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Mary Had A Little Lamb: Chapter Seven

Updated on March 29, 2017

A Personal Revelation

Here it is: I have no idea how long I’ll drag this out in short story form. I can see a book here, but I really don’t want to show all my cards now . . . but then it seems a bit cruel to take you this far and then leave you hanging…but I have this really cool idea for the book….but where is the time going to come from….and the doubts keep swirling.

I guess we’ll just have to see when the time comes.

In the meantime, enjoy!

Murders happen in the strangest places
Murders happen in the strangest places | Source

The Boredom of a Stakeout

Two weeks of staking out a suspect will cut into a department’s budget pretty quick. The Chief of Police did not hesitate to inform me of that fact at every opportunity.

“We’ve got nothing on this guy Bitron, O’Dowd. I need something to justify the man-hours of watching him twenty-four-seven.” Similar statements were made to me, at least twice daily, and I could understand his concern. Hell, I had my own doubts to wrestle with. On the other hand, since the stakeout began, the murders had ended. Coincidence? My instincts told me no, but I had not one shred of evidence to back up those instincts.

“We need something,” Dawn said, stretching in the seat next to me. We were parked a block down from Bitron’s house. The subject of our intense interest was entertaining that evening. Five separate cars had arrived just before seven that evening, and each car disgorged a lone male. A poker game? A book club? I had typed in each license plate and was reading the printout of information as Dawn kept her eye on the house.

Shaun Peterson, age forty-two, single, no prior arrests, and local address.

Gerald Banks, age forty, no prior arrests, single, local address, the gentleman, Mister Average, we had met earlier.

Thomas Braun, age forty, no prior arrests, single, and local address.

Jonathan Petrie, age forty-five, no prior arrests, single, and local address.

And Mister Henry Streitz, the elder of the group at forty-nine, single, local address, and one prior arrest for assault and battery when he was twenty-two.

“What the hell?” I asked to no one in particular. “What are the odds of finding six single guys, in their forties, in one place? Why do I find that odd? I mean, there’s no law against being single, and there’s no law against six guys getting together for beers, or cards, or whatever, but I just find it stranger than hell.”

“I think we should go see for ourselves what they’re doing,” Dawn said as she opened her car door.

Bad weather omen
Bad weather omen | Source

A Chill in the Air

A storm had blown in from the Pacific, reminding us all that no matter the season, life in the Pacific Northwest is unpredictable at best. The wind and rain hit my face like an angry lover as we climbed the stairs to Bitron’s home. The front door opened before we could knock, and Bitron smiled at us.

“Detectives,” he said. “I must tell you, you are dangerously close to harassment at this very moment.” He turned to his friends inside. “Thomas, could you come here, please?”

Thomas Braun approached the door, about six-two, black wavy hair, in shape, probably worked out at Gold’s or the Y, expensive teeth, and those teeth were on full-display as he stopped and smiled at us.

“This must be the two detectives you were telling us about, Anthony. O’Dowd and Robie, I presume. My client here, and friend, was just telling us that you don’t seem capable of leaving him alone.” He handed us his business card. “As you can see from the card, I am one of two managing partners of Braun & Braun Law, and Anthony is tired of you being camped out in his neighborhood. Now, if you have any evidence that Anthony is involved in the child killings, now is the time to pull that evidence out, but we all know you have nothing and this is a fishing expedition. That means tomorrow I call the Mayor, who just happens to be a golfing buddy, and I tell him I’m not happy about two of the city’s finest hassling a fine citizen. Now, is there anything else, Detectives? No? Well, then, ta-ta. ‘And so the teacher turned it out, but still it lingered near.’ Don’t you two linger, Detectives. It’s time to go find the real killer and leave my friend alone.”

We did as instructed and walked back to the car. I turned the heat on and we sat there.

“What was that about the teacher turning it out?” Dawn asked.

“It’s a line from ‘Mary Had A Little Lamb,” I said.

“Aww shit! What, this Braun is involved too? And if he is, why would he say that? Why say something that obviously points to the killings?”

