In my experience those who beg for mercy seldom deserve it And those who deserve it well that's just too damn bad I kill who I want when I want and there's not a damn thing you can do about it Ain't that sweet? the power of life and death, a living god I smile as they turn pale with fear, laugh as they turn purple and blue when I crush their throats, I howl with glee as the red life force gushes out from the mortal wounds I so expertly make, I like to think of myself as a rainbow maker you could say I am a past ell culler hee hee The press have labelled me the Stockton Slasher tonight I have done my own editing hee hee see you: message sent .
Detective Inspector Reuben Moon, 40 years old, 22 years Cleveland Police Force driving one handed saved the txt message and pulled up outside number 1 Lincoln Grove, the call about the latest murder had come through at 1.30a.m. He looked at his watch, damn! it was almost 2.10, 40 minutes!! Moon felt old, normally anywhere in Cleveland he could make in 30 minutes tops, he exited the unmarked car and was greeted by a young PC throwing up on the pavement another officer was patting the young PC on the back offering soothing words of comfort. "Mind he doesn't get any on your shoes Colin" said Moon "Hey Rube" came the reply
The1963 Flemish bond built three bedroom terrace was lit up like Blackpool illuminations with halogen lamps, police tape stretched around the front of the house like a boxing ring , officers in white coveralls entered and egressed regularly like spirits passing between worlds, and waiting beyond the police tape like a member of some sort of ghost watch stood DCI Jack Brown, the youngest ever DCI, age 34. "Glad you could make it Moon what took you so long?, age making things a struggle?" Moon gave him a look that said just keep pushing and see what happens. Detective Chief Inspector Brown flashed a brief worried look then instantly regained his composure. "Ok ok Moon don't get het up besides we don't want to upset your clothes do we?, for goodness sake you look like Colombo"
Moon grunted he knew he looked dishevelled and beggar fashion, ever since this monster began killing 6 months ago had he rarely left the office, barely slept and kept on his feet with the help of whisky and aspirin, one body a month ,six months, 186 days, so much time, so little time, he bent under the tape and entered the ring, no more, no more, this would be it, the final round, he entered number 1 Lincoln. Seconds out.
I see you moon with your bloodshot eyes and haggard look of defeat, I can smell your stale liquored breath even from this distance, your no match for me you pathetic excuse for a man, I will kill you so so slowly and place your carcass on the steps of the town hall hee hee I am coming moon and I will make you blue hee hee get it? blue moon hee hee see you :message sent.
Moon did not spend much time viewing the corpse he had seen too much of the same already, he only looked to confirm it was the Slashers work, it was. White male mid forties blue eyes fair hair face cut in a x shape then peeled back and stapled in place. From the top of the chest to the lower belly were carved four letters M O O N. not forgetting the clock, stopped at 18.40 and placed beside the corpse. "Who is it Reuben who is doing this, who wants you so badly?" Moon turned and faced his friend Bambi real name Richard Dickinson "I feel I am almost there I just can't put a finger on him" his cell beeped.
"Another text?" asked Bambi
"How do you know it's a him Rube? you never know some big strong women out there these days"
"It's a him, we just seem to be going round and round, these killings don't make sense "
" Life's a circle rube you know that and when did murder make any sense?"
"You know what I mean Richard" the use of his friends first name emphasised his seriousness.
"The mutilation of the face, why a cross? and why the damn clock? what the hell as 18.40 got to do with anything?"
"You will figure it Rueben that's what you do" a statement
"Yeah that's what I do, who's the victim Bambi?" .
"Names Joseph Ritson editor of the Evening Gazette made the Slasher front page news, guess he upset him"
"Ya don't say" replied Moon
"listen I gotta go Rube its 2.30 in the a.m. I will see you later at the station" they shook hands
"Yeah later Bam" replied Moon deep in thought.
Shortly after, Moon stepped back out into the early morning, gulped a big lungful of cold air and looked up to the dark January sky, not sure whether all the stars before his eyes were natural or man made, he felt in his pocket for the small whisky flask and aspirin, I must keep going he told himself.
Did you like what you saw moon you still have no idea who I am you pathetic mindless drunk, Yes drink , pop pills moon, for soon you are mine ,I am coming, for I am your shadow get it moon? shadow hee hee see you :message sent.
