• Alice stood there and watched. Stared at the tombstone that is now her mothers’. The snow gently fell on Alice's hair. She paid no mind to the water trickling aside her face. She shed no tears.
    Derek Farnly, Alice’s father, wept tears. Fake. Derek cared not for Alice's mother. Why would he? He's the one who killed her.
    Two days ago, Alice came home to screaming. They were fighting, her father and her mother. But Alice only walked into her room and shut the door. Through the walls she could hear them. Her mother forgot to have prepared herself for a dinner at her fathers’ company. He owns, runs, and controls his own business.
    His job is working at a toy factory. It has a different variety of toys. Dolls, bears, military toys, Disney and more. Alice had a room full of them, many of which Alice has broken, ripped apart or burned.
    Last year for Christmas, her mother bought her a life size dollhouse. Complete with kitchen, bedroom and living room. The stove was fake and Alice wanted to cook. She lit the stove on fire and sent the dollhouse ablaze. She suffered from first-degree burns, yet did not care much for the pain.
    "I’m not leaving Alice alone!" she heard her mother scream. Alice silently went to the door and opened it. Enough to see into the living room.
    Her fathers face was red with rage. "That thing will be fine by herself."
    "How dare you," her mother said through her teeth as she slapped Derek. "That thing you are referring to is your daughter! She's a little girl, she's not safe on her own, and you would know that if you paid attention to her."
    Alice felt her eyes swell with pools of tears. She held them back. Not a single tear left her lashes, yet it was only a matter of time till one did.
    Her father stood up straight. Feeling the spot where his wife hit him. He pulled his hand back and drew blood from his lip. He smirked.
    Alice’s mothers’ eye widened and her fathers’ hands clenched. Alice knew what was going to happen next. She turned around and grabbed her toy elephant, Mr. Sweeny Todd, and waited.

    DEREK SMIRKED and laughed underneath his breath. Derek looked down at his arm to his hand. It was shaking and his knuckles were ghost white. He took a step forward and Alice's mother took two back. As of the moment, Derek forgot everything. Who he was. Why he was mad. Who the woman before him was. And who was watching him.
    He looked over his shoulder and saw a little girl. Peering through her door. He took a step towards her and she shut it silently closed. Looking back at the woman, his rage didn't cease. With one swing, Derek hit her and she fell to the floor with a thud.
    "Get up..." he demanded. Without realizing it, the little girl was watching him again. This time the door was wide open and the little girl stood in the doorway, holding a doll like elephant in her hands. Her eyes were dark brown and soulless. He felt a overwhelming of fear when she smiled at him. But Derek brushed it off and looked over to the woman who was now standing up. Her cheek was red and she cried softly. The terror on her face pleased Derek.
    He heard a faint giggle. That of an angels’ voice. He turned and saw the little girl gone. His memory began to come back as the dark clouds of rage cleared from his mind. He looked up and saw that he had hit his wife. He didn't feel sorrow or bitterness towards himself. He felt power and control. He thirsted for more. His next move may decide his fate forever.
    Alice's mother didn't waste any time. She ran for the phone, dashing over the couch, and stumbling into the kitchen. She began to dial 911, but before she could listen for the operator, Derek shoved her to the ground. He threw the phone onto the floor. The backing broke off and the batteries fell out under the refrigerator.
    Alice was nowhere in sight but Derek could hear a soft giggle of a child. Her mother jumped up off the floor, grabbed a knife and started to swing it defensively.
    "Put the knife down," he scolded. "You’ll cut yourself, my dear."
    With that being said, she hesitated for a moment or two. In that short moment, Derek saw the advantage he needed. Derek took hold of the knife and held Alice's mother by the throat. She cut his arm. Not deep, but enough for severe bleeding. Ignoring the blood and the pain, he took the knife and pierced it into the mothers’ stomach. She gasped and froze in place. Bringing her face to his, Derek gently kissed her.
    Twisting and turning the knife. Blood poured, from her stomach and mouth. She smiled past Derek’s shoulder. When he looked he only saw that of a little white bow over the counter. Slowly moving into the kitchen.
    Alice walked in. Echoes of children’s laughter and gentle singing filled Derek's mind. Alice's mother held Derek's hands and she leaned close to him.
    "She knows..." she finally choked.
    Fear struck Derek's heart as he looked in the soulless eyes of Alice.
    Again, he heard the children’s singing and laughter. It shall curse him till the day he dies.