“Because he’s convinced he can’t be caught, Dawn. He thinks we are so incompetent that he doesn’t have to be concerned with what we know. Let’s go back to the office. I want as much information as possible on the new players.”

The weather clears
The weather clears | Source

The Weather Clears

According to the National Weather Bureau, the rains ended about three a.m. The storm dropped a little over an inch of rain on Olympia, but a high-pressure system was moving in. By three-thirty a.m. the stars were on display, the wind was calm, and the temperature was fifty-eight degrees.

The construction site at the corner of 18th and Lilly was a mud pit. The partially-framed home looked like a massive skeleton under the half-moon, the yellow Douglas Fir studs appearing white at that hour.

The body of a young girl hung in dark contrast against those studs. She had been crucified to what would be the front wall, facing the street, a street which was, by four a.m. filled with cop cars and emergency vehicles. Dawn and I stood on that street, along with another twenty-five city personnel. No one had approached the home. A cop had seen the body while driving by, had called it in, and had sealed off the scene.

There was not one damned footprint approaching the house. The ground was a literal quagmire with a good two inches of mud, the best surface possible for footprints, and we were looking at an approach of thirty feet completely undisturbed.

“We got a call in at twelve-fifty from the mother of Angelee Mullins, age six, missing from her bedroom over on Sleater-Kinney, about a mile from here,” a uniform told me. “This could be her.”

I shined my flashlight over the thirty feet. It was as pristine as you could ever see, thirty feet of mud, not one indentation, not even dog prints. I took a picture of the scene, the home, the approach, the oak tree next to the home, on the south side, at least seventy-five feet of branches and leaves, great shading in the summer, good wind-break in the winter, no neighbors, the first home in a small, planned development, the others to follow after this one was completed.

I turned to the same uniform.

“Okay, Detective Robie and I are going to walk to the body. We’ll use one path and one path only. I don’t want anyone else approaching that home, got it? As we walk I’ll put markers down on both sides of our path. That is the only approach to the body anyone can use. Understood?” He nodded. “And I want floodlights and I want them fast. I want this area lit up like Rockefeller Plaza in thirty minutes.”

I turned to Dawn.

“Let’s do this!”

One Small Clue

The footprints were inside the framed home, two sets of prints, from the south side of the home to the body. From the inside one guy had held the body up while the other nailed it to the studs. Small streams of dried blood led from the nails to the ground below. Dark brown hair, wildly curly, framed the innocent face, her lifeless eyes looking towards a future that would not be.

She was naked.

Dawn took pictures of the footprints using her wallet for scale.

“I want to kill them,” she said.

“What do you want to bet that Briton and his friends had a sleep-over and all six have the same alibi?”

“I want to kill them,” she repeated, brushing a strand of hair out of Angelee’s face.

IN THE NIGHT SHE VISITED

My muse is fickle and annoying at times.

Last night I was trying to sleep and my muse whispered in my ear and told me where this story was going, and now I have to write the damned book. I’ll give credit where credit is due, though; it’s a great twist!

2017 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      What a devious mind you have, Sha! LOL Unfortunately, we're going to have to wait about six months to find out if you are correct. :( Thanks for tossing out ideas. It feeds my imagination before I get serious about this book.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 7 months ago from Central Florida

      We have footprints but I'd venture to say no fingerprints will be found on Angelee's body. I wonder of the Sanctimonious Six were in combat together, or members of some underground terrorist team and had themselves stripped of all traces of who they were in the past. I'm still thinking the perp has no fingerprints. I'm also thinking he or they are not who they appear to be.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 7 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Well, Lawrence, I can only hope for the same results as Dickens. Thank you my friend, and blessings always.

    • profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 7 months ago

      Bill

      Just this morning I was reading that Dickens serialised most of his novels, and in doing so he got literally tens of thousands of people 'hanging out' for every word!

      That feels like what we do with this story, eagerly anticipating the next chapter.

