What's The Inspiration?
The character of Mario Zuberi was inspired by a friend. He's easy going and fun to be around. I wanted to build a character that reminds me of him (and he didn't mind) - thus Detective Zuberi was born.
Then I combined my love of police work, and the supernatural. I wanted to create a character that I haven't read about before - a hybrid. So I created Kyrie Albert.
This is a real passion project for me so it's taking a long time to right because I want it to be just right.
Part of Chapter One
“Albert,” I almost didn’t hear my phone over the horn of the transport truck. The driver irritated over a small car cutting him off almost causing an accident.
“You’re needed at Stone’s Parking Garage,” came a curt reply.
“I’ll be there in ten.”
I laid the dry cleaning I’d just picked up flat in the trunk then got behind the wheel. Stone’s Parking Garage; Burnstone’s largest and most popular parking garage is strategically situated between uptown and downtown. Uptown is the nicer of the two districts. It’s filled with a mall, a few large box stores, the town hospital, nicer schools, a newer police station, and so much more. Uptown is where the tourists all stay. On the other end is downtown. This district is a little shadier with its clubs, bars, and small locally run shops. It also has the first police station this town has seen where I proudly work.
I parked my car just before the crime scene tape, reached over to the glove box pulling out my gun and badge, attaching them to my hip as I stepped out. Officers were busy keeping civilians at bay while forensics worked on collecting evidence. I reached back into the car pulling out two coffees. The officer who lifted the tape for me had a pained almost fearful expression.
I didn’t get a chance to consider his expression as Officer Kyle Anderson rushed over to greet me. He’s been an officer for two years now, always cheerful and eager to help. I like Kyle, his thirst for learning is refreshing to see in such a younger officer. Standing a couple inches taller than my 5’3” he felt like my shadow as he rattled off some basic information about the crime scene as we neared the body. I can’t help but smile at the 22 year old man – especially when his face lights up with that smile of his.
“The victim is female, unfortunately we found no identification on her. There aren’t any witnesses, but we are trying to fill in the gaps by contacting everyone who has parked on this level in the past 24 hours,” he flipped through his note pad. “I’m trying to track down the manager of this parking garage. Maybe we can get lucky and catch the killer on the CCTVs.”
“Thank you Kyle. Any clues?”
“Nothing obvious. If there’s anything forensics will find it,” he glanced toward the body frowning. “She looks so young.”
“Anderson!” an older officer called to him.
“I have to go. If you need anything Detective let me know.”
“Kyrie,” I correct him yet again as he left. His lips quirked. Respect or not, if he wants to keep working cases with me I will break him of the habit.
“There you are,” my partner, Mario Zuberi, came to stand behind me.
“I wasn’t hiding,” I turned to glance up at him. A head taller than me with matching brown eyes and hair he smiled down at me cheerfully. “You got here before me. What do we have?”
“A murder,” I elbowed him careful not to spill the coffee in my hands. He just laughed. “You’re going to have to see this one for yourself.”
“Okay what’s the catch with this case?”
“The body is just over there,” he reached for the extra coffee in my hands. A frown tugging his lips when I pulled it out of his reach.
“The officers look shaken and you’re being cryptic. How bad is it?”
“It’s not a gory scene,” his lips quirked, snatching the coffee from my hands. “It was a vampire attack.”
“There’s no such thing as vampires.”
He guided me closer to the body that was further into the parking garage, almost right in the center. “Then how do you explain the victim’s body being completely drained of blood?”
“That is up to Mark to figure out. We are tasked with figuring out who killed her.”
“And the other bodies too.”
I stopped suddenly before our current victim. “What other bodies?”
“There were two bodies found last week. Apparently with no clue to the killer or any connection to either victims that the files got shuffled around. I only just found out about those victims.”
“Idiots,” I mumbled. “We’ll have to track down those case files when we get back to the station.”
“All ready on it.”
I bent down closer to the body of our current victim. “Why dump the body here?”
“Check the neck,” Mario urged.
I rolled my eyes but tilted my head to view the neck anyway. “Two puncture marks seemingly equal in width and possibly an inch apart. I wonder what kind of tool could do that.”
“None that I know of, logically of course,” he shrugged eyes sparkling. “I bet those marks are equal in depth too.”
“Mario,” I sighed shaking my head. “Don’t say it.”
