Cafe de Desiree

October 19, 2012

“All That’s Left”

Filed under: horror,story — desi83 @ 8:22 am

I’m not a hundred percent sure about the title and won’t be until it is finished. This is a revival of a story that I partially posted like six months ago. I dug out the notebook where I first wrote it, so I’m typing it out now, editing it, and even changing the ending. Anyway, if you like horror or just descriptive writing, have fun. It is long for a blog post, and this is not all of it, so pop some popcorn and get comfortable. I am going to finish typing out this story by the weekend’s end.

All That’s Left

The first thing I noticed when I pulled into the parking lot of our apartment was her fluffy, white robe sprawled out onto the grass. What stood out, even in the darkness with only the dim street lights illuminating it, was the blood. It reminded me of her innocence; the dark blood stained the pure white of her robe. Iprayed that it was just red wine or tomato soup, and in her haste, she threw out the soiled material. Maybe it belonged to someone else. I only faintly remembered that robe. It was the first winter that we were together. We had spent that last winter as neighbors without even knowing it. To think, we were strangers less than a year ago. I got up the nerve to approach the red-soaked robe. I bent down to get a better glimpse of it. It looked and smelled like blood. I was careful not to touch it. I ran into the apartment while making bargains with a God that I wasn’t even sure existed. I wasn’t taking any chances for the worst. The smell of her lingered through the house-spaghetti and meat balls, homemade chocolate chip cookies that she’d made recently, and her sweet pea body spray were the smells of our home together. “Baby, are you home?” I tried to sound casual. “Are you asleep already?” I asked with all the hope I could muster. I burst into the room with my eyes squeezed shut, as if I could cast some spell to bring her into the room, safely asleep. I slowly opened the door to find an empty, unmade bed. I remembered why it was so untidy-no more like destroyed! I woke her up to make love at seven in the morning because she looked so beautiful while she slept. I grabbed the blanket and held it, wishing it were her. Maybe she was at her parents’ house or out with her friends. I grabbed my phone and hit two on speed dial. I could faintly hear a ring coming from the bathroom. I slowly turned the knob, fearing that I’d see her mangled body slumped over the tub. I only found her phone ringing serenely on the bathroom counter. I pressed end on my phone and dialed 911. My heart knew that she was hurt; she needed me, and I had just been trying to deny the worst.

“911, what’s your emergency?” a cold voice answered. “I think something has happened to my girlfriend. Her bloody robe is in our front yard. Her phone is here, but she is missing,” I explained in between sobs. “What is your location?” the cold, monotone voice inquired. “508 Lincoln Boulevard, apartment A5,” I answered. “I’ll send an officer,” she said almost reluctantly. “Thank you,” I said somewhat sarcastically. I sat in the yard staring at the robe. That’s when I noticed the flip flop that seemed familiar lying on the sidewalk. Why had she been outside in her robe and flip flops? I gasped. “Ralph!” I couldn’t believe it took me this long to remember that the damn dog was missing, too. She had probably taken him for a short walk. I looked up and noticed her car parked on the other side of the parking lot sitting right beside the dumpster. The pieces were coming one by one, leading me to believe more and more the worst possible scenario