      Blessings

      Lawrence

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Missy, this is deeply disturbing, and I thank you for continuing. Trust me, these animals will get what is due them, in a spectacular fashion. :) Enjoy your Sunday and thanks for the conjecture on the story. When you reflect you feed this writer's imagination for the future plot.

    • Missy Smith profile image

      Missy Smith 8 months ago from Florida

      Yep, things are swirling around in my mind. These men are around the same age, pristine in appearance; Hmmm...could they be old fraternity pals? Heavens, I don't know, but I am enjoying the scenarios that this story is taking my thoughts on.

      The only part that is disturbing in reading this is the little girls. The thought of these girls being ripped from their homes and parents' safe havens, and the total fear they must have gone through is just too much to think about as a mother. Even so, it is something we face during this day and time. Plenty of stories like this are frequent across this world. It is sad. It is scary. I know it frustrates the detectives when it is complicated.

      Bill, this is a deeply disturbing, yet enthralling murder mystery that you just can't stop reading. It has become very essential for me to finish and find out - what I hope will be a victorious ending for the police detectives and families. It feels real.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I just love to write, Honey! This is my passion...teaching once was, now it's writing, and I love it.

      Thanks for spending part of your day with me.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you for starting your day with me, Maria! Happy Weekend!

      love,

      bill

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 8 months ago from Jeffersonville PA

      This story is heavy on suspense and emotion, Bill - heading to the next chapter before I get started with my day. Love, Maria

    • HoneyBB profile image

      Helen Laxner 8 months ago from Illinois

      So compelling...your stories always take me out of my comfort zone...and who doesn't need that every now and then. You inspire me to get busy writing. I swear you must be an octopus...lol. You write and write and write. You definitely have enough words in you to write novel after novel after novel.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad I could clear that up for you, Jo! Thanks for faithfully following along and encouraging me.

    • jo miller profile image

      Jo Miller 8 months ago from Tennessee

      There have been two mysteries going on here: Who's killing the children and will you write the book. I've been more concerned about the latter. Glad you cleared that up.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh, for sure, Zulma! We are not a gentle species.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Shannon, I can tell you for sure this will end in a book....unfortunately, that means the end of this year for the conclusion. I know, I'm cruel!

    • shanmarie profile image

      shanmarie 8 months ago

      You can't leave us hanging like that! If you stop telling the story here, you have no choice but to put it in a book. That's a direct order, not that I have any clout around here. LOL. At least your muse seems to carry out orders better than I do.

      As for my theory. . .I think maybe I'm wrong. Or am I? You're killing me with suspense.

      And by the way, I'd have my children sleeping in bed with me with that sicko or those sickos still on the loose!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 8 months ago from United Kingdom

      The cruelty of man. Sometimes that can scarier than the supernatural.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      At first, Zulma, I debated going supernatural with this one but no, in the end, I decided on the cruelty of man alone.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 8 months ago from United Kingdom

      Night Stalker! I used to love that show. I never missed it. So might there be something supernatural about these murders? Hmmm.

      Oh and, by the way, yes. You are very cruel. lol

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks so much, Randi. There will be a few more chapters online before I move to the book, so you'll still have a few more to read.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 8 months ago from Mesa, AZ

      Well, now that I am up to speed (5-7) in one sitting, I see that you are going to leave me sitting...wanting more. Story of my life!

      I kind of hate how much I like this. The subject is so frightening but the telling of the tale, so good. This will make an excellent book!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Vellur! I think we already know the answer to your question...but then, maybe not. LOL

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rasma! There used to be a Night Stalker television series with Darrin McGavin, way back when. I grew up with creepy, so it's only natural I write about it.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 8 months ago from Riga, Latvia

      This just leads you on and on. Made me think of all those night stalker movies I've watched and of course the CSI series.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 8 months ago from Dubai

      Another young girl crucified, who could it be? I have my guesses but am waiting for the next chapter.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 8 months ago from SW England

      Can't speak the lingo! I do like Italy though. You're right, it's good to broaden one's horizons. It's just so easy to pop across the Channel!

