Flash Fiction: Scars – Part 16

Written in 60 minutes.


Morgan Penthouse: Bedroom

Elizabeth didn’t know how she’d managed it, but she got the girls to the soccer field, found Spencer and Cameron, got them all back to the house where they were going to spend the rest of afternoon — and never let on that everything inside of her was on fire, her brain practically screaming.

Tom Baker had been in the park watching the girls. Her girls. Every single one of them had grown up in front of Elizabeth’s eyes — from Emma, the daughter of her best friend, to Trina, the daughter of the man who had worked so hard to get Elizabeth justice, to Joss, the daughter of Jason’s closest friends —

The girl with the sad eyes who had walked home alone after a terrible dancing in a red dress — who had talked about hearing sounds.

Had they just been in her head or had Elizabeth prevented something terrible?

That night, as she sat in her bedroom, rubbing lotion into her hands, listening as Jason did the usual sweep of the boys’ rooms for their phones and tablets—she debated her next step. She hadn’t called Jason in a panic, urging him to come home. She hadn’t called the police.

She’d done nothing but ensure that the kids were safe with her, then tucked away at home later. She’d watched Emma cross the street, had texted Portia and Carly to be sure—

And now—

Jason came in, closing the door behind him, setting a tablet on the dresser. She forced a smile. “Who’s the culprit tonight?”

“Jake. Said he wanted to try out a drawing thing, but—” Jason shrugged as he exchanged his jeans for a pair of sweats. “I told him that’s why we got him a sketchpad and art supplies for his room.”

“I was thinking we might—um—with Cam in high school, maybe—” Elizabeth’s stomach was jittery—she pressed against it, and he frowned.

“Are you okay? Are you—”

“No. No, it’s fine.” She exhaled slowly. “No pain. Just a bit unsettled. I—” She twisted on on the stool to face him. “Maybe we should adjust the rules a little. Cam’s in high school. And we have to start trusting them at some point. And it would give Jake and Aiden something to look forward to.”

“Yeah, we can do that—” He tipped his head. “What’s wrong?”

“I—” It was on the tip of her tongue, but she swallowed it. “I guess I’ve still be thinking about Friday. Um, I haven’t asked in a while — but is the PCPD still looking at you and Sonny?”

Jason scratched the back of his neck. “Uh, yeah. We actually just a got a call from our guy today. I was going to tell you. Jordan’s getting some pushback on the budget. It’s been two months since she started all this surveillance, and nothing to show for it.”

Her chest eased a bit. If Jordan was going to dump the surveillance, then—

“She’s dropping the guys watching Baker,” Jason said with a scowl. “And keeping them on me and Sonny. I guess she figures there’s a better chance of getting us on something—” He shook his head and went towards the bathroom. She heard the water running a moment later.

Elizabeth went to the doorway of the ensuite bathroom. “Is there a better chance of that?”

“No. You know Sonny and I aren’t really in it the way we used to be. Not a big market for Russia anymore, so we don’t really do shipments out of the warehouse.” Jason turned to her, his brows creased. “We’re mostly in Miami—you don’t usually worry about that.”

“The PCPD doesn’t usually breathe down your neck.” She folded her arms. “And you don’t like talking about it.”

“No, I don’t.” Jason paused. “Is something wrong?” he asked again.

If she told him now, Baker might be dead by dawn and she wanted that. She wanted to hand this over to him so it could stop be her problem. So that there was no chance that Baker would slither into her dreams and haunt her—

But the PCPD were still watching Jason and Sonny. Still waiting for them to make a mistake. And they weren’t watching Baker. Telling the PCPD wasn’t going to get her anyway — even with surveillance, they hadn’t noticed Baker stalking her girls.

No, this was her problem to fix and she knew exactly how to do it.

“Just my mind working overtime,” Elizabeth said. She wrapped her arms around his waist. “You’ll tell me if it changes, won’t you? About the PCPD? I don’t like the idea of them watching you and Sonny this way. You’re with the kids so much—”

“I promise.” He dipped his head, kissing her as his hands slid down her bare arms, then up again. “I love you.”

“Love you, too.”

General Hospital: Parking Garage

The next day, Elizabeth clocked out of her shift early, getting Epiphany’s promise to cover for her. Right after Baker had been released from jail and begun working at the hospital, Jason had given Elizabeth enough information to avoid him — including the information that Baker took a bus to work and would only work the night shift, thanks to intervention from Laura.

