Merciful Parricide - An E.N Investigation

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic

The first story of a new series I'm starting, starring criminal psychologist and brilliant minded detective, Emory Niles. Join Detective Niles as he investigates the uncanny murder of a wealthy couple in an abandoned mansion.



Detective Emory Nile stepped into the affluent living room and was instantly hit with the overwhelming stench of death, the room reeked of bodily fluids and rotting food. Emory glanced at the antique card table that held two cups of spoiled coffee and a plate of moldy bite sized fruitcakes. Beside the table lay two bodies in their bloating decay stage; a woman and a man. Emory bit the inside of his cheek thoughtfully as he inspected their ashen faces which were slowly melting into the carpet that looked like it had cost a fortune before it had been stained with blood and spilt coffee. He didn’t see any signs of injury apart from the light abrasion on the man’s head. However, he did see that there was a pool of dried up blood beneath the woman’s head though both their wounds had most likely been attained when they hit the ground.

‘Well Simon, give us something to work with,; Detective Sergeant Jay Holden said in exasperation after chasing away a swarm of pesky journalists. ‘I’ve had it up to my neck with the bloody media.’ Emory quirked an eyebrow and smirked lightly. The examiner, Simon, swallowed and looked at the scene quickly before giving his report.

‘We haven’t found any DNA from the killer yet. The couple have been here for about three to four days and I’d say they were poisoned. There were traces of asp venom found on the rims of the coffee mugs. The male died instantly from the venom, but his wife later died from blunt force trauma, possibly after experiencing the effects of the venom as she fell unconscious-’

‘I’m sorry,’ Detective Holden interrupted. ‘Asp venom. What is that?’

‘It’s the venom from venomous snakes, ones typically found in the Nile region in Eastern Africa,’ Emory replied. ‘It was a common use for the execution of criminals in ancient Egypt and Greece, aloso used for suicide. It was for those who were thought to be deserving of a more dignifying death. Apparently, Cleopatra allowed one of these asp snakes to bite her which led to her quick and painless death.’ Emory sniffed and gazed upon the dead couple with a sense of fascination, oblivious to the frowns the detective sergeant and forensic examiner sent his way.

‘I’m not going to even bother asking how and why you know all of that, but at least we now have a lead. The killer obviously got the venom from somewhere, he might have had access to snakes.’

‘Don’t use that word.’

‘What word?’

‘That word, “obviously”. I don’t like it. Nothing is ever as obvious as it seems, it’s a careless word to use. Also, how do you know that the killer is a he?’ Emory questioned, raising a quizzical brow. The Detective Holden rolled his eyes and shrugged.

‘Fine, he or she might have had access to snakes. That gives us a list of supposable sources; zoos and pet shops.’ 

‘He could have gotten them illegally,’ Emory suggested. ‘If he smuggled them that makes it even more difficult, but the bigger question is; what was the killer’s motive?’

‘Financial gain, obviously,’ Detective Holden said, annoying Emory once again.

‘Are we really sure about that?’ Emory asked with a grimace. ‘Why not just put a bullet in their heads, why not slit their throats? Instead, the killer chose to poison them with the venom of  a snake that was not only hard to aquire, but also using a technique typically selected for a swift and dignifying death. This was well planned and organized. Whatever our killer wanted besides the money was that the victims died distinguished deaths. It could have been a love-motivated homicide.’

‘Where is the love in this?’ Detective Holden inquired sceptically.

‘Well,’ Emory frowned and stared at the detective sergeant as if the answer was the most obvious thing in the world. ‘They didn’t suffer at all. Asp venom brings death without spasms or pain, but sleepiness and heaviness.

‘You overthink things too much. So, you’re saying that the killer knew the victims? Knew them well enough to kill them lovingly?’ Detective Holden said the last bit with a hint of salty sarcasm.

‘Exactly.’ Emory leaped gracefully over the bodies and examined the rim of a coffee mug on the card table. Simon made a small noise of protest at the back of his throat as Emory came dangerously close to trampling on the bodies. Detective Emory could get a bit off track, was easy to distract, and quite the slacker when it came to obeying the rules and regulations of visiting a crime scene. The phrases, “don’t do anything stupid”, “don’t interfere”, and “don’t touch the evidence” didn’t apply to Detective Emory, that was everyone’s perception on the eccentric detective.

‘It seems you were right, Jay,’ Emory called out suddenly as he crouched over something on the carpet. ‘Our killer is a he.’ 

‘How do you know?’ Detective Holden muttered, walking carefully towards the younger detective. Emory held up a short strand of pure, blonde hair with a gloved hand. Detective Holden bent down and squinted at it, trying to distinguish the strand to a strand of dog hair in his mind. Simon approached them, immediately plucking the evidence from Emoy’s fingertips and bagging it.