      Ann

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I am indeed, Dora. I'm practicing a bit of pacing and it was sharp of you to note that. Thank you for paying so close attention.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael my friend, there will be punishment. Of that you can be sure. Thank you for your thoughts and we do, indeed, need those blessings.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Genna, as always, you are so kind. Thank you for the words of praise. I'm excited where this is heading and trust me, there will be retribution in the end.

      blessings always

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Bill, you've met all the characters you need to meet...now the hunt for evidence begins.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you augsfanani! It's good to hear from you again.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Venkatachari M, there will be a few more chapters for sure....just enough to wet your appetite some more. :) Thank you, sir!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, I never hear of Italy or Germany....don't they deserve some time from you? :)

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm afraid I am, Zulma! If you want to cancel our friendship now I'll understand. :) I had a brainstorm a few days ago and now I have to leave everyone handing until the second part of the book....I know, I know, cruel.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks a ton, Larry! Glad you enjoyed it.

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 8 months ago from Oklahoma

      Great read!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 8 months ago from United Kingdom

      I wonder where those men live in relation to where the bodies were found. Were the victims killed where they were found or somewhere else? As far as brain teasers go, this is gold.

      You're not going to make us wait until the book comes out, are you, Bill.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 8 months ago from SW England

      Good one, bill! Wanderlust is something I often have but soon I'm going to enjoy staying put by the sea until my batteries are recharged! Then we'll be off again - France, do you think?!

      Ann :)

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 8 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      I am late here, Bill. But surprised to find the small clue that may lead to the killers. Until the minute before, there was no clue at all. And, you gave a sudden twist to end the series?

      I thought I could enjoy more of it. Anyway, It is a great thriller story and a worthy book to read.

    • agusfanani profile image

      agusfanani 8 months ago from Indonesia

      I enjoy being in full of curiosity following your story. Have a nice, inspiring day Bill !

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 8 months ago from Massachusetts

      Great chapter Bill. Looking forward to where this goes next. It would seem that Bitron and friends are involved somehow. I don't recall any others characters that could be the killer but of course who knows what's waiting in the next chapter, other than you. Suffice to say we are all hooked.

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 8 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

      Bill, I want a ringside seat when Karma catches up with this evil incarnate, aka, "them." I only hope the traditional arrest, jail time and lawyered-up isn't part of the process. It's too good for whoever/whomever is doing this. So is life in solitary at a Supermax for that matter; child killers like this rarely survive in general pop for long.

      I thought a couple of chapters ago that might Bitron be Gay, and this might explain his association with all-single-male friends but, then again, that's too easy. I wonder how he checked out in terms of investigating his background back at the police station. My thoughts keep drifting back to Mary. Never look in the direction the magician/illusionist wants you to look. :-)

      I can't tell you what a privilege it is to read such skillful and compelling writing, Bill. This will be a terrific book.

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 8 months ago

      Peculiarly executed 'religious" rite of satanic worship. Dangerously tragic circumstances can't remain without punishment. ( Even the " clean hands" won't surprise me .) Keep up with ingenuity my friend. A history is being made.

      Blessings, we need it.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 8 months ago from The Caribbean

      The fate of the kids pulls at my heart strings. Still, I can't help but notice the interference of the weather. Whenever you take time to describe it, I expect that you're giving us time to catch our breath. I like it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, congratulations on your old house soon to be but a memory. As for creepy, yes, for sure, and the bad guys are the kinds of guys we all would like to punch. I suspect it will happen in the second part of the book. :)

      A nice challenge on Wednesday...let's see...

      Have a walloping wanderlust Wednesday.

      bill

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 8 months ago from SW England

      Creepy, creepy, creepy.. You have me on the edge of my seat. You have me wanting to punch these guys for their smugness!

      There is obviously a great book in the making here. Good luck with sorting that out, bill!

      2 weeks to go before we're out of our old house - hooray!

      Hope your week's going well. Have a wizardly whacky Wednesday, bill!

