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Memories

A man's tortured memories catching up to him in an unexpected case

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07 Jun '24
10 min read


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Chapter

Stephen Smith

 

Sometimes memories are the worst form of torture…

My nightmare was a twisted memory, killing me slowly from within.

I heard a low whistling voice.

I was running. From what? I don’t know. I  heard growling. Growling from some sort of beast I think. I can feel it getting close. I look back, seeing nothing. The darkness consumes me. I’m running, trying my best even though I know exactly how this nightmare is going to end. Before I knew it, my chest tightened, it’shard to breathe, I was sweating, vision blurry, ringing in my ear and that’s when everything turned bright, too bright…

 

Blood all around me. I can’t move. I can see the beast’s bloody eyes, crystal clear in the dark.

My family lay dead on the white snow. The crimson color splattered on the delicate snow. My vision getting dizzy, chest tightening. My family…Brought down to mere pieces of unrecognizable flesh. Blood on my hands. My vision is blurry, I’m dizzy again. I’m fall against the snow.

 

I woke up in a cold sweat, breathlessly panting. I glanced at my clock, it was two in the morning. Tears trailing down my face.

‘Fifth time this week.’ I muttered

Returning to this wretched town was a bad idea, it brings back all the horrible memories which I’ve tried to keep at bay. I stumbled out onto the expansive balcony of my 17th-floor hotel room. My blonde hair obscured my eyes.

A fall from here would mean certain death.

I ran my fingers through my hair as I sat down on a chair.

I knew I shouldn't have come here.

I slowly close my eyes…falling asleep

I was abruptly awakened by a loud banging in my hotel room.

It was 10:59 am. I overslept.

I approached the hotel room door.

'Breakfast, sir.'

The waitress entered, placed the tray on my desk, and I handed her a hundred pounds. After thanking me, she left the room.

After getting ready, I got into my car and headed towards my private jet.

 

 

 

















Stella was summoned to work early today, presumably for an important case. Her manager asked her to pack sufficient clothes.

Upon reaching his office, she noticed a man with a suitcase. He had curly hair, and pale skin, and was dressed in a sharp suit.

"You can't be serious... Not him again,"  she muttered to herself self as she entered John's office.

"Ah, Stella," John, their manager welcomed her .

"Mr. Verstappen," She greets John, taking a seat next to the man.

"Stella," the man greeted her, not making eye contact.

"Marcus," She acknowledged him, turning my attention to John.

"Oh, great. You two are already acquainted with each other," John remarked with a smile.

"That's one way to put it," Tom retorted, to which she scoffed.

"Well, I have a case for the two of you," John announced.

"The CEO of our detective agency has requested for his two best detectives - which happens to be you two - to investigate a series of murders in a town called Alverton. The bodies were unrecognizable. Locals claim a 'beast' is responsible."

She raised her eyebrows in response.

"You two are to travel to that town and solve the case," John instructed, handing us the case documents.

Stella flipped through the documents. Soon, Marcus, John, and her were walking outside.

"He's arranged a private jet for the two of you," John informed us, leading us to a magnificent private jet parked on the grounds of our corporate building.

We must be handling a personal case for the CEO. We've never used a private jet for a case before," she thought to herself.

Then, out came the CEO, Stephen Smith. He was a striking man with blond hair and green eyes.

He descended the stairs leading to the airplane, a slight smile on his lips.

"Mr. Smith," Marcus and Stella greeted in unison.

"Ah, my best detectives,” Stephen says coldly.

"Ms. Donovan," he shook my hand,

"Mr. Mathew," he greeted Marcus in the same manner.

Marcus and Stella followed Stephen onto the private airplane and took our seats.

Two hours later, we arrived at the town. After some conversation, she engrossed herself  in the case documents.

"So, inexplicable murders... and the people think it's a beast?" she asked, her mind starting to race.

 

 

 

They reached the dingy town, with Mr. Smith guiding them to a mortuary. Of course, I could have handled this case alone, without Marcus.

They enter the mortuary.

The Mortician whose name is Hooper, acknowledged the three with a nod

Hooper opens a mortuary chamber. The body is unrecognizable. The eyes out of the eye sockets, severed foot and arm, scratches on the scalp and wounds all over the body, jaw disfigured, finished with one bullet in the temple. 

Stella writes it all down.

‘And the people say it’s from some sort of beast…?’ Marcus asks turning to Mr. Smith, to which he nods.

There were three more bodies killed in almost the same way.

There were two things that were consistent among all the bodies:

1. They were all shot in the temples.

2. They have a snake tattoo on their left forearm.

She skimmed through the documents, all of them had been killed at fixed time.

Two in the morning every day, for the past eleven days

‘I need to know all the people who were awake at 12am. Or spotted at 2am’ Marcus  says flipping through the documents, Mr. Smith nods.

The bodies found in their respective houses. Always the bedroom.

We visit the victims.

 

Victim 1- Jake- Age 35.

We reach victim1’s  house. Stella knocks on the door. After a few minutes. A middle-aged woman opens the door. Tears filled in her eyes, She

hasn’t slept in days, her dark circles clearly visible. Her eyes bloodshot.

‘Hello Sarah, we’re the detectives here to solve the murders-’ Stella say awkwardly as the lady breaks down, hugging Stella

After an hour they finally got her to speak.

‘He- He died in this room…’ The lady says tearing up again. It was a small room. A bedroom. A standard one to say the least.

