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Mind Games

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The clock hands moved one more fraction of an inch. It seemed as if they had never really moved at all. The droning “tic toc” of its mechanical innards never came to her ears. Sarah was dead.

Outside the cheap motel the wind howled and pushed tree limbs across the windows like an army of undead soldiers trying to recruit the young woman to their legion. A shadow shifted past the window.

There was movement in the small room. The blinds were rapidly shut and a small light was flicked on. Shadows pranced back and forth as the man paced nervously in the room.

The room was elegant, as far as those kinds of rooms go, with floral wall paper and some cheesy art on the walls. There was one bed, a queen bed, with a greenish blue bed set. The carpet was of a shag design. The room almost looked as if it came from the set of an eighties film.

The man continued to pace back and forth between the bed and the bathroom entrance, and the shadows crept along the wall, mocking the pattern in which he walked. Not a word left his lips.

The small lamp on the mahogany nightstand seemed unreal, almost too bright for its size. Then again, the whole room seemed twisted in his eyes—a warped figment of a madman's imagination.

Daniel was soaked. His clothes were drenched in sweat and blood, and tears had stained his cheeks. He was frightened. She was fine when they had fallen asleep.

He had had the phone in his sweaty palms since he laid eyes on her, but could he really call the police? What if they think he committed this travesty? Had he? Did he murder his sweet Sarah in the midst of their slumber?

“NO! I didn't do it! I didn't...” He fell to his knees in front of the bed. Grasping his fiancé’s cold hand, he buried his face in the sheets, sobbing.

Warmth was dripping off his face when he removed it from the sheet. Warmth... her blood, diluted with tears, covered his right cheek and slowly oozed off. His shaggy black hair now matted to his forehead.

Realization kicked in and he scrambled off the edge of the bed and into the bathroom. Daniel threw on the light and turned on the water, dousing his face. His breathing was panicked and ragged.

I need to calm down. He thought as he splashed the last bit of water that was in his hands on his face. My God, this can't be happening to me. She was fine last night.

As he turned the water off, Daniel raised his head to look at his reflection. Behind him in the shadows stood the man he saw when he was waking. Turning around in anger and shock Daniel swung as hard as he could and struck the man, but he was gone.

It was a mirror behind him, shattered now from where Daniel's fist had made impact… the only person looking back at him was himself. The light and trauma was getting to his head. He collapsed to his knees and stared blankly at the spider web cracks on the mirror.

I’ve got to look for her killer. He was wearing that black denim jacket. What I think was a cowboy hat. Someone had to have seen him...

Daniel rose to his feet and started for his smokes and coat. He had the idea planted that he had to find her killer. That's as far as he got.

A dull throbbing pulsed in the back of his skull. It felt as if someone had just hit him with a heavy blunt object. Then the darkness engulfed him.

Blood... There was blood everywhere in the small motel room. The girl laid on the bed soaked with the now dark liquid that once filled her with life. She had been moved.

The stained white sheets were pulled up to her waist and tucked in at her sides. Her arms crossed and hands rested lightly on her stomach. Two shiny copper pennies were placed on her closed eyelids.

Detective James Rhoades was standing at the edge of the bed observing the crime scene; lab attendants did their jobs, taking in the surrounding images and sounds. No talking. No questions. Just the absorption of details pertaining to the slaughter of this young woman.

It was a dreary afternoon. It had been raining since early morning and had slowed enough to just be a nuisance to anyone who had to be outside. Dark clouds filled the sky, threatening to excrete more water on the citizens in the area.

The detective had gotten the call at ten. A couple had rented out the room for a vacation, or so they had said. Apparently the owner had found the body when he went to inform the couple they were in past their check out time.

“This is a curious case indeed.” Rhoades thought, lightly scratching his head with his pen. “The killer had been extremely thorough in his attack, almost frantic from the pattern of the wounds. Why move the body after? Why make her seem more comfortable. Almost looks like an act of regret.”

The detective reached into the left inner pocket of his beige trench coat and retrieved a small note pad and his silver cigarette case. Lighting one he carefully read over what he had on the victim.

