*beep-beep* my alarm played its quiet little tune that somehow got me out of bed every morning.
I rolled over to look up at my baby blue ceiling with black spirals dancing across it. It was the last project I’d worked on with my mom before she was killed by a crazy psychotic killer that randomly kidnapped people off the street and dropped their bodies in a visible area with everything intact except their eyes.
He takes their eyes out, and that’s how I found my mom, who we thought was on a business trip. She was found on the side of a busy highway still in her car with no eyes and a note pinned to her arm. I was on patrol that day, and I remembered it every night as I tried to fall asleep.
They didn’t find the murderer, and I didn’t expect that he would be found, as I’d been working on this case for a year now, and he never left any clues. No fingerprints or DNA and no camera ever sees the victim’s cars get there. They always seem to have appeared from nowhere.
I decided not to dwell on the past too much and rolled some more, which resulted in me landing with a heavy thud on the hardwood floor.
“Ugh,” I groaned in pain. I sat up and rubbed my sore elbows, which took the brunt of the fall. I crawled to the bathroom to brush my teeth and shower quickly.
As usual, I had a breakfast of toast and already brewed coffee that my best friend, Allie, usually leaves for me before heading to work.
The drive to work was uneventful, except for me occasionally yelling at other road users. However, I was the one in the wrong half the time. I repeat,half the time.
I brought my car window down to swear at a corporately dressed pedestrian who was taking his sweet time crossing the road even after the light had turned green.
He stopped and turned around to stare at me. His cold blue eyes chilled me to the bone and made me regret sticking my large head out the window. He smiled coldly and waved at me.
I gingerly put my head back in the car and examined the nonexistent dirt in my nails until he crossed the road. I sped to work, not bothering to yell at anyone else.
After parking my car, I pulled my long, wavy ebony hair back in a high ponytail and stepped out of the vehicle. The doors slid open automatically as I stood in front of the building. I’d not gotten two steps before the head of the Traffic department jogged towards me.
“Thought you could escape, did you?” he panted.
“Ross, I absolutely have no idea what you’re talking about,” I replied, still striding towards the elevator that would take me up to the safety of my office, where I could sit in peace without any human interaction.
While attempting to catch his breath, he raised his face to meet my eyes, and I stopped suddenly. “Ross! What happened to your poor face?” I gasped. There was an angry red bruise on the right side of his face, and it was barely concealed by poorly placed makeup.
“I got in a fight,” he said vaguely. I took his hand and dragged him to a corner where I could adequately cover up the bruise with some makeup.
The color of his shirt was a very bright neon pink color. It offended my eyes - I’m not a morning person, as you may have noticed - so I made a mental note to ask him more about it later after I’d had another cup of coffee or three.
I headed up to my office, and as soon as I stepped in through the door, my boss glared up at me from where he was sitting down and said the most familiar words to me in the world. “You’re late.”
It didn’t faze me, and I walked in, sat on an empty chair at the round table, and paid attention to the projected image of the newest case as of today.
“Thank you for joining us, Rea. Before you came in late, we were reviewing the latest update in the Note case.” He ground out.
I was suddenly very serious. This was the case that I was most determined to solve. Not that the other cases were unimportant, but this had gone on long enough, and the longer we waited, the longer the list of victims.
“What happened?” I asked him. He returned to his laptop and switched to the next slide before answering. “As you can all see, this is quite different from his usual taking the eyes out and creepy notes.”
And it was different; he’d carefully skinned her face to show the bloody muscle underneath. A few newbies silently exited the room, probably to puke the contents of their stomachs out. He continued with his presentation.
The next shot was a close-up of a note that said’ Imperfection.′ I guess he was a perfectionist because instead of the usual four days, it was three days, it must have pissed him off, and he took it out on her.
“We still haven’t found any clues as to how he got her car to such an open area without any discovery. We checked all the surveillance cameras around that area, and none showed the car. The car was suddenly there, and there were no surveillance cameras where it was deposited; the murderer knew there was a blindspot, and he knew where it was. For all we know, he could be one of us” he kept pointing out a few technicalities in the murder while I pondered how the murderer got the cars to those areas.
If we figure that out, we’ll be one step closer to solving the case, and it’ll be the most significant step we have taken in a long while. We have nothing to trace the guy, no fingerprints, and he leaves no part of himself behind. To us right now, he may as well be a ghost.
In the meantime, I could go and see Ross. It was almost lunchtime, and I promised to meet him. Besides, the most important things had already been said, and the presentation had moved on to more minor cases of a thief stealing a little girl’s purse.
Honestly, I don’t understand some people. What can you gain from stealing an empty, pink Barbie purse? The little girl does not work; what are the chances she could have had money in that purse? Anyway, we’d caught the thief, a 20-year-old unemployed male. The girl is pressing charges, by the way.
I caught up with Ross in the lunchroom. We got free lunch at our workplace, and Ross and I always took full advantage of it by piling our trays full of food. He was already at a table, so I got in line, grabbed a tray, and got a few slices of pizza, a can of Pepsi, an apple, and a cup of coffee for later.
“How has your day gone so far?” Ross asked in-between bites of drool-worthy pizza. I stared intensely at him until his eyes nervously glanced back down at his food, up at our colleagues, and anywhere but at me.
“I know you’re stalling, Ross, and I know you’re going to avoid answering my questions, but you’ll answer, or… I’ll be your worst nightmare” I smiled innocently at him.
He shuddered and glanced away. My innocent act didn’t deceive him. “I’ll tell you, I promise, just not now,” he said, picking at his food.
He wasn’t his usual chipper self today, I really wanted to know what happened, but he promised to tell me later. I’ll wait.
“Do you want to go out with me to investigate the Notes case?” I asked. I needed someone to accompany me, but I also wanted him by my side to ensure he wasn’t this gloomy for the rest of the day.
When the words registered in his head, he let a broad smile pop up, and a familiar spark returned to his eyes. “I have work to do, Rea, and remember what happened last time?”
I remembered. The last time we had gone out together to investigate a case, we had gone to the spa, then to a park, attempted to adopt a puppy, and through all of these, the guy we were sent out to investigate passed by us multiple times. Still, we were having too much fun to notice until he snatched my wallet from my outstretched hand. Ross ran after him, pushing people out of the way in an attempt to get to the thief, and I raced through the streets, weaving through cars and driving through red lights without a siren on. We eventually caught the thief, but we got in so much trouble.
“Of course, I remember what happened last time, but nothing could possibly go wrong this time, and we did have fun.” I grinned at him, still trying to convince him to accompany me. But judging by the light in his eyes, he was coming along, and we were going to have so much fun!
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