"It was a suicide." Said Michael's stubborn, one track minded co-investigator. "It was not a suicide! Brandon was not suicidal." Michael snapped angrily. "There's no DNA left behind at the scene, nothing but a dead body, a knife, and a bloody mess." The investigator pointed out. "Ash, this is my brother we’re talking about. He was not suicidal." Michael confirmed threateningly. "Okay, fine. Believe what you want. Whatever helps you sleep at night. “Ash the investigator said trying to end the conversation. “Just get out." Michael demanded. Ash left Michael's document-littered office.
Michael glanced dishearteningly at a hazy picture of his deceased brother, Brandon on his cluttered desk. "If only you were here, we could figure this out together. Well, I guess if you were here we wouldn't need to figure out who murdered you." Michael whispered jokingly. He sat down at his desk in his office chair. He picked through every piece of paper on his desk, looking for something to jump up at him and scream “Not suicide!” None of the evidence supported Michael’s claim that his brother was murdered, but Michael refused to accept that he committed suicide.
“I don’t understand.” Michael mumbled to himself, as he continued to analyze his papers. He stumbled upon a grisly image of his brother, bloody and lying face down on the floor of his dingy apartment. Michael stared at the wound on Brandon’s neck; it was a disturbing sight for Michael. It pained him to see his brother slaughtered like cattle in his own home. The entry wound seemed suspicious to him. It was not clean; it was a very messy cut. Michael did not think that the cleaver knife found at the scene was the murder weapon.
In Michael’s opinion, it looked like the knife was used only to hide a different injury. “But what?” He wondered aloud. Since it was nearly 3:00 in the morning, Michael decided to go back to his house and maybe get more than four hours of sleep for a change. When he pulled into his driveway and exited his small, durable car, a black cat dashed past him and caused him to hit his head on the door of his car. Hard. Out of the corner of his eye, however, he saw a young man standing near the side of his house. The man soon ran at light speed behind Michael’s house, and was gone. Michael, who had no idea what he actually saw, because his vision was blurry, shook his head and continued on into his rather large, grey house.
When you walk into Michael’s house, you will see his kitchen to the right of the front door, next to that you will see a flight of stairs leading up to a hallway consisting of a master bedroom, guest bedroom, bathroom, and storage closet. At the bottom of the stairs, to the left, there is the living room with a large white couch, a television set, a coffee table, also cluttered with documents, and a lamp.
Michael took off his suit jacket, and hung it on the coat rack just inside his house. He walked into the living room and set his papers and files on the coffee table, and then he ambled unsteadily into the kitchen and took two ibuprofen pills to stop his headache. Michael Gave his papers another quick glance, then decided it would be best for him if he went to his room and slept.
Michael Richardson’s life was always guarded by his older brother, Brandon Richardson. His brother was killed nearly one month ago; nobody knows how it happened or why, but Michael fears the worse. Michael is a 29 year old Crime Scene Investigator who always puts his work above everything else, even family. He lives in Sacramento, California, as he has for his entire life. He has short, light brown hair, hazel eyes, and is five feet and 11 inches tall.
Michael slept restlessly; he kept hearing footsteps outside his window in his room. He sat up in bed, slowly, and crept to his window hesitantly. Michael pulled the drapes back slightly and peered out the window, there he saw the same young man he had seen near his car. Michael backed up, panicking; he rushed over to his night stand and pulled out his pistol. When he stumbled back to his window, and again pulled back the drapes, the man was gone.
Michael ran out of his room, down the stairs, tripped over the coffee table, and eventually made it to the front door. He creaked open the door and scanned the perimeter of his front yard, not seeing anything out of the ordinary, he shut the door and locked it. Michael could not even imagine falling asleep at this point, so he sat down on the couch and once again analyzed his files, papers, and documents.
When morning shone it’s horrid light directly in Michael’s face, he woke up and found himself hanging halfway off the side of the couch. He rubbed his tired eyes and stood up exhaustedly. He looked at his watch, it read: 6:53. “Oh crap!” Michael exclaimed when he realized he only had 17 minutes to get to work. He hurried up the staircase, changed out of his night clothes and into a grey suit, then he went into his bathroom, brushed his teeth, gelled his hair so that it was spiked up, hurried back down stairs, made a cup of coffee, gathered his papers for work, and rushed out the door.
