HER

She’s dead…

I didn’t mean for her to die, it was an argument – an argument that didn’t stop. She kept going on about Eleanor, kept reminding me how imperfect I was, how my mistakes were unforgivable. What was I meant to do, I screamed my protests, told her it was enough. How many times must one hear they have made mistakes, let alone accept them? But she didn’t stop, instead she kept pushing. Pushing every button I told her, throughout our five year relationship, never to press. And tonight she pressed every single button. So I grabbed the nearest object beside me and hit her on the head. Once and then a few more times after that.

I wasn’t even aware of what I was doing until it was done. Now by my feet lays here limp lifeless body – another mistake staring me boldly in the face. How many more wrongs must I do, before I start to do right? I couldn’t process what was going on in front of me, don’t get me wrong, I knew she was dead, but what was I meant to do now? Was I meant to call the ambulance and turn myself in? Or was I meant to lie and say I found her like this? Either option had the same outcome, that being my life coming to an end. But I couldn’t drag her out into the backyard and dig a hole like in the films, which they make it look so easy to do. Not only was that ridiculous, but it was raining and I wasn’t a murderer, I hadn’t planned for this, so I was bound to get this wrong.

Instead I sat beside her lifeless body and held her hand. Stroking her hair just the way I knew she liked it and sang to her. Sang until my voice grew hoarse, and then I just watched. Watched her watch me. She was everything to me. She was the energy that made me wake up every morning, the reason I tried to become something.

After my family had abandoned me, Savannah took me under her wing, made me a home when there was only bricks in my hands. And look how I’d repaid her. After laying there for what felt like more than a few hours, I stood up and washed my hands. Had to get rid of the blood, the mistakes and every other failure I’ve managed to conjure up in my life. Then I went to the bathroom, unsure of what to do next, but aware something had to be done. The person staring back at me wasn’t the normal face I’d recognised. My hair was tangled and clumped, caused from where we’d had our argument. My skin paled ever so slightly, probably due to seeing a dead body for the first time and then for the fact it was my hands that had been the reason why the body laid there in the first place. The dark rings under my eyes had grown, they were always there, but for some reason, tonight it’d grown – maybe because I was tired, or because I my body knew after tonight I wasn’t going to get sleep for a long time.

But what shocked me the most was my lips. And how they’d curved into a weird shape, baring some of my front teeth. I hadn’t seen this look before and I wasn’t even aware I was doing it. But, it appeared that the person staring back at me through the mirror was smiling, a grim, sinister smile. She looked hungry, hungry for more of whatever had just quenched her desire… I didn’t like the person staring back at me – I didn’t even know she existed until now.

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The Little Girl [Part 1]

Reports had stacked up far beyond what she could even recall gathering. Amongst those were email requests from clients and reporters who had been more than intrusive on Olivia’s work and private information. She wasn’t interested in responding to those emails, all they wanted was to put their noses into places where it wasn’t needed. After hours of categorising her workload she began to put pen to paper when her phone rang. Dammit. She grabbed her phone and looked at the caller ID before answering, Lieutenant Young. Her thumb lightly traced the answer button as she stared at the name. How long had it been, five months? Olivia remembered her last time she’d been with Young, all her insides tighten at the memory. There was always something about Young that had Olivia tense in a way she tried to reject far often than need be. Remembering she’d left the phone unanswered, she picked up the call.

“L-Lieutenant?”

“Olivia.”

The connection that she had questioned for months hadn’t just been an imagination. It was there and still strong as it was five months ago. With a struggle, she put on her professional voice, ignoring how her body had reacted to his voice.

“Is there something I can help you with?”

“Yes,” he spoke with a husky voice. Olivia rejected the urge to feed into her need and desire and let him continue. “I mean, I’ve got a case here and need your help.”

He wanted her and that was obvious. But he hadn’t called for that, something was wrong and he’d called for help.

“I assume you need me now?”

“Yes, if it’s possible?”

Her eyes gazed at the pile that continued to gain in height and ran a hand through her hair. Whether the workload was a mass amount or not, she knew due to the fact that Young had called her, she’d oblige to any request he made. You’re pathetic Olivia, so pathetic.

“Sure, I’ll be there shortly.”

She cut the phone and with an exasperated sigh, stood up stretching her arms and wondered what case Young was working on that would require her expertise. She recently read in the news a case Young had been working on. A child had died in the hands of his own mother, yet the mother was still able to walk the streets free no matter how much Young had tried to put her away, due to her attorney.

Grabbing her car keys, she left her office sure to return after her visit to the precinct. Weary of the poor weather the Cincinnati skies had showered upon everyone, she slowly walked towards her Ford Fiesta, making sure the snow beneath her feet were solid enough to handle the pressure she applied.

It hadn’t taken her too long to reach her destination, which is probably why they called her, she thought, hoping there was more to Young’s invitation. Stop it Olivia, just find out what he wants. She buried her hope deep within a place where she was sure she couldn’t reach and focused on the task before her. Bracing herself for the frosty weather, she got out her Ford Fiesta and walked towards the building. Shaking off the snow, she looked around noticing how busy it was and found what looked like to be the reception.

“Hello.”

“Dr Lint?”

“Yes, is Lieutenant Young around?”

“You’re here.”

A deep voice rumbled behind her, making her turn around. He hadn’t changed. Lieutenant Young amongst two officers made their way towards her, giving Olivia enough time to get a glimpse of how Young had developed over the few months they hadn’t seen each other. Young was the youngest in the force to become a Lieutenant, yet held so much confidence. Whether that was because of his huge frame or his stern face, either or, no one attempted to cross his path. He not only strived to gain the best possible outcome, but he always seemed to have that golden intuition that helped solve his cases. As far as Olivia had known, he had only failed three times to close a case in the eleven years of being a cop and last month was one of them.

