Lee Andrew Taylor

AUTHOR OF CLIFTON FALLS / BEDBUGS &
THE S.T.A.R.S PROJECT

A SAMPLE FROM A CHAPTER OF MY BEDBUGS NOVEL...

 

     A house in the next street had received a new visitor, but this visitor was not welcomed here. The deadly bugs scurried along the kitchen floor, hovering along the tiles like a floating carpet. They kept in line as they searched for more food. The house owner’s dog woke up to watch the eerie critters pass by, but suddenly the bugs turned on the dog, leaving the pet howling in pain. Dan and Jon heard the squealing, but the howling stopped moments later.

     “Crazy dog,” Dan said with a chuckle.

     “Maybe the killer is back?”

     “Maybe...The noise has stopped so the dog was probably having a nightmare.”

     “A nightmare...” Jon said. “Do dog’s have nightmares?”

     “Ha, ha, ha...I’ve no idea.”

     The dog was definitely not having a nightmare because the crazed insects were slaughtering it, just like the cat. They saw the dog as being a threat to their plan of finding more human meat, so it needed to be destroyed. The howling ceased after the dog was injected with the numbing liquid. It was then ripped to pieces in its basket. The fur was shredded like a sheep being sheared, with the poor mutt not able to do anything about it.

     Some of the bugs entered the inside of the pet via the bum hole, slicing and dicing through the body organs on their way back out again via the mouth, but a recent vibration sound interrupted them. It was the sound of feet walking along the upstairs landing. Moments later a sleepy eyed female entered the kitchen, switching on the light.

     “Hello, Basil,” she said, walking past the dog basket to go to the fridge.

     Not once did she look at the shaven mutt, but a drink of juice later and she was on her way again ready to try another sleep.

     “I’m glad you’ve stopped that howling,” she said, as she sleepily walked past the dog again.

     She turned off the light and went back to bed, but after re-entering the bedroom noticed her husband was missing. She called out to him but received no answer, so the bedroom lamp was switched on. This left her in a state of pure shock because bloodstains were spotted all over the bedcovers.

     The surprised sound of screaming attracted the attention of Dan and Jon, so they rushed toward the house and banged on the front door. No one opened it, so Dan pushed Jon out of the way to produce a hefty kick. The door was smashed open, but they saw the woman racing down the stairs as they entered the house.

     “My husband’s vanished. He’s vanished,” she screamed at them.

     Jon hugged her as Dan rushed upstairs. He needed to double check. He entered all the rooms and found bloodstains on a double bed, but after swiftly searching the room produced no other evidence of where the husband could be, so returned to the others.

     Jon escorted the frantic woman into the kitchen to have a sit down, but when he turned on the light switch she screamed even louder. Her eyes enlarged from soaking up the sight of what was left of her pet.

     “Oh my God, what’s happened to Basil?”

     She cried into Jon’s jacket, as Dan caught up with them.

     “What the Fu...” Dan shouted.

     A quick hand signal later and Jon was escorting the woman outside, as Dan released his stun gun ready to race around the house. He needed to find clues on why the pet was killed and why the husband had vanished. He unclipped night-vision goggles from his trouser belt, placing them over his head before turning off the lights. He then switched the goggles on and let the night vision do its thing.

     The police uniform belt had many snazzy gadgets on it, with night goggles being a part of what was available. Also attached to the belt was the stun gun and gas pellets (used only for emergency situations). The pellets, if thrown, would crash open to release a dangerous gas that would knock a person out within seconds, but so far no one had used them. A gas mask was tucked into the front pocket of the police uniform jacket just in case. Next to the pellets were slim-line torches. Clever devices that didn’t just shine light, they also cut through metal. Again, like the stun gun these would work off your energy. Each torch was programmed for one user only and a thin beam of hotness would glow from it when switched to blow torch mode. It was all a bit ‘James Bond’, but police officers could do more without having to call back-up.

     Other tools attached to the belt were of course the handcuffs, a six inch extendable, steel baton, and a water bottle, but there was a good chance that some officers used the bottle for something else.

     Dan had searched all the downstairs rooms and was nearing the stairs, but as he looked to the top of the staircase saw something mysterious enter his vision. It was a rounded shape and it was bouncing down toward him. Dan couldn’t make out what it was until it rested at his feet.

     “Fuck me,” he shouted, jumping back to stop himself from treading on the object.

     A pair of dead eyes remained open as a human’s head lay on the ground next to him. Dan swiftly stared toward the top of the stairs again to catch sight of a blackened swarm. It was something not recognised to him, but he saw it sneak away. He removed the goggles, rubbed his eyes and focused again, but whatever it was he had seen it had disappeared, leaving him feeling totally lost to what it could’ve been.

     His blood boiled, mostly from fear, but his adrenaline had kicked in enough for him to race up the stairs. He wasn’t caring about his own safety, all he wanted was to find the killer before the town filled with frightened, confused, and panic stricken people, but after a quick thought he knew it could arrive sooner than expected. 

     A nervous yelling stalled him as soon as he reached the landing, but the noise wasn’t coming from inside the house. Dan turned and raced back down again to catch up with Jon. He had been talking to the lady of the house thirty seconds earlier when human body parts rained down from the sky. This was why the woman screamed out loud.

     “What’s up?” Dan shouted, upon nearing the others.

     “Stop, don’t move,” replied Jon, shoving his left hand outwards.

     Dan did what was told. “Okay, this better be good.”

     Jon never spoke, but did glance at the ground. Moments later Dan did the same.

     “Oh....my.....God....” Dan said.

     Body parts lay on the grass covered in congealing blood.

     The woman staggered away, too traumatised to look. She shook upon nearing a nearby tree, and once there was violently sick.

