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Just Before Dawn (standard:mystery, 15155 words)
Author: Sarah SpenserAdded: Feb 14 2005Views/Reads: 2145/1407Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Crime reporter Allison Shure uncovers the trail of a serial killer two decades in the making. Allison unwittingly becomes his next target. Can she survive this deadly game?

1.	Just Before Dawn 

2.	1. On the Beat 

The alarm rang at a deafening volume, Allison opened her eyes sleepily
and glanced at the clock. She squinted to read it through the blinding 
sunlight that was pouring in her window. The sun warmed and illuminated 
everything in its path, and reminded her of candles on a birthday cake. 
Even the corners of her tiny room were streaked with brilliant light. 
It was 6 O'clock and she knew she had to get up and start the day. She 
had never been a morning person, so she just laid in bed for a few more 
minutes, before drifting off to sleep again. She woke up several 
minutes later in a panic thinking she was late for work. Reluctantly 
Allison sat up and searched for her slippers. Finding them lying beside 
the bed, she reached for her robe and tied the belt  around her waist. 

The floor creaked under her feet as she made her way slowly down the
hall to the kitchen. The apartment was small, one bedroom, one bath, a 
modest living room, and a small kitchen. But it was all she could 
afford. Allison lived in Connecticut's lower district. Although 
Fallwood was a pretty town, it had its share of crime and run down 
buildings. The apartment building was back a few yards, set off to the 
side near some overgrown shrubs the locals called “The woods”. As she 
walked into the kitchen, Allison caught sight of a picture of her 
mother she kept on the counter.  Tears came to her eyes as she 
remembered her. Allison looked somewhat like her, dark brown hair, 
piercing blue eyes that seemed to see right into your soul and an 
awesome figure. As she poured herself a cup of coffee, she remembered 
her mother's reaction when she had first seen the apartment. 

Her mother had been appalled that Allison wanted to live there and was
staunchly against it. Connecticut's lower district wasn't permeated by 
crime, but it wasn't immune to it either. They had argued about it for 
days, until her mother finally gave up in defeat and stormed out the 
door. While she was driving home, Marie Shure was flagged down by a 
motorist. He asked her if she had a cell phone, Marie always wanting to 
help someone in need reached in her purse. As she was retrieving it, 
the man explained that he was having car trouble and just needed it to 
call a family friend. 

The man took it grateful for her kindness and dialed his friend, who he
claimed was a mechanic.  Marie was about to drive away when the man 
turned on her and pulled out a gun. He told her to get into the 
passenger seat, she reluctantly obeyed and watched as the man drove 
along the street to the deserted area known as “The Woods”. He pulled 
over and got out of the car, she knew he was either going to rape her 
or kill her. Marie saw her opportunity, and grabbed her cell phone 
which was lying on the dashboard. Her heart was pounding and she shook 
with fear, but she quickly dialed 911. The man was infuriated and 
reached for his gun, he pointed the gun and fired. She was killed 
instantly by a single gunshot wound. After that horrific day, Allison 
vowed to bring her mother's killer to justice. Her father, Jack was 
broken hearted as was Allison. It was a struggle to go on every day, 
but somehow they both managed. Allison was her father's stabilizing 
force, as they both comforted each other through the traumatizing 

Several months later, Allison graduated from college with a degree in
journalism.  She told her father on graduation day that she would be a 
crime reporter and help families find peace and closure. He applauded 
her efforts and Allison was soon picked up by WFTR a local news 
station. The crime rate had been drastically reduced, due to the hiring 
of a new police chief, so there wasn't much crime in Fallwood. So 
Allison settled into a comfortable slot as a news reporter and covered 
crimes when they happened. 

Allison was flooded with memories of her mother as she set her coffee
cup on the counter and went to start the shower, while it was warming 
up, she fed her rose breasted cockatoo, Scarlet. He was beautiful with 
silky feathers, colors of the rainbow, and a massive beak. Even though 
his beak could do serious damage, Allison knew he would never hurt her. 
He was gray, pink and white, and reminded her of a magnificent rainbow. 
He had the most beautiful black eyes she had ever seen, and bounced on 
his dish when he saw her. As usual, Scarlet leapt on to her hand and 
kissed her nose. “Hi, Scarlet, how are you this morning?” he bounced 

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