"Detective Davenport". He looked up when he heard his name, putting down the cup of coffee that was already getting cold in his hands. It was being a very busy day and the sudden noise out of his office had turned the police station in some sort of circus.
"Yes?". The young officer entered the room. He looked distressed, nervous. His hands were shaking lightly.
"I think you should come with me. Something really... unusual has happened" It was the tone of his voice what made Alex Davenport stand up and leave his office at once. He walked next to the officer in silence, wondering what was going on. He heard a woman cry, a man scream, someone was begging to be taken home. The fluorescent lights tilted and he felt the thunderstorm that was forecast was approaching.
Four people were sitting in the lobby, occupying some of the blue chairs where all sort of criminals usually used to sit while the paperwork was being done. But today he had the feeling that the scared bunch of people in shock weren't the usual "customers" of the station. A blond young woman was livid, shaking, her hands reaching for the cup of tea that Detective Smith brought her. A young man with glasses and a serene attitude looked into the void, absently, while he played with his expensive watch, that seemed to be spoiled. The third one was an older man, maybe thirty-five, who had blood in his sweater. Davenport stiffened and held his breath. There were two sharp, deep wounds on the man's neck, as if a big dog had bitten him. Swallowing, he observed the next person. She was a young woman, maybe twenty. Her long, straight brown hair fell over her shoulders. She was, by far, the most calmed of the group. Her big, brown eyes were red and puffy, as if she had been crying before. She held a notebook close to her heart, as if she didn't want to let it go.
"It doesn't work anymore" The man with glasses spoke. Davenport looked at him and their eyes met. "It should be working, you know?". His blue eyes were empty. Davenport frowned, wondering what had happened to them. He approached the man and knelt beside him.
"What is not working?" He asked. The man showed him the watch. It was indeed expensive, but the hands seemed to be stopped. At 3:30. "Should it be working? Why do you think it stopped?" Davenport asked. The man shivered.
"It happened at 3:30" The man answered. Davenport looked at Detective Smith and they exchanged a puzzled look.
"What happened at that time?" He asked, but the man didn't answer. He heard a soft voice behind him.
"We all lost conscience at 3:30" The young brunette spoke. Davenport stood up and looked down at her.
"OK, let's start from the beginning" He said, tired of that. "Why did you all come here? Anybody cares to explain me?" The only person who reacted to that was the same woman.
"It all started two weeks ago..." She began, but Davenport lifted his hand.
"Come to my office please. Smith, call an ambulance, those three need to be checked" He turned to the woman and asked, "Are you OK?". She simply nodded. "Then follow me".
She sat on a chair and crossed her arms. Davenport took his place behind the office desk and rested his elbows on the table. In his twenty years as a detective he had never witnessed such a thing. He calmly took the voice recorder, set it near the woman and cleared his throat. The door of the office was closed and a light haze filtered through the shutters. It was a warm spring day and the coming storm was giving him headache.
"What's your name?", he asked. She lifted her gaze and shifted in her seat.
"Lorena" There was a slight accent in her voice.
"You're not American" She shook her head. He raised an eyebrow, waiting for an answer.
"I'm from Spain". He was surprised. She handed him her passport and visa. "I'm a tourist". He checked the picture on the document and the expiration date of the visa.
"Are the rest of them from Spain as well?", he asked. She shook her head again.
"He chose us from different countries". He stared at her, frowning.
"Who is he?", asked, and their eyes met. She looked tired and scared, but there was something else in her eyes. Some sort of warmth he couldn't describe.
"The one who sent the invitations. I got mine two months ago". She took a deep breath and closed her eyes for a second.
"Would you care to explain, please? What invitation?" He was getting more and more intrigued. What was going on there?. He saw tears in her eyes and hoped she wasn't going to have a breakdown, but she collected herself quickly.
"I would like to check if Aidan is fine" She said.
"Who is Aidan?" Davenport was getting impatient.
"The guy with glasses. I need to know if he's fine" She pleaded. Davenport nodded.
"Doctors are on the way. He will be fine. But it's very important that you answer my questions so that we can help you all. It doesn't happen every day that we get the visit of four foreigners in this small Colorado office. So, please, tell me the story from the beginning. All is taken care of. We can give you something to eat or to drink".
"I would like to have a coffee, please" Davenport left the office and went to the coffee machine, feeling confused. Those people were terrified to death, in a state of utter shock. Whatever happened to them it must have been something terrible. He returned to his office, hoping to find the answers he needed. He closed the door behind him and handed her the coffee.
"Thank you", she murmured, taking it. Her hands weren't shaking. He noticed her composure, she wasn't as scared as the others. He leaned on his chair and looked at her.
"And now, please, start from the beginning. It's the only way to help you. Do you understand me?" She nodded again and took a sip of coffee. A thunder echoed in the distance and he saw her shiver.
"It all started the day I got the invitation..."