Written: October 2004
Genes: Horror/Short Story
“Read ‘em and weep,” Doug Penhall said, laying down his winning hand.
“Great,” Tom Hanson replied.
They were sitting cross-legged on the hard-wood floor and, due to the storm putting out the electricity, playing by flashlight.
“It’s time to swap over, guys,” Harry Ioki called over his shoulder. He took off the headphones and tossed them down on the table, before running a hand through his black hair and letting out a yawn.
“Good,” Judy Hoffs sighed, “If I don’t lie down soon, I’m gonna fall down.”
Doug began packing the playing cards away, as Tom went to take Judy’s place at the surveillance screen.
“Anything at all,” he asked, staring into the television, which was hooked up to a camera aimed on the rainy street outside.
“Nothing,” Harry replied.
“You guys wanna play?” Doug asked Harry and Judy, waving the pack of cards in the air.
“No thanks,” Judy said, sprawling out on a couches.
“I think I’m gonna try and get some sleep,” Harry confirmed, dropping down into an armchair.
The dark apartment was suddenly lit by a flash of lightning, and a few seconds later a deafening crack of thunder sounded out across the night sky.
“Well, good luck,” Doug quipped. He turned his attention to the surveillance screen and remarked; “What a way to spend Halloween.”
“If you weren’t here, you’d only be at home rotting your mind with some lame, slasher movie,” Tom shot back.
“Says who?” Doug challenged.
“Said you,” Tom countered. “Remember? Before we got stuck with this case, you asked me to come over for Halloween, ‘cos you have a whole stack of horror movies,” he mimed Doug’s voice, “That I just have to see!”
Doug looked at him blankly.
“Horror on Elm Street, and the A Candy Nightmare, and The Amityville Man,” Tom gave a contemptuous snort.
“I never invited you,” Doug replied.
“There’s no need to get defensive about it!” Tom said. “It’s nothing personal; I just don’t like horror films. If you must know, even mentioning them freaks me and gives me nightmares.”
“You’re being so weird tonight,” Doug remarked. “Why are you being so weird tonight? Perhaps,” he put on a booming theatrical voice, “it’s the full moon! Whoooaaa!”
“Can we just work?” Tom snapped.
“Yes sir,” Doug replied, giving him a salute. “Let’s see what we got here,” he slipped on the earphones.
After a while Tom nearly nodded off, but he was so startled when three figures appeared on the screen, he jumped up in his seat.
They were dressed completely in black, and each was wearing a ghoulish, white mask. The masks were smooth, like the face of a porcelain doll, with holes cut out for the eyes and the mouth.
“They look a little old to be trick-or-treating,” Doug said, narrowing his eyes.
“What are they doing in this neighbourhood anyway,” Tom replied.
They watched the screen as the two masked figures crossed the street, and for a second Tom could have sworn that one of them looked right into the camera. Though he knew it was impossible it was as if they had seen him. Then they disappeared into the building.
“They’re coming in here?” Doug said in disbelief. “But we’re in here! And we ain’t got any candy!”
“We should check it out,” Tom said, although he really did not want to. These guys were creepy.
“Okay,” Doug said, getting up from his chair. “I’ll go, you keep a visual.”
“Right,” Tom breathed a silent sigh of relief, and handed Doug a walkie-talkie, adding; “Keep in touch.”
“Don’t worry, I promise to call,” Doug quipped, heading for the door.
Tom got himself a cup of coffee, and sipped it slowly as he watched the screen. There was nothing happening and he nearly drifted off again; he was feeling so tired. He should have taken a nap while Judy and Harry were on duty, but it had seemed too early, and Doug had insisted on playing cards. Now as they were coming into the early hours of the morning, the day’s excursions were catching up on him.
Suddenly Doug’s voice came over the walkie-talkie. Through the static, Tom heard the muffled message; “Man, get out here!”
At the sound of fear in his partner’s voice, Tom felt wide awake. He leapt up from the table and raced to the door. He was in such a hurry he forgot to grab a flashlight, but there was no time to go back for it; Doug was in trouble. He ran down the corridor, barely able to see where he was going, and nearly fell down the stairs, only just managing to grab hold of the banister and steady himself.
He took a second to compose; he would not be any help to Doug with two broken legs. He bombed down the steps, gripping the banister as he went; it seemed to take forever to reach the bottom.
The door to the street stood open, and Tom raced outside into the rain, bracing himself for what he might see.
