Ellen circled the shelves in the library looking for the spot she found the log. Over the course of a few days, each log only brought her despair and she became nervous just having the book around. She almost felt like an accomplice, reading and gaining the knowledge she knew would put a price on her head.
The shelf now housed books about science, psychology, and economics. Ellen found a tight spot next to a human mechanics textbook. She shoved the log next to it and walked away. She was better off without it. Her nights had become restless and she couldn’t get log 3 out of her head. MW explained in detail how he had to mutilate the body of a teenage girl who had found information on their operations.
He had dragged her back by her hair to an empty warehouse and proceeded to cut her fingers off one by one. He stabbed her 20 times in the stomach, and 15 times around her arms, legs, and chest. Ellen found it difficult to sleep that night and regretted reading. She hastily walked away from the shelf and went back to her desired section of animals and veterinary understudy. She grabbed a book from the third shelf that explained how the inner cells grouped together to protect the body. Her teacher had explained that a test would be coming up soon on the topic.
She decided to check the book out for use and read up on it later.
On her walk to the bus stop, she carefully observed the other citizens. From reading the log she became more observant of the people around her and what they could be capable of. MW had given her fear. Ellen was beginning to see a different side of the world. The bus slowly came to a halt in front of her and all the passengers begin to file in. She took a seat at the back away from the attention and settled her mind.
April 30th 2002
Her name was Elizabeth. Edward had found her investigating outside his apartment. She was holding a recorder in one hand and a notepad in the other, looking like a frightened mouse with its tail caught between its legs. She explained she was researching the murders that took place between 2002-2004 for her school newspaper. What she didn’t expect was that she would be caught by the murderer himself. She recorded us discussing business as per usual and that wasn’t a good sign. Edward destroyed her evidence and dragged her to the car. She was innocent but the family had to be protected first.
At the warehouse, we had proceeded to tie her up and leave her facing down on the floor. Edward had covered her mouth and eyes. She was uncontrollably crying and begging us to let her go but my conscience wouldn’t allow it. It was obvious she knew enough and the only choice was to kill her. I stabbed her 20 times in the stomach in rage and 15 times around her arms, legs, and chest. I was a monster.
I am a monster.
Edward decided to mince the rest of her remains and get rid of any evidence.
That night… I couldn’t sleep.
Ellen slowly came out of her reverie as the bus came closer to her school. The campus was sparse with students, as it usually was on a Friday afternoon and her only class was biology set in building A closest to the front. She climbed off the bus and headed inside. A few students were already seated but the professor wasn’t there. Ellen took a seat closest to the front and sighed, placing her head down on the desk for a brief moment. Thinking about MW‘s log 3 again somehow made her feel sympathy for him. In his own twisted way, he didn’t want to hurt Elizabeth but he felt he had to.
She could hear the indecisiveness in his voice but she couldn’t feel the rage in his heart. She wondered what could make a person become so evil to murder a child. But at the same time, she realized she felt fear towards MW, not hatred.
“How is this possible,” She whispered to herself.
Shrugging her thoughts aside she noticed a shaggy, blonde head blur in the corner of her eye. Her biology teacher, Mr. Hendrix, had entered the classroom and walked towards his desk. He adjusted his jacket and set a projector on the table, shouting a brief hello to all who were present. The topic displayed was Evolution. As Mr. Hendrix went on to explain the topic further she realized it almost described who MW was. She wasn’t sure who he was before all this and what made him make the decision to become who he is now.
“ The four principles of evolution are variation, inheritance, selection and time.” Mr. Hendrix continued.
“Variation allows species to be differentiated by their genetic make-up, Inheritance shows the genes that offspring have received from their parents, Selection decides which genes are prominent and Time shows how long it takes these genes to change and manipulate”
If MW's parents had genes that became manipulated over time, evolution sounded like the perfect excuse for murder. After another hour, biology was over and Ellen finished up her notes. Mr. Hendrix declared the class finished and informed them that a test would be coming up in a week. She packed her things and headed out. On the way out, she decided to head to the library once again to collect the log. She realized that despite the gory details, MW was an example that she could use, not to mention her shy, invested interest in knowing more about him.
