The Murderer

Joseph quickly appeared out of the darkness like a stone gargoyle poised in a flash of lightning on the ledge of a skyscraper, so bent on murder that the set of his face emerged skeletal for a moment.

The Diary

"You do understand that the curse must be cast with the purest of thought?" asked the witch.
Mary Morse turned around, candle flames nearly flickering at her temples.
"Yes, I know, the purest of thought." Mary did have the intention of casting the curse properly, but when she thought of her lying, cheating husband her memory of him turned to flames of fury and there was no way she could ever cast the curse without sinister thoughts invading her mind. The witch could sense that Mary was going to dip into the darkside, but there was nothing she could do about it. She had warned Mary that the curse could reverse threefold on her and that was all she could say to her.
On the table were strands of her husband's hair and his lover's -- a young starlet who was waiting tables at Jerry's Deli, when she wasn't in the bed of Mary and her husband. Mary, of course, conveniently gone from the house when the two lovers were making use of the bed. That's what set off Mary's rage -- the strands of hair and what she had to endure in order to get them in order to cast the curse. You see, all this was written in Mary's diary. And Mary made it no secret about the time when she picked the hairs from the bed. The sheets still warm from the lovers' heat. Mary could almost see the body imprints in the bedsheets. It pained yet angered her. Just a half hour ago, Mary waited down the street, in the darkness, waiting for her husband's lover to leave the house so she could sneak into the house before her husband removed any clues of his indiscretion. So there Mary stood, in the darkness, perhaps submerged in her own darkside as she watched the little starlet darting like a mouse across the street to her Toyota. A few minutes later, Mary entered her house and walked up the stairs. She could hear her husband in the shower. If Mary was a woman of a different temperment she might have attacked her husband in the shower, letting the blood of her crime drain into the sewage of hell. But Mary was more the calculating sort.

Exploring That Night

That fateful night plays out in my mind over and over and I feel like a ghost reenacting its earthly past to no end, forever at home, yet forever and ever lost. I still can't wipe those blinding headlights from my eyes, those headlights that blurred through me nightmarishly on that night. I've thought about things I could have done differently on that night, something I could have done to avoid fate, but you know, you can't avoid what you don't know is coming, like the murderer of my family, for example. Eventually I did know the murderer was coming, but I only saw his vague elusive shadow in the corner of my eye seemingly every minute of the day, and every time I turned around to see if he was there, I saw nothing but the sprawling gorgeous mystery spreading thin and then unseen into the universe. I did not know who the murderer was until it was too late. Well, I can't really say too late, it's just that I didn't have a whole lot of time to stop him when I did discover who he was. Life is all about timing, and I ended up cutting it too close for comfort. Only seconds separated my family from the murderer.

The Journal of Anne Harper: the curse.

Oh, yes, the curse. That whole thing began on the night when I was driving my Mercedes up through Mulholland Drive in the Hollywood Hills. For those of you who aren't familiar with Mulholland, it's a dizzying, winding road, and at night it's as dark as staring behind closed eyelids, save for the shine of headlights searing bright against the tall wrought-iron gates in the shapes of giant harps, where behind are hermetic homes hovering darkly in mystique with long, long driveways extending into the pale hours of tomorrow.

I've driven through Mulholland a million times, but it was different that night. The road seemed smoother, frightfully so, as though I were a passenger traveling on the surface of a thought, not a thought of my own, but a thought threading through the darkness of a devious mind. The arched branches of trees lining the soft shoulder of the road sprang ghoulishly before my headlights, and as I drove higher and deeper into the hills, the floating lights of Los Angeles far below broke into a series of glamorously bright flashes in between the thickening trees, until every last light of the city was crushed from sight.

I roughly navigated a sharp bend of the road, and then saw a pair of headlights looking like two distant stars at the top of hills, and then they were gone. But the headlights reappeared momentarily, closer now, blinking their way down Mulholland. I thought nothing of it. I was more concerned about how the bends of the road were unusually sharp, causing my nerves to tighten, as though I were sensing intuitively the nearing twists and turns that my own life was about to take -- I wasn't wrong. A minute or so later there was a splay of light from headlights unseen from around the bend, the same headlights that had been descending the hill, and now they erupted into blinding lights blurring through me nightmarishly, and I screamed to the drowning out of the wild car's roaring, skidding tires.

