Piquancy and Phantasm @bdz_fanfics
Over-Acuteness of the Sense

"And have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the sense? -now, I say, there came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I knew that sound well, too. It was the beating of the old man's heart. It increased my fury, as the beating of a drum stimulates the soldier into courage." -Edgar Allan Poe


Awakened by the bright light of the day shining into her bedroom window Lydia winced and curled over reaching for her lover to snuggle but found, with much disappointment that he had not returned. Swearing under her breath she grabbed the pillow he often used and pulled it to her chest allowing herself the indulgence of breathing in the Neitherworldian magic blended well with his scent. Bad idea, Lydia let out a shaky sob and steadied her heart.

She could feel the pain and deafening beat loudly within her like an echo in an empty tomb. Her eyes glanced over to the mirror, cursing her image for being right that he wouldn't just let it go and forgive her, or make love to her. Hell, even angry sex was preferable as he would puddle up in her arms and beg for more.

Just the thought alone was enough for her aching heart to cry out with its steady syncopation.

Heart.

With a startled realization, Lydia sat up in bed and looked around her room hoping beyond hope that the sound of an actual heartbeat was just Beej playing a joke on her. Scrambling Lydia kicked off her sheets and scurried to the end of her bed, nearly toppling onto the floor.

Her nightgown floated behind her like a raven variation of the Lady in White as she ran down the stairs to her living room. Frantically she looked around for her letter opener and snatched it from the table by the front door and dashed for the hidden treasure.

The floorboard appeared to the naked eye to merely be just that, a piece of wood with no reason to cause suspicion. With a little bit of Juice, Lydia eased the wooden slate up letting it float above her while she firmly clutched the letter opener in her hand.

Steady beating still ringing in her ears Lydia was surprised to find that the heart was still and cold. Dead to the world in its frozen and magic-preserved stasis.

Then it was silent. There were no more thuds of excited rhythms. It was all gone and the heart was just a heart; cold and cruel like Jane herself.

"You've got to be kidding me," she muttered under her breath. She let the letter opener fall to the floor with a clatter and shook her head. "I've officially lost my mind."

Waving her hand in a careless manner, the letter opener returned to its rightful place while the board settled back into its unassuming state.

Lydia gave one last worried glance to the hidden space before entering her kitchen to prepare some much-needed coffee.

Sounds of an uneventful morning began to fill the Deetz house as Lydia went about her day. She searched for odd chores here and there to keep her mind occupied but it was to no avail as time ticked by at a snail's pace. Time which she recalled could be disrupted easily by messing with Grandfather Time.

A single tear slipped from her eye while she recalled their timeless adventure. Oh, how she cherished that anniversary and as disturbing as Beej's gift was, she loved that Droolex.

She had to hold in a sob at how ironic it was that he had once given her time only to have returned that gift with her Christmas present. Is that how her life was going to be from now on? A series of ironic circumstances and poor timing?

How would things have changed if she had never fallen in love with the ghost? Would she have met Allen if the timelines were crossed? If Beej had never come into her life or if he had left her where would they be?

If Lydia hadn't killed her mom would Beej still have loved her? Did he love her?

This time the sobs did break through and Lydia clutched her heart, collapsing in a heap onto the tile floor of the kitchen where Jane and Delia both met their oblivion. The power was still there and it pulled around her causing her body to curl into itself as she found no comfort in her murderous actions.

Visions began to slip through her shield causing her to experience something beyond simple clairvoyant and clairaudient skills. Not even her new connection with Neitherworld power or Beej's juice could prepare her for this impossible view into time and space.

A life where her mother lived and she never had the urge to kill. Several worlds where Charles Deetz actually was her father. A world where Delia was her biological mother. Lydia lived to old age, died in infancy, became a victim of cancer, killed in a car crash…

Then there was Beej. Loving Beej. Silly Beej. Demanding sexual demon Beej. He was a killer, a rapist, a normal guy with nothing but tragedy in his life and afterlife. She loved him. She despised him. He raped her. He married her.

Lydia curled into a ball not knowing her body was rejecting these visions by expelling juice all over, shattering glass, her coffee mug, and a portrait of her father…

But of course, the visions were not done with her yet. There was Bertha, Prudence, Claire… Allen. Oh gods she didn't want to see him broken. She had loved him, she had left him, he had left her. She destroyed his world so many times. Then, there was her… that little sweet thing that never got a chance at life. Tiny little fists clenched in one where the child lived only to be taken from her arms.

