This month I’m taking part in the A-Z Challenge! Which means I’ll be writing 26 posts (on set days through the month) each one corresponding to a letter of the alphabet. Today is day 8, which means letter H.

My theme for the month is: Secret Diary Of A Serial Killer. Each post will be a new chapter in the story – I’m really excited to finally get this novel idea out of my head and into words. I hope you enjoy it! 🙂

Previous Chapter: Garbage Start from A: Anna

 

Hidden

Walking to the car felt like walking to my death. How did they get an I.D. so quickly? I’d been careful, just as I always am. She wasn’t anyone local, she didn’t have friends or family here, she was just passing through on a backpacking trip.

I sat silently in the car while Capinski drove us to the station. My hands clenched so tightly my nails dug into my palm.

I saw Anna when she first got to town, jumping out the back of a pickup she’d hitched a ride with. Everything about her matched the other victims, except her hair wasn’t blonde. That hadn’t been a problem for him in the past – one woman had dyed blonde hair, although she had done it to herself before being abducted, and I had to dye Anna’s after I took her. But no one else would know that. She was transient; she was perfect.

Except now she wasn’t. Now they have an I.D. for her.

I went over and over everything I’d done. From the moment I made sure to ‘accidentally’ bump into her at the coffee shop, to buying her a new drink, to becoming ‘friends’ and having lunch together that same day.

She talked about her family back home, how they didn’t know she’d gone backpacking because she didn’t want them to worry. They thought she was already staying in a fancy hotel somewhere at the end of her planned trail. Her friends were there already, waiting out her 2 week trip so they could all celebrate and have a girls long weekend before heading home. They wouldn’t know she was missing yet.

Capinski parked and we made our way into the station, every step made my legs feel heavier. The desk clerk waved us over to the Captains office, but Capinski stopped. I was so lost in my thoughts I almost walked into him.

“I need to grab the file from my desk, I’ll meet you in there,” he said.

I nodded without really hearing him, and headed to Captain Hood’s office. I could see him talking to Carly, the coroner, and started to feel a little less tense. Maybe I hadn’t slipped up. Maybe Carly found something I didn’t know about – a medical pin or plate with a serial number.

Still not great for me, to lose my only lead against Capinski, but nothing that would point the kill at me. At least not immediately.

I knocked on the door frame, looking through the open door. Hood waved me inside.

“Where’s Capinski?” He said.

“I’m here,” Capinski said from behind me.

“Good, close the door,” Hood said.

I did and then leaned against a filing cabinet near the door. Looking relaxed, but close enough to an exit to run if I needed to.

“Her name is Anna Barlow,” Hood said. “We don’t know much more than that right now. I’ve got some officers looking into it, but she’s likely from out of town.”

“How do we know her name?” I said. I couldn’t hold it in any more, the anxiety of not knowing was starting to make me feel sick.

“Anonymous tip,” said Hood.

“What?” I stood up straight.

“Yeah, the call came in while you were out at the crime scene. They didn’t leave a name, or number – though we have our techs working on that – and possibly used some kind of voice alteration device to hide their identity.”

“You’re treating them as a witness, or suspect?” Capinski asked, leaning back in his chair.

“At the moment, a witness,” said Hood.

A witness wouldn’t hide their voice, I thought to myself. Everyone in the room would be thinking the same thing. But I knew something they didn’t – Johnny, my tech guy who had helped me track down people before. If he could trace this call I’d have a real lead on the serial killer.

“Can I listen to the call?” I asked.

“We,” said Capinski, not looking my way, “Will go listen to it now.”

Next Chapter: Impatient