Curse of the Asuune

By: Steven Sterup Jr

Chapter 1

Lyndsee Elisman knelt down in the damp, cold grass. The decorative row of bushes in front of her obscured her vision but provided her with cover. It was a little after midnight with no moon, so unless someone looked very closely they would not see the five foot six inch brunette hiding across the street from the run-down church. This was exactly what Lyndsee wanted. She wore a black tee-shirt, blue jeans and leather jacket. The grey pantsuit she normally wore for her job at the FBI would have been too conspicuous for hiding in the bushes after midnight. Tonight she had tied her hair up in a ponytail to keep it out of her way. Normally she liked having her long, wavy hair to the middle of her back but in a situation like this, long hair would be a hindrance.

Although Lyndsee was only an analyst, and not a real field agent, this case was different. She had told no one she was tracking Mark Albet, the man who killed her mother almost eight years ago when she was only seventeen. When this man had escaped, all those years ago, Lyndsee was forced to change her name and go into hiding. As soon as she turned nineteen she signed up for college, got a four year degree in criminal justice, then immediately signed up for the FBI training program. After her acceptance as an analyst she began tracking Albet in secret, it had nearly been a year now and she was sure she had finally found him. She had taken a leave of absence and driven nearly two days to get here, she just hoped it was really him this time.

Lyndsee crouched down, someone was walking up to the church doors across the street. She thrust her hand nervously into her purse to check her revolver one more time. It was still there and still cold. She suddenly realized how cold she was. Her knees were going numb from the cold damp grass. It wasn’t quite freezing but Lyndsee guessed it had to be close. She should have worn warmer clothes, probably gloves, but realizing this now mattered little.

Lyndsee watched man in a black trench coat with his hood up walk slowly across the parking lot. The man walked almost to the door of the church then kept going. This was not Albet. She couldn’t tell if she was shaking from the cold or if it was nerves, but she was almost glad it wasn’t him. She wanted to find him and confront him but she dreaded what would happen when she did.

A few minutes later another man walked out of the shadows of the dimly lit parking lot in front of the church. He wore a fleece jacket and jeans. He acted very casually as he walked toward the door. This couldn’t be Albet. Wouldn’t a wanted fugitive be more careful?

The man rummaged through his pockets and soon found the keys to the door. As the man turned the lock he pushed the hood of his jacket back and Lyndsee could she his face. His hair was shaved and he had a goatee now but it looked like Albet. The nose, the shape of his face, it looked just like him.

Lyndsee waited a minute or two after the man went inside, then got up from her hiding spot and attempted to calmly cross the street to the old church. Her stomach swayed and she felt like she would vomit. This might be it, it might finally be over. She only had to go in the church and shoot the man, kill Albet in cold blood, like he had done to Lyndsee’s mother. No one would ever find out, she had bought the gun at a shady street vendor, the serial numbers were filed off and she brought a small bottle of bleach along with a few rags to clean up any DNA or finger prints she left behind. She had prepared for this day long before she joined the FBI. She had been planning this since she was seventeen, living in a stranger’s house, and tonight it might finally all be over.

Lyndsee tried to calm herself as she reached for the door handle but her hands wouldn’t quit shaking. She was sure it was the nerves now, she barely felt the cold anymore. The door didn’t make a sound and she silently slipped inside, then shut the door just as silently.

The lights in the church were all off except for a small lamp at the entrance and a faint light coming from a door to the left of the pulpit. It must be the preacher’s office and that meant it was definitely Albet.

Mark Albet had been hiding as a preacher in this small church under the name Sean Coates. He had apparently been pretending to be a preacher for the last four years with no one even suspecting him. Lyndsee had only found him because of a small piece in the local paper. Albet had been caught on camera behind a traffic accident that happened on the street in front of his church. Strange as it seemed, Albet was the first to arrive on the scene and gave the poor woman CPR until the ambulance arrived. She and the drunk man that hit her both died on the way to the hospital but the camera man who took pictures caught Albet standing next to one of the paramedics. Now that she recalled the picture she wondered if the hooded man in the trench coat had been the same one in the background of the photo.

Lyndsee started tracking this man, like she had over twenty other men that looked like Albet, but this one had paid off. She was almost certain it was him. This Sean Coates had no pictures on file, had no birth certificate, no social security number, nothing. He was a ghost in the system, which meant one of two things. He was either an illegal immigrant or he was a fugitive. Looking at his face, she doubted he was an immigrant and his likeness to Mark Albet was uncanny.

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