Gone From Daylight: The Secret Death Of Billy Chase

by Comicality

It took nothing at all to break down the door in this shabby old abandoned building. It was barely holding itself together as it was. But I had already gotten a warrant, and this seemed to be the right place…so I did what I had to do to get inside. Looking around the place it was practically empty. Hardly any furniture, no decorations on the wall, completely empty refrigerator…I was starting to think I was too late….and that my target had moved on.

 

I had my team move in and start looking around for anything that could help us get a handle on where he might strike next. I’m getting close now. I can practically taste it.

Examining the scene, I took out my mini recorder for my assessment.

“Jeffery Ashton – Chicago PD. A new lead in the case I’ve been working on for the past eight months has finally paid off. It seems our local neighborhood killer had left behind enough foolproof evidence to trace him back to this apartment. Heh…if you can call it that.” I said, looking around a bit more. “Dingy, dirty…no electricity, no heat, no running water. Makes me wonder how an abandoned building like this could even be inhabitable for more than a day or two tops. Packed in a box, I found some music, an old video game system…not much else. It’s almost like a teenager was living here.”

I ran my finger over the tops of the shelves, finding a healthy layer of dust over just about everything. Then clicked on the recorder again.

“My forensics team and I stumbled across something ‘strange’ in our search for the guy who’s been preying on the helpless population of the northwest city suburbs. Seems people turn up missing without a trace quite often these days. At least twice a month. Sure we hear whispers every now and then, but we hardly ever seem to recover an actual body. I’ve attempted to ask further questions about these disappearances, but I’m constantly running into a brick wall whenever I push too hard. The higher ups have taken a rather peculiar, ‘No body, no crime’ approach to this, and that’s just not normal. They hinder my investigation at every turn. Every time I think I’m getting close to some kind of an answer on this case, I get the door slammed in my face. I even had the highest ranking officers turn white right in front of me for asking, what I assume, were the wrong questions. They told me to just leave it alone. Actually…their exact words were, ‘Back the fuck off….if you know what’s GOOD for ya! This thing is bigger than you know.’ But that’s not good enough for me. I want to know what’s going on. People DON’T just vanish like this, and a collection of bodies DON’T just disappear into thin air. They may think I’m gonna get spooked and back out of this thing, but I’m not. I’m following it through to the end. And it all starts with what we found right here in this apartment.”

“Detective Ashton?” Came a voice from behind me, and I saw a man standing there, with short, dark blond, hair and a trench coat. He had a young face, but carried himself as though he had been doing this for quite some time. I suspected him to be in his late twenties, maybe a bit older. He had some stubble on his chin, so I’ll give him an added year or two. He walked over and shook my hand. Firm grip. “I’m Detective Thompson. I specialize in missing persons cases. This one in particular. Can we talk?”

I looked at him sideways for a moment, but hardly knew what else to say to him just yet. “Yeah, no problem.” I said, and invited him further into the hallway. “Exactly what was it that you wanted to talk about, Detective Thompson?”

“I wanted to match some notes with you on this case. Give some info, gain some info…” He told me.

Gain some info, huh?”

“Yes. Specifically about the things that you found in this apartment.” He said. “Particularly…the ‘items’ that you found on the shelves in the living room.” Again…I narrowed my eyes slightly, wondering what the hell else he knew about this case and why he was suddenly able to just blow into my crime scene unannounced and ask me for sensitive materials without my authorization. But, without losing his half-hearted grin, he simply said, “Please, don’t misunderstand me. I’m not hear to steal any of your thunder on this investigation. I’m just trying to work a few things out. I would really appreciate your cooperation. This is a very important find.”

“And why is that?”

“Because…if they are what you SAY they are…then this is what I have spent the last decade and a half of my life trying to locate. I have been working on this case for longer than you can imagine, with no leads. No proof. No assistance from anyone high ranking enough to give me a straight answer.”

“I know the feeling.” I said.

“Then you must understand how UTTERLY important it is that I get to view this evidence.” He told me.

