MemberNovember 18, 2020 at 10:45 pm
I sat in my room feeling fear, a fear that even years of hunting the worst in society could not compare. I felt isolated and alone in a world that I believed I had come to understand. Sure, like many I believed in the afterlife, I believed I understood how it might work, but what God could allow something like this to happen to the most innocent among us.
I paced my room, gripping at my hair and muttering my thoughts to myself. I needed to share this information, but knew that by doing so I could face backlash, psych evaluations, or worse. At a loss for anything else to do I walked into the living room and grabbed my phone from the coffee table and dialed Mendoza.
“Go ahead Hawkins.” He said.
“There has been a situation at my home, I need to come straight back here, I saw ..err something.” I responded.
“Hawkins, I was gonna grab a bite and feed Freddy. I wasn’t able to do so this morning due to the situation.” He retorted with haste in his tone.
“LOOK, THAT’S GONNA HAVE TO WAIT. THIS HAS TO DO WITH THE CASE. GET HERE ASAP!” I huffed, making sure that my frustration would get through to him.
“Fine, fine, I guess me and the cat can wait. Give me 15 minutes.”
I ended the call and continued to pace my room. Staring at the Eternal Dragon that was etched onto my wall with blood. Again, a shudder crawled up my spine. I checked the door and found nothing. There was no damage, no forced entry, and I had both keys with me. I checked every window and found nothing. No damages and none were unlocked. How did they get into my apartment.
I waited nervously for Mendoza. Not sure how to approach this conversation. A far contrast to my nature that was present only an hour before. In the past, straight to point and brash. I cared little for consequences for the truth, but now the prospect of being deemed insane or incompetent had me petrified with pure fear. Suddenly a knock sounded from my door.
“Hawkins open up, it’s Mendoza.” Came the voice from the other side of the door.
I carefully checked the peep-hole and opened the door. After Mendoza entered I locked both locks. I took a moment to gauge him, I noticed he too looked tired. Certainly he was unhappy at his present situation and unhappy that he wasn’t getting the rest or food that he may have wanted.
I pointed to my room and said, “It happened in there, go take a look.”
As he walked forward he spoke. “Hawkins what on earth are you talking about, I don’t even know you that well and I’m standing in your home. I prefer an explana……” His voice trailed into utter silence.
I could hear his breathing intensifying as he stared at the markings on the wall. I slowly reentered the room with him, standing just off to the side of him.
“Okay, I am not completely crazy then, you can see it too.” I spoke pointing forward at the wall.
“What happened?” He spoke, visibly nervous and worried.
I explained everything in clinical detail. I described everything that I had done upon arriving home. I explained my encounter with Janice, the missing child. His worry and doubt, to my horror, were very visible. He didn’t trust my account of the events. He didn’t trust me. He stood and looked at me with confused and worried eyes.
“Bud, I know you have been through a lot. Your partner was murdered right before your eyes. You were suspended and removed from active duty, and you never completed your evaluative treatment required by the department before returning. Perhaps you are not rea….” I cut him off mid sentence.
“Listen here, I’m sure you think you understand what I’m going through. You are suggesting I made this story up? That I drew this on my wall? That is insane.” I responded clearly upset.
“I don’t know anything, but this, whatever this is. Is a problem. I’m leaving, I’ll pass my concerns on to the Captain. I think you would benefit from more time. Doing this, especially with this case, is not okay.” He said.
“THAT’S BULLSHIT, I HAVE NEVER DONE THIS. I DIDN’T DO THIS NOW. I CALLED YOU BECAUSE SOMETHING IS GOING ON, AND YOU ARE GOING TO BERATE ME? I’VE BEEN A DETECTIVE LONGER THAN YOU HAVE BEEN ON THE FORCE. GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY HOUSE.” I screamed as I shoved him out of my apartment.
I was petrified as to what this could mean for me, but I had to figure out what was going on. Even if I wasn’t on the force, or I was suspended, I needed to do the work anyway. The kids deserved someone who wouldn’t stop.
Mendoza began driving home, his intention to finally to get his meal and feed his cat, Freddy. He left shaken and disturbed from Hawkins’ apartment. He wondered if Hawkins could be telling the truth as he merged onto I45; heading southbound to his home. He pulled his phone and debated calling Captain Trinh. He wanted to inform him that Hawkins may be unstable and emotionally unable to continue with the investigation. He wanted to relay that he thought Hawkins had drawn it on his own wall, but he too was unsure of what to do. He settled on handling his business at home and then giving a call to Trinh.
Mendoza pulled up to his home. A nice home with two stories. It was new, renovations had just been completed in January. He had saved for years to have it built the exact way he wanted. His kitchen and bed rooms were upstairs and the living area and game room were on the bottom floor. He had converted his game room into his home office, he had stacks of case files sitting across the three separate desks in the room. Mendoza was a highly dedicated investigator and never stopped working on the old cases that remained unsolved. It’s the reason he excelled so well within Missing Persons.
