Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
TheIbis2010 would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

The Last Night in the Office

By TheIbis2010 All Rights Reserved ©

Mystery

The Last Night in the Office

The blinding white light slowly subsided from Detective John Mulrooney’s eyes, and he raised his head slowly, shaking his head and shielding his eyes. What on earth was causing that?

He blinked, and the white light slowly shrank to the small amber glow of the lamp on his desk across the room. He didn't remember it being on before he went to sleep. And why had it been so bright?

Mulrooney slowly sat up in his worn black chair. The lamp was the only light in his office; otherwise the room was shrouded in darkness. He saw that a case file was lying open next to a stack of other papers, and he smiled darkly.

It was the file for the Hangman killings.

It was because of that damn psychopath that Chief Barks had kept him and Sergeant Robertson doing double shifts for weeks now, working them to the bone to solve the recent murders around around town. The three of them had finally caught him last week, and he was happy to see that Barks had written their final report for them. It really was the least he could do.

Mulrooney leaned over and read the interchanging scribbles of his or Robertson’ handwriting. The first entry was from two months ago, in July. It was an account of the first victim:

Gregory Geras, grocery store clerk. Hung by the neck until dead while in his store, with a piece of paper pinned on his head, on which was written the letter “G”.

The second and third entries would only be a week and two  later, Mulrooney remembered. And sooner still would bodies hanging from makeshift gallows start showing up like flies.

Erik Olsen, fisherman, hung by the neck until dead. An “O” was pinned on his fist.

Mortimer Armstrong, undertaker, hung by the neck until dead. An “A” on his left arm.  

This was when he, Roberts and Captain McElhaney had begun compiling the list on the victims of the “Hangman”, as he was popularly known in the papers. Mulrooney had never thought that a two-bit copy of Jack the Ripper would sell very well, but the city's growing hysteria had proven him wrong. And as July drifted into August, the names on the list grew.

Husband and wife Adele and Alex Eaton, both hung by the neck until dead. Pinned with “E”s on his right arm and her left leg.

Henry Voss, a banker, hung by the neck until dead. a “V” on his right leg.

And then, after the first week of August, the Hangman stopped his killing spree, leaving behind six victims, six clues, and one great mystery.

It didn't take a man of great intelligence to see that the victims had been marked with the first initial of their last names. But what was the Hangman trying to spell? He and Roberts had spent hours scrawling the possibilities on paper, mixing up the letters to try and make sense out of them. Every time, they came up short of any real word.

After a while, Mulrooney came the conclusion that the letters didn't mean anything at all. Geras had been wearing that letter for some reason before he was hung, and the killer simply picked his gimmick from there. You already had to be crazy to be a serial killer. It took a serious wacko to base his murders on a children's game.

He then read the third and final page in the file: the Hangman’s final kill and his capture, as described by Chief Barks. It was funny; for happening so recently, Mulrooney could hardly remember it.

On August 16, Detective Mulrooney, Sergeant Robertson and myself pursued the Hangman to his hideout by the lake. He asked them us our names. I stayed silent, but the sergeants gave it, which caused the Hangman to laugh. ‘Good’, he said in a low, sinister voice. ‘This is to be the end, then’. And, pulling out a gun, he fired at me, and I fell.

When I came to, my shoulder bleeding, I observed the aftermath of the Hangman’s work with horror. The madman was dead, his body floating in the water. I called for Captain McElhaney, and told him to bring a photographer to capture the Hangman’s final act.

An autopsy proved the Hangman to be Jack Ketch, an escaped mental ward patient from six years ago. According to an interview with the ward, the only way to soothe Ketch’s schizophrenia and violent tendencies was to make him play “Hangman” with his doctors. Whenever he won against them, he would yell “Game Over!” and his fits of violence would resume.

Mr. Calvin Meyer, a photojournalist from the Gazette, took the three pictures that for two months now have haunted our minds.

Mulrooney felt cold with shock. Two months? The capture of the Hangman had been less than a week ago, on the 27th of August! He remembered everything Barks wrote in this report, remembered the laugh of the Hangman as he rushed at him and Roberts. He remembered the rope he picked up from the floor. He remembered….

The shock Mulrooney felt was instantly replaced by dread. He saw the photographs behind the last page, and with trembling hands, he picked them up.

The first picture showed the body of the Hangman-Jack Ketch-floating face-down in the lake. He had three bullet-wounds in his back.

The second showed Robertson’s body swinging from the streetlamp at the end of the street. A large black “R” was pinned to his left eye.

Grief, confusion and fear flooded Mulrooney. He did not want to look at the last picture. He knew what he would see- a giant “M”- and he didn't think he could bear to see and live. But if he was right, that wouldn't matter. His eyes creeped down to the picture in his hand, and looked.

The body in the third photograph-the last man to be hung- was hung by the opposite lamppost, and the black “M” was pinned through his right eye. The man was John Mulrooney. Him.

And now, with him and Robertson dead, he saw what the Hangman had been spelling out for them.

GAME OVER.



Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, TheIbis2010
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

Darren Powell: Very nice read. Lots of surprising treats from: Schrodinger’s cat and dervish dance forms; to sensei masters and brownian motion. I wasn't expecting this, so it was a pleasant discovery.Also liked the 'cross-over' events connecting one character's/or group's journey to another. I like how that wa...

Spring: I normally don't read fiction novels, but I absolutely enjoyed reading Silent Shadows! The style is quite different from the previous fiction novels I've attempted to read. Great job!

Pilleip: This has been a bit different genre from what I usually read but a real delight. I like the vamps being different from cliche. I like the intriguing and unpredictable plot and the quirky characters. The only complaint I have is that I want to read more but the book run out. I hope there's going t...

Deleted User: As a teacher/scholar of British literature, there's nothing I like more than a well-informed tale of historical fiction, particularly one dealing with the murky events around Elizabethan England. Black Dog is full of gritty, well-chosen details that make the period come to life, and a plot that ...

kaac127: Personally, I loved this novel so much. You developed characters well, and your plot advancement was at the perfect pace. I've recommended it to several people so far and will continue to recommend it for some time. I want a sequel!!!!

alias: I loved the reason the two of them got together - it was different and very sweet! The pace of the story was good, the characters were well-drawn, and the plot was not overly complicated. There was some good humor, and Flinn's family was a hoot. There were a couple of doubled words, misspelled wo...

Deleted User: (A review in progress). I like this. It's sparse, gritty and atmospheric - reminiscent of the classic Golden Age of American detective fiction of the Thirties. I've only read the beginning, but I'll definitely be back. This writer knows their stuff and has done their homework on detective work. T...

M. Drewery: I did think I would be reading just another Atlantis archaeological adventure story when I came across this book. However I think it's fresh and very different to other approaches to the same historical mystery. The first chapter drew me in brilliantly. I'm not great at spotting technical writing...

biangeli: I really like your work because it's very in-depth to the depression and suicide experience. The pacing and cause-and-effect chain of events were excellent as well, though I think you should also be a little more creative on some explanations of events (i.e. when Katie was explaining about the Al...

More Recommendations

Atractivo Sumit: The story is an amazing blend of what we call natural, plain romance along with subtle emotions and interesting twists. The plot is so beautifully interwoven.

C J Lawson: Nicely done. Good story with good characters, as well. I was very entertained by the story line, from beginning to end. I would definitely read more of this author's work.