Run, Red, Run: Chapter 2

Run Red_0.png

 

Chapter 2: Aftermath

Red was just going to visit her sick grandmother; she wasn't expecting the big bad wolf.

 

“I… I’m going to end up in prison or a padded room,” I muttered to myself as I sniffled and wiped away tears with my uninjured arm.

 


 
Author's Note: As with Snow Angel, I should have posted this last week, but I've been too sick. As always, thanks to Big Closet and to all my readers for your support, and I will continue to post chapters here, patreon chapters are only for people who wish to support me and read ahead. I hope you all enjoy. Further chapters are available on Patreon.~Amethyst.
 


 
Chapter 2: Aftermath

I wasn’t sure how long I lay there, pinned beneath the beast’s corpse while shivering, shaking, sobbing, and too terrified to move. It was long enough for the shock to wear off enough that I passed out, or perhaps it was the exhaustion from the ordeal and the emotional upheaval that followed that allowed that mixed blessing. I had horrible nightmares as I slept, reliving the encounter in my mind until the knife was buried in my grandmother and she was staring at me with empty eyes and asking, “Why?”

I awoke screaming, and it was some time before I managed to calm myself enough to stop the tears and the trembling as my mind had trouble leaving the nightmare behind and adjusting to cold hard reality. In my head, I knew that it hadn’t happened that way, it hadn’t been my grandmother that I had stabbed, but that was little comfort when I opened my eyes to find her staring down at me in death. That was when I realized that, unfortunately, the reality was not much different than my nightmares.

While I had been unconscious, the body that lay atop me had reverted from the beast and back into the grandmother that I knew and loved. When I saw her dead eyes looking down at me I freaked out, managing to heave the body off me with panic-fueled strength as I screamed. Pain shot up my arm as I scrambled to my feet and away from the body, only to slip on the pool of blood and be sent sprawling once more to the floor.

I fled to the corner of the kitchen, clutching at my arm and my breath came in short, strangled sob-gasps as I curled up in a ball and tried to deny what was happening. That proved fruitless though since my arm ached from the bite and proved to be a constant reminder of what had happened. A look at the bite mark showed that, even though it hurt, it wasn’t near as bad as I was fearing. The skin was a little red and inflamed around the area of the bite, but it didn’t look nearly as deep as I had first thought it was and it wasn’t bleeding any more.

“W-what do I do?” I wondered as I rocked back and forth while in as close to the fetal position as I could manage while sitting. I couldn’t call the police; Granny was dead, and nobody was going to believe what had happened. Just like when I had told them about the creature that had run in front of Robin’s car on the day he died.

Maybe they would believe me? Granny’s bedroom door had been blown apart, and from the inside too. Surely, they would be able to see that, right? Except that I had no werewolf body to prove my story, only my dead grandmother, and nobody was going to believe that a little old lady had burst through the door like that and nearly killed me, forcing me to defend myself.

I wasn’t even sure that I believed what had happened. Maybe I was going crazy. Maybe I had just imagined all of this and murdered my grandmother? No, I had the bite mark. I knew what happened, even if nobody else would ever believe it. “I… I’m going to end up in prison or a padded room,” I muttered to myself as I sniffled and wiped away tears with my uninjured arm. “Probably the padded room because talking to oneself is a sure sign of sanity, not,” I added bitterly after a moment.

I took several deep breaths and got to my feet. I needed to be calm and think this through clearly. The first thing that I needed to do was to get rid of the body and make sure that there was no evidence to connect me to the killing. That was what they did in the movies, right?

I took a look outside that showed the full moon still outside, and it was a little bit past midnight if I went by the clock on the wall. Thankfully, I hadn’t sprouted fur or anything yet, so I was hoping that it meant that I wasn’t going to turn like Granny did. That didn’t mean that I was safe though, someone was going to try to check on Granny eventually and I wasn’t sure if I could try to act like everything was normal and go to classes as if nothing happened.

I wasn’t some cold-blooded killer, and she was my grandmother. I couldn’t just shake this off and pretend to be a normal, functioning member of society after what had happened. If I moved quickly enough, then maybe I could have everything cleaned up and be out of the state by tomorrow night.

I didn’t like the idea of leaving like this, and there was a part of me that wanted to call Carrie and ask for her advice, but I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t get Carrie involved in this. She would probably help me, she was that kind of friend, but if I asked, I would just be taking her down with me. She could be seen as an accomplice, maybe even an accessory to the murder. I couldn’t ruin her life too. Taking a deep breath, I shut off my phone so I wouldn’t be tempted to answer it, and then I got to work.

~o~O~o~

Despite my misgivings, I decided to bury Granny as she was. Her clothes had been torn to shreds from her change, but I felt that maybe if someone did find the body it would just lend credence to my story in case I was ever caught. I did remove the knife though and cleaned and polished it before putting it away with the others.

