The children found her floating head down in the Danube River. It was exactly as I had feared. The victim had two perfect puncture wounds on her pale neck. She was like the others, all the blood had been drained from her body. I swore when I saw the bite marks, took off my hat and wiped my brow. A heavy fog hung down over the village, the air was humid, making my thick wool shirt cling to me uncomfortably. I heard some vultures hissing
nearby, warning the others of the fresh meat that had been found. I looked down at the woman, she was no more than fifteen. Her headscarf was still placed neatly over her hair, her long skirt and colourful vest were intact. The only evidence of a crime was the two incisions on the left side of her neck. She had a serene look in her face, yet I knew that her last moments had been anything but.
“Vladimir, food is ready, come.”
I saw mama waving from the back door. I was five years old, playing around in the dirty backyard. I ran home, took off my filthy shoes and sat down at the
“Clean hands first.”
Darn, I always forgot. I heard mama singing slowly while I made my way to the washroom. I stood up on the box mama had made for me and opened the faucet. Mama had the most beautiful voice, she sang like an angel. I listened to her while I
scrubbed my little hands. As I turned off the faucet, I heard a scream. The singing stopped. I ran to the kitchen and found the door open. Mama was gone. I went outside and found her
lying where I had been playing. She wasn’t moving. I went beside her, pulled on her hand.
“Mama. Mama. Mama.”
I woke up from the nightmare drenched in my own sweat. I stood up and went to the washroom to throw some cold water on my face. How I hated having these memories invade my sleep. I already had them enough when I was awake. I removed my nightshirt and placed it in the bathtub to clean it. While I was scrubbing it clean, I stopped to look out the small window that gave a view of the street. It was dimly lit, the fog still very heavy in the air. I heard a horse galloping in the distance and people making noise nearby at the local tavern. I thought back to the young woman the children had found earlier today. Nicolae, another inspector and I, had found no witnesses to the crime. We had come to a dead end as with all the other young women. The only thing we knew so far, was that they were all low class
women with not much means. They were not robbed of any material possessions, just the precious red liquid that flowed through their veins. I sighed and went back to cleaning my
shirt. It was going to be a long day.