Read The Nelson Files: Episode #1 Online

Authors: Ryan Cecere,Scott Lucas

The Nelson Files: Episode #1 (3 page)

BOOK: The Nelson Files: Episode #1
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Crime Scene

11:30 p.m.

 

Peggy Edwards just made her twenty-second year in the PD last Friday, and had only been promoted to a detective, Homicide specifically, three years ago. Out of all the years of hard work, all the years of busting the bad guys, and the several partners she was assigned to work with, none equaled the amount of strange as her newest partner, Michael Connors. To her, he put the strange in strange. Michael had recently moved to the East Coast from Los Angeles. He never talked about his past, and ever since he had arrived in Ridgefield a few weeks ago there had been a ton of unsolved and mysterious cases.

Just like this one.

Peggy had a strong desire to dig into her partner’s past, knowing she might find something disturbing in his files. She knew it was best to leave it alone–at least for now.

The storm had lightened up tremendously within the last hour, so Peggy left her umbrella in the car, not bothered by the light drizzle. She flashed her badge to fresh-out-of-the-academy, Officer Stanzi, allowing her to enter the property. Peggy joined Michael's side by the dumpsters, where he was staring up at the open apartment window that belonged to Roseanne.

"What are you staring at?" she asked.

Michael glanced over at her, handing her a cup of coffee. "Paul Stine, the guard on duty, the one who made the call, claimed that whatever attacked our victim jumped out this window right into this area."

"What did he say attacked the victim?"

"He was unclear about that." Michael took out his flashlight and shone it around. Peggy followed close behind. "He did say that the victim–Roseanne, an elderly woman in her seventies or eighties, I don't recall–was apparently seeing a black dog roaming around her floor. She called down to the front desk hysterical and shouting. When he got up to her room she was dead. A chunk of her neck was bitten off."

"Yikes." Peggy never wanted to hear Michael's theory on things, since she already knew what he'd say. And that bothered her. But she needed to. "What do you think? Animal attack? Rabid dog?"

Michael turned off his flashlight, smiled and turned to her. "Oh come on, Edwards, you and I both know you really don't like my theories on things."

"Enlighten me. Prove me wrong this time, Connors. Give me an actual answer that's not irrational this time. Hmm?"

"Say it was a dog," he began. "How would it have gotten past security, let alone climbed four flights of stairs and," he pointed his finger in the air, "how could it have opened two sets of doors in the process? Rabid dog or wild animal, it doesn't have a rational sense to it. Could you explain to me how the hell anything can jump from that height, down here, unharmed with no evidence of any kind of trace to where it might've gone, and just vanished into the night?"

Peggy rolled her eyes, knowing his irrational theory was coming at any point.

"If it was an animal, Edwards, it definitely wasn't an ordinary animal."

"Please, don't say it–"

"Precisely, it had to have been something supernatural.” He shrugged. “Maybe a black dog. But maybe a hellhound, or a skin walker. Something along those lines."

Peggy sighed, placing her cup of coffee on the covered dumpster. "How are you still a cop, Connors? I swear with all your spooky theories we should start questioning
you
. I mean, a lot of weird cases have come across my desk since you got here. Now, I'm not pointing any fingers at you, but for God’s sake, stop with all the supernatural mumbo-jumbo. There's a rational explanation to all this, okay?"

Michael tied his hair into a ponytail, then took a step past her. "Trust me, Edwards. If I was the one behind all these unsolved cases–like the missing children a few months ago–nobody would catch me and no evidence would be found. I'm not the one behind this."

After sending a shiver down her spine, Michael made his way into the building.

 

———

 

As the final squad car exited the parking lot of Lomax Manor, disappearing around the block, Lance–parked up the street–exited his car and went towards the building. He snuck through the parking lot to the dumpster area, pulled out his flashlight and shone it along the green dumpsters, the blue recycling dumpsters, the generator and down the small path towards the back doors into the kitchen. During all the ruckus, Lance managed to speak with Paul outside in private and get the scoop. Not wanting police to notice him around, he quickly thanked Paul for his time and vanished up the street to his car where he waited till it quieted down; and the police left the scene. He had a few run-ins with Detective Peggy Edwards since living in Ridgefield, and she already suspected him of something. She’d seen him around a lot of the unsolved cases crime scenes. The last thing he needed was for a cop to be up his ass while he tried doing his job.

