“Let go of me!” I exclaimed, kicking my feet against the oversized man. The employees of Scorpio had thrown me into the back of a car at gunpoint and driven to an abandoned warehouse on the outside of town. I could hear and smell the ocean in the night air as they yanked me out of the car. The huge man tossed me over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes and proceeded in carrying me inside of the building. Once inside, we rode up an industrial elevator to the roof.
There were several of his men standing around, each of them holding guns. Walking for a few seconds, Goliath let me drop to the ground. I landed fairly hard on my ass in an ice-cold puddle. I swore as I winced in pain. Looking around, I saw Scorpio standing a few feet away from me on a raised platform. He was talking to one of his men, a smile on his face. When he noticed me, he nodded at the guy. The thug walked off the platform and out of sight. Scorpio walked forward as I stood.
“Lot of effort to just kill a girl, isn’t it Scorpio?” I asked. He smiled, folding his hands in front of him.
“Yes. But you are no ordinary girl, are you? I mean, you have managed to kill almost half of my mean. It pities me to know that my men can be so easily killed by a woman. I’ve begun to have tougher screenings for my positions.”
“Lovely.” I said, not amused. “Can we get this over with? I’m sure you are a busy man.”
“Now, Abigail. We need to wait for all our guests to arrive. I’ve just been informed that they are heading up on the lift right now. Then we’ll get into some party games.” I heard the lift doors open behind us. Turning, I watched as the faux Savior led Cory onto the roof by the hand. He looked confused as he saw all the people. He looked even more confused when his eyes landed on me.
“What the hell…” he trailed off, letting go of the girl’s hand. He stood a few feet away from me. He fake Savior walked up to Scorpio.
“There ya go, boss. Delivered like you said.” Scorpio smiled.
“Excellent job, Melissa. You are waiting for payment now, right?” The girl nodded, pulling the mask off. She had to be only 17 or 18 years old. There were dark rings under her eyes and she was trembling slightly. Her face lit up as Scorpio reached into his coat pocket. Instead of blow, he pulled out a small dagger which he plunged into her throat. Her eyes widened as Cory stepped forward. One of the thugs pushed him back though. Melissa dropped to the floor as the drug lord pulled his dagger from her neck. The girl bled to death quickly. “No worries, Agent Cory. She wasn’t the real Savior. Just someone who looked a lot like her. I assure you the real one stands with you now.”
“That girl was innocent.” I called out. He smiled, wiping the blade clean on a handkerchief.
“What is innocent truly, Miss Savior? I mean, she has had similar crimes as your victims. She abused her child before the baby died of SIDS. Just was never reported. What makes one-person worthy of your lessons and another not?” His smile remained as I was quiet. “Now that everyone who was invited is accounted for, let’s play a game! It’s called Who Am I? We used to play it in grade school all the time. Look at me dating myself.” He let out a chuckle. “Now I will start to show you how. Agent Bowen, I will give you three clues. If you can guess who I am, you win this round. It’s just a warm up round though. So, let’s see. I am an avid card player. I am the biggest drug lord on the west coast. And I love to garden. Any guesses?” Cory glanced at me then back at Scorpio.
“Scorpio.” He said. Scorpio’s face it up.
“Excellent! I knew you’d catch on quick! Alright. For real this time. Savior? What are your three clues?” I glared at him.
“Just let the agent go. He has nothing to do with this.” I said. Scorpio smiled, shaking his head.
“Well, he just saw me kill a pretty young lady. I believe that is grounds of being ‘a part of.’ Don’t be a party pooper! I’ll give the clues then. Hmmm….oh! She lives in a one-bedroom apartment. She grew up in a foster home. She works for the Child Protective Services of Central California. Any idea, Agent Bowen?” Slowly, I turned and looked at Cory. Reaching up, I pulled the strings that held the mask tightly to my face. They unraveled and the masked pulled gently off in my handcuffed hands.
“Abby?” Cory whispered, his eyes growing wide. I nodded, looking at the ground.
