Chapter 11: Footprints

Walking on sand without leaving a print…

It was a normal day at the university that day. Students went to classes. Teachers gave out homework. Pizza was ordered. Yes, it was your typical normal day, except for the guy with the camera removing the crime scene seal off of the door.

Jackson was thrilled when he was notified that the Chen investigation sealed the crime scene and gave him permission to take a look around. He was so excited that he hopped on the first available flight with his laptop and camera in hand, forgetting to bring any luggage with him. He was met at the airport by the local police and driven directly to the school, where Jackson when right to work.

Not wanting to miss any potential clue, Jackson methodically took pictures of every square inch of the supply closet; covering the floor, walls, and even ceiling. If Chen escaped this room, there had to be some sign left behind. The file on the investigation included many detailed prints from the scene; all being associated with the crime scene investigators and the janitor himself. The first shoeprint appeared about 3 feet from the door, with more prints occurring closer to where the janitor said he had Chen tied up.

As he worked the room for about an hour, taking pictures of each visible shoeprint and item that seemed out of place, Jackson finally reached the area where Chen was bound. There was no doubt that this was the focus of the investigation, since most of the area was disturbed with signs of shoeprints and scuffs on the tile floor. The only area that was left relatively undisturbed with where the ropes laid when the police first entered the room. In interrogations with the janitor, he informed the investigators that the rope in question was used to tie the wrists and ankles of Chen together.

The clicking sound of Jackson’s camera echoed through the room as he panned the lens over the undisturbed ground when it paused. At the edge of the numerous shoeprints was what looked like a partial footprint. Remembering the case file, the janitor abducted Chen during the middle of the night, so it made sense that he would be bound barefoot. So why was there no other signs of footprints closer to the door? What was even more confusing was why the lone footprint partially covered by fresh dust?

Chambers froze in his steps. He could not believe his ears. “Did he just say my name,” he thought to himself. Standing in the darkness of the hallway, Chambers was already confused. Reaching out to find the wall, Chambers yelled, “Who are you?”

“The reason why you are here, Bill,” the figure responded.

“I don’t understand,” Chambers yelled.

The figure stated “Come in here and I will explain.”

Cautiously, Chambers stepped back towards the doorway, his hand sliding across the wall as a way to reassure himself of his security. Holding on to the doorway again, Chambers peered around the corner to see the figure still standing in the middle of the room, staring at him. “Come in Bill, it’s ok.”

“Who are you?” Chambers remained in the doorway, but his grip on the doorframe softened.

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3 Responses to Chapter 11: Footprints

  1. ilikeverin says:

    The beginning paragraph segue is a little odd. As is the first sentence of the second paragraph. And I’m not sure why Jackson’s so eager; he seemed mostly creeped out before by the investigations. Perhaps you should rejigger his emotions.

    I’m not sure why there wouldn’t be a new layer of dust; crime scene sealing doesn’t have an impact on what’s still inside, and I presume there would have been some particles. Also, didn’t Chen have a roommate? (this might be a distracting detail, but I’m not sure)

    The use of “the figure” is a bit repetitive. Try mixing it up a bit. Other than that, I like that part.

  2. admin says:

    Thanks. The dust is an important part of the story, but I should probably rework it so it flows a bit more. You should learn about the dust in the next chapter.

  3. Ethel says:

    2nd para: “. . .where Jackson went right to work.” You have “when” instead of “went”.

    4th para: “The only area that was left relatively undisturbed with where the ropes laid when the police first entered the room.” – chg “with” to “was” & leave off “when the police first entered the room” .

    5th para, first sentence: leave out “the lens” and “when it paused” : The clicking sound of Jackson’s camera echoed through the room as he panned over the undisturbed ground. That’s when he noticed at the edge of . . .

    In Chap 9, Barbs says that the Father doesn’t talk. He’s talking in this chapter. Chap 9 will need to be changed . . . unless the Father responses in clicks and whistles (just kidding).

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