Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thinking Out Loud...

After my last post, I was searching for a quote and found a few that I thought was totally appropriate for anyone who writes fiction.

Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia. ~E.L. Doctorow

Being an author is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum. ~Graycie Harmon

The good writing of any age has always been the product of someone's neurosis, and we'd have a mighty dull literature if all the writers that came along were a bunch of happy chuckleheads. ~William Styron, interview, Writers at Work, 1958

There is so much truth in this since there were so many characters floating around in my head when I was writing and their personalities may not be anything close to yours. Sometimes even their language became mine. There were times when I would take a break from writing and wonder where the hell all of that came from! Two male chauvinists, a character who has lost both of her parents to violent deaths to a serial killer (enough said!)....where did they come from?

Now I can tell my mother that I'm not really crazy and here is the proof!

Fresh Perspective

After more than five years of working on this project, changing who tells the story and just tearing it apart before rewriting it completely, I am finally satisfied with my work. Shocking, I know. So, for now, I am taking a month long break from it and in that time, I am letting a couple people read it that I hope will be honest and give constructive criticism, even if it REALLY sucks. Although I won't be working on it, I will still be posting chapters and as always, I would love to hear what anyone who still reads this thinks about it. :o)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Who would play them in real life?

So, I'm sure that you all know by now that I am a nerd and have been reading about writing a book. I mean, there are a lot of benefits to this. One of the things that caught my eye was one of the activities at the end of a chapter. It asked if someone were to turn your book into a movie, what actors and actresses would play the characters?

For the past couple weeks, I have really thought about this and have to say that this was one of the hardest activities yet. There are four characters who more or less run the story and five more who are considered "supporting cast" and are necessary to keep the story on track. There are a few more that fill in the holes and are almost as important as the "supporting cast". Of all these, I have only been able to identify four people that I could see (and hear) playing my characters and let me tell you, it's very frustrating and cool at the same time.

I think William Carson may have been the easiest person. Again, I'm not sure why that is, but I am not complaining. The hardest person to "cast" is Devyn Williams, the main character. In my head, she is the one who, on the outside, can hold her own because she feels that she has to, but has a past that she needs answers for. I wonder if it's because when I created her character, I may have given her too much of my stubborn personality or a tough side that I wish I had. Not quite sure though.

Thoughts? Leave 'em in the comments!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I promise that I haven't forgotten about this! The last couple weeks, I have either been on vacation or just plain lazy, so this past Sunday, I turned off my TV and temporarily hid my internet adaptor from myself and went to work. After going through and deleting chunks of what I had written, I finally finished this round of editing and I think it looks a lot better than I thought it would. I will say this though, deleting almost 20 pages in the last two months was almost painful since I had put so much time into writing it down in the first place. Anyway, here are a couple more chapters. Let me know what you think! :o)

Chapter 6

Devyn went back to her desk to gather her belongings and head home. Terry and Brian Miller watched her walk out to her car and drive away as they sat in the lobby talking.

“So, is that the new recruit?” Brian asked his friend.

“They say that she's the pick of the litter, but I still think she’s different,” Terry said taking a sip of his Coke, wishing it were a beer.

“What makes her any different than the rest?”

“I don’t know, she just seems a little smarter, stronger even, than the others we‘ve dealt with. Its like she sees something that other people don’t,” Terry tried to explain.

“If you’re getting emotional, Terry, I swear I will cut you off and finish what we started by myself!” Brian threatened.

“I just said that there was something different about her that we didn’t see in the others.” Terry shook his head and said, “I can’t believe that you would say something like that. We’re talking about two point five million dollars, Brian. Do you really think I would give that up?”

“I hope not, but sometimes, I have to reassure myself that you wouldn’t bail out on me. Don’t forget that we have to meet our man in front of the museum at seven tonight and don’t be late,” Brian told him.

“I wish you would quit saying that. I’ve only been late once.”

“Oh yeah, and for the time being, clean up your act until we find another woman for him, okay?”

“A’right. I need get out of here, but I will see you later,” Terry said as he got up and left the building.

As Brian watched him leave, he said, “We are in trouble. I can just feel it,” before going back to work for a while longer. At seven forty five, he called it quits and went home himself.

Chapter 7

Pierce walked into Trey Hemmington’s office and sat down. “Nelson, what’s the occasion?”