“Well, I can’t promise you all that, Detective Thompson. This stuff is all going back to be catalogued and tested, and when you go through the proper channels, I’m sure they’ll…”

“NO, Detective.” He said sternly. “You send this back with the proper protocol and I can TELL you what’s going to happen to it. It’s going to vanish. And you’re never going to see it again. Trust me…I know. That’s exactly what happened to the first batch that I stumbled across. An entire collection…’poof’. Gone forever without a trace. I even spoke to the security chief that I handed it to personally…and when I came back to review them, he acted as though he had no idea what I was talking about. I went over his head, tried to report the incident…but nothing came of it. It wasn’t long before I received a ‘not-so-subtle’ threat from a classified section of the Bureau, telling me not ask anymore questions, and that there were more important things that I should be worried about. It was as if every last piece of evidence had been ‘intercepted’ by the invisible hands of God himself.” He said, now lowering his voice to just above a whisper. “Please, Detective. I don’t mean to compromise your investigation here…but you know, and I know…that the second this thing leaves your sight…you’re never gonna see it again. You HAVE to let me look at them. Please.”

I didn’t like it. Not at all. And I stared him right in the eye…seeing if I could sniff out a lie. Or perhaps a very well-crafted trick. But he was either being sincere, or he was damn good at being deceptive. “They don’t leave my sight. So if YOU’RE here with them, then I’M here with them. Got me?”

Thompson seemed pleased. “Deal!”

“What do you need?”

“Just some privacy, and some light.”

“You’ve got it. Twenty four hours. No more. And you sign this sheet to show that you handled them personally.” I turned to the rest of the crew, searching the other rooms of the house as he signed his name on the document. “Alright fellas, pack it up. Let’s take what we got so far and start on that paperwork. We’ve got a killer on the loose, let’s turn the heat up on him and lock this bad boy away before he does anymore damage.”

It only took five minutes for everyone to file out and leave us alone. I looked back, and Detective Thompson was practically bouncing on his heels in anticipation. What was his real connection to all of this? What could have him so obsessed over something like this for so many years? When I walked back over to him, he tried to calm himself down and hide his anxiety behind a rather professional smile. “So…you have them here, in the living room?”

“Yeah…right this way.” I said suspiciously. I took him into the old living room, and I grabbed each of the three dusty boxes we found on the shelf, putting them on the floor.

“Ooh ooh…careful.” He cringed, then breaking out into a smile, Thompson knelt down in the dust to look closer. “These are sooo important. So VERY important. This may be, in fact, be the key to finding your ‘killer’, Detective.”

“Really now?”

“Indeed.” And Thompson opened up the first box to finally lay eyes on the evidence within.

A series of notebooks…journals…all handwritten, going back at LEAST 16 years. Put together in sequential order, every single day. Boxes of them. At least 100 journals, filled to capacity on both sides of the page. Not a single smear of ink. It would have had to have taken years to even fake something like this. It seemed like a rather elaborate vampire story from the few short passages that I had read from them so far. As told through the eyes and disjointed thoughts of a fifteen year old boy. Interesting concept. But from the Way Detective Thompson treated one of the first books as he carefully lifted it out of the box at random and blew the dust off of the front cover…you would have thought it was an undiscovered chapter of the Bible or something.

“Yes…” He whispered to himself with a smile. He wiped away more dust from the cover, and then whispered the name aloud. “…Billy Chase.” He reached in to grab a few more of the journals and turned to me as he held them close to his chest. “You have no idea what you’ve got here, Detective Ashton. What you are looking at…just might be solid proof of what is going on in our fair city. Not out in the open….but back in the shadows. When they think we’re not looking.”

They?” I asked.

“Yes….Detective. ‘They’.” He said, and left it at that. He gathered up a few more books in his arms and took them to a nearby counter, placing them down gently on the cleanest spot he could find. “I have been searching for oh so long. Waited YEARS to get my hands on these texts again.” He saw me looking at him like he was half crazy, and invited me to take a closer look. “You see…these books and many others like them, are a day to day account of what we believe to be a boy that disappeared from this very area, many years ago. He hasn’t been seen since, but…THESE entries…are dated as recently as a few weeks ago. The few people who have lid eyes on these texts believe it to be fiction. The creative workings of a much older writer, simply writing from the perspective of an eternal teenager that never grows any older. BUT…I don’t think they’re fiction at all. He IS a teenager. And he always will be.”

