After securing the crime scene, the three uniformed men stood outside the house for several minutes listening to nothing but silence and a nearby orchestra of crickets, making sure no one decided to choose tonight to trespass, when Officer Miller finally heard the roar of an approaching vehicle.
"Maybe that's the medical examiner." He said. Although his color had improved his voice was still noticeably shaky.
"It's about damn time!" Wallace said pushing his weight off the side of his cruiser. He turned around and looked out at the long stretch of driveway and could see flashes of light slicing their way in and out of trees in the distance. It didn't take long before the vehicle rounded the final bend and was headed straight towards them.
The black Ranger came to a racing stop next to one of the police cruisers.
Wallace watched--eagle eyed--while the stranger stepped out of his car and nervously ran a hand through unruly dark hair.
"Can I help you?" He asked.
Without saying a word, the stranger walked directly up to him and without hesitation, quickly flashed open a police badge.
"Chad Allen." He said, quickly putting away his badge and extending an open hand.
Ignoring the friendly gesture and the split-second show of a badge, if it was even real! Wallace looked towards the driveway again where he saw, rather than heard another vehicle quietly approaching.
"Excuse me." He said, then brushed past him to wait for what he hoped was the Medical Examiner.
"Seen the lights from across the hill," Chad shouted.
Wallace released a held-up breath of air the instant he saw Tom Maysfield step out of the dark colored Sedan and walk towards him.
"Always good to see ya Mike. Just wish they could be under better circumstances." He said, immediately shaking his hand, following it with a slap to the outside of his upper arm.
"You too Tom."
Wallace watched him disappear through the open doorway where he was directly followed by Officer Kane. Miller on the other hand thought it would be best if he stayed exactly where he was and finished his paperwork, at least until he was told to do otherwise. He shuddered just thinking about having to go back in to that room..
"Can you tell me what happened?" Chad obsessed.
Annoyed at the sound of his voice Wallace spun around to face him. "You're still here?" He was within inches of his face.
It was nearly impossible but, surprisingly Chad ignored the outburst. "Are the Greysen's all right...Did they have another break-in?" He didn't break eye contact.
"Guy's got balls. I'll give him that!"
In the meantime a few other patrol cars had shown up. Wallace informed them of the situation and told them where to go. When they were gone he looked back into Chad's eyes.
"Look," Chad tried again. "I know I'm not in this jurisdiction," He reached into his pocket and politely handed the other officer his badge. "but I know these people and...I just want to make sure they are all right. There was a break-in a couple of months back and it gave the wife a pretty big scare and..."
"What kind of a break-in?" Wallace interrupted, then swiftly took the badge from his hand.
"It was a simple break-in, had a few valuables taken, the wife was..."
"Pikes County?" Wallace interrupted again.
"Yeah it's about fifty miles South of here."
"You sure do drive a long way to work." He said handing him back his badge.
"You said you know these people?
Dammit he did it again!
"Yeah...I know the Greysen's. You know you have a bad habit of interrupting people when they...!"
"Wallace, we got another one!" One of the newer officer's shouted from the doorway.
"I take that back...your whole damn department does!"
With their differences aside they both ran towards the front door. Once they were inside, they ran up the Northeast staircase, down the mile long hallway and stopped in the crowding doorway.
"Oh my God!" The horror in Chad's voice said it all.
"She looks like...like she's just sleeping." Wallace said quietly.
He left Chad standing in the open doorway with his mouth gaping and entered the room careful not to disturb any evidence. If there even is any! He thought, glancing around the spotless room.
The room, he decided was too damn big for a child this small. It was decorated in a delicate pink and had enough furniture in it to fill a one bedroom apartment. But...something was wrong, he could feel it deep in his blood.
It unsettled him that there wasn't a single toy laying on the floor; not even a goddamn Barbie doll! Every book had its place on a shelf and was perfectly placed there. What small child doesn't have at least one damn toy laying around? Hell there should be a mess of em!" A carnival of stuffed animals and dolls lined elevated shelves also perfectly arranged.
He walked over to the Virgin-white canopy bed. Instinctively he reached down and placed delicate fingers on the child's neck, praying silently there would be some hint of life. Even before he touched her, he knew she was gone.
Just by looking at her face he knew she couldn't have been more than five or six years old. Her delicate blonde hair flowed gently across the satiny pillow. 'Dora the Explorer' covered her, keeping her free from the night chill. They too were perfectly arranged and tucked in tightly, under both sides of the mattress. Her face was ghostly pale and her skin was icy to the touch. Her eyes were closed and she had a peaceful look about her.It didn't matter how many crime scenes you've been to, or how well seasoned you are. The death of a child is always a painful stab in the chest. Yet, somehow the permanent look blanketing her face made is a little bit easier. Just a little.
Wallace turned away from the little girl and looked up. He couldn't help but notice the look of sorrow covering Chad's face. For some reason...he almost felt sorry for him.
The pain in his face was obvious...and sinfully deep.
He walked out of the room and without saying a word passed by Chad.
"Is she...?" He asked to his back.
"Yeah." Wallace answered.
In a split second Chad grabbed him and spun him around. "What the fuck happened Wallace?"
With a quick jerk, he freed his arm and without saying another word continued down the hallway and around the corner where he nearly ran right into Tom Maysfield.
"I was just on my way to find you."
"Listen Tom," Wallace said. "We found another victim. A girl, maybe five or six years old. There aren't any visible wounds on her but still I want you to take a look. Oh what can you make of the other two?"
Knowing better than to end the conversation he continued. "Looks like the female died of a self inflicted gunshot wound to the head" He said. "There's visible powder burns on her hands and around the entrance wound. It was a close contact shot.
Chad in the meantime was just starting to walk around the corner when he overheard the conversation. Horrified, he listened. His heart painfully constricted.
"Dear God. What happened to you Lindsey?
Unable to stop the sudden flow of tears, he slid down the wall and buried his head.
"What about the male?" Wallace questioned.
"Well...to put it simply he was butchered. He has several noticable gun shot wounds covering a good part of his body as well as multiple stab wounds."
"Think she did it?" Wallace wondered.
"Well, somebody sure was pissed off at him." Tom said.
"Oh...and another thing. His penis was severed."
As though he had just been struck by lightening, Chad jumped to his feet and bolted around the corner.
"Nichole!" He screamed.
Tom Maysfield and Mike Wallace looked at him then slowly looked at each other.
"Who's Nichole?" Wallace could feel his flesh begin to crawl, and knew he wouldn't like the answer.
"The oldest girl...She just turned twelve!"
"Kane!" Wallace's scream echoed through the hallway. Just as he came around the corner Kane looked up at him. "Tell everyone to drop what their doing!" He ordered.
"I want every inch of this Goddamn Mauseleum searched!"
"Is something wrong sir?"
"There's another daughter. Just turned twelve."