    ALICE AWOKE from her daydream of what happened as her father shook her arm. She looked up as her father began to brush the snow off Alice's head. He gave her saddening eyes, though she knew he had no remorse in his heart. The priest came over and shook Derek’s hand. Her father began to cry his fake tears and held Alice close.
    "She's in a better place now, Mr. Farnly." the pastor said as he shook Derek's hand. "She will watch over you and Alice." He looked down at Alice and smiled. She didn't even blink. Showed no emotion. The priest's smile faded.
    Derek held Alice by the back of the neck and shook her. Wanting her to say something. She did not. She held her doll tighter and remained silent. Derek dug his nails into her neck. She said nothing. He sighed. Supposedly to be of grief, but sounded of irritation. The priest looked dumbfounded.
    "Yes," Derek said through his gritted teeth. "She is in a better place." Derek eased his grip off Alice, yet still didn't let go. The priest stared at Derek's hand and the red imprint he left on Alice's neck. "I'm sorry sweetie," her father whispered. "I didn't mean to--"
    Alice looked up at her father. Those soulless eyes pierced into his heart. She smiled. "It's okay Daddy, I love you." The voice's came back into his mind. His heart began to race. All he could hear was the echo of the voices and the thumping of his heart. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. Alice stared at her father her smile now gone. He peered into dark brown eyes. Nothing. Emptiness and darkness. A darkness he feared he would be engulfed in. There was no light. Fear pulsed through his body with every heartbeat.
    "If you ever need me," the priest stuttered. "You can always find me in the church." Derek looked up as the priest walked away. His wife's voice came into his mind. Overlapping the laughter he heard that began to fade. She knows...
    He clenched his fist. Sweat began to form on his forehead. Until then did he realize, Alice was gone.

    JAMES STABLER was walking from his car to the cemetery. He had the results of the autopsy. Alicia Farnly was found, dead in her house with a knife in her stomach. Her hands were wrapped around the wooden handle of the blade. There was a smile on her face. He had a hunch it was suicide, but his gut knew it was murder. The autopsy came back showing Alicia was beaten and abused. For how long, he wasn't sure. But he knew Alicia wasn't suicidal. He had a few questions for Derek.
    The priest crossed James path. Mumbling. No, praying. About a little girl. An Alice? James was a little curious on who this Alice was, but he wanted to talk to Derek. The name seemed familiar but as of the moment, he didn't care at all. Derek was standing next to a tombstone. Shaking. Maybe from the snow. He kept looking. Staring. Turning around. What was he looking for? He came up behind Derek and reached his hand out.
    "Hey," he said. Dropping his hand on Derek's shoulder. Derek jumped maybe eight inches off the ground. He turned and looked at James. Sweating and out of breath. He stood straight up and cleared his throat, though the look of fear never left his face. "Are you Derek Stan Farnly?"
    "Yes, what do you want?" Derek uttered. He looked up and down James. As if examining him. He had on a long brown trench coat with black tennis shoes.
    James took out his badge. "I’m detective James Stabler. I'd like to ask you a few questions."
    Derek swallowed hard. Hesitating. "Sure."
    "First off, why are you so shaky?"
    "I'm in a cemetery. Dead bodies everywhere. Aren't you scared?"
    "Eh." James shrugged. "Been to one once, you've been to them all." He began to walk along an invisible line in front of Derek. "Would have loved to been at your wife's side. See the whole thing. Make my job easier." He stopped.
    Derek stared at James.
    "How she got the knife in her," James muttered, "is strange." He glared at Derek. "It didn't seem to be self-inflicted. More like forced into her body by someone else."
    Derek looked at the ground. "Is there a question to this? I just lost my wife. Can't I talk about this tomorrow? Please. I just want to go home." He pulled out a tissue and wiped his eyes dry. James noticed Derek's nose began to bleed. Derek touched his upper lip and felt the blood on his fingers. He vomited.
    He couldn't have done it, James thought. The sight of blood sickens him. James handed Derek his business card after he wiped his mouth dry. Someone else must have done it. This was not a suicide. He left.

