I walk through the dark and empty hallway, clutching a flashlight in one hand and my phone in the other. Years of dust has collected on the window sills and floor, glass crunching under my feet as I walk. People say this house used to be the talk of the town. The golden chandeliers, the ornate curtains, the art hanging in the hallways. The Old Manor, they called it.
"Hello?" I ask, with no reply but my own voice echoing.
I pass the dining room, still set for four with clean plates and golden silverware. I take the sheet out of my backpack, looking for details about this house. Abandoned for four and a half years, the sheet informed me. I looked at the silverware and the table settings that were too perfect for being abandoned for four and a half years. No dirt or grime clung to them, and the chairs were all pushed in, patiently waiting for someone to sit in them. A noise suddenly drew my attention away from the curious table and back to the entryway. The door I'd propped open had slammed shut. I approached the rickety door, that had a Keep Out sign peeling away from it, and opened it again. I turn around, carefully inspecting the entryway of the house. The night was still, with no breeze and a full moon illuminating the entryway. The hair on the back of my neck stands up, and a chill overcomes my body despite the warm summer night. I reached around for my gun, speaking slowly to the movement in the shadows.
"Hi my name is Officer Laine with the NYPD. I'm not here to hurt you." I exhale, attempting to remember all of the training I'd had. The figure doesn't move, the golden eyes sparkling in the moonlight. Turning his back to me, he motions for me to follow. I glance at my paper again, looking for new information. A school shooting killed their oldest daughter, Marissa in 2014. An intruder killed their mother, Mae a year later. Their youngest daughter drowned in a swimming accident, the father died trying to save her. Only three bodies were found and examined, all female. An uneasy feeling settles over me, and my gut tells me not to follow this man. I reach for my phone, texting my partner that I've found the possible suspect. He replies, "On my way. Be there in 10." I return my phone to my pocket, holding my gun and flashlight, just like the Academy taught me. The man leads me to the dining room, no windows to illuminate his appearance. He reaches for a latch before a painting, and a door opens.
"Come with me," he rasps, his voice husky and cold. I want to say no, but it's my first year as an officer and a break in a case like this could give me the status I need. I take out my phone, anxiously waiting for Jason's squad car to arrive in the driveway. No service. I look around. We're in a tunnel, it's dark, wet, and cold. Water drips from the ceiling, and it smells as if something has died. My guns in my hand, ready for anything. I was here following a noise complaint, and mysterious disappearances. Multiple officers had come out before me, newbies, but they never came back. The last disappearance was a 20 year old women, blonde, and about 5'2. She had gone missing last week, and a man in his later 20s went missing before her. They were both members of the police department. I step with caution, alert. We reach an opening in the tunnel, and a table lays in the center of a circular room. Old golden chandeliers hang above, lit with candles. They truly are as beautiful as the stories say they were, glistening in the moonlight. My gaze travels downwards, towards the table, and I see blood on and around it. A bag lays in the corner, with a wretched smell emerging from it. I realize it isn't the only bag, and see others surrounding the table. Tools lay on what used to be a nightstand, jagged knives and saws waiting anxiously to be used again. Chills cover my body, and I look at the man I've been following, gasping in horror. His skin is covered in welts and scars, barely appearing human. His skin is falling away in clumps, like he's shedding. His hair has grown out, and is down to his shoulders, covered in dirt. Blood is caked onto his arms and around his mouth, some of it fresh. His eyes are feline, golden and lethal. I look at my paper, searching for answers and I hear his cold voice,
"That paper won't help you now."