Important: This is the 4th last story of 2022! I’ll be taking the last half of December and first half of January off from posting. I’ll be back January 13th, 2023 (9am, ET) with the first post of the new year!
NFF, Dark-ish, 2022’s 1st Halloween story
“Dale? You here?”
She peers into the room, maybe he left already… aw, well guess I’ll just te- she stops, half-turned, as a glimpse of something catches her eye. She takes a few steps into the room, brows furrowing as her eyes zone in on the small red streak that was standing out on one of the white walls, what the…?
She takes a few steps closer, it looks like… blood? She bends her head to get a better look, is this real blood? She feels a boulder settle into her stomach, suddenly uneasy. She straightens back up, shaking her head, no, there’s no way that’s real. He probably just got fake blood on the wall when he was changing.
They took the vest off him before he left set, though. She chews her lip for a moment, pulling out her phone, before snapping a picture of the smear, just in case. She’s unable to shake the uneasy feeling as she heads back to the door, shaking her head at her herself, just because you’ve been playing a detective doesn’t mean everything around you is a conspiracy.
She jumps as she nearly walks into the director, “Oh, shit, sorry.”
“What were you doing in there?”
“Nothing,” why does he sound… angry? She points a thumb over her shoulder, doing her best to sound nonchalant, “I was gonna say bye to Dale, but it looks like he took off already.”
“Yeah, he left.”
“O-okay,” she skirts around him, this season must’ve finally caught up with him. She flashes him a big smile, “Well, enjoy your time off.”
She turns around and heads for the exit at the end of the hall, feeling his eyes still on her, that was definitely weird… She lets out a breath she didn’t realize she was holding in as she burst through the door, being greeted by a wall of thick, sticky, heat. I hate the summer, she makes her way to her car, climbing into the back, smiling at her driver.
“Where do you think?”
He chuckles as he turns the key, “Yes, Ma’am.”
She sets her purse down on the seat beside her, unable to shake the image of the blood on the wall, I’m probably over-reacting. Not everything is a clue I need to unravel. I’ll text Dale once I get home, and then I’ll feel stupid when he answers. She turns to stare absently out the window, I shouldn’t let this non-mystery ruin my time off.
“Well?” She turns expectant eyes to her best friend, “There’s no way it’s a coincidence, right?”
Her friend shakes her head slowly, “I don’t know…” She tosses the piece of paper down on the newspaper that was on the table between them, “Just because he hasn’t been seen in public doesn’t mean something happened. Maybe he’s just taking a private vacay?”
“Oh, please.” She grabs the newspaper, eyes searching the text again, “When have you ever known Dale to be this private? The man doesn’t even own blinds!”
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