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 9, which means letter I.
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: Hidden Start from A: Anna
As we left Captain Hood’s office I heard a familiar sound coming from the other end of the room, near my desk.
“I’ll meet you in the tech lab,” I said to Capinski.
He nodded and headed for the stairs.
I made my way over to my desk, the ringtone getting clearer. In the middle of my desk was my phone. The phone that should have been in my pocket – where I put it when I left the house – but had somehow become ‘misplaced’ by the time I reached the office that morning. I eyed it warily, the lit screen showing ‘unknown caller’, before the ringing finally stopped.
I picked up my phone and turned it over in my hand, trying to see any obvious signs of tampering. Nothing visible externally but I knew that didn’t mean it was clean.
Looking towards the stairs I made the decision to leave the phone at my desk, for now. If it had been taken by the serial killer – a large possibility – he could have set it up to record or transmit whatever was being said. I wasn’t prepared to give him a heads up of our investigation any time soon.
Although that might help solve my Capinski problem, I thought to myself.
I shook my head and opened a desk draw to keep the phone locked up. It started ringing again and I almost dropped it. ‘Unknown caller’ flashed on the screen again. I turned down the volume before locking it in the draw.
He can wait to talk on my terms, I thought as I made my way to the tech lab.
Capinski was sat at a desk, with headphones on. I joined him and nodded hello to the tech guy tinkering with volume and other filters, trying to pick up different sounds from the call.
I put on some headphones and sat down.
“…Anna Barlow,” the altered voice said, before a very audible click of the phone hanging up.
“Play it again,” said Capinski.
There was some static before the recognisable voice of the desk clerk asking where to direct the call.
“The dead girl’s name is Anna Barlow,” said the altered voice. Then a click.
“That’s it?” I said, interrupting Capinski who was trying to ask for it to be played again.
“Yeah that’s it,” said the tech. “Anonymous tips are often short.”
“Play it again,” said Capinski.
We listened to the recording a lot more, each time trying different filters, seeing if we could isolate different sounds in the background or tell anything from the dialect of the voice. Capinski knew which specific filters to ask for so I let him run the show.
Eventually we both took off our headphones, the altered voice still sounding in my ears after hearing it so many times in succession.
“This is a dead end,” Capinski said, looking at me. “We should focus on finding information about Anna Barlow – where is she from, why was she here?”
I nodded. “Lead the way,” I said, standing up and motioning to the stairs.
I let him get far enough ahead before turning back to the tech and asking for a copy of the call.
“Sure,” he said, and put it on a thumb drive.
When I got downstairs I could see Capinski heading for the coffee room, so I took my chance and jogged to my desk to retrieve the phone and headed out to the parking lot.
No sooner had I leaned against a wall the phone started to ring again. The display said 6 missed calls.
I let it ring a few seconds before answering.
“You’re impatient,” I said to the caller.
He hung up on me.