Black Crime Suspense


She had been undecided until the last moment, we can say. Only on the last day that the great event would take place in the night, she had made up her mind to go to the great party in the wonderful, magnificent Renaissance villa to which she had been invited by Judith, who was a friend of the hosts who gave the great party. Judith had told her that all the guests participating  in the party  had to wear a costume from past centuries, preferably a Renaissance costume, but  a 19th century dress would also be fine. While it was strictly forbidden to show up in contemporary clothes from 2000, but of the 1900’s too. Alicia, who had decided at the last moment to accept the invitation, had worn an empire style dress, that her great grandmother had given her.. As she had combed her hair, gathering them on both sides of her head, when she looked in the mirror it seemed to her to be a  painting by Ingres. If the participants in the fabulous party were all required to wear a dress from past centuries, they were instead left free to choose whether to cover their face with a mask or to go uncovered. Now, as it was one of the last day of Carnival, many of the guests participating in the party chose to wear a mask. The guests of the great, fabulous party, which took place both inside the sumptuous residence and in the wide surrounding park____AT MIDNIGHT all the guests would go down into the park dancing, the dances, accompanied by music played by three chamber orchestras , would continue ( keep on going on) among and under the centuries old trees of the park_____wore all  kind of masks. There were masks reproducing the faces ( the snouts) of animals, such as dogs, cats, cows, horses, pigs, and grotesque, monstrous masks reproducing deformed faces, and still masks made of assembled fruit and vegetables, which remembered Arcimboldo’s paintings. There were also the most sober masks all black or all white, which seemed to obliterate  the faces they covered. Perhaps because she had decided not to wear any mask, to go with her face uncovered, Alicia was taken by a certain restlessness to find herself among all those people who wore beautiful, precious clothes, but with their faces covered behind mostly grotesque looking masks, or however almost sinister.

Alicia in the midst ( among) of all those people with their faces covered by masks, she could not help but think of the mysterious, but even threatening phone calls which she received since some time. In those phone calls a male voice, that perhaps was always the same, even if she could not be sure, after introducing himself as a friend of hers, asked her questions, as he was really interested in her, in her life. And then that someone moved on, after Alicia had answered, to insinuate that no, things about a certain person, a certain situation  were not at all as she believed.

Eh, regarding her job colleagues , she thought that they , or most of them were well disposed towards her, didn’t she? Oh, on the contrary ( instead) they were real carrion, they were bitter enemies for her! And she who considered them friends! Poor, poor thing, he felt sorry for her…

In addition to such insinuations, which clearly aimed  to shake her certainties , not only regard to her job colleagues, but also regard to her friends, to her relatives, to acquaintances and neighbors too, from that voice Alicia also heard ( received) words, considerations which she perceived( felt) as threats, albeit veiled, that is, not made using threatening words, but insinuating that if she didn’t take in account what he was saying to her, it would be bad for her. It had been the same for that party too. That guy whose voice she only knew , which maybe wasn’t even always the same voice, which maybe was disguised, yes, a masked voice, had warned her not to participate in that great event. She, young and inexperienced as she was, she could not imagine the encounters she would have made there. Above all she could not imagine what could happen to her among all those refined and elegant people, who would certainly have given themselves over the mad joy. Did she, naïve girl from a provincial town , know what people like those could be capable of for fun?

And before that, there had been the insinuations about Judith. “ Ah, you think she, Judith is your friend, I bet. And yet she is not your friend at all. She is ready to serve you on a silver platter to those  she is truly friends with! Eh, eh, my dear girl, but why do you think she invited you to the great party in the magnificent villa of the Buonaccossi counts? Certainly not to do a favor to you!”

