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Upon High: A Supernatural Criminal Short Story
There, the last incision was finally cut. She had been crying for hours now. I always hated that. It made them seem innocent when in reality they were the vilest of women. Sure, they were beautiful and lovely as a rose, walked with the grace of a swan, and talked with a melody in their voice, but don’t let that fool you. That is their exterior; the façade they put on everyday with their purple eye shadow, cream blush, and pink lipstick- or some variety of that nature; my favorite color lipstick was blood red. What they covered up every morning was their true identity. Their ugliness buried within the layers of superficial skin. I would change that for them.
The room was aglow with hundreds of candles burning brightly with the wax slowly rolling down their sides like beads of sweat and rested on the surface. The buildup of wax on the tables, shelves, and mantle was at least 2 inches thick in many areas. Pictures of his previous victims hung on the walls. The white rabbit tattoo on his arm glowed in the warm light. The song “Outside” by Staind was playing softly in the background as Ammon worked. He now would kill her so she would not suffer any more pain. He wanted them to feel the pain he and other men had felt but not the final step of his creation. Ammon glided over to his tool bench organized with many different knifes of varied shapes and sizes. He picked up an 8-inch long, 2-inch wide knife with an ivory handle and stalked over to the girl.
“I hope you have realized your sin and asked for forgiveness from God because I will give you none. You women should worship me like a god because of my ability to be anything you want but you cannot get past my exterior to find out whom I am. I want you to feel the pain I felt when you could not accept me for my inner beauty and will show everyone your true self.” With this Ammon raised the knife glowing like a torch in the candlelight and stabbed her in the heart. Her scream was deafening but the room was sound proof and no one could hear. After she had died, he took another tool from his bench and began to slice her stomach open. Over the next few hours, he slowly took each organ cleans it and then sews it onto the outside of her skin. He adorns her with the ugliness that hid inside her. Now everyone would see her for what she really was.
* * * * *
The morning sun had begun to rise casting a nice soft orange glow over the copper iron gates that stood 10 foot high enclosing the zoo. The animals were going wild like frightened children on Halloween. The overnight zookeepers rushed out of their posts to see what was stirring the animals into this rage. The young teenage girl that had just started two weeks ago found the body first. “Ahhhhhh!” she screamed while staring in horror at the figure that hung before her. Strung to the entrance gates with rope tied around each wrist the girl that once held the beauty of a dove was now suspended in the air with the hideousness of a vulture.
The other workers came running to find out why she was screaming. One young man immediately stopped from a full run at the sight of the figure and convulsively started puking until he had dry heaves. An older gentleman that was in charge walked directly to the young girl and began to calm her down. He gently turned her away from the display and held her comfortingly while at the same time trying not to start screaming himself. “Go call the police,” he ordered the young man now that he had stopped throwing up.
Alice Porter got the call at 6:30am. She happened be finishing her shower before lying down to sleep when the phone rang. She had been out drinking with her buddies at Briewskies bar and reeked of smoke and whiskey - Jack Daniels was her dream guy. Alice never had many good romantic relationships with her boyfriends. She could never get over the thoughts she constantly picked up from them. Alice had always hated her telepathic powers that interfered in every part of her life. It wouldn’t be so bad if I could turn it on and off; she liked to daydream when alone. That would never happen. She needed to face the fact that she could never be happy with any guy for a long time. They always had boring thoughts about what this or that sports player’s house looked like and what they did to work out. Otherwise, they thought really nasty fantasies – not that she did not like some of those games – that were extreme to the point of gagging or screaming.
“Hello?” Alice answered, interested in who would call at this hour. No one that knew her would dare call at this time unless the person wanted his or her ass kicked for waking her up.
“Is this Alice Porter?” a strange voice asked.
“Yes,” Alice replied while towel drying her shoulder length curly blonde hair. Everyone envied her golden spiral curls, which were layered to keep her from looking like she had a rabbit’s cotton ball tail on her head. She could not understand why everyone wanted such a hassle.
“This is Detective James Harding, homicide division. We would like your help on a case we….well….”
“Don’t understand and can’t solve because nothing makes sense.”
“Exactly,” he replied after a brief pause.
“We need you to come down to a crime scene found this morning. It is at the city zoo.”
“The zoo... who was murdered? Did a tiger get loose and decide to take a stand about being locked in a cage?”
She thought she heard laughing, but he was not making a sound. “No, the body was dumped or rather put on display there. You’ll see when you get here.”
