Eamon McDonagh glimpsed down at the photos just so he could remind himself what the house actually looked like. In this village of just 800 people, it didn't take long for him to find it as he parked his car off the side of the road. There was nothing remotely extraordinary about the house. From the outside it looked like just a two floor high stone dwelling and on the inside, two bedrooms, a restroom, kitchen, living room, dining room, storage room, and a couple of closets.
Eamon stepped out of the vehicle and decided to get a closer look at the house. According to those before him, there had been no signs of forced entry, but there was obvious evidence that a struggle had occurred in both the living room and the child's bedroom.
He walked around to the right side of the house and stared up at a window on the 2nd floor. It was in the middle with what looked to be a 3 cm frame and with another window to the right of it and from the edge of one frame to the other, the two windows looked to be about 2 metres apart. Eamon shook his head trying to stay focused on what was relevant, taking notes as he went along.
The window had been shattered and even now, he could still see some glass littering the ground underneath him. The window looked to be about 1.2m tall and 1.4m wide. "She had either jumped or she was thrown" Detective McDonagh wrote down in his little notebook.
He was just put on the job today. The previous investigator on this case had to take a leave because of claims of a serious ailment. Nobody would say what it was exactly but to Eamon, the matter meant very little to him.
The incident had taken place about a week before. They had found Emily O'Higgins remains lying next to the house, roughly where the detective was standing. He walked back to the front of the house and through the front door. Surpisingly, it was unlocked. Inside, he rediscovered the burned, bloody footprints of Mrs. O'Higgins and followed them to the beginning. They started in the middle of the living room and tracked themselves all throughout the house before concluding a few feet from the window in her son's bedroom.
He went back to the living room where he saw large bloodstains on the couch. They weren't on the cushion, rather they were on the top and back which would make sense since they had told him that she appeared to have been partly skinned before being set on fire and that skin had been laying on top of the couch. He shuddered at the thought.
While walking in Emily's footsteps, Eamon had also seen a large trail of blood which incidentally began in the child's bedroom where the bed was soaked red with blood. He traced the trail to a hallway closet and despite knowing that the house was absent of bodies, Eamon was hesitant about opening the door, possibly afraid of what he might find. He took a deep breath and threw it open. Inside was one very large bloodstain sitting in the middle of the rather large closet and some faint, indecipherable markings on the wall to the right of him.
This is where they had found Johnathan O'Higgin's dismembered body neatly stacked up in a little pile with the torso sitting cozily on top of the little nest that the limbs made with the head laying on top of the chest ever so perfectly.
When they had found the body, the head had appeared to be glowing and though in the darkness, it was very difficult to tell, one of them could faintly see a thin red line circling the face. Curious, she had put her index finger on the seam and a little blood dribbled forth from where she had touched it. Unbeknownst to her colleagues, she pushed ever so slightly more with that same finger. They had heard her shriek in horror. They rushed over to find that the face had fallen off and inside the hollow of his head was a small, still well-lit candle. His head had been carved up like some kind of twisted jack-o-lantern. Even more disturbing was what the candle had revealed. A message written in blood on the right side of the closet that said "The chaos has already arrived." The murder weapons weren't found.
Furthermore, 17 other people had disappeared during that same night of the murders including Michael O'Higgins, husband of Emily and main suspect in the case. Based off the state of the bodies found in the home, Eamon did not have high hopes of finding the other 16 people alive, if they ever found them at all.
Eamon walked outside and closed the door behind him, glad to be away from that heavy and oppressive atmosphere. He walked back to the vehicle with an almost indiscernible look of disgust on his face. Deep down, he felt nauseated by the whole thing. He put the photos back into the glove box, turned the ignition, put the gearshift into drive, and headed off to the older O'Higgins' residence so that he could gain more background information on Michael.
Now he might know why his predecessor felt he needed to take a leave.