Will Bryant did as he always did each morning
at the onset of seven o'clock. He climbed out of bed, stretched, sauntered
into the bathroom, took a shower, leaned himself up, and then dressed himself,
collecting his necessary items before heading downstairs to get some breakfast.
He was still troubled by everything that had happened the day before. He
had spent several hours trying to recollect where he had seen All For You
before, he knew that it was familiar to him somehow, yet he couldn't place
Walking downstairs to the breakfast area in the motel, he was immediately startled to see Mrs. Brumfield lying on the ground near the door. He dropped his briefcase, and ran over to her, checking her pulse, and looking at her eyes. She was alive, though quite unconscious. She was still breathing too, must have passed out or something. Looking over her, he could tell that she was going to have a couple nasty bruises, but nothing serious. She was quite fortunate that the carpet was thick, otherwise she could have done some real harm to herself.
What made her pass out though, and as Will stood up, and looked about, he saw why. Right outside the door was the body of a dog, skinned and eviscerated, the organs neatly arranged in a set pattern. Will's first reaction was of course to pick up his cell-phone, and call the police station. This had to be reported.
"Yes, where are you?" he heard Jenny's voice call back. It might have just been the connection, but he thought he heard her voice quavering. What was going on now?
"This is Bryant, I'm at the hotel. There's another victim right outside the front door." Will replied.
"All right, somebody will be with you shortly." Jenny called back, and to him it sounded like a dismissal.
"Hey, wait a minute, what's going on here?" Will called back, but the line had gone dead. Will turned his phone off, a little frustrated. He then tried All4You again, it was still busy. Their killer had his phone disconnected still. What could he do? He had to get down to the police station right now, but first, he had to take care of Mrs. Brumfield.
He lifted her frail body up in his arms, and he made careful he didn't bump her into anything as he carried her back to her room. He had a little difficulty opening her door, but he managed. Her bedroom was obviously designed for two people to live in it. The matching dressers were still here, though only one looked like it got any use. The bed was a Queen, with two sets of pillows, and a conservatively colored top quilt. He laid her down on the bed, and then quickly departed, hoping she would be all right. Picking up his briefcase, he headed towards the police station, noticing a little more furtive activity today than usual.
The police station was a madhouse. There were
at least three or four sentries coming in and leaving with little tidbit's
to tell Rick who was now running the place in Randy's absence. Jenny was
sitting beside her phone, writing constantly, and passing the messages
along to Rick, who then would promptly call another sentry up, and tell
them what to do. Will looked to the map of Barken on the far wall. They
had put little thumbtacks into where the killer had left the bodies; as
of yesterday there had only been four pins, now there were fourteen.
Will sat stunned as the entire affair moved along. He waited a few moments before daring to approach Rick, making sure he wasn't busy taking care of anything else.
"What is it?" Rick asked, obviously quite flustered.
"What it the world is going on?" Will asked.
"We've found ten or eleven bodies already this morning, our killer went ballistic last night. I don't know how he killed them all exactly at midnight, but somehow he did it."
"Do you know who is dead?"
"No, and that's really the most frustrating thing, because that's the first thing we check, see who died. So far, nobody has come up unaccounted for."
Just then Jenny got another ring on her phone, and Rick turned to Will an apologetic expression on his face. "Sorry, can't talk right now. Make yourself useful, there's some stuff we got in on Davis's desk, I didn't have time to go through it this morning."
Will nodded. He stepped into Davis's office, knowing that eventually the chaos would get back in order, and something constructive could be accomplished. Looking at the mess on the desk, he noticed today's mail. Not much, nothing addressed to a person in particular except for one package. Interestingly enough it was sent to Sheriff Davis. It was a small box, and it had been sent from somebody in VA. This was immediately interesting, and Will deftly opened up the box, and dumped out it's contents.
Inside had been another package as well as hand written note. Will first scanned the addresses on the other package, from Pierre Davis to Jason Kubelik? Why would he do that? And it was hand written too, not the pre-made letter head that most police stations would have used. Yet here it was forwarded from some guy named Nathan, probably Jason's friend that he was staying with, back to Barken. Why? He scanned the note for an answer and found one. Jason was back in Barken, the letter didn't say why, but he was staying with Greg Finley and the Barclay's.
