It’s been a great run so far and I am thrilled to see so many people tune in, enjoy and follow the Knock, Knock series.
It was a novel idea (no pun intended) when it first began and thanks to the success there will be more coming your way.
It is a story that is special to me. It began on a cold, winter Aberdeen night as I travelled home from med school and has been a story I have been itching to tell ever since.
To those of you who have subscribed, commented and simply tuned in to read I am extremely grateful. For those of you who haven’t read it yet Episodes 1 – 15 are now available on the site in handy little drop down menu so you can go straight to your favourite EP or read it from the very beginning.
We are reaching the conclusion of the story now so I look forward to hearing your responses to the ending.
Episode 16: Shots in a Glass will be live 6pm (UK ST) on Sunday 8th of October exclusively to vivikawidow.com
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This is the third time you have been sent to my office this week, Miss Campbell,” said the head mistress – a grey haired old crone with a chin so pointed it could cut ice.
She wasn’t wrong though. It was the third time that week I had been in her office.
“Martin Burrows stole my glasses,” I explained. “I told him to leave me alone.”
“You cut him pretty deeply,” the headmistress scorned.
When I dragged the knife across his arm I must have hit an artery because there was a fountain of blood.
“Where did you get the knife?”
“The cafeteria. I was cutting my meat and he attacked me,” said I.
The head mistress surveyed me. I don’t know how much of my story she believed, if any. It was lucky for me though that I wasn’t the only one to complain about Martin lately.
“I’ve been trying to contact your parents but there has been no answer.”
My parents weren’t speaking much to anyone lately. Not they way I had left them.
“They’ve been busy,” I told the teacher.
The head mistress sighed.
“You are a bright girl, Tracey. Perhaps a little too bright sometimes. You have ambition and if you focus on that you will achieve great things.” She paused for a moment and looked down at her desk. “After the incident with Martin his mother may wish to get the police involved.”
That was fine by me. I expected that anyway. Who are they likely to believe anyway? That cheeky no user who gave the teachers nothing but grief or the little girl in pigtails and spectacles who aced most of her classes, kept herself to herself and did charity work. The head mistress was right about another thing. I did have ambition. I had ambition by the bucket loads. One day I would be a doctor and nothing was going to stand in the way of that. Not even bullies like Martin with his nasty, sneering face. I would open his throat before I allowed that to happen. My parents could attest to that.
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For more of Tracey’s murderous adventures check out the Confessions of an Anatomist short story as part of the Myths and Tales collection!
September 14, 2017 | Categories: My Silly Little Confessions, Thrill Reads | Tags: author, confessions, confessions of an anatomist, humour, murder, My Silly Little Confessions, Myths and Tales, thriller, tracey campbell, vivika widow | Leave a comment
I had a happy life – to a point. A dedicated husband and two beautiful children, Noah and Violet. The little red head who hung around the house more often than was appropriate seemed a constant reminder that my husband’s dedication wasn’t to me but he was dedicated none the less.
Both of our children should have been set for life as heirs to a great fortune but since they were small they have had this inexplicable need to get rid of each other.
We live in the coastal town of Melway. Our own house – a large, crooked, stand alone structure with three floors – sits on the edge of a cliff. A forty foot drop into the rocks below awaits anyone who takes the wrong steps along the pathway. The house has been in the Regard family for generations. It was probably the most beautiful and grandest house in the area once upon a time but now it is a cold and empty vessel housing the Regard children until came of age to move to somewhere more cosmopolitan or one kills the other.
As a family we were close. We didn’t talk much but when we did we shared everything. Violet told me on more than one occasion she wanted to see her brother dead and as far as Noah was concerned the sentiment was mutual. What little scamps they were.
Violet was the most boisterous of the two. She rarely stayed indoors. She was always running, never walking. She climbed trees and even got into fights with the local boys. Noah was much quieter. He would spend hours in the library reading through volumes and volumes that he could barely understand yet. A great, unquestionable thirst for knowledge had my little Noah. He had many friends but kept them at a distance. He was his own favourite companion. The year or so he had spent as an only child had been a blissful time for him. He had my undivided attention as well as the sole attention of the staff who helped around The Grange. As is the norm with more than one child in a family the attentions were split. Noah probably grew a resentment towards baby Violet from there, growing stronger as they grew up. Violet no doubt felt this from her brother and sowed seeds of her own resentment.