“Lieutenant, how are you?”

“No need for formalities, call me Nicholas.”

Olivia only realised how great his frame was after being so close to him. She wasn’t a woman who was dependent on anyone, but being beside Young made her feel small but not in a way which she felt vulnerable. I’ve missed feeling like this. It’s been so long. She didn’t despise the feeling, in an odd sense she enjoyed it, probably far more than she should have. She shook his hand, ignoring the electrifying shock that ran through her body and focused on the matter at hand.

“So what did you need me for Lieutenant?”

He gave her a quick but brief smile, noticing her obvious remark to ignore his previous request and angled her towards the corridor.

“I thought it would be better to let you see first hand with what we’re trying to work with.”

As they walked through the corridor, with the remaining officers behind both her and Young, she tried to ignore the gut wrenching feeling that began brewing in her stomach. She knew all to well that the last time she walked this path was to help solve a child trafficking case, and Olivia tried so hard to forget those memories.

“Another child I guess?” Without looking at her he nodded.

“Just step into this room.” She opened the door and walked in, sighing as she witnessed from the one sided mirror a small fragile girl, who probably lacked nutrition in a large black jacket. The little girl had her fists tightly balled in her laps with her head down, letting stray clumpy hairs fall.

“She’s so young.” Olivia murmured to herself.

“This is both Detective Dorian Moore, the lead detective of this case and his partner Detective Andrew Williams. Both detectives came across a blood bath this evening and the only living thing left is this little girl.”

“Jesus.”

“Jesus indeed-” Detective Moore spoke reaching his hand out for a shake. She took his hand, instantly comparing it to Young’s and then disregarded the thought. “After she was recovered from the scene all she’s done is sit, with her head down.”

“We can’t even get a reaction out of her, she almost seems as though she can’t hear us.”

Detective Williams said looking at the girl through the one-way mirror. She must have been through a lot Olivia thought, definitely nothing she hadn’t come across before.

“We tried to see if she was possibly deaf, but she was still unresponsive.”

“How did you try that?” Olivia asked Moore who seemed to hold a grave look on his face.

“My brother’s deaf, so I learnt how to communicate through sign-language.” She nodded then turned to the little girl who hadn’t moved an inch during their conversation.

“And she didn’t respond to that either?”

“No.” Young had said, closer to her than she had anticipated. She steadied her heart and focused on the girl.

“We tried everything.” Williams said rustling hair that once had been carefully groomed, but now held a rough look.

“Apart from you.”

Trying to ignore the double meaning behind his comment, knowing it was her alone who had caught it, she pushed those disobeying thoughts further away in her mind, and she stared at the child who’d probably seen more than her mind could comprehend and began devising a strategy.

“Before anything I can’t promise to give you any critical information tonight. This girl has probably witnessed too much to even function anymore, my main priority is to get her functioning again, have her involved in idle conversation and then I’ll begin working on pulling out information in relation to the case.”

“Anything is better than nothing.” His voice ricocheted around the room, leaving Olivia vibrating. Waiting until she had gathered her composure, she turned to face Young, who was no more than a foot or two away from her.

“Is there any other aspects of the crime scene I should be aware of?”

Trying to gain an understanding of how she could formulate her questions without pressing any trigger buttons.

“First we need your trust. What we disclose with you cannot be recorded or broadcasted, not until things play out in our hand more favourably than now.”

Olivia gave Young a firm nod, knowing far too well the extent of those bottom-feeding journalists. Once they got an earful of any of her cases, they piled up at her office requesting for a statement, she hadn’t needed Young to go on to understand what he was saying.

“You have my trust Lieutenant.”

With a dark look in his eyes, he looked to his colleagues who shared the same look as he did and took a deep breath, his jaw working as he faced Olivia.

“Nine, nine dead mutilated bodies were found with the little girl. So Olivia tread carefully.”

 

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

The Howls of the Night

It was the third night in a row.

The third night they’d awoken me with their singing.

The third night they’d awoken me with their unnecessary praises.

The third night I’d sat up drinking myself to sleep and being unsuccessful each time.

No matter how much I tried to block them out, emotionally and physically, their words pierced through my walls, through the fibres of my pillows and into my ears. I hadn’t slept for months, this year pushed me around and I just let it do it without a fight. But I wouldn’t dare to let them keep making a racket as I tried to find myself in my own microcosm. I grabbed the Jack Daniels, which stood beside my alarm clock showing the time 6am. I never needed the alarm as I never slept, but it always felt normal to have it there, set to that time, because one day, maybe just one, I’d sleep into a blissful dream and be awoken by the ring of the alarm clock. I sat and stood up on the right side of the bed, with the alcohol in my right hand. I grabbed my battered boots, roughly slipping my feet into each shoe, then walked to my wardrobe. The lyrics continued to attack my bones as I tried to get a coat, my saviour…the protector….Jesus, the almighty, I love you. I quickly grabbed a coat and rushed out of the room. It was rubbish, how dare they sing things that meant nothing. Tears pricked the corners of both my eyes. I shrugged the grey trench coat over my shoulders and hurried down the stairs. Left foot, right foot, tenth stair, ninth stair – rushing to put a stop to the abomination that soared from the church building.

Once I finally got to the bottom of the stairs, I grabbed the house keys, which hadn’t moved since… every glimpse I took of those keys the air suffocated my lungs and squeezed my heart involuntarily.

