Larger Font   Reset Font Size   Smaller Font  

Rebekka Franck Series Box Set

Willow Rose



  Willow Rose

  Copyright © 2011 by Willow Rose

  All rights reserved.

  No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission from the author.

  This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance of characters to actual persons, living or dead is purely coincidental. The Author holds exclusive rights to this work. Unauthorized duplication is prohibited.

  Cover design by Jan Sigetty Boje

  Special thanks to Linda Harris of Perfect Word Editing Services

  Connect with Willow online:







  ONE, TWO ...



  One, two, He is coming for you.

  Three, four, better lock your door.

  Five, six, grab your crucifix.

  Seven, eight, gonna stay up late.

  Nine, ten, you will never sleep again.


  ONE, TWO … the song in his head wouldn’t escape. Sure, he knew where it came from. It was that rhyme from the horror movies. The ones with the serial killer, that Freddy Krueger guy with a burned, disfigured face, red and dark green striped sweater, brown fedora hat, and a glove armed with razors to kill his victims in their dreams and take their souls, which would kill them in the real world. “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” that was the movie’s name. Yes, he knew its origin. And he had his reasons for singing that particular song in this exact moment. He knew why, and so would his future victims.

  He lit a cigarette and stared out the window at a waiting bird in the bare treetop. Waiting for the sunlight to come back, just like the rest of the kingdom of Denmark at this time of the year. Waiting for spring with its explosion of colors, like a sea of promises of sunlight and a warmer wind. But still the winter had to go away. And it hadn’t. The trees were still naked, the sky gray as steel, the ground wet and cold. February always seemed the longest month in the little country though it was the shortest in the calendar. People talked about it every day as they showed up for work or school.

  Every freaking day since Christmas.

  Now, it wouldn’t be long before the light came back. But in reality it always took months of waiting and anticipating before spring finally appeared.

  The man staring out the window didn’t pay much attention to the weather though. He stood with his cigarette between two fingers. To him, the time he had been waiting ages for was finally here.

  He kept humming the same song, the same line. One, two, he is coming for you .... The cigarette burned a hole in the parquet floor. He picked up the remains with his hands wearing white plastic gloves and carefully placed them in a small plastic bag that he put in his brown briefcase. He would leave no trace of being in the house where the body of another man was soon to be found.

  He closed the briefcase and went into the hall, where he sat in a leather chair by the door to the main entrance.

  Waiting for his victim to come home.

  He glanced at himself in the mirror by the entrance door. He could see from where he was sitting how nicely he had dressed for the occasion.

  He was outfitted in a blue blazer with the famous Trolle coat of arms on the chest, little yellow emblem with a red headless lion—the traditional blazer for a student of Herlufsholm boarding school. The school was located by the Susaa River in Naestved, about 80 kilometers south of Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark. As the oldest boarding school in Denmark, the school took pride in an array of unique traditions. Some of them the world outside never would want to know about.

  The blazer was now too small, so he couldn’t close it, but otherwise he was looking almost like he had been back in 1986. He was, after all, still a fairly handsome man. And unlike the majority of the guys from back then, he had kept most of his hair.

  His victim had done well for himself, he noticed. No surprise in that though, with parents who were multibillionaires. The old villa by the sea of Smaalands farvandet in the southern part of Zeeland was big and admirable. It could easily fit a couple of families. It was typical of his victim to have a place like this just as his holiday residence.

  When he heard the Jaguar on the gravel outside, he took the glove out of the briefcase and put it on his right hand. He stretched his fingers and the metal claws followed.

  He listened for voices but didn’t hear any to his satisfaction.

  His victim was alone.


  “WE’RE GOING to be too late. Do you want me to be fired on my first day”? I yelled for the third time while gazing up the stairs for my six-year-old daughter, Julie.

  “Go easy on her, Rebekka. It’s her first day too,” argued my father.

  He stood in the doorway to the living room of my childhood home, leaning on his cane. I smiled to myself. How I had missed him all these years living in the other part of the country. Now he had gotten old, and I felt like I had missed out on so much and that he had missed out on so much of our lives too. It was fifteen years since I left the town to study journalism. I had only been back a few times since and then, of course, when Mom died five years ago. Why didn’t I visit him more often, especially after he was alone? Instead I had left it to my sister to take care of him. She lived in Naestved about fifteen minutes away.

  Well there was no point in wondering now.

  “You can’t change the past,” my dad would say. And did say when I called him crying my heart out and asking him if Julie and I could come and stay with him for a while.

  I sighed and wished I could change the past and change everything about my past. Except for one thing. One delightful little blond thing.

  “I’m ready, Mom.”


  Julie is the love of my life. Everything I‘ve done has been for her and her future. I sacrificed everything to give her a better life. But that meant I had to leave it all behind—her dad, our friends and neighbors, and my career with a huge salary. All for her.

