Chapter 4

Darkness had fallen by the time I made it back to my apartment, and ice cold rain had managed to soak me through in the time it took me to walk from the car park to the front door.
My humble home was located on the top floor in a seven storey building from the 1930’s. The small 1 bedroom apartment wasn’t much, but it was enough for me and Mr Fish. The latter gave an indifferent flick with his rainbow coloured tail when I opened the door before he swam into his little medieval style castle. Good to know he’d missed me. With my crazy job, he was one of the few types of pets I could have that wouldn’t mind not seeing me for most of the day. I tempted him from his hiding place with some funky smelling fish food flakes and watched him swim around, enthusiastically gulping up the food. The guy at the pet shop had said that Mr Fish was some kind of magic fish, but the only magical thing I had noticed about him so far was his shifting colours. He looked like a sparkling mini rainbow. Just looking at him made me happy.
I put the fish food away and went to find my own dinner. The fridge proved to be a disappointment, though. I hadn’t been to the shops for over a week, so the content was limited and mostly past its expiration date.
Rummaging through the freezer, I managed to dig out a pizza. Bingo! I threw it in the oven after briefly considering whether I should just try and heat it in the microwave. Hunger had finally kicked in, and I was starving.
To take my mind off food until the pizza was ready, I went to start up my computer. Hopefully, I could find some more information about the symbol which the two men at Thomas’ club had tattooed on their neck.
15 minutes later, the World Wide Web had produced nothing I could use. The only thing which resembled the tattoo was an old Navajo symbol, but the likeness was questionable. It could very well be that the strange symbol was a unique gang tag which hadn’t been registered anywhere online.
Disappointed by the lack of progress, I went to get the pizza.
I was pretty sure that Thomas was right about the importance of the tattoos. It had to be part of the case. It was just too much of a coincident that the missing and murdered women had left with guys who both sported such a unique tattoo on their necks.
I put the pizza on a plate and was in the process of cutting it when my phone rang. For a split second, I considered whether I should just ignore it and eat my pizza instead but then decided to at least see who was calling. It might actually be important, though it was probably just a sales call.
When I pulled the phone from my bag, the number wasn’t one I knew.
With a quick glance at my pizza, I sighed and answered the call. “Hallo?”
Silence was the only reply. I waited a moment before trying with another hallo. The silence continued, but just as I was going to hang up, a whispering voice answered me.
“Don’t hang up.”
It sounded like a female voice, an old one.
“Who is this?”
“Shhh. Listen, listen.” There was a short pause before the woman continued. “You have to stop looking for missing women. They all dead, all of them, and you in danger. Great, great danger. They know you, and they will take you too if you not run away. Run away whilst you still can.”
“Okay, listen, Lady. I’m not going anywhere. You need to tell me who you’re talking about.”
“Shhh!” There was another pause. “You need to run.” Silence was followed by a foreign word which sounded like a curse. “He’s coming. He’s coming. Run! Run whilst you can!”
The line went dead.
I stared at the phone, not at all sure what to make of the conversation I’d just had.
Thoughts racing a million miles per hour, I sat down in my ancient sofa and waited.
Five minutes later I hit redial, hoping to reach the women who had just tried to warn me.
The call went straight to voicemail, and a chill went through me as I listened to the message.
“Hi, you’ve called Penelope Evans. I can’t take your call at the moment, but if you leave a message after the tone, I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.”
I hung up after the beep, thinking that Penelope Evans was never getting back to anyone again.
The voicemail proved that this definitely hadn’t been a prank call. Whoever had just called me was in possession of a dead woman’s phone.
Trying to rearrange my racing thoughts, I got up and walked over to my computer. One thing had become crystal clear, I couldn’t abandon this case now. I was clearly on to something, and whilst I wasn’t entirely sure what it was, I was determined to solve this mystery.
The woman may have tried to scare me off, but it had only made me more determined. Pizza forgotten, I opened my browser and started looking for answers.

Read chapter 5 here!