L is for Love (A Serial Killer Story)

Scarlett: Part VIII

Cal’s legs and lungs were burning when he reached the funeral home. All was silent. “Well,” he gasped, “it’s either over or hasn’t happened yet.” When he finally looked up he saw the figure of a woman walking in his direction. Hoping it was her he took off at a brisk walk. He wasn’t sure it was her until she walked under a street light and her hair glowed like burning fire. “Yup,” he said slowing his pace, “that’s her.” She was looking at the ground and didn’t notice he was there until he was right in front of her. “Excuse me miss.” He said.
“Ah!” Scarlet yelped jumping backwards. “Oh! I’m sorry I didn’t see you. I was off in my own little world. I’m sorry.” She said stepping to the side so he could get by.
“Do I know you?” He asked trying to think of anything to stall her.
“No. You don’t. I don’t know anyone around here except for my boss.” She looked a little uncomfortable so Cal tried his best to put her mind at ease.
“I didn’t mean personally.” He began. “I meant through a friend.” He could tell she was getting more worried so he rambled on, “I mean, I have this friend who I think knows you. You’d recognize him if you saw him. Tall, skinny, very pale, green eyes, black hair, his name is Viktor. Anyways, I think he knows you. He described a beautiful red head to me once and you fit the description.” He finished looking hopeful, but apparently he didn’t do a good enough job, she still looked skeptical. He continued, “I mean, I’ve been around for a long time and know this place in and out and you are the only beautiful red head I’ve ever seen so I figured it must be you.” He paused and flashed back to a scene at Aunt Tiki’s. He had known Scarlett all along. The girl that always hung out after closing with Dave. How could he have not made the connection earlier. He decided to save that information for later and smiles bashfully at her.
“Um, thanks. I think. But I don’t know who you’re talking about” she lied. She knew exactly who he was talking about. “I’ve got to get moving. Sorry to disappoint you.” She said as she pushed by him. Cal knew he couldn’t give up. Viktor would almost be there.
“Wait!.” Cal said sheepishly trying to look embarrassed. “My mistake, it was from Aunt Tiki’s that I know you. You are friends with Dave. I hate to think of such a lovely lady walking home this late by herself and knowing you’re a friend of Dave’s, he would murder me if I didn’t escort you. Do you mind if I walk you home? Or close to home if you’re uncomfortable letting me know where you live. Granted we just met, but I would like to be your escort if you don’t mind.” Cal finished with a short bow. “Please let her say yes” he begged silently.
“Um,” Scarlet said. She wasn’t sure she wanted this seedy man walking her home, but it was late and she had been followed enough times to make her uneasy. Plus he knew Dave. She stared at him long enough and finally made the connection, the pot smoking hippie that sits on the other end of the bar and leaves when she arrives. “He looks harmless enough,” she thought. “I would be very grateful for an escort.” She said. “I have had one person follow me that makes me uncomfortable,” she continued thinking about Cassie, “I’ll tell you what. You can walk me a block away from my house okay?”
“Deal!” Cal said shaking her hand. “My name is Cal.” He grabbed her arm and slid it through his so he was leading her down the sidewalk.
“I’m Scarlett.” She returned.
“Well, Scarlett, what a pretty name, has anyone ever told you the best ghost story about our beloved town?” he asked trying to make conversation and walk slowly.
“No.” Scarlet said suddenly very much intrigued.
“Well then!” Cal said stopping to look at her, and to kill more time. “back in 1832 there was this family, the La Lauries, who lived at 1140 Royal street,” Cal knew she was interested and that she would wait for the story to be finished before she left him. “I’m a genius!” He thought as he continued, “the wife, Delphine was known as the mistress of death she was,” they began walking again.
“Mistress of death” Scarlet said silently to herself, “what a great title”. She knew she would elongate the journey to hear this one.

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