Under My Skin Ch. 04byWolfblackthorne©
Megeara knocked on the door to Dustin's apartment. Silence hung in the hallway as she stood on the second floor.
"Hello? Dustin are you home?"
She knocked again but no one answered. She was really worried. Carefully she looked around the hall, making sure it was empty before reaching down and getting his apartment key from the secret place he put it in.
They had been friends for years, and he trusted her enough to tell her where the key was in case of an emergency and she needed someplace to go. Quietly she unlocked his doer then quickly replaced the key in his hidden spot.
The room smelt stale though the furniture looked clean. The was a small black couch big enough to seat two in the middle of the room as well as a TV.
There were a few pictures on the walls of various animals that had been put their for decoration. The living room lead into a small kitchen and a bedroom.
The kitchen was clean and everything was in its place. It seemed like it had not been used in sometime. She opened the fridge and found it only contained a half opened can of Coca cola and a few slices of cheese. Shutting the door, she turned and walked out of the kitchen to the rest of the apartment.
Her boots made a muffled sound as she walked into the bedroom for any sort of sign or clue as to where Dustin could be. Her eyes scanned the bedroom as she stood in the doorway.
The bed was made, the dark blue comforter neatly covered it and the pillows. The dresser on the far wall was closed though a bit dusty. There was no sign of a fight or trouble anywhere.
Megeara frowned as she began to feel hopeless. It was really beginning to worry her. It wasn't like Dustin to not tell her where he was or what he was doing for more than a day and she had not heard anything from him in almost three.
Something was wrong, very wrong. She didn't know what was going on but she was determined to find out and get her friend back.
Brushing one of her long silver braids out of her eyes, she went back into the kitchen and started searching through the drawers for a pen and paper to write her friend a note just in case he returned. Halfway through the third drawer, she found what she was looking for; and started writing.
If you come home please call me. you have my number
I am worried about you.
Megeara thought about adding more but decided she was satisfied. She went over to the fridge and secured it to the front of the freezer door with a magnet.
Since there was nothing else she could do here she turned and walked back to the door. She pulled the hood of her hooded seat shirt over her head ,covering her long silver locks then opened the door, making sure it was locked, and went out.
She stuffed her pale hands into the pockets of her hooded sweat shirt as she walked down the long hall and carefully went down the steps to the ground level of the apartments. Her boots barely made a sound as she walks over the thick carpet. Cold fall air greeted her as she opened the the heavy door leading outside.
She really hoped Dustin comes home and sees the note.
Megeara genuinely cared for him. She thought he was cute although very shy. She had liked his sense of humor and how she felt safe and could tell him anything.
She wasn't used to having to ask the guy out but she didn't mind. He was kind and fun to be around. She could tell he liked her very much by how she caught him looking at her or the way he smiled when she was around or how his face brightened whenever they got to talking about something.
Granted he got quiet whenever she tried to talk about relationships and things but she just figured he was nervous and shy. So she had planned three weeks ago to ask him out to a Halloween party. Of course that was before he had suddenly disappeared, It was only a week until Halloween now.
Megeara deeply frowned. Where could he be? What could have kept him away so long?
At first she had done something but there was nothing really that she could have done to make him act this way. It was not like Dustin at all. They were best of friends and he had never once just vanished before.
Something was keeping him from her she just knew it. Her thoughts kept running over the facts that she knew as she walked down the block and found her car parked where she left it.
The keys jingled as she took them from her pocket and unlocked the driver side door of her black Miata.
Her small body slid in comfortably into the black leather seat as she closed the door, stuck the key in the ignition and listened to the engine purr to life.
The car was one of her few prized possessions she had purchased it when her great uncle passed a year ago and left her a very nice sum of money.
She had bought a nice house, big enough for herself and one other person and saved the rest. The house and car both helped make things easier since her new job behind a mall kiosk selling cell phones did not pay very much. She turned on the radio so she could listen in on the news as she drove.
