Eddie did a bad bad thing… Or did he.
Eddie Forest parks his car in his driveway and wipes his wet, red eyes with his sleeve. He listens to the soft, calm voice beside him ask,
“Are you alright?”
“No. They just told me I’m bipolar.”
“They told us everything improves after the diagnosis.”
“Whatever. I don’t want to talk about it, can we just spend a normal afternoon together?”
“Of course, but all of this is normal. You’re normal, baby.”
Anita lets out a long sign, touches Eddie on the shoulder and says, “Let’s go inside, just promise me you’ll call that guy with the ‘lived experience’. What was his name?”
“His name’s Ben. Yeah, I promise.”
They get out of the car and trudge slowly towards their house and Eddie opens the door.
They’re in the dim hallway when the attacker emerges. The dark, masked shape charges forward and Eddie falls backwards, knocked down by the shock.
The words, “Die freak!” come out of nowhere.
Anita sees the knife and moves in front of it and she lets out a single, short squeal as it punctures her lung. The sound she makes as it hits her a second time, then a third, is more like pleading.
Eddie screams and Anita reaches out to him, clawing at his shirt. Eddie tries to pull her away from the maniac, but she’s heavy and still.
The attacker is distracted as the doorbell rings and Eddie’s up and running down the street. His head is wet with something and someone else is screaming.
What the hell is happening?
Eddie’s weeping and he’s running and he’s scared and the only thing he can think of is one final promise. He need’s to call Ben.
Ben stands in the car park beside a campsite and waits for the other accused man to appear. He can’t believe how horrible Eddie looks as he slowly emerges from the dense layer of dry bush and limps forward, covered in blood.
“What have you done?” Ben asks.
“I didn’t do anything.”
“Are you serious?”
“Please don’t be afraid of me, I’m so scared,” Eddie begs.
“You’ve hurt someone, haven’t you?”
“No! No, that wasn’t me.”
“Eddie, you’ve got blood all over you.”
“Yeah, but I didn’t kill her.
“We were attacked. I fell over. I was so afraid. I am so afraid, you need to help me.”
“Are you lying?”
“This is the truth. I fell to the ground, but Ani got in his way and she tried to stop the guy and, oh god, she’s dead. Ani is dead. It was so fast. I escaped, but I think the police will blame me.
Ben relaxes a little and allows Eddie to approach. There’s a pitiful weakness in the new fugitive that looks far more like cowardice than regret.
“Can you help me? Please? I need to figure out who could do this. Maybe I should just go to the cops-”
“No, don’t go to the cops. I can help.”
“Yeah. I’m looking for the person who killed my neighbour. I think we’re looking for the same killer, someone who would want us both accused. What do we have in common? Who do we have in common?”