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Romance Adventure Mystery

Honestly, in all my years of working for the New York Police Department, I had arrested quite a few baddies. Yep, at least one person was serving a life sentence because I had caught them. This one, though, was going to be my crowning glory. I, Detective Alexander, was going to bring in the greatest serial killer of the decade. No, the century. 

The killer, who everyone nicknamed Thanatos, was responsible for more than a dozen murders in New York alone. There were a few from all over the United States that people thought he’d done as well, but the ones we could prove were in New York. That meant the case fell right in my lap. For months, my partner and I had chased this maniac around the city, always one step behind. Lately, Thanatos was getting sloppy, so that meant he was easier to track. He had left a fingerprint at the latest crime scene. We were able to get a match. On August 5, we knew exactly where he’d be and when. We had this one in the bag. 

“Let’s go catch ourselves a serial killer, Minnie,” my partner, Gerard Patton, declared as we walked out of our office. We had a squad of backup that would be waiting for us when we got there, but the rest of the department wished us luck anyway.

The whole car ride to Jesse Gill’s house, questions kept racing through my head. We were sure that the name was just an alias, so who was this person? Why had he killed all those people? What was his endgame? Did he just like it? Was is it revenge? In my experience, it was one of the leading motivators for murder. Was that what this was all about? Had he killed more than a dozen people for revenge?

“Minnie, we’re here,” Gerard announced, and I shook myself from my thoughts. I had to be 100% present just in case things went wrong. 

“Let’s go then,” I replied and opened the squad car. In a few minutes, Gerard, a few other officers, and I were standing at Jesse Gill’s door with our guns out. Just in case. I gave the signal, and my partner broke the door down. 

“NYPD, hands up,” I cried and faced our killer. My blood ran cold. 

“Oh, detectives. You’re earlier than I expected,” Jesse mused and held out his hands. “Come on, get on with it.” I froze, not moving until Gerard nudged me. 

“Make the arrest, Minnie. It’s yours,” he murmured. Coming to my senses, I slapped the cuffs on Jesse. 

“Not too hard,” he giggled, but I hardly heard him. See, the thing was I knew this man quite well actually. Only, I knew him by a different name: Will Bailey, and he was my high school sweetheart. 

The whole ride back to the station, William didn’t say a single word. Half the time, he was actually staring at me as if I was a puzzle to unravel. But, no, it was the other way around. What made him like this, I wondered. Why did he kill all those people? Why did he just let himself get taken in? The case certainly hadn’t been easy, but the arrest was as simple as pie. Did he know that we could put him in for life? Did he know that there was no getting out? Or, was there something else? 

I didn’t relax until Will was locked in one of the interrogation rooms with two officers at the door and one inside with him. It didn’t seem like enough, but it would have to do. 

“Hey, Minnie, you good,” Gerard asked as we stood on the other end of the one-way glass. I shook my head. “What is it? You just landed the biggest arrest of your career.” It’s that I knew him before, I wanted to say but kept my mouth shut. 

William and I had been together all four years of high school. He had asked me to the winter formal in my freshmen year, and we took off from there. We had candlelit picnics at the park. He used to take me ice skating in the winter. We would go out for ice cream almost every week in the summer, and he used to come and see me at my afternoon job. Why was he killing people now?

“I think I’m going to go talk to him,” I said simply and walked out. The officers let me in no problem since they knew I’d want to talk to him eventually. It was my case, my arrest, so of course, I’d want to talk to the perp. 

“Minerva,” Will greeted, perking up in his seat. He started to smooth out his shirt, and I was certain if he had a tie, he’d straighten it too. It would look a lot more appealing if his hands weren’t in cuffs. 

“I’m surprised you refused a lawyer. I thought you were smarter than that, Thanatos,” I remarked, gesturing for the officer to leave. He didn’t even protest. Smart guy, I thought. 

“Oh, please. Don’t call me that. That was the name given to me by the masses. I’d much prefer the name you gave me back in high school. Besides, if I had a lawyer, he or she wouldn’t let you in to talk to me, and we can’t have that.”

“Why’d you do it, Will?” 

“I said I’d prefer the name you called me back in high school.” 

“And I’d prefer it if you haven’t killed more than a dozen people,” I snapped. 

“It’s 15 people,” he corrected. “Or was it 16. I’m afraid I lost count.” I stared at him, and he stared right back. I knew these sorts of killers. They weren’t going to talk unless I gave them what they wanted. 

“Alright, Willy Wonka,” I started, and he smiled, “why did you kill all those people?” His laugh echoed throughout the interrogation room. For the first time since I began my career, the room seemed too small. I was too close to the criminal. Calm down, I told myself and took a breath. 

“Isn’t it obvious, Minnie Mine,” he asked. “I did it for you.”

“For me,” I scoffed. 

“Of course. How else were you going to find me?” For a second, we just stared at each other. His cold blue eyes met mine, and I searched for just a shred of the William I had known. There was nothing. 

“You killed 16 people for me? What, did you think it would impress me?”

“On the contrary, I knew you’d solve it. Word’s gotten around about the best detective in New York state. If a serial killer ravaged the city, Detective Minerva Alexander would be hot on your trail,” he answered brightly. I almost grinned in satisfaction. Had my reputation really gotten around? The best detective in New York state? Did they really say that? But, I regained my composure. Don’t show that you approve of what they say, I told myself. 

“You killed people so I could catch you?” He clapped his hands. 

“There it is. I knew you’d get it. You always were smart.”

