Detective Lauren Smith stealthily entered the warehouse and immediately started surveying the layout, keeping her gun in front of her.
She stuck to the shadows as much as possible, looking for any sign of movement.
The darkness never scared her. As she moved from room to room, she remained ready but calm.
As the number of rooms in the warehouse she had cleared began to dwindle, she started to get the feeling that maybe her intel was wrong and the serial killer she was looking for wasn’t there.
She had been tracking him for years, but over the last few months, had finally started to get some hard leads that would hopefully result in taking him down.
All of her intel led to this warehouse, where she deduced the bodies must have been disposed of.
If she couldn’t find the killer himself, she hoped that at least she would be able to find some evidence that the bodies were here or that they had been there previously.
She continued her search, never letting down her guard.
Finally, she reached a room with a closed door. The hairs on her arm and the back of her neck raised as she readied herself for whatever was waiting inside.
Taking one more look around to ensure no one was trying to sneak up on her, she tried the doorknob to see if it was unlocked. It was.
She slowly turned it and, gun first, entered the room.
Seeing that the small room was void of anyone else, she let her guard down a little.
Inside, it looked to be some sort of surveillance room. It was full of monitors and seemed to cover every inch of the warehouse.
‘Nice,’ she thought as she locked the door behind her and started studying the different screens.
The warehouse seemed empty. She didn’t see any movement, which disappointed her.
She was about to resign herself to the fact that he wasn’t there, when she saw movement on one of the monitors.
Before running to the room showing on the screen, she wanted to see who it was.
She strained her eyes as the figure on the screen only looked like a blurry blob.
As it moved around the room, she could tell it was holding something out if from of it.
‘A gun?’ she thought.
The more the figure moved, the more she suspected that the figure was not a man, but a woman.
She was soon able to make out the hair, size of the body, and a little detail on the clothes the woman was wearing.
Lauren was half tempted to go to the room and confront the stranger, but she felt compelled to get a better look before she moved in. The last thing she wanted was for the woman to be gone before she got there and not know what she even looked like.
The woman was on a course towards the camera, and her features were becoming more defined with every step.
Suddenly, Lauren took a step back and covered her mouth to keep herself from screaming.
Before the woman passed the camera and went into another room, Lauren crept her way back to the monitor to take another look at the woman on the screen.
It only confirmed what she knew she saw. The woman on the monitor looked identical to her, down to the very outfit she was wearing.
She was about to rush to confront the woman, when she saw another figure sneaking up behind her.
Before the woman could react, the other figure swung a pipe, knocking the gun out of her hand.
Lauren felt a sharp pain in her hand.
The male figure then struck the woman’s leg, causing her to drop to her knee in pain.
Lauren felt another sharp pain in her own leg, causing her to also drop to her knee.
She didn’t understand how, but she was feeling every strike the man was unleashing on the other woman.
When she was able, she looked back to the monitor to prepare herself for what may come next.
Through the screen the male figure pointed the pipe at the camera and smiled.
Seeing him smile at her pain angered her, but before she could stand up and make her way to where the feed was coming from, the male figure swung the pipe, knocking the other woman out.
Detective Smith’s vision faded and the last thing she saw before it all went black was the man standing over the other woman through the monitor.
Everything ached as she regained consciousness. She groaned as she slowly moved, trying to stand up.
It only took her a minute to get up, but it felt like an eternity.
She couldn’t stand long though, so she fell into the chair, immediately glad that she did.
The world around her kept changing from color, to gray, to black, to gray, and back to color as she fought to stay conscious.
Finally, the world around her stayed in color, and she knew she was fully conscious and aware of her surroundings.
Remembering what had happened, she stiffened in the chair and started scanning the monitors, looking for her other self and the man that had attacked her.
She first looked at the screen where she had been initially attacked, but it was now empty, so she started scanning the other monitors to see where they went.
She almost fell out of her seat when she found herself on one of the screens.
The other woman seemed to be in a smaller room and tied to a chair.
She seemed conscious, and though she looked confused to what was happening to her, she remained calm as she looked for a way to free herself.
Lauren scanned the room the other woman was in, along with the other screens trying to figure out where she was so she could get to her.
Something seemed familiar about the room the other woman was in.
Then it dawned on her.
She took a step back and imagined what the room she was in would look like if the monitoring equipment and chair were gone.
The other woman was in the same room as Lauren was in now.
