The apartment was clean, not a single thing knocked over, nor a single thing taken. No fingerprints, no DNA, nothing but the note and the wooden cross laying on the coffee table.
"Hey, Detective Silver, we got another one." his fellow officer yelled to him through the apartment.
"Are you freaking kidding me?" a strong male voice responded.
"Nope, come take a look." The officer replied.
"I'll be right there." the voice replied.
Detective Frank Silver was in his late forties, forty-eight to be exact, he was a seasoned detective, but this didn't make the job any easier and wouldn't remove his collection of gray hair over the years. He wore a light brown jacket and just like his favorite tv show character, wore sunglasses all the time. He was a big cigar smoker and loved to down a glass of whiskey to finish off his shift.
He walked into the living room. He surveyed the area, the television was tuned to a show about a reality family, and they were arguing. Silver picked up the remote that was on the couch and shut it off. Frank then looked at the couch, it was leather and had a pillow set at each end of it, and there was a blue blanket laying on the floor. He looked to where the officer was kneeling. On top of the coffee table was a bowl of what use to be freshly made popcorn. Once again it looked like the assailant was able to convince this woman into letting them into her apartment.
"Alright, where is it?" Frank asked the officer who could hear the annoyance in his voice.
"Right here, sir." The officer replied as he pointed to the little piece of paper on the table.
"Did you look at it already?" Frank asked.
"Yes sir, it's the same message as the others."
"Stop calling me sir. It's detective or Frank, never sir."
"Yes sir, I mean detective." He said, shaking his head.
"Ok, let me see it." Frank said as he put his gloves on his hand and reached down for the note.
He slowly picked it up, not wanting to read it, especially since if the officer was right, he knew what it meant, and this would make a total of seven women, and he dreaded knowing that would be the case.
He looked at it, read it out loud.
"But if from there you seek the Lord your God."
Sure enough, just as the officer had said, it was the same note, the same exact note left at the seventh apartment in seven days along with seven wooden crosses.
"This makes seven now doesn't it Detective Silver?"
"Yes, it does."
"What do you suppose it means?"
"It means we need to rethink things and try to find any clues at all, recheck the entire apartment for any clue we may have missed."
"Yes detective, but why the note? What is the significance of the note and what about the crosses?"
Frank looked at it again.
"But if from there you seek the Lord your God."
"Hmm, I wonder." Silver then said aloud.
"Do you know something?" The officer asked,
"Nope." Frank answered
"Then why wonder?" The officer asked.
"I might not have a clue, but I think I know someone who may know a thing or two about crosses."
"Who's that Detective Silver, we haven't had any leads at all, who would know something about this?"
"An old friend, I just hope that he'll help us."
"Why wouldn't he?"
"I don't see why if someone could help save these women they wouldn't want to help."
"Like I said, many reasons."
"Kid, you ask too many questions, but if you must know one reason I can think of off the top of my head."
"Sorry detective, I'm new at this."
"Well kid, one reason is I haven't spoken to him since we buried his daughter sixteen years ago."
The officer's face was overwhelmed with shock and he couldn't find any words to speak.
"Yeah kid, tell me about it."
"I don't know what to say, sir."
Frank shot him a look.
"Go tell the others to take it from here."
"Yes, sir! I mean detective."
"Good, I've got to go see a Pastor about a man."
Detective Silver took the note and placed it inside a plastic evidence bag and sealed it up, he then exited the living room proceeded out of the apartment complex and into his car. Before heading towards his destination, he looked up at his rearview mirror. "Well God, if you are there, I hope you can help." He said as he drove off.
Detective Silver arrived at 242 Old Canal Road, the address of Song of the Spirit Church. It had originally been the old town hall, but when the city of Lowell built the new town hall, a small church group came in and purchased the old town hall and converted to a church.
Frank exited his car, walked up to the door and looked to see if there was a doorbell, there was none, just a sign on the door that said, "always open, all are welcome." so he opened the door and entered the church.
This wasn't your normal looking church, of course, Frank didn't really know what a normal church looked like, he hadn't been to one since he was a child, and from what he could remember this wasn't one. There were about five rows on each side of just chairs, no pews or alters, or anything like that. Just a big empty stage with a podium and a microphone. He looked around no pictures of Jesus hanging from the cross, or statues of the Virgin Mary, just a bible at each seat and one at the podium.
Frank walked up to the podium holding a folder in his hand and picked up the Bible, he looked at it, shrugged it off and placed it back to where it was.
"Can I help you?" a male voice asked from behind where he was standing.
Frank turned and looked at the man who had just asked this question, he wasn't dressed in your typical church clothes, you know the fancy suits or dresses that he would see people putting on, no, he wore blue jeans and a bright green shirt that said Jesus loves me. The man was as tall as he was, and was also seasoned in age, with a hint of gray in his black hair. Frank gazed into his brown eyes before finally speaking up.
"Detective Matthew Lowens as I live and breathe."
Matthew looked at the Frank, then realized who he was speaking to.
"Frank, Frank Silver is that you?"
"Yes Matt, it's me."
"It's not detective anymore you know that."
"Yes, what is it now, Pastor Lowens? Never thought I say the words Pastor and Lowens in the same sentence."
"Things change Frank, why are you here?"
"I've come to ask you for help."
"Sixteen years Frank. Sixteen years I haven't seen you, heard from you, nothing, and the first thing you come to me for is help. You're lucky I am a man of God Frank, what is it you need help with? Your faith? Because we can counsel right here if you like."
"No Matt, not my faith."
"There's this case I'm working on, and…"
"Wow. Wow. Let me stop you right their Frank. If you're asking me to help you with a case, you know I'm going to say no, I gave that up sixteen years ago after Miranda died."
"Just hear me out, please Matt, I think you will be a big help, I need you on this one."
"Frank, please leave, I am a man of God now, my gun swinging, beer chugging, chain-smoking days are gone, and I do not want to be reminded of them in any way."
"Matt, just hear me out!"
"No. Now please leave, this is a house of worship."
"Fine Matt, but I'm going to leave this folder right here on the podium, I want you to look at it and give me a call after you have." Frank said as he placed a folder that he had in his hand on the podium.
"I don't plan on doing that Frank, take it with you and leave."
"I am going to leave, but I am leaving this here, I think you should look at it not for me, but for those who are missing."
"Missing? Who's missing?"
"Seven women Matt. Don't you watch the local news?"
"No, I don't have time for television, working for God is a twenty-four-hour seven day a week kind of thing."
"Well Matt, seven woman who would be around the same age as Miranda would be if she was still alive, for the past seven days one woman a day has gone missing, well I don't need to go into all the details, it's all in the folder if you want to read it. I think you could be helpful on this one Matt, that's why I am here, I am sorry we haven't spoken since Miranda's death, we just both went in separate directions, you became a pastor and well, I didn't. Look at it for the missing women's sake, not mine, and if you got nothing to offer, then no harm no foul."
"I'm making no promises, now if that is all you came for, then please leave Frank."
"I'm leaving, but here's my card, call me if you change your mind, Matt, it was good seeing you, old friend, even if it was a place of worship, ugh I never got this whole God thing."
Frank handed Pastor Matthew his card, then turned around and walked out the door. He got back into his car and drove away, leaving Matthew alone in the church with the folder.
"How dare he, it has taking me years to get me where I am today, I do not wish to go back." Matthew said out loud to himself inside the church.
He knelt at the podium and began to pray, he needed to seek guidance from his Lord and Savior, as well as forgiveness for being so unkind to Frank. As he prayed, a small voice in his head kept calling out to him to read the folder, he ignored it and continued praying, trying to seek the answers he was looking for.