For the first prompt of the challenge, I’d written the beginning of a story. For the penultimate prompt, we were tasked with writing an ending, so I did just that. Filling in the middle will be a task for another time.
Murphy’s Bar was mostly empty. Only a small handful of regulars were sitting around, drinking away their sorrows. Sam poured herself another glass of whisky, wincing slightly as a fresh jolt of pain shot through her shoulder. That wasn’t going away any time soon.
The small TV at the corner of the bar was showing a news report on the Cahill case. Lieutenant Jeffries was being commended for his part in bringing the killer to justice, while Sam wasn’t even mentioned as a footnote. It was just the way she wanted it, really. The less people came knocking at her door asking for help the better off she’d be.
Her thoughts turned to Jessica. The poor girl had never had a chance to grow up. The one adult decision she’d made in her life ended up costing her more than even a rich girl could afford. Gordon and Lilian Cahill would have a lot to answer for in the coming weeks and months. Whether they’d face any true justice or not was another matter.
Sam stared at her bruised knuckles. After all that had happened, what she really needed was a good night’s sleep. But she knew that wouldn’t be possible. There were too many ghosts in her past, and they always haunted her dreams. The best she could hope for was a drunken blackout.
As the afternoon faded into dusk, Sam made her way out of the bar and walked to the cemetery. She was still more sober than she would have liked, but it gave her a chance to appreciate the beauty of the town. And it was beautiful, despite the ugliness that lurked underneath its skin.
Sam walked through the arched black gates and up the hill until she was standing in front of Jessica’s gravestone. Tomorrow, the town would be torn apart once the Cahill family’s darkest secrets were dug up. But for now, Sam watched the light of the fading sun glint off the rooftops in the distance and hoped that Jessica had found some measure of peace.