  “I’m ready.” She ran down the stairs looking like an angel with her beautiful blond hair braided in the back.

  “Yes, you are,” I nodded and looked into her bright blue eyes. “Do you have everything ready for school”?

  She sighed with annoyance and walked past me.

  “Are you coming or not?” She asked when she reached the door.

  I picked up my bag from the floor, kissed my dad on the cheek, and followed my daughter who waited impatiently.

  “After you my dear,” I said as we left the house.

  I found a job at a local newspaper in Karrebaeksminde. It wasn’t much of a promotion since I used to work for one of the biggest newspapers in the country. Jyllandsposten was located in Aarhus, the second biggest town in Denmark. That was where we used to live.

  When I had a family.

  I used to be their star reporter, one of those who always gets the cover stories. Moving back to my childhood town was not an easy choice, since I knew I had to give up my position as a well-known reporter. But it had to be done. I had to get away.

  Now, after dropping off my daughter at her new school and smoking two cigarettes in anxiety for my daughter’s first day, I found myself at my ne
w workplace.

  “You must be Rebekka Franck. Welcome to our editorial room,” said a sweet elderly lady sitting at one of the two desks piled high with stacks of paper. I looked around the room and saw no one else. The room was a mess, and so was she. Her long red hair went in all directions. She had tried to tame it with a butterfly hair clip, but it didn’t seem to do the job. She got up and waddled her chubby body in a flowered yellow dress over to greet me.

  “I’m Sara,” she said. “I’m in charge of all the personal pages. You know, the obituaries and such. People come to me if they need to put in an announcement for a reception or a 50-year anniversary celebration. Stuff like that. That’s what I do.”

  I nodded and looked confused at all the old newspapers in stacks on the floor.

  “You probably would like to see your desk.”

  I nodded again and smiled kindly. “Yes, please.”

  “It’s right over there.” Sara pointed at the other desk in the room. Then she looked back at me, smiling widely. “It’s just going to be the two of us.”

  I smiled back, a little scared of the huge possibility of going insane in the near future. I knew it was a small newspaper that covered all of Zeeland, and that this would only be the department taking care of the local news from Karrebaeksminde. But still … two people. Could that be all?

  “Do you want to see the rest of your new workplace?” Sara asked and I nodded.

  She took a couple of steps to the right and opened a door. “In here we have a small kitchen with a coffeemaker and the bathroom.”

  “Let me guess. That’s it?” I tried not to sound too sarcastic. This was really a step down for me, to put it mildly.

  Sara sat down and put on a set of headphones. I moved a stack of newspapers and found my chair underneath. I opened my laptop and up came a picture of Julie, me, and her dad on our trip to Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt. We all wore goggles and big smiles. Quickly I closed the lid of the laptop and closed my eyes.

  Damn him, I thought. Damn that stupid moron.

  I got up from the desk and went into the break room to grab a cup of coffee. I opened the window and lit a cigarette. For several minutes I stared down at the street. A few people rushed by. Otherwise it was a sleepy town compared to where I used to live. I thought about my husband and returning to Aarhus, but that was simply not an option for me. I had to make it here.

  I drank the rest of the coffee and killed my cigarette on the bottom of the mug. Then I closed the window and stepped back into the editorial room.

  I need to clean this place up, I thought but then regretted the idea. It was simply too much work for one person for now. Maybe another day. Maybe I could persuade Sara to help me. I looked at her with the gigantic headphones on her ears. It made her face look even fatter. It was too bad that she was so overweight. She actually had a pretty face and attractive brown eyes. She looked at me and took off the headphones.

  “What are you listening to?” I asked and expected that it was a radio station or a CD of her favorite music. But it wasn’t.

  “It’s a police scanner,” she said.

  I looked at her surprised. “You have a police scanner?”

  She nodded.

  “I thought police everywhere in the country had shifted from traditional radio-scanners to using a digital system.”

  “Maybe in your big city, but down here we still use the old-fashioned ones.”

  “What do you use it for?”

  “It is the best way to keep track of what is happening in this town. I get my best stories to tell my neighbors from this little fellow,” she said while she leaned over gave the radio a friendly tap. “We originally got this baby for journalistic purposes, in order to be there when a story breaks, like a bank has been robbed or something like that. But the past five or six years nothing much has happened in our town, so it hasn’t brought any stories to the newspaper. But I sure have a lot of fun listening to it.”

  She leaned over her desk with excitement in her brown eyes.

  “Like the time when the mayor’s wife got caught drunk in her car. That was great. Or when the police were called out to a domestic dispute between the pastor and his wife. As it turned out she had been cheating on him. Now that was awesome.”