“Nothing, I just wanted to see how everything was going down here. This morning, Marks came to my office and complained to me about Williams. Did everything go okay today or do I have to sign those termination papers for Terry? You already know I wouldn’t have a problem doing that.”

“I didn’t hear anything, so I take it that everything went okay. The medical examiner sent a few things to the lab this morning and had only good things to say about Detective Williams,” Trey told his boss.

“Did Terry and Devyn find anything new this morning when they went to see the body?”

“John said that Devyn is the only one who came to see the body and yes, they did find something. I was just about to the lab and see what it was. Why don’t you come with me, you know, for old time’s sakes?”

Nelson shrugged his shoulders and said, “Why not? I haven’t been down there in a while.” The two men went downstairs to the lab to see what Devyn and the medical examiner had found. Bent over the table, a young Hispanic woman was looking at something that she had received only hours before.

“Hey, Renee, what's new?” Trey asked, getting the woman’s attention.

Removing her safety glasses, Renee looked up to see who her new visitors were. Trey was a regular guest in the lab, but Nelson Pierce, well, he was another story. The only time anyone saw him down there was if someone was in trouble. Other than that, if anyone wanted to see him, they had to go to him. “Pierce, sir, what a surprise to see you. Down here you have turned into somewhat of a myth.”

“Well, I guess it has been a while, hasn’t it?”

“Yes sir, it has.”

“Renee, John said he and the new detective sent over a few things here. Can we see them?” Trey asked her.

“Yeah and put these on,” she replied handing them a box of latex gloves and grabbed the bag that contained the staples and note that was found. “The staples were a lot closer together this time, which means that he is either nearing the end of his spree or just taunting us,” she explained to them.

“What about the note?” Nelson asked her.

“Well, that’s what confused me because it’s like he knew who was going to look at the body and knew, or maybe knows, them personally.”

“Its funny that you say that because when the new detective told me about the note, I asked her if it meant anything. Like you said, Renee, it’s like he’s talking to someone on the force. Maybe they know something that we don’t, something that might have overlooked before. Maybe it’s something about his past that--”

“That maybe she would know about, but has probably forgotten?” Nelson suggested.

“It doesn’t even have to be her, but yes, that’s what I was thinking,” Trey said.

“Let me see if I’ve got this right. You’re saying that someone in the department might have knowledge about this case and may have forgotten what it is?” she asked.

They shook their heads yes.

“Come on, you guys, that sounds crazy to me.”

“What did she say when you asked her if the note meant anything to her?” Nelson asked Trey.

“She didn’t know, but it seem like Carson is talking to her considering he never left anything like this until now. That’s what puzzles me,” Trey answered.

“But if today is her first day, how would he have known who she was?” Renee asked the two men.

“How’d you know that today was her first day?” Nelson asked her.

“Because she is the only thing that people have been talking about today,” another voice in the room said. Standing behind Trey and Nelson was a tall, light skinned black man.

“Detective Jackson, we haven’t seen much of you lately. How’s it going?” Trey asked him.

“Good. I guess I’ve been keeping myself busy during the last couple weeks. Hey Renee,” Jackson said. Miles Jackson was a Chicago native and had joined the force the day after he graduated from the Academy seven years ago. Starting as a traffic cop, he worked his way up the chain, hoping that all of the work he was doing was somehow making a difference in the city that he knew and loved.

“Hey Miles,” Renee replied.

“I didn’t mean to interrupt. I’ll just come back in the morning,” Miles said, turning to leave.

“No, please stay and chat with us. We need another opinion. You’ve worked on the Carson case, haven’t you?” Trey asked.

“Yes sir, I have,” Miles answered, leaning in the doorway.

“Well, the tenth body was found last night and when M.E. took the staples off of the woman’s lips this morning, he and the new detective found this stuck in her throat,” Renee said, handing him a pair of gloves before giving him the note.

“What’s weird about that is that it’s like he’s talking to someone,” Trey continued.

“Someone like Devyn Williams?” he guessed.

“That’s what they think,” Renee said.

“Does she know about this?” Miles asked reading the note again.

“Of course she does. She is the one who pulled it out of Ms. Wheats’ throat,” Trey said.


“The woman Carson murdered last night.”

“Oh okay. What I meant was does she know that you think that she might know something about this? I mean, there’s a good chance that Carson might know her from somewhere and she doesn’t remember or know that he was even there,” Miles suggested.

“Or maybe he went by a different name,” Renee added.