“That’s two for two! Someone give Agent Bowen a reward! He’s a natural at this. Yes, Cory. Your beloved Savior is a shy, quiet CPS employee who has never been arrested. But she does lie to all those close to her. Well at least you any ways. That Indian fellow and the woman knew already. I realized that you didn’t when my men arrived at the last kill. After you slept with the Savior, you ran directly to Abby’s arms. Touching really. It was a brilliant plan, Abigail. You were a wonderful serial killer. I just wish that you could have chosen a different brand of targets instead of my customers. It’s hard to find good faithful ones with very deep pockets these days. You’ve cleared out a good number of them.”
“Sorry that I didn’t put your drug dealing into the equation. I was saving children from horrible situations. More than likely caused by the drugs you were supplying.”
“Those are allegations you cannot prove, Miss Lee.” The thug he had spoken to earlier appeared. Whispering in Scorpio’s ear, he handed the drug kingpin a cell phone. “If you will excuse me for a second. Boys, why don’t you show our guest their waiting room.”
Goliath dragged me by the hair toward a small shed on the roof. Another thug followed with Cory behind us. Opening the door, he shoved me inside of it. Cory nearly landed on top of me as I heard the door shut and lock again. Once I heard the morons walk away, I sprang to my feet. I felt my way through the darkness to the door. Using all my strength, I slammed against it. The door tossed me back to the ground. I groaned in frustration, getting to my feet again. Tension filled the air.
“What the fucking use?” Cory’s voice said from the corner. I looked in that direction, seeing only darkness.
“If we get out, we don’t die.” I replied, searching for any kind of opening.
“You have lied to me the entire time we have known each other.” He said.
“Yeah. I did. But you were an FBI agent looking for the Savior to put her in prison to receive the death penalty. What did you want me to do? Walk up to you that first day and be like, ‘Hi. I’m the Savior’? I can think or a couple easier ways to committee suicide.” I heard him get to his feet and walk closer to me.
“You could have told me who you were. I could have helped you out with all of this.”
“If I had told you sooner, you’d probably be dead right about now. Cory, it wasn’t safe to know who I am.”
“Oppose to this?” He said harshly.
“They must have followed you back to the motel last night and then followed me home from there. This really wasn’t part of the plan.”
“Oh yeah? Then what is?” My hand suddenly came across something cool. I picked it up and felt for a second. With a flick of my finger, a small flame emitted from the lighter in my hand. Looking around us, I noticed several boxes around us. All read the same thing across the front: FIREWORKS. I looked at Cory who looked down at me.
“You have to trust me. You can never talk to me again if you’d like but just trust me long enough to get us out of here.” He was quiet for a minute before nodding. Busting one of the boxes open, I reached in and pulled out a handful of fire crackers. I shoved them into Cory’s pockets. Shutting off the lighter, I put that in a separate pocket. “You have more room than I do. Once we get out there, light them and toss it toward Scorpio. They’ll think it’s gun fire. It’ll be perfect cover for you to run.”
“Me? What about you?”
“I have to kill Scorpio before I can leave.”
“Abby, I’m not leaving you here to die.”
“You’re not. Look, it’s the only way. You can escape and call the police. That way, we’ll both live to see the sun rise.” Footsteps heading toward the shack made me turn toward the direction of the door. It sprang open, Goliath standing there. Grabbing my upper arm, he pulled me out of the shed and back to the spot he had originally dropped me.
The area was now set up with two very bright lights. Almost like lights you see in operating rooms. They were set up around a table that was covered in a white sheet. Something lay between the table and the cloth though. Behind me, the sounds of Cory being dragged out after me could be heard. Goliath dragged me over to the table and took the handcuffs from my hands, placing one on my ankle and one on the table’s leg.
“This is the entertainment portion of the party!” Scorpio called from his spot on his precious platform. He looked very clean and stood out in his white suit he now wore. He was now sitting in a wicker chair that resembled a throne. Turning, I saw two thugs were holding on to Cory, each holding an arm. “Abby, would you do me the honor of removing the sheet?” Glaring at him, I grabbed the corner of the fabric and gave it a slight tug. It billowed to the wet roof, nausea hitting me. “This is Monica, everyone.”
