Chapter 6: Closing In

 I cannot concede defeat when so many parts remaining operational. I still have a few pieces on the board but I will admit that my time becomes minuscule. The hours of which my capture will be executed draws near. Yet, despite the eagerness and skill of this young detective, I will not give up so easily.

I never wanted to harm the young man but his presence is beginning to leave a mark on my work and in result, hinders my ability to satisfy my hunger for flesh.

As each second passes by I feel the ice beginning to thaw. Eventually if I move too quick or sudden, I will fall into the waters below. It angers me greatly that someone so inexperienced has been able to trace my scent so quickly and I am determined not to fail again. For if I do, I will not forgive myself and nor will I ever have the confidence in my ability to pursue cannibalism again.

Some may think I am crazy; mentally challenged. They may then assume I had a difficult or gruesome childhood. Psychiatrists will attempt to appeal to my better nature to explore the caverns of my mind. Professionals will each attempt to apply their own plans to discover why I do what I do.

My only way out of this mess is to get rid of the detective yet I am bewildered as to how I will do just that. He is a clever man for his age and I concur that he is good at what he does. But how exactly do I get rid of a mind so golden and paramount in its ability to reveal secrets so dark?

Could I simply kill the fool? Perhaps. Though with his hawkish eyes he would no doubt see my approach. This is a delicate matter in which I would have to pour much thought and care into.

Again, tracing back to my father, he would always tell me stories to relax me during a hunt as a child. Often would my brow be too sweaty or my hands shaking too much, that a taking a life would seem almost impossible to me.

I was always fond of one particular story. It was one that often left me with a newly found sense of courage and discipline. A story that, every time I recall it, bludgeons me with a fresh sense of direction.

A boy and a girl loved each other very much though in her father’s eyes, the boy had not proven his worth. He was still young and inexperienced. Though this did not shake the boy as he loved the girl more than words could express. He was determined to prove that he was strong and faithful. That giving him his daughters hand would be anything but a mistake. So, the father set out a task for the boy to complete, a task no ordinary person could accomplish. The father said to the boy “I will not permit you to wed my little girl unless you bring forth a token of your trust and faithfulness.”

The boy, obviously confused beyond comparison, state “how exactly is one meant to provide such a token to be substantial proof of thy required trait?”

The father laughed gently and leaned forward. Their faces were close together but the boy did not blink or show any signs of fear.

“Figure that out for yourself, boy” he said with a smile.

For months the boy pondered in great anxiety as he tried to think of what a token could be. He refused to see his love be passed on to someone else and he would die trying to prove his honour.

Then that struck him. What could be more proof than his own life? Surely his life would be the proof that he would need to give in order for her father to accept the boy.

He approached the father with great confidence but a heavy heart.

“I will take my own life to prove that I am bound to your daughter for the rest of my days” he said with broad shoulders.

He proceeded to take his own life with a singular sharp blade across his neck. The surface of the boy’s skin began to bleed until the father stopped him and assured the boy…that it was enough.

The boy and the girl were happily married for many years to come but the boy carried a scar across his neck which served as a reminder of his faith.

As a child, I always looked up to the boy in this story. To have the courage to do something so drastic it could change the rest of his life forever.

Truly, what I was about to do next would change my life too.

Detective

I sat in front of Zimmerman and my gaze pierced his soul. I looked him up and down very closely with my attention always returning to his face. He had not said a word and nor had I. Though observing the distant flicker in his eyes and the occasional shake of his head, I was under the impression he was thinking about something very deeply. Whatever was on his mind was bothering him a great deal.

“Why was a body found in your house?” I asked, wondering if he would own up to the crime straight away.

He said nothing and, instead, began to shake his head more furiously. The blood on his hands had now stained. Zimmerman looked at them from time to time and would move uncomfortably.

Distant was his mind. I daresay this man was in shock. He was amidst a whirlwind of fear that disturbed his soul.

“I do not believe you killed this man” I said, attempting to speak to him with a calm and soothing voice.

“There is not much I can do for you to prove your innocence at this time. But believe me sir, the culprit is within my grasp! You hardly have the apparel of a killer or the mannerisms of a cannibal. Though one can be attracted to obvious facts to ease the process. So let me tell you why, in detail, why I don’t believe you are the killer. Maybe then you can help me.”

He stopped shaking. His eyes had now met mine and his hands hid themselves under the table. I leaned forward and interlocked my fingers as I began to speak.

