Flash Fiction: Watch Me Burn – Part 47

This entry is part 47 of 56 in the Flash Fiction: Watch Me Burn

Written in 61 minutes.

Elm Street

Elizabeth could see Jason and Patrick just behind the barricades — Patrick was, predictably, pacing back forth, stopping occasionally to say something probably rude to the officer and rake his hands through his hair. Jason’s hands were resting on top of the barricade, but he was otherwise still.

“I’m so glad you’re here.” Elizabeth slid her arms around Jason’s waist and he pulled in her tight, dropping his head down to the curve of her neck. “It’s so awful.”

“They wouldn’t tell us anything.” Jason raised his head, smoothed her hair back from her face, leaving his hands cupping her cheek. “What’s going on? What happened?”

“They didn’t tell you?” Elizabeth said, dread swirling in her stomach. And she hadn’t said anything either on the phone. She’d been too upset, too stunned — she’d only told him they’d found a body —

“It was Sam,” she said softly, and his eyes widened. “Sam was—he killed Sam.”

His body tensed, and he exhaled slowly. “Sam,” he repeated.

She pressed her hand against his heart, prepared for whatever grief would sweep through him. For all Sam’s crimes and manipulations, she’d been someone Jason loved. Had planned to share a life.

He cleared his throat. “Wait. It was only Sam?” he frowned, looked over at Robin who was carefully explaining to Patrick that she did not need to go to the hospital, that she was completely fine — and also fielding the same argument with her father. Jason looked back at Elizabeth. “That—that’s not like the others. It’s not the same—”

“I—” Elizabeth grimaced, dipped her head. “It was only her, but they still think—can we go home? I really just want—I want to go home.”

“Yeah, okay.” He kissed her forehead, looked over at the guard. “You can follow us back, right?”

“Sure thing.”

“Call me,” Elizabeth told Robin.

“Yeah, no problem, you’ll probably find me in the ICU,” the other woman muttered darkly. “Dad, I’m fine. I just want to go home—”

“We can ask Kelly to come over,” Patrick was suggesting as Jason led Elizabeth towards the SUV he’d parked at the curb.

“He’s going to drive her insane over the next seven months,” Elizabeth said, looking at the pair fondly, grateful for the small distraction. She climbed into the car and wondered how exactly Jason—or Patrick—was going to handle the news that she and Robin had been mere minutes and one guard away from being the next victims.

Lake House: Living Room

Mac stepped up to the deck that sat just outside the house, staring inside at the sofa where he could see Alexis sitting with one of her daughters, the youngest he thought.

Christ, how many notification would there have to be on this case? He’d had to tell too many people about Georgie. He’d called Chelsea’s family. The call to London. The Quartermaines.

And now he’d have to tell Alexis the daughter she’d found a year ago was dead. Murdered just like all the other girls — and worse, would she have to learn that Sam hadn’t even been a target? That the killer had only ended her life because Sam was in his way?

Mac knocked lightly on the door, and Alexis turned. She could see him through the glass door. Her smile faded and she rose. She said something to Molly, and the little girl frowned, but went out of the room.

Alexis came towards him slowly, her eyes on his. She slid back the bolt on the lock, then opened the door. “Mac. It’s a little late for a social call.” The words were light, and there was some attempt in the tone, but he could see it in her eyes. She already knew. Somewhere deep down.

“Alexis. Tonight at Kelly’s, in the parking lot, Sam was—they found Sam’s body. She’s…” Mac took another breath. “She’s gone. I’m sorry.”

Alexis raised her hand, fisted it. “How? An accident? Or—”

“It was a homicide. That’s all I can tell you right now.”

“Homicide.” She touched the door frame. Closed her eyes. “Murdered. Was it—is it related to the others?”

“We think maybe. But we don’t know for sure yet.”

“Okay. Okay.” Her hand shaking, Alexis pressed it to her mouth. “Okay. Um. Okay.” She squeezed her eyes shut. “Okay.”

“Can I call someone?” Mac wanted to know. “Can I—”

“No, I’ll—I can do that. Thank you. Do you need anything from me? Do you need—”

“No, not at this time. I’ll let you know. Alexis, I’m sorry.”

“Yes. Thank you.” She closed the door and he stepped away.

Alexis stared into the living room, not seeing the furniture. The floor. Nothing. Molly was only a few steps away, down the hall in her bedroom. Kristina was with her father. Oh, God, how did she tell her girls?

She walked over to the phone on the table next to the sofa, picked it up. “Ric? I need—I need you. Can you—thank you.” Quietly, she hung up the phone and looked at the mantel. At the photograph of her girls at Christmas. The first Christmas she’d ever had all of her daughters together.

And now it would be the only one.

PCPD: Commissioner’s Office

Mac had no sooner sat at his desk to look over the initial reports than there was a knock at his door. “Harper? Did you turn anything up in the canvas?”