I left my house, slamming the door behind me; ready to face those who were oblivious to reality. With the Jack in my right hand, I placed the keys in my coat pocket, and unscrewed the cap of the bottle. I took one swig, then another and another until the streets of Tottenham blurred ever so slightly. I trudged down the steps and pushed the gate, then took another swig of Jack. The choir continued to soar through the air, blowing loose strands of my hair backwards, seven hallelujahs… I took another gulp of the drink, soothing my throat. I closed the bottle and walked towards the entrance of the church. I reached the entrance and without hesitation pushed the doors open. There, in front of me stood the choir swaying left to right, whilst the choirmaster coordinated them. The pastor smiled, joyful of the song the choir sang. In the centre of the church the alter faced me, taunted me with candles, bibles and dreams. The anger mounted through my body, was all too much, all too false, and I was prepared to stop it.

Without thinking I threw the Jack Daniels bottle onto the ground, smashing it into pieces, each shard of glass flying around the church removing the smiles, the singing, the hope. The choir’s singing came to a halt, heads turned all to face me. I stumble through the church with my fist clenched and words slurred.

“Shut this music up! Shut it up, it’s all false, y-y-you all are false!” I started walking, ignoring the cuts the glasses were making through my boots. “He can’t hear you, don’t you get the message!!! He’s not listening anymore, so all of you shut up! It’s bloody three in the morning, let me drink in peace, instead of shouting false praises through my walls!” I clutched onto a nearby seat and took a deep breath, looking straight into the pastor’s eyes.

“Excuse me my daughter-”

“I am not your daughter!”

“I can see you’ve come in anger, what is truly upsetting you?” The pastor stood, watching me attentively waiting till I spoke.

“You, you all are upsetting me, you’re liars! Preaching false words!”

“False in what way?”

“If he, the big man upstairs loved us so, then why did he let the world take my sister? Huh! Explain that? Because…if, if, if he did “love” us as you preach about, why would he let that happen?” The pastor was about to speak when I raised my hand, cutting him off. “I loved her with all my heart, I watched over her, I wanted the best for her, so why did he take her! Explain that!” The lump in my throat arose, tears cascading down my cheeks. “I just want my sister back, I want my life back, she wasn’t meant to be taken from me, she was young, had energy – so why her? Why not me? Why did he leave me to suffer like this? There’s nothing left for me here on this world anymore.”

I wiped the tears away from my eyes, clearing my vision when I realised the pastor had found his way in front of me. He held my shoulders delicately and closed his eyes, trying to find the words to say that would relate most to me. But then he opened his eyes, and said nothing. He took an audible sigh and looked up, at the ceiling.

“The Lord taketh and the Lord giveth, there is a reason for all. Just because you may not be visible to the reason now, doesn’t mean there’s none at all…have faith young child, as the questions you have will be answered.”

And there, before my eyes I broke, similar to the pieces of glass on the floor, I broke down, remembering Edie’s face, her smile, her laugh and remembered how much I’d missed her. We used to go church together when we were younger, half listening to the sermon and half giggling at the words we didn’t understand in the Bible. Missing her was an understatement, I needed her, she’d been my life, my faith, my happiness, and just like that she’d taken everything with her. The thought of her made me weak. I clung unto the Pastor and cried, hoping that if what he had said was true, then I would find a reason as to why the world took my sister before her time.

 

Countdown

It was late, later than usual. Anna hadn’t planned leaving work so late; this was the second time this week I’ve gotten home when it’s dark. She checked her watch, 19:21. It was far too late for her to be getting home at this time, especially when it didn’t take too long for the Denver skies to get dark and cloudy with snow in the winter. She clutched her jacket tighter to herself, feeling alone and cold. There was always something about the evening that didn’t make her feel safe. Maybe the way the darkness slowly consumed any and everything in its way was why Anna shuddered. If she drove, this journey wouldn’t be as bad as it seemed, but she didn’t drive or ride her bike today either.

The streets were silent. Nothing but the wind made noise, and Anna hated that. It did nothing other than highlight the fact that she was alone, or even worse someone was quietly watching her. She balled her hands into fists, trying to ignore the faint fear that began slithering up her spine, but she couldn’t shake it off. She increased her stride, picking up the pace, fear escalating with each step. There was no real reason for Anna to be scared, but she kept thinking of the possibilities that could occur if she didn’t get home soon. Someone could jump out and rob me, or worse… Anna took a deep breath and without thinking began running home. One foot in front of the other, trying not to miscalculate her footing.

 

Finally she reached her house. She hurriedly searched for her keys in her jacket pocket, but realised they weren’t there. Oh fuck, where the hell are my keys? With panic slowly gripping her body, she threw her bag onto the ground and began rummaging through the past test papers; homework and essays then pass the laptop where she found her keys. She picked her bag up, quickly checking the street to see if anyone else was there. She was alone. Of course I’m alone she thought, nobody was ever there, it was always her mind that got the better of her. She unlocked the door then stepped inside, closing it behind her. After gathering herself, she slowly rested against the cold steel, closing her eyes and taking deep breaths wishing paranoia didn’t have such a stronghold on her like it did. Get a grip Anna; you aren’t the same woman you were seven years ago. She ran her fingers through her hair, opening her eyes, noticing the large amount of letters that lay scattered on the ground. She turned to lock the door, one bolt, then another and then the key lock. Whether her mind continuously wanted to play games on her or not, she wasn’t ready to take any chances. She dropped her bag near the umbrella stand and began gathering the letters on the ground. Sifting through the envelopes, wondering whether any of them were worth reading tonight.

 

“Work stuff, bank stuff, gym membership…what’s this?” She held a white plain letter that only had her name on it. Anna Phillips. She held the letter whilst removing her jacket. After hanging it loosely onto the coat rack, she made her way into the kitchen.

