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Mystery in Darby

The crisp autumn air clawed at Detective Josh Gaines' lungs as he exited his patrol car, the familiar ...

By spooky sessionPublished about a month ago 3 min read
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The crisp autumn air clawed at Detective Josh Gaines' lungs as he exited his patrol car, the familiar weight of dread settling in his gut. The Buckingham Funeral Home loomed before him, its imposing black edifice a stark contrast to the vibrant foliage clinging to the neighboring trees. This wasn't his first visit, but the circumstances this time were far more unsettling.

He pressed the doorbell, the melody a jarring discord against the oppressive silence. The door creaked open, revealing Jeremy Buckingham, the funeral director. Age had thickened his frame, but the worry etched into his face was new.

"Detective! Thank goodness. We need to keep this under wraps," he rasped, ushering Gaines inside. "Another break-in, just like before."

Gaines knew Buckingham. They were Darby High classmates, their shared history lending a layer of sympathy to the unease churning in his stomach.

"Let's see what we're dealing with, Jeremy," Gaines sighed, following Buckingham down the creaking basement stairs. The air grew heavy, the stale scent of disinfectant laced with something… metallic.

The prep room was bathed in a sterile white light, highlighting the gruesome tableau before them. Ted Kushman, a local who'd succumbed to heart failure just days prior, lay on the steel table, his skin a horrifying alabaster white, devoid of life's natural flush. But it was the complete absence of fluids that sent a shiver down Gaines' spine. This wasn't embalming; this was desecration.

"He was… fresh," Buckingham stammered, pointing at the shattered window. "Just received from the morgue this morning. Now… now this."

Gaines ran a gloved hand over Kushman's body. It was unnaturally rigid, the flesh taut over the bones, a far cry from the pliability of even a well-embalmed corpse. A primal fear gnawed at him.

"Like John Snyder," Buckingham whispered, his voice thick with dread. John Snyder, another recent arrival at the funeral home, had suffered the same fate two weeks prior. "Someone drained them, Josh. Like vampires."

Gaines forced himself to focus. He examined the floor, the sink – no signs of spilled fluids. He then noticed two small puncture marks on Kushman's neck, a gruesome mockery of the medical arteries typically used for draining.

"Did you do this?" he asked, his voice barely above a whisper.

Buckingham's face contorted in disgust. "Never! We use the groin or armpit. Never the neck. It would be… disrespectful."

Gaines scanned the room, his gaze falling on the broken window. It mirrored the one from Snyder's case. He spotted a faint footprint on the wall – a sneaker print, most likely. Below the window, a smear of blood marred the frame. A glimmer of hope.

"Forensics team is on their way," he said, dialing a number. "We might get some DNA."

The technicians arrived, their methodical movements a stark contrast to the chilling scene. As they worked, Gaines ventured outside. The damp earth revealed a clear trail of footprints leading towards the main street. Then, pure chance intervened. A surveillance camera gleamed from the side of the Sureway Grocery store. Could it have captured something?

Back inside the store, Gaines watched hours of monotonous footage with Brett Weilman, the owner. Then, at 2:45 AM on the night of the break-in, a figure appeared on the screen. A young boy, no older than middle school, wearing a bright blue and gold Los Angeles Lakers jersey.

"Anything?" Weilman asked, his voice laced with concern.

"Maybe," Gaines said, pausing the tape. "A kid in a Lakers jersey. Doesn't make sense. Do you know anyone in town who wears one?"

Weilman squinted at the screen. "No kids. But Bill Congdon from Fairfield has one. He's in his 40s though."

Fairfield. A secluded town on the outskirts. Gaines jotted down the address, a sliver of hope battling the dread that had taken root. It was a weak lead, but in this macabre case, any lead was better than none. The thought of a middle-aged man draining bodies in the dead of night sent a fresh wave of horror through him. The darkness held a new terror now, and the once familiar halls of the funeral home seemed to whisper secrets of a depravity that chilled him to the bone.

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spooky session

Daily spooky story

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