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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/706404
Rated: 13+ · Fiction · Mystery · #706404
A psychic detective helps solve a case. A tale told in dialogue only.
“You’re psychic, Ma’am?”

“The universe just finds it easy to talk to me, Detective.”

“Um, right, Ma’am. Which basically means you’re…psychic.”

“How about a deal? You call me Ann instead of Ma’am, and I call you…”

“Detective Daniel Johnson. Just Dan will be fine, Ma’am. I mean, Ann.”

“Is it a go, Ann? You ready to get your freak show on the road?”

“Ah, Detective Cole, aka Stone Cole. You go on back to interviewing whoever you were interrogating. Dan and I are doing fine.”

“Suit yourself. Better Dan the Rookie than me. If any ghosts should happen to jump out at you, remember not to draw your nine mil and start shooting. It won’t help ‘cause they’re already dead.”

“Cole. Get out of here. You're blocking my vibes.”

“My pleasure. Later. And don’t say I didn’t warn you, Rookie Dan.”

“Ass. What a mentor he must be for you, Detective.”

“Don’t worry, I’m learning how to ignore him. Now, what’s my part in this?”

“Well, first of all, as shitty as it might seem, do as Cole said. Don’t draw your weapon. They’re already dead.”

“You mean--”

“Second, don’t let it scare you. Be much more afraid of the living.”

“But I’m--”

“I’m not exactly psychic, either.”

“The more you say it, the less I believe it. Especially the way you--”

“Finish your sentences?”

“Do I really need to answer that?”

“It’s just something I have a knack for.”

“Is that what this is--a knack for being able to ‘read’ crime scenes?”

“I like you, Detective Dan.”

“Just Dan, Ma’am. I mean, Ann. Please. Call me Dan.”

“That was part of our deal, wasn’t it?”

“Sure was. How about another deal?”

“Yes?”

“How about you be straight up with me, and tell me how you really do what you do?”

“Oh, I won’t have to tell you a thing, Dan. You have eyes.”

“Yes, but…”

“I like you. You learn quick.”

“Can’t help it with a partner like Cole. Now, how about completing my sentence.”

“Where were we?”

“I said, ‘Yes, but…’”

“Right. You were going to say, ‘Yes, but I’m not psychic.’”

“Hot damn.”

“To which I'll say, 'But you’ll be close to me, sharing my space, and I've had a couple of people tap into what I was seeing. It could happen to you as well.'”

“Fascinating....”

“We should get started. Remember to keep your hands on your trusty pen and notepad, and off your gun. Follow me and make sure you get every clue I give you.

“Yes, Ma’am. Uh, Ann.”

“Let’s start with something easy. Her bulletin board looks inviting.”

“After you.”

“Look here. See the way she’s arranged her things? I don’t have to be psychic to see what type of girl she basically was. She speaks to me through the way she’s tacked every note, clipping, and photo to this board. A photo of her is off into the upper left corner. She was shy, but had a decent self-esteem. A photo of her boyfriend is pinned almost dead center, along with photos of her friends.”

“She was really the last important thing, or person, in her life.”

“Careful, Dan. I might fall in love with you.”

“And I might not mind.”

“Oh, boy. Anyway, you’re right. So, it’s official. We’ve begun to read the imprints left behind by the murder victim.”

“Stacey?”

“Yes. Please remind me that although they’re gone, they’re still human, and that we are their voices.”

“So, you simply profile the victims through their things?”

“It’s what I used to simply do. I was simply a Profiler. Until I began to see--”

“What is it?”

“Follow me. Stay close.”

“Wouldn’t have it any other way.”

“And hush. I can barely hear them.”

“Who?”

“Shhhh…It’s coming from the bedroom. C’mon.”

“Who is it?”

“It’s Stacey.”

“Of course.”

“And…”

“Her boyfriend?”

“No. She’s arguing with her father.”

“About?”

“Sometimes the imprints are so subtle. I heard her say, ‘Dad,’ but—Yes. That’s better. Much better.”

“You’re…s-seeing them, now. Aren’t you?”

“Don’t be afraid. God, they’re coming in like a freight train.”

“You okay?”

“C’mon. Let’s get a little closer. They’re at the foot of her bed.”

“Oh, God. Oh, God. Oh, God.”

“You’re seeing what I’m seeing, aren’t you? Hard to believe they’re ghostly images, isn’t it?”

“I think you should let go of my arm, Ann. Please.”

“All right, but it won’t make them vanish.”

“Just…Please.”