Everything at The Grange must have seemed heavenly to those on the outside looking in. That was until my death and that is where this story begins.
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It was late at night when a soft tap at my door stirred me awake. I hadn’t even realised I had fallen into the swamp of my dreams until I stirred awake. I shuffled across the bare wooden floor. I opened the door and Dennis was stood in the shadows like a great ominous bird.
“If you are going, you have to go now,” he said.
I pulled a pair of oversized boots on. My coat hung on a stand by the door. I pulled it off and the coat stand came with it. Dennis snatched it before it toppled completely.
“Quiet,” he warned in a screaming whisper.
I was silent and still a little sleepy. Dawn’s early light was beginning to show. I followed Dennis down into the main body of the club.
“Promise me you will find Milo,” he urged.
I nodded my head dumbly. At any other time I would have said something along the lines of, “the boy will come to no harm under my charge,” but I was so taken aback by finally leaving the ‘Knock, Knock’ club I couldn’t find the words. We made our way across the shaky floor. Freedom was imminent. The outside air was going to be so crisp and so sweet.
A lock shuffled. A door handle shook. Dennis pushed me back from the main door . At the farther end, by the stage a little girl came skipping. She was followed by Tabitha.
“Now take a seat,” said Tabitha. The little girl – Sarah – obeyed. She pulled out a chair and sat at a table nearest the stage.
“Would you like some ice cream?” Tabitha asked. She leaned closer with a warm but mischievous smile.
The little girl wrinkled her nose. “I’m not allowed ice cream for breakfast.”
Tabitha’s smile widened like a great python ready to strike. “You are here.”
The kid’s eyes lit up then. It was like she had been told her birthday was coming twice that year. She had no idea the danger she was in. Her life was in the hands of Tabitha and if I left the little girl would surely die. If I stayed I could do something to keep her alive.
“See,” Tabitha continued. “It’s not so bad here is it? All that crying earlier was for nothing.”
Tabitha crossed the floor towards the bar, behind which lay the kitchens. As she passed she muttered to Dennis, “Watch her.”
She stopped and did a double take when she noticed I was wearing boots and a coat.
“Going somewhere are we?” she laughed.
I knew then I wasn’t.
When Tabitha was out of sight Dennis pushed me back towards the door.
“Go now. Hurry!” he said.
“I can’t,” I stated. “If I go now you could get hurt or that little girl.”
Dennis growled. “What about Milo?” You said you would help him.”
“I did and I will,” I said. “But before I do I have to make sure no harm comes to that kid. You told me that if I left they would be watching me. I could lead them straight to Milo. That would be two dead kids on my conscience. Right now, Tabitha doesn’t know Milo is near. He is safe.”
I couldn’t believe my own sentiments. Since arriving at the club I had been seeking a way to escape its grasp. Seeing Sarah changed everything in an instant.
Although no one had ever said the words I was a prisoner at the Knock, Knock. If Dennis were to orchestrate my leaving, they would kill him, the little girl and then hunt me down. I couldn’t risk it. At least not yet.
Dennis stormed away. I could understand his frustration. I had been pushing him to help me. I even threatened to tell the club about his son if he didn’t. I didn’t have any time to worry about that. The only reason I was still alive was because my grandfather was one of the club’s founding members. I was walking a very thin line as it was.
Tabitha returned with an over flowing bowl of strawberry ice cream.
“Changed your mind?” she laughed when she saw I was pulling my coat off
“I was just a little cold. I’m fine now,” I replied.
“That’s just as well,” said Tabitha. “You would have been dead before you reached the end of the alley. Do you think it would be so easy as to walk out the front door? Even if Dennis opened that door for you? And without so much as oodbye? A girl could be insulted.”
She dropped the plate of ice cream down to the little girl. She gripped the spoon and immediately set to digging in.
“Don’t hurt her,” I warned for as much use as it could be.
Tabitha raised her eyebrows. “What kind of monster do you think I am?”
We paused. Tension rose. Her steel grey eyes stared right through me. Then her teeth began to tear through her ruby lips as a smile spread.
“It all really depends on her father cooperating now doesn’t it.”
When I first came to the Knock, Knock I was an enthusiastic journalist in search of a new story line. I had no idea the nightmare that lay behind the closed doors. Now, I was in deep. As the bodies began to pile around me I had to do something!
