Notice: First chapter is going through a major rework.

Thomas Lore has found himself in jail and the number one suspect in a serial murder case in his home town. The real murderer is still on the loose and may have Lore's girlfriend in hostage somewhere. Will Lore be able to get out and find the true culprit in time?

This is a product of a brainstorm between myself and two of my close friends.

Status: 3/6 chapters completed.


2. Chapter 2

           Myles kicked the hotel room door closed flinging his briefcase on to the freshly made bed. The briefcase bounced twice on the mattress before finally settling into place. A breath of frustration expelled from his lungs as he grabbed a hold on the knot of his tie. He paused, staring at the walls in front of him. His left hand slowly wiggled the knot side to side working it loose. He shook his head letting the absurdity escape his body in a form of laughter. He watched as the tie sailed from his hand. It landed next to his briefcase in a messy coil.

          "Thom, Thom, Thom," Myles dragged a hand through his hair. He shrugged his blazer jacket off his shoulder. He lightly tossed it onto the pile forming on his bed. He unbuttoned the top two buttons of his off-white shirt. His hands slowly drifted down to settle in his pants pockets as his mind wandered off once more. The touch of his cellphone drew him back to the present. He sat down on the edge of his bed as he fished out his phone.

          He pressed down the power button. The phone's screen lit up. He scrolled through his phone until finding the recorder application. There were two new files marked for his attention. His thumb swiped over the second one. A window popped up asking if he wanted to play, edit or delete the file. He leaned forward. His free hand wandered up to his face. He rested his mouth against his open palm staring into the tiny screen. His thumb hovered over the red touch screen button.

          Air deflated out of him as he sat up dragging his hand up through his hair once more. "I'm sorry, Thom." His thumb moved over to the green touch screen box and pressed down. The phone's speakers crackled. "It was for your own good." He placed the phone next to him on the bed.

          "Ok, ok," Myles's voice played back through his phone. A thud played across the speaker indicating contact with a solid force. "Fine, off the record."

          Myles leaned forward again. He rested his forehead against his hands. His elbows pressed against his knees. He stared at the floor allowing the recorded words to wash over his senses. "Come on, mi amigo, give me something I can use," he muttered at the rug. "Something I can find on my own."

          A half hour passed before he began to move again. He sat up bringing his left foot up to his knee. After unting the laces he took off his shoe and flung it over his shoulder. He repeated the process with his right foot before standing up. He grabbed the phone pressing the volume plus button on the side with his index finger.

          "Just give me something I can use to get you out of there, Thom," Myles muttered as he crossed the hotel room to the tiled bathroom. He flicked the light switch up. The lights flickered, hummed, and stabilized into a low powered illumanice. He carefully placed his phone down against the counter. The smooth surface amplified the volume.

          “What did she tell you?” Myles’s voice crackled out from the phone’s speakers. Myles yanked open the top drawer of the sink. Inside layed his toothbrush, toothpaste and a razor. He stared in the eyes of his reflection as he pulled out the razor. He set it carefully next to a folded washcloth on the counter's surface.

          “She told me that she knew everything. That he told her the beginning,” Thomas replied his voice was quieter, further away. He slowly worked his words through his tightened vocal chords. Myles raised the lift rod before flipping the handle up to turn on the sink.

          “What was the beginning?” Myles asked. The sound of a chair groaned while the owner shifted in his seat once more. Myles lifted up. The shaving cream shaking it thoughtlessly as he stared into the mirror.

          His mind transported him back into the interrogation room. Thomas raised his hands shrugging slightly. “She wouldn’t tell me,” Thomas answered.

          “Damnit, Thom! She told you stories," a loud thud followed after Myles's raised voice. Myles slamned the canister down against the counter echoing the motions he made with his fist earlier that day. Silence took over the awkward tension between the two men. Despite being high tech, Myles's phone crackled with muffled white noise. "Indulge me about this piper-boogie man."

          The white noise hummed and popped with his answer. Myles rubbed the shaving cream across his lower face. He paused. Warning flags popped up along his senses. His body involuntarily shook as tingle swept down his spin. Faintly he was able to hear a man singing outside of his hotel room. The tone of the vocal intruder rose and fell with a melody of a lullaby. Myles shook his head letting nervous laughter tumble from his lips. This case, as insane as it was, had begun to wiggle under his skin. He leaned forward running the triple bladed razor across his lower cheek. It left a clear line in the foam.