“That could be a possibility and no, she doesn't,” Nelson said. “Jackson, thanks for your input on this. Everyone, it has been great, but I think its time for me to head home before the missus sends out a search party.” Nelson got up and left the others wondering if it was time for them to start heading home as well. The clock on the wall said it was almost eight thirty.

“I better head home too, before Marie starts trying to hunt me down,” Trey said before leaving.

“Have a good night.”

“That was anything but ordinary. Wouldn’t you agree?” Renee asked, leaning back in her chair.

“Oh yeah. What's even crazier is that they paired this Detective Williams up with Terry, knowing that he hates working with women.”

“That’s what I was thought when I heard that this morning. I guess it’s better than her working with Brian.”

Miles rolled his eyes when she mentioned Brian’s name because he and Brian worked on a case together and after two days they started arguing, which ended up as a fist fight. Brian walked away with a broken nose, a few bruise knuckles on one hand and two sprained fingers on the other. Miles, on the other hand, had a bruise on his arm and a few bruised knuckles. Pierce lectured him about fighting, but suspended Brian for two and half weeks without pay. This was before he met and became friends with Terry, who didn’t seem to care that Miles had fought and gotten his friend suspended.

With a hand on his arm, Renee asked if he was okay.

“Yeah. Just a flashback, I guess. Hey, I’ll see you tomorrow,” he said getting up from his chair and walking out of the room to the elevator. Ten minutes later, he was on his way home to the west side of town.

Chapter 8

Instead of going home as she had planned after work, Devyn went to her dad’s house, which she had kept up after he was murdered over six years ago. She sat on the porch steps for awhile before going inside, where nothing had changed because she didn’t want things to change.

Everything was left the way it had been the night he was murdered. This included the bloodstain by the television set in the living room. She could still see him lying there in a pool of his own blood with the TV still on. She could even remember that he was watching the reruns of the Dead Zone, which had been one of his favorite shows. She sat down on the leather couch where they had often spent hours together talking about everything whenever she was home from the Academy. This is where he was sitting with her godfather, Clayton Ford, when she left that night to go to the movies with her friends. She sat there for about thirty more minutes before leaving.

On her way home, she drove past the house where her godfather used to live and a smile found its way onto her lips, since she had spent a great deal of her childhood at that house. When she wasn’t at home with her parents, she was at Clayton’s house. When she reached her apartment complex, Devyn parked her car in the garage and went inside. Stopping only to grab her mail, she took the stairs to her third floor apartment and threw her bag and purse in the recliner and the mail on the coffee table, while kicking off her shoes. She was starving, but the fridge and cabinets were empty, which meant that she was going to have to eat out for dinner.

After changing her clothes, she grabbed her keys and headed to the nearest Quiznos. After eating, she went to the supermarket to get some groceries, something she didn’t mind doing. When she got home and put away the groceries, she turned on the TV to see the newest episode of The Real World on MTV. Around eleven thirty, she went to bed knowing that tomorrow was going to be a long day.

That night, she had the strangest dream ever. She dreamed that she fell into a hole and never hit the bottom. She just kept falling and no matter what she did, she could not wake up. Devyn finally woke up when the alarm went off at five thirty and her clothes and bed were soaked with sweat. Shaking it off, she turned off the alarm clock and got up to take a shower.

On the other side of town, William Carson was shaking off the exact same dream. He tried to go back to sleep, but found that to be near impossible, so he got up and took a shower. On his nightstand, there was a picture of the child that he never had. Everyday since that night, he wanted so badly to see her, but if she ever knew the truth, she would never forgive him. He didn’t think she would ever come back until three days before Thelma’s death. Nor did he think that she would be working on his case. When Terry told him who they had paired him up with, William didn’t know what to say.

Sighing loudly, he went to the kitchen and made himself some cheesy scrambled eggs and pancakes with bacon. Last night, before he met the two men, he thought he had seen a familiar face drive by, but something in the back of his mind told him that it was too good to be true, so he quickly dismissed the idea. His thoughts turned to his latest challenge, which was his next victim. Brian had insisted that he change his method of killing his victims, but William refused.

“It’s my way or no way,” he had told the men last night.

“But they're starting to catch up with you,” Brian had said.

“And? Look, I hired you to find me a new person each month and nothing more, nothing less. So unless you don’t want the money that I give you every month, I would shut up if I were you. Are we clear, boys?” William saw the look that the two men, who were thirty years his junior, exchanged.

