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Cascade Hills 03: Take a chill pill, prima donna

Cascade Hills

-Cascade Hill Hospital Morgue-

The sound of Olivia’s boots echoed down the sterile white hallway as she walked toward the morgue. A small paper bag and steaming coffee cup in hand. She pushed the doors open and stepped inside, a man around her age was hunched over the body of a young girl. The man turned at hearing her enter and smiled.

“Olivia, good morning.” He greeted her, his voice a deep rumble.

Wade Mckenzie, Alex’s father and one of the lead doctors at Cascade Hill Hospital. Dark brown with dark brown eyes. Wade is a patient and extremely dedicated man, these qualities helped him excel as a surgeon. Olivia and he have been friends ever since their kids met.

“I come bearing gifts.” Olivia said with a smile, holding up the bag and coffee cup.

A wide smile appeared on his face as he took the two from her when she arrived at his side.

“You’re truly a saint Olivia.” Wade said as he took a sip of the coffee.

“You’re welcome, Wade.” Olivia said while chuckling.

She then turned her attention to the body in front of them. It was definitely a young woman however her body was ripped up quite violently. Her stomach had long and deep gashes running down until her thighs, chest, and neck were also scared.

“So what do you have for me?” Olivia asked as she scanned over the wounds.

“Well, that depends on what you want. Do you want the not-really-good news or the actually-really-bad news?” Wade said as he took a bite of his bagel, giving her a side glance.

“Judging by my choices, neither isn’t going to make me jump for joy so let’s start off with the bad news.” Olivia said with a sigh, crossing her arm over her chest.

“Well, for starters we still have no idea what is causing these wounds. Nothing comes back from the scans and these claws were not made by anything in our forest.” Wade states as he points to the scars.

“And the good news?” Olivia asked, looking at him.

“We found out what happened to the liver…” Wade said with a grimace.

“I’m guessing by that, I’m definitely not going to like what I hear.” Olivia said with a deep sigh.

“Whatever did this is eating the internal organs.” Wade said.

“And that’s good news?” Olivia said, give him a look.

Wade merely shrugged his shoulders.

“This is the third victim this month and we’re no closer to finding out what’s the hell is going on.” Olivia murmured darkly.

“I’ll keep looking, I’ll call you if I find anything.” Wade said.

Olivia nodded before turning and started to walk towards the morgue doors.

“Olivia, don’t worry. We will find who or whatever did this.” Wade calls out to her.

She turns, gives him a smile, and nods then walks out. Wade turns back to the body before him and just sighs deeply.


Cascade Hills High, Auditorium

1:50 p.m.


Katherine let out a sigh as she stretched out a bit. Alex and Kristen are seated near her, both working rather diligently.

“Ugh, I can’t wait until this is done.” Katherine said as she went back to the lamp she was working on.

“Well considering how many people turned up today, we might not even need the rest of the week.” Kristen said as she looked around.

The auditorium wasn’t packed by any means but there were at least 15 to 20 students present all working attentively on their given tasks.

“Didn’t know so many people actually cared about this stupid dance…” Katherine said.

“Well believe me or not, Kat. Some people actually go to the dance to have fun.” Alex joked.

“Wait, you mean it’s not just some shallow popularity contest then?” Katherine said with mocked shock.

“Well, yes but it’s not just that. I went the last year, it’s not that bad.” Kristen answered placing a finished paper lamp down.

Katherine wrinkles her nose at the idea.

“It would be a cold day in hell before Katherine would go to a school dance Kris, you know that.” Alex said with a snort.

And with that said they continued to work, however after about ten minutes Kristen perks up. An idea clearly brewing in her mind.

“Actually that’s a great idea! Why don’t Alex, you, and I go together this year? It will be fun!” Kristen suggests looking between her two friends with excitement.

“Wait, what?!” Alex says, surprise clearly written on his face at Kristen, not only agreeing but also asking Katherine.

“Oh ho, No way.” Katherine quickly replied shaking her head at the positively eager looks on her two friend’s faces.

Kristen just shakes her head at him and turns to Katherine with a pleading look.

“Please Kat?”

“You know I work Fridays, Kris. You know that!” Katherine rebutted.