As I stood beside the robe, careful not to touch it in fear of tampering with evidence, I stared at her car and realized that would be a good thing to investigate. Just then, I saw the blue lights, and an officer stepped out of the cruiser. The last time I was in a scene like this, I was getting my first DUI, so I was still a little nervous around cops and those menacing blue lights. “Did you make the call about a missing woman, sir?” he asked sternly, officially. “Yes, sir. This robe belongs to my girlfriend, and I have not seen her since I’ve been home,” I stated. His eyes widened, and he pulled out a notepad and pen and began scribbling down notes. “Are you sure this belongs to her?” he asked. I’d only seen the robe a few times, but I remembered it now, just lying on the sofa a few days ago. “Yes, sir,” I answered nervously. “Do you live with her?” the officer inquired. “Yes, we live right there in that apartment, A5,” I answered, pointing to our apartment. “What is your girlfriend’s name?” he asked, suddenly looking up at me. “Callista, or Callie Stokes,” I answered. “How old is Callie?” he asked. “She is twenty-three years old,” I answered. “Describe her to me please,” the officer asked as he studied his notepad, quickly jotting down notes. “She has long blond hair, bright blue eyes, suntanned skin, and she is about one hundred and ten pounds. I think she’s around 5’4,” I described. “Okay, that just sounds like every man’s dream girl. Are you also going to tell me that her measurements are 36-24-36?” he asked. I shrugged my shoulders and blushed. She was every man’s dream girl, but she really was my girl. “Does she have any distinctive features?” he asked, shaking his head. I thought about it for a moment. “She has a Marylin Monroe freckle on her face, four piercings in each ear, and a tattoo of the Aries sign on her left hip,” I described thoroughly. “Okay, that’s something I can use in the investigation. Now, tell me where you’re coming from, since I’m assuming that you just discovered the robe,” he observed. “I work second shift, so I just got out about an hour and a half ago. That’s why I’m wearing this dirty black shirt and worn out jeans,” I explained. “Where do you work, um, what’s your name again?” he asked. “I don’t think I’ve told you my name yet. My name is Jake England,” I replied suspiciously. He looked strangely familiar. “Well, Mr. England, you may call me Detective McAllister. What exactly do you do for a living, Mr. England?” the officer asked, looking me straight in the eyes. “I work for the Volkswagon plant. I work on the production line,” I answered. “That’s not too far from here. When did you leave work, and when did you arrive at your apartment?” McAllister asked. “I left work around ten o’clock, and I got home around eleven o’clock, give or take a couple of minutes,” I answered. “Hmmm,” McAllister mumbled. “Why did it take you so long to get home? I happen to know that the Volkswagon plant is only fifteen minutes from here,” McAllister questioned. “I stopped at Buddy’s, a bar a couple of miles from the plant, to have a beer like I usually do,” I admitted. “Did you only have one beer?” McAllister pressed. “I had a couple. How does that pertain to my girlfriend’s disappearance?” I asked impatiently, trembling slightly, “Can we get back to the investigation, please?” “I am going to need a statement from someone at Buddy’s confirming your alibi,” McAllister said suspiciously. “I’m the one who called 911. Why would I be a suspect?” I asked angrily. “It’s because you’re the one who called 911, and because the spouse or boyfriend is always the first one to be suspected,” the officer explained, “It’s just routine.” I hung my head, feeling helpless. This was not happening. It was a bad dream, and I would wake up next to Callie and kiss her until she made me stop.

Is there anything else that you would like to add that could help lead us to Callie?” McAllister asked, attempting to wrap up the intense interview. “Yes, her car is still in the parking lot right beside the dumpster,” I said as I pointed toward the car. He squinted as he scribbled more notes in his notepad. “Also, her dog is missing and her flip flop is in the grass right beside the robe-just one flip flop,” I added. The officer nodded and wrote it down. Just then, two detectives arrived and began collecting the robe and the flip flop and put them in a scientific-looking plastic bag labeled “forensic evidence”. “So, from the evidence and the scene that we have before us, it is likely that Callie was walking her dog in her robe and flip flops. Someone could have grabbed her during the walk. Is her dog aggressive at all?” Officer McAllister inquired. “No, he’s just a big teddy bear of a dog,” I said regretfully. “Was anything missing from the house?” he questioned. “No, nothing was taken. It looks as though Callie could still be here, but she’s not. I’ve checked every room,” I answered. I started shaking and choking back tears. I had to keep it together for Callie’s sake. “Hmmm, normally if someone is assaulted or killed at their residence by a stranger, it is a result of a robbery. Do you know if she was in contact with anyone this evening?” McAllister speculated. “It’s a week-day, so she probably came straight home from school, grabbed a couple of beers and graded papers all evening by herself,” I answered confidently. “When did you last see Ms. Stokes?” McAllister asked. “I kissed her goodbye this morning before she left for work,” I answered nostalgically. “What time did you go to work, Mr. England?” McAllister questioned with an accusatory stare. “I work at one-thirty five days a week,” I answered, annoyed. McAllister quickly jotted down some notes then suddenly looked back at me. “Can you think of anyone who may have paid her a visit or who might be capable of hurting her?” he asked, very focused. “No one would have a reason to hurt her sir. She is a charismatic, funny, beautiful girl who spends her life taking care of children and dogs,” I answered passionately. At that, I broke into tears. I was always the calm one in stressful situations while Callie seemed to lose it at the smallest sign of inconvenience. However, this was a situation that had me imagining the worst possible scenarios. “So you can’t think of anyone who could have dropped by unexpectedly?” McAllister asked, unconcerned at my uncontrollable sobs. “Do you want a list of every person she knows or has ever met?” I asked sarcastically. McAllister’s eyes twinkled and he perked up. “Yes, that would be perfect! Include their phone numbers and addresses. Also, we will be interviewing all of the neighbors,” McAllister said excitedly. He was pumped and ready to find out what happened to Callie. Even though I still had a chip on my shoulder about cops, I was glad to have one on my side this time.

