The text below is from a novel in progress. First draft so there's still plenty of editing that will need to be done before it's "ready."
Phineas read the story again.
It started on the front page, accompanied by the most incomprehensible picture he'd ever seen, and he'd seen many, many pictures, the story lacked some detail but even the generalities and the statement from the first responders to the scene – “I've been a paramedic for 20 years and I have never, ever seen anything like this.” – were enough for Phineas to realize that he needed to find out what was going on there. One other strange detail – and there were no officials that even commented on how it could have happened – was the blanket media broadcast that occurred alerting everyone within a bubble of 20 kilometers to the address of the biggest crime scene that part of the country had ever seen. The fringe corners of the Internet and late night radio were inundated with various recordings of the soothing female voice repeating the address over and over. This was something Phineas found out later. He also found that several other details were being purposely omitted by the mainstream media.
There was no hiding the details though. The fact that media, curious people, and first responders arrived on the scene almost at the same time, meant that amid the chaos of the scene there was no control, no one to put up police tape and push people out.
The front page that Phineas looked at had neat smudges where the names of the victims/skeletons had been etched into the ground. Why the newspaper had obscured the name was not something that Phineas could understand but there in the background... He removed a large magnifying glass from his desk, from the drawer directly above the large locked cabinet section of his desk. He peered through the lens. More clearly but still somewhat hidden was the beginning of a name, “Char” then smudge. Phineas supposed it could have been an “m” or an “n” where the text was obscured.
The official story was that an explosion, presumably caused by some kind of new drug lab, had caused major loss of life and that two suspects were being questioned.
Needless to say, it would be a long arduous task to unravel the mystery behind what really happened.
Or it would have been had Phineas not picked up his phone and dialed – he'd resisted switching to a keypad phone – an old friend and private detective. More importantly, an old friend that would believe enough of what he said to actually follow through on an investigation.