I was careful to wear rubber gloves as I worked so I wouldn’t leave any fingerprints behind. Sure, there would be some fingerprints around the house, but that wouldn’t be out of place since I was a regular guest there. I felt that it would be far more suspicious if I tried to remove all signs of my existence from the entire house.

I tried to give Granny a proper burial, or the best I could do. Dragging her body out into the woods was hard since at five feet even, and not being one to work out regularly, I was hardly someone who could lug bodies around easily. The grave was shallow, maybe three feet deep, mostly because I was worried that if I dug any deeper, I would have trouble climbing out. As it was, I was sore and exhausted from all of the effort.

It was after dawn by the time that my grisly task was complete, and I returned to the house to start on the next one. I nearly threw up while trying to clean up all of the blood in the kitchen, but it had to be done. Granny kept her house clean, and I wasn’t going to leave it a mess even if I wasn’t trying to remove all traces of my presence during her death.

Once the blood was sopped up as best as I could, I took the rags to the fire pit outside. While I was there, I stripped off my blood-soaked clothes and left them there with the rags and returned to the house quickly. It was far too cold to be running around naked outside.

Then I returned inside to finish cleaning the kitchen. It was the only place in the house that really looked like something from a horror movie, and it took most of the morning to get everything cleaned properly. There was some stuff knocked over in the living room, and I tried to set everything there right and clean a bit as well, but I decided to leave the exploded bedroom door as is. Either it would confuse the case, or it would help people believe that I was telling the truth if I got caught.

I dashed outside to empty my backpack of all my school stuff, adding it all to the stuff to be burned, and then went to the bedroom that I usually stayed in to fill the backpack with what spare clothes I had stashed for overnights at Granny’s house. There wasn’t much; a spare red hoodie, a pair of black jeans and a couple of pairs of black leggings, three black t-shirts, a couple of plaid skirts, and a few changes of socks and underwear. In the closet hung my black leather biker jacket, with gloves stuffed in the pockets.

Most of it went into the backpack, though I kept the jacket, jeans, one of the t-shirts, a pair of socks, and a set of underthings on the bed to change into later. I also made sure to grab Granny’s stash of mad money, everything in her wallet, and all of the jewelry that I could possibly pawn off. I was going to need money if I was going to be on the run.

It wasn’t until I was in the shower and scrubbing myself clean of dried blood that everything hit me. The blood-tainted water sloughing off me made it all real again and I lost any sense of detachment that I had been able to muster so far. The tears burst from me as if a dam was broken and my chest burned with pain and loss as I sobbed and collapsed to the floor. I sat there weeping and curled up in a ball as the water washed over me until long after it had gone cold.

Once I was finally cried out, I finished cleaning up and I was numb from the cold water by the time I was finished. I took care to dry off properly since I was already chilled, and the house was cold. Then I returned to my room and got dressed in the clothes that I had left out earlier. As much as I wanted to wear my red hoodie for comfort, it stayed in my backpack. I was too recognizable in the area with it on. My purse went in the backpack as well, filled with Granny’s mad money and a large plastic baggie filled with jewelry.

Putting on the leather biker jacket and insulated biker gloves that were in the pockets, I headed back downstairs with the loaded backpack in hand and went outside to the fire pit after putting on my combat boots. Thankfully, the jacket had a removable warm fleece inner layer that would keep me warm until I got the fire started since the evening was cool. Still, I started a fire as quickly as I could and once it was going, I carefully added my school stuff, the bloody clothes, and the rags and rubber gloves that I had used for cleaning. After the towels that I had dried myself with after my shower were dry enough, I added them as well.

I sat there watching the fire burn away my old life until everything was ash. I wanted to cry, but I had shed all my tears earlier, and this was something that I needed to do. I didn’t even know what I was going to do now except run. I mean, I didn’t have far to look for Granny’s murderer, any mirror would do. I didn’t really have a purpose in mind except to live from one day to the next. I wasn’t exactly doing this by choice, but only because I knew I would be locked up if I tried to tell anyone what had really happened last night.

I needed a plan. I could take the I-75 up to Sault St. Marie and get into Canada before people were even looking for me, but that would be obvious, and extradition is a thing. If I tried to go either west or east, I would need to cross a great lake to get out of the state. That only left me with going south, but where?

Well, there was one place that I could think of going, at least until I could figure out something better. I didn’t really want to go there though, not that I was alone in that. Nobody wants to go to Detroit; hell, half of the city was abandoned because the people who lived in Detroit didn’t want to be there. Which made it perfect, there would be plenty of abandoned places to hide and it was the last place that anybody would look for me to run to.

With that decided and the fire down to embers, I threw some dirt on the last remnants of the fire and put my backpack on. I couldn’t take my car; it was too recognizable, and it could probably be low-jacked and tracked somehow. The same went for my phone, so I dropped it and my keys in my car before going to Granny’s garage.

