I was a young boy when I went hunting with my father. It was a sport I always found rather enjoyable and I never ceased, as a child, to indulge in all of the skills required for a successful hunt. A sharp and focussed mind, steady hands and the assiduous eyes of a hawk. It always astounded me when I learnt of one’s ability to disguise the natural scent of man. My father taught me much on a hunt when I was young and I daresay it crafted me in who I am today.
One emotion that remained tenacious from the day I first experienced it on a hunt, was the slow yet undeniably addicting release of endorphins when the trigger is pulled on a hunting rifle, and you observe the target fall to the ground like a sack of potatoes.
I never stopped hunting as I grew older. It remained a large part of my personality and soon became my favourite hobby.
Though I grew accustomed to hunting animals of different natures. Mainly deer. I often pondered if the same skills and attributes could be applied to hunt a different beast. Man. My first attempt was unsuccessful and it grieved me with a heavy heart that I had failed so miserably. It was a few years ago when I selected a ripe and young man to kill quickly.
It was a late evening during a hot summers day. I ventured out for a brisk walk and though the night time air was quite cool, my body felt enclosed and exuding heat. It was times like these I wish I had lived on the seaside for the air, I find, on a waterfront is rather refreshing regardless of the time of year. I had been walking for an exceptional 30 minutes when hunger had struck me. It was late and the restaurants were closed. Yet to my amazement, and I do believe luck was on my side, a young man was walking alone on the opposite side of the street. I had taken a balaclava from my pocket and tied it around my lower face. I followed him for some time; sticking to the shadows and observing his every movement. When we were alone, I moved in for the kill. What I did not expect was that he was far stronger than I and he was able to run away within an instant.
Luckily, I was never caught or found and the case was dropped very swiftly.
It angered me so. He was evidently a man of the lower class from the way he dressed and walked. The fact someone of his peasantry outstretched my own strength was the fuel to a fire that enraged my heart to new depths.
Luckily, I had never failed since. I intend to make sure I never underestimate an individual again for the rage it caused was thunderous.
I had woken the following morning and wasted no time in heading straight to the station. My breakfast consisted of a singular egg, two sausages and some beans accompanied by a strong coffee. It was day 3 of the investigation and I felt as though I was growing ever closer to the culprit. My advanced mind was working overtime and I reluctantly gave myself few breaks for I did not want to waste any time. I did not want the cannibal to strike again.
I spent a couple of hours reading over my notes. There was pure silence in my office except the odd sound of lead running across paper as I scribbled something off of my book. It was early in the morning and the station was relatively quiet. The silence, to an extent, was comforting and very welcoming. I despised distractions and evermore so was angered rather easily at interruptions.
My morning had not all been about work however. When eating my breakfast, I glanced over the daily paper and a headline caught my eye that I found rather intriguing. New Zealand (a recently separated colony of new south Wales), had now become a self-governed colony. This was a milestone for the people of New Zealand no doubt.
It was undoubtedly going to be a most beneficial and rather productive time for me as well as I felt a striking and most compelling feeling in my heart, that the investigation was in my favour. That I was on the right trail like a beast stalking its prey in the midst of a winter solace. It was a game to me but a game that I understood, had the upmost severe consequences if I did not win. This was not simply a game of dominoes where, if you lost, you would be jested with by your friends for a few hours. No. If I lost this game then more lives would be taken. This world would be deprived of such wonderful potential. Agreed the potential of those around me is a mere grain of sand in comparison to the colossus presence of my own intellect, but I could not stand to know a human life had been ended when I could have done something about it.
After contemplating my next move and tapping on my desk in a regulated pattern, I decided it was time to pay another visit to Daniel Walsh. It was paramount that I explore his relationship with Kyle Revel and analyse just how much he knew the victim. It was an important move. One I had to be sure I executed with caution.
I took a cab from the station to the fishery. I had no doubts that Daniel would have been there and rest assured, he was.
What was strange was that Zimmerman was not at the fishery. Not even in his office. His whereabouts were unknown to me but it did not concern me as much as I had hoped.
Daniel invited me into Zimmerman’s office with a dark yet comforting smile. He offered me a drink to which I politely declined.
“So, what brings you here detective?” he asked as he poured himself a scotch simultaneously his smile remained persistent.
My eyes remained fixed on his facial expression. He seemed confident and maybe even a little happy. My eyes lowered and his posture was as strong as ever. He did not come across as nervous or intimidated in the slightest. Could this be a product of his innocence? Or merely a relaxation due to my young age?
“I am here, as I am sure you have already established, in regards to the murder of Kyle Revel. I have assembled an array of the most crucial questions that will aid me in my investigation.”
What I did notice was the slight increment of a smile he displayed when I mentioned the victims name. He took a brief sip from his drink before retreating to the chair across the desk opposite to me.
“You are quite young for a detective, aren’t you?” he asked me as he once again took another sip. He pulled the glass away from his aged lips and left remanence of alcohol on the tips of his moustache hairs.
“I have been told that many a times” I said as I straightened my back.
“Forgive me detective, but how did you achieve so much at your age? Father in the force? Money perhaps?”
I felt a little enraged, as though he was judging both myself and my skill. Those who knew me, which were very few, knew that to insult my intelligence was a grave mistake. I always endeavoured to be the smartest man in the room. I never let my age or those who opposed me hold me back. Was this out of ambition? Or was it simply because I was full of myself? This was the one question I could never find the answer to but it bothered me very little.
“I will be asking the questions if you don’t mind, Mister Walsh” I said with all the masculinity and dominance I had in me.
“Of course. My apologies” he said with a daunting smirk followed by anther sip of his drink.
“Kyle Revel was a rather large man. Quite bulky and do I dare say all of your workers have similar builds. I assume, and correct me if I am wrong, working at a fishery must be quite physically demanding?”
He shook his glass gently and watched the alcohol spin round the sides.
“Of course! Well, peasants will do anything for money. Most of them are desperate.”
“What sort of business do you conduct here? What is your part in all of this? Why, an owner rarely visits their establishment as much as you!”
“I simply like it here. I like to make sure everything is running smoothly.”
“And has it been?”
“Has it been what?”
“I suppose. Zimmerman’s skills are exceptional even if his accent does throw people off the track.”
“You suppose? I understand Mark Zimmerman has been working here for about 5 years now? Has he been a superb employee of yours the whole time? Maybe he’s made some mistakes?”
“Well, he did. It was a little hiccup. Merely a starters mistake! When I first hired him, his English was very poor. Very poor indeed. Though despite this, he showed excellent organisational skills and, over a few drinks, it turns out he had actually been a manager of a bewildering and most exotic restaurant in Germany! Quite right you are in saying it was a hugely different field of work, but I required his skills nonetheless. He had been working as a manager at the fishery for a few months when he forgot to list an order of nets and hooks. £50 that cost me! I am sure detective, even in your field of work, that you realise £50 is a lot of money! Regardless, since then he has done well to keep the business afloat.”
He took another sip. This time finishing the drink and slamming the glass on the table. He stood up and stretched his legs.
“I think that concludes our business here detective” he said whilst abandoning his smile. I was confused at first. A little caught off of my guard.
“But I still have more questions” I said.
It was then that I was interrupted. Officer Blake was at the door with a face as pale as a ghost and sweat running down his cheekbones and rolling into the corners of his lips.
“Sir! It’s Mark Zimmerman. He’s locked up. A half-eaten body was discovered in his household and the blood of the victim was on his hands!”