This is a three-part horror story. It is not meant for the squeamish. If you dare to read it, may I suggest you keep one eye closed. And, be prepared to force yourself to forget what you have read. If you are ready, happy reading. I will wait for you at the end, if you dare. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha.
DETECTIVE MACK AND DETECTIVE QUERY looked down at the decomposing body. They pressed the handkerchiefs over their noses and mouths a bit harder. It was not keeping out the stench. The odor was nauseating. They looked at each other.
Query nodded at the doorway. Mack nodded and headed for the door. Query followed him outside. They did not stop walking until they were thirty feet or more from the motel room.
They took the handkerchiefs from their noses and mouths and exhaled loudly. Their eyes watered. They shook their heads and walked back and forth in the cold morning air. Grunting and groaning and breathing loudly they tried to get their wits about them. They spit several times.
“I’ve never smelled anything like that,” Mack said.
“And I hope we never have to do it again,” Query said. “That was unbelievable.” He coughed and spit.
“What’s unbelievable is what’s in that room,” Mack said.
They were puzzled. The motel manager’s story did not make sense. He claimed the motel rooms were cleaned every day. Yesterday that room was cleaned, too. The maid had changed the sheets, cleaned the bathroom, vacuumed the floor, dusted off the furniture, and did a general wipe down of the entire room. She never saw a body in the bed. There were no odd smells. She left the room clean. The body had to have been put there overnight. So the motel manager says.
“We’re going to need to talk to the manager again,” Mack said, pointing toward the motel manager’s office. “There’s no way that body just got there. Smells like a damn open cemetery where all the bodies were left out to rot in the sun. He’s lying.”
“Not unless it’s some kind of prank,” Query said. “It’s Halloween.” Mack told him not yet. “What are a few more days? You know these damn tricksters. Maybe someone dug it up.” Mack listened to him but was not buying it. “It probably took a group to pull off something like this. You know how it could be done. Go to a burial sight or funeral home. Steal a body. Keep it for several days in some hot place or a sealed bag. Bring it to a motel like this place where people rent rooms by the hour. Then they sit and wait. A couple leaves after doing the nasty. Maybe there is a window of a few hours before another couple rents the room. You know damn well a maid isn’t cleaning those rooms after every couple. She may change the sheets. But she’s not cleaning that damn room. This isn’t the Four Seasons. So the pranksters wait until the maid leaves and sneak the stolen body into the room and put it in the bed. The next couple opens the door ready to get busy. Instead they get the shock of their lives. Find the pranksters. Case solved.”
“Good explanation,” Mack said. But something was bothering him. “Let’s go back in there and see if he has an ID. That’ll tell us if you’re theory is right.” Query told him with the body’s level of decomposition he would bet him that he was right. They both knew a body would not decompose that quickly overnight. It had to be kept somewhere else for it to happen. “Let’s go see. When CSI gets here we’ll get a couple of masks from them. Right now we’ll go back in there. See if he has any ID and come back out. These thin-ass handkerchiefs aren’t cutting it.”
The two uniformed officers who were first on the scene stood outside the door. The officers told them good luck. Mack and Query sarcastically told them thanks.
Standing ten feet from the room’s doorway, Mack and Query pressed the handkerchiefs hard against their noses and mouths. They walked back into the room wearing white latex gloves. More prepared for the smell, they looked about the room.
A pair of pants were on the floor beside the bed. Mack picked them up and gently laid them over a chair and stuck his hand in the back pocket. He grabbed the wallet and made a grunting sound. Query rushed over.
The wallet was a tight fit in the pocket. Mack could not remove it with one hand. He was not going to drop the handkerchief and use both hands.
Query held the pants. Mack pulled the wallet out and put it on the table. He opened it and looked at the driver’s license. The name Peter Hills was on it.
Query looked back over his shoulder at the body. Damn, it stunk. He went back over to the bed and stared at the decomposing corpse. There was something there. He leaned in closer, fighting the urge to vomit and leave the room.
A large maggot slithered from the corpse’s mouth. Then another and another and another. More followed those. An earthworm wiggled its way out through a tear duct. A slug slid out through the ear canal. What the hell, he thought and looked over at Mack.
Mack had seen it and was headed for the door. Query followed him outside. They dropped the handkerchiefs and exhaled loudly.
“Officer Baldwin,” Mack said between deep breaths. One of the uniformed officers looked at him. “Tell me who Peter Hills is.” Mack had put the license in an evidence bag. The officer took the license to his patrol car. Less than a minute the officer came back.
“Your boy was reported missing,” Officer Baldwin said. “As of this morning.”
“Something’s not right,” Mack said to Query. Perplexed, Query nodded.
Things would only get more confusing from there.
Later that day they would learn Peter Hills was reported missing by his wife. He had been out with friends last night and had not come back home. He was not known for staying out all night. He was thirty-six years old and a father of two.
News from the medical examiner would make the case even murkier. Peter’s body’s cavities were filled with dirt, maggots, and different types of worms and bugs. And at the moment no one knew how a man who went missing between eight to twelve hours could decompose at a rate of someone being dead for two weeks.
Do not miss PART 2. Someone will go down a dark path. You can watch them. You just can’t warn them.
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