You Came Back!
You Came Back!
Shona and Mary Leah were twin sisters living in Olympia, Washington in 1974. They shared an apartment together and at the age of 35 found themselves attending computer classes at St. Martin’s College. They were taking computer classes at night and hoped after graduation to get a job with the government. This was their final quarter and the two of them were excited.
They had studied hard and practiced quizzing each other on computer definitions as well as solving computer problems. They enjoyed brisk walks and going to the gym three times a week. When Shona opened the refrigerator door and realized there was just a little bit of Almond milk left, she asked her sister if she’d like to walk over to Safeway with her.
Mary put the Danielle Steel book she was reading and said yes. It was May and the sun was high in the sky. On their way to the store, Shona asked her sister to take a short cut down a walking trail through a wooded park. Mary took the lead and briskly walked down the trail, laughing as she called out to her sister to keep up with her. Mary was keeping ahead of her sister by about 35 feet as she took deep breaths.
Suddenly Mary heard her sister scream out her name. As she turned around, Mary put her hand to her mouth as she saw a man pulling her sister backwards towards some brush with one hand pulling on her hair. In his other hand he held a hammer. Mary was frozen with fear as tears rolled down her eyes. She wanted to run away and also wanted to run to save her sister but could do neither.
Just as Shona and her attacker reached the side of the trail, she cried out to her sister to run. As soon as she finished screaming those words, her attacker struck her on the right side of her head with his hammer and Mary heard her sister’s skull crack. She gasped and let out a loud moan and suddenly quit struggling as blood flowed down the side of her face.
The man wore a black jogging suit and his long greasy hair stood out. He wore black tennis shoes and had a pair of latex gloves on, the kind people wore in hospitals. Suddenly her sister’s killer let go of Shona’s hair and she fell to the ground. Now he began running after Mary with his hammer held high in the air. She saw the cruel look in his eyes as she turned around and began running for her life.
She ran for her life and heard his footsteps behind her closing the distance but she was too frightened to look back. She was terrified she would stumble and fall. She knew if she fell she too would die. On and on she ran as tears blinded her as she forced herself to see the side of the Safeway store appear in the distance. At some point her attacker gave up his chase and ran back to Shona.
Mary ran into the parking lot screaming as shoppers walking to the store entrance or pushing carts of groceries back to their car stared. The look in Mary’s eyes was that of a terrified woman. People were on their cell phones calling 911 not knowing why she was screaming. When the police arrived on the scene, a police car was rushing into the parking lot from both directions almost at the same time.
Officers immediately spotted the woman running in the parking lot banging into parked cars, stumbling back only to run in a different direction as she continued to scream. Onlookers stared at the woman not knowing if she was on drugs as a young mother pulled her two children close to her. The two officers ran after Mary trying to catch her and finally blocked her in between two vehicles.
They tried to calm her down but Mary became combative, not able to realize the police were there to help her. She was lost in her minds nightmare of watching her sister being murdered and the police officer tasered her. She collapsed and fell to the ground. A police officer handcuffed the woman and they put her in the back of one of the police cars and began interviewing witnesses.
They tried to find out if the woman was involved in a domestic dispute. All the witnesses could tell them was that they saw her screaming and running into vehicles. Mary was taken to Providence St. Peter Hospital emergency room. Mary had to be sedated and the nurse took a blood sample from Mary before two attendants strapped her to a gurney and took her to a private room.
A police officer stood guard outside her room. While the lab was checking her blood for illegal substances or medications, Mary found herself laying on the gurney strapped and unable to move. She turned her head from left to right and saw she was in a patient’s room but didn’t know where. The curtains were open in her room but she was too high up to see anything. But she could hear cars passing by.
She no longer was screaming or panicking. The shot that sedated her had calmed her down. As she lay there unable to move, tears rolled down her cheeks and she began to feel her heart beating faster and faster. She looked at the wall behind her head and saw the call button to request a nurse, but her hands were down at her side and she couldn’t press it. So she did the only thing she could do. She let out a horrible scream.
