by Patricia Cooper 2 years ago in fiction

Curiosity killed the cat.


Blink...Blink...Blink. It was a warm but almost pitch black night when Oscar saw it; a series of flashes, seeming to come from a single source across from his apartment window. At first he ignored it and just tried to enjoy the silence, but after a long while, the blinking had not ceased. He tried yelling at whoever was flashing him, but got the same blinks of light in response. After another minute or so of inspecting the blinks, he noticed they were appearing in a pattern. After a long series of spaced out flashes of light, there would be a two second pause and the series would repeat. After trying to decipher the code of blinks for about five minutes, he realized what it was. It was morse code! The only problem is that he didn’t speak, or in this context, read morse code. However, his phone did! Pulling the device out of his pocket, he read the time: 3:25 AM. After a quick search, he found a picture of the alphabet in morse. After the blinking once again began to repeat, he started translating. He had to frequently shift his view up and back down, as he hadn’t yet memorized the alphabet or the flashes. The first group of blinks: h, the second group of blinks: e, the third group of blinks: l, the fourth group of blinks: p, the fifth group: m. Before he could translate any further, the blinking stopped. He then heard a scream come from the source of the previously present flashing. Daggers, ripping through the blanket of silence which was previously resting over the street.

Then, the flashing started again. This time, different. While it was obviously a different pattern of blinks, the rhythm of the blinks was now sloppily syncopated. The blinks had no intonation this time, they followed no tempo. He was just about to call the police when curiosity stopped him dead in his tracks. What were the blinks saying now, now that whoever was previously making them was most likely dead? That scream didn’t sound like a non-emergency scream. So, Oscar did what he felt he needed to. He began translating the new blinks. T...o...o...l….a….t…..e. Too late? Suddenly, his power went out. He threw his phone in shock, smashing it against the wall. Turning around to grab a flashlight in the envelope of darkness, he heard a loud slam on his door. A cold chill climbed his spine. Before he could regain his bearings, he heard and felt a much louder slam that shook the room. As the slams were getting increasingly frantic, he grabbed the flashlight and ran to the window. He then began sending flashes of light out of his window, hoping that someone would see them in time.

“NYPD police report: November 22nd, 2014; 5:15 AM. A struggle was present. Cries from room #715 reported at approximately 4:45 AM. Offenders: unknown. No vehicles or weapons present. Note: victim’s body not present at the scene. Fingerprints found on windowsill. Damaged cellular device found under window. Flashlight located on outside walkway. Further investigation of the area required.”

Janet closed her notepad. This was by far one of the strangest cases she’d ever seen. Now, under normal circumstances this would be a pretty standard scene. However, these weren’t normal circumstances. At 3:45 AM, a scream from the apartment across the street was reported by a passerby, and then there was this scream, reported at 4:45 AM. Two screams, only an hour apart, and within such close proximity of each other. She knew it had to be a coincidence, but at the same time she knew it wasn’t. It couldn’t have been.

“You guys should see this,” a quivering voice squeaked.

Janet snapped back into reality. She looked over at one of the officers, visibly shaken and pale, pointing to the closet. The chief stormed over, hungry for a lead. Janet followed closely behind. As the closet door creaked open and light poured into the space, Janet, now stunned and on the brink of consciousness, shakily flipped open her notepad and rewrote a part of the police report.

“Note: victim’s whole body not present at the scene.”

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