"Beetlejuice!" Lydia screamed out for her lover, her protector but nothing happened. He wasn't coming.

The onslaught completely disrupted Lydia's sense of time and space. She didn't know what was real anymore. Thankfully the visions began to fade as a familiar aura filled the air only to leave one past vision as she gazed up at a concerned Allen standing above her but this was not the Allen that she knew. His face was different underneath the layer of carefully crafted shield. He indulgently grinned at her before her vision steadily returned as she could see her friend clearly, but the emotional torrent was still there and she couldn't … breathe.

"I'm here. I have you, it's going to be alright." he murmured projecting a rush of empathic calm as he helped her to get feet and held her tiny body against his.

Sobbing, Lydia clung to him, trying to find a stable rock to cling to while wave after wave of despair battered her around till she could no longer feel. Sweet gentle numbness. She hadn't felt this raw since her father's funeral.

"There you go," Allen brushed a hand through her hair waiting for Lydia to breathe evenly. She felt his hands lead her out of the kitchen and back into the living room and onto the sofa where he lifted her body into his lap and cradled her to his heart.

She listened to his pulsating rhythm, comforted that his heart was the only one she could hear.

Time passed in his embrace, feeling every bit the child she felt as the last time she fell apart like this in the recliner on Bj's lap. One last cough of a sob escaped her before she pressed her face against Allen's chest only to breathe in his warm clean scent. Oh, how she missed the smell of the Neitherworld and the grave dirt that clung to her ghost.

"I'm sorry." She mumbled, but who she was apologizing to, she didn't really know.

Allen lifted her chin up till their eyes met. Lydia tried to smile at him, to thank him, but it came across as more of a grimace. Luckily he didn't take things personally as he reassured her with a kiss on the forehead that she was alright.

"Do you want to tell me what happened?"

Lydia squeezed her eyes shut and tried to look away from his sympathetic expression. It nearly broke her to see him this way as if he were the Allen in her visions where he was her lover in more than just the friendly way. Where the other Lydia planned a future and family with this man.

She shielded and then instantly regretted it when she saw Allen's expression change subtly. Her heart skipped and she immediately dropped it and opened up wide for him to see her, to know her, to feel her. Allen sighed and squeezed her close.

At length Lydia spoke, her voice cracking as she attempted to get her words out.

"Beej and I had a fight."

Allen placed a kiss on the top of her head. "Are you hurt?"

"Just my heart."

"That's to be expected. Forgive me if I'm crossing a line but has a fight ever left you like this before?"

Lydia scoffed and shook her head. A shaky sigh left her as she allowed Allen's calm to fill her and block out all the darkness that seeped into her. If only she could erase those visions.

"Beej and I fight. It's what we do."

Allen shook his head, "That's no way to love, Lydia."

"What else is there when he is my world?"

Allen shrugged at that unable to come up with an answer that wouldn't come off harshly.

For a while they settled there, connected by their feelings and allowing the other to explore the intimate exchange. This was something that she had never done with BJ and as disappointing as it was that her beloved wouldn't let her in that deep, she was glad that she had something unique with Allen.

"Thank you," she whispered and lifted herself to place her lips gently to his.

She felt his excitement and blushed when an accidental, or was it purposeful, image of them in her bed slipped from his mind into hers.

Carefully she extracted herself from Allen's arms and stood up. "I should really get dressed."

Nodding and mildly amused at her coy posture he watched as she ascended the stairs.


"Bullshit," Beetlejuice cried out when he found Jane Butterfield's car parked down by the river yet again. "Stupid cunt can't even cover her tracks. How did she even think she could get away with hurting Lyds? Fucking idiot."

"Beetlejuice, Ya reckon that the little lady is alright?" The Monster Across the Street, who was surprisingly still in his furry persona, turned his non-visible gaze towards the house on the hill.

"Lydia? Yeah, she's fine. Her pretty boy is gonna be there today. She don't need me." He grumbled but the monster wasn't gonna buy that for a second.

"You sure about that? Cuz I'm sure you felt that rush too.

"How she uses her powers is her own fucking business! Now help me get this hunk of junk down to the dump. I want this shit outta here and then I gotta plant some misleading clues. Fucking Jane Butterfield! Couldn't stay away could you?!"

