Sorry for the italics, but I wanted to make it clear where my comments end and the scene begins.  I hope you’ve been enjoying these clips from my novel and that they’ve aroused your interest in the book.  I’ll be posting one or two more to wet the appetites, but not enough to spoil the surprises or the ending.  At this point my lead male (Alex Hill the psychic) has been arrested after being found at a crime scene where three bodies were found.  Along with the victims was the wife of the chief of police who was wandering about in shock.  Upon seeing Alex she’d started pointing and screaming at him, in front of her husband and his officers.  This scene takes up hours later after the lady has recovered from her shock and is able to speak clearly.  Enjoy…

At the hospital, Veronica arrived just in time to find a very worried Roy talking to his wife.  They both saw her in the doorway and urged her to join them.

“Would you tell Ronnie what you just told me?” Roy asked his wife.

She nodded, “I saw Rachel… She just rose up out of the water like in a movie or something.  Only she was dead, and she was wearing Alex’s jacket…”

“How did you know it was his?” asked Veronica.

“Roy told me about the girl Alex met on the bridge and tried to help.  So I assumed it was his.”

Ronnie nodded.  “So what happened then?”

The woman’s face took on a haunted expression, “I don’t know.  It was like she was talking to me, without moving her lips.  She’s been trying to reach Alex, to warn him…” her voice trailed off at the memory.

Roy took her hand, “What about Sweetheart?”

“Something down by the bridge is after him… something horrible.  It killed Jason and those men from the lab.  So when I saw Alex I wanted to tell him to get away from that place.  But I couldn’t speak I… I just…” the woman sobbed and shook her head.

Roy took her in his arms and said, “So you weren’t accusing him, you were trying to warn him?”

She nodded, “I’m terrified for him Roy.”

“We all are,” he replied looking apologetically to his Sergeant.

Some time later, Roy joined Veronica outside his wife’s room. “I just called the station,” he was saying. “Thompson’s taking Alex to pick up his car from the manor and then they’re heading to your place.  He’ll stay with the Youngster until you get home.”

“Thanks,” she replied evenly.

“I’m sorry about locking him up.  But…when I saw Alice in such a state and she started screaming and pointing at him.  I…” his voice trailed off and his face crumpled.

Immediately, Veronica put her arms around him.  In all the years they’d been together, she’d never seen him like this.  The man was actually shaking with emotion.  “It’s okay,” she told him, her annoyance forgotten.  “I would’ve done the same thing in that situation.” She felt him hug her back and then straighten up.

Regaining his composure, Roy said in an authoritative voice, “Now, we know Alex didn’t have anything to do with what happened to her or those men in the water.  The County Coroner said they’d been dead for over two hours before we found them.  And he was with you all morning and then at the station.  And he was inside the mansion when we arrived, I saw him coming out of there myself.  So he’s in the clear on this one.”

This was music to Ronnie’s ears.  “So he’s off the suspect list?”

Her boss looked at her and frowned, “I don’t know.  I want to, but…”

“But what?”

Roy looked back to the door to his wife’s room, “I’m not sure if she really saw Rachel, or another hallucination.”

“Why do you say that?”

“She said Rachel was wearing Alex’s jacket, but I sent it to the lab for testing after I found the dry cleaner’s body.”

“Are we sure the jacket’s still there?”

Roy pulled out his cell phone, “Let me check.”  A few minutes later they had their answer.  “They sent it back to the station this afternoon,” he told her.

Grabbing her shoulder radio Ronnie contacted the station as the two of them rushed outside into the storm and into their patrol cars.

*****

“Yeah, I put it in the Chief’s office,” Pam was saying.  “It’s still hanging there as far as I know.  Do you want me to check on it?” she asked and pointed to a piece of paper that needed Julie’s signature.

As Jason’s only available relative, she had been designated to handle preparations for the release of the body.   She had already talked with her cousins in California who had expressed their wishes to have him buried where he had lived.  They would come out as quickly as possible to help with the rest of the arrangements.

Cassandra was still with her, which made things a little easier.  They had already seen Alex being released and escorted out of the building.  That had been almost half an hour ago, so he should be at home by now.  But she noticed the heiress looking a little troubled.  “Something wrong?” she asked.

“I’m not sure,” the petite girl replied. “I’ve got that same feeling I get when that man is nearby.  But I don’t see him.”

Looking around  Julie said, “Well, I don’t see him either and you haven’t said anything about him lately.”

“That’s because he hasn’t appeared since that night at the bar…” Cassie paused and sniffed the air.  “Do you smell something?”

Julie nodded.  There was definitely something foul in the air.  Even Pam noticed it.  Getting up from her desk, the blonde followed the odor down the corridor and into one of the offices at the far end.  A moment later, they heard her yelling “Holy shit!”

Cassandra started down the hallway, only to have a young patrolman rush past her to see what was going on.  A moment later he reappeared holding a garment bag that contained a jacket.

Cassie didn’t need to be told who it belonged to.  She’d seen enough of Alex’s jacket recently to know it anywhere.  But something strange was happening to it.  Inside the bag, a dark liquid had started pouring out of the sleeves, slowly filling the plastic sack.

The officer carrying it was finding it more and more difficult as the weight increased.  The blonde dispatcher emerged from the office and crept past him, all the while staring in horror.  Once clear, she rushed back to her desk to report what was happening to their boss.

Meanwhile, the officer carrying the bag finally gave up and let it hit the floor and stepped away.  It was still filling up with the dark and foul smelling liquid.  Looking over his shoulder, he warned everyone to stay back and pulled out his revolver.

Julie drew up next to Cassandra who was closest to where the garment carrier lay.  Several more blue uniforms arrived on the scene and froze.  Ten minutes dragged by as the group watched in fascinated horror at the spectacle unfolding before them.

Now the bag was completely filled with dark water and no one spoke.  A moment later the object moved.  It was just a slight movement, but then there was another which was followed by several more.  It was if something was trapped inside of the bag and was trying to get out.  A moment later, a hand appeared and pressed up against the clear plastic from inside the bag.

*****

Outside, the storm increased in its fury a pair of patrol cars came to screeching halt just outside the doors to the station.  Veronica leapt out of one, while Roy emerged from the other.   As if by silent agreement, the two of them headed straight for the glass doors without saying a word.

Once inside, they made a bee-line for the front desk where a white-faced Pam was standing.  Just then, gunshots rang out followed by a scream and a thud.

Without a word the two senior officers rushed down the corridor to find Cassandra taking a protective stand in front of Julie.  Nearby, Patrick Danson slumped against one wall, while Frank King was pointing his smoking weapon at the garment bag that was leaking a dark liquid.

As they watched, the water ceased began to cover the width of the hallway, then stopped shy of the walls.  It was as if some invisible barrier kept it in check.  The garment bag, floating on the surface, drifted to one side as a lone hand rose up out of the dark pool.  No one spoke as the limb continued to rise exposing a wrist, then and an elbow.  It was like watching someone drowning, only in reverse.  Another hand appeared followed by a head with long dark hair.  A face could be seen amidst the dripping locks.

“Rachel!”

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