“This will be my last case!”

Years before, he could not accept the lesson old timers in the force often reminded rookies: when you encounter a special case, it could be a life-changing experience that once you get out of the station, you’d never look back. Specifically, the word special was loosely interpreted, sometimes spoken with the corresponding wink or raised eyebrows.

He scoffed at at the idea then. He swallowed it whole now.

After reading four of the fifteen notebooks so far, he reluctantly came to the conclusion that life was indeed mysterious. There were events that defied explanation.

Emil’s story was original all right. His imagination was too fertile that he had no idea he was writing about a real person, someone who was real in his imagination but actually existing in the flesh.

Detective Moreno could have written the story as an autobiography. Emil’s story and his were almost identical. How could that have happened?

To put it in another perspective, from a detective’s point of view, Emil could have been his stalker. For the sake of argument, he could have culled all the information from outside sources: friends, acquaintances and colleagues. Emil could have been so good to elude suspicion: tailing him around, keeping tabs at his exploits and failures, writing them all in fictional form.

But, what about his most personal thoughts or plans for the future? Was Emil a mind reader, too? How could Emil write so close to what he thought, musings he kept to himself, wishes he alone hoped for?

Emil’s fiction was his non-fiction. That was all there to it.

Yet, there was one item that complicated the mystery. Emil wrote comments on the notebook’s borders, citing Hope as his only love, his work dedicated to her alone.

Who was she? Could she be connected to me, too?

His musings was interrupted by a trio.

Brownie, his not-so-obese, doughnut-munching partner, smiled at him upon entering his office. Randy and Teddy trailed behind, their faces looked grave, more to the point of being sorry for distrusting their long-time superior.

“Sir, I have explained to them what happened that night, how stressed we all were, how we did not work as a team like we used to.”

Brownie glanced at the two and nodded.

“I believe you, sir.” Randy’s remark was so low that it sounded like a whisper. He could not utter a straight apology, too embarrassed for his insubordination that particular moment.

“I do, too.” Teddy affirmed, more assertive. “We all agree we saw the knife. That alone proved not one of us hallucinated.”

“You saved a man’s life!” Brownie added. “That to me was everything you are, sir!”

Detective Moreno nodded repeatedly, his eyes closed, collecting his thoughts to sum up everybody’s sentiment.

“We were there for a reason,” he began. “We were supposed to do our job. We did it.”

Brownie was about to say something but his superior’s raised hand signaled him not to.

“We did not see ghosts, ghouls, monsters, and all those terrifying creations our minds could conjure to scare us. What we experienced was more frightening, though. We were tricked subconsciously while we were all awake, doubting even the most common belief we shared.”

Randy and Teddy, both skeptics, could not disagree. The double incident were tied to one another, which proved that their superior indeed acted beyond the impossible and maintained his composure under extra-ordinary circumstances.

“Never again, sir, will I doubt you!” Randy approached his superior and shook his hand.

“It is always a privilege serving you, sir!” Teddy followed suit.

Detective Moreno bid them all goodbye, not confiding to them that he would soon get out of the station and never look back.

(to be continued)



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