August 29, 2015 For Truly Virtual Web Art Museum 2015 Copyright LastPlace.com
Orchid of Tears
rain was just starting to sprinkle down as Kassandra made her way up to the
restaurant. By now it was dark. She had no idea what she was doing. She was
acting on pure emotion. All she knew was that the world she has known a few days
ago felt like it had never existed at all, like a dream of some kind.
felt eyes on her as she made her entrance in her blue dress. She quickly found a
spot at the bar. Everything was so black outside. The growing storm was taking
forever to loosen its wrath. The bartender approached her it was Gina.
up, buttercup," she asked, her green eyes twinkling.
own hazel eyes looked back her hesitantly. She was silent for a minute.
"Tell me honestly, Gina. Do you know where he is?" Kassandra asked the
question sternly. Gina rolled her eyes.
don't, girl. I haven't seen your man in days. I would tell you if he had come
here while I was on shift. I told you that." Gina placed a shot of tequila
down in from of Kassandra. "Drink up, forget about him. How long did you
know him anyways? Like four weeks? He's just some guy from God knows
where." Gina turned to attend to some tourists. Kassandra downed her shot
and squinted at the bitterness. They had drunk tequila together the night they
met. Jake from San Diego. With those blue eyes. How many nights had they spent
together at her bungalow? Almost every night. Except for the nights he had those
business meetings up at the hotel. Kassandra regained her focus. The hotel was
her destination tonight. If Jake was anywhere he had to be there. He had
mentioned his meetings at the hotel in the month Kassandra had known him, but
she had never been there with him. They had spent their days together at the
beach, hiking in the jungle, and nights in her bungalow.
right Gina thanks." Kassandra left the bar and headed out to walk along the
cliffs to the hotel. If Jake wasn't there, then perhaps he had truly left her
and if he was there, why hadn't he contacted her? Either scenario seemed bleak.
Kassandra slowed her walk. Maybe she didn't want to know the answer after all
Maybe she should just chalk it up to a fling that she could remember as
wonderful and never know why it had ended. But then, as the strengthening rain
drops kissed her face harder she wondered if something terrible could have
happened to Jake. Maybe he was in the hospital with no way to contact her The
hotel was the one place where she may be able to find out She could see the
lights in the distance as she picked up her pace again. Just then, Kassandra
heard shuffling behind her heart jumped in surprise.
"Kassandra!!" The voice called with urgency. She spun around, and at the same time gust of wind almost knocked her down.
"Kassandra!!" It was Gina. She had been
running after her "What's wrong?!" Kassandra asked her eyes wide.
stopped and took a few breaths. "I have to get back to work," she
said, "but you have to look at this It just came up on my phone in my news
feed." Gina was still panting, and handed Kassandra her cell phone.
Kassandra took it, and turned to shield it from the rain. She could barely focus
on the phone with all the rain, but what she saw stopped her cold. It was a
picture of Jake, on the news, in a video, at the hotel she was on her way to She
looked up. Along with the hotel lights she now saw red and blue lights as well,
and could hear the faint sound of the ambulance and police sirens.
my God!" Kassandra didn't even stop to give Gina her phone back, she just
ran. By now she was soaking wet and as she took off, and she could hear Gina
calling after her Kassandra had only one goal. To make it to the hotel
she arrived, Kassandra saw yellow tape, police and ambulances. There was also a
coroner's vehicle. "Excuse me ma'am, but you can't be here. No one can go
in, this is a crime scene. Please move on." Kassandra looked at the officer
through her drenched her, which was covering most of her face. "Who's
dead?" She asked, "Please tell me. My boyfriend's missing!"
Boyfriend? She hasn't used that term for him before. The officer gave her an odd
look. "Ma'am, what's your boyfriend's name?"
Kassandra said, her voice starting to crack. The officer then put his arm around
her shoulders and turned her around. "Ma'am, is that the man you're
speaking of?" He pointed to the glossy front doors of the hotel. There he
was, his blonde hair a tousled mess, two officers on either side of him, leading
him to a police car. Jake's face was mostly obscured by the darkness, but just
as the officers were about to put him in the police car, he looked up and
focused on her for a brief second. He had no expression. And then he was gone
into the car. The officer had to shake Kassandra gently to get her attention.
She was just staring, even after the police car was gone.
I'm not sure who this man was to you, or what kind of involvement you had with
him, but we're going to need you to come to the station for questioning. I'm
sorry, but can you please come with us now?"
let herself be led away by the officer and they took her down to the station.
She had still not said anything. All that was running through her mind was the
way Jake's hand would caress her cheek before she would fall asleep at night. It
was at the police station where she found out that this man who called himself
Jake was actually responsible for the deaths of two women at the hotel, and the
attempted murder of a third. Apparently they had linked him to three other
deaths in two other states. He was a serial killer. His hand, caressing her
cheek, for a month.
hours at the police station, Kassandra managed to make her way back home, with
help from Gina. The Red, blue, and yellow bungalow was bright as ever in the
dawn light. Kassandra didn't know if she could come back here after was had just
transpired. But then, as she walked through the orchids, which greeted her with
sympathy, she realized this was her sanctuary. Life would go on her love affair,
and ultimate brush with death would be a lesson to her that life was indeed
fragile, and she had been spared to go on with her life and be grateful for