Chapter Four: D is the Word
Luka and Abraham stood outside The Artist’s latest victim’s room, talking to her doctor. The doctor told them she would be fine. She will need a lot of plastic surgery to fix what the man had done to her.
Luka walked around the doctor and his partner and slowly opened the door to the woman’s room.
She looked over at him and forced a smile. “Hey, detective.”
“Miss Lawson.” He said with a nod as he entered the room.
“Please, call me Ariel.”
“Ariel, huh?” He asked with a smile as he closed the door behind him. “Like, The Little Mermaid?
She rolled her eyes as she shook her head. “Like crazy-ass parents.” She mumbled.
He laughed. At least he had gotten a real response from her.
“How are you feeling?” He asked as he stopped beside her bed.
“Like he tossed me into a blender.” She said with an accurate description, that’s what looked like had happened to her.
“I’m sorry we didn’t get to you fast enough.” He said as he watched her face.
She shrugged her shoulders. “The Sapphire Dreamer got to me just in time, I guess.”
“Yeah, about him. What do you remember?” He asked as he studied her face.
“I told you guys what I remember.” She said as she looked away from him.
“I can see you’re holding something back. Anything you can tell us will be most helpful…”
“I won’t help you catch him.” She said as she looked back at him.
Luka eyed her. She was serious. She was holding something back, all right. But what?
“He saved my life.” She said as she shook her head.
He smiled; he could see something in those bright green eyes of hers.
“You also want an interview with him.”
Her eyes widened as she stared at him.
He laughed softly. “You and every other reporter do. But you seem to be the one who got closest to him. Did you do that to get his attention?”
She laughed, then sucked in a breath as her hand came up to her face. “Yeah, sure, I got myself cut up by a psycho so that I could get an interview with the local hero.”
“He’s not a hero, you know.” He said as he watched her.
“He is to those he has saved. And the families of the victims.” She said as she watched him.
“He’s a killer, ma’am.” Abraham said as he joined them.
“Detective.” She said as she nodded to the other man. “As I told your partner here, there is nothing more I have to say to you two. Now, if you will excuse me, I would like to get some sleep.” She said, then slid more comfortably down into the bed and closed her eyes.
Luka looked at Abraham and gestured for them to leave the room. Abraham nodded, then turned and led the way out the door.
“She thinks him a hero, and I can see that she hopes to catch him and get an interview from him.” Luka said as he followed his partner out into the hall.
“Maybe he’ll agree to the interview.” Abraham said with a nod. “Then, we’ll catch him and finally get the mayor off the captain’s back.”
Luka sat at his desk with a heavy sigh. It has been almost a week since The Artist had sliced Miss Lawson up, and still nothing on The Sapphire Dreamer.
And she wasn’t much help.
He opened the drawer to his desk and pulled out the old files he had been looking at last week. Maybe if they solved this case, the mayor would get off his captain’s back, at least for a while.
He has had this feeling that the man would strike again. And this was a clue of how to stop him. And something needs doing; before the maniac strikes again. They had had him on over eight murders last year, but they had pinned the previous murder on The Sapphire Dreamer.
Why, he would never know, because there hadn’t been a dream catcher left behind. But for the past six years, there have been many murders pinned on The Sapphire Dreamer, and Luka knew they didn’t fit the bill.
He read the name of the last victim out loud. “Dylan Grayers.”
Luka shook his head. They had laughed him out of the courtroom when he had told them his theory of why Damian Braxton had killed those men. But Luka knows he’s right. It was the only thing that made any sense. Every single man Damian Braxton has killed their name started with a D.
Luka looked at the picture of Dylan Grayers, then shook his head. But of course. Why hadn’t he noticed it before? He took the folder as he stood and ran to the captain’s office.
“Captain.” He said as he entered the office.
“Luka.” Davis said as he looked up at the detective.
“Sir, I have figured out his MO.” Luka said as he set the folder onto his captain’s desk.
Davis looked at the folder with a frown. “Why are you looking at this old Sapphire Dreamer case?”
“Because I don’t believe The Sapphire Dreamer done this. There was no dream catcher. I think it was Damian Braxton…”
“You need to forget about that man, Luka. It took me almost six months to get the courts to forget about your theory…”
“Sir, look at the picture of Dylan Grayers.” Luka said as he pointed to the picture in the folder.
Davis sighed as he looked down at the picture. His eyes widened as he stood from his seat.
“Why had no one seen this before?”
“I don’t know, sir. Do you see it too?” Luka asked as he watched his captain gather the folder and walk to his door.
“Yeah, I see it.” He said as he opened the door. “I think it’s time for a meeting.”
Davis pinned the picture to the board, then turned to his detectives and officers.
“This is Dylan Grayers. He was murdered last year, by we thought, The Sapphire Dreamer. But we shed some fresh light on this case, and we have other suspicions. We think Damian Braxton had murdered him and will strike again, soon.”
“Isn’t he the guy they released six months ago because of some mess up with evidence?” An officer asked as they looked at the board.
