Jadeah glowered. Her warm bed is memory. Gold morning spilling through seaward windows is replaced by gray traffic and dark apprehension, as she drives to the murder scene.
James’s voice, laced with confusion and not a little fear, echoes in her ear. She could only wonder what was wrong. His voice was clear and controlled when he called, but the bleed-through of raw emotion: the anger, fear and utter bafflement in his mind, were a miasmic smell to her highly trained senses. Jadeah’s carefully planned day was now supplanted by the urgency he unwittingly implied.
Her mind kept returning to the manuscripts lying idle on her desk. She was busier than ever now. Anonymity was a thing of the past and sometimes she remembered those early days fondly. Back then, they turned her stories down. They were all skeptics and none of them believed in her and what she stood for. Back then, she could go anywhere unnoticed – not now. Now, she had two children’s books and two novels published, and the poems and short bardic tales of the Before Times were even doing well. She smiled inwardly, well, maybe I didn’t like being unknown better, but my life sure was simpler and more serene.
This past year her old schoolmate from MU had taken to calling her in whenever he needed esper help in his law enforcement work. It took time away from her writing and sometimes resulted in unwelcome notoriety. She preferred the calling of writer and poet to that of psychic sleuth or ‘Wonder Witch’ as the ever-irreverent columnist Amanda Mason dubbed her.
It wasn’t pleasant witnessing the aftermath of crimes. True, James only called her when he’s desperate, and he never spreads her name around. “Blast!” She muttered aloud. Something is terribly wrong, and I will never get my book to the publisher by deadline, never mind the article for Mayax Today, and, damn it all! I’ll call them both later. She had arrived.
She parked her Rover behind the police cars, and got a dirty look from the Sergeant. Jade got out, slammed the door, and called up to him as she mounted the stairs to the entrance he barred, “Sergeant, I got a call to meet Lieutenant Jeffries here.”
“He ain’t here yet and the room is sealed and no one goes in until he gets here and you’re illegally parked, so move that thing.”
His words reached her: lances honed with anger, trailing fear. “Why are you so angry, Sergeant?” She asked, sending him soothing thoughts. A glare was her answer. Turning to go down the stairs, she saw James pull in behind her Rover, and sighed with relief.
“James, just let me move the Rover, and I’ll be right with you.”
“You’re on police business. The Rover’s fine.” The smile was for Jade. The sergeant received a cold, “See that Ms. Kenion’s vehicle is not disturbed or ticketed.”
“Yes, sir,” the stony-faced reply belied the seething lava behind the eyes.
James and Jade entered the house and instantly five people, all talking at once, surrounded them. The forensics team was there. The photographer wanted to take pictures. K.D. Jones, detective in training barred the door. “I kept them out just like you said, Lieutenant. Sergeant O’Conner is Pi…, uh, real upset, sir.” The young man glanced sideways at Jade. She felt the curiosity and the awe, and gave him her warmest smile and thoughts.
James was all business, “So what else is new in the world. All right, K.D., report.”
“Well, sir. The maid got here at 6:30 this morning, opened up and came in. She said she noticed the library door open slightly and a light on. She said it wasn’t like Mrs. Kane, uh, the lady who lives here, uh, lived here, so she walked into the room and there she was, the corpse, uh, Mrs. Kane, sir. She got scared and didn’t go any further – she ran out to the hall, called us, and oh yeah, she’s in the kitchen with the cook. She’s still pretty shook.”
“Jadeah?” She barely heard James call her by her full name. She was already tuning into the room’s vibrations. “Jade?”
“Yes, I hear you, please tell your minions to sit and stay put. The room where the body was found is only apart of the crime scene. It’ll be hard to see past their traces to the earlier, fainter ones of what happened here some hours ago.”
“Sure! You all heard. Shut-up and sit.”
They sat, startled, and irritated that they weren’t allowed to do their jobs. They watched Jade and muted whispers circulated amongst them.
“She’s one of them you know one of the Wyse.”
“Yeah? A witch you mean; I know.”
“Shhh, she’s his, you know, friend. He’ll hear and she don’t need to hear to know.”