Episode Twenty-Four


“Let me go!” a petrified Cathy Gilmore screams out from the boot of her car. “Someone help me!”

Cathy bangs on the roof of the boot with her fists, trying to make as much noise as possible. Moments earlier the car had come to a stop and the engine had been switched off. Without warning, she hears a key entering the lock and the boot door shoots open. She can see the stars twinkle in the night sky above her. She is overcome with fear as a dark figure leans down over her. The small light glowing from the boot illuminates her captor’s face.

“Hello Cathy,” the Poetry Predator smiles at Cathy.

“You’re not Thomas,” Cathy manages to reply.

“Thomas? That idiot! Of course I’m not Thomas!” the Poetry Predator laughs.

“What do you want with me?” Cathy tries to remain calm.

“Cathy, I think you know,” Cathy’s captor says eerily. “You’ve known the truth about me for a while now. You’re the only one that knows.”

“I won’t tell anyone, I swear,” Cathy says, trying to stay strong.

“Have you told anyone yet, Cathy?” the Poetry Predator snaps at her.

“No one, I swear. Please let me go.”

“I don’t believe you, Cathy.”

“I swear, I’m telling the truth.” Cathy begins to sob.

Cathy sees the Poetry Predator turn his back on her for a moment and seizes her opportunity to escape. She quickly jumps up from the boot and goes to jump out of it. Before she knows it, she is swung back down to the floor of the boot, the side of her face throbbing with pain.

“You’re not going anywhere!” the Poetry Predator barks at her, pulling a pair of pliers out of his pocket. He forcefully grabs Cathy’s left wrist and places the plier over the bottom of her pinky. “Who have you told, Cathy?” he screams at her.

Cathy screams out, sobbing uncontrollably. Fear has taken over and she is unable to answer.

Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
the Poetry Predator recites out loud,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells, and cockle shells,
And Cathy’s fingers all in a row.”

With that, the pliers around Cathy’s little finger is clamped together. The crunch of bone is masked only by the sound of Cathy’s scream.

Constance Helling slides the jewellery box across the coffee table towards Councillor Dustin Harris. “Take a look for yourself,” she says to the elderly man.

Dustin carefully releases the clasp of the box and slowly opens the lid. He lets out a quiet gasp as he takes in its contents.

“I dropped the box,” Constance says. “It took me forever to pick up all of those teeth.”

“How many?” Dustin asks, picking up a couple of the teeth from the box and examining them.

“I didn’t count them,” Constance replies. “I’m guessing over one hundred.”

“Interesting.” Dustin is enthralled with the discovery. “Enough for about forty people.”

“Do you think they belong to the bodies with no teeth?” Constance asks.

“I don’t see who else they would belong to,” Dustin reasons.

“Do you think you could finally find your father?”

“With these?” Dustin points at the box of teeth as Constance nods her head. “I wouldn’t know which teeth to start with,” Dustin says, as he thrusts his hand deep in the box and grabs out a handful of the teeth. “Even if I did, there would be no way to identify them. My father didn’t have any dental records.”

Constance sighs heavily, defeated. She had tried to assist Dustin, but to no avail.

“Seems as if we were both hiding something from each other,” Dustin says to Constance as he drops the handful of teeth back into the jewellery box. Constance gives the elderly mayor a curt smile, before he adds: “I guess we’re even then.”

“Hi, Aunty Val,” Joanne Evans says as she wheels her wheelchair in to Valerie Pickering’s hospital room.

“Joanne!” Valerie cries out, tears instantly flowing down her face. “Oh, my little Jo.” The woman starts laughing, relieved.

Joanne pushes herself up from her wheelchair and throws herself at her aunt lying in the bed. They grab each other, crying. Their embrace seems to last a lifetime.

“I’m here Aunty Val,” Joanne whispers, wiping the tears from her face.

“I’m so sorry, Jo. I’ve let you down.”

“No you haven’t,” Joanne replies, as she gives her aunty a kiss.

“Jo, honey, how is the baby?” Valerie pulls her niece in even closer.

