CHAPTER THREE.

"Celia! Celia!" Eric shouted through the phone several times, but everything had gone silent.

He had just gotten home from work after a long day, and had just been eating a TV dinner while watching TV when his sister called. It had been a couple weeks since they had talked, but he hadn't been concerned. He knew that she was busy with school and that she wouldn't have much time to talk with family. Truthfully, he didn't have much time on his hands either. But then there had been the phone call tonight.

Celia wasn't the kind of person who got rattled easily, but over the phone she had sounded scared. Her voice had trembled as she spoke. But then he heard her words, "Eric, he's here," Eric had felt a cold rush of air go through him, and he felt as if he could not breathe.

"Celia!" He shouted one more time.

"Hello." A frightened voice on the other side of the phone spoke.

Eric grasped at reality. "Hello? May I ask who I'm speaking to?"

After a pause where all Eric could here was loud breathing, the male voice on the other end said, "I'm Peter, a friend of Celia. I just saw her down the hall and then the lights went off, and I heard a struggle. When the lights turned on, she was gone. I heard your voice over the phone calling out her name, so I picked up the phone. And who are you?"

"Eric, Celia's older brother. Now, listen to me, Peter. I want you to go straight to the local authorities and tell them what you know."

"Does this have to do with Luke Wallace? Kelly said he killed Celia's parents. I mean, your parents."

"That is correct," Eric was already grabbing his jacket and keys and rushing towards the door. "But there's no time to get into details. Let's just say that the authorities assumed he was dead, but obviously he isn't. Oh, and you said you know Kelly, Celia's roommate." Eric didn't wait for an answer. "Well, I want you to call her and tell her to get over to the authorities as well. I'm in D.C., but I'll catch the first plane I can out there. Understand."

"Y-yes, sir." And, after a pause, "Do you think Celia will be alright?"

Eric shook his head. "I don't know. I really don't know. Give me your phone number and I'll call you later." Peter did, and Eric hung up his phone.

On his way to the airport, he called Detective Mansfer and gave him an earful, until Mansfer said he'd personally go to the college. Once at the airport, Eric bought tickets to Oregon. Luckily, he got a ticket for a plane leaving in one hour, and boarded it. He had no carry-on luggage, and no luggage to speak of. He wasn't really concerned about that when his sister could be in danger. As he sat on the six hour plane ride, that was exactly where his thoughts went.

He thought back to Peter's question, "Will she be alright?"

Eric thought back. Celia had told him what had happened after he had left that night, but he was never really clear about what exactly was the connection between Celia and Luke Wallace. Celia had said she had found a picture of a young woman who looked much like her, who came from Wallace's past. Ally, he recalled her name was. He did not know how close she and Wallace were, but he was afraid Wallace might see Celia as Ally. But perhaps that might not be a bad thing.

That night, Eric knew that Wallace could have killed Celia. But he didn't. Why, he wondered?

My first conscious thought was that my head was throbbing very badly. My hand went up to my head as I rubbed my temple. I pushed myself up and took in my surroundings. I appeared to be in a small room. There was one door, closed, on the other side of the room. Besides a small bed where I lay, there was a table and set of chairs in the center of the room. To my right appeared to be a window, covered be a dark curtain. To my left, a roaring fireplace filled the room with a red glow.

For a moment, I wasn't sure what was going on, and then I remembered. The party, Luke Wallace, and the kidnap. I knew why I had a headache; I was just coming out of a chloroform stupor. My eyes went back to the door, as the thought of escape passed through my mind. No, he would have locked it. But there was the window.

I pushed myself off the bed and dizzily headed for the window. I pushed back the curtains, suddenly blinded by bright light. Bright light? No, it couldn't be. I had been kidnapped at night. How long had I been asleep? Just through the night, or had it been longer? Could I have been asleep for several days? I didn't know much about chloroform, but I was hoping that it had only been hours, not days, since I was kidnapped.

Now I took a look at the outside. The window appeared to overlook an old warehouse courtyard. So, I must be in a warehouse. Was this where he had been hiding out for over a year? I wondered how far it was from my school. Glancing down at the window, I tried to figure out a way to get out. Sadly, I could not find a way because it was bolted. Of course, breaking it was always an option, but I didn't see a way down except for jumping about thirty feet. At best, I would just break an ankle.