Moon drove west on Greylands Avenue but instead of turning south for Stockton and the station turned north on Norton Road through Norton village then turned west into Mill Street, ignoring his cell he did a u-turn and parked up outside number 3 and just sat staring at the house, one of about 20 terraces in the street. It stood dark and empty, the only light coming from an orange neon on the opposite side of the street making it appear haunted, which to Moon it was. He thought he saw movement and his heart raced for the briefest of moments, the damned light playing tricks on his eyes, he reached for the photo that sat on the dash, he struggled to focus on it and barely recognised himself it was only six months ago but to Moon seemed like an eternity. He stood outside all six feet four of him with a smile as big as an ocean, his hair as black as Whitby jet was thick and cruel , his dark eyes appeared red, like in so many snapshots, his big strong arms gently held his wife so as not to crush her she looked so delicate against him, her fair hair, green eyes and light skin gave her the look of a porcelain doll and he towered over her five two frame they stood outside their favourite eaterie Marie Lanzas in the small village of Yarm just south of Stockton. They were celebrating the first anniversary of living together, he looked at himself in the rear view mirror at his cruel hair the description his beautiful wife had given it after she had read a novel where some ones hair had been described as angry that tickled her so she thought of a word that described his, he had laughed then. So whenever they met friends she would say "Do you like Reuben's cruel hair" and chuckle, he turned back to the house the place they had shared for such a short time and began to sob. Number 3 Mill Street the location of the first crime scene .
Are you crying moon aww shame she will not come back I made sure of that didn't I moon? I started with her to get your attention I think I got that hee hee then the other four bodies moon they are the real clues if only you were smart like me hee hee that last one Moon that leech of creature he was an extra, people should learn not to call others names especially in newspapers for all the world to see, he won't any more will he moon hee hee All them tears moon your making a river hee hee get it moon? river hee hee see you :message sent.
Moon's cell beeped again, he jumped out the car and screamed at the cold starlit sky "Who The Hell Are You? What Do You Want From Me? Why Are You Doing This?" Silence: a few house lights came on so Moon got back in his car shaking with rage and drove to the small flat where he now lived.
Detective Sergeant Richard Dickinson sat at his desk looking up at the white board with the case information. Crime scene clean as a whistle. No prints: no transference for the forensics to pick up. Lividity showing the vic's were killed in situ. Several txt messages Moon had received. The mobile used, purchased by a Raymond Show. The names and addresses of the victims. Six mutilated bodies: Julia Jackson 3 Mill Street the first : John Watson 14 Trent Street: Stephen McWilliams 159 Leven Road: Jeffrey Holland 26 Dorset Road: Lewis Young 53 Albany Road: and finally Grant Goldsmith 58 Carmel Gardens Six corpses one of which Reuben knew personally and the other five murdered in some kind of sick calling card for Moon it seemed, Moon was right nothing made any sense at all. DS Dickinson pulled out the note Moon had slipped into his hand at the crime scene.
Mark Smith 1967 find brothers address: and do initial check. Move everyone else to my enquiries then have everyone's rota explained.
He typed Mark Smith into the police computer but nothing came up not to be deterred he went to the gazette web site and into archives sure enough he got a hit within minutes.
Fridays issue 1967, A ten year old boy has been found dead on the freight line running from Hardwick to Norton extensive tests needed to be carried out to identify the boy due to the state of the corpse, it appears the boy had been jumping on and off the freight wagons as they entered the depot possibly resulting form a game of chicken which is a regular occurrence to gain kudos amongst the other young boys in the area, his brother Daniel who is currently in ST. Luke's mental hospital is said to be inconsolable, police treating it as a tragic accident.
So it went on condemning the rail company for lack of security and fencing. Dickinson had what he needed the name of a brother. He typed the name into the police computer. He got a hit. Daniel Smith: address 10 Nicholson Street Portrack: aged 42 Spent most of his years in and out of institutions medical as well as criminal. Iq 164 common sense probably equal a border line case according to the psychiatrists reports of which there were many. No record of employment: no record of benefit claims: Dickinson wondered how Smith managed to live, there again a 164 iq he probably owns a bank.
