Eddie woke up in the backseat of his old Chevy. He was covered in sweat and his hands were shaking. It was still dark outside and a glance at his wrist revealed that the watch that normally resided there was gone. Looking around he noticed that he was at a rest stop of some sort off away from a highway. He crawled out of the car and noticing that there wasn't a building on the lot, walked over to a line of trees to relieve himself. The sweat continued to bead over his body as he tried to get his bearings as to where he was. He had no memory of pulling into this rest stop or falling asleep.
He sat on the hood of his car shivering a bit watching the traffic on the highway. He tried to remember what had happened the previous night. He knew something had happened, he could feel it inside of himself. His sleep had been restless with images flashing in his dreams waking him up twice during the night. He couldn't remember the images. He was trying, but all he had was a knowledge that the images had popped in his mind and left as fast as they entered. They were not good images. Eddie felt ill at ease as he tried to remember his dreams. He laid back on the hood of the car and closed his eyes and began trying to fill in this dark void in his memory that seemed to cover at least yesterday.
As he lay there he remembered what he thought was Tuesday night when he had driven to a motel with a girl that he had been drinking with. That girl, what was her name? He thought it was a strange name at the time. It started with a "C" he was pretty sure. Candy? No. It was a strange name. Cally? Candell? Candell... yeah, that was it. He was pretty sure anyway. Candell. He remembered he had seen her hitchhiking as he was driving along the highway from Louisiana east towards Mississippi. His goal was to get to Alabama and find a small time job for a few weeks to get some cash up then on to Georgia where he planned on settling down in one of the rural areas around Macon. He had cousins in Macon and Eddie figured they would help him get started there, help him with a job, give him a place to stay until he could afford a small place for himself.
He thought back in time. It was late Monday night when he had spotted Candell along the highway. She wasn't no beauty but not too bad either. Anyway, truth is it wouldn't matter what she looked like, he just wanted some company for a little while, someone to talk to. When he had pulled over and stopped, Candell had approached the car slowly, peeking inside and looking him over. He had seen her glance in the backseat before looking at Eddie in the face. Eddie had asked her where she was heading, he would be happy to give her a lift for a bit. She was heading to Mobile and so Eddie said he would take her as far as Birmingham if she wanted. She accepted and slid into the car, hugging the door as Eddie pulled away.
Detective Mark Edler pulled his car into the motel parking lot. He noticed four squad cars already there with the officers standing outside the motel room door talking. They had already taped off a perimeter with yellow streamers and were waiting on him to give the go ahead to start the taking up of evidence. He walked up to the motel room door and greeted the officers.
"Sir," one of the officers was holding up his hand. "Sir, it is pretty bad in there, just thought you should know."
Edler looked at the officer that he knew as McFay.
"Well, let's go see what we got," Edler said as he motione dfor the other officers to stay outside while he and McFay went into the darkened room. The curtains were pulled shut and the lights were out so that the only source of light was from the doorway and what filtered through the curtains,
"Body?" Edler asked the officer.
"Well sir, we haven't gone through the room at all. We just looked at what the manager showed us when we arrived." With that, McFay pulled out his flashlight and turned it on, pointing it towards the television set. There on top of the TV was a human head. It appeared to be a male. The hair was messed up. The eyes were opened wide and almost bulging out of the sockets. The mouth was open in a silent scream as if begging for help.
Edler took the flashlight from McFay and traced a trail of blood from the neck of the head, down the front of the television to a large pool of blood on the floor. He used the flashlight to look around the pool and noticed a trail of blood lead from the pool off into the bathroom of the small room.
"Are the techs here yet?" he asked McFay who answered in the affirmative.
"Yes sir. Been here awhile waiting on you."
Edler walked out side and went over to the techs to describe what he had seen and what they should expect. Particular interest would be the bathroom of course. The officers would stay outside unless the techs needed assistance, then an officer could enter to help and leave the room when the chore was complete. The crime scene technicians began to gather their equipment together and then headed into the room. There were four techs and when the lead tech turned on the light, all four stood still in shock at the display on the television.
"Bathroom?" the tech asked Edler.
"Ya think?" Edler responded sarcastically.
The two men walked slowly towards the bathroom in the back of the room, being careful not to step in any of the blood trail or disturb anything else. Edler turned on the light over the sink area of the bathroom. The sinks was filled with a red liquid.
"Blood?" Edler asked and the tech slowly nodded his head.
"Probably. I'll have Johnny take some pictures before we drain it."
The tech yelled for Johnny to come back and take pictures of whatever they found and informed the other techs to get the spare camera and take their own pictures of evidence since Johnny was going to be with him for awhile.
Johnny took pictures of the blood trail on the bathroom floor and the sink of red. The sink area was spotless, everything seeming to be in place. Johnny then informed the detective and his boss that he was going to drain the sink now. He pulled up on the plunger and slowly the water level began to descend. Suddenly something broke the surface of the water. Edler looked on as slowly a human hand was revealed sitting in the sink, cut off at the wrist. Edler began to wonder how many body parts they were going to have to catalogue. Johnny took pictures of the hand from different angles before Edler and the lead tech turned towards the door that opened into the toilet and shower area of the bathroom. Edler hesitated just a brief moment before placing his hand on the door knob to open the door.