So, some detectives do have a sense of humor. “I’ll be right down.” She riffled through her closet for something cool. The air was so hot that your coffee could not even cool. She found a camouflage tank top and dark cut off blue jean shorts – tight but they fit. She slipped on some green fishnet stockings – to compliment her new tan – before her shorts and then zipped on her black leather knee high boots. The boots were a bit hot, but a must. Alice topped the outfit off with a silver arm cuff and a black velvet choker. It was a gift from one of her ex’s that came with accessories she kept but probably wouldn’t use. She grabbed her black leather purse - her .45 tucked inside and loaded if she needed it – and closed the door behind her. This should be an interesting day, she thought hoping Detective Harding looked as good as he sounded on the phone.
* * * * *
The disfigured body was gruesome. Words could not describe the feelings I felt. She had been taken down from the throne she was on in more than one way. The woman was only in her twenties and extremely gorgeous. In her modeling pictures, her long red hair was radiant, her lips luscious, her skin creamy without blemishes, hourglass figure, and long, strong legs that reminded her of a flamingo standing tall among its other bird families. However, all that was barely visible under the organs that adorned her figure. They were her organs sewed onto her skin with clear plastic threading normally used for stitches. Not only had the killer done this, but also had cut designs into her skin with a razor.
“There have been 3 other murders like this all displayed in public areas,” Detective Harding said while looking at me from head to foot. “Does a bounty hunter always dress this way?” He said smiling with admiration. Goddamn, she’s hot. Wonder how she dresses to a funeral?
“Only when I’m checking out murder scenes,” I reply coy, and only when I’m with a guy as hot as you. “Plus, I don’t go to funerals.” I was surprised to see that my statement did not surprise him. He smiled and continued talking.
“None of the victims have anything relating to each other except their extravagant beauty and a black rose sewn over their hearts,” Harding was staring at my fishnets and boots while pretending to read the report. I’m telepathic, like that’s gonna fool me?
I just want to rub my hands along those legs. First slowly all the way up and down, then kiss them. She had to wear fishnets. How did she know? Harding was nervous knowing she could hear his thoughts. He tried to block them as taught, but she was too distracting.
Woo, this was going to be a fun case – at least when it came to the detective. Alice would take care of him later. There were some murders to solve now and they were not sure if there would be another victim. “Where were the other bodies found?”
“One woman was sitting on the swing set in the park. Another was sitting on a bench in the commons area at a local college. The last one appeared on the entrance doors of a church late Saturday night for masses on Sunday. The priest about had a heart attack.” He was reading from the report now. “There were no connections between the women and the locations, except a large viewing audience.”
“What about the bodies’ vandalism? Any similarities?” Alice was looking through the other crime scene photos that were very graphic. The details were so vivid it was almost as if they were before her in the flesh. It’s amazing what digital photography can pick up.
“Yes, there is,” Harding was flipping through the file until he found the page. “All of the victims are cut with the same designs and the exact number of cuts is 606. We have no clue as to if it is significant or not. What we do know is that none of the fingerprints found so far match.”
“They don’t match? They are all different?” Alice could only think of one possibility for this if it was truly only one killer. “What is your theory?”
“There is a group doing this all together as an initiation into some cult,” Harding said confidently.
“But how do you explain the razor designs being in exactly the same places?” Alice was seeing how fast he could think.
“They followed the pattern from a photograph of the first victim,” he said while looking around the scene. This is bullshit. We don’t know. That’s what we called you down for, but if you can’t help us ….
“Calm down and let me explain. Geeze, so impatient,” Alice quietly laughed to herself. “There is only one killer. He is a shape shifter and that is why you cannot get a match on the prints.” Shape shifters were very rare and almost never tracked down. This would be a tough one even for her.
“So, we have about a million and one odds of catching this guy, right?” Harding was not happy.
“With me helping, I say you have a half a million to one,” Alice smiled charmingly.
* * * * *
Ammon strutted down the sidewalk feeling proud of his accomplishment. He stopped in the coffee shop to get some caffeine. The aroma filled him with warmth and the fresh smell of the bakery made him hungry. Not paying attention to where he was headed, he ran into the most beautiful of all women he had ever seen. “Sorry,” he muttered nervously.
“That’s fine. I wasn’t watching where I was going either,” Alice said smiling. “Awesome tattoo; what does it mean?”
“Oh, thanks. It just represents the mystery and chase of a dream. You know down the rabbit hole?” Ammon responded suavely.
“Really? That is funny, because my name is Alice.” She really liked this guy he seemed cool and his thought patterns were very strange to her. All jumbled and twisted as if falling down the rabbit hole himself.
“That is such a coincidence. We should hang out some time,” Ammon was very excited at this woman. She had a great personality and liked him.
Ammon had black spiky hair, light blue eyes, gauged ears, and a tongue ring. He was dressed in black elephant pants, torn skater shoes, and a Family Guy Stewie t-shirt that read, ‘Good news, I’ve decided not to kill you.’ “I am so relieved to know you don’t want to kill me,” Alice started laughing.
