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A Sliver of Deceit

A low fog rolled over the valley as a police car sat in a small parking lot. The diner nearby was famous for its coffee, and was the small town’s pride and joy. Nick Whitfield sat in his police cruiser listening to the radio with unusual intent. Nothing really happened in the valley of Heathrow. It was a town where everyone knew everyone and they all abided by the law. That was until recently when the murders started occurring. Thinking about it made Nick’s stomach knot up as he took another sip of coffee in a vain attempt to ward off sleep. They were more brutal than what you see on TV, or at least the Chief said so. He was from a time when Heathrow was a boom town and crime was common in the streets. Nick, lacking experience, figured that the Chief would know, so he took that advice to heart. The murders themselves weren’t what bothered Nick though. It was the item he found at each and every crime scene without fail. A mahogany coffin with cats carved into the side. The cats were an emphasized black on the brown exterior, and they meowed up to the midnight sky carved above them. He had noticed it before but always ignored it until finally he decided to bring it in for evidence after this last case. The body was more brutally destroyed than before. It had been torn limb from limb, and its innards strung out over the floor painting the place in a deep crimson like a good apple. Each body had been missing something specific, and this time Nick found a blood trail that led to the coffin. So, he had the evidence he needed to make it conclusive evidence. Yet, no matter how hard they tried, the coffin wouldn’t open or break. The crew had called it a night, and now here Nick was. He was alone in a diner parking lot—waiting for the next domestic disturbance.
Nick sat back and laid his empty cup in the cup holder next to him. He turned the volume up on the radio and pulled the bar on his seat to lower the back of it. Nick pulled out his phone. It was 3 A.M., and he set an alarm for thirty minutes later. He pulled down his cap and used it to cover his face “Just a little bit. I’m not gunning for three all-nighters in a row.” After about ten minutes he was awoken by a knock on the window. Nick jumped in his seat and hit his head on the carpeted ceiling of the cruiser. His cap dropped to the ground and he didn’t see anyone there. He squinted his eyes and peered into the darkness—nothing. Nick pulled his seat back up and switched the radio back to the police band. A voice crackled to life on the other side “This is dispatch we need all officers to return to the station. I repeat, we need all officers to return to the station. The inmates have been murdered. I repeat, the inmate-“Silence. Nick sat up in his chair and stared out the window for a second.  He reached down and picked up his cap with a shaky hand then put it on. He turned the engine over and flipped the switch for the sirens to begin. Then, he took off down the road slinging up asphalt as he went.


Nick was your average guy; average strength, average intelligence, and just about average everything else too. But, that didn’t mean he couldn’t hold his own in a fight. He could go to town with firearms, fist fighting, and even archery. He could hand a scuffle today as easily as he handled those bullies back in fifth grade, or the ones in eighth; the list could go on. He didn’t look bad either—brown hair, green eyes, and average build; definitely nothing to frown at. But, as he stared down the station, completely dark and motionless, he was tempted to just turn around and pretend like he hadn’t heard the call. He stepped out of the car, hand on his 9mm, and proceeded towards the door. Just then, two more squad cars pulled up; Hank, the police chief, Darla, the new deputy, and Shane, Nick’s best friend and also the previous leader of the bullies he was talking about. “What’s going on here Nick?” Hank inquired as they all formed up outside the building “I don’t know I just got here.” “That’s a damn shame, looks like we’re going in blind then.” Darla grabbed Hank’s shoulder before he ran in “Don’t you think it would be good to have a plan though? I mean—“ “What are you, a damn chicken?” “Sir, you’re doing it again.” Shane interrupted “Doing what?” “Letting your inner country out for the world to view.” “Oh I see. Thank you.” Nick turned to the door again and walked in. “Hey wait up!” Shane pleaded as he gave chase; the rest followed suit.


As they walked in the entrance Hank flipped the switch causing the lights to flicker on with an ominous crackle. There was no one there. Not the two deputies they had left or the officer in training. The bulletin board to the right was still the same, and the bulletproof class that separated the entrance from the officer’s cubicles was too. The office straight ahead—empty, the hallway to the right of it led to the jail while to the left, beyond the cubicles, was the employee bathrooms, the Chief’s office, and to the left of that the garage; to the right of the Chief’s office was the staircase that led to dispatch, the breakroom, and of course evidence. “I’ll go with Nick and check out dispatch. Gotta’ get my smokes from Tara.” Hank laughed nervously as his comment didn’t ease the atmosphere at all “Right, and I’ll go with Darla and check on the prisoners.” Shane took Darla and left.
We whipped our 9mm out from their holsters and proceeded up the staircase clearing corners as we went. We reached the door that separated the staircase from dispatch. Hank motioned for Nick to open it, and that he will cover him. Nick adjusted the grip once more on his handgun and busted through the wooden door. They were met by the thick smell of iron, which made Nick sick to the stomach ever since he killed that buck with his dad, and the brutalized corpse of Tara ripped to shreds and strewn about in no particular fashion. “My god!” Hank chattered as he walked over to Tara. Nick went reached for the gun he had planted previously, the one without government-issued bullets, and kicked the door shut behind him. Hank’s head spun around “What are you up to?” “God that thick southern accent always gets me. Anyways, looks like Shane did some good work!” “What?!” Hank shouted as Nick sent three in his chest and two gliding into his head.  Hank’s body fell to the ground in a limp cluster. Nick smiled grimly as he stood there soaking it in. Shane opened the door behind him, and with a glance promptly congratulated Nick. “I don’t need your congratulations! Where’s Darla?” “She went to the bathroom.” “I’ll do it.” Nick walked out the door. Darla came running out of the bathroom pistol drawn “What were those—“ Nick popped her right between the eyes with that last bullet sending blood across the cubicle walls with a paint splatter-like effect. Nick dismantled the gun and handed it to Shane to put in evidence “Nobody will suspect it like this Shane.” Nick exchanged that for the coffin and began dragging it out to the van they were going to use to get away. “By the way Nick, the coffin was open when I got it!” Shane said sending a chill dancing down Nick’s spine “That’s weird. By the way, what did you do to those deputies?” “Nothing! They weren’t here when I arrived!” the coffin seemed heavy to Nick. 


Just then, a hand came down covering Shane’s face. Nick’s eyes widened as he saw the disfigured body of a woman hanging upside down from the ceiling. She snapped Shane’s neck with ease leaving his body drooping from the ceiling as she retreated back upstairs carrying him with her feet. “Oh hell no!” Nick began stumbling backwards spilling the deputies bodies out onto the ground in front of him “What the—“ the woman came running across the ceiling at max speed towards Nick. He whipped out his 9mm and began firing at the woman missing every shot but two; both landing center mass. She collapsed to the ground outside scraping across the gravel leaving a trail of black blood. Nick quickly put in another clip, and unloaded it into her body. His hands shaking violently he dropped the pistol and stared. Everything was quiet for a moment as he laughed like a madman. The woman stood up making eye contact with him. Nick felt warmth run down his leg and then the woman ended his life with a clean snap to the neck. The next morning the discovery of the bodies of the police force crammed into the coffin, broken and battered, was all over the national news.  


   Happy Halloween 




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