Of the other paraphernalia on Davis's desk, none were so interesting as that. He was about to open the package and see what was inside it when a sudden thought occurred to him. Letter-bomb. Dr. Shishido had been nearly killed by a letter-bomb, he was in a coma still as far as he knew. The likelihood that this package was also a latter bomb was quite good. Somebody had already tried to kill Jason before, perhaps this was a finishing the job device? Perhaps.
Will waited for another lull in the activity outside the office before going back out. Jenny was waiting by the phone, ready for another call, and Rick was looking at the map, shaking his head in sadness. Will glanced at it, and the thing he first noticed was a star. Looking at it again, he couldn't believe his eyes, it just jumped right out at him, it was so obviously a star there was nothing he could think of otherwise. A pattern had been laid out, their killer was truly an artist.
"Rick, are you seeing what I'm seeing?" Will asked.
"Twenty-four dead altogether so far." Rick intoned.
"Do you see the pattern in where he has lain the bodies?"
"What pattern?" Rick asked, now interested.
Will walked up to the map, the package in Davis's office now forgotten. "Watch my finger." Will traced out the endpoint's of the star, yet he was a little confused, as the south-eastern endpoint was missing.
"I don't see it." Rick admitted.
"I do." Jenny added. "He's right Rick, there is a pattern."
"Can I borrow a pen?" Will asked her.
"Sure, let me get one for you." Jenny reached over, and grabbed the nearest pen on her desk, and then handed it to Will.
"Mind if I draw on this map?" Will asked.
"We have other maps." Rick conceded.
"All right, now watch this." Will took the pen, and began connecting the dots, starting in the south-eastern corner. As Rick watched, he saw the figure come to life before him. It was a star. And as Will traced, he saw that on each of its five corners, there was another five pointed star sitting there, for a total of six stars. The only thing he noted was that the one in the south-eastern corner was incomplete.
"What in the world is going on? Why a star?" Rick asked, completely baffled.
"Not a star, a pentagram." Will told him.
Rick was pacing. Will and Jenny watched and
listened as Rick tried to go over the entire array of evidence. "All right
he kills them at midnight, skins them, and eviscerates them, leaving them
all like Eddie did. He is good at disguises, and somehow manages to get
in and out of Barken without anybody noticing him. Yet now we see that
he has been positioning the bodies in a pentagram fashion. What is this,
some sort of dark ritual he's going to perform? Are we going to fall into
some mystical aberrations of the known laws of time and space. What is
he going to do?"
"Rick calm down." Will told him. "I don't know what he's going to do, but I know what we need to do. You need to go back to Houston and pick up Joe and Taylor. Also, before you go, I want you to tell everybody that if they see Randy, that he needs to come here right away, we need him now. I am going to be calling a friend."
"Who?" Rick asked.
"Somebody who knows a heck of a lot more about pentagrams than I do. Let's just keep this straight, he has one space left to fill. And we know where he has to put it."
Ted Obermeyer was enjoying a good book out
on the veranda underneath the midday sun in New Orleans. It was a hot day,
but all days were hot in New Orleans. He had always wanted to have a house
down here in the bayou, ever since he was a little kid, and now thanks
to his clever buying of stocks in the LeMark corporation at an early time,
and then selling them at just the right moment, he was a millionaire several
times over. It was certainly the most wonderful thing that could have happened
to him. He was now able to spend his time researching what he most enjoyed,
the occult. True he was a scientist, yet he couldn't help but be fascinated
by the ancient beliefs and practices of the less than savoury. There was
something about it that drew him to it, drew him inwards, absorbing him
in its coils.
He was distracted by the ringing of his phone. He set the book down, and picked it up, swearing to himself that this better be important. "This is Obermeyer, and you are?'
"Ted! It's me, your old buddy Will." he heard the jovial voice on the other end, and he was set at ease.
"Hey Will, how've you been?" Ted relaxed, here he was talking with a good friend he hadn't seen in quite some time.
"Pretty bad, we've got a really nasty situation down here."
"Where?" Ted asked.