Her thoughts returned to Dustin as she turned the corner and headed downtown to the police station. Since he had been missing more than a week, there had to be a missing persons report by now she thought. If there wasn't, Megeara would make one.
The voice on the radio was advertising half off on Halloween costumes at the local store as her car went across the familiar steel suspension bridge and entered entered the downtown area. She had picked out a Halloween costume already for the party.
She had wanted it to be awesome for Dustin since she knew he liked things that were a bit different. Besides she needed something to catch the eyes of everyone else and to keep people from staring at her pale skin and silver hair she had had since she was thirteen. Her lower lip quivered and she bit into it nervously at the reminder.
That was another reason she liked Dustin. He never made fun of her.
The costume she picked out was a cyber goth girl outfit complete with gas mask and goggles as well as the outfit. She had even made an appointment to have her long silver hair dyed and made into multicolored dreadlocks just to complete the look. All that planning and purchasing seemed pointless now since he was missing.
The car stopped as a light up ahead turned red at an intersection. The radio host came back on right as the light turned green. She turned left and cruised down to the nearby police station.
It took her a bit longer than she would've liked to find a parking space but she managed to find one behind the precinct.
Megeara turned the car off and opened the door to get out. The evening gloom was just now taking over the sky as she stood up. A sharp, cold wind blew past her and chilled her hands to the bone.
Leaning back into the car, she got her black leather gloves out of the glove compartment and slid them on before closing the car door and heading towards the station.
A officer dressed in dark blue uniform nodded to her as she walked past him towards a pair of automatic sliding doors.
"Evening Ma'am " greeted the officer as he headed in the opposite direction.
Megeara just nodded and gave him a warm smile that she had often given Dustin when he was with her. She caught a hint of blush on the man's face as she walked past and went through the doors and into the building.
Her black stiletto heel boots echoed loudly on the white floor as she made her way in and up a flight of stairs to the front desk.
Officers were bustling about in all directions. The phones at the front desk were ringing repeatedly nonstop. The tall dark skinned officer at the desk did his best to answer each one as fast as he could as she waited.
So caught up in what he was doing, she didn't think he had even noticed her approach. Finally after many moments and rings of the three phones, the man looked in her direction and acknowledged her.
"Evening Ma'am. How may I help you?" the officer greeted politely.
"Yes I'd like to make a missing persons report Officer-??" she answered while looking for his name tag.
"Officer Shepard Ma'am" the tall man answered quickly.
Megeara nodded "Ah Officer Shepard. I have a friend who I would like to report missing."
"Very well. Come with me Ma'am" the officer said.
He turned away from the desk and lead her down a corridor and to the right where he stopped at a wooden door with a golden name plate on it. The name plate read: Detective Derrick Blake. Megeara glanced at the door then back at Shepard somewhat confused,
"You don't handle any cases?"she asked.
"No Ma'am I just work the desk. Go on in. Blake'll help you Ma'am" Shepard answered.
He turned and went back the way he had gone towards the sounds of the ringing phones. She watched him go then turned back to the door and slowly lifted her hand to the wood and gently knocked.
"Come in " a gruff voice answered.
Pushing the door open slowly, she walked into the office of Detective Blake. Well more like the closet of Detective Blake. The room was a little bigger than an office cubicle and full with mountains of papers and assorted folders.
The deck was the only piece of actual furniture and it was only three feet from touching either wall.
The man behind the desk looked much too big for the desk much less the room itself. He had linebacker shoulders and arms to match. His face was handsome at least it could have been except for the ragged growth of facial air that had invaded around his mouth and the lower part of his face.
He stared at her with sharp, steel blue eyes that still had intensity to them even though the man looked in his mid forties. His hair was a sloppy light brown comb over that was slowly graying toward the back of his head.
" I'm Detective Blake, " the man the man with the gruff voice introduced himself, "What can I can do for you?"
It took a moment for her to remember what she was doing before she could answer the question. the way his voice boomed at her and his eyes stared through her made her feel very small and insignificant.
