Ayden heard the chime go off on his phone. Someone was sending him a text message. When he finally had a chance to take a look at it, he just sat there and stared. How? When and why?
A few nights before, just as he got off of work, and was dog-tired, he received a text from his long silent older sister. Patrice was inviting him out to some gathering. He decided to accept and he brought their ghostly father along, too.
He was also yearning for a companion. He’d met a few women, but so far he just wasn’t connecting with any of them. Perhaps, this was a chance to meet someone entirely new. Ayden wasn’t disappointed. Tired, dead on his feet, but not disappointed. A lovely young woman, near his age, proved to be rather friendly and easy to chat with.
Her name was Jade Rosa. They chatted, they danced and Ayden did his best not to pass out in front of her. His work day had been a long one. Who knew chasing after criminals would be so exhausting?
They exchanged numbers just after he told her he had to leave. When he got back home again, he was quick to send her a text. This was good. He really liked her. Ayden grabbed a bite to eat and then hit the sheets. When he finally woke up, he barely had time to gulp down a very hot cup of coffee before he had to get down to the precinct. Some of the officers there were still struggling to focus and get down to work. Ayden found himself consoling more than a few of them. He wondered if they shouldn’t, perhaps, remove the urns from the Squad Room?
Following a lead, he crossed checked the police database and then added more clues to the board. Several clues leaped out at him. He found it necessary to return to the crime scene to gather more evidence to check his theory. The one that was slowly coalescing in the back of his brain. Seeing apparitions at such places had become commonplace. He even interviewed them, as they seemed able to witness more readily, and had no fears of reprisal. After all, just how many times can you kill somebody who was already deceased? Made sense to him.
Busy photographing and collecting evidence, his phone went off. He knew it was a text by the chime. After a few minutes more, doing his work, he finally sat down to take a look at the text and, more importantly, who had sent it.
“Detective,” the officer said, trying to get his attention. “Sir, is something wrong? You look as white as a ghost.”
“Ghosts aren’t white,” he said, slowly, still staring at the tiny screen.
“Depends on the mood they’re in. They can be blue, green, yellow, red or grayish, but I’ve yet to see a white one. I just never knew they could send a text…”
The man put a hand on his shoulder. “Detective Cantrell, are you all right, sir?”
Ayden showed the officer the message on his phone screen. “So, somebody thinks this Jade Rosa person is cool, so what?”
“See who the sender is?”
“Zoe Cantrell. Yeah, isn’t that your sister?”
“No, I only have one sister and her name is Patrice. Zoe was my mother. My now deceased mother.”
“So, maybe she sent that to you while she was still alive?”
“Yeah and maybe the signal bounced off of the moon three million times before it reached my phone, too. No, I just met Jade Rosa a couple of nights ago. Mom has been gone for almost a year. So, unless she was psychic —”
The officer looked a bit flummoxed. “Well, okay. So, she’s sending you a message from the Great Beyond. Nice to know she approves of this girl you met. Come on, Detective, shake it off. So far, you’re the only one who hasn’t fallen to pieces. We need you to be strong, sir. And Willow Creek needs you.”
“Yeah, you’re right. I’m going to take this evidence back to the station. See ya.”
Once back, Ayden got right to work processing and analyzing this new evidence. Pretty soon, he had enough clues to put out an APB. He was looking for an elderly male. Ayden shook his head. His APB took him to a park in Windenburg. He sat down and played some chess with a young man. Always scanning the area for the person who fit the profile. Next thing he knew, by some dumb luck, the elderly gentleman was standing, watching the game of chess. Ayden introduced himself in a friendly fashion and struck up a conversation with the Sim. After a time, he got that gut feeling and arrested the man, who came without any trouble.
Taking a mug shot of the Sim, he searched him giving the elder a good pat-down, finding, of all things, some kind of squeak toy in the Sims’ pocket— and a turkey-baster? Odd. But, the Sim was old. Perhaps, he was experiencing a second childhood? Fingerprints were next and then it was time to have a nice deep, probing chat with the Sim. Ayden led the way to the Interrogation Room. Detective Cantrell always tried to be polite, kind and generally accommodating. He started off nice and easy, friendly. At first the Sim didn’t say much, but Ayden could tell he was growing a tad tense. That’s when Ayden pulled out his phone and pretended to check it. Then he flipped open the file. Then he bluffed the evidence. When the elder began to squirm a bit, Ayden showed him the witness reports, asking him again about the crime. Then he mentioned the horrors of prison life and dangled his cuffs at the man.
Lining up the crime scene photos all but broke the old fellow. Ayden threw a few complicated logic questions at the guy and next thing Ayden knew the elder Sim confessed. Another case neatly sewn up, Ayden did the old Sim a favor and locked the elderly delinquent up.