The Post Lost Chronicles: "Claire at the Mall"

Claire Littleton was surprised, after all these years, at how beautiful she still looked. From her vantage point, Claire could look down over the glass railing and into the front of the department store. It was there, in the cosmetics department, where she worked. Even at this distance, Claire could see her long, dark hair, neatly styled over her shoulders, shine in the overhead display lights. Claire watched her work behind the counter, waiting on customers, selling make-up and skin cream to women also trying to look beautiful. There were some wide stairs, which led from the upper walkway, where Claire was standing, down to the front of the store. The mall wasn't busy, so there were few people around to complicate matters. Claire slowly descended the stairs, watching her the whole time. When Claire reached the bottom, she paused and stood at the front of the store and just watched her. She was putting some cosmetics into a sack for a customer she had just sold. When the customer left, there was no one else around the counter. 'It is now, if it is going to be' Claire thought. Claire cautiously approached. She was writing on a pad of paper, as Claire now stood directly behind her. She turned slowly around and gazed at Claire and smiled a smile of recognition. She started to say something but hesitated. She noticed it in Claire's eyes first. Her own eyes grew wider. Her smile turned to surprise. Her face to panic. She made the first move. For something under the counter. Claire didn't wait to see what it was. Claire drew down on her. The bullet from Claire's gun put a neat, pinpoint hole into Kate Austen's chest. Kate gave out a tiny gasp of air, as she fell down behind the counter, dead. Claire turned around slowly and walked out of the store and into the mall amongst the light crowd of shoppers. She didn't look back. But Claire didn't get very far, as she was immediately tackled by two mall security officers and one off duty policeman. They knocked the gun out of her hand and handcuffed her, as 911 calls were made. "I told that Bitch a long time ago, if she raised my son, I would kill her!" Claire screamed. Much later on, Claire Littleton was declared legally insane. She was sentenced to life in the Santa Rosa Mental Health Facility. There, in an arts and crafts therapy group, she made a doll. She would hold the doll and constantly sing the song "Catch a Falling Star." She was institutionalized for thirty years before she died. During that entire time, she never received a visitor. Next: Case #2 "Desmond Out of Time"

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