"Um..Yes I was directed here by the front desk.,"she began slowly, " I need to file a missing person report on a close friend of mine."
"You and everyone of these over the last three weeks " he replied
Blake leaned back and opened his arms wide to indicate the numerous mountains of papers on and around his desk. She blinked as her mind gave up trying to figure out how the big man had room to lean back at all in the small room.
The detective took a clipboard with a pair of papers from the top of one of the stacks that was on his left and handed it to her along with a pen.
"Fill this out with all their information" Blake instructed her.
Megeara scanned over the papers she had been handed then carefully filled out the information in their proper fields. She wanted to ask the detective for a place to sit but judging at how his office was, she doubted he even had space let alone a second chair for her. So she toughed it out and stood while she worked on the forms.
She could feel Blake's eyes watching her as she did. It felt like he was trying to bore into her very being with his eyes, trying to get some sort of information that was hidden.
She supposed that was his ability as a detective but it was really unnerving to the point she wanted to just scream at him to stop looking at her like that but she suppressed it and instead focused on finding Dustin. She really hoped this guy could help.
Once down she politely handed him back the clipboard and pen then waited to hear what he could do for her. She watched his massive hand hold the clipboard in front of his face. With hands like that he should have been a boxer or a wrestler she thought. She could hear hmms and mhmms come form the detective as he scrutinized the information.
Blake set the clipboard down on his desk in front of him then folded his fingers together in a steeple then spoke.
"Miss...Ah what did you say your name was?"
"Megeara" she answered.
"Miss Megeara," he repeated. "When was the last time you saw your friend Dustin?"
"About three days ago. We were at my work at the mall. We are really close friends. We talk everyday."
"But after that day did you hear or see your friend?"
"No I haven't. I have tried to contact him several times but he did not answer." She said, biting her lip some. "I even went to his apartment but he's not there either."
"I see that," Blake said. "You say that it's been three days since then?"
"Yes three days today." she recalled solemnly."Can you help me Mr Blake?"
Blake sighed then shook his head. "If only I could. There's been so many missing persons though in the last three weeks our department is overrun."
Her eyes sank low as she heard his response. Her face darkened. "Is there nothing you can do?"
"I am afraid not at this moment. Your case will have to wait in line until we get all these others out of the way." Blake answered with a tone of finality.
Megeara felt so disappointed.Here she was trying to get her friend back and the person who could help her told her she had to wait in line! She shuddered to think what could be happening to Dustin if he were in trouble.
Her fists clenched into fists as anger grew inside her from that thought. She blinked when she realized Detective Blake was speaking to her. She let out a breath and let her hands relax.
"Is there nothing you can do? Nothing at all?" she pleaded the detective. Desperation and sadness found its way into her voice.
Blake paused and seemed to consider things for a moment. His eyes seemed o focus on a point on his desk as he sat in silent thought. His mouth creased and his lips twitched suddenly as if he was struggling with some internal debate. After another moment he exhaled and looked back to her.
"Miss, what I am going to tell you is off the record and not to be repeated, understand?"
She simply nodded.
"Good. You did not hear this from me," he said seriously. "But I have found a few things odd with all these disappearances."
"Like what?" she inquired.
"Like how none of these cases have come back as homicides," he answered, putting his hands behind his head. "There's been no sign of all these people for weeks and not one body."
She considered the information then asked. "Has none of these missing people been found?"
"That's just it. No one. Not one of these people have been seen or heard from since there disappearance," Blake answered, his face scrunching up in frustration and disbelief and his voice grew louder as he continued.
"And what is even more baffling is that no one has seen any of the perpetrators or has any idea who is behind it or why."
Blake ran his big hand through his hair a moment then let out a breath trying to calm himself. She watched him for a moment trying to think of what she could do.
It all seemed very puzzling to her. If detectives who were trained to find people did not have a clue, what could she possibly do?