I looked down at myself. Besides being a bit dirty and wrinkly, I appeared to be intact. Why keep me alive anyway? If he had wanted to seek revenge, he would have killed me by now? And if he did not want revenge, what did he want?

Despite my assertion that the door was locked, I went over to try it all the same. And to my surprise, it wasn't locked. Why wouldn't he lock it? I pushed open the door, and slowly stepped out of the room, my head still reeling. There were stairs right outside the door, and I could see the warehouse below. The room I had woken up in now appeared to be the office above the warehouse. The only light in the room came in from the high windows in the warehouse, where the sun shown in.

The huge warehouse appeared to be completely empty, except for in one corner. In that corner, there was a large sheet hanging around the area, shielding it from my vision. I slowly went down the stairs, curious. As I went, I noticed the huge warehouse door, which appeared to be locked. There was door beside the large doors. I wanted to see what was behind the curtain, but I wanted to get out of here more. So I decided to try the door first.

My heels clipped on the cement surface of the floor as I hurried across the large room to the door. My hands were sweaty, and I was praying this door would be unlocked too. I reached for the knob and twisted it. It was locked. I seemed to be out of luck. As there seemed no other way out, I turned my attention back to the hidden area.

The thought did cross my mind that Luke Wallace may be behind that curtain, but I didn't think it was likely. If he had been behind the curtain, surely I would have heard him. Unless he was sleeping, which meant this might be an ideal time to find him. If he had the key on him, I might be able to get it from him and get out before he wakes up. I shook my head. I had to stop watching so much TV.

I walked forward slowly, reaching out my hand to pull the screen back. I pulled it back, and gasped.

Inside the screen was not Luke Wallace. Nor was it an escape route, as had been another of my hopes. When I had visited Detective Mansfer's office, I remember he had papers, pictures, newspaper articles, and more about the cases he was working on. This small makeshift room looked just like it.

I starred in wonder. There was a large board, covered with autopsy photos, police and autopsy reports, and notes. On the table in the center of the room were hundreds of newspaper articles and other papers. I slowly walked up forward and picked up on the newspaper articles. The headlines read, Unidentified Serial Killer Takes Another Life. This was about Luke Wallace. This was all about him, and his killings. This man really was sick.

But what I couldn't understand was how did he get autopsy photos and police reports, which were restricted from the public? Did he steal them? Or was there more going on then I knew about. Then I noticed the picture on the edge of the table. I had seen it before, over a year ago.

I picked it up, this picture of the girl that looked so much like me. On the back were the words: Ally, age 19, 1995. I remembered first seeing this picture that night. She looked so much like me, it was uncanny.

Putting the picture down, I noticed a notebook on the floor. I picked it up, and opened the clasp. Inside appeared to be a journal. At first, I thought it might be Luke Wallace's, but the writing was elegant cursive. A woman's. I started reading it:

September 2, 1995

I woke up this morning in the best of moods. Wally has promised to take me to a movie, and nothing can ruin this night. I cannot believe how lucky I am to have a boyfriend as kind as Wally. Tomorrow will be the first day of school, and I cannot wait. I'm finally starting collage, and I'll be turning nineteen on December 5. And mother says she will come and visit me more often. I cannot wait.

I flipped through the diary, coming to a stop at the last written page. It started:

December 5, 1995

Why do they hate me? What have I done? All I wanted was to fit in. All I wanted was to be happy. But now, all hope seems gone in the world. Why should I go on living when there seems to be no point anymore? I only feel remorse that I should leave behind my beloved Wally, who has always been there for me. But I know, with time, he will get over my death and be happy. If you ever read this, Wally, please be happy, and know that none of this is your fault. I only wish things could have been different. I can feel the drugs working. It is so painless, so calming. I feel like going to sleep. Sleep. Goodbye, Wally, good…

I felt chilled to the bone. Ally did not die a nature death, and she was not killed by Luke, as I originally thought. She had committed suicide.

"You would have liked her, Celia."

The diary dropped to the floor, and I turned around to face my adversary.