What God, Chapter 4

The next installment of What God. [Chapter 3 found here]

Some things don’t bear explanation. Every cop there was wondering who could have managed to tear Kraden apart like that. I was wondering how his wife and daughter could have stood to listen to him scream. 50 people in this house combing it for evidence and only 1 paramedic taking care of the two women outside wrapped in heat blankets

I walked out of the garage, past a few buckets full of sick and a few more expensive cars. Ms. Kraden sat in the back of the ambulance with her daughter. The wife sat with a face of stone, her daughter was beside her shivering and breathing oxygen from a tank.

“Ms. Kraden, I’m detective Grant-“

She even sounded stone, “Someone already took my statement, detective.” I was glad that at least somebody had taken some time away from the bloodbath in the living room carpet. Messes like that tended to occupy the attention of men in my position. I had no wish to spend more time in there than I had to.

“I know. I’m going to ask you to go through it again.” It was the worst part of the job; asking someone to relive what they had gone through. But repeated tellings of the incident can often reveal more than good forensics. Every time you make someone retell a story they process what they saw and and heard, leaving out the unimportant bits and dwelling on the more important ones.

“He came in late. He often did. Because of work.”  Ms. Kraden didn’t believe herself but I let her continue, “He came in. He cursed a bit, I thought he stubbed his toe. I was upstairs sleeping. He then started talking, like he was on the phone. Then he started yelling, something like ‘I didn’t have anything to do with that, I left the company, how should I know’ then the screaming started.” I was marking all of this down when she stopped. I let her breath, studying my notes.

“They said it must have been more than one” It was the daughter.

I looked to Ms. Kraden for permission, but she was staring off into space. “What do you mean?”

“When they were talking there was only two sets of footsteps. My dads and the other persons.” She went back to the oxygen. I couldn’t imagine what she was feeling.

“Did you hear him speak? Did he do anything else? the other man?” But I still had to ask. This was about more than Kraden.

“I only heard the footsteps. It could have been anyone.” She looked terrified, holding onto the oxygen mask like it was the only thing keeping her here.

I let them be, thanking them both. I told them I would keep in touch. It was a lie, but lies are comforting.

We have two scenarios. Either Kraden saw someone he knew well enough to know exactly why they were there, or the attacker delivered their message without speaking.

I went back to the living room and started looking around. A number of techs started trying to call for my attention but I waved them off. “Was there any paper recovered?” I asked the room. None of them answered. “It can be blank, a scrap, almost anything. Hell, I’ll take a whiteboard.” That seemed to help them along. A small tech walked up and passed me a blood-covered pad in an evidence bag. I gloved up, pulled it from the bag and grabbed a nearby pencil. The old tricks still worked. I shaded the top of the pad, the only part that wasn’t soaked in blood. In that I saw a relief of the last thing that had been written there. “Where is She” in bold, blocky print.

I got someone with a camera to document and had the pad sealed back up. I then went outside and threw up.

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