"Who the hell put this on my desk?" Mike Wallace stormed into the main office frantically waving the white piece of paper in the air. "Where the fuck did this come from?" He demanded to know. His face was burning red and his body shook with anger.
Erin sat cowering in her chair wishing she could make herself suddenly disappear. If there was anywhere on earth she could be right now...this was not the place.
"Sir, I um..."
"You what?" Wallace screamed.
He looked straight ahead directly into her eyes then took the ten steps it took him to reach her desk. He saw that her eyes were beginning to moisten and it was clear she was going to cry at any moment.
"I um...I found it on my desk earlier. I um...I was," A shrill, maniacal laughter echoed through the room.
"You found it?" He asked sarcastically. "What the hell do you mean you found it?"
"I'm sorry." She mentioned, sniffing her nose.
"Your sorry...when the hell did you find it, actually. And who the hell put it there?" His face was within inches of hers and he could see the tears streaming down her cheeks, which at this point he didn't give a damn. He needed to find out who brought that note in. And he needed to find out fast. Could it have been Chad Allen? He wondered. He hadn't been home earlier when he was there. So where the hell was he?
"I don't know who put it th..."
"You what! What in the name of Christ do you mean you don't know who put it there?" Wallace ran his hands through his hair nearly taking a handful of it with him. His temper was flowing like hot lava now and his body was beginning to sweat.
Officer Troy Watson who was a decorated officer was among the other few officers in the room sitting stone silent, at their desks. He had seen Wallace mad before but this was some serious case of pissed off. He was almost afraid the windows would rattle if he yelled any louder.
"Do you know who put this note on Erin's desk?" Wallace asked, immediately turning around to face him.
"Then sit down and shut the fuck up!" Watsons face turned beet red from embarrassment and he did what he was told.
"There have been four of you sitting on your asses in this room for nearly two hours now," Wallace began lecturing. His voice was a little calmer, they all noticed. "Someone better be figuring out where this piece of paper came from and who the hell put it on Erin's desk." With that he turned away from Erin and began walking away.
"What the fuck is this place, Mayberry?" He muttered.
"Oh, and Erin." He added.
"Clean up your fucking desk, and take the rest of the week off!"
As quickly as the tears came they just as quickly disappeared. Erin pushed her chair away from her desk and stood up to face Wallace's backside.
"Are you firing me sir?" She called out.
Before he could answer she walked around from behind her desk and went to face him.
"Sir, I have been here for a measly two weeks, with no proper training I might add, and I am going to make mistakes...whether you like it or not I am going to make mistakes."
Where the hell is this coming from? He wondered.
Her eyes were crystal clear and he could see no evidence of earlier tears. It was almost like she were two different people.
"That was my first emergency phone call," She continued. "So excuse the hell out of me for being a little nervous. I had to go to the bathroom. So the note was probably put there when I was away from my desk." The tone of her voice was too controlled...almost evil, he thought.
"You shouldn't have been away from your desk." He said just as calmly.
"That was your first mistake!"
"What's going on?"
Everyone, including Wallace himself was thankful for the distraction and turned to look at the doorway. Officer Kane stood in the door frame with his hair mussed and his mouth gaping looking at each of them wondering what he had just missed. From the looks covering theirs faces it must have been something pretty big. He decided.
"Nothing." Erin was the first to speak.
"That 911 call just shook me up a bit...that's all. Officer Wallace here was nice enough to give me the rest of the week off."
Smart ass! He wanted to scream.
She opened her bottom desk drawer and retrieved her purse. Afterwards she got up from her desk and left. She walked straight past Wallace making sure she bumped right into him.
"Excuse me." She said sarcastically then looked him in the face and grinned.
Kane stepped away from the doorway and let her pass by. Everyone watched as she walked out the door and down the street.
"Everyone get back to work." Wallace ordered and walked out of the room with Kane following close behind.
They ended up in the break room where Wallace poured himself a fourth cup of coffee.
"Why aren't you at the Greysen's?" He asked.
"That Chad guy came back looking for you sir. He said he'd stay there until I got back." Wallace looked up from his coffee suddenly interested in what he had to say.
"Go on." He urged.
"Nothing to go on with sir. He just said he wanted to talk to you. Didn't tell me why and I didn't ask. Figured it was none of my business. Anyway the reason I came back sir is because I found something I thought might interest you."
"Well, what is it?"
"I'd rather wait until we get back to your office sir. If you don't mind that is."
When they both went into Wallace's office he shut the door behind them.
"Well." Wallace said. His patience were wearing thin again.
"I found this sir when I stumbled across the old cellar out back." He handed him a leather bound book. "I had to pry the door open but this was sitting on one of the old shelves. Looked like it might have been a wine cellar at one time."
Wallace took the book from his hand. "What is it?" He asked flipping open the dusty cover.
"Looks like it might be some sort of journal sir."
Wallace took a sip of his coffee and began skimming through some of the pages. Although the book itself had several layers of dust, most of the pages he noticed were crisp and legible. He began reading one of the entries.Its snowing again today. I hope it's enough to make a snowman.
He came into my room again last night. I thought maybe he was
finished with me. It had been so long since I have seen him. I tried
to pretend I was asleep but it didn't matter to him. I didn't need to be
awake for him to do the things he did to me. He just preferred it that way.
I just hope I have the strength to stop him before its too late.
I swear I wont let him touch her.
I 'll kill him myself if I have to.
He wasn't sure how much time had passed while he was busy reading several of the journal entries. None of the ones he had read so far had dates nor names on them.
"Any idea who this belongs to?" Wallace finally asked taking his eyes from the pages.
"I didn't look through the whole book sir, but from what I did look at there doesn't seem to be a name anywhere."
"Thanks, Kane. This might be all we have to go on for now. Well that and this note I found on my desk."
Kane took the note that was being handed to him and read it.
"What do you think it means?" He asked.
"It could mean a couple of different things." Wallace began.
"Excuse me," Watson said poking his head through the door. "Miller's on the phone. Said its urgent."
"Thanks." Wallace picked up the receiver sitting on his desk. "
"Yeah." He said into the mouth piece.
After a brief hesitation he said "We'll be right there."
"Let's go." He said to Kane. Together they quickly walked outside, got into Wallace's cruiser and made the drive back to the crime scene.
This time the drive didn't take quite as long as it had earlier. The moment they pulled up to the house Wallace could see Chad Allen and Tony Miller standing in the open doorway. Wallace and Kane got out of the car, ducked under the yellow crime scene tape that was surrounding the entire estate and walked onto the front porch.
"Where's it at?" Wallace asked.
"We left it right where we found it." Miller explained. "We didn't want to leave any fingerprints on it."
Together in silence, Kane and Wallace followed Tony Miller and Chad Allen down the hallway and up the long flight of stairs to the second floor ending up back in Nicole's room. On the right side wall sitting on top of the rolltop desk clear as daylight sat a plain white envelope.
Wallace walked over to the well arranged desk. After slipping on a latex glove he opened the flap and took out the single sheet of paper. He read the words which were written exactly in the same way as the previous note.
"What the fuck is going on here?" Wallace asked to no one in particular, shaking his head. Without saying another word he hung on to the note and walked out of the room.
"Officer Wallace," Chad Allen called out. "There was a Erin Talbot here looking for you a little while ago."