Jasmine E.S.P.P.I. book 1
What would you do if you were out buying groceries and a quick peek at a missing persons poster sends images into your mind of a young woman suffering, and a path leading you to find her? Suddenly, Will had a choice to make, go find the girl, or a psychiatrist, he chose the girl.
Does this description grab you? Does it make you think “WOW! I want to read that book!” or “That sounds cool, I’ll give it a shot.” What could be done to make it better? I’m requesting feedback on these descriptions so I can refine them.
This is the pilot of a possible serial. It is written, but requires editing, and a cover.
This is the first book I wrote, so I’m not expecting it to be very good. This hasn’t been sent though editing yet, and I’ve only started to do my own edit after leaving it for awhile. This is the story I was talking about in the promises post. Let me know what you think of this first chapter.
Will pulled close to the curb, instinctively sliding the transmission into neutral. Taking in the large home that so recently had a cloud of darkness descend on it, he wondered yet again if he should throw in the towel.
“No, what is it about that word that’s so hard to say?” he wondered aloud. “You took the case, better get in there and do what you are hired to do.”
With that he set the emergency brake, shut off the key, and started up the walk towards the front door and the officer standing guard.
“Well, if it isn’t ‘will power.’ They must be getting desperate to call you in.” Officer Spitz called out with a snarky grin and thumbs tucked into his belt.
“Spitz, are you the valet as well as the doorman? Wouldn’t let you in the house huh? Guess the captain has some degree of intelligence.” Will shot back as he passed Spitz and entered the house. Learning long ago, asking nicely to ‘just call me Powers’, didn’t work on those like Spitz. Spitz’s grin turned into a snarl, one of his thumbs moving from his belt to his gun.
Passing through the foyer Will took in the entire scene, trying to file away every detail possible. He was always good at details making connections others missed, but lately this skill had been tested to the extreme. ‘What are you doing here Will, these people need a whole detective, you aren’t even half that’ mentally scolding himself seemed to be a common pastime for Will these days.
“Powers. In here.” Captain Stevens called out snapping Will out of his mental downward spiral. Making his way into the sitting room he saw for the first time the parents. The mother was so pale she looked like a homicide victim, eyes blankly staring at the coffee table in front of her. Her shoulders drooped in defeat such that she seemed to be trying to fold herself in half at the sternum.
The father wasn’t much better, the poor bastard had that replicated stone face that does anything but show people you’ve got it together. He had his arm draped across his wife’s shoulders almost as if it were an afterthought, or someone posing at a mantle. ‘These people are more broken than I am, how is that possible?’ Will stood in his now instinctual pose. Back straight, hands clasped in the back. ‘Funny how things start’ Will mused to himself while the captain tried to rouse the father into paying attention to his surroundings.
“Get me William Powers… I want William Powers here” Will barely heard the man mumbling in response to the captain. Will moved across the room until he was directly in front of the man, then practically lifted him to his feet.
“You got me, now let’s go talk” Will said as he maneuvered the meat robot into another room for some privacy.
Once far enough away for Will’s comfort he slapped the man as hard as he could in the face. The sudden abrupt change from caring understanding to possible attack registered deep inside the male ego and snapped him out of his black hole of despair. He eyed Will with something between utter shock and burning rage.
“Good to have you back, your wife and I need this version of you right now, you can fall into a pit of despair on your own time.” Will’s voice flat panned but with just enough of a hint of comfort mixed with authority that the man lost his rage and shock and replaced it with resignation and attention. “What do you need Mr. Powers?”
“Your account of events, and to see where the child was taken” the father just nodded and started walking toward the staircase leading to the second floor.
“I was up late, working, in my study right there.” The man pointed to a room across the foyer as he started heading up the stairs.
“My wife had been in bed for hours, and our daughter… A few hours before her. My wife waited a bit to see if I would come to bed.” The man rattled off the account rather well considering, almost lost it once, when he mentioned his daughter.
“Is that common, that you stay up so late?” Will asked trying to keep the man talking while he had him out of his pit.
“Yes, a few times every work week, no specific days though” the man paused at the top of the stairs transfixed on the open door to his daughters room. The various members of the department doing their assorted tasks. Will already watching him closely, to prod when necessary, saw the man’s eyes glaze over in memory.
“Then what? As many details as you can manage. Describe the memory as you see it playing out” Will had become an expert with distraught parents and knew just when to push and when to let them ramble.
“I decided to kiss Jenny goodnight, maybe watch her sleep for a little bit. There’s something even more precious about a child when they sleep don’t you think? Like a detailed picture of their innocence.” Tears now streaming down his face. Will understood it wasn’t exactly a question, more a rumination and a bit of fathers dread knowing that innocence would be gone IF he ever got his daughter back.