She shook the thought of giving up out of her head. It would not help finding Dustin one bit. He needed her and she knew it. Her hands balled into fists again as she bolstered her resolve within her mind.
"Detective I really want to help. I think my friend is in danger. What can I do?" she asked quietly.
A resigned look passed over the detective's face as he searched for an answer. He straightened his shoulders and rested his hands on his desk in front of him.
"Well only things I could say to do if you really want to help is to go around places you think that person would be and look for clues," Blake gave the only advice he could. "Ask around and see if anyone has seen your friend. Just make sure to be careful."
She nodded "I will. Thank you Detective."
"You are welcome," Blake replied. "Just do me a favor and don't end up as a report on my desk."
She nodded again and smiled politely. "I won't."
Derrick Blake nodded back as she turned to the door and left his office.
Megeara felt more determined in her search when she left the detective's office than when she had began. Her stride was more purposeful and her thoughts more clear.
She did not have any leads but she knew at least where to start. Her boots thudded softly on the hallway tiles as she made her way to the front of the station.
Officer Shepard still at his desk, nodded a quick goodbye to her as she went down the steps towards the exit. A biting cold wind picked up right as she stepped through the automatic doors. Night had completely fallen over the city leaving the parking lot looking ominously dark and spooky. Even more so with it being so close to All Hallows Eve.
Glancing left then right, she spotted her car and made her way as quickly to it as she could without looking too frightened. Except for a few empty squad cars the lot was deserted. Shadows gathered and pressed all around her as she pulled her keys from her pocket and got into her car.
She put on her seat belt and slid the key into the ignition. She was about to turn the key when she two bright red eyes stared back at her from her rear view mirror. She froze instantly as the two red eyes narrowed. Her stomach turned to stone as fear crept through her.
A raspy hissing sound filled her right ear but she was too afraid to move. The bright red eyes held her thee paralyzed and helpless. Flesh on her neck tingled and she could feel the ice cold touch of a hand wrapping around her throat.
"Such sweet flesh." the voice rasped.
Megeara felt her throat tighten as the cold hand around it squeezed. A terrified whimper left her lips . A gurgling sound that she guessed was laughter came from the shadows.
She could not see anything but the red eyes in the mirror, but she could tell it was a male from how its hand was rough and calloused against her slender neck.
A shiver ran up her spine as she heard the shadows draw in a ragged breath then another fit of gurgling laughter. She willed her body to move- to do anything but it refused.
Her arms and legs felt like lead weight as she looked into the eyes of the the stranger that had her.
"So sweet" it hissed again.
Goosebumps crawled across her skin as the hand tightened more around her neck, cutting off her whimpers turning them into little wheezing sounds. Terror stabbed through her consciousness as she sat there helpless against her shadow assailant. Her heart raced in her chest as she struggled to breath.
She felt sharp, jagged nails digging into her throat as icy fingers coiled ever tighter. A warm wet sensation pooled between her thighs and went slowly down her leg as she felt her attacker's hot breath on her skin.
Her stomach lurched as the putrid, rotten smell reached her nose. Her throat muscles tensed even more as the urge to gag came over her.
Her lungs burned for air as she was slowly choked by the dark passenger hidden in the shadows of the back seat. Her mind screamed at her to struggle but all she could do was gasp and stare at the red orbs in horror. Something sharp grazed the side of her neck.
A sudden knock against the driver side window broke the hold on her body and she suddenly lunged forward, hands gripping the steering wheel tightly.
She felt dizzy as she gasped for breath. Her lungs thankfully drank in the much needed air. A knock on her window came again making her jump and in her seat. With a shaking hand , she reached over and pressed the button to lower her window.
"Ma'am are you alright?" Officer Shepard looked concerned at her and shined his flashlight into the car.
"I...I am f..fine..." she said shakily.
Her arms were visibly shaking as her hands clenched the steering wheel in a death grip and it took a conscious effort just to let go. It was then she realized that the hand on her throat was gone.