“Very clear,” Brian replied and Terry, the follower, nodded in agreement.

William cleaned up after himself and got ready for the day ahead of him.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

I Love to Travel, But Hate to Arrive

Albert Einstein said this, but I'm not sure if I agree completely. I love seeing the sites along the way and once I arrive, discovering what the place is known for and the hidden treasures. For the next week, I am going to be in Orlando, Florida with the family and since we have been here several times before, the goal of this trip is check out the neighboring cities. Checking out Miami, the Keys and a few other places is the plan for now.

Right now, I'm in Lake City, Florida and the whole way here, I was really wishing that I could whip out my computer and work on my book, but I couldn't. In honor of the July 4th holiday and the fact that I can't guarantee when I will be able to post next, here is another chapter. Please leave your comments...thanks!

Chapter 5

On her way back to the precinct, Devyn stopped at the Starbucks for cafĂ© mocha. When she got back to the precinct, she went to her desk to make a few additions to her notes and finished her drink before meeting Nelson Pierce. Before she got up, she had to ask one of the guys where Pierce’s office was and was told that it was on the fifth floor, to just ask his secretary to talk to him. She thanked the man and took the elevator upstairs.

It didn’t take long to find out who Janet was because as Devyn turned the corner, the two women ran right into each other. “Oh my God! I am so sorry,” Janet said in surprise.

“Do you know where I can find Janet?” Devyn asked her.

“That would be me and you must be Devyn Williams,” Janet replied.

“Yes, I am.”

“You have become quite popular around here since they paired you up with Terry Marks.”

“What is his problem?” Devyn asked the secretary.

“Would you like to answer that or should I?” a strong male voice said behind them.

The two women turned around to see a gray haired, white man standing in the doorway. Janet said that she would, but she had a lot of work to do before she went home at five and hurried away.

“Well then, you must be Devyn,” the man said to her.

“Yes, sir.”

“Nelson Pierce. Please follow me,” he said turning and walking back into his spacious office, which had to be about two and a half times larger than Trey’s downstairs. After they both sat down, Pierce folded his hands on his desk in front of him and said, “To answer your question about Detective Terry Marks, who you already know is not too thrilled to be working with you. Despite the fact that he is a huge pain in the ass- excuse my language - he is one of the better detectives in the department.”

“So, what’s his problem? I mean, I’ve barely said two words to the man and he already hates me,” Devyn asked. She wanted to know what she was walking into before she got too involved.

“He and his friend, Detective Brian Miller, both think that women should not share the same jobs as men. Because of this belief and how bluntly they have voiced their opinion, at least eight women have either quit or requested a transfer to another department or city. Both men have spent nights in jail, have had their badges taken away for months at a time and are on the verge of being kicked off the force completely.”

“So you’re saying that they are going try to get me to punk out and leave like those other women?”

Nelson nodded. “Well yes, if you want to put it that way.”

“I don’t think so, sir. That is not going to happen. What I don’t understand is why you paired me with him in the first place if you knew good and well that he was going to react like this!” This was something that Nelson had never heard from any of Terry’s previous partners.

“Because after looking over your records, we all figured that you could handle yourself and were tough enough to deal with someone like him. If, and I mean if, things don’t work out with Terry, I will reassign him to another case while you stay on the Carson case with another partner. Is that a deal?” he asked.

“As long as they are nothing like Terry, yes,” Devyn agreed.

“Detective Williams, there is no one else like Terry and Brian in this precinct, so don’t worry. The real reason why I wanted to see you was to introduce myself and see if you have any questions for me,” he said leaning back in his chair. “Any questions?”

She shook her head no. “I think you have told me all that I need to know.”

“Well then, I will let you go on your way and I will see you around, detective,” he said as he stood up and walked Devyn to the door.

By the time she got back to her desk, Theresa had already arrived and was sitting in front of her desk. “Hi Theresa, let’s go into one of the empty interrogation rooms and talk, okay?”

The younger woman just nodded and followed Devyn. They were soon joined by Terry.

“Theresa, honey, this is Terry Marks and he is also working on this case. That way we can find out who killed your mother,” Devyn explained and it looked as if an invisible weight had been lifted from her shoulders and the younger woman finally relaxed a little bit. “Can you tell us what happened last night?”