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September 10, 2017 | Categories: Knock, Knock, Knock, Knock EP 15: Down in the Dumps | Tags: author, blog series, club, cult, Knock, Knock, reporter, sam crusow, subscribe, thriller, vivika widow | Leave a comment
If your son took his own life would you be able to put shattered pieces together? Could you unravel the secret he tried to take to his own grave.
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“We are still having problems with him,” I overheard Tabitha tell Dennis as I sat at the bar sipping a whiskey quietly.
“What do you want me to do about it?” Dennis leaned back further along the bar from me.
Tabitha didn’t seem to care if I was listening. She knew I was pretty powerless against the whims of
the Knock, Knock club. Dennis was pretty guarded though. He had asked for my help in getting his ten year old son, Milo, to safety in exchange for his helping me escape the Knock, Knock club so he always kept me discretely informed. After luring my best friend, Madeline, to the club and to her death I wasn’t sure how much help I was willing to give him, even if it were for the sake of an innocent child. Still, I had to keep my options open.
“I don’t think you understand how big a problem this is,” said Tabitha sternly to the club manager. “He isn’t taking us seriously and if we let him away with it others will think they can get away with it too.”
“So what do you suggest?” Dennis hadn’t looked looked at her the whole time. His focus had been on the empty stage behind her. “Take him out?”
Tabitha laughed, a cold, callous cackle. “What benefit would he have to anyone dead?” She pursed her lips and her grey eyes shone with delight. “He has a daughter. Young girls are your speciality.”
Dennis sighed. “What age?”
“Six or seven,” answered Tabitha.
Dennis shook his head. His eyes finally rested on her for a few moments before he stood up straight, turned his back to her and leaned over the bar.
“Far too young,” he stated definitely. “The kid isn’t her father’s problem.”
“No but her father is our problem. He needs to know we aren’t messing around.”
“Maybe Sam could do it,” Dennis suggested.
They book looked at me. I almost spat the whiskey out like I had been caught doing something I shouldn’t have.
Thankfully, Tabitha dismissed the idea.
“He hasn’t the stomach for it. Besides, if the doors of the Knock, Knock were open to him do you really think he would come back?”
She cackled again. “Like everything else, if I need a good job done I will just have to do it myself.”
It was a pleasant enough day with a dry chill in the air. The Coldridge Park in the centre of the city was playing host to hundreds of children playing, their parents and chaperones standing close by, perhaps not paying as much attention as they should have been.
Tabitha sat alone on a wooden bench. She scanned through the crowd and spotted the little girl she was looking for.
Blonde pigtails, blue jeans and a pink sweatshirt with a sunflower logo, Sarah looked like something straight out of a children’s book. She was kicking a red ball back and forth, giggling excitedly as a golden retriever chased it. A boy in his early teens, her brother Kevin, was busy talking on his phone. He had his back turned to his sister. One hand was holding the all important conversation to his ear and the other was tucked into the pocket of his own sweatshirt.
“Rufus!” screamed a woman’s voice across the park.
The ears of the golden retriever perked up at the sound of his mistress’ voice. It took one last look at the shining red ball but quickly decided obedience was more important. It trotted along towards the voice that called it.
Sarah gave the ball another kick and it came rolling towards the bench. With a foot clad in a purple velvet, kitten heel shoe, Tabitha stopped it. As Sarah drew nearer she began to hesitate.
“You need to be careful,” Tabitha said to the little girl. “You wouldn’t want to lose your ball now would you?”
Sarah picked it up and hugged it close to her chest. “It’s my brother’s ball,” she admitted.
“Well you don’t want to make him mad do you? Losing his ball?”
Sarah nodded in agreement. “He’s going to take me for ice cream,” she volunteered casually.
Tabitha looked up. The boy was still on the phone. “That’s nice but it looks like he is still busy.”
It was Sarah’s turn to look back. She had so been looking forward to a bowl of strawberry ice cream.
“Why don’t we go and get the ice cream and maybe he’ll be done by the time we get back.”
Sarah stepped back. Alarm bells began to ring for her. “I can’t go away with strangers.”
“Very wise indeed, but I’m not a stranger,” said the woman with the grey eyes. “I know you, Sarah, and your brother’s name is Kevin. Your dad and I are old friends.” Sarah still looked at her suspiciously. “My name is Tabitha, so now we are friends.”
