The sun has hardly risen in the Massachusetts sky, but the town of Coventry is already abuzz with activity. The Captain of the Coventry Police Department, Norman Holder, has assembled a small task force to apprehend the murderer of Sal Aldrich and Fiodora Valeska. It took detectives far longer than he liked, but he had finally obtained proof that Folly Valeska, the daughter of the second victim, was responsible for all of the acts. His unit was tasked with bringing the suspect in, and a press conference had already been scheduled.
That was at six hundred hours. By nine hundred hours, when the press' flash photography was practically blinding Captain Holder, Folly Valeska had not been apprehended. The task force returned empty handed, with the girl's father, Boris, proving to be no help at all. Grieving widow and whatnot. It was understandable. But with his hands curled into fists, the broad shouldered man faced an onslaught of press questions.
"At six hundred hours, an arrest warrant was issued for Folly Rozalia Valeska," Captain Holder announced gruffly, momentarily quieting the barrage of questions. "At this moment, the suspect is at large, and is to be considered armed and dangerous. Do not approach the suspect if spotted. Instead, call the police hotline immediately. Rest assured, Valeska will be brought to justice, so help me God."
His eyes fell not on the reporters, but a solitary figure in the back. With pale skin and hair like a corpse, Captain Holder recognized Andromeda Aldrich instantly. The last of kin for Sal Aldrich. He had phoned her earlier that morning with good news--and now, the news he had was nothing but bad. If he was to be honest with himself, the longer it took them to find Valeska, the lower the chances were that they ever would. Carnies were like that. They were one with the wind. And Valeska was an acrobat, a tiny thing who flew on the trapeze. She could be in the trees, moving through the woods, for all he knew.
"A curfew will be implemented," Captain Holder added. "Police will be doing door to door searches beginning at eighteen hundred hours. Please be advised that we are taking this very seriously." His eyes flickered back to the back, searching for the familiar white hair. But Andromeda was no longer there.
"Damn it," Captain Holder muttered under his breath. But the reporter questions began to bombard him again. There was no time to go after the young woman.
Back at the hotel, things are more or less normal. Andromeda returns to the front desk while the press conference is still airing, looking a little worse for wear. She has a pile of photographs with her, and she sorts through them, with apparently no rhyme or reason to it. A child can be seen running up the stairs, vanishing curiously after the fourth floor. Anything beyond the fourth floor is closed to customers--the Aldrich family lives on the fifth.
As to whether you are at the hotel this morning, that is up to you. Perhaps you slept in. Maybe you watched the conference. Or you were there in person, listening to Captain Holder debrief the public on the latest exploits. Regardless of where you are, you may feel an eastern wind tickling your skin, and notice a heightened sense of paranoia. For a town that makes its living off of fear, the thought of a serial killer loose in its midst still carries plenty of shock value.
Oh, and my dears? There's a clue hidden in plain sight. Good luck and welcome to Coventry.