“When you dropped her off, did you notice anything unusual or out of place, Detective,” Captain Hanson asked.
Once Kim had identified the victim as the mayor’s niece, the officers on site called their captain immediately. Since Hanson arrived before his detective, he had been double and triple checking everything in Kenj’s apartment. He wanted answers immediately—not next week, not tomorrow, now. The captain’s tone combined with too little sleep set Detective Marie McDonald’s teeth on edge. Before she could hold her tongue, angry words dripping with sarcasm hissed through her teeth.
“Don’t you think if I’d noticed anything unusual I would have stuck around, Captain? I’m not in the habit of abandoning injured, defenseless, women in a dangerous situation. And I certainly wouldn’t serve up the mayor’s niece to a serial killer.”
“I’m going to assume it’s grief over losing a colleague that has you shooting off your mouth like that,” Captain Hanson growled. “Consider this your one and only pass because you are this close to being written up for insubordination.”
Hanson held his hand up to Detective McDonald’s face and pinched together his thumb and forefinger until they were nearly touching. It took every ounce of self control not to tell the captain where he could stick those fingers but she managed. What I wouldn’t give to knock that smug smile off his face, permanently, her inner voice ranted. Rage boiled from the depths of her core and bubbled until Detective McDonald had to walk outside to get some air. She heard the door behind her open and seconds later a warm hand rested on her shoulder.
“Are you okay,” Kim asked. “In all the years we’ve worked together, I’ve never seen you so furious. I seriously thought you were going to take a swing at Hanson.”
“To tell you the truth,” Marie answered. “I don’t know what’s wrong with me. The rational side of my brain keeps telling me Captain Hanson didn’t mean anything by his question but I could feel myself seething in anger. No, not even anger … it was rage. I felt like I could have ripped him to shreds with my bare hands so I came out here to cool down.”
“That’s not like you at all,” said Kim. “Listen, if you need to talk or—”
“No! I don’t need to talk. I need you to do your job. Find me something so we can catch the bastard already. In case you forgot, we’ve got a flipping serial killer on the loose,” Marie interrupted.
Puzzled, Kim walked away leaving the detective to her thoughts. Something’s not right with her. We’ve worked together for a long time and she’s never acted like this, she thought. I think I’ll wait for a better time to tell her what Billy said about their Ouija séance. She’s ready to snap as it is. I’ll just get the body and take it back to the morgue.
Though Kim was used to working on her own, she’d grown fond of Kenj and enjoyed having the company. The morgue felt cold and lonely minus Kenj’s cheerful chatter. Unzipping the body bag, Kim looked down at her colleague and friend.
“I can’t believe you’re gone,” Kim whispered. “Please, let there be something here, some sort of hint where to look for this psycho.”
After the victim’s clothing was bagged and tagged, Kim searched the body for anything that might give them a clue. Skin cells and blood under Kenj fingernails had been collected and sent to the lab for analysis. Next, Kim checked a swollen eight inch wound located on the patient’s abdomen. Something different from the other bodies, maybe it’ll help. With gloved fingers she pressed on the swelling; something hard and pointed poked back. She reached inside with a pair of forceps, and pulled out a piece of triangular shaped wood.“Oh my God! It’s a planchette!”