“Your eyebrows are slightly raised, your lower eyelids are tensed, the corners of your eyes are bloodshot and your cheeks remain slightly damp from tears. You have a constant twitch in your neck and you refuse to close your hands that remain bloodied. You are scared. But there has already been a victim before. Kyle Revel. We have already established that Kyle was killed and mutilated with great precision meaning the killer has experience in his field. If you were so experienced you would not be scared now. I observe. Let me see your hands. Perfect! As I expected. The body, as with Kyle Revel, was not merely ripped apart with bare bands. That would demand mass amounts of strength that no man has. Tools would be required. Scissors, a knife or even scalpels. All of your hands have blood on them. If you had been holding a instrument such that I have previously listed, areas of your hand would be free from the blood. You did not kill this man but you MUST tell me how you came in to contact with the body. My good sir, this information is most important!”

Zimmerman laughed quietly to himself. He spaced out for a brief moment and looked at me with the upmost amazement.

“No! You are right! Though you’re so young yet so observant. It’s astounding!”

I appreciated the compliment but tried my hardest not to show it. I remained professional and fixed to the point. When he was finished being dazzled by my skills of observation, he cleared his throat before relaying to me his series of events that lead to him coming into contact with the body.

“I had finished a day at the office. It was a normal day. A regular one. For once Mr Walsh had not visited me, this was most odd as he is here almost every single day. So much in fact, I do not see why he hired me in the first place. I swear he could easily run the place by himself man! Anyway, I got home. It was rather late. Quarter past eleven if I remember correctly. I retrieved my keys from my pocket and was about to enter my house when I noticed something extremely peculiar. To the left of my house was a small gate that led down the side of my house to the back garden. It’s an old gate; paint peeling off and rusty hinges. My only problem sir, is that I haven’t used the gate in a long time! Whenever I enter my garden I do so via my back door. I noticed the gate however, was not fully closed. I expected burglary! Bah! Maybe a chimney boy, little rascals! I strolled through the gate and down into my garden. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. I went to enter my house through the back door and noticed that it was not locked! I wanted to call the police but curiosity gripped me dearly and pulled me in. I entered my house and peered all around. Nothing had been taken and nothing had been moved I was sure of it! I walked upstairs and what I did notice was that the door to my bedroom was wide open. I rushed in with all the might and ferocity I had in me in case the culprit was still within! I searched under my bed, in my cupboards and my trunk at the end of my bed. Nothing! That’s when it happened. By god sir I did not kill that man! It is preposterous. I opened my wardrobe and a body fell out and landed on top of me as I fell to the floor. Blood was everywhere. Just as I stood up and began to quiver in fear, a bobby barged into my home and saw me with bloody hands, as I stood on top of the victim!”

“Did you notice anything about the body? Did you recognise the victim?”

“No. He had an arm missing and his organs were…all over the place. But the mans face I did not recognise.”

“And was there any blood in your room? Anything on the furniture?”

“No.”

“I see.”

“I will say though, it did not smell. I have no idea why but surely the stench of a dismembered body would be extreme.”

“Indeed, you are right. Well Mark, if you don’t mind me calling you so, you have been most helpful. I will not rest until your innocence is proven and the culprit is hung in front of a dozen citizens of Southampton! Good day!”

As I went to leave, he stopped me for a moment.

“Be careful detective. Whoever this killer is, he is strong and experienced. I do not doubt your intellect but you are still quite young! I have no doubt this lunatic is aware of your presence. Be sure that YOU are not his next target.”

I nodded and smiled and then proceeded to leave.

So much information had been given to me in such a short amount of time. It began to overwhelm me and there were so many links that had not yet been connected. I was confident that Mark Zimmerman was not the killer. I had ruled him out as a suspect. I was down to David Schmuck and Daniel Walsh. The two both gave me an un-easy feeling whenever I was around them and I decided my next line of questions should be thrown at David.

For now, however, I headed home and ate. I took the rest of the day off and rested my eyes whilst I imagined…a train.

It was a technique of mine that no one else knew of. It would seem strange to them but to me it was the most proficient way in connecting the dots. I called it the ‘train technique.’ Not the most exciting name I know, but I was not aiming for flash and dazzle.

During this dream I would start at one end of the train. As I made my way through each cart, I would have a conversation with every person I had spoken to during the case; suspect or not. I would ask to see their luggage and upon viewing what was inside, I would determine how those items were attached to that individual. This way I would deduce whether or not the persons personality and their possessions, fit that of the criminal.

It was a very long process. One which usually took all night.

When I had opened my eyes once more, I noticed the sun light break through the open window and blind me for a short second. I felt a great desire in my stomach and knew that my appetite was in need of being appeased. I caught a cab to a local café.

It was a short journey but one that left me with an astounding sense of serenity.

I ate my meal consisting of several slices of toast, some tea and a teacake with cream. I took my time savouring the variety of flavours and smells, making sure I both enjoyed them and remembered them also. For what is the point of enjoying the many luxuries of life if you do not appreciate their existence truly?

What I felt confident in was who I thought the killer was. However, I needed more evidence for a stronger conviction. It was then I spent a few hours into devising a most cunning and elaborate plan!

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