All he saw was Doug, standing with his back towards the building, alone on the dark street.
“Doug?” Tom called over the sound of rainfall.
Doug did not hear him, and Tom was suddenly filled with anxiety. For a moment he was afraid of Doug, and it took every effort not to run back inside, and up to the apartment.
“Doug?” Tom called again, louder this time.
“What?” Doug said, spinning round to face his partner.
“You okay?” Tom said, using his fingers to rake the wet hair back off his forehead. “What happened?”
“I thought I saw something,” Doug replied. “But I guess I made a mistake.”
“Come in, out of the rain,” Tom told him.
Once they were back inside and the door was firmly shut, he asked Doug; “Did you find those guys?”
“No,” Doug replied, “they must have heard me coming and run for it. Probably just trying to get out of the rain.”
Tom noticed that Doug was now looking past him, over his shoulder, his face twisted in surprised. Tom spun around to see a figure standing at the bottom of the stairs, hidden in deep shadow.
Tom let out a sigh of relief, as he recognised the voice as Harry’s.
Doug said; “You scared the hell out of me, man.”
“What’s going on? I woke up and you guys were gone,” Harry said; his voice thick with sleep.
“Sorry,” Tom replied. “I must have woken you when I came racing down stairs for,” he looked at Doug, “a mistake.”
“I thought I saw something!” Doug protested.
“Like what?” Harry asked.
Doug shifted uncomfortable under their glaze, and said finally, “A movement in the trees.”
“Of course you saw a movement in the trees,” Tom replied hotly. “I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but there’s a raging storm out there! Look at me, I’m soaked!”
“Sorry,” Doug replied, bounding up the stairs, two at a time. Harry gave a small chuckle and went after him.
Tom let out a sigh and followed on; “There were some guys out there,” he admitted.
“Trick-or-treaters,” Doug added, and then reaching the top of the stairs he shouted out; “Hey!”
“I didn’t leave that like that,” Tom heard Harry say, and pushing passed him, he saw the door to the apartment was wide open.
As he went inside and scanned the room, Tom felt his breath catch in his throat; Judy was gone.
“Judy!” Tom called out, rushing through the apartment. They searched all the rooms but she was no where to be found.
“You think those masked guys did this?” Harry demanded, hurrying to look out of the window. It was so streaked with rain, Tom wondered if he could even see out of it.
“We need to find her,” Doug said, and at that moment Tom caught sight of her on the surveillance screen.
“She’s outside!” he said.
“What?” Harry came running over to take a look. “Why?”
“Does she sleep walk?” Doug joked.
“She looks okay,” Tom decided. “She must have woken up, found we were gone, and then went to look for us.”
“It’s my fault,” Harry said. “But I was worried about you guys; I needed to go check you were alright. I didn’t think she’d wake up.”
“We better go get her,” Tom laughed. “She’s gonna be pissed. Who’s gonna go?”
“Don’t look at me,” Harry said, holding up his hands, “I’m off duty.”
“And I went last time,” Doug pointed out, folding his arms across his chest.
“Fine,” Tom said, letting out a sigh, he went to the door. “What the hell?” he said, tugging at the handle. “It won’t open!”
“What?” Doug came to try, but no matter how hard they pulled on the door, it would not budge.
“It’s an old building,” Harry told them. “Old doors, in old buildings, stick.”
“Well now what?” Tom demanded. “She can’t get in. We can’t get out, and that could prove a big problem if the dealers actually show up, and we can’t get out there and arrest them!”
“You could go out the window,” Doug suggested, “Then down the fire escape.”
“It looks like the only way,” Harry added.
Tom could see both of them were trying to suppress their laughter at the thought of him undertaking the task.
“Great,” he said sarcastically, snatching up his flashlight and tucking it into the back pocket of his jeans.
Tom opened the window, letting out a grunt as icy cold raindrops splashed against his face. He climbed out and dropped down onto the fire escape. He could not see the street below, only blackness. But what choice did he have? He started the climb down to the ground.
When he finally reached the bottom, Tom took out his flashlight and clicked it on. With a thin beam of light to guide him, he followed the wall around to the front of the building. That is where the camera was filming, and so that was where Judy would be.
At least that is where she should have been, but when Tom got there it was deserted. He carried on around the other side of the apartment block, feeling his way along the wall, softly calling out her name. He circled the building twice in total but could not find her.