“Smart enough to catch you, that is,” I muttered. “I got the answers I came for. Have a good day, Willy Wonka.” I stood to leave, but William stood, his knee banging on the table. 

“Wait, there are more,” he objected. I whirled around, expecting to see him smirking, but he just looked desperate. Like a lost puppy, I thought. 

“More what,” I asked, lifting my head. I leaned around the door just to show him that I could leave at a moment’s notice. That got him talking. 

“More bodies, carefully hidden. I was careful with them, not leaving any traces at the scenes. I wiped everything down, buried the bodies where no one could find them, and even planted someone else’s hair at the crime scene. It was quite genius really. Everyone’s been saying that I might be one of the best killers of the century,” he rambled and took a breath. “I remember how many I killed.” I straightened, leaning away from the door. 

“Alright, I’ll bite. How many?” He sat and relaxed in the cold metal chair. 

“That’s just the thing, detective. I’m not just going to give up that information without getting something in return.” 

“You’re not in a position to ask for anything.” He leaned forward with his elbows on the table. 

“Oh, but I am. If ever want to find those missing people and bring peace to their families, I suggest you listen,” he hissed. I stood there, debating my options. If he gave me all the names and locations, we could find those bodies quick and get word to their families. Otherwise, we’d be wandering the city and beyond without a hint of direction. 

“I’ll be right back,” I decided and left. William started to protest, but I was out the door before he could say much. 

“What was that, Alexander,” the captain demanded, and I jumped. He had been standing right outside the interrogation room door, waiting to ambush me. From his tone, I assumed he had been behind the glass with Gerard and heard everything I just said.

“Sir,” I exclaimed, “I was just getting him to give us the rest of his victims.” As I stood there, one of the other officers slinked back into the room. Good, I thought. 

“You’re making deals with a psychopath,” he snapped. I wanted to argue that William hadn’t always been crazy, but I held my tongue. 

“Agents lesser than me have done worse,” I finally replied as he stared at me for a second, reading me like a book. 

“You better know what you’re doing,” he warned with a scowl and stalked off. I moved to get to my desk, but that’s when Gerard grabbed my arm. 

“Don’t bother,” I said when he opened his mouth. “The captain already told me.”

“That’s not what I was going to say. I was just coming to ask if you were okay,” he replied, taking my hand. That’s when I realized I was shaking a bit from the interrogation. Gerard stilled me. 

“Oh, yeah, right. I’m fine,” I stammered.

“Are you sure? That guy seemed pretty intense.”

“I’m fine, Gerard. I just need a notepad.”

“Well, here. Take mine,” he offered and reached into his coat pocket to grab it. I was usually the one taking notes, and Gerard had an impressive memory, so the papers were blank. 

“Thanks,” I muttered, taking the notepad. 

“Be careful,” he said before turning to the room that stood on the other end of the glass. I took a breath, taking in every bit of courage I had. William knew me. He could get in my head, so I needed to be prepared. 

“You’re back,” William greeted when I stepped in. Again, the officer saw his chance to leave and took it. Obviously, no one wanted to be alone in a room with a serial killer. No one, it seemed, but me. 

“The names and then we’ll make our deal,” I replied, ignoring the way William smiled at me. I tossed the notepad on the table. 

“I need a writing utensil.” Right, of course, I thought and patted my pockets for something. Giving a killer a pen or a pencil was a terrible idea. Both of those could be used for weapons, so there was only one option. Luckily, I always had one on hand.

“A crayon,” William inquired as he held it up. 

“Just write,” I ordered. He stared at me before obliging. He scribbled down a few names, and the cold of the interrogation room bit into my skin. I should have grabbed my jacket, I thought numbly. As he wrote, I examined the man I once knew. He was a bit taller, and his hair had grown out. He still wore a plaid button-up shirt with loose-fitting jeans. I wasn’t sure what shoes he had, but I was willing to bet they were classic Nike sneakers. He had this one pair that he wore every day for four years. I didn’t think he would ever give them up. 

“Done,” he declared, setting the crayon down. I took the notepad from him and counted the names. 10 more people. This guy had the blood of 26 people on his hands, maybe more. I cursed under my breath. William was either a psychopath or someone with intense bloodlust. I suspected it was both. 

“Is there a problem, Minnie Mine,” he inquired sweetly, and I nearly threw the notepad in his face. How dare hurt all those people? How dare he look so smug about it? How could he look so proud of the blood on his hands?

“What do you want,” I asked instead, crossing my arms. It was all I could do to keep from punching William in the face. 

“Weekly visits,” he answered, “from you.” I couldn’t help but laugh. 

“Yeah, right,” I scoffed, standing. 

“But I gave you the names.”

“And I said you were in no place to be making deals. Now, you’re not.” 

“But, what if there are more bodies?”

“Then, we’ll be able to put you away longer.” By then, I had my hand on the doorknob. William started to protest and whimper. For a moment, I could picture the William I had fallen in love with. I could see him smiling at me with a twinkle in his eyes. I could feel him brushing the hair from my eyes as I got lost in his. I could hear his laugh echoing in the park. I could taste the chocolates he used to bring me. I could smell his mix of cologne. My heart ached at the memories, and I could do nothing but sigh. 

“I’ll see you next week. Visiting day is Wednesday,” I said curtly before hurrying out with just one thought on my mind. 

Who knew killers could fall in love?

August 13, 2020 16:11

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1 comment

Wow. Wowowowowowow. WOW. 👏👏👏

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