Suddenly, our neighbor Travis sped into the parking lot and swerved diagonally into the handicapped space and the space next to it. The officer and I stared for a moment, and out stumbled Travis, gripping his coat and a paper bag with some sort of bottle in it. “Is that a neighbor of yours?” Officer McAllister asked me as his suspicious glare turned to Travis. I couldn’t help but chuckle. Travis is one of the most ridiculous people I’ve ever known. He always inadvertently makes a grand entrance. “We’ll keep in touch, Mr. England. I’m going to conduct the first interview with your neighbor,” he said as he quickly approached Travis before he could duck into his apartment. “Excuse me sir, may I have a word with you?” McAllister called out to Travis. Travis kept his head down and tucked his paper bag-covered bottle into his coat. “I just want to go home,” I have nothing to do with whatever is going on here,” he mumbled. “That’s what I need to find out. What is your full name, sir?” McAllister asked, blocking Travis from escaping into his apartment. “Travis O’Hare. What is going on? You can’t give me a DUI because I’m not driving now. I’m going to get plastered in the privacy of my own freaking home!” he slurred with a drunken laugh. “I should give you a DUI anyway, or at least a ticket for public intoxication, but that is not what this is about,” McAllister said menacingly. Travis’s eyes widened and he stood stiff as a board. “When is the last time that you saw your neighbor, Ms. Callie Stokes?” McAllister asked, now standing almost nose to nose with Travis. “Man, screw that bitch. I don’t care. What the hell did she do?” Travis jabbered. “Oh she hasn’t done anything that we know of, but she is missing. I am sensing that you have some aggression toward her,” McAllister observed. “She’s batshit crazy is all I know. I haven’t talked to her or Jake since they left me at a bar without a ride, and it was because of her,” Travis explained. McAllister frantically jotted down all of Travis’s mutterings.

When did you leave the apartment today, and where did you go?” McAllister asked. “I left around, I don’t know, five or so. I went to my friend Trey’s house to watch the game. We hung out and drank some Jack, and I am just getting home,” he answered. “Could I have this Trey’s number please, for an alibi?” McAllister asked with a huge polite grin. “I guess. Say, what happened? Did somebody kill her or something?” he asked, staggering. I felt this rage rise up inside of me, and I ran toward Travis and shoved him. It was as if I were possessed by some angry ghost. The officer grabbed me and shoved me back as Travis stumbled toward me, mumbling something that sounded like reassurance to the officer. He put his hands up and said, “it’s cool, man, no problema!” He leaned toward me and whispered, “so what’d they find? Usually it’s a shoe or clothing of some sort. Leaves you with nothing but questions and assuming the worst.” I punched him in the face and fell to the ground on my knees. He looked back at me, holding his bloody face and ran to his apartment. “Mr. England, I will ask you not to harm Mr. O’Hare any further. I realize you are upset and you want to lash out, but you’re just making it worse,” the officer said trying to calm me down. I sat on the sidewalk holding my head. “How did he fucking know? Her stuff isn’t on the front lawn anymore. I don’t trust him,” I yelled. “We’ll keep an eye on him, Mr. England. In the meantime, you stay here and get some rest, and I’ll keep searching for clues to lead me to your Callie,” he reassured me. “Okay, that’s fine, thank you Officer. Just let me know if you hear anything,” I said wearily. “I’m going to call forensics here to collect the robe and check for any other evidence that may have any tissue or fingerprints out here that could be used as evidence,” he assured me.

The truth is, Travis and I were close friends until Callie and I moved in together. I still tried to keep our friendship, but it wasn’t the same. He resented her since she got angry with me every time Travis was around. Sure, he was a bad influence on me, but he was a good friend who just happened to have a lot of bad habits but not too many other friends. He was a sad sort of person. I guess I felt sorry for him, but he was also hilarious and weird in an interesting sort of way. I wondered if he could have resented her to the point of-no way. He was weird and a little socially-awkward, but he was not capable of killing anyone. He didn’t hate her that much, did he? I would talk with him the next day so he wouldn’t be paranoid of my hitting him or accusing him again. Forensics showed up, bagged up the bloody robe, and dusted the parameter for prints. They didn’t find any other clothing or objects. “Was there any sign of breaking and entering when you entered the residence, Mr. England?” McAllister asked. “No sir. It looked like Callie has been here and maybe went outside to walk her dog. I still haven’t found the dog,” I responded, curious as to what could have happened to Ralph. “We’re still going to search the apartment for clues just in case it was a friend that Callie let into the apartment who could have harmed Callie,” McAllister explained. It was all a bit of a blur. I just sort of stood there watching these uniformed strangers prowl through all of our belongings in our happy, humble home. It was surreal, like being an extra in a crime show.

