They fall out of the box one after the other, covering the space around my feet. There are about a hundred of them; small polaroid snaps spread out all over the floor glaring up at my mortified self. My knees give way and I crumple to the floor, whimpering in disbelief. I pick a few to confirm my suspicions and sure enough, they’re just what I thought they were. Pallid, stone hard faces stare back at me through lifeless eyes accusingly. Some of them have slit throats, some have been garrotted while others have been ruthlessly stabbed to their painful deaths. My heart stops for a moment as I recognize someone from the Collage of Death on my floor. It’s Ricky, my boyfriend back from the tenth grade. We’d gone out for a while before breaking it off mostly because of his orthodox Christian parents. His sudden disappearance was a case left unresolved… till now.
This couldn’t be related to my parents in any way, could it? I sit there staring at the photographs blankly, trying to make sense of it all. This had to be a mistake… someone was playing a very cruel prank.
I remember the fat white envelope that came with the box and with shaky hands, begin to tear it open. It’s a letter, and I recognize the handwriting instantaneously as my father’s. I shut my eyes for a couple of moments and take deep breaths in preparation, for I know I’m going to read something disturbing, something life altering. With a heavy sigh, I open my eyes and begin.