Here's a quick description of what happened:
I went down the hallway and saw my cousin Vanessa Clement, Aunt Dot's daughter. She smiled at me, but it wasn't a friendly smile. She reminded me that she told me I could leave. When I asked her about my parents, she told me they were in the pile of bodies behind her. I told her I didn't believe her and she said I could look for myself. Instead, I made a move for the basement door. That's when she attacked me.
Thank goodness for this dagger. It may be a throwing knife, but we were in hand-to-hand. I managed to get her arm, then I got her with the blunt of the dagger right in the temple. She crumpled to the ground and I made a break for the basement door. I called the police immediately after I got the door unlocked. It was a good thing I did. It saved my life.
I got the door open and ran down to the basement to find both my parents, and the entire Five Petals, tied up. I used the dagger to cut them free and we had a brief, but happy, reunion. While we got the others free, they told me about what had happened.
It seems the Five Petals are a much different organisation than I always thought.
They said that when the "secret history" comes out of secrecy, those who know about it must be removed of that knowledge "by whatever means necessary". I took this to mean that people are killed, and it would also explain the mountain of bodies inside the hall. Mom told me that no one ever thought it would happen, but some were so zealous about the organisation and the cause that they really took it to heart. Vanessa was one of those people. I guess the Piers family holds the secret, too, and when one of their family members is harmed, they tell the history to the world. The whole town was set to be "cleansed". The rest of the Five Petals told Vanessa to stop, and that times had changed. It was no longer necessary to keep the history a secret. She disagreed. To prevent the history from being spread, she locked everyone who was in the Five Petals away until they "saw the light" (her own words). Everyone else was killed.
But then, I got in the way.
Vanessa had every intent of killing me, but she wanted to match wits with me instead. Not a good idea for her. Aunt Dot is an absolute mess; she never intended for her daughter to be so fanatical.
All of the Five Petals are now saying that the group should be re-evaluated. None of them ever intended any of the cleansings to happen. Now I understand a little better why I was sent to live with my aunt, and why she was so rarely spoken of.
After they had described this to me, and everyone was free, we set out to leave. And then, Vanessa shot me in the leg. She had woken up and was disoriented, but that didn't stop her.
"A Dahlia for betrayal!" she screamed at me. "We all should have known she would betray us and the Sisters one day!" Then, she turned the gun toward my mother. "You! This is your fault!" she screamed. "You're all traitors!"
That was when the police arrived.
I'm in the hospital now, recovering both physically and mentally. Vanessa is in custody, and Aunt Dot is being treated for PTSD. Everyone else was kept overnight for questioning and treatment for minor injuries, malnutrition, and dehydration, but they were all free to go this morning.
Vanessa is going to be tried for mass first degree murder. I can't believe she was capable of all that, but she wasn't alone. Her brother, Nicholas, helped her as well. After a search of the town, the police found him tied up in the back office of the Five Petals building. They're questioning him now.
I guess this is where this log ends. I'm going to focus on recovery now. With hope, Vanessa will be locked away for life.