As expected, the police reached a dead end in their investigation. They determined the cause of death (blunt force trauma, basically she’d been beaten to death). But they found no signs of sexual assault, and no trace of any DNA other than Darla’s.
They’d determined where she’d last been seen (at a grocery store, buying a bottle of wine with a blonde man). They couldn’t identify the man, and until they could, their investigation stalled. They found where she worked, interviewed people there. “Was there a significant other? Did she have a male friend? What was his name?” They got several answers, several males to investigate.
It was their job to investigate.
It was my job to make a big fire, burn down the things they could not. “I’ll be your match, officers. The one who starts the fire.”
The police had their search warrants, their interrogations, their stakeouts. All legal. All by the book. I was Armor 17. For an Armor, there were no laws, no rules, no limits.
I visited her male friends, one at a time. They never saw me, of course, never knew I was there. I watched them, how they slept, their daily routines. Reactions varied to the news of Darla’s murder, some had sleepless nights, some slept like nothing had happened. I left a picture of Darla here, a piece of her jewelry there, an exact copy of the bottle of wine she’d bought that last night, a copy of her car key, an earring. Little pieces of Darla, here and there. Where they’d be notice. I watched. I studied. I learned.
There were three of them. Three who were disturbed when they spotted memories of Darla. Three who kept seeing memories of her. Two of them slept poorly at night, one slept without guilt, without nightmares. Two were male, one was female. The female was a blond.
Always I left them mementos of Darla, pictures, her favorite drink, her favorite book. Their phones took them to her favorite WEB Sites, at random. It took three weeks until the weakest of the three cracked. He called the blonde. “I can’t take it anymore, I’m going crazy! I keep seeing her stuff, her things, everywhere. I can’t sleep at night! I haven’t slept in days! I can’t take it!”
The blonde was ice, “Be calm. What you’re feeling is normal. Have a drink. Eat a good meal somewhere. Watch a movie. Do something fun.”
The blonde called the other male. “Take him out for a fun night.”
The fire had been lit, it was time to fan it, grow it, until it ran uncontrolled. “I’ll be your match, officers. Soon, there’ll be a fire.” I was looking forward to watching the blond. Ice, I’d learned, didn’t last in a fire.
This is Part 4 of a story I’m writing using the prompts for the #FlashMobWrites challenge. #FlashMobWrites is hosted by Ruth Long and Cara Michaels. Please, go read all the stories for #FlashMobWrites Week 1×45. You might find something you like. But if you don’t read them, how will you ever know?