Chapter 1: Secrets of a Torturer

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

Reads: 246
Comments: 2

The man was dressed in all black from head to toe. He wore Latex gloves to leave no trace of finger prints. The room was cold, below freezing, and pitch dark. Draylin tried to see through the impossible darkness but he could see the white of the man’s gloves. He struggled against the white nylon ropes that bound him to the steel table. He could feel the freezing metal through his thin clothes. The man in black was fidgeting with sterile tools on another steel slab. Draylin could see various types of tools: saws, scalpels, scissors and more. He kept struggling, attempting to speak, which made the man chuckle.

"Those ropes are very strong, boy. There's simply no way for you to...escape." the man said, adding sick pleasure on the last word. A shiver went through Dray's spine.

"What do you want with me?" Dray asked, unnaturally calm. Silence.

"You will feel no pain, son. It will be over before you know it." the man stepped closer, switching a light on over Dray's slab. He could see the man’s face which was an inhuman sight he would never forget. His skin was translucent and paper thin. His lips were thin, deep crimson lines painted across his face. His eyes were the most intimidating. They wore a deep crimson with splashes of orange which flashed black when he smiled. At last, he raised a tool, a scalpel. As he placed it on Dray's skin, he slowly fell into unconsciousness.

10 years later

Draylin sat up in bed, surrounded by white linen, the fluffy comforter stuck to his sweaty palms. The nightmare came back yet again, the nightmare that has plagued him since he was seventeen. Dray climbed out of bed, his curly black hair falling into his eyes. He passed by a hall mirror, showing the scars that will never fade. The most noticeable was on his face which went from the bottom of his left eye to the tip of his lip, where the man in black tried to cut it out but failed. He shut the memories away and took a quick shower. When hefinished he ate breakfast and hurried to work. Dray was a private investigator. He knew since he was seventeen that this is what he wanted to be, to catch the man that did this to him. He knew the man in black wasn't going to just stop with him. He'd looked into missing persons cases that go back to nineteen eighty four, the year he was born. Each missing person’s case was similar to what he'd been through. Deep slits from a scalpel, bits of flesh missing, body parts removed and replaced by homemade prosthetics. He also noticed something else. All of the Man in Blacks victims--lost and found--had names that begin with "Dr." Most victims were males but some were females. Dray knew this guy wasn't going to stop, unless he either died or was caught and put behind bars. He raised his paper coffee cup to his lips, the overpriced, watered down liquid flowed into his dry mouth. Why does this world have serial killers? He thought to himself. Psychopaths? Why can't everyone be normal?

"'Cause normal's boring." he said aloud to his empty office. He set the stack of files aside and rubbed his dark green eyes. He needed some kind of lead to know who this man was so he could finally catch him. Serial killers are usually loners, always doing things on their own, so things would get done. They would stay on the down low, so they would be the last person people would suspect. They would cover their tracks so the authorities wouldn't be able to follow.

Dray leaned back in his desk chair and checked his e-mail. Most, as always, was junk. People trying to sell him things but one, caught his eye. The subject was labeled "1984."

Dray read the short letter quickly. He assumed it was from the Man in Black. It read:

Dear Mr. Cooper,

I've known for a while now what you've busied your time with, searching for someone who doesn't want to be found. I advise you to stop looking for that person or what happened to you ten years ago will happen again--this time worse.

The e-mail sent chills down his spine. How would he--or whoever--sent this e-mail know that he's been looking? Dray had been very discreet in his searches, following serial killers guidelines; leaving no trace whatsoever. Whatever the cost, he was going to have to be more careful. He created a folder, unlabeled, and saved the e-mail there, for further research. Dray glanced at his watch. It read eight twenty six. The day wasted away! Dray decided to call it a night and packed his things away for the night. He logged of his computer and shut it down. As he grabbed his suit case, he heard a car engine outside his office window. It was barely drizzling, but just enough for the woman driving, run across the parking lot to his office. She banged loudly on the door, making it quiver. Dray crossed his office in two long strides. Though his office wasn't that big, the size of a college dorm, possibly smaller. It was crammed with a large desk, file cabinets and a swivel chair. He swung the door open and the girl ran inside, slamming and locking it behind her. She was breathless. Her thin, damp hair clinging to her face. Her leafy colored eyes huge, frozen with fear. She looked barely seventeen.

