|Fangs Stained Crimson
Author: Daisies at Sunrise PM
The small town of Charton, Indiana is generally a quiet, peaceful town. But every year or so, someone is murdered mysteriously in the night, and lately the killings have become more frequent. Now, it's up to one cop to get everything under control before the town's people get too nosy. (On hold, will rewrite.)Rated: Fiction T - English - Mystery/Fantasy - Chapters: 2 - Words: 3,818 - Updated: 10-27-12 - Published: 10-26-12 - id: 3068870
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Before anyone gets annoyed with my slowness, I'd like to let you all know that I type all of my stories on my Google Drive and then just copy and paste them on here. So if I take ages to update, keep that in mind and don't complain. Also, Charton, Indiana doesn't exist, I just needed a setting for this and no real city fit the bill. Most of my other stories will take place in real cities/towns, though.
Evidence and Warnings
Alyssa Carlton squirmed a little in her seat as the Chief of Police stood at the head of the table, reading off a list of names from a clipboard. Bright late-morning sunlight filtered in through the windows high in the cement wall, revealing tiny dust particles swirling around in circles. Outside, the regular sounds of everyday life went on: cars cruising down Main Street, children squealing happily as they played, birds twittering back and forth from the trees. But this meeting was anything but normal.
"Marie Williams, reported missing 1953," the Chief read aloud, "Michael Jones, reported missing 1968; Heather Baxter, reported missing 1970; Zachary Wallace, 1987; Bart Norice, 1988; Theodore Kenworth, 1991; Becky Florence, also 1991; etcetera, etcetera, etcetera..." Alyssa glanced over at the Chief as he trailed off, his eyes traveling the room slowly, resting on each member of the Charton Police Force briefly before moving on. Finally, he sighed heavily and began to rub the end of his thick mustache, a habit normal for him when he was thinking. "Any ideas or thoughts, anyone?"
"Maybe there's some sort of terrorist circle or something?" Nicole Benton suggested. The Chief stared at her disapprovingly, and her eyes dropped to stare at the table top. Alyssa frowned sympathetically at her, knowing what the rookie was going through. She had, after all, been recruited only a few days ago.
"Benton, there haven't been any terrorists here since the 1800s," the Chief said rudely.
"Do you think it could be a kidnapper?" someone else called. Alyssa didn't pay attention to who said it. She was too wrapped up in her own emotions and thoughts to care. She knew exactly what was going on, of course, but if she said so everyone would think she was crazy, maybe even laugh at her. What she didn't need at the moment was ridicule or possibly a demotion, especially when financing was so tight. She had two youngsters at home, and, being a single mom, could barely make ends meet at it was. So she kept her mouth shut until the meeting was adjourned. As she was walking across the parking lot, the Chief caught her by the shoulder.
"Sergeant Carlton, wait a moment," he ordered, and she turned to face him. "I want you to head down to Amber Drive and take care of that wreck from last night. Take a couple of officers with you, and make sure Officer Benton comes." He paused, casting a fleeting glance over his shoulder at Nicole, who was in the process of climbing into her blue Sedan. "I don't think she's quite gotten the ropes yet, if you know what I mean."
Alyssa nodded. "Yes, sir," she replied, saluting. The Chief returned her salute, meandered over to his own car, opened the door, climbed in. He fumbled with his keys for a moment, and then straightened them out and stuck one into the ignition, the car rumbling to life. Alyssa jogged over to Nicole's car and lightly tapped on her driver's side window as the Chief drove home for the day. Nicole glanced up and, recognizing the sergeant, rolled down her window.
"Yes, Sergeant Carlton?" she asked. Alyssa smiled at her. She decided that she would enjoy working with this woman, teaching her the tricks of the trade.
"The Chief wants me, you, and a few others to inspect the crash from last night," she said, gesturing with her hand at her parked Cruiser. "We can take my car, if you want."
Nicole nodded, pulled the keys out of the ignition, and climbed out. Alyssa smiled again and lead the way across the parking lot, reaching Officers Lennard and Quil before they drove off. She repeated her message to them, who each agreed and fired up their own Cruisers to follow hers. Alyssa and Nicole both climbed into her car, Alyssa behind the wheel, and the three cops drove away down Main Street, which eventually branched off into Amber Drive and South Avenue. Alyssa particularly enjoyed driving down Amber Drive, watching the walls of golden corn swaying in the wind and hearing the stalks rustle as their heads were shifted. Then she saw flashing lights ahead, and the tail end of an ambulance came into view, blocking the scene from behind. Once she maneuvered the Cruiser around the bulky vehicle, Sergeant Carlton groaned. A swarm of pedestrians, along with a few cars, surrounded the crime scene.