On the table laid a naked young woman. She must have been almost 20. She was one of the girls I had given Cory on the fake list. I knew it as soon as I saw the copper colored hair. She had answered the door when we knocked and actually listened. I knew Monica. She was my first case at the CPS. She had been accused of slapping her son in the grocery store when he was throwing a fit. Being 21 and cocky, I had forced her to take classes and give mandatory weekly drug tests. She did as she was told. It was a simple mistake most parents make, and she had learned from it. The whole reason the CPS exists. She lay on the table unconscious. I couldn’t look away from her face.
“The artwork that you carve into your victims is so beautiful, Abby. I’d love it if you’d give us a live demonstration tonight.” One of his thugs walked over, a small table in hand. Setting it next to me, I saw it had a tray of scalpels and different knives on it. The nausea waves were getting stronger. “I checked her credentials too. She’s in the CPS system as a child abuser.” I shook my head
“No. She learned from her mistake. She’s innocent. She has a little boy at home.” I said, looking up at him.
“Abigail, she fits the profile. You cannot go about changing your code just because you feel like it. It is very unprofessional like.” He nodded at the thug who held Cory’s left arm. The tall skinny middle-aged man pulled out a pistol and pressed it against Cory’s temple.
“No!” I exclaimed, trying to run forward. The shackle made me fall forward to my knee.
“Just show us some art work and Cory will live. You have my word.” Scorpio called out as I stood again.
“Don’t listen to him, Abz! He’s lying!” Cory yelled, receiving a punch to the stomach.
“Stop. Please.” I said. Scorpio nodded at the guy again who let Cory stand upright. Turning back to the table, I could feel tears stinging the corner of my eyes. My hand shook as I reached over and picked up the shiny medical instrument from the tray. Gripping it tightly in my hand, I trembled as I brought the blade to her stomach.
“Any requests for the drawing?” Scorpio called out. Several of his lackeys laughed. “I know! How about a self-portrait of the Savior! It’ll be sort of similar to a signature. All great artists have one.” I glared at him before looking back at Monica. Sinking the blade into her skin, I was met with a thick line of blood. Without my gloves on, the blood covered my hands as I traced the outline of my face on her stomach. It ran down my arms and dripped off my elbows into the puddle at my feet. I had completely finished my face by the time she woke up.
“What...” she whispered as her eyes fluttered open. Squinting in the bright light, she turned her head to look at me. Her arms and feet were bound to the table by duct tape. Tears streamed down my face when we made eye contact.
“I’m so sorry.” I whispered. Looking down, she saw her blood covering my hands and torso. Her eyes widened when she saw her abdomen. She let out a loud, ear piercing scream as I continued with the picture. I felt every stroke as I carved my hair into her gut. She tried to move but she was tied down pretty good. Tears fell from her own eyes as she pleaded me with whispers. I tried my hardest to ignore them. To pretend she was really a horrible mother. I knew the truth though. I was taking a good mom away from her son.
As soon as I finished, I flung the scalpel toward Scorpio and collapsed to the ground in a sobbing heap. It landed at his feet, the blood giving off a red tint when the light bounced off it. Standing, he walked toward me. He stood over Monica and me, admiring my work. “Excellent, Abby. I must say if being a serial killer wasn’t your calling, you’d make a brilliant artist. It’s a shame I have to kill you.” I was numb as he walked back over to his chair. MY hands were sticky, covered in blood. Blood pooled around me, invading the puddle. She wasn’t dead. She had about an hour before she would be though. She let out a very quiet moan that made my entire body shiver. “Well I think this will conclude tonight’s events. It’s been rather fun too. I don’t think I can remember a night like this. At least not since I killed that little Asian clan in Florida. That was a blast.” He chuckled as he remembered back. Almost like a grandfather remembering back when he first met a grandmother. “Now all I need to do is take out the trash.” He nodded at the guy who held the gun at Cory’s temple. “Thanks for attending tonight, Agent Bowen. It was nice meeting you for the first time. Well, and the last time I suppose.” He smiled.