          “The first one she told me was about a little girl,” Thomas's voice broke the silence.

          “I don’t remember the murder of a little girl recently ... " Myles had said. His voice was soft with wonder.

         The man's voice had gotten louder. His words were almost audible. Myles paused, staring at the mirror in front of him. Damn Thomas for making the ravings of a psychotic break down seem a threat.

         “This wasn’t a murder,” Thomas replied, “And it wasn’t recent ... 


         A cool breeze brushed past the face of a young girl. She giggled lifting her papyrus doll into the air. The edges of the doll lifted as the wind brushed past. She loved sitting under the stars. The lady moon was half peeking through some cotton-like clouds.

         The girl was leaning against the solid mud brick which made the walls of her family’s home. A soothing lullaby drifted from her mother’s lips, out of the house and into the young girl’s ear. The young girl smiled pulling her dolly closer to her chest. She began to hum along with her mother.

         Her mother's voice became clearer as she approached her daughter, "The lady moon is watching from darkened skies."

         The girl looked up waiting for her mother. Instead of the smiling face she was expected the girl was presented with a clay pot. She frowned at her mother. Her eyebrows scrunched together with an expression caught between defiance and confusion.

         “Since you enjoy the night, go to the river and fetch us some water,” her mother said. The girl's expression deeper into disappointment. She blew out a huff of air that lifted a lock of stray ebon hair away from her face. She lowered her eyes in acceptance. Standing up slowly, she kept her doll clutched to her side. With her free hand she grabbed the clay pot from her mother's hands. Her mother bent down to place a kiss on the girl's forehead before returning to her place inside.

         The girl followed her way down a small travelled path. Her only light was provided from the brightly colored specks and the full pale circle that beckoned to her above her head. A blanket of uneasiness settled across her shoulders after a few minutes had passed. The breeze was still cool, but now seemed less inviting. Uneven notes sprang from throat as she hummed her mother’s tune. She raised her doll up to her chest clutching it closer. Her eyebrows pressed together as she strained her ears among the silence. The bushes rustled behind her.

         The girl paused in mid step. her foot hovered in the air as she turned her head slowly to glance over her shoulder. The tall jagged blades of grass danced lazily in the wind, but was otherwise left undisturbed. The girl brought her doll to rest under her nose as she faced forward again. Her mother's lullaby jumped back to her throat as she raised volume with her hum.

         The bush beside her shook as a large body bounded through it. She caught the movement in the corner of her eye. She brought herself to a full stop.

         "Here comes ... stepping so ... " a smooth male voice snaked just above a whisper.

         “H-hello?” The girl's voice trembled off her tongue. Her doll shivered against her lips as her hand shook. The sound of the wild life vanished replaced by the deafening sound of silence. Her heart railed against her ribs. The clay pot vibrated against her leg. She squeezed her eyes shut counting slowly to herself.

         The girl sucked in a deep breath. "It is just my imagination," she told herself. After her second intake she exhaled while opening her eyes. "There is nothing to be afraid of." She lifted her foot into the air. It trembled violently as it drifted forward heading to the ground. As her foot connected with the Earth below she raised her chin. She rounded her shoulders back, puffing up her chest and lowering her doll.

         "Stealing along ... tips of his toes," the voice was closer. The man's song drifted with the wind. The girl squeezed her eyes shut. She raised her chin a little higher as she continued to walk forward.

         " ... He scatters the sand with his own little hand," his voice rose in volume. This time she couldn't ignore it. She opened her eyes. Tears slid down her face. Both sets of knuckles were pale as her fingers clutched the objects in her hand.

         "STOP IT!" her scream leapt from her mouth before she was conscious with her decision to address the man. The bush in front of her shook as the creature inside it bounded away. The sound of a clay pot shattering caused her to jump. Both of her hands now gripped the doll. From behind her the man's laughter rumbled. She spun around turning almost 180 degrees on the heels of her feet. A dark shadowed figure rose out of the grass.

         “Do not be afraid, child,” the man said. He took one step forward causing the girl to take one step backwards.

         “Wh-who are you?” she said.

         “I,” the stranger replied placing one hand upon his upper chest, “am merely a friend that has come to play.” His fingernails were like long hooks of a cats claw. The moonlight bounced off of them. “Would you like to play a game?”

