CAGED

By A. Yevonn Scott All Rights Reserved ©

Thriller / Romance

Call Me Detective

“Excuse me, Miss, my name is Detective Scott Rodgers, we spoke over the phone.” Said a kind and gentle voice. A slim male figure stood at the door way of Stefens room. He was wearing a dark blue denim jacket and khaki pants and looked to be in his early 50’s. His dark hair was speckled with gray, which enhanced his porcelain white skin. His clothes mocked something from the 80’s era, but even still, Detective Rodgers was strikingly handsome. Not that my opinion as to if a man is handsome or not, is of any merit being that I’m in not attracted to men.

“Yes, hello,” I said while walking towards him and extending my arm out in an effort to shake his hand, but as I got closer I noticed that the detective wore a gloomy expression on his face. His eyes were hollow and distant, surrounded by dark circles. He kept his head tilted down and shoulders slumped like he’d been defeated or starved of sleep for weeks. I dropped my arm down by my side and lost all interest of a polite greeting. His presence brought an eerie feeling that things were not good. I waited for him to look up at me, but instead, he continued his frozen gaze on the floor.

“Detective?” I said slowly. “Have you found Melody?” I asked. Waiting for what seemed like an eternity, he finally broke free from his trance and made eye contact with me. His conquered expression was deafening, and if eyes could speak his would have shattered glass. I stood motionless waiting to hear what I already felt in my heart to be true but hoped that he would save me any of the raw details. My heart punched and pounded hard inside my chest, while sweat filled under my arms and at the small of my back. If the time ever stood still in someone’s life time, my moment was undoubtingly now.

“Miss, can I call you April?” The detective asked extending his arm out to me and speaking with a shaky unsure voice.

“Of course,” I replied, slipping my hands into my pockets. He lowered his arm from his failed attempt of shaking my hand and took a step backward into the hallway.

“Would you like to talk outside of the room?” He asked. I crossed my arms and leaned back on the heel of one foot while the other one tapped impatiently. The detective seemed curious while he leaned his head around my shoulder and widened his eyes trying to see the inside of Stefens hospital room, but from his angle and his distance from the door, I knew that he was unable to see Stefen. It wasn’t that I didn’t want Detective Rodgers to visit or meet him, it was more than I wanted to protect my friend from strangers witnessing the fragile and questionable condition that he was in.

“Look, I don’t want to sound rude or ungrateful that you have come here personally to speak with me, but if you could save the small talk and tell me what is happening with your investigation, I would greatly appreciate it.” I snapped at him.

We both kept our eyes locked on each other’s, and I held my breath waiting for him to answer me. He reached into the inside of his jean jacket and pulled out a small note pad with a leather cover. It was Just like I’d seen on television when a cop would jot down notes, or record clues about a case they were working on, or when they show up at a crime scene. He then flipped it open and plucked a silver pen from his plaid shirt pocket and quickly flicked through the white notebook paper that was plastered with writing and drawings when finally, I exhaled from fear of passing out waiting for this man to explain to me what exactly he had discovered.

“Well.” He said clearing his throat. Again, with the flicking of paper from his notebook, he started to sway nervously side to side.

Is this guy a rookie cop or something? I thought.

“Just tell me the damned news!” I barked at him, uncrossing my arms and standing up straight. My eyes widened and I bit down on the corner of my lower lip.

“Well.” He hesitated. “We’ve discovered numerous beheaded black cats along with black crows that have been completely drained of blood.” He said while looking at a page from his compact notebook. Although I was sorry for the poor kitties and birds I didn’t see the relevance.

“Are we talking about the same Melody? Melody Greene. She’s been missing for weeks, a month, more than a month!” I shouted. Sorry that I had I quickly placed my hand over my mouth. and peeked behind me into Stefens room, forgetting that he was comatose and couldn’t hear me anyway, but I still felt the need to check.