Reuben lay on the couch of the flat he now rented in a run down area where he was in the minority, he was midway between rem sleep and awake when his cell bombarded his subconscious and jolted him from one nightmare to another "Yeah moon" "Rube its Bambi got a name and number"
"Go ahead Bam" all Moons senses moved to a higher state of alert
"Ok, Danny Smith 10 Nicholson Street Stockton" as the words were spoken Moons whole body shook he never realised he had spoken until his friend said "Rube you ok?"
"Er yeah Bam, sorry" then his cell died.
DS Dickinson replaced the phone and almost jumped when PC Urquhart appeared along side him. "Jeez Colin ya trying to scare me to death?" "Sorry Bambi I was just finishing up and heard you speaking to Moon wondered if there's anything I can do to help?" "Naw everything is in hand I just gave Rube a lead, any way Col that's me I'm off home cya in the a.m."
"It is a.m. Bambi"
"Oh! Yeah cya today then" Bambi said goodnight to the desk sergeant and left the station house walked to the car park unlocked his Astra then the world suddenly changed, for some reason his head felt numb, the deck appeared to be closing in on him in slow mo, he felt a cold liquid run down his neck then nothing.
So you know now moon I'll be waiting for you and when I am finished I will hang you From a beam hee hee get it moon? Beam : see you message not sent.
WPC Jean White was tired, eleven straight hours on the beat dealing with neighbours from hell: kids with at least a dozen asbos each : missing dogs : two burglaries and a drunk. Strange that just today the local crime figures came out and sure enough stated they were down, rubbish, ever since she became a cop crime had steadily increased and gotten much more violent, many a time she phoned in sick for the fear in her got worse, she didn't think she could take it any longer, when she first came into the force there was always two cops on the beat but now with cuts and more cuts she found herself alone more often than not, time to move on she thought for the umpteenth time, yeah I mean it this time her mind echoed. Deep in thought she turned into church street and almost smashed into a man running passed her "Hey" she screamed at him "Watch where you're going will you" she thought she heard him reply with an expletive but too tired she let it go, what the hell proves my point anyhow, passing the library she could see the station lit up, a place of warmth and security, her body physically relaxed at the sight. The desk sergeant was visible through the glass panelled front doors and has she went to enter a noise stopped her in her tracks she heard it again and instantly mace at the ready ran to the car park, she saw him
"Bambi is that you? lie still, don't move" she ran toward the station door for help, yeah crimes definitely down she thought. Not.
You thought I never saw the note you passed moon you still think your smarter, I see every thing you do like a great bright light illuminating every thing you do, light moon get it? moon light hee hee : see you message not sent.
Moon pulled up at the row of shops which were the gateway to Nicholson street they were all shuttered up and bathed in shadow. Nicholson street itself looked bleak and void of life, houses stretched out on both sides of the street like two opposing armies ready to do battle at any time soon. Odd numbers on the right and even numbers on the left from some past memory a seaman's phrase appeared in Moons mind (no red port left even) number ten an even number was within sight on the left, nothing appeared to be moving but that went for the whole street so it didn't help. Only one way to find out if any one was in and hopefully put an end to this nightmare for good thought Moon.
From a bedroom window a angry figure watched, the last two text messages had not been received, never the less the game was almost at an end Moon was here at last, one more rainbow to make thought the figure.
Jack Brown returned to the station, said to the desk sergeant "Where is he?"
"In the rec room governor, he'll be ok
" In the recreation room DS Dickinson sat on a chair holding an ice pack to the back of his head WPC Jean White was in attendance making what looked like tea. "Never seen a thing gov" "That's alright Bambi, did he take the bait?" "Yes sir, armed response SO19 are there now and ready to move." "Right I better get down there," as an afterthought he said "Jean don't mollycoddle him he'll have you cooking breakfast for him". "I don't mind that sir" she said with a smile DCI Brown looked back at Bambi winked at him and watched him turn red, DCI Brown laughed then left.
Moon cautiously walked up to the front door of 10 Nicholson Street and saw it was slightly ajar, with a big intake of breath he entered. Darkness filled the house. He pulled a torch from his trench coat pocket and switched it on, the beam moved in the darkness like a Colditz searchlight. To the left were stairs leading to upper bedrooms Moon knew this having been brought up in exactly the same styled house, in a macabre sense it almost reminded him of coming home. A hallway ran from the front door for about twenty feet to a partitioned wall, from the hallway two rooms fed off, one near where he now stood led to the living room the other further along led off to a dining room which from memory Moon knew led to a kitchen, he half expected his mother to appear with a plate of freshly cooked biscuits he could almost smell them, a faint sound jolted him back to the now.
