Case Dread

I told you at the beginning of the year I was going to attempt to a write a story each month! Well I delivert! I mean delivered lol! This story comes to us from a random monologue I wrote when I was on break last year. I found it and decided to write a story around it. I must tell you the original draft is nothing like this. It came about from a cut I had on my tongue and yeah it was stupid. It sucked. I changed everything about it and came up wit this story on the fly instead. Enjoy or pick it a part like animals. SO STORYTIME EVERYONE!!!!!! LOOK BEHIND YOU!!! There is nothing or no one there…so you should just LOOK DOWN!!!

Case Dread

Hello rookie. My name is Rob Pearsons. I am a detective for the Las Vegas Metropolitan police force. Back when I was a rookie, I am going to tell you a story….a life changing story. I feel like it will help any rookie that comes joins the force. I don’t want any of you rooks to make the same mistake that I made back then. Please don’t ask too many questions. Take more initiative whenever you have the chance.

The date was May 5th, 2019. It was a typical Friday evening at the office. At the time, this case was going on for a couple of years. It was a case that bothered me and my partner, Luis. Luis has been in the detective branch for about 9 years and has tenure you can say. Luis took me under his wing the first day I joined the detective branch of Las Vegas. He taught me a lot and I learned I am much more patient than he is. He was a hotwire who would quickly shout, slam and turn interrogation rooms into disaster sites. I was the calmer, reasonable detective. I guess you can say this was a perfect match. I can’t say he didn’t rub off on me in after my rookie days. As much as Luis has seen during his time here, he never came across nothing like this…and this was an ideal yet terrifying case to begin your career with.

We’ve been working on this odd case of people going missing for a day or two and then reappearing in society like nothing ever happened.  This case sounded like it was from something from a twisted novel and the victims never wanted to speak about what happened. They were traumatized clearly. Some of these people turn pale or would just be silent whenever we found them and tried to get any information from them. What could this person have done to disrupt their psyche like this?

All of my wondering was about to come to an end though because finally the police caught the guy. This man was caught around Wednesday night after someone was reporting strange noises from a warehouse. An abandoned, locked warehouse. There should be no one in there however it was the perfect place to commit a crime. Was our suspect just sloppy this night or did he purposely let us catch him for something bigger? Who Knows? The victim was also brought in for questioning. I told the chief that Luis and I wanted to interrogate the victim first because I had to know what they wouldn’t tell. However, chief demanded we interrogate the suspect first….and so we did.

I wish we didn’t though….because maybe just maybe we could have gotten a hint to what was going on.

Luis & I went to the line up to see this man face to face. I was shocked to see this 5 foot seven inch lean Caucasian man wearing what looked like prescription glasses.  At first I thought “This must be a mistake. I was expecting a hulking brute or a tall mongoloid who had a record.”, but then I thought “anyone is capable of crime…remember that”. It just bothered me he didn’t fit the description I was envisioning in my head. I could totally kick this guy’s ass without breaking a sweat. He looked like those geeky kids in high school. I knew better than to think only a certain type of person commits crime, but this was just ridiculous. Luis took one look at him from the line up and burst out laughing, but stopped immediately once his eyes met with the suspect. Luis walked out to the hallway waiting on me. I walked out, grabbed his file and began to read. He was squeaky clean. His name was Colton, a law abiding citizen with no record prior to coming here. I must say I was confused why he was there. I don’t know why he was caught in the warehouse with possibly his next victim, Ronald Wayne. Could this guy be the one behind all of this or was someone else pulling the strings? I was about to find out.

“Something is off about this guy Pearsons” Luis said.

“Says the guy who was laughing at him a couple of minutes ago” I responded.

Luis fired back “Seriously, man something is wrong with him. I laughed, but I saw something in his eyes and that guy can’t be right”.

“Luis. I got that vibe once you walked out. It felt like this little pip squeak was someone you didn’t want to be alone with right?” I said

“Exactly man…I had to get out of there. I don’t know how you stayed in there any longer”.

“Well Luis, he is going to be alone with us. We are going to find out what is going on. You got my back?” I said.

Luis said “Of course brother.” as we headed to the interrogation room.

