Saturday, October 24, 2009

Whiteness.

Whiteness.

Whiteness. Slowly I make my way across this desolate expanse. An incredible curtain of snow covers the horizon, blindly my eyes with its impossible bright reflection. The bitter chill of the wind stings the exposed portions of my face as I try to keep moving forward. Feet lift and land heavily in the colorless ground. Weather permitting I should have crossed nearly 50 kilometers by this afternoon. Hardly the place I would have expected you to run…

Tracking a killer is more like hunting game. You have to stay one step ahead or else risk losing the target. Sometimes when you are involved with a twisted mind it becomes necessary to understand the mental processes in order to stay ahead. To spend a considerable time delving into the depths of a sick individual’s psyche can lead to an unforeseen conclusion. The notion of becoming less of yourself and more of a depraved animal seems quite far-fetched. At least that would have been my perception going into all this. Now that I’ve spent the last twenty-four months and ten days tracking my ex-partner into the remote parts of the world after he’s killed nearly every person who has crossed his path, I have no pre-conceived ideas on this matter.

My feet are ice-cold frozen bricks as they fall down step after step. Pressing forward as rapidly as possible with a storm on my heels, I arrive upon the trail. Dried blood splatter that follows a short path of footprints comes to an end at a partially snow-covered body. There’s a man who’s been completely gutted in the snow bank with his eyes gouged out. Organs trail out of his open cavity and string along in the snow for a short distance. Are you still eating them? My fear is that I’ve come too late and you’re so far gone there’s nothing worth saving. Continue on.

It started with the De Sala Murders and continued as the pattern immediately drew the attention of the press. Serial. ‘The Cannibal” This one the papers dubbed “unstoppable” and the depraved monster killed more. The ego on this guy seemed to feed off the negative press. More they slandered the fiend killed. We spent weeks trying to get into his head. He had no set patterns, killing at will and preying on anything alive. Until, you had your epiphany, “I need to get into his head, live his routine, understand his logic and then I can nail this SOB. His next move will be his last.” So you started taking the work home. Analyzing his profile, reading his manifestos, and living with the photographs. The photographs were surreal. Plastered all over your apartment. Wall to wall death. “Only man can truly understand another man’s madness by living it.” I didn’t like that you pushed me aside while you delved in, but as a woman I didn’t understand. Perhaps you were right? Maybe I could never understand this madness. As your partner I checked in, and continued to work out the daily leads, only reporting the significant findings to you. It wasn’t until you started walking the same path as this monster that I really began to worry.

Cold icy air hits my cheeks like a blow as I remove part of my scarf to get a better look at the body. Just like the others. Eyes were taken first, as I bend down further, it is obvious the jaw has been broken and his tongue cut off. The clothing was ripped off. Almost in a hurry. Why was there a need to rush? How far ahead are you? NO, this isn’t fresh. Did someone come along? A witness, which means you’ve gotten sloppy and I have a solid trail. My thoughts are hoping that this one is alive, as there are no indications of a struggle around the body. Blood is contained in a small radius, but unlike the others the mutilation of the body stops, immediately. Yes, you definitely had a distraction of some kind. Wait. Below the neckline, there’s a shiny metallic… it’s lapel pin. Odd. Engraved with a crest of an eagle. Seems unimportant, but may provide some identity to this dead man. Time to move on, the wind is picking up and I need to reach Sheron by dusk or I’ll be stranded out here in the darkness with a cold blooded killer.

The path of a madman curves and twists with no end in sight as you began stalking potential victims in the same manner. All in the hopes of catching a glimpse of him or so it began that way. Until the day, that fateful day when I’m following up on a report and taking a look at photos of the recent victim… it’s clearly not the same killer. A copycat? Or you? No. I hadn’t checked in on you for over a week, perhaps you went off the grid. Or maybe off the chart, killing until you caught up with him. Wouldn’t know for sure until I dropped by your place.

Grayson. Where are you? This is the last place on earth you should be. The cold never did work for you. At least it puts a damper on my speed for the moment. Which I’m hoping works to my favor, and you’ve been detained by the storm. If I’m lucky enough, stuck in Sheron for the night, just like me. Part of me wonders, do you want to be caught? Or are you oblivious to my tracking your path? That’s doubtful. You’ve left too many helpful clues over the last couple years to keep me in pursuit. The NYC judge’s gold watch and antique chronometer held the GPS coordinates leading to the next victim in ....Tucson..... The woman in ..Tucson..’s birthday was the address and street name location in ....San Francisco.... for the following victim. Week after week, month after month I’ve followed your inconsistent trail until it stopped here in the cold desolate expanse of the Alaskan winter. As the journey moves forward the town’s become sparse. It’s only a matter of time before I’m out in the wilderness with you waiting.