Kevin was still paying no attention. He was in the midst of on of those dramas that only teenagers can understand.
‘It can’t be bad,’ thought Sarah. ‘A stranger wouldn’t know my name,’ was her childish logic. Besides, the strangers she had been warned against were men in dark clothes who drove white vans and smelled of alcohol. The woman she was talking too had a kindly, round, maternal face. Her smile was pleasant, with a gap in her front teeth. She carried the scent of vanilla. The ice cream parlour was just across the street.
“We had better hurry before it closes!” Tabitha reminded her.
Sarah made up her mind. “Kevin likes mint,” she said.
Tabitha stood and took the little girl’s hand. “I know he does,” she said. “We’ll get him a big bowl.”
Kevin finished his phone call. He slipped his phone into his pocket. He turned to discover little Sarah was gone. The shiny red ball sat on an empty bench.
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Something had to be done. After her sister – in – law, Alice, died, Elizabeth had stepped in to help her brother take care of the two children left behind. The eldest, Catherine, was no longer a problem. She had been sent to boarding school in the city. George, a boy of seven, was proving to be more than she could handle. Elizabeth wasn’t long home from the hospital after losing her leg in the alleged accident and should have been resting.
She had no children of her own so she wasn’t prepared for the emotional strain. Alice always complained about how difficult motherhood was and how her children were uncontrollable at times – especially George. She even said there were times she hated the blonde haired, blue eyed child she had bore. Elizabeth didn’t believe her. Whenever she saw her nephew at holidays or on short visits throughout the year he seemed a normal boy to her. He was a little spoiled perhaps but that was to be expected from his privileged upbringing.
When Elizabeth moved in she quickly realised there was a distinct difference between seeing the children on holidays and providing full time care for them. She begged Ernest to take his son in hand more but her brother showed no interest in the boy. He was consumed almost completely with the running of the investment firm that their father left to him.
One afternoon at the club she overheard her neighbour, Mrs Peterson, discuss a local music tutor. They spoke amongst themselves with barely a smile to offer Elizabeth. She didn’t blame them – not after what George had done to Oliver, one of Mrs Peterson’s twin boys. The news of the music tutor was helpful to her though. Piano concertos were all that seemed to calm George down some days.
‘Perhaps music lessons would give him something more positive to focus on,’ she reasoned.
Hesitantly Mrs Peterson gave Elizabeth the number where the tutor could be reached. He had been teaching her twins for some time now and she vouched that they were making remarkable progress on piano and cello.
“He may refuse to teach George,” Mrs Peterson warned with a slight sneer crinkling the bridge of her long nose. Elizabeth ignored her and noted the number in the small silver notebook she always carried with her. “Don’t tell him it was my recommendation,” the neighbour added. The sneer became more prominent. Elizabeth’s first instinct was to protect her nephew but having been the one to find Oliver Peterson covered in so much blood it was difficult to argue George’s innocence.
Later that afternoon she tried the tutors number.
“Good afternoon. Vincent Baines speaking. Can I help you?” asked a polite voice.
“Good afternoon, Mr Baines. I was just wondering if you were accepting any new students?”
The voice on the other end drew away for a few moments. “I have room for one or two more,” he replied.
“He’s seven years old and he has a fondness for piano,” explained Elizabeth.
“Yes…” Vincent said as though writing something down.
“We were hoping for perhaps two hours a week. We have our own piano at home.”
“That’s fine. I can stop by Wednesday around five.”
Elizabeth bit her lip. She couldn’t understand why the thought of the tutor refusing her nephew made her so nervous. Perhaps because she felt Vincent was her last hope.
“Actually, would you be able to come tomorrow at eight? Before school? It’s not for a lesson, it would be just to meet him. He doesn’t do well with strangers and he will find it easier if he meets you first,” she hoped she sounded more confident than she felt.
“Of course,” said Vincent. “I look forward to seeing you then.”
Vincent’s voice had a delicate balance of warmth and formality that was well practiced. Elizabeth gave the address of the Beckingridge Manor and rang off.
She didn’t know what she would tell George about his new lessons or how he would take the news. He would just have to accept it. She was the adult and was doing something proactive. She couldn’t have another death in the house or another police investigation.
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