    ALICE SAT on the tree swing by the church. Gently swinging, no more then five inches forward and back. All she could think about was her mother. Her mother, Alicia. She was good to Alice. She didn't care what Alice did, she loved her all the same. She missed her mom dearly. Gone for two days, and Alice already feels her heart dying. She held her doll and kissed him on the cheek.
    "It'll be okay Mr. Todd." Alice whispered. "Daddy will be punished. He won't ever hurt us again. He will--"
    Someone was coming. She didn't know who, but she could hear the crunching of the snow.

    JAMES BEGAN to walk to his car. He passed the church and crossed the Sunday school playground. He saw a little girl on a swing next to an oak tree. She looked like an overgrown doll. Her outfit was all black. With lace on the rim of the neckline, arms and skirt. In her hair, was a white satin bow.

    SHE LISTENED quietly. Alice heard the sound of the footprints being made in the snow. They came closer. Closer. Closer. Then silence. She held her breath. If it's Daddy, he better run, she said to herself.
    "Why should he run?" the person said. It was a man, but it wasn't her father. He would have hit her by now for not talking to the priest. He always beats Alice. Like he did her mother.
    Alice turned her head a quarter of the way and looked at the man through the corner of her eye. A long trench coat and a bright white smile. His black hair and blue eyes reminded her of her mother. She turned away and held Mr. Todd tight.

    JAMES WAS puzzled by the girls' reaction. She began to hum. As she slowly swung back and forth, James crouched down by her side. He noticed her neck. Red and bleeding. "What happened to your neck?"
    She said nothing for the first few moments. Then she spoke. "Daddy."
    "Daddy?" James repeated.
    She nodded.
    "Does he do that to you all the time?"
    She nodded.
    "Who is your Dad?" He was anxiously waiting to hear Derek Farnly's name. She hummed. Paying no mind to James' question, and apparently not going to.
    "What's your name?" she asked.
    "James" he smiled. "And yours?"
    She grabbed the doll she had. It was missing an eye. Covered in big patches and stitches. But the girl loved it. He could see that.
    "This is Mr. Sweeny Todd,” she said cheerfully. James face froze with a look of confusion. "He's my best friend." James knew something was wrong. Why didn't she want him to know her name? He wanted to know who her abuser was and put a stop to it.
    "Sweetheart, why won't you tell me your name?" he finally asked.
    "You're a stranger, that’s why" she went back to swinging. James smiled. He laughed softly as he pulled out his badge. He handed it to her.
    She took it and looked over it carefully. "It's pretty neat,” she said. She looked at the picture, then to James, then back again. "You're a cop?"
    "A detective" he smiled and took his badge back. "Can you tell me your name now?"
    She wrinkled her nose, shook her head and smiled. "I hardly know you. You're still a stranger to me." She held Mr. Sweeny Todd close and giggled. Her giggle echoed in his head. But it was gone as soon as it came.
    James laughed. He noticed someone in the distance by the church and saw Minister O’Hara talking. He didn't know with who, but he was sure it was Derek.
    "You know," James began. "You’re a very smart girl."
    "Why is that?" she asked.
    "Not telling a stranger you name. Very smart."
    She blushed softly.
    "Why are you here by yourself?"
    "Someone died. She was killed,” she mumbled.
    "Do you know how?"
    She stopped swinging. There was dead silence. She slowly looked at James. She smiled and giggled once.
    "Murdered". She started to swing again and hummed. Murdered? James thought. Could she mean Mrs. Farnly? James stood up. Laughter filled his mind. Child's laughter.
    "How? By who?"

