I kicked down the front door of the house. The man that had taken her said she would be here, said he was done with her. No one on my FBI team knew what that meant, so all we could do was hope that she was still alive.
A thought crossed my mind and I looked at my unit for reassurance that they hadn’t heard. Did I hope she was still alive? After everything that I had let my mind take farther than I probably should have, I couldn’t even imagine the kind of mental scarring she would have if she lived through it.
My mind drifted and images of what I thought I was going to see plastered themselves in my vision. Images of her cold corpse. Her eyes would be glazed over yet staring, accusing. Dead, yet full of emotion. That emotion would be fear, forever frozen on her bloodless face.
A large bang snapped me back to the present. My boss had kicked open the basement door. Automatically, all guns pointed down the steps, but all eyes locked onto the camera mounted on the wall staring us in the face. The red light on the top showed that anyone at the station looking at my computer screen would be able to see us.
The shot of a dim lit area with a flimsy, brown door and wood paneled walls had appeared on my screen over a month ago. Beneath the door you could see two stones steps that led to the basement. Everyone was confused. I showed my boss, my coworkers, and V. Even after guns, too many to count, had been pointed between her eyes, never had I ever seen so much fear in those crystal clear, silver eyes as when she saw that door.
I heard someone say my name, as if from a distance. I didn’t respond. Instead I started down the steps to meet my fears.
By the time the video appeared on my computer screen, the unauthorized, non-official member of the FBI known only as V had not shown her face since the image had appeared. She was always trying to get a gun and a badge, but couldn’t. There were reasons, of course.
First of all she was only 16. She refused to say what her real, full name was. There was no police schooling in her background or an above average IQ. She was just a teenager who showed up at the police station one day and solved a week old case in three hours, saving a life. It wasn’t normal for her to be late to work, let alone be gone for almost a month now. My confusion became worry, the worry became fused with anger.
Had she just given up? Figured out she wouldn’t be able to get her badge here and just left without a word? She had reason to leave, but she was like family to the unit now. Just another one of us. Now she left without so much as a “See ya,” or the annoying “I'll hit you up later, suit.” And what the hell was so scary about that damn door?
From upstairs I could hear the faint voices calling “Clear! Clear!” as each room of almost mansion like house was inspected.
Flashes of the man over the past month sprang into my mind almost faster than I could register. At first it was just him. Then it became him coming into frame from the stairs damn near exhausted and covered in sweat. Later he would appear with more and more blood on him, licking it off his fingers on more than one occasion. In the last few days he was covered in the amount of blood I had only seen in cases involving the most horrific of sadists.
Even with the door at the top of the steps open all the way each step became a sliding foot to be sure there was a floor beneath it. All of the policemen in the room got out their flashlights. It hardly made any difference. The darkness before us was so deep that I found myself reaching out past the barrel of my gun expecting to touch a velvet veil.
My hand touched something cold. I moved the dim light closer and saw what I thought to be a wall. Shifting the light down, a handle was discovered. It almost seemed as though turning the handle would reveal nothing more than supplies for a pizza joint. Then it struck me. The handle was an odd rusty brown color.
I didn't want to know what I knew. It wasn't paint. It was blood. Should I even be shocked by now? I know there will be a lot of blood, I just figured he had cleaned it up. I mean, we watched him bring down a power washer.
"I've got a light switch." A voice from the back of the room. So out of place in the slowing scuffling of feet on the cement.