“Didn’t Detective Gunnar get laughed out of that trial because he said the man was killing the men because their names started with a D?” Someone else asked, and everyone looked at Luka.
Luka grunted. He had known this would come up, but they need to hurry this along. He had a feeling Damian Braxton was comfortable enough to kill again, and they need to find his next target.
“Sir.” Luka said as he watched his captain.
Davis nodded. “We believe that Luka had it right, and he will strike again. We need to find his next victim.”
“Wait. What?” An officer asked, confused.
“The tech is here.” Abraham said as he opened the door for the man.
“Over here.” Davis instructed the tech.
The tech set up his equipment then sat back and looked up at the captain.
“All set, sir. What are you looking for?” The tech asked.
Luka handed the tech a picture of Damian Braxton. “We need you to check this area for a man whose name starts with a D and is as close to a resemblance to this man, as you can get.”
“What’s going on?” One of the other detectives asked as she joined them behind the tech.
“Luka found something in Dylan Grayers’ picture, that no one had noticed before.” Davis said as he watched the tech.
The detective studied the picture on the wall. When she looked at the image on the table, she nodded. “I see.” She said. “And you think you can find his next victim with his picture?”
“Here, he is.” The tech said as a picture popped up on the screen.
“Dominic Silas.” Davis read out loud.
“That’s him; it has to be.” Luka said as he headed for the door.
“What are you doing, detective?” Davis demanded as the man headed out the door.
“Luka, wait up.” Abraham hollered as he caught up to his partner.
“I need to get to the man’s house.” Luka said as he headed for his desk to retrieve his car keys.
“Luka, wait, you can’t just go to his door and say, you may be in danger because your name starts with a D, and oh, by the way, you resemble a psycho killer…”
“I’ll think of something.” Luka grumbled as he rushed out of the station’s door.
Dominic Silas opened his back door to let his dog out. With a growl and a bark, the dog ran to the fence.
Dominic shook his head. He probably found a stray cat or the neighbor’s dog. He figured as he turned and walked back into the house and pushed the door closed behind him.
He moved to the kitchen and opened the fridge. Such a long and crazy day, he was due for a beer. He opened the cap and took a long swig, then set the bottle on the counter when he heard a loud noise in his backyard.
His dog yelped, and he ran to the back door.
He opened the door and looked outside but saw nothing. He called his dog and whistled, but his dog didn’t come. That’s odd; his dog never disobeys him.
Dominic noticed drops of blood on the porch and took a step outside and turned to look to the right side of the porch and almost screamed when he saw his dog, laying in a large puddle of his own blood.
He backed into his house, then closed and locked the door.
“A bit late for that.” A voice said from behind him.
Dominic spun around to find a man standing in the middle of his entry hall, a bloody knife in his hand.
“Sorry about your dog, I don’t usually go for animals, but he wouldn’t stop growling at me.”
“What are you doing… what do you want?” Dominic demanded.
“I just want you to know that I don’t appreciate you copying me, I am one of a kind.”
“What the hell are you talking about?” Dominic asked, confused.
“Come now, you must see it. We look just alike. You changed your looks to look like me after you stole the D from my name.”
“What the hell?” Dominic asked as he reached for the back door to escape the psycho.
“Tsk, tsk. You don’t want to go just yet; the fun has just begun.”
Dominic hollered as the man jumped on him and thrust the knife into his gut.
The Sapphire Dreamer looked at the body on the floor, then at the man who stood over the body, cleaning off his knife. He was too late to save Dominic, but he will save many other men from this lunatic.
“Leaving so soon?”
Damian Braxton whirled around and froze in fear. “The Sapphire Dreamer.”
“God, I wish they hadn’t saddled me with that stupid ass name.”
“Why are you here? You should be out saving someone…”
“I was late.” The Sapphire Dreamer said with a growl as he pointed to the body on the floor.
“Oh, him. He wasn’t worth saving. He was trying to steal my identity.” Damian said with a shrug.
“You’re crazier than I had thought.” The Sapphire Dreamer grumbled.
“Look, I have work to do here. Gotta make it look like a robbery…”
“You will not be covering your tracks this time, psycho.” The Sapphire Dreamer growled, his voice disguiser once again making him sound demonic.
“What?” Damian squealed as the masked man moved so fast, he was in front of him in a split second.
The Sapphire Dreamer took the knife from Damian’s hand, then thrust it into the man’s stomach in one smooth motion. Damian Braxton fell over onto the floor, next to his victim.
“So poetic. The detectives will find you at the scene of the crime, with the same wound. Taking the trash out is getting easier and easier.” The Sapphire Dreamer said with a grin as he watched the man’s eyes fade into the darkness.
The masked man heard sirens outside and grumbled as he quickly pulled the dream catcher from his pocket and tossed it onto Damian Braxton’s back, then placed the man’s knife back in his hand.
The masked man hurried out the back door just as they forced the front door open. He saw the dog on the porch and grunted softly, then disappeared into the night.