“Oh come on! Ms. Huges actually likes you and that’s is something considering how she is towards other people. I’m sure she’ll let you take one day off.” Alex begs.


“Kat, please! Come on just this once! If she says no, then we’ll forget all about it okay?” Kristen bargains.

“Kris, not you too!”

As if to seal the deal Kristen looks at Katherine with her own brand of puppy dog eyes, her eyes looking as if she is about to cry.

“Arg, both of you are really just evil with that.” Katherine says throwing her hand up in defeat, glaring at both Alex and Kristen.

Alex smirks while Kristen gives a small victory cheer.

“Now can we please get back to work? I’d like to get more stuff done if I’m actually going to be participating in this dance.” Katherine said motioning to the pile of flattened paper lamps they had yet to put together.

“Yes ma’am.” Kristen says, give Katherine a salute before going back to work.

Katherine just laughs to herself as she finishes another lamp. The three resumed their work and within the next two hours had finished putting together and decorating every lamp. With their work done, the three were free to leave.

“Onwards to Serene’s!” Kristen yells, pumping her fist into the air.

With that said the three got into Alex’s car and drive off. It only took a few minutes to arrive at Serene’s, a very popular café in Cascade Hills. It’s particularly popular with young adults and teenagers. The three teens walk in and as normal for a Saturday afternoon, the place was quickly filling with people.

“Looks like we just made it in time.” Kristen stated as she grabs the attention of a waiter.

After they are seated, a man walks up to their table.

“Why am I not surprised to see you three here?” The man says with a kind smile.

“Hey Wilson, how are you?” Kristen greeted the man kindly.

Katherine and Alex both gave the man a friendly smile and waved as well.

“Business is good, so I’m fine.” Wilson said with a laugh.

Wilson Sheppard is the young owner of Serene. He moved to Cascade Hills a few years back with his adopted daughter and opened up Serene. He’s very outgoing and has quite the talent for making people relax which is one of the main reasons Serene is so popular.

“So what shall I start you guys off with or is it straight to the ice cream?” Wilson asked with a raised eyebrow.

“Actually-. " Kristen started, however, was cut off by Alex’s hand being placed on her mouth.

No, we’ll have what we usually do.” Katherine answered quickly.

“Alright, be back in a bit.” Wilson said with a chuckle as he scribbled something down and walked off.

Kristen glared at both Alex and Katherine as Alex withdrew his hand.

“Why do you guys never let me have fun?” She whines.

“Because we don’t want you dying of sugar overload that’s why.” Katherine answered with a pointed look.

Kristen just rolled her eyes.

“Anyway, I’ve been meaning to talk to you guys about something.” Katherine trails off a bit, her eyes clouding a bit in thought.

Alex and Kristen looked at her with confused looks.

“About?” Alex questions.

“Yesterday at my job, Nathan came by with this guy.”

“Weird, did you know who he was?” Alex asked

“No, I didn’t recognize the other guy. He had a few years older than us maybe?” Katherine says with a laugh.

Kristen seemed to straighten up at that, a serious look on her face.

“Did he have black hair and brown eyes? Muscular?” Kristen asks.

“Um yeah… how did you know?” Katherine asks giving her friend a confused look.

“Oh, that’s probably Eric Shaw.” Alex suddenly answered.

Katherine and Kristen looked at him, both equally confused at how he knew.

“I remember what happened that day..” Alex said with a shrug.

“Yeah, but I just wasn’t expecting you to know his name.” Kristen said.

“Yeah, well I research.” Alex responds a bit defensively.

“I’m sorry guys, but what happened?” Katherine asked looking between her two friends.

Both Alex and Kristen look at Katherine before back to each other. The overall mood taking a bit of a dive.

“This was a few years before you arrived in town and to be completely honest, no one really likes to talk about it. It was during storm season and Cascade Hill’s is known to get some pretty bad ones every so often. But this storm was… more than just bad.” Kristen said.

“The storm lasted about 2 days almost stretching into a third. And it was crazy, like the end of the world kind of crazy. It started off as a small rainstorm but within an hour, it was a full-on storm. Lightning crashing, raining cats and dogs.” Alex continued.

