I closed my eyes and all I could see was Clarice’s blood covered face. I couldn’t get over how real it all felt. The night left me a little shaken and I couldn’t stop wondering who the stranger could have been. Why would anyone want to kill Clarice?
My boss, George, threw open my office door and tossed a piece of paper at me from across my desk. I looked up and demanded to know why he hadn’t knocked. He looked baffled and said he had knocked three times and finally gave up. He decided to come in to see if I was awake. It seemed that I had been deeply lost in thought. Feeling a bit ashamed, I apologized and asked what I could help him with. He pointed at the paper and asked why his name was not included in my annual report?
I looked at the paper and realized that the report I was looking at was from last year. I asked him how he got a hold of it, and he pointed at my secretary, Tim. I asked Tim to come inside and asked him why he had shared last year’s report with George. Tim looked confused, took the paper in question and stated that I had sent him that report that very morning.
I was now thoroughly confused. But, I asked for the report back and read through it. The last line had been changed. It read, “Didn’t order the pudding, will now need to request a purple iris from the florist downstairs.” What in the world? I looked up and remembered George and Tim were both still in my office and both were still staring at me. I apologized to both and promised to send the updated report on the following morning.
Once they had both cleared out of my office, I closed my door and called down to the florist. I was shocked when I heard the waitress’ voice from the previous night answer the phone. I haltingly ordered a purple iris and asked for it to be sent up. She laughed nervously and said that all of their purple irises had been purchased just ten minutes before and I would need to come round after 4 pm to pick one up. I asked her to check and make sure there wasn’t any left and then agreed to go round after 4 pm.
Thinking back to last night, I tried to remember if there were any purple irises on the tables. As I carefully looked at each table in my mind, I remembered that each table had different color carnations and baby breath, but no irises. Why a purple iris? Do they come in different colors?
I googled irises and quickly learned that they come in a range of shapes and colors. And apparently, Iris was the Greek goddess of the rainbow and messenger of the Olympian Gods. After further Googling, I also learned that the tall purple bearded iris is connected with the royal family.
Could the royal family be connected? How would Clarice be connected to the royal family? How am I connected to the royal family? Rolling my eyes and sitting back in my office chair, I tried to calm myself by repeating the word breathe, over and over again. Counting as I breathed in and out, I tried to stop the events from last night and this morning from crashing into my mind and causing me to panic further.
Looking at my watch I realized it was already 3:45 pm. I lurched forward, out of my chair, grabbed my jacket and rushed out my door. I tried to calmly walk down the hallway and wait for the elevator, Tim ran after me and handed me a note. As the elevator doors opened, I entered while reading the note. I barely looked up to select the ground floor button. I dropped the note as I looked up and saw a young boy next to me holding an entire bouquet of purple irises. As I bent down to pick up the note, I asked the boy where he had found the flowers.
As I stood back up, note in hand, I turned to look at the boy expecting an answer and discovered he wasn’t there, I was completely alone in the elevator, heading to the roof.
Hope you enjoyed chapter 2.
~ Anna Campbell