I decided to follow through with my idea of linking those mysterious photographs to the murder of the Chief. For some reason, I believed in their existence. I could be completely wrong, but Momma Blue's genuine sincerity when she recounted the Chief's storytelling her of the photos just rang true to me. They must exist, and, if they do - I'm gonna find those fuckers. It had been several weeks since I first entered the Chief's house, and when I drove there, I found the yellow-tape still intact. I anticipated the back door would now be locked, and it was. I had put a call into Momma Blue and asked her if she knew of any secret hiding places the Chief might have kept a key for the back door. "Yes," she said. "There are several stone statues surrounding the small pond in the back. Look under the gargoyle. It's the only gargoyle back there," she told me. I found it where Momma Blue said it was. I tilted the gargoyle statue back, and sure enough, there was a key.
Hopefully, it was the one to the back door. I slipped the key in the lock. So far, so good. I slowly turned the key in the lock. Nervously, I gently pushed the door open and quickly stepped inside. It was pitch-black. I stood there for a few minutes, allowing my eyes to adjust to the darkness. I made my way to the bottom of the stairs. I looked over to the liquor cabinet and said under my breath, "not this time," and began to climb the stairs. When I spoke to Momma Blue about the key, I also asked if she had any idea where the Chief might've hidden those photographs. She said she had no idea, though she knew he had a small safe for his personal papers. The problem was, she didn't know where it was. Reaching the top landing of the stairway, I could see the mess the cops and whoever else had created. I peered into the bedrooms. There was bedding lying everywhere. Mattresses turned upside-down with their innards ripped out, dressers with the drawers missing.
I looked for the master bedroom. I found it at the far end of the hallway. It had floor to ceiling windows overlooking the bay. It didn't compare to the view from my office, but it was still pretty impressive. I stood just inside the door because I couldn't move forward until I cleared a path. A box-spring mattress and a king-sized mattress were lying crossways atop each other in front of me - ripped apart just like the others. There was shit everywhere! I bent down to pick up the king-size mattress to move it when the lights went out. I felt a sharp pain first at the back of my head, and that's the last thing I remembered.
I woke up with detective Mark Macias bent over me, calling my name. I heard my name before opening my eyes. It sounded far away, and at first, it reminded me of my mother calling me to come in from the street after spending most of the day playing ball or just goofing off. I could feel my emotions welling up inside me and was close to tears as I thought of her. My mother had passed away just after I got out of the police academy. She was my rock.
"Hey, Sam, you OK?" When I opened my eyes, I was surprised and a little disappointed. I tried to sit up. "No, Sam, lie there for just a minute. You've got quite the lump on the back of your head," said Macias. "What the fuck, happened?" I asked. "I was hoping you could tell me," said Macias. "All I know is, I reached down to move the mattress when something hit me in the back of the head!" I replied groggily.
"Well, what d'ya know about this guy?" Macias asked, motioning to his right. I thought - what the fuck is he talking about? I sat up half-way with my head throbbing big time. I blinked my eyes a few times to clear the cobwebs. I saw a guy face down, not four feet from me, with blood still oozing from the back of his head and onto the mattress. "What the fuck! Who the hell is that?" I asked, my head spinning now, as I lay back down. "Well, it looks just like Vince Battaglia," said Macias. I could hear the faint sounds of sirens in the distance as I lay there with my eyes closed. I felt myself beginning to lose consciousness. I could hear Macias calling my name as total darkness enveloped me. "Sam!" "Sam!" "Sam!"…
(To be cont'd)