“And to make matters worst, that lightning caused a lot of fires. That’s why a lot of the new developments got pushed so far back. It was bad. I… lost my mother that day and Eric Shaw, lost both of his parents.”

“Oh god Kris, I’m so sorry!” Katherine says, placing a hand over Kristen’s.

Kristen shook her head and smile.

“It’s fine. So afterward Eric just left town, probably in grief or whatever. I’m guessing he’s back now and living with his aunt.” Kristen said.

Before Katherine could ask anymore Wilson had returned with their orders. After setting them down and making sure they were all set he walks off to another table.

“So what they asked for?” Kristen asked as she took a bit out of her food.

“A bottle, it had some weird green liquid in it,” Katherine says. “And the even stranger part is she didn’t ask for any payment or anything, which I guess isn’t actually that strange since she does that on very rare occasions.”

“I still say she’s a witch.” Alex injected with a grunt.

Kristen suddenly started choking, Katherine quickly turned to her and patted her on the back.

“You okay Kris?” She asked with a small giggle.

“Oh yeah, laugh at the choking girl.” Kristen says with a little difficulty, a small laugh breaking its way from her lips.

“Sorry!” Katherine says, giggles still tumbling out.

“So why do you think she’s a witch, Alex?” Kristen asked as she looks over at him, an amused look on her face.

“Oh god, here we go again.” Katherine groans out, rolling her eyes as she turns back to her food.

“Well, first of all, she lives so damn far from the general town area. I mean seriously, it puts an extreme hurting on my gas.” Alex lists off.

“Uh huh, and?” Kristen urged on, her smile threatening to crack her face at how large it was growing.

“And she got that weird crap in her store. Like medieval knives and other creepy potential-serial-killer items. I mean rarely does she even get customers. Do they what, pay her in diamonds or something?” Alex rattles on.

Kristen couldn’t hold back her laughter at that while Katherine shook her head, chuckling under her breath.

“I’m serious Kris!” Alex says angrily with a pout.

“I-I’m so-sorry. Whew, okay okay. I’m fine now, go on.” Kristen said even though she still had a wide smile on her face.

“And lastly, she really seemed to get some kind of pleasure in confusing the hell out of people. Anyone who has a proverb or saying for every kind of situation isn’t normal.” Alex mumbled, still glaring at Kristen.

“First of all, Alex I think that’s mostly reserved for you considering how angry you get and secondly, I really don’t think you have any right to be talking about being socially graceful. Half of the time you have no mouth-to-brain filter and just say whatever pops up into your head.” Katherine says with a smirk.

“What? No, I don’t!” Alex says throwing Katherine a slightly offended look.

“Oh really? How about that time in 6th grade when you congratulated Ms. Summers on being pregnant.” Katherine says giving him a pointed look.

“What about it?” Alex said, looking extremely confused.

“She wasn’t pregnant, idiot.” Katherine says with a deadpan look.

“Oh yeah, I came in late that day. Well at least you learned a valuable lesson Alex, never assume a woman’s pregnant unless they tell you. Trust me, it will save you from making someone cry.” Kristen pips in with an amused smile.

“It was an honest mistake and I was 11!” Alex defended himself.

“Well, what about the time when you basically called Jeremy Newton an idiot.” Kristen says.

“But he is an idiot.” Alex points out.

“Yes, however, he was a 6 foot 1, 11th grader to your 5 foot 4, 9th grader self.” Kristen adds.

“So I should have just let him push me around however he wanted?” Alex shot back.

“Alex, he merely bumped shoulders with you a few times. And it would have probably saved you from being punched in the face.” Katherine says with a shrug.

“You’re an honest guy Alex, brutally honest to completely truthful and that doesn’t quite work out with certain people. One of these days, your mouth is going to get you into major trouble.” Kristen says as she finishes off her food.

“Yeah yeah, I hear ya.” Alex says in a dismissive tone.

The three soon finished the dinner and each ordered their choice of ice cream. Something familiar catches the corner of Katherine’s eye and she moves her head to get a better look.

“Hey, isn’t that Claire?” Katherine says motioning to a small group of people that just entered.

