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50

N ightingale ran down the hall, his heart pounding. Jenny was standing in the bedroom, looking through into the bathroom, her hands either side of her face.

What is it? asked Nightingale.

Jenny took a step back and pointed at the bathroom with her right hand. The colour had drained from her face and her eyes were wide and staring.

Nightingale put his arm around her. He could feel her trembling. Jenny?

She opened her mouth but no words came out. Nightingale reached forward with his left hand and gently pushed the bathroom door.

Mrs Monkton was on her knees by the bath. Her head was underwater, her blonde hair floating on the surface, rippling in the waves caused by the two rivers of water pouring from the taps. The water had turned red but Nightingale couldnt see where the blood was coming from. He guided Jenny over to the bed and sat her down. She stared at him with unseeing eyes.

Nightingale went back to the bathroom. The red water was edging up to the top of the bath and he moved to turn off the taps, but froze as he saw the body sitting on the toilet.

It was Mr Monkton, some forty years older than in the wedding photograph on the mantelpiece and a great deal deader. There was a gaping wound in his throat and a curtain of blood that glistened wetly across the green pullover that he was wearing. His right hand dangled at his side and below it on the tiled floor was a carving knife, the blade smeared with blood.

Jack? said Jenny from the bedroom.

Its okay, stay where you are, he said.

He turned off the taps just as water cascaded over the edge of the bath and pooled on the floor. As he straightened up he looked into the shower cubicle. Across the side of the cubicle, written in bloody capital letters, were eight words:


| Midnight | JACK NIGHTINGALE.