The flashing lights, strobes of blue and red,
painted the porch and the solemn faces of those gathered at the
latest crime scene. Crime scene tape criss-crossed the lawn, the
front steps, and was wound about the large weeping willow
centered in the front yard. Its drooping arms and fluttering
leaves seemed to be sighing, whispering grief into the ears of
the detectives as they made their way up the front walk. A
generator was being set up and large halogen work lights were
being set in place.
Detective Vivienne Trey climbed the steps to the
porch, her sensible shoes squelching in the aftermath of the
attack. She cursed under her breath and pulled a pen light from a
pocket of her blazer. With a click, the scene was illuminated in
a soft yellow glow. She grimaced and spoke to her partner, Herman
Chick. "What a mess. No witnesses, I'm assuming. No one home
"No, Vivi. No one saw nothin'. Same as the
others." Herman was a tall, beefy, leftover jock gone soft and a
veteran with the force. He also happened to be Vivienne's mentor.
The pair had seen this sort of thing before; this was the second
massacre tonight. Matter of fact the partners had seen this sort
of thing every year, always on this night, Halloween.
"Bloody hell, Herm. Why can't we catch a break?
You think it's the same guy doing this, year after year?"
"Same thing, Vivi. Same thing, same day. Guy's
sick, I tell ya. We don't catch a break soon, this is gonna be
all over the papers. Some hotshot reporter is gonna put two and
two together, and there will be a panic. "
"Yeah, I can see it now." Vivienne plucked a tin
of mints from her coat pocket and bit into one, hoping the strong
peppermint would overpower the stench on the porch. It had been a
massacre, all right. A real mess. She felt sorry for whoever was
going to have to clean this up.
Stepping over the mess as much as possible,
Vivienne looked at the windows and door of the house. Halloween
decorations were taped everywhere, a cartoon witch had been hung
on the door, looking as if she had run right smack into it. The
witch's plastic broom bristles rustled gently in the breeze, the
clouds drifted over the moon and the porch darkened. Someone,
presumably the perp, had unscrewed the porch light. Or perhaps
the homeowners had left the light off purposefully, to discourage
trick or treaters since they were not at home. 'Thank goodness no
one was home when this happened,' Vivienne thought. Whatever
family lived here was in for a shock when they returned home. It
was going to be Vivienne's job to meet them, head them off before
they saw the slaughter on their porch.
"I'll check to see if we got any fingerprints."
Herman mumbled around a toothpick. Vivienne nodded, already
rehearsing the "I'm sorry for your loss" speech. Watching Herman
try to weave and shimmy his large body through the narrow
splatter-free areas, Vivienne was amused to find herself thinking
of those circus bears in tutus, dancing to Swan Lake.
She stifled the laugh as she saw an older model
station wagon pull up across the street. A frantic looking Mother
was held back by a worried, stern looking Father. Two small
children, dressed as a cowboy and a princess, were in the back.
The Father and Mother attempted to shield them with their bodies.
Father found his voice and hollered to Vivienne as she
approached, "Just what is going on here?!"
"Mr. Roes? I am Detective Vivienne Trey. Could you
please have your wife move your car further down the street?
There is something the children cannot see, and you will not be
able to go into your home just now."
"What the hell happened?" He started to yell, his
wife, a firm hand on his arm, shushed him. "Jonathan, the
children are listening. Let's just do what she asked."
"Thank you, Mrs. Roes. Please, Mr. Roes. If you
would step over here, we have some questions we need to ask you."
Vivienne motioned towards a squad car, stepping around to hide
him from the prying eyes of neighbors, somewhat. She pulled out a
small notebook and flipped it open. "Now Mr. Roes, could you
please tell me what time you and your family left home this
evening, and where you went?"
Running a hand through his hair, he tried to peer
around her. She moved to block his vision and bring his attention
back to her. He looked frustrated, angry, worried, but he spoke
in a shaky voice, "Um…we left around 6:00. I'm not sure exactly
what time it was. It was dusk, the kids wanted to get trick or
treating…my wife had cakes to deliver to the church party. For
the cake walk. We went straight to the church, then Shelly took
them trick or treating while I stayed there. I was working the
snack bar. We all went out to a fun house after that. Can I
please know what is going on now?"
"In a moment, Mr. Roes. Just a few more questions.
Please, this is not pretty, but I will need you to come see
this." Vivienne led him across the street, trying to stay in
front of him, keeping him from running up to the porch. "Did your
children carve jack o'lanterns this year, Mr. Roes?"
"Yes, but I don't see what this has to do wi…."
And he fainted dead away at the sight of the massacre on his
porch. Vivienne tried to catch him, slowly crumbling beneath the
man's weight. "Herman! Help me!"
"Damn, not again. The fathers always do that when
they see the mess they are going to have to clean up come
morning." Herman stepped over a large chunk of pumpkin, one of
the many jack o' lantern casualties that littered the porch. It
was the same thing every Halloween, and Herman was sure
that this was the year they would catch the Serial Jack O'
((Hehe...did I trick ya? Thought it was a REAL
murder, didn't ya! Blessed Samhain and Happy Halloween!!))