It was a long night for Thomas. Despite his efforts with the kidnapper, the case had ended in a stakeout. He must have fallen asleep, because when he woke up he was sitting in the drivers seat of his car while all the other officers were milling about the house. He quickly composed himself and got out of his car.

"Hey, there he is." An officer named Eric came up and patted him on the shoulder.

"You alright?"

"Alright as I can be. What's going on?"

"The little girl is out safe, the kidnapper committed suicide in the basement."

Thomas cringed a little and gritted his teeth.

"Ah, I hate it when they end like that..."

Criminal or not, a person is still a person, a loss of life shouldn't be necessary to resolve matters like these. But the child was safe and once again with her family. There was at least one happy ending here. Thomas watched as the coroners lifted a body bag and carried it out of the house. Close behind them came one of the detectives carrying a plastic bag. In the bag was a long, sharpened, bloody branch. It looked as if it had been carved to puncture the skin. Thomas shuddered at the thought of a human taking their own life by impaling themselves on a spear of wood.

Eventually, Thomas allowed himself to leave the crime scene and head back to the hospital. He visited a bit with Tristan and kissed him and Marissa on the forehead and said goodnight before he made the painful decision to go home. Once again, on the way out he was stopped by one of the doctors.

"Mr. Keelan!"

He moaned and turned around.

"Yes?"

"We need to know any possible allergies that Marissa may have..."

Thomas let out a grunt and rubbed his forehead in frustration.

"I told you guys to go ask my wife... She would know better than me anyways."

"But, she hasn't been here, we haven't been able to ask her."

The doctor suddenly had Thomas' full attention.

"What? No... She , she was here last night. I left on a call while she was still here..."

The doctor stated blankly and shook his head.

"We, we haven't seen her..."

Thomas dug his cell phone out of his pocket and dialed Abigail's mobile number. Her phone was either in the middle of a call, dead or off, so he tried the home phone. After two rings it was answered, but no voice came on the other end, just shrill, empty static. In a matter of seconds, Thomas was out the door and in his car, speeding toward the house with the sirens wailing.

He didn't even think before leaping out of the car, pistol in hand.

The front door was unlocked and swung open swiftly and silently at his touch. The house was silent and eerie, and for some reason completely unfamiliar to him. He peeked into the kitchen to find several drawers open and obviously rummaged through. On the kitchen whiteboard, a list was written out.

- backpack

- rifle

- flashlight

- pepper spray

- cell phone

For a moment Thomas though his wife had gone insane. He ran to his bedroom and checked the closet. Sure enough, the locker in the back corner had been unlocked and the rifle he kept inside was gone along with all the ammunition. A note was inside. Thomas picked it up and read it.

If you won't stop this psychopath, I will.

An empty cry escaped Thomas' throat and he tried to dial Abigail's cell phone again. Once again, there was no answer. He ran back out of the house and got back in his car. He didn't have any idea where his wife would have gone, but something seemed to pull him back towards the twin's old house. While he was driving he seemed to realize that this could be his chance to catch the freak victimizing his kids, and reached down to his belt to call for backup. Picking up his radio, he pressed the receiver to find it dead, relaying nothing back and forth but empty buzzing. He groaned and tossed the useless device into the passenger's seat and pressed his foot down harder on the gas pedal. He could not - would not - allow his wife to be hurt by this monster of a human being. He had let his children suffer, a sin for which he could never forgive himself. But now his wife, the one who had been there for him through everything, was putting herself in harms way and again, there was nothing he could do about it. He knew in his heart he had failed miserably, he had let his family down so bad he was unsure any of them could ever forgive him. Now, as he drove into the dirt and gravel driveway of the abandoned house, fear clutched his heart. Not the fear of what he would find, but the fear that whatever it was, he wouldn't be able to fix it. He pushed open the old door and pulled out his pistol. The house seemed empty enough, broken beer bottles covered the floor and white sheets covered the furniture. To his right was a big brick fireplace with a note taped to it.

'Don't look or it takes you'

Thomas finally came to the realization that the freak attacking his family was legitimately insane. He didn't usually deal with the insane in his line of work, this small town had the usual domestic violence, but a psychopath running loose through the woods surrounding the town was another matter entirely. He looked down and saw te massive bloodstain in the carpet. Marissa has said she had seen her father die, but when he had come with the secretive a the body was gone. The same blood stain remained, but still no body. This bastard was good at cleaning up evidence. They had even dusted for fingerprints and found nothing. Then, Thomas' eyes caught a glimpse of a small black rectangle sitting on the kitchen counter and recognized it as Abigail's phone. He fumbled over towards the counter and picked up the phone. It was on, a phone call from a blocked number running for the past hour. Nothing came through the speaker but empty static. Thomas ended the call and noticed forty seven text messages were unread. All of them were from a blocked number, and almost all of them read the same thing,

'I am not insane'

All except the first five, the ones marked that they had been read, and all sent exactly twenty minutes apart through the hours of the night.

'Don't look or it takes you.'

'Can't run.'

'Always watches, no eyes.'

'Leave me alone.'

'There is nothing left for you.'

Then, suddenly the phone buzzed and new message flashed up on the screen.

'I hope you believe me now.'

A sudden flurry of images flooded the screen, the twins when they were young, Abigail and Thomas' wedding, birthdays, anniversaries, all the hospital visits. Thomas dropped the phone and stumbled back, his mind whirring. Then, his own phone rang in his pocket, shrill static piercing the emptiness. He pulled it out of his pocket and gazed at the screen in terror. The messages, all the gibberish, all the strange threats, had been sent from his phone. The phone's screen fuzzed over and his own reflection shimmered in the white static. Then, in the reflection, a faceless head appeared. Thomas spun around and pulled the trigger.

Author's Note: Muahaha! Cliffhanger! Just because I love torturing all of you *evil snicker* Okay anyways, hope you enjoyed this chapter! Leave a review and tell me what you thought! I would love to hear from you guys! :D