Hey all – My new Castle fanfic. =D I spent heaps of time over the Christmas holidays working on a novel (I hope to get it published one day..in my dreams), and I've noticed that my writing has improved stacks since I last posted something on here. So wallow in my new writing techniques..and enjoy. I promise that the mention of Kate Beckett, Castle and Co. will be in the next chapter. This is more the Prologue, setting the scene.

To the story. =]

o.o.o.o.o.o

The wind tore at the papers that lay scattered in the streets; forgotten. The street was deserted, but in the far distance the faint hum of music could be heard. It was a still summer's evening, crickets welcoming the darkness of the approaching evening. If one were to visit this street at such a time, they would think to themselves that it was a rather pleasant place to be, a peaceful place hidden away from the noise of the traffic.

Those who thought that, were wrong.

The street came alive late a night, voices yelling and shouting in the early hours of the morning. Music played loudly, and flashy sport-cars drove past. People walked down the streets in group, for even the must intoxicated knew that it was dangerous to wander the streets alone. They had reason to fear the darkness; the quietness of the evening once the celebrations had died down. For no one had forgotten the horrific murders that had been committed over 4 years ago; it was etched into their memories as if scratched in by blade. Some people believed that the "ghosts" were responsible, from the graveyard that sat atop the hill. Some said they saw flickerings of light, others, mad with alcohol in their blood, were adamant that they'd heard voices, and some even claimed to have felt a ghostly touch. But most of them feared the Willigers, the family that had brought in the building developers, with their noisy drilling equipment and asphalt.

The town that the Willigers had moved to was just out of New York City's centre. It wasn't out of the city itself, as such, but more a haven where those who wanted to get away from the horrors of the city. That had all changed in the year of 2006. Gunshots had rang out in the night, one by one, as people went missing. Drunks were blamed for a start, thought to have stolen cars and play with explosives, of the sort.

Then the bodies turned up. Gruesome; face down in rivers, or slumped over in the park benches, multiple wounds to the chest, arms and face. That's when people started to be afraid of the dark. They kept a weapon; a close item for protection, at their side at all hours, in the fear that they would be next. Their lives were filled with fear of the unknown.

That very year, Detective Elliette Court was assigned to the murders; she spent hours searching through evidence, trying to track down the guilty, and save the innocent. But her work failed her, and she almost went insane with the lack of evidence there was. There never seemed to be any give away signs on the bodies; the bodies of perfectly well kept personnel. Most of them were well off, and that caused suspicion. Where the murders purely a case of jealousy, or was it something much deeper? Like a leaf blown in the autumn wind, the case went nowhere. It drifted from multiple suspects, to murder scenes, even to the far reaches of north Arizona, where a suspect was supposed to be in hiding. Unfortunately, none of her suspicions turned up anything; it were almost as if there were no such evidence at all. Yet it was not possible. There had to be a missing link somewhere, and she was determined that she'd simply missed something and was letting the towns people down by missing such facts.

Late, in the early hours of the morning on March 26, 2007, Detective Elliette Court was murdered. Her body found by her neighbors who heard suspicious sounds "like gunshots."

Her murderer was never found. This scared the townspeople even more. New York police investigated for weeks afterwards, yet they found exactly what she had; nothing. No evidence to speak of, nothing to back their words with. The media managed to turn it into a scandal, making fun of the police for their "failed attempts" and their mishaps. It went on for months, law cases, lawyers, police against jury, the troublesome weeks that followed were hell for the acting police heads. Yet they never gave up. They were determined to find the murderer of Elliette Court, and they weren't going to stop at no for an answer.

Their plans were, once again, interrupted by the vicious serial killer, Mishako Yirina. She went insane after her sister had been murdered, and took her anger out on those who she claimed looked like her sister's killer. Police were kept busy for months on end tracking her down, following loose ends and from past experiences, they tried to keep it quiet. It was early 2009 before the serial killings had been resolved, Mishako behind bars, and the office much less lively than it had been for the past year. Detectives came and went, passed on badges, desks, left memories behind and gathered their belongings. But still, the bronze plaque remained on the wall of Detective Court's office, for she was one of their kind. She had been a protector, who valued the lives of others, someone who had fought until the end to catch a killer, and in the very end, her own killer.

It was late 2009 when the killer struck again, terrifying media and shaking up the foundations of the New York Police Department. The murderer was crowned an imposter, for the victims had been much more brutally murdered, threatening messages recorded on phones from fake voices. The media kept quiet after they received a message, of which only a very small percent of the population knew about. They were terrified of what would happen if they published a morning paper with the headlines yelling that they'd received a letter themselves. Of course, it would be great for publicity, but was it worth "losing all who contributed" as the note had demanded? They agreed that it wasn't worth the risk, and ignored the business, leaving the police in the open with multiple unsolved murders, and a small supply of evidence.

It was early 2010 before another group of police detectives were assigned to the case, after a brutally murdered body was found, literally, on their office doorsteps on the cold morning of February 19, 2010. A light blanket of snow covered the body, and it was thought to be a homeless person, asleep on the front steps. That changed when Detective Beckett saw the pool of blood at her feet.