It was late October the 27th, It was a slow night for Lt. Smith his kind of night. He was flipping through an unsolved murder from six months ago. A young man of sixteen had been tortured and disfigured. He was so deep in the file he did not hear the door open. A tap on his shoulder had him up with his weapon in hand. A deputy named Tom was standing behind his desk. “ Sorry sir” Tom said “We got a report of a disturbance in the bookstore downtown.”
“What kind of disturbance?” Lt. Smith asked putting his weapon away.
“The bookstore owner, a young woman was screaming, but what puzzles me is that according to the neighbors the store should be closed and locked down.”
“She could have let someone in. Let’s go we do not need another murder.”
Smith pushed his horse to go faster and faster, but he could not. Breaking down the door was harder and more violent then he intended. Smith took three steps into the room and hit his knees, nothing could have prepared him for this, his worst fears were realized; another murder. The victim a little boy about seven or eight, was laying in a bloodstained room. The look frozen upon his face was pure terror. He wore a school uniform that consisted of blue pants and jacket and a gray cap that laid a few feet away. His throat was cut deeply, the wooden floor shined with his blood; its hard to believe that someone so small could own so much blood. Smith placed his hand on the boys bloody chest as tears slid down his face.
“Who could do this to a child?” he whispered “Deputy James how did the bastard get out of here?”
“I do not know sir.” James whispered.
Smith walked to the window as he examined it closely, he noticed that the nail on the far left stuck out a bit further than the rest. “Of course,” he thought “This is from one of Poe’s collections, it’s always the psychos.” he stood up and walked back toward his officers “Its Poe him and his twisted mind cost this little boy his life.” then he stopped “I thought you said the owner, a young woman screamed?”
Before anyone could answer they heard a creak coming from the closet. They pulled their weapons silently and slowly crossed the room. Deputy Tom placed his hand on the door handle and pulled open the door, shock crossed each one of their faces. The young woman who owned the bookstore was rocking back and forth staring at the floor. She wore a yellow dress that was now stained red. Smith crouched in front of her the look on her face made him cringe. He placed a hand on her shoulder; her head snapped up and seized his arms.
“Here is a challenge for you, each victim will have a message are you smart enough to solve it and stop me?”
She stuck out her arm; there carved in the flesh. “Out-out are all the lights, the curtain come down with the rush of a storm. The hero is the Conqueror.”
They removed the owner from the closet and sat her on the floor outside the bloodstained room. Smith stayed in the room with the young boy and stared off into the distance, one by one the officers left the bloody room.