“I’ve just been for an ultra-sound,” Joanne gently rubs her belly and smiles at her aunty. “Everything is okay.”

Valerie lets out a relieved cry again as she grabs her niece and holds her tight. “Everything is going to be okay, Joanne. I promise.”

There is an unexpected knock at the door which makes both women sit up from the bed quickly.

“Sorry, I hope I’m not interrupting anything,” Senior Constable Kyle Cook says as he walks into the room.

“I’m afraid we’re not completely even,” Constance says to Dustin.

“I don’t follow.”

“There’s one other thing I haven’t told you yet,” Constance says, picking up a brown paper bag. “I found this with the newspaper clippings.”

Constance passes the brown paper bag to Dustin. He looks at her quizzically before opening the bag up and peering inside.

“I’m sorry I didn’t show it to you earlier,” Constance continues. “I wasn’t actually sure if I was ready for what was inside it.”

“Ready for what?” Dustin asks, as he reaches into the bag and lifts out its contents. He holds a small leather bound book in his hands. He looks up at Constance in confusion.

“It’s a diary,” Constance tells him, “belonging to my grandmother, Gretel Helling.”

Dustin’s eyes shoot wide open in shock as he looks from Constance to the diary in his hands.

“I haven’t read it yet. I was scared about what I would find,” Constance tells Dustin.

“We have to read it,” Dustin says. “What if it has all the answers we have been searching for?”

“I couldn’t read it by myself, but maybe we can read it together.”

Dustin unties the leather bind at the front of the diary and opens it up to the first page. “Are you ready to do this?” he asks Constance. “Are you ready to find out about your family?”

“Did your officers find anything at the shed?” Amber Harp asks Sergeant Michael Anders.

“Not a trace. I’ve got them out searching the surrounding bushland,” Sergeant Anders replies.

“I don’t understand how Thomas Helling could have done this,” Amber says. “He’d just been in a coma, with life threatening gun shot wounds.”

“He’s proven to be a very dangerous person,” Sergeant Anders replies. “We don’t know what he’s capable of.”

“It just doesn’t make sense.” Amber refuses to concede.

“So I’m guessing you have a better idea than I do?” Sergeant Anders says impatiently.

“I have a theory.”

“A theory. Great. A reporter from The Holgate Times has a theory.” Sergeant Anders can’t hide his frustration.

“Yes. That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you since I arrived in this town,” Amber exclaims. “I don’t believe that Thomas Helling killed Richard Evans.”

“I was there when it happened, Ms Harp,” Sergeant Anders says. He is almost about ready to send the reporter on her way.

“You weren’t there when he was killed, though. But there was one other person there at the time.”

“Constable Cook?”

“Yes,” Amber says, exasperated. “I believe Kyle Cook is the man that we’ve been looking for.”

Senior Constable Kyle Cook closes the door behind him and walks over closer to the hospital bed. “I hope everything is okay.”

“I wasn’t expecting you here,” Joanne says, pulling herself up and propping herself up onto the edge of the bed.

“I was worried about you,” Kyle Cook says, moving closer to Joanne. “Do you remember who did this to you?”

Joanne looks down and shakes her head. So much has happened lately. She can’t seem to think straight.

Kyle Cook sits down on the bed next to Joanne.

“There was somebody,” she suddenly remembers. “It was a woman. A woman with red hair. She claimed to be my mother.”

“Your mother is dead, Joanne,” Valerie says, bewildered.

“That woman might be dangerous, Joanne,” Kyle Cook says. “You shouldn’t trust anyone at the moment.”

Joanne looks to the floor again and nods, before Kyle Cook takes both of Joanne’s hands and holds them in his own. “I promise to take care of you, Joanne,” he says to her. He pulls her in close to him and they embrace.

“I promise, Joanne,” he says again. “I will look after my family: you and I.”

“And our baby,” adds Joanne.

Kyle Cook reaches down and rubs Joanne’s belly. “I promise.”

Season Three Coming Soon!

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