     “They fell from the sky,” Jon said.

     “Fuck off did they,” replied Dan.

     “I’m serious. Someone’s fucking body has been chopped up and thrown from the sky,” Jon shouted in anger.

     Dan needed to calm Jon down. He had a feeling that the missing husband was the take-away looking meal upon staring at the mashed up mess beneath him.

     “Keep it down.” Jon shut up. “You don’t want to frighten the woman even more than she is already...”

     Dan ushered Jon closer to him. “I just saw the head roll down the stairs,” he whispered.

     Both men looked over at the woman as she remained leaning against the tree. She looked as white as a ghost.

     “Take her to the hospital and get someone down here to clean this mess up.”

     “What are you going to do?” Jon asked.

     “I’m going to find the bastard who did this...”

     Dan told Jon that he saw something in the house but wasn’t sure what it was. Jon reminded him that it was a foolish act to go back inside on his own, but Dan had already thought of that.

     “Don’t worry...I’m going to contact Nini and Mark. They should be still patrolling the area.”

     Jon slapped Dan on the side of his arm before moving toward the almost falling over female. Dan watched him escort her to a bench that was situated nearby. He then phoned for assistance, because whatever he saw, whatever he thought he saw, he didn’t want to see it again, especially without backup.

     “Hey, Mark, how are things where you are?”

     “All right, chief, why?”

     “Because I need your help...I’m in the street next to the young boy’s house, you know, the boy who was murdered last night. Get here pronto.”

     Dan was gone, leaving Mark to stare at Nini. The stare worried her because she couldn’t work it out.

     “Mark, what’s wrong?” she asked.

     “Maybe nothing, but the chief needs us.”

     They raced back toward town before the last part of the sentence disappeared from Mark’s mouth.

     They had been patrolling the old railway station. The station was just on the edge of town, about ten minutes walk away. It wasn’t mentioned on Dan’s list of areas to search but Nini had thought otherwise. She never normally disobeyed the chief, but on this occasion something flickered inside her brain, something that forced her to arrive here. She felt a pull that led to this destination.

     But why here? It’s just the railway station, she thought over and over.

     “What’s up?” Mark shouted, as Nini turned her head to look at an un-used train carriage.

     “I don’t know, but something’s bugging me about that carriage.”

     “You’re not using your mumbo-jumbo, Chinese spiritual bollocks on me.”

     Mark was forced to stop running after Nini’s glare spooked him. He knew she had probably done it at least a hundred times today, but this one worried him slightly.

     “It’s not bollocks, and please lay off the swearing.”

     “Sorry.”

     Mark spoke no more on the subject as they closed in on Dan, but if they had entered the old carriage then they would have witnessed the gruesome remains of animals. Most of the remains were of cats that had been scouring the streets recently, but some were rodents. They had been piled up inside the carriage for storage by the destructive bugs, but if the officers had gone there then they would have seen it.

 

     Dan waited outside the house, not daring to enter until the backup arrived, but if the massacred body of the latest victim hadn’t happened then he would have been in there like a shot.

     Nini and Mark looked shattered upon arrival, with both puffing out cheeks as they tried performing a more regular breathing rhythm. Dan knew they were out of breath and also knew they had probably raced each other to reach him. It would have been Mark’s decision to do that. He was too competitive sometimes, but right now it didn’t matter because Dan was glad they were with him. He didn’t need to say anything about what had happened outside the house because Mark had clumsily stood on top of a human leg.

     “What the hell’s that?” Mark shouted.

     Nini didn’t like this at all, but she was a kick ass professional so remained focused. After witnessing what had happened in the young boy’s house she was becoming immune to all acts of sickness.

     Mark removed his boot from the leg to find it had changed colour. He shook off the congealed blood and waited for Dan’s next order.

     “I saw something inside the house.”

     Mark interrupted him, “Something?” he shouted.

     Dan tried to explain what it was, but even after his hyped up explanation still wasn’t sure how to do it.

     “Oh yeah, and there’s also a dead dog in there as well.”

     No one replied to that so Dan just led the way back inside the house, and once inside they split up to hopefully make the task go by quicker. Nini entered the living room, Mark the kitchen, but Dan wanted the upstairs for himself. He placed the goggles on again before storming to the top of the landing. He then entered the bedroom of the victim in hope of finding something useful to help solve this frenzied crime spree. If nothing was found then tomorrow morning could see people from out of town coming here, people bigger than Dan and his team, people from the larger tabloids, and people who would make him feel smaller than anything he could imagine. He was running out of time. He needed to sort this mess out and hopefully find the missing girls safe and sound.

     Nini’s search had come to nothing, so had Mark’s. He stared at the non-furry dog as he tried working out why it was attacked.

     How can someone do that? A human would find this a hard task, mad or not mad.

     He tried solving the situation just from the brief input that Dan gave him.

     The dog barked, the dog was attacked, the husband was in bed, he was attacked, but the wife was okay. Why was she okay and not the others? he thought.

     Nini entered the kitchen to also witness the gruesome sight of the pet.  

     “What does your Chinese spiritual bollocks have to say about this?”

     Nini never replied, but the sound of someone coming down the stairs had both of them looking at the doorway.

     “Nothing, I found nothing up there,” Dan shouted, kicking a bin upon entering the kitchen. “I can’t deal with this shit tonight.”

     He looked drained to the point of giving up, but Nini couldn’t let that happen. She knew Dan needed the support from all his staff to help solve this case.

     “What do you want us to do?” she said.

     Dan stared toward the dead man’s head again, blinked twice and then looked at her.

     “I want you to do what you did last night, stay with the ambulance guys until they take the body or what’s left of it away.”

     “And me?” Mark asked.

    “You can come with me back to the station.”