I’m taking part in the StoryADay September 2015 challenge. The main reason being to explore my characters from the Morgan and Fairchild Series. I will endeavour to incorporate the daily prompts, though, as it’s a continued tale, it’s not strictly a story a day. It’s more a story within a story. I’ve given myself a word limit of 600 words.
Prompt: Sept 7th – A killer is on the loose, having broken into the home of a wealthy woman and left her for dead. He absconded with a few items, then left the initials, ‘M.A.’
Recap: Justin Chambers, part of the team at Morgan & Fairchild, is approached by a friend who needs a favour. Justin accepts the missing person case, and agrees to look into it in his own time.
The Watering Hole, so named by the patrons who kept the bar alive, was busier than usual. Justin didn’t mind a crowd. Normally. But tonight he wanted to drown his sorrows, and the atmosphere was too jovial for his taste.
It had been years since he’d felt such hopeless despair, but then war did that to a person. Justin knew his friends were worried, especially since he had no desire to put on his happy face. They thought of him as the clown, and he didn’t mind the title. He just didn’t allow it to define him. JJ wasn’t the only one capable of dark moods.
Justin almost groaned when he caught sight of Charles Macavoy. He liked Charlie, always had, but it was clear Susannah, the brains behind Morgan and Fairchild, had called in the cavalry. Not that it was unusual to see Charlie at the bar. Everyone who served, past and present, frequented the place. Charles Macavoy was police, but he was also one of them.
“How’s it going, Mac?” he said, accepting the beer.
“Better than you, kid.” Charlie nodded to a seat. “You look like shit.”
“I’ve had better days.” He glanced over to the rambunctious crowd in a corner booth. The group clearly had something to celebrate.
Charlie followed his gaze. “Teddy’s celebrating retirement,” he said, smiling. “He also just closed a pretty big case.”
“Good for him.”
“He got his man. I’m sure you’ll get yours.” Charlie took a sip of beer. “It wasn’t easy, but they put Rebecca Rylatt’s killer away.”
Justin glanced at the group, and back to Charlie again. “I heard about that.” He searched his memory. “Did they ever solve the puzzle?”
The killer had broken into Mrs Rylatt’s home, gathered several valuable trinkets and left a set of initials behind; written in Mrs Rylatt’s blood.
“You know I can’t divulge the details. But, yes. They solved the mystery.” Charlie shrugged. “You can read about it soon enough.” He gave Justin a pointed look. “Why don’t you tell me where you’re at with your case?”
“I’ve got nothing. I’ve been to every hostel, shelter, and charitable organisation I can find. Nobody knows anything, and if they do, they’re not telling me.”
Charlie reached into his pocket and pulled out a slip of paper. “I called in a few favours. I’m not saying it will pan out, but this is the number of a volunteer at St Matthew’s. One of the kids in their care took off a few weeks ago.” He held it towards Justin. “Call him. He might be willing to talk.”
“Thanks, Mac.” Justin glanced at the number in his hand. “I can’t explain it, but I know there’s something going on here.”
“I hear you, Justin. You’ve always had good instincts.” Charlie raised his glass. “I’ll help in any way I can.”
“I know.” He pulled the mobile from his pocket, half expecting the silent alert. No doubt it was Susannah checking in. He wondered if Charlie had a similar text. The pair were pretty tight.
But it wasn’t Susannah. It was a friend of Paul’s. “Shit.” Justin jumped to his feet. “I have to go, Mac…I…I have to go.”
Charlie snagged his arm. “What is it?”
He didn’t want to form the words, didn’t want them to be true. He knew better. “Paul OD’d twenty minutes ago.”
Charlie grabbed his jacket from the back of his chair. “Let’s go. I’ll drive.”
Thanks for stopping by.