The Painting

“Hell. Why did I need to be here for this?” Cory spat, his eyebrows smashed together in disgust. He shook his head before kneeling down near the cages. He needed to get a good luck so that the corner could remove the bodies from the scene. His nose wrinkled from the smell of rotting flesh.

Dave stood near the father’s body watching his partner intently, waiting for Cory to come to his own conclusions before he mentioned his. It was always a good idea to have each person see the scene without too many preconceived notions.

“This is pretty bad. I’m guessing the father was killed first.” Cory steps around the body, circling slowly.” He noticed the dragged blood stains and pointed to it. “Was his body moved?”

“Yes. There and back again.” Dave points to the large stain underneath the body, then towards the blood Cory had just looked at.

“Why would someone move a body twice? Seems like a waste of time.” He peered closely at the fathers neck and noticed the strange markings. “Did they try to clean the guy’s neck after he bled to death?”

“No. Worse. Those marks are from a paint brush.”

“Uhm. A paint brush?” Cory questioned the ridiculous idea. Who painted a picture in blood anyway?

“It might be your day off but you need to stay sharp. Pretty sure those kiddie cartoons are melting your brain.” Dave’s poor attempt at a joke had Cory rolling his eyes. “The blood stains are leading to the second bedroom.”

“My old bedroom?”

“The very same.”

Before this home became Dave’s family home he had shared it for two years with Cory. While Dave would never, ever live with Cory again they had a lot of fun in this house. Plenty of parties and women. The good ole days, as Dave called them. Back before life got the better of him.

Dave follows Cory towards the door carefully stepping around the blood. Neither wanted to smudge the footprints made in the man’s blood. They weren’t the greatest evidence but in a murder case you used everything you possibly could do identify the perpetrator.

“Wait.” Cory stopped right before the bedroom door. “What are those?” He pointed at some weird drops near half a footprint. They were mixed in with the large sized boot prints that he estimated to be around a size twelve.

“Jeez. You’d think being so young you’d have more of a fashion sense. Two points. They are the prints for high heels.” Dave cracked open the door to the bedroom and ushered Cory inside. “This is why I called you.”

The floor was littered with ripped posters and pictures. Cory eyes were wide with shock as he started at an uncanny painting of his own face. He looked as though he was laughing and right next to his face was Dave’s. Dried in blood, their laughter was terrifying.

“Someone’s calling us out.” Cory’s voice was barely a whisper, he unable to break his gaze from the painting.

“And I’d say it was someone from our past.” Dave agreed.

“From back when we…” His voice lowered so just Dave could hear him, “Were thieves?”

Dave didn’t feel the need to answer. The answer was obvious. Someone from the past wanted to send them a message, but what was it?

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