Becca Williams pulled her jacket tighter as she walked through the park, glancing around every so often to make sure she didn’t miss the walkway that lead to the main part of the park. She had received a call from her friend Julie about fifteen minutes earlier begging her to come pick her up since she couldn’t handle being alone at the moment.
“Julie?” She called as she finally found the pathway.
“Bec?” She heard the familiar voice call back and she walked into the rotunda and found her sitting on a bench near the place where her younger sister Lori had been killed.
“Hey, buddy,” She said quietly as she walked over and took a seat next to Julie, her heart nearly breaking as she saw the tearstains on Julie’s cheeks. They sat for a few moments in silence before a sob escaped Julie and she buried her head in her hands.
“I can’t stop thinking about her,” She let out and Becca pulled her into a hug, brushing Julie’s hair behind her shoulders and letting her get out her tears. When she finally stopped, Julie pulled away from her and gave her a sad smile. “I’m sorry.” She apologized and Becca shook her head.
“Don’t be,” She told her firmly as she stood up and offered her hand to help Julie to her feet. “Come on, I need to get back to the café since Bethany is covering for me. You can come with and get something since I’m sure you haven’t eaten yet.” She continued as Julie took her hand and stood up.
“You know me to well.” Was all Julie said, and Becca flashed her a smile as she led her out of the park and to where her car was parked, getting in and driving them back to the park.
Garth had called ahead to the law firm, posing as a relative to Mr. Morgan, and as such was let into the underground parking lot. He made his way to the elevator and rose to the floor the secretary had said Morgan’s office was on. He put a stick of blackcurrant bubblegum in his mouth. He was still wearing baggy cargo like pants and a hoodie from before; perfect for his ruse. Maintaining the American accent would perhaps be a bit of a challenge, but he was getting better at it the longer he stayed here.
Instead of going professional and having all the answers as a cop disguise would, he was pretending to be a young guy who didn’t really care and had no details whatsoever.
He approached the secretary and smacked the gum in his mouth, the powerful smell of it on his breath. He leaned against the counter and said, “Yeah, hi, I called before? I’m here to grab that stuff.”
The secretary looked down her nose at him and replied, “And what…..stuff…..are you here to collect, exactly?”
Garth shrugged, popped the gum, and replied, “I dunno, just some files and stuff. My mom gave me a list.”
She looked at him suspiciously. “I don’t know. Maybe I should call - ”
“Look, lady,” Garth interrupted. “I’ve got my mom on my ass to do something other than to watch TV. So I offer to do this, and I figure that earns me enough points to do nothing for another month or so. But I come back empty handed, and my ass is back on the street, okay?”
She looked imperiously at him for a few moments before standing and saying, “Follow me.”
Getting her out of the room once he was in there was a snap, merely asking her for some boxes to put the random artifacts he was collecting into did the job. As soon as she was gone, he attacked the drawers of Morgan’s desk; no PDA, but a few phone numbers scrawled on scraps of paper that Garth shoved into his pockets.
Next, the file cabinets, searching for any of the names of the other victims, and pretty soon….
“Well, hello!” Garth exclaimed, pulling out a file. Gonzalez, Yadira. The wife of one of the victims, filing for divorce. Smiling, he hid the file in his back and headed for the door. He paused, turned, pocketed the antique pocket watch that had been in Morgan’s drawer, and left.
“Thank God you’re back!” Bethany exclaimed as Becca walked into Coffee Talk, the local coffe/café place she currently worked at.
“Why? It’s not even busy.” Becca questioned as she glanced around; there was a couple sitting in the café, and one woman sitting outside by herself.
“Two more bodies were found and it sounds like the same dogs that attacked…” Bethany trailed off as she saw Julie enter into the café. “I’ve got to go check the til.” She quickly said and then made her way back to the counter, obviously not wanting to be around Julie.
“What was she talking about?” Julie asked and Becca looked at her a moment before deciding it was best to just tell her the truth.
“Two more people have died.” She said. Julie’s eyes widened and she walked over to the counter to take a seat, shaking her head. Becca gave her a worried look and followed.
Julie asked quietly, “Why does this keep happening, Bec? What did any of these people do to deserve this? What did Lori do to deserve this?”
Becca just looked at her, not knowing what to say because she didn’t know what was going on herself.
“I wish I could tell you,” She said, and it was the truth. She wanted more than anything to find out what was really going on since it was obvious these weren’t normal dogs. She had heard about Black Dogs and the works vaguely while research supernatural beings once and had a slight suspicion that that was what they were dealing with. But she couldn’t be sure until she did some more digging and in order to do that she had to do three things:
1. Finish her shift
2. Make sure Julie was home and safe
3. And find a sidekick.
“Becca, I need you to wait on table three!” She heard Bethany yell and Becca sighed, getting up to put her apron and nametage back on; this was going to be a long night.
Chase rubbed a hand across her mouth, still thinking about the current case, and then stood up. She walked inside to pay, planning to leave and get to work, when a young woman sitting by herself in one of the booths caught her eye.
Julie Harris. Bingo.
Quickly she paid, and then doubled back to the woman.
“I’m sorry, are you Julie Harris?” She asked.
Julie nodded weakly, looking like she didn’t wanting someone goggling the fact that she was infamous.
