Death of Saint Peter
“How do you know his name?” asked Smith. The young boy simply smiled and said. “Because the cross says Peter on it. It’s common sense.”
“Do not get sassy with me young man!” Smith snapped. Its been a hell of a day.”
Chris hid the sting of his words and stuck his tongue out at him and ran from the church. Smith turned back to the body and sighed he did not mean to snap at him. His stomach twisted. The man had been crucified. His frail body hung shamelessly on a cross that had clearly been tailored to his specific height and arm length. Across the top of the cross was a board, with the words, “Peter sacrifice of a prophet’s name,” carved vigorously into its base.
A crown of thorns lay wrapped around his head. Nails were sticking out from his hands and feet. And the blood… oh the ruby red liquid flowed out of his wounds and trickled from his feet into the golden chalice that sat just below them. A couple of Smith’s men ran out of the church, vomiting from the horrific sight. Smith slowly walked up to the body.
“The clue..” he whispered, swallowing back his own vomit. “Poe…”
Butchered into the man’s chest was the next passage. Poe hesitated a few seconds before stepping forward. It read: “The woodman winding westward up the glen sees full before him gliding without tread an image with glory ‘round it’s head.”
“Poe please tell me you know what this means.” Smith choked out.
“I… Well I…” Poe stuttered. “A forest.” “A forest! The woodsman.” Poe motioned to the word on Peter’s chest.
“Alright. Get the me…” Smith stopped dead. He stood in bewilderment staring at the gold band on the man’s finger and his heart sank into his stomach. “He was married…” he whispered.
“Pardon?” Poe asked.
“He was married. Damn it!” Smith screamed he walked over to a pile of clothes and pulled out a wallet and handed it to Poe. “Find his wife, bring her to the station and I’ll tell her… Just… Just find her Poe.”
Edgar ran from the building, leaving Smith alone. “Deputy James!” He shouted.
“Assemble our men. We are off to the forest.”
Once again the men set off, not knowing what this killer had waiting for them next. The smell of sweat and anxiety filled the air as the men moved cautiously through the forest. Despite the sun all around them was darkness. This was truly a dreary place. As they came up on the body, each of them felt the impact of what lay ahead even before they saw it.
“Shhh!” hissed Smith. Then he slowly reached out in front of him, gun in hand, and moved the branch that stood between them, and their next victim. Smith dropped his weapon to his side, and bowed his head in despair. This victim was strapped to a tree, yet it was much more. The victim couldn’t be described as male or female. Its skin lay on the ground beside the great oak. There had been no visible indication of a face. The men once more walked away. Lt. Smith could not move. He uttered no words, no sounds. All he could do was stare through his tear-filled eyes at the dismantled body. Suddenly, all fell silent not a sound anywhere.