~ Sunday Night ~
Little Emily ran from her house stopping only when reaching the edge of the forest. As she tried to catch her breath, she searched for the bright blonde hair of her brother, which was much like her own. She caught sight of Ben and relaxed. ‘We’re finally going to see them’, she thought.
Previously that night, their mother had read them a story about Ariel: the ‘littlest’ mermaid, who lived in the deepest of seas.
“I just know Ariel and her sisters live in the pond – it’s as deep as the one in the story!” Emily exclaimed.
“I know! I can’t wait!”
They ran through the forest and soon reached the pond, not noticing the extra crunch of leaves that followed closely behind them.
Emily was suddenly cut off, by the howling that sounded all around them. ‘This can’t be right’ she thought, ‘Mummy told me that there were no wolves in Australia…she promised!’
Slowly, the howling came to a stop…
Emily and Ben stood close together, shivering.
“I w-want to go home”, whispered Ben
They stood together, both too scared to move, when a twig snapped behind them.
“The wolves”, they screamed as they ran.
“The wolves” only Emily screamed.
~two weeks later~
‘This was certainly a gruesome case’, thought Dawn, a detective.
“Well, it could have been done by a group of dogs”, said her partner, Todd. “Neighbours reported howling around midnight”.
“But what about the strangling mentioned in the autopsy report?”
“Hmm…what about the parents? They could have strangled them and tossed them outside for wild animals to eat.”
“Only the girl was strangled. The report says that the boy was definitely killed by some kind of dog – nothing else.”
“Perhaps they own a dog that has been trained to kill.”
“Our men have searched every inch of the houses and the forest – no signs of any dogs”
Todd frowned, obviously frustrated. Everyone was. The murderer had left little evidence of himself – nowhere near enough to tell who he was. At the night of the incident, they had searched the whole forest for anyone else, but it was like the killer had just disappeared. Now they were going over and over the same theories and ideas of who he could be…
Suddenly, the phone rang, startling everyone.
“Hello?” answered Todd. “Yes, this is Todd… What! Another victim? ...And how is this related to this case? …Yep…okay…” He hung up.
“Apparently they’ve found another victim of our murderer: a young boy also around the age of five. He had the same wounds to his stomach, but no strangling. Neighbours also heard howling around twelve”
“Any new evidence?”
“They’re working on it…”
A theory began to form in Dawn’s mind…Maybe his victims aren’t chosen at random…
“Start a search on all five year olds that have recently gone missing and haven’t been found yet”
“Already working on that. So far I’ve found two boys, named Jamie and Sam. Both living around here in nearby towns.” replied Todd, switching on his computer.
“Did they both disappear on a Sunday?”
Todd quickly scanned the screen. “Yes. How did you know?”
Dawn ignored his question. “Do you have any photos of them and the new case?” She had a bad feeling about this.
Todd turned back to his computer and opened up three pictures.
“Yep. Just as I thought,” said Dawn. “If I’m correct, then Jamie and Sam should be dead by now.”
“What? How do you know that?”
“Look at the photos. Do you think it’s a coincidence that all of the victims of this case are five-year-old boys…and blondes? Do you also think it’s a coincidence that they all died on a Sunday?” She groaned. If her theory was right than a lot more were going to die.
“What about Emily?”
“She probably just got in the way of the murderer. Look. Five children are dead. Four of them are boys – all have blonde hair and blue eyes. Do you think that just happens? ... No. The murders are planned…how long ago did Jamie go missing?”
“ Four weeks”
“And Ben was murdered two weeks ago. See; they’re being murdered at two-week intervals. That means we have two weeks to find his next victim.”
After informing their captain of what they had found, Dawn and Todd had the ‘great’ jobs of searching for possible victims. They needed boys who were five years old, had light blond hair and bright blue eyes, were pale, skinny, had dimples when they smiled, long thick eyelashes and weren’t plain or ugly. It narrowed the choices down, but there was still going to be a lot of possible victims.
By the end of the day they had managed to come up with 16 possible victims.
“Sixteen is a lot.”
“Well at least less than we were expecting. It should work if we have at least two men at each house.”
Todd frowned. It was going to be a long two weeks before the stake out…
~ 2 Weeks Later ~
It was the night at the stake out. Two guards had been assigned to each of the potential victims’ houses. They hadn’t told the potential victims and their parents about it of course – they hadn’t wanted to tip off the murderer. Todd parked the car in front of 22 Somerville Road. They had a view of the front and backyard; nothing could get past them. It was ten o’clock. ‘Two hours of doing nothing’ thought Dawn. Time passed by slowly and nothing happened.
Dawn called all of the other detectives on the stakeouts for a status update. Nothing had happened at all of the sights.
“What’s happening? He should be here by now!” Todd whispered furiously to Dawn.
“Don’t worry he will come, I just know this is the house”. Dawn had that feeling – she just knew. It came to her at times like this and had helped her solve many cases…but then why was she beginning to doubt herself? She felt as if she was missing some big detail that was screaming at her face. Never has she been wrong with this feeling. She pushed the doubt aside.
A gasp escaped her lips as she spotted something. A man and a dog! He was here. They watched as he walked to the side of the house and tried to pick open a window open. Her heart started to race – they needed back up. Quickly she dialled her base, not even bothering with hellos.