  I stared at the woman in front of me and didn’t know exactly what to say. Instead I just smiled and started walking back to my desk, when she stopped me.

  “Ah, yes I forgot. We are not all alone. We do have a photographer working here too. He only comes in when there’s a job for him to do. His name is Sune Johansen. He looks a little weird, but you’ll learn to love him. He’s from a big city too.”


  DIDRIK ROSENFELDT thought of a lot of things when he got out of the car and went up the stairs to his summer residence. He thought about the day he just had. The board meeting in his investment company went very well. He fired 3000 people in his windmill company early in the afternoon without even blinking. The hot young secretary gave him a blow job in his office afterwards. He thought about his annoying wife who kept calling him all afternoon. She was having a charity event this upcoming Saturday and kept bothering him with stupid details, as if she would ever be sober enough to go through it. Didn’t she know by now that he was too busy to deal with that kind of stuff? He was humming when he reached the door to the house by the sea.

  A tune ran through his head, his favorite song since he was a kid. “Money makes the world go round. A mark, a yen, a buck, or a pound. That clinking clanking sound can make the world go ‘round.” Didrik sighed and glanced back at his shiny new silver Jaguar. Money did indeed make the world go around. And so did he.

  A lot of thoughts flitted through Didrik’s head when he put the key in the old hand-carved wooden door and opened it. But death was not one of them.

  “You!” was his only word when his eyes met the ones belonging to a guy he remembered from school. A boy really, he always thought of him. The boy had nerve to be sitting in his new leather chair—“The Egg” designed by Arne Jacobsen—and wearing his despicable grubby old blazer from the boarding school. The boy was about to make a complete fool of himself. Didrik shut the door behind him with a bang.

  “What do you want”? He placed his briefcase on the floor, took off his long black coat and hung it on a hanger in the entrance closet. He sighed and looked at the man with pity.


  All the girls at Herlufsholm boarding school had whispered about the boy when he first arrived there in ninth grade. Unlike most of the rich high-society boys, including Didrik Rosenfeldt who was both fat and red headed, the boy was a handsome guy. He had nice brown hair and the most sparkling blue eyes. He was tall and the hard work he used to do at his dad’s farm outside of Naestved had made him strong and muscular and Didrik and his friends soon noticed that the girls liked that … a lot.

  The boy wasn’t rich like the rest of them. In fact his parents had no money. But in a strange way that made him exotic to the girls. The poor countryside boy, the handsome stranger from a different culture who might take them away from their boring rich lives. They thought he could rescue them from ending up like their rich drunk mothers. How his parents were able to afford the extremely expensive school, no one knew. Some said he was there because his mother used to do it with the headmaster, but Didrik knew that wasn’t true. This boy’s family was—unlike everybody else’s at the school—hardworking, earnest people. The kind who people like Didrik had no respect for whatsoever, the kind his father would exploit and then throw away. He and his type were expendable. They were workers. And that made it even more fun to pretend he would be the boy’s friend.

  Despite that he was younger than they were, they had from time to time accepted him as their equal in the brotherhood.

  But because of his background he would always fall through. And they would laugh at him behind his back, even sometimes to his face. Like the time when they were skeet shooting on Kragerup Estate, and Didrik put a live cat in
the catapult. Boy, they had their fun telling that story for weeks after. How the poor pretty boy had screamed, when he shot the kitty and it fell bleeding to the ground. What a wimp.

  “So, what do you want? Can’t you even say anything? Are you that afraid of me?” Didrik said arrogantly.

  The pretty boy stood up from the $7000 chair and took a step toward him, his right hand hidden behind his back. Didrik sighed again. He was sick and tired of this game. It led nowhere and he was wasting his time. Didrik was longing to get into his living room and get a glass of the fine $900 cognac he just imported from France. He was not going to let a stupid poor boy from his past get in the way of that. That was for certain. He loosened his tie and looked with aggravation at the boy in front of him.

  “How did you even get in here?”

  “Smashed a window in the back.”

  Didrik snorted. Now he would have to go through the trouble to get someone out here to fix it tonight.

  “Just tell me what you want, boy.”

  The pretty blue eyes stared at him.

  ”You know exactly what I want.”

  Didrik sighed again. Enough with these games! Until now he had been patient with this guy. But now he was about to feel the real Rosenfeldt anger. The same anger Didrik’s dad used to show when Didrik’s mother brought him into his study and he would beat Didrik half to death with a fire poker. The same anger that his dad used to show the world that it was the Rosenfeldts who made the decisions. Everybody obeyed their rules because they had the money and the power.

  “You’re making a fool of yourself. Just get out of here before I call someone to get rid of you. I’m a very powerful man, you know. I can have you killed just by pressing a number on my phone,” he said taking out a black iPhone from his pocket.