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 here, either?"
"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
"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
"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
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
"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
"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
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,
"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' Lantern Killer.
((Hehe...did I trick ya?
You thought it was a REAL murder, right? Right? Gotcha! Happy
Halloween and Blessed Samhain, everyone!))