Lola sat on the ground as she thought about what had transpired between Split and Haymen. He had been forced to carve his own tombstone before he was killed with it.
Ironic, Lola thought. She tried to get any more info she could get out of Split, trying to expand the profile. She already knew Split was angry, getting revenge, slightly cocky but very careful, hurt. . . . That was all the info Split was giving her. A small smile tugged at her lips at the challenge.
“I’m not sure if I’ll miss you Haymen, I never really did like you,” Lola murmured.
The song re-looped:
They see me night and daytime
Having such a gay time
They don’t know what I go through
I’m laughing on the outside
Crying on the inside
’ Cause I’m still in love with you
Lola sighed through her nose and stood up. “You won’t be missed.” She walked out the back and found Thomas and Derik. Thomas was studying his notepad.
“What did you find out?” Derek asked as he walked to Lola.
“He’s a hear no evil. The tombstone said thief so somehow, and someway he has taken something from Split. He’s also part of my parents’ web. Once we get back to the police station, I can try and make a list of who all was involved; there are only a few people left, and honestly, when the list is finished, I’m not sure how Split will react.”
“Really?” Thomas asked as he approached them. “Shouldn’t you be able to find that out?”
“What did you get from the lady who found him?” Lola asked.
Thomas remained silent for a second. She had blatantly ignored his question by asking him one. He had had to deal with her all morning, and this wasn’t helping her case. “Nothing much,” he finally said. “She walked in, found him, called us.”
“But Detective,” Lola cooed, “shouldn’t you be able to find Split with a body and a suspect?”
“All right, that’s enough, both of you,” Derek gritted out. “We all need more information, so stop assaulting one another.”
“Technically, Sir, it’s not assault.”
“Thomas-” he was cut off when his phone rang. Then Thomas'. Then Lola’s.
Derek answered and grew scarily silent. He hung up without saying goodbye as Thomas and Lola stared at their phones, recognizing the number but not wanting to believe it.
“There’s been another body found.”
Lola got out of the car and approached the scene with Derek and Thomas. The three slowed faintly as they looked up at the body hanging from a tree. They were in a populated park, so busy that the police had had to set up barriers to keep the people away. Crowds of curious citizens gathered around the barricades, trying to take pictures or videos of the violence.
Lola looked at the people and realized that they would disturb her method. Panic began to set into her at that thought.
“Lola,” Thomas said, snapping her out of her thoughts. “Recognize the victim?”
Lola looked up at the body and observed him. The victim was hanging by his feet by a branch. His throat had been deeply slit, and the right side of the mouth and eye had been sewn shut while the right ear had been cut off. His arms dangled limply upside down.
“No,” she said. She ran through all the business partners her parents had had, and he was ringing a bell. But then again, she had also blocked them all from her brain and actually hadn’t recognized Haymen at first.
She outstretched her hand and Derek placed a new pair of gloves in it. Snapping them on, she reached the body. They were eye level. Tilting her head to the side faintly, she reached up her hands and gently tilted his face to the side, watching how his throat moved.
He was killed long enough for the blood to dry and cauterize.
Peeling open his eye faintly, she saw nothing. Then his mouth: nothing. Then his ear: nothing. Lola stepped back and looked at him again. Due to being upside down, his shirt was bunched up around his chest. No bruises could be seen, not even in his face.
Without turning around, Lola motioned her finger for Derek and Thomas to come to her, not wanting the onlookers to hear.
“What?” Derek asked in a soft voice, catching on to her intentions.
“This isn’t Split. This is the copycat.”
“Are you sure?” Thomas asked.
Lola nodded. “Yeah. He has no bruises. There’s nothing in his eye, mouth, or ear.” She flicked her arm twice. “I don’t recognize him.”
“Can you do your . . . talent to make sure?” Thomas asked as he looked into the man’s eye. He didn’t want to believe that the copycat was actually acting on the note they had been sent.
“Are you sure you want me to do that-”
“Lola now is not the time,” Derek said.
“I’m just making sure.” She held up her hands before a serious demeanor took over her. “Besides, I’m not sure if I can do it with everyone.” Her heal thudded into the ground twice, and she flicked her arm again.
“All right!” Thomas yelled before Derek could say anything. “Anyone who is not here on police business must leave. No, this isn’t a request! You’ve gotten your pictures and videos, so leave!” Lola tried to read him, but not even she could determine if he was actually annoyed with people taking pictures of a dead body or if he was trying to help her.
Reluctantly the people began to leave. The last of the observers left when police officers began to walk towards them.
“There,” Thomas said, “no audience. Now, we’ll leave, and you can do your thing while I go talk to the forensic people.” Thomas walked away, and Derek flicked her shoulder twice, leaving her alone with the decaying flesh.
Lola breathed in deeply and turned around, pulling out her phone, the song began:
I’m laughing on the outside
Crying on the inside
’ Cause I’m so in love with you
Lola laid down next to the pile of blood on the ground and closed her eyes.
I breathe out in short breaths. It's early in the morning and I've already had breakfast and now I'm working out. I feel so good! Gosh! More people should run this early! Why don't they?
I pick up my pace as I reach a corner. I always pick up my pace at this corner. I love-
Lola sat up and looked around. That was all?! She already knew how he died! This didn’t help in the slightest! It told her absolutely nothing that would help her get a profile! Nothing!
Cursing, she stood up and paused her music. She thoroughly dusted herself off as Derek and Jason walked over to her.
“That was fast,” Thomas said. She could hear him mocking her.
“I got nothing!” Lola spat out. Thomas opened his mouth to speak but she silenced him by holding up her hand. “But, luckily for you, that nothing gives me something for a profile. Derek, set up a meeting, let’s go get coffee, and then I’ll explain everything, with both cases. Also, Tom, you can join me today.”
“What?” Thomas asked.
Lola began to peel off her gloves. “I want you to do the briefing with me today since we know more about the overall case. Besides, I suspect that that little notepad you have will have some useful information in it.”
With a smile and snapping her fingers twice, she walked back to Derek’s car.
Derek looked at Thomas. “Hopefully, you two can begin to get along.”
Thomas didn’t say anything as Derek walked away. He cursed, put his notepad in his pocket, and went to the car. Two murders in two days, he thought. He wondered if these killing sprees would ever cause him and Lola to get along.