I SEE HIS EYES FIRST, very dark, intense, and unblinking, staring right into mine.
He’s dressed in a gray suit, nothing fancy, jacket open with a loose tie, yellow-and-red stripe. Clipped to his belt is a scuffed-up badge. NYPD?
With a deliberate gait bordering on slow, he weaves his way through the crowd and walks up to me. All this time, his eyes never leave mine. I guess he heard me screaming. I smell his aftershave . . . and tobacco.
“Oh, thank God,” I say, a relieved hand slapping my chest. “Are you with the police?”
“I’m a detective, yes.”
I point back at the hotel. “Hurry, you have to do something.”
He gives me a strange look before glancing over his shoulder. “Excuse me? I have to do what?”
I jab my finger at the gurneys again, the words tripping over my tongue. “The zipper . . . over there . . . the one on the . . .” I take a deep breath and spit it out. “The person in that last body bag is still alive!”
The detective looks at the hotel again. It’s not quite a smirk on his hardened face when he turns back to me, but it’s close. There is something unsettling about this man, deeply so.
“Lady, I can assure you the person in that bag is dead. They’re all dead.”
“Please, just go check.”
He shakes his head. “No, I won’t go check. Did you hear what I just told you?”
“You don’t understand, Detective. The zipper on that last body bag, it’s going to — ”
I stop myself cold. Hold it right there, Kris. Not another word!
I complete the sentence in my head and suddenly, embarrassingly, I realize how crazy it all sounds. I sneak a quick peek at that last body bag, which still hasn’t moved. I want to tell this guy about the dream; I want to make him believe me.
So of course I can’t tell him about the dream.
“I’m sorry,” I say meekly, starting to put away my camera. “I don’t know what I was thinking. I guess I just got scared.”
“Four murders,” he says. “That’s scary, all right.”
I can feel the detective’s eyes on me as I fumble with the lens cap for my camera, but I don’t look at him. And as I turn to slink away as quickly as possible, I don’t say another word. No good-bye, no apology, no nothing. Way to go, Kristin. You’ve just made a complete fool of yourself.
It’s been a morning to remember.
Four dead bodies.
Copyright © 2007 by James Patterson
Ilyana Kadushin's numerous credits include narration for The Discover Channel, Nickelodeon, and BBC America. She is a singer and songwriter for the duo Lythion, who currently scores music for film and television. Ilyana has also recently appeared in productions for Amnesty International and The Culture Project.
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