It was a fine sunny morning.
I, Jessica Opal, an unsuccessful toilet shop owner, was going to see my best friend, who was called Jenny Ruddocks, at her working place, the fertilizer factory.
I had promised to pick her up so she couldn't miss her meeting.
She didn't have a bike, or a car for that matter. She had to walk to work instead.
Jenny was my friend since she moved to California in 2002.
We were both one year old and neighbours back then. Now we were twenty years old and still great comrades (also known as best friends!)... It was strange, since we were nearly completely different.
I had long blonde hair, hers was short brown, I was friendly and she was secretive.
We were an unlikely pair but something held us together like glue. Our friendship.
She was my adviser and my companion. Nothing could change that, not as far as I was concerned.
I rode my rusty red wrecked motorbike around the reeking mill at three o' clock, which was the time Jenny finished working. No Jenny.
Then I spotted her nearby, suspiciously acting like she was hiding something from me in her hands, but she threw it away before I had a chance to look at it properly.
Jenny seemed so distant and mysterious all at once as she said casually in her normal voice.
She appeared like a ghostly apparation at my side.
But something was different, I could see it in her eyes, they were darting as though waiting for something unexpected to happen. Or trapped and hatred combined. I shook my head; I was probably imagining things.
"So," I said, "is there time to come to my house before we hit the big meeting?"
Jenny looked at her watch.
"Yes, the meeting in two hours right?"
"Yes, so what?" I flippantly said.
"It takes an hour to go to your house from here. Then it takes another hour to go to the meeting!"
"Perfect timing!" I replied.
We arrived at my poorly built house chatting about the weather and stuff like that.
My house was a disgrace to everyone, the neighbours and the government.
Since my parents couldn't afford double story and single story houses, and were in the toilet business, plus they weren't experienced in building houses, they managed with permission, to build one... A nightmare.
There was cracks in the walls, mould on the floors, rats living between the bricks, you name it.
Even so, my parents, including Jenny and me, admired it as much as themselves.
But the government and the neighbours didn't love it.
They wanted to demolish it and replace it with a new one.
We refused and were sent to court for a long debate with the judge. In the end we won back the house.
We were up to the gate when I just remembered something.
"Just a minute Jen. I have to ask Edna Crossbow to return my sieve."
Jenny rolled her eyes inwardly in muted reply. "Sure, if you want to look after the old lady..."
I soon persisted...
"Here are the keys to the door if you don't want to wait for me. The key to the front door is the silver one." I said, trusting Jen completely as I handed her the keys.
Edna Crossbow was this elderly lady next door who had amnesia and was recently constantly borrowing other people's stuff and never returning them, which was annoying and aggravating for the residents in the suburbs. She also had severe arthritis and took ages just to walk the road.
When I got back to my house and opened the door, the enormous rickety wooden box where I put my year salaries in, was unlocked. I was extremely curious... Who could have opened this...? There was a lot of suspense as I finally opened the box with a final clatter. I gasped.
All my money I had worked so hard for was... Gone!
Every single one of them! Gone!
Even worse there was no sign of Jenny anywhere, except for a cracked window for evidence.
"Jenny was a thief!" I screamed in utter disbelief... I didn't want to believe it; it was a sickening idea.
"Calm down," I told myself, "pretends nothing had happened."
That made me feel more in control, but I was still edgy. I collapsed into my rickety bed, denying anything happened at all. I eventually fell asleep, dreaming about Jenny.
Little did I know I was about to be drawn into a horrible crime scene...
The sound of bird chirping dragged me out of the bed. I inspected the room, as I stood on the dusty wooden floorboards bleary-eyed. It looked emptier than before. I wonder why...?
Oh no, now I remember! I forgot to close the front door!
Not only the money was stolen, but also everything else I owned!
Everything, except the bed and the calendar!
I stumbled on the questions in my head. Who was the thief? Why would he do it? I knew. It was Jenny. I stood there grappling with the truth. Each time it stared at me in the face and I was defeated.
Finally I turned away from it and fled. Ran away from my own subconscious. Regretted it. I don't know how long I stood there but I do know this: Be the denial long or short, you will always remember it.
A sudden appearance at the door dragged me through the guilt. It was my horrid nutty boss, Mr. Reynaldo. With a serious expression on his face.
Mr. Reynaldo was dangerous when provoked to hazardous lengths, so I had to choose my words carefully. I immediately planned what to say and waited patiently for him.
"Hello Miss Jessica," Mr. Renaldo said courteously, his brown bushy gelled moustache twitching as he spoke.
"I…I…" I stuttered lamely as his face reddened some more.
Mr. Reynaldo exploded at this comment.
"YOU! You FAILED to come to MY office today for an IMPORTANT meeting! I want to know why YOU stole my precious GRANDFATHER CLOCK! YOU ARE FIRED if you don't answer my question in five seconds! DO you UNDERSTAND?" he yelled as he pointed an accusing finger at me as I was calmly standing there.
"Yes, I have a perfectly logical explanation…" I began before I was shortly interrupted by the filthy ramblings of Mr. Reynaldo. I will not repeat those words for you; they were the words of a madman.
I shrugged in his face as he completed his final foul sentence, personally I didn't care much for losing my job.
"Very well then Jessica, we will not meet again. For the last time, farewell." Mr. Reynaldo bellowed as he stomped literary out the door, creating a lot of dismisal echoes in the stripped-bare room.
Thirty minutes later I decided to walk to the supermarket, which was fifteen minutes away, to catch up on the gossip.
As I was up to the entrance of the store I heard a strangled scream then silence. I stood numbly for a moment, listening to the gunshots that rang in the air as clear as a bell, then unfroze at once instinctively reacting.
I ran and threw myself at the glass door, doing a flying version of tackling.
The fragile glass shattered against my head, almost making me drift into unconsciousness, but I unbelievably survived the impact.
Sharp tiny shards of glass punctuated my skin; it felt like being jabbed with millions of spears.
I landed on the ground face first and raised my head in absolute horror...
"Noo... oh no...!" I groaned in denial as my eyes widened in morbid realisation.
I was looking up the barrel of a metal gun, cocked straight at my head...
In front of me Jenny, eyes blazing with hatred, held a metal revolver, inches from my face.
A real one.
"So, we meet again friend. Get out before I am forced to shoot you. You're not meant to be here," she said.
"I won't go unless you answer one question. Why did you steal from me and Mr. Reynaldo?" I demanded as her eyes narrowed to slits.
"My, my, what a lot of questions you got. Actually, Mr. Renaldo and I belong to a society."
"What society? A cult? Some sort of strange voodoo worship?" I demanded.
Jenny flicked her hair stubbornly.
"'The Dark Society' in fact. It involves spying and world domination. I tried to befriend you to find some information for a heritage that your mother owned."
My mouth fell open in absolution, I no longer accepted her words, they were false all along.
A shiver of dread shrilled down my spine, feeling like electric wires.
Jenny continued in monotone, without any emotion.
"Your grandfather was my grandmother's archenemy. He belonged to TDS and wanted authority. Later he stole an atom bomb microchip from his boss and escaped with it."
"A microship?" I wondered. Jenny slapped me harshly, I felt the sting of the palm, raw and stotic "NOT THAT KIND of microchip...! Pay attention to my words!"
"That microchip was used for setting off atom bombs, without it the atom bomb couldn't explode. We've been searching for it for centuries! He cleverly hid the microchip underneath one of his wife's minute hockey trophies, which was hidden under the furniture of your house."
"My grandmother, who belonged to the same team, found out his sneaky secret and bribed him to give her the 'chip'. He stood his ground, yelled 'I will never be taken alive', and shot himself with his handy gun. After that, your grandmother died and gave her unsuspecting daughter the trophy."
"We had recently discovered the microchip was located in your house. We had to do something before it fell into the wrong hands. Your hands, friend." She almost spat in my face in anger, her eyes were icy and instantly piercing. I had to turn away while my thoughts silently screamed.
"I was trained at 20 to befriend you into giving me the microchip. So, instead of picking the furniture one by one while you were sleeping, we stole all of your stuff and had a look at the floor."
"So that's why the furniture was overturned," I shook with fear.
What would insane Jenny do now that she had the secret...?
"When we didn't succeed, we tried to bribe Mr. Reynaldo to sack you, in turn you could fall into our traps located in the bank, supermarket and neighbourhood," she paused for a dramatic effect, ending in an evil chuckle. "Smart, ain't we?" she cackled again.
My eyes widened in drab horror and shock. Jenny betraying me? My family was having a criminal history? No, I must be dreaming, they just couldn't.
I saw the trigger of the revolver tighten as Jenny sighed.
"I regret doing this, but it has to be done." she said unemotionally.
I swallowed and felt my throat clutch in anger as I felt the smooth metal of the gun against my chest. I was too young to die, and I was about to be killed, an innocent friend to the theif.
My brain whirred at a frantic pace, surely Jenny wouldn't do the deed and realise the errors of her ways...? Could I convince her not to use the microchip...? I felt her stare once again chill my soul.
I had only seconds to reply. Jenny smirked. "Any last words, dear friend Jessica...?"
A taunt floated on the air, as empty as her previous promises. Was I to be a saviour... Or a victim...
I struggled for my lasy words to my comrade.
"I want to tell you old friend Jenny... Before I leave, I…"
My sentence trailed off before I finished it, I drew breath to cry out injustice.
I felt a sudden continuous stab of pain in my chest, each more painful than the last, took my final breath... and saw no more.
"And we have a news flash, Jenny Ruddocks; a member of the infamous Dark Society was brought into Californian Courts. She was known for murdering a young girl."
"Police had identified her as Jessica Opal, an unsuspecting friend of Jenny."
"Right in the middle of the case Jemmy, ah-hem, I mean Jenny, broke down in a rage of fury. She will be escorted to the nearest psychology center immediately. The judge's still is deciding Jenny's future. Stay tuned for further updates. Now, on to the weather report…"