Книга Sense Of Evil. Содержание - 8
“God knows. Hollis, are you getting anything?”
“I haven’t tried.” From the slightly stubborn set of her jaw, it didn’t appear she planned to anytime soon.
After seeing what had happened to Isabel, Rafe wasn’t about to push either psychic, but he was still curious. “Isabel never seems to try. I mean, it doesn’t seem to be an effort for her.”
“It isn’t. For her.”
He waited, brows raised.
After a moment, Hollis said, “You know the bit about me not being able to hear what these victims have tried to tell me? So far, I mean.”
Somewhat warily, Rafe said, “Yeah, I think I get that.”
“There’s a barrier, something virtually every psychic has. We call them shields. Think of it as a bubble of energy our minds create to protect us. Most psychics have to consciously make an opening in that shield in order to use our abilities. We have to reach out, open up, deliberately make ourselves vulnerable.”
“You didn’t seem to be doing it deliberately,” Rafe noted.
“I’m new at this. My control isn’t as strong as it should be yet, so sometimes I reach out-or at least open a door or window in my shields-without meaning or wanting to. Usually when I’m tired or distracted, something like that. Eventually, they tell me, I should be able to shut this stuff out unless and until I very specifically want it. Most psychics can do that. Isabel is the very rare one who can’t.”
“I mean she lacks the ability to shield her own mind. She’s always wide open, always picking up information. Important stuff. Trivia. Everything in between. All that stuff always coming at her, crowding into her mind, like the voices of hundreds of people all talking at once. It’s a miracle she can make sense of it at all. Hell, it’s a miracle she isn’t locked up in a padded room somewhere, screaming her guts out.”
Hollis drew a breath. “When she told you she couldn’t stop it, she meant it literally. She can’t shut it off, ever.”
Isabel sat in the cool Jeep and stared down at her hands. Watching them shake.
“Okay,” she murmured, “so this one was bad. You’ve had bad ones before. You’ve heard all the ugly voices before. You can handle them. You can handle this.”
She heard the ghost of a laugh escape her. “But not if you keep talking to yourself.”
She laced her fingers together in her lap and raised her head, staring through the windshield at the building where Rafe and the others were.
It was where she should be, dammit, and never mind the pain. In there trying to sort through all the impressions, listening to the voices still echoing too loudly in her head. Even the ugly ones. Maybe especially the ugly ones.
Doing her job.
Isabel drew in a deep breath and let it out slowly, trying to focus, to soothe raw nerves and regain control of her senses, all her senses. Control. She had to find control.
Jamie had liked controlling people.
And that preacher…
God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
Obey your mistress! Crawl!
Just three quarts more, and-
Bones bend before they break, you know. Bones bend-
Blood… so much blood…
Her shaking hands lifted to cover her face, fingertips massaging her forehead and temples hard, and Isabel drew another breath, fighting to close out the voices. Not that she could.
Not that she’d ever been able to. Still, she tried.
Don’t listen to them.
She tempted me, that’s what it was. Tempted me down the road to damnation. I was weak. I was…
I can make the rope tighter. I can make the rope much tighter. You want me to, don’t you? You want me to hurt you. You want me to hurt you until you scream with the pain.
And Bobby Grange, over to Horton Mill, he wants enough to fill a keg. Must be having a party, I guess. Guys like him keep me in business, that’s for sure. And it ain’t my business, what else they do. It just ain’t any of my affair.
It wasn’t my fault! She tempted me!
Do you know what happens when you feel all the pain you can feel? When your nerve endings are hot and raw, and your voice is gone from screaming? Do you know what it feels like to go beyond pain? Let’s find out…
Bones bend before they-
Iss… a… belll…
Her hands jerked away from her face, and Isabel stared all around her, a bit wildly at first. There it was. A different voice. Male. Powerful. Crouching in the darkness…
But… there was no one. No one. Her head was pounding, her heart pounding, and the voices were only whispers now. Only whispers, none of them calling her name.
“Okay,” she said aloud, shakily, “that was new. That was different.”
That was terrifying.
T.J. MCCURRY FINISHED SPRAYING an area of the floor about two feet from the bed platform and said, “Kill the lights.”
They had already draped the high window, so when T.J.’s partner, Dustin Wall, turned off the lights in the room, they could all see the eerie greenish-white glow.
“Bingo,” Dustin muttered, and began photographing the evidence.
T.J. said, “Lotta blood here, Chief. There are some older spatters in other areas of the room, especially there around the bed, but here’s the only place where somebody bled like a stuck pig.”
“Bled enough to die?”
In the glow of the Luminol, T.J.’s round face looked peculiarly gaunt. She shrugged and looked down at the old vinyl floor covering. “Somebody’s done a fair job of cleaning, but you can see how strongly the Luminol is reacting. I’m betting that when we pull up this floor covering, we’ll find even more soaked into the concrete underneath. This is the old style of vinyl that was put down in tiles, not in a solid sheet, so the blood would have found all the crevices.”
“T.J., did somebody die here?”
“You know I can’t be absolutely certain about that, Chief. But if you want an educated guess, I’d say somebody did. Either that or a lot of somebodies bled a little bit here at different times-which, given the obvious purpose of the room, is entirely possible. We’ll sort it out, get a blood type or types for you, DNA if you want.”
“I want. Especially since I don’t have a body.”
Dustin said, “The state crime lab has cadaver dogs, if you want to start looking.”
“Not yet. Not without more information. As edgy as this town is, the last thing we need is to have people and dogs out looking for another body, unless we’re very sure one is actually out there.” Rafe didn’t say anything about psychic help, and he didn’t look at Hollis, who was standing only a couple of feet away from him. “T.J., can you tell me if there’s a blood trail out of this place?”
“I’ll work on it. Dustin, do you have the shots? Then let’s get the lights back on so we can see what we’re doing.”
Rafe left her to it, admitting silently that he was relieved when the lights came back on. He’d seen Luminol used before, and it always struck him as chilling. Invisible to the eye until the chemicals in the Luminol reacted with it, the blood was a silent, ghostly accusation.
He joined Hollis, saying, “Would I be out of line in suggesting that Isabel go back to the inn and call it a day?”
“Arguable point, I suppose, but she won’t go, so it hardly matters.”
He sighed. “You people are a very stubborn lot.”
Hollis didn’t ask whether he meant FBI agents or psychics; she knew the answer to that one. Instead, she said, “There are only a handful of team leaders in the SCU, agents Bishop trusts to head up investigations. Isabel is one of them, and has been from the beginning.”
“You said it was a miracle she hadn’t gone insane.” Rafe kept his voice low.