“You wouldn’t happen to be friends with Jason Hastings, would you?”
Lunette bit the inside of her cheek. The sheriff, Janice, was inside her apartment questioning Lunette about Jason Hastings. The same Jason, or what Lunette presumed to be, that turned into a scaly monster hell-bent on ending her life. The killer she encountered exactly a week ago.
“No…” Lunette spoke in a low tone, shifting her gaze to the floor. Tatiana looked to Lunette stunned by her change of voice. Tatiana eyed her niece, her face tensed, and her posture shifted to stand upright.
“So, you’ve, never talked with Jason?” Janice questioned, writing in a small notepad as she spoke. “You never, I don’t know, got a ride from Mr. Hastings?”
“We used to.” Tatiana interjected, looking between Lunette and Janice nervously. “But after he stopped returning our calls, we never saw him.” Janice turned her gaze to Tatiana. The two held a stare for a few moments before Janice’s green eyes turned back to the notepad.
“Well, that’s interesting.” Janice commented. Lunette became nervous. Did the sheriff somehow know she had been his last ride? Lunette stared intensely at the tiled floor. Corner pieces of the black and white tile were missing and cracked. There was a dark line of grime that covered the once white grout.
Lunette glimpsed once more to Janice, unsure if she should speak. Janice met her stare and showed no hint as to whether she knew about the incident or not. The woman had a perfect poker face.
“You know Lunette,” Janice began, bringing the pad and pencil to one hand and lowering it in front of her. “You aren’t in trouble, we just…want to know what happened.”
Lunette felt like she couldn’t breathe. How could she even begin to describe what happened? “Lunette?” Tatiana faced her, “You know something?” Lunette scanned her aunt with quick glances, not wanting to see her face.
“I got a ride from him.” She caved. Tatiana let out an exasperated sigh and pinched the bridge of her nose. Dalia remained unphased sitting at the kitchen table, she was only there to listen.
“When?” Janice questioned.
“After school, last Friday.” Lunette squeezed onto the strap of her bookbag tighter, the skin turning white around her knuckles. She was trying hard to omit the gruesome details. Like how Jason had practically kidnapped her by luring her into his car. And how he poisoned her, turned into a monster, and then tried to kill her. Those facts would not bode well.
“And then what happened, you got a ride? Where to?”
“I was, trying to get a ride to the Happy Crab. To meet up with them.” Lunette turned her aim to her family. Tatiana had her arms folded tightly across her small chest, the palm of one hand pressed against her lips as she processed what Lunette was telling.
“But your family here says you never made it to dinner.”
Lunette turned back to Janice; her brown uniform wore heavy against her thicker frame. “I-I didn’t.” Lunette shifted her stare back to the floor, trying to figure out how to explain what happened without truly explaining.
“And?” Janice readjusting herself as she began to write again. “What happened Lunette? Did he…bring you to the wrong place?” Janice tried to make sense of the little information available.
“N-no.” She bit the inside of her lip harder. “I made him let me out early.”
“Why’s that?” Janice pried; she raised her face marginally in the air as she questioned.
“He was driving all crazy.” Lunette breathed out. “He was speeding and seemed like he was out of it…Like on drugs.” She added. Hoping this detail would be compelling. Lunette then glanced to all the faces in the room, hoping they were believing her story.
“So, you both stopped and then what?”
Lunette met the eyes of the sheriff, “I made him drop me off wherever we were and tried to walk the rest of the way. I fell, broke my phone and got lost.” Janice seemed to be conflicted.
She wrote more into her notepad without another word. Tatiana’s stare was intense, and her jaw was locked. “Why didn’t you tell me?” She whispered to Lunette, smacking her on the shoulder. Lunette shrugged nervously and gave her aunt a pleading expression.
“Why are you asking about this boy.” Dalia’s voice unexpectedly filled the kitchen space. Janice looked at the elderly woman and then to the rest of the family.
“Jason Hasting’s car was found yesterday evening off the coast of Johnson’s Cove. And his girlfriend, Lilian, her body was found earlier this week by Mitchell’s Point.”
Lunette’s eyes widened and this seemed to ease some of the tension Janice had. Tatiana let out a saddened sigh, she twisted her head away from the kitchen and then back. “Do you know…You know.” There was awkward hesitation. “Well, how she died?”
Janice swallowed hard. “Can’t say, but it was hard to identify the body.” Janice held soft eyes for Tatiana as she shook her head. Lunette curiously focused on the two. “You’ll probably see it on the news tomorrow, but we’re ruling it as an accident.” This came off more as warning.