It suddenly dawned on me that Callie’s windshield had been busted a week ago, with what Travis thought may have been a hammer. Her plants had gone from green and full of blooms to brown and shriveled within a couple of days. A month ago, the small angel statue she had on the patio had been broken all over the yard, and we had seen it intact just the previous night. We took the car to the repair shop where they confirmed that the windshield had to have been busted by a hammer or another blunt object. Why had Travis known what type of tool had busted the windshield, and described in such detail how it had happened? “Wow, dude, it looks like someone probably waited until it was dark, grabbed a hammer, knelt on top of the hood, and then whacked the windshield right in the middle,” he described while demonstrating with body movements. “Somebody’s pissed off at you, Callie,” Travis warned. The repair shop showed me the dents in the hood where someone probably knelt on the hood. Callie had cursed him the day before the windshield incident for barging into our apartment drunk in the middle of the day. Travis was pretty much always drunk. Could he really be capable of something as coldblooded as-No! I could not say it. Until there was a dead body and actual evidence, I could not lay the burden of accusation on him. There was a chance that she was alive until they found the body, so there may not have been a murder of which to accuse Travis.

“It’s cold in here, Jake,” Callie whispered. I turned to hold her close to me so that I could warm her. Her skin chilled my touch, and I could not get her warm. Instead, I was left feeling cold. “I can’t get you warm, Callie. I’m shivering the more that I touch you,” I responded sadly. I shook her gently, but her only response was a whimper. I was getting colder and colder as I held her tighter. “Callie!” I shouted as I turned her over to face me. “Oh my God,” I whispered. “Help me, Jake,” she uttered through frozen lips. My heart felt as if it were going to burst out of my chest at the sight of her. Frozen tears lined her face, and her lips were pale blue. “What do you want me to do, Callie? What can I do?” I panicked. I stared at her with terror in my eyes. “I’m lost, Jake,” Callie whispered. I awoke in a cold sweat. What did it all mean? Was it just the stress of the situation, or was she trying to tell me something? Okay, now I was driving into crazytown. We were not telepathic.

I was willing to consider anything a possibility at this point. I would even try to listen to frozen creepy Callie in my dreams for some sort of sign in my subconscious. I knew that Callie needed me to find her, and I was no longer going to waste time sleeping. I threw on my slippers and jacket and went outside. I pulled my jacket tightly against me as I shivered from the cold night air, and maybe a little bit from the dream. I began wandering through the front yard, searching for any clue that the detective may have missed: a weapon, blood or clothing that may belong to her attacker, or anything else that could add to the puzzle that had barely began.

I made my way to the backyard and noticed Ralph’s leash on Travis’s patio, hidden behind a bush. I crept around the outside of his apartment to see if I could find any other evidence when I heard a dog barking. That is when I lost it. I banged loudly on his door, and the barking grew louder. I heard someone scrambling around inside and finally Travis threw open the door holding a chopping knife. “What’s up, man?” he asked as he lowered the knife. His eyes were bloodshot but wide and alert. Ralph ran between Travis’s legs, almost knocking him down. Luckily, he grabbed the door frame so that he wouldn’t fall on me with a knife. “Hey, Ralphie, there you are boy!” I said excitedly as the huge golden retriever jumped on me and put his paws on my chest. Then, I turned to Travis with disbelief burning in my eyes. “Why the hell is Callie’s dog in your apartment?” I demanded calmly through clenched teeth. “I heard him scratching at my door a couple of hours ago, so I let him in,” Travis explained weakly, still holding the knife loosely by his side. “Really? When were you planning on telling me this? And why are you answering the door with a knife?” I asked, my voice getting higher and more impatient. “It is four o’clock in the morning, man, so I figured you were asleep. And you know I had a stalker awhile ago. So if I am not expecting someone to pay me a visit at four a.m., I take my ‘guard dog’ with me,” he answered thoroughly.


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