And once, weeks ago, without telling anyone, she’d followed Baker on that bus route, driving behind the bus, trailing him across town, to the rundown neighborhood. She’d wanted to know where he lived so she could avoid it. And now she would use all of that information to destroy him.

The shift change was at seven that night, so Elizabeth wanted to be ready. She wasn’t driving her car — she’d rented one that morning in case Baker or anyone else knew her license plates. Maybe they could run it later and tie it to her, but it wasn’t all that likely. She was across the street and a few houses down, waiting.

At 6:30, Tom stepped out of his house, locked the door, then strode down the street. Elizabeth waited until the bus would have left the stop to be sure he hadn’t missed it. The night was inky dark and the street had few lights illuminating it.

Still, she was cautious. She had a winter coat she rarely wore, in a dark green, and a matching hat which she used to tuck her hair up and away. She left her car, walked around the block to a cluster of trees that backed up to the cluster of houses. She’d studied the map on her phone, poring over the satellite views —

Then she crept through the backyard—the stingy six feet of space—to the back door. One of the benefits to marrying Jason Morgan had been lessons in lock picking — she’d been kidnapped enough, he’d told her, she needed to be able to get out of places.

The house was dark and bare — the kitchen where she stood was small, the tile cracked and stained. One lamp had been left lit in the living room, which she reached through an arch. There was one  bedroom in the back of the house, and a bathroom. Though her hands were gloved, she kept them in her pocket as she walked around the small space, studying the layout. Becoming familiar with it.

She’d need to be able to get in and out of it within minutes if this would work — if alibis were to be established and hold.

In the bedroom, there was a single twin bed with a ratty mattress and a thin comforter that was little more than a scrap of fabric. Remembering that Baker had once been the photographer to the stars — he’d been Brenda Barrett’s go to choice when she’d been the Face of Deception — he’d fallen so far it brought her a bit of joy.

But it wasn’t enough. Across the bed was a dresser and a bulletin  board where a mirror might be. A bulletin board with pictures scattered across it. Her heart seized. Emma was in most of the photos — a pretty, young brunette. And there were photos of Elizabeth—her stomach lurched at the thought of Baker watching her without being noticed. And a photo of Joss. Outside of Kelly’s the night of dance.

He’d been there.

She left the photos, though she’d wanted to set fire to the house. No, it was important that those photos were found just the way they were. So that when the PCPD finally found his rotting corpse, it would be in the same room where he clearly plotted his next crime. So that they would see their own failures.

Elizabeth believed in the system some of the time, but in her experience—when she’d really needed it, justice was nowhere to be found. And justice could never truly be delivered by bureaucrats in their suits in robes.

Justice was in the blood and brain matter that spurted when she’d murdered Stavros Cassadine after he’d tried to kill Jason. In whatever manner Luke had killed Helena — though it would never be enough suffering.

The only justice in the world was the justice you made for yourself.

And Elizabeth had every intention of making sure that this time, Tom Baker would pay.

She left the house, having timed her visit. No more than five minutes. It was three more minutes to the car. Everything would have to be meticulously planned if this was going to work.

And she wouldn’t be able to do it alone.

Drake House: Living Room

“Hey.” Patrick grinned as he stepped away from the door. “I thought you were working today.”

“Sorry to bother you on your day off,” Elizabeth said. “I asked Epiphany for the day of, but I volunteered to work the morning shift on Thanksgiving to make up for it,” she told him.

“Oh, man, you must have been desperate. Everything okay?”

“Yeah. Robin and Emma are gone, aren’t they?” She followed Patrick into the kitchen. “And Anna still does those sweeps for electronics?”

Patrick paused as he poured himself a cup of coffee, then looked at her, the humor fading. “What’s wrong?”

“First, answer me.”

“Yes. Mikkos Cassadine is still out there. Anna doesn’t think he cares about us, but—” He leaned against the counter. “You’re scaring me. Have there been threats?”

“No.” Elizabeth took off her coat, laid it over the back of the chair. “Not from the Cassadines. Patrick, I’m about to ask you to do something. If you can’t or won’t, it’s okay. But I need your promise you’ll never tell anyone about this conversation.” She swallowed hard. “I’m not telling Jason, so you can’t tell Robin.”

His eyes were dark and sober. “You know whatever you need, I’m here.”

“The night of the dance, when I found Joss—” Elizabeth’s throat tightened. Was she really going to do this? Drag her best friend into this nightmare?  “She told me she’d heard sounds. I thought she’d made it up.”

Patrick’s shoulders straightened. “But she didn’t.”

