Without A Trace – Shadows
Thirteen Hours Missing
It was a quiet neighborhood. A few cars drove down the street. A few kids rolled by on their bikes. One woman paused to stare at the two agents, Malone and Vivian as her dog sniffed around a tree. It was a nice, quiet neighborhood, but one family was about to receive disturbing news about a loved one.
“Can I help you?”
“Mrs. Alexus? I’m Agent Malone, and this is Agent Johnson.” Malone stood before a half open front door. “Can we come in?” The door opened more to show a tall, thin woman standing behind it. “It’s important that we talk with you. It’s concerning your daughter.”
“Come in.” Mrs. Alexus opened the door wider for the two agents. “Please come in.” The two agents walked into the house.
Sunlight filtered into a cozy living room. Pictures of family members decorated the walls and tables. An Oriental rug stretched out from under the couch toward the wide screen tv. Mail and magazines cluttered on a coffee table nearby.
Taking a seat on the couch, Mrs. Alexus reached across the coffee table and begun to dig through the mail and magazines. She withdrew a pack of cigarettes from underneath one pile. Shakily, she pulled a cigarette out and lit it. “Do you mind?”
“No. Not at all.” Malone glanced at Vivian. “Under these circumstances, I can understand how you must be feeling, so no, I don’t mind.” He took a seat next to her as Vivian continued to stand. “Somebody shot Kelly yesterday afternoon near a job fair in Manhattan.” Mrs. Alexus continued to smoke her cigarette. “Have you heard from your daughter since yesterday?” She shook her head. “Do you know anyone that would want to harm your daughter?” Again, she shook her head.
“Why would anyone want to shoot her?”
“We don’t know, but we are going to find out.”
“Does your daughter have any enemies? Anyone that may go as far as attacking her?”
“No. Lately, she is either in her room or at work.”
“Lately?” Vivian took a seat on a smaller couch nearby. “Any reason why she might have become distant?”
“I thought that maybe it had to do with her and her father fighting.”
“What are they fighting about,” Vivian asked
“Since Kelly turned 25, her father feels that it is time for her to leave and make a life for herself. She really doesn’t have a life here.”
“Why’s that?” Malone looked at Mrs. Alexus.
“Kelly’s life is out on Long Island, where she grew up. Her friends are there. There are jobs there not here.”
“You said that Kelly has been distant for awhile now. Do you have any idea why,” Malone asked.
“No, but I know that she’s stressed and worried.”
Kelly and her mother are watching late night TV shows. Her mother turned to see Kelly twisting a lock of brown hair around her finger. She quickly pulled the lock of hair away from Kelly.
“You only twirl your hair when you’re stressed or worried, so what’s wrong, Kelly?”
“Nothing. I just have a lot on my mind right now.”
“Like what? Your ex-boyfriend still lurking around?” Kelly shook her head. “Is it whatever you’re working on upstairs in your room?”
“It’s nothing. Let’s just watch tv.”
“And that was it. We watched tv for a little bit, and then she went to bed.”
“What was it that she was working on,” Vivian asked.
“I don’t know. She writes in her spare time, but as far as I know, it just stays on her computer.”
“Would it be alright if we check out her computer,” Malone asked.
“You mentioned her ex-boyfriend. Was Kelly having problems with him,” Vivian asked.
“She broke up with him over a year or so ago, and he still stops by to see her. She even caught him spying on her when she tried to go out on a date.” Vivian and Malone exchanged looks.
“What’s his name,” Malone asked.
“Peter Daniels.” Mrs. Alexus started to cry. “Do you think that she is alright? That she is even alive?” She snuffed out her cigarette in a dirty ashtray on the coffee table. “Why hasn’t she called me for help?”
“I don’t know, but we will find her.” Malone put a hand on her knee. “We’ll find her.”
Sanctuary – Fallen Shade
“Welcome to the CTDF, Computer Technology Development Fair. Have your tickets out when you step up to the table and sign your name. Failure to show your ticket will lead you straight to this EXIT door.” A woman in an expensive business suit gestured toward the door next to her. “I know we have hundreds of individuals lined up for several blocks, so I suggest we get started.” She gestured to those sitting behind the table. “First in line, step up, show your ticket, and sign your name. Then, you will be the first to go inside and discover the latest, state-of-the-art technology not yet released to the public.”
Henry Foss removed his ticket from his wallet. He glanced at those lined up around him. Anticipation tingled his spine, but he remained composed. And he slowly edged up to the front of the line, but when it was his turn, he too eagerly jumped at the vacant spot now at the table, startling the young woman, who waited for him.
