Blood Trail

When Nelly is forced to go to Dr. Pivens house, she faces a horrific, heart-stopping truth.

Chapter 1

Blood Trail

by: Novelworm
I'd just come from a house party and was thinking up some manoeuvres to sneak back home without my parents noticing. I took my high heels off because my soles were hurting from all the dancing I'd done and limped towards my house which was right across the street. I was about to cross when Dr. Pivens came out of his car. I’m startled and come to an abrupt stop. I hadn't known he'd been in the car; the engine had been off ever since I turned into the street. 'Maybe he had been waiting for you to arrive,' a voice inside my head said and a cold current travelled down my back.

"I need to talk to you," he said. His voice was whispery and he also slurred his words a lot. It reminded me of the hissing of a snake. I'd never heard Dr. Pivens talk before but I'd never imagined his voice would mirror the creepy personality everyone thought he had. He had moved into our street about six months ago and since then, house 201 had had a sinister look. The curtains were always shut and the flowers in his lawn had died. Everyone avoided looking at the house because if you did, there was a big chance you'd be able to spot Dr. Pivens starring right back at you through the curtains. There were lots of rumours about Dr. Pivens all of them along the lines of; he was a psychopath or he'd just come out of jail. Of course they are only rumours and I hadn’t been a type to judge people based on what people thought of them but Dr. Piven’s was an exception. I just couldn't find a reasonable excuse for his unusual ways.

I swallowed hard and threw glances at my house, how I really wanted to take off, I didn’t want to be here--I wasnt even allowed to be here. If my mom found out I was talking to Dr. Pivens, she'd snap. I wanted to just quickly run across the street to my house but my feet were sore and would slow me down meaning Dr. Pivens would catch up.
He seemed to sense my thoughts because he added, "We wouldn't want Mommy and Daddy thinking their little daughter has become a naughty girl and is sneaking out to parties in the middle of the night, would we?" My eyes widen, I couldn't believe he'd resorted to blackmail. If my parents found out, I'd be sent to a military boarding school, they were fed up with my constant breaching of rules.

"Ok, I'll talk with you," I said through clenched teeth, if worse came to worse, I'd be prepared--my pepperspray was in my purse--so I followed him to his door.

"Come in, dear. Make yourself comfortable." he beckoned, there was a strange glint in his eyes. Then again, it might have just been me and my usual paranoia. I tried to get rid of the sickening feeling in my stomach but it wasn’t easy when I knew I was entering Dr. Pivens house at two o'clock in the morning to do God-knows-what.

I paused right at the door, wondering if entering a creeps house was really was really better than being sent of to a military school. 'Are you coming in?' His lips were still smiling but his eyes narrowed.

"Yeah..." I told him and slowly stepped into the house. The first thing I noticed was a foul smell. It smelled like the time I’d cracked a rotten egg. I held my breath but couldn’t keep it up for long. By the time we reached the living room I had to breathe out.

"Ok Nelly, have a seat." Dr. Pivens gestured towards a sofa and I wondered how he knew my name, it made goosebumps rise to the surface of my skin. He couldn't have heard my name from someone else, no one talked to him. The only other way he would have found out what my name was would have be through his constant spying from his windows.

He leads me to the sitting room, that awful smell growing more intense with every step and I quickly changed my mind about coming here. "I...uh, I need to go..." I say in a low, tremulous voice.

"Sorry for that yucky smell," he said, ignoring me, "I went for a holiday last week and found my cat dead. It was pretty sad but she’d been sickly for some time so I'd been calculating with her death. She must have been dead for a long time though, more than two days I guess. That’s why the smell hasn’t yet left the house." He was looking at me intently and didn’t look at all as if he missed his cat or was sad about what happened. His gaze looked like it was sending me another message too, that I shouldn't dare get step out of the house. I slowly sat on the couch and he sat on the armchair opposite me, his face returning to it's former friendly expression.

"Are you hungry?" He asked.

"No." I replied curtly and because I didn’t want to seem rude I forced a tiny smile. I certainly did not want to eat in a house that smelled of a dead cat.

"At least have a biscuit." He said with a smile, grabbing a tray of cookies--that had been strangly placed conveniently on the coffee table between our sofas-- and holding it out to me.

"No, thanks. I'm really not hungry," I persisted

"Have. A. Biscuit." He said, this time his whispery voice more intimidating as his face expression turned so cold that I winced. I quickly took one of the star-shaped cookies and bite into it. A revolting taste lingered in my tongue long after I'd swallowed. The cookie smelled and therefore tasted like the rest of the house. Like a dead cat.

"Can...can I use your bathroom?" I asked. I was starting to sketch a plan to get out of this house and if it wasn't through the front door, it would be through another way. The bathroom window was a perfect place to escape from, our houses being the same, I knew that all the windows in the house were railed apart from the window in the bathroom. With a bit of effort, I could slide out of it and run home.