He had completely forgotten what he encountered last night; he figured it was just a dream. As he flew 20 miles over the speed limit down the road, he saw the young man again.
This time he was standing on the side of the road; staring at Michael. Michael slammed on the brakes and his car came to a quick stop; Michael gazed at the young man. He was not angry or scared, just confused.
A car behind Michael honked loudly at him, telling him to go. “Are you an idiot? Drive your damn car!” The man in the car scolded. Michael started driving, gradually getting faster and faster. He was extremely distracted by the young man; he could not help but wonder who he was and what he wanted. He arrived at work nine minutes late, but did not think anything of that fact. His mind was elsewhere.
Ash approached Michael at his desk; Michael was unaware of him being there as he tapped his pencil on his desk. “Hey.” Ash said. Michael did not respond. “Hey, earth to Michael. Come in Michael.” Ash said getting annoyed. Ash then took Michael’s pencil and hit him on the head with it. “Ow. What was that for?” Michael asked. “Are you okay, Michael?” Ash asked back. “Well, my head hurts if that’s what you’re asking.” Michael replied, rubbing his head gently.
“No, you’re completely unresponsive. Is it about Brandon? I’m sorry about what I said yesterday.” Ash apologized. “Yeah, it’s fine don’t worry about it.” Michael said. “Are you sure you’re okay?” Ash asked again. “Yeah, I think I just need some sleep.” Michael replied. “Go home, I’ll take tare if the case today.” Ash recommended. “Um, I think this is where I need to be.” Michael assured, thinking about the young man from his house.
“If you insist.” Ash said walking away. “Wait, Ash.” Michael called out. Ash stopped and came back to Michael’s desk. “Yeah?” He asked. “I want to go back to the scene of the murder.” Michael said. “Suicide.” Ash corrected. “Don’t start with me.” Michael threatened. “So, why do you want to go back?” Ash asked. “I’m missing something. We must have overlooked some details.” Michael replied thinking hard. “Okay, I’ll go with you.” Ash said. “Let’s go then.” Michael smiled weakly.
Michael’s brother, Brandon’s apartment was only a mile from Michael’s house; it did not take long for Ash and Michael to get there. Once they arrived, Michael felt an overwhelming sense of dread enter his body. “It’s okay, Michael.” Ash assured. Michael and Ash walked up two flights of stairs before they came upon Brandon’s apartment. They lifted the “CRIME SCENE DO NOT CROSS” Tape on the door and then went inside.
Michael’s eyes wandered the room, skimming around to see if there was any way they could have possibly missed anything. A single strand of hair would give him closure, and prove who murdered his brother, but sadly, nothing was found. Nothing at all. After searching for two hours, Ash told Michael that it was time to call it quits.
“This isn’t your brother, he’s mine. You go ahead and leave, but I’m staying right here” Michael barked. ”Alright, I’ll see you back at the station.” Ash said, then walked toward the door. Then he stopped. “Wait, how are you getting back?” Ash asked. “I’ll take Brandon’s car.” Michael replied. “Okay.” Ash said, and then left the apartment building.
Michael did not know what to do; he had already searched the entire apartment twice. “The car.” He thought aloud. Michael walked to his brother’s car in the parking lot. He got inside of it and started looking around; checking everywhere. He opened the glove compartment; there he found a note with his name on the front. He unfolded the note, it read: You’re so predictable, Michael.
Michael’s eyes widened; he looked out the car windows and scanned the parking lot. He saw nothing. Michael put the car key into the ignition and pulled out of the parking lot. He drove quickly back to the police station where he was eager and apprehensive to show the note to Ash. He was not sure what the note really meant, or who it was from for that matter.
The closer Michael got to the station, the more he feared showing the note to Ash. He took his phone out of his back pocket and dialed Ash’s number. “Hey, Ash.” Michael said into the phone. “There’s no time to explain now, but I need you to tell the chief that I can’t come in today. I appreciate it, bye.” Michael ended the call without waiting for Ash to respond.
