Mystery Thriller

It Had To Happen

Laurie and Josh climbed the South Peak of the Maroon Bells in Colorado. They were impressed with the 14,163-foot mountain, The alpine views of the Maroon Creek Valley were beautiful along with the Elk range. They had been on several hikes in their fourteen years of marriage but found this one to be the most astounding. Laurie asked Josh if this was where he would like to celebrate their anniversary, 

With a blanket and a bottle of Chardonnay, Laurie set up a picnic lunch complete with finger sandwiches and chocolate truffles, salted Carmel being Josh's favorite. She had everything they would need to reenact a special date they had experienced in their early courtship. 

After a couple of glasses of Chardonnay and both decided it was time to start their descent down the mountain, they took one more look around toward the North Maroon. Josh and Laurie took in the beauty of the adjacent mountain but were disappointed that they wouldn't be able to accomplish it on their trip. Even though it was only a third a mile away it would take additional days and time they didn't have. 

With a panoramic look with binoculars, Josh admired the landscape when something caught his eye. He turned to Laurie and asked her to observe with her binoculars. She retrieved hers from her backpack as he pointed to the direction that he was questioning.  They watched across the ridge as a woman was circling a campfire screaming angrily at the person that was seated next to it. They could not hear her words but her expressions led them to believe she was not happy with her companion. 

The couple Josh and Laurie were watching, had a tent set up on North Maroon. It was summer so the weather was bearable buy not ideal. The surrounding snowcaps made the nights chilly and the elevation made it difficult to breath. Laurie had experienced several headaches on their hike due to the lack of oxygen. With their position obscured from the woman and man‘s view, they continued spying on the couple. After several minutes of the woman circling her companion and throwing pieces of paper in the fire, she reached in her backpack and pulled out a long fixed blade knife.

Josh and Laurie watched her wave it around continuing to berate the man. He sat still while she circled him seeming unconcerned at the threat when suddenly she drove the knife deep into his chest. Laurie gasped and watched as blood poured down his shirt. Josh couldn't believe what the woman had done and saw her continue to stab the poor man...He and Laurie both screamed to stop...The woman didn't miss a stroke as she continued to drive the blade deeper and deeper into the man's chest as well as other parts of his body. They knew they were too far away for her to hear them as she continued to bludgeon.

Josh and Laurie looked mortified until she stopped and pulled his body to the cliff and pushed it over...  They were stunned with disbelief... They had just witnessed a murder.

Laurie picked up their picnic stashed it quickly in her backpack and told Josh they had to make it down the mountain to alert the authorities before the woman had the opportunity to escape.  The trail was easier to master going down than the initial climb and a lot faster. They wanted to alert the police and get them to the scene of the crime as quickly as possible. There was a storm predicted in two days and Josh and Laurie didn't want the evidence compromised or washed away.

At the trails head, they stopped at the ranger's station and described in grave detail what they had witnessed with the approximate location where it had transpired. The ranger took Josh and Laurie to the local police station and they repeated their story several times. The two were upset by the lack of urgency and tried to stress to the police that time was of the essence. They were afraid she was going to get away.  The officers instructed them not to leave town, they would be contacted the following morning for additional questioning. The couple acquired a motel room in Aspen and awaited law enforcement. The next day the police picked the couple up from the motel and asked for their assistance in leading them to the location of the alleged murder. 

It took several hours to climb North Maroon and when they started losing daylight, they set up camp. The party hoped the weather would remain calm until they reached their location and exited the mountain.  It took another half day to reach the top where the couple specified they had witnessed the murder from the adjacent peak.  When they reached the area of suspicion they found an extinguished campfire as they had described. The forensic scientist picked up pieces of photographs that had not entirely burned with a gloved hand and placed them in a clear plastic bag. There were also remnants of a backpack with clothing fibers inside. The investigator took swabs of the ground surrounding the fire and found traces of blood. The dew and the melting snow diluted it but he was still able to obtain a viable sample. 

After securing the site with red police tape, the investigating team started their descent. They spotted with binoculars the approximate location of the body and navigated toward the site and within several hours of down hill hike they arrived...The forensic scientist was first to enter the scene and started his investigation.  He discovered the body in multiple pieces and covered in blood. It took him only few minutes to determine that it was not human...There was no skin under the clothing only a skeleton... Even though it looked traumatic, four days would not be sufficient to cause that level of decomposition. 

The examiner angrily shook his head as he walked back to the rest of the search party and asked Josh and Laurie if this was some kind of joke. They didn't understand the contempt in his voice as they had been extremely beneficial in locating the body... He scoured and told them the body wasn’t real...  They both looked confused and reiterated that they had watched as the woman repeatedly stabbed him.  The examiner said, it was stabbed and it was bloody with an expired Type O donation blood bag inside a fully dressed (fake) skeleton. 

Josh and Laurie wondered why someone would go through so much trouble to violently stab a skeleton and throw it over a mountain ridge. They asked the ranger if they could see the records of hikers who had applied for passes on the week surrounding their own hike. He told them the information wasn't confidential and gave them access to the log.  They found groups of two or more but were interested in the one with a single woman. After writing her contact information down, they decided to pay her a visit. If they were going to be humiliated after involving the police in a fake murder they were determined to find out why.

Celia Washington was home on vacation from her job at Takins Laboratory. They supplied blood to area hospitals. She only had two more days left before she had to return to work. The first part of her vacation was rejuvenating. She had climbed North Maroon of Maroon Bells and accomplished all of her goals. As she was relaxing getting ready to enjoy a cup of tea, her doorbell rang. 

Josh and Laurie had located Celia and decided to confront her on her elaborate scheme.  After they introduced themselves and told her what they had witnessed...She started to laugh... She told them it wasn't funny what they had been through, but wanted to explain why she felt the need to perform the ritual. 

She told them she was married to a man for 30 years who had countless affairs. He was never caught cheating even though she tried numerous times. He would always turn suspicion on her and seemed to know where she was at all times. After finally hiring a competent private investigator, he provided proof of several affairs and discovered a tracking device on her phone. Daniel, her ex-husband evaded exposure to his illicit affairs because he knew her location before she could zero in on his. 

The stabbing and the burning of his and his mistress photographs were from frustration over years of marriage to a lying cheating snake and she couldn't legally murder him so she decided to murder his stuff.

November 09, 2020 04:40

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Mark D
04:14 Nov 19, 2020

Awww man. I was really hoping for a double twist in there. I was hoping she actually did murder him but was using the dummy ritual as a cover up. It was a good story. Well told and clever.


Cheryl Fulks
13:31 Nov 19, 2020

Thank you, I’m glad you liked it😁


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