(Psychic horror weirdness)
I decided on an unorthodox approach to my return. Presuming the same feeling I got the first time, I would not try to focus. Instead, I would try looking at the forest instead of the trees. There was no way I could focus any harder or better than I did the first time.
Adam told me he would probably be in touch the next day or so, unless I had a major revelation or something. Other than this, he let me wander the carnage again.
Deliberately not focusing was much easier, even though the general nausea and headache were there. It was a random approach, like sticking your hand into a river and hoping to catch a fish. I started making notes on the intensity of the energy coming through, to see if it varied from spot to spot in the clearing. The results were inconclusive, although it was clear the feeling dropped substantially after being only a few yards from the edge. I started wandering the perimeter, mapping this feeling on a scale similar to a pain index. I made a rough sketch in the pad to map it out. It was during this process that I noticed something that escaped me earlier. I noticed a squirrel in the distance, much further from the crime scene than I. It was agitated and nervous. It was not a pure psychic connection I made at that moment; however, something definitely clicked. I went looking for Adam directly.
He was busy, an officer advised me when I returned.
“Then maybe you can help me,” I suggested, politely, despite my sense of urgency. “Have you had the canine unit in here?”
“No,” he said, sounding annoyed. “I think there was a missing kid in Timberton, so they would be on that before we called them here. Why?” His question was laced with suspicion. I ignored it.
“Have you noticed any animals in the vicinity?” I asked. “Birds, squirrels, chipmunks, or anything like that?”
That earned me funny look. “I haven’t, but this is a homicide investigation. Unless you think this was done by animals or something.”
One of the fantastic perks of being a psychic on a police crime scene is the attitude you get. I had heard worse from better cops than this. You learn to roll with it, like when you get pulled over; or it only gets worse.
“This is just an observation, and I only noticed it a few minutes ago,” I said, being as deferential as possible, “but I have not seen an animal within fifty yards of this place since I got here.”
“Listen…” he glanced at my badge, “…Norman, I know the chief called you in and I’m sure you’re trying to help. But we are really busy. I’m sure the chief will get in touch with you.”
If I had been in a better state I would have known better, but I wasn’t, so I pressed. “It does not strike you as odd that there are no animals anywhere near here?”
“There are a lot of people around, I’m sure the animals are just not used to that. Now please go back to whatever you are doing. Thank you.” And that was that.
I returned to mapping the range of my reading. It was starting to get dark when I finished. Sergeant Kirby approached me as I returned to the scene. “We are starting to wrap up, here,” he advised me, “so if you have anything left to do, now’s the time.”
Adam was nowhere to be seen, and I was beginning to suspect he had left. It did not matter. In my second round of mapping, I confirmed that no animals were within fifty yards or so of the scene. Steering clear of human activity only held so much water for me, even accounting for the rural setting. That none of them had got closer across a whole day was strange. I definitely needed to chat with Adam.
“I was hoping to speak with Adam,” I said to Kirby, keeping my voice down, “but another officer said he was too busy. Any change in that?”
“I haven’t kept close tabs on him,” Kirby said, “but that sounds about right.”
“I asked about the canine unit,” I said, carefully, “and the other officer said they were tied up in Timberton. Do you think they will be called in?”
Kirby glanced over in the direction of the officer I spoke to earlier. “I doubt they will be in here today, anyway,” he said. “And don’t worry about him. He’s part of the provincial unit. The collars are on tight but they do good work. Tell you what, I’m out of here in thirty, I can drive you back. It’s been a long day for all of us.”