Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Crime Scene (A short story)

              He stood across the street from the crime scene taking it in.  Studying the scene from afar gives perspective into the killer’s insights and provides an overall picture of his chosen prey.  Looking over the scene, which eerily stood still in the cool midnight air, he was getting a feel for what story will be told by the crime scene.  He quietly watched.  The crime scene will tell a lot about the person who created it, were they careful or were they sloppy?  Did they take a trophy?  Did they leave a telling clue behind?  It would all be discovered by paying attention to the minute details of the crime scene.

                He stood across the street watching patiently before the forensic investigators snapped their pictures, collected their swabs, dusted for fingerprints, took measurements and searched for evidence of the crime.  It was before the reporters showed up creating a three-ring media circus and before the brass showed up barking empty orders to sound important and validate their presence.  It was before the heart wrenching scene of when the victim’s loved ones showed up with false hope and disbelief on their faces, and then leaving with bitter acceptance and tragic loss gripping their souls.

The small residential house that sat on the corner lot of a small intersection bestowed the honor of the macabre scene.  Its modesty was apparent with well-trimmed hedges, a neat lawn and swept walkway.  A giant oak tree loomed over the side of the house casting a dark shadow over the yard and opposed the dull orange glow of the street light by the road.  The tree’s graying beards of Spanish moss swayed gently in the night breeze.  This would be the likely path of the killer as it offered the ideal shroud of darkness to conceal a stealthy approach.

There was a blue light flickering in the far window to the right, obviously the master bedroom.  They were watching television, or had fallen asleep without turning it off.  No other lights were on and no movement in the other two windows which undoubtedly held the children sleeping quiet in their beds.  The front door was shut and the small covered porch was clear.  A few decorative plants and flower pots adorned the railing which bore no real purpose to the scene.

On the approach, the noticeable odor of dog feces was emanating upward.  They have a dog, or at the very least, the neighbor has a dog that likes to leave foul smelling deposits in their yard.  This would cause concern because an alert dog would give away the approach, and all would be lost. 

Beneath the giant mossy oak he watched further.  Another angle offers another perspective into the eyes of a killer.  The shadowy crevice in the deep corner of the yard offered the perfect concealment from any nosy neighbor or untimely passersby.  From this spot, he could observe his prey, unnoticed until the perfect moment to strike.  It was mere feet from the master bedroom window and looking in from the right angle offered a glimpse into their lives.  He could watch his prey in living color before he introduced them to their untimely demise.  This angle also allowed the killer to see the foot of the bed and the sleeping legs and feet of his prey.  This confirmed they had fallen asleep.

A simple scratch of the door or slight scuffle on the porch would test the ears of the potential watchdog inside.  After no response, he would proceed. 

As the killer felt comfortable enough, he would move stealthily toward the front door, as this was his choice of entrance, and what a grand entrance it would be.  The door was not as well kept as the rest of the house.  It was old and faded from facing the setting sun.  It was dried and the locks tarnished from age.  It would not offer much resistance to the determined killer.  

The door was violently kicked splintering the door frame into shreds deeper into the living room granting him access to his prey.  A single dusty boot print left on the exterior of the door would be evident.  But now came the challenge, now is when the thrill of the hunt would come into play and the experience of the killer revealed.  The killer’s presence was announced and soon the element of surprise would dissipate.

Waking in a dazed stupor, the man and wife slowly withdrew out of their slumber to the confusion and utter chaos that would soon follow.  Was the loud crash a part of their dream or was it real?  Before realizing they were the hunted, the shadowy killer deftly advanced into the master bedroom.  He would be backlit from the glow of the television screen and his silhouette would be cast on the back wall giving the illusion of a hulking monster on the attack.

A shiny glint caught the man’s eyes as his dark world slowly came into focus and reality came crashing down.  As the shadowy killer pounced on the man, the sharp sting of metal slicing through his abdomen was slow to develop but the killer would soon overpower him with his deceptive strength.  A quick withdrawal from the wound released the initial gush of blood that was met with disbelief from the man.  Surely, he was still dreaming.  Before a scream could escape his mouth, there was another piercing stab deep into his gut silencing the pain as it grew exponentially and controlling.  He looked in disbelief over at his wife who had just joined his new reality but it was too late for her as well. 

The shadowy killer grabbed her flailing arms and pulled her back onto the bed aside her dying husband.  She tried to fight back but was met with hard strikes to her head that sent her back to the realm of the confused.  Her brain told her mouth to cry for help but only a muted push of air made it out.  She managed to struggle through the hazy fog but it was like fighting while neck-deep in quicksand.  A strategic slice to her abdomen suppressed her futile attempt of escape.  She gripped the killer tightly hoping for any ounce of humanity on his part that would allow her to live and not perish in this moment.  But that was not to be, her fate was already determined and death was the sentence.  A series of follow up stabs, each more violent than the last, would follow the first cut.  Anger and rage had taken over the shadowy killer who had exercised extreme control and patience up until this point.  He edged the line of control and chaos.  He grew aroused and the thrill of the stabs somehow led him to gratification.

The bloody mess he left her lying in paled in comparison to the husband.  This would be a clear indication that the woman was the overall target.  Attacking the husband first would remove any chance he would pose as a threat and allow him to concentrate more on his ultimate prize, the woman. 

