The day he met the Brighton twins had always stood out in his memory as truly magical. He had been playing in the park with his mother and brother. It was only a few days before kindergarten. A woman had given him a flower and told him a story about it. When she was done, she’d pointed at two identical little girls and suggested he tell them about the flower. He remembered walking over to the little blonde girls. He laid down in the grass close by. They were quietly watching bumble bees. He was intrigued by their unusual behaviour. In the end, he had stuck the flower in Kayn’s shoe, and just like that their friendship had begun.
In school, the twins wore matching sundresses. They looked like little blonde angels with freckles and glistening shiny ringlets of curls. However, the Brighton twins were not cute identical, they were disturbing identical. They would respond to questions at the same time and often they’d even be thirsty or need to go to the bathroom at the same time. He could easily recall his kindergarten teacher’s frustration with their in-sync questions and answers. No matter how hard she’d try to help them socialize with the other children, they’d just play together like no other children were even in the room. They were different in some ways, even then. Chloe never had a hair out of place where Kayn was all grins, grass stains, and mud. He smiled at the friendly one a lot because Kayn smiled back, and he remembered wondering if she still had that flower in her shoe. He suspected that he would also have to become her sister’s friend if he wanted to play with her, so he set out on a mission to win over Chloe Brighton. It was a mission that had never ended. That day during lunchtime the girls had been lying in the grass looking intently at a patch of clovers.
Even at the tender age of five Kevin knew petting bees was a buck crazy idea. “Bees can sting you; it really hurts a lot. Believe me, I know.” Kevin exclaimed in a soft whisper.
One-year Kevin bought Kayn a stuffed bee for her birthday. She still had it on her bed even after she found out that she was allergic to bees. Kayn got stung and swelled right up like a balloon. It was an extremely scary day. She still loved the bees; just from afar now and with an EpiPen in her little fanny pack. Her parents had forced her to wear that fanny pack every day because being allergic to bees was a life or death situation. That was the first thing that made the twins unique. They never really knew if Chloe was allergic to bees, she’d never been stung by one. When questioned about whether she had an allergy to bees, Chloe would always reply, ‘A bee wouldn’t dare sting me.’
Danger was thick in the air. There was something dark, an ominous presence that made Kevin’s skin crawl. He could feel it … It was too quiet. “I have to get in there,” he panicked while struggling to wrestle free of Clay’s grasp.
It’s not Kayn, it’s not Kayn, Kevin repeated in his mind.
His older brother edged past him and gently opened the bathroom door with his foot. Clay staggered backwards, choking back the bile as it spurted out through his fingers.
No. It’s not her. Kevin maneuvered past his heaving brother, pre-emptively covering his mouth. He stepped into the bathroom and slipped, landing on his hands and knees. Blood covered the white tile. His hands were submerged it. As he grasped what he’d slipped on, his heart constricted in his chest. He couldn’t breathe. He couldn’t even inhale the smallest amount of air. His vision wavered as his mind tried to stop him from seeing what could never be unseen. Don’t… You don’t want to see it. He looked up from his blood-soaked hands. It was one of the twins. He crawled through her essence with eyes blinded by tears. She was naked in the fetal position, her grotesquely swollen, severely beaten face was nearly unrecognizable. Blood and brain matter were sprayed on the shower curtains, walls, and ceiling. He reached out to touch her, stopping as a wave of nausea made him covered his mouth with the crook of his arm while taking in the ruthless macabre display. Her wheat coloured locks were matted with blood and the eye closest to the floor appeared to be missing. Her remaining eye stared into oblivion just as her mother’s had. Her fingers were clawed, and her arms reaching out as though she’d been willing her body to crawl away from the brutality she’d succumbed to. The towel rack had been ripped off the wall and it lay just out of her grasp on the blood-soaked tile. Had it been used in her torture or had she ripped it off the wall to use in her defence?
Kevin inched closer until he was kneeling before her body, tranquillized by shock as an unfamiliar voice kept repeating the words, this is not Kayn...This is not Kayn. You must find her. He felt this eerie inner calm and it was like he’d stepped away from himself. He heard the rustling of the officers, the voices, the cries of horror and despair but it was as though he was completely detached from the situation. This is not Kayn. You must find her; the voice kept repeating the mesmerizing mantra. A hand clutched his shoulder and he heard a voice say, “Kevin.”
Kevin didn’t know whether or not Jenkins really believed him, but he began to rally the troops.
Kevin descended the stairs, and just knew she wasn’t in the house. She would have tried to run. He stepped outside and following the pull of intuition, he walked around the side of the house into the backyard.
An officer tossed off the panel to the crawl space beneath the house. She wasn’t in there. The spiders would have been a deterrent. Kevin called out, “She’s not in there, you’re wasting time!” Kayn could run. She could run fast. He glanced at the opening to the trail and spotting something white in the grass. He sprinted over knowing what it was. It was the plastic bag full of eggs his mom gave her. “She’s in the trails!” Kevin shouted as his heart cheered. She got away. She knew these trails. It was possible and that’s all that mattered. She was alive. The search party was enveloped in incapacitating darkness as they entered the overgrown bike trails. Kevin dug around in his pockets for his phone to use the flashlight. He paused midstride and peered down at the cell in his hand. I can’t believe I’m this stupid. Why hadn’t he thought of this earlier? Kevin grabbed the police officer in front of him to get his attention. “She had her cell phone on her. She pocket dialled me. That’s how we knew they were in trouble.”