Alyssa flipped on her sirens, and the crowd parted to let her squadron pass. She and the other officers parked in a semicircle around the totalled Hummer, creating a barrier with their cars and therefore keeping the curious people out of the way. "Lennard, Quil," Alyssa ordered. "Please keep these morons out of the way. We need room for a tow-truck. Officer Benton and I will examine the crime scene." The two officers nodded obediently and began to shout orders to the pedestrians, slowly and surely forcing them backward. Nearly all of the people climbed into cars and left, leaving behind a few stragglers. With the civilians cleared, Quil was able to whip out his cell phone and order in a tow-truck while Lennard took care of the waiting ambulance.
Alyssa and Nicole picked their way through strewn bits of broken corn stalks, glass, rubber, and metal, eventually reaching the Hummer. Its front end was very nearly flattened against a ridge, steam hissing out from under the crumpled hood, its back end jutting out a few feet off the ground. All of the windows were smashed, and the tires were history. Alyssa ordered Nicole to stay put and inched toward the cab, gently pulling on the driver's side door, but ending up pulling it right off. What she saw inside the car made her sick to her stomach. Sitting in the front seat, still buckled in, was a man's body.
He looked young, maybe eighteen or so. His eyes were frozen in shock and fear, staring off at nothing, and his mouth was slightly agape, possibly cut off in a silent scream. Numerous shards of glass were lodged in his skin, but there was no dried blood around the wounds, as the Sergeant had expected. His entire body slumped limply against the seat, his skin sickly white. On either side of his throat were clean bite marks, too close together be an animal's. She's getting sloppier, she thought, backing off in disgust. Nicole took a step forward, concern in her eyes, but Alyssa waved her back. If the young Officer saw the gruesome evidence, she would quit for sure.
Alyssa took several deep breaths in order to calm her churning stomach. When she had herself back under control, she waved Lennard and Quil over and ordered them to set up a perimeter. While they took care of their task, she pulled out her phone and dialed the Chief's number. He picked up on the second ring. "Sergeant Carlton," the Chief barked over the clamor of a TV, "what have we got?"
"Well, the car is in ruins, and the driver is dead as a doornail. Looks to me like an animal attack, maybe murder? I don't know. I've ordered Officers Lennard and Quil to set up a perimeter up to the fork on Main, keep the civilians out of the way," she said, pausing to glance over her shoulder. "We've got the entire road sectioned off. A tow-truck's on its way."
"Very good. Would you like me to send over a couple more officers?"
"No, sir. The situation's under control, but we need a body bag back here. I want to get the body back to HQ for analysis, maybe a few tests."
"Sure thing, Carlton." Alyssa nodded, knowing that the Chief couldn't see her, and hung up, pocketing her phone. She walked over to Nicole, who was standing there looking out of place, and rested a hand on her shoulder. The young Officer tensed under her touch, then relaxed slightly and sighed. She glanced over at the destroyed Hummer.
"Sergeant Carlton," she whispered. "Why doesn't the Chief like me?"
Alyssa was surprised at her question. "Well, Barton, its not that he doesn't like you, per say, he's just...getting used to you. Trust me when I say that he's like that with all rookies, even me." Nicole's eyes sparkled with disbelief.
"But the Chief loves you!" she exclaimed. Alyssa chuckled.
"That's because I work hard. Look, I just got off the phone with him. I've got Officer Lennard taking care of that ambulance, so if I don't get back within the hour head back to HQ without me. I need to check up on something, so I'm leaving you in charge, so to speak. All I need you to do is make sure the body is sent back to HQ, but let the professionals unload it, alright?" Nicole looked baffled, but she nodded. Alyssa smiled reassuringly at her, walked back to her Cruiser, and climbed in. She fired up the ignition and pulled away, driving back the way she had come. She managed a tight U-turn at the fork, heading off down South Avenue, which ran straight through the cornfield. The road eventually turned, heading toward Lafayette, but on the opposite side of the curve a narrow bike trail wound off into the woods. The Sergeant parked her Cruiser alongside a grove of pine trees and headed down the trail on foot, knowing exactly what would be at the end.
For a while, she was alone among the towering oaks and pines of the forest, dappled shadows playing across the ground, the leaves whispering above her head. Among the undergrowth, small creatures scurried back and forth, giving the forest a magical feel. Alyssa found it ironic, considering what she was about to do, but it still helped to settle her frayed nerves. Then, somewhere in the distance the dying scream of a creature could be heard, and a bell-like laugh echoed through the trees. Alyssa froze for a moment, but kept walking, her pace a little more hurried.
