nineteen

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
a short snippet from an unfinished story...

Submitted: November 06, 2018

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Submitted: November 06, 2018

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The only thing each crime scene shared was a series of numbers crudely inscribed somewhere like graffiti, usually using the victim’s newly-spilt blood as their paint. Not smeared in rage, but brushed with care, dabbed on an open wound as if it was a palette by an executioner-turned-illustrator. One unfortunate young man’s fingers and toes were severed and violently nailed to the wall to form the seemingly random numbers 278. Besides a few unremarkable similarities, the murders were only consistent in their inconsistency.

So far, seven of the deceased have been identified as having been sexually assaulted prior to their death, yet 21-year old Instagram ‘Influencer’ Maggie Gennaro was burned, brutalised and dismembered before dying of her injuries, but not abused sexually. Given the severity of the injuries suffered by those who were ‘saved’ rape, many of the appalled Police Officers sat in this Briefing Room had wondered if many of the victims were given some sort of ultimatum: ‘fuck or get fucked up’. And those who fucked, definitely wouldn’t have regretted their fucking decision.

From the first reported missing person, to the discovery of the last body, only 38 hours had passed. Wheelchair-bound Susan Agecroft was found by her husband with a kitchen knife harboured in her throat like a space craft only stopping to refuel, sat otherwise undisturbed on their 2nd floor balcony with a beetroot and kale smoothie moustache still lining her top lip. It seemed to D.C.I Clancy, the only certainties at this point were that one person did not murder 19 people in one weekend. A group? A cult? Maybe. He didn’t know and judging by the barking and hollering coming from the rabble of senior police gathered around him, they didn’t either.

The sheer logistical scale of this attack suggests thorough planning and collaborative effort, but for what common goal? The first body was found in Crewe, the next two near Durham, while Susan Agecroft blended her last smoothie in Reading. Adult men and women aged 19 – 38, no kids or elderly. Not one solid witness in any of the cases and no one saw anything, anywhere. Except, of course, the numbers.

Clancy continued to drown out their noise, trying to build some semblance of a picture in his mind and figure out just how he was going to explain his theory, until a distinct and indelicate voice ruptured the haze. “Patrick. Do we have a map yet?” Waiting for the din to quieten and still hoping dearly that the Captain meant Paddy from security or anyone else other than him, Clancy continued to appear oblivious until he absolutely had to respond.

“He’s doing his Dustin Hoffman thing again, Sir.” declared Sergeant Parejo with his usual heavy-helping of spite. There was a restrained suggestion of laughter in parts of the room as all eyes gradually fell on D.C.I Clancy.

“Well I’m certainly not trying to seduce you Mrs Robinson,” Clancy replied in a voice no louder than normal but strangely audible despite the noise. Still with head down, staring at the same square inch of linoleum flooring, he added, “Or have I got the wrong movie Ernesto?” The laughter was much less restrained now and those eyes were now fixed on the reddening jowls of Ernesto Parejo.

Restoring order to proceedings but enraged himself, Captain Hickock shouted, “This aint no fucking movie lads. Now, shut fuck up the lot o’ya. Do we have a map yet for fuck’s sake? I want to see where these people were killed. There’s not been a dead body found since Monday night so by God, lets all fuckin hope that’s the last.”

“It’s the last one for now boss.” The room fell silent. Not in stages or a gradual hush. Noise stopped dead immediately after Clancy spoke up. For maybe a minute, no one said anything. Mouths were contorted and lips pressed as though about to ask a question, but no one did. Instead, Clancy continued. “Something about the number 19. It’s not just a gimmick, or a calling card…its something more.”

This time the silence was broken much more eagerly, as the briefing room suddenly took on the look of a classroom at carpet time with hands raised like masts and questions ready to burst from their inflated faces. As one of the children rather than the teacher, the Captain asked, “How do you know that?”

 

Clancy showed them the map.


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