    DEREK SHOOK. The shaking of his body didn't cease. "Please, calm down Mr. Farnly," Minister O’Hara pleaded.
    "But Alice, she--" Derek began to pace. Breathing heavily.
    "I know she saw your wife kill herself. All you can do is take her to therapy. She needs help."
    "Minister, you were the one who united me and Alicia. Alice wasn't even born yet. You have no idea what she's like."
    O’Hara stood silently. Thinking. "What do you want me to do?"
    "Take her." Derek whispered. He began biting his thumbnail. The laughter in his mind wouldn't go away. She knows... It wouldn't stop. She knows... "Take her in as your own, please."
    Minister O’Hara was about to answer. When he saw Father Joseph, he had a better thought.
    "Have Father Joseph take her. I’m sure he'd love Alice"
    "Don't think so," Derek stopped pacing. He looked at O’Hara. "He met Alice. He ran off praying."
    O’Hara’s eyes widened. "Is she that sort of child?" Derek shrugged and turned. He looked for Alice. She was on the swing by the old oak tree. Talking to someone. "She seems kind," O’Hara said. "The detective over there is--"
    "Detective? Detective Stabler?"
    "Why, yes, that's him."
    Derek became furious. Alice was talking to the detective. Surely giving out information about what she saw. She'll pay dearly for betraying her father.
    "What’s the matter?" O’Hara asked.
    "Alice. That’s my problem,” he growled. "I think it's time I took her home."
    "She's not coming with me?"
    "No, not yet" he mumbled. "I'll come back tomorrow. You can have her then."

    "PLEASE TELL me." James begged. "It's important." But the young girl wouldn't answer. She continued to swing. James gave up. He handed her his card and crouched beside her. "Okay," he laughed, "you win this round."
    "Yay!" she smiled.
    "Call me soon, okay?"
    She smiled brightly and blushed. She stopped swinging and looked at James. "You're my friend now."
    "Well, I'll need your name." he replied.
    Just as she was about to answer, they heard a car horn. A blue mustang convertible with the top up. The windows were tinted so James couldn't see inside. The car parked up by the church.
    "I have to go, James." She ran for the car.
    "But you never--"
    "Mr. Todd knows," she turned around and waved goodbye. "He'll tell you."
    James stood up and watched the young girl leave. What did she mean by Mr. Todd knows? How would a doll show him a murder? Or anything for that matter? He headed for his car. He looked around as he walked. Derek Farnly was gone.
    "s**t," James breathed. "Must have left while I was talking to the girl."
    Unless, James thought, the person driving the mustang was Derek. He got into his car and put the keys in the ignition. He started the car and something fell onto the floor. He reached down and grabbed it.
    It was Mr. Todd. But, how? The toy elephant had attached to his belly a note. James took it off. Setting Mr. Todd, on the passenger side he read the note. It read:

    Daddy did it

    "Her father?" James was confused. "Does she mean the murder?" If so, who was her father? And what was his motive? He folded the note and tucked it in his wallet.
    All of this started to confuse him. Was this little girl part of this case? Or a different one entirely? James mind wandered. He looked at the passenger side. The doll was gone! He searched the floor. Nothing. The backseat. Nothing.
    Am I going crazy? He began to drive. He couldn't get the girls' smile out of his mind. He turned on the radio and headed back to the police station.

