It was past midnight. Eileen Anthony was sitting perched on her comfortable velvety armchair in her dark gloomy office as she been scolded into working overtime for the fourth time this week. She slurped her latte and stained the lid with bright red lipstick marks that like the weather had turned ice cold. Crickets were chirping in a rhythm and the navy-blue curtains in Eileen's office were flapping as wind swooshed past them. Eileen had been a writer for most of her life but never had she experienced such an intense writer's block. Crumpled balls of ideas scribbled on pieces of paper had been carelessly tossed into the waste bin. She had wrecked her mind for the past week trying to think of an idea for her incomplete novel. She clicked her pen over and over again in frustration. After an hour of disappointment and annoyance, she sighed, buried her face into her folded arms and was asleep in a matter of seconds. Apart from Eileen's deep breathing, the slow ticking of an alarm clock was filling the office with an eerie sound. As the hour hand of the clock struck three, the deafening ringing caused Eileen to shriek and wake up with a start. She slammed her fist on it and it instantly became silent. Eileen slowly stood up and started piling various documents neatly into a corner of her cubicle. Even after a nap, she felt drained...felt as if she hadn't slept in ages. After quickly grabbing a half-eaten doughnut and tying her hair into a high ponytail, she ascended her pale hand to grab the door knob that was icy and sent chills down her spine. After locking the door behind her, Eileen descended towards the elevator and the sound of her heels making contact with the floor echoed throughout the corridor. Lights were flickering and yet the unnaturalness of tonight could not be felt by Eileen.
She exited the building, swiftly unlocked her car from a distance and slipped inside, slamming the door behind her. Her hands shivered as she fastened the seat belt. Eileen felt as if she was being followed...as if she was being watched. She shrugged it off and drove until she had been completely consumed by the darkness. Eileen was drowsy and her eyes were halfway shut when a commotion made her jump and urgently press the brakes allowing the car to come to a halt. She twitched and got out of the car. Trees nearby were swooshing as the wind whipped them and the creaking pattern of a wooden swing in an abandoned house was strange. Eileen's curiosity took the best of her and as she gradually moved towards the house, the swing suddenly stopped moving. Eileen ignored it and after inspecting the house for a longer time she inferred that it was at least a hundred years old and the thick layer of dust on the doorstep depicted that no one had cleaned it or as a matter of fact even lived in it for years. She was examining the house when her eyes caught something. Two ropes with a loop were swinging from a nearby tree...Her eyes widened in horror but an idea had struck her...she finally knew what she was going to write about. Numerous days of overtime had finally paid off. Eileen raced towards her car and hurriedly took out a notepad and a pencil. Suicide! This was the missing puzzle in her story and she had finally sorted it out, she was going to be the recognised at last, this was a dream come true. She scribbled on the notepad until the lead of the pencil snapped. She frantically searched for something to write with when she felt suffocated...she grasped her throat and her face had started turning a shade of purple. Veins were throbbing from her temple and after a few excruciating moments of pain, her body became limp, the notepad slid out of her lap onto the car mat with a soft thud. She was as still as the starry night with her eyes staring into oblivion.
Eileen Anthony's body had been spotted by a dog walker and was immediately sent for inspection. The doctors and the FBI noticed her missing passport and were awestruck because she had been murdered in the same place six previous murders took place. A person was murdered in every five years in the same spot, on the same date. The first murder was of a typist named Alexa Sean and after that, it became a pattern. This case had been going on for years and years but to no end. The only clue left behind by the murderer was a black ribbon tied to the victim's wrist. Some believed that those people were killed by a man's ghost, some believed that it was the doing of a serial killer possessing psychopathic traits, no one however, knew the truth. Best detectives from all over the world had been summoned but most of them had become paranoid and some had simply quit. There was one detective who was hell bent on solving this case. Avery Santiago was from Brazil. He was a short man with balding hair. He was envied by many people and it wasn't because he was an inquisitive man but it was because he somehow solved every single case by his everlasting luck. The chief detective avoided him as he was a mousy man who badgered him to grant him with cases all the time. The chief was determined not to let him investigate this case but Avery, with his brilliant luck, managed to get his hands on it. He travelled to New York where the crafty murders took place and rented a cheap one roomed apartment. Through his sources and friends spread all across USA, he managed to extract the history of the murders and attempted to connect the dots. No matter how hard he wrecked his brain and no matter how many times he visited the crime scene, he was just as close to solving the murder as he was when he left for New York.