 

She considered calling Caroline, seeing as these panic attacks are getting worse. Then decided to eat first, and then figure out whether a call to Caroline was necessary. She put the letter on the table and walked to the refrigerator. Finding left over spaghetti, she grabbed the bowl and removed the foil lid. Placing the bowl in the microwave, two minutes should do it. She sat down on the dining chair and grabbed the letter, unsealing it wondering who would have gone to the trouble to hand deliver a letter to her. It wasn’t her birthday (not like anyone remembered), and she barely kept communication with her family or friends, so figuring out who would have gotten in contact with her was something she couldn’t guess. Once she’d opened the letter, she shook  the contents over the table and out came a note with a folded piece of paper. She took the note and read it,

 

‘Dear Anna Phillips,

 

I apologise for the grief and hurt I’ve laid upon you. I was foolish and unaware of what I was doing. I now know what my behaviour has caused you and I’m sorry.

Please forgive my actions.

 

                                                                                                                        10.’

 

Confused, she unravelled the other piece of paper, wondering who felt the need to apologise to her. She unfolded the paper failing to comprehend the image before her eyes. But with another moment everything clicked. A slit throat, bathed in blood, and dead eyes staring right back at her. Her hands trembled involuntarily and without thinking, she jumped out of her chair and rushed to her phone. She held her mouth trying to suppress the scream she knew would escape her lips and waited for someone to pick up. Finally, the operator came alive,

“Hello, you’ve called 911, what is your emergency?”

“Dead…someone’s dead!”

 

*******

 

It didn’t take that long for the police to show up but once they had, they secured Anna’s house within moments. People roamed the house,  whilst others were repeatedly analysing the picture. Dead eyes. Anna hadn’t moved from where the officer had questioned her earlier. He’d asked the generic questions, “So can you recall the situation to me madam?” “When was this delivered?” “Where were you before you came home?” “Do you recognise the man in the picture?” Throughout his questions she couldn’t help but tremble, remembering the picture, the man, the blood it was all too much for her. She knew something wasn’t right. First she felt like she was being watched on her way home, then that letter. She bit her lip and took a deep breath, she refused to let the police know she didn’t feel safe before she got home, because then they’d ask questions, questions she wasn’t prepared to answer, not tonight. She shut her eyes, the dead man printed on the back of her eyelids. Even though she hadn’t witnessed a real dead body, seeing one in a photo was just as bad. And maybe because she was already shaken up on her way home was what had her panicking. But something in the pit of Anna’s stomach made her know this wasn’t something to ignore. She shivered again thinking about everything; breathe Anna. She took another deep breath and gathered herself together, opening her eyes to see an officer watching her. She averted her eyes, but noticed in her peripheral vision that the officer was making her way to Anna.

 

“Would you like to take a seat madam?”

 

Anna shook her head, again refusing the offer to sit. Focusing on her breathing, she closed her eyes and tried to remember things Caroline had told her to do when she felt like a panic attack was close. Take deep breathes, forget everyone and everything around you and focus on your breathing. In through your nose and out through the mouth. Anna replicated the instructions in her head, focusing only on her breathing, shutting out the footsteps, the talking, the clicks of different equipment. Once she had control over her breathing the only thought that ran through her mind was why would anyone want to mail this to me?

 

She tried not to dwell on the question, but it was the answer to that one question that could ease her mind if she knew the answer. She held herself tighter until she could feel the air around her become smaller. She opened her eyes and her gaze was filled with a man that made Anna pause just for a second. His strong jaw structure, skin hard around the mouth, but smooth everywhere else and then his eyes stunned Anna. His glassy blue eyes held her gaze. With everything occurring, for just a moment she felt safe. For a minute this man, who she knew nothing of had made her feel safe. He stretched out his hand to shake hers and reality hit her again. The noise around the house arose again, feet continued to move, the pounding of her heart grew so loud, she grew conscious wondering whether everyone else could hear it.

 

“Anna Phillips, I’m detective Sutherland, would you like a seat, you look pale?”

She shook his hand and shook her head, looking at the ground declining the offer for the fourth time.

“Alright, could you explain what happened tonight?”

“I came home, later than usual and when I got in, I saw a pile of letters. I was going to look at them tomorrow, because I was exhausted, but one of them only had my name written on it. And I just wanted to know who would have come all the way to mail me something…”

“Then what happened afterwards?”

“I went to warm my food. Whilst it was warming, I opened the letter. There was a note and a folded piece of paper inside of the letter. I read the note, not understanding it, so I opened the paper which revealed the picture.”

“Why did you read the note first then look at the picture?”

He stood waiting, attentively listening, not forgetting any details.

“I…I don’t know. Maybe because I thought it was easier to read the note than look at the folded piece of paper first.”

“Okay, then what did you do after realising what was in the letter?”

“I rushed and called you.” He looked up, his eyes turning dark and his jaw clenching.

“I mean I called the police. I don’t know if this is a prank, but…” Anna shuddered again. Stop this Anna…at least until you’re alone. “That note and then that picture.”

 

He continued writing silently whilst she watched him. Watched him write, watched him inhale and exhale. There was something about this man that made Anna feel safe, though his build was strong, it was his aura that made Anna want to talk. Talk about everything, something she never did after the things she’s been through. She looked down, attempting to repress those memories, no matter how many times I went counselling nothing got better.

“Miss, please take a seat.”

 

She looked up, and her eyes were met with the detectives stare. He was cautious of her, this was the second time she grew pale, and why would I know that? Because I keep watching her that’s why. She slowly sat down and controlled her breathing.

“What now?” She tested her voice; glad it wasn’t replicating how she truly felt.

“Well,” He knelt in front of her and gave her a reassuring smile. “We’re going to do our best to find out who sent this to you. Then we’re going to find out whether or not this is real.”

“And if it is real?”

She looked into Kane’s eye deeply, almost pleading for him to give her an answer that would end this, but he knew if this was real, it was just the start of something dark and vile.

But he decided to smile.

“If it is real, we’ll track down the body and catch the killer.”

