Three pairs of wide, unblinking, eyes stared at Detective Bill Crash, wondering if they had heard correctly. Did he really just say, “Eat it”?
“Well, if you look at the sections removed on each victim, they would be prime edible spots. Think about it…the floater had a slice taken out from around his ribs. Trevor here is missing a nice meaty strip right here,” Bill explained as he pointed to the corresponding areas on his own body. “Why else would the killer take those areas? Rhymes had already told the world that those were tasty cuts. I wouldn’t be surprised if the killer mimics the rest of Gerald Rhymes’ victims until he, or she, is caught.”
“A copy cat,” Angela sighed. “Just what we need.”
“What’s worse is that we have no leads. Until we find something, we’re going to see more and more dead bodies popping up.”
They tried to brainstorm, hoping that any speculation might trigger a something that would lead to a clue, but after several hours there was nothing uncovered. Weary and achy, Seth trudged out to his car and waved goodbye to the others. He hoped he would make it home before Melanie. After ruining her sleep, he wanted to make her something special for dinner.
“Rise and shine, sleepyhead. You haven’t passed on now, have you?”
He placed two fingers against his captive’s throat to see if she still had a pulse. The faint throbbing increased as the girl’s eyes fluttered. She’d lost all track of time in the windowless room where she was tied to a table. Since the night he’d first taken her she prayed for death but it had not come.
“I have some good news for you. Would you like a little good news for a change?”
She nodded her head. Dehydration had taken its toll and she was unable to produce tears. Please, God, let him kill me without too much pain. I can’t take much more.
“Well, I have some good news for you. I brought you something to drink and some food. Would you like that?”
Even though the offer seemed too good to be true, her head bobbed up and down rapidly. She tried to force her eyes open wider and emulate eagerness. Instead, the movement only managed to make her feel dizzy.
“Good, I’m glad you’ve learned to appreciate gifts when they’re given. You, my pet, have been my greatest achievement. Now, let’s untie your arms and I’ll help you up.”
Stiff from the restraints, she allowed her captor to help her into an upright position. For the first time, he was gentle when removing the duct tape over her mouth. Next, he placed a paper cup in her hand and she slurped semi-flat cola through a straw. Her parched throat absorbed the fluids and she sipped until the cup was empty. It was then that he produced a bowl of noodle soup. She’d guzzled half the bowl before she noticed a funny taste in the back of her throat.
“What’s wrong, pet? Feeling a little lightheaded? Yes, I thought you might. Sadly, our time together has come to an end. You see, I managed to frame that moron for my earlier escapades and now I’m going to do it again. The best part about this is….I already have the perfect dupe. Even better, I actually have the choice of several different suspect. They’ll be the next copy cats shortly thereafter. I cannot and will not get caught. EVER!”
**Unfortunately, my pets, YOUR torture must last longer. I will be "off the grid" for several days and unable to post to my blog; however, I will reward you with an extra-long installment when I return. As an added bonus, I will also reveal some top-secret, very exciting news. Until then, I leave you with this warning: