Shatterpoint Snippitkatiebirdie -
uhh so i've been thinking up a supernatural mystery thriller plot and then accidentally wrote almost 3k about it so if you'd like to read that here it is? it's makes for a long as hell post btw so watch out for that
tw for violence and some eye trama
There’s the shrieking call of a firetruck out in the street, distant but persistent. Her back feels off. She shimmies in place, twisting and rotating her shoulders to relieve the tension. Eventually she ends up rolling onto her side, face smushed into the pillows, staring blearly at the white, smooth wall.
She’s never been prone to insomnia, but God did her brain not give an inch tonight.
There’s a creaking of the floor coming from somewhere beyond her room, and for a second she can’t help but to tense up, heart beating fast, ears straining. The sound doesn’t happen again, her fridge making her jump with it’s scratching, scraping sounds of the cooler de-icing itself instead. A few more seconds of silence pass before she lets herself relax again, slumping into her mattress. She’s been watching too many true crime documentaries lately, and now every night is filled with figures looming in corners, knives or bats or rope in hand. like she’s a child afraid of her closet again. That’s probably half the reason she can’t sleep tonight.
No one is in the damn house, Katrina tells herself, jabbing her elbow into the mass of pillows to get comfortable again, nobody except yourself. You double checked the door. The windows’ been locked since it got cold. If someone was in your house you’d notice, you idiot. Go the hell to sleep.
It helps to insult herself, in a weird way. Maybe it’s the idea that someone was going to kill her after she called herself an asshole was too silly for the universe to allow. No matter how nonsensical the little ritual is, it calms her down anyway, so she keeps doing it. Already her eyelids feel heavier, so she tucks herself in further into her little cocoon and tries to let herself sleep.
There’s more creaking. Shut up, it’s fine. It’s just you. She starts counting up, just for something thoughtless to do. One, two three, four, five, six— more creaking— seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve— she can feel a shape looming, but that always happens when she freaks herself out, calm down, calm down— thirteen, fourteen, fifteen—
Hands close around her throat, a body presses down onto hers. Her eyes fly open to see the wall, and before she can even think she starts thrashing, arms confined in the comforter, her torso trapped by the person. She tries to look at the person but it’s too dark, she’s turned on her side, all she can see is dark red hair and shadow. The hands clench tighter around her neck and she gasps, finally freeing a hand to grasp at her attackers fingers. She can’t get up like this, can’t fight like this. She needs to get them off her.
She doesn’t think long, heart pounding in her throat. She kicks her legs out to push against the wall like it’s a springboard and rolls, forcing the both of them off the bed and onto the floor, knocking the hands off her neck. She hears the person make a noise for the first time upon the impact, a sharp, wordless groan, and then she’s staggering to her feet, flinging the comforter off and onto her attacker, still on the ground, without looking at them. The minute she has her limbs free she bolts, lunging to the bedroom doorway. A hand brushes past her leg but doesn’t quite connect, and she gets out. Through the hallway— her attacker is behind her now, she could hear them getting up, could hear the footsteps now— to the kitchen.
It takes seconds to reach the knife block and she grabs the first one her hand lands on; a steak knife, small and serrated. It has a point, though, and that’s all she needs. Katrina whips around, brandishing her makeshift weapon, just as her attacker is behind her, and almost drops it because—
— because it’s her. Another Katrina, her hair, her body, her face, split into a wild snarl.
She stumbles back, mind reeling, and Other Katrina surges towards her, reaching for her neck again, and suddenly Katrina’s screaming, stabbing forward, and is knocked against the wall, pressure on her throat. Other Katrina’s arm is bleeding but she doesn’t even notice, didn’t even make a sound, her eyes trained on Katrina’s. The cold, dark hate in those eyes takes her breath away more than any strangulation could. Desperately, she tries to pull on the hands, but Other Her is too strong— but she’s still holding the knife. She grabs at Other Katrina’s arms, forces room between them so she can wiggle her own arm in. And before she can overthink, she plunges the knife right into Other Katrina’s eye.
Other Katrina finally lets go with her own scream, hands flying to her face as she jerks back, colliding with the table and collapsing onto it, knocking off half of it’s clutter onto the floor as she writhes in pain.
And then she’s gone. The knife clatters onto the table, still bloody, the only sign aside from the mess that she was ever there. For a long minute it’s all Katrina can do to slide down the wall until she’s sitting against it, breath loud and fast in her own ears, neck throbbing and heart pounding.
She just looks at the table, half expecting her to reappear and attack again. Other Katrina doesn’t come back. All she can hear is the sounds of the wood settling, no creaking of walking in the other rooms. Katrina lets herself slump fully against the wall. She should call 911, should get out of the apartment, should go to her neighbors— but God, what would she say? That she attacked herself? That a doppelganger tried to choke her dead and then just vanished? She finds herself laughing half hysterically at the thought of their expressions. They’d call her insane. She doesn’t know what to do.
