Who's Afraid of the Darkness 3
My Own Investigation ...
It is later in the afternoon when Jo decides to stir from her bedroom. She decides instead of a quick shower to take a long, luxurious bath in her sunken tub. She slowly closes her eyes and what she sees is the vision of the animal who had been stalking her the night before. Jo opens her eyes to a strange feeling that her mind had just been invaded. She shakes the sensation off and continues her bath. There is a quiet knock on the door.
“Is that you, daddy?” Jo replies sounding more like a little girl than a 20 year old woman.
“It’s me alright.” Jacolby acknowledges. “Will you come into my study when you’re finished. I want to have a talk with you.”
“Is it about our earlier discussion?” Jo inquires.
“Sure is.” And, Jacolby heads back downstairs where he is met by Cody.
“What’s going on dad?” Cody asks. Jacolby ushers his son into his study and replays the events of the previous early morning. Cody is silent as he observes his father’s features. A strong, honest face with a hint of mischief in the eyes, Cody summarizes. He doesn’t notice that his father has finished talking until he stares back at him.
“Did you get any of what I was saying, Cody?”
“Sure dad, Jo thinks she’s being observed by a large cat.” Cody states flippantly.
“You don’t feel anything unusual about that?” Jacolby marvels.
“Should I?” Cody questions. He moves over to the small bar and fixes himself a ginger ale on the rocks. His father feels that a clear mind is pertinent in their line of work. Being Madisonville’s District Attorney makes one very conscious of one’s surroundings.
“Do you have anything pressing this evening?” Jacolby asks.
“No, not really dad, why?” Cody takes his glass over to Jacolby’s desk and sits opposite him.
I want you to go with Jo back to the Daily Register tonight.” Jacolby replies.
“Do you think that animal may pay her another visit?” Cody rises from his seat and walks around to where his father is sitting. Where’s mom?”
“She’s getting ready to journey with your Aunt Meg to Detroit.” Jacolby states.
“It seems like every time we look around, mom’s going somewhere. Doesn’t that bother you, dad?” Cody wonders.
“It would bother me more if she were underfoot and moping around the house. Your mother is not the provincial woman who bakes cookies in the kitchen and shops every Thursday.” Jacolby chuckles.
“Sometimes I wish that she were, then I could have had a normal childhood instead of having my dad or Aunt Meg taking me to soccer practice.” Cody jokes.
“Deep in your heart, you know you wouldn’t have it any other way.” They both laughs.
“What’s this all about?” Jo walks into the room looking completely refreshed and alert.
“I’ve got a little assignment for both of you—and it’s just as well that your mother is headed out of town with your aunt.” Jacolby explains, motioning both his adult children to him.
“You want us to return to the Daily Register?” Jo guesses feeling ready for a bit of action.
“That’s just what I want you to do.” Jacolby nods and he begins to diverge his plans.
The Night Has Eyes ...
It’s near 8:00 pm when Jo and Cody finally arrive at the Shumaker’s Building. There are still quite a few people on the street and the lights are on several offices.
“Do you think it will come back?” Jo quizzes her brother.
“There is a good possibility that he will.” Cody answers.
“How do you know that its male?” Jo pushes the button to retrieve the elevator and pats her foot impatiently waiting for it to arrive.
When it finally opens, the woman behind them lets out a blood-curdling scream. The doors have opened to their fashion editor lying dead with blood splattered all over the place. Marcie Edwards has been ripped apart with lacerations covering both arms and her legs. As with the victims in Davis County—her heart is missing. Cody grabs his cellphone while telling Jo not to let anyone else near the elevator.
“Hello, headquarters, Cody Albright here. We’ve got a homicide here. Young woman has been brutally murdered and her heart is missing.” Cody tells Chief Inspector Williams.
“Did you say that her heart is missing?” The Inspector retorts in utter disbelief.
“That’s what I said. Get the boys over here for prints and tell Wally at the Morgue to bring a body bag. What a mess!” Cody states looking around the elevator and shaking his head. “Marcie was a beautiful woman.”
Jo has to hold her stomach to keep from succumbing to the urge to empty it. “How did he get in here and where is he now?”
“I don’t think he’s in the building, but we can’t take any chances. This animal is more cunning and elusive than your regular predator. It has the mental abilities of a human. However, it seems this one uses his cat prowess to attack and kill its unsuspecting victim.” Cody offers.
“I’m nervous, Cody. That creature could have come into the office last night and killed me. Why didn’t it?” Jo keeps her back to Marcie’s remains and is extremely relieved when the men from the 49th Precinct come to do their jobs. Chief Inspector Hal Williams walks over to Cody.
“Does this remind you of anything?” Hal asks Cody.
“Sounds a lot like what happened over in Davis County.” Cody replies.
“And—they never did get that lunatic, did they?” Hal asks.
“Well, the situation was neutralized, Chief.” Cody gives an evasive answer.
“What the hell does that mean—the situation was neutralized?” Hal looks the elevator over and shakes his head at the remains of Marcie. He moves over to pick up the victim’s purse. All her money, credit cards and other valuables are still there. Robbery is not a factor.
“What do you really make of this, Cody? And—why are you here? I thought today was your day off. In fact, I thought you were taking a few days off?” Hal bombards Cody with a boatload of questions.
“Look Chief, one question at a time. I’m here with my sister. You know Jordan don’t you?” Cody quickly changes the focus from himself to his twin. The chief is well aware of Jo Albright and has always admired her journalism.
“Ms. Albright—did Ms. Edwards have any enemies that you knew of?” Hal asks Jo.
“No, Inspector—not at all. In fact she got along wonderful with everybody. No one in this city could have done this. Look at the lacerations on her arms and legs. This indicates that some type of animal attacked her. There’s some pieces of hair or fur—” Before Jo can continue, Hal is snapping his fingers, getting a couple of his men to collect the hair samples and scraping up blood for analyzes.
“You’re pretty good, Ms. Albright but this is police business—let us handle this.” Hal now signals one of the police officers to escort Jo to the coffee shop for a strong cup of black coffee. Jo gives the officer no argument.
Sitting at the large window facing the street, Jo looks out into the night and her eyes catch a sigh that chills her to her very core. A large black animal with what looks like something in its mouth. Jo tries to alert Officer Conway.
“Do you see that?” Jo shrieks, pointing to the large tree across the way.
“Do I see what, that tree?” Officer Conway says sarcastically. “Yes, I believe I do see that tree.”
“I saw an animal over there.” Jo jumps up and heads out for the walkway. Officer Conway is close behind her. Suddenly, they hear a growling sound and simultaneously turn around. The largest carnivore they have ever seen is only feet away from them. Officer Conway pulls his revolver out but before he can pull the trigger, the beast knocks him to the ground and bushes past Jo on his way out of the city.
“Did you see that—did you see that?” Officer Conway screams and half the policemen who were in the building are outside. As Officer Conway is making his connection with the hard pavement below; his gun fired. In panic, Cody rushes to Jo—she is also sprawled out on the sidewalk.
“Are you alright, Jo? What the hell were you two doing outside?” Cody yells.
“I saw him. At first, Officer Conway thought I was just joking but after he followed me out—he saw him too. It knocked both of us over. I wonder why it didn’t kill us?” Jo is amazed at her brief encounter with the creature.
“I guess he had his quota for the night.” Cody says rather flippantly.
To Be Continued …
Who's Afraid of the Darkness 4
- Who's Afraid of the Darkness 4
FEAR comes with ignorance. COURAGE comes with understanding. When you are aware of the enemy’s tactics—you can hit him where it hurts: with KNOWLEDGE!
© 2019 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS