‘A symptom of the times,’ it read.

Sheryl’s Daily Prompt

‘A symptom of the times,’ it read. ‘A precursor for that to come. Look closely, look carefully, it’s irrevocable and timely. Find it. Find justice.’

Macy Bronson, the youngest detective on the Compton Force and in charge of the investigation had been warned before entering the crime scene it was different, unusual, even eerie. They weren’t wrong. She’d certainly never witnessed anything like it before and while the message was cryptic, it was part of and therefore important to the case and held relevance. Whether the inscription written on the wall was a forewarning or just foreboding was difficult to decide. She hadn’t heard of any other cases with similar messages but she’d definitely look into it. It might be unusual and weird, but it was important to the writer who seemed intent on conveying some sort of message and whether it was for the police or someone else, remained to be seen.

The crime scene itself was immaculate, every trace of evidence had been erased and the furniture moved several feet on either side of the body. The woman lay separate and alone artfully arranged with a hand pointing toward the message on the wall. One could assume it was to indicate the woman knew what the message meant. Because of the ambiguous nature of the message, it could be interpreted in several ways. Was it solely to call attention to what had been written, or was it to indicate the woman knew what the message meant? If so, what was the importance attached – that she didn’t wouldn’t couldn’t mention the importance – until it was too late? That only in death could it be revealed?

The victim owned the clothing shop which carried modern well-made clothing and accessories. So far they’d discovered she was single but engaged. The fiancee Eric Render had brought her their ritual morning coffee and found Melissa Howard. He’d dropped the coffee the second he’d seen her (the spilled remnants lay as he’d described), run to her, and finding no pulse, called the cops. He seemed truly shattered.

When asked about the message, he said he’d never seen it before and had no idea what it meant but it wasn’t written in Melissa’s handwriting, a further indication the killer had written it and left it for them to find.

Melissa was well liked, that was obvious from the questioning of the other nearby shop owners. She’d always waved said hello or offered assistance when needed. They also all agreed that the couple were a delight and very much in love.

So, what did it all mean? Who had it in for this woman? How did the cryptic message play into it all?

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Sat Jun 6 , 2020
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