Why can’t you see them?

Officer Brigitte McCray led the small, pale woman into the interrogation room. She pulled out a chair for her at the table, then sat down on the other side. She used a pen to write the woman’s name, Allison Derby, and her address on a notepad. Then, with a blank look on her face, she said, “Tell me again why you’re here.”

“I killed three people and I’m afraid I’ll kill again. You need to arrest me right now,” Allison said.

“When did the killings occur?”

“Today,” Allison said in a detached tone and with a distant look. This all happened today.”

“Whom did you kill?”

“It started with my neighbor, James. He was over at my apartment helping me with my plumbing. I don’t know what happened. One minute he was putting his tools back into his toolbox and the next I was standing over his dead body. My kitchen knife was in my hand and blood was everywhere. I spent the next hour cleaning myself off while trying to figure out what to do.

“Then, James’s wife, Clarissa came over looking for him. I could tell she was suspicious that he and I might be having an affair. She barged into my apartment and started calling out his name while looking all around. I thought for sure she’d notice his body on the kitchen floor, but she walked right past it like it wasn’t there. Then I blacked out again. When I recovered, I saw her lying on top of her husband with her throat slashed.”

“So, you killed your neighbors?”


“What happened next?”

“My landlord, Mrs. Harding, knocked on my door a short time later. I knew she was there to collect rent.”


“I opened the door and I… I… stabbed her, right in the stomach, without saying anything. She looked at me with the most surprised expression I’ve ever seen in my life. The next thing I knew, she was lying face up in my living room with her throat slashed. Her eyes were wide open, glassy like a doll’s, staring up at the ceiling.

“What did you do next?”

“I decided to turn myself in.”


“I didn’t mean to kill those people. I don’t know why I did it and I don’t want to hurt anyone else. That’s why I need you to arrest me.”

Brigitte squinted as she looked Allison up and down. Then, she stood up and said, “Wait here for a minute. I’ll be right back.” Allison nodded.

Brigitte exited the room, then walked down the hall to her cubicle and sat at her computer. She opened the national police database of criminal records. Then she typed in Allison’s name and address and wrote down the results she found. Next, she went over to an open office door on the side of the room.

Stenciled on the door’s window were the words, “Police Chief Anna Polansky.” Inside was a woman in a suit who was reading a document from an open file on her large wooden desk. Brigitte knocked on the door. Anna looked up and said, “Yes?”

“Chief, I’ve got a weird one here,” Brigitte said.


“Her name’s Allison Derby. She came in a few minutes ago confessing to having killed her neighbors and her landlord. Says she doesn’t know why she did it.

“Hmm… what do we know about her?”

“Not much. She has lived at the same address for 10 years and has no criminal history. She said she stabbed or slashed all her victims with a knife. But I didn’t see any nicks or cuts on her hands or fingers like we often see with perpetrators of knife crimes.”

“Where are the victims now?”

“She implied that they’re all still in her apartment.”

Anna leaned back in her chair and looked up at the ceiling. Then, she said, “What do you think?”

“I think she’s crazy.”

Anna nodded and said, “I agree, but we still need to check up on her story. Go to the apartment with her and check it out.”

“Will do, chief.”

Brigitte went back down the hall and opened the interrogation room door. “Ma’am, let’s take a ride down to your apartment. I want you to show me the bodies.”

Allison said, “Aren’t you going to arrest me?”

“Not yet. We need hard evidence that someone has committed a crime before we can arrest them.”

“I see, well are you going to put me in handcuffs?”

“Should I?”

Allison used her key to unlock her door, then opened it to let Brigitte inside. Brigitte proceeded to then look around the small, one-bedroom apartment.

The first thing she noticed was its sparseness. There were no decorations and only a single chair in the living room and a bare mattress in the bedroom.

“You said you live here, ma’am?” she asked.

“Yes, I’ve lived here for several years. But that’s not important. You see the bodies and now you know I was telling the truth. Now hurry up and arrest me.”

Confused, Brigitte said, “What bodies?”

Allison’s eyes grew wide. “The bodies!” she said. “There are two in the kitchen and one right next to where you’re standing in the living room.”

Brigitte looked at the floor all around her. “I didn’t see any bodies, ma’am,” she said. “Not here, not in the kitchen, nor anywhere else in the apartment.”

Allison shook her head, closed her eyes and squeezed her temples. Then, she stomped into the kitchen, pointed at the floor and said, “You mean you don’t see these two dead bodies, right here? A man and a woman.”

Brigitte took a step toward the kitchen. As she moved, Allison gasped and said, “You just stepped across the body. You lifted your leg up over it.”

Brigitte sighed and said, “Ma’am, like I said, there’s nothing there. Not in the living room, not in the kitchen, nowhere.”

