For the first 4 chapters of the Amanda Newton story, click here.
Where are you from, sweetheart?
Amanda abruptly twisted her head to face the motel’s receptionist after staring aimlessly at the half eaten nut jar on the concierge counter.
Um… Amanda uttered in discomfort and confusion, she suddenly became mute and didn’t know how to respond. She felt a panic sweep over her body like a violent tsunami…fuck…she shouted in her mind…my cover is blown.
The receptionist looked at Amanda and gave her a warm smile. I get it sweetheart, I really do. We get a lot of gals like you around here, desperately running away from ‘dem wife-beating sons of a bitches.
Amanda breathed in relief. The receptionist thought that she was a domestic abuse victim. This was not the cover story Amanda had planned to recount during the inevitable ‘why are you here and where are you from?’ question. Amanda was planning on saying that she was from Seattle, and was on a cross-country spiritual ‘find yourself’ quest as she was sick of living her everyday monotone life where she crouched over a desk entering numbers into ExCeL. She would tell people that she read the popular book Wild, albeit she had only watched the Reese Whiterspoon film adaptation, and it inspired her to reconnect with nature and appreciate the simple things in life. Eventually, she would tell her Wisconsin Dell friends that she had grown to love this place and that she didn’t need anymore soul searching, she would convince people that Wisconsin Dells was her new home. She would then get a job at the infamous waterpark as a manager, and everyday she would slowly let go of that night. She would never bring up that nightto anyone, not even her future husband, whom she imagined she’d meet as manager of the waterpark. He would be a simple Midwestern man Amanda would grow to appreciate overtime, and they would even have kids together. Even though he would never fulfill her, the future husband and children would be a sufficient distraction from the memories Amanda would have from that night.This was Amanda’s new fantasy.
You don’t have to worry, sweetheart. The receptionist perched over the desk to hold Amanda’s hand. He ain’t going to find you here, they never do. My name is Jo, sweetheart, tell me what your name is?
Amanda intertwined her fingers between Jo’s, she instantly trusted her. She had empathy for Amanda, an emotion she so desperately craved and had never received from anyone, not even her parents. Jo had gray curly hair, and was a woman who she assumed was in her 40s but looked much older. She had two front silver tooth fillings, and was wearing what looked like a nightgown despite working on the front desk. It was clear to Amanda that this woman was the only one who worked there: the owner and runner of everything. For a change, Amanda didn’t have anything negative to say about this woman. She analyzed Jo but she felt safe in her presence. The domestic abuse plotline wasn’t what Amanda had planned, but one she welcomed as a light bulb clicked in her head that it would be a convincing enough cover story where people would respect that they shouldn’t ask too many questions. A new fantasy started forming in Amanda’s mind…
Cindy. Amanda responded confidently. Cindy Adams. And I really rather not talk about it.
Cindy Adams. Amanda thought hopefully. Cindy Adams, the domestic abuse survivor and runaway who found love again in Wisconsin Dells and started her own family. Cindy Adams, the woman everyone felt sorry for but admired for leaving that scumbag excuse of a human being.
I’ll pay for a month upfront. Amanda took out a wand of cash from her fanny pack that added up to $500.
At just over $16 a night, money wasn’t going to be an issue for Amanda, especially considering she was 18 and her trust fund had kicked in.
You did what you had to do, sweetie, I understand. Jo responded to Amanda and gave her a wink as she practically drooled staring at the $100 bills. Amanda begun noticing the same emotion everyone else had for her: envy.
Amanda imagined that Jo must have thought she killed this faux abusing husband and stole his money, or robbed a liquor store. Whatever she believed, it didn’t matter, because she happily took the money and showed Amanda to her room.
The lights flickering in the hallway, and not another soul in sight, Jo opened the door to Amanda’s new home.
Whatever you need, Cindy, just come by the cottage across the road and I’ll be there if I’m not at the desk. Jo rubbed Amanda’s shoulder before walking away.
Amanda locked herself in the room and collapsed in the bed. She couldn’t fight off sleeping any longer.
She closed her eyes, and just like that, the image of his face gasping for his last breath came rushing back to her….
Amanda abruptly turned the shower knob off before the remainder of her victim’s blood could be washed away.
It can’t be real. WAKE UP! WAKE UP! WAKE UP! Amanda shrieked internally, she could feel her eyes swelling up with tears again. Before she could begin balling her eyes out again, a wave of overwhelming nausea rushed through Amanda’s chest. She ran out of the shower whilst the remaining blood dripped onto the bathroom carpet, and violently vomited clear liquid into the toilet bowl.
The event from that nighthad only taken place 12 hours ago, and Amanda was nowhere near mentally prepared to accept that fact that she had committed murder.
Knock Knock.Amanda could faintly hear her mom calling her name from outside her bedroom door. She quickly put her robe on and wiped the bloodstains on her bathroom floor with a hand towel. Another item to add to the bin bag,Amanda nervously started thinking about the evidence she would need to get rid of.
She rushed to her bedroom door to open it to her mother: I can’t do brunch today mom, I’ve caught a severe flu bug you’ll have to get on with it without me today.
Before Amanda could slam the door, her mother snatched her hand and started at in utter disappointment. Amanda was horrified when she saw the wet blood covering the palm of her hand.
You’re kidding me, right? Amanda’s mother responded with annoyance. This again? If you’re going to start cutting yourself at least be discreet about it. Oh, what am I thinking though, discreet isn’t your thing, is it? Listen to me you spoiled brat, I’m not going to pay for another stint in rehab just for you to end up here again. If you want us to start paying attention to you, why don’t you start by showing up to brunch? Nana Rose is here for the weekend so stop thinking about yourself for once, will you?
Amanda’s mom walked away before she could respond.
Amanda knew they were going to find the body soon, in fact she realized that by that point, they probably already had. She imagined the phone would ring with the news about Professor Dorfman’s violent death at any second, and she begun to rehearse her reaction to the ‘shocking news’.