Slowly, she gets up. There’s no way in hell she’s telling anybody the truth, obviously. So she needs this to make sense. There needs to be an obvious point of entry. She thinks of the bedroom window first, because it had started there, but she’s on the second floor. That wouldn’t track. There’s also the screen to consider— she could cut it herself, maybe, but they can tell from which side it’s cut these days.The front door, then. There are security cameras, sure, but not directly in the outside hallway, just the main entrance. Besides, all security cameras have blind spots, and the management doesn’t care enough to shill out for any more than necessary. It wouldn’t be a strange thought that someone could get past them with enough forethought.
Mechanically, she makes her way to the door and opens it, checking for any people at their own doors. Nobody, like she was expecting. Aside from her there’s basically no one under thirty renting here, mostly because it’s too expensive for the average graduate and because there are a dozen other apartment set-ups much closer to the local college. That means that almost nobody gets home past 11 o’clock at night unless they have odd hours, and those that do with regular hours are most definitely intoxicated, making them unreliable witnesses.
She considers, for a moment, attempting to tamper with the lock, but dismisses that idea almost as quickly as she thinks it. She’s already taking too much time to call the police to fiddle with it, and for that to make sense she’d have to actually know how to lockpick, which she doesn’t. She’ll just have to tell them she forgot to lock her door. It rankles, knowing she’ll have to make herself out as forgetful, but it’s the best course of action.
Speaking of calling the police, she should do that. I was asleep, she starts planning, walking back into the living room and to the kitchen, and then suddenly I woke up to someone strangling me and fought back, and after we fought a bit in the kitchen, I shoved them into the table. They got up and ran out the door, which was already open— maybe they realized I was making too much noise? Was putting up too much of a fight? Then I called after freaking out for a while.
Christ, the knife. She’ll need to excuse the knife. If she was fighting herself the blood on it must be her blood, then. How was she going to deal with that? Injuring herself was the most logical idea, but the last one she wanted to actually go through with.
Except when she gets to the kitchen, there was no blood. Not on the knife or the table. Nothing at all. Hesitantly, she picked it up, turning it in her hands. It's clean as a whistle, like it had never been used. The clutter that was on the table before— a book, a pile of junk mail she never bothered to toss, a napkin holder and the few napkins left in it— is all still scattered on the floor. Was it gone because the Other Katrina was gone? Had it only taken so long to vanish like the rest of her because it was no longer attached to the body? She sets the knife back onto the table. She doesn’t know and it didn’t matter right now. Calling the police mattered.
She gets to the bedroom, stepping over the rumpled comforter— another thing that had remained as it was— and grabs her phone. She unplugs it from the charger and dials.
“Hi, my house was broken into and somebody tried to kill me,” she says to the operator, only mostly calm.
The call, after that, goes as routinely as possible. What was her address? 1445 Lilac Street, Bloomwood Apartments, Apartment #6. Was the person still there? No. Was she hurt? Bruised, but otherwise fine. Trying not to freak out again. Could she leave the apartment? Sure. Was there anybody in the complex she could stay with until dispatch arrived? She spoke with an older woman three doors down often who probably wouldn’t mind.
At the operators insistence she goes to Ms. Samoto’s door, knocking politely and informing her that she needed a place to stay for a few minutes after Ms. Samoto answers the door with a scowl on her face. The scowl turns into blank-eyed horror when she explains why, exactly, she was there and she is quickly let in and forced onto the couch.
That was where the two police officers and single detective found her when they arrived, with a cup of tea cradled in her hands. She eyes the detective uncertainly, hoping she simply looks curious. There’s no reason for him to be at what probably is being considered a routine attack. He matches her look with a slight, stiff smile. He has a cane that he leans on harshly and a shock of blond hair, which combined with his height makes him look like a scarecrow someone dressed up in business clothes on a lark.
All three of them introduce themselves— Officer Amy Buccanan, Officer Douglas Hepp, Detective James Le Mott— but only Detective Le Mott stays, the other two quickly hurrying to the actual scene of the crime to close it off. After gently suggesting to Ms. Samoto that he would like to talk to the victim alone, thank you, and she harumphes and disappears into her bedroom, he sits down across from her in the matching recliner and pulls out a notepad.
“So I suppose you’re wondering why I’m here,” he says, with that same stiff smile.
Katrina isn’t sure what to say to that, so all she says is, “I am."
“Well, usually this sort of case is left to the officers until there’s significant reason to bring me in, but your case happens to match one that happened just an hour ago. Are you familiar with the Paper Doll cases?”