She nodded. He brushed a hair away from her face, gave her another smile and walked towards his team. For now he was going to ignore the foreign feeling he had towards the this woman and focus on the task at hand.

“Alright guys, what do we have?”

Sutherland asked the ME.

“Not much and I’m not surprised, I’ll take it to the lab and run it for prints. We’ve swept the house to check if the person dropped anything, but right now…nothing.” Another ME grabbed the photo from the previous one.

“Never in my 16 years have I had to analyse a body through a picture.”

Lauren, the leading medical examiner said assessing the picture.

“We’ll try to get something Kane.”

Kane nodded.

“Something is better than nothing.”

 

They nodded and shortly after, Kane’s partner walked through the door.

“What’s going on?”

As soon as Charlie spoke Kane noticed the faint smell of alcohol on his breath. Jesus, not again. Kane grabbed his partner outside.

“Are you drunk?”

Charlie smiled but shook his head, sighing.

“No, I just had a drink, maybe two.”

“We don’t have time for this Charlie, we’ve got a possible dead person lying around somewhere, a woman who is shaken to death and you’ve had a couple of drinks?” Kane lowered his voice and stood closer to Charlie, so that nobody overheard their discussion. “I need you focused Charlie, especially now.”

Charlie scratched his head then sighed, this time without a smile.

“Sorry, it’s been a rough day, I’ll sober up.” Charlie walked back inside with Kane staring at him. All he had to do was remain sober, but Charlie couldn’t do it. Charlie was a good cop. Good was even an understatement. He had talents that a lot of other cops didn’t have. Yet, he continued to drown his talents at the bottom of a bottle. Even though Kane was angry it never really lasted, Charlie had lost a lot in the past year and if drinking was the way he dealt with it, Kane wasn’t going to stop him. However, drinking during work hours wasn’t responsible and once Charlie and Kane were done here, he’d have a quick talk with him. He walked back into the house and looked at the neatly folded paper.

“Has anyone read that note yet?”

“I have,” Lauren grabbed the note and gave it to Kane. “We couldn’t make nothing out of it, seems real personal.”

Kane opened the note and read it.

 

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

 

 

The Predator

No one knew me here, and that’s the way I liked it. I could easily mold into a crowd  and no one would acknowledge me. It wasn’t as though I caused attention to myself, but even if I tried, people never had the time to pay any attention. It was a blessing and a curse at the same time. A curse because it brought me to be the man I was today and a blessing because I’d now knew how to utilise this feature to my advantage. It was the only way I fished out my prey without being detected.

Easy was an understatement. It was almost unrealistic the amount of times I’d managed to get away with the things I’d committed, to the point I’d become sceptical of the authorities. Maybe they did know what I was up to and was waiting to capture me during my activities? Ha. I overestimate the authorities. If they had known what I was up to, they was sure to have arrested me years ago, but they hadn’t because they knew nothing of me and never would because I was never a suspect.

I had the face that many would see and double take a few times, before never looking again. My face reflected the work I’d done over the years. However, my eyes always captivated those who truly looked at my profile. When I was young it was the only compliment I’d received. I knew from young my eyes held power beyond the average blue eyes that most held. They revealed love that was never there, sympathy to a heart that was hardened and affection – all emotions that never resided within me. That’s what had made them plead. When all hope was lost, they’d look into my eyes and hope I’d release them. But that was what I enjoyed most, the fact that people never knew that it was what kept me killing, kept me collecting prey. The look in their eyes when they realised that there was no hope and that their life was now my own.

Thanks Mother.

The memories now vivid in my mind, bring a smile to my lips. How I love what I do. There was no amount of money that could be offered to me, that would deliver the same satisfaction as the one I got whilst I’d watch my victims die in my hands. My body vibrated of excitement. Just the thought of seeing my next victim limp in my hands almost made me hard in delight. And it was only about to get better when I had felt someone from afar watching me. I was rarely watched, so when a few eyes managed to linger on my face longer than need be, I knew. To the left of me, by the furthest exit of the train station, stood a female in a trench coat, with her bag in her hand and her eyes glued to my face. A man like me shouldn’t smile – my aunt once said. How I hated my aunt, I was glad those were one of her last words.

I concentrated on the woman in the trench coat, now ready to let her know that I had acknowledged her glare. As predicted she had noticed, averting her eyes swiftly away from me, clearly fighting the urge to turn around to stare once again. Usually nobody stared, however sometimes the business costume and briefcase didn’t do the trick and that’s when I had unwanted stares.

I fully turned towards her and began walking. Picking up my stride, until I’d gotten behind her. Feeling my presence, she spun around, fumbling on her feet not aware of how close I was towards her. The fast action caused her to fall to the ground, so with my premeditated hand, I reached for her waist, gripping her lightly, but firm enough for her to know that I was now in control. She visibly winced, which only made me inwardly smile and shudder in excitement.

She throws a smile, an attempt to veil the raw panic that had probably began to creep along her spine. I didn’t move my arms from her waist, asserting the power I had over her. She tried to wiggle free, but that didn’t do anything but strengthen my hold on her.

“Thank you.” I smiled, causing the colour to drain from her cheeks. I pull her close to me whilst I notice tears forming in her eyes. I began taking her towards the exit of the station, and without any struggle she willing followed. I enjoyed victims that didn’t fight, the more willing the more fun I had with them. Some may say the more they fight the more enticing the victim become, but that rule never applied to me. I liked when my victims knew their fate, because that meant that they knew all attempts of escaping were futile, which meant they compiled to everyone of my demands, praying I’d release them. Which never happened. Even as we walked towards the exit of the station, she’d had moments of courage and attempt to fight against me, but a firm tug against her hip, settled any thoughts of calling for help.