Claire was together with Rose and Nathan. Rose was talking animatedly with Claire who nodded here and there while Nathan stood nearby like a loyal watchdog.

“Oh yeah, Claire is Wilson’s adopted daughter but he treats her more like a sister than anything.” Kristen says as she glances over at them.

As if Nathan could feel their eyes, he turns swiftly looking from Katherine to Kristen. However, his eyes narrowed when they met Kristen before turning back ahead of him.

“What is his deal with you?” Alex asked after seeing that.

“Well, his family is close friends with the Shaw’s and they also have a ranch house not too far from the Shaw’s. However, the Shaw’s and his family used to have a lot of strange rumors flying around about them. My dad has had to visit their houses a lot due to some of the town’s people’s crazy notions.” Kris answered, a frown on her face.

The three continued to eat, Katherine throwing an occasional glance over at Nathan the whole time.

“Why don’t you just ask him?” Alex asks.

The question threw Katherine off guard as she quickly turned to Alex, her eyes wide. Kristen also threw a surprised look at Alex.


“You heard me, ask him to the dance.”

“O-oh no, I-I can’t.” Katherine says shaking her head.

“Kat, the major difference between my obsession with Melody and yours with Nathan is that you have an actual chance of being noticed.” Alex says rather bluntly.


“I’m fine with watching Melody from afar however you are pretty and are fully capable of catching Nathan’s attention.” Alex continues, cutting her off.

“Alex thank you…” Katherine says with a gentle smile.

“No problem.” He says softly, a bashful smile on his face.

“I’ll think about it okay?” Katherine says as she finishes her ice cream.

Once they were all done, they paid and left. And for the rest of the week into the next everything was average, however, that was until Thursday morning. Kat and Alex arrived like usual however today the halls were echoing with whispers. And by the look on everyone’s faces that they passed, whatever had happened wasn’t a good thing. Kristen suddenly runs up to them, a worried look on her face.

“Kris, what’s going on? Who died?” Alex asked her, looking around.

Actually someone did die.” Kristen says giving him a stern look.

“Oh.” Alex said softly.

“Who?” Katherine asked as she grabs some books out of her locker.

“Chelsea Ellis…” Kristen answers.

“Wait, didn’t she go missing last month?” Katherine asked.

“Yeah and since she’s was a student, everyone’s a bit on edge.”

“Yeah, no kidding.” Alex said as he looked around at all the worried faces.

“Are they going to cancel the dance?” Katherine asked.

Kristen threw her an unamused look.

“I’m just curious, I swear.” Katherine said raising her hands up in surrender.

No, they’re not canceling the dance, especially since everything has already been paid for. However, I do believe there will be police patrolling the area.” Kristen says.

“So does your dad have any ideas as to what’s going on?” Alex asked, a slice of excitement in his voice.

“You are way too excited about this. He still investigating some things, He’ll more than likely inform me later” Kristen says giving Alex a displeased look.

The three continued on to class, however throughout the day whispers of Chelsea’s death continued. Lunch soon came, and Kristen and Katherine were seated.

“Where did Alex go?” Kristen asked as she scans the café for him.

“Not sure, he left as soon as class ended. He should already be here-.” Kathrine answers however she is cut off as Alex arrives at the table.

Alex is out of breath and slumps down in the café table seat.

“The hell happened to you?” Kristen asked with a raised eyebrow and a slightly amused look on her face.

When Alex finally calmed down, he sat up straight. There was a mischievous glow in his eyes which immediately made Katherine roll her eyes.

“Alex, what did you do this time?” Katherine asked with a sigh.

“Nothing but guess what I heard?” Alex said looking between the two of them in anticipation.

“This is going to be good…” Katherine mutters, taking a bite of her food.

“What?” Kristen humors Alex.

“Well, update for Chelsea Ellis. Unfortunately, she was found dead an hour ago. No one can understand how she died. She had no life-threatening wounds, no strangle marks, nothing. She was just dead.”

“How do you even find these things out?” Kristen asks with a curious look on her face.

Alex gives her a full grin that doesn’t give either girl a good feeling.

“You know what forget I asked.” Kristen said just shaking her her head.