“Ok…if you don’t mind me saying so, that is not ONLY the biggest line of bullshit that I’ve ever heard….but it’s also got nothing to do with me finding my killer.” I told him, now wondering if I’ve wasted my time even letting this loony goofball anywhere near my crime scene.

“Farfetched, I know. And I’m sure the people that have been hindering your previous investigations AND mine would want you to believe the same thing. But if you’re willing to humor me for a second, why don’t you bring your case file over here? I have something to show you.” He said. I stood with my arms folded for a moment, and Thompson looked me in the eye. “You have nothing to lose, Detective. Prove me wrong and call me crazy, or prove me right and get one step closer to finding your bad guy. Either way…you win.”

“Alright…I’ll bite.” I told him, getting my paperwork.

“Interesting choice of words.” He smiled. I put my folders down, and he simply told me to, “Pick a crime. Any crime.”

“…..Alright.” I said, opening up to a random page. “How about this one? Willis Morrow, age 23. February 17th, 2009. He was found…”

“No no no…don’t tell me anything more…” He said, scrambling through the notebooks and finding one with that exact date again. He traced through a few paragraphs with his finger, until he found the one he was looking for. “Here…you see? February 17th. Read it for yourself….”

 

 



Wednesday


…Once again, the hunger became too much for me to hold off for any longer. Then again…mabe that’s just something that I tell myself to sleep with a clear conscience. After so many years, can I really pretend not to be used to doing this anymore. I dragged that guy into an alley by the elevated train tracks, and I bled him dry as the screeching wheels of the Brown Line ‘L’ Train drowned out his cries for help. I had to bite him three times. He kept pulling himself free. He was a fighter, that’s for sure.

I feel much better though. I don’t want to feed for a while. It always makes me kinda sick when I think about it too much. I don’t know. Some days I can do it blindly without having to go through this whole mental torture, moral punishment, routine. But then there are other nights…nights like tonight…when I have to wonder whether or not I’m the soulless monster in the dark that people fear when they walk the streets at night. And whether or not I deserve to be slayed…for the terrible things I’ve done.

Gotta go. Dawn is coming.

Later…

-Billy

 

Detective Thompson looked back up at me with a smirk. “Let me guess…this ‘Willis Morrow’ was one of the very FEW bodies that you were able to actually find, correct? The other disappearances were just assumed dead by the traces left at the scene. But I’m guessing that your serial killer has gotten better at covering his tracks. And this corpse had three bite marks in him, didn’t he? Drained dry of every last drop of blood. Found right in that same alley…under the elevated train tracks.” He asked. “Am I getting warm?”

“How did you know that? That information wasn’t even released to the media…”

“Don’t you get it? Everything is right here. In these journals. All of it. Chances are…if you’ve got it in your case file…it’ll be somewhere in these journals. Date for date, incident by incident. It’s almost like an obsession for him. Billy never misses a day.” He opened another journal, and said, “Within these handwritten pages…you’re either gonna find the story of a writer gone mad…lost in his own fiction and committing murders under the delusion that he’s a real life vampire…or the story of a local boy who went missing…and what happened to him…after.”

I scoffed at the idea. I’m not really one for having him bring supernatural nonsense into a serious investigation. But…then again, I didn’t have to re-open that folder to know that the details from the journal’s account and the body we found were spot on. Right down to the three sets of puncture wounds on the neck and shoulders. And THAT…made me curious. “I take that to mean I should get some coffee brewing?”

“I should think so. We’ve got a lot of reading to do.”

Over the next hour and a half, Thompson and I sat in that dusty room, reading page after page of the journals in that box. At first it seemed like such a waste of time…reading this so-called…teen vampire story. Call me boring…but I’m only really interested in ‘reality’. Facts. Something that I can relate to. This fantasy sci-fi stuff really isn’t my thing at all. But I have to admit, that I as I came across some familiar dates in my case file, I DID notice some undeniable similarities between his story and the case files. Times, dates, locations, injuries…it’s taken what was once a folder of crime scene photos and typed up police paperwork…and turned it into a living, breathing, account of what ACTUALLY happened. At least in hiseyes. The way he was writing his brutal murders into the story, the real life intertwined with that vampire nonsense…was almost seamless. I could almost say that I was impressed. If he got this stuff published…he might have made a nice enough living to leave the whole ‘serial killer’ occupation behind him.