"In Barken." Will admitted.
"Barken!?! What are you doing there?"
"Investigating a multiple murder case. It's just turn into a serial killer, who has a love for pentagrams."
"Pentagrams?" Ted asked, his curiosity piqued.
"Yes, he's arranged the bodies of the slain into the shape of a pentagram."
"Let me guess, you want my opinion?" Ted asked.
"Yes, I'd very much appreciate it if you would come down to Barken as soon as possible. We have a deadline, October the tenth, that's only six days away. We suspect that is when whatever he is doing is going to culminate somehow."
"I'll be down there as quickly as I can. It's about half-a-day drive, so I should be there in the afternoon." Ted told him, already standing up from his position, and heading back inside, not forgetting to take his book with him.
"Good, I'll see you then." Will told him. "Meet my at the police station."
"I will, and Will." Ted told him.
"Do take care of yourself." Ted reminded him.
"I will, and you too."
"I'll see you then." Will put the phone back on the receiver, his job for the moment done.
Jason was walking along the streets of Barken,
deliberately avoiding Greg's kvetching mother-in-law. All she did all day
to him was mother, mother, mother, and mother him. It wasn't that he didn't
mind a little bit of it, but when she did it constantly, it drove him up
the wall. So in order to find some peace for himself, he had taken up just
walking along the streets. Of course, he realized he had walked into some
sort of war zone, as there were sentries running all over the place, bodies
of dead dogs, that made him feel slightly sick being carted over to the
He made his way into the residential district, where thankfully none of this feverish activity was taking place, and he strolled along. It was a beautiful day in Barken, the sun was shining brightly, warming him, but not beating down on him like it would on a hotter day. It was a very warm day, in upwards of eighty degrees, but not summer hot. There was a nice breeze to the air, bringing to him all the scents of Barken. He rather enjoyed it.
As he looked farther on down the road, he caught glimpse of a very wonderful sight. That of a father and child, at least that was what it looked to him. The father was giving the kid something, making him close his eyes to surprise him. It was some little toy, Jason couldn't tell what from where he was, so he got a little closer to watch. The little kid hugged him, and the father reciprocated. Neither was dressed very professionally, the father looked neat, but no suit or anything. The kid looked like he been tumbling around in the dirt. Probably needed a bath.
As Jason watched the scene, he saw the father look up at him for a moment. Just a brief glance, but it had been enough to shock Jason into moving along. The man saw him, and then a look of sheer shock ran through his system. The man was obviously surprised to see him, and it was most certain that he recognized him as well. Jason didn't recognize him, though there were many people that recognized him in town that Jaosn didn't remember. Yet that wasn't the point, it was the means of recognition. That face for one moment was one of shock, one of surprise, one of hatred, and one of something fearsome that Jason didn't want to dwell upon. Jaosn quickly moved on, finding the kvetching nature of Mrs. Barclay to be quite attractive at that moment.
"What is it?" Little Stevie Engel asked Nicholas
as he stared menacingly after the young man walking swiftly along the sidewalk.
Nicholas snapped out of his stare, and his lips parted into a smile as
he turned back around to face the young child.
"Nothing, just an old friend. Do you like your toy?" Nicholas asked.
"Oh thank you so much, Nicholas, you're my best friend!" Stevie hugged him again.
Nicholas hugged him back, and then looked him square in the eye. "Now don't you tell anybody, but I've got a house up in Colorado, which is filled with toy's like these. I'm going to be leaving to go back there shortly."
"Oh! Can I come, please?" Stevie asked, jumping up and down in excitement as he did so.
"Well, I'll have to think about it." Nicholas told him, standing back a little, still on his haunches.
"Oh." Stevie looked quite downcast at the answer.
"Don't you worry, I'll be back here to get another toy. I just don't know at the moment. You just run along now and have fun with your friends and your toys." Nicholas shooed him off.
"Okay. Thank you, Nicholas." Stevie told him before prancing off down the street, holding the toy he had been given aloft, quite happily, the disappointment of only a moment ago forgotten for now.
Nicholas rose to his feet, and after watching Stevie disappear, he turned back around looking after where the other had gone. How did he get here?