“Yes, ma’am I am well aware of how long Miss. Greene has been missing.” He responded slowly, lifting his head up and shooting darts into my eyes with his. “We believe that she has fallen victim to a satanic cult that…

“A what?” I interrupted. Puzzled about what he was telling me. I snorted and took a step closer to him. “A cult,” I said laughing. “You really want me to believe, that my best friend has joined some satanic group? That she’s not missing.” I said, using air quotes. “But, off partying with gothic cat killers? Come on man!” Shaking my head, I twirled around ready to walk back into Stefens room and check on him the humor of this detective had sent my head spinning.

“No! Uh, Miss April. That is not what I’m saying!” He said loudly. Clearing his throat again. He then apologized for his abruptness.

I turned back around to face him. This time I folded my arms with the same attitude of a 16-year-old girl, who was told ‘NO’ by her parents when they refused to drive her to the mall.

“Then, what exactly are you trying to tell me, sir?” I sneered.

“Detective.” He corrected me.

I Threw my hands up into the air out of frustration. “What the Hell ever. Just tell me what you think I understand about falling victim to a Cult.” I blurted out, not noticing that the attractive nurse from earlier was now standing next to me. She smiled a crooked smile and I instantly felt humiliated. I must have sounded insane to her.

“What’s going on April? Are you okay”? She asked me, with a troubled look on her face. “I came by to see if you would like to have that cup of coffee we talked about earlier”? I was relieved that it was her and not someone else witnessing my flare-up at the detective. I turned towards her and tried to fake a smile. Her angelic face was hypnotizing and I suddenly felt heat flush my face.

“India Hi, I didn’t see you standing there. Yeah. I’m fine.” I said to her. The three of us awkwardly stood in a circle. Am I supposed to introduce them I wondered?

“Well alright then, you seem busy so, I will come back later.” She said.

India nodded at the detective and gently grasped my forearm, lightly rubbing her finger tips up to my shoulder then patted my back. Her tender touch sent sparks through my body starting at my feet then up to my stomach, and then finally tickled the insides of my breasts. My previous feelings of desperation and confusion began to vanish and I wanted her to stay, I wanted more of her touch and of her time. I reached out my hand to hers and held it. We made eye contact, as I smiled a shy smile, then told her “I’d like that.” While we held our gazes, a new feeling of energy and balance came over me, India’s presence brought normalcy back into my upside-down life of tragedy and despair. We’d only met once before this, but the connection was real, and I intended to pursue these feelings even more.

“Ah hmm”. The detective interrupted. His attempted throat clearing startled me, causing my fairy tale moment to disappear. India lets go of my hand, holding my gaze for a second longer then turned and walked away. “Shall we get back to the matter at hand Miss?” He said, taking a side step to break my view of the thin waist and full hips that I imagined wrapping my arms around.

“Yes, sir”. I said bringing my attention back to him.

“Detective”. He corrected.

I let out a short burst of air through my nostrils, squeezing my lips together tightly holding back the urge to lash out at the irritating man.

“So, where was I?” He whispered. Then began flipping pages in his notebook. The ridiculousness of Melody and cults was consuming me once more as he swiped through the mini notebook.

“I believe that you were about to explain to me, what I need to know about crows’ blood and headless cats,” I said to him, rocking my head around with attitude in small circles, and rolling my eyes. I was beginning to feel that my time was being wasted, talking to Detective Rodgers. When we first spoke over the phone my impression of this man, was an unsure and inexperienced Police officer, turned Detective overnight. If only that were true, I could have better prepared myself for the gruesome and daunting explanation of where Melody was and how he thought she ended up there. After months of investigating his list of missing persons grew every weekly when he noticed the women all had the same characteristics. Every family described their loved one to be in her early 20’s, all thin with blonde hair and were reported last seen wearing athletic clothing. Just like Mel. He explained to me how he had followed up on the tips given out by the public, which eventually led him to an abandoned barn, turned farm house. The structure was located on 100 acres of fields and woods, approximately 30 miles outside of town. He depicted the farm house as being very old and timeworn, and that original red paint had faded, the shingles and roofing had fallen in, but that the insides of the house told a different story. It had been completely renovated into a fully functional dwelling for dark and wicked behavior. Detective Rodgers went on to describe the separate rooms. There were many rooms he said, they were all painted black with bright red symbols on every wall. Each of the symbols was clearly made by a group of people who practiced and knew the occult. One of the rooms had chains attached to the walls and ceiling. This he had learned from professors who study the origin, was identified as the ‘torture room’. He explained that this room was designed to suspend a person in mid-air with their arms and legs spread apart in an ‘X’ formation. Some of the acts carried out while the person was suspended could range from sexual, to their bodies drained of its blood and later used in a sacrificial ceremony, and after which the body would be burned. I was hoping that Detective Rodgers would spare me any more details of the horrific acts, I ’d heard enough but he almost seemed delighted to share his knowledge of the practice.