Theresa nodded and began her story. “The night before last, she called me after I got out of class, like she always does, and asked me to come by last night to have dinner with her and her new boyfriend, who I had never met. My mother had been talking about him for the past two, three weeks, saying how nice he was and how he was the first man since she divorced Dad four years ago, who had treated her like a queen. Well, I went out to dinner with them the last night to meet her new flame and he seemed like a nice guy and everything, but something didn’t seem right about him.

“After he dropped us off at Mom’s house, I told her this and what struck me as odd was that she agreed with me! She told me that she didn’t trust him all of a sudden, but figured that it was just nerves or something.” She took a deep breath before she continued. “She told me not to worry about it, so I went to my friends house down the street and told Mom that I would be home later, not to wait up for me.”

“What time was this?” Devyn asked the young woman.

“Just after ten thirty and I came home this morning. When I walked in, the living room was trashed. I mean, everything that usually was put in its place was all over the floor and when I went into the living room, I saw Mom lying there on the floor. Her stapled her mouth shut and her hands and feet were tied together.” Tears were streaming down her face by now and she was making a fruitless effort in making them stop. “Why would someone do this to her? All she wanted was to be happy.” Theresa buried her face in her hands and cried. Devyn walked over to her and put her arms around the young woman and let her cry.

Terry, fed up with all this emotional bullshit, got up and walked out of the room. When Trey, who was on the other side of the glass, saw this, he followed him.

“What was that?” he asked the detective.

Terry looked shocked when he saw Trey come out of the adjacent room. “What was what?”

“Why aren't you in there, Marks?” he asked. “This is your case too.”

“As you probably already know, I am not needed in there. It seems that Detective Williams has the whole thing under control and all I was doing was wasting precious oxygen,” Terry told him.

Trey rolled his eyes and told him, “Terry, you are about this close,” bringing his thumb and index finger within a few millimeters of each other, “to getting kicked off the force. Pierce already has your termination papers drawn up and ready to be signed.”

“You’re just waiting for me to screw up, aren't you?”

“You have a record of always doing something stupid even when we don’t expect it.” Knowing that the interview wasn't over and that it was a matter of time before Devyn came out wondering what was going on, he told Terry, “I’ll finish the interview with her and you watch from the other room where I was,” he said to Terry before joining the new detective in the interrogation room.

When Theresa saw that Terry hadn’t come back into the room, she released a sigh of relief and told Devyn, “Something isn’t right with you partner.” Devyn and Trey looked at each other before looking in Terry’s direction.

“Theresa, what was your mom’s friend’s name that the two of you went to dinner with the other night?” Devyn asked.

“Um, Evans, Walter Evans.”

“Can you describe him to us?”

She looked at Devyn as if she were the only person in the room and said, “He was a tall, black man that carried himself very well. He seemed to have very expensive tastes considering his suit and shoes were name brand and the restaurant that he took us to was one of the most expensive ones in town. He bought her this bracelet not long after they met,” Theresa said, holding up her wrist, which held a very expensive diamond bracelet.

“Trey, can you leave for a minute? There’s something I need to tell her,” Devyn asked her boss.

He nodded and said, “Okay,” before leaving the room.

Before he went too far, she told him to take Terry with him. When she sat back down across from Theresa, she took a deep breath. “You know, when I was about your age, I lost my dad the same way you lost your mom.”

Theresa’s eyes widened and said, “What? Are you saying that the same person who killed your dad killed my mom?”

“There’s a good chance that could be true since they died the same way. The only difference is that my dad’s mouth was taped shut, not stapled. When he was murdered, I had gone out with a few friends and when I came home, he was dead,” Devyn told her.

Theresa wiped her eyes with a Kleenex and asked, “Did they ever find out who killed him?”

“No. Eight weeks after his death, they closed the case saying that there was no evidence,” Devyn replied, shaking off the memory.

“Do you believe that?”


“After a certain time, are you going to just close the case like they did to your dad’s case?” the young woman asked.

“Not if I have anything to do with it. It almost seems like this case is a continuation of my dad’s case six years later.”

She smiled and said, “Mom would have loved you.”

Devyn returned the smile and said, “If there isn’t anything else, then that’s everything. Thanks for all of your help, Theresa.”

“Are you just saying that because you have to or do you mean it?”

“I really mean it. I don’t blame you if you don’t believe me or trust me, but I really want to help you. Here’s my number if you need or remember anything, okay?” Devyn reassured her.

