Chapter 7: A Path

It was merely a matter of waiting for the most adequate time to hide the body. It was not difficult in the slightest. I was fully aware of his day-by-day movements. Ever heard of the expression ‘two birds with one stone’?

I was hungry as usual. I was able to satisfy that hunger whilst also having an excellent corpse to engage my plan.

It was a priority of mine to attempt to throw the investigation off course. I feared greatly that if I continued down the path that I was on, with no intention on changing the approach, I would be caught sooner or later. I find it abysmal that my hobby should be hindered by the fear of being caught and I relish the chance to end detective William Percy Morgan’s life.

It will be a difficult task but one that will not prove to be impossible. I have faced many trifling and predominant problems in my life but none have frustrated me as much as this one.

The constant blanket of fear that is wrapped around me will not come loose and I feel the air beginning to thicken. Though he is young, there is something strange about him. Something that scratches at the back of my head like a nagging child. He is no ordinary man. He is on the side of the angels. A Samaritan. A noble spirit.

And yet he is dangerous. I sense he does not know how to control his intellect nor does he seem to want to.

Perhaps I can use that to my advantage.

Detective

I needed to know more about the body that was found in Zimmerman’s house. To my good fortune and utter surprise, the head was untouched and so identifying him was far easier. Louis Roosevelt was his name and it so happened that he worked at the horse hooves factory on Highfield Lane.

It was a short and lonely afternoon walk there.

I arrived at the factory and was immediately greeted by an array of clashes and bangs. The sound of metal on metal and the violent roaring fires of smelting pits echoed all around me. The smell of condensed smoke entered my nose and filled by lungs. The great monstrous walls surrounding the complex were a crimson red and the gates were lanky, black iron bars.

As I entered, I peered around me. To my right was a gaggle of brutish looking men; all bold and tall. Their eyes screamed pain and their knuckles were bruised and bloodied. To my left was a small stable with 2 young boys attending to the horses. Directly ahead was a huge large building that reached into the sky so far, that it seemed to curve slightly.

Being slightly intimated by the way the men were looking down upon me from a distance, I walked over to the stables.

“You, boy” I called as I leaned on the post that held up one end of the roof.

“Where may I find your manager?” I asked as my admittedly frightful gaze was fixed upon the brutes.

The kid said nothing. He barely even moved. All that happened was his right arm flew into the air and pointed towards a smaller building on the left side of the enormous one.

I made my way over and wasted no time in locating the manager which proved to be far easier than I had expected. Unlike Zimmerman, this man was often found around his workers. He seemed like a rather cheerful chap and when he caught glimpse of me from afar, he hurried over in a very giddy fashion.

“Hello sir! How may I help you?” he yelled with a smile on his face. Despite his attempt at a loud greeting, his voice was slightly hidden away from the loud clashes and bangs that surrounded us.

I leaned in close.

“Would it be too much trouble if we were to talk somewhere quieter?” I asked.

“Well of course sir. This way!” he said and off he skipped.

I followed close behind and eventually we were inside an office on the second floor of the main building of the complex. The office window looked out upon Church Lane. It was a rather quiet street but one that was surrounded by an admirable amount of greenery. I noticed a small river to the right that seemed quaint and just beyond that was a series of detached houses that looked worse for wear.

“My name is detective William Percy Morgan and I am here on the most important and crucial business. Over the last few days 2 lives have been taken. A cannibal prowls the streets of Southampton and it is an investigation proving most challenging. It is to my greatest grief that I have to tell you this but Louis Roosevelt, one of your workers, is now dead.”

The happy and chirpy man that I had met on the ground floor was now a depressed and cold soul who slumped in his chair and abandoned his smile.

“Poor Louis. He was a decent chap. I had no idea he was dead. I have a handful of people who work for me so remembering their names isn’t much of a difficult task detective. He had missed yesterday off of work but I didn’t think anything of it. I thought he had just taken ill. But to learn of his death!”

His belt seemed to struggle and he loosened it ever so slightly which caused his well-hidden beer belly to pop out. The gentle light that broke through the window now illuminated this man in a once darkened room, as he sat all alone with his arms down by his side; lifeless.

“I have some questions about Louis if that is ok? Mister?”

“Joey Donald. Just call me Joey. My last name sounds awfully funny.”

I nodded my head, retrieved my notebook and took a seat near him.

“Louis Roosevelt was no doubt a victim of the cannibal. His arms and legs were missing but his torso and head remained intact. Did Louis have any enemies that you are aware of?”

Joey shook his head violently.

“Oh no of course not! My good man, Louis was the backbone of what we do here! He was always so kind and always went out of his way to help others. A charitable fellow. A walking messiah! Breaking this to Danny will shatter him.”

“Who is Danny?” I asked.

“His best friend. He works here actually! Would you like me to bring him in?”

“If you wouldn’t mind” I replied.

Soon a tall and very thin man entered the room who wore a farmer’s cap and breeches that hung down by his side and his dirtied white sleeves rolled all the way up past his elbows. After a short conversation and a few tears being shed by the man, I begin to question Danny also.

“How close were the two of you?” I asked. It was difficult maintaining a high level of professionalism and yet also trying to be sympathetic towards this man’s grief.

He wiped a tear from his eyes with his forearm, damping them with the unusually long hair that decorated his skin.

“Close. Very close. Louis was a bastard and I loved him for that. There was never a dull moment with poor old Louis.”

“When was the last time you had seen him?”

“No more than a couple nights ago I believe. We spent a night drinking and he had a little too much. I walked him home and I we departed on his street.”

“Was there anything strange about him when you left? Something that may have seemed out of the ordinary?”

Danny edged forward and ripped his hat off gently and gave me a puzzled stare.

“Well, when I left, I noticed he was being followed. I didn’t think anything by it. From where I was stood, he seemed like a very old man. He was limping you see. He walked pretty slow but he was awfully close to here Louis. I couldn’t see what he was wearing as it was terribly dark. But that was the last I saw of him. I am no detective, but if I were, my guess would be that the man with the limp is your cannibal.”

I thanked him for his help and soon left.

I began to feel enraged at the investigation and all the different paths it seemed to create. I had many ideas and many theories. But only fools act on those theories without sufficient evidence to support them.

What did strike at my curiosity however, was it pure chance that both victims were heavily intoxicated at the time of their death? Or was it a plan? A calling card?

I now started to make my way towards the house at which Louis Roosevelt lived. It was time I spoke to his family.

Then, and only then, would I begin to put my plan into motion.

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