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Liam struggled to breathe. He told himself he would be fine in the blood-filled room, but the sound of it splashing under his feet made his stomach churn. He kept his hands in his pockets, despite wanting to wipe away the sweating beading on his face. His entire body was hot inside the coveralls and the hood, but it was his only shield against the blood that surrounded him.

“Alright, Warrington. Tell me what wrong with this scene."

Liam looked around the room. They had been there for hours with no results. Nothing was out of place. The bed was still made, the drawers and closet were empty. No hair, fabric, or even a chunk of dirt. There was just blood, everywhere. He swallowed hard, his mouth felt like a desert.

“There should be more here.”

“More as in?”

“You know what I mean. If there's blood, there should be everything else that goes with it.”

“You mean a body. I thought you said you had a strong stomach,” Lucella smirked.

“I do, but it doesn't make it less...unsettling.”

“Fair enough. So we have nothing to indicate that there was a body other than the blood. What does that tell us?”

“Someone took the time to clean up after themselves. What they could clean up anyway.”

“And what does that tell you?”

“They experienced.”

“And they're precise,” Lucella added.

“But you said they lost control.”

Lucella opened her senses to the room. Usually, she could pick up the emotions that were leftover during an event, especially a violent one. Here, there was nothing as far as she could tell and Chewy was still sulking inside of her, clearly not offering any help. She felt as if it all happened to fast for anything to be left behind.

“I think they realized what they did and opted for damage control.”

Liam wiped his brow with whatever clean spot he could find. The air felt hot and stuffy. He peered at the window; some fresh air would be enough to calm him down. Blood squished under his covered feet, making his stomach squirm. The window was slightly cracked, placing his fingers under the frame and noticed something.

“I think this window may have been opened.”

Lucella examined the area opened the window fully, allowing the night breeze to flow in. Liam was grateful for it; the touch of the wind on his face was a relief. “Ugh, there's that smell again,” Lucella said with a scrunched face. There was a tiny smudge of blood on the bottom of the window like someone missed wiping it up. Peering out the window, she saw one widow's tear blooming among the buds. “That looks like freshly dug soil, right?”

Liam poked his head out. “Yeah, it looks like it. I thought those flowers only grew on a vine. It doesn't look like there are any other growing anywhere near here.”

“We need to dig up that plot,” Lucella said. Even a small whiff of the flowers made her head hurt again. She stepped out into the hallway, where special tarps lined the floor, a handy invention of the Harmony agents. It didn't tear or stain, making clean up easy. “Rodyn!”

“Find anything?” The wolf asked.

“Maybe in the back -”

She was caught off by the sound of a familiar furious tapping. Rex's abyssal spirit, Crabby, rattled it's way over to Lucella, waving its giant claw at her. It never stayed in one place for long, dashing off as soon as Lucella had her hands on the envelope.

“Ah, yes, Rex I gotta give you a raise,” Lucella said to herself.

“Ah man, does everyone have their spirit?” Liam said, stripping off the coverall. “When do I get one?”

“When you earn it.”

She folded the report and stuck in her back pocket. “We'll look at that when we have more security. We need to go dig up that plot by the window.”

“Is that why you called me? To dig a hole?” Rodyn asked with a chuckle.

“Well yeah, I assumed you were good at it,” Lucella said.

“I can't tell if you're funny or ignorant. Woah, Liam, are you ok man? You're pale.”

“Yeah, I'm fine.”

“Are you sure? You're hunched over.” Lucella added.

“It's just a minor back problem.”

Lucella shook her head. “You're still a terrible liar.”

Rodyn and Liam found a couple of shovels close by and started digging. Lucella kept an eye out for Darby and the villagers. Her friend volunteered to help smooth over some of the tensions with the community and offered to put upwards. Lucella knew it likely wouldn't do any good, but if it made things easier for them, she was happy to let Darby do it.

“Uh, Lucella,” Liam said.

A ghostly white hand lay in the dirt; dried blood splattered on it. The hole wasn't deep, meaning someone was in a hurry. Lucella kicked herself for not paying attention. They were expecting no one to question freshly dug dirt with flowers blooming out of it.

“Cover it back up,” Lucella said.

“What? Why? It's evidence,” Liam objected.

“It's evidence that our culprit doesn't know we know about. For now, act like we are still trying to figure out what happened. We don't want any attention drawn our way right now.”

“But this is a person...they deserve a proper burial. They deserve justice.”

Lucella clicked her tongue on her teeth. They couldn't even afford to examine the body properly. A person can learn a lot from a dead body. She wasn't as proficient as the Harmony medical examiners, but she knew to get by most of the time.

“Their dead, they have all the time in the world.”

Rodyn started shoveling the first back, giving a nod to Liam. “What now? Sleep I hope,” Rodyn said.

“No can do. The sun is coming up, which means the villagers are getting up. We all need to shower, eat, and, start questioning.”

“You should do the questioning Lucella. I haven't done it officially, and it's too important for me to mess up,” Liam said hesitantly.

“There are no ideal conditions in our line of work. Suck it up or find another job.”

Liam watched Lucella walk away, sighing as he rubbed his shoulder.

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PenniWriting

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Bio: Learning. Writing. Fueled by energy drinks and sarcasm

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