. And two years ago, there was a string of five, same MO. All have been strangled and left naked with bloody wounds and welts all over their bodies. The freak mixes the victim’s blood from her wounds with food coloring to make it even brighter before he splatters it all over the scene. His special calling card. We can’t allow this guy to do it again. Can you help us out?”

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