    ALICE WAS thrown into her room. She turned and looked at her father. He looked afraid of her. He casually walked in her room and crouched to meet her face.
    "What did you say to him?" he demanded.
    She said nothing. He put his hands on her arms. He shook her violently.
    "What did you say!?" He stared into her eyes. Daddy is being mean to me. Alice thought. Does this mean I’m going to be punished again?
    Her father's face was full of rage. He still looked scared. Alice didn't want him to know about her new friend. He stood up and walked to her door.
    "You have five minutes, Alice,” he said. He turned and faced her. "Five minutes." He left and shut the door behind him.
    Now that Mommy's gone, Alice began to weep, Daddy can do whatever he wants to me. She sniffled. Whenever he wants.
    Alice went to her vanity. There was a picture of her mother there. She was so beautiful. She wanted to be just as pretty.
    She remembered what her mom said to her a long time ago. Her father was out late and missed dinner. Alice didn't care, but her mom did. She was crying. Alice went to go see her.
    "Mommy? Are you okay?" Alice whispered.
    "I'm fine, sweetheart." Alicia blew her nose. She was sitting at her own vanity. Alice came up and took her brush. She slowly began to brush her mothers' hair.
    "You're very pretty, Mommy."
    "Thank you, honey" she smiled brightly at Alice.
    Alice stopped brushing her hair. She sighed. "I wish I was as pretty as you." Alicia turned and stood up. She sat Alice down. Undid her pigtails and took out her bow.
    "You're not as pretty as me." Her mother said. She lifted her brush and brushed Alice's hair. "You're more beautiful then me." She kissed Alice on the cheek.
    Alice smiled and opened her mothers' music box. She listened to the soft music and watched the ballerina figure dance.
    Alice missed her mother so much. She was the only one who loved Alice. She opened her own music box. It was the same song, but a younger dancer. The song was Alice’s' favorite. She didn't know the name of it or if it even had one. She began to hum.
    "Well?" Alice looked up into the mirror and started through it, she saw her father. "Are you going to tell me now, Alice?"
    Alice said nothing and didn't move.
    "You know what this means don't you?"
    Alice nodded. "Yes, father." Punishment.
    Her father came into her room, shut the door and locked it. Alice got scared. What was he doing? He normally just beats on Alice. Why lock the door? So... Alice thought. So I can't run...
    She stood up. "Daddy, no!" He hit Alice with her toy bat she had in her room. She fell to the floor. She struggled to get up. The last thing she remembered was seeing her father taking her to her bed and undressing himself.
    Alice closed her eyes. She wouldn't wake up until tomorrow.