In seconds her terrified eyes saw the police officer come into her room, followed by two nurses with frightened looks on their faces. Between the three people, they calmed down Mary enough for her to tell them that she saw her sister murdered on a walking trail behind the Safeway store. The police officer asked her what clothing her sister wore. She told her a red dress and black shoes. She also told the officer her sister had long brown hair and had in a braid.
Mary gave a good description of her sister’s attacker. He radioed the description of the suspect and her sister and the location of the attack to the police dispatcher. Just then a doctor with a stethoscope around his neck entered Mary’s room. His name was Doctor Brown. In his hand he held the blood work report for Mary and told the police officer Mary had no drugs in her system.
He asked the two nurses to take the straps off of Mary. When she was helped to her feet she hugged one of the nurses and cried and cried. When the police officer asked Mary if she knew her sister’s attacker, she shook her head no. Then he asked her if she could identify him if she saw him again. With bitter and angry eyes she told the officer, “Yes. “I will never forget his face!”
The police officer asked if she felt strong enough to accompany him back to the hiking trail and Mary wiped her eyes and nodded. He parked his patrol car at Safeway where another officer was waiting. Together they began walking down the trail. When Mary looked ahead and saw several more police officers looking to her left in the brush, Mary knew they had found her sisters body.
She couldn’t hold back her tears and she felt her legs go under her and the officer nearest her caught her. The second officer walked ahead and talked to other officers. From the other direction Mary saw to ambulance workers bringing down a wheeled gurney. Suddenly a police photographer stepped out of the brush with his camera. When his eyes looked into her eyes she knew that her sister was dead.
“We found your sisters body and her purse. I know it’s not what you want to do but we need you to identify the body.” the police officer walking up to Mary asked. As she looked up at the officer helping her to stand on her feet, he told her if she wanted to wait until the next day it would be alright. But Mary shook her head and told her now was best. By now Shona’s body had been place on the gurney and they were bringing the gurney out of the brush.
Her body was covered with a white sheet and the area where her head was, was turning red. On top of the sheet was a large clear plastic bag with Shona’s clothing and purse. It had a small identification tag tied to the bag with a string. As soon as Mary saw her sister’s body she put her hand to her mouth and began to cry. “I should have stayed and tried to save my sister, but she told me to run away!” she cried out as she shook her head in despair.
In a kind voice the officer told her that she couldn’t have saved her sister and that that most likely, she too would have been murdered. By now they were both standing beside the gurney and a police officer told her he deeply regretted having her identify her sister. As Mary nodded and wiped her eyes, one of the ambulance attendants pulled the sheet back from Shona’s head.
Mary saw that her sister had been struck with the killer’s hammer twice. When she looked at the bag of clothes she knew that the man had raped her sister. As she turned to the officer and hugged him he told her other officers were searching for anyone matching the description. “I’ll drive you back to your apartment and if we locate any suspects, we’ll call you so you can look at a police lineup.” he said in a caring voice.
Officer Brooks took down Mary’s phone number and before he said goodbye, he told her that Shona’s purse was found strewn around her body. “I’ll make sure officers are patrolling this area more often. Please make sure you keep your doors and windows locked.” he said. Mary nodded as she wiped her eyes and walked toward the front door of her apartment.
Mary stood in front of her apartment door trembling as she stared at the key in her hand. Finally she put the key in the lock and opened the door. When she entered the living room she quickly made her way to the couch and sat down. She buried her head in her hands and cried. Everywhere she looked she saw memories of her sister in photographs or belongings.
When she finally composed herself, she walked to each room and made sure that each window was locked. She made sure also that the front door and patio door was locked. The next morning when the phone rang and Mary picked it up; she heard Officer Brook’s voice and he asked her how she was holding up? “I didn’t sleep a bit last night. I don’t know what I’m going to do!” she said in a sad voice.
He asked her if she felt up to coming down to the police station to pick up her sister’s clothing and purse. He also said while she was down at the station, a police sketch artist wanted to meet with her so he could make a composite drawing of what the suspect looked like. She told him she could catch the bus downtown and be at the police station by 1:30 that afternoon.