“Your wish. My command. Are they gone, now that I’ve let go?”

“Oh, God.”

“I told you so. Take deep breaths. The initial shock will wear off soon. In the meantime, we’ll get back to solving this case.”

“Right. I’ll be okay.”

“You already are, Dan. You already are.”

“How come I can see them, but can’t hear them?”

“My, how quickly you’ve recovered. The audio treat seems to be reserved especially for me, despite you sharing my psychic space.”

“I see. So, what’s going on?”

“Give me a sec. I’m going to step into her bedroom. Maybe I’ll be able to hear more clearly. Sometimes it’s like adjusting an antenna. Do me a favor and stay out here, in the hallway, okay?”

“You got it.”

“Thanks. Make sure you’ve got your pen ready to catch anything useful.”

“Ready and waiting. What the hell?

“What’s going on? Talk to me.”

“It’s Cole.”

“What’s so unusual about him? Pardon the pun.”

“Funny you should ask. I just saw his imprint walk into the bedroom.”

“It looks like I tuned your antenna instead of mine.”

“You can’t see him?”

“Nope. He’s all yours. You’ll have to tell me what he’s up to so I can relate it to what I’m seeing.”

“He’s, um, searching for something. Not tearing the room apart, but he’s looking. He’s going through Stacey’s dresser drawers. Now he’s searching under her mattress. What he wants isn’t there, either. He’s back at the dresser. Bingo.”

“The man got what he wanted, eh?”

“Pictures. He found them in the last right drawer. And now I’m watching his imprint vanish down the hallway.”

“What now, Dan?”

“Well, our Stone Cole wasn’t wearing gloves, so I’m going to get his prints from that drawer, and then find out what exactly he was doing here.”

“Hurry and make your call. I’ve got something for you. We’re here because Stacey’s time of death is inconsistent with statements given by her father, and Daddy Dearest insists that his daughter committed suicide, but the evidence says otherwise, right?”

“Call made. And yes and yes to both of your questions. What’s up? Ann? Ann, are you okay?”

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?”

“Excuse me?”

“I’m leaving this place. I can’t live here anymore!”

“Sweet Jesus, Ann…Stacey and her father’s imprints are speaking through you!”

“You’re seventeen years old. You’re my underage daughter. You don’t tell me what you’re gonna do. I tell you!”

“I see them! Stacey’s father is pitching her clothes out of her suitcase as soon as she packs them in.”

“Leave me alone! Don’t touch me, you murderer!”

“Now they’re standing still, staring each other down. Still staring. Now Stacey’s dashing, trying to get out of the room. Her father grabs her, throws her onto her bed.”

“You’ll never tell a soul. You hear me? Never.”

“She’s—She’s trying to scream. My God. His—His hands are around her throat. He’s strangling her. She’s struggling, but…My God, she’s stopped moving! But he’s still choking her. My God. Now, he's off of her. He’s pacing, wearing a hole into the floor, sobbing, and mumbling...something. I can’t hear him.”

“What’ve I done? Oh, God. What have I done?”

“You killed your own daughter, you bastard. Sorry, Ann. I know you’re just the messenger, but--He’s on the move again. He’s left the room, and gone into the bathroom. The tap is running. He’s back in the room. He’s lifted Stacey from the bed. Ann! Ann, can you hear me? I have to go into the bathroom to see exactly what’s going on. I’m right down the hall. I don’t know if you can hear me, but I’ll keep telling the details, okay?”

“I came to dust for prints, sir.”

“Sure. Go right ahead. I specifically want prints lifted from the last drawer on the right.”

“You got it. Um, what’s up with her? Is she all right?”

“She’ll be fine. Don’t worry. You’ll hear me say some things, too, but pay no attention to either of us.”

“I’m already ignoring you.”

“You just get me those prints.”

“Getting the prints.”

“All right, Ann. I’m outside the bathroom. Damn, I’m losing the Imprints! Come on, stay with me. Show me what you did with your murder weapon, you S.O.B. Okay…He’s left the bathroom, and is heading downstairs. I’m gonna have to follow him, Ann. I’ll be back.”

* * *

“I lost him, Ann. I lost the imprints. But we’re digging up the yard. We’ll get him. Come back to me, now, Ann. Ann! Come back to me!”

“I’m done lifting prints, sir. You know, it’s a good thing she’s not a baby. The way you’ve been shaking her she would have Shaken Baby Syndrome, by now.”

“Mind your business.”

“Would you like me to get an EMT up here to see about her?”

