Forever Cold – 2


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2 – Current day

“Sheriff! Over here!”  Abby scoots around the overturned furniture and slides into the hall towards the voice. In the back bedroom is a scene of chaos. Blood on every surface. Nothing in the right place. And a mans body laying across the bed. Without a head. “Jeez, Mike, you could have said something.” Abby says as she turns her head, coughs a little and tries to hold back the gag reflex. Mike, her 2nd in command, is scribbling in his notebook as the coroner finishes his routine. “The house belongs to Earl Wilson” Mike continues without looking up, “We’re thinking this is Earl, but we’ll wait for Crank.” Crank, the coroner, looks up. “Yeah, I’m pretty sure this is Earl. I’ll know more later. Assuming you have a head to go with the body.” Abby looks at Mike, “You don’t know where the head is?”. Mike shrugs his shoulders. “Not yet, we’re just starting to look around.” With that he moves past Abby and moves outside with a few of the other officers into the yard. Abby and Crank just stand there looking at each other. Neither one really wants to move around the room much with all of the slippery body fluids on the floor. The sticky, sucking sound as your shoes move through it really tests your stomach.

From the doorway Abby scans the bedroom. All seems to be here, although all on the floor. Dresser, lamps, bed linens, etc. She carefully tiptoes into the bathroom in the far corner. No blood in here. All is neat and orderly. “Obviously a bachelor”, Abby says under her breath. She pulls on her latex gloves and gingerly pulls open the mirrored vanity above the sink. Toothpaste and headache medicines. A few prescriptions. Nothing unusual. Turning to her right she pulls back the shower curtain. Perched on a chair, in the middle of the tub, is Earls head. Eyes open, looking right at Abby. “Mike!” Abby screams and starts backing up. She backs into Crank, and startled by his presence, screams again. Turning towards him “Goddammit, Crank! Let a girl know when you’re behind them will you!” Crank steadies Abby. As Abby is looking at Crank she sees his eyes widen and stare. Turning to the bath again she sees it herself. Written on the back tile of the shower is ‘I’m back’  in Earls blood.

The next day they all meet back at the station. Crank and Mike already have coffee and are sitting at the big table in the break room they all use as a central point. Abby is getting a mug of Earl Grey going when Crank starts. “My initial review shows Earl was slammed in the head with something like a hammer. I don’t know if he died immediately or not. His head was cut off with a regular hand saw. Like you would use on a two-by-four.” Mike and Abby cringe a little at the thought. In a small town like Silverville you don’t get a lot of grisly crimes to harden your emotions. Mike shuffles some papers around. “What?” Abby asks. Mike doesn’t say anything for awhile. “ We’re still looking around the house some. We’ll be there for a few more days. But the boys and I are coming up empty. Not empty in that there isn’t anything there, But empty in that Earl doesn’t exist.” “What does that mean?” asks Crank. “I ran Earls information from his Drivers license and and other IDs through Acuranet and Earl doesn’t exist past 8 years ago.” Mike counters. “I’ll keep trying everything I can, but it seems as though our recently departed has been hiding from something.” “Or someone.” Abby adds. Crank stands up and walks around to the coffee maker. “I used to know someone when I worked in Denver. He retired a few years back and made a move out here. I can contact him if you want.” Abby looks deep into her mug. “I’ll think about it.” Crank nods. Then adds “He was a really good investigator but he’s got a lot of baggage.”

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