Blood and Flowers

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Chapter 2.

I’m used to seeing dead bodies. It’s in my job description. Up until this case, I hadn’t dealt with dismemberment. Her body was cut interestingly. Her arms and legs were in two fragments; seemingly random cuts were littered all over her white skin. Something about the scene was alluring, almost artsy.

It wasn’t too cloudy, slightly overcast. I’m still not sure how X managed to scatter body parts out in the open without getting caught. The building was in a desolate neighborhood; a nearby payphone is what called the station. It was only 11:30 AM and I was staring at a severely mutilated corpse.

Something I noticed was a rose laying by Ella’s body. Of course, this wasn’t unnoticed by my fellow detectives. Detective Nelson backed away from the body; Detective Zane noticed and walked over to her. I saw them talking, but I couldn’t hear what they were saying. Detective Lynn had a more upset expression in contrast to Detective Zane’s and Detective Payton’s solemn one. “What’s going on?” I asked.

Detective Lynn sighed. “We have a serial killer on our hands.”

When we got back to the station Chief Cullen called for a meeting. “A letter was found at the scene,” she said sternly. “The letter reads: Hey guys I’m back. I’m in the mood for some fun. The games have begun and I see we have a new player. How nice. Anyway, allow me to explain the rules. I’ll give you a time and a place. Get there late and someone dies. At that location, you’ll find a clue. I’m serious about this. I’m giving you a chance to catch me. If you do well you’ll get more on my description. Tomorrow be at 1148 Blate St, no later than 11 AM. Good luck. Love, X.”

It was oddly refreshing to see a serial killer leave a note typed in Comic Sans.

Detective Nelson made a rather large fuss about not being able to work on the case. She went off, saying ‘she deserved to be on the case’ and also ‘she needs to know who X is.’ Her brown hair was tied in a bun (as usual) and her glasses rested on her face. I found her style lightly humorous, seeing as she looked more like a secretary than a homicide detective.

While Detective Nelson was pissed everyone else was tense. Of course, I didn’t learn why until later. Detective Lynn was a blonde (and a natural one at that) who completely broke the stereotype. “Payton you working on the case would only cause more problems. You should know this by now,” she said roughly.

“That’s bullshit,” retorted Detective Nelson.

Detective Zane looked at the scene in front of him with a furrowed brow. I guess that he was a little afraid. He’s not one to intervene in these types of situations. Chief Cullen however, was just the type. “Detective Lynn is correct; your involvement was tragic, yes, but we have to set our feelings aside. Detective Carter, I suggest you watch your back. The last time we played it didn’t go well.”

“Who exactly is X?” I asked.

Detective Nelson spoke up. “HE’S A SICK BASTARD WHO-”

“Payton,” warned Detective Zane. He sighed and looked at me.

“He?” I asked.

Detective Zane shrugged. “We don’t know. We don’t know anything really. Never been able to get an actual piece of there description.” Just from what I had seen I guessed that Detective Nelson was right. I really doubt that a woman would’ve been able to do that.

When I got to my apartment that night I saw my roommate Seth sprawled out on the sofa. His eyes were fixated on the TV until he saw me. “Yay, you’re back,” he said. He shifted his position, sitting up straight and motioning me over to him. I sat next to him, cringing slightly at being near him. Our sofa should’ve been too small for both of us. “I got you something.” He reached his boney hand into his pocket and pulled out a cocktail umbrella. The paper was pink with blue stripes etched on. “Do you like it?”

I took it from him, bringing it to eye level and studying it. “Did you steal this?”

“Perhaps.”

“Perhaps don’t steal from your place of employment.”

Seth rolled his monolid eyes at me. He pursed his dry lips and hesitated for a moment before speaking. “It’s not like anyone will notice. And you should be glad that I see you as someone worth stealing for.” I don’t know but his words kinda stuck to me. Even now I can replay him saying it in my mind. I placed the umbrella on the coffee table and went into the kitchen. Me being me I stock up on a lot and Seth being Seth he didn’t even make a dent in it. Not that I’m complaining. I came back to the living room with two glasses of water.

“Working on a pretty serious case.”

“Oh, fun. Tell me more.”

“The killer goes by X. They seem to like roses. And dismembering people.”

Even though I wasn’t looking directly at him, I could tell that he had a slight twinkle in his eyes. He always had one when I talked about a case he found interest in. “They’re back,” he said maliciously.

“What do you know?”

“The games begin and end the same way. And last time you guys lost.”

“How long ago was this?”

“About two years ago.” I had only been working here for a little over a year. I still considered myself a bit new. “You should be careful with this one Abel. X doesn’t mess around”

“So I’ve heard.”

“Don’t be so bitter.” I could tell that Seth cared about me (more than I cared about him.) He definitely showed it but right after he’d kinda cancel it out. “Just don’t die because I need to pay rent.”

I moved in after him. His old roommate died and his job as a bartender wasn’t the highest paying. He may have been here first but I was superior. I’m about ten years and three inches above him.

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