Chapter 2 - The Nightmare
It was after midnight before I made it home. The session with Dr. Smith had been hard. Conjuring up old memories wasn't easy. What good had it done? I told Dr. Smith everything the police had already known, and they're still no closer in catching the killer when the killer killed his first victim Maria Lakes. According to the police mangled shoes have been turning up all over the city. Ten murders in two years, all committed with a paper weight and all women, and still nobody has a clue who the killer is. The killer was careful to never leave any trance of their identity, methodical with every scene, always leaving just enough evidence to taunt the police and always leaving some kind of written message at the scene of every murder. The last victim was a police officer Stephanie Taylor. According to the channel three news the murderer had left a message on her computer and emailed the the note to all the police officers in her department. The police theorize the killer had picked Stephanie Taylor for the sole purpose to taunt the police.
I slung the keys in the bowl on the coffee table and flopped on the couch, and messaged my temples. I should be at the observatory gazing up at the stars, but I wasn't in the mood, and took a personal day. I wanted to be as far away from there as I could. Maria's blotched and pale body was fresh in my mind. Every time I close my eyes I could see the red blood in her hair, matted to her skin on the back of her next, standing in stark contrast to the blotch pale skin, and the hole on the back of her crown, shaped like a diamond.
"Stop it," I said, and hurried to the kitchen and chugged a a glass of water. "Maria, if only I was there on time you would be alive."
I made another glass of water and returned to the couch and flipped on the TV. I lay there for a long while. Sometime during that time I drifted to sleep.
In my sleep I dreamed... I was keeling beside Maria's body with the pyramid paper weight in my hand. I look up at the lead detective Sargent Davidson. "See look, it fits, " I said, and I slid the tip of the pyramid into the triangle hole on the back of Maria's crown.
He grunted as he scratch his gut and raised one bushy eyebrow.
"It's a perfect fit," I said, sliding the tip of the pyramid in and out of the hole, creating a squishing sound. Each time I pulled the tip of the pyramid out an arc of blood squirted small dots of blood on the back Maria's neck, the deep red dots stood out in stark contrast to the pale blotched skin. "Fits like a glove."
"Or a shoe," he said.
I scrunched my eyebrows and tilted my head and gazed into his green eyes. "Shoe?"
"Yep," he said and leaned against maria's desk, propping his face on a one hand, and his face reminded my of a pig with stubble's. His nose was flat and cheeks puffy.
I bit my bottom lip, afraid to ask, but I had to know. "What shoe?"
He pointed a finger. "That shoe."
I followed his finger and looked at my feet. The air caught in my throat as bile rose into my mouth, causing me to cough. Hanging half on my left foot was the Maria's mangled shoe with the small dots of dried blood on the heel. I jumped up and kicked my foot, and the shoe bounced off the opposite wall and landed in floor beside his foot.
He grunted as he picked up the shoe and tossed it back to me. "Try it on."
"It doesn't fit."
"Not yet." He smiled, revealing black nubs for his bottom teeth.
"Not... Yet..." I mouthed.
Sargent Davidson nodded. "Not yet."
I looked at the shoe in my hand. "What do you mean not yet?'
His belly bounced as he chuckled. "Did you kill her?'
I gasped and dropped the shoe, it bounced of Maria's right but cheek to the floor, the white leather blending in with the paleness of her body. My teeth trembled. He was accusing me of murder.
Sargent Davidson walked around the desk and grabbed my shirt collar and yanked me forward, his nose touching mine. "I know your type. Holier than now science fucks. Your kind are the weakest. Easiest to snap. You think because you have a PhD you are something special and the rest of us owes you something, and the first time you don't get your way you blame other people. Is that what happened to Maria Lakes. Did she make you mad."
"I-I-I didn't d-do anything, I stammered. "There's nothing to prove."
He grinned. "Not yet."
The next morning my head ached, the nightmare gave me a night of restless sleep. I got up and made a pot of coffee and sat at the kitchen table, allowing the strong scent to linger up my nose. Coffee, I thought, thinking about Maria Lakes. She loved coffee. It didn't matter the time of day, Maria always had a cup of coffee within arms reach. I shook her my head, trying to force her out of my head. Even though I hadn't killed her, I felt guilty. I should have been there on time. If I wouldn't have stopped and-"
The doorbell rung.
