I was alerted by Luther that Wesley Thornton was let go from the Milwaukee authorities and wanted Luther and I to attend Ethan Rathbone’s funeral. I took out some dresses I had in storage in Grandpa Pete’s attic. Delighted, I pulled out a size 8 black dress still in style which fit me perfectly.

October had only one week left, with temperatures calling for my lightweight lavender jacket to be worn over my dress. I rode with Luther and Althea. She looked stunning in a black jumpsuit showing off her baby bump.

The funeral services and burial were to take place in the Crown Hill Cemetery mausoleum. The upper level of the mausoleum was called Peace Chapel, featuring the stained glass artistry by way of the Charles Leonard Merck Family Memorial. Appropriate place for the Rathbone memorial service, since he was CEO of IndyMerck, founded by Charles Leonard Merck.

We drove through the Gothic Gate entrance off of 38th Street in Indianapolis. “Wow! Some lush and lavish surroundings we have here. Good thing I dressed up.”

The three of us sat through almost 90 minutes of endless eulogies to honor the greatness of a private graceful prince of the wealthy elite in a city that had grown significantly due to Ethan Rathbone’s generosity.

Wesley Thornton was the last person to speak at the podium at the raised altar. He seemed to me a changed man. A man of means, not the humble, devoted butler always dressed in gray pants and a bright red vest. This time, he wore a shiny gray suit to match his brilliant blue eyes. He carried himself with full disclosure of culture and sophistication. He used eloquent words to describe what Mr. Rathbone had done for him, an Irish immigrant with only enough money to travel to Indianapolis by bus. After years of being the Rathbone butler, he not only had money, he had become an American citizen.

The audience of over 200 mourners were instructed to meet downstairs in the corridor of side-by-side crypts close to the South Grounds of the mausoleum. The crowd gathered as Ethan’s Cherrywood casket was placed into the crypt prepared for such a time as this.

Luther, Althea, and I had been instructed to stay in the marble-walled corridor to meet with Wesley. He approached us. “Follow me outside to the summit. We can speak there.”

Wesley walked us to the Gothic Chapel where Luther parked his Esplanade. Before we said our mutual goodbyes, he needed to inform us of something quite extraordinary.

“I’ve decided to give your sergeant full disclosure of the history of how and when Amora became that vile creature that made her your suspect of all those 28 victims,” he said with a matter-of-fact tone and no emotion. I wanted to leap and shout, but the atmosphere of the burial of one of the most prominent men in the Indianapolis business world forced me to scream in silence.


In two weeks, the dreaded out-of-court hearing came. Grandpa Pete told me the hearing was to take place on the third floor of the Government Building, with Judge Harker officiating. Inside, I was juggling several emotions: curiosity, fear of the unknown, to how much fantastical information Wesley had related to my sergeant, and also a nagging dread that Mitch would choose not to divulge one word.

I was to wait in the hallway across from Judge Harker’s department offices until Luther was questioned. It would have been nice if I could have stilled my jumping nerves by reading one of my recently purchased Dean Koontz thrillers.

I attempted to read the first ten pages, but none of the author’s brilliant words were sinking in. I was plagued by my preoccupation of what the hell was Luther going through in that unnerving police inquisition. I began pacing the long hallway. Halfway down the hall for the tenth time, I heard my grandfather calling my name.

As we reached the door to Judge Harker’s private board room, Luther came out, giving me a wink. He seemed real together and calm, no wild eyes. I was directed to the head of the long oak table. Grandpa Pete was seated adjacent to me.

Judge Harker, a very distinguished man of color, was seated at the other end of the eight-foot table. Mitch Gable sat adjacent to the judge with a female stenographer at the judge’s right ready to record every question and every answer. I had known that my grandfather, acting as my lawyer, was there for moral support only, not to interrupt with objections.

“Madam, state your name and your job description,” Judge Harker began the questions.

“My name is Glenda McMahan, detective at the APD detective division.”

“How long have you served the city of Anderson?”

“I have served since graduating from the police academy 17 years ago.”

“What spurred you, a reasonable and capable officer of the law, to embrace this highly speculative type of criminal?”

“With each victim, how they were attacked, their specific injuries, and those professional persons we interviewed coming from the origin of this mysterious legend confirmed time and time again.” I wanted to elaborate by naming each person who corroborated with us, but chose to be brief.

Judge Harker was handed a file folder by Mitch Gable. He opened the folder and held up a report. “I have gone over the report from Sergeant Gable from a lengthy session with Wesley Thornton. I need you to explain your off-base procedure bringing in the said suspect, Amora Rathbone.”

My mouth was so dry, it felt like I had been chewing cotton balls. I took a glass and poured ice water from a pitcher provided. I drank down the entire eight ounces.

“My partner’s fiancé has become one of the victims who survived the vicious and savage attack. Althea pressed me at the hospital only a few hours after the attack happened to see this through, no matter how off the grid I had to get.”

“So, you used an unlawful practice of brutality to bring her in,” the judge stressed, his dark brown eyes stern and menacing.

“Judge, your honor, sir, this suspect was not altogether human when it attacked and murdered its victims. This was definitely, from all the information Luther and I compiled, the work of a grotesque shapeshifter cursed to perform savage deeds not reasonable to any criminal we had ever encountered before.”

The judge seemed to calm down after that last answer. “You mentioned Detective Charles’s fiancé. This report details other victims who did not survive. Elaborate the description of the thing before your colleagues strung it up.”

“I was walking in the park off of the Cross Street entrance, then captured by a large winged creature. When I was lowered to the ground, I saw my captor full face. Reptilian eyes, mouth full of sharp fangs, it spoke to me. With one swipe of its long razor sharp claws, my left side received several deep gashes from my rib cage to my knee.”

An officer in patrolman navy blues came into the room. He spoke to Judge Harker first. “Your Honor, I apologize for the interruption. I must speak to Sergeant Gable immediately.”

“All right, Officer, follow Sergeant Gable and myself to my quarters.” The judge rose up from his chair. “Counselor, you and your client remain where you are. We will be back.”

I waited until they made their exit. I turned to Grandpa Pete, “This is excruciating!”

“My girl, hang in there. Your answers to his tough questions were brilliant and very comprehensible. You didn’t shy away from your conviction to this bizarre case. You need to know that Clive Harker is an expert on knowing when someone is telling him what they firmly believe as the truth,” Grandpa Pete said, taking my hand.

In what I thought would take hours, Mitch Gable and Judge Harker took to their seats. “Detective McMahan, stand up, please.”

I looked at my grandfather. He nodded and motioned for me to stand up. I felt like I had sweat through my suit pants and white shirt.

“I have wanted to explore and weigh the answers from you and your partner further. A serious incident has thwarted my wishes. There seems to be no time to get two other detectives to get up to speed on this twisted, upside-down case. Due to Mr. Thornton’s descriptions that fully confirm your answers this day, it is my duty to reinstate your status as detective. Meet your sergeant and your partner at the detective division to be briefed.”

I stood there frozen, thinking, What happened? What incident would have rushed this reinstatement? I watched Judge Harker and Mitch Gable exit the boardroom from a door to the right of where they were seated. Grandpa Pete called to me in a soft tone, “Glenda, Glenda, you can relax. Let’s get out of here.”


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
  22. Chapter 22: Two Ways to Fight
  23. Chapter 23: I Have to See Her