I needed to finish my interrogation before she starts sobbing again.

‘Was he carrying anything? Any belongings?’ Marcus asks

‘J-Just a brief case…’ she says breaking down…again, pointing at a shelf, where a black brief case was placed.

Stella examines the brief case. It’s locked.

‘We need to examine this…’ Stella mutters.

 

Victim2- Spencer- Age 40

They reach the second victim’s house.

Marcus rings the bell. A little girl opens the door

‘Hey, kiddo. Is mother home?’ Marcus asks. The kid bangs the door.

Marcus looks at Stella frustrated. To which she smiles slightly 

The door opens again. This time the kid’s mother opens

‘Sorry about her, she dealing with grief…differently’ The little girl’s mother says, her eyes swollen.

She opens the door letting us inside

I give them an empathetic smile seeing the room.

‘This…is the room he was last in…’ The blonde lady says bitterly

‘Did he have any belongings in his hand when he came home?’ I ask

‘Just his usual brief case.’ She responds

‘Could you show it to us?’ Stella asks

The lady nods.

Showing us an identical brief case. Locked.

Victim3- Alex- Age 29

Marcus knocks on the door of a small house, slightly scrappy. A man slightly older opens the door.

‘No bloody press!’ The man shut the door.

He knocks again.

‘Lucas, we’re detectives…We’re here to solve the murder of your brother-’

‘What do you want to know?’ The man muttered annoyed.

‘Just where he died, his belongings, and where  you were from 12am to 3am.’ Stella says calmly. He lets us inside.

‘Here’s where it happened…’ The man mutters, showing them a slightly dingy bedroom. I spot the same tattoo his late brother had. A black snake on his left forearm.  

‘He had that with him.’ He hands us a black brief case.

The exact same one as the other victims.

‘And, where were you?’ Marcus asks, as Stella examines the brief case.

‘I came here today morning, after hearing about this death…I live in Melbourne, Australia…’ He says

‘That will be all, Thank you.’ Stella mutters

 

Victim4- Aaron- Age 20

The last one.

Stella knocks on the door. A girl who looked about eighteen, opened the door.

‘Uh, Hello, Lydia. We’re detectives for-’

‘Be quick.’ She mutters letting us inside. She looked sad…

‘We just have a few questions to ask. Which room was the body found in? And belongings he had on with him. And Where were you between 12am and 3am?’ Marcus asks.

‘The body was found in this room’ The girl mutters, leading us to bedroom.

‘He had that with him.’ She says pointing at a black brief case behind Stella.

‘I had gone to my mother’s house at 7pm the day before…His murder’ She says regretfully as she missed her last day with her husband.

‘Alright that’s it, thank you for your time.’ Marcus mutters.

 

‘Look up how much time the flights take from Melbourne to London.’ Marcus asks as Stella types it on her computer.

‘22 hours…It’s impossible, Lucas (in victim3’s house) couldn’t have reached London that fast, unless he was already close by.’ Stella says

‘We’ll put him up at Suspect one.’ Marcus says

‘The brief cases, all have the same snake mark engraved on the handle.’ Stella mutters looking at the cases again.

‘All the victims have the same tattoos on their left hand, a snake. A coincidence? I think not.’

They talked to various possible suspects, none giving a proper lead. The call records of all the victims shows a similar pattern. All of them have received a call from one particular number few minutes before their death

They walked back to the lab, Stella, Mr. Smith and Marcus.

 

There was an ID card left on the table.

‘Hooper’ Stella reads from the ID card, A photo of a blonde man. The Mortician’s name . Marcus picks up the ID card. The mortician didn’t look like this. It was someone else…The mortician was a fake.

‘Stella, check this out.’ Marcus calls out to her

She sees the ID card. Her eyes widen.

He has the tattoo. We remember. He faked everything. His appearance, his name-

‘It’s him. He’s the  gang leader… He planned this all out- Hooper- Or whoever this guy is’ she says

Just then Hooper enters

‘I-I forgot my-y ID’ Hooper mumbles. He receives a call just then. As he was about to answer it ,he realizes everyone closing in on him.

‘Clearly.’ Stella says disconnecting the call. 
Mr. Smith closes the door behind him.

‘You’re the gang leader, hm?’ Stella says

‘Uh’ he looks around ‘Y-Yes’ The mortician murmurs

‘It was you all along…wasn’t it?’ Marcus says.

‘Who are you?’ Stella asks

‘My name’s Timmy.’ He murmurs.

He confessed everything right then and there.

‘I used a drug, while killing my victims…It made them see a beast. They all got scared…I-I’ve been using it for a very long time’

‘You- You killed my parents!’ Mr. Smith blurts out

The remaining three of us stunned and surprised

‘You killed my parents and left me to see it!’ Stephen in a fit of anger strangled Timmy until the others pulled him away.

 

 

 

STEPHEN SMITH

They got him locked up, Stephen still shaken from meeting his parents’ killer

That man traumatized me so much. Everyday night. I was afraid to sleep. I became an orphan. I-

I was cut off mid thought by Stella

‘Mr. Smith…The jet is waiting.’ She says.

I nod.

‘I never thanked you guys, you really helped me, personally…’ I say to them

They smile warmly

‘Any time, Mr. Smith.’ They smile

‘I know it was kind of unexpected, the whole monstrosity of my parents’ killer-… The beast, was just a mad man. Thank you. Truly…’

End.

Category:Prose


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Written by Rachael