The trail finally ended at a small clearing ringed by oaks, the bright green grass dotted with purple, white, yellow, and red flowers. The sun was directly overhead, warming the back of Alyssa's neck. She twirled the ends of her dirty blonde hair around two of her fingers, nervousness rising in her like a wave. She jumped as something flashed in between the tree trunks, its ivory skin catching the light. She took a deep breath in as a woman, her pale skin reflecting the light, stepped into view from the shadows. A smile broke out on the woman's face when she spotted the Sergeant.
"Greetings, Alyssa," she said, her voice smooth as glass. "What brings you out here?"
"You," Alyssa replied simply.
One of the woman's eyebrows arched up. "Is that so?" she replied slowly. "And why do you need to see me, exactly?"
"It's actually quite simple, Abigail," Alyssa said, as if she were talking to an infant. "You're getting messier, which is something you can't afford to do. In fact, just this morning the Chief sent me to investigate your mess. Understand where I'm going with this?" Abigail remained silent, so she continued. "When I got there, practically everyone in town was there, ogling like a bunch of children. People are noticing, and it won't be long before..."
"Stop it," Abigail snapped icily, cutting her off mid-sentence. "I get it, okay?"
"Well, make sure you don't forget." With that, Alyssa turned away and walked back down the trail, her pace hurried. Despite her show of courage earlier, she knew how Abigail got when she was angry, and she didn't want to be within range when she went off. She was walking so quickly, she practically tripped over the mauled deer carcass in the middle of the trail.
Alyssa stepped back, her stomach churning. The poor creature looked as if it had been ripped apart. Its legs jutted out at unnatural angles, its lower jaw was gone, a few of its ribs were sticking out through the flesh, and multiple gashes scored its body. Blood caked the matted fur, and flies were beginning to gather, hovering above it on lightning-fast wings. Alyssa keeled over slightly, trying to keep down the contents of her stomach, and, carefully sidestepping the carcass, sprinted down the trail. She knew exactly what the dead deer meant. It's a warning, she thought, queasy. She's letting me know not to come back. Although, it does explain that scream I heard earlier.
She finally broke out onto the street and staggered over to her still-parked Cruiser. She fumbled with her keys for a moment, then unlocked the door and climbed into the car, shoving the key into the ignition and stomping on the gas pedal. The vehicle roared to life and leaped onto the street, racing down South Avenue. As Alyssa approached the fork at Main Street, she gathered her thoughts and took repeated deep breaths, and by the time she made the turn, she was back under control. That was when she finally realized that she was going seventy miles an hour, way above the town's speed limit.
She slowed down until she reached fifty, then put the car in cruise. When she arrived back at the crash site, flashing red and blue lights indicated the arrival of an additional ambulance. She pulled up along the side of the cornfield and turned her Cruiser off, then climbed out and walking over to Officer Benton, who was watching as a tow truck pulled away with the wrecked Hummer attached to its cable. Two paramedics were loading the body onto an ambulance in a white body bag.
"Well done, Benton," she said. The officer jumped at her voice. "I can see you can handle things pretty well around here." Nicole blushed.
"I wouldn't say that," she said humbly. "It was mostly Officer Lennard."
"Still. I knew I could trust you." Nicole blushed an even deeper red. Alyssa smiled at the young officer's bashfulness, then walked back over to her car. For a moment she leaned against the passenger's side door and watched the swaying ocean of golden corn, listened to the mingled sounds of rustling stalks and whispering leaves. She then pulled out her cell phone and, once again, dialed the Chief's number. After the fifth ring, the call went to voice-mail.
"Chief, it's Sergeant Carlton," she began. "The situation has been neutralized. A minute ago, the tow truck left with the wrecked car. As I speak, an ambulance is taking the body back to HQ for tests, but we're keeping the road sectioned off for another couple of days. I'll email you the forensics and test results later tonight." She hit the 'end call' button and put her phone away, then rejoined Nicole.
"Hey," she said simply. Nicole nodded in her direction, but didn't take her eyes off of the tail end of the retreating ambulance. "I'm going to go home for the day; my girls will be getting home from school any time now. You should turn in too." Nicole shook her head vigorously, making her straight black hair slap against her shoulders.
"I couldn't!" she exclaimed. Alyssa laughed, patted the officer's shoulder, exchanged a few words with Officer Quil, returned to her Cruiser. And as she drove home for the day, she couldn't help but notice the occasional flashes of ivory between the thick oak and pine trees of the forest.
Finally done! Sorry that this chapter was sort of long, but it could've been longer! Just be glad I finally got around to updating... Now, if you'll excuse me I need to massage the cramps out of my wrists...