The Outsider by Stephen King Read Online (FREE)
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“Is this your first homicide case?” he asked in a clipped voice, all business. His chest bulged with muscles underneath his blue collared shirt.
No matter how many times I was questioned by the police, it never got easier. My nerves jumped into high gear automatically. They always made me feel like I was lying, even when I was telling the truth.
I cleared my throat. “I’ve been on other cases.”
I wished I lived in a world where I didn’t know violence intimately, but I’d seen more than my fair share, given the work I did. I’d just never expected the Bauers to be involved in anything so awful.
“How did you find out there’d been a break in the case?”
I glanced at the two-way mirror behind us. Even though we were the only two in the room, I knew we weren’t alone.
“Claire told me.”
He raised his eyebrows. “Claire?”
“My coworker,” I responded quickly.
It was hard to believe it’d been less than an hour since Claire had walked into my office. We were always the first ones in in the morning, and I’d assumed she was stopping by to ask how my date had gone the night before, since she got more excited about them than I did. She had been married for twenty years and liked to live vicariously through me, but her married life must have been pretty boring for her to get so excited about mine. My dating life was nothing to get worked up about.
The officer’s eyes drilled holes into me. He wanted more from me, but I didn’t want to say too much. He rested his elbows on the table and leaned forward. “What did she say when she told you?”
He had to be new, because I’d never seen him before. In a town as small as Clarksville, even the police had familiar faces. He’d told me his name when he’d come into the waiting room, but my head had been swimming with shock, and it had never registered.
I shrugged, anxiously twisting my hands underneath the table. “She didn’t say much, but I could tell something was wrong as soon as she came into my office.”
I had just logged on to my computer and had been organizing my files for the day when Claire had stuck her head through my door before I’d even finished my first cup of coffee. “Jeez, girl, why don’t you just go on my dates for me?” I had joked, but my joke had fallen flat when I’d seen the look on her face.
All semblance of playfulness had been gone, replaced with her most serious expression. All of us had it. The face we wore when the case was so horrible we knew it would keep us up at night and infiltrate our dreams after we finally found a way to fall asleep—the cases that made the social workers with kids hold them tighter.