Chapter 6: The Gates Have Fallen
Three days would pass and there would be no sign of Jack. I must’ve really upset him.
I started considering him dead.
“John.” Ed slapped me on the back, jolting me back into reality. I had forgotten that I was at work, in the middle of the day, with loads of customers.
“What the hell are you doing here?” he seemed shocked to see me.
“I figured I’d come back to work.”
“Why? It’s obvious that you’re still out of it. I mean, you’ve been staring at that damned salt shaker for twenty minutes. Are you alright, mate?”
I rubbed my eyes. “I don’t know.”
He walked me to the entrance doors, threw my coat over my shoulders and said, “Go home, ok? And don’t come back unless your head is back on your shoulders.”
“Alright…bye, Ed.” Then I started down the pavement towards an unknown destination. I wasn’t going home. I just didn’t feel like it.
The J.W. Cannibal still hasn’t struck since Lenora Holmes. I was beginning to suspect that he had fled London. And there goes another case I failed.
I bet Inspector Abelian is flustered. This case has driven him mad just as it’s done to me.
Suddenly, I looked up and realized that I had walked to Jack’s apartment building. I never returned to his flat ever since that moment, three days ago, when I was overwhelmed with that unexplainable feeling of suspicion and fear.
It kind of made me feel like he was up to no good. But what?
To any other person, this would indicate that he was the J.W. Cannibal but in my mind, I knew that he wasn’t. His reaction to me accusing him didn’t belong to a guilty man. I still need to apologize to him for that. But how am I supposed to?
Looking up at the building, I took a deep inhale of air then walked forward with my head held high with fake confidence.
I hurried up the stairs before I could change my mind then I stood before his door once again. There wasn’t silence in the hallway this time.
On the stairs next to me, two women were laughing and outside I could hear wheels and the sounds of London.
I held my hand up then, with a long hesitation, I began to knock. But before my knuckles could even touch the door, it swung open and Jack stood there with a dead expression on his face.
We both stood there frozen. I, with my fist up and he, with his eyes staring up at me.
I slowly lowered my hand then cleared my throat. “Hello, Jack.”
He arched a brow at me. “Well, well, look who’s here,” he turned around. “Mr. Wilkinson.” Then he walked back inside his flat leaving the door open. To me, and probably any other person, this meant to follow.
I stealthily entered his flat then shut the door.
He was standing there, in the middle of his lounge dressed in a robe, with his hands on his hips with a face of judgement. He appeared as though he had just woke up, for his hair was a mess and his cheeks were flushed with color.
“Listen…” I began. “I wanted to talk about the other day.”
“What? Three days ago?”
“Yeah, three days ago…”
“You could’ve come by earlier, you know?”
“I did,” I said. “Like, right after what happened, I came over here but I was too chicken to knock on the door.”
He looked at his bedroom door. “Probably a good idea.”
I also glanced at his bedroom door. “So…”
Suddenly the door open and a young lady walked out. I didn't recognize her.
Before leaving, she place a small peck on Jack's cheek then left without saying anything.
"Who was that?" I asked, looking out the door towards the lady.
"She's a prostitute, John."
Well, that explains his appearance. "Really? Never took you for a man who paid for a good time."
“I’m surprised you didn’t figure that out for yourself. You know, considering you’re like a detective who just knows everything.”
“I understand why you’re upset with me but do you really have to be sarcastic?”
“Why are you here, John?”
“I wanted to apologize for accusing you of murder,” I finally said. “It was an outlandish and mad thing to do. For the past few years of my life, I’ve been alone. I mean, sure I had Ed but he’s not my friend, he’s my boss. I’ve never had a girlfriend because I can’t hold a relationship, I pretty much suck at life. And the one time I get somebody who understands me and somebody I really care about…I drive them away. You don’t deserve that. You’re the only person I can trust right now. You’ve never given me a reason to not trust you so I should’ve really thought about those words before I let them leave my lips.”
He stared at me for a moment in a way that I hadn’t seen from him before. His eyes were warmer now and he dropped his hands from his hips. “You’re forgiven,” he sighed.
I smiled brightly and then I pulled him into a tight embrace which, at first, he resisted but then returned the hug.
He pulled away. “I would like to apologize for my reaction. I just couldn’t believe you would accuse me of such a thing. Do you honestly believe I would kill people like that?” he laughed. “Please, who do you think I am?”
I furrowed my brows. “Wait…you were offended not because I accused you of murder but because of the murders I accused you of?”
“Of course I am.”
I gawked at him. “What the fuck is wrong with you?”
“A lot, John.” He threw off his robe revealing his naked body.
“Now, let me get dressed.”
“Oh my God!” I covered my eyes.
“What’s wrong, John? Have you never seen a naked man before?”