Once we made it to the interrogation room we took our seats, went over notes and began to wait. My excitement at the time was bubbling like a volcano as each minute went by. It normally doesn’t take twenty minutes to bring in a suspect around here especially one with no record. I didn’t get it. At the thirty minute mark, Colton was brought to the interrogation room with a grin. It was more of a grin that little kids make when they are caught doing anything bad. I know I saw a grin, but everyone else told me at the time he was expressionless walking in. Luis immediately stood up once Colton walked in. I wanted to ask Luis why he was acting so weird, but I didn’t want to alert chief & company behind the glass or Colton. I have no idea what this guy is capable of. I got through the pleasantries of introducing myself and my partner as we began the questioning. I noticed that Colton was really eager for the interrogation. It’s like he wanted me to ask him why he did it….

Anyways Luis & I began.

“Colton, you know what you are in here for?”

He laughed and nodded his head.

Luis slammed his hands on the table in the traditional good cop bad cop fashion to intimidate Colton. Colton didn’t flinch at all. Instead he stared at Luis in way that made me cringe. Colton’s eyes look like they were saying “come on tough guy…I eat guys like you for breakfast”. Luis sat down and put his hands in his lap like a scolded child. I paused for a bit out of shock because I never would have thought the hotwire Luis would be reduced to a small child. I bet chief and company were shocked too. You don’t see this every day. Our usual shtick was not going to go down today. I continued after Colton broke his stare off of Luis and focused back on me.

“So Colton why did you do it? Rather what were you about to do to Mr. Wayne in that warehouse?”

Colton smiled like his crush noticed him and bashfully said

“Oh…nothing. Just a little branding.”

“Just a little branding Mr. Colton?” Luis said

“Yeah…branding Mr. Luis…you both know what that is right?” Colton said.

We both nodded and the room grew silent till our next question. I was confused by that response. Most suspects reply with the go to “I’m not talking”, “I want to see my lawyer”, “I’m not telling you anything” or the very classy “Fuck you”. Colton on the other hand would just stare and a smile at us. Colton also put his hands on the table and cracked his knuckles with his thumbs. Such an odd gestures.

“Pearsons this guy can’t be serious right??” Luis whispered to me.

Colton must have heard Luis “yeah I’m serious. Hehe what’s the big deal about a branding? Animals need to be branded after all Mr. Luis”

“You heard me Mr. Colton?” Luis asked Colton

“You don’t need to whisper Mr. Luis. I can hear you. If you need to say something speak”.

Colton began to wave and type at the mirror. He must be alerting chief that he could see him and the boys behind the mirror. Most suspects don’t think the room has a fake mirror. No I can tell you then none of the suspects we brought in that room knew there was a fake mirror. Colton was a different breed. I continued my interrogation.

“Colton is it possible that you are the man behind all those people missing and reappearing all those years? Are you working with anyone? Are you—?”

Colton stopped smiling. His face grew a bit somber as he looked down and simply said in a menacing tone “You should know the answer right detective? Why do you ask so many questions? There was a mark that probably went unnoticed once they reappeared in society, but each of their stories should be the same. They are found…they don’t speak. Am I correct detective or no?”

A chill grew between Luis and I. Luis slammed his fist on the desk again

“What do you think we are fools? YOU ARE THE ONE BEHIND THIS!”

“Am I the one behind this…or is it you want a face to blame behind the happenings Mr. Luis? I suggest you take a seat if you want me to speak anymore” Colton said.

I put my hand on Luis’ fist and shook my head no. I gestured for him to sit down which Luis did. Luis look a bit disturbed because his tactics were not working. Normally I would let Luis continue to blow up, but now wasn’t the time to lose our cool. Colton was unlike any person we came across and in order to get the information we needed we had to play it smart.

He was right. Over the years each interviews was exactly the same. All the victims were petrified to utter a single word about what happened to them. The only thing they would mumble is something about a mark. A mark they could not pin point. This scared me then and it scares me now. Colton knew we knew all the details. He knew we did our homework.

So I cut the shit and just got to the point.

“Colton what is the branding?”

Colton looked up bright eyed, smiled, sticked out his tongue and pointed at his temple

“That’s the branding” Colton said. “It’s nothing life threatening, but…”

Luis cut him off and shouted “What is that supposed to mean?”

Colton said ” In due time both of you will learn..”

I cut in “Why did people go missing for a couple of days?”

Colton replied “Why does darkness envelope the world Mr. Pearsons?”

“What…What did you do to them? Why won’t they talk?!” I said.