It was snowing, so it wasn’t dark – but that did little to my motives. Whilst walking past a homeless man, I dropped the briefcase. Knowing there was no use of the façade anymore. I had come out to play and when I came out to play, I needed a playground. The irony when I spotted a nearby park, filled with children and mothers surrounded the area. I took her to the far end of the park and pressed her up against a tree, facing away from the crowd. Once she had realised that she was completely powerless, the pleading began. She explained that no one would ever know what happened, stated she didn’t even know my name. Keith. I lied, but she cries, saying she didn’t hear the name. Keith. I repeat once more, only causing more tears to cascade down her cheeks. Looking into my eyes, I see the hope every victim sees when they meet my stare. The moment everyone thought they had a chance of escaping.

Please. Don’t. Please. You’re not a bad person. All these meaningless words, I smiled silencing her words, as her small perfect mouth shut in utter despair. And there was the look that had my body trembling again in excitement, the look of realisation. The moment you know whatever you do, the ending will only end one way.

With screams, sex and a death.

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

Him

When he spoke, all listened. His presence demanded attention and once he was amongst people, their knees bowed to his existence. He was their Messiah. The founder and creator. They worshipped him and glorified him, similar to the ways Jesus was exalted. He had no name, he was referred to as ‘Him’, he represented every single being in society, the women, the men, the children, the animals, he was all of them combined into one. When individuals had complications within their marriages, or between families, they called Him, and through the power God had given to him, he’d resolve all. This world had no difficulties, and they had Him to thank.

He kept order in society, kept the bad out of sight and professed the good. He was fair, they had no objections because he spoke for the people, what they wanted he provided, what they detested, he removed. Why would anyone have any grievances? Instead they showered him with gifts, to signify their thanks; gold, frankincense and myrrh was presented to him, and he accepted each one. He’d smile, and place two light kisses on each individual’s cheek, to show his appreciation. He’d then throw a celebration for his people. Music accompanied with food was presented, whilst the biggest gift of all was being in his presence. For the last hour of the celebration, he’d come and join in, greeting all the families, as he was familiar with everyone. He’d smile, laugh and say a prayer or two, but soon after, he and his guards would return to his temple. Some would cry, and others would plea for him to stay, but he always raised his right hand and smiled, reassuring them that he’d be back; and that was enough for them to suppress their pleas.

He never walked alone; guards always surrounded him, one in front of him, two at each of his sides and one behind him – he had eyes at every angle, the way he liked it. Every night they’d walk him to his room, which was draped in silk and duchess satin, with fine oil and perfume positioned in every corner. He lived like a king, he was wealthy, never had to struggle, and he wanted to make sure none of his people had to struggle too. Whilst he slept, his guards took place outside his door, protecting him day and night.

But, what they couldn’t protect him from was his dreams. Things he attempted to conceal, memories he buried so deep, he was unsure he could find. But dreams revealed all. Every breath he took as he slept revealed more of the past, opened more of the closed doors he’d oppressed many years ago.

What he feared to tell all, was spoken so clearly in his visions. And it always started from the beginning, because in the beginning, there was no land or sea, no creatures to roam the earth, no humans, no day or night, or no sky. There was just a void. God looked upon this Earth and saw potential, he created what we are all familiar with today, light, dark, sky, land, sea. But something was absent; something was missing from this world. He placed six men unto the Earth and gave them the grace to never age nor die, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, Christianity and Xyloism. Each man held the same beliefs, but all in different perspectives. God wanted each man to work together, to build the Earth into the strongest form where religion and the word of God was taught and spread throughout many nations. Each man agreed to do so, and swore an oath to work hand-in-hand to turn Earth into the greatest planet known to man. For many years, the men came together and worked cooperatively to build Earth.

Until one day.

October 31st, the day when one man understood his power and strength was above natural. He realised he didn’t have to work with these other men to fulfil the realm he’d always desired. They’d done most of the work together, but what he now knew was that he didn’t need them anymore. He knew he could run this planet without them overruling his plans. On this fateful day, he used his power to create an abyss within the grounds of the Earth.

Before any man could stop him, he had gained control over each and every one of them, and sent them into this darkness he had created. He had become impractical and selfish with his powers, greed had consumed him, he no longer treasured the gift God had given him, but he had now begun abusing it. At first he relished living the life he believed he created, took pleasure in living in the world alone. He had plans, he wanted to build a society that only looked onto him for help, that saw him as his saviour, but the only people on the world at that time were the other men he’d thrown into the abyss he’d created.

He needed to create his own man, and woman even. He wanted to build a society that worshipped him, and believed in him. He had morphed into a man who had lost the power to sympathise, but gained the power to purely focus on the microcosm he was so sure to build. No one could stop him, not even God. But what he hadn’t known was that God had seen everything, and had let him get away with all. Because God knew justice was coming, no matter how long it took; it would come, and be his Achilles heel.

It was mid-day, many people had already overwhelmed Him with gifts, prayers and thanks, and like routine, he kissed both cheeks and accepted each one. Today he thought he’d give his people a celebration, a chance for them to rejoice and him to be glorified by these blinded people. As he sat amongst them, children ran around and played with each other, elders sat around a table and ate, whilst others praised his name. But what He hadn’t known, was two children had run into his temple, playing the traditional hide and seek. It was normal for children to play around with each other, they were told to view each other as family, blood or no blood related.

But, they were told never to play in the temple. That was the one place no one had ever stepped foot in. But they were young and fickle, who could blame them. You see, Adam was quick, too quick for Eve, he thought he had the best hiding spot, he’d ran down these grand stairs and pushed open a door with bars. He then hid in a cupboard and waited until Eve found him, which he was sure would be a very long time.

