A Serial Mystery: Part 2

Will turned and followed, feeling unsettled.

“I’m Special Agent Feud. As long as we’re identifying ourselves with such formality, I thought I’d toss the ‘special’ in there.” Special Agent Feud was now standing in front of the victim’s car, apparently examining it. 

Will approached and stood next to him, “Very well, Special Agent.” The sarcastic tone was there and Will couldn’t help it.

For some reason, the sarcasm seemed to deeply amuse Special Agent Feud, who turned away with a smirk. A serious look crossed his face as he caught sight of the bowling ball near the driver’s door.

Special Agent Feud squatted and stared at the bowling ball for what seemed millennia, a look on his face that Will found completely troubling. Special Agent Feud slowly stood, an angry look on his face.

“Well? Is it him?” Will found himself asking. So what if he was rushing? He was angry, tired, cold, and hungry. 

Special Agent Feud’s face was ashen. “Dust the ball for prints. If it’s him, the only fingerprints to be found will be his victim’s. If it’s clean, he’s changed his MO.” He turned and walked back to the SUV.

“Hey!” Will called after him. “Couldn’t it just be a copycat?”

Special Agent Feud paused mid-step, then turned and sauntered back towards Will. 

Will couldn’t help but glare at him.

“Why?”

“Why, what?” Will snapped.

“Why copycat this? Why now?” Special Agent Feud gestured, the breadth of his arm taking in the entire scene.

“A question like that presumes that I understand the criminal mind. I’m not a profiler. I’m more interested in the crime than the criminal,” Will responded tersely, disliking Special Agent Feud more and more.

Special Agent Feud crossed his arms. “Details such as some of those clearly present on this scene were never released to the public. Whoever did this either knows the original killer or he is the killer. It’s as simple as that.” He turned and headed back to the SUV again.

“What details?” Will shouted after him, attracting attention from some of the straggler reporters. His anger had made him reckless, and he ignored both the reporters and the fact that he had attracted their attention.

“You’re one of the public, Detective Madden, clearly,” Special Agent Feud replied tersely, turning towards him again.

Will stalked towards him. “Look, I don’t care how far on the outside of this case you think I am, but I am part of this case now! Meaning I know everything, past, present and future. Keeping me out of the loop would be a mistake on your part.”

He and Special Agent Feud now stood nose-to-nose and Will glared at him.

“Fair enough,” Special Agent Feud now murmured. “Start over, shall we?”

He held out his hand. “Special Agent Dryden Feud, at your service. You can call me Dryden, but the people who value their limbs call me Feud.”

Will nodded and shook his hand. “Most people call me Will.”

“Well, perhaps you can compel your forensics team to dust the bowling ball for prints.”

“I can do that.”

“I’m to see your Chief in the morning. Incidentally, Madden is not a shared name by coincidence, is it?”

“He’s my grandfather.” Why is that always the first thing people notice?

“Ah.” Feud yanked open the door to the SUV. “Agent Bittner has not arrived yet, I assume?”

“No.”

Feud stepped inside the vehicle and it seemed to Will that he had lost the vitality he once had. His face was drawn and ashen, the spring in his step gone. “I’ll see you tomorrow, then, Will.”

Will nodded and shut the door to the SUV. Well, at least that’s over with, Will thought as he stalked back over to the crime scene. A reporter was approaching him and he ignored her, sidestepping her and continuing his journey. “Greenly?”

The forensic scientist hurried towards him. “Yes?”

“Dust the ball for prints.”

Greenly gave him a quizzical look, but without a word, he went back to the forensics van.

Will squatted and stared at the bowling ball. How could it be that the only thing Feud had paid attention to was the bowling ball? Am I the only one who cares about the human life that was taken this morning? I suppose detaching oneself from the fact that someone did such a heinous thing to another human is a coping mechanism. Will stood. One thing is certain; this man took this way too far. Nine; nine victims. Nine innings, nine bowling pins. Will glanced over his shoulder to where the SUV was just pulling away. Is that really what this is, just a game to him? A game of bowling? But, if it’s just the victim’s prints on the ball, is that supposed to signify that they died at their own hand? Will shook his head and thought cynically as he headed back to his truck, For someone who hates psychology, I sure take a lot of stock in it.

Ciara Zaketti
Column Editor