“I gave that to Rodriguez. Uh, we might have a small problem on our hands.” Harper folded his arms. “Sam McCall came in on Halloween to make a police report. Apparently, she was accusing Jason Morgan of grabbing her arm, dragging her into an alley, and threatening her life.”

Mac shook his head. “This isn’t him—”

“The murder doesn’t fit the pattern—”

“Sam wasn’t the target, Harper. She was just in the way. So unless you think Jason Morgan is our killer and was planning to murder his fiancée tonight along with my niece, then I don’t know what we’re doing here—”

“Okay, look—” Harper sat down, and Mac scowled. “Look, I get why you don’t think it’s him—”

“I don’t think, I know. This isn’t him, and I’m not wasting police resources—”

“That report I mentioned? It was never filed. The detective on duty ignored it. And apparently ignored a few follow-up requests. She came in a few days ago and finally talked to someone else. You think that’s not going to leak? She made a scene on Halloween when the cop didn’t do anything. More than a few uniforms probably know about it.”

Mac sighed, then hesitated. “Halloween?” he echoed.

“Yeah, Halloween. Lucky Spencer took that report. And ignored the follow-up. Now you and I both know he probably just forgot about it after the murders came in. And Sam McCall probably wasn’t much of a witnesses, but now we can’t confirm the story without video.”

“Christ.” And if it did get out to the press — that’d be the last thing he needed.

“You should have taken Spencer off this case that night, Mac, and you know it. Emily was the next thing to family to him. And it involved him questioning his ex-wife and her boyfriend — after he’d lost custody of his kids to her.”

“Damn it—”

“Now it’s going to look like you let him stay on it and screwed it up. Sam doesn’t fit the profile. That’s going to leak. You know it is. Maybe you’re right. Maybe there’s a reason she’s not like the others. But you’re on thin ice, Mac, overseeing a case with your own relationship to Georgie.”

“Watch it—”

“Let me handle it, okay? I can snip this thread off quietly. Morgan’s got kids now. Word on the street is he’s been laying low since the truth about the baby got out. Spending time at home. He probably has solid alibis for all three murders. I get those on record, you take Spencer off the case, and there’s no blow back.”

Mac grimaced. “I’ll talk to Lucky when he gets in. But you keep it quiet. This isn’t Morgan, and I’m not having this department opened up to harassment. The man lost his sister, damn it.”

“Yeah, and now an ex-fiancée who was bitter and causing issues is dead now. There’s a lot of people in this city that already think he got away with murder this summer, Mac. I’ll take care of it, but you better get Spencer off this case. Otherwise, if we catch this guy, and there’s no DNA on Sam McCall, we don’t nail him for her murder. I’d like to see you explain that to Alexis Davis.”

Morgan Penthouse: Living Room

Elizabeth stepped down from the last stair, her hand resting on the banister. “The boys are both down. And Spinelli’s trying to finish his paper in his room.”  She folded her arms. “I guess we should talk about what happened.”

“Yeah.” But Jason remained across the room at the window. “I was thinking of calling Alexis, but I doubt she’d want to hear from me.”

“She might. It’s okay, you know,” she added, and he met her eyes. “To be sad. To miss her, I guess. Or grieve.”

“I don’t…” Jason shook his head. “I don’t really know what I’m feeling,” he admitted. “For a long time, I loved her. But after these last few months, I think I was just a mark to her. Someone else to con.” He looked back out over the harbor. “And I was an easy one. I didn’t really have much else. Courtney divorced me — couldn’t handle the job. Sonny and Carly were imploding again. And Sam needed me. And there was the baby.” He cleared his throat. “I don’t know. But that woman—the one I asked to marry me — I couldn’t see her anymore. She was gone, and there was just this bitterness. This anger. Resentment. Hatred,” he murmured. “And I wonder now if she ever loved me at all. If it was all just a lie.”

“You don’t have to have the answers tonight.” She slid her arms around his waist, rested her head against his chest. He kissed the top of her head, stroked her back. “But I’m sorry for Alexis. For her sisters. I know they loved her.”

“What did the cops say at the diner? Do they think it was connected to the other murders?” Jason said finally. “This was different, wasn’t it?”

“That’s the other part…” Elizabeth bit her lip, stepped back. “Robin and I ran into each other inside, and we were going to walk out together. With Frankie, right? And Sam came in. We had…well, you know, we weren’t kind to each other. Then Sam left, and Robin and I hung back for a minute. I wanted to be sure she was gone.”

Jason’s hands had still been stroking her back, but now they stilled. “How long was she gone before you went out?”

“Minutes. There was another customer. He left as Sam came in. I don’t know what he looked like. Robin didn’t know either. But he could have overheard us talking about leaving.” Her voice trembled. “Her body was still warm when we found her, Jason. And we heard him run away.”

“You…” He swallowed hard. “You heard him run away.”

“Yes. We passed under a light, and he saw Frankie. He ran away. He said something — it sounded angry, but we never saw anyone. And then Robin stumbled, and Sam was there—that’s when Frankie made us go back inside.”