"What's wrong?" Dray asked, looking her over. That's when he noticed the splatters of blood on her clothes and skin. "What happened to you?" The girl tried to speak but finally gave up because she couldn't. She sobbed silently but soon recovered a little.

"Listen," Dray said, gently taking hold of her shoulders and getting eye level to her. "My name is Draylin Cooper. I'm a private investigator. I see that you can't speak but I need to know what happened to you. Do you think you can write it down?" The girl looked into Dray's eyes then nodded. He led her to his desk chair and gave her a writing pad and a pen. Immediately she started writing.

A man tried to kill me.

"Who? Who tried to kill you?" Dray asked. She shrugged. "Describe him to me." he said. The girl thought for a moment then began to scribble again.

He told me that it wouldn't hurt, that it would be over soon.

"Describe him to me, please."

Black. He wore nothing but black and Latex gloves.

Suddenly, Dray's world stood still. He'd waited ten years to get a lead on the Man in Black but never got one. Until now.

"What did he do to you?" Dray asked. The girl began to sob again. She held up her right hand, she was writing with her left. The middle and ring finger were gone, nothing left but blood rigid nubs. Nausea flooded over Dray. "What else?" She gestured to her wet and bloody blue jeans. There were three long slits across each of her thighs. The lowest one, closest to her knees were the shallowest. Dray could only see shredded muscle. He assumed the highest one; you could see bones along with muscle. Dizziness accompanied his nausea.

"Come on, I'm going to take you to a hospital." Dray said, standing. "What's your name?"

The girl finally spoke, "Dresha." Her voice was shaky and scared. Dray felt pity for her, what she'd been through. He led her out of his office and helped her into his car. They were at the local hospital in less than ten minutes. Soaking wet, they entered the hospital. The receptionist glanced at them then called for emergency help. A moment later, nurses-male and female-came with a wheelchair and led them both back into separate rooms. There they were asked questions about what happened. Dray, unfortunately could give no helpful information about what had happened to the petite dark haired lady in the next room. He only repeated that he saw Dreesha run out of her car in the rain to get to the safety of his office. He told them what she had informed him of; otherwise he was of no help.

The doctors cleaned and bandaged all of Dresha's physical wounds. The mental ones, however, were going to need therapy. Dray was allowed to see her when everything was properly dressed. He lightly knocked on her door, and with response walked in. Dreesha was given clean clothes: gray sweatpants and a white hospital tee shirt. He hair had partially dried, the truly waves tucked behind her ears, stray hairs fell into her face though. She was slumped over, her eyes staring but seeing nothing. He skin looked ghostly pale and fragile, as if something were to touch her, she would shatter in a million tiny pieces.

"How are you feeling?" Dray asked, settling in the chair beside her. She didn't move.

She sighed, "I suppose you would like to know what happened?" Dray made no response, just sat and waited for her to tell her story. "It was dark, in the room he kept me in and extremely cold. He kept me on a steel slab and kept his tools on a separate one. I was there at least three weeks, maybe more. Each day he would make tiny slices in my skin or he'd cut chunks off or--" she paused, on the verge of tears. "Or he'd cut off body parts. That was the worst. He never gave any anesthetic. I felt everything. He wanted me to feel everything. Then he'd cauterize the wounds. He said it was necessary, so I wouldn't die of infection, but it was so terrible, no, beyond terrible."

"This man-he is completely evil. He has no mercy, no soul. Someone needs to find him-quick." Dreesha yawned and asked if she could rest. Dray agreed, he knew she needed it.

