White Shadows (Part 5)

White Shadows (Part 5)

Hunter Taylor, Reporter

**Before you read this, make sure you have read Parts 1, 2, 3, and 4

Monday 7:38 pm

There were many places all over Ridgeview where you could get something to eat. Not all of the places had food that tastes good. There was a plaza where there were restaurants like McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, a KFC, and even a breakfast place for people passing through who needed a nice warm fluffy stack of pancakes. There were three main pizza joints: Pizza Hut, Little Caesar’s and Domino’s. And other restaurants scattered across town. Some are family-owned businesses. 

Jessica Johnson, known as Jess to her co-workers and to what little amount of friends she had, worked as a waitress at Mel’s, the breakfast place in the town plaza. She has worked there for over a year now and was at least happy to have a job. She was born in 1995 and was 22 years old. She lived in an apartment complex on Center Street. It wasn’t anything magnificent but it was enough to get her by. It had a decent size bedroom and living area with a kitchen attachment but had a tiny bathroom. If anything it was better than living in her mother’s trashed trailer. 

Jess grew up with her mother and had never met her father. I bet if you put Jess Johnson and Jim Johnson in the same room together there would be a remarkable resemblance, but Jess’s mom barely said much about her dad. All Jess knew was he was some guy from the power company that left her mother when he found out she was pregnant. 

But Jessica had always found a way to keep moving on. She found herself wanting to get out and find herself a job and a temporary home. She didn’t like Ridgeveiw. It was a small town and you barely had anything to do. There were about five churches in town and it also had about the same amount of bars. Ever since she moved out of her mom’s trailer two years ago, she had a daily routine that never changed. She would get up in the morning and eat breakfast and read or watch TV until lunch. After lunch she would go on a walk around town. It wasn’t so much an exercise as it was to keep her busy. Plus, it’s nice to get out and get some fresh air every day. The town didn’t have much to look at, but it wasn’t a horrible town either. The park was nice and she’d often go through it on these walks.  She would leave her apartment building and go  down Center Street. She’d pass through Central Park and keep on going until she got to the Rite-Aid farther down to pass up the hill on the opposite side of the Rite-Aid and go up to the baseball field that connected to the park. She would always take the back trails because it always seemed that the front of the park was busy.

And that’s what she was doing when she noticed something a little strange but not completely out of the ordinary. She just missed it like she does with other little things. There was a man who often stayed in the park and he was homeless. He usually stayed in one of the pavilions on these back trails. And as she was passing she saw his stuff put in a neat little pile next to the pavilion. This man was nowhere to be seen.  She never said hi to him or anything, but she’d at least see him at the corner of her eye. The reason she dismissed  him not being there is because this hasn’t been the first time he wasn’t there during her walk. 

After her walks she would go back home and get ready for work. She had the night shift and she liked it. It was always slow and it was easier than working the lunch hour. Tonight she was taking an order when she noticed a man sitting in a booth that just came in a few minutes before. She walked over to the corner and asked if he was ready to order.  The man had black hair and it was combed back neatly. He was dressed in a blue t-shirt and jeans. And he was wearing a hoodie, so she guessed it was awfully cold that night. He had a nice pair of sneakers on. And I guess it was him being clean is why she didn’t notice him. Although like I said earlier, if she really thought about it she would see resemblances between them.  

Jim Johnson was sitting there smiling at her. I guess he saw the resemblance. 


8:03 pm

Jessica took off her work cap, grabbed her coat and purse and was heading for the front door when she heard a noise coming from outside. There were a couple shouts in the scream. She hesitated to open the door and walked out into the night. 

She walked on the sidewalk to the parking lot. When she was turning the corner of the building if she saw him. It was Jim Johnson. Of course she didn’t know his name because he didn’t feel the need to introduce himself. But she remembered his clothes with what little light from the moon she had. He was squatting down next to a man laying on the ground and he was bent over his face to where she couldn’t see it. Nor could she see Jim’s face because his back was to her. 

She started to walk slowly toward them.

“Hey, is he okay?” she asked.

 Jim froze and he looked up. He rotated around on his feet and was glaring up at her. She could see the upper half of his face from the nose up; the rest was covered by shadow cast by the lights in the parking lot.

“Oh, he’ll be okay…   how you doin, lil’ sis?” he said slightly looking up. His mouth was still hidden. But from the rise of his cheeks she realized he was smiling.

“What did you just call me?” She looked down at him confused. She had no idea why but she had a feeling  you should get out of there as fast as possible. 

“Come on…  you ain’t goin’ to tell me you didn’t see the resemblance…” 

“Wha… what are you talking about?” She was slowly backing up. 

“I’ve seen you before running around the park. You may not realize now because when you saw me all those times I wasn’t exactly dressed properly, let alone clean. I met a man recently and he helped me.  I have clothes, a bed,  and all I want to eat.” he laughed a little. “My name is Jim. Jim Johnson. Your name is Jessica. I guess we can quit being strangers now. Cuz we’re about to start the long-term brother and sister relationship. Because it’s just us now. Our dad died a long time ago. and as far as you’re concerned, you wouldn’t care if your mom was dead. She acts as if she is anyway.” 

He looked up, this time revealing his entire face, his mouth blood-streaked. He stood up revealing the man on the ground. The man’s eyes were glazed, his head slightly tilted to the side, his neck covered with blood.

 Jim pounced on his little sister. Her mouth and throat was to dry to scream. 


When Jess’s boss showed up to the building the next day she found the man (later identified as Robert “Bobby” Troyer) dead on the ground.  She screamed.