December 19th, 2019
Lakeshore Park, Novi, Michigan
"911, what's your emergency?"
"I'm going to die." I say with my breathing heavy.
"I'm sorry miss, can you repeat?" The operator voice echoes in my ears, sounding very far away.
"They're after me..." My feet slams into the dirt ground, running as fast as I can while trying not to trip over the roots and thick broken branches hidden by the thick shadows that cover this forest.
"Can you tell me your location?"
"Aahh..." My brain is slow to think, the quick breaths that I'm taking doing nothing to maintain a proper oxygen flow. "Somewhere on Lakesh-" I trip on a loose stone and almost fall, my phone slips from my hand."Shit, shit, shit, shit, shit..."
I can't stop to catch it, I have to keep running if I don't want to be caught.
There's no moon tonight, so it's just me, my persuars footsteps and the deafening forest silence, neither a hum nor an animal growl. I can only ear my ragged breathing and the blood pounding on my ears, and I almost forgot about that occasional shot of a gun pointed at me.
At least it looks like they don't aim well.
I can see the lake getting close, maybe I can try to swim to the other side of the shore. Hope they won't be able to shoot at me while they swim.
I'm almost there now, I can feel the ground getting soft and muddy because of the water.
My steps falter when I finally touch it. The water it's very cold, but I have to keep moving, and fast.
Already knee deep into the water they shoot at me again, the bullets landing on the dark water.
And that's the last sound I ear.
Looks like one of them could aim after all...
December 20th, 2019
Novi Police Department, Michigan
"The victim's name is Margaret Hastings, 23 years old." Detective Edwards says slowly, examining the ID card that was found in the car with the driver's door open, the key still on the ignition, just outside the road near the tree line of the park. It looked like the woman found dead in the water had left the car in a hurry, probably running away from something, or someone.
It was unusual to have a case of this kind in this area of the city, the population, especially in that neighborhood, was usually very friendly, with a very low crime rate. So a murder by shooting was a big deal, and it definitely was going to bring attention to the area. "Cause of death?"
They had to call someone from another department to come and analyse the crime scene and the body.
The police station didn't even have a morgue, so they had to install a makeshift laboratory in one of the communal areas.
"Well, it would appear that the victim was killed by a single gunshot in the chest area..." The coroner, a woman in her mid thirties, with smooth olive skin and thick black hair cut short around her shoulders, starts to explain.
"I'm feeling a 'but'." The detective mutters.
"...but the bullet didn't pass through any vital organs, and according to the Xrais results that just came out from the hospital, it actually got lodge on a vertebra. Meaning that the victim could have survived." She rounds the table slowly, lifting her greenish eyes to the detective. "Especially in this area with houses and campers so close, even with a silencer, someone would come to her aid and she would still be alive by now, barely, but alive nonetheless."
"So....." The detective dark eyebrows lift as in if a question.
"So the cause of death was actually drowning." The coroner's eyes return again to the victim's body. "Her lungs are filled with water, which means that she probably fell with the impact of the shot, with any luck passed out from the pain which is doubtful, and drowned herself to death." Coroner Elize Martin concludes, her yes still on the young woman's poor body. Even with bluish and swollen skin, Margaret Hastings was a beautiful woman. With coppery brown hair, beautiful nose and slim members, didn't measure more than 5.4 ft.
"It's a shame. Do you have any suspects yet?"
"We're working on it. As you're probably aware we are not used to deal with this kind of situation, but I got of the phone the family about an hour ago, they are coming here to identify the body." The detective pauses, walking slowly, getting closer to the table to get a better view of the results on the monitor. "And according to the information that we were already able to collect it looks like she was coming home to pass the holidays with her family. They actually live near the park."
"Then what the hell was she doing in the middle of the woods, at midnight, ending up dead."
"Thank you for coming, Mister and Miss Hastings." Detective Edwards enters the small, dark lighted interrogation room. The grey paint on the old walls in desperate need for a repair. He eyes the man and the woman sitting in front of the table that occupies the center of the room. "I'm very sorry for your loss."
"Of course, thank you." The tall man politely answers, an arm wrapped tightly around a petite, crying woman that appeared to be in her late forties or early fifties. The similarities between her and the victim were very obvious and that, for detective Edwards, was almost enough to confirm that the woman lying dead on the other room's table was indeed Margaret Hastings.
Knowing that the mother probably wouldn't acknowledge his question, Edwards turned to the man. "Did your daughter had any enemies that you were aware of, maybe an angry ex-boyfriend or someone jealous at work?"
"Marge wasn't my daughter, she was my niece. But I guess that she was like a daughter to me. My wife and I were never able to have children, and after my sister Anna's husband passed away when she was still a child, I think that I was some kind of a father figure for her." The man takes a deep breath, his eyes unfocused, lowering to the table. The detective shifted lightly in his feet, getting uncomfortable with the sudden overwhelming emotions that attacked the man. Despite all the inner conversation that he had with imself before entering this room, Edwards couldn't deal right with this kind of feelings, it remainded him of things that were better let in the past, were they belonged.
"I don't think that she had any enemies or someone that would want to hurt her like this. She left home a few years ago and went to Chicago looking for a better job, you know, she wanted to work on some big law firm, being recognised for her work..." Mister Hastings expression saddens.
"She is- I mean, was a beautiful and kind woman, my daughter, my sweet, sweet girl." The woman, Anna, finally says, seaming to wake up from her transe. "Always smiling and trying to help other people. I can't understand why someone would do this to her." She begins shaking with unshed tears and rage. "You need to get justice for my daughter."
She looked up then, meeting the detective's eyes. "You need to find who killed her."
End of chapter 1.
I hope that you liked the beginning of this story.
Please understand that this is a small chapter.