He went back to the front entrance and peered through the window, into the foyer. It was empty, but then he noticed a shadow moving across the wall. A pair of feet, walking down the steps, came into his view.
“Gott’ya,” he smiled.
He was just about to go inside when he noticed something familiar about the black outfit the person was wearing; it was not because he had seen Judy wearing it earlier. He stumbled backwards as he saw the white mask appear in the window.
He turned and fled; running back around the building, feeling his way along the wall and scrambling back up the ladder. He climbed, all the time dreading the feel of a hand grabbing hold of his ankle. He climbed, and prayed Judy was safe and sound. He climbed, and when he reached the window he flung it open and tumbled inside.
Before he even hit the floor, someone had jumped on him; pining him down.
“Tom?” Doug exclaimed, climbing off of him, and helping him to his feet. “What are you doing coming in through the window? You scared the hell out of me!”
“The door’s stuck,” Tom reminded him crossly.
“What?” Doug said. Tom watched as he went over to the door and opened it with no trouble at all; “It’s fine,” he said.
“Guys, can you keep it down?”
Tom spotted Judy on the couch, propped up on her elbows, he was unable to control his temper as he snapped; “You’re here?”
“Where else would I be?” She replied, yawning.
“Tom, what’s going on with you man?” Doug said, putting a hand on his shoulder. Tom shrugged it off; upset that they were playing him for a fool.
“I’ve just spent the last fifteen minutes running around in the rain looking for her,” he said pointing at Judy, “and she was up here all the time! What’s the score? Did you rig up the door, wait until I had gone, and then all have a good laugh at me?”
Tom’s shouting had woken Harry, who was now sitting up and looking questionably at him.
“Tom, buddy,” Doug said, speaking softly, “Nobody’s been laughing at you. Judy was never outside; you went down to look for those mask guys.”
“No, I didn’t,” Tom replied, shaking his head. “You did. Then I came down, and then Harry came down and…”
“I’ve been asleep since you guys took over the shift,” Harry interrupted him.
“Tom, what’s the matter with you tonight?” Judy asked.
“Yeah,” Doug said. “You’ve been acting really weird, I’m kind of worried about you man.”
“Oh whatever,” Tom replied angrily. “I’m going to take a shower.”
Tom stomped off into the bathroom, picking up his overnight bag as he went. If they wanted to play silly mind games with him, he was just going to ignore it and not take the bait. He was sick of it; he was sick of Doug teasing him about being too uptight, and he was sick of them thinking he was hot-headed. How did they expect him to react when they had played such a childish trick on him?
He stripped off his wet clothes; he was shaking with cold, but also with anger. If he got ill, he was blaming it on them. He looked into the mirror; his black hair was stuck to his forehead so he pushed it back, before running the tap and splashing warm water onto his face. It felt good, and he could not wait to get under the shower. He reached to turn it on and then returned his eyes to his reflection.
As the water heated up, the room was filled with mist, clouding up the mirror. It was quite a relief for Tom not to have to look at his tired, hanging face anymore.
After he had taken a long, hot shower and towelled himself dry, Tom pulled on a fresh pair of jeans and a black sweater. He dried off his hair, took out his comb and wiped the mirror with his palm. He let out a cry of surprise when he saw the masked figure standing behind him. He spun around but there was nobody there. He must have imagined it; he repeated this over and over in his head, but he was still frightened by it, and he sank to sit on the floor.
“Tom!” Called Doug from outside, and there was a hammering on the door. “Tom, are you alright in there?”
Tom climbed slowly to his feet and went to unlock the door.
“Why’d you shout man, what’s wrong?” Doug demanded.
“I burnt myself on one of the pipes,” Tom lied. “Sorry, didn’t mean to scare you.”
Doug stared at him for a moment, and then he said in a hushed voice; “You are scaring man, what’s the matter with you tonight? Maybe you should go home, one of us could give you a lift, make sure you get there okay.”
“Doug, I’m fine,” Tom insisted.
“Yeah, well okay,” Doug said. “But I’ll be happy when tonight is over.”
“Me to,” Tom agreed.
They went back to the table and returned to their surveillance work. Doug had said Tom was scaring him; well Tom was scaring himself. What Iwas/I up with him tonight? Was Doug right, did it have something to do with a full moon? It bis/b supposed to bring out the crazies, Tom thought. But who’s crazy; the men in the white masks, or the guy who keeps seeing them?