He told her they’d meet her in the lobby. She thanked him and asked where her sister’s body was? “Your sister’s body is at the coroner’s office Mary. I already checked and you can have someone from a funeral home come by and pick up her body for you.” he said. Mary thanked him and said she would get dressed and meet him that afternoon and she said goodbye.
Mary never thought someone would murder her sister. She felt a deep sense of guilt inside her that she should have done more to save her sisters life. As identical twins, both Shona and Mary laughed at how much they thought alike. It was almost like they could read each other’s minds. By the time Mary walked into the police station, both officers were waiting and greeted her.
In Officer Brook’s left hand he held a large brown paper sack containing Shona’s clothing and purse. Officer Brook’s asked Mary to call and leave him a message when Shona’s funeral was. He told her he wanted to attend her funeral. He handed his business card to her and she promised she would call him. When he was finished drawing, the police artist thanked Mary for meeting with him. The officer came very close to drawing the face of the man who killed her sister.
She made sure all of her doors and windows were locked when she returned home. She also closed her curtains. As she stood beside the kitchen counter she looked down at the address book beside the phone. Before she called anyone else she called the college administration office and told the woman her name and what program she was in.
She told her that her sister was murdered that morning and asked her to tell her teachers she wouldn’t be in class the rest of the week. After she hung up, she hurriedly wiped her eyes to see the telephone number. Mary called her mother Charlene. Mary didn’t know if she was more afraid that her mother would be home and pick up the phone or if she would have to leave a message.
When Mary’s mother answered the phone with a cheerful, “Hi Mary, how are you this afternoon? Mary broke down in tears and her voice trembled as she said, “Momma, are you sitting down?” When her mother said yes in a concerned voice and asked what was wrong, Mary told her. Momma, Shona was murdered this morning!”
Mary heard her mother gasp and begin to cry as she asked how it happened. “Momma, we were walking to Safeway down the path we always walk when a man jumped out of the brush holding a hammer and he grabbed Shona by the hair. When I heard her scream I turned around but it was too late. I wanted to run to her as he hit her in the head with the hammer, but she pleaded with me to run away.
Momma, I should have run to her and tried to save her!” Mary cried out as she sat the phone on her lap and sobbed. Again and again Charlene called out her daughter’s name but Mary didn’t pick the phone back up. When she finally put the phone to her ear she heard her mother ask Mary if she was there. “Yes momma, I’m here.” she cried out. “I’ll be over in 15 minutes. Stay right where you are!” her mother said and Mary heard her hang up.
By the time Charlene’s white Toyota pulled into the parking space, Mary was already running out of her apartment. As a mother and daughter hugged and cried, neither one spoke. Finally Charlene led her daughter back into her apartment.
When they were both sitting on the couch, Charlene asked her daughter to start from the very beginning. By the time Mary had finished, all Charlene could do was hug her daughter.
Words couldn’t describe the heartache Charlene had felt. She asked her daughter what the police were doing and all she said was that they were looking for the suspect and patrolling her neighborhood. That was when a terrified look came across Charlene’s face. “He didn’t take your sister’s apartment keys did he?” she asked worriedly. Now Mary’s face looked just as frightened as she said, “I don’t know.”
Hurriedly Mary went into Shona’s bedroom and returned with her sack of clothes and purse. Mary pulled the purse out of the top of the bag and dumped all the contents onto the couch. Frantically Charlene and Mary pushed the contents around and didn’t see her key ring with the bright orange plastic four leaf clover. “Oh my God Mary! He’s got her keys!” shouted Charlene.
“We’ve got to change your door locks!” she shouted as she looked left and right for the phone book. As soon as she saw it, she went and picked it up. Anxiously she flipped through the yellow pages until she reached the locksmith page. She used her cell phone and called the locksmith that had the biggest ad. Within 20 minutes a locksmith arrived and Charlene paid for both locks to be changed.