“The—he was right there,” Jason said. “The man who killed Emily. And Georgie, and—”

“Yes. Lucky said—” Elizabeth closed her eyes. “Lucky thinks the guy was waiting in the parking lot, and just grabbed the first woman. When he realized it was Sam, he…”

“Killed her quickly and sat back to wait.”

“Y-yes.” She cleared her throat. “But we weren’t alone. I don’t—I don’t think he was ready to deal with that.”

Jason pulled her tight against him, his hand in her hair. “He was waiting for you. For you and Robin.”

“If you hadn’t given me the guard—If I hadn’t gone to Kelly’s tonight, oh, God, what if it had been Robin? Maybe she would have gone out with Sam. Maybe—”

“It could have been you.” Something rolled through his body, and he had to take another deep breath. “It almost was.”

“It’s so—God, it’s so terrible to be relieved that it was Sam, and not me. That she was so bitter and hateful that Robin and I chased her out — instead of us leaving first —” She felt his lips against her forehead.  “I always felt safe at Kelly’s. Always. But this man — this evil bastard who already stole Emily from us — he was just waiting. Do you think that’s what he does? He just waits in public places?”

“I don’t know. I don’t know.” He kissed her again, lingering.

The phone rang across the room, and Elizabeth jolted, startled by the sound. Jason took another breath, cleared his throat, and left her at the window to take the call. “Wally? Hey. Yeah, um. That’s fine. Send them up.”

He set the phone down, dragged a hand down his face as she joined him at the desk. “It’s a guy from the PCPD. Probably some follow-up questions.”

“Maybe they want to see if we can remember what the guy who left looked like. I can’t believe—” Elizabeth bit her lip hard, until she tasted blood. “Now I’m going to wonder if every strange man I see is just waiting to find me alone. It’s terrible. It’s just like going back to the rape. That’s what it was like—”

“Hey.” Jason cupped her elbows, drew close. “Hey. There a security tapes, okay? They’ll find this guy on them, and they’ll catch him. And you don’t have to go out until they do. And if you do—”

“I just hate all of this—” She broke off at the knock on the door. “And now the PCPD is here to ask me questions I don’t know the answer to.”

“They’ll have to accept that, okay? Let’s just get this over with.” Jason opened the door, frowning when he didn’t recognize the man on the other side.

“Detective Harper,” Elizabeth said, a bit surprised. “I didn’t know you were working this case.”

“We need all the warm bodies we can get,” Harper said, stepping in. “I, uh, had a few questions.”

“Yeah, I figured. Um, Jason, this is David Harper. Detective, I mean. We met earlier this year, I think.”

“Yeah, at the wedding.” Harper was looking down at the notepad he’d pulled from his pocket and didn’t see Elizabeth flinch. “My questions are actually for you, Mr. Morgan.”

“Me?” Jason echoed. “Why?”

“Because Sam McCall filed a report of assault and named you as the assailant.” Harper lifted his brows. “She said you threatened to kill her. So I need your alibi for night. And if you could tell me where you were on October 31 and September 14, that’d be great.”


  • I know it’s mean but can I say that I’m glad that Sam is dead but she is still causing trouble!! I can’t imagine what Jason must be feeling right now. I hope he keeps Elizabeth close.

    According to Becca on September 4, 2023
  • I was hoping that Sam’s death would bring some answers. I don’t think that there will be any DNA found on Sam. I hope that Spinelli will find a clue. I also hope that Jason has good alibis. The PCPD better find something.

    According to arcoiris0502 on September 4, 2023
  • Why do I think it is a cop who is killing brunettes? Great update.

    According to Shelly on September 4, 2023
  • Well at least Jason has an alibi for Sam’s murder. Even in death she wreaks havoc. Hopefully Jason isn’t accused. Great chapter.

    According to nanci on September 4, 2023
  • I have a bad feeling about Det Harper. Could he be our killer? I’m glad Mac doesn’t think it is Jason. I hope Jason has more than Elizabeth vouching for him.

    According to Carla P on September 4, 2023
  • Not sure what to add . . . except I don’t think it’s a cop because they haven’t adapted anything based on what the police know. And, I actually hope that Harper is right and they can put this report/suspicion of Jason to bed quickly. They all know it’s not him. Even Alexis will know that – he’s not that sloppy.

    Good luck at school this week. Can’t wait until next weekend!

    According to LivingLiason on September 4, 2023
  • Here we g again blame everything on Jason. Yes he wants to kill his sister and girlfriend and Robin and ex girlfriend.

    According to leasmom on September 4, 2023
  • I still think it is the guy from the hospital– an orderly or part of the security people

    he would know them all including Georgie from there and Chelsea was just part of the pkg.
    Jason has a good alibi I’m sure and he wouldn’t try to kill Emily or Robin


    According to PAMELA HEDSTROM on September 11, 2023