I saw Detective Thompson searching through each book, completely absorbing every detail off of every page. Sucked in to the point of being in a trance. He seemed to be looking for something. His fingers tracing the pages as he flipped through them. He was even more involved than I was. But I guess he’s been working the case longer. I’m sure he was excited for the opportunity.

I went back to one of the books in front of me, and heard the journal crack slightly as the dusty cover was bent backwards. I thumbed through to a random page and began to read…

 

 



Friday


– Friday nights. The city comes alive so much more on Friday nights. It’s refreshing. It lets me walk among the rest of the human world, and kinda remember what it was like to be one of them. To be a part of something so blissfully unaware of the reality that we exist. In GREAT numbers, no doubt! There was SO much that I didn’t know back then. Stuff that I ‘pretended’ to know. Naive mistakes that I had made. Unpredictable consequences from bad teenage decisions. Heh…I was so young. I miss that. It was comforting….being unaware.

I’ve been away from my home for far too long. I have to keep moving around. Can’t leave too strong a trail behind in one place. One town. I had to disappear for a while. Feed somewhere else, far away from here. But now that it’s been about nine months…it’s almost like I never left. So much of the scenery has changed from when I was growing up, and yet the feeling is still so familiar. I’d think, after the things I’ve done, that I wouldn’t fit into this wholesome background anymore. That I would have completely given my mind over to becoming a heartless predator with no self control whatsoever. But who knows…maybe it’s the city itself that has become the predator. And I’m just a carbon copy of the scavengers it puts out on the streets. A much needed visible side effect of its unforgiving nature…it’s disgusting ‘rape’ of society as a whole. How is what I do any different than the advertisers on TV and billboards? The ones who invade the internet and FORCE their fucking ads on you EVERY TIME you click on fucking ANYTHING??? The predators that push and forcefully insert their brainwashing into your mind against your will? Right now…they’re looking for evenmore ways to STEAL the money right out of our pockets…with flashy ads and animations that pollute the internet with their filthy greed motivated bullshit. They feed off of us the same way that vampires do. Except most of *US* do it to survive! Not just to profit from the impulse buys of others.

Ugh! I’m rambling. My mind gets so mixed up sometimes when I haven’t fed. Makes me crazy. Weird outbursts. I’ll try to stay focused.

I went back to the old neighborhood tonight. I don’t know why. It’s been 15 years since I walked past my old driveway. There’s some newfamily living there now. They have a teenage son named Jack who’s about 16, I’d guess. VERY cute! Hehehe, here I am, 31 years old…and the teenage boys still get me hot. Wild. Not that I look any older than he does, but still…it’s best to leave it alone. I wonder if he has my old room. Boy, did I have some good times in that house. Hehehe, he’s probably still staring at spots on the wall back where my headboard used to be, and not knowing that they’re from the MANY orgasms I had in there. Hehehe, as hot as he is, maybe he beat my record? I’m sure the girls and guys alike must want to keep him well ‘stimulated’ throughout his school days.

I’ve been using my extra to track down as many of the old gang as possible. Not for any sinister reasons, of course. I’ve just been curious. Hell, maybe that’s my only reason for really coming back here at all.

Memories.

I’ll be trying to keep a record of what I find. But first…I’m starting to get the shakes something awful. My blood supply is low. And that means another late night snack. I’ll write more later once I’ve cleaned up.

Seeya…

-Billy

 

I heard Detective Thompson chuckle a bit to himself as he read a particular passage from one of the journals he had on his side of the room. I glanced over briefly, but he was too involved to even pay me any attention. So I went back to reading.

Some of the pages were simple day to day thoughts. With no profound statement made, no huge jumps forward in the telling of the story. It wasn’t really written like a novel. Or even a novel trying to look like a journal. It was almost as if…

…But that’s nonsense. He’s a vampire for crying out loud.

I heard pages turning, and Thompson was smiling more eagerly with every word that he read off of those pages. To him…these books must have been his Holy Grail. His Moby Dick. His Fountain of Youth. I imagine that I’ll get the same satisfaction when I find my killer.

