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.