After he left, both women realized the killer could have entered her apartment and killed Mary too. Both women’s hearts were filled with grief at that moment. Mary’s mother asked where they had taken Shona’s body. “Franklin’s Funeral Home has her momma. They told me they would contact me sometime this afternoon to make funeral arrangements.” Mary said sadly.
“When they call you, you give them my number and let me handle all the arrangements Mary.” Charlene said as she leaned over and hugged her daughter. Charlene never thought the day would come when she find out one of her daughters had been murdered. Charlene stayed much of that day with her daughter though, deciding to talk with the man from the funeral home personally as soon as he called.
When the phone rang both women jumped and caught their breath as Mary brought the cordless phone to her mother. Funeral arrangements were made one week from that day at 2 pm. Charlene thanked the man and told her daughter she hated to leave but that she had to go to their church and speak to Father Janovich so he could speak to everyone at the cemetery.
She hugged her daughter tightly and told her she had to be strong. She said, “Day or night sweetheart, I don’t give a damn what the hour is, if you need to talk, call me.” Mary thanked her mother and waved goodbye to her as her car drove away. Over the next week, Mary fell deeper and deeper into depression and she began to get black circles under her eyes from lack of sleep.
That night as hard as Mary tried, she just couldn’t fall asleep. In her mind she kept seeing Shona’s face as blood flowed down the right side of her face as she pleaded for Mary to run away. For the next week, the police department had undercover officers in disguise walking the same trail Shona had been murdered on. They even had an officer and his k-9 dog walk the path.
But no attacks or reports of suspicious people were called into the police department. Charlene kept in phone contact with her daughter but it was sporadic and she understood. Shona and Mary were very close. Sometimes Mary answered the phone and talked a short while before crying and hanging up. Sometimes she would just break down in tears and say she couldn’t talk anymore.
Shona’s funeral was a week later and many of Shona’s college friends and neighbors in Mary’s apartment complex attended the funeral. So did Officer Books as he had promised. When the service was over, he told Mary and her mother that they hadn’t come up with any suspects. “We have a plaster cast of a 9½ size tennis shoe imprint we made from the dirt where Shona was murdered.
Because the suspect wore latex gloves we didn’t get any fingerprints. We do have a DNA sample of his semen though. All we need to do is find a suspect to match the shoe print and DNA.” he said in an optimistic voice. Both Charlene and Mary knew it could be years before they caught the suspect. They also knew they might never catch him. They thanked him for everything he and the detectives were doing to find Shona’s killer.
After the funeral was over Mary didn’t go directly home. Instead she went to the administration office of the college and withdrew. That evening she had no appetite and went to bed early. The bedside clock by Mary’s pillow changed to 3:20 a.m. when suddenly Mary awoke, sitting halfway up in bed as she screamed. Her face was covered in sweat and she swore she just heard Shona screaming out her name.
She knew it was a dream but it felt frighteningly real. She used part of her sheet to wipe the sweat off her face as she lay her head down on her pillow feeling her heart pounding. Mail for Mary and Charlene began to fill up the mailbox as did the newspapers outside her door. Mary ceased answering the phone and message after message filled the machine until it was full.
Most days Mary sat in the corner of the living room staring at the front door with her knees pulled up to her chin scared to death. Mary was afraid to sleep because when she did, Shona’s murder and her last words screamed out in her nightmares. Mary was losing weight quickly and her mind too. Charlene felt helpless for her daughter but knew all she could do was try to be there for her and give her the comfort she needed. Charlene too lost a lot of sleep.
Everything came to a head one early morning when Mary had finally drifted off to sleep and she heard Shona’s screams again! They were earth shattering and Mary frantically looked around and began screaming too. She began tearing her apartment up, throwing things and waking up her upstairs neighbors who called the police. When they heard her screams they believed someone was attacking her.
Soon blue lights were seen flashing in the parking lot outside her apartment door as four police officers with guns drawn rushed to her front door. They found it locked and while one officer stood besides the door pounding on the door shouting, “Police officers open the door.” Other officers tried to look in what windows there were, but the curtains were closed. Left with no choice the police officer kicked the door in and crouched low as he looked in all directions.