Fighting a build up of fear he opened the door to the living room slowly, as he was about to enter, a sound of music held him in place it came from upstairs, he moved to the bottom stair looked up to the top landing a feeling of dread over powered him. Moon argued mentally with himself he wanted the killer so badly, more than anything he had ever wanted and yet the fear made him want to run out of the front door and keep going and not look back, this thought made him feel ashamed he mentally rebuked himself then started upwards a torch his only weapon. At the top of the stairs Moon noticed a faint light beneath what he new was the front master bedroom he went toward it, the music suddenly stopped, a floor board creaked ever so slightly, he stopped, listened. Nothing He continued, reaching the door he swapped the torch to his left hand and gripped the door handle with his right, turned it anti-clockwise then pushed it inwards slowly, in the bedroom a double divan faced him, the light came from a small bedside lamp, Moon entered the room every sinew of his body on high alert he felt in his pocket for a bit of Dutch courage but his flask was empty, on either side of the bed were a set of wardrobes he didn't need to check, the doors were wide open showing empty clothes rails. As he moved further in he saw a record player placed on the floor just below the front window, the turntable revolving, the needle stuck on the end of the vinyl refusing to return to it's place of rest. He moved to turn it off and felt a presence behind him he began to turn but was caught with a blow to the side of his head, it sent him spinning, he collapsed on the bed facing up to the ceiling with blood running down his face he looked toward his attacker.
Colin Urquhart stood with a bloodied pistol in his hand pointing it straight at Moons head. "Hello Reuben"
"Colin or is it Raymond" answered Moon
"Whatever, I've waited six months for this moment Moon and here you are all by your lonesome right bang in front of me there surely is a god." "Colin bad things have happened but it's not too late, give it up."
"Shut up Moon, she didn't need to die, it's all your fault, now say goodbye to this world for vengeance is mine ." Colin Urquhart pulled back the trigger.
The sound of the shot echoed round the room. Moon watched as Colin Urquhart's head exploded from a single shot from a S.A. 80, his body defied gravity for all of 3 seconds then crumpled backward to the floor. Within moments the rest of the armed response team piled into the room making the area safe. Moon sat on the back of a ambulance which was parked out side the house a medic finishing off a bandage "That should do it" said the medic "Thanks" replied moon
DCI Brown approached from the house, "How you feeling Reuben?" The use of his first name was not lost on him "I'll be fine gov" Just then a car pulled up and out jumped DS Dickinson "Hey rube." "Hey bam" "We look like a couple of Apaches with these bandages on our heads Rube" "How" "Ha Ha, what you say I take you for a big mug of strong coffee I know a café that's open" "Yeah sounds good" said Moon
"Then both of you get cleaned up you're a disgrace to the force DCI Brown gave them a stern look before walking away he stopped after a few steps turned and said "Good work" then carried on back to the house to direct operations. Moon and Bambi looked at each other and laughed.
Ten past six in the morning and it was still dark and cold The melba bar café was light and warm. Moon and his friend shared a table, a mug of coffee parked on a napkin in front of them, only one other person occupied the café so it was quiet and a good time to talk. Bambi started it off "So Rube how did you know?"
"I had this thought but it was too out there to even contemplate then you finally convinced me."
"Me? How? pardon the pun."
" Let me start at the start Bam.
The first txt, the spacing in the word (past ell )not to mention the double L Well I put in a aitch and knew it was something way back PAST HELL
There was also something in the way their faces had been mutilated but I couldn't put my finger on it, then you mentioned the word circle and it all fit."
"You've lost me Rube"
"Give me your napkin and a pen" "The clock and the time 18.40: twenty to seven; 22/7, a fraction I remembered from school, then there was the mobile phone bought by a Raymond Show, Ray Show, get it…. Ratio…., Moon continued to scrawl on the napkin, then I looked at the house numbers of the vics. no.3,no.14,no.159,no.26,no.53,no.58,putting them together 314159265358 see?"
"Those are the first twelve numbers of PI"
"Oh…. Ohhh!!!! I think I'm getting it said Bambi, that thing with radius's and circumferences of a circle, but what about the mutilations where do they come in?"