 

 



Thursday


– I saw a vampire couple today that made me really think about how lonely darkness can be without someone to share it with. And it was two BOYS, too…which made the ache even worse. They were just standing at the end of Navy Pier…out by the old anchor, and staring out into the lake together while holding hands. They shared a sweet kiss on the lips…and nobody cared. Nobody even noticed. All that time I spent being terrified of being out of the closet, and here these two ten vampires have found a way to get past the agony and the paranoia and just…go for what makes THEM happy.

Thoughts of Brandon keep slipping into my mind, reminding me of how much I miss him.

It’s been years since I’ve even laid eyes on him. I wonder what he looks like now…all grown up. I’ll bet he’s still the prettiest boy on the block. I just know it. I’ve never found anyone quite like him to call my own. Not a single boy since has come anywhere close, in fact. But he wasn’t meant for me to have. It wouldn’t be right. Especially after what I did to Stevie.

I wish that I could say it was a ‘accident’ running into Stevie in that dark parking lot that night as he was getting off of work. But the truth is, I had been tracking him for about two weeks prior…waiting until I was savagely thirsty for blood so that I could make it hurt EXTRA when I tore into him. Son of a bitch. I have to admit…it felt good. Of all the donors I’ve fed upon…Stevie was my favorite. He was the first conscience free killing that I ever committed.

Hehehe, crazy…

I miss Lee. I miss Bobby. I miss Jimmy, and Simon, and Trace. Randall and Joanna and Jamie Cross. But…more than anything…I miss Sam. But I know I have to keep my distance. From all of them. But Sam specifically. He won’t just give up on finding me, I know. And that’s sweet and all…but…I doubt I’ll be the same best friend that used to sit on the Hill with him and discuss…’whatever’, you know?

I’ve got to end this here. I’ve found sanctuary for the next few nights, but I’ve got to get there before they fill up with other vampires for the night. Otherwise, I’m shit out of luck. I’ll write more later…and keep stashing my journals in this building. They’ve been safe there so far.

No idea what happened to the first batch of journals I had. They’re all gone. I hope nobody’s reading them. Nobody that I KNOW, anyway. I’m sure they’d be pretty weird to anybody who didn’t know me. Reading them as fiction…what would be the point?

Later.

– Billy

 

I went on, page after page, book after book…taking some notes of my own. Places that he visited, people he knew that I might be able to bring in for questioning, matching certain details with the crime case photos and paperwork. I wasconvinced that this was our murderer. The dates and times were too exact too many times in a row to just be mere coincidences. I kept absorbing as much as I could, but…I’ll have to admit that some of the details…I don’t know. They got to me. Even for a guy who’s seen just about everything a killer could do to a person, the way he spoke about it first hand gave me the chills. Something about his details just seemed a little too ‘real’ for me….

 

 



Saturday


– Saturday night. Another bite. Another meal. Another month that I get to exist in the endless darkness of night. It hurts to be like this sometimes. I try to pick people that are bad…but how can someone really be the judge of something like that? Hell…despite some of my previous statements in this book…I even feel a little bit of remorse for Stevie.

Only a LITTLE though.

The guy that I hunted tonight…he didn’t die right away. It really screwed with my head, I guess. I sank my teeth in, I fed until I was full, and he had stopped struggling and spasming…so I thought that maybe…he was just slag. Nothing more.

But when I stood back up…he was still alive. You can always tell when a body doesn’t have any ‘life’ in it anymore. It rests different on the ground. The eyes go dim. The skin and muscles sag in an abnormal way. But this guy was still fighting to hold on. To keep his soul. Small gasps for air. An almost nonexistent heartbeat. There was soooo much blood. When there’s that much spillage, it bleeds black…almost like oil. It spreads so fast, spurting, covering the cement in a thick crimson ooze. He was too big for me. He had too much blood in him for me to take him all by myself. So much left over. So much wasted. The soles of my sneakers were covered in his gore, and I stepped back, turning my back as his spirit finally let go.

Disturbing. I didn’t like this one. Sometimes…when you feed on a donor, you get a bad experience. This was one of them.

