Chapter 20.

Another body found.

 

The professor had been found by one of his students in the same position as the black smoke had left him, crumpled on the floor. Immediately the police had been notified and Detective Strong had arrived on the scene of the crime along with two more investigators.

“Well, another suspicious murder.” said Strong. The other investigators just nodded as they were busy taking pictures. On a whim, Strong decided to call Detective Fisher.

“Fisher, its Strong. Where is Horn?”

“Still at home. He went to work yesterday and then came back here at his place. So far nothing suspicious on his part.”

“We’ve had another murder, professor Curry. This is very strange. I’m starting to believe Horn’s story, you know.”

“Yeah, it is weird. The dead in all the cases were related to Horn, but in the last murder, it is clear that Horn is not the culprit. He was never near the scene of the crime.” Fisher said.

“OK, thanks for the info. Keep watching him. It is probably not him doing the killings but he could still be implicated by possible accomplices.” Strong said his he hung up.

Strong went back to the office and looked at the scene of the crime: the wooden ruler was on the floor and on the neck of the victim were marks of apparent strangulation. It was clear that the professor had tried to put up a fight but in the end he was overpowered. And as he was strangled that meant that someone with hands did it. Could the black smoke materialize and kill, and then escape by turning back into a vapor? Professor Curry had said that all this was scientifically impossible, but the evidence was inescapable. Maybe Horn was telling the truth after all. All these thoughts were swimming in Strong’s head.

Strong decided to call Horn to inform him of the murder and to see what would be his reaction. “Mr. Horn, hello. I have bad news again, another murder.”

“Another one? Related to me again?” said Horn.

“Not quite. You see, you have never met professor Curry. But I had and you were informed of the meeting and of what professor Curry thought about your claims about your shadow killing people. Tell me, what were your feelings when you heard that he did not believe you.”

“Well of course I was angry that he did not accept that it was possible. And yet I knew it was as I had seen it. So yes, anger and disbelief was what occupied my thoughts at that time.” Horn was honest. He knew that he had to be.

” I see. So anger towards the professor occupied your thoughts. Can I assume that when you were thinking in the

past about your ex-girlfriend or your ex-boss, angry thoughts also crossed your mind? said Strong.

“Yes. I think that is fair to say that the way and the reason my ex-girlfriend left me and how I was treated by my ex-boss definitely led me to experience anger towards them.”

Detective Strong thought he was detecting a pattern; whenever Horn was very unhappy or experienced anger in a situation, a murder had occurred that involved the people Horn was thinking about. This could mean that Horn was unable to control this shadow of his and that furthermore, the two were linked. Strong disliked that hypothesis but it made sense. Horn was not the killer, and to think that he could hire a killer that would do his dirty deeds seems unlikely as killers have to be paid and Horn did not have that kind of money. Of course, Horn could still be the target of someone trying to frame him, but nothing in his past suggested that. No, it seemed that the supernatural explanation seemed the most plausible so far.

It occurred to Strong that as Detective Fisher was following Horn everywhere he would be able to tell him what Horn had done during the time the murder of the professor had happened. He called Fisher on his cell phone.

“Fisher, its me, Strong. Tell me, where was Horn the day the professor was killed.”

“He was home, without a doubt.” Fisher said.

“Are you absolutely sure of this? Because if you are, that means that at the very least Horn isn’t the one killing people from his past.”

“I’m sure its not him.” Fisher said. “That means that the story of his shadow separating from him and killing people could in theory be true, right?”

“I suppose so. But I am still uncomfortable with this idea. If this has never happened in the past, why now and why Horn? All this doesn’t make sense. It is still possible that Horn is being set up for these murders.” said Strong.

“Well yes, in theory it is possible. But that would not explain the black smoke seen in the vicinity of some of the murders.” said Fisher.

“You’re right about that. I think we still have to wait and see what happens next. Keep following him.”

“Will do. Bye.”

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