Mendoza walking up to his door, noticed a shadow creep across living room windows. A large hulking figure seemed to be walking through his home. He grabbed his cell, gave a call into dispatch.
“You have reach the dispatch center, Fire, EMS, or Emergency?” said the soft spoken femail voice on the line.
“MARY, THIS IS MENDOZA I HAVE AN INTRUDER IN MY HOME. SEND BACKUP, I AM GOING IN NOW!” Mendoza quickly growled into his phone.
He pondered how this could be happening. A day like today, starting off like shit and continuing to get worse. Kids missing, a partner that was possibly out of his mind, and now someone was breaking into his home. He carefully pulled his pistol, a custom 1911 Colt 45, a little gift he got himself along with Freddy on the day he entered the Missing Persons department. Carefully, he approached the front door, and noticed there wasn’t any damage. He tried the handle and found it was locked. He glanced over at the window locks and observed they were in their locked positions. He made his way around the side of his home, quietly opening his wooden gate. Hoping that for once, it wouldn’t creek. He was wrong, it made a audible noise, that he was sure would be heard on the inside of his home. While passing through he noticed each windown remained locked, and there were no damages. He knew that at this hour his backup could be 30 miutes away, even on a good day. He checked the back door and looked through the fogged glass. He observed the figure was still lurking around. He estimated this figure was nearly nine feet tall. He reached for the handle and found it was also locked. He carefully placed his key and opened the door, sweat pouring into his eyes. The burning sensation causing him to whipe away the sweat with his arm.
Entering, he noticed the home was still. He heard no noise. The air conditioning wasn’t on and he didn’t hear the sound of his cat’s collar. Freddy would always come to greet him when he came home. He checked the laundry room, lower bathroom, and his office. Each were empty, he then carefully made his way upstairs. Focusing his ears on any noise that may be present. He pushed away the thoughts of fear that would creep in on anyone with an intruder in their home. His bedroom and the kitchen were empty. He heard the slight sound of metal hitting the sink in the master bathroom. He slowly pushed open the door and found it empty, except for Freddy’s collar that now sat in the sink. Confused he picked up the collar. He called dispatch back, now relieved that the home was empty of any intruder. Reflecting on the possiblity that perhaps his mind was playing tricks on him due to the lack of food and sleep.
“Mary, please cancel the backup call. I have checked every part of my home and there is no one here. It’s been a rough day; probably just saw a shadow wrong.” He said, peace now returning to mind.
“Okay, I’m happy you are alright. I just sent the cancel out now. If you need us, just give a call.” Mary responded joyful as well.
Walking down the stairs, collar in hand, Mendoza was struck with confusion as to where Freddy could have gone. Nevermind that the collar was in the sink and not with Freddy. His internal thoughts were struck instantly silent with the vision of pure horror that now sat before him. As he walked down the stairs, the living room was again within visible range. A room that was clear and clean a moment before, now sat utterly ruined. Blood now coated every peice of furnature, splattered along the wall, massive foot prints scattered the floor in a macabre vision of death. A dark shadow rested in the corner of the living room, far away from any window and without light to touch its core. Mendoza could feel the vibration of raspy breathing coming from that side. He pulled his side arm and pointed.
Shaking, and fighting every urge to vomit, he stammered. “WHO THE FUCK IS THERE, COME OUT HERE HANDS UP.”
He knew he didn’t sound theatening, that this moment he didn’t even sound like a cop. Just another lost and terrifeid boy in the wilderness of the world. Mendoza, feeling so much terror, relieved himself. His pantlegs becoming warm as his body engaged in ‘Fight or Flight’. He fought every urge to run. Still, only breathing could be heard.
A voice came from the dark void. “FREDDY AND I WERE BOTH VERY HUNGRY, SO I ATE HIM. THE STRONG DO NOT SUFFER THE WEAK, ISN’T THAT WHAT DADDY USED TO SAY DETECTIVE.”
A tiny silouette came flying from the void, and there at Mendoz’s feet he saw Freddy’s gnarled and damaged head. A shot rang from Mendoza’s hand and he ran forward face first into his wall. A bullethole now jutting through the drywall. Mendoza ran outside thinking perhaps this intruder had left. He starred in horror at his car, carved into the body and paint of his silver Toyate Prius was the following phrase:
That is how Mendoza and I came to be at DOT’S Diner on I610, a favorite for local PD. Mendoza sat before me humiliated and destroyed. The loss of Freddy definitly hurt him greatly. He and I had already walked around and inspected his Prius. The writing still remained. We sat together, both of us full of apology and concern.
“Look, I am sorry if I doubted you. This is getting crazy; we need to tell Captain whats happening.” Mendoza said, still stammering and shuttering with fear.
“If we do, we run the risk of both being suspended and evaluated. As of right now, it’s a possible lead. Granted, your situation is much more than my own experience. It is proof that something else is happening here. Not just missing people.” I offered in response.