Lance observed Roseanne’s apartment window–which the police foolishly left open. Just like Michael Connors, he wondered how an animal could leap out the fourth floor window, land on the ground without killing itself, and just be gone without a trace.

Lance knew there was a trace of evidence somewhere, if he just looked hard enough; and he knew for certain that the police didn’t have the keen eye he did for this sort of stuff. This was no run-of-the-mill case. This was his area of expertise.

He shone his flashlight down the side of the building, looking for some indication of where the creature had gone. The light glided down the building, down to the ground, then by the bushes.

Lance smirked and moved in. He knelt down, examining the bloody trail of paw prints–large paw prints that blended in with the dirt, camouflaged under the brush.

“God, why are police so stupid?” Lance muttered to himself “This is why I get paid the big bucks.”

He snapped a picture with his cell phone and made his way around the bushes to the side street and followed the trail, fading as it went along until it disappeared entirely. Its direction from there was unknown.

Lance dialed a number on his phone; after just a ring, the man on the other line picked up.

“I caught a trail, Kurt.
It
must be back in Ridgefield.”

Motel

September 5, 2015

10:05 a.m.

 

Zack awoke that morning with a blistering headache; one that throbbed and rattled his brain like none before.
A much needed night,
he thought as he forced himself out of bed and into the bathroom.

As he grunted his way over to the sink, head booming on the inside, he could still taste the numerous shots of tequila he’d withstood. Zack wasn’t a big fan of tequila, but it did the trick when needed. Heather insisted that Zack leave his truck parked across from the bar while they take a cab home so the mere thought of Zack getting into an accident wouldn’t be on her conscience all night. She offered for him to spend the night at her house--he declined. Then was taken to the nearest motel where he stumbled in, scaring the motel manager and making the old guy iffy to give Zack a room–which he eventually did, and even helped Zack get to it in one piece.

Zack turned the shower knob to the right, shutting the water off. He grabbed a towel, then tossed on his jeans, a tee-shirt and boots, grabbed his car keys from his jacket hanging on a wooden chair, and walked outside.

The sun shone brilliantly in his eyes; a blinding ray of light when first sobering up. Zack shielded his eyes with his hand, remembering his sunglasses were on the dashboard of his truck.

His hangover felt ten times worse by the time he arrived at the pharmacy. Zack popped open the plastic package and gulped down two pills as he walked outside. He thought about taking the two extras he had brought, but decided against it, to save them for later.

“Ahhhh!”

Zack jerked his head up. The streets weren’t crowded, but Zack seemed to be the only one to notice the ear-shattering scream coming from thin air.
Where was that coming from?
Zack walked by the alleyway, listened closer.

“Help! Someone!”

Zack dropped the other package of aspirin and sprinted down the alley that led to the pharmacy parking lot. By the time he turned the corner, a woman dressed in a nurse’s outfit lay on the ground, covered in blood. Her body shaking, her hand clenched against the large chunk of flesh absent from her throat.

His jaw fell down in terror.
What the fuck?
Zack rushed over to the nurse.

“Oh my God…”

She tried to speak, but gurgled on her own blood.

“Shhh. Try not to speak. I’m going to get you help, just stay with me.” Zack pulled his cell phone out and dialed.

“9-1-1, what’s your emergency?” the operator asked.

“I need an ambulance right away!”

 

———

 

Pharmacy Parking Lot

10:48 a.m.

 

“I came out of the store and heard someone scream,” Zack told Peggy, his arms crossed. “Then I heard it again coming down the alleyway. When I turned the corner…that’s when I saw her.” Paramedics lifted up the stretcher, the nurse in a body bag, and rolled it over to the ambulance. “Her throat was torn into--like an animal attack. She stopped breathing shortly after I called you guys.”