Eve saw him run into the temple, she knew it was wrong, it was the one place they weren’t allowed to go, but she couldn’t stop him, even after she chased him into the building and down those stairs, she still couldn’t catch up to him. She didn’t really know where she was. It was dark, with candles to substitute for light, it was even cold there, she wished Adam hadn’t run into the temple. She came across a black door, there were no windows nor was there any light seeping through the cracks of the door, just pure darkness. She knew how Adam could be, she knew he thought he was the best at hiding, so she turned the knob and pulled the door open.

It was dark, no light seemed to have roamed this room, she took a candle and called out for Adam once, twice. No reply. She took a step inside, her fears slowly increasing, each step seemed to horrify her more and she couldn’t explain why. She never had a reason to be afraid of the dark before, but this wasn’t just a room with no light. It was a room with no life, nothing. Comprehending this room was something Eve couldn’t do. It made no sense to her. She shone her candle forward and jumped seeing five men chained and tied down. To what, she couldn’t see, but they were prisoners in this room. One man looked up at her, a tear rolling down his unclean cheek, whilst his eyes became dilated due to the light. She knew she needed to call for help, what she was seeing wasn’t right. She turned around to get some help but ran into Him.

He wasn’t the same, something had changed about him, he wasn’t the man she saw everyday. He had dark eyes and a pale face. He lifted her up, head between his hands and without hesitation snapped her neck, and threw her lifeless body to the side. Adam held his mouth and forced his cry back. He didn’t want to believe what he had seen, let alone understand it, but everything had sadly become so clear for such a young boy like Adam. He tucked himself deeper into the cupboard and closed his eyes, hoping he wouldn’t find him there, and kill him like how he had just done to Eve.

 

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun

Three Sisters

Scene 1:

Stage lights turn on. The stage is set in a woman’s bedroom. In the middle of the stage a man lays dead on the floor, three women are on the stage. One is standing near the body, close to a chair near a mirror. The other is sitting on the bed in shock whilst the last is kneeling down close to the woman on the bed.

 

ANNA:             Is he dead?

(DELILAH nods)

DARCY:            Are you sure?

(ANNA bends over and checks for a pulse, then jumps up when she realises he’s dead)

ANNA:             He’s dead Darcy. What the hell went on here Delilah? He’s dead!

DELILAH:         I-I-I know that Anna.

ANNA:             Was it murder, self-defence or naturally?

(DELILAH remains silent)

ANNA:             Did you kill him on purpose?

(Silence)

ANNA:             Jesus, he’s dead. I can’t believe you killed your husband!

DARCY:            Stop panicking Anna.

ANNA:             What! There is a dead person lying on our sister’s bedroom floor! And that person is her husband.

DARCY:            I know that Anna! I know, but that isn’t helping. So stop panicking.

(DARCY looks at DELILAH’s hands, covered in blood)

DARCY:            You need to wash your hands Delilah, get his blood off your hands.

(DELILAH gets up to exit on the right side of the stage, before leaving she looks at her sisters, then exits stage)

DARCY:            This is a mess.

ANNA:             (Whispering) Mess? Darcy, this is more than a mess, this is murder. She murdered him Darcy, our baby sister killed her husband, how the hell do we sort this out? And what about the police?

DARCY:            (Whispering) Don’t you think I know this is way out of our hands. I know she killed her husband, and I know we need to call the police, but we need to know why she did it. So instead of asking questions that I can’t answer, just help me try to solve this.

(DELILAH returns on the stage with a hand towel. She places the towel on the bed and looks at her husband dead on the floor, her eyes water)

DELILAH:         What have I done? What have I done Darcy? I’m going to jail. No one will believe my story (cries).

DARCY:            (Comforting DELILAH) It’s okay, stop crying, I know it looks bad now, but it’ll get better, trust me.

DELILAH:         How Darcy? He’s dead, I killed him, and no one will understand why.

DARCY:            They will.

(DELILAH nods then stops crying)

ANNA:             So, how are we going to fix this?

DARCY:            Right now, I’m not too sure, but we will.

ANNA:             We don’t have all the time in the world Darcy, he’s dead and if we want our sister to get away with this, we need to get rid of the body.

DARCY:            (Looking at ANNA) Well do you have an idea? Or are you just going to keep reminding me that he’s dead, because I can see that.

ANNA:             Let me just remind you all that the more time we waste trying to be calm, is the longer we have a dead body in the bedroom. If we don’t do something soon, people will wonder where the famous Paul Willingham has gotten to. And then when he doesn’t answer anyone’s phone calls, they’ll turn to Delilah.

            (DELILAH starts crying again)

DARCY:            See what you’ve done!

ANNA:             What! I’m just saying the truth and you know it Darcy! You know people will wonder where he disappeared to, and who do you think they’ll turn to next? His fucking wife, that’s who.

(DARCY walks up to ANNA and stands directly in front of her, making DARCY move backwards, up against the chair in front of the mirror)

DARCY:            You are not helping Anna! Don’t you think I’ve considered that, I know people will question his disappearance, but you saying it does not solve anything! Are you here to help or just to state the obvious?

(ANNA slowly sits on the chair, looking down)

ANNA:             I-I came to help.

DARCY:            Well then start doing it!

DELILAH:         It’s true though isn’t it Darcy? (Both ladies look at DELILAH) What Anna is saying is true.

DARCY:            No –

DELILAH:         You don’t need to lie to me; I’m not your baby sister anymore!

DARCY:            Look at what you’ve done Anna.

ANNA:             I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to be harsh Delilah. I just wanted you to understand that this situation is beyond Darcy and I. And I’m scared Delilah, he’s dead and I’m scared, I’m terrified for you, you’re my baby sister and your husband is dead. But, I will never leave you because your problem is mine too. I’ll be there every step, even with the police.

DARCY:            Not the authorities –

DELILAH:         I should have called the police!