Michael made a speedy U-Turn and headed back to his house, to look further into this case in a more private place. Just as he thought, he did not uncover anything new. Michael still could not conjure up a new idea as to what might have happened to his brother. He started to lean toward the possibility that Brandon might have committed suicide.
“You wouldn’t have, would you?” Michael whimpered to his picture of Brandon on the coffee table. In this picture, Brandon was not bloody nor dead, he was standing next to Michael in downtown Sacramento; both of them had huge smiles. Michael sighed with grief as his eyes wandered elsewhere. He eyed the door window that was tinted glass and hard to see out, however, he did notice a humanoid shadow standing right outside the door.
Michael picked up his pistol, loaded it, and then stepped lightly across his hardwood floor toward the door. Just moments later, the shadow figure knocked on the door. Michael opened it quickly and pointed his gun at the person. “Jesus, Michael. Put that away, it’s broad daylight out. Do you want someone to call the cops?” Ash yelled. “Sorry.” Michael said softly. “Why do you have that out anyway?” Ash asked.
“Come in. I’ll explain.” Michael ordered. Ash walked into Michael’s house, Michael shut the door behind him, and then guided him into the kitchen. They both sat down at Michael’s table. “I think I know who murdered Brandon.” Michael stated. “Oh God, here we go again.” Ash droned. “Just here me out. It’s important.” Michael assured. “Go on.” Ash said.
“Okay, a couple days ago, I saw this guy; a young looking man. He was right next my house, but he left before I got the chance to see him that well. Later that night I saw him again outside my window, then I saw him again the next morning.” Michael explained. “Michael,” Ash began, putting his hand on Michael’s shoulder. “You’re crazy.”
“I’m not crazy, I know what I saw.” Michael proclaimed. “You think you’re being stalked by the man who murdered your brother, that’s a little far-fetched.” Ash commented. “I’m not sure if he murdered him, but why else would he be after me? And why did he kill Brandon?” Michael asked loudly. “Don’t ask me.” Ash said.
“Oh, wait a second.” Michael said, then ran to his living room. He sifted through his papers on the coffee table until he found the note that he discovered in Brandon’s car. He ran back into the kitchen and shoved the note in Ash’s face. “I found that in Brandon’s car.” Michael said. Ash read the note and looked at Michael. “What is that supposed to mean? You’re predictable, but who and why did somebody send this to you?” Ash asked examining the note.
“I haven’t the slightest clue, take it to the station and test it for prints.” Michael replied. “Why can’t you?” Ash asked. “It’s my day off” Michael replied. “Whatever. I’ll be back tomorrow with the results.” Ash said. “Thanks, I owe you one.” Michael said. “You’re paying the next time we go out for a drink.” Ash stated. “Fair enough.” Michael agreed.
Ash left Michael’s house and headed back toward the station. Michael looked through the files of the other murders. They were all the same, no fingerprints, bloody mess everywhere, and a knife near the body. “It was definitely the same person for every murder.” Michael tied to convince himself. 3 hours after Ash left, there was another knock at the door. Michael opened the door slowly and there stood the one person on the planet that Michael dreaded the sight of. The young man who had been stalking Michael for days.
“Who are you?” Michael asked fearfully backing up a few steps. “I think I might be able to help you.” The young man stated. “Who are you, and what do you want?” Michael asked again, this time much more sternly. “I can’t tell you who I am, but I know who murdered your brother.” The young man replied urgently. “Is this some kind of joke? Or are you just really messed up?” Michael asked. “No it’s not a joke, I’m completely serious.” The young man replied.
“Get of my sidewalk, get off my property, get out of my life, and never come back.” Michael commanded. “Wait, I’m serious. I can help!” The young man yelled as Michael shoved him out the door and shut it behind him. “You’re making a mistake!” The young man shouted from outside. “You’re crazy!” Michael shouted back.
While the young man was walking away, Michael was thinking about the conversation he had with Ash. Ash called Michael crazy for making an outrageous claim. Michael opened the door again, but the young man was gone. “Figures.” Michael whispered, then shut the door.