“Thank you so much, Devyn, for all of your help. I really appreciate it,” Theresa said before walking out of the room. Devyn sat on the table for another fifteen, twenty minutes before leaving herself.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

July 2nd

For those who have known me a while, you know about my love for numbers and that how much of a nerd I am. While I say this, I am usually not one to dwell on things like "a month ago today..." since I guess I've never been one of those people. This time, though, I'm going to break my own rule.

A month ago today, I started this blog to put my "writing journey" on paper and give the people who know me a peek into the world that I wouldn't have normally shared. Since then, I have introduced you to some of the characters who have become a part of my life over the past several years and posted a few chapters to see what you thought. Also, in this time, I have also shared the frustrations of self-editing, serious rewrites and how this process was enough to toss out all the work that I had put into this book and call it quits. (This is usually until I go back and reread the end, which reminds me of why I started this in the first place.)

Also, in the last month, I have finally gathered enough courage to submit my manuscript to a couple publishing companies to see if it was even something that would be considered and received a response from Dorrance Publishing last week, which I am going to turn down for a few reasons. Despite this, it's good to know that I may have a chance to share my story with people outside of my circle. In the meantime, I will continue working and doing research on the publishing companies that are out there accepting manuscripts from new writers.

So in honor of the one month thing, I am posting yet another chapter for your enjoyment. As always, leave your comments! :o)

Chapter 4

On her way to the morgue, she stopped at Wendy's for lunch. Even though the lobby was starting to fill up, she opted to eat inside anyway. She sat down with her food in the corner and read over her notes as she ate until a little after twelve. There was no real rush since the morgue was about five minutes away.

Devyn signed in at the morgue and was taken to the room when Ms. Wheats was in. When she walked in, a wave of nausea hit her instantly, causing her to lean against the wall for support until it passed and the room stopped spinning. Taking a deep breath, she walked up to the table where they had laid the body and lifted the sheet off of the woman’s face and saw that her mouth was still stapled shut. She uncovered more of the body and thought she was going to throw up when she saw the woman’s chest. It looked as if he had dissected her and left her to die.

The door opened behind her and a white man in his mid thirties walked in. He extended his hand to her and introduced himself. “John Walker and you must be Detective Devyn Williams.”

“Yes, I am and it’s nice to meet you.”

“You must be new here,” he said, donning a pair of gloves and a lab coat, motioning her to do the same.

“I guess you can say that. I just transferred here from Seattle,” she replied.

“Where are you from, if you don’t mind my asking?”

“I was born and raised right here in Chicago and then after the academy, I worked in Seattle for four and half years.”

“And why would you want to come back here?”

“Because its home,” she replied as she watched him set up.

“That sounds like a good enough reason to me.” He looked down at the dead body and asked,

“So, Thelma, what happened to you?” Slowly, but carefully, Walker removed the staples from her lips, which were still caked with blood. “Thelma, don’t be shy, you can tell me,” Walker said, still talking to the dead woman on the table. He looked up to see the look on Devyn’s face. “Hey, if you dealt with only dead people, you would be just like me,” he said laughing.

Devyn raised her eyebrow and asked, “So what killed her?”

“I would have to say by looking at the rope burns on her wrists and ankles, she was tied down and then cut open. What killed her and the other nine victims was that the main blood artery leading to the heart was severed and when that’s done, not much can be done to help them after that point.”

“Hmm.” This triggered a memory from her past, when her father was murdered. “This was how the other bodies were found, right?” she asked him, although she had already looked over the other photos earlier that morning.

“Yes, it is and if he’s trying to prove a point, he seems to be getting louder,” Walker said with a small penlight in one hand after cocking Ms. Wheats’ head at an angle.

“Why do you say that?”

“Because every mouth Carson staples shut, the closer the staples get and this time, there is something lodged in her throat.”

“What is it?”

“I don’t know. It looks like something rolled up,” he said, shining the light in the dead woman’s throat. He handed Devyn the tweezers and asked if she would do the honors. While he held the light over her head, Devyn carefully pulled a piece of paper that had been stuck in the woman’s throat and unrolled it. It said:

You know who I am.
Now come find me.

No matter how many times John Walker and Devyn read the note, they were still confused, since no one knew who he was. The note was put in an evidence bag as Devyn wrote down a few notes in a pocket notebook. She would spend another hour going over the body with the medical examiner.