DARCY:            No.

DELILAH:         I should have!

DARCY:            No Delilah.

DELILAH:         I’ve made everything worse for myself.

DARCY:            Delilah stop!

(Everyone looks at DARCY, who is pacing around the room.)

DARCY:            Maybe not calling the police isn’t such a bad thing, they may have gotten your story wrong and where would that have gotten you? Locked up and thrown in jail. So please, can we not talk about the police? We can consider them later on, but right now we need to actually hear what went on before reporting to them. Okay?

(ANNA nods along with DELILAH)

DARCY:            Delilah, I need you to recall what happened here before you called Anna and I to come and help you. And make sure you don’t miss out anything, okay?

(DELILAH nods)

DELILAH:         I came home late, even though I knew that would have made him angry. But I had work to complete, if I didn’t get it finished I would have been on my third strike and I couldn’t afford to lose my job. So I stayed, but not for long. (Pause.) Then once I had gotten home he was quiet, really quiet. I thought maybe if I cooked some dinner he would be fine. But he ate it and then went to bed. Still silent. (Pause.) I knew he was angry and I was scared, he wasn’t speaking to me, and I knew how that always ended. Once I was ready to go to bed, he was already waiting for me. Sitting on the bed, just anticipating my arrival. I changed and tried to climb into bed and then he spoke. He shouted at me, (her voice begins trembling) I tried to apologise, I really did, I said sorry. I told him what would have happened if I didn’t stay, but he didn’t listen. Instead he got angrier that I was responding. Then he got up, and slapped me, hard (touches her cheek). I screamed and then he started beating me, non-stop. He was furious; he started strangling me (chokes back a cry). I was going to die Darcy, I didn’t know what to do. Then he pushed me onto the dresser and watched me change colour, from white to blue. I knew I was going to die, at the hands of my own husband (begins crying). I loved him. But he just wouldn’t stop hitting me, his grip got firmer around my neck, so I did what anyone would do, I grabbed the closest thing and hit him on the head with it. I wasn’t going to let him kill me, so I kept hitting him. Even though I couldn’t breathe, I still hit him, he fell in the middle of the room, and I just didn’t stop. If I did he would have killed me Darcy, he would have (starts crying).

             (The room falls silent after DELILAH has finished speaking, ANNA is visibly crying, whilst DARCY is standing watching the man on the floor)

ANNA:             Why didn’t you tell us he was hitting you Delilah?

DELILAH:         He said he would do worse if I told anyone.

ANNA:             We’re your sisters, we would have helped you, I can’t believe you went through all of that alone. (Grasps) I’m so sorry Delilah… how many times has he done this to you?

DELILAH:         I don’t know.

ANNA:             Last Christmas you had a black eye?

DELILAH:         It was him.

(ANNA’s cries become audible whilst DELILAH silently cries)

ANNA:             Oh Delilah, I’m so sorry.

(ANNA goes to DELILAH and embraces her lovingly)

DARCY:            (Monotone) I’m proud you killed him.

(Both ANNA and DELILAH look at DARCY)

DARCY:            And anyone who believes that you did this intentionally without any reason is a fool.

ANNA:             Are there bruises.

(DELILAH nods)

DELILAH:         I know I should have told you all. I was just scared he was going to hurt you. Plus, mum was going through that heart problem; I didn’t want to add my stress on top of the family stress. I thought he’d stop; I thought our love was stronger than this, but things changed.

ANNA:             Darcy, what are we going to do? He hurt our sister, we should report him to the police, her bruises will be enough evidence right?

DELILAH:         I don’t want everyone to know. I don’t want my name in the media.

DARCY:            We will figure that out when it comes.

(Gets her phone out)

DELILAH:         What are you doing?

DARCY:            Calling the police, now I know what happened. You were just defending yourself. I’ll get the police here, so they can hear what happened to and take this scumbag out of here. Everything will be fine Delilah, I promise.

(DARCY kisses DELILAH’s head then leaves the stage)

DELILAH:         Not the police Anna, I’m scared.

ANNA:             Don’t be, you heard Darcy, she’s going to sort this entire mess out.

DELILAH:         She can’t though.

ANNA:             It’s okay Delilah, he can’t hurt you anymore, the police will take care of everything.

DELILAH:         They can’t, they can’t…I’ll go to prison.

ANNA:             (Hugging her) It’s okay, shush, everything will be fine.

DELILAH:         It won’t, because…because…this is my fault.

ANNA:             (Looking at DELILAH) It’s not Delilah.

DELILAH:         (Crying) I hit him first Anna. He was sleeping when I got to bed. And then when I tried to get in, he pushed me out, said he was angry with me and that I should sleep on the couch. I said sorry, but he ignored me. So I tried to get in the bed again. He pushed me out. So I started hitting him, we got into a fight, but he was trying to stop me, not attack me. He pushed me, so I shouted at him, he slapped me, and before I knew it, I grabbed the closest thing and hit him over the head. He never got back up. Anna, I killed my husband…

ANNA:             Oh my God. (Letting go of DELILAH) Why did you lie to us?

DELILAH:         Because I knew what would happen to me, Anna please don’t let Darcy know.

ANNA:             Has he ever hit you?

DELILAH:         Yes, but this time it was my fault. Anna, if I didn’t aggravate him, he wouldn’t have pushed me. I caused this argument.

ANNA:             Jesus Delilah, what have you done?

DELILAH:         Darcy can’t find out…

ANNA:             Why?

(DARCY enters)

DARCY:            The police will be here soon, don’t worry Delilah, this nightmare is over (coming to hug DELILAH).

(Whilst DARCY hugs DELILAH, DELILAH looks at ANNA, with tears in her eyes)

– End Scene. Curtains Close.

© All Rights Reserved by Sarah E. Balogun