“I see things, that’s all. Write enough stories and every shadow on the floor looks like a footprint; every line in the dirt like a secret message.”― Stephen King, Bag of Bones
Brooke had seen enough “things” that it tarnished her view of her family and most people, in general. After seeing her mother on TV, she wept from the embarrassment. Her friends and colleagues would see the news. She thought they would judge her, and it had her frazzled and flustered. Still, she had to get back right. She had to put her chin up and suck up her pride to help Finn and the investigators with the mechanism. When Brooke collected herself and pulled it together, she joined the team of criminal investigators in her bedroom. She wanted to watch and make sure that they did not botch the collection of evidence for that gadget in her closet. Finn was standing attentive with them and looking over their shoulders with the same intent that Brooke had. It was the only evidence they had that could add charges and time to Megan and whoever else was involved in planting the spying equipment. Brooke had become a girl with a grudge when it came to her family, especially her mother. Nothing would make her happier to see all of them behind bars, and chances were that she would get her wish…eventually.
“Mr. Marlow…Could you come closer and look at this?” The investigator was waving for Finn to check something out. “This is very peculiar, and it’s something you should see.”
Finn stopped peeking over their shoulders and joined the scientist in the closet. “Can I get some gloves? I don’t want to compromise any evidence.”
The forensic scientist reached into his case and pulled out a pair of latex gloves for Finn to put on, “Of course…thank you for being so professional. This is strange though. Lift the device up.”
Finn did what the man said and grabbed the device and lifted it. “Ok. What am I looking for?”
“Look on the bottom of the device.” The man helped him lift the bulky, awkward piece of equipment. “Do you see it, there towards the back? Don’t quote me, but it looks like a picture of a dead woman.”
Finn focused his eyes on the photograph and adrenaline filled his body with rage. “Oh my God…is that my mother?”
Finn’s tears began welling up in his eyes. Brooke tried to get closer, but she was held back by the other investigator. His stomach was sick, and his body was feeling weak. What he saw would haunt him for the rest of his life.
“That dead woman is my mother, Georgia Marlow,” he said as he removed the photo and took it into his gloved hand.
The photo had been taped to the bottom of the device, and it was of a woman badly beaten and shot in the head. The woman had been brutalized, and the first thing Finn noticed was his mother’s blonde hair matted with blood and pond moss, and you could see the deadness setting in her clouded eyes. Whoever planted this device in the closet meant for Finn to find it, and they wanted to deliver a message. It was a jeer from whoever planted the photo to Finn, a warning of sorts with a taunting gesture. It had to be Jericho Flannery, he thought.
“I’m sorry…this is too much. What’s your name, Sir?” Finn asked the investigator.
“Ishmael…Call me Ishmael.” He hung his head because he felt bad for the detective seeing his mother in that state of morbidity.
“Thank you, Ishmael. I am in shock a little bit. Is it okay if I step away from this?” Finn was trying to keep his composure.
“Of course, I completely understand. We will collect this and wrap it up. You guys can step away.” The tall, red-headed expert was very kind and sensitive to the situation.
Finn stepped back from the crime scene and had to catch his breath. This was more than just the mischief of putting a snooping device in their home. This act was grisly and morose. He put his hands on his legs and bent down to breathe in some fresh air. Brooke was watching intensely, and she was curious about what the forensic specialist had found.
“Finn, what is it?” Brooke questioned while trying to get a better look. She kept getting pushed back by the detectives and the CSI team.
“Brooke, you don’t want to see this. Go ahead and head back into the living room.” Finn had already backed away from the evidence, and he helped lead Brooke out of the room. “It was a picture of my mother. After she died…she was dead, Brooke. My momma was tortured and mutilated. There was no carjacking. My mom was murdered in cold blood.”
“Oh Finn, my love, I am so sorry you had to see that.” Her puffy eyes from crying earlier became red and filled with tears again. “Are you sure it was Georgia?”
“Yeah…she had the barrette I got her for her birthday in her hair. It was in the evidence that Detective West had me go through at the station.”
Brooke was as shocked as Finn was. She had no idea how the device got in her closet, and she did not know who to trust anymore, except Finn, after finding that nonsense in their bedroom closet.
“Wow, I’m so sorry babe. This had to be by order of my mother. I cannot apologize enough.” Finn could tell that she felt guilty. “I’ll go start the kettle and make everyone some tea. I think it’s going to be a long night.” Brooke took off into the kitchen, grabbed the kettle from the stove, put water in it, and grabbed some lemon from the refrigerator.
Little did she know that the night would get worse, and she would never see her wish for the family come true. The verity of the situation would become perfectly clear in just a few hours.
For my new readers, this is an ongoing story. I use several prompts to build on my novel, and their word prompts and challenges are linked, bolded, or italicized. Please be sure to visit them and show some love because without them I would not have nearly 40K words written in this novel.
Here are the previous posts:
Thank you to my fellow bloggers for inspiring this novel! This started from Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge (#FFFC)