Menodoza nodded in agreement to our situation. He agreed that updating the TOP BRASS right now, could very well land us without a job. While speaking I was stuck with a question that had not been asked yet. Though it could be the wrong question to ask, I felt it necessary to the current situation.
“Why did it reference your father? Is there something that I should know?” I asked carefully.
“Fine, I don’t see how matters to the situation, but I’ll tell you. My father was Eddy Chambers.” He said, looking down and lost in thought.
“WHAT???!! THE EDWARD CHAMBERS???” I stammered, quickly regretting my volume.
Almost imperceptibly each customer turned their eyes my way. Very evident that they did not approve of my tone, or subject matter. Edward Chambers was a notorious serial killer from Houston that had been brought in during the mid 90’s. He had caused so much terror across the city that most people enacted their own curfew and many fell victom to mob violence as the city let loose it’s frustrations.
“Yes, keep it down. He was my father.” Mendoza huffed in frustration.
“You have your mothers name then. You were just a boy when he was brought in, you aided HPD detectives.” I stated.
Mendoza began to relay his story, touching many points regarding the murders and missing persons connected to his father’s crimes. He also mentioned how became involved in the investigation steming from his own mother’s disappearance.
“One night, as I laid in bed, I heard a loud crash in the kitchen. I crawled from my bed and walked in to find my father covered in blood. With a knife still in his hands, he looked at me. It was like he was proud that I could see what he was. He told me ‘Boy the strong don’t suffer the weak! Your mother was weak.’ A few days later I mentioned this to a school counselor and PD got involved and his crimes were uncovered.” He said somberly.
I looked into his eyes and could see that he had been forced into a world of darkness as a small boy. He managed to do something; be something. He had joined the Force to right some of the wrongs of his father, and joined Missing Persons to help find justice for the lost that may have something to do with his father’s crimes.
“I too have a connection to your father and his crimes.” I said as I slipped away into my memories. “I knew a girl named Stacy Brown when I was a young teenager. We were going steady then. She was a short African American girl, smart as hell too. Used to say she wanted to be a doctor. She had good plans and I was a part of them. One night in ’93 we were supposed to meet and go down to Lake Houston. She never showed. I thought perhaps he parents had caught her sneaking out, but days went by without a word. It wasn’t until your father’s capture that it was revealed that he had grabbed her just down from her home. She never even made it from her neighborhood.
Mendoza looked at me with shame etched across his face. His eyes looking down into his evening coffee. “So it seems my father fucked both of us up. We are both damaged because of him.”
“Absolutley not, we are both better men. You and I both joined the force for similar reasons. We have tried to right many wrongs across this city. Yes, we are just two regular men. However; we became something to fix these problems in our city. We decided to not let the darkness take us, and that makes us good men.” I said, a little annoyed by my younger partner’s shame.
At this moment we had formed a bond, a good bond, due to the mutual tragedies of our past. We didn’t see each other as old or young. We saw good men fighting to keep the darkness away.
I was dragged out of thought with the sound of tapping coming from the table next to us. I glanced over and immediately, both Mendoza and I, lept to our feet. We backed away and our table clattered to the floor. At the table just next to our own, sat Cary Griffins corpse. He wore the same blue shirt and kahki pants he was using when he died. Blood oozed from his neck down the front of his shirt. In the air sat the dank smell of death and decay. His skin blackened by the rot that takes us all.
“Well partner, I didn’t take you for someone who liked dark meat.” He gargled, as blood continued to pour from his neck.
“WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK…DO…” I barely managed to stammer out before being cut off.
“THAT’S YOUR FUCKING PARTNER HAWKINS, I CAN SEE HIM TOO.” He shouted, fear beginning to take him as well.
“I’VE BEEN DEAD A MONTH AND YOU ARE ALREADY WORKING WITH A FUCKING MEXICAN…. WHAT A DAMN SHAME, I GUESS GOOD COPS ARE HARD TO FIND THESE DAYS.” The corpse rasped as blood was now beginning pool at the base of his chair.
I began to reach for my pistol when it dawned on me that Cary was already dead. I looked over at Mendoza and saw that he had reached that same conclusion as I had. Regardless of everything, we couldn’t do anything to end this situation.
“What is it that you want from us Cary?” I asked, now becoming angrier with our situation.
“From you, ha, nothing. However, Rodriguez or Martinez, that’s a different story. I always get what I want.” He responded as he began to stand from his chair.
A grin spread across Cary’s rotten face and he walked toward us with chunks of skin falling from his cheeks. He broke out in song. He was out of tune, and it was intentionally off putting. “THATS THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT IN GEORGIA…AND THEY HUNG AN INNOCENT MAN.”
The diner was plunged into complete darkness. We quickly grabbed our pen lights and realized our situation was a dire one. We were utterly alone, no staff and no patrons, save the two of us. We searched the diner and found no one. There wasn’t even any signs of Cary having been at the table either with the pool of blood now gone.
As we walked from the diner we took in the view; it was complete darkness.
“My God it’s happening again.” I said as we looked at each other in horror.