Oubliette: Orientation – Part 4

Note: This story is a part of a larger series of short stories and flash fiction. You can find these stories on the Oubliette home page.

When Owen and Mara arrived at Griswold Wilson’s address, they found a half dozen police cruisers and an ambulance parked in front of the residence. Mara found an open space in which to park and, as they sat there, she and Owen exchanged glances. She shrugged as an answer to an unspoken question. They climbed out of the car and walked towards the house.

They caught the attention of an officer and he stopped them at the front door. Mara displayed her badge and Owen followed suit.

“I’m sorry,” the officer quickly double checked the badges and looked back at them, “is there something I can help you with, agents?”

Mara spoke for both, “Yes, we are here for an investigation. Can we speak with the officer in charge?”

The officer hesitated and said, “Please wait here and I’ll get the chief.”

The officer disappeared into the house. About ten minutes later, he came back with an older and portly man who was balding but had short stubble on his face to make up the difference. He frowned at them when they showed their badges.

“Who called you here? I know I didn’t.”

Mara offered her hand and answered, “I’m Special Agent Mara Martinez and this Agent Owen Wood. We came to question Griswold Wilson but we can see you are in the middle of something.”

The elderly officer bit his lip as he thought for a moment and shook Mara’s hand. “I’m Chief Granger of Spartan Hills Police Department. If you are wanting to talk to Griswold Wilson, you’re going to have to take a number after we find him.”

“If you don’t mind, could you tell me happened? It might be relevant to our investigation.”

“Sure, if you don’t mind sharing what you know of Mr. Wilson.”

“I can have my office send you our file. Do you have a card?”

“Not on me.”

The chief pulled a notebook out of his pocket, wrote something, and handed it to Mara, “if you send it to that email address, it would be appreciated.”

“Thanks, I’ll send word when we’re done.”

The chief pointed at the ambulance on the side of the road.

“That was Irene Adams, her son called us to check on her because neither she nor her tenants were answering the phone yesterday. When our officer arrived, he discovered her body on the floor in the kitchen.”

The chief motioned to them and walked towards the back, “It looks like she was strangled with some sort of cord. There are a couple of strange things with this scene. First, we cannot figure out how the killer got in or out. The only other person who had access to the main house was her son and he has an alibi.”

The chief climbed the steps and went through the back door. Owen and Mara followed. Inside, a photographer took pictures of a body on the floor. The chief stepped around and began talking again.

“This is Larry Greaves, aka Grease. I’ve busted him a few times for possession. I sent an officer back here to question the tenants and this is what he found. From what I can tell, Grease was killed by the same murder weapon and method.”

The chief motioned to an open door across the room, “This is the second oddity. We found blood stains on the bed. I think they are Mr. Wilson’s because there are no visible injuries on either victim.”

“Do you consider Mr. Wilson a suspect?” asked Mara.

The chief nodded, “Yes.”

Mara continued, “Well, our investigation is not as exciting as yours. Do you mind if we look around?”

“Feel free, I’ll get one of my guys to escort you.”

As Mara and Owen shook the chief’s hand, she said, “Thank you very much for your time.”


After examining the house and returning to their car, Owen and Mara settled into their seats. She tapped her finger on the steering and appeared lost in thought.

Owen spoke up, “I’ll be darned if I could figure out how the killer got in. Do you think it was paranormal?”

“I think that would be premature. However, my gut tells me there is something.”

“Maybe we should give the other members of this SHIPS a visit?”

Mara nodded, “I have to agree. If I remember correctly, Pete Wakefield still lives nearby. Can you call home base and have them send a clean file on Mr. Wilson to the chief?”


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