Eddie noticed for first time since he had woke up that he had a headache. It wasn't a bad one, just one of those small ones that pounds with your heartbeat to remind you that it is there. Sitting up he watched the traffic continue to flow by on the highway. Cigarette. He needed a smoke and so he got off the car and went to reach in the front window for his pack. As he reached in he noticed that the sleeve of his shirt was covered in a dry dark dried up liquid. He looked at it closely then slowly turned his head to look in the car. The passenger door and seat had splotches of blood on them as did the drivers side. He began to shake again as he quickly grabbed the pack of smokes out of the car.
He was shaking so badly that he could not open the pack of cigarettes. His mind was racing trying to remember. He had to remember. At last he got the cigarettes open only to find it empty. He stopped and leaned against the car trying to think. It was then he noticed a highway patrol car drive past him down the highway. He quickly took off his shirt and threw it in the backseat leaving him in a white t-shirt that was still wet with sweat.
Think. Think. Think. he kept telling himself. Candell. Where was Candell? Suddenly a picture flashed through his mind. It was a picture of a set of eyes, open wide in fright, looking side to side and growing wider by the second. Eddie put his hands up to his face to try to block out the image. He remembered those eyes now. It almost seemed like they were his own, as if he were looking in a mirror.
Eddie leaned against his car and slid to the ground, his knees folding up to his chin. Those eyes were so haunting, so real. As he sat he remembered walking into the motel room behind Candell. They had stopped at the motel bar after dinner and both were a little off kilter. He didn't remember having that much to drink but apparently he did. Candell seemed to be woozy as well and they had both fallen onto the bed only because their feet could not hold them up anymore. He was sure that nothing had happened between him and the girl as he seemed to remember falling asleep very quickly. So why did he have this image of those eyes in his head?
After awhile Eddie stood back up to try to figure out where he was. He walked down to the highway and looking towards the east saw a Mississippi state highway sign. Okay, fine, he was in Mississippi. He didn't know exactly where in Mississippi he was, but at least he had a frame of reference. He walked back to the car and sat on the hood, closing his eyes again to try to get rid of some of that headache. He had sat for a few minutes when another image came to him. It was the eyes again, open wide in terror but there was more. There was the whole face of the person and he could tell it wasn't himself this time. The mouth was wide open as if screaming then he saw two hands, one on each side of the face carrying what eventually became just a head over to a wall in a room and being set down. The face was frozen in its silent terror and the hands that carried it looked a lot like his. He was sure they were his hands. What had he done? Was it just a dream? No, not a dream. Dreams don't leave blood all over the inside of your car. It seemed like his memory was coming back quicker. Suddenly, he didn't want to remember anymore.
Eddie remembered waking up in the middle of the night to the sound of Candell coming into the room. She had another man with her and she was holding him up on her shoulder as she walked him to the bed. As he landed on the bed, the other man looked over at Eddie.
"Hey lady, you didn't say anything about anything, you know, like, nah lady I ain't into strange stuff. I thought you an me were just going to, you know, have a little fun."
"Oh, we'll have some fun." Candell had said before throwing a rope over to Eddie. "Tie him up good" she had ordered.
For some reason Eddie had felt like he had no choice but to do what Candell told him to and so he tied up the man. After binding the man, Eddie remembered looking at Candell and seeing a smile creep across her face as she looked at Eddie.
"Now, we are going to have some fun." Candell had told Eddie as she smiled at her prisoner.
Eddie shook his head vigorously to wake himself out of the memory. What the hell? he thought. He started walking back and forth around the rest area. Just walking and thinking. Walking and not wanting to think. He wasn't sure he wanted to remember anymore if the memories were real. He had recognized the man he had tied up as the head that the hands had placed in the room. It seemed like it was too real not to be a true memory.
He felt tired again suddenly and walked over to a tree and laid down in the shade. As he slept, the dreams returned and his nap was not a peaceful one.
Edler opened the door to the main bathroom and flipped on the lights. He instantly turned away from the scene and and held his breath, trying to keep his breakfast from coming up. He looked at the tech and the photographer, shook his head, then turned to face the scene again.
There was a hand placed as though turning on the water in the sink. Two feet, cut off at the ankle, stood on a towel on the floor just outside the tub. The toilet was stuffed with upper and lower arms, disconnected from each other and the legs, cut into four pieces as the arms had been were floating in a tub full of red water. The walls were splattered with blood along with the ceiling. Obviously, this was where the crime had taken place.
Edler turned to leave the bathroom and go outside for some fresh air, leaving the tech and photographer to do their job. As he walked through the room he instructed the techs if to come outside to talk to him about anything they found, at least until he got his head clear and had come to terms with what he was dealing with here.
After processing what he had seen, Edler began the walk to the office of the motel to talk to the manager hoping to find out who had been in the room the night before. The manager was more than willing to help, excited because nothing like this had ever happened in the county as far as he could remember and here he was, right in the middle of it. He began to answer Edler's questions before the detective even had a chance to ask them.
