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How About a Free Chapter? – Pt 5

Welp, I’ve got a lot going on this weekend…and I don’t want to give y’all a bunch of nonsensical, bad posts (I mean, more ridiculous than usual), so this will be a weekend of free chapters from MKPI Odd Case Files: The Cow & The Coven!  From today through Sunday, you can read Chapters 5 – 8 for free here.  Hopefully, you all enjoy these chapters, and if you do–there will be a link at the bottom of the posts to take you to Amazon to purchase a paperback, e-book, or even borrow it for free from the Kindle Unlimited Borrowing Library.  Here we go!

If you haven’t read the first four chapters of MKPI Odd Case Files: The Cow & The Coven, you can find them here:

Chapter 1   Chapter 2    Chapter 3    Chapter 4

 

Chapter Five

“A Pain in The Pathology”

 

After finishing lunch with Zeph, it was decided that I would call the pathologist at the North Central Texas Animal Sciences Lab to go over his findings.  I didn’t want to be a complete novice about animal necropsy, so I opened my laptop and pulled up my browser to do some research.  I typed in ‘necropsy’ and was treated to a few shy of a bazillion results ranging from Wikipedia’s vague details to “animal autopsy” to “necromancy for beginners.” Lord, the internet was convoluted with nonsense.

After an hour of reading various websites, I basically learned that a necropsy is a simpler version of a human autopsy. They are performed by a pathologist and usually not your local vet—unless he happened to have advanced his studies into animal pathology. Boring stuff. Just as I was reaching for the phone receiver on my desk, the intercom buzzed and Geoff barked.

“Lady boss! I have a Dr. Rusty Graham on the other line wanting to talk to you or Zeph.  Zeph won’t answer his buzz…should I put him through or take a message?” I heard Gloria Gaynor playing in the background and I would survive Geoff’s idiocy.

After the ordeal of trying to get the number from Geoff earlier, I knew Zeph was ignoring him to avoid a complete breakdown of his wits. I told Geoff to put him through and to not hang up on him when transferring him.  I heard a muffled reply and crossed my fingers for success. I sent a silent plea to the Goddess and I was rewarded when Dr. Graham returned my greeting.  He sounded official and preoccupied but friendly.

“Ms. Mayeaux.”  Dr. Graham greeted me.  “I’m calling about the necropsy on that cow you and your partner were investigating this morning.”

“Thank you for calling.”  I replied.  “I really didn’t expect to hear from you so soon.  In fact, I was about to call you to find out a timeline on the necropsy…”

“That’s why I’m calling.”  He stopped me.  “Seems we have a problem.”

“Oh, no.” I sighed.  “What is it?”

“No, no, no.”  He gave a chuckle.  “It’s not what you might think.  However, I’d really prefer if you and your partner came to the lab to discuss some findings.”

“Already?”  I frowned.  “You can’t possibly be done so soon?”

“I’m not.”  He stated quickly.  “But there’s some…odd…preliminary findings I’d like to share with you.”

I figured that an animal pathologist would contact the police first if something odd came up.  I was wondering what Dr. Graham had found.  He interrupted my thoughts, leaving me to not wonder for long.

“It’s something we might want to discuss before I contact the police.”  He stated evenly, almost in a whisper.

The plot thickens.

I told Dr. Graham we would be there in an hour and looked forward to meeting him given the circumstances. I buzzed Zeph and explained the turn of events and that we had to get to the lab for an impromptu and clandestine meeting with Dr. Graham.  Zeph was just as skeptical as I was.

“I keep telling you it’s Martians! Why can’t people just stick with the simple tabloid answer and let us get paid?!?!”  He whined.

Laughing, I said ‘maybe the world would be a better place if we were all more like Geoff’. I was promptly hung up on which only made me laugh harder. Feeling a little less serious, I grabbed my duffel bag filled with various pieces of equipment and survival items I refused to leave home without.  I nudged my favorite cowboy hat onto my head before heading to the parking lot.