There had been two figures on the screen; could it have been Judy and Harry dressed up in those masks? The apartment was dark; the only light was coming for the glow of the surveillance screen. Could they have slipped outside, changed into those outfits and walked in front of the camera?
He tried to think back; had he seen them as he was leaving the apartment to go find Doug? He could not remember; he had left in such a hurry. Maybe they had been outside and hiding in the shadows. Then when Tom came out of the building and was talking to Doug, they could have slipped back inside. Then Judy could have hidden somewhere; a cupboard, or something, and Harry could have waited for them to come back.
That was exactly the kind of thing Doug would think up, and Harry would be quick to go along. Tom was surprised Judy had agreed to it though, she had always stuck up for him in the past, and childish pranks really were not her thing. Or so he had thought.
Tom let out a sigh and reached up to wipe his hair back off of his forehead again. Then it came to him; his hair, his wet hair. If Judy had been outside, her long brown hair would still be wet! But how on earth was he going to check?
“Doug, do you want a coffee?” Tom asked.
“No thanks,” Doug replied, his chin was rested on his crossed arms as he watched the surveillance screen.
“I do,” Tom said, getting up. “I’m gonna get a cup.”
“Ooo-kay,” Doug said slowly. “Good for you.”
Tom went to the kettle, then picking it up, he announced; “Needs water.” He headed for the kitchen and on the way he took a quick look at Judy, curled up asleep on the couch.
The apartment had become cold, and Judy was obviously feeling it because she had her coat on, the hoods putted up and hiding her hair. Tom swore under his breath.
As he stood at the kitchen sink, he tried to work out how he was going to get a look at her hair. He would just have to take a chance, reach under the hood and have a quick feel of it, he decided.
Kettle filled, he crossed the room, pausing once again at the couch. This time he silently reached out a hand towards Judy, trying not to attract Doug’s attention.
Suddenly Judy jerked away from him, sitting up and shouting in surprised; “What are you doing?”
Doug was looking over now, his face twisted in confusion. Tom frantically searched his head for an excuse; he had just been caught trying to stroke a colleague’s hair as they slept. How the hell was he going to explain his way out of this one?
“I was just checking to see if you were awake,” he took her, trying to make it sound convincing.
“Why?” she said, obviously not impressed.
“Because I wanted to know if you wanted a cup of coffee,” Tom lied.
“I want to get some rest, and I can’t rest if people are looming over me, okay?” Judy replied, wearily.
“Okay,” Tom said. “So, that’s a ‘no’ to the coffee, then?”
“Yes,” Judy snapped.
“Do you think I should wake Harry and ask him?”
“No,” Judy snapped.
“Okay,” Tom said.
That did not go well, Tom thought as he waited for the kettle to boil. He just needed to sleep, he thought. He could not make sense of anything at the moment; he was too tired. Who cared if Judy had been outside, who cared if they had all played him for a fool? He was just going to keep his head down, get through this nightshift and go home. Once he was tucked up in his bed, none of this would matter, he decided.
Tom made the coffee and returned to his post next to Doug.
After a few minutes, Judy let out a cross sigh and said; “Well, I’m never gonna get back to sleep now.”
She pulled up a chair between Tom and Doug.
“It’s so cold,” she said, rubbing her hands together.
“I’ll go check the boiler if you want,” Doug offered; it was obvious he needed a break from staring at the screen.
“Thanks Penhall,” Judy replied. “You know where it is?”
“The basement, I guess,” he shrugged, reaching for his flashlight.
“That’s where it is in my apartment block,” Judy said.
“Mine to,” Tom chipped in.
“Then it’s agreed,” Doug announced dramatically, leaping up from his chair.
Judy giggled at his antics, but Tom was too tired and shaken-up to appreciate Doug’s brand of humour.
“I’ll see you guys in a bit,” Doug said, heading for the door.
“I guess I can cover for him for a while,” Judy said, slipping into his seat. “Tom, are you okay? You’re so quiet tonight?”
“Just tired, I guess,” Tom replied, with a weak lop-sided grin. “Sorry I woke you.”
“It’s okay,” she smiled, then she said; “Tonight’s been a bust; we haven’t seen anyone dealing drugs, or… at all.” She laughed.
Tom struggled to laugh along, but all he could think about was the two masked figures on the television screen.
Judy shivered, and said; “I hope Doug can fix the heating.”
