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A young, shaggy German Shepard wandered into the building and barked out a greeting

By Leah DeweyPublished 2 years ago 3 min read
Photo by Anna Dudkova on Unsplash

The early morning sun poured into the small office lighting up the room. The smell of freshly printed papers and burnt coffee filled the small space. Men and woman dressed in their daily routine walked through the from lobby, clutching their liquid caffeine. John stood at the front in the lobby staring out into the world beyond trying to wake up enough to focus on the computer screen in front of him. He took a long sip from his coffee and tried to remind himself he had work to do.

Abruptly a young, shaggy German Shepard wandered into the building and barked out a greeting. The sound shook John out of his waking slumber.

“Max? What are you doing here? Where’s your handler, buddy?” He moved from behind the desk and over to Max quickly. John started to scratch behind the dog’s ear and felt something attached to his collar. He pulled it off and stared at the small piece of plastic in his hand. John’s mind raced with curious and terrible thoughts as he noticed the symbol painted on the flash drive. The symbol that had invoked terror through the streets of Los Angeles for the last eight months.

He went behind the desk and grabbed a spare leash for Max before walking them both back to the chief’s office. John knocked hard on the closed wooden door.

“Come in,” called an aggressive voice from behind the door. John slowly pushed it open and marched both Max and himself inside.

“Sir, I think you’re going to want to see this.” John handed over the flash drive. The chief stared at the plastic and then back at John.

“What is this? Where’s Fields?”

“I don’t know, sir. I can try to contact him, if you’d like. Max here just walked in the front door, no leash, unaccompanied with that,” John said pointing at the flash drive, “attached to his collar.”

“Has anyone else seen this? Has anyone else heard from Fields?” The chief barked.

“I brought it straight to you, sir. I don’t know if anyone has talk to Fields today.”

The chief eyes down John, clearly just as confused by the situation. Without breaking eye contact the chief picked up the phone.

“Yeah get me Fields. I’ll wait.”

The two men stared at each other awkwardly. Max finally decided to lay down at John’s feet.

“What do you mean he hasn’t checked in? When was the last time anyone saw him?” The chief turned his gaze out into the distance now as he listened to the information from the other end of the phone. He looked as if he was trying to telepathically connect to Fields.

“Send a unit out to his house. Call his wife. I want to know why Max was left unattended and Fields hasn’t checked in today. If anyone does see or hear from him contact me immediately.” With that the chief slammed the phone back down on the receiver and looked at John.

“I guess we better see what he has to say,” the chief started, inserting the flash drive into his computer.

“Sir, are you sure it’s really from him? I mean I know it’s his mark, but -“ John stopped unsure why he felt so hesitant.

“There’s only one way to find out,” the chief answered clicking open the tab. Instantly a video popped up showing an image of the California Reaper. His expression looked distressed. The chief clicked to play the video and the two men stood in stunned silence.

“Hello. My name is Matthew Mackenzie. I’m sure you all know me as the California Reaper. But here’s the thing. I’m innocent and I can prove it.”

Short Story

About the Creator

Leah Dewey

Hello. Welcome to my page. I have been writing for over ten years & have been published in several different formats including magazine articles, poems & full length novels. I have a BA in English Literature & a Masters in Psychology.

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