Sponsored By WINNER CallieCadmoor His Sweet Dove Coo. He lay listlessly on the couch, his mind and body numb. He knew that something was wrong. He should have listened to her, believed her. He should have saved her. But it is now too late. He drifts back to that day. A young man had patted his arm, the police officer that had found her body. His eyes were wet, his cheeks damp with tears as he watched them lower his sweet daughter, his little dove, into the Earth's cold embrace. Coo. The bird is enough to drag him from his inner turmoil. He decides to go to where she had last been seen. His thoughts stray from him in the car. When they had found her body, he had felt disbelief lapping at his ankles. It rose steadily as it turned into guilt which soon threatened to drown him. He knows she wouldn't have left voluntarily, wouldn't have taken her own life. He began his own investigation as the police no longer consider it of their concern. Coo. The call comes again through the open window as he nears the place. It has been three weeks since his daughter became paranoid. She constantly looked over her shoulder, peered out of the windows. She told him that there was a man hanging around her school. The man had asked her out but she had turned him down - he was much too old for a teenage girl. That was when he started to follow her, turning up everywhere. When had he become a person who blamed a victim for giving the man the wrong idea? Coo! The sound causes shivers to rack through his body as he leaves the car - it is ominous now, frantic, a warning to flee. What he is looking for, he has no idea. Anything, anything to find the truth. He loses track of time until, hidden beneath a thorned bush, he sees something glinting in his torch beam. The jaggered thorns etch bloody lines into his flesh. It is her cellphone and diary! The call log is full of blood curdling messages, all from a single number. He starts flipping through the diary. Each entry rips apart his heart like a riptide through a coral reef. Her fear is now his. Cooo! He spins around at the final warning from the bird. He is too slow. He is too close. The same young man from the funeral is circling him. He has a feral smirk, his eyes goading the man. The case had been in this police officer's hands. He taunts the older man about how what a wonderful plaything his daughter had been. The man tries to run. He makes it to the forest, tripping over roots and with the sardonic laughter of the officer ringing in his ears. The branches snatch at his legs. He falls to the earth, vines entangling his feet. The man appears from nowhere, his face masked in shadows. The father is paralysed, his movements nothing compared to the blurred blade the young man slashes at him. He lies on the floor, his life soaking the ground beneath him. He listens to the cooing of the bird. The call enfolds him in a blanket of peace, one thought on his mind: soon he will be reunited with his sweet, little dove.