“What makes it even weirder is that she didn’t have any notable wounds, but she looked like she had been mummified.”

“That’s…creepy.” Katherine said, a mixture of concern and fear on her face.

“Yeah, tell me about it… Anyway, did you ask him?” Kristen asked with a teasing smile.

The sudden shift made Katherine recoil a bit as Kristen turn to her.

“Ask who?” Katherine asked, eyebrows scrunching together in confusion.

“Nathan! Did you forget you’re asking him to the dance?”

At that statement, Katherine slightly choked on her drink.

I am?!” She squeaked out, coughing a bit.

“Kat…” Kristen says, giving Katherine a stern stare.

“Kris, I said I would think about it.” Katherine says as she clears her throat.

“And..?” Kristen says expectantly, face turning eager.

“I realized it was a terrible choice.” Katherine mumbled back.

Seriously Kat? Alex, say something!” Kristen says, turning to Alex for help.

“Don’t look at me, she’s the one who’s doubting herself.” Alex said.

Kristen let out a groan before turning back to Katherine, a strangely determined fire in her eyes.

“Ask him now.”

“Kris, did you not-”

“I heard you, just choosing to ignore you. Ask. Him.” Kristen urges, looking Katherine straight in the eyes.

“For the last time, Kat. I said n-.” Katherine huffed out, getting out of her chair and about to throw out her remaining food.

However just as she was turning from the table Katherine crashed into what felt like a very warm brick wall. She almost fell back due to being caught off guard however a strong arm warped around her waist, steadied her straight. She looks up to see Nathan looking back at her, a slightly concerned look on his face.

“Are you alright?” Nathan asks as he lets go of her.

Dumbstruck, Katherine opens her mouth a few times, fumbling with her words before finding her voice again.

“Uh y-yeah, I’m fine. Thank you Nathan.” Katherine replied a nervous tingle in her voice.

Something nudged hard into her side and out of the corner of her eyes, Katherine could see Kristen motioning for her to ask him. Katherine took in a deep breath and then looked Nathan in the eyes.

“Um, Nathan? Sorry if this is a little sudden but um would you like to go to the homecoming dance with me?” Katherine asks with a small smile on her face, shuffling her feet a bit in nervousness.

Nathan’s eyes widened just a bit and his mouth fell open slightly. A wide range of emotions seemed to dance in his eyes. After a few seconds of silence, Katherine’s face fell and she pulled a forced smile on her face.

“S-sorry it was a bad idea.” She quickly said shaking her head, her voice cracking a bit as she tried to move around him to the trash bin.

However just as she passed him, she was stopped by his hand on her arm. She turned back to him, her face clouded with sadness but the soft smile on his face made her heart skip a beat.

“Sure, Katherine. I’ll go with you.” He said with a gentle look on his face.

Katherine’s heart leaped into her throat as she gave him a wide smile.

“Really?! That’s great- I mean cool! I honestly didn’t think you would say yes because well you’re well you and I’m me. Not to say you’re stuck up or anything like that! Just that I’m not really popular or pretty and you’re really, really handsome-..Oh god.” Katherine spewed out rapidly, stopping when she realized what she said, her mouth gaping and opening and a healthy blush forming on her face.

Nathan was watching her the whole time as she rambled on with raised eyebrows and an amused smile.

Oh god, oh god. I am so sorry, I usually don’t ramble on like this. I’m just really nervous to be talking to you since I’ve liked you since 4th grade and-.” Katherine cut herself off once again, wincing at hearing herself.

“I’m just gonna stop talking now…” She mumbled, giving Nathan a nervous smile.

Once she had finished, Nathan let out a laugh. It was light and made her heart skip a beat. When he stopped, the warm look of amused endearment in his eyes almost made her legs buckle.

“Well, in my opinion, you’re quite beautiful Katherine.” Nathan said without hesitation.

Katherine let out a shaky breath as her blush intensified, her entire face felt like it was on fire.

“And I would be happy to go to the dance with you. Have more confidence in yourself, okay?” Nathan said giving her a look.

She nodded rapidly, not trusting her voice to not further embarrass herself.

“Do you need me to pick you up or..?” Nathan trails off.