Allison’s eyes began to tear up as she put her hands to her face and said, “No, this can’t be happening. Why can’t you see them? Why?”

“Ma’am, are you using any medications or substances?”

Allison shook her head and said, “Why can’t you see them? You should be able to see them, you should.”

Brigitte turned her head to speak into her police radio. “Dispatch, I’m at a suspect’s apartment investigating a potential 187, but it was a false alarm. I’m headed back now.”

When she turned back around, she saw Allison standing in the kitchen doorway. She had an intense look on her face and held a long kitchen knife in her hand.

“You’re lying about not being able to see the bodies,” she said. “I don’t know why, but you are. If you won’t arrest me, then you leave me with no choice.”

She raised the knife and screamed, pouncing at Brigitte with surprising speed. Brigitte pulled her gun and fired two shots into Allison’s chest at point blank range. She collapsed to the floor in a heap, the knife clattering to the ground. Brigitte looked down at where she’d fallen and gasped.

Laying beneath her were now two other bodies. One was a man and the other a woman. Blood covered their skin and clothes.

“What the…?” Brigitte said.

Then, with her lower lip trembling, she turned her head and looked out into the living room. There, laying in the middle of the carpet, was the body of a middle-aged woman. She had gaping wounds in her stomach and neck. A look of surprise frozen upon her face.

Her hand shaking, Brigitte reached for her radio. She said, “Dispatch, I need immediate backup on a 187 at my current location. The perpetrator attacked me, and I shot her. I believe she’s dead.”

A voice crackled through the radio, “Officer McCray? Your last communication indicated the 187 call was a false alarm.”

“I know, but I made a mistake. Get someone out here as soon as possible!”

While she waited, Brigitte examined the three new bodies in the apartment. They looked like they’d been dead for about a day.

A short time later, there was a knock at the door, and then opened. Two police officers stood in the doorway, their hands on their holsters. One leaned his head into the apartment and said, “Brigitte, you in here?

“Yes, I’m here,” she answered. “In the kitchen.”

The officers entered and walked into the kitchen. Seeing them, Brigitte said, “Scott, Karen, I’m so glad you’re here.” Then, she held her hand out toward the floor and said, “The one on top is the perp, the others are her victims.”

The officers looked at each other then back at her. “Where?” they said in unison.

Brigitte scoffed and said, “You’ve got to be kidding me. There are three bodies lying right here and there’s another out in the living room.”

They both gave her strange looks. Karen shook her head and said, “This isn’t funny, Brigitte.”

“I’m not joking! There are four bodies in this apartment! Why can’t you see them?”

Scott took a step forward and tripped, catching his toe on the leg of one of the bodies. He recovered his footing and continued another few steps. Then he opened a cabinet and looked inside like nothing had happened.

Brigitte said, “There, Scott, you tripped on the body of a dead man as you walked across the floor.” He looked at her like she was crazy and said in a quiet, concerned voice, “No, I didn’t.”

Karen rolled her eyes and shook her head. Then, she said into her radio, “It’s a false alarm after all. Officer McCray must be seeing things.”

“No, I am not seeing things! You tell dispatch that there are four bodies in this apartment, right now!”

Brigitte pulled out her gun and pointed it at Karen who stood unmoving, staring at her with surprise.

Scott said, “Calm down. We’ll figure everything out.” Then he reached toward Brigitte’s gun. Brigitte pointed it at him and shot him in the neck. He let out a gurgling sound and slid down against the counter, his blood spurting all over the walls.

Brigitte pointed the gun back at Karen, but Karen pulled out her own gun and shot Brigitte in the head. Brigitte pulled her trigger at the same moment, hitting Karen in the leg.

Karen collapsed in agony as Brigitte fell to the floor, dead. Then, Karen sat up against the kitchen doorframe and looked at her leg as blood sprayed out. She reached for her radio and said, “Dispatch, send an ambulance. Officer McCray shot me and Officer Smith. I’m bleeding everywhere. I need help, now!”

A voice crackled through the radio. It sounded muffled to Karen as she began losing consciousness. The last thing she saw was a pile of three bodies lying in the middle of the floor next to those of her colleagues.

Police Chief Polansky sat at her desk in the police station, reading the newspaper. She scanned the headlines until she stopped at one and frowned. It said, “Three Police Officers Missing After Responding to Reported Murder.”

She shook her head as she read the rest of the story. It said, “Police Officers Brigitte McCray, Karen Johnson, and Scott Smith are missing. They were last heard from after responding to a report of a suspected murder at a downtown apartment. Police say the officers gave conflicting accounts of events at the scene. Then, all three ceased radio communication. When backup arrived, they found the apartment empty. Also, the tenant, the landlord, and two other people living in the same building are missing as well. Police say they suspect foul play.”