Ray Delaney’s life has become much more complicated. The mysterious Agent Link seems to be investigating the same case, and Delaney has uncovered evidence of his nephew Eddie’s own investigation on the Cape. Did Eddie Elderthorn’s discovery lead to his untimely demise? Place your votes to determine what happens next time in “Ray Delaney & the Cape Cod [noun]“!
here’s no Agent Link working out of this office. Sorry.” Silas thanked his acquaintance, lay the phone back in its cradle and made his way out into the makeshift office that had been set up in the incident room.
“Agent Link,” he said. The woman looked up, feigning boredom under lilac-colored lids. “You say you work out of the FBI bureau in Boston?”
“Yes.” Link moved her gaze back to the document spread out on the desk. Silas knew she was lying. His friend at the Bureau had confirmed that there was no ‘Special Agent Link’ currently employed by the Feds.
“What do you do up there?” he asked. “If you don’t mind my asking.”
She straightened. “Federal prosecution, Sergeant. Same as the FBI does all over the country.” Silas nodded. “This body you found out at Devil’s Point beach. The death of this boy, Edward Elderthorn. They’re just two more incidents in a larger investigation. With each death, all signs point to homicide, but there’s never any sign of suspect or motive. At Devil’s Point, the boy was alone on the beach, correct? Forensics show no sign of anyone else having been present?”
Silas nodded. “There was nothing. Bruises around his throat suggested asphyxiation, but there was no evidence to link the death to anyone else, and no water was in his lungs.”
“And the Elderthorn boy. He was on Route 6, it was nearly 2 a.m.. There were no other vehicles, and there was no reason that his car should have flipped.”
“So what are you saying? They did these things to themselves?”
A shake of the head, and she bent back down to the document. “I don’t know.”
His shift nearly over, Silas retreated into the rear of the office. But before he could pull on his coat, the phone jangled at his desk. He looked at Agent Link. She hadn’t looked up. Silas lifted the receiver.
* * *
limbing out of his car and gazing down onto Devil’s Point, Delaney felt like a toy balanced on top of a giant sandcastle. The incline was steep and narrow, rolling down towards the sea and creating a thin peninsula as it reached the Atlantic. Thinking of Eddie’s voice ringing through the car speakers, he began his descent, first across the grass and then onto the slippery dune-like sands.
The weather was turning grim. Dark thunderclouds like Gothic cotton candy floated over the coast. His brown loafers, the ones that looked like a thousand dollars but cost twenty bucks, were filling with sand. He shimmied down, then slid, his feet came out from under him, and his coat wrapped up and around his back, flapped over his head. Then thunk into wet beach at the base of the cliff.
“Swell,” he muttered. Looking back up, maybe twenty or thirty feet, the Buick was still visible, but only from the wheels up and only in stark silhouette. To the left, the tip of Devil’s Point curved around and continued up the Cape, but on his right, Delaney saw the pepper grey and sandy outlines of stones and caves. He crunched across the beach towards them.
Eventually he reached the entrance to a large cavern, leading back into darkness and into the Massachusetts rock. A pocket flashlight shone into the hollow and illuminated nothing but stones, moss, seaweed and sand. The body that he had heard Eddie describe was nowhere to be seen. Most likely in the local morgue. Behind him, his own footprints led back to the dunes and the tide was beginning to wash in.
Then Delaney flipped the light back in the direction of the Buick, and caught a man-shaped silhouette disappearing behind his car.
* * *
ilas hung up and stared for a glassy-eyed moment at an unremarkable filing cabinet in the corner of his office. Then the floodgates opened and his mind was awash with questions. Her name isn’t Agent Link, the voice had said. Silas had tried to interrupt, but the muffled words continued to spill from the receiver: Her name is Anna Carmilla. She is not an FBI Agent, but she does work for the government. Don’t let her play you for a sucker, Shamus. Then the dial tone punctured his eardrum, and the voice was gone.
As he made his way out, pulling a coat over his uniform and bidding Agent Link goodnight, the same bruised, puffball clouds that Delaney had seen at Devil’s Point drifted overhead. The evening air was sharper than a butcher’s cleaver.
* * *
elaney let the sand fall through his fingers as he pulled himself up the incline toward his car. There was a concave indent in the convertible‘s roof, as though a giant had pressed a finger gently against it. The silhouette had vanished, but wedged between the windshield wipers and the glass was a sheet of paper. He pulled it out and read it in the arc of the flashlight.