After weeks of frustration, day drinking and being locked up in his apartment, Avery decided to revisit the crime scene. He rented a taxi and drove all the way to Manhattan. When Avery finally reached the destination, he examined Eileen's car that had been left on the same spot. He frowned, scratched his badly shaved chin, and realised that all the murders were connected by not one but two things; a black ribbon and the passion of writing. Avery leaned against the cold metallic bumper of the car and pondered what possible connection could there be between these two things and he remained as clueless as ever. That's when his eyes caught the abandoned house. He withdrew his laptop from the backpack and searched... An article informed Avery that the house belonged to an old couple who had an adopted kid. Neighbours reported arguments over the slightest things and the couple committed suicide but their son was never found. According to the source, the rope with which the couple had hanged themselves was still outside the house. Avery darted his eyes towards the two ropes that had still not been removed and for the first time in his life, he used his intelligence rather than his luck. When he searched for further clues to the whereabouts of the lost son, there was no information that google could provide him with. He sighed, dialled a number and it was answered within seconds, "I was wondering if you could do me a favour, I need to know more about the man who used to live in the currently abandoned house in front of which all the creepy murders took place" The caller answered "Oh, you want information on black ribbon?"
Avery's mouth was hanging open and he stuttered "C-come again?". His caller replied with "That's what he was called and as far as I've heard the man went crazy locked up in his basement". Avery was bewildered and he said "Th-thanks buddy, I owe you one". He now had to search the whole house. He kept his belongings in Eileen's car and marched towards the house, flinging the door open. The whole house was full of cob-webs. Avery wrinkled his nose and decided that the first place he wanted to check was the basement. Portraits of the old couple and their son were hanging in the hallway and burnt candle was sticking out of the wax holders. The flooring was composed of pure oak wood and every step that Avery took, made it creak. He picked up a slightly open matchbox lying beside the candles and struck one. The room was now slightly visible because of the ignited match and Avery noticed that half of the vases and picture frames had been smashed. Most portraits were loop sided and there were two identical burn marks where the couple's faces should have been. An empty fireplace was blackened with ash and what seemed like burnt pieces of parchment. It was very unusual and every second that Avery spent in this house, he was alarmed. He felt an unnatural presence in the house yet he kept moving towards the basement. As the house was unusually large, it took him a considerable amount of time but at last he found the door leading to the basement. He forced it open and struck another match and the previous one had snuffed out. The revolting smell in the basement made him belch. He prayed for patience and continued striding down the stairway. As he made contact with the fourth board, the wood splintered and Avery's managed to pull his leg out in time. He was then cautious and rechecked the reliability of each wooden board beforehand. When he reached the bottom step, he was petrified of the view in front of his eyes.
A metal rod from which countless black ribbons were tied was displayed. Cuff-links had been attached to a rusted pipe and the walls bore the unmistakable marks of scratches. The sickening smell was not only of rotten food but also of dried blood puddles on the floor. Avery's eyes widened in utmost terror and he tried leaning against the wall which collapsed and revealed a medium sized box. Another mystery? how many of them were there? His answer was perhaps going to be answered shortly. He carelessly opened the lid and to his disappointment found a notebook. His lips moved comprehensibly as he read every single word of it. The last few pages were full of scribbles and incomplete drawings. When Avery looked up, he felt sorry for the person who wrote this. The contents of the diary were full of broken dreams, imprisonment and inhumane treatment. It belonged to the old couple's son who had wanted to be a writer and had instead been locked in the basement while being the subject of horrific punishments. When Avery skimmed through every page and reached the last one, "I shall punish every last one of them" was neatly written. He turned around and found himself face to face with a gigantic man who's hair were greasy and his green eyes, empty...every last ounce of humanity had been sucked out of them. Avery attempted to run but the man grabbed his arm with extraordinary strength and cuff linked him to the rusted pipe.
As Avery whimpered, the man took a seat and in a deep hollow voice said "Thirty long years...I have waited and waited...waited to tell my story to someone. Now that the day is finally here, I will not wait any longer. Five years they kept me imprisoned in this very basement, starved me, beat me and burnt my written stories. My dreams were snatched from me, they had turned into ashes just like my stories. I wasn't going to let others be what I couldn't be. When I escaped one day, I murdered those abominations of parents and hung them. I never ceased to write, whenever I found a new victim, I made sure to include them in my book. I murdered every single one of them with the same ribbons my parents used to tie me with and as a reminder tie it on their wrists...I summoned and killed a writer every five years" Avery was lost for words, he stammered and in a barely audible whisper pleaded "Please, let me go..." Black ribbon chuckled, "How can I? when you get to be free, when I never could be?" and strangled him with his murder weapon until he gasped for breath. As Avery's body faltered, The Black Ribbon whistled, tossed Eileen's passport in a corner, added 'Avery Santiago' in his book and whispered "your luck just ran out".