Picket Fences

Still stunned by the news of Connie’s condition, Angela and Madalyn arrive at the ER and head straight for the reception desk. “Hi, we’re here to see Connie Spalding, she was rushed here sometime early in the morning,” Angela tells the nurse. Typing something on the computer, the nurse pauses and looks at Angela, then gets on the phone.

At that moment, Madalyn notices a very tall and strikingly handsome man in a navy blue suit coming their way, she taps Angela on the side. “I think he’s for us,” Madalyn whispers. Angela looks up and sees the man too. “Ladies, I’m Agent Benning,” he says, captivating Madalyn. “Wait… Agent…as in FBI?” Angela says, trying to fight the urge to run out the doors. “Yes, which one of you is Angela Wingate?” he asks. “She is,” Madalyn answers, without giving Angela a chance to speak.

As Benicia police descend onto Connie’s house to investigate, the news of the incident starts to spread like wildfire through the small waterside town via text and phone. It wasn’t too long before one resident received the news.

Sitting in the living room watching TV, Payton receives a text from Xavier, “Did You hear? Your mom’s friend was attacked last night. The cops are all over her house.” Reading the text, Payton quickly sits up letting out a grunt of pain that Bruce can’t help but hear as he enters the house with food from Lucca’s. “Are you okay? “Bruce says, coming to Payton’s aid. “Yeah I’m fine but mom’s friend …Connie is in the hospital.” Payton replies. “What… that woman from the party?” The two look at each other in shock. Looking down at his phone the next text is just two question marks from Xavier, Payton can’t help but soak in the irony.

On the other end, Xavier is anxiously waiting for a response that will never come. His phone vibrates with a text from the one person he didn’t want to hear from, Saraya Foster. “We need to talk soon, call me.”

Angela arrives home from the hospital and opens the door to Bruce and Payton waiting for details. Payton is the first to inquire. “What happened?” “Well, it looks like someone broke into her house and she came home in the middle of it,” Angela says, trying to walk past them into the kitchen. “The police don’t have much of anything yet,” she finishes. Bruce takes Angela into his arms to comfort her. “Why would the hospital call you, I wonder?” Bruce asks with Payton echoing the question. “Yeah Mom, why would they call you?” “I don’t know, I guess I was the last person she called. Lucca’s! Good choice. Let’s eat, I’m hungry,” Angela says, changing the subject.

For most families, the dinner table is a place to talk about the day’s events and share what’s new. But as the food is passed, the drinks poured, and dessert served, Payton can’t help looking at his mother, thinking, the truth is in the pudding

As the night air soothes the residents of Benicia to sleep, it’s 1:45 AM when a cold and fragile figure wanders onto Bristol Lane. At 1:47 AM, a blood-curdling scream awakens the residents, and at 1:51 AM, the residents of Bristol Lane emerge from their homes, bearing witness to something that will shake Benicia to its core.