He checked with Dresha’s nurse and told her he'd be back later. Then, he got in his car and drove back to his office to pick up the missing persons files. By then, the sky let its wrath fall from an unburned charcoal colored sky. He sprinted from his car to his office door. Inside his folders lay, untouched, just as he'd left them. He thought for a moment and decided not to work in his office but instead at his house. He snatched the files and raced back to his car. Rolls of thunder roared above him. He followed the roads to his house. The thunder and lightning died down a little but the rain still hammered the Earth. His house, however, was quiet and dry. Once inside, he wriggled out of his coat and hung it on a coat rack. He cleared the kitchen table of what little that sat there and ordered the missing persons files by date. Twenty four missing person’s cases in the last twenty eight years, each matching the man in black's requirements. He studied the dates that the people were supposedly taken. Each date was at least six months, or less, apart. He looked at the ages, every one of the victims were seventeen. He'd looked over these files numerous times. He knew them like the back of his hand. What am I missing? He thought. There’s got to be something that I'm missing. In this perpetual state of mind, he remembered something from an old TV show: "You may be focusing too much on the suspect, trying to figure out what their next move is. Instead, focus on their origin." Dray looked at the files again and a spark of an idea set a tiny flame in his mind. He searched his house for a map and pinned it on a bare wall, away from any prying eyes. He started plotting all the addresses of the victims, starting from the first going until the last. When he finished, he noticed the addresses formed a complete circle. He studied the map and concluded that the killer must live in the central vicinity of the circle.

Dray sighed, after ten years of non-stop searching when he finally stumbled on a lead-better yet, the lead stumbled upon him. Hopefully this lead, led to justice. He wanted to search the houses that were in a thirty mile range of the center of the circle. Unfortunately, the sky still cried bitter tears outside and there was no way possible he could cover that amount of area by himself. He needed outside help.

The next morning, Dray contacted a few fellow FBI agents that were looking for easy work. They all agreed to be discreet and wise in their searches while Dray agreed to do the same. Outside the rain left behind large puddles along the cement sidewalk. The air, humid from the ferocious storm. The bright golden sun shone a little over the far tree line. Dray busied him mind thinking of what the man in black would attempt to do next. The date that the last victim was taken was the second of October of the previous year. Something weird bugged Dray. The last victim, before Dreesha, resembled Dray, standing at six foot three inches, with a shock of thick black hair and enticing green eyes. Dray was wondering how the man in black managed to torture two victims at the same time when someone knocked forcefully on the door. Dray brushed his things aside; to be sure it couldn't be seen. In the door way stood a man between the ages of forty and fifty but surprisingly had a head full of this coarse black hair, like Dray's with the exception of shocks of ash in it. He was tall but a little shorter than Dray with an athletics body. That fact seemed odd to Dray as he studied the man.

"Hello," the man said in a powerful tone, "Draylin Cooper, I presume." The man had a thick British accent but Dray detected other languages in his clear cut voice.

"Good morning." Dray replied. The man stared at him for a while, like he had forgotten why he'd come here.

"I am Agent Beuford. I was hired by a Mr. Mackfire."

Oh. "Excuse my manners. Come inside." Dray stepped away from the door, "Make yourself comfortable."

Agent Beuford sat casually on the leather sofa closest to the door.

"Would you like something to eat or drink, sir?"

"No, thank you. This meeting will have to be rather short. I'm on a schedule."

Dray nodded and the Agent cleared his throat, "About your case, Mr. Mackfire gave me little information on what it is exactly you are looking for. Would you care to explain it to me?"

Dray explained what he wanted of the agent and asked him the same he'd asked the others. When he was finished, the agent agreed and they both stood for his departure.

"I should contact you fairly soon, Mr. Cooper." The Agent said, "And do be careful. Things that do not want to be found, usually stay hidden." He gave Dray a stone cold look then walked out and Dray was left to close the door behind him.

The agent’s advice chilled Dray's blood. Something about Agent Beuford wasn't quite right. Later that day, Dray received calls from other Agents telling him different houses that could be the home of the man in black. They agreed to meet soon and hung up. An hour later, three agents by the names of Smith, Barnes, and Roberts showed up at his door step. They chatted for a while then agreed on heading to the six houses that were closest to the center of the circle he'd drawn.

The first house was a plain beige colored modern day two story house that had an overgrown yard but clean Ford Expedition. Agent Barnes, the youngest of the crew next to Dray was 24, fresh out of the academy. He had light blonde hair with light brown streaks, which matched bright gray eyes. He was medium built, probably was forced to gain weight to go out on duty, accompanied Dray to the door. He knocked at the door and a few moments later, a man approximately in his late sixties or early seventies stood in the open doorway.