Then completing the décor of this room, he continues, were large columns or pillars that were made of stone and one of each filled the four corners of the room. Along the walls were rod iron candle sconces that still held black partially burned candle sticks, revealing that they had burned recently. He said.

Detective Rodgers words faded, and the only sound I could hear now was an empty buzz inside of my head. His lips continued to move and his hands acted in such a way that it seemed like he was describing how an object looked. As he spoke my head began to spin and my stomach became queasy.

“Detective, I am not feeling well,” I said sluggishly. Then placed the back of my hand on my forehead. “I need to sit for a moment.” The detective leads me down the hallway to the same chair that I was sitting in when I met India. My body felt unsteady and I walked wavering side to side like I’d had too many cocktails. I had difficulty focusing on the chair even though it was right in front me. To my eyes, it was vibrating and swaying alongside the wall. But with his help in directing me, I was able to sit down. I leaned my head against the wall, and I closed my eyes, trying hard to shut out the images pouring into my mind of chains and black painted walls. Believing that Melody had been taken to some sort of ‘cult house’ or to a ‘torture room’ as he called it, was utter nonsense that doesn’t happen in real life, only in books and T.V. As I focused more on my breathing, I inhaled and exhaled counting, 1,2,3, and exhaled counting 3,2,1. Slowly I opened my eyes and saw Detective Rodgers standing over me seeming concerned yet annoyed at the same time, I Rubbed the back of my neck, closed my eyes again and exhaled through my nose.

“I am sorry to bring you so much heart ache. This is a lot to grasp, and I know that.” He said to me. I felt his warm hand on my shoulder and I opened my eyes wishing that this was all just a dream and that I was really back at home snuggled in my bed, surrounded by my pink fluffy pillows and rose scented candles that helped mask the smell of my 5-year-old boxer named Future. Future is my brainy brindle that came into my life when he was only 7 weeks old. The two of us had been through a lot together. From my multiple relationships that ended in misery, to job interviews that went sour. He was there to make me smile and lift my spirits. Although I don’t think he has yet to forgive me for destroying his favorite plaid blanket that was left out in the rain. I attempted to wash the tattered old thing that was stained with mud, but to my surprise, the washing machine shredded the poor excuse of a blanket. Who knew that a dog could get so attached to flannel? Future pouted for days over his beloved blankie even after I replaced it with a very large and very fluffy dog bed that was plaid just like his old blanket.

“Detective Rodgers sir,” I said softly. “Is there any sign of Melody or any of the other missing girls that you mentioned? Do you think that they could still be alive?” He stood silent, pondering over whether or not he should answer me or how he would do so. His face turned somber and woeful as he took his hand from my shoulder and placed it on the bottom of his chin, pinching it with his thumb and fore finger. Slowly he tucked his compact note book back into his pocket, then he slid another chair away from the wall and placed it in front of me as if he were going to sit.

“Can I get you a glass of water?” He asked me.

“No thank you,” I answered quickly. “I just want to know if you have found them, any of them.” I paused and stood up grasping him by the wrist and then asked “Alive?”

We stood silent and motionless while a storm of emotions filled me to my core, making it difficult to breathe. When unexpectedly, a swarm of nurses dressed in green scrubs lead by Dr. Carter sprinted passed us and turned into Stefens room.

“Oh God!” I blurted out. Then without any hesitation, I started to chase after them until suddenly, Detective Rodgers grabbed me by my arm and refused to let me go.

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