Photo via Visual Hunt
Dr. Darya Allen stepped away from the microscope and rubbed her temples. No matter how often she looked at the two hair samples, she still couldn’t make sense of them. “Do you concede defeat, Dr. Allen?”
She turned and looked into the smug face of one of the more sexist of her colleagues. “It seems I must, Dr. Aleshire. Why don’t you take a look? I’m curious as to what you think they might be,” Darya said, moving to the side.
He cast a significant glance at the other forensic scientists in the room, who all scowled at him. They knew what Darya was working on. They’d each consulted on the same thing – a murder case spanning the last five decades. Each victim had four things in common: they were female, they were ripped apart as if by wild animals though they’d been shot first, their uteruses were torn out though all of the rest of their internal organs were found, and these hair samples were on every body.
Dr. Edwin Aleshire pushed her even farther out of the way as he approached the microscope. He peered inside, changing the focus several times. His smile faded and was replaced by a frown. “These must be contaminated,” he began.
“They aren’t,” Dr. Amir Casale – Darya’s mentor and the one who’d pulled her into the investigation when she would have been overlooked by those senior to her – said flatly. “These were preserved perfectly by the crime scene investigators. They’re also the freshest, pulled from the latest victim only three days ago.”
“Then Dr. Allen must have done something to them,” Edwin said, turning to glare at the petite dark skinned woman.
“She didn’t do anything.” This was one of the others, a man Darya barely knew. His name eluded her for the moment. “None of us have. Dr. Casale mounted the slides this morning and none of the rest of us have done anything other than to adjust the magnification.”
“Then what are these?” Edwin demanded.
“Darya? You’re the only one who hasn’t voiced an opinion, other than Dr. Aleshire, as to what they are,” Amir said. “What do you think?”
Darya took her time in answering. “They belong to some type of animal,” she said. “From the shape of the hair and the core of the shaft I’d say something in the canine family. However, the follicles also carry human characteristics. If I actually thought it was possible, I’d say someone has used genetic engineering to create a human-canine hybrid and was using it to destroy the bodies in the hopes of removing evidence.”
“You mean like a werewolf?” Edwin scoffed.
“Perhaps,” Darya said. “Though I do agree that is a silly concept as werewolves in the sense of mythology and folklore are just that – stories. Most likely made up to scare uneducated peasants that eventually became matters of interest to the general public as they gained in popularity due to popular media.”
“Focus, you two,” Amir said sharply. “I agree with Darya’s assessment and with Edwin’s. The hairs are unique, and do bear the characteristics she describes. But there are no such things as werewolves.” He glanced at the clock. “It’s almost midnight and we’ve been at this since eight this morning. Go home. Get some sleep. Come back refreshed and we’ll start again tomorrow.” Everyone filed out.
Darya and Edwin were the last two to leave, as they made sure all the evidence of every crime being worked on was properly secured. The two of them walked out at the same time. The parking lot was deserted, and most of the lights were out. “What the hell is with the lights?” Edwin asked.
“Didn’t you pay attention to your email? There’s been a short somewhere in the security system. The lights are out and the cameras out here don’t work,” Darya said.
“That’s unfortunate,” Edwin said. He turned towards her. “Perhaps you and I should have a private little chat about your attitude in the lab.”
Darya smiled. “I think that’s a brilliant idea.” She pulled a gun out of her pocket. “I’m going to have to change my pattern now, which does pose a problem for me. However, I’ll make do with what I have.”
“What are you talking about?” Edwin asked, backing up a little.
Darya’s body began to shift as she stalked towards him. “Werewolves do exist, Dr. Aleshire. I think it’s time you met one.” No one was there to hear the gunshot…or the screams.