Police sirens wake the cold neighborhood—many people chattering not far away.
Nick rubbed his eyes, got up from his bed, and peek at his window. He then turned around and looked at his phone like he was expecting something.
"Hello detective Conway, we have a homicide, East Park."
"Be there in ten minutes."
Nick Conway washed his face, grabbed his coat and keys then drive to the location. Upon arriving at the scene, a stout looking officer walked toward his direction.
"What do we have today?" Nick calmly gestured.
The officer wasn't sure how to explain what they have seen. He gestured Nick to go to the scene.
"I haven't encountered something like this," the officer frowned.
They dug the ground, and a young woman surprised them. It's like buried for almost one month. The body is still fresh, and we can even find any wound in her body.
"Who discovered this?"
The stout officer glanced at a jogger with a dog. They already interviewed the jogger, telling that his dog barks then rushed and dug the ground. When the jogger came to look at what his dog is boring, he was shocked then called 911.
"Got the I.D?"
The officer shook his head.
Nick starts to examine visually the body closely and carefully not to touch it, but he never sees any hints of abuse, let alone wounds. But he saw something written at the victim's right palm.
"Maledictum?" he whispered.
"Ever heard of the word maledictum?" he asked the officer.
When the officer is about to speak, a woman came to the scene. "It means curse in Latin, detective Conway."
The woman smiled at Nick; she reached out her hand and offers a handshake, "I'm Lois Foster, private detective."
Lois Foster began to examine the body as well. She brings out a plastic glove and checks both palms of the victim. She didn't even find anything except the written word in the victim's right palm.
Nick checked the surroundings to see anything around the crime scene that might give him lead; it was clean. He then approached the officer and said, "Take the body for an autopsy."
The officer is puzzled. He never saw anything like this before. A person buried for almost a month, yet the body looks fresh, not even any sign of wounds.
Nick hinted, "It's hard to think that this is homicide."
"Maybe she was poisoned?" the officer hesitated.
"Mouth is not dry, let alone inflammation, so it's not," Lois interjected.
Nothing else to check on the scene, the police already check for nearby cameras around East Park. The body was then brought to the morgue.
Lois invited Nick for a coffee. Nick hesitated for a moment, but Lois insisted. They started to discuss what they saw. They share their own opinion about the matter.
"Ever encountered like this before detective Conway?" Lois asked.
Nick shook his head.
"Though it's fascinating.
"How did they do it. It's like that the victim's soul was siphoned, leaving just the body."
Lois thought the same as Nick.
"Do you believe in supernatural phenomenon?" she blurted.
Nick frowned upon hearing it.
"Supernatural?" he intoned.
He shook his head. Supernatural? What does this woman thinking? Is she a detective like myself? He thought to himself. Maybe she read too many fantasies or whatever. Can you say that a ghost or whatever unexplainable can kill a person like that, not even leaving any scratch to its victim and keeps it fresh?
Lois looked at Nick's facial reaction like he was doubting. She leaned closer to Nick and confided, "This was my second encounter."
Nick froze and stared at Lois.
Is she joking with me? Is it her second encounter with something unexplainable?
"If you want to solve this case, meet me at my house."
Lois grabbed a paper and wrote her address, then she left Nick, who was in a daze.
He grabbed the paper and put it in his pocket. He left the coffee shop and started walking toward his car. He started thinking about the possibilities if it is a supernatural phenomenon.
He was in a dilemma. He drove back home and took a shower when he remembers something, the word maledictum. If he remembered correctly, Lois said that it means curse. He starts to think calmly and recall his conversation with Lois. If she encountered something like this before, then she should've told us earlier, he thought.
Nick peek at the door viewer, then he opened the door.
"Hey Nicky, how you've been lately?"
"I've been good, Ralph."
Ralph just finished his service in the military and decided to come home. He and Nick were buddies since childhood. Ralph noticed his friend's uneasiness.
"Ohh, is it a woman?" Ralph teased.
"What do you mean, woman?" Nick frowned.
Ralph digress and asked what do his friend thinking right now. Nick explained what happened this early morning. Ralph was speechless.
"Is that even possible? A dead person buried for almost a month, yet it is still fresh?" he exclaimed.
"And who is that woman, where did she encounter like this one?" he added.
Nick shook his head. "That's what I'm going to find out."