Happy New Year, Kathy by Valerie Noble

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I have had the gift of psychic vision since I was a little girl. It used to drive me mad, until I learned how to control it, and now I use it to do the work I was born to do. I joined the Police force about 10 years ago, and worked damn hard to make Detective so that I could use my gift to its full potential – sifting through visions at crime scenes to see what really happened, and pursuing my evidence from there. Of course, I don't let my colleagues in on my secret, and sometimes my methods are a little difficult to justify, but at the end of the day, I get the job done, and I bring closure to the strangest of cases. It's particularly satisfying when someone has lost someone they love, and the answers just have to be found. Usually, I'm sent out to a murder scene that ends up being classified as a ‘crime of passion', which is just fancy talk for someone killing someone else because they failed to love them right. It happens all the time in families and between lovers - especially in this town.

Today's case was a bit different though. I was at the station finishing my lunch, when my Sergeant gave me a piece of paper with an address scribbled on it, telling me to hit the road. As I drove down the highway toward the scene, I called my assistant Cal, to get the low down. I liked to use my driving time to sift through the facts and lay out my investigation strategy before I arrived at the scene.

‘Detective Switzkowski. Thanks for calling.' Cal replied.

‘Hi Cal. So what's the story?'

‘Well, when you were out getting lunch, I was at the station and I picked up a call from a distressed lady who claimed to be the neighbor of the deceased. She was concerned that she hadn't seen the deceased in a few days and that the dogs appeared to be locked inside the house. Apparently, she went to the door this morning, and noticed that the cake she'd left there, on New Year's Day, was still there, untouched. She knocked on the door and the dogs started going crazy. That's when she called me. I had to smash the lock on the back door, and the second it opened, I was nearly knocked out by the smell of dog shit. The dogs were going crazy, howling and cowering in the corner. I asked the neighbor to wait outside while I checked the place out. I walked through the house, and when I got to the main bedroom – there was the lady of the house - dead. Her mattress was soaked with blood, all the way through to the carpet underneath. Her wrists were cut, and there was a large kitchen knife on the bed beside her. She was lying on her side and it looks like the dogs have taken a few chunks out of her legs and her butt. Anyway, I've been down to the local deli and bought them some food, and they're in the back yard now. I'm telling you, Detective; this is one of the creepiest cases I think I've ever seen.'

‘OK, Cal, thanks for the briefing. Section off the entire house and wait for me. Send the neighbor home, and tell her I'll pay her a visit in 20 minutes or so.' I said.

‘Understood.'

‘Wait a minute Cal. I forgot to ask you – what is the name of the deceased?'
‘Well, according to the neighbor, it's Kathy Sabitini, but I couldn't find any records in the house to verify that.'

‘OK thanks.

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