Sarah Connors; the detective gets a weird phone call in the middle of the night; of her old precinct partner based in Rochester Abby, Southern California.
The call is strange as the other detective on the line: Debra Martinez is clearly frightened and repeats some phrases before ending the call.
Chapter 1: The Call
Sarah Connors had just gotten back to her office after solving a case about a man who, allegedly, had committed suicide by slitting his wrist because of the debt that was mounting up for very long, and he had to pay back to the lenders who were threatening to kill his family in the case of failing to do so. It was his wife who murdered her husband, her kids and then fled from the town, as the case panned out. Sarah, being a police detective, had a hectic time finding the whereabouts and catching the man’s wife. After returning, she sits down with a deep breath, lights a cigarette, and then turns on the television. The news of the murder was running on a local news channel, she exhales the smoke and then starts picturing the actual event of the killing; and right in the middle of her thought, she was interrupted by a phone call.
She never used to get calls at that point of the night, so that immediately caught her attention. She took the call, and started hearing some panicking and worried voice – it was the call from her old precinct partner, Debra Martinez, based in Rochester Abby, Southern California, she could recognize the voice. The words muttered by Debra were indecipherable because of her tone. She tried to calm her down and tried to find out what was the matter, but there was nothing in Debra’s frightening voice that Sarah could assimilate. The only time Debra was patient was when she ended it, and she was stopping it by saying a few incomplete phrases: “The mirror… and… that woman…” Sarah tried calling her when she hung up the phone, but she wouldn’t pick up. Sarah was scared, so she called Debra’s brother to check up on her without informing him of the recent call.
Days passed by, Sarah was worried because she tried calling Debra’s brother, but he wasn’t picking up either now. Five days had passed since she got the call, and it was eating her from the inside while she was working unfocused. Sarah was sorting out some files for a case when her friend, Martinez, who was helping her out starts talking about a recent video released by the magistrate; it was about some woman jumping off the main city bridge to a drowning end. Martinez then plays the video on the computer for Sarah; Sarah was gripped with fear and sorrow as she saw the face of the victim: it was Debra.
Sarah had been worried about what could it have been that Debra wanted to tell her at late night, she had been thinking of the last case they worked together on which was left incomplete. Now that the news was out, the mystery of her former partner’s death had been pestering her; she just simply couldn’t wrap her head around the entire scenario. Debra was her really close friend; her death hadn’t been easy for her to make peace with because there were so many queries pertinent to it that demanded answers. Being a detective, and a good ally, she felt like she needed to disentangle the entire puzzle and figure out the cause of the tragedy. Martinez and Sarah were recently tasked with a local robbery case which they both were trying to solve for quite some time now, and Sarah had been unable to function at her optimum capacity due to the toll that Debra’s death had taken on her lately, so she decided to take a break from the job and now intended to solve the connection between the call and Debra’s death.
She started the investigation on her own and started asking around about the recent contacts of Debra in the police department or even outside its circle, the recent cases she had been investigating, or the last places she had visited. She was struggling to make connections with all the loose information she was able to gather from anything relevant to Debra in the past few months; all didn’t seem to make any sense to her. After traveling the entire day, she was extremely exhausted, so she stopped at a bar, and thought she needed to rethink about it all or maybe give up the chase for the truth and accept it as an unfortunate incident. She ordered some whiskey at the bar and with her head down on the table she began to question and tried to make nexus with all the information she had. All she was able to understand didn’t conclude anything so she thought it would be better to drink the whiskey and get out.
Stroke of luck it must have been that she saw Debra’s brother, James, sitting on a corner table all alone, and without a second thought she headed towards him and sat next to the depressed James silently. James had been looking at her, he started watching the other way when she sat down, and after a brief period of silence, he began “She loved the job, but it was the very job that must’ve driven her to explore weird people and strange places. She always felt like it was her duty or something to figure out the puzzles around her. I kept telling her about the limits that she should set and accept but she never listened to me. There was this fortune teller that we both ran into when we were visiting our parents’ place in the outskirt of Rochester, and that man seemed to have caught all her attention when he spoke about this fancy-looking mirror that was cursed, but Debra didn’t care and bought it because she liked it. People don’t believe when I tell them this, but she had been acting weird and paranoid ever since she got hold of that. She told me that she had been seeing a strange woman every now and then. I’m certain that all happened because of that fortune teller.”
Sarah asked him the fortune teller’s whereabouts and headed off to that place, James had told him that it opens at midnight and is located in the basement of a club. Sarah reached there 2 at night, and as she entered the place, she was welcomed by a man who was sitting in a room from where he couldn’t have seen her. Sarah moved on towards the voice that she heard, so she made her way towards that room and saw an old woman sitting on a couch smoking cigarette. She sat down on a chair in front of them and began to tell her the entire scene and expressed her desire to see the mirror that Debra had returned after she started seeing things. The old woman warned her that mirror is cursed, but she was too stubborn and kept on insisting her to hand her over that mirror. The old woman, with a final warning, handed her the mirror and told her that she would become cursed and become the next victim of it. Sarah shrugged it off just like Debra did, paid the woman, who was a witch essentially, for it and went outside with it curious to know the mystery behind it.