    JAMES TURNED into the parking lot of precinct 27, where he worked. The doll... was I imagining it? James couldn't understand how or what happened. He sat in his car. Thinking. I need to figure out who that girl is.
    James walked around his car. The doll. Where was it? Did it fall out of the car as he was driving? He didn't know. Then, at that moment, James remembered something. Derek had a child. A girl named Alice. The girl that priest was praying about! James knew that little girl he saw had to be Alice. But he had to make sure.
    It all fits, right? The little girl. Someone she knows is dead. Murdered. Alicia killed. Derek there. He's a very violent person, which explains the blood on Alice's neck. Alice is Derek's daughter. And that girl he met must mean that was Alice! But, why was the priest praying? He knows he wasn't praying for Alice. He was praying because of Alice. He was terrified of the child. But she seems so nice. Granted, she freaked James out, too. What child smiles when her mother is murdered?
    James headed inside the building. He pulled out his wallet and took out the note. Daddy did it. He could hear the child's voice inside his head. Like as if she said it herself. Daddy did it.
    A woman flashed across his mind. Alicia? That’s who it appeared to be from the case photo. Then he saw a room. A child's room. Toy's everywhere. On the shelf in child's blocks was the name Alice. He heard a scream. Was it Alicia? Alice? Who was it? James began to sweat.
    He saw a kitchen. Alicia. With a knife in her body. Dead on the floor. In a pool of dark red blood. Alice was standing next to her. She turned her head. "Daddy did it..." she whispered.
    "Stabler!" James turned around. Captain Dawty looked worried. "Are you alright?"
    James hesitated. What did he just see? Was it a vision? "Y-yeah..." he stuttered so badly he could barely understand himself.
    Dawty walked up to James with concern. "You look sick."
    Come to think of it, James was feeling a rush of nausea off and on since meeting Alice. Daddy did it. He could see Alice clearly in his mind. Standing over her mother in a pool of her blood. Daddy did it. No emotion on her face. It's like as if she had no soul. But that Alice at the playground was so sweet.
    "Maybe you should go home and rest." Dawty suggested.
    "No," James swallowed. "I'll take some Pepto Bismol and be alright."
    "Look at you. You look sick. You're sweating like crazy, and you're shaking like a leaf."
    He was. Badly. He knew it wasn't from the cold. He was hotter then hell. Laughter. It filled his mind. Alice's laughter. Not again, he thought.
    "What’s that in your hand?" Dawty pointed as his fist. James hand was clenched. Crinkling Alice's little note. James tried to relax. He had a hard time releasing his fist. He let go of the note and handed it to the Captain.
    "A little girl gave it to me. I'm guessing her father was the one who killed Alicia Farnly." James mind cleared of the voice in his head. He stood up straight and took a deep breath.
    "What makes you say that?" Dawty didn't understand. He flipped and turned the paper as if seeing nothing.
    "It says it right there, 'Daddy did it'." James was a little shocked. Couldn't he see it?
    Dawty held up the paper. "Its nothing, James. It's blank crinkled paper." James took the paper. Flipped it. Turned it. Scanned it. Nothing! It was blank! But, how? He saw it not too long ago.
    "Captain, I swear!" James stared at the paper in disbelief. "It was here, in pen! 'Daddy did it’!"
    Dawty didn't look at the paper. He patted James on the back. "Maybe you should go see a doctor."
    "No, I'm fine. I swear it." James eyes were wide. He was sweating and began to pace. What's going on?
    "Okay, who do you think is the father?" Dawty headed to their main computer. It had all the criminal information on anybody with a criminal record. Anything and everything they needed to know on any criminal.
    "I think her father is Derek Farnly, sir." James sat down at his desk and stared at the main computers' monitor. Dawty punched in Derek's name. The screen lit up. There was a list of the Farnly family. Captain Dawty selected Derek's name. On the screen came Derek's face and all the crime he committed.
    "That’s him," James growled. "Derek Stan Farnly."
    "Arrested on charges for sexual assault, assault and battery, and countless attempts of murder." Captain Dawty took a deep slow breath. "He walks for all of them."
    James breathed out aggressively. "I know. Never been in jail once."
    Dawty looked at the list of all the attempt of murders Derek had. "So many people..." The list counted 28. Dawty began to read them aloud. "Alegra Cole, Danny Deveto, Stacy Martinez, Chris Parker, Eric Moore, Andrea Dennison, Je--" Dawty stopped. Horror on his face at the name he almost read. He looked at James.
    James closed his eyes and waited. Waited to hear the name he wished he'd never hear again. His son's name.
    "Jem Stabler..." Dawty whispered. James held his hands together. Bringing his fists to his chin. Rocking gently back and forth in agony. "He attacked your son?"
    "He did..." James breathed out heavily. He remembers what happened. Though, he wishes he could forget. But how could he?
    Jem was his only child. And Jems' mother, Candice, was the love of his life. Jem went to school like every other kid. Candice worked at a hotel as a maid. James just started working at precinct 27. They were happy together. A loving family. James always had to pick up Jem from school. Which Jem always loved.