“Sorry.” He sheepishly grinned. “Here’s my ticket.” The woman reached for the ticket but then froze. “Something wrong?” She glanced at him, fear filling her eyes. “I’m sorry about before.”
“No. It’s not that.” She pulled the ticket from his hand. “It’s my mistake.” She pushed a sign-in sheet toward him. “Sign in, please.” She averted her eyes, busying herself with placing the ticket with the others. “Thank you.” She handed him a brochure with a list of vendors waiting inside. “Have a good time.” She looked behind him. “Next.”
“I’m sorry.” Henry remained where he was. “If I upset you, I…”
“I told you.” She now looked at him. “It wasn’t you.” She looked past him. “Next.”
Henry stepped away, and another eager attendant jumped into his spot. He glanced at those around him, but nobody seemed to have noticed their brief exchange. He sensed something, but he wasn’t sure of what it was. But he knew that she was afraid of him, but how would she know what he was? But he slowly walked away, disappearing inside, but he could have sworn that she looked at him one last time.
The sight that met his eyes made he feel like a kid in a candy store. He quickly forgot about the young woman and made his way from booth to booth. He promised not to waste the entire day at the convention, but the hours slipped right past him. And he wasn’t too eager to leave, but something caught his attention. Something dark hovered nearby, but its focus was not on him.
An older gentleman bumped into Henry. He seemed nervous, but he shook it off. He quickly apologized for nearly knocking him down, and then he quickened his pace toward the bathrooms downstairs. And anybody else would have gone on without a second thought, but Henry saw his panic. And he knew something was wrong.
The men’s room was empty. After checking every single stall twice, the older gentleman relaxed. Maybe he was tired. He was up all night preparing for his presentation, and he turned toward the sink. Maybe cold water splashed across his face would bring him back to his senses, but as he leaned down toward the rushing water, the mirror before him rippled. And as his eyes rose to meet a shadowed face, a scream of horror met Henry’s ears.
Henry rushed into the bathroom, and the sight froze him in mid-step. A shadowed figure was sucking the life from the man, and he was unarmed. As he tried to think of what to do, the shadowed figure now turned toward him and grabbed him by the throat, lifting him off the ground. Its dark eyes searched his, and fear coursed down his spine. And he was tossed aside into a nearby stall, and as he turned toward his attacker, it raced back into the mirror, exploding into black dust.
“What the hell was that?” He rubbed his throat.
He struggled to his feet. His body shook, cold from its touch. He stumbled toward the man, but he knew he was gone. He pulled out his cell and dialed 911, but what would he tell them? What would he tell Magnus about the thing that could have taken his own life, but why didn’t it kill him?
Moonlight – Shadows of Forever
“You’re sure it was a vampire?”
Standing before a large window, Josef gazed out at the view. He loved looking at the city from this height. It did give him a sense of power, but it also gave him a feeling of connection. And it was something that he had lost a long time ago, and even the drink in his hand hardly gave him comfort as it once did. “You’re sure?”
“I’m sure, Josef.” Mick stood a distance behind him near Beth. “I just don’t know why someone would go through all that trouble to kill one of us.”
“Does it matter?” His gaze shifted from Mick to Beth. “There’s something different about you two?” He took a step toward them, but Mick stepped in front of Beth. “I see.” A soft chuckle escaped his mouth. “Good for you.” He raised his glass in a toast to Mick before polishing off the remains of the drink. “It’s about time.” He stared at the now empty glass.
“This isn’t about me, Josef.”
“You’re right, Mick.” He glanced over at Beth. “I’m sorry.” He smiled at the red color rising in her face. “Now, what about this witness, who claimed to see the whole thing go down?”
“I don’t know. Davis was very tight-lipped about it.” Beth cleared her throat. “I could do some digging.”
“That would be great because if you could find the witness, it might lead to some answers.” Josef placed the empty glass on his desk. “Otherwise, we’re at a… Dead-end.”
“Unless another vampire is murdered.” Mick and Josef exchanged looks.
“If she was a vampire, why didn’t she turn to ash?”
“Because, my dear, if you pump a vampire full of sulfur, it would prevent our bodies from turning into ash. Like Mick said, someone knew a lot to kill a vampire.” A sigh slipped from his lips. “There is something to this, something that I don’t like. I would be careful, both of you.”
Josef watched them leave his office. His finger lingered over the empty glass. Slowly, he moved over to his desk and sat down in the large, leather chair. He pushed a few papers aside until he found what he was looking for. A sad look crossed his face as he leaned back in his seat and stared at the list with Mick St. John’s name on it.