Ammon froze. He had just been thinking that this woman was different and interesting and he would not hurt her like the others. Not realizing what she meant he let out a stunned, “What?” All he could think was, is she reading my mind?
“Your shirt, I love it. I need one that says, ‘How dare you disobey me? Your mind is mine’.” Alice could not help laughing and was not paying too much attention to Ammon’s expressions. His face flashed from shock to an easy smile quickly with the thought of her in control. It was not something he was used to, but he could see it working for him if only with her. Alice controlled her laughing and was trying to sort through the thoughts and images she was picking up but they were jumbled. A dark room, candles, rope, and the feelings of domination and ecstasy mixed in her mind. She must find out why she could not get a focused idea. “So where do you work?” Alice must get some more information before giving the guy her number.
“I work as an assistant in the hospital,” Ammon told half a truth, at least one part of him worked there. “I do all kinds of offhand tasks and errands when everyone is busy.”
“So you never get any real action with people?” Alice was intrigued. She took another look at him and decided that he could work in the hospital if he dressed completely different.
“I have but not often,” he said and began fidgeting with his pants looking down thinking about the girl from last night. Images came flooding into her head: knives and razors, needles and thread cutting into skin, the feeling of loneliness and hatred bubbled for a moment and then disappeared. Alice realized who this man was and needed to keep him busy until she could get Harding and other police down there.
Alice didn’t want to let on so she acted as if she took this as a sign of embarrassment saying, “I understand. Not everyone can have his or her shot. It takes time to find what you’re looking for.” Alice discreetly found her phone in her purse and called Harding hoping he could get there fast. She made sure she had her end on silent.
“I know but it is difficult not getting what you want when you need it so bad,” Ammon replied spacing as he watched the waitress serve hot coffee and chocolate donuts to a couple at a nearby table.
“Well, what do you want now? You came to the coffee shop for some reason, right? You can get whatever you like from here,” Alice was stalling and trying to give Harding the location. The police station must be about 15 minutes away, 8 speeding.
“I did want a Carmel Nut Macchiato,” Ammon said glancing at the line to see how long it would take to get one. But now I want you, he thought gazing at her through his bright blue eyes.
If only you weren’t a killer, I would go out with you; Alice thought receiving his message and hoping he couldn’t read hers. “Well, I’ll get that for you,” Alice turned to the counter to order when a strong had grabbed her arm stopping her.
As she turned back, Ammon was smiling and said, “No. I pay for my own drinks. It’s my job to pay for yours.” He walked past her to the counter to give the young waitress his order.
“I have a call. I’ll be right back,” Alice yelled as she walked toward the door. Once outside she took out her phone to see if Harding was on the line. “Harding, are you there?”
“Yeah, is there a problem? I heard something about the coffee shop so I’m headed that way.”
“I found the killer. I’m having coffee with him now. Get your ass over here now!” Alice was trying to talk normal so Ammon wouldn’t suspect anything. “He is getting his coffee now and I don’t know if he is staying or going.”
“I’ll be right there. I’m 10 minutes out. I won’t use the siren; it might scare him off.”
“Good. I’ll keep him busy.” Alice put her phone back in her purse and walked back in just as he was getting his coffee. “Well, how does that taste?”
“It’s great, my favorite I get all the time,” Ammon said after taking a big gulp. “So what do you do for your job?”
Alice was thrown off a bit but recovered saying, “Well, by day I am a bartender, but by night I am a private investigator.” Alice tried not to stay general.
“Wow, sounds interesting. What do you investigate?” Ammon had gotten little hairs on the back of his neck to rise and did not like that feeling. He looked into his coffee to hide his nervous expression.
Alice sensing his uncomfortableness explains, “Well if you can call taking people’s money to find out who called them at 2am in the morning an woke them up, who’s following them to the grocery store, or who’s blackmailing them about something or another, probably including a dog somewhere, investigating then I guess that’s what I do.” It looked as if he was about to burst laughing, but he maintained his composure.
“At least you have fun. That’s what it sounds like to me.” Ammon sat his cup down on the counter empty. “I think I’ll take a trip to the bathroom. Be back soon.”
Harding arrived 2 minutes after he went into the bathroom. “He’s in there dressed in all black; you can’t miss him.” Alice directed.
Harding took his gun, walked in, and came right out with a blank face. “There's no one in there and there isn't a window to go out of. Are you sure he did not pass you coming out?”
“No! I was sitting here the entire time,” Alice was furious. How could he have gotten past her?
Down the street, a man with a tattoo of a white rabbit stood at the corner waiting for the light. He had medium length strawberry blonde hair and go-tee, baggy blue jeans, a white Choppers t-shirt, and white tennis shoes. That was a close one. She will be a great challenge for me. I would not hurt her if I did not have to, but she has already betrayed me. I will show her how I am a god and she made a mistake crossing me.
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© 2012 Christine Buenemann