This is a companion piece to my post “Eight Points of View – The Observer-Narrator”

Garrett, the professor, and Dora reached the center of the warehouse. Garrett’s eyes were immediately drawn to the skulls stacked up against the walls. At last, he had found proof that Vasco was a murderer and a monster.

He noticed Dora staring wide-eyed into space, shivering, her arms crossed tightly. He remembered what she said about scaring easily and how it wasn’t a good thing. “Dora?” Garrett asked.

“Are you alright, Ms. Marcel?” the professor asked, concerned.

Dora shook her head. “We have to find Dr. Allen,” she said. “We have to get her out of here now.” The professor left her alone, so Garrett assumed he should too.

Garrett walked along the stacks of skulls and saw numbers carved into each of their foreheads – 331, 573, 646. How many are there? he wondered.

“Don’t touch those,” a familiar voice said. “Old bones are awfully fragile.”

Garrett turned and saw the criminal – Niles Vasco. He was wearing an oversized shirt that was splattered with dark stains. Dried blood was Garrett’s guess.

Vasco walked into the room and unrolled his sleeves as he said, “Professor Ellar, I’m not surprised you’re here. Unfortunately, you’re too late.”

Dora shouted, “Where’s Dr. Allen? What have you done to her, you monster?!”

Garrett and the professor stood between her and the criminal, protecting her. “I know you are behind the kidnappings, Mr. Vasco,” the professor said. “What I don’t understand is why. What is this place? Why did you bring your victims here?”

Garrett added, “Why are we too late? And what about these?” He pointed to the skulls stacked against the walls. “Are they your victims too? Do you keep their bones as some kind of sick trophy?”

Vasco chuckled. He thought this was funny? “Those people are long dead, kid. I simply gathered them here to witness tonight’s ritual. My victims, as you call them, have an important role to play.”

“What kind of ritual?” Garrett knew that anything which involved skulls was bad.

“You’ve seen how divided this town is. How it hides its rotten soul.”

Garrett had to admit that Vasco had a point. The people in town spread some awful rumors about him and the professor, all because they were strangers. Garrett was glad he set the record straight despite what the professor said.

“That ends tonight.”

Garrett wondered how Vasco planned to do that. He also wondered if Vasco was crazy as well as evil.

The door behind them slammed shut. Metal bars appeared, blocking the door. Garrett couldn’t figure out how it happened. The professor doesn’t believe in magic, and most days, neither did Garrett, but that night, he wasn’t so sure.

Dora screamed and ran to the door. Two bolts of electricity zapped her so hard that she fell backwards, unconscious.

Garrett ran to her side. He shook her and called her name. She was breathing, but she didn’t respond. Garrett heard the professor and Vasco arguing. “Dora, wake up,” he kept saying, but it wasn’t helping.

Someone was walking away. Garrett looked up and saw the professor at the far end of the room. Vasco was gone. “Professor?” Garrett asked, curious about what he was doing.

He instructed, “Stay with Ms. Marcel. I’ll come back.”

He must have seen where Vasco went and wanted to follow him. Even though Dora was unconscious, there was still a case to solve. “Be careful,” Garrett said.

The professor nodded and left through a door Garrett couldn’t see.