“Was the door opened or closed?” Will pressed, not wanting the father to slip away again.
“Closed, we always close the door, Jenny isn’t afraid of the dark…or at least wasn’t.”
“So you went in to kiss her goodnight, the door was closed, as usual…”
“Yeah, as usual. When I opened the door I thought at first she had gotten up, then I smelt it”
“Cigarettes. None of us, and no one we know that comes in the house regularly, smokes. Jenny’s room also smells like little girl, with a faint hint of my wife’s perfume, strange how you don’t really notice some things until they are suddenly gone. Then I saw the blood on the bed.” He was standing in the doorway now, pointing at the bed.
‘Shit, that’s a lot of blood for the girl to be taken’ Will couldn’t help but think that darker thought at the sight of so much blood. ‘The girl would be empty of blood, why take her?’ Something stood out in Will’s mind, like a puzzle piece from a different box, suddenly in the pile for a puzzle he’d already completed numerous times.
“Guys, where exactly is the blood?” Will asked the investigators, a wild thought running through his head.
“Only on the bed Powers, looks like…” The investigator suddenly stopped what he was saying, realizing the father of the blood was standing right there.
“LOOKS like she was killed there.” Will finished for the investigator, the father starting to sob and slumped to the floor, snot and spit shooting between his fingers and running down his wrists. “No blood anywhere else? Carpet, window, walls, door?” Will kept going before the father slipped too far into oblivion.
The investigator just looking at him as if to scream ‘WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU!’ but he answered anyway, “No, nowhere else, just the bed”
“Sloppy. Trying to be clever, but sloppy.” Will said with disgust, but thankful this was no mastermind.
“Umm, say what? The blood is contained to the bed, how is that sloppy?” the investigator replied now looking really confused.
“How many scenes have you done that were this precisely focused with that much blood? No blood splatter on the walls, floors, hell, none on the ceiling. You kill someone quietly enough not to rouse people in a quiet house, you are careful. If you’re there to kill, you kill. If you’re there to take, you take. “This-Will pointed directly at the bed-is planned carefully. To get in this house, quietly. Then kill carefully enough to remain quiet. Then stick around long enough to let the body bleed out? Then on top of that, there are no drops…anywhere? What did this person do, wipe her down?”
The investigator now looked even more carefully realizing Will’s logic, and figuring they must have missed something. Meanwhile the father seeming to catch onto a thread of what Will was saying, started standing back up, For the first time actual hope in his eyes. “What are you saying Mr. Powers?”
“I’m saying blood type that as soon as possible, I doubt it’s your daughters. This looks staged.” the investigator already sending an underling off as a runner.
“Let’s keep this from your wife until we get the blood test back, she doesn’t look like she could handle hope built up, then jerked away right now. Better safe than sorry” Will spoke to the father and husband as a man to a man, protectors code, the protector nodded.
Just then, the Captain topped the stairs looking at Will and the father with curiosity. “What’s going on?”
“Could you go comfort your wife sir, I’ll fill the Captain in” Will said more as a statement than a request, but squeezing the mans shoulder, he nodded and heading back downstairs.
“Psychological warfare, that’s what’s going on.” Will replied once the father was out of earshot. “Someone kidnapped their daughter knowing he would check in on her before he went to bed, and staged this to jar them as much as possible. They know the person that did this”
“Whaaaaaaaat?” was all the Captain could get out.
“The investigator will fill you in on the blood, you know how much I hate repeating myself. I’ve got to finish up another case, why don’t you see if you can catch the guy before I get done?” Will had a running friendly competition with the Captain that had begun as a very serious one.
With that, Will turned and left the Captain playing catch-up with a quick pat on the shoulder. Will could only avoid and pose for so long. By the time he got back to his truck his eyes were watering up so much he could barely get his key in the ignition. He was able to hold it in long enough to get out of line of sight of Spitz before he fell apart into a blubbering mess.
“I…huf huf huf… can’t… huf huf… keep this.. huf.. up.” The depth of empathy Will had for others made him excellent at his job, but it took it’s toll.
‘Why did I start doing this anyway?’ Will thought to himself. Just then he saw the picture of Jasmine on the dashboard and he knew. His “niece” adopted through love rather than law, and much more binding. He knew WHY, he always did. ‘Ok, so I know why I started, how do I fix this so I can continue?’ he replied in the mental and emotional conversation going on as he sat there. So Will started running through one idea then another until he happened on the idea to find the root cause.
“You have to find the knot before you can unravel it, as Grandma always said.” with that he began at the beginning, looking for the knot in his heart.