Davidson sipped his coffee and regretted it instantly. He trashed it and took a long look around the town square. It was a idyllic New England location with its faux-victorian red brick buildings and cheerful flower arrangements, perfect for raising kids or spending your retirement days. The autumn air was crisp and clean, filled with chirping of birds playing in a nearby puddle.
There was no-one to be seen on the streets.
The only sign of human life was the low hum of traffic, dying out somewhere in the distance like it was afraid of attracting attention. The town was wounded, and its inhabitants could feel it, huddled in their homes. A sudden flu epidemic had struck the workforce, with most of the shops and cafes closed. The managers didn't mind, of course, because they were at home too with their families, hiding from something they didn't know.
Six disappearances in six days, victims of all ages and genders, taken from their jobs or homes or playgrounds. No signs of struggle, no ransom notes. Forensics had come up empty-handed. It's like the people had just suddenly stopped existing, mid-breath. The local cops were stumped, and Davidson couldn't blame them. He and his partner had never seen anything like this in their long career.
He tried to light a cigarette, but gave up as a chill wind picked up and made his efforts futile. He adjusted his coat as coldness started to seep into his boned, and was getting impatient waiting by their car. They were parked in front of the town hall, because his partner had had an idea and needed to check something out.
'Christ, what's taking so long?' he muttered and tossed his cig. He was trying to quit, anyway, but this case wasn't doing him any favors.