‘We’ll take it in for testing,’ Simon said. He then shouted over his shoulder at the other examiner leaning against a door. ‘Take a sample from the bodies, we’ll need it for a side by side comparison.’ Simon glanced at the bodies before stalking off in his usual, rushed manner.

‘Well, that’s completely unnecessary because that strand is blonde and their hair is black so there’s obviously no need for a “side by side comparison” test!’ Emory shouted after Simon. He glanced back at the detective sergeant. ‘Only I can say that word, because I’m always right,’ he said pointing to himself.

‘Nile,’ Detective Holden said sharply. ‘Calm down, zip it, we’re done here, okay? Now, we have a new detective joining us at the department and unfortunately for her, you’re the only one available to give her a quick tour of the building, okay? Try not to embarrass yourself, or her, of me, or anyone else in the department.’

‘But I-’


‘Alright, I’ll do it!’ Emory threw his arms up in surrender and huffed lightly. He left the room and hurried out the door. His shiny, black coupe awaited him at the front of the building. Emory halted abruptly as he opened the car door gazed up at the window of the Law Street Mansion and then he surveyed the empty street calculatingly. He sighed. This new detective better be worth his time. This case was exciting, it stood out from the rest of the homicides. It was almost like the killer wanted to be noticed. The possibility of a fame motivated killing forced itself into Emory’s mind but he quickly pushed it out. No, this was either a love-motivated killing, or a financial-motivated killing. Either way, it was a case that could be solved by him, and only him.




The new detective hadn’t exactly piqued Emory’s interest. She was boring, boring and did everything by the book. She had no imagination and spoke as if she had rehearsed everything she had said that day. It only took a couple paragraphs of conversation between them until Emory had left, bored out of his mind and in search of someone interesting to annoy. He made his way around the department, down the staircase that smelled like it had been showered in bleach and antiseptic. The whole department stank of metal tang and cleaning products. Emory skipped down the last set of steps, into the examination room.

The smell of antiseptic and tangy metal had thickened, but that could be explained by the stainless steel bench with a cart of fragile test tube racks, flasks, tongs, and some clear rubber gloves. On the bench were two figures with separate sheets draped over them. There was a flickering blue light on the ceiling that glowed weakly, giving the white walls a pale blue appearance. A faint smell of decay floated into the room briefly as Emory edged his way around the room, sticking close to the wall. He could hear Simon muttering to himself, fiddling with scalpels noisily. He was most likely about to perform an autopsy on that couple who had been poisoned with asp venom. 

‘Hello, Simon,’ Emory said suddenly in a loud voice. Simon startled and nearly dropped the tiny scalpel he was holding. Simon breathed out a gush of air and shook his head subtly to himself.

‘What do you want?’ Simon said in annoyance as he prepared to make a small slice over the head of the female’s body.

‘Nothing much, have you found out anything more about the case?’

‘No, and even if I did, I wouldn't tell you.’ 

‘Why is that?’

‘Because I don’t trust you.’

‘Have I ever given you a reason to not trust me?’

‘Plenty of times.’ With a flick of his wrist, Simon made a clean cut along the head where the cerebellum was hidden. Emory noticed that Simon had shaved both their heads. Simon continued to cut along the back of the head, from the right ear to the left. Not a drop of blood was spilt. Simon then proceeded to carefully grip the layer of skin he had cut and pulled it over the head, covering the victim’s face. Emory caught sight of the brain, which had a purple bruise blooming over the side. The victim must have experienced some sort of concussion. 

‘Where is that hair sample?’ Emory asked suddenly, startling Simon again. 

‘Someplace,’ Simon answered vaguely. Emory frowned at him. ‘That drawer over there,’ Simon finally uttered. Emory walked over to the steel cupboard that Simon gestured at. He pulled a drawer open and found a bunch of flasks and clear zip-lock bags filled with hair strands and layers of skin.  ‘It’s in one of the bags labelled ‘28’, I think.’

‘Found it.’ Emory snatched a bag out of the drawer and inspected it. His eyebrows knitted together in confusion. Hadn’t the strand of hair been blonde? ‘This isn’t it.’

‘Yes it is,’ Simon replied quickly in frustration. 

‘No, it’s not,’ Emory answered back in defiance. ‘The strand of hair I found had been blonde, almost white. Why is this one light brown?’ 

‘It was never blonde, it’s brown.’ Simon brushed his hair out of his face and huffed out a shaky breath.

‘Nope, it was always blonde. You can ask Jay.’

‘It probably changed colour after I dropped some chemicals over it, no big deal.’

‘Oh yes? Did you run a DNA scan over it yet?’


‘Let me see the results then,’ Emory commanded, holding his hand out. Simon stopped cutting and glanced at Emory. 


‘Where were you three nights ago?’ Emory demanded abruptly.

‘What do you mean?’

‘Three nights ago, you didn’t show up to a meeting. One of our staff searched the whole building for you and she couldn’t find you. Were you anywhere else that particular day?’

