Central City Murders

Chapter Five

The rain was pouring now, sending Roy's mood farther down with every drop that hit his face. He looked up at the old two story building. "This is the place, huh?" He asked Maes.

"Yup! You getting excited that we may just put an end to all the murders?" He grinned as he looked to the house. He didn't wait for Roy's answer. "You ready?" He asked.

"More then ready. I've been waiting to deal this guy months of hurt for all the people he's killed." He said as they both started walking up to the house. The old stained white picket fence was the first thing to greet them. The wind blew the squeaky broken gate back and forth across the pathway up to the house. Maes looked at Roy. "Looks like a house a murderer would live in, doesn't it?" He asked as they stepped up onto the warped boards of the porch.

"Ready?" Maes asked Roy. Roy nodded and knocked loudly on the door. "This is Colonel Roy Mustang with Detective Maes Hughes, we need to speak with you on the account of the murders that have taken place lately." Roy said.

They could hear foot steps thumping through the house as they neared the door and it opened. "Yes?" A man asked.

He wasn't really what Roy had expected, not that he had really expected anything. The man was well dressed, despite the shape of his house and front yard. He had slicked back black hair and small glasses upon his nose. "What can I help you with?" The man asked.

"Are you William Hawthorn?" Maes asked with slight confusion at the way the man was dressed. "We need to speak with him"

"Yes, I am William Hawthorn but I have no idea on what murders you're talking about." He swallowed and his beady eyes danced around.

Roy frowned, something about the man was a bit off. Roy looked at Maes, hoping he knew more then he did.

"Can we come in and talk for a moment?" Maes asked the man politely. "We won't be long."

The man shifted his weight a bit then sighed, "Yes I suppose you could come in for a moment." He stepped out of their way and invited them in.

The inside looked way different than the outside did, with clean white carpet and brown leather furniture.

"Come and sit, just make sure to wipe your shoes before stepping onto the carpet." William said as he sat down lightly on a brown leather chair and laced his fingers together.

Meas exchanged a look with Roy before they both wiped their shoes and walked in. They both sat down on a matching brown leather couch.

"Have you heard about the murders that took place just a few days ago here in Central?" Roy asked the man.

"No I haven't. I have been here in my house, I haven't been outside in a while. Germs and all, nasty little things." He picked up a bottle of hand sanitizer and offered them a bit.

"No thank you." Roy said as he waved away the bottle. This man was a nutter.

"We have a witness that places you at the scene of the murder, Mr. Hawthorn." Maes spoke up.

"What? Absurd. I never went anywhere near a body." His eyes were darting around and he was starting to sweat a little.

"You know Sir. I have been trained in reading people, and right now, your body language is telling me you're lying. " Maes said.

William sighed and leaned heavily back into the chair. "Fine, I knew this would catch up with me someday." He started.

"I did go out on the night of the murder" He looked up at Maes, "But not to kill anybody."

"Okay then, why did you go out?" Roy asked, getting frustrated at the lack of answers the man was giving them.

"I went to a bar called the Running Horse. It's a place where the um, the less desirable people like to hang out at." He said. "I went there to hire someone to watch my, now, ex-wife. I feared she was cheating on me but I had to be certain of it." He said.

"Go on." Maes urged him.

William sighed. "So I sat down at the bar and waited until a man by the code name of The Reaper sat down beside me. At first, I thought he might be what I was looking for but I soon came to realize that he only dealt with murdering people and I wasn't looking to hurt my ex-wife." He told them.

"The Reaper, huh? What did he look like?" Maes asked.

William started thinking. "Well, I didn't see his face because he was wearing a hat. I did hear his voice though." William said.

"He sounded like a younger man, not an older gentleman like myself. If I had to guess his age, I'd say he looked about twenty or so." He said.

"Doesn't really give us much to go on, does it?" Roy said. "Do you recall anything else?"

"When he stood to walk away, I noticed a flash of something. I think it was a bracelet, it looked like it had a symbol of some type on it." William told them. "I also overheard that he was on a job to kill a woman."

"Why didn't you report it to the police!" Roy snapped at him with narrowed onyx eyes.

"Because I'm not one to get involved with people such as him. If you get into those kinds of people's business, you tend to not walk away from it." William said.

"Do you remember anything else?" Maes asked.

"That's all I can recall, however, the bartender might have more information on The Reaper. I think the bartender's name was Frank Hemway, speak to him. He might be able to tell you more." William said as he stood.

"Sorry I couldn't be more help to you and I am even more sorry that I got myself mixed up in this mess. All of this just to confirm my suspicions of my wife cheating on me." He sighed sadly.

"I did see the body of that poor woman though. She was really a mess, I wish now I would have done something to stop it." William said with a scowl. "I truly am sorry."

"No Mr. Hawthorn, you've helped us out a lot. Thank you." Maes said as he and Roy stood to leave. "We'll be on our way now, thank you for your time."

They shut the door and headed for the car. The rain was coming down even harder now but neither Maes or Roy seemed to care much. They just got the biggest lead on the case yet.

"Well, what do you make of this Reaper character?" Mae's asked as he dodged a mud puddle. "Sounds like The Shadow is actually known as The Reaper."

"Shadow, Reaper, whoever he is, we'll get him." Roy said, "I promise you that."

"Oh we'll get him all right! Not even Scar could hide from us." Mae's agreed. "Now we just need to figure out who he really is and the best place to start is The Running Horse Bar." Maes said as he climbed into the drivers seat.

"Well lets go then." Roy said as he sat down in the passengers seat and shut the door.

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