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Murder in the Dark


        The wind chimes outside the huge isolated house went on swinging loudly in the early morning sun. The sky looked crisp and clear. But there was no wind, not even a breeze. There were blood stains near the windows and on the walls. Some of them looked fresh and some looked centuries old. As dawn broke out people passed the house with a feeling of dread and fear. The elderly couple Mr. and Mrs. Holloway lived in that house. The couple was shrouded in mystery just as their house was. No one has ever been allowed to go inside the house. It was a  gruesome crime scene.  “This, sure is, a lot of blood and a lot of hate” exclaimed Sergeant Putus in horror.   Sergeant Putus was a tall heavy built police officer. The wrinkles on his forehead was a sign of his experience in the police department. But this was a chilling scene even to him. The huge desolate rooms and the cobwebs all over the dark house didn’t help either. He was the lead officer in charge who responded to early morning 911 call. A gentleman called 911 when he heard  screams coming from inside the house. It was as if someone was crying. He looked at the window and saw the blood stains. When he peered in he didn’t see anybody, not a single soul. He thought he saw shadows. He immediately called 911.

This was a desolate area, far far away from the hustle bustle of the nearest city which was a few hundreds miles away. So it took some time for the police crew to come to the Holloway house.  Sergeant  Putus was assisted by Officers Madison and Kinley who were busy gathering evidence from the crime scene. The dead bodies of Mr. and Mrs. Holloway lay on the bedroom floor face down.  The Holloways  bedroom had become a crime scene. The master bathroom door near the bedroom was open .Clothes were scattered all over the bedroom. The drawer was wide open and expensive jewelry was found in the drawer. This fact didn’t go unnoticed by the seasoned investigator, Officer Madison. He looked at Kinley and Sergeant Putus and said  “They knew the perpetrator. This wasn’t a robbery.”  Sergeant Putus added that “this whole crime scene seems to be staged.”  Officer Kinley picked up a gold bracelet from the floor and said “There is no robber in the whole of Michigan who would glance at this and forget to take it.”  The recliner was upside down. The pillows were near the dead bodies.  The sergeant looked around in shock. His deputies looked around horrified. The bedroom rug was soaked in blood. As they moved to the master bathroom they found traces of blood in the bathroom sink. Small water droplets were constantly trickling from the faucet. It was as if someone tried to wash blood off a weapon and never remembered to shut off the faucet completely. There were traces of blood  on the bathroom cabinet and the bathroom floor. They could hear a cat meowing but never saw the cat. They tried to turn the lights on but not all of the switches worked. They had to use their flashlights when it was broad daylight outside. The officers also noticed that their voices were echoing whenever they were talking. They knew that something was going on, but didn’t know what. The constant creepy feeling was overwhelming.   The copious amounts of dried bloodstains and blood spatter told a horrific story of the torturous death.  There were pieces of glass all over the kitchen floor. There was no light switch in the kitchen. The kitchen sink was dry, as if it has been unused for years.  On one side of the kitchen lay the motionless body of Zuzu, the Holloways’ pet dog. There was no blood around him. His eyes were wide open.  It seems he was lured with a poisonous treat.  The trail of the blood droplets reached the bedroom where the two dead bodies were  

“But wait! Where are the dead bodies?” exclaimed the Sergeant. “They seemed to have vanished in thin air.” panicked Sergeant Putus loudly.The floor seemed empty. However when he took a second look he could clearly see their dead bodies on the floor, only they lay in a different position now.  The Sergeant looked at his panic stricken deputies and yelled “get a grip on yourselves fellas.”  Officer Kinley took pictures of the crime scene and collected microscopic evidence of blood and other body fluids. There were also a few hair samples that he collected. As he bent down to take a closer look at the dead bodies he thought he saw that Mrs. Holloway had a chipped nail.  “We can get DNA proof now” said officer Kinley with a smile on his face.  He collected the skin under Mrs. Holloway and would send it for DNA analysis. There might be the attacker’s DNA on her fingernails.

