Lola’s fingers typed on her keyboard at her desk computer. She had only been in the L.A. Police Department for a few weeks, and already, she didn’t like it. Every Detective thought they were smarter than her, or they actually knew who/what they were dealing with. It was one of the main reasons why she was a private consultant, so she could work mainly alone.
Leaning back in her chair, her eyes scanned the graphic images that littered her computer screen. The pictures were dead people, and each one was killed the same way.
The troubling thing she found was that the new serial killer had only been around a few weeks, around the time she was transferred to the Police Department, and already the perpetrator had an impressive body count.
The watch on her wrist began to buzz, and she read the screen to see who was calling her. Quickly snatching the phone once she read the name, she answered.
“Hello?” she asked. Her heart began to pound in her chest.
“We found another body at the Hollywood Sign. We think it’s Split, but we can’t be sure. Get down here,” the Captain’s voice was faintly distraught due to stress.
“Ok, I’m on my way. Make sure no one disturbs the scene.”
The phones went silent, and Lola quickly stood up. She grabbed her keys and phone and quickly made her way to the car garage.
Clicking the ‘unlock’ button two times, the new black Corvette unlocked. Lola slid into the seat, revved the engine, and drove away.
The Corvette rolled to a stop at the bottom of the Hollywood hill.
Looking up, Lola could see the yellow tape and mass of people up the hill. Striding up the mountain, she clicked the ‘lock’ button until her car beeped twice.
Once she made it to the scene, she held up her badge to a cop securing the area.
He read the badge: PRIVATE CONSULTANT. He lifted the tape, and she passed under it.
The Captain, a tall, buff man that was composed more of muscle than fat, walked up to her.
A loose strand Lola’s chestnut brown hair blew in the wind, the rest of it was tied back into a ponytail. She wrapped her arms around her at the sudden drop in temperature. Her eyes darted to the body.
The corpse was leaning against a tree. The right eye had been sewed shut, the right ear cut off, and the right half of the man’s mouth had been stitched together.
“How long has he been here?” Lola asked.
“We estimated around two days.”
“Anything decide to take a bite out of him?”
“There are a few small bites, but that’s all.”
Lola nodded her head and walked to the body, the Captain following. When she reached the body, she knelt next to him and leaned in until her face was a few inches away from his.
“Cause of death?” she asked.
“Blunt force trauma.”
“We haven’t been able to say yet. My men are looking around the area for a murder weapon.”
Lola pulled her face away from the man’s.
“Split wouldn’t leave the weapon here. He would take it. Use it as a trophy, or use it to kill again.”
“Needless to say, my men will continue to look until they are sure there is no weapon.”
“Whatever helps you sleep at night,” Lola mumbled, the Captain barely hearing her. Lola tilted her head to the side faintly and breathed in. The pungent odor of decaying flesh entered her nose, and she was forced to stand up before she gagged, or worse, threw up and contaminate the scene.
“If you don’t mind, Captain, I would like some peace and quiet.” She began to pull out her phone and headphones.
“Alright, men! You know the drill, be quiet or leave!” The Captain shouted to everyone.
Lola placed her earbuds in her ears and began to scroll through her music; already, the noise had drastically decreased. She crouched down next to the man and pressed play. Music began to enter into her ears.
I’m laughing on the outside
Crying on the inside
’ Cause I’m so in love with you . . . .
Pulling on her latex gloves that she always kept in her pocket, she grabbed the man’s head and tilted it to the side. Black and blue bruises covered the back of his head, mixed in with a fine coat of blood.
There it is, Lola thought to herself. Setting his head back onto the tree, her fingers parted the left side of his lips, and she opened his mouth as best she could. The tongue had been cut out.
Removing her fingers, she glanced into his ear: nothing. Then his eye: nothing.
Lola sat down next to the man and scooted to him until their shoulders were touching. Now she was at his point of view, seeing things that one wouldn’t if standing.
There has to be a reason he was moved here, Lola thought as her eyes scanned the terrain. The only thing that could be clearly made out from the city below was a building. Barely she could make out the white letters on the wall: LAYMEN.
Her head tilted to the side before her eyes departed. A few broken branches were to the right. Leaves covered the area between then, a cover-up. Her hands looked down to his wrists, no bruises. He came up here, or at least to the killer, willingly.
How did I die?” She closed her eyes and breathed in deeply again; the stench filled her nose.
I look around the top of the hill and threw up my arms. They said they would be here! I hadn't seen them in years and then, boom, they text me out of the blue and don't even show up.
"Hello?" I shout as I look around.
Before I could turn around again, a sharp pain encases my head. The next thing I knew, I was on the ground, my head pounding. I tried to get up but my limbs were limp. I scream when I was struck in the head again and again.
The assailant squats down beside me and turns me over onto my back. I groan in pain as fear incases my body. I can't move! I can't fight back!
The figure sits on my stomach and used their knees to pin down my arms. I feel hot tears roll down the side of my face as I tried to fight back again. Their fist slams into my nose, and I cry out as I feel my bone shifting back.
The person pulls out a knife and taps it against my shoulder. Their other hand covers my nose and after a few seconds, I open my mouth and gasp. I tried to close it again, but the knife is shoved in my mouth. I screamed when the blade sliced into my tongue.
My body unconsciously jerks and everything goes black when my eyes roll into the back of my head. I try to scream again, but I choke on my own blood.
What have I done? How could I have deserved this. . . ?
Lola’s eyes shot open, and she sat up, her breath getting caught in her throat. The music immediately began to calm her.
My darling, can’t we make up?
Ever since our breakup
Make believe is all I do
I’m laughing on the outside
Crying on the inside
Cause I’m still in love . . . .
Lola ripped out her earbuds and stood up, brushing the dirt from her black jeans.
The Captain walked up to her, having witnessed the whole scene.
Lola’s hand hit her leg a couple of times, and she swallowed. “Have your men search over there.” She pointed to the broken branches. “Also, I know why he was killed. Hold a meeting in the next hour. I have more info for a profile.”