Shaking his furry head the Monster placed his hands on one end of the vehicle while BJ took the other. Then without a word the two blinked out of the outer world.


Seeing Lydia crumbled in a heap on her kitchen floor was not the sight that Allen could have conceivably prepared for when he came into her home. Similar to when he and Bertha had burst into her house, he felt something was wrong. Not only could he hear her scream and cry out the name of her lover but he could feel the essence of pure energy surround the building in such a way that he half-expected the house to blink out of existence.

It had not, of course.

His heart ached for her. Not just in empathy but in his desire to make her happy. To bring back that radiant smile that made his insides quiver and settle the darkness inside him.

Allen re-entered the kitchen where he had found Lydia. A sigh escaping him as he cleaned up the mess that had fallen to the floor. She had shattered her mug, losing what remained of her morning coffee. There was a single dish also shattered and half an English muffin covered in red raspberry jam currently soaked with the brown liquid. He meticulously cleaned up the mess trying to ignore his senses as he touched the linoleum.

The aura of death embedded deep within the pristine white surface. Allen flinched.

'She is a piece of work, isn't she?' The inner voice spoke to him in a self-assured cocky tone. 'Cleans up well.'

"What are you talking about?" Allen muttered in response.

'Blind, I get, but I know you are not deaf. Listen'

After disposing of the mess Allen returned to the living room. Clean and perfect. Just like the girl who lived here, he mused. If only he could feel like he deserved such an angel.

Thump-thump.

That… was strange. Allen curiously took a step closer to the stairway and listened. He could hear Lydia moving around in her room.

Thump-thump.

He spun on the spot. The sound came from behind him.

Thump-thump. Thump-thump. Thump-thump.

The rhythm began to pick up tempo the closer he stepped to the middle of the living room. Then it stopped.

"Allen?" Lydia came downstairs breathless. She looked spooked, eyes wide and panting. "Uh… did you… do you want coffee or tea? Anything?"

Shaking off the odd sensation, he nodded, putting space between himself and the source of the sound.

Lydia walked gently, almost like she wanted to remain as silent as the grave or like a mother trying to avoid waking a sleeping child. Allen shook off that thought as quickly as it entered his mind.

'You know that's what you want with her. Stop lying to yourself,'

"Lydia, do you have a pet?" Allen asked. Lydia's nervous laugh followed her back into the kitchen.

"I used to have a cat. His name was Percy but Mother and Father were against me getting another when he passed. I think Delia was still bitter over not having her own stylish one-of-a-kind dog." Her grin lit up her face as she spoke. "Dad was allergic to dogs."

"I see."

"Why do you ask? I'm pretty sure whatever cat hair Percy left got picked up by one of Delia's cleaning sprees."

Allen chuckled at the imagery, "I thought I heard something."

Thump-thump.

Both of them heard it, he was certain. Regardless of her impenetrable calm expression, Lydia projected apprehension completely neglecting to stifle her own emotions. Allen's cop instincts were starting to kick in as he took in her growing tension when he looked back into the living room.

Thump Thump-thump.

He couldn't ignore it.

"What kind of tea do you want? I have plenty," Lydia's voice rose up an octave right along with her nerves.

Thump-thump. Thump-thump. Thump-thump.

He re-entered the living room and looked around. Up, down…. down… floor.

"Is something wrong?" He vaguely heard Lydia but he could feel her panic.

'The floorboard looks a little … off. Don't you think?' His inner voice prompted. It was almost gleeful. Victorious.

As Allen reached for the wooden plank, He sensed Lydia leave the room in despair before returning just in time for him to peer deep within.

Silence.

He stared at the still dead heart nestled safely in the hole.

'Not so innocent after all.' The voice jeered.

Like finding the important piece of a jigsaw puzzle, Allen could finally see the whole picture. She wasn't just acquainted with a killer. She was the killer. Not just involved or in over her head.

"Of course, Like attracts like."

"You may not believe this now, but a darkness lurks in a beauty like hers. Be careful to guard yourself from the violence that rests within you both."

For a brief moment of silence, he let that sink in while his senses picked up the pure sadness that approached him from behind, along with the intent to kill.

Allen started to laugh, a deep bubble of hysterical laughter boomed from him startling Lydia as she dropped the butcher knife she had pulled from the kitchen drawer while his back was turned.