Unless there is a chance of Armageddon, nuclear war or well, muddy black land, I don’t drive my truck for everyday detective work.  I use something a little less conspicuous—a simple metallic light blue Mercury Sable.  It’s comfortable and practical.  When I approached the car, it happened. I could feel a presence had been there.

The energy left behind was crawling over my skin like spiders and I shivered in the warm Texas sun.  The presence of what I call Invasive Energy always gives me a sense of foreboding, and I dread the end result.  Nonchalantly I scanned my surroundings, looking for the source of the energy.  Unable to find anything close, I begin following the energy trail.

The force was greatest just outside the driver side door, telling me someone had stood in the spot recently and for a few minutes at the least.  Peering through the glass, I could see a large letter size envelope perched against the seat like a sentry.  A Rune was printed in black ink on the front side. Interesting.  I could also tell the anti-theft system’s alert indicator was dark, letting me know the alarm was off or had been disabled.

I pulled out my remote and clicked the lock button and the alarm immediately chirped and the lights came on letting me know it was now engaged and working. With the car somewhat secure, I began following the energy trail on foot while it was still hot and before it became convoluted with all the other elements and energy particles in the atmosphere.

The intensity of the bits of energy left behind depends on many factors. The main factors being how long the entity was in one place, the level of intensity of emotion of that entity and whether or not said entity knew how to channel or scatter their energy or completely disguise it to those who were empathetic to the traces left behind.  This entity had some skill at blocking, but had not mastered the art yet—or was untrained.

With some concentration, I traced the trail across the expanse of our parking lot and found it ended in the parking lot of the office building next door. Convenient. Parking in the next lot across the street meant that our lot could easily be seen by the entity. It also meant that the trail would be passed over by pedestrians and other cars—that made it harder to trace.

To make matters more boring, the trail ended in an empty parking spot.  Damn.  Another problem to resolve.  I felt the energy was not malicious. It felt more nervous, confused and uncertain.  Taking this into consideration, I headed back to our parking lot to deal with the envelope. Fortunately, the car was still where I left it and I disabled the alarm. I pulled a pair of latex gloves out of my handbag, slipped them on, and carefully opened the door just in case I might need the car or envelope dusted for prints later.  Luckily, the interloper cut me a small reprieve by leaving the envelope perched upright against the seat.  That made it much easier to handle by placing my hands on either side of it with only my palms touching the thin edges, again saving any fingerprints left.

Thank the Goddess for gadgets. I hit the button on the floor by the seat with my boot to pop the trunk. The trunk was mostly empty, save a rectangular shallow tote I keep for things I don’t want rolling around freely.  I placed the envelope inside the tote, breathed out heavily and slammed the trunk shut.

About that time Zeph arrived and I told him what was up and opened the trunk again to show him the interesting delivery now nestled inside the tote box in the bottom of the Sable’s trunk.  Considering the level of the energy, the envelope seemed fairly harmless.

Zeph and I discussed the importance or lack thereof and what to do. We decided to not take the car and take separate vehicles.  So, if this became important, we were able to preserve any forensic evidence left.  Just in case we had to involve the police later.  I don’t normally involve them in my own affairs unless absolutely necessary. But I will if you cross me and I cannot discreetly, ethically or legally deal with you.

I pushed the remote start key for my truck so it could start cooling off before I even tried to get inside.  All vehicles turn into saunas in Texas from May until late October. I paced back and forth, contemplating what the fuck was really going on.  This day had started out weird, what with the cow mutilation—and it was getting weirder.

We now had odd envelopes being left in my car, clandestine meetings with animal pathologists and weird energy trails.  Before I had a chance to try to figure out what was really going on, Zeph popped back up.  It was time to head out to meet Dr. Graham, so contemplating everything else would have to wait.

 

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Buy a hardcopy here or the ebook here.

And don’t forget that The Great Book Giveaway 2018 is still going on.  We’re in week #2, and a hardback cozy mystery bundle is the prize this week!  Check it out here!

Lastly, don’t forget to help out the K9 PRIDE Fund if you’re able!

 

Until next time…

 

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Allen T. St. Clair is an author, blogger, amateur cook, and all-around smartass, hustling to get his books and other projects noticed.

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