Her name was Sarah Michelle Clark, married to a Daniel Eugene Clark. Their records had been clean. No reports of domestic abuse or other charges. He was an accountant and she was a teacher in their hometown in Michigan.

There was no sign of a male victim though. Rhoades exhaled a long exasperated sigh and along with it the remnants of smoke that hung in his lungs. He headed toward the door and placed the notepad back in his pocket as he did so.

“What made ya do it Daniel?” He mumbled as he took a step out into the dreary afternoon. As he whistled for a cab he tossed the butt of his cigarette, which sizzled out in mid air from the rain that was slowly but steadily growing stronger.

Cold.... Cold and alone. Wet and cold. Cold and wet and alone.

Darkness still plagued Daniels mind. He couldn't see anything but heard slurred fragments of speech. He couldn't move any part of his body, yet felt as if he were walking. It was a slow, spacey kind of movement. Like a dream.

Rain or at least what felt like rain was falling on his head. Or maybe it was cold sweat from the horrible nightmares he had the night before, at least he thought it was night. It was so dark.

“Go back to sleep you wretched little man.” A hoarse whisper of a voice echoed from the darkness. It frightened Daniel. Was something in the room with him? Was he even in a room?

The voice just echoed in its hoarse whisper, “Go back to sleep…sleep… sleep...” Almost a lullaby it seemed with the infinite darkness that surrounded him. It wasn’t long before Daniels mind felt heavy, and consciousness eluded him once more.

Detective Rhoades paid the driver and exited the bright yellow cab. Clouds moved in over the city and were getting darker and darker. In the distance, if you looked for it, small bursts of lightning spotted the skyline.

In front of him was a large brick building with bars on the windows. The precinct wasn’t what it used to be. Chunks of brick were missing here and there and the paint was faded bad.

He pulled up his coat to try and keep the rain out and started walking towards the doors. Behind him a man in a denim jacket who was hurrying down the sidewalk bumped into him.

“Watch it.” The man said as he briskly continued on his way.
Rhoades couldn’t see the man’s face because of the black hood he had on. Just a sliver of the already less than excellent sunlight made it to the rude strangers face. It made his eyes shine and that’s all he could see.

“Well aren’t you nice.” Rhoades thought with a little chuckle. “But what can you expect in these big cities? Just a bunch of dopers and thugs.”

Shaking his head, Detective Rhoades started to trudge up the stairs that lead to the precinct doors. His feet splashed up little puddles that had gathered on the steps.

“Nice to see you mister Rhoades.” said Becky the young secretary that was stationed at the front desk. “How’s your day going?”

“Oh, just fine I s’pose.” He replied in a tired sarcastic tone. “And I told ya its James,”

“Oh, okay… James.” She smiled at him and sat towards her computer monitor. Blonde ponytail bobbing merrily the whole time.

Walking down the hallway James stopped for a good ‘ole crispy cream and his favorite brand of crappy coffee. He liked to keep the cop traditions alive. He finished the trek to his office chuckling softly to himself.

“It'll be a cold day in hell when you separate a cop from his doughnut.” James thought this as he entered his office. As if to amplify that statement, a large box of doughnuts had been sat upon his desk.

“Like someone read my mind.” He continued to chuckle to himself. Settling into his chair, detective Rhoades moved the box out of the way.

It was time to get to work. The detective switched on his station appointed monitor and it replied with its friendly electrical humming sound.

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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

RobbieTheGirl said...
Mar. 19, 2011 at 7:40 pm
The doughnuts could have been from the mysterious killer.  Then when James has eaten a few of the doughnuts he finds a note that tells him that he's going to die unless he gets the antidote, which he, the killer, has.  In a panic he goes to the doctor to have blood work done.  They tell him that everything is just find, but he knows it's not.  Everything is becoming blurry and he can't walk straight.  He starts hullucinating and he can't seperate reality from fantasy.&nb... (more »)
LWB21 replied...
Mar. 21, 2011 at 12:53 pm
well i dnt wana ruin it because i am planning on putting the rest of the story on here when its finished but i have plans for the killers role in the story. and i even have an ending somewhat planned. i just don't know what to do between here and there. lol
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