I took a sip of coffee and forced myself to get up and answer the door, it was my neighbor Samantha Doyle. For a moment I was taken back by the brown hair sweeping from underneath her black beret, ending just past the shoulders.
"Hi Jonathan," she said. "I finished that painting for you." and blushed, her smile crooked. Even in her mismatch jeans and a green t-shirt covered in droplets of paint she held a innocent beauty that most men never took the time to see.
"Thanks Doyle. I'll come over and get it later," I said, embarrassed by my reaction.
Holding her hands behind her back she looked down to her feet, I could see she wanted me to invite her in. I wasn't in the mood, but I couldn't rude to Doyle. Doyle's kind and sweet nature made it hard to rude to her. I stepped aside and waved a hand toward the kitchen. "Would you like to come in. I have coffee."
"Thank you," and quietly walked in and joined me at the table.
"Yes," and she blushed.
I served coffee and sat at the table and an awkward silence passed between us.
"I got a hammer I borrowed to bash Maria's skull with."
I jerked, the air caught in my throat, coffee spilled over the brim. "What?"
She eyed me. "I got the hammer I borrowed from you to fix the deck with. I'll give it to you when you come and get the painting."
"Oh." I wiped my brow.
"Are you feeling OK?" she asked, wrapping her fingers around her coffee mug.
"Yeah, I had bad dreams last night," I said, and avoided her eyes, and noticed the different color of paints that stained the tips of her finger. I thought, innocence.
"Would you like a camel cigarette to calm your guilt?"
My eyes shot open. "Huh?"
"Would like a camel cigarette to calm your nerves," she said, and dug in the pocket of her jeans, producing a pack of cigarettes.
I chuckle. "Yes. Thank you Doyle. The dream has gotten me...
I chuckled. "Yes. Thank you Doyle. The dream has gotten me. I don't know. Tore up I guess."
Her soft eyes smiled. "Everything will work it's way out. I have to remind myself that our greatest journey is yet to come."
My heart sunk to my gut. I knew what she was trying to get out. That the best of times was yet to come, but I had this nagging feeling this was only the beginning of the hardships I would endure. I couldn't help to think that Dr.Smith had opened up Pandora's box.
"Did I say something wrong?" Doyle asked.
I tried to smile. "No Doyle. I'm fine. You got a light."
Her soft brown eyes fail to the cigarette pack lying in front her. "Sure." and dug in her pocket and struck me a light.
I inhaled. Doyle was right, the cigarette hitting my lungs calmed my nerves. We sat in silence and I thought back to nights at the observatory. Not only did Maria like her coffee, but her cigarettes as well. Couple months before her death I had noticed she picked up on smoking. Instead of her usual one pack per day, she was smoking two and half packs a day. I could tell she was stressed, and asked her if everything was alright. She smiled and told me I was being silly. What was she nervous about? I thought.
"Who was nervous?" Doyle asked.
I shot her a glance, not realizing I had said my thoughts out loud. "Um..." I didn't want to tell Doyle, even though Doyle had known Maria Lakes. Maria had lived next door to Doyle.
"It's OK Jonathan," she said, her elbow propped on the table with her hand cocked, holding a cigarette between her fingers. "I'm your friend. You can tell me anything."
Even speaking Maria's name out loud made me feel like I was betraying her and that I was guilty of a crime I didn't commit. But I couldn't not tell Doyle. Doyle was the kindest person in the world, and she was the type of person who would go to the grave with a secret. So, I said, "Maria Lakes." Just for a second something passed over Doyle's eyes. I'm not sure what it was, but I didn't like. Did she think I was guilty? or... I swallowed, wanting to push the thought away. Or is she guilty? Did Doyle kill Maria Lakes?
Doyle's took a sip of coffee, and looked away. "I miss her," she said, and I hated myself for suspecting Doyle for a second. "I still have the portrait she paid me to paint. I was going to give it to her the next day, but she never came home. Then they stole her body."
I choked. Coffee shot from my mouth. "What?"
Her mouth fail open and closed, eyeing me as she bit her bottom lip. "You didn't know? It was all over the news after her murder. Her body was stolen the night it was taken to the morgue before an autopsy could be performed."
"I didn't know." I messaged my temples.
"You don't remember me and you talking about it?" she asked, her eyes suspicious.
"No." I closed my eyes and thought about my visit with Dr. Smith. He said we made progress in regaining suppressed memories, but we didn't get that far into the session. Now I'm not sure if I want to go back to see Dr. Smith. What else would I learn? I had gut feeling things were getting ready to turn hazardous. The question was, could I survive it?
"Are you OK?" Doyle asked.
I pushed myself from the chair and walked to the window above the sink, and looked across the street to Maria's small bungalow. The life that used to spill out of that house was now dead, and stood in our neighborhood like ancient relic from the past. The white vinyl siding fading and turning brown, the shutters swinging loose, old dusty sheets covering the windows. It's a tomb, I thought, and spun around. "I just don't get it Doyle, why steal her body?"
Doyle shrugged. "Your guess is good as mine."
"To hide evidence." It was the only reason I could think of that made any sense.
"That would be my guess," Doyle said, and bit her bottom lip, giving me a good once over. "Jonathan are you sure everything is alright? You don't look well."
"I'm fine Doyle," I snapped.
Her lip twitched and for a brief moment water came to her eyes. "I'm sorry Doyle. I didn't mean to snap at you. It's just that so much is happening. Maria was murdered two years ago, and the police have connected her murder with the last ten murders in the last ten weeks. And for some reason they think I know something I'm not telling. I can see it in Sargent Davidson eyes that he thinks I'm guilty."
"Everything will be OK Jonathan. I know you and Maria were really really close."
I paused and took a good look at her. "What do you mean?"
She bit her bottom as her cheeks blushed. "I mean you and Maria-" she stopped mid-sentence as three rapid knocks came to the front door. The knocks were deep thumps. "That's a cop knock," she said.
I gulped. Butterflies swarmed my chest, flapping to the confusion in my head, making it hard to breath. The knocks repeated. I looked at Doyle and she looked at me as her face paled. Our eyes meet, and the pleading in her eyes made want to ran over and scoop her in my arms and hold her. I fought the urge and hurried to the front door and swung it open. It was Sargent Davidson with two other cops I've never seen before. Davidson stood in the doorway in his gray trench coat, that stupid round hat of his, wearing a thee day old beard. I knew I was in for a ride.
"Jonathan Day Mealy, you are under arrest for the murders of Maria Lakes, Stephanie Taylor, Janet Blackburn..." I didn't hear the rest. My mind spun in circles. My gut had been correct in its assumption that things were getting ready to turn hazardous, and they had. Now my life was at stake.
"I didn't dot it," I said, as he placed his massive hands on my shoulder and spun me around, pressing me against the door.
"That's what they all say." he jerked my arms behind my back and slapped cuffs around my wrist. "I made the cuffs extra tight for scum bags like you." he yanked the chains linking the handcuffs and drug me out of the house.
"I'm innocent," I screamed
"Cop killers always ride the lighting," Davidson said.
I could hear Doyle screaming as he shoved in the back seat of a cruiser. "I'll call a lawyer."
As the cruiser pulled away I looked over my shoulder, and Doyle ran out to the edge of the front yard and collapsed to her knees, cupping her mouth with her hands, weeping.
This is the second chapter of a story I am writing using @mariannewest 5 minute freewrite challenge. I'm using the prompts she supplies each day to continue the story. I'm not sure where the story is going. This is a challenge. Trying to write a coherent story, using prompts. So far I have managed to keep in line. I just hope I can continue to do so. Everything here has been published before on earlier post. I combined the earlier post together to make chapter 1 for easier reading experience for those interested.
If you read it, wow! Thank You.
I made no corrections to errors. Only corrected misspelled words and markdown tags. Sometime in the future I plan to come back and giver it a proper edit and fix errors. Thank You.
I want to give Thanks to the @freewritehouse
I want to give Thanks to @mariannewest for the freewrite challenge. Follow. Upvote. Resteem.