“No…but thanks. Let me know whose prints those are ASAP, okay?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Ann, Goddamnit. Come back to me. What else can I do besides shake you?”

“You can…help me…stay upright. I think I’m about to…”

“Whoa. I’ve got you. Let’s go get some fresh air, preferrably down at Headquarters.”

* * *

“What’s on those photos you stole from Stacey’s dresser?”

“I don’t owe you any explanations, Rookie Dan. And I suggest you try not to make your career by aligning yourself with that quack Ann and going up against me. That would be the worst mistake you ever made.”

“Right. So, now that I’m shaking in my boots, you care to answer me?…Fine, stay tight-lipped. I’d rather you be pried open by the I.A.D. pricks and their crowbars, anyway.”

“I didn’t kill Stacey!”

“It doesn’t change the fact that your career is over. You should’ve done a better job of torching those pictures, by the way. We found pieces of them in your fireplace. I guess you’ve figured it was enough to bust you; otherwise you wouldn’t be here in my hot seat, right about now. So you might as well tell me what the hell was going on between you and Stacey Moore.”

* * *

“Was that the first time the imprints spoke through you?”

“There’s really a first time for everything, isn’t there, Dan?”

“Apparently. How’re you feeling, Ann?”

“Fuzzy around the edges, but I’m surviving. So what’s the deal with Cole?”

“Well, he’s guilty of carrying on with an underage female, but…he’s no killer.”

“And you lost the imprints, right?”

“Unfortunately.”

“Don’t despair too much. I’ve got some pieces that should fit nicely into our puzzle. Hopefully, the evidence will support what I’ve got to tell you.”

“Hold that thought while I catch this call, please. Detective Johnson. Thanks. I’ll be right over. They found something in Harold Moore’s backyard. I’m going to go check it out. Would you like to share that thought yet?”

“I’ll fill you in on our way back to the Moore house.”

* * *

“You’ve found who murdered my daughter?”

“Yes, I think we have.”

“You think?”

“You see, Mr. Moore…I’ve got two versions of one story. Would you care to help me straighten out my confusion?”

“Of course I’ll help. What can I do?”

“How about tell the truth? You can start by telling me what really happened on the night of Stacey’s murder?”

“But you already know everything that I know.”

“I was going to dispute that, but you’re right. I think that I do know everything that you know.”

“Then what’s the point of this meeting, and all of your odd talk?”

“We found the knife, along with human bones, Mr. Moore. All of it was buried in your backyard.”

“What?”

“Now, on one hand, I have Story A where nothing adds up—not the statements you gave us, or your alibi—but things lead back to no one but you. In Story B, your statements and your excuse of an alibi don’t add up, either. Things lead back to you, also. But what makes Story B more believable is that it’s backed by evidence.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about!”

“Then, this is where I refresh your memory. Approximately thirteen years ago, you murdered your wife. Thirteen years later, something triggers your daughter’s memory, and she recalls seeing you murder her mother--”

“Ridiculous!”

“After learning that your daughter has remembered, you murdered her.”

“Lies!”

“All those years of strict rules and curfews, trying to keep Stacey at home, under your thumb as much as possible, failed after all, and she let it slip that she knew. That she remembered seeing you kill, and then bury her mother in the backyard. Your horrible secret was out--”

“No!”

“And you couldn’t afford to let it go any further. You and Stacey argued. She wanted to leave, but there was no way you were going to allow that. You wrapped your hands around your daughter’s throat and nearly squeezed the life out of her. Then you put her in the bathtub, and sliced open her wrists to try to make it look like a suicide. And for what?!…To keep anyone else from knowing your sick secret!…

“You sob, now, Mr. Moore, but nothing can bring back your daughter; least of all, your tears. You’re under arrest for the First Degree Murders of Jacqueline Moore and Stacey Moore.”

“But how? How did you figure it all out?”

“The evidence, Mr. Moore. The evidence and the imprints.”

“Imprints?”

“I said fingerprints.”

* * *

“Looks like you’ve got this one squared away, Dan.”

“I couldn’t ‘ve done it without you, Ann. You were the one still in contact with the imprints when I lost them.”

“I can just imagine the look on Moore’s face when you mentioned the imprints.”

“That was a Freudian Slip, by the way.”

“Sure. Whatever you say.”

“Well, till we meet again, Ann…”

“You don’t doubt that we will, huh?”

“Unfortunately, no. I have a feeling we’ll be reading imprints again, sooner than we think.”


© Copyright 2003 Fictiøn Ðiva the Wørd Weava (fictiondiva at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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