Five Years Dead

Sam Rooney [Part 1] | Thriller Short Story

Ajinkya Goyal



Doctor Sariah Khan shook her head in fear and frustration. She’d already spent several hours studying the records of the three kids, and she wasn’t any closer to understanding this situation than when she started. The documents were all sprawled across her desk and even littered the floor: transcripts of their sessions, drawings from therapy prompts, reactions to various stimuli, frequency of unscheduled meetings — everything she could possibly think of.

Tyson, Bailey, and Grace were all sent to her by their parents describing the same night terrors: sudden sleepwalking, mumbling and moaning in their sleep, wetting the bed long after that should have ceased to be a problem, and jerky bodily movements.

Despite the glaring similarities, Sariah could still chalk that all up to a big coincidence. What she could not ignore was the description each kid gave of their imaginary friend. Every description, despite the children never having met each other in their lives, and even though thing they had in common was that they all came to her, eerily matched the likeness of Sam Rooney, a paedophile and serial killer who was sentenced to death five years ago.

“Oh, oh my god — this…” she shook her head and reached for her phone, about to call in the local precinct when she thought of a better idea. She had Detective Paolo Denis’ personal phone number (on account of having assisted him with Rooney all those years ago). Denis been the ranking officer on the Rooney case, so she called him up instead.

He didn’t answer (she hadn’t really expected a reply at ten in the night), so she left a message on the fourth ring.

“Good evening Detective Denis, it’s Doctor Sariah Khan from the psych floor of Edmunds Children’s Hospital. I understand you worked on the Sam Rooney case…I-I need to speak to you about it. Please call me back?”

She left an alternate number at the end in case this one couldn’t be reached and hung up the phone. Then Doctor Khan did she did something she hadn’t done in a very long time — she prayed.


Paolo Denis was generally not one to rise early. He booked late flights, so he didn’t have to rush in…