I looked at him through my fingers. “Yeah, one time in Brixton but that’s another story for another time.”
“Oh! I’d like to hear that story.”
“I bet you would,” I said. “Now put some damn clothes on.”
“Yes sir!” he saluted me then hurried into his bedroom.
“Jack,” I said as we walked through the streets of London. “I can never unsee what just happened back there.”
He laughed wickedly. “Oh please, I’m beautiful. You’re just a pussy.”
“Where are we going anyways?”
“I figured we’d continue our search for the J.W. Cannibal.”
I stopped in my tracks causing him to do the same.
“You mean, we’re still doing that?” I asked.
“Of course we are! We must clear your name. Why?”
“No, I was just surprised. I thought that you wouldn’t want to deal with that anymore.”
“Nonsense!” he waved away my statement. “This is important. We made a vow, after all.”
I smiled at him.
God, he’s so incredible.
“So, where should we go first?” he asked.
I was about to answer but a scream rang in my ears.
Everyone on the street turned their attention to the source which was a woman standing before the gates of London’s main hospital.
When my eyes found what caused her shrieks, I froze.
There was a body that was hanging from the gates, for he had been impaled by their pikes.
Jack and I approached the body and realized that it was Edmund Adair. A crowd gathered around the grotesque scene.
Jack put his finger in one of the wounds. “It’s still warm. This was recent.”
There was a piece of paper sticking out of his pocket. I grasped it and a string followed before breaking, sending the gates down on top of us. I pulled Jack out of the way as gates fell to the ground, splitting Edmund Adair in two. Screams and gasps followed.
I looked down at the familiar handwriting which flowed across the paper. It said: “The gates have fallen. Make no mistake, for I am the Omega. Ever, J.W.”
“John,” I heard Jack say.
I looked up to find him handing me a rolled up newspaper. “This was in Edmund’s hand.”
I opened the newspaper that was from last year. The front page had the Ripper’s name splattered all over it. Written in what I prayed was red ink was “I am your shadow, John, will you be mine?”
“Out of the way!” I heard Abelian’s voice from behind me. I turned around and saw him with his uniforms at his side splitting apart the crowd.
“What is going on here?” he asked. “John? What’s happening?”
“It’s him. It’s the Ripper,” I handed him the newspaper. “He’s back.”
Abelian stared down at the paper and then back at me in horror.
The gates had fallen.
“The Omega,” Jack said. “This guy thinks he’s God.”
Jack, Abelian and myself had retreated to the morgue to have a look at Edmund’s body.
“The gates have fallen,” Abelian repeated. “What does that mean?”
“I have a confession,” I began. “Jack and I did some unauthorized detective work and we questioned all of the Ripper witnesses. Edmund was the first we questioned and he was sent a letter that said: ‘the gates will fall’.”
“And you didn’t bother telling me about that?!” he was frantic and angry as all hell.
“We didn’t think it mattered, to be honest.” Jack said. “You wouldn’t have found anything from it anyways. We checked it. There wasn’t anything that could’ve stopped this.”
“He didn’t eat any of Edmund’s organs,” I said. “Why?”
“Maybe he’s trying to send a message,” Jack suggested. “With this Omega reference, he’s trying to prove his dominance. He was able to perch a body on the tallest gates in London in the middle of the east end’s busiest street. That’s impressive. He’s trying to show us that he’s not some amateur. He knows what he’s doing.”
“He’s probably killed before.” I added. “He knows how to get away with murder,” I looked up at Abelian. “And he’s grown an interest in me.”
“It’s the Ripper, then? He’s back.”
“Evidently,” Jack said. He had a peculiar expression on his face. He seemed confused and mystified. I mean, we all were, but he seemed to be in a different aspect.
He seemed surprised.
Abelian sighed. “Well, this is one hell of a case, boys. I must be off to the Yard, there’s much my detectives and I need to go over.” He popped his hat atop his head. “Be careful, John. He’s obviously targeted you.”
I let this sink in as the inspector left. He was right, I needed to be cautious whilst out on the streets. This man obviously wants to kill me.
Jack’s question gained my attention, “Are we sure it’s Jack the Ripper?”
I looked at him. “That’s where everything is pointing to.”
“What if it’s somebody posing as him?”
“Why would they?”
He shrugged. “I don’t know.”
I stood up when I asked the next question. “Why do you act as if you know for sure that the Ripper isn’t responsible for these murders?”
“What do you mean by that?”
“It just seems like you know for a fact that he isn’t the culprit.”
He arched a brow. “Are you implying something?”
“Should I be implying something?”
“I just highly doubt that the Ripper is committing these crimes,” he said. “It just seems very unlikely to me, that’s all.”
He turned around and looked down at this desk. “Now, I must get back to work.”