He saw Mary huddled in the corner of the living room next to a tipped over end table and lamp screaming. She looked terrified to death. One officer went to her while the other three officers searched her apartment. Mary was wearing a long blue chiffon nightgown and one of the officers got a blanket off her bed and wrapped her in it before putting her in the back of the police car.
They took her to the hospital emergency room for observation. She was incoherent and had to be sedated. Charlene was notified of her daughter’s condition and when she arrived at the hospital she broke down into tears as she looked at her daughter asleep. Mary had a nervous breakdown. By the fourth day Mary’s condition remained unchanged.
Doctor Anderson told Charlene that they weren’t equipped to handle the care that Mary needed and recommended she be committed to a private facility that could give her better care. As her mother, she had the authority to sign the necessary papers and reluctantly Charlene signed a six month commitment order for her daughter. Charlene had the power to have her daughter released earlier if Mary’s condition improved.
Charlene saw her daughter few times during her stay at the Woodbridge Mental Care Services facility and that was one of the conditions of placement. She was provided however with a weekly summary of what services were provided to Mary and what progress she made. It broke Charlene’s heart to put her only daughter into such a place but it was better than finding out she had harmed herself of took her own life.
During the first few months of treatment little progress was made and Mary ate little and spoke even less. When therapists talked to her in her wheelchair the expression on Mary’s face was blank. It was as if she never heard their voices or knew where she was. She continued to lose weight to the point they were about to be forced to put a feeding tube down her throat.
Then one night a nurse making rounds opened up her door and saw Mary was awake and had turned her face toward the door as tears rolled down her face as she cried out desperately, “Please help me!” The nurse rushed to Mary’s bedside and pressed the nurse button and leaned down and hugged Mary as she whispered, “It’s okay Mary, I’m here to help you!”
Mary began eating her meals and slowly began opening up her feelings to her therapist. When Charlene got the phone call from Doctor Kilpatrick that Mary was alert, eating and talking Charlene broke down into tears as she dropped the phone she was holding. Charlene drove like a manic to where Mary was being kept and parked between two parking spaces as she ran from her car to the reception area.
Out of breath Charlene asked if she could see her daughter. The nurse behind the desk called an administrator who reviewed a chart and motioned for her to follow her. She took Charlene to a cafeteria area which had many tables but no one was eating at that moment. She asked Mary to sit anywhere she wanted and she would bring her daughter to her.
Time seemed to stop for Charlene and the waiting was taking a toll on her and suddenly the double doors opened and she could see her daughter coming towards her in a wheelchair with the administrator pushing her from behind. Charlene burst into tears and stood as she watched her daughter throw up her arms and begin to cry also. They were left alone and they did more crying than talking.
Charlene was shocked at how thin her daughter looked but was relieved to find out she was eating again. “I feel guilty bringing you here sweetheart but I was scared for you. The police said you were screaming and throwing things around your apartment. They thought you were being attacked. They kicked in your front door with guns drawn.” Charlene told her daughter.
As Mary shook her head, she told her mother she couldn’t remember a thing about that day. “It seems so long ago momma. When I look in the mirror I don’t even look like me.” Mary said as a river of tears flowed down her cheeks. “I want to go home momma, I want to go home!” she said as she looked up at her mother wiping her eyes. “When can I leave this place and go back to my apartment?” Mary asked.
Charlene took a deep breath before she said, Hun, I had to pack up all of you and Shona’s things put them into storage. As soon as your therapist feels it’s okay for you to leave, I’ll find ya a nice studio apartment and have all your things moved in. I can sign the release papers right now but I don’t think that’s what you or I want right now.” Charlene said as she fought back her tears.
Mary looked down at her lap before she raised her head and looked into her momma’s eyes and spoke, “No momma, as much as I want to leave, I know I can’t. Shona’s screams haunt me. I feel like I’m going insane!” she said as she burst out crying. As her mother rushed to her wheelchair she knelt down and told her daughter it wasn’t her fault Shona died. In the most painful anguished voice Mary asked her mother, “Why didn’t he kill me instead of Shona?”
