The following morning Waterloo Station was busy as usual. The platforms and main concourse were a seething mass of people rushing, pushing and shuffling to work following invisible paths across the floor that only they could see.
I had chosen this place as so many people passed through the station every day to work. Passengers arrive by overland train before connecting to either a bus or the London Underground. Most use Waterloo Station as a hub to descend into its bowls and pop up somewhere else in this grand city never knowing what lay immediately beyond its doors. For me, I live close by. I know every inch inside and outside of this mammoth Victorian structure. Personally it has become my local coffee, paper shop and convenience store. It is my convenience store for a late night meal or a pint of milk when I am short.
Waterloo train station had a pleth of crowd control CCTV cameras that are monitored by the stationmaster and the British Transport Police, so I know I have to be careful. If I put on a flat cap and pull a hoody over the top to disguise the shape of my head, all I will need is a costume moustache for my physical transformation to be complete. Even if I am caught on film I will not be recognised. With my disguise in place I put on clear plastic gloves and take out the wrapped package from my fridge. Holding it in my left hand I walk out my house and towards Waterloo Station. I was there in minutes. Once inside the main concourse I make my way towards the free morning paper dispenser by the London Underground entrance. As I stoop down to pick up a paper I drop the package on top of the stack and move on. Within seconds more people have picked up a paper. All ignoring the box. Just lifting the paper slowly enough as to not knock it on to the floor.
A station employee eventually goes to remove the box when he sees it obstructing people. As he stoops down to pick up the box he sees that it has an address, but no postmark or stamp.
FOR THE ATTENTION OF
DETECTIVE CHIEF INSPECTORCAIN
CITY OF LONDON POLICE
He immediately put his hand up to direct people to the other paper stands on the station concourse. He then calls it in on the radio. The British Transport Police are there in seconds. The area is cordoned off and the bomb squad called as a precaution. It is a suspicious package and must be treated as such. Considering London’s “Threat Level” is already at “Severe”, nothing is being left to chance.
Cainis informed but he cannot attend the scene due to a meeting and sends Simmonds in his place. After what seemed like an age, Simmonds calls in to report.
Cain picks up the call on the second ring. ‘Cain.’
’What’ve you got?’
’I think we have found Heather Billcliffe’s eyeballs.’
Simmonds heard a sigh and then there was a pause. He waited.
’You have got to be joking?’
’I wish I was boss. They were wrapped and packed in plastic egg box marked for your attention.’
’Okay, get them to the coroner for verification and the box to forensics. Does anyone know how it got there? Are people checking the CCTV?’
’We assume it was hand delivered to the location. I am checking now regarding the camera footage.’
’You need to speak to whoever is in charge of the British Transport Police at Waterloo and get them to release all the CCTV footage to you for the last ten days, not just around the time of the discovery.’
Heather Billcliffe was hanging onto life. They had done all that they could. She had lost a lot of blood and the trauma that her body had been through during the hours of her captivity could be seen internally and externally by her medical team. What no one could see was the mental damage, the potential ongoing issues and mental scars that she must have in spades. Physically apart from her sight, she had the potential to make a full recovery but mentally that battle may already be lost.
’We have done all we can medically. It is up to her now. But I don’t give her much hope,’said the doctor solemnly to Cain as they stood looking at Heather’s lifelessbody.
’I have seen victims older than her with worse injuries pull through,’ offered Cain.
’That maybe true Inspector, but after what she has experienced it will be tough for her to get past this. We can only imagine what she may have gone through during her time with this animal. When you look at the multiple injuries he inflicted on her and how they are healing you know that the injuries were inflicted during the whole period of her captivity. He would have pushed her to the brink of desperation over and over again many times. At some point she probably gave up and wanted to die. Imagine what kind of monster could take another human being to that point. So basically she now has to find the will to live again after willing for her own death just a few days ago. Don’t forget that even if she survives her life will never be the same after he removed her eyes. I think deep down she must know that. It would have been another form of torture to taunt her with that fact. Maybe his game is to make these women give up their desire to live?’
His last statement pushed them both deep into their own thoughts.
They stood and looked at Heather lying motionless. Clean white bandages covered her eye sockets. She wore a simple hospital robe that barley hid the scares and cuts to her skin. The heart rate monitor bleeped rhythmically. It was the only sound in the room.
’Medically we are done. The only thing we can all do now, is pray.’ the doctor offered.
After leaving the hospital Cain drove towards home. He drove with anger at first and had to force himself to reduce his speed. He felt so guilty for Heather laying there in hospital. It was his fault. He may not have been able to prevent his wife’s death but he had had the power to prevent Heather from ending up like this. Since the body of Chloe Goodhall had been discovered, what had they actually achieved apart from letting the killer know that they knew about his other victims with the effect of making him more determined. He was now more dangerous, if that were possible. If Heather died it would be on his shoulders and his conscience forever. If she survived he would still feel the pain of failure. He had to stop this bastard before he struck again. The feeling of it all was crushing him.
He had chosen not to tell the doctor at the hospital about the eyeballs being returned. It wouldn’t have done any good as they were of no use to her now. Presently they were in a laboratory being tested for fingerprints or if they had picked up any foreign DNA or fibres.
He finally brought the car to a stop and found himself parked up down the road from Ratner’s flat again. He did not fight the feeling, he just accepted it. He looked at his watch. It was just after ten thirty in the evening. He smiled. He would not have long to wait before that piece of trash came home from the pub.
Cain decided to read as there was enough ambient light from the street lamps to do so. He pulled out a copy of his favouritebook.
If it hadn’t been for Cain raising his head to think about a particular scene from the book, he would have missed Ratner staggering down the pavement to his flat. But as Ratner came up to the path that would take him to his flat he kept on walking. Where was he going Cain thought? He attempted to walk down the centre of the pavement, sometimes winning, sometimes not. Cain was parked on the opposite side of the road so he had a good vantage point.
Ratner stopped and looked across the road. Cain sank lower in the car seat. Ratner did not seem to have seen him. He then lurched across the road and went behind Cain’s car. All was quiet until Cain heard a steady stream of liquid hit the rear window. Ratner was relieving himself over Cain’s car. Once he was finished he staggered down the side of the car. He stopped by the driver’s door.
’Fuck Off Cain. This is sodding harassment you sitting here. If you do it again I will call the Pigs!!’ he shouted. With that he slapped the window with the flat of his hand. The two signet rings he wore made a cracking noise when they hit the glass. Cain had seen the hand sweep in but he still jumped when metal connected with glass. Ratner then staggered back across the road towards his flat.
What a fucking idiot I am Cain thought. Getting caught once was not a real problem. He could probably talk himself out of that, but how many times had Ratner known he was there. Something like this was just the thing that Ratner’s lawyer needed to strengthen his case that the CPS was gunning for him. Damn, he was such a fool sometimes.
Cain put the car in gear and pulled away. As he drove past Ratner’s flat he could not help but look across. Ratner was standing there giving him the finger.