“Thank you,” Tatiana began, “If we’re done here, I’ll show you the way out.” The two women exchanged hesitant smiles and began walking down the stairs. Lunette caught a glimpse of Janice placing a comforting hand over Tatiana’s shoulder as their figures descended the steps.
Lunette breathed in heavily and exhaled. Eventually peeping at her grandmother who remained like a statue in the chair. The elderly woman gripped her wooden cane and began to stand.
“Those two will be good friends, I am glad.” She spoke with a smile and then hit Lunette on the shin with the stick.
“That’s what you get for lying.” Dalia stated, her smile vanished as she spoke but returned as she began to slowly make her way to the living room.
Lunette dragged her bag up another flight of stairs and to her room. Swinging the bag onto her bed and flopping down next to it. The day had been exhausting. From dealing with the surprise of Jerrard and Silas to the interrogation from the sheriff. Lunette’s mind was spinning.
As she stared to her ceiling, she wondered what had happened to the real Jason Hastings. Memories of the horrid experience flooded her mind once again and she groaned. Moving an arm over her eyes, she tried to block out the images.
Her mind seemed to reach back to when Jason appeared as human as ever. She saw him only a couple times in the past during school in the hallway but never exchanged words with him. She had never received a ride from him, only Dalia and Tatiana used his services. Mainly because Dalia was unable to walk large distances.
But it was only last Friday that Lunette shared a conversation with him. She remembered how he wore a grey hoodie and loose blue jeans. He had short dark brown hair that looked like it was only recently cut. How he seemed to appear out of nowhere, with mud on his shoes but no mud trail coming from the main door.
His forced customer service grin. One that seemed to widen to inhuman lengths. It made her shiver despite her layers of clothes.
She groaned once again, rolling over to her side while on the bed. Lunette wanted to forget. She wanted to forget everything and go back to being miserable about Eastport. She didn’t want to be miserable because of monsters, Silas and his family, and the recent news of deaths. She wanted to go back to the place where she had an array of wonderful memories, New Orleans.
Lunette began to doze off, feeling the stress in her body loosen and fade away with her consciousness. She wanted to dream of Louisiana, of the warm sun hitting her skin, of her friends greeting her at school every morning. She wanted to return to bliss.
“What if she ends up like her sister, what if Lunette is just another Elodia? Maybe we should just tell her everything? We can’t deny who we are.”
She didn’t quite understand the words her aunt spoke of from downstairs, but Lunette’s delirious mind started to recall fonder memories. Memories of her mother, Maribel. She had tight dark curls much like Lunette’s, but her hair was chin length and filled with layers. Maribel had round, doe eyes that were dark in color but captured the light making her look like a doll.
But the eyes. Lunette remembered her mother’s eyes were always red. Always crying. She never fully understood why her mother was always weeping to herself, but as she grew, she was sure it was because of her sister, Elodia.
The image of her sister, Elodia, then filled her dreams. She was Lunette’s beloved older sister and her only sibling. She was old enough to be able to run away from their family. Lunette was around nine when Elodia, then fourteen, left their home. In her feint memories, Elodia seemed like an unearthly guardian to Lunette. The elder sister always protected Lunette from the world and taught her everything she could. As she shifted in her light sleep, her chest tightened, and a tingling sensation ran up her arms.
These memories were the happy ones, but they weren’t enough to keep the horrible ones out. Elodia seemed to leave one day. And after Elodia left, so did Maribel.
Lunette shook her head frantically and wiped her eyes. The tickle of the stray tears that fell down her face were enough to finally wake her. She had enough of the past, she had to focus on the future. The future was all she could ever look towards. Slowly, Lunette rose from her bed and fumbled with her necklace. “Think of the future.” She mumbled to herself. Repeating the last words her mother said to her after giving her the pendant.
Breathing in heavily and sucking in the running snot from her nose, Lunette stood up and rubbed her eyes. She was a mess, internally and externally. The reflection in the mirror showed her puffy eyes. Groaning, Lunette made her way to the vanity dresser and pulled out a small bottle of liquid.
She reached for a small container of cotton pads and proceeded to splash the liquid onto the pad after opening it. Almost immediately, the cool liquid started to reduce the swollenness in the skin. Lunette’s lips twitched into a slight smile. At least there was this one good thing.
“Hey, that works pretty well doesn’t it.”