Midnight Owl (A Joe Leverette Mystery, Book 1)

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Billingsley called Carole at 6PM and told her the two officers would be there shortly. He clued them in to what was going on.

“Now I know this is going to sound crazy,” Billingsley started as the two women sat in his office. “The lady you’re going to see is a sensitive.” He stopped and waited for their reaction.

Williams’ big brown doe eyes opened wide and Michaels raised an eyebrow. He wondered if this was going to work. He didn’t know much about them but then Paul did know about the case and said they’d be the best.

Williams squirmed in her chair. Her chocolate brown skin looked smooth and she wore her hair short. Billingsley thought she was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen. She reminded him of his late wife at that age. Their marriage was frowned upon, his family being white. But once the grandchildren came all was forgotten. Damn how he missed her.

Michaels on the other hand was light skinned, had green eyes that pierced right through you. Her hair was dyed blonde and also short. She wasn’t near as attractive as Williams but she was a beauty in her own right.

He went over the case with them and asked if they had any questions. They both shook their heads so he handed Michaels a paper with the address.

“I want you to stay there until I call you to come back,” he said. “We’re not sure what, if anything, will happen tonight. But if this guy is planning something we’re pretty sure it’ll be tonight.”

“Yes, sir,” they both said. He dismissed them and they left for their assignment.

Amy called Carole to let her know she would be late. “It’s been a madhouse here today,” Amy told her, “I’ll be a couple hours at least.”

“Okay,” Carole said sounding subdued. “Dinner will be ready by seven.” She didn’t want to tell Amy about the officers until she got home. God knows she’d freak out.

“Great. See you then,” Amy said and closed her phone. Carole sounded, what, tired? Worried? She decided to shrug it off and get back to work.

Williams and Michaels arrived at Carole’s home at 6:12 PM. Carole welcomed them in and they introduced themselves. She asked if they’d like some coffee.

“That would be great,” Williams said. Michaels didn’t want any yet.

They sat in the living room as Carole brought out the coffee for Williams and a cup for herself.

“So you’re a real sensitive?” Michelle Williams asked with interest.

Carole chuckled and looked at her. “I guess that’s what they call it.”

Barbara Michaels didn’t believe in such things and it was evident on her face. “Do you see the future or what?” she asked.

“I see what’s happening or going to happen,” Carol answered.

“Wow,” Michelle said, “That is so cool!”

Barbara shook her head and gave her one of her ‘I don’t believe you’ looks. “So you’ve seen the murders then?”

“Yes,” Carole said and a sad expression came to her face.

“Can you make that happen?” Barbara asked knowing if her boss believed it than it just might be true. And Billingsley seemed to believe it, too.

“No. They just come on their own,” Carole said, “I’ve been able to see things since I was 13. This is the first time I’ve ever been involved with a police investigation.”

The two officers nodded their heads and noticed headlights coming into the driveway. They got up and carefully went to the window.

“Oh, that’s Amy,” Carole said recognizing the car in the dimming light of the day. “She said she was going to be late.”

The two officers heard her but didn’t leave their spots. They kept an eye on her until she left the car, alone, and walked to the side door. They refused to relax until the woman was in the house and nobody was following her.

“Carole, who’s ca…” she started to say and saw the two women in the house looking intently at her.

“These are Officers Williams and Michaels. They’ll be here tonight…” Before she could finish Amy started to tremble.

“What?? What happened?? Is he coming here??” Amy started shuddering and barely made it into a chair at the kitchen table. Carole ran to her.

“No, he’s not coming here,” Carole said and went to get Amy a glass of water. She drank it slowly but couldn’t stop shaking.

“This shit’s going to kill me,” Amy said. “I just don’t understand.”

“I know, sweetie, I know,” Carole said and sat down across from her friend wondering the same thing.

The girls said good night to the two officers and went to bed. Carole had explained to Amy why they were here but it didn’t seem to calm her much. But Amy did admit that she felt safer with them there.

Williams and Michaels would check outside, through the windows since Carole had an alarm system.

The evening went by without incident until Carole ran into the living room.

“He’s going to kill someone,” she said shaking.

“Do you know who it will be?” Williams asked and led her to the sofa.