“What the hell?” she caught herself asking out loud.
Suddenly, both Detective Smith and the other woman froze as the man entered the room, walked behind the woman bound to the chair, and smiled up at the camera.
Every instinct told Detective Smith that she should get out of the room, even out of the building, but her feet wouldn’t move. She stood transfixed on the image on the screen.
The man took out a knife and slowly cut the woman’s arm.
Detective Smith immediately felt the sharp pain on her own arm and when she looked, she saw a cut with just a small trickle of blood running down her forearm.
“I have to get out of here,” she said as she turned around and ran out of the door.
She didn’t get far before she felt a sharp pain in her leg.
She looked down and saw that she had a rip in her pants and there was a small amount of blood escaping.
The cut didn’t slow her down though as she limped as fast as she could towards the warehouse entrance she had come through, in what felt like a lifetime ago.
She was almost to the door when another sharp pain in her right quad brought her to her knees.
A puncture wound had appeared, much deeper than the thin cut on her other leg. It felt as if someone had stabbed her leg with a knife, which she rightly assumed the man had done to the other woman.
Shaking a little from the shock and blood loss, she pulled out her phone to try to call for backup. She didn’t want to put anyone at risk, but knew she wasn’t going to make it out alive without help.
Her phone showed “No Service”.
“Shit!” she muttered.
She knew she couldn’t stay kneeling there on the ground, no matter how much pain she was in.
Groaning, she stood herself up and began limping once again toward the door.
A part of her wished she could see what was going on in the monitor to try and prepare herself for any additional pain she was sure was coming.
With each step, she looked at her phone, waiting for just one bar to show. She hoped it would work.
Finally, a bar, then two appeared and she quickly called 911.
“911, what’s your emergency?” the man on the other end asked.
She quickly gave her badge number, the code for Officer Down, and the address of the warehouse.
She was about to elaborate on her situation when she felt another sharp pain in her hand, causing her to scream and drop her phone.
Blood flowed out of a gash in her hand and she instinctively grabbed her wrist with her other one.
Letting the pain ebb a little, she grabbed the phone with her uninjured hand and continued towards the door.
Something in the back of her mind told her that her only chance of survival was to escape the warehouse.
Her heart sank when she saw that not only did she lose the call but her phone was damaged and would not turn back on.
Frustrated, she threw the phone off to the side and focused on getting outside.
Her heart raced as she closed the distance to the exit. Each limping step was a step closer to freedom.
She let out a silent scream as she felt a sudden pain in her ribs, as if someone had punched her, knocking the air out of her.
Despite the pain, she didn’t stop moving. This wasn’t the first time she had ever been injured in the line of duty and she wasn’t going to let pain stop her now.
Another sharp pain to her jaw. She saw gray and once again dropped to one knee.
After a brief moment the gray faded and when the color returned, she started heading towards the door again.
Outside, she could hear the sounds of sirens, helping her regain some of her hope that was quickly dissipating.
The strikes were coming more frequently now. She felt blows to her ribs and jaw. She could only imagine what was happening to the other woman tied to the chair.
When she felt a sharp pain in her side, then her leg again, she could tell the man had switched from punching the other woman, to stabbing her again.
Lauren kept getting knocked down, as the attacker kept alternating from striking and stabbing.
‘It’s not going to end like this,’ she kept thinking, pushing herself up again and again, never stopping her forward movement towards the door.
Finally, in what felt like an eternity, she pushed herself out the door she had first come in, feeling instant satisfaction that she was able to endure the pain enough to escape.
Though her injuries didn’t go away, no more appeared once she was outside.
Police cars sped around the corner, sirens blaring.
They came to a screeching halt, and Detective Lauren Smith felt some relief when she saw her partner jump out of the car and run toward her.
“Lauren!” he shouted.
He was only feet away, when suddenly, a large cut appeared across her neck, causing a look of pain, surprise, and sadness to appear on Detective Smith’s face.
Lauren’s partner caught her as she started to fall and eased her to the ground the best he could.
“Oh my god,” he started. “What happened?”
He could see she wanted nothing more than to tell him, but she could only stare at him wide-eyed as her life started to fade away.
He held her until the end.
Knowing something horrible had happened, he waived the other officers to get in the building and find who had murdered his partner.
The last feeling Detective Lauren Smith felt as she passed away was confusion.
Published on March 08, 2021 09:23
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