    Jem came out of the school building as his dad waited for him. All the kids thought it was cool Jem gets to ride in a cop car everyday.
    "Thanks Dad!" Jem shouted as he got into the car. He threw his backpack into the backseat.
    "Thanks for what exactly?" James laughed.
    "I'm so popular! All the kids know my Dad is a cop. That makes me cool! All the girls talked to me today."
    James smiled. Jem was only seven and getting the girls already. His curly blonde hair glowed in the sun. Jem smiled. "Hey Dad, there is a father and son picnic next week. Promise you'll go with me?"
    "Sure! I'd love to--"
    James police radio called for his car. Requesting backup. "Oh, no. Jem, I think I better take you home."
    "Aww, dad. Let me go, please?"
    Before James could argue, he saw the cop car drive by with his lights on. James made a huge U-turn and followed. "Jem, you can come just this once."
    Jem smiled. He was happy he was with his Dad. James put his lights on. Him and the other police were in pursuit of a red vehicle.
    James reached for the police scanner. "Car 348, reason for pursuit of red vehicle?"
    The driver responded. "Failed to stop at red light and fled when confronted."
    So, it’s not serious. James thought. Jem is safe. He looked over at Jem who was bouncing in his seat with excitement. Eventually, the car pulled over. But the driver came out with a gun and began to shoot at the other cop's tires. He's armed! James wanted to take Jem home. But the prep was going to get away. He obviously had something to hide.
    James stayed in the drivers seat and followed the man as he ran. "Jem, get down and stay down!" Jem crawled on the floor and stayed there.
    "This is so cool!" Jem's smile was huge. The man kept running. Eventually, out of breath. He stopped running. James got out and pulled put his gun.
    "Hands in the air!" James aimed the gun at the perp. "Drop your gun and put your hands in the air!"
    The man smiled. He turned and looked at James cop car. James couldn't help but look too. Jem was watching. He sat straight up on the passenger side. James became worried. The man raised his gun to Jem.
    "Don't move!" James shouted. His eyes were stinging. He could feel the tears. He's never been so terrified. He kept the gun aimed at the man.
    "Officer! Drop your gun or I shoot the kid!" The man laughed.
    James didn't know what to do. He slowly lowered the gun. Once James let it go, the man started shooting. James looked at the car. Jem was nowhere in sight. Blood was splattered in the inside. The man ran. James picked up his gun and took one good shot and got the man in the leg.
    The man was taken into custody, but James went with the ambulance that had Jem in it. He was alive, but barely. A bullet in the shoulder, chest and stomach.
    At the hospital, Candice came. Jem was covered in bandages. Candice fell to her knees. She patted he son's head and whispered, "Who did this?"
    Jem looked at his father. He could barely speak. "Dad....". That’s all he could say.
    Candice looked at James. "Candice, I can explain."
    "You took him with you?!" She was furious. "What were you thinking?"
    "I wasn't."
    "That’s right, you weren't." She cried. She kissed Jem on the forehead. "My baby. My poor baby."
    "Candice, I..." What could he say? His son has just been shot and its all his fault. He should have just taken him home.
    Candice stood up. "James, I'll come by tonight for mine and Jem's things."
    "No... you... can't...." he began to cry.
    "I'm sorry, I can't do this anymore. You care more about work then your own family."
    "Candice, please. Don't do this. You can't take him from me."
    She looked over at Jem. "Obviously you can take him from the both of us."
    James said nothing. Candice walked out of the room. That's when he last saw her. And that was the last time he saw his son.
    "Hey, James?" Someone was shaking him. He lifted his head off his hand. He yawned. Had he fallen asleep? "Are you okay?"
    James looked at the cop that woke him. "Yeah, just fell asleep."
    "You've slept for seven hours straight! You weren't moving at all. Everyone started to think of calling an ambulance or something. Thought you were dying."
    "Nah, just had a lot on my mind is all. Not much for sleep the last few days, either."
    The cop stared at James. "There's blood on your forehead."
    James felt his head. His hand was covered in blood. He went into the bathroom. He got paper towels and cleaned his forehead. He looked into the mirror. Nothing. Not a scratch. He shook his head and washed his bloody hand. What the hell is going on? His hand stung as the water splashed against it. He dried his hand.
    The blood was coming from his hand. He wrapped a towel around it. How'd he cut his hand? In his sleep? He didn't know. But right now, he didn't care. All he could think about was Alice. Right then, his cell phone vibrated.
    Only three times the phone went off. The screen said "1 Missed Call". Just as James was about to put it away, the phone beeped. The screen displayed "1 New Voice Mail".
    James opened his phone and called his voice box. He put the phone to his ear. The towel around his other hand fell off. The bleeding had stopped. He looked at his hand. It was paper cuts. From the paper earlier. But they spelt something...


    James felt his heart stop for a few moments. It disappeared from the paper... and appeared on my hand...
    The voice mail came on. "One new message. Received at 3:16 AM." 3:16? He listened carefully to the message. All he could hear, was the melody of a music box.