CHAMELEON...

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He hated the rain. He could feel its cold wet fingers running slowly down his neck, but worse, it was beginning to ease into his boots from the deep puddles on the dark walking path he had travelled to observe his carefully selected victims. 

He had tampered with three of the lamps on a section of the walking path to allow the ritual to pass with no outside interruption. Planning, planning, planning, he despised the people living around him with no plan. They just meandered through life with no direction, this was unacceptable and as he considered himself the Alpha of apex predators, he would teach them all a lesson....  One by one.

   As he patiently waited in the shadows, he saw the girl approaching. The wind driven raindrops hammered loudly on the bushes around him, like small wet bullets. Same time same place every evening, a small figure hunched against the weather holding a small wet dog on a lead in one hand and an umbrella in the other. 

This one would be easy. She was not checking her surroundings but focussing only on the rain splashing heavily into the pools of water on the two meters of wet asphalt in front of her feet. 

The dog was irrelevant. It was not needed for the evenings proceedings so would be ignored once the target was in the trap. He tensed as the dog stopped in the pouring rain alongside his hidden vantage point in the undergrowth. It lifted its head and looking directly at him slowly bared its teeth. A deep growl formed in its throat.

Without moving a muscle, he slowly looked away from the dog to the frozen target. She was looking directly into his eyes as he exploded from the shadows.....

Chapter One

Bromma Kullorna

 

On the west side of Stockholm Inspector Ulf Andersson bent down to inspect a broken twig marked by a yellow tag that the forensic team were removing. They had had just wound up their initial investigation in the torrential non-stop rain of the last few days and were packing up their large white van.

“Anders”, he called to the tall skinny photographer that always seemed to be the last to leave any crime scene, “get a close up of this broken stick & send it to my desk as soon as you can”.

“But boss, the forensic team have cleaned up, and look, even the police tape is being removed.”

One dark glower from the inspector was enough to make the photographer unpack his state-of-the-art digital camera and move back into the wet bushes. He lit up the pencil thick twig protruding from the ground and took shots from various angles without having any idea of what it was the inspector could see that that he couldn’t.

 

Once the white van had left and the crime scene had been released back to the public, Ulf took a last long look at the darkened area and turned to walk back to his car parked on a nearby street. As he walked through the rain, deep in thought, he unconsciously rubbed the braided dog’s collar in his deep raincoat pocket that he would never allow anyone to see.

 

“Boss, call Anders ASAP, he has been trying to get you & he says it’s important” called Lisa his pretty assistant as he clumsily crashed through the double doors into his office dripping rainwater all over the polished grey floor tiles.

Once dried and with a fresh cup of strong black coffee, he called the photographer.

“Anders, what’ve you got?”

“I don’t know how you saw it boss, but when I zoomed in on the broken twig the picture showed hair, light coloured hair. It looks very short, what do we do, do we go back?

“I’ve saved you the trouble, I bagged it and I’m heading over to the forensic department right now to raise hell. Just email me the pictures and your work is done, good job.”

 

Twenty minutes later an extremely irate Ulf Andersson burst into the forensic department and brandished a sealed plastic bag with the hair sample found at the scene. “Call yourselves professionals? I took this hair sample after you had cleaned up. I suggest you get an I.D. on it as soon as possible, who, what, why, where… I NEED TO KNOW. There is a girl out there and we need to find her before she ends up presumed dead like the other two...

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