"Yes sir, there was two of em. I got the register right here, now it was about seven last night when they pulled in, let's see ... umm ... a Rick and Wanda White, yes sir, Rick and Wanda White. that's what it says here. They seemed like a pretty nice couple, her hanging on his arm and such. I remember they went to the room to put there stuff in there before walking over there to the cafe for dinner I suppose. They were in there an hour or so, maybe an hour and a half. I got lots of time to observe what people do around here you know, not a lot else going on. Anyways, they come out of the cafe and then go back to the room. Don't know why, but they were there about an hour or so, and then they went to the bar next to the cafe. They were in the bar for a long time. The bar don't close until three or three thirty depending on the crowd or how tired old Joe is. Joe is the bartender, you might want to talk to him maybe but he doesn't have the memory I have. Anyways, I had to go back to the back room to do some paper work, end of the month you know, I have to turn in reports to the owners in Atlanta every month so that they know the place is still open and doin good business. Anyways, I am back in the room catching up on the paper work until about, well must have been between two thirty or three and I come out here to check things over, take a look see to be sure everything is in order and such and I looked over there at their room and Mrs. White, well I am assuming she was Mrs. White, not sure if they were married or not, but anyway she is having to help him into the room. He must have drunk a lot because he could hardly stand and she was carrying him to the room holding him up. After she got the door shut I figured I should head to bed myself and so I did. Didn't hear anything more until Nora, Nora is the housekeeper here, well I hear Nora let out such a scream and I looked up and Nora was running over here yelling at me to call you guys.... so I did. Then I walked over to the room ... tell you what, I saw the TV and that was enough for me, I figured you guys can take care of the rest, so I came back here to wait on you. Sent Nora home. She was really shook up and wouldn't be worth a nickel the rest of the day. I doubt if I could have even gotten her to go into another room to clean it after what she saw in the White's room. Rick and Wanda White.... yes sir, that was their names. I haven't seen Mrs. White this morning, she got off to somewhere in that Chevy they were driving... I mention they were driving a Chevy? Well they were not sure what model or anything, Ford man myself, but it was a Chevy of some sort. ... well I guess that's about it, about all I know...." and he fell silent, staring at Edler as if waiting for a question.
Edler looked at the manager with vacant eyes and shook his head. He felt like he owed it to the manager to ask at least one question.
Edler sighed and without looking up asked "What color was this Chevy?"
"Blue. Not dark blue but not powder blue either. I guess a lighter color of blue. Maybe a sky blue? somewhere between dark blue and light blue... you know... blue."
"I don't see a license plate number in the register. Aren't you suppose to take that information when someone checks in?"
The manager looked around as if he had been caught in a crime himself. "Well, she said couldn't remember the plate number. Told em to come back and give it to me later. I figured it would be okay."
"She? The guy didn't come in here?"
"Nah," the manager pointed outside the window, "He stayed out to have a smoke while she registered."
"Thanks" Edler said as he turned to walk back to the motel room. Although he felt like his head was spinning from the rapid fire talk of the manager, he had to hand it to him, he did a good job of observing.
"Found the poor sap's I.D." yelled one of the techs to Edler as he approached. "Apparently he is a Richard A. White from Wakeeney, Kansas."
"Wakeeney." the tech answered. "I know, I never heard of it either. Good thing is that this Wakeeney may be such a small place we won't have too much trouble tracing footprints from there to here."
Edler reached in his car and picked up the radio to tell Marla, the dispatcher at the Highway Patrol Office to put out an all points bulletin on a blue Chevy possibly with Kansas plates on it. Marla said she would do it right away and he heard her voice come back over the radio putting out the APB for the car.
The crime scene crew had removed all the body parts by now so Edler felt comfortable going into the room. He walked around slowly looking at everything his eyes landed on and then started going over evidence that the team had collected. Three sets of prints, one type of blood and various other things. There weren't any drugs, but the ashtray was filled with cigarette butts. From the look of the furniture in the room it did not look like a struggle of any kind had taken place. He found it curious and began to process the knowledge he had in his brain as to what might have happened. This could be a tough case.
OKAY .... well I think I wrote enough to show myself that I can write fiction. I will say this though, it is a bit tougher writing fiction than it is writing non-fiction. You have to make things up. I understand you can draw from your personal experiences to write about things that never happened but it is much easier to just write down facts as you understand them to be. It is easier to tell a story that actually happened to me. For those who have read my blog over the years, you probably come away thinking a lot of the time that I stretched the facts a bit, almost to the point of actually being fiction. Guilty. I realize I do that and I do it intentionally most of the time. Keeps people wondering how much of what I write is virtual fact. Writing fiction wears me out.
So to my readers, I gave you a pretty good start so that if you want you can finish it for me. I admit the head on the television MAY have crossed the line a bit and if I were to actually finish this thing, I would probably take that out.
I started writing this over a month ago. I haven't touched it in at least two and a half weeks. So if you have the desire to finish it because you can't stand an unfinished story, be my guest.