"Good evening, officers." The man said in a raspy voice, "May I help you?"

"Mr. Williamson?"

"Yes?"

"This is just a routine check." Agent Barnes held up a photo of one of the most recent victims. A young man name Draven. "Have you seen this man in the past year?"

Mr. Williamson studies the picture for a few moments, and then shakes his head.

"Are you aware of the disappearances around this area?" Dray asks

"No, I wasn't aware until you just told me." Mr. Williamson said, calm as the center of a hurricane. This man knew about the disappearances. He's just trying to act stupid.

"Do you mind if we take a look around?"

"Do you have a warrant?" He responds. Barnes shakes his head. "Then I'm sorry, there's nothing for you here." And with that, the door shut in their faces.

For the next few hours, the Agents and Dray went around to the other houses. None of them seemed near as creepy as Mr. Williamson. When they came to a desolate trailer which was home to a man who looked like he got stoned twice a day, he told them that he'd seen a number of people go missing from his little tailor park. As Dray held up a photo of Mr. Williamson, the stoner guy said he was one of the weirdest people he'd ever met, and as he described some of the odd things about Mr. Williamson, Dray was more and more assured that he was there guy. When he was finished, Dray and Barnes thanked the man for his information then met up with the other two at a nearby coffee shop. Dray ordered his coffee black, he'd been running on fumes for the past few days, and he was sure the others were too. The three Agents were quietly contemplating the day and who they thought was the prime suspect, but Dray was doing some thinking of his own. The old man, Mr. Williamson, he was familiar in some ways but alien in others. The way his eyes moved, scanning each of their cold faces, faintly reminded him of his father, as did his posture and voice.

"I think he stoner guy could be the main suspect." Agent Barnes said. The others nodded in agreement. When they looked towards Dray, he shook his head.

"I think we should check out Mr. Williamson again. He seemed to be the type, and the fact that he clammed up when we asked to look around."

"We need to get a warrant."

"We won't be able to. Did you notice that he wasn't even worried about the fact that we didn't have one or would try to get one? He probably knows that we won't be able to get one. Maybe he's bought the courts and local police forces out."

"Then we're going to heave to scope out the place. See if we can find anything out of the ordinary." Smith said.

"Right, Smith, you and Roberts stay somewhere close by. Rent a hotel room or something. Barnes and I will scope out Mr. Williamson."

Draylin and Agent Barnes hid in a secluded alley way, hidden by tall overgrown bushes. They had expensive but necessary equipment which included: giant Oberwerk binoculars, two Fluke TiS thermal scanners, two Taser's, and a small hand gun that Barnes kept in the dash of his car. Fortunately, Dray always kept a silencer in his car which he attached to the gun, so if there were any shooting, it would not wake the neighbors. It was close to late evening, around eleven when Barnes and Dray were using their equipment that they noticed Mr. Williamson had already turned in for the night. Dray instructed Barnes to keep an eye out for any danger, and if there was any, to notify him. Dray started fidgeting around the trash and the yard. There was nothing unusual about Williamson's waste or living arrangements. Suddenly he found a hidden door under some severely overgrown weeds. The door resembled an old door that old houses use to have that went to a storm cellar or basement. Unfortunately it was locked with three complicated padlocks which could only be unlocked with letters instead of numbers. He was trying the lock when his phone started buzzing in his right pocket. No doubt, it was Barnes. He answered the call and put the warm plastic to his ear.

"Yeah?"

"Mr. Cooper, I am upset that you trespassed onto my land and are snooping around my personal items. It truly bugs me." Mr. Williamson paused, "If you had just gotten a warrant, I would have allowed you to be the little PI you are."

Dray tried to speak, but couldn't quite find his words. Mr. Williamson's voice aw snot as it had been this afternoon. It brought back deep memories, which opened and irritated old, but not yet healed wounds. No wonder why Williamson had not been upset by his appearance. He knew what had happened.