Among all those festive people, very cheerful, very up in turns____there were only the masks that covered their faces to cause her a certain fear____Alicia looked around looking for Judith with her eyes. Ah, here she is, who was coming towards her all smiling, next to a guest who wore a a cloak of green velvet, embroidered and embellished with precious stones. ( jewels). He, a tall man, had a black mask on his face , which covered  only the upper half of his face. The man, who looked like a castellan who lived in a turreted castle, had a thin black moustache with the tops curled upwards. “ This is Carmelo” Judith said to Alicia, and then: “ Carmelo, this is my dearest friend Alicia” “ Oh, Alicia, what a pleasure to meet you” Carmelo said. “ Judith told me about you….she told me about your passion for travel. Ah, I like traveling a lot too….I can say that traveling is my life….since I’m always around the world” Alicia learned that Carmelo was the special correspondent for a major newspaper. He had to be always ready to leave for anywhere  in the world something big was happening, mostly it was wars and attacks. Alicia did not retrain from saying that oh, she would have loved to be a special correspondent too. “ Judith told me you’re a teacher. Do you like teaching?” Carmelo asked, but Alicia did not answer. Just at that moment she had heard a voice that seemed to come from behind her….but sure, that voice seemed like one of the voices of the anonymous phone calls she had been received for some time.

Alicia apologized to Judith and Carmelo, saying that she urgently needed to go to the bathroom, since she had not been able, there for there, to find a better excuse to get away and to look for whom that voice belonged to.  Then she, looking around, had moved towards a group of seven people , who were conversing cheerfully, amiably in the back of the room, from where it had seemed to her that voice had come( was coming). Those people wore ( sported) wonderful and precious clothes, real fairytale dresses. Some of them had taken off their mask to drink____they all had a glass in their hand, ready to toast____others had their faces covered with colorful and almost extravagant masks.  She, Alicia approached them hesitantly, eager to be able to hear their voices, to hear that voice again, hoping to understand whose it was ( to whom it belonged).

When , a little ago, she had heard it, that voice had risen suddenly above the others, it  had resounded clear and distinct above the murmur of voices which filled the room. Alicia had heard only a few words said by THAT VOICE.” It will be better if you take into account what I have just told you”. The sentence ( phrase) was the same she had happened to hear ( hearing) from the unknown advisor, yes a kind of …unsolicited counselor of the anonymous phone calls. But more than the words, more than the phrase, the same, it had been the voice that gave (had given) her the instinctive, immediate certainty that it was the same voice, that he is the same guy. It had to be the voice of someone who now was there, in that room. And it had seemed to Alicia that voice was coming from the back of the room. As she approached cautiously , even with a certain apprehension , that group of people in magnificent clothes, Alicia was thinking ( (wondering) about what expedient, what excuse to resort to be able to hear the voices of the three men of that group. Oh, she could think of anything better than asking them where the nearest bathroom was. Unfortunately it was a woman to give her the requested information. Alicia didn’t give up, then she still asked at what time all the partygoers should go out in the park .

“ But of course at midnight” This time  it was one of the man who answered all smiling, and his face was not covered by a mask. But he didn’t speak with the voice which she was looking for.

Alicia, sighing, she looked inside the room, where numerous guests were dancing. It seemed to her, at that first glance, that everyone who was dancing had a mask to cover his face. Then among all those masks she saw Judith’s face , who was dancing with Carmelo.  What could she, what did she had to do to find who had that voice? She kept on wondering. As she watched at the face of Judith among all those who, dancing, had a mask on their face, Alicia thought that she should tell ( should have told)  Judith about…that voice. She, Judith was aware of the anonymous phone calls which she received and she was also a friend of the hosts. 

The music kept playing….They all kept on dancing, all with their faces covered with masks.  Judith’s face, the only one not covered, stood out among all those masks. It seemed that Judith was in perfect harmony with Carmelo, that she was just fine with him. That music sounded like a waltz, but no, it was not a waltz….oh, and yet it was also a waltz. That music had something of a waltz, a darkened waltz which moved threateningly , as if it announced the imminent arrival of a catastrophe that would overwhelm everything.  It was as if that dark music were spinning into ever deeper eddies. But even from its compact mass of gray metal flashes of silver darted. Those glimpses of light , which flashed for a moment from the dark gray of that music , seemed to be the only  moments in which that music could be danced,  the brief time in which  it was danceable. All those people who moved at the sound of that music, all dressed in precious and ancient clothes, of past centuries, they seemed to dance more with the masks that covered their faces than with their body, their feet. Their masks seemed enter the vortex of music, they even seemed to start singing , to start shouting. While the music continue to resonate impetuous, at times overwhelming and almost anguishing too, they “ THE MASKS”, continued to dance, even if theirs , more than a dance (more than dancing) was a fuss, even rather messy, it could seem a hanging swinging from some invisible thread or string.