"The name I gave you to check up on"
"Yeah Mark Smith"
"Yeah, well when we were kids he was known as The Pie for the simple reason his mother baked the best pies you'd ever taste and when Mark brought one out he used to cut a cross shape in the pastry, fold it back and eat the filling first everybody in the estate knew him as The Pie.
"So… yeah! ,with you so far, but what the hell as it got to do with you?"
"I was there Bam"
"At the freight depot I was with him when it happened I remember being so scared I left him lying there and ran as fast as I could home that has stayed with me ever since"
"Jeez Rube you were only 10 years old for goodness sake."
"It doesn't help any" Moon reached into his coat pocket for his flask took it out and realised for the umpteenth time it was already empty so set it down on the table.
"Firewater make big chief plenty crazy" said Bambi trying to lighten the mood.
Moon looked across at him and forced a smile.
"How did you guess at Colin" continued Bambi
"It was obvious to every one the Slasher knew exactly where I was all the time so it had to be some one close agreed"? "Agreed."
"So I went back to the txt messages where I had already found one clue and guess what it was staring at me the whole time, the txt messages always ended SEE YOU, moon scribbled two letters on the napkin C U "Colin Urquhart, if we look further into his background we'll probably find out his real name is Daniel Smith, Mark's elder brother."
"Was his name, he's dead remember?"
"I might make a detective out of you yet Bam"
"I must say Rube you re right ,this is way out there, you're one spooky brave dude."
"Aint that a fact?"
The front bedroom window of Number nine Nicholson street was the perfect vantage point to see the ongoing police operation at number ten. The lonely figure watched as the body of PC Colin Urquart was carried out on a gurney. with a smug smile on his face the lone figure pulled out the piece of paper taken off moons' idiot friend from his pocket unfolded it, he read it again only this time the note had been decoded mark smith 1967 find brothers address . and do initial check. (M)ove (e)veryone (e)lse (t)o (m)y (e)nquiries (t)hen (h)ave (e)veryone's (r)ota (e)xplained "That's so lame moon whispered the figure.
Moon woke up checked the bedside clock he did a double take the digital display read 18.30 p.m. he'd slept for almost 12 hours solid, he got out of bed dressed only in his boxers and headed straight to the kitchen, switched on the kettle, unplugged his cell which was now fully charged and automatically checked for txt messages, as he did so it rang causing him to jump almost dropping the damn thing in the sink which happened to be full of dirty water and dishes.
"Hello Rueben" said the voice
"No just listen Rueben I want a divorce then I'm going away for good I wanted you to know. There was a brief silence then she continued, don't try to find me I will never ever forgive you, but I do hope the rest of your life is not too painful bye Rueben." "Sarah…. Sarah wait" the line went dead.
Moon stared at the cell with tears in his eyes. A banging at his door drew his attention, moving like a broken man he opened the door.
"Rube we got a problem" said Bambi .
Trying to compose himself Moon summoned up all his will power and replied "what is it Bam"
"We just found this photograph in Colin's work desk" he lifted it for moon to see. Moon's world imploded he couldn't speak. "We did a check Rube, Julia Jackson's maiden name was Urquart she was Colin's sister, he rented 10 Nicholson street from the estate agency Manners and Harrison they were acting on behalf of a.."
"Let me guess said Moon Raymond Show."
"In one." The last moments with Colin flooded back to moon "She didn't need to die." that's what Colin had said, it seemed strange to me at the time but i let it pass thinking nothing of it. Moon staggered to the sofa and dropped heavily into it. Bambi followed him into the flat.
"Looks like he blamed you for his sister's death"
"It was my fault Bam I told you the story Sarah was visiting her parents I went down to the George and Dragon had a couple of drinks ended up taking Julia home, the thing is nothing happened I got called out, she fell asleep on the sofa, Sarah came back early and found her mutilated in our bed, don't ask me why I did what I did but I got a woman killed and destroyed the only person I ever loved, it's me who's the monster in all this, nobody else."
"I don't condone what you did Rube and this will haunt you for the rest of your life and time won't change that but I'm your friend and we still have a killer to catch"
Just then Moon's cell beeped. Moon picked it up looked at the screen, it read You Have One New Message. The time was 18.40 p.m.