“Mr. Pearsons, Mr. Luis….do you really want to know? The answer lies within us all”

Colton smiles again waving at the fake mirror again except this time with more energy. He began to laugh as the room grew silent. All Luis and I could do is grit our teeth and watch this mad man begin to explain in his twisted head what happened.

I wrote a note on a piece of paper and slid it to Luis. It simply said “Just let him talk…we are falling into exactly what he wants us to do”. Luis nodded and we both just stared at Colton.

Colton took a deep breath and chuckled. Colton looked at both of us and simply said

“Are you ready everyone?”

“The answer that you seek is fear. Maybe you two will understand and maybe you won’t. Fear. When safety is taken away, when that net people rely on so much is taken from them do you know what they do? Hehehe they panic. I…no we….no they…they love to see them panic….Some are in the wrong place at the wrong time…and some have it coming to them. I won’t incriminate them or myself. I am not stupid after all. The people who went missing and then reappeared those were the stupid ones. So where is the crime gents? A missing person turning up a couple days later alive? What is exactly the problem? Yes, it is true they are never harmed, but they are always branded.  Do you understand gentlemen?”

Luis & I were puzzled by this response. To this day I am not sure what he meant by that.

I asked “So you torture them to brand them?

Luis chimed in “You kidnap them to brand them and then let them go?

Colton just shook his head no, stared at us, took a deep breath and cryptically said

“The man with too many questions will never find his answers”. Colton faintly waves again at the fake mirror.

As soon as we were about to ask another question, the chief came in and had Colton taken away.

When Mr. Wayne was brought in, did not want to comment all he said was “I can’t find the mark…I’m fine.”

Luis and I were finished interrogating for the day. Before we headed back to our offices, I remember we had a short conversation.

“This has been a strange day hasn’t it Pearsons?” Luis said.

“Yeah Luis, I have no idea what’s going on and it seems like we got nowhere.”

“Nothing sat well with me for today and you are right. Something is not right in the air”

“Something does seem off about all this Pearsons. So close to finding an answer to this bizarrely long case”

“It is like we are right by the answer…what does this disturbing Colton or people do to everyone that has them scared to talk?”

“I have no idea. We will have to interrogate him again tomorrow. Be careful going home today Pearsons. Be safe and tell the wife I said hello.

“I will and we must interrogate him again. He is just trying to throw us off. You tell your family I said hello as well. Be careful going home Luis.” I said.
I went back to my office and sat at my desk. I was going over the file again to see if I was missing anything details until I got a knock at the door. The door opened, an intern handled me a file that had something related to the case. I took the folder, thanked the intern and sat back at my desk.

What I saw in the folder shook me to the core. I opened the folder to find polaroids of every victim that went missing and reappeared. Some of these photos were very old and faded while a couple of them were recent and fresh. All of the photos were the same in a way. Each of the victims were posed the same with their tongues sticking out, one finger pointing at their temple and another finger pointing behind them. The uniformity of the photos had to mean something. This is until I came across the very last photo. The last photo was a photo of Mr. Wayne in the same pose as all of the victims of the past. This picture was different because it had some backwards writing on it. This looked like a phrase or something written in a small font. I pulled out a magnifying glass, small mirror and held the photo to it.

All the phrase was…

“Don’t press charges….they will be back…better than before…follow”

When the photo was held to a mirror, you can see a man tipping his hat…smiling. A man who was being pointed at. A man who looked a lot like Colton. If this was Colton, he was in every photo…he never aged. He couldn’t have been alone because someone had to take the picture…someone had to position the victims…someone else had to be helping him.

Was this Stockholm syndrome? A bad prank? Fear incarnate? What did this branding do to them? I don’t know, but with all this evidence we had him. Luis and I could finally put this case to rest because we now have someone.

Or so I thought.

The next day I was informed that Colton was released and Luis didn’t come in to work.

He never came back to work…he went missing. The tough loose cannon who taught me everything I knew went missing. Something was up and It never felt right to believe Luis could be kidnapped or worst. I never saw him again since that day of the interrogation. I don’t understand why he was “chosen” or targeted, but it rips me to my core that he has never returned.

Despite having no leads on where Luis could be, I still look for him hoping I can end this case or before something happens to me.

The creepiest part of all these mishaps is what happened to the evidence. The evidence along with all of the photos that were in the file were missing.

It’s like Colton…never existed.


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