They both fell into silence, eyes fixed on the surveillance screen. Tom took a quick glance at his watch; two-thirty. Judy was right, tonight had been a waste of time. Captain Fuller had given them this assignment at the last minute, convinced that there would be a big deal taking place tonight. The building across the street was supposed to be the arranged venue, but so far it looked as though Fuller’s tip off had been a hoax.
“Come on Doug, where are you?” Judy thought out loud.
Tom glanced back at his watch, and to his surprise, saw it was nearly three in the morning; “I must have zoned out. He’s been gone a long time.”
“You better go check he’s alright,” Judy said. “I’ll keep watch.”
“Thanks Jude,” Tom said, picking up his flashlight.
The apartment block was like a maze. Tom was taken down dark corridor after dark corridor, turn after turn after turn.
Lost in the darkness, a mind has a tendency to wander, and Tom found his head suddenly filled with all manner of fiendish notions. He imagined someone crouched down, somewhere along the hallway, watching Tom’s flashlight beam as it got closer, closer. As Tom swept the light back and forth, across the floor, it would suddenly illuminate that crouching someone, and they would leap up and grab him.
He imagined that his flashlight would go out at any second. He found himself chanting; “Stay on, stay on, stay on”. It felt like if he stopped, then the light would go out and he would be lost in the darkness forever.
Tom finally came to a door that was not like the others; it was black and made of metal. The word ‘basement’ was painted onto it in white, precise, uppercase letters. Tom pulled it open without hesitation. Usually going down into a basement filled his with a sense of dread, but he was so anxious he find Doug – to not be alone in the dark any longer – that he went straight through and down the stairs without even pausing.
“Doug?” He called out, sweeping his flashlight across the room.
The piping that ran the length of the basement in a complex, interlacing system, emitted squeals and groans, and between it there hung heavy cobwebs. Most of the bare brickwork was exposed, and in the places that were painted, the paint had begun to bubble and peel.
“Doug!” Tom called out again, making his way through the basement.
Tom let out a shout of surprise as something fell onto the back of his neck. From the feel and the sound, he knew it was a rat. He reached up and grabbed hold of the thing by its tail, and it tried to wriggle free and scurry down the back of his sweater. Tom yanked it off of him, and with a scream it dropped to the ground and darted out of sight.
“Oow!” Tom exclaimed, wiping his hands feverishly on his jeans. “Doug, where are you?”
He had had enough. He turned back towards the basement steps and taking them two at a time, he went upstairs. He moved through the corridors, turn after turn after turn. His flashlight did not go out, he did not come across anyone crouched in the corner, and he did not see Doug.
He finally reached the apartment, wondering exactly what he was going to tell Judy. He could not tell her he had been spooked by a rat!
Tom went to open the door; it would not budge. He tried it again, and again.
“Hey,” he called, hammering on the wood. “What’s going on with the door?”
“It’s stuck, remember?” Doug’s voice called back.
“Doug, you’re in there?” Tom asked. “I’ve been down in the basement, looking for you!”
“Why?” Doug called back.
“Did you find Judy yet?” Harry’s voice came through the closed door.
Tom stumbled backwards. What was going on? This did not make sense! They had already found Judy; she was in the apartment. He had sat next to her for half an hour, spoken to her, why were they trying to tell him different? Were they trying to drive him crazy?
“You’ll have to come in the window again,” Tom heard Doug call.
Tom turned and ran blindly back down the stairs, around the building and to the fire-escape. He climbed up the ladder, through the darkness, and when he reached the top he push open the window and clambered inside.
“Tom!” Judy gasped, a hand clutching at her chest, as if to steady her heart. “You scared me.”
She was sitting at the screen, wrapped in her coat, just as he had left when he went to find Doug.
“What the hells going on!” he shouted. “Where’s Doug?”
“You didn’t find him in the basement?”
“Jude, stop it! I don’t know why you guys are doing this but it’s really freaking me out!”
“What’s going on?” Harry asked, yawning as he sat up on the couch.
“You tell me,” Tom snapped. “One minute Judy’s missing, then Doug’s missing. You planning on pulling a disappearing act too?”
“Tom, calm down,” Judy said.
Why were they both looking at him like he was mad?
“I’ve had enough of this,” he said, trying to keep his voice steady. “Where’s Doug?”
“Stop fucking around Jude, where the hell is his?”
“Hey Tom,” Harry said, moving to stand next to Judy, “Cool it man!”
“Why are you doing this?” Tom said; it was too much, and he could feel tears welling in his eyes.