“I don’t think so. Monday—this Monday. Just three days ago—” Her chest ached. “I went to the park to get the kids. The boys were on the soccer field, and the girls—they were studying. Like they always do.”

“Elizabeth—”

“He was watching them,” Elizabeth said softly. “He didn’t see me. At least I don’t think so. But he was watching them. From behind the bushes.”

“He.” Patrick exhaled slowly. “You mean—”

“Tom Baker. The man who raped me. He was watching the girls. Our girls. My girls. Joss, Emma, and Trina. But I didn’t know. I wasn’t sure. So I waited for him to go to work, and I broke into his house—”

“Jesus Christ—”

“He has photos, Patrick.” She swallowed hard as he focused on her like a laser. “Of me. He said it that first day, didn’t he? He said I put him in jail. I didn’t. Not alone, but I did it. There are photos of me. But not just—he has photos of the girls. Of Emma. Trina. And Joss—he was there at Kelly’s, in the parking lot that night. She wasn’t wrong. He was following her.”

“Oh man—” Patrick shook his head. “Why aren’t you telling Jason?”

“Because the PCPD are watching him. They want to use this as a way to get to Jason and Sonny—Patrick, they’ve had men watching Baker and they either know about this and are ignoring it or they’re missing it. I don’t care. If Jason goes after him — I won’t take that risk.”

“You—” Patrick paced to the double doors that opened out to the backyard, staring blindly at the pool, long since covered up for the season. “Because he might get arrested and put in jail.”

“Baker’s coming after the girls because of me. This is my problem to fix. I won’t risk my husband or our life together. Besides—” She took a deep breath. “We work in medicine, don’t we? We know how to end a life.”

“We.” Patrick turned to her, his expression unreadable. “You’re asking for my help.”

“Yes. I know—” Tears spilled down her cheeks. “I know it’s a terrible thing to ask. But I can’t—I can’t let it happen to them. I can’t let one of those girls go through it—I was so broken, Patrick—Shattered. All these years later, it’s still—it’s still there. It still haunts me. It sneaks up and chokes me when I least think of it—I can’t let it happen to them.”

“No,” he murmured. “No we can’t.” He took a deep breath, then met her eyes again. “I’ll take care of the how. You’ve run around the Spencers, Cassadines, and the mobs enough to take care of the rest of it. The when, the alibis, the whatever else we need to pull this off.”

“Yes.” She stepped towards him. “Patrick—”

“I saw you that day—at the hospital, when he spoke to you. I saw the way it broke you into pieces.” His voice was rough as he continued. “And the police have been following him? There’s no way he could take pictures of the kids and them not know. Or they’re too stupid to notice. That’s not a system I want to take my chances on. Not wit the sanity and safety of my little girl at risk. You’re right. We can do this. We have to do this. Together. There’s no way I’m letting you do this alone.”

He jerked out a chair. “Let’s get started.”

Comments

  • Tom Baker isn’t going to know what hit him after Elizabeth and Patrick get done with him. I hope this plan works and they get away with it or all hell will break lose if a Jason finds out.

    According to Becca on August 20, 2022
  • Tom Baker needs to die a slow and painful death. I can’t wait for Liz and Patrick to get the deed done. Thanks for the update.

    According to Shelly Samuel on August 20, 2022
  • soapy goodness. the way it should’ve been on the show. (sigh)

    According to jill on August 20, 2022
  • I really like Patrick and Elizabeth protecting the kids and taking out Baker. I hope Jason doesn’t find out or they need his help.

    According to Carla P on August 20, 2022
  • I didn’t see this coming but I like it
    Awesome update xxx

    According to Jess on August 20, 2022
  • This is NOT what I saw coming but what amazes me so much about it is that you’ve made it feel like the logical next step. I’m still in awe of how different you can make each story feel – the pacing and anticipation shift.

    Somehow, I find myself more upset about YOUR return to a school year than my kids. (Though, I am excited for you and the kids you teach.)

    According to LivingLiason on August 21, 2022
  • I didn’t see this twist coming. Wow! Tom Baker messed with the wrong woman. I hate to think that the PCPD missed this. Tom can’t be that smart. I knew Patrick would help. It does make sense for them to take care of their girls.

    According to arcoiris0502 on August 21, 2022
  • Wow that was totally unexpected! What a great twist! I hope Jason won’t be too mad at her and understands. I am going to miss my daily updates! You made this summer. Great reading summer! Thank you ❤️

    According to Golden Girl on August 23, 2022