Peggy, who was jotting what Zack said in her notepad, looked up. “You didn’t see anyone around? Any animal? Nothing?”

“No,” said Zack. “It was like whoever--whatever--attacked her was fast enough to disappear before I turned the corner.” Peggy sighed, Zack raised a brow. “Everything okay?”

“Yeah,” she shut her notepad and pocketed it. “This is just the second animal attack in the last several hours.”

“There was another?”

“Yup. Over at Lomax Manor, that senior building. This lady, Roseanne, I think her name was.” Zack’s eyes opened, his jaw tightened. “You know her?”

“No,” Zack lied. “No. It’s just whatever is doing this, I hope gets caught.”

“So do I. Thanks.”

“No problem.”

Zack turned, making his way back toward the alley.
Could it be? The thing that killed Grandma? Is it back? First Grandma… Now her friend, Rose.

Halfway down the alley, he came to a halt. He knelt down, looking at the ground. Paw prints from a dog-like creature traveled down the path, eventually fading away. Zack looked around, to make sure nobody was looking, then snapped a picture on his phone. He stood and with his foot, he wiped away the imprints.

 

———

 

Peggy approached Michael with a straight face. “Lemme guess,” she began. “You think this something out of the ordinary. Am I right?”

Michael kept a straight face. “I think we can both agree on the fact that our suspect is far from a human.”

“Yeah, it has to be a wild animal.”

Michael snapped his fingers. “Exactly. Except it’s no animal from the natural world. It’s a supernatural being.”

Peggy walked past him, heading to their unmarked car. “I’ve had enough, Connors. I’m reporting your twisted ass to the Captain.”

Michael followed her. Peggy opened the driver’s side door, only for it to be slammed shut by Michael, who leaned against it.

“What are you doing?”

Michael scratched the back of his head. “You’re gonna report me to the Captain?”

“Yeah.” She got in his face. “Wanna know why? Because you’re a loony. And, I’m in desperate need of a new partner.”

“Why can’t you get past that skeptic stage?”

“Because your theories are insane, Connors. There’s no such things as ghosts, and monsters. The real monsters out there are the bad guys—the ones we swore to keep off the streets when we became cops. Don’t you remember that?”

“I remember vowing to protect and serve. Keeping monsters—human or non-human—off the streets is what I’m doing.”

“Oh really?” Peggy took a step back. “We’ve had
nothing
but unsolved cases since you arrived. How exactly are you keeping “monsters” off the streets again? Right, you’re not because you’re too busy believing in the things children are afraid of; the things that do not exist. What’s next? You’re gonna tell me aliens are real?”

Michael grinned. “I never found any evidence of aliens, but there are tons of eye-witness accounts dating back way before either of our great-great-great grandparents were born. But yes, I do believe in the existence of extraterrestrial lifeforms.” He paused. “Do I think they are out here killing people? No. But something is, and I intend to find out what. So, inform the Captain of my behavior. See how far you get. I doubt he’d find you a replacement anyhow.”

Michael got into the driver seat. “I’ll drive.” He smirked. “Coming?”

 

———

 

Lance watched from behind the yellow caution tape, hidden amongst the crowd of bewildered pedestrians. He watched on as Peggy finished talking to the scrawny fellow who called in the attack. Then continued to look on as Peggy and Michael talked. Once they left the crime scene, Lance pushed his way forward, stepping right up to the caution tape for a better view. Blood stained the newly paved parking lot. After a moment, he walked around the crowd, around the crime scene and into the alley. He scanned the ground, in search for the paw prints left by the demonic hound-like creature. Lance found—imprinted in the dirt—one paw print, not fully swept away by the scrawny fellow who tried to cover up the rest of the evidence. He squinted his eyes.

Who’s that kid? And why’d he try to cover this up?

BOOK: The Nelson Files: Episode #1
11.99Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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