Detective Winter couldn’t believe the transition. In the previous video, Martina Jones was a smiling, happy fifteen-year old. A leader of her peers, she led with compassion and positive encouragement. Her bright smile could light a city.
In the next video, her face had become twisted with agony and despair. She squirmed in her chair in the psychiatrist’s office, hair in strings across her face. She aimed a dirty finger at her head. “It’s here, Doc! It’s in my head.”
“That’s excellent, Martina,” replied the middle-aged Dr. Dearing. “That’s exactly where the trouble is. We’re making progress.”
“No you don’t understand,” shouted Martina. “It’s in my head!”
“I understand, Martina. I agree with you.”
Martina stood, fists clenched. “NO! IT’S IN MY HEAD!”
Winter stared in shock at the computer screen as the security video played. He watched a young girl, weighing eighty pounds at most, lift the doctor’s four-hundred pound desk above her head. With a scream she smashed it down upon Dr. Dearing, killing him instantly.
The girl raged across the office for a few minutes more. Then she jumped on the desk that still crushed the doctor. Somehow she knew where the security cam was. She stared into it, her face ghastly pale. “It’s in my head!” she screamed. She jammed her fingers through her eyes and into her eye sockets. With blood gushing past her fingers, she howled, then pulled her own skull apart.
It was 10AM in the morning, but Winter reached into his desk and pulled out a bottle of whiskey. With shaking hands, he poured it into his coffee. Fellow police officers saw this, but said nothing. They’d seen the video too.
He picked up a picture taken by one of the five people Martina attacked. It was a camera phone picture of Martina standing before a window, machete in hand, face covered with her hair. Winter shuddered. The boy who took the picture hadn’t survived. Winter wondered what would make such a beautiful young girl mangle someone with her bare hands.
The inititial coroner’s report lay before him. While picking up the psychiatrist’s desk, she’d crushed three of her own vertebrae. Both arms were fractured. She’d nearly killed herself picking up that desk. Winter rubbed at the stubble on his chin and wondered. It should have been impossible for her to do that. Something else was at work here, but what?
The coroner’s office was still studying Martina’s corpse. He called down to Nate Sutter to get an update on the autopsy, but there was no answer. Repeated calls during the morning produced the same result.
In the afternoon, Winter decided to see Nate personally. He found the coroner at his work table, Martina’s brain sitting before him. Nate’s face was frozen in an expression of horror, his eyes bulging madly.
“Nate?” said Winter cautiously. “You okay?”
Nate suddenly shook his head and looked up. “Oh! Hey Dane. What’s shakin’?”
“I was going to ask you that,” said Winter, staring worriedly.
“You had this crazy look on your face.”
“Really? Sorry man. I think I was daydreaming.”
Nate shook his head. “I thought I found this crazy-looking worm in the dead girl’s brain. Never seen anything like it. Then this freaky worm jumped straight at my eyes! Crazy eh? Next thing I know, you’re here.”
“Did you really see a worm?”
“Naw. Can’t be.” He smiled suddenly. “It’s all in my head.”
Winter’s face fell. That familiar choice of words felt like cold fingers gripping his spine. Unconsciously, his hand grasped his service weapon. “I see.”
“No you don’t Dane.” His eyes flashed. “It’s in my head!”
Happy Halloween everyone. Here’s the last spooky one to celebrate the season. This was written for Grammar Ghoul Press’ Mutant 750 writing challenge.