Chapter 48

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Raymond took the next day off siting personal reasons after the suicide of his friend. That morning, he called Keith and arranged to meet up after his shift that day. They were good enough friends for Raymond to trust, and he needed to tell someone what had been going on. Keith was also young enough to get involved without thinking things over too much, which helped as well. He pulled his car up in front of Keith’s house and honked the horn, Keith came out and tried to wave him inside. Raymond honked the horn again and waved his hand out the window, motioning for Keith to come out. Keith gave a shrug and held up a hand, then went back inside and came out a minute later with a thermos of coffee and a couple cups.

“Really buddy, we gonna do this conspiracy style? I thought you were coming in for some beers” Keith said with a laugh.

“Driving helps me think is all.  At least you brought the coffee. What happened at the station last night? When I called this morning it sounded like it did the morning before. Another break in?”

Keith shook his head and sighed, “you really don’t pay attention to work if you’re not there do ya? Yea, another break in. This time some guy walked in and knocked everyone out cold. Didn’t take a thing, just looks like he watched security footage from the first break in.”

“What does he look like? If he just walked in he’d be shown on the tapes, do they have him yet?”

“Nope, sorry there buddy, the cameras all shut off. Tech guys can’t explain it and boss man is furious, again.”

Raymond did a double take, “cameras shut off? What do you mean?” he asked.

Keith just shrugged again and poured some of the coffee into a mug, setting it down in the cup holder next to Raymond before pouring himself a cup and taking a sip. “Don’t know old man, I saw it myself. One minute they were showing the entrance and front desk, the next they went black and didn’t come back on till the guy was past them. Don’t know how, but the guy managed to only shut off the cameras he was in front of, and only long enough to walk by. Everybody that got knocked out can’t remember a thing, and none of them have any marks. The only thing they can remember was everything going black, then waking up on the floor.”

“Kind of like the hospital” Raymond whispered quietly.

“What was that” Keith asked over his coffee.

Raymond glanced at Keith sideways, “this all stays between you and me, got it? No reports, all off the record.”

“Ok grandpa, whatever you say.” Keith jested.

Raymond told Keith everything, starting from when they found the strange ashes in the woods to Donald’s suicide. He told Keith about giving the ashes to Donald and the late night phone call begging for more. He told Keith about the kid that claimed to see someone there the night Donald died and how he moved too fast to see, just like the security tape showed, and how all the samples were stolen within twelve hours of each other that same night. The entire time Keith kept quiet, only nodding every now and then while he drank his coffee.

“I found this in his office when I went there to look for the first bag of ashes,” Raymond said pulling out the revolver and handing it to Keith, “don’t worry, rookie, it’s unloaded now.”

Keith shot him the finger and smelled the barrel, “yep, it’s been fired recently,” he said, looking over at Raymond, “you don’t think he killed himself do you?”

“No I don’t, I think whoever broke into the evidence room killed Donald and then came for our sample. He must have used our paperwork to find the lab we sent a sample to and took that one as well. I just don’t get the cameras though. Why didn’t they turn off for the first break in? Why only the second break in and the hospital” Raymond wondered.

“What about the hospital?”

“The night the girl was found after the attack. The cameras over the emergency room doors went black by themselves. When they turned on again she was lying in the doorway by herself, I saw the tape myself when I went to question the girl.”

Keith slurped down some coffee and stared out the window quietly. “You’d almost think it was two different people after the same thing, feels like two different people to me. What do you think” Keith asked.

Raymond shook his head, “a little more than just coincidence, other than that I don’t know.”

“What did the girl say attacked her again?”

“Poor girl was out of it, said she was attacked by a vampire.”

Keith choked on his coffee as he held in a laugh, “sorry buddy, didn’t mean to laugh at that” he said when he saw the expression on Raymond’s face, “it’s just a little hard to believe that…”

He was cut off when something flew out of the woods and came to a stop just in front of the car. Raymond yelled and slammed on the breaks, but it was too late. Something slammed onto the hood and crashed into the windshield with a sickening crunch, rolling over the car and landing in the middle of the road. The car came to a sudden stop, the smell of burned rubber and the sound of squealing tires barely registering to Raymond as burning coffee filled his lap.

“What the hell was that” Raymond yelled.

“I don’t know, turn around. Maybe you hit a deer or something.”

Raymond did a U-turn in the road, one of the headlights was broken and he had to put the brights on to see much past the shattered windshield.

“My god Ray, I think that’s a girl in the road” Keith said quietly.

They both jumped out of the car and ran to the girl, she was sprawled across the yellow lines lying face down, blonde hair covering the side of her face. Keith bent down and put two fingers on her neck, feeling for a pulse. The girl lay silent and unmoving, her clothes torn to shreds from rolling on the pavement.

“No blood, but no pulse either,” Keith said, “I think she’s dead.”

Raymond bent down and looked at the side of her face, it was too covered with hair for him to make out her face. With shaking hands Raymond gently moved her hair back to look at her face, he only pushed it back a few inches before he felt his heart skip a beat. “What the…”

“Ray, you need to call this in, it was an accident. She just ran in front of us. Where the hell did she come from” Keith yelled. His face had turned white in panic and he was pacing back and forth in the road.

Raymond looked up, his face was whiter than Keith’s, “I know this girl, but it can’t be her, she died in the hospital.”

Keith stopped pacing and looked at Raymond in shock, “that Kelly girl? Ray are you ok? We need to call this in now! We don’t have time for…”

Suddenly, the girl in the road opened her eyes, Raymond jumped back and yelled, falling almost all the way onto his back. With blinding speed, she jumped up off the ground and turned to Keith, a look of animal hunger and blind rage spread across her face. Raymond felt a scream catch in his throat as a gash that went all the way down to her cheek bone healed itself and saw the girl reset the bone in her upper arm with a sickening snap. Then, before either man could react she jumped at Keith, picking him up off the ground and pushing him back against the car. Raymond couldn’t even get himself to his knees before she went for Keith’s throat.

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