“This is Dawn Jones at 22 Somerville Road; we need back up – now”
“We’re on our way.”
The window slid open. The dog moved away from the house and began to howl. It sent shivers down her back. As if they couldn’t resist the dog’s howls, others dogs began to join in. She knew it was providing a distraction for the murderer. Dawn jumped out of the car, her heart pumping, as the hooded man slid into the window. Another child would not die tonight; she would no longer feel guilty about it. She pushed herself faster and…tripped.
She felt searing pain in her ankle. She tried to get up and then realised something was holding onto it. The mongrel had her. Desperately she tried to pull free. She needed to save the boy! She had too! No one else will ever die under her watch again…
Bang Bang! She shut her eyes, close to tears, as she heard the sound of a gun going off. Oh no. She was too late: the man had gotten the child… She sighed and pulled her legs close to her… Her leg! It was free! She looked up at the dog and saw it dead, two bullet holes near its heart. Todd had come through. She pushed herself up and continued to run to the house. She’d thank Todd later, if she saved the child…no…when she saved the child.
A fire burned inside her as she ran. She soon reached the window and jumped through, ignoring the protests of her injured ankle. She raced around the house, searching for a little boy’s room. She ran to the end of the hall and finally spotted the child’s room. Relief flooded her. Everything was going to be okay, she was going to save the boy. She gasped as she saw the murderer standing beside the sleeping child. No, no, no! She quickly gathered herself together and held up her gun.
“Step away from the boy”
The murderer turned around, looking mildly surprised.
And Dawn discovered the missing detail.
He…no, she said “Your already too late”, as she lunged for the child’s throat.
“No!” shouted Dawn as she fired at the murderers legs. The murderer gasped as she fell back, screaming hysterically. She hit her head against a table and stopped moving…
Dawn moved across the blood-covered floor. But she didn’t care about the blood, only the child. Red lines marked the child’s neck… she knew she was too late. She could see he wasn’t moving. Her eyes welled up in tears. She rested her head on his bed, as the murderers blood soaked her jeans. Right then all the pain that she had been hiding away hit her. All those poor children dead…because of her. If only she’d found the murderers pattern sooner, maybe she could have saved everyone…maybe this child still be alive.
Her head snapped up as she heard something…the gasp of a man and a scream of a woman. But that wasn’t what had made her move…she strained her ears. There! Sobbing, not her own but…the boy’s! He was alive! She smiled and turned to his parents.
“Its okay…he’s okay…” she babbled.
Dawn gently shook the boy.
“Are you okay?”
“Don’t hurt me,” he sobbed.
“Don’t worry I’m the good guy, I saved you.”
“I want mummy.”
“Don’t worry, hear she is” Dawn said as she limped out of the room.
Todd met her outside.
“You okay?” he asked
“Yeah. Get someone to clean that mess up”
“Way ahead of you. You took on the murderer all by yourself?! Your, like, crazy! You didn’t kill him did you?”
“She. No, she’s just had a bad concussion”
The rest of the night was a blur. Dawn sat outside of the house, watching people go by in a mad rush. She watched the murderer being carried out on a stretcher on the ambulance. Some people stopped by to question her. But that was all. No one needed her here and it was the last place she wanted to be. She drove home not really paying attention to anything: she was in a daze. She knew she was in shock. On autopilot she undressed and got in bed, not even bothering with a shower.
All her thoughts suddenly came back flooding her. The children…all the poor children. A logical side told her that is was not her fault, but right now she couldn’t believe that. She was the only one to blame. Five lives destroyed…almost six. She had managed to stop the murderer. But what if she’d done it sooner? How many more would still be alive? She fell asleep that night to her usual nightmare of the faces of the poor boys. All of them screaming “Why? Why didn’t you save me?”
~ A few months later ~
The murderer, whose name was Beck, was sent to a house for the mentally ill. She confessed that she killed all those boys after having her own son taken away from her because she was declared mentally ill, even all before this. Her son was then killed in a car crash and she completely snapped and escaped from the crazy house. She thought that if she couldn’t have her perfect boy, then no one could. This deemed her crazy; therefore she could not go to jail, as she was not responsible for her actions. Of course that disappointed Dawn. ‘She killed all of those boys after all’, she thought, ‘and she doesn’t get what she deserved. Its almost like she didn’t escape and kill all those poor children.’
After long months of counselling, Dawn started to become herself again. She didn’t see those dead boys faces every time she closed her eyes. She could finally stop thinking about them…
She remembered that night. The howling, the running and all that screaming. But then she remembered that she saved even more then the ones that were killed. But that doesn’t mean they died for nothing. Their lives saved many others.
She also remembered that Todd was absent for most of the night…what was he doing anyway? She frowned; he was probably calling backup, she thought. Maybe he was too scared to get in action… She smirked…
“Hey, Dawn, you up for another case?” shouted Todd, interrupting her thoughts.
“You know I am. But the question is: are you? Or are you just going to hide in the car again?”
Todd’s face turned beetroot red. ‘Ahh…’ thought Dawn ‘He’ll never live that one down’.
“Well, there’s been a murder in 26 Jowland Street, and apparently the sight is pretty gruesome”…