“Tom, I’m gonna call someone,” Judy said slowly.
“Who?” Tom asked.
“A doctor, maybe,” she replied.
“A doctor? What are you talking about?”
“I think that’s a good idea,” Harry said.
“I’ve got a good idea, why don’t you call Doug. Call Doug and tell him this stupid little game of yours is over! I’ve had enough!”
“Calm down, man,” Harry said.
He was approaching Tom now; approaching him like he was a wild animal that might strike at any moment.
“Why don’t we sit down and talk about this,” Harry said.
“That’s a good idea,” Judy said. “I’ll go find Doug and…”
“You stay where I can see you!” Tom shouted, and he threw his flashlight at floor; it landed with a crack and a crush.
Harry lunged at him, pulling him down on to the couch. Tom twisted and kicked, breaking free and climbing to his feet.
“Leave me alone!”
He ran to the bathroom, filled the sink with warm water and began splashing it onto his face. He stood to look in the mirror, and saw that it once again showed the white masked figure, standing behind him. He squeezed his eyes shut, shaking his head. It was not real; he would turn around and it would be gone, just like last time.
He spun around, but the masked figure remained. It stepped inside the room, followed by another, and then another. Tom pulled his gun from its holster and took aim.
“Stay away,” he shouted out, tears stinging his eyes. “I’ll shoot if you come any closer!”
They carried on towards him; their arms stretched out, their hands groping menacing at the air. Tom swallowed hard.
“I said hold it!” He warned, but they kept coming.
He winced as he squeezed the trigger, and the gun fired with a bang. Once, twice, three times. A shot for each of them, aimed at the chest. It felt like he was in video game, shooting at zombies, or something equally as surreal. They all came crashing to the ground, left to right, one-two-three. They lay sprawled on the floor.
Before he could stop himself, Tom had knelt over one of them and ripped off the mask.
He let out a strangled cry and fell backwards. It was Judy; he had shot Judy! Frantically he crawled to the next, and fearfully pushed the mask aside, to see the face of Doug, his glassy eyes staring blankly ahead. Tom did not need to check under the third mask to know that it was Harry, but found himself doing so anyway.
With an agonised scream he threw his gun across the room, and then hid his head in his hands and cried. What had they been doing? Did they not realise how much they were scaring him?
He had pulled a gun on them! Why had they not revealed themselves, stopped him before…
What had he done; he had killed his three co-workers, his three friends. He sobbed; the despair and guilt was consuming.
He did not want to get up; he knew if he did, he would go over to the window and jump. Throw him self down, down into the darkness. So he pressed himself hard against the floor, clutching at his face and crying for his dead friends.
Then there was a creak of hinges. Sitting back on his heels, Tom looked to the doorway. There stood a figure, like the others; dressed in black and wearing the same blank mask. Who was this? Fuller? Was he in on the joke? Had the stakeout been a setup from the very start?
Tom rose shakily to his feet; “I didn’t realise,” he said. “I thought they were going to hurt me.”
The masked figure looked down on the bodies of Judy, Doug and Harry; then back at Tom. Tom watched as the figure came closer; coming to stand right in front of him. Unconsciously, Tom’s hand reached out and drew away the mask. He let out a gasp, as he found himself looking into his own face.
“What’s happening to me?”
The double wrapped his hands about Tom’s neck and behind choking him. Tom dropped to his knees, struggling to breathe. The double opened his mouth to speak. As he did, the voice was not like Tom’s; it was like Judy’s, and it called out his name over and over again.
Tom Hanson sat up with a start and blinked his drowsy eyes until the chapel came into focus. He saw pretty Judy Hoffs smiling down at him, softly calling his name as she shook him by the shoulder.
“Hey sleepy head,” she said, “Time to call it a day; although it looks like you already did.”
Scanning the room, Tom saw that everyone else had already packed up for the day, and gone. Captain Fuller was just coming out of his office, and he called, “Happy Halloween; I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Bye,” Judy replied, then looking back at Tom she asked, “Are you okay? You look a little pale.”
“I had the craziest dream,” Tom replied, his breathing was ragged, and he could feel his heart pounding inside his chest.
“Yeah?” Judy said, with a giggle. She pulled on her denim jacket, and asked; “Are you coming over to Penhall’s for his annual slasher-fest?”
“No thanks,” Tom replied, giving a weak lop-sided grin. “Those movies give me nightmares.”