– Billy

 

I suddenly felt a hand on my shoulder, and I jumped in shock. “Whoah, hey…you ok there?” It was Thompson, standing over me. I hadn’t even realized how deeply involved I was getting with what I was reading. “You wanna take a break? Coffee’s still hot.”

“Yeah. Yeah, that sounds like a good idea.” I said, and stretched to revive a bit of my energy as we both went into the kitchen for a caffeine fix.

Thompson poured us both a cup and we’d made some small talk for a minute or two before he asked me, “So…tell me the truth…what do you think?”

“What do I think about what?”

“The journals. What do you think? Do you believe?” He smirked.

“Do I bel…? What kinda question is that? I believe we have ourselves a truly mentally unstable psychopath on our hands that believes he’s a teenage vampire. That’s what *I* believe.”

“So you think he’s just making it up as he goes along, then? Because I’ve got to admit…he can be very convincing.”

“They all are.” I told him. “Jeffrey Dahmer worked in a chocolate factory, Charles Manson had a whole Hollywood ranch of followers…hell, John Wayne Gacy was a goddamn CLOWN at children’s parties. Making their sick fantasies a reality without getting caught or cornered is what these people do.”

“So, if that’s the case, then what is your next move? You’ve seen the books, and if you’re convinced it’s just some twisted mental breakdown of everything he’s done…it doesn’t look like he’s planning to stop any time soon.” Detective Thompson said. “How do you catch the un-catchable?”

“Well now that we’ve got these texts we can use them to create a profile of the suspect. We’ve got everything we need right here.” I replied. “He thinks he’s actually following a motivation that will forever be a part of him. Like an artist using a paintbrush…to create a ‘gallery’ of sorts, if only in his head. And in order to understand an artist, you’ve got to look at his artwork. In this case…the murders.”

“How so?”

“In the earlier books, he wrote about how most of his so called ‘feedings’ were accidental. They were sloppy, unplanned, unpredictable. Like he couldn’t control himself. But in the LATER books, going by the dates, he developed a steadyschedule. Month to month.” I looked at my notes. “There was a growing consistency to the murders. He’s settled into his craft now. It’s become about as mundane as doing laundry or taking out the trash. There’s going to be a pattern in those later texts…and once we find it…we’ll find him.”

Thompson smiled at me. “And then what?”

“And then I’m gonna take the fucker down. That’s what. I got a lot of missing people and a lot of worried family members out there that want an end to this thing. I’m gonna make sure I give ‘em one.”

I watched as Thompson leaned silently against the counter, sipping more of his coffee as I downed mine as quickly as possible. The quicker the caffeine hits my system, the better.

“Can I ask you something, Detective Ashton?” He said after a long pause. “What made you pick this line of work?”

“Well, it sure as hell ain’t the PAY, I’ll tell you that much.”

“Hehehe, understandable. But seriously…you seem like one of those people who has a real reason to be a detective. And, not to be rude…I’m willing to bet it’s not a pleasant one.”

Alright…so the guy had me pegged. I didn’t go into too much detail, because it was still pretty painful to think about. Especially with this rush of fatigue taking its toll on me all of a sudden. But I gave him an honest answer. “My sister…she was maybe 22 years old at the time, she was dating this scumbag. Everybody knew he was no good, but she didn’t listen. Swore up and down that she was head over heels for the guy. What could we do, you know?” I said, finishing off the rest of the coffee in my cup, hoping it would ward off the dizziness. “Then…one night, we get a phone call from their neighbors…says they heard fighting next door. We all rushed over…” I flashed back to the sight of that house, torn to pieces, my baby sister…beaten to death. “…End of story. Never caught the guy. He ran away, burrowed deep in some other city…I told myself that I’m never gonna let another sick piece of trash ever get away from me again. Not ever.” I didn’t want to go too far into it. Those were memories I could live without. “What about you, hot shot? Missing persons? Don’t think I wasn’t noticing your passion back in that living room.”