Alicia thought that there had to be a register with the names of all the participants in the party….she should have asked Judith. But to realize, immediately after oh, but what would have been the use of knowing the names of the participants in the party? Rather ( While instead) it would have been important, decisive to find the guy ( man) with that voice ( to whom that voice belonged). Moreover there was also to keep in mind  that almost  all of the participants in that very great party ( they) had a mask on their faces . What Alicia would never have imagined ( could never imagine)______and indeed how could it come to her mind?_____was that among the participants ( guests) at that great party there really was SOMEONE she too should have feared, but it was not the guy ( the man) whose she have heard the voice , and who(m) she was struggling so much to figure out how to do to find out who he was.  Even more impossible( it ) was that Alicia could imagine who was the guy( man) , who had gone to the great gala in the splendid villa of the Buonaccossi counts precisely with murder intent ( intention of murder) .

But not only she, her friend Judith too couldn’t even remotely suspect him.  Alicia looked at her radiant, smiling face, which stood out among all those masks. Judith was still dancing with Carmelo, who was , as well as the much appreciated special correspondent of a prestigious newspaper_____and as such known by all____ also an inveterate serial killer who  had never even touched by suspicion for any of the numerous crimes he had committed. Carmelo V.,in his twenty years career as a serial killer had killed, it can be said, in all parts of the world. His victims had been all women, girls, or little girls. It must be kept in mind that he was a very particular serial killer, since he, unlike other known serial killers____even those who have not yet been discovered but whose crimes are known___never used the same weapon, neither the same kind of weapon, and even he didn’t rage on his victims, after having killed them, always in the same way. In fact not only he had never been suspected of just one of the crimes he had committed, but neither anyone hadn’t ever thought that all those women, girls and little girls  he had killed, and he kept on killing, in  various parts of the world, had been victims of the same serial killer (could have been murdered by  one serial killer).

Carmelo V. knew what great, eminent experts in psyche, mind, human behavior were saying___of course what they claimed was based on their very serious studies and researches____about serial killers, and whenever he happened to read or to listen to their always  requested opinions. he could not help less than laughing, as well as feeling a great sense of unreality. That feeling of unreality  he felt it towards them,  it concerned them ,the very much experts about….serial killers. When he happened to hear their claims about the serial killers and their crimes, it seemed to him that they, the experts, were……very much unreal. They , the experts, were not belonging to reality, not he, who was really a serial kler, even if no one knew (it).

He, Carmelo V. had never suffered violence, , nor he had ever been mistreated , neither in childhood nor after. His mother had died when he was eleven, but she had been a very loving mother, she had taken great care of him. After the death of his mother, he had grown up with his grandmother and aunt Cecilia, who loved him very much. So his childhood and adolescence had been serene. peaceful, even happy. Then…soon after  he had started traveling as a journalist , and that being able to go one day to Paris and the next day to be thousand kilometers  away, this way of life had made he feel a great sense of freedom. And it was while he was enjoying a feeling of freedom which he hadn’t ever known before, that he had started to kill.

Carmelo could not help but laugh when he happened to read, or to hear, about serial killers who kill because ( since) they can’t help it ,since they would be forced to kill by their unresolved dilemmas and very hard pathologies.  But what nonsense! He had never felt compelled to kill out of some uncontrollable need or urge. He had never killed to have relief. His life was good, interesting, even happy . He had been fine in his life even before he had started killing. He certainly didn’t need to kill in order to live well. Yet he killed. There was no country where he had been as a newspaper report ( correspondent) where he hadn’t killed-

That night he was there, at the big party in the magnificent villa of the Buonaccossi counts to kill again . It would be his first crime at home, while so far he had only killed abroad. Carmelo was thrilled while he kept on dancing with that stupid Judith, who doted on him. Oh, she would have been the perfect victim. He would have killed her when, at exactly midnight, all the guests present at the great party should have swarmed into the park, as they continued to dance.

Carmelo would kill her, Judith, and make her body disappear, as he had already done with some of his victims. Also this time no one would have even suspected him, since he was not officially present at the party. He had informed the hosts that unfortunately he could not accept their invitation, since he was in Japan.

October 29, 2021 13:29

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