But are the Holloways really dead? As the officer turned around he saw a shadow, a clear dark shadow. He realized he was alone in the room.. Fear gripped Officer Kinley and seemed to paralyze his whole body.  The shadow came close to him and whispered “Do you need any refreshments? You seem to be working really hard.”  He could see a frail Mrs. Holloway right in front of him. He screamed at the top of his voice and all he could hear was his voice echoing all around the old quaint house. He collapsed as he faintly saw Sergeant Putus and Officer Madison run towards him.

Mr. Hutchinson was a tall thin man with an unusually calm demeanor.  He was a distant relative of the Holloways.His house eerily resembled the Holloway house, the same high vaulted ceilings and huge rooms. ”There is a power outage.” Said Mr Hutchinson as he held a candle near Sergeant Putus’s face. While taking notes Sergeant Putus noticed that there was a lady who sat on the couch in the adjoining room and sobbed continuously. He pointed to the lady and said, ‘’That is Emily, my wife. She is shaken up badly because of the untimely demise of Steve and Maria.” But there was something about Mrs. Emily Hutchinson that bothered the police officers.. There was something disconcerting about Mrs. Hutchinson.  “There is more to the story than what meets the eye,” thought Sergeant Putus to himself.   She was a short, thin and frail woman, had expensive earrings and bracelet.  She sat in the dark and occasionally sighed heavily. The darkness didn’t seem to bother her.  She played with her fingers. It was as if she had bottled up a lot of sadness inside her and wanted to let it out.   Suddenly she shouted “Steve did not deserve that. Maria should have used better judgement. This is going to be the longest day of my life.”  Her husband looked at her angrily and shouted, “ shut up,will you?”   

Sergeant Putus and Officer Madison exchanged a look of astonishment. The next instant she disappeared only to return in a minute. The officers heard voices but couldn’t see anyone in the dark.  When Sergeant Putus asked who else was in the house Mr. Hutchinson laughed saying, “ are you really hearing voices now, Sergeant?”  The officers looked at each other in shock as they both clearly heard voices   When the Sergeant asked who the people were in the picture on the wall Mr. Hutchinson curtly replied “they are the rest of my family. They come back home only after midnight.”  A feeling of dread and fear ran through the spine of the sergeant. It was very unsettling to see how comfortable the Hutchinsons were in the dark. The house, the voices, the darkness ,the echoing whenever they spoke, gave them weird vibes. They felt someone was watching them constantly. Mrs. Hutchinson returned with a broom and started singing loudly while she was sweeping the room.  She looked at the officers and said with a faint smile ‘’I am trying to sweep off all the dirt from my house.” As the officers looked around they saw a huge black trash bag in the laundry room nearby. It was tied on the top. In the darkness they could see blood stains dripping from the trash bag. The police officers found that a little mysterious as it looked unusually heavy. In addition the trash bag looked new and as if everything was stashed in it  a couple of hours back. This was disturbing to the police officers. They needed a search warrant to check the contents of the trash bag. Moreover they did not want to alert the Hutchinsons about their findings. They tried to be as normal as possible. The police officers thanked the Hutchinson couple and left to meet the Bert family, the only other known relative of the Holloways. They were shocked to see the sunny day being replaced by dark clouds and sounds of thunder.  ”That is weird,” thought Officer Madison.  But he reminded himself that nothing normal had occurred that day. On their way to the Bert family Sergeant Putus called the headquarters to arrange for a search warrant for Mr. Hutchinson’s house.  He thought it might provide vital clues to solve the case.  He wanted to pick out the trash as soon as Mr. Hutchinson threw it in the dumpster.He didn’t want Mr Hutchinson to get a wind of his intentions.