Dropping the wooden plank he gracefully swooped Lydia up in his arms and began kissing her like he was feeling her, experiencing her for the first time.

"Allen.." Lydia tried to speak but his mouth muffled over hers desperately trying to pour his devotion into her but it wasn't enough. No not enough. He wanted her to feel everything he was feeling.

He opened up his empath channel and let his soul clutch on to hers all the while his dark side was celebrating deep within, congratulating his waking self on finding someone who was just… like … him.

Allen's desire filled Lydia and he was thrilled to feel her return the desire that he was projecting into her.

"Upstairs. Not here." Lydia breathlessly spoke, pulling away from him just enough to use her power to transport them both to her room.

He wanted to be surprised but somehow…. he couldn't find it in him to care. Lydia Deetz could throw his world upside down anytime she wanted and he would worship her just the same.

They tumbled into her bed, clinging to each other while Lydia willfully ignored her exhausted tenderness from being involved with two lovers. She wanted him as much as he wanted her. He could feel it and yet, as the fire of lust burned within him, he was gentle with her body. Careful not to hurt her further as he made love to her willing form.

Whirlwind and chaotic as it all began it ended with a passionate gentleness that belied the horror that spurred this union.

Thump-thump.


"Golly, Beetlejuice. You look like someone shoved a lemon up your ass." Ginger giggled earning herself a glare from the Ghost with the Most.

"Ma Cherie, don't antagonize." Jacques, reclining back on the sofa tugged Ginger's delicate leg over his lap to which she giggled even louder before planting a smooch on her lover's fleshy cheek.

"Oh but it's so much fun. Lydia is a smart girl, gettin' her kicks in. What I wouldn't give to be alive in these days…"

Beetlejuice zapped Ginger with a zipper to her lips, he snarled at her, "You wouldn't be able to handle it. You thought rejection was bad in old Vaudeville, pfft. You would be eaten alive out there now, Toots."

"You really are an asshole," Ginger unzipped her mouth but before Beetlejuice could throw another curse her way, Jacques held his hands out and called for a cease-fire.

"All Ginger is saying is that Lydia is just enjoying life to the fullest. You should be proud of her."

"What would you know. Yer chick's been dead and in the body of a bug for decades."

"I was a spider!" Ginger screamed at him, her eyes were on the verge of tears. "Why do I even bother with you. You never liked me. Not like the others."

"You know that's not true, Ma petite coeur."

"No, she's right." Beetlejuice sneered at the couple. "I couldn't get over the whining."

"Fuck you Beetle-dick!"

"Too late, sugar legs. I'll let the dry bone have ya."

"Enough!" Jacques stood and crossed the room and vehemently shook Beetlejuice as he lifted him up. The years of strength training finally paying off now that he regained a musculature form. "Now you listen to me, Mon Frere. I'm still spitting out the French like I'm some god damned European cur and Ginger is still slipping up with two legs. You put us through enough with your piss poor attitude and I won't stand for it any longer."

"What are ya gonna do ya bag o' bones? Kill me?"

The two stated each other down for what felt like an eternity ending only when Jacques threw his former mentor into the reclining chair with a force that knocked the furniture over.

"Fucking ingrates…." Beetlejuice muttered.


Lydia lay in her bed staring at the underside of her canopy while she breathed in deep and even breaths. The weight of Allen's head on her belly comforting her while her fingers brushed through his short blond hair.

He fluttered kisses across her abdomen eliciting a hum of contentment from deep within her.

"All this time, I was wrong." He breathed his thoughts onto her warm flesh. "The clues were there. All the facts and I didn't see it. No, ignored."

Lydia looked down to see his goofy lopsided smile as he began to kiss her belly again. She giggled and he began to crawl back up to her till they were face to face.

"Why?" Allen pecked her lips gently, "Tell me, please."

"Why what? Why didn't you see it or why did I do it?"

Her eyes closed in an attempt to shield her from the judgment she expected to see in his gaze. She felt him bring a hand to her face.

"Don't hide from me, Lydia, please. You never have to hide from me."

"Are you sure you can handle it?" Her words came out in a whisper daring if only for just a moment to believe he would hear her out and understand.

What's there to understand? She thought to herself, You're a killer Lydia. He's a cop.

"Trust me."

