Monday: February 22, 2016
At the police station, Tahki waited for Hilo to unlock their shared office before walking inside. Tahki pulled out her chair, setting her coffee cup on the desk as she sat down. Hilo sat down at his desk directly across from hers, the squeak of his chair serving as a reminder that no one in the station had received a new chair in over a decade. She turned on her computer and slid her chair back, grabbing the mail from the short cabinet there. Though the mail they usually received at the station was limited, it wasn’t exactly rare for there to be a small stack of it waiting for them.
She flipped through the envelopes, her heart skipping a beat as her eyes landed on the red envelope in the middle of the rest of them. It wasn’t familiar to her, not in the slightest, but that didn’t stop the chill the very sight of it sent down her spine. She set the others aside, unable to stop herself from staring at the ‘Harris + Granger’ written on the front. It wasn’t so much the use of their last names that unsettled her. The rest of the envelope was empty. No address, no sender. Just her and Hilo’s surnames. That unsettled her.
She turned it over to look at the wax seal she’d been able to feel with her finger. The silver-gray seal held the delicate loops and swirls of a cursive M and K, and despite how long she stared at it, she couldn’t figure out why. Lack of a sender name or not, she didn’t know anyone with the initials M and K.
She glanced up at Hilo. His eyes were focused on his computer screen, the fingers of one hand scratching absently at his trimmed beard. Letting her brown eyes fall back to the envelope, she opened it and pulled out the letter within. She set them aside for a moment, typing in the password for her computer. Even if only a temporary one, it still served as a distraction from whatever could be written inside.
Clearing her throat, she unfolded the letter.
It’s certainly been a while, hasn’t it? Twenty full years. Lately, I’ve been feeling a bit… Oh, I don’t know. Is nostalgic the correct word? “A sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, […] for a period or place with happy personal associations.” Yes, nostalgic seems like it’s the right word.
I’ve been feeling a bit nostalgic about my little… adventure twenty years ago. I fear that nostalgia will make me kill again. Well, I fear for you, not for me. I enjoy it too much for it to be a fear. I love it, if we’re being honest. It’s a… Oh, what is it that the kids say?
Yes, it’s more of a ‘laugh out loud’ situation for me than it is for you, that’s for sure. I want to do it again. Maybe in a bank again, maybe in a park, maybe in a shopping mall. But this time, I have different plans. There won’t be any survivors this time around, and I’ll kill even more of them than last time.
I know what you’re thinking of doing right now, and I know how fast your heart must be beating. I bet you never thought you’d hear from me again, right?
Well, here I am. I could pretend I’m sorry for the distress this must be causing you, but then I’d be lying to all three of us, and that’s just boring.
Anyway, this is just for Harris and Granger. If either of you shows it to any of your superiors, I’ll kill again much sooner than currently planned, and it WILL be bigger and better than the first time. You thought thirty-seven was bad? Just you wait, Detectives.
And I know you must be wondering how I would know if you told any of your superiors about this little letter. Source one: the media. If the lead detectives reopened a twenty-year-old case? It’d hit the news faster than you could blink. Source two: I have my own personal source, one even the media doesn’t have. I’m not stupid. I’ll figure it out, and the blood I shed because of it will be entirely on your hands.
Good luck finding me in between your usual cases, Detectives. We aren’t low on murders and robberies around here, are we?
Ta-ta for now, Detectives.
Tahki read through the letter a second time, as though seeing the words again would change every single one of them. Tragically, a second read-through revealed no change. “Hilo?” she asked.
“I, umm…” She cleared her throat, holding the letter and envelope out to him instead of attempting to figure out what the hell she was supposed to say.
Hilo cocked his head to the side and grabbed it. He leaned back in his chair, crossing an ankle over the opposite thigh as he read through the letter. Tahki watched him carefully, watched the complete calmness that remained on his face.
Eventually, he set the letter and envelope down on his desk, brown eyes lifting to hers. “So, let’s start by taking a deep breath, and then we’ll work through this,” he said. She nodded. “Do you think it’s authentic?” he asked after a moment.
“Authentic? I guess I didn’t… think about it being anything but authentic.”
“You were panicking,” Hilo said. “And that’s okay. We do that sometimes, especially when we’re already on edge. Your grandson’s in the hospital again, and today’s the twentieth anniversary of a very terrible shooting. You’ve been on edge ever since you woke up.”
Tahki drew in a deep breath and offered a little nod. “Yeah, yeah. That’s… that’s fair.” She cleared her throat, crossing her arms over her desk. “I dunno. Do you think it’s authentic?”
“It’s hard to say. But I know one thing for sure, and that’s that the author of this letter doesn’t give us anything unique. He doesn’t tell us anything that the media doesn’t know, that the public doesn’t know,” he said.
“Do you think it’s a citizen?”
“I think anything’s possible when it comes to this case, Tahki.”
She stared at the Hawaiian, a frown forming on her face. “Thirty-seven people died, Hilo. I’d like to think our civilians have more respect than that.”
“Look at social media any day of the week. No one has to have any respect for anything or anyone when they’re hiding behind a screen.” He crossed his arms over his chest, nodding toward the letter on his keyboard. “Or, in this case, behind a piece of paper and a red envelope.”
Tahki nodded. She shifted in her seat, moving her elbows to rest on her desk. She clasped her hands together, resting her chin on them. “What should we do?”
He inhaled deeply through his nose, one corner of his mouth scrunching up as his eyes shifted to the ceiling. “We could dust it for prints. I… honestly have no damn recollection of if our bank shooter was wearing gloves or not all those years ago, but whether or not he was, a civilian might not think to do it while writing the letter. If we can get any clean prints from this, we can eliminate our prints, and then we can see if they match anything in the system. If our original killer wasn’t wearing gloves and left prints at the bank scene, the prints from the envelope will come back as a match if he actually did write this. If not, it either matches nothing, or it matches some criminal in our system,” Hilo said.
“That’s… a good step. We should probably also work on figuring out if our killer did leave prints at the original scene,” Tahki said.
“We need to sign a sheet in the records room if we want a copy of that file. We shouldn’t do that until we know what comes of these prints.”
Slowly, Tahki nodded. “Right. We shouldn’t tell anyone,” she said quietly. “So… down to the lab?”
“Should be empty, yet.” Hilo sighed, hauling himself to his feet. “Let’s go see what we can see.”
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