Charlene didn’t have an answer and didn’t try to pretend she knew the answer. Instead, she hugged her daughter and told her that the doctor said that she could visit her every day during visiting hours if she’d like that. Mary told her she’d like that very much. Before Charlene left, the administrator had her sign some papers to extend Mary’s treatment period for two additional months.
She smiled and was quick to add that Mary’s therapist could release Mary at her discretion as long as she had a place to live. Charlene promised that Mary would have her own apartment if someone would call her 48 hours before Mary was to be released. Five weeks later Charlene got that call and she was so excited as she wiped her eyes and hung up her phone.
She quickly called the storage rental company and told them within 48 hours she would pick up her daughters belongings. Next she called a moving company and asked them to meet her at the storage location in two days at 10 am. While Charlene tried to calm herself down she picked up the newspaper and turned to the unfurnished apartment section. She made several phone calls and looked at several rentals before deciding which one was the nicest and offered her daughter good security.
Before Charlene picked up her daughter she took her measurements so she could buy her clothes that fit her. On the day she walked her out of that mental facility with her mother, Mary felt like a new person. In truth, she felt like she had been through hell. This was the first time she set foot out of where she felt she was a prisoner. It was a feeling of freedom that she couldn’t describe in words, but Charlene saw the happiness in her daughter’s eyes.
Mary couldn’t help but start to cry and hug her mother when she stood outside of what was her new apartment. The movers had arranged all of the furniture she and Shona had in their old apartment minus a few things due to it being a studio. But between the movers and a mother’s touch, her apartment looked beautiful. While they were both seated on the couch, suddenly Mary’s smile disappeared.
The smile in her eyes was gone as well. “Momma, I’m not in school any more. How am I going to pay for this apartment?” she asked her mother in a panicked voice. When Charlene touched her arm and began to smile at her daughter she said, “Shona took care of that before she passed away Mary.” As tears formed in her eyes, Charlene saw a confused look in her daughters eyes too as tears began to fall from her eyes too.
Charlene reached into her purse and unfolded a bank statement. “This is your monthly bank statement Mary. Look at the bottom where it shows your balance.” Charlene said as she began to smile. Mary wiped her eyes after she was handled the sheet of paper and looked at the very bottom. When she saw the figure $26,102.00 she put her hand to her mouth in shock.
When she looked back at her mother and asked how she had that much money in her account, her mother explained. “When I packed up your belongings and Shona’s, I came across a $25,000.00 life insurance policy she had taken out on herself leaving you as the beneficiary.” she said as she began to wipe her eyes. At that moment all Mary wanted was a hug and she got that much needed hug.
When she composed herself she asked if she would drive her over to the cemetery so she could visit her sister’s grave. Charlene nodded. When they parked, they walked through the cemetery past many graves which had fresh or plastic flowers in a small container beside the headstone When Mary saw Shona’s headstone up ahead; she saw that fresh flowers were in the container not plastic ones.
With tears in her eyes, Charlene gave her best smile and before she turned to walk back to her car she said, “I’ll be waiting inside the car. I know you have a lot to talk about.” As Charlene began to leave, she heard Mary call out, “Thank you momma.” It had been nearly seven months since Mary had stood beside her sister’s grave listening to the words spoken from the Father Janovich’s Bible.
Mary said many things to her sister while she sat on the freshly mowed lawn. But one thing she said carried more meaning. “I never knew you had gotten that life insurance policy and I wanted to tell you how grateful I am to you. All these months I haven’t visited your grave wasn’t because I didn’t care or love you. After your death, my world collapsed and I had a nervous breakdown.
I’m been locked up and that in itself was a nightmare to me. But I’m better now and have a small studio momma got for me. I wanted to tell you that after I leave this cemetery I’m going to get a membership in a Karate studio and for the next month I will learn how to defend myself. I will be the most determined student that ever walked through their doors.