"Please, do not try to talk, Mr. Cooper." Dray heard some rustling over the phone, Dray knew where he was. "I warned you to leave well enough alone but you did not heed my warning. You kept forcing your nose into a mystery that should not be solved...or a murder not ready to be captured."

It all fit together then. Mr. Williamson said the same thing that Agent Beuford said, which meant he was the Agent, and Mr. Williamson was the Man in Black.

"It's you." Dray whispered.

"About time you figured it out. Honestly I thought I'd be in jail by now."

Dray started walking quietly to the other side of the house, careful to keep Williamson busy while he attempted to catch him.

"Why did you do it?" Dray asked, "What did you get out of dismembering and scarring dozens of kids?"

Williamson seemed to think for a moment. "I honestly have no clue why, possibly because of the pleasure." Williamson paused, "Mr. Cooper, I advise you to stay where you are. Otherwise, your partner here will not be...comfortable."

Dray stood still for a moment then bolted, throwing the phone on the ground. He spotted Williamson bent over the unconscious body of Agent Barnes. Dray came face to face yet again with the man he swore he would torture the same way he was tortured.

"Leave him," Dray said, "He has nothing to do with this."

Williamson smiled, showing a perfect row of perfect white teeth.

"On the contrary, he does." He paused, waiting for Dray to think, "You never clearly looked at all the missing person’s reports, otherwise you'd know." Confusion struck Dray. He'd known those cases better than the back of his hand.

"What're you getting at?" Dray asked

"Remember, Mr. Cooper. One of the last five to disappear was a man by the name of Driton White. He was found with the least physical damage but the mental damage was just as bad as yours. Mr. White is with us right now." Williamson kicked Barnes in the chest.

Agent Barnes was a cover name. A prop. He was actually a former hostage of the man in black. That's why he was so ready to jump on the case, also the reason why he wasn't afraid of Dray's appearance.

"Seems like you didn't know this case at all." Williamson sneered. Dray felt light-headed, dizzy. He felt the ground beneath him but he was lost. Lost in a place that time has forgotten but he, all too well, had remembered. He was forced to remember the night he was tortured.

When he opened his eyes, he felt like he was seventeen again. The scene was all too vivid. The metal slab cold as Arctic ice through his thin clothes. He could see the assortment of tools on a slab next to him. The gleaming silver tainted him, reminding him where each tool wonder met his skin.

He knew that this time, he wasn't going to be allowed to escape. This time Williamson was going to finish what he started. He heard heavy footsteps on wooden stairs. Williamson wore black slacks and a black t-shirt with his Latex gloves in hand. He walked over to a sink that Dray barely noticed before. He heard a distant sound of streaming water the receded to nothing. Dray tried to speak, but his words came out as mumbled slurs.

"You'll never get away with this." He said. Williamson chuckled.

"I've gotten away with it for almost thirty years, son."

With that, he took a scalpel and made a slit at the base of his own throat but no blood flowed from the slit. He reached behind the slit and pulled away fake flesh, revealing a genuine expression of pleasure and content.

The recognition overwhelmed Dray. Standing in front of him, stood his father. He knew it without having been told. Bewilderment flowed through him followed by anger and disgust.

"Dad?" Dray asked his voice cracking on the unfamiliar word.

"Hello, son. I'm truly sorry for the pain and suffering I've caused you. I'm afraid I've been very...sick and I can't seem to recover." He paused, "Son, I'm here now to end your pain and suffering. Just think of it as fatherly love."

Dray's screams echoed off the walls, as well as the sounds of his own father tearing him apart. Finally what felt like an eternity, Dray felt nothing.


Submitted: April 07, 2012

© Copyright 2022 Nikki Bittinger. All rights reserved.

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Comments

GoddessAthena

Great Job! I loved it! Can't wait to read your others!!!

Wed, April 11th, 2012 9:00pm

mmuneeb50

Well if I must say that was good.A very long story and I must admit it got very tiring at times but a reasonably good story.If I must say a very good introduction.Your mind must be very quick to think of that idea.I made a story like that in which a child gets tortured by his parents so if you want to read it it's called 'the days ahead' but like I said a very nice story.

Wed, April 11th, 2012 9:42pm

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