Upon entering your apartment the front room looks like a box that had been picked up and shook. Furniture tossed about and snapped into pieces like brittle pieces of wood. The photos of death continued up the walls and now blanketed the ceiling. “Grayson? Are you here?” My hand grabs at the gun on my hip. I edge around the doorway and push my hand into the kitchen. Gun first, I creep into the dark room and reach for the light. Brightness, which I immediately regret, as there is blood and the insides of someone trailing along the floor and are spread across the countertop. I gasp and step back. You had begun to taste the flesh. It wasn’t enough to be in his head. You needed to become him. There was no point in continuing you’re no longer living this life. You’re living his.

Sheron. Storm has yet to reach its peak tonight. The night sky is black and snow covered streets are the perfect balance of light and dark. There are a few flickering street lamps, but it’s fairly dark out. I’ve found myself walking alone through this quiet town. There are maybe fifty residents or less here, but for some reason it feels too still in this sleepy place. It’s only reached 6:30 pm by the dial of my watch, but it could be later. There’s a small inn in the far corner, I plan to stop there for the night. If I can find someone, perhaps I’ll ask a few questions about this lapel pin. The street seems far too empty. Something about the air in this place gives me a bad feeling. JUMP! What was…? Movement. Coming towards me. Quickly. I don’t have time for my gun. It’s on me. Out.

Newspapers too often get it wrong trying to scoop one another out of the lead story. Today seeing the headline, I know in my gut they’ve got it wrong. “Cannibal Killer is Found Dead.” According to the press, the killer and his victim were found dead in an alley off the park. The department was informed by a jogger who almost tripped on the pair during her 5 am run through the park. The man was believed to be the killer was carrying a small box containing traditional business cards labeled ‘Bon App├ętit.’ These were small mementos that the ‘Cannibal’ liked to leave on the bodies he feasted upon. Case closed the cards were a match. The entire department seemed overjoyed at the find. No one questioned the death of the notoriously unstoppable killer. Sergeant claimed that the scene indicated the victim fought back, and fatally injured the ‘Cannibal’ before dying. I was never allowed to examine the evidence as your disappearance led to my reassignment. My take on the matter: It was all too clean. I knew better. You never did like the competition. One of you had to go, and since you were a newer, better, cleaner version, it should be the predecessor. It became clear I had to find you. I quit the force and started my own investigation, which started with the death of the judge who set ‘CK’ free in the first place.

The cold wind is quicker now whipping and hitting my exposed face. Coming to, I can see the night above me and the storm all around. White is everywhere blinding me from seeing into the distance. I can feel that I’m being dragged by chains that are attached to a pulley of some kind. My arms are tied together above my head, attached to this rig, and my feet are dragging in the snow. It’s hard to make out but there’s a path of dark trailing behind me as well. Pretty certain it’s blood. My head. I’m bleeding and it’s completely uncovered. “Grayson?” No answer. It has to be you. Who or what else? “GRAYSON! Answer me!”

“Ma’am, I don’t know who this Grayson fellow is, but if you don’t pipe down, I will have to take out that pretty little tongue of yours,” a deep voice conjures up sound from somewhere in front of me. Another killer? The body earlier was missing his tongue. Lapel pin was an accident not a clue. Uncertain of my captor’s intentions, I silently wait for the movement to slow down so I can catch a better glimpse of this situation. There are sounds from out in the snowy expanse that surrounds us. Animals, perhaps circling this small craft that slowly maneuvers along. I’ve lost enough blood to drawn the wild creatures toward us. Stealthily these things are creeping in. I can not see, but the movements are unmistakably loud. The sound of a rifle being armed is near my head…

There’s no WARNING! I can hear something jump out and tear at flesh. The entire world moves around me in a spin. I’m unhooked and tossed into the nearest embankment of snow. There’s a struggle and I can only make out sounds as I’m unable to shift my body. My bound arms and legs are unable to free themselves, so silently I wait for the animals to devour me next…. The sounds of bones breaking and flesh tearing haunt my mind for the next twenty minutes. Quietly I’m hoping that these creatures will move on and leave me unnoticed to die of hypothermia in the cold.

Warm hands reach into the thick cover of snow and remove me gently. Animal? This is no animal that has found me. I’m in awe. A face more human than I can remember my own. Fingers carefully unhooked braces around hands and feet. Hands move quickly to nurse my wound. As I get my bearings I reach up and touch this face that I’ve not seen in years. Silently, helping arms lift as I get to my feet and try to walk. My head. I can not see clearly or move. Still I keep touching this face and trying to understand. Maybe a hallucination? No. It’s real. “Grayson?” YES.



One more to come... was going to wait and place both together, but here's one in case the other doesn't make it up today. This one is rather lengthy and I'm thinking it has a future. what do you think? Anyhow, after this month is up and I've overdone it... I will attempt to work on a few longer pieces at the suggestion of a friend. For the moment, enjoy? kisses. M.

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