The Bert family  lived in the other side  of town, near vast cornfields.  ‘’What is with these people?’ thought Sergeant Putus.  ‘’Why do they live in the wilderness, far far away from the civilized world?”  He continued, “Why do they all love being in the dark? I bet the Bert family will have no lights either.” Officer Madison was visibly scared. They were greeted with  the same wind chimes. There wasn’t even a gentle breeze anywhere. The same creepy eerie feeling engulfed the officers. But they reminded themselves that they were professionals here and their duty was to investigate the murders of Mr. and Mrs. Holloway. The Bert house was huge but looked dilapidated, almost in ruins. A nervous Mrs. Bert opened the door. She was carrying her pet cat who had dried blood stains in his mouth.  She looked at the officers and said “Piper likes to drink blood.”  She continued changing the topic “Holloways were very regular people.”  “They were kind compassionate and helpful,”  said the stocky Mrs. Bert.  “But why is Mrs. Bert nervous while talking?” asked Officer Madison to himself.  He couldn’t help but notice how Mrs. Bert played with her fingers, just like Mrs Hutchinson, while she spoke to the police officers. She did not make any eye contact. Suddenly she stopped talking and looked inside the house . Her husband stood near the door. There was a stern look on her husband. “Women need to be quiet at all times,” yelled Mr. Bert. Suddenly they heard a big loud sound.  As they looked in the direction of the sound they saw that the photo frame of the Bert couple fell on the floor and was broken.  Mr. Bert ignored the sound and asked the police officers “What took you so long to come here? Steve and Maria passed away seven years ago.” An astonished Sergeant Putus looked at Mr.Bert who was smiling now. He went on “ Look who is here to greet you.”  As the officers turned around they saw a shadow standing by the door smiling at them. The shadow looked familiar. As the shadow approached them terror seized the officers. It was Mrs. Holloway who stood in front of them with a tray in her hand. “Would you both care for some refreshments? You seem to be working really hard.” The officers were crippled with horror. They heard the wind chimes right outside the door, swinging louder than ever. They were trapped. They knew their end was near. Sergeant Putus looked at her and asked in a feeble voice “Is this a joke? Aren’t you dead Mrs. Holloway?”  Mrs. Holloway nodded in agreement. “ Yes, I am dead but I still like to visit my relatives in this world.”  Sergeant Putus didn’t know what to think as he looked at Mrs. Holloway who was dressed  exactly how he found her dead body in the morning. He could see the blood stains in the exact same spots. Soon they heard voices of people coming from inside. As they looked in that direction they were numb and horrified with dread and fear. They saw a blood drenched Mr. Holloway coming towards them with a smile on his face.  “Mr. Holloway I know you are dead. Please don’t come near me.” shrieked Officer Madison.  All they heard now was the whole group laughing at them. At this point the officers didn’t even know who was dead and who was alive among the people who were laughing at them. “ Run, run as fast as you can ,” shouted Sergeant Putus as he looked at his deputy Officer Madison.  They feared for their lives. They didn’t  know how they fled from the Bert house. They didn’t  know which direction they were headed. They didn’t waste time looking for their jeep. They just ran. All they could hear was the laughter ringing in their ears. They knew that as long as they heard the laughter they were not safe. Suddenly something hard hit both of them. That’s the last thing they both remembered.

“Wake up! Wake up!” said the doctor as he looked at the injured Sergeant Putus.  The sergeant looked confused. He was in a hospital. He asked the doctor where his colleague Officer Madison was. With a heavy heart the doctor told him that officer Madison passed away due to severe injuries he received when they were both hit by a truck. Sergeant Putus looked dazed and confused but very sad at the same time.  “How did this happen? How did you find me? ‘’ asked the sergeant.  The doctor replied happily that a couple of good Samaritans helped them and brought them to the hospital as they lay in a pool of blood. Sergeant Putus thanked the doctor. He really missed his family. He wanted to return to his family. The doctor told him that he had  to get some tests done. He said the sergeant would be discharged from the hospital as soon  as the nurse gave him the test reports. As the doctor left a nurse came in with the reports. Sergeant Putus was packing his bags. His back was toward the nurse.  The nurse said “You are free to go home. But stay safe.” The voice sounded very familiar.  As he looked at the nurse he had a horrified look on his face. It was Mrs. Holloway!

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