“Finally good to see you out” Dani, Ellen’s young friend shouted over the club music. The two had become good friends for the last five months and counting. She had managed to convince Ellen to take a break from studying and come out on a Friday night like a normal adult.
Dani was dressed to impress with a dazzling blue mini skirt and a black crop top paired with stilettos. Ellen was older than her being 25 and thus opted to be more mature. She wore a thigh-length, backless, black dress that had a sweetheart neckline and crisscrossed flats. Her hair was in loose waves too and she styled it with a cute flower beret on the side.
A few guys had noticed her but she was glad all the attention was on Dani. She had tests to think about and MW would have to wait.
“I’m here tonight, as your plus one, just like you asked,” Ellen replied.
Dani pursed her lips and took a swig of her drink. “If that’s all it took to get you out of the house, I should have done it sooner”
Ellen rolled her eyes. Dani was a freshman and had way fewer exams to conquer but she helped when necessary. Ellen glanced at the dance floor and observed the few persons swinging about. It was an easy vibe tonight and she could roll with it.
Dani grabbed her arm and led her toward an empty corner seat. She quickly sat down and blew a breath.
“I have an exam next week, Calculus, could you come over and help me go through it?” Dani asked.
Ellen knew she struggled with most of her course work but didn’t question it. She smiled in response and Dani sighed gratefully. Just has her friend decided to get another glass, Ellen glanced around the room again. This time she noticed a man leaning against the bar. He was about 5,7 with short brown hair, a few pieces floating against his forehead and ears. He was excellently built with muscles and stood very confidently despite his height. She figured he could handle himself against anyone if he had to. He wore a blue button-down shirt, gray slacks, and black shoes. His attire showed he was on business, not pleasure, but he looked handsome all the same.
She hadn’t noticed he had caught her staring until she made her way back up to his face. His eyes were beautifully hazel and he smirked at her. She didn’t enjoy his attention though. Her gut increasingly tightened and she hastily looked away. His face, his body, it all felt too familiar like she’d read it somewhere before. His description sounded so similar to MW’s log 4. They had taken an opportune day off and went fishing where he described his friend in vivid detail. Ellen laughed to herself.
“There’s no way,” she muttered to herself. “If his name is Edward too, I might as well call myself crazy”
Lost in thought, she hadn’t noticed him walking toward her until he set a martini on her table. She looked up into his eyes.
“Pleasure to meet you,” he spoke softly. “I noticed you staring, would you mind if I took a seat?”
Dani wasn't back yet and under his eyes, Ellen started to feel numb.
“Sure, my friend is at the bar but she’ll be back soon”
The man took a seat and introduced himself. “I didn’t know you were bringing a friend.”
Ellen was confused. “I think you may be mistaking me for someone else. I don’t know you”
He sipped his drink. “My friend set me up on a date tonight. He sent her a picture of me. I figured it was you since you stared as if you knew me.”
Ellen laughed. “Oh no, I’m just a stranger”
“Well, my apologies, Miss...”
“Ellen” she supplied her name.
Don't say it, prove me wrong, Ellen chanted in her head as he stood up.
“Edward, lovely meeting you”
Ellen felt the air in the room slowly stop. She felt rooted to her seat and her heart began to palpitate. Her palms became sweaty and she couldn’t look him in the eye anymore. Edward had his arm outstretched for a handshake but she couldn’t go through with it.
“Are you alright?” His voice sounded out to her.
Ellen shakily got to her feet.
She was standing in front of a killer.
She couldn’t contain her fear. If he knew she was aware of half the things swimming in her head, she’d probably be dead. She brushed past him in a hurry and found Dani at the bar.
“I’ll see you on Monday” She kissed her friend's cheek and disappeared towards the exit. They barely got to talk and she was only there for a few minutes but her night was ruined. She had to get out.
Edward watched her as she pushed through the throng of people. She was open when he had come over but then her body froze up. She almost seemed fearful of him for some reason and he couldn’t get the look of her eyes out of his head. He figured she was crazy... but he knew crazy from a mile away and she wasn’t it.