Home > Simon Says_. Walk (Kate Morgan #6)

Simon Says_. Walk (Kate Morgan #6)
Author: Dale Mayer

Last Week in September
When Kate Morgan walked into the station Monday morning, the sergeant looked at her and frowned.
“Thought you were taking a couple days off.”
“I didn’t ask ahead of time,” she noted, “and I did take yesterday off, which I needed badly, but I wasn’t sure about scheduling more.”
“You’ve got a lot of hours piled up,” Sergeant Colby told her. “So why don’t you take a few days?”
“Maybe.” She shrugged. “I could finish off a few things that I didn’t quite get done on Saturday, then maybe work this week and plan on taking a long weekend—if that’s okay with you?”
“It’s fine by me,” he said. “You’re doing a great job, you know?”
She looked at him in surprise because words of praise were very scarce from him. “Thank you, sir,” she replied.
She walked into the bullpen to the others standing up and cheering. “What’s that for?” she asked, embarrassed by the attention.
“Well, we couldn’t decide if we should say something, like Good job or Cheers or whatever,” Lilliana explained. “But you know? You seem to have accepted some of Simon’s work. Rodney told us all about it. He heard it from Simon apparently, about his visions that connected to you.”
Kate winced at that. “I’m still not really comfortable with that whole thing.”
“Another thing,” Owen added, as he walked toward her and gave her a hug. “You took a hell of a beating on that hill, but you held your own. So, Yay for still being alive. Not to mention the fact that you closed the case on four murders, and you got it all done within eight days.”
She smiled. “Thanks, guys. I have to admit it was pretty nice to have it come to an end, without anybody else dying. I mean, obviously Charlie died, and, for that, I’m sorry. However, if there had to be an ending, that’s a good one to have, I guess. So, please tell me there are no new cases and that it’ll be an easy week, and then I can take a long weekend.”
They all burst out laughing. “We caught one last night,” Lilliana said. “If you’re up for it, we got a couple gang fights out in lower Hastings again.”
She winced. “What is with that area?”
“Hey, it’s just one of those tough areas of town.”
“Knives, I suppose?”
“Yep, two sliced out, one dead.”
She asked, “Open-and-shut?”
“Yep, sounds like it.”
“Okay, perfect,” she replied. “That sounds like the case I could use right now.”
“Right,” Rodney agreed, “and don’t worry. There’ll be another crazy one coming your way pretty damn soon. There’s always somebody in the department who catches the weird and wild and wonderful.”
She looked at him and asked, “Am I it then?”
“You so are.” Rodney laughed.
Just then, the woman staffing the front reception desk walked in. Audrey, who was still here on a maternity leave coverage, announced, “We’ve got a woman in the front here who’s looking to talk to Detective Kate Morgan.”
Kate looked at her. “Why me?”
She shrugged. “She read your name in the paper.”
“Oh God, no.” Kate moaned. “The last thing I need is notoriety.”
“Too late.” Audrey gave her a bright, winning smile. “That horse has already left the gate, and you’re not getting it back in again.” She pointed behind her. “I put her into the first interview room. Don’t take too long though. Looks like she might bolt.” And, with that, Audrey left.
Kate turned and looked at the others, then saw the grins on their faces. “Did you guys set me up or something?”
“Hell no,” Rodney stated, “but I’ll come with you and talk to her, if you want.”
“Yeah, sure, come on, partner. Let’s go talk to her.” She grabbed a pad of paper and a pen, then turned to look at the others. “I guess you’ll have to handle that open-and-shut on your own.”
“Yeah, I think we can manage that, if we need to,” Owen teased. “Besides, this witness could be about nothing.”
“We’ll see.” She walked toward the interview room and stepped inside to see a woman, her face and hands covered with scratches, looking like she’d been completely traumatized. Kate looked at Rodney with a shrug, then stepped farther inside, introduced herself. “Look. First of all, do you need a doctor?”
The woman gave her a haunted look. “No, I’ve just checked out of the hospital,” she noted quietly.
“Okay then.” Kate sat down and waited for the woman to speak. As the woman nervously fidgeted, clenching and unclenching her scratched up hands, Kate finally spoke. “What can I do for you?”
“I’d like to report a kidnapping,” she said.
“Okay, of whom?”
The woman looked up at her. “Me.”
Kate leaned forward, so she was sure of what she heard. “You were kidnapped?”
She nodded.
“Do you know who kidnapped you?”
She shook her head. “No, but it was for a game.”
At that, Kate froze. “What do you mean?”
“He kidnapped me, took away my shoes and socks, my pants and my shirt, and then said we would go outside, and he would have me walk—only to start and to stop whenever he would say so.”
She nodded. “I know. It doesn’t sound normal. But I was blindfolded, and he would tell me to walk ten paces. So I’d walk ten paces, but I wouldn’t know what I was walking into. Sometimes it would be into a thicket of berry brambles. Sometimes into a river. And one time”—she stopped, and her breath hitched and hiccupped—“one time, it was into a rocky riverbed.” She started to cry. “And then, whenever I would fall or get hurt, he would laugh and laugh and laugh. Sometimes he’d make me do it again and again.”