- Read Chapter One
- Read Chapter Two
- Read Chapter Three
- Read Chapter Four
- Read Chapter Five
- Read Chapter Six
Marie turned the page of the book in front of her and tried her best to ignore the detective sitting in a corner of the library, behind her own private cubicle. The detective – Caroline Summers – had been following her for the past three days and in that time Marie was sure Caroline was either a lousy stalker, or wanted to let her know she was being followed. Either way, it disturbed her. She had kept tabs on the investigation into Jake’s death, through the local news and had flinched every time she saw herself in it. Even though the local police had made it clear she was not a suspect, she was still not free to leave town. The bad thing was the longer she remained in town, the more difficult it was to move around. She was famous after all, and not in a good way.
Marie turned back to her book, whose current page described the different kinds of demons known to man. The page was littered with images of imps, leviathans, incubi, succubi and a few more demons she’d never heard a thing about before. Beside each vivid image was a short description about the demon and a reference page on where to find the full chapter on that demon. Marie noted the page for succubi. 93. She flipped to it and began reading, shooting occasional glances at her follower as she did. Soon, their eyes met and Marie let out a soft groan within her. She wasn’t one to run away from adversity. On the contrary, she’d been raised to confront them and this was one occasion she would. She closed the book, got up and made her way across the library to where Caroline sat. The look of surprise on the detective’s face brought a slight smirk to Marie’s face.
“What are you doing?” Caroline asked as Marie pulled a seat and sat down next to her.
“Oh does this go against your script? Did you expect me to duck and hide? Maybe get nervous and leave the library so you can follow me some more?” Marie asked, condescendingly.
“Be careful there. You might be falsely accusing an officer of the law of stalking you.” Caroline responded.
“Is that right? So what are you doing here?” Marie asked in an accusatory tone.
“Researching. This is a public library, isn’t it?” Caroline was the one who now had a smirk on her face.
Marie turned in her seat and looked around. The library was full of people sitting in the cubicles and those who silently drifted through the bookshelves from aisle to aisle, in search of something to read. Others still, sat in front of library computers probably researching various academic topics.
In the cubicle next to them, two other ladies were giving them accusatory stares. Marie sighed and turned back to Caroline.
“Have you made any headway with the case?” She asked, trying to change the subject.
Caroline raised a curious eyebrow at her.
“I don’t report to you.”
Marie smiled and nodded.
“Listen, detective. I know my rights. I am not a suspect in this case, but I do have a stake in it. I had a relationship with Jake. We were in love with each other and I am just as hurt as his family is. He died next to me. So believe me when I say I am still here for Jake. Not for you. This… isn’t about me and you.”
“Is that also the reason you’ve got that book in your hand? Doing your own investigation?” Caroline asked and nodded at the book Marie held.
Marie quickly put it inside her handbag.
“It’s not like you would consider it anyway.”
“I spoke to Helga Davis.”
Marie glanced back up at Caroline.
“Well? How did it go? What did she say?” Her inquisitiveness spiked at the mention of Jake’s ex.
Caroline stared at Marie for a while.
“You think she did this, don’t you?”
“My gut tells me she did this. I just have to prove it.” Marie said with an air of finality.
“That’s a lousy way to investigate. You know that right?”
Marie rolled her eyes and Caroline continued.
“You really aren’t supposed to know this. I need your word that what I say here, stays between us and you will not interfere in my investigation.”
“The discussion with Helga, didn’t yield much. There’s obviously an intense resentment for Jake… and you. He left her for you, didn’t he?”
“Well why wouldn’t he? She was such a jerk to him. When I met Jake, his confidence was rock bottom. He’s such a sweet guy and she took advantage of that. I could tell she was cheating on him. I’m a woman as well. I just thought it was unfair. I mean here was a cute guy waiting for her to break him in and she went banging some other fuck face.”
“Wait, what do you mean by break him in?” Caroline asked, leaning forward now.
“I thought I told you this back in the interrogation room. Jake was a virgin when I met him. I was his first.”
“I see.” Caroline paused in thought. “Helga had a book in her possession. I could not see the title clearly, but I bet my left ovaries, that it was a summoning book on succubi.”
“So she did it.” Marie stated.
“No that doesn’t prove a thing. For starters, we have no concrete evidence that a succubus killed Jake. The fact that I’m even considering this, is preposterous. Secondly, I didn’t see the title completely. I need to make sure my guess is right.”
“So what do we do now?”
Caroline glared at Marie, who swallowed before rephrasing her statement.
“I mean you. What will you do?”
“I’ll continue researching this topic. In the meantime, we’ll keep tabs on Helga.”
“Maybe I can help.” Marie offered as she leaned in and brought out the book she had kept inside her handbag. She showed Caroline the title.
“There’s one more copy of this book in the supernatural section. Oh, and I was just about to go to a shop that is not a supernatural shop in order to not speak with a man who happens to not be an expert in demonology.”
Marie leaned back and smiled wryly. Her face looked drawn and her eyes were tired. Caroline had to admit that despite her show of strength, she looked like a woman in grief. Marie tucked the book back inside her bag and got up.
“I’m not going there right this moment.” She said, as she walked away.
“Yeah… and I’m clearly not following you.” Caroline muttered as she hurriedly packed her bag and followed.
…to be continued.