Waves of nausea rippled through my body, but I valiantly controlled the urge to vomit.  It was my first day on the homicide beat, and I wasn’t about to embarrass myself in front of the veteran police detectives and paramedics on the scene.

I saw Detective Ryan, and waved. “Amber, a moment?”

She looked at me, rolled her eyes, but walked over anway.  “Sally, how’s it that you come from a family of cops but end up a reporter?”

“You don’t want to comment?”

“Kid, your dad is the chief of police, of course I’m going to answer questions.”  She absent-mindedly scratched at a rash.  It looked like poison ivy.

“Who’s the stiff?”  I said with more bravado than I felt.  Truth be told, he was ripe and my stomach objected.

Amber smirked, as if she knew the internal battle I waged.  “The dead man is Roger Wells, forty-three.  He’s been dead for a while.  The ME will give us more info once he examines the remains in a lab. It looks like sharp force trauma.”

I nodded sagely, and made a few notes.  Despite the smell and Amber’s pretentious attitude, I was excited.  Don’t judge me.  This was my chance to make a name for myself and maybe catch the eye of an editor at a bigger paper.  The Greenville Gazette was fine for a recent graduate, but I was ready for more.

Taking out my phone, I snapped a few pictures.  I noticed an envelope sticking out of a nearby bush and reached for it.

“Don’t touch that!”  Amber shouts.  I was pushed out of the way and gloved experts opened it.  Amber read the note.  “Crap!  The Night Bear Struck again!”

My first assignment was a Night Bear murder?  Without hesitating, I called my editor.

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