Sending Nudes 2 by D.I. Jolly

Frank stared at the naked girl on his phone trying to place where he’d seen her face before. Of all the images he’d received in the last few weeks, this one looked the most familiar. Did she just have one of those faces, maybe the kidnapper had a type and she just looked like all the other girls. But no, he was sure he’d seen this particular girl before. They all looked familiar but this one he was sure he recognised. Then all at once it hit him and the pieces started falling into place. Her name was Michelle and she had worked at the coffee shop he often went to during his lunch break. She’d left a few months before. Frantically he started looking through the other pictures and realised that he had met all of the women at some point over the last few months and they all had one thing in common. They all, according to Franks estranged wife, had crushed on him. As the blood drained from his face he called for his partner Jamie.

“You’ve found something, I can see it in your eyes what is it Frank?”

“When last did you see or speak to Kerry?”

Jamie rocked back as if hit by the question.

“What are you trying to say?”

Frank swallowed and explained his realisation.

“Believe me, no one wants me to be wrong more than I do, but I can place all of these women.”

Jamie covered his eyes with one hand and worked hard to control his breathing, trying to find a way to justify his disbelief, but only managed to develop a tension headache.

“I… I think the last time I spoke to her was 2 weeks ago, she was dropping off some of your stuff, told me she was going to her mother’s house?”

Frank’s fist hit his desk hard and his office echoed with the sound of loud swearing. After another long moment of controlled breathing, he looked up.

“Her mother’s house. Her mother’s house has been abandoned for years, we’d technically been saving up to restore it. Come on, I think she was telling you where she’s been taking these women.”

“Frank, I’m sorry, I didn’t know…”

“It’s ok, it’s ok I don’t think I would have made the connection at that point anyway.”

They both grabbed their jackets and guns and headed out, calling for backup on the way. The drive took a little over an hour and as they drew closer the house shone like a beacon of decaying light against a grey background.

“There isn’t supposed to be power in that building, someone’s in there.”

They approached slowly and found the front door unlocked and open. Inside the house looked fairly normal, except for the extension cords and boarded windows. Frank lead the way into the dining room where they found Kerry sitting quietly staring at nothing.

“I knew you’d come back, eventually. Although I thought you were a better detective and would have made it here sooner.”

“Kerry, what did you do?”

“I knew you’d come back… Eventually.”

Frank moved so he was standing in her line of sight but could see that she wasn’t really seeing him.

“I thought you would have made it here sooner, and maybe you could have stopped me, and maybe you could have saved some of them.”

Frank cast a wide-eyed look at Jamie who started quickly moving from room to room until he found the stairs into the basement and what was left of the missing women. Frank then sat with his wife, patiently holding her hand speaking gently as they waited for the backup and the ambulances to arrive. He and Jamie rode with her to the hospital and after many long hours of interviews with doctors and a rushed court order, he promised to visit her in the morning. Then he went home, and drank himself to sleep.

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