Blood spatter stained the sheets, drapes, walls, pillows and the ceiling above glistened a deep dark red.  Crimson dots cast off from each rage filled stab littered the walls and on the ceiling numbered the stars as the sky on a clear night.  Arterial spray dressed the wall and sheets, and transfer smears and swipes were left by the killer as he was finally pushing away from his victim.  A void was left to her immediate sides as this showed where he straddled his victim during the attack.  It was a mess.  A violent bloody mess.  She was probably unconscious within a minute after the initial penetration of the blade due to the overwhelming blood loss, so any resistance offered would have been in vain given the surprise attack.

Bloody footprints led away from the foot of the bed and faded as they moved about the bedroom.  Was there something in the room worth hanging around for, a trophy perhaps?  The bedroom is a sanctuary and keeper of all things personal and secret.  Doors are closed shut when guests arrive so as not to subject them to the perverted secrets or shameful habits we hide so ingenuously in the closet, the dresser drawers and the medicine cabinet.  It would only take a short time to learn of those secrets by taking a look in the obvious hiding spots.

She had long straight blond hair, a toned body and a classical beauty about her that seemed to fit an obvious profile, chosen of the killer’s own lust.  The rage that was inflicted to her body was on the verge of overkill and leaned toward a personal relationship with her attacker, but in the ever evolving mind of a killer she could have been a well-planned target.  She would have been watched for days or even weeks prior.  Was the killer careful during his courtship or was he sloppy? 

The husband was just a hurdle, a task to complete before reaching his intentions and not worthy of the attention she deserved.  It didn’t matter what he looked like, it didn’t matter who he was, it only mattered that he was moved out of the way so he could focus on his courtship with her.

Silence followed the heinous act.  No sirens, no screams for help, no chirps of the patrolman’s radio, just calm silence.  The rest of house remained asleep as the killer would embed himself into the lives of his prey, not ready to let go of their connection.  A stroll around the sanctuary of the bedroom showed that she coveted her jewelry and he, his sport’s attire.  A small chest on the dresser was filled with pearls, gold necklaces, gem lined bracelets and rings of all shapes and sizes.  If this was what fulfilled her material desire, this would be what embodied a reminder of their courtship, but he had to choose carefully for just the right piece. 

After leaving his prey lifeless in the bedroom, he sauntered back into the living room checking for any additional signs of life.  The hum of the refrigerator kicking on defrost mode broke the silence.  He continued his stealthy hunt in the kitchen to complete the insertion into the victim’s lives.  He wanted to know everything about them.  The refrigerator is the bulletin board and art gallery of the family.  The killer would study the lives of his prey in pictures, snapped at happy times, exciting times, at parties, on vacation and displayed the growth of the family, one snapshot at a time.  Scribbly finger art and erratic crayon drawings filled the rest of the door space between the magnet tacked pictures.  Two small children were the focus in most of the pictures and were the obvious creators of such innocent artwork.  The killer would realize that there was still prey yet to be found.

The hallway leading to the children's rooms were dark and silent.  This only proved the effectiveness of his stealth and cunning.  Confidence grew with each passing moment.  The shadowy killer stood outside of a closed bedroom door waiting, listening and breathing.  He slowly turned the doorknob, fulfilling any nightmare of the boogeyman coming to get them and pushed the door open.  His heart raced as the thrill of the hunt was renewed.  But he was met with disappointment as the nightlight in the corner softly illuminated a perfectly made but empty bed.  He looked deeper in the room for the chance of a spontaneous camping trip on the floor but the room was empty.  A check of the second bedroom revealed the same, the kids were out.  How fortunate for them or was it?

The shadowy killer would double-check his work in the master bedroom and ignore the terror filled look on her face but instead choosing to see the peaceful beauty of their courtship.  This was his goodbye.  He would take his trophy and bid farewell, taking in her beauty cherishing one last moment.  Their courtship was now complete.

With the stealth and silence he crept into the scene and into the lives of the victims he stalked, he would slowly creep out and into the silence of the night.

So, as he stood across the street from the crime scene before the forensic investigators snapped their pictures, collected their swabs, dusted for fingerprints, took measurements and searched for evidence of the crime, he watched.  Before the reporters showed up creating a three-ring media circus and before the brass showed up barking empty orders to sound important, he studied.  Before the heart wrenching scene of the victims’ loved ones showing up with false hope and disbelief on their face but leaving bitterly with tragic loss gripping their souls, he waited.

As he stood across the street he visualized what was about to happen.  He checked his bag of tools and removed the most important tool he had, a shiny steel blade that was sharpened patiently and awaiting this very moment.  He gripped the hilt firmly in his hand as this was his scythe and he was death.   He moved stealthily toward the house with skillful purpose.  He was the hunter, he was the shadowy killer.


  1. Very well written! I would love to see a novel being written from that perspective. Its a fresh take on the hunter and hunted. We mostly read about investigators following the rules of engagement, and being a step behind, then catching the one break they need to make the case.
    How good is this killer at his trade?

  2. Many people would not realize that writing a short story is so much harder than a full length novel. For such a new voice in fiction, William Mark spins his tale like a seasoned pro and in my opinion, he tells it much better than many popular authors. We can't wait for his next book. Please write faster!!