“No, I should be fine.” Katherine said rapidly, shaking her head.

“Okay then, see you tomorrow then.” Nathan says, and he turns and walks off back to his table.

Katherine stands there for a bit, watching him walk back before throwing her trash out and sitting back down.

“Oh god.” Katherine whispers out, face frozen and slightly pale.

“Kat, you okay?” Kristen asks, a confused look on her face.

“I think I’m gonna throw up.” Katherine whines out, putting her head on the table.

“Oh please, he said yes didn’t he?” Kristen said with an eye roll.

“Yeah, but that was after I word-vomited at him. For five years, I’ve liked him and we’ve had short, casual conversations. And yet I managed to make a total ass out of myself in 5 minutes.” She said miserably.

“First of all, take a chill pill, prima donna. Secondly, from the smile he gave you I highly doubt he thinks you’re ass, I mean he may be thinking about your ass but-.” Alex started, however, was cut short by Kristen smacking him in the back of his head.

Thank you, Alex. I’ll take it from here okay?” Kristen said, giving him a piercing glare and a thin smile.

Alex grumbles something under his breath then gets up from his seat to throw his trash away.

“What Alex means Kat is that Nathan is most definitely interested in you. I mean, he didn’t run away screaming and he called you beautiful. What else do you want, flashing neon signs and a marching band?” Kristen said with an amused smile.

“Maybe?” Katherine said with a weak smile.

“Come on Kat. You’re a beautiful girl, stop worrying so much about this okay?

Everything’s going to be fine, you’ll see.” Kristen says cheerfully.

“Maybe you’re right…”

“I know I’m right, now come on. We’ve got to get to Mr. Marton’s class, you know how he gets if someone late.”

And that said the three friends went on to class and the school day continued. As the day died down, so did the whispers of Chelsea’s death, and soon school was over. Also since everyone had finished what they were supposed to do for the dance there was no meeting so the three could go home. When Katherine arrived home her mother was seated at their kitchen table, sipping her tea. At hearing Katherine walk in she turned towards the foyer.

“How’s your day sweetheart?” Olivia calls to her.

“Good, great even!” Katherine says thinking back to Nathan.

Katherine walks into the kitchen and takes the seat next to her mother.

“Oh really? Even with the death that happened? Whatever could have been so good?” Olivia teases.

“I may have gotten a date to the homecoming dance tomorrow.” Katherine says with a sly smile.

“Really now? I thought you said that dance was for “spoiled princesses and meatheads to show off”.” Olivia said in a questioning tone and a raised eyebrow.

“Well yeah but Kristen begged Alex and me to go with her and I asked this guy to come with me as a date. No big deal” Katherine said with a shrug, trying to appear nonchalant about it.

“Uh-huh. Well judging by the smile on your face, he’s more than just “this guy”. Come on sweetheart, tell me the good stuff.” Olivia says with an impish smile

Moom!” She groans out.

“Oh come on Kat, we haven’t had a mother-to-daughter talk in soo long. Humor me, please baby.” Olivia said giving Katherine a pitiful puppy dog look.

“Why does everyone keep doing that?! Ugh, his name is Nathan…” Katherine said with a sigh, running a hand through her hair.

“Ohh Nathan, nice catch sweetheart.” Olivia says wagging her eyebrows.


“Okay okay, I’m done. But seriously he’s a good guy, I see him all the time at the store picking up stuff for his house.” Olivia said with a small laugh.

“Yeah I think he’s a good guy too. I’m just worried I’ll embarrass myself beyond recognition.” Katherine says with a weak chuckle.

“Bull, don’t worry sweetheart you’ll be fine. Just be yourself, okay?” Olivia said giving Katherine a stern look.

“Yes mom, I know.” Katherine says before getting up and walking upstairs to her room.

She opens her door and pauses before walking in. Something felt weird but it was a very faint feeling. After looking around her room and finding nothing, Katherine merely shrugs and enters. After a few hours, Katherine was finally in bed. Her mind was filled with thoughts of Nathan and the upcoming dance however something was still nagging at the back of her head. However, after a few minutes of trying to figure out what the feeling was, she gave up rolled over, and slowly drifted to sleep.

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