Katrina almost drops her tea, some of it spilling onto her fingers. She knows the Paper Doll cases— she’s pretty sure the whole town knows about them. They’ve been splashed on the news for weeks now, cases that the police just couldn’t solve, filled with missing clues, strange victim statements, and, of course, strings of paper dolls strewn across the scenes. She can feel herself pale as she recalls one particular surviving victim’s claim: a man who looked just like him had been his attacker. He had been lambasted by the press for that, everyone speculating that he was sick, crazy, or high as hell.
Le Mott must take her reaction as an answer, because he continues, “We’ve found that just a few blocks away a man who also had his home broken into and was attacked about an hour ago, and these cases always happen the same way: every full moon, several people are attacked over the course of several hours.” He meets her eyes. “I’m sure you can see why we found your situation very concerning.”
She nods weakly. A part of her wars with the rest against the idea of deliberately lying during such a high-profile investigation, but then she remembers the other victim, label insane, and the sight of the other her vanishing into thin air. Remembers the disappearing blood. Her fingers tighten around her cup. This is a case that can’t be solved no matter what she says, so she may as well take the route that keeps her out of the press as a lunatic. “I guess you’ll want my story, now?”
“If you would be so kind.”
Katrina takes a deep breath, and starts lying through her teeth. “She attacked me in my sleep. I woke up with her strangling me, and I didn’t know what to do, couldn’t even really see her ‘cause I was facing the wall, so I just freaked out. Started trying to get her off me, yanking at her hands, anything to keep her from actually killing me. I don’t know how I thought of it, but I ended up rolling us both off the bed and onto the floor, with me on top. I got up as quick as I could, went running to the kitchen as soon as possible. I think she tried to get me on the ground with her again, but she couldn’t grab my leg.”
“Why the kitchen?” he asks, writing intently.
“Well, I heard most attackers give up if you fight them because they realize you’re too hard to knock out, and she didn’t really seem to have a real weapon so I figured I could get her to stop if I got my hands on a knife. I grabbed one, and then she was right on me again. I managed to turn around and knock her back, and she landed on my table. Then she just jumped back up and ran right past me, out the door.”
Le Mott frowns, looking up at her. “She just left? Do you have any idea why?”
“I guess it was ‘cause I was armed?” Katrina says, ending it more as a question than an answer. She really doesn’t know why Other Katrina vanished, so it’s not really a lie either way. “Didn’t ever end up cutting her, though.” That one is.
“Possibly,” he agrees, not looking particularly convinced. “You keep saying she— did you get a good look at her, then?”
“Not really, I only saw her fully while we were in the kitchen, and it was pitch black in there— all I could see in my bed was some hair from the corner of my eye. Her clothes weren’t that baggy though, so I could guess pretty easy from what I saw.”
“Right, describe her for me anyway.”
Now was the crucial part. Katrina screws up her face in thought, as though trying to recall as much as possible. “Uh, wasn’t much taller than me, so about 5’7 to 5’9? Kinda wavy hair, ‘bout past her shoulders— “ she places her hand at her chin-length cut and then lowered it to about her estimate, “--couldn’t tell you the color, but it looked pretty dark, so probably not blonde? Brown, maybe, I’m not sure. Was strong as hell so she’s probably more built than me.”
“Did you manage to see any of her face?” Le Mott says, a touch impatient even as he kept writing.
Katrina shrugs apologetically, “It was too dark in there to really see much, and I was kinda busy keeping her from grabbing my neck again. I think it was kinda long, and she had, like, a small nose?”
They keep talking for a while, Le Mott prodding her for all the details she can remember and Katrina blending the truth and her lies into something they can both believe in. But soon enough the two officers duck in to announce that they had done all they could to close off and mark her apartment but it was still an active scene, so did she have a place to stay other than there tonight?
Le Mott was startled at that, as if he had forgotten the time of night completely. He turns to her. “My apologies, I didn’t consider that at all. You’d probably like to try sleeping tonight.”
Katrina sighs. “I can just get a hotel room.”
Le Mott nods and stands up, putting his notebook away and tucking his hands in his coat pockets. “Would you like me to accompany you? Considering the circumstances.”
“Oh, sure?” she says, “If you aren’t busy.”
“I’m sure Officers Bucannan and Hepp will only find me aggravating at this point,” he tells her mildly, “I can spare a minute or two.”
“Aright, then, I’ll look for a place.” Katrina pulls out her phone.
It doesn’t take long to find a chain hotel only a couple blocks away, and they set off down into the lobby area and into the streets. It’s positively easy-going.
As they walk together, Katrina looks up at the night sky, and almost trips. Because where the moon is supposed to be is a gleaming, glass-like mass, shattered into dozens of pieces.