Lydia reached out to brush through his hair. She hoped he would continue to look at her this way. Then she began to speak.

"My mother wanted to take me away from my Dad. I couldn't let that happen."

"You were the one to kill her then?" He asked taking her hand in his and kissing the knuckle.

"Yes. She was the first."

Allen surprised her by taking one of her hands into his own. "She knew. Somehow she knew that we were the same, you and I."

"I don't understand." Lydia sat up. She curled her legs under her and tugged at the blankets till she was able to slip under the sheets.

"Your mother," Allen helped her by stepping off the bed and joining her under the covers. "She said that we were the same and she was right."

"What, you killed your mom too?" Lydia scoffed but stopped when she saw the look in Allen's eye. He offered her a loving smile and a nod.

"Hold on, whoa." Lydia pressed her hands to her face. "You… killed your mom? You actually spoke to mine…. this doesn't make any sense."


He could forgive her and move on with their plan. He knew he could because being the damn fool that he was, he let himself fall in love with her. Beetlejuice could hardly stomach the idea of being a sap for anyone let alone a rebellious little killer like his Lyds.

Sex and death. Two things he knew and knew well but this whole love thing was bullshit. How was he gonna be able to control her if she continued to mold him into her puppet?

After the incident with his roommates, Beej sequestered himself in his room to avoid any further moral judgment or ribbing. Damn them. If he hadn't liked them as much as his dark little heart was capable of he would have broken their contracts and sent them packing to whatever destiny awaited them. But no….

No, he had to have a conscience where it came to how he manipulated them. So much for not giving a shit and it's only getting worse. Once he and Lydia tied the knot then he was done collecting souls. Done. Finis. That's all folks.

Problem was, he totally screwed himself by bailing on Lydia the night before.

How was he gonna get them back on track? Fucking Jane Butterfield….

Well, since he wasn't gonna risk getting eviscerated by his little bride-to-eventually-be, he was gonna drink.


Allen marveled in awe and wonder at his good fortune, Lydia didn't push him away when he confessed his darkest secret. One he could easily have taken to his grave once his alcoholic father, in prison for a crime he didn't commit, passed on. No one knew.

How could anyone know the damage that was wrought upon him as a child at the hands of the people he was supposed to view as parents. His birth parents to be exact. Oma and Opa were the only parental figures he accepted. They were the only ones who were there for him. They saw the good that he was unable to see in himself.

Where Allen cared little for his own life and existence, their belief in him held him all the way through from that eventful night until their passing.

Lydia melted into him with each confession that came forth, little at first and as time moved on, two more rounds of lovemaking and a desperate need to heed nature's call on Lydia's part, they settled into a show and tell that seemed highly disturbing if viewed by an outsider.

She showed him where Delia died. She told him about the knife, withheld how the body got out because she was so distraught she had no clue what her lover had done with the body. Her surprise as hearing how the body was found had been genuine.

Lydia confessed to the murder of Claire and Mr. Kline. She told him how Beej was the one who killed her former headmistress because of her cruelty.

There were gaps still. Elements of Beetleman's involvement that she couldn't or wouldn't explain. It did bother him but he remained silent since he had hoped she would come to him later.

The powers, on the other hand, she had yet to speak of and he waited till she had confessed her final murder and how she felt the need to keep a single trophy. It's what killers did after all and what better way to pay homage to her favorite author than to have a real-life replication of the greatest murder ever written.

"That's why Beej left. He didn't want me to kill Jane. She was supposed to take the fall and I messed up." Lydia sighed and curled up against Allen. "It felt so good. I thought that just cutting into flesh with a knife was satisfying but it's nothing compared to separating ligaments and prying joints out of sockets. I can't explain it but, it was better than the others. I hated her so much."

"Death is never easy to explain but I understand how you feel."

"Do you know what the worst thing about last night? It had nothing to do with the murder. I was about to accept his proposal."

Allen narrowed his eyes and turned to face her, "Marriage?"

Lydia scoffed and held her face in her hands. "I know. Pathetic. I just wanted to be with him forever and now look at me. I'm an idiot for not saying yes earlier."

"You are not an idiot for trying to be true to yourself. Those are difficult decisions to make. You would regret it more if you hadn't waited. Would you and I be in your bed right now if you had said yes?"

