The Ringer

Vote by January 26, 2014!

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In the previous episode, readers voted that it was her sister’s ring.

Episode 9

Clark either didn’t hear her or he was choosing to ignore her, so Scarlett repeated herself, a little louder this time.

Why, do you have her ring?”

Clark’s head whipped up this time, his face contorted into a mix of his prior frustration over dropping the box and his new-found confusion over her question.

“What? Who . . . whose ring?” He responded.

“Kayla’s! Why do you have Kayla’s ring!” Scarlett screamed, hysterical now that he still hasn’t answered her question.

“Wha- , Kayla? How do you know -“

“She’s my sister! Why do you have my sister’s ring!? What did you do to her!?” Scarlett screamed, writhing in an attempt to get free and crying over the realization that her father must have been right.

The blood drained from Clark’s face and he stopped picking up rings, proceeding to drop them onto the floor again as he hitched back on his hind-side, covering his mouth with his hands.

Scarlett continued demanding to know what he did to her but Clark just stayed still, staring at the ring he’d kept after winning over Kayla. He moved his hands to cover his entire face and began softly saying “no . . . no . . . no . . .“ over and over again. Scarlett finally stopped trying to free herself from the ties and now hung her head limp, exhausted, now begging softly for him to tell her what he did to Kayla.

“Kayla . . . she’s . . . she was your sister . . .?” Clark finally said, praying to get an answer different from the one he’d already gotten.

Scarlett didn’t say anything, just nodded her hanging head up and down slowly.

Clark continued to sit on the floor, looking up at the ceiling and trying desperately to determine his next move. He felt defeated. He’d started feeling worn down with the process of winning over married women a long time ago, but the thrill of the win, and the kill, always kept him motivated to move on to the next one. Now, watching a woman he couldn’t even describe his feelings for cry and the realization he was the cause of her pain, it didn’t make him feel better this time. He decided he had no choice but to let her go, let her run to the police, and wait for them to knock down his door. It’s over. He officially lost, and no number of previous “wins” could ease the pain of his losing any chance at her so much as forgiving him. He may as well go to jail where at least he won’t have to maintain a fake life anymore, and hope his apprehension brings some peace to Scarlett.

He stood up, walked slowly over to her, and cut her bonds loose.

She took advantage of this momentary chance to run by shoving him backwards and bolting up the stairs. She wasn’t going to chance him changing his mind and trying to keep her again. Clark went after her, hoping simply to explain his intent. He saw her at the top of the stairs frantically looking both directions and trying to figure out which way the front of the house was, and then she darted towards what ended up being the back of the house. Clark continued to follow. Realizing she was headed towards the back door, he yelled after her, “Scarlett, no! The woods are –“. She threw a chair backwards, successfully hitting him in the stomach and causing him to stumble.

Next thing she knew, Scarlett was through the back door, cursing herself for choosing the wrong direction but not letting it stop her running. She ran straight for the tree line. She remembered spending a lot of time in the woods growing up and decided it was worth the risk if she could just get enough ahead of Clark to lose him in the darkness and hide. What happens to Scarlett in the woods? Please return to the top of the episode to vote on what happens next!

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