A stocky, distinguished white-haired man dressed in a shiny gray suit came walking into the Milwaukee District 1 headquarters, being directed to one of the dozen interrogation rooms down the hall from Detective Mason Doyle’s office. Forrest Baines knocked on the closed door of Room 10. Detective Doyle’s younger partner let him in. Wesley Thornton, seated adjacent to Detective Doyle, breathed a sigh of relief when he recognized Ethan Rathbone’s lawyer.

“Mr. Baines, we did as you instructed on the phone. No questions until you arrived,” Detective Doyle said.

Forrest Baines took a seat across the table from his client. “Detective Doyle, I need to know from you the reason why my client was extradited here in Milwaukee.”

“Sir, a week ago, Wesley Thornton had confessed to Indianapolis detectives he was there when Romeo Blanco was murdered. He complied to entering our custody,” the detective said in a dry delivery.

“Well, detectives, I leave it to you with your questions. I will let you know when you’ve gone too far,” Baines said.

Detective Doyle began the interrogation, “Mr. Thornton, were you employed by the man Ethan Rathbone?”

“I had been employed by him for the last 35 years.”

“On the day of September 17th, did you see Romeo Blanco?”

“Yes. Miss Amora had, in the past, gone up to Downers Grove to purchase a case of a Filipino delicacy, balut. This particular day, she went to his place of business for a different reason.”

“This place of business being the Singapore Sling, an Asian restaurant.”

“Yes, she went into the back of the restaurant while I stayed outside of the limousine.”

“What happened next?”

“She came out of the door with Mr. Blanco. She instructed me to drive to the Drake Hotel in downtown Chicago.”

“What did they do there?”

“They had a long dinner, then came into the back of the limousine. Before Miss Amora got into the backseat, she whispered to me to find an exit close to Milwaukee where there was a wooded area.”

“Where you familiar with that area?”

Wesley answered with no hesitation, “I had been there before on her instructions with someone else or others.”

“What others?”

Baines interrupted, “Detective, let’s stay on the deceased Blanco.”

“Can you take us through what happened when you parked the limousine in the woods?”

“After hearing much sounds of sexual activity earlier, these noises turned diabolical. I mean, I could hear Mr. Blanco bearing up under the tearing of his flesh. I got out of the limousine and walked several yards away until Miss Amora, now herself, told me it was done.”

“What do you mean by ‘she was herself?’”

“She turns into a vile creature that can hunt for women’s unborn babies, or—as in Mr. Blanco’s case—she wanted to feed on his internal organs.”

There was silence. Both detectives looked startled and could not believe what Thornton was saying. Detective Doyle cleared his throat, then continued. “You must know, sir, this account is getting on the supernatural vein, hard to believe.”

“I’ve known about Amora Rathbone’s unique problem since she became a teenager. She had been cursed. The explanation and history of this creature she turns into has great strength and great powers of witchcraft and dark magic, coming from the legend of the aswang. Detectives McMahan and Luther Charles have researched the very thing I am talking about.”

The younger detective who was standing behind Detective Doyle asked Thornton, “What transpired, then? I mean, after it was clear Romeo Blanco was dead in the backseat of the limousine?”

“I took some plastic out of the trunk and rolled him into it. I carried him to a paved trail and rolled him out into where the grass met the path. I rolled up the plastic, put it into the trunk, and proceeded to clean up the backseat as I had done so many times before.”

“Is there any DNA left that can be tested to the connection of your bizarre story?” Detective Doyle asked.

“Yes, sir. I left plastic clear bags of Miss Amora’s torn clothes, the rolled-up plastic bag I carried the deceased in, and the many soiled rags in the trunk of the limousine. I kept it there, knowing I might need the evidence in the near future.”

“My God, man, why on Earth would you do such a thing?”

“Master Ethan has, for so many months, been on the edge for remaining secret about his daughter these many years. I could tell I needed to be prepared. In the last few weeks, she confessed taking this experimental drug, Divinia. I believe the side effects were going in reverse and making her more savage.”

Forrest Baines spoke up, “Gentleman, I have a signed statement from Clarissa Ross confirming Wesley’s alibi on the time Ethan Rathbone was murdered. I believe we have some discussion on bail and his promise not to flee if you want to prosecute him.”

Detective Doyle pulled his partner over to the corner of the room. They discussed what they wanted to do next. Detective Doyle approached Mr. Baines. “Well, we will need to go over the limousine, then get Detective McMahan and Detective Charles up here. If you will settle the bail, you can take him back to Indiana.”

“Detectives, I can do you both one better. I drove here in the Rathbone limousine. Mr. Thornton and I will be taking a plane back to Indiana if one of your officers will drive us to O’Hare.”


For all installments from The Islands Tell of It, click here.

Previous installments:

  1. Chapter 1: The First Victim
  2. Chapter 2: Four Months Before October
  3. Chapter 3: Bobber’s Café
  4. Chapter 4: Heat Wave
  5. Chapter 5: Deep-End Dining
  6. Chapter 6: Rathbone Estate
  7. Chapter 7: Althea’s Run
  8. Chapter 8: Emergency Interrupts
  9. Chapter 9: Girls Talk Turkey
  10. Chapter 10: There Came a Lull
  11. Chapter 11: Dangerous Mind
  12. Chapter 12: Luana Barba
  13. Chapter 13: Trip to Milwaukee
  14. Chapter 14: Enough Killing
  15. Chapter 15: A Parking Lot Visitation
  16. Chapter 16: The Restaurant
  17. Chapter 17: Late-Night Work
  18. Chapter 18: Grandpa Pete
  19. Chapter 19: A Group is Formed
  20. Chapter 20: Rendezvous with Evil
  21. Chapter 21: The Upside-Down of it All