Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Specter of Death- Part 21

Dr. Tynesdale flipped through his handwritten notebook until he found the information he needed. In reality it only took a few minutes but it felt like an eternity. The tension in the room was palpable. Wide, eager eyes all focused on the doctor.
            “Ah, yes,” he muttered. “It says here the coding is found in your friend Seth’s book Runeation. Ha! That’s quite clever. It sounds like ruination but spelled R-U-N-E, like ancient runes. See?”
Holding up his page, Dr. Tynesdale pointed to the book’s title and chuckled. The others stared back him with veiled agitation.   
            “Ahem … yes, I supposed this isn’t the appropriate time for an amusing play on words. What I’m sure you’ll find fascinating is—”
            “Okay,” Detective McDonald interrupted. “I’m going to pick up a bunch of those books and get my department scouring them now. Thanks.”
She had already bolted down the hall before Dr. Tynesdale could respond.
            “Oh my!” Tynesdale exclaimed. “I didn’t get to tell her the rest. Anyway, these symbols have a most dire meaning. Now, on the first photo here … this victim was found several days after the murder. Our dear Kim did not have this one but look here at the brand on his chest, just above the heart. It’s not the same as the one on your friend, Seth, because they were in progression.”
The group leaned in to get a better view of the forensic and autopsy photographs. The shape burned into the victim’s chest resembled a stylized infinity symbol. Bill accessed the e-reader app on his phone to pull up Seth’s Runeation.
            “According to Seth’s book,” Bill added. “That symbol means ‘key to unlocking the beyond’ but it doesn’t say what the beyond actually is.”
            “That’s creepy!” Kim, Angela, and Gillian replied in unison.
Gillian’s skin rippled with goose bumps; she had a feeling about what ‘the beyond’ meant and it made her stomach churn. The shadowy figure that followed me back from the morgue, she thought, that thing is from the beyond. She felt a hand touch her back, just below her shoulder blade but knew none of her friends were standing behind her. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Specter of Death- Part 20

            “Okay, it’s worse than crazy but I shouldn’t freak out?” Gillian gave a nervous chuckle and rolled her eyes.
            “It might be nothing.” Billy answered. “But I’ll explain it all when we get together with Kim and the detective. One of my colleagues from the university came with me and he can help so try not to worry, Jilly.”
As if on cue, Bill’s cell phone rang. On the other end, Kim relayed a message from Detective McDonald. They were all going to meet at the morgue around noon, assuming another body wasn’t discovered.
            “We’ll be there!” said Bill.
While they waited for noon, Gillian paced. Finally, Billy caught her arm and pulled her onto the sofa.
            “Okay, maybe you can’t wait until we’re all together. The truth is, I think you made contact with a spirit and when you didn’t say ‘goodbye’ it crossed over into our realm. Now, I don’t believe it can actually hurt you but what you believe makes all the difference.”
Stern-faced and resolved, Gillian raked a trembling hand through her hair. Outwardly, she appeared to wave it off without a care but inside, she could feel the presence of a dark spirit watching her every move.  
At noon, everyone assembled in Kim’s morgue. Dr. Tynesdale, still giddy with the extensive data he’d received, expounded on earlier theories and hypotheses on the symbolism of the ancient runes carved/branded into the corpses after their demise. Not in the mood for chit-chat, Angela interrupted his pondering. Too many of her friends were directly impacted; there was no time to waste.
            “No offense, Doctor, but we need real answers not hypotheticals. Can you decode whatever the symbol is, or not?”
            “Why, of course, my dear.” Tynesdale replied. “I was just explaining the progression, that’s all. The fascinating part is yet to come.”
Detective McDonald rolled her eyes. A voice in the back of her mind said, this bumbling idiot wouldn’t know a rune from graffiti. The thought both delighted and angered her thought she didn’t understand why.
            “You see, we were so focused on whether the symbols were Old Norse or Anglo Saxon that we almost missed the cipher in your friend Seth’s books. It wasn’t either … it was a mark of his own design in a book prior to Specter of Death. Thank heavens one of my grad students is a complete and utter suck up. Once she found out I needed some research she picked up every one of Seth’s books and has been scouring them ever since. Now, let me see … I had it right here.”
Kim choked back the urge to scream, “Get on with it!” After spending the entire morning with Dr. Tynesdale, she knew if anyone tried to rush him, he’d get flustered. Then it would take twice as long to extract the information. It’s like pulling teeth.