“Vampire attack,” he grinned childishly. “There’s no other explanation.”
“There are no such thing as vampires.”
Mario helped me up. “You have no proof of that.”
“Neither do you,” I countered dusting off my pants. “Out of all the years that these vampire stories have been around there has never been any scientific proof of the existence of these creatures.”
“Okay, okay,” he conceited with a laugh. “Here’s a fact for you; I heard that those bodies I mentioned earlier also had a bite mark on their neck.”
I narrowed my eyes at him. “This serial killer has a vampire fetish.”
Mario heaved a sigh running his hand through his mid length hair. I hid my smile behind my coffee. As fact driven and stubborn as I can be, Mario never ceases to amaze me with the amount of patience he has. Especially with me. We couldn’t be more opposite yet somehow we’ve managed to be successful partners for nearly three years. Officers at our station, especially the older ones, have always hated how much of a stickler I can be about the rules. Yet Mario laughs when I follow the rules like someone is telling him a punch line to a joke. Nearly everyone likes him. As childish he can be I do appreciate how serious he is about his job.
“Did you get a chance to talk to Mark?” I looked around for the medical examiner.
He scowled. “You know how much he likes me.”
“Possibly more than his new assistant,” I caught sight of Mark yelling at a young girl who twisted her fingers together flinching away from him. I watched. She nervously pointed my way. He turned, with a scowl he waved her off and come my way. “You’re going through more assistants then I am with partners Mark.”
Mark laughed, his irritation vanishing. “I’m sure my number is still lower than yours.”
“Keep yelling at them and you’ll surpass me,” I gestured to the body at our feet. “What can you tell me about her?”
“Not much,” he crouched down turning the victims’ head with his gloved hands. “I’m sure these marks were pointed out to you. They are just a distraction though, her neck has been snapped.”
“You sure?” Mario sounded disappointed.
“I’m sure,” Mark glared up at him. “She died last night around midnight. Now that you’ve seen the body Kyrie I’ll have her moved to my table and let you know when I find more.”
“Killed around midnight,” I mumbled spinning slowly in spot taking in the lack of cars on this floor of the parking garage. “Yet not found until twelve hours later.”
Mario growled then tried to cover the sound by clearing his throat. “It is Wednesday. The higher levels don’t get used as often if it’s not the weekend.”
“True. Maybe we’ll get lucky with the CCTV Kyle is looking into,” I smiled at Mark who was still crouched by the body. “Thanks Mark.”
“One more thing,” Mark held the victim’s wrist revealing a faded red mark in the shape of a tear drop. “This mark was also on two other bodies that have shown up in my morgue. Which I’m sure you’re heard of.”
“Recently, yes. Though I was informed there was no connection between the bodies.”
Mario scowled. “Why didn’t you bring this to our attention?”
For some unknown reason to me these two have never gotten along. It’s a mystery I’ve been trying to solve since Mario and I became partners – with no luck. Though if I put in more effort I’m sure I’d find the reason. I’ve learnt to ignore their little arguments and glares over the years but some days it’s too much.
“It’s all in my reports,” he responded haughtily. Mario leaned down to have a better look while Mark continued speaking directly to me. “It’s a stamp, possibly for a club. The mark came off the other victims when I washed them before the autopsy. You can find an image in my reports.”
“Blood Drop,” Mario scowled. “A popular club for the goths and vampires. The club owner is a vampire himself.”
“There are no such thing as vampires,” I repeated. “I will bet you anything that the owner is just a wealthy man who has used this vampire craze to its fullest.”
“Okay Kyrie I’ll take that bet,” Mario crossed his arms with a sly grin. Mark snickered behind us as he put the victims in the body bag his assistant brought over. “I’ll go to the club and search from that end. While you go back to the station and find the connection between the three victims.”
I eyed him. “Where is the ‘bet’ part in all of this?”
“Let’s look at this case from both of our perspectives,” he guided me back to where our cars are parked. “First person to prove their theory on vampires wins.”
“Then what do I get as my prize when I win?” ensuring to emphasise the pronoun.
He laughed. “The winner can give the loser all their paper work for both this case and the next.”
I smiled pulling out my car keys. “I like the sound of that. I’ll meet you at the club.”
“You’ll stick out like a sore thumb.”
“I honestly don’t care Mario, this is a murder investigation.”