"Yes you can use the bathroom," Dr. Pivens said and I quickly stand up. "But..." he continued, his look boring into my flesh. "You won't be able to escape through the window."

He continued to look at me and I tried to wear a poker face so he won't be able to read from it that that was in fact my plan. I looked away from him, his gaze growing so intense that I can't take it anymore. The room is silent, the silence so thick and suffocating that it's making me noxious.
"The bathroom is the door closest to the staircase,' he mentioned then chuckled, "but of course you know that, our houses are exactly the same me." He continued to laugh, his laugh getting louder and louder until it suddenly transformed into a powerfully cough that filled the room. More coughs followed the first and his face turned a pale green. Blood started spraying out of his mouth with every cough. I quickly scurried away--not wanting to watch his terrifying coughing fit.

I continued to the bathroom. The closer I got the more intense the smell became. I couldn’t stand it and had to open a window. I walked to a window a few feet from the bathroom and staircase. I opened the curtains and then tried pushing the window pane open. The window refused to bugde--probably because it hadn't been opened in the last six months--and I had to push harder until after much effort, the window finally opened.
In the process, I'd shoved a bronze casket--that was on the windowsill--to the floor. It made a sharp, ringing sound when it hit the floor and burst open.

The casket's inside was cushioned with velvet. Peeping out of the casket that was now facing sideways, was a dagger.
I bent down and took it, slowly removing the sheath to be able to examine the dagger more. It looked like a miniature sword and was definately expensive. I then noticed another detail that made my heart skip a beat and my hands jerked in surprise, causing me to drop the dagger.

"Is...every...everything...ok? What...is all...the...noise?" Dr. Pivens called from the living room between coughs. My jaw had dropped open and it took me a while to respond but finally I answered: "Nothing's wrong...I just dropped something." I then quickly added, "Dropped something from my purse."

It wasn't just any dagger. Its long silver blade was covered with dry blood. I picked it up with shaking hands and noticed a few dried drops on the floor close to where I’d dropped the dagger. These drops couldn’t have come from the knife when I dropped it because the blood on the knife was dry. These drops of blood must have come from the knife when the blood on the knife was wet. Perhaps, before the knife was put on the windowsill. Less than a foot away, I saw a few other drops of blood leading up the staircase. I followed the trail but stopped right at the staircase. This was all very peculiar. A thousand questions were racing through my mind. 'Where have these drops come from? Why is there so much blood? Is it really a good idea following this trail?'

I finally settled for finding out where the drops had come from, surely it couldn’t be anything serious. There was a reasonable explanation for this and I was going to find it. I just had to be quick and quiet so that Dr. Pivens wouldn’t know what I was up to, I didn’t think he’d be looking for me anytime soon though, he was too busy with his aggressive coughs. Once I was up the steps, I found more drops leading to the right. My heart started pounding harder and I thought it might leap out of my chest. The sickening smell was intense now, I could taste it on my tongue and I was getting dizzy from it. I’d forgotten about my need to try and escape and my mind was solely focused on the drops of blood, finding out where they’d come from and proving the rumours about Dr. Pivens being a psychopath were not true…or true. I badly wanted to believe he wasn't crazy but it was hard, especially because his awkward behaviour.

I suddenly stopped, I'd forgotten to close the casket and place it back on the windowsill, if Dr. Piven's saw it, he'd definately know something was wrong. Downstairs Dr. Piven's coughing was becoming less intense. I had to hurry before he stopped and realized I'd been gone to long.

'The blood and the smell must be connected,' I thought, starting to walk faster than I had been walking. 'Maybe this is the cat’s blood. It is probably no big deal; I should turn and go back down the stairs'. Instead of turning back I continued, I’d already reached this far. If I didn’t find out where this blood came from, my curiosity would build up and I’d never stop wondering where the blood came from so I continued following the drops deeper into the dark corridor.

I started getting gag reflexes from the horrible stench so I used my jacket’s sleeve to cover my nose and breathed through my mouth but it didn't help, I had to stop walking and bring myself together. How in the world could a dead cat make a whole house smell so bad? It was getting harder to see the drops of blood because is was getting increasingly dark.
At some point I had to kneal down and squint to spot the drops of blood. I crawled very slowly as I followed the drops when suddenly the trail of blood stopped. 'Where have the drops of blood gone?' I ask myself. 'They can’t have randomly disappeared? He will come looking for me soon.' I think, standing up. This was getting very freaky and the best thing would be to go home and pretend this had never happened. I was just about to head back downstairs when I was a single drop of blood defore one of the doors. I felt a compelling urge to walk to the door. My hands throbbing with suspense as if they knew what was coming, I twisted the door knob and with a faint creak, the door opened.

I stood there frozen, trying to digest what I was seeing. On a bed, staring lifelessly at the ceiling were the bloody corpses of my mom and dad. I felt the blood drain out of my face, I was about to let out a strangled scream when from behind me I heard:

"You shouldn't have seen that, dear." Dr. Pivens' cold hard eyes stared at me with the bloody dagger in his hand.

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