         “A-a game?" the girl lowered her doll slightly. “What kind of game?”

         The stranger grinned taking another step forward, “How about a game of tag.”

         “What’s that?” she asked tilting her head. She lowered her doll to her waist. "-I’ve never heard of that game before.”

         The man laughed. He wore strange cloth, which covered his arms and legs. His clothes looked smooth and nearly flawless. Not at all like the simple linen dress she was wearing. The stranger’s hair was long, black and tied in the back. His hair contrasted with his pale skin which almost looked white.

         He took another step forward. She remained still. She narrowed her eyes studying him. He knelt down in front of her. His eyes were dark, but there was a glint of red within them. The little girl's eyes opened fully as she brought her straw doll back up to her chest with one hand.

         “Now, now,” he said calmly, “There is no need to be frightened.” He lifted his left hand up. He ran the back side of the nail on his index finger across her cheek lifting her hair away from her face. She grimaced; his nail was cold and smooth.

         “I’m scared…” the little girl admitted.

         “It is ok to be scared,” he reassured her, “I am a stranger.”

         “What’s your name?” she asked.

         “I do not have one,” he replied resting his hand on his knee.

         “How come? Did your mommy not give you one?” the little girl pressed.

         He chuckled, “That was a long time ago. I barely remember her. Would you like to give me a new name?”

         The girl nodded, “Ok, I will call you… hmm…” her brows crinkled together, her eyes searching his face. Her gaze dropped down to his strange nails. “… Panther.”

         “A cat?” His eyes lit up. A soft chuckle played across his lips. "Well, would you like to play tag? It is an easy game.”

         “Ummm, ok, Panther,” she smiled at him. Her doll now dangled from one hand. “How do we play?”

         “You run, and then I will try to catch you,” he smiled. His eyes infused with a deep crimson glow.

         “Umm, ok. When do I start running?”

         “You run … ” the moonlight glinted across his teeth. Two teeth were pointed and slightly longer than the rest. His burned bright red as he leaned forward to whisper in her ear. "Now."

         The doll bounced off the ground settling next to where her feet had been. Before her brain could process her fear, her bare feet thudded against the Earth's surface. She tore through the tall grass batting the green blades away from her body. Her blood echoed in her ears as she ran.

         "The Lady Moon is watching out from darkening skies," the man's voice rumbled across the landscape. A large body bounded through the grass somewhere behind her. She whipped her head to the left looking for a suitable place to hide. Her braided hair swung around to smack her across the cheek.

         "The little stars are peeping," his laughter spilled across the distance between them sending a shiver down her spin. She stumbled slightly, unused to the dress she was wearing. "To see if you are sleeping." She grabbed the sides of her dress yanking it above her knees as she ran. The blades of the grass slashed against her exposed skin. "Go to sleep, my children ... "

         The girl glanced to her right. There was a bush wedged between two trees. She looked over her shoulder trying to gauge the distance between her and the man-creature. He was gone. All signs of him had vanished. The blades of the grass waved lazily in the wind as if they had never been disturbed. She doubled over panting heavily. She felt dizzy with relief.

         "Go to sleep," the words whispered directly behind her. Her body shot upwards ready to run, but it had already been too late. A cold, long nailed hand snaked over her mouth while another arm wrapped around her waist. "Goodnight," he whispered into her ear. Her conscious drifted into darkness as she felt her feet lift off the ground.


         "All they found was the doll and the broken clay jar," Thomas finished.

         "Really ...?" Myles spoke the same words out loud as he had in the recording. "You're reduced to telling me ghost stories? I thought you were going to tell me what's been going on," Myles's recorded voice continued.

         "I am telling-" Thomas replied.

         " ... the Sandman singing so softly," the voice of the singing man filled the hotel's hallway. Myles looked into the mirror at the reflection of the bathroom door in annoyance. He was not in the mood to hear some guy sing lullabies to his kid as they walked down the hall. He also found it hard to hear his recording. "Singing the children to sleep everywhere."

         Myles growled as he walked out of the bathroom. He crossed to the hotel room's main door and banged against it with three quick thuds. "Hey! Keep it down out there!"

         After a short pause the man on the opposite end of the door replied. His voice seeped through the cracks around the door, "Forgive me, I had not meant to disturb you so soon." 

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