‘I don’t know why you’re asking me all these questions,’ Simon laughed nervously. ‘It’s all completely unnecessary.’

‘Is it? Is it unnecessary? Especially when you were missing on the day that those people had been murdered, that you won’t give me the test results, that the hair strand I found is missing, and that you happen to have the exact same colour hair as the strand we found at the scene? I presume you don’t have an alibi for that day, do you?’

‘I was sick, I had gone to the clinic. Is it illegal to not show up at work because I’m sick?’

‘Then I assume that if I ask your doctor about you being sick then he’ll confirm it?’

‘He’s away now, he’s gone on vacation.’

‘What’s his name?’ Emory squinted at Simon as he stumbled over his own words. ‘Uh huh, that’s what I thought. You wouldn’t mind if we took this to the detective sergeant, would you?’

Simon placed his scalpel on the surgical tray beside him calmly, shedding the rubbery, green gloves off his hands. Again, he picked up the scalpel and inspected it in a cool, calculating manner. He suddenly gripped it tightly and flung it at Emory violently.

Emory dodged to the side, the scalpel grazing his arm and cutting through his trench coat. Simon snarled and dragged the tray towards himself then hurled it across the room, knocking Emory down. 

‘In a few minutes, Detective Sergeant Jay Holden won’t exist, and neither will any other officer of the NYPD.’ He broke into a run, stumbling past the benches and sprinting up the stairs.

Emory thought quickly, Detective Holden and the team were still at Law Street Mansion. There were officers, Squad 9,  surrounding the mansion and if Emory warned them, they might still be able to catch Simon. He ripped his com link out of his pocket and put it up to his face.

‘Mayday, Mayday, Squad 9, do you copy? Over.’

‘Detective Niles, we copy. What’s the problem? Over.’

‘Suspect is en route to Law Street Mansion. Suspect is Simon Elwood and is possibly armed. Over.’


Emory slammed the door of his coupe, cocked his gun, and rushed up the front steps of Law Street Manor. He was prepared to kick the door down when a loud, ear-splitting noise sounded from above. A shower of glass rained over Emory and a large object landed beside him on the concrete with a dull thud. Emory looked down, only to see Simon laying dead beside him, bloodshot eyes wide open and a gunshot wound in the center of his chest. He stumbled back in alarm and gazed up at the window. Detective Holden was staring down at him with a similar expression.

‘You alright?’ Emory called up.

‘Yep,’ Detective Holden said, dazed. ‘You?’

‘I’m good. What happened?’

‘He made it past the squad.’

‘Oh,’ Emory replied. So Squad 9 wasn’t as reliable as they said they were. 

Detective Holden appeared at the front door, followed by the rest of the team. ‘That couple, right? They were Mr and Mrs Elwood Simon’s parents.

‘He killed his own parents?’

‘We don’t know much yet, one of the officers shot him before Simon could explain enough to make sense, but I’m pretty sure this is what you’d classify as a revenge motivated killing. Apparently Simon’s parents were responsible for the death of a family next door as well as their twelve year old daughter, Stella Elwood, who happened to be having a sleepover at the neighbors that night. They were accidentally killed by a fire set by Mr and Mrs Elwood when they were burning log piles. It was late at night, the family and Stella Elwood were asleep and the fire just got out of hand. It burnt the house down.’ Detective Holden nodded in the direction of an empty expanse of land next to the mansion that had nothing more than a mere pile of bricks and black stones. ‘Mr and Mrs Elwood took the blame, and got ten years. Simon hated them for it and thought the penalty wasn’t long enough for the crime. After they got out, Simon avoided them as much as he could. I’m guessing Simon eventually took matters into his own hands and killed them. He said it was his “mercy” to them. That’s how he explained it, it was all very vague. If you ask me I’d say he wasn’t in his right mind. Then he blamed the NYPD for it all, saying that if they had gotten a longer and more suitable sentence they would still be alive. I don’t know how that works.’

‘And the snakes? Where’d he get them?’ 

‘Found an enclosure in what looked like a child’s bedroom. My guess is that Simon kept them as pets when he was little, that’s how he got them in the first place.’

‘I see.’ Emory looked at Simon. He found it fascinating; all the things that people did out of love. He hoped he would never have to understand it. He’d never let love or emotion cloud over his better judgement. 

‘I guess we better wrap this up,’ Detective Holden said. Emory nodded slowly and watched as two officers lifted Simon’s body off the ground and carried him to an ambulance. 

‘I’ll see you at the department.’ Emory gave a side smile at Detective Holden and stepped into his coupe. He gave the tall, intimidating building a last look before he stomped on the accelerator and powered down the slippery, snow covered streets of New York.




Submitted: November 07, 2020

© Copyright 2020 Starless Moonlight. All rights reserved.

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