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The Routine Homicide

By Josh Moberly All Rights Reserved ©

Thriller / Horror

The Routine Homicide

You know how it goes.Every detective has that one case that either makes them, or breaks them.And this was shaping up to be the latter.It was just another routine homicide.The victim a young twenty something, blonde, she would have been real pretty too if her guts weren’t ritualistically hung from the ceiling like birthday streamers and her body skinned and positioned in such a vulgar manner that it bordered on blasphemous.

Routine homicide my ass, something wasn’t adding up, and that’s when I found it; an old VHS tape with the day’s date hastily scrawled on it in black permanent marker. Upon closer inspection, I saw that the tape had blood splattered on it. Naturally, we bagged it and marked it for later review at the station.

Our IT guy watched the tape. His report read that there was nothing remarkable on it whatsoever, just some recording of an old children’s TV show. After forty-eight hours passed and we had zero suspects and fewer leads, the case went cold.

A week went by and one morning our IT guy didn’t show up for work. All calls by his supervisor went unanswered. Two days later his landlady called us complaining about a horrible smell coming from his apartment. That’s where we found him.

He was in his apartment all right. Flayed alive with his intestinal tract strung up on the ceiling, just like the girl. However, unlike the girl he was missing his eyes. It was as if some sicko scooped them out of his head with a melon baller. Whoever did it also removed the optical nerves as well. We searched the place all over for the missing eyes, but couldn’t find any trace of em’. However, in the guy’s bedroom we did find something, the same damn VHS tape from before. The guy must have stolen it from the evidence lockup right before he disappeared. Interestingly, the original date was scratched out and the current one scrawled in its place.

I swiped the tape and put it into my coat. I didn’t even bother bagging it. I spent the rest of my shift filled with paranoid dread of someone checking my coat. No one did.

When I got home after my shift I dug through my closet for my old VHS player, hooked it up and popped in this mystery tape. The tech was right about one thing, for the first fifteen minutes the only thing on the tape was some old show from the seventies. Then at the fifteen-minute mark, it cut to footage from a handheld. Only the position was all wrong. It was almost like the camera was mounted to the operator’s head.

As the operator walked down the hallway, it made this unnatural wheezing noise whenever it limped forward. It sounded kind of like one of those old iron lungs from the fifties. It stopped at a door. It didn’t take me long to figure out that the door belonged to the blonde. A metal claw reached up and ripped the door open. There was the sound of a woman screaming, which this thing mimicked in an uncanny mechanical fashion, before.

My god! Never in my fifteen years on the force have I seen something so methodically obscene as what was on that tape. I knew the aftermath, but it was an entirely different beast to see it happen from the eyes of the fiend who did it. The methodical way that this thing flayed that poor girl was just perverse. It carefully skinned her to keep her flesh intact. It made care ful cuts along her arms and pulled with enough force to perfectly de-glove the flesh from her muscle. She screamed loudest when it did that. The thing looked carefully at the de-gloved flesh. I saw through this things eyes that the still drying hot pink nail polish at the end of the fingers. This thing then carefully sat he flesh glove aside with the rest of the girl’s flayed skin and set to work diligently unwinding her insides. The girl was screaming through it all, and each time she screamed this thing mimicked her cries with its mechanical whirring. When the tape cut out, she was right where we found her –suspended in air by her intestines to the ceiling fan her body still twitching. A weak death rattle escaped her worn out lungs.

The tape cut to black for about thirty seconds. When it picked up, the thing was walking down the hall of our IT guy’s apartment building. Just like before, the thing shuffled its way down the hall, wheezing as it went. Only this time when it clawed the door in, it’s “Hand” had flesh grafted to it. Flesh capped with hot pink nail polish.

It then proceeded to tear apart our IT guy. I couldn’t watch the rest; instead, I ran to my bathroom and puked my brains out. I wiped my chin and walked back to my living room. My heart fell through my chest. On the screen new footage was playing. The camera limped down a hallway, the hallway outside of my apartment. I stumbled back as panic seized me. Outside I heard a wheezing. Like one of those old iron lungs. I had to do something. I made a mad dash to my gun safe and hoped I could get my shotgun before it was too late.

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