      Ann :)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      I know, Flourish, RoadMonkey had a great one. Now, was it the correct one? We shall see!

      Thanks so much for being here.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Sis, I am pretty sure the killing is about to end....maybe one more....I'm on track now and heading to a conclusion that will work going into Part Two. How's that for leaving you feeling unfulfilled? :) Thanks, Sis!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 8 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      If Dawn wants to kill them, she better find them before I do!! The child killing is becoming unbearable. It's too easy to imagine this scenario for real in this sick & twisted world we live in today.

      Feeling weak and empty with the horrendous vision in my head.

      First time I've wished you were a lousy writer.....maybe I could stop reading!! It's just not possible to put down a story by you! Sis

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 8 months ago from USA

      I love RoadMonkey's idea. Either way, I look forward to seeing where this goes.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      That's a huge compliment coming from you, John. Thank you!

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 8 months ago from Queensland Australia

      This is my favourite chapter so far, Bill. Things are really getting interesting. Great job.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks MizB. I'm having a blast writing this one, and I'm so happy everyone is enjoying it.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Aww, thanks Manatita! Getting that agent is problematic, my friend, but it's a wonderful dream, eh'?

      blessings my poetic friend

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Chris, that's the best compliment you could give me, that you want to help Dawn kill them. LOL Seriously, thank you! This is going to end half-way through; the second half will be in the novel....I know, it's a pisser! LOL Thanks buddy!

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 8 months ago from Missoula, Montana at least until March 2018

      I want to help Dawn kill them. How's that for impacting your reader? What I can see here is that the nursery rhyme's reference to lambs applies to the detectives who had been turned out by the teacher to linger. I'm waiting for Mary to appear. Nicely written mystery, Bill.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 8 months ago from london

      I expected this and wanted it too. Do you realise that if you have a great agent and the right marketing, this could be a best-seller? I love the idea that your possible killers are so nice and neat, like a conservative family. Ha ha.

      "The wind and rain hit my face like an angry lover."-Billybuc

      Poetry in motion. Ok, I'm stealing that line. Excellent HUb!

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      MizBejabbers 8 months ago

      Now we're getting somewhere! Yep, two clues could end this thing quickly, but I'm glad you've decided to make it into a book. Great going, my friend Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      No, I picked it up a bit, Eric....hectic....a need to do something quickly....a little panic setting in....yes, a quicker pace, my friend. Good catch!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Oh, I'm making it, Ruby, and loving the journey. Thankfully this is fiction and not really happening. :) Thanks dear friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      RoadMonkey, you have a devious mind, and I love it!!! Stay tuned, and thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Shyron! I love a mystery too, but in this case I'm so happy I finally know where this is going. :)

      blessings my friend

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 8 months ago from Texas

      Bill, I love the mystery, hate the killing especially this one, this one broke my heart. "And so the teacher turned it out" how clever of you to drop that line in there.

      Great story though.

      Wow to RoadMonkey who may be on to something, about the initiation rites. Hope it did not spoil your book ideas.

      Blessings always

    • RoadMonkey profile image

      RoadMonkey 8 months ago

      Two clues, the, the footprints and the line from Mary had a little lamb. While they may think they can't be caught, it may also be like Dostoevsky pointed out in crime and punishment - the crime forms a stopping point in time for them, it preys on their mind and everything afterwards is seen only in reference to that event. That also now makes me wonder whether these killings are initiation rites, where members only join after completing their "task".

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 8 months ago from Southern Illinois

      That scene was so vivid, I'm sitting here hating people I don't even know! How could there not be footprints? I see a thriller in the making.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 8 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Fantastic. There was a quickened pace here, or was it just my mind racing toward the next word. Thanks Bill.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      Aww, thanks, Janine! It's probably a year away from completion, but I think I can squeeze it in.

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 8 months ago from New York, New York

      What a twist indeed and love the idea of making this series into a book. Hope that you do go that route, but still quite enjoying where this is going here so far. Happy Wednesday now, Bill!! :)