Inside was her old pickup truck, but I wasn’t going to take that very far since Mom and Dad would be able to give a description of it. With that in mind, I struggled to get the bike in the back. Grandpa Wolfe had been a biker in his younger days, and he had kept his old 1974 Ducati 750 Sport in pristine condition until he died two years ago. Mom and Dad wouldn’t be able to tell the police about it because they didn’t know that it was still there.

Granny had told them that she had sold it, but what she didn’t tell them was that she had sold it to me. Mom and Dad would have freaked out at the idea of me riding a motorcycle, but Granny had been cool about it. Carrie didn’t know about the bike either, or that I would come to tinker with it once in a while to make sure it stayed in good shape. I loved Care Bear like a sister, but she was a girly girl and would have freaked out at the thought of me getting all greasy while working on it during the occasional weekend when I came to visit Granny and spend some time with her.

Even if Mom or Dad did think about the bike, it didn’t look like it used to. On one of the weekends when I came over to spend some time with Granny and tinker with it, I had replaced the old faded yellow paint job with a nice dark red that suited me a little better. It also nearly matched the metallic red motorcycle helmet that rested on one of the handlebars.

Once I managed to get the bike into the back of the pickup without damaging anything, and put the helmet in the cab of the truck, I drove off, leaving my car behind. Hopefully, the cops would think I was fleeing in the truck because my car could be tracked or using it to get into town, which I did. It was after eleven o’clock when I drove into Petoskey and the streets were quiet and mostly abandoned.

I drove to a bank and was careful to park a few blocks away so my bike wouldn’t be seen in the back of the truck on the security cameras. Then I quickly shed my biker gear and put on my red hoodie and a pair of dark sunglasses before dashing over to the bank machine to withdraw almost all of the money from my account. I had just under a thousand in the bank, enough to last me a month until my parents deposited more at the end of the month to cover the next month’s rent and expenses.

Not that I could risk touching my account again, even if my parents didn’t start freaking about grandma and I both being missing or dead. This would have to last me for a while, though I did feel horrible about my brief thoughts of Carrie being stuck for next month’s rent and having to find a new roomie. I told myself that I was protecting her as I made my way to an empty parking lot near the bus station. Everything was quiet there as I parked the truck in a dark corner of the lot and carefully removed the Ducati from the back.

I left the bike parked there for now and made my way to the local All-Mart. While there, I got a decent-sized duffel bag, a couple more changes of clothes and underwear, some makeup, a couple of new hoodies, some sunglasses with red lenses, and a blonde wig from the Halloween section. Rather than pure red for the hoodies, as I would normally get, I went with blood-red ones that had black sleeves and a black inner lining.

After my quick shopping trip, I stopped at the McConnell’s drive-through and got a value meal before making my way to the bus depot, where I quickly ate and then changed into one of my new hoodies and my biker gear. Everything else that I was taking went into the duffel bag, which I slung securely over my shoulder. Then I left the keys in the truck, and the doors unlocked, as I ran toward the empty lot where I had parked the Ducati.

Either the cops would find the truck and assume that I had taken a bus out of town, or someone would steal it and lead them on a merry chase. That was the plan anyway, for all I knew everything could go tits up before I even got out of town, and I wasn’t about to tempt Murphy. It was hard not looking back as I drove through the streets of my hometown for the last time and then south down the I-75 bound for Detroit.

~o~O~o~

Red and Carrie’s Apartment
Petoskey, Michigan
Tuesday, October 11th, 2022 - 11:52 p.m.

Carrie looked at her phone for what seemed like the millionth time. Red hadn’t replied to any of her texts or answered her calls yet and she was getting worried. They were best friends and had been since high school, and it wasn’t like Red to ignore her. She worried too much about worrying other people, which was why she had folded last night and gone to check on her grandmother for her parents.

She hadn’t heard from her best friend since she had left the cafeteria the evening before, and she was starting to freak out now. She had called Red’s phone too many times to count and had even tried calling the hospital, but Red hadn’t been admitted there and had neither shown up nor contacted her in any way. Now Carrie was working herself up to what might be the hardest phone call she had ever made. The number was right there on her screen, but she hesitated to tap it to start the call. Finally, she took a deep breath to steel herself and did the deed.

“Good evening, Petoskey Police Department, how may I direct your call?” a voice inquired after a moment of ringing that set Carrie’s nerves on edge even further.

She was startled enough that she nearly dropped her phone, and she had to take a moment and another deep breath before responding with, “Umm… hello. I’d like to report a missing person…”

© 2023 Amethyst Gibbs
All Rights Reserved

Thanks to RoseyRedd for the great teaser image and for putting this idea in my head. Further chapters are available to the public on my Patreon page for those who wish to read ahead.



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