Thompson got a really serious look on his face, and he said, “Years ago…I had someone that really meant a lot to me. We grew up together. And then…one day…’poof’. He vanished. No body. No goodbye. No reason to run away from much of anything. I never saw him again.” He took another sip of his coffee. “I never understood it. I mean…tell me he was kidnapped, tell me had amnesia and forgot who he was, tell me he’s dead, tell he got abducted by freakin’ ALIENS…but DON’T tell me that someone I care about just magically disappeared off the face of the planet without trace. That’s not possible. And I’m starting to see it happening more and more often in the investigations I’ve been a part of.” He stood up straight from the counter and took my empty cup from me. “I would have done anything for him. Anything.”

“Yeah, well…with TWO passionate cops on the case, we can’t really go wrong, can we?” I told him…and he gave me the strangest look. Right in the eye. To the point where it was unsettling.

“Hehehe, you’re really gonna nail this guy to the WALL when you find him, aren’t you?” He smirked.

“I plan to make it the highlight of my law enforcement career. Bet on it.”

A brief pause, and then he patted me on the back. “Well, alright then. Let’s get back in there and find ourselves a killer.” I stepped away from the counter and stumbled a bit on my feet. Thompson had to reach out to keep me from falling. “Whoah…you ok?”

“Huh?” I said, bewildered. “Yeah. I’m fine, just…I’m tired as hell. I’ll be ok in a few minutes. Wide awake.”

“Alright. Let’s go.”

We went back into the living room, and sitting down in a chair never felt so good. It was like gravity had chosen that particular moment to pull down on me with everything it had to give. God, I gotta myself healthy. This is wild.

I skipped ahead in a couple of journals and thumbed through the pages.

Looked at my watch. It was 3 AM.

My eyes were heavy as cinder blocks, the words on the page practically blurring out of my vision as I tried to stay focus. I felt a warm feeling bubbling in my stomach. My head began to spin. My hands and wrists became limp. What the…? What the hell was going ON here?

Last thing I remember was seeing the open journal in front of me…

 

 



Monday


– I don’t want him to see me like this. I thought about it…even considered it a few times…but I should stay away. FAR away.

Already I’m tainting his life too…and it’s not fair.

I just wish he’d stop chasing me. But he probably won’t. He’ll keep searching. He says he doesn’t care what I am, but he has a life. He doesn’t need me hanging around to completely wreck it for him.

It’s my fault…I never should have gone looking for him in the first place….

 

Those were the last words I read on the page before blacking out. I felt my body go limp and the world go dark on me. I didn’t have a say in the matter. My body simply gave up the fight. And I slammed my head on the desktop…

…Only to wake up hours later with sunlight streaming in through the living room windows.

What the fuck HAPPENED??? I lifted my head, a crazy headache pounding in my noggin like depth charges in the Atlantic. I looked around the room, and Detective Thompson was gone….and so were the JOURNALS!!! *ALL* of them!!!

Still groggy, I got up on my feet, and tried to regain my senses. The coffee…..goddammit the son of a bitch put something in my coffee!!! I’ve been had!

BUT…he must have been in an awful hurry, because there was one ripped page left behind. The one I crash landed on as I passed out from the mickey he slipped me. I took a look at it…and then I looked at the paper next to it. The one he signed his name to when he first entered the old apartment.

And the realization hit me hard…

 

 



Monday


– I don’t want him to see me like this. I thought about it…even considered it a few times…but I should stay away. FAR away.

Already I’m tainting his life too…and it’s not fair.

I just wish he’d stop chasing me. But he probably won’t. He’ll keep searching. He says he doesn’t care what I am, but he has a life. He doesn’t need me hanging around to completely wreck it for him.

It’s my fault…I never should have gone looking for him in the first place….

But despite my running, my refusals to let him help, my withdrawal from his human life, Sam has really been helping me out from behind the scenes. Helping to cover my tracks. I owe him SO much for collecting those journals I left behind a few years ago. As I fill up more and more pages, I have to find places to stash them where they won’t be found. If it wasn’t for him retrieving them for me whenever the cops got close to finding me…I would have been captured a long time ago.

He’ll never stop searching for me. He’ll never stop caring about me. And I’ll never stop caring about him either. Perhaps we’re eternally bound. As best friends should be.

Wherever you are, Sam, thank you….

-Billy

 

The signature on the page I gave him? ‘Detective Samuel Thompson, Missing Persons’.

I’m never gonna see those books again…

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