“I’m so sorry. I have a younger brother and if something happened to him I’d - ” Chase stopped herself, not really wanting to go down that path. “Do you know why this happened? Any idea why these things might have gone after your sister?” She asked, trying to gently pry information from the woman.
A younger girl walked up, maybe seventeen, and Julie look to her as if for help, and Chase just stood there until she either a) got the information she wanted or b) was thrown out.
“Excuse me,” The younger girl said, giving Chase an annoyed look.
“Bec, it’s okay.” Julie said to the girl, but Julie’s plea was ignored.
“Look, my friend has been through hell and doesn’t some nosy reporter or whatever the hell you are trying to play twenty questions. She’s already talked to the police and as far as I’m concerned, they are the only people who need to know this information, okay? Just back and order or you’ll be kicked out.” She told Chase, her voice and threatening, anger clearly showing on her face.
Chase simply returned the gaze, her expression blank. She was fairly used to people jumping down her throat for the questions she asked, which was perfectly understandable and even expected; but it didn’t make it anymore pleasant.
Bec, as she’d been referred to, wore a Coffee Talk apron, identifying her as an employee.
“I believe I only asked two.” Was the only thing Chase gave in response, her tone neither snide nor rude. She looked down at Julie, who’d been staring at the table through this, and when Chase’s eyes fell on her, Julie looked up again.
“I really have no idea why this happened,” She let out a small sob. “We were just in the park……there were people all around…..but they went after Lori.” She started to cry and quickly covered her face with her hands.
Chase glanced down; she never liked it when they cried. She understood it far better than most people realized, but the comforting part wasn’t really her.
“Happy now?” The girl named Bec demanded of Chase, rubbing Julie’s back now.
“I’m very sorry.” Chase said again.
A bell jingled over the store, announcing a new arrival, and someone called for Bec to go see to them. She got up, giving Julie a reassuring smile and shot Chase another glare, and then left Chase and Julie alone.
Chase slid into the seat across from Julie in the booth. “What did these dogs look like?”
Julie didn’t respond, only biting her lip and staring at her hands. “Julie, I think I can stop these things that killed your sister before they kill anyone else, but I need you to tell me everything.” She reached across and put her hand on Julie’s and Julie looked at her with a strange mixture of hope, distrust, and pure confusion.
“What did you say your name was?”
“Kara Anderson.” Chase replied without blinking. She rarely, if ever, gave out her real name. If people didn’t even know your real name, they couldn’t find you if they so chose.
“You know, somebody came to speak to me earlier about this. I never knew so many people were interested in random dog attacks.” Julie gave an obviously forced smile and wiped away some of her tears.
Chase tilted her head, finding this fact interesting. “Did you get their name?”
“What? No, he was just some jogger or something that came through the park. Why?”
“Uh, no reason.”
Julie nodded and grabbed a tissue to wipe her eyes as if she was now tired of sobbing. “It was just a pack of four black dogs. Nothing more.” She said, though it reminded Chase of someone trying to convince themselves.
“And there was nothing a little strange about these animals?”
Julie looked across at Chase and then paused.
“What is it?” Chase pressed.
Julie shook her head. “Nothing. Just….”
Julie waited for a few minutes and then finally said, “I thought…..I thought their eyes were glowing red. But that’s impossible, right? Dog’s eyes don’t glow red. They don’t glow at all.”
Chase nodded, knowing differently, but knowing better than to tell Julie.
After Becca’s shift was over, she slid into the seat next to Julie and slid an arm around her shoulders. “Are you okay?” She asked in concern.
“Yeah, I’m fine. Just a little shook up from the questions Kara was asking.” Julie answered and Becca shook her head.
“Want me to go kick her ass?” She asked and Julie laughed quietly.
“No, but thanks for the offer,” She replied and Becca shrugged.
“Well, the offer will be there if you change your mind. You ready to go?” Becca asked, standing up, and Julie nodded. She stood up and Becca slid an arm protectively around her shoulders.
“Hey, Bec,” Julie said quietly as Becca was unlocking the door.
Becca smiled at her friend and climbed into the car. “You’re welcome.”
The next day, Jake Finley was in St. Paul. In that time, he’d gotten himself a motel room and had a quick shower before he headed out. He wasn’t sure whether the “dogs” would attack again, but he hoped they would.
Since he had no car to sit in, he decided to sitting in a place near where he expected them to attack was just as well. Stepping into Coffee Talk, it was actually pretty crowded for midday; there was a convention in town. He sighed and ruffled his hair; he was carrying a concealed weapon with a few silver bullets and a compact canvas bag. He spotted a young girl about eighteen or so behind the counter and he gave her a grim smile, hoping he didn’t attract too much attention to himself with the small bag. He took a seat at one of the back booths, affording himself privacy to leaf through his book, but still catch snippets of conversation.
The girl from behind the bar walked over to take his order and he ordered a small coffee.
Brooklyn Jackson sat in a motel room, doing a bit of research on her trusty laptop. She was mainly trying to see if she could come up with anymore information about the victims, see if any of them were connected. But after about an hour of searching, all she could come up with was random information that didn’t help much. The only way she was going to get anything useful was to speak to the friends and family of the victims.
So, she turned off her laptop, grabbed a couple weapons, just in case, and her purse and headed out to speak to the family of Hector Gonzalez.