“Ugh. I have a bad feeling about this case, George.”
Payton steered the wheel to make a left turn. “Shit, man. I’m gonna have nightmares after watching the thing.”
I would too. The CCTV camera in the Dennings’ backyard caught six-year-old Jessica last night hovering mid-air. Hovering. At first, her back was facing the camera. Then her head turned. 180 degrees. But her body didn’t move. Only her head. There was no audio but you can see in her face that she was in agony. Then she started moving away, still hovering. Her head still turned to the camera. Her mouth still seemingly screaming out of pain.
“Do you think we’ll find her there? I don’t even think she’s still alive.”
I didn’t think either. The parents too. I asked Payton what he thought about them. He shook his head.
“They sound crazy they might even be our suspects.”
Mrs. Dennings was red-eyed this morning when she opened the door for us. She must have been crying after watching the CCTV footage. She told us that Jessica was their only child and before she was born, they’ve been trying to have a child for thirteen years. I empathized with her.
“Can you believe what that woman said to us? She said she regretted giving birth to the girl! What the actual fuck! They’ve been trying to have children and when this happened, they regret it. Irresponsible. You know? I bet they edited the video to get away with murder.”
Mr. Dennings joined us shortly after Mrs. Dennings shared her regret. He told us that they think their daughter is dead and they simply want her body back to give her a proper funeral. Mrs. Dennings murmured something in which her husband said,
It’s not like they didn’t warn us.
I asked him what he meant but he looked away, unwilling to answer. Mrs. Dennings, however, responded to the question.
“Who would believe their story? Aborted children get second chance? It’s ridiculous. Just.. fucking ridiculous.” Payton shook his head again.
Mrs. Dennings’ testimony was indeed ridiculous. She told us that they found a temple of ‘monks’ up north who claimed that they could help Mrs. Dennings give birth. They needed only an aborted fetus. She said it was a peculiar request but she was desperate so she stole one from an abortion clinic. Two months later, the test showed she’s expecting.
Payton pulled over. “Wow. How do you know? A temple does exist here. It looks abandoned though. You think they ac-“
I hushed Payton. The radio was getting something. At first it was static, then..
Payton looked at me.
… ahh.. Je.. they’re… here… for Jessica…
I opened the car door and got out, hand on my pistol. I shouted a warning. No response. There was only static on the radio. Payton got out of the car too and we slowly entered the temple. There was a foul smell coming from the inside.
“Fuck! What the fuck is that! That’s.. fuck.. I’m gonna throw up.”
On the floor were what seemed like mangled body parts of a small human being. The blue dress Jessica was wearing on the CCTV was torn to pieces, covered with crimson red.
Forensics identified the parts belonged to Jessica Dennings. Her body was most likely torn with medical scissors. The Dennings were questioned afterwards. There were no monks, not a single soul in the abandoned temple or nearby places.
Payton and I were dismissed that night. “Fuck, I hope I didn’t get Risa pregnant. That last transmission was flat-out scary.”
It was. It really was. Back in the temple, after requesting back-up to gather the remains, the radio started acting up again.
…look… it’s.. the.. father of.. the next… one…
I went home after drinking a couple of beers with Payton. My wife Karen was waiting for me in the living room. Her face was painted with joy as she showed me the white tube with two red marks on it.
I apologize for the crude language. It was necessary to establish Payton’s character. This won’t be the last you’ll hear from him.
If you’re confused about the story, read the title again and I hope you’ll get the connection.
Hope you enjoyed this story!