After that I’m gonna walk down the trail where you were murdered three times a day whether it’s sunny or pouring down rain. I want the man who attacked you to attack me Shona. I will learn mostly how to defend myself when I’m attacked from behind. I promise you that if the same man who attacked you attacks me that he won’t ever attack another person.” Mary said as she hurriedly wiped her eyes.
She said goodbye to her sister and got to her feet and walked back to her mother’s car. Mary was quiet as her mother drove to Denny’s where they had a wonderful lunch. Mary told her mother of her desire to take self-defense classes but didn’t say what she intended to do afterwards. She wanted her mother to feel she was hoping to protect herself in the future and leave it at that.
She also told her mother she was re-applying for her college grants and wanted to finish her degree which made her mother feel even better. Mary had a choice between three Karate schools in town. After speaking to all three instructors, she made her decision. She chose the school run by a female instructor. Mrs. Jensen had never accepted a student who was more intent to learn how to kick, punch, block a blow or defend themselves.
Mary never confided in her about her plans after her month of martial arts training. That first week was the hardest for Mary in terms of bruises, aches and pains but it was a small price to pay she told herself. By the end of the fourth week both Mary and Mrs. Jensen were proud of what Mary had learned in such a short time span. The following morning Mary left her apartment and took the long walk to the Safeway store.
Mary only swallowed once before she put her hair in a braid and made her way to the walking trail. She felt nervous but only for a few steps before feeling her anger kick in. Quickly she pushed her anger aside because she had learned that if someone was angry that it was harder to allow what they had learned in class to come more naturally. Week after week she walked that same path, each time walking past the very spot where her sister was attacked and killed.
Sometimes it was the perfect day for a walk. Other days she held her umbrella trying to keep from being soaked. By the 29th day of walking she had walked the trail 85 times and besides a bird or squirrel that startled her nothing had happened. She wasn’t even near the spot where Shona was murdered when the same man grabbed her hair from behind and swung his hammer at her head.
Unfortunately he missed Mary’s head and she was able to grab his forearm and instincts kicked in and she threw him over her shoulder and he landed hard on the ground in front of her. He never lost his grip on his hammer though and he got to his feet quickly. As he smiled at Mary with devilish eyes he took one step towards her before she kicked the hammer out of his hand.
Quickly she turned her body and threw her weight into her right leg as she swung her foot and she heard the bones in his right leg crack as he fell to one knee and groaned. “That’s for what you put me through after you murdered my sister.” she said. Then she took two steps forward and kicked him square under the chin and he flew backwards landing on his back. That’s for what you put my mother through.” she said as she walked closer.
She walked around him until she stood next to his head with him looking up into her eyes pleading for her not to hurt him anymore. Mary looked down at him and the anger began to rise within her like a volcano as she recalled what he had done so callously to her sister as she shook her head down at him. “This is for what you did to my sister!” she shouted as she took her foot and stomped on his throat and killed him.
As Mary looked down at the dead man at her feet, suddenly she heard Shona’s voice call out your name. Mary looked up and saw the ghostly spirit of her sister. She saw blood flowing down the right side of her face the same way she saw the day she was murdered. She saw no smile on her sister’s face as Shona glanced down at the dead man at her feet.
Before either of them said a word, they both rushed to each other and as they hugged, tears fell from Mary’s eyes when she realized her hands passed through her sister’s body. Mary couldn’t feel Shona’s hug either but it didn’t matter one bit. “I was so worried that he would kill another woman Mary. And when I saw you walking this trail by yourself I knew what you had in mind. I could read your mind and I knew you took those Karate classes.
I’m very proud of you.” Shona said as she looked into her sister’s eyes. “I feel so bad for what my death put you through. But you have a bright future ahead of you. You’ll graduate soon and one day meet a nice man and have children I hope. As for me? There’s no need for my spirit to linger here anymore and feel my life wasn’t worth much. You showed me that my life was very special. Tell momma I love her.” Shona said as she began to wave and fade away in a grey mist.
© 2013 Raymond Cook (All rights reserved)