“No. Not this time,” Carole started shaking harder.

“Didn’t they show you the pictures of the others?” Michaels asked. “You should be able to recognize them.”

“It’s not like that,” Carole said. Amy came into the living room when she heard the commotion. She sat next to Carole and put an arm around her.

“So it wasn’t anyone in the pictures?” Michaels asked.

“I don’t know,” Carole said and started to cry. He knows!”

“Get Billingsley over here,” Michaels said to Williams. “Something’s wrong.”

Williams called and relayed the message while Michaels stayed with Carole and Amy. “Who was it then? Anyone you know?”

“I don’t know,” Carole said through sobs. She knew this person was going to die soon and she couldn’t do anything to stop it. Williams was at a loss. Was it someone she didn’t know? No. She said she doesn’t know, not she doesn’t know them.

“He’ll be here as soon as possible,” Michaels said breaking Williams’ chain of thought. “He wanted to know what was up. I told him we didn’t know but that he should get here ASAP!”

“Good. Something’s not right,” Williams said looking at her partner.

Just then there was a knock at the door that made the two officers get to their feet and put their hands on their weapons. Billingsley couldn’t be there already; it took a good thirty-five minutes to get to Carole’s house from the precinct.

Carefully Williams moved to the front door to look through the pigeon hole. She shook her head and chuckled.

“It’s Leverette,” she said and unlocked the door. “Well, what brings you here at this time of night,” Williams teased. Billingsley told them he might show up and why.

Leverette’s cheeks blushed and he thought for a minute.

“Just helping to keep an eye on the place,” he said and came in. “I saw the lights come on. What’s wrong?”

Williams led him into the living room and when he saw Carole crying he had to fight the urge to wrap his arms around her, which Amy was doing already.

Leverette sat in the chair that was perpendicular to the sofa. His knee gently brushed against Carole’s and she looked up at him.

“He knows,” she said in a low whisper.

“Who knows? And what does he know?” Leverette asked taking his notepad and pen out of his pocket.

Carole had a lost look in her eyes. She sat back on the sofa and took a deep breath to try to steady herself.

“The killer,” she said looking in Leverette’s eyes. “He knows about me.”

“What makes you think that?” Leverette asked already making notes. He was wondering if she’d seen her head in his hands. “Did you see something?”

“Yes. His next victim. But the face was hidden.” Carole said and started shaking again.

“Hidden?” Leverette asked.

“Blurred out. All I could tell is that it’s a man with dark hair.”

Leverette tried to think of who had dark hair that was on his list. King had dark brown hair but he wasn’t on the list anymore. Then there was DeShawn Davis, Shin Yoo and Frank McCullough.

“Could you tell anything about the hair? Long, short, curly..?”

Carole didn’t want to remember what she saw, but this might help them stop the killer.

“It was straight and kind of long,” she said as tears welled up in her eyes. “And I didn’t see the killer’s face, just his eyes, and he laughed instead of hushing me. Then I heard the owl, but it only hooted once.”

A heavy knock on the door made everyone, except the two female officers, jump. Williams went to the door and peeked out. It was Billingsley. She let him in without saying anything. She pointed toward the living room.

He turned and wasn’t surprised to see Leverette there.

“What’s going on?” Billingsley asked in a gentle voice. He saw how upset Carole was and didn’t want to add to it.

Leverette got up and motioned for Billingsley to follow him into the kitchen.

“She had the vision,” Leverette said, “But the face was blurred out. She did see it was a man with longish dark hair.”

“Can we figure out who it is?” Billingsley asked and mentally went through the faces of the witnesses.

“I think It’s Frank McCullough,” Leverette answered. “The other two with dark hair have short hair.”

Billingsley got on the radio and ordered officers to McCullough’s house. It was usually several hours after the vision and it was only 1 a.m. so they had time. He told them he and Leverette would meet them there.

The men walked back into the living room. Carole seemed to be calmed down a little but still had that look in her eyes.

“We think we know where he’s going,” Billingsley said, “So we’re heading out there. I want you two to stay here until we call.”

“Yes, sir,” they said in unison.

The men left and got into Billingsley’s car then headed to McCullough’s house.

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