My imagination crashed through my windshield and thumped against the carhood as I braced for a crushing impact. But the wild car slid past me impossibly close, separated as though from some divine intervention, and when I realized that I wasn't going to be smashed, my imagination reversed its trajectory and settled back in my mind, the explosion of starry glass collecting back into a flawless windshield again. I slammed on my brakes and jerked around, seeing the wild car spinning in distress along the soft shoulder of the road, in great swirls of dust. It was all so dreamlike as the wild car seemed to dissolve in the swarming dust, only the bright red taillights burned in duress through the haunting darkness.
The full moon glittered with some eerie premonition along the broken pieces of windshield glass on the dark street, as if those fragments of glass were proof of the premoniton having come explosively true upon the incredible impact of the two cars. What Amy had said was true. Her boyfriend did die in a car accident, as one of those two cars was a BMW, the same car that Amy said her boyfriend had just died in. It was impossible for her to know of her boyfriend's accident. I was with her miles away when she said he just died in a car wreck, literally at that very moment. The bodies of her boyfriend and the other driver (a drunk driver) had already been taken away, and all that was left was the wreakage of the two cars, mangled, and staring at me like two huge mangled faces without blood.

Keep this for later draft -- The yellow stripes dividing the traffic seemed like yard sticks measuring the distance between me and the murderer of my family. The faster I drove, the quicker the yellow stripes shortened, one after another, in blurs of yellow, indicating the rapid closing in of time toward the big moment. I dialed Rex on my cell phone. He didn't answer. My breath was taken away as I drove faster now. Anxiety shot through my heart in rapid beats, and the harder I pressed my foot on the gas pedal, the faster my heart pumped eagerly as if I were connected to the the thumping valves of my car engine fueled by great duress. I was hitting every red light and each it took an eternity for them to turn green. I pounded the steering wheel at one point, at a red light. Pedestrians crossing the crosswalk met my urgent breath rushing from the grill of my Mercedes in tremendous waves of heat.
Include later -- I was so frightened I stayed behind the tree for at least an hour, listening so intently for any sound of Joseph that I could hear a civilizaton of insects humming from deep in their grass kingdom. I finally worked up the courage to step lightly away from the tree, not wanting to so much as bend a single blade of grass.
Amy was the girl I saved from death, but she wasn't relieved or thrilled, she was crushed. I was bewildered when she plopped to the ground and said her boyfriend just died a few seconds ago. I thought to my horror that he must have been in the car that rolled down into the canyon. But I saw blood trickle down her forehead and figured she must be traumatized or in shock -- I mean I'm certainly no paramedic, but why else would she say her boyfriend just died a few seconds ago? Well, she told me he wasn't in the car. But she also told me that the blood on her forehead was her boyfriend's blood. Okay...

I had already called for an ambulance and they were there in a matter of minutes. They must have threaded through every strand of her hair and down to her scalp, looking for a cut that would have been the source of the blood on her forehead but the paramedics just looked up with startled faces and said she didn't have a scratch on her. Where could that blood have come from?

As the paramedics slide her into the ambulance to take her in for precautions, she said to me that her boyfriend just died -- a few minutes ago at this point -- in a car accident in his BMW, hit by a drunk driver. She even told me the interstection. Beverly Boulevard and 3rd Street.

Now, I'm an eating-disorder counselor, and I knew right away that she was anorexic. I was concerned about that. So I told her I'd meet her at Cedars-Sinai hospital. On the way to the hospital, curiosity got the best of me and I drove to the intersection where Amy said her boyfriend had just been killed in the car accident.

As I drove closer to the intersection, I could see the street spouting with those red flares the police lay down when there's a car wreck. A chill ran through me. I literally shivered. It wasn't long before I saw shards of windshield glittering from the asphalt. It was apparent that the bodies had already been taken away. But I saw a mangled BMW being lifted by a tow truck. The same kind of car that Amy said her boyfriend just died in. I asked a polite cop what had happened. He said a drunk driver killed a young man. I became breathless and dizzy. I quickly made my way to the hospital.

Journal Of Anne Harper: The Anorexic Girl And Murder

Where should I start about that life-altering night?