Oak and Hamilton ….
Officers stood at the end of either street directing traffic, their shirt sleeves blowing in what passed for a breeze. Their white and blue cars sat blocking the crime scene. Ray pulled into a convenience store parking lot. The crowd parted for Fraser in his red serge, Ray and Meg followed while Dief zigzagged around the scene. A gruff, uniformed officer met Ray half way, a wary eye on the strangers.
“I'm Detective Vecchio, what've we got?” Ray showed his badge. Most of the uniformed officers didn't pay him any mind.
“The victim, Jenny Stillwell, just left in a bus, she said a guy tried to choke her to death, would have too, if a neighbor on the second floor hadn't started shouting out the window, said neighbor called us.” Ray made quick notes, one eye on the uniformed officer and the other on Fraser. The Mountie had wandered over to where a gold chain lay, pulled from Ms. Stillwell's purse. Meg stood beside him, watching the crowd for spectral faces.
“Ms. Stillwell must have had her purse strap on her left shoulder, there was a struggle, from the blood, the assailant is left handed, she fell to his right.” Fraser stood facing the now empty parking spot, running through the scenario in his mind.
Meg's eyes widened and her jaw clenched so it wouldn't drop. She saw a familiar face in the crowd watching the police. A young man with a striped shirt and short hair looked back at her.
“Fraser,” she tapped him on the shoulder, eyes locked on the ghost. “Fraser,” the young man stood out from the crowd of contemporarily dressed on-lookers. Pain ripped though Meg's skull, jumbled images of people moving, walking, assaulted her. A slender blonde with feathered, frosted hair swayed, the sound of a car hitting the curb, it's frame grinding against the cement curb pierced Meg's ears. Her knees buckled, like someone had taken a sledge hammer to them. Her body shook violently, thrown to the side of it's own accord. The next thing she saw was blue sky and Fraser's face.
“Inspector, are you alright?”
Meg felt his arm across her back, supporting her as she lay backward, arms dangling at her sides. His other hand checked her pulse.
“What happened?” Meg managed, trying to stand on her own two feet. Fraser's arm hovered behind her, should she fail. Still weak kneed, she clutched his forearm. Her free hand clutched her aching head. She'd never had a migraine before. It felt like someone had her head in a vice, twisting for pure, sadistic pleasure.
“You appeared to have had a seizure.” Slowly, he led her to the sidewalk.
“I saw Jimmy Glassberg's death, he was watching a blonde in front of him when the car hit him, he didn't see it coming.” Meg explained, her hand on her forehead. The pain made her want to cry. Jimmy hadn't even been afraid. He died almost instantly.
“Do I need to call for an ambulance?” Ray asked over Fraser's shoulder, peering questioningly at the Inspector.
“I'm fine, I just lost my balance.” Meg looked up, summoning strength to pull herself to her full height.
“I got this if you two want to go, right now it's just taking witness statements, Fraser and me can go to the hospital later to check on the victim.” Ray hitched his thumb over his shoulder at the scene. He wore a loose, rayon shirt and slacks, the coolest clothes he could find that still passed for professional dress.
Meg didn't want to take his suggestion, it showed weakness. She also didn't want to crumple like a Jenga tower again.
“Perhaps the Inspector and I could follow up on Ms. Stillwell's vehicle with Elaine.” Fraser suggested.
“Yeah, that'd be great, I'll have one of the squad cars take you to the station.” Ray used his notebook as a fan as he spoke.
“Thank you, Ray.” Fraser nodded, hands behind his back. The detective moved off to find the least useful uniform and put him to work driving the Canadians.
“Are you alright, Sir?” Fraser asked again, examining her eyes, the way she slumped back against the brick wall.
“No, I am not alright, I just saw the last few moments of a young man's life from his perspective.” Meg rubbed her temples, eyes closed to the bright sunshine beating against the wall behind her.
“Would you like to go home, Inspector?” Fraser stepped closer, his shoulder against the wall.
“No, it won't help.” She brushed the pain away and stood up straight. The pain wasn't going to leave until Meg caught Austin Parker. His victims' pain had lingered for too long.
“Because of the apparitions?” Fraser asked conspiratorially, his blue eyes concerned.
“Just one of many reasons.” Meg looked up from rubbing her temples, a tired smile pulling at her lips.
Author's Note: Oak and Hamilton Streets are completely fictitious, I have no idea whatsoever about Chicago's geography. They're generic names.