A wry smile curved Lydia's lips as she curled up and over him, she was not but a few inches away from kissing him when a loud crashing came from her living room.

Allen sighed and shook his head while Lydia laughed at the poor timing. She kissed him anyway before prying herself away.

"I should go talk to him at least. Do you think… maybe… I can come over tonight?"

Allen climbed out of Lydia's bed and picked his clothes up from the ground. He turned to Lydia, flashing her a smile. "My door is always open for you."

Lydia, feeling bubbly, used her juice to dress herself in the blink of an eye then winked at Allen before she left the room, leaving him alone to dress while she took care of the fool who was most likely going to freak when he saw the heart left exposed in the middle of the living room floor.


"Lydia, Lydia, Lydia…. what am I going to do with you." Beetlejuice knelt down by the open floorboard. Disappointment and pride battled each other in a deathmatch for control of his heart.

While he poked at the magick-protected organ he heard Lydia's feet as she came running down the stairs. She had a brilliant smile on her face when she threw herself into his arms, catching him off guard in the process.

"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry, Beej."

The ghost held her to him, feeling all the remorse as the love she had for him radiate off her body in waves. The shock of her immediate response to his return startled him into feeling affection win out over his earlier upset. Lydia kissed his cheek, neck, and then this nose before looking into his yellowed eyes. She repeated her apologies before kissing his lips and he melted or rather nearly melted when he halted the juice from manifesting. He heard an upstairs door open and close.

He rolled his eyes and scoffed at the sight of the police officer as he walked down looking rather smug at Beetlejuice's surprised expression.

"I'll see you later tonight," he said to Lydia, completely ignoring him. Beetlejuice felt his body clench up as he realized that Allen was now looking at the open floorboard. "You might want to find a better hiding place if you plan on keeping it."

Lydia blushed and used her power openly in front of the cop to replace the wooden plank.

Once again, Allen's shit-eating smirk was back and aimed at Beetlejuice before he left the house with practically a skip to his step.

"What the fuck was that all about?" Beetlejuice asked a blushing Lydia. "Babes, you got some 'splanin' to do."

Laughing at his terrible impression, Lydia fell into his arms and kissed him with a joy that nearly knocked him back into the grave.

"He knows, Beej. He knows and he's going to keep me safe."

"Yer fucking with me…" leery he gripped her shoulders and pushed back to watch as the school girl expression plastered itself on her face. "Yer not fucking with me."

"I'm not fucking with you." She repeated.

"Well, shit…."

Lydia tugged him by the hands back till they fell upon the sofa. "Please, Beej. Can you forgive me?"

"Aww Lydsy, " Beetlejuice brushed her soft raven hair away from her face and cupped her cheek. "You know I can never stay mad and ya."


Detective Bath had an inkling something was amiss when he didn't hear from Officer Dichter for the better part of the afternoon. Normally punctual with reports, this lapse was noticeable enough for the detective to make inquiries with Officer Brown.

All too willing to talk, Officer Brown relayed the events of the previous day and the current whereabouts of her partner. Strange and unusual as the circumstances were the Detective was pleased with the progress Dichter was making with the Deetz girl. She trusted the young officer and in such a case he was willing to overlook the implications that an attachment could develop.

There was also Allen Dichter's history to consider. His lack of emotional involvement was perfect for this case. It would be a sin to ignore such an advantage.

It was during these hours when Officer Dichter was in the company of Miss Lydia Deetz that Detective Bath chose to do some personal investigation on the girl's property.

Confirmed sighting of Beetleman told him to remain cautious as he walked along the bridge and up the long winding path.

The lawn was fresh and well-manicured by the staff employed by the Deetz estate. Perfect blue sky and puffy white clouds complemented the facade that was rampant through this town of secrets and deception.

It was everywhere, like with most small towns. The people were all connected and as such, so were the dramatic nature of unpalatable relationships.

Perhaps it was because of this carefully formulated theory about the town and its people, he was not surprised to find what looked like a half-buried metallic case for business cards.

He was wrong however as he pulled it out of the ground using a glove he had stashed in his pocket. It was a pillbox with delicate engravings. He opened it and was surprised to find a sealed pouch of white powder inside.

Extracting a plastic bag from his jacket pocket, he placed the case and its contents inside for further testing. This is one clue Detective Bath will withhold from his team, he decided. The only clue that he would send to his team back in the big city.

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