Just The Beginning
Jeremey“Boss! Clark!” Clark thrashed out in terror as hands shook him awake. He looked up to see Paul; and the rest of the investigation team.
“You okay, boss? You were screaming pretty loud there. Hit your head pretty hard on that fall.”
Another nightmare, Clark thought. What was with the reoccurring random dreams? One thing was for sure. Clark never went against a gut feeling. And dreaming about Jeremy Swanson killing him was enough to convince Clark that he ought to see Jeremy personally.
In the car, there was an awkward silence between Paul and Clark.
“How’s your head?” Paul asked.
“Fine, just a little bruise.”
“Look if you wanna go home or something it’s totally cool I can handle this case. “
“No, something is going on here that isn’t normal, and seeing Jeremy will clear things up and hopefully put an end to it.”
“But it seems like it’s only the beginning. If it isn’t Jeremy, then we have no lead whatsoever.”
Clark sat in silence. He kept questioning why the day mares were happening to him. Was it a warning to stay away? But how would the killer get inside his head? Or even know that Clark was the one behind the investigation. He felt as if he was naked in the dark. He had no protection and no way of knowing when the next vision of horror like that in the forest would happen again.
Clark and Paul walked up to the Swanson residence. As they knocked on the door, the father, Arthur Swanson opened the door. As soon as he saw Clark’s badge, he shook his head.
“Uh-uh, no way. I’ve already spoken to three different reporters and five cops. And don’t you dare say you want to talk to Jeremy, ‘cause he’s had enough judgment and criticism for a lifetime.
“Sir, we just want to end this case, and with all due respect, your boy is our strongest subject. He was the only one there for the murder of Katherine Kearney and Courtney Swan-“
“Don’t you dare finish that sentence. I can’t believe you would have the audacity to accuse a son of murdering his mother. Would you kill the woman who gave birth to you?”
“Sir, if you’ll-“
“WOULD YOU?!” As the father screamed, Clark’s entire vision seemed to shift. He saw the distressed father, then, a second later, saw Jeremy right behind him with a knife held up, poised to kill.
“No!” Clark shouted as he tried to stop the non-existent Jeremy from killing his only remaining parent. But there was nobody behind Mr. Swanson.
“I mean, no, I wouldn’t even think of killing my mother, but let us just talk to your son. If he’s innocent, then you have nothing to worry about. But if he’s guilty, do you really want a murderer in your house?”
The father’s eyes widened. He must have not thought of it like that. After a few minutes of his strange gaze, he let the men in.
“He’s in his room. Upstairs, first door to the left.” As Clark and Paul walked up the staircase, Clark saw the mirror hanging on the wall, adjacent to the staircase. He had yet another vision. But it wasn’t like the others. It wasn’t with Jeremy. It was with someone else. Clark stopped on the step he was on as he looked at the scene in the mirror play out.
“Everything ok?” Paul behind him asked.
“Yeah, I’m just seein things.” He continued up the steps into Jeremy’s room. Jeremy lay on his bed, staring at the ceiling. He was a tall, skinny boy. He had brown hair in a buzz cut and brown eyes that were filled with unspeakable pain…or unimaginable guilt. He looked at Clark as they entered.
“Are y’all more cops?”
“Detectives, we just want to ask you a couple questions.”
“Yeah, yeah, go ahead.”
“Mind if we have a seat?” Paul said, pointing to the small couch opposite the bed.
“Sure.” The boy continued to stare at the ceiling.
“So, Jeremy, what happened when you went out with Katie the night she was murdered.”
“We went to the park to watch the sunset, and Katie started freaking out. She thought someone was watching us. I kept asking her to point to who she thought it was, but she said she couldn’t. She only ever saw him out of the corner of her eye, staring at us. But when she tried to focus on the person, they weren’t there. I personally thought she was just trying to get my attention ‘cause she caught me checkin out this cute blonde. But it drove her crazy, and she told me we had to run away from the guy, into the woods. I took it as her cute way of trying to get away and be alone, so I followed her into the forest. Then, as we were in pretty deep, Katie turned around and said that the spot was good. I took her hand and as I did she looked behind me and started screaming. As I was turning around, whoever was behind me pushed me and I rolled down this hill and as I was falling I heard this crazy laughing. I slammed into a tree and woke up, covered in blood, next to my dead girlfriend. Someone pushed me down a hill, killed Katie, then dragged me by her and soaked me in her blood. What kind of sick monster does that?”
“I don’t know, Jeremy.” Paul said with sympathy.
“So you never saw the killer?” Clark asked.
“Nope, but I could recognize his laugh anytime. I dream about it.” Clark looked up from his notes.
“Dream? What’s in those dreams?”
“Someone laughing in my face, and someone screaming die. But its pitch black and I can’t see anything. And in this other one, I had spiders crawling all over me.” Clark sat in awe. He wondered if the dreams were somehow connected.
“But…in my most recent one, it was completely different. There was this man, and he had a welding mask on. He didn’t have a shirt on, and his chest was seriously burned. Like it had been burned a long time ago and it was the scars. He slowly came at me, and told me that this was just the beginning. Then he put me in this pool, and said it was going to get a little warm. The…” Jeremy shuddered. “The water started getting warm, and then hot, and then I couldn’t take it. I screamed out and it just kept getting hotter. My chest felt like it was collapsing on top of itself. I woke up and that’s all I remember.” Clark grabbed his head. The scene he had seen on the mirror just a moment ago, that was the answer.
“I have to go back to the office and check something.”
“But we haven’t asked all the questions.” Paul said.
“Then you stay here, I’ll only be a minute.” Clark ran down the stairs and got in the car. He had to check the files.
The office was empty; Clark rushed up to the top floor and to his desk. He sat down and opened the drawer where he kept the most recent murder files. He looked at each one, and every single one said the same thing.
Main detective: John Cassidy----Partner: Paul Johnston
Main detective: Russ Walton----Partner: Paul Johnston
Main detective: Clark Benson----Partner: Paul Johnston
It was Paul. All the files said that the only known suspect was killed a few hours after the main killing, and all of them had the same thing in common. Paul was the only one with them when they were killed. He made excuses for all of them, but the vision Clark saw in the mirror had determined his answer. He had seen Paul behind him, and then he saw a man with a welder’s mask and a badly burned chest sneak up behind Clark and slit his throat. Then, Clark realized what he had done; he had left Paul alone with Jeremy.