The house had been completely destroyed by fire. Only a few hours had passed since the fire had been put out by the emergency service workers and the remains of the building were still smouldering. Joanne and Richard Evans’ house, along with all of their possessions, had been lost. Richard Evans had also been lost.
At the site, a number of police officers sift through the wreckage. They are hoping to uncover anything that can help them with their investigation. Among the officers is Constable Kyle Cook. He had been sent ahead by Sergeant Michael Anders to lead the investigation.
Through the lens of his camera Constable Cook can see the charred remains of the building and the prized possessions of the Evans couple. His crime scene photographs will serve as evidence if ever required in legal proceedings.
Constable Cook kneels down on one knee and scrapes away some ash and burned wooden material. Underneath the ash he can see a pair of eyes stare back at him. He scrapes away more ash and uncovers another pair of eyes. A wedding photo. Joanne and Richard Evans in happier times. Much happier times.
“So sad,” Constable Cook says to himself, lifting the framed photograph out of the wreckage. Remarkably it has remained relatively untouched by the fire which has destroyed the rest of the house. The cracked glass panel covering the photo is the only evidence of trauma.
“What have you found there, Constable?” Kyle Cook hears a voice behind him. He turns to see Sergeant Michael Anders who has finally arrived at the scene.
Constable Cook lifts the photograph up for Sergeant Anders to see. “Looks like the only thing to survive.”
“A broken dream,” Sergeant Michael Anders sighs.
Through the smoke, Joanne could see her angel getting closer. She could also hear the angel speak again. “Joanne, stay with me. I’m here now…” The angel’s voice was muffled by the crackling fire surrounding her.
As the angel moved closer to her, its bright white halo shone blindingly into her eyes. Unexpectedly, Joanne could feel her body start to float up from the ground. She realised quickly that she had been lifted by her angel and was now safe in her angel’s wings.
“I’m going to get you out of here,” her angel promised. “Stay with me.”
“Anything else of significance?” Sergeant Anders asks Constable Cook.
“Looks like kerosene was used to start the fire. Ignited in the kitchen and took hold from there,” Constable Cook informs his Sergeant.
“Any other sign of what happened here last night? Any other clues as to why this happened?” Sergeant Michael Anders tries to search for answers.
“Nothing at the moment, Serg.”
“You should put that wedding photo in an evidence bag. It’s all we have at the moment.” Sergeant Anders instructs Constable Cook. Sergeant Anders looks over the devastating wreckage that was once Joanne and Richard’s sanctuary. “Poor Joanne,” he shakes his head.
“Were you able to talk to her?” Constable Cook asks.
“She doesn’t remember a lot,” Sergeant Anders begins to say as he pauses to look at Constable Cook. “You know,” he continues, “she did remember one thing.”
“What was that?” Constable Cook is intrigued.
“She remembered who saved her from this very house last night. She mentioned something about an angel. Her guardian angel. And it supposedly rescued her from a most certain death.”
A long silence follows as Constable Kyle Cook stares into the wreckage and then at the photograph of Joanne and Richard on their wedding day.
Kyle Cook saw the orange glow in the distance. Instead of driving for home, he decided to head towards the direction of the glow in the night sky. As he drove closer towards it, he could see the house in the distance. He quickly realised that the orange glow was fire.
The house itself was quite secluded. Situated on old farming land, there were no neighbouring houses close by. Kyle Cook’s heart sank as he realised who the house belonged to. He knew that Joanne and Richard Evans had only just moved into the new house they’d worked so hard to buy. They’d only recently been married and were beginning to enjoy being newlyweds.
Kyle Cook drove up the driveway and parked his car outside the burning house. As a police officer, his first instinct was to make sure that there was no one in danger inside the house.
“Joanne? Richard?” Kyle Cook bellowed, competing with the sound of the exploding house. As he entered into the burning wreckage, the house seemed to start falling down around him. He frantically looked around for any sign of life.
It was then that he saw her. Sprawled out across the lounge room floor with a splintered cricket bat laying at her feet, at first he thought Joanne was dead. An explosion from behind startled Kyle Cook as made his way closer to Joanne. He could see her stir. She was alive.
“Joanne,” Kyle called out to Joanne. “I’m here.”
Through the smoke, Kyle could see Joanne’s eyes light up as they radiated with a sense of awe. She squinted as the bright light from his headlamp shone in her eyes.
“I know you’re angry,” Constable Kyle Cook says to Sergeant Michael Anders. “I didn’t follow protocol.”
“Angry? I’m pissed!” Sergeant Anders yells at his constable. “You could have been killed!”
“I know,” Constable Cook replies. “I just knew there wasn’t enough time to wait. Joanne would have died if I hadn’t of gone in…”
“You both could have died!” Sergeant Anders is furious. Constable Cook hangs his head and decides not to say anything further. “You both could have died,” Sergeant Anders repeats himself.
A vibration from Sergeant Michael Anders’ vest pocket ends his conversation with Constable Cook and he reaches for his ringing mobile phone. “What?” he answers the phone.
“Sergeant, it’s Doctor Peter Smith,” Sergeant Anders can hear the voice on the other end of the line. “I have some news for you regarding our body.”
“That was quick. What have you got for me, Doc?” asks Sergeant Anders.
“I pulled some dental records and it didn’t take me long to get a match,” the doctor informs the police officer. “No match for Richard Evans.”
“What are you saying, Doc?” Sergeant Anders has been taken by surprise.
“The body doesn’t belong to Richard.”
“Then who does it belong to?”
“You might have to sit down, Sergeant,” Doctor Smith replies. “You’re never going to believe it.”
Next Episode – Monday 2nd March
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Who’s in the body bag?