I’m investigating her husband. He’s doing something way worse than cheating.
I’ve been working as a private investigator based out of Portland Maine for a few years now, so when a woman came in requesting that I trail her husband to find out if he was cheating, it was nothing new.
When a marriage has gotten to the point that they’re calling in private investigators, it’s typically not a great sign. My first impression of my client was that she might’ve been the dumbest person I’d ever met. If she was starting to have suspicions, it meant that the husband was getting obvious. I handed her a GPS tracker and told her to put it in his car before he left for work the next morning.
I wrote down his work address, drove there a few hours before five, and settled back for the wait. It’s fall in Maine, and the wind whipping through the trees was soothing in a peculiar way.
My client had told me that her husband Barty had recently started working late every night at the office. When I saw him leave a little before five, my suspicions were all but confirmed. He slipped into his car and drove off down the road. I gave him a few seconds head start before turning my engine over and driving after him. My GPS was only accurate within a few hundred feet so I didn’t want to let him get too far away.
Barty drove for fifteen minutes or so before pulling off into a suburb. I drove past the turn, figuring I’d be able to find his car and not wanting to reveal myself. I pulled a U-Turn and pulled into the neighborhood.
Thick trees grew between almost every house, cutting off my vision. I drove around the windy roads of the suburb, keeping an eye out for his car. The sun was setting, and I was afraid that soon it’d be too dark to find him. Still, I kept my headlights off.
It took me another few minutes, but I finally rounded a corner and saw him standing in front of his open trunk. I pulled into a neighbor’s driveway down the street, hoping that the owner wouldn’t notice me.
He punched into his trunk, I assumed to pack something down. He slammed it shut and rounded the car, sliding into the driver’s seat. His lights flipped on, and he drove away.
That’s when I noticed that the door to the house was hanging open.
I looked back and forth between the taillights and the now-open front door. I still had the GPS, and something about the house was giving me the creeps. After he vanished behind a grove of trees I pulled into the spot where he’d parked and ran up the steps to the door.
“Hello?” I shouted.
There was a light on inside the house visible through the open door. The wind continued to whip around me and the trees surrounding the house. I heard no response.
I shot a glance around and stepped inside the house. It was a mess; I noticed several holes in the drywall by the kitchen. I also noticed a few red droplets of blood on the ground and counter.
My entire body went cold. Had this guy kidnapped someone?
I turned around and ran back to my car, opening up my GPS tracker as I did. He was driving away from the city. I pulled out of the driveway and gave chase.
The tracker took me to an old backroad that wound into the forest. I hadn’t seen another house in at least a half-hour. When I got close I flipped off my lights and pulled off the side of the road. I grabbed the revolver I kept in the glove box and began moving forward on foot.
I’d thought about calling the police of course, but what would I say? This house in a bad neighborhood was left with the door open? No, I hadn’t actually seen anything. Still, I knew I had to keep moving forward.
I crept along the road, passing a sign that said “No Trespassing”. I was thankful for the wildly blowing wind: with any luck, it’d covered the sound of my car and any sounds I was making as I walked.
A decrepit house with his car parked in front was sitting half-hidden on a hill in the distance. Barty pulled a woman out of the trunk and slung her over his shoulder before moving into the house. She had waist-length blond hair that shimmered in the low light.
I once again thought about calling the cops, but I figured they wouldn’t have probably cause which they’d need to get past the No Trespassing sign. On top of that, what if he was about to kill her? Cops wouldn’t get here for half an hour at least.
I grit my teeth, checked my revolver, and crept forward. I reached the car and shot a look inside the trunk. It was too dark to see if there was blood, but something bright on the floor caught my attention. I reached down and picked it up.
It was an intact human fingernail.
That’s when my fear overcame my resolve and I backed slowly into the woods to call the cops. I was right, it did take a half hour. But I was wrong, they did come all the way down to the house. Two patrol cars with their lights flashing drove down the driveway.
I was still in the woods, watching the front of the house. I was trying to control my breathing, telling myself that I wasn’t a coward for not going in myself sooner.
The police banged on the door, and Barty opened it. They spoke for a few seconds before Barty turned around and gestured for someone to step forward. A woman with waist-length blond hair appeared, smiling and waving her hand. She wrapped one hand around Barty’s arm.
It was the same woman. The police left soon afterward.
I sat in the forest for a few long mintues, trying to make sense of what happened. I had started the long walk back to my car when I heard a sound, low on the wind and barely perceptible.
It was screaming. Screaming coming from the house.
I left anyway. I didn’t know why anyone would be screaming, but I lied to myself and said there must be a good reason.
I’m back at home now and I can’t stop thinking about it. I’m going to continue following Barty around. I’ll update you all tomorrow with what I find.
PART 2 COMING SOON