I just couldn’t believe what I saw. But there she was, right in front of us, Jessica. And she was stabbed just like Dave and Anna. Although she lived through that drug overdose, this time she didn’t make it. Both Muffin and Mr. Cat came over to look, which was quite amazing. Meow, meow.=This not Jessica, said Muffin. Meow.=I agree, definitely not Jessica. But it looks exactly like her, I said. Meow, meow.=We still say it not Jessica, each human different, we can tell. Well, I really didn’t want to argue with them, animals do have some amazing abilities, so maybe they are right. But this woman sure looks like Jessica. That would fit with what Mr. Cat said earlier about the woman who beat him with a stick. He said it looked like Jessica, but he wasn’t sure.
Jessica never mentioned having any other sisters, and this would be her twin. But right now we need to concentrate on getting out of here. Hmm, I shine Muffin’s headlamp up, it looks like some kind of grate up there, that could be our way out of here. I get my expandable metal pole out, tie the rope to it and toss it upwards. Wow, first time and it landed across the hole nice and solidly. There seems to be a small ledge up there, hopefully big enough for all of us. I put “Jessica’s” body on this stretcher I made, should be a bit bigger I see. Okay, we’re ready to go, I hope. I hold the cats up one at a time and they jump up to the ledge.
Meow, meow.=Ledge not big enough for everyone, very small. I pull myself up. She’s right, barely big enough for me and the cats. I lie there and kick at the grate, only took 2 kicks and it was off. The cats went outside while I pulled up “Jessica’s” body and just slipped it right out through the grate opening. Then I packed up my stuff and went out. It was raining hard right then and so much lightning that it was constantly light outside. We went around to the back door which Mr. Cat opened easily for us. We took the body straight down to that far bedroom. Our collection of bodies is getting too big. We go back to the living room…and there sitting in a chair soaking wet, was Jessica!
I woke up lying on the lawn again, she said, why are you looking at me like that? I said she was already dead, I just put her body in the bedroom. We go back and look, the body is still there, which was good. Jessica stared, then started to cry, so we went back to the living room. Meow, meow.=This real Jessica. Meow.=I agree. That’s a good sign, I think. That’s Candy, my twin sister, said Jessica, I didn’t even know about her, but she found me through some agency that looks for lost relatives. We met for the first time 2 months ago, then I never heard from her again. But what is she doing here? She never even knew about this place. I have no idea what the connection is at all, I said. Then I thought to myself, this case is getting crazy and scary, but what can we do? Jessica went and put on dry clothes, then I did the same.
Let’s go to the library for a while and look at those books, maybe we will get a clue as to what is going on here. Okay, said Jessica, I don’t want to sleep anyway. We get some lamps and candles lit and the room took on a very inviting and cozy feel. However, the case at hand kind of ruins the nice atmosphere. We start looking over the books while the cats curl up together for a nap. That’s a nice painting on the wall, I said. I knew you would like that one, there’s a similar one upstairs, said Jessica, you can have both of them. I wasn’t asking for them, I said, but, they are nice. They’re yours, she said, there are so many paintings in this house. They were painted by a man in town and the previous owner collected them and oddly he only kept 2, both were abstract which I didn’t like anyway. I prefer something more realistic, she added. Yes, I’m that way too. See? We have something else in common, she said. Then she stared and said, one of these days I’ll get you to talk about something besides the case you’re on. This might be it, I said.
To be continued.
Steve and Muffin. (previous chapters and stories can be found on my home page under 20/20 Investigations, Inc.)
©2020 Steve McLeod.