That’s what I see, flowers as soon as I entered my apartment I see flowers. And it’s not just one type of flower it’s a hundred, you name them and they are here. Roses, lilies, orchids, daisies and so many more. My apartment all 600 square feet is covered with flowers and the only thing that comes to my mind is ‘How am I supposed to get all this out?’
“HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!” now that’s my ‘always happy no matter what happens’ husband. He leaves the kitchen with a birthday cake in his hand and walks towards me. He has that silly cone hat on his head. He’s sweet and cute and cares so much that I never came around to tell him how much I hate my birthday. The reason behind hating my birthday is nothing special I somehow just ended up hating the whole concept. And telling him now after 5 years of marriage is just going to hurt him so I put on a smile the sweetest one I could muster up and blow out the candles.
“Thank you so much honey but aren’t the flowers a bit too much” I say looking all around and directing his attention to them.
“Don’t be silly. You spend the whole day looking at crime photos, blood and bodies and it’s all very depressing. These” he picks up a bright pink rose and hands it to me “are to bring some colour and happiness.” I take the rose admiring his gesture to brighten up my life.
“Well these are lovely but I just came home to…” I start to explain.
“…shower and change of clothes I know” Spencer completes my sentence.
“I’m sorry. But this new case…and there have been 3 murders by now and all the women are in their 20s so I just…”
“Lizzie!! It’s all right. I get it being a cop is hard and I’ve learned to live with that. And I don’t mind if you have to leave as soon as you came but…”
“I won’t let you leave without a proper breakfast. Shower, change and then breakfast. If you leave without eating then let me remind you birthday girl I know where you work and I will come down there and force feed you your breakfast. Are we clear?”
His threats make me smile and my heart melts. “Yes we are clear”
I shower and change and come out for breakfast. He made heart shape waffles with salted butter for me. And being the hunger monster I am, I finish it in 5 minutes. The sweet waffle and salted butter in my mouth melts away all my frustrations and I’m more relaxed than ever.
Ten minutes or so later I head back to work. The case I’m working on is probably the weirdest one I got. So In the past 3 months the perpetrator has killed 3 women and then placed them in meadows in different location. As far as we know the perpetrator is 6 feet or over, has the physic to carry each victim and has the means and time to stake and kill them. And that’s the description of almost all the men in this city. It’s like finding a needle in a haystack.
Outside the office I see Amanda and she looks dead with a coffee in her hand as always. “So how did he take it” she asks sipping her coffee.
“He threatened to force feed me breakfast” I say with a smile.
“He’s weird. He doesn’t mind that you are hardly home. He doesn’t fight with you. And his threats are sweet. Did you marry a guy or a bag of sugar?”
“Hey, don’t talk about him like that and a bag of sugar. Anyway, anything new in the case?”
“Ahh. Yeah, the last victim, Sarah Montgomery, her phone records show that she was on the phone with someone 10 minutes before she was killed and we traced the number to a payphone, here” Amanda shows me the location.
“A payphone. That’s odd the guy could have easily bought a per-paid phone on cash and no one would have known”
“That what I thought so I checked he records of the first two victims they hadn’t talked to anyone before they got murdered but I event back 7 to 8 months and bingo. They both got calls from the same payphone”
“Let’s go and check it then”
The lead was small but it was better than nothing. We headed to the payphone and asked around. Most of the people said it was barely used and sometimes the homeless would take shelter there from rain but nothing of use. We were there for a few hours waiting to see who would use it but no one came even near it. Amanda went to get us coffee while I kept watch. I sat in the car waiting and then lilies popped up on my window side. I panicked and pushed the door open. The lilies fell and the man was on the ground. It took me a second to realize how the man was.
“Spencer I’m so sorry. Why would you scare me like that?” I say with guilt.
“I didn’t mean to. I just saw you outside my office and wanted to surprise you” his face goes all pouty. Amanda waltzes back and elbows me when she sees Spencer.
“Spencer so nice to see you. What are you doing here?” she asks.
“I work here” he points at the building behind us “I just saw your car and came to see Lizzie”
“You work here. How came I didn’t know?” I question.
“You are always busy and my work is boring enough that I didn’t think much about telling”
“Wait I second. Do you have cameras outside that view the street?”
“Could we have a look. We need to see who uses that payphone on specific dates. If you don’t mind” Amanda asks.
“Yeah. It’s for the case I was talking about in the morning” I add.
“I don’t think anyone would mind. But before you suspect anyone I need to make this clear. Some of the guys use that phone at times to call their girlfriends”
“We could rule them out but why use a payphone?”
Amanda and I give each other a look. I can’t believe my husband knows about this kind of thing and warns me. Maybe he has done this before, as soon as that thought comes to my mind I brush it away. Spencer would never do that.
We watch the tapes and go through the dates and the times but everything is clear. No one came and no one left. So we sent the tapes to be analyzed thoroughly. By the time we were done Spencer had brought us both lunch, he got me my favorite pasta and Amanda a steak.
Today I didn’t have any work to do and the tapes were still being analyzed so I came home. The flowers were still there but Spencer wasn’t home. He was running late and by the time he got home I had already made dinner. He brought home champagne and we drank and ate and talked like there was no worry in the world.
I don’t even remember falling asleep but I woke up to the sun in my eyes and a note from Spencer saying he had to get to work early and didn’t want to wake me up. I didn’t mind and got dressed and headed to work. Amanda was on her desk shouting at the incoming officers.
“Where have you been? I’ve called you, Spencer and your home more than a dozen times last night. They found another body, different from the rest. The victim is mutilated, stabbed and thrown away like trash in a flower meadow” Amanda brings me up to date with newer details.
“He changed his MO and this shows more rage than the other. Also it’s only been 2 weeks since the last killing.”
“He knows we’re on to him and this time no calls from the payphone. We made him angry and he’s finding new victims more quickly.”
“Did you talk to her parents?”
“Yeah. They are upset but I think I found another clue. See all four victims” Amanda brings up all 4 photos “First victim blond, second brunette, third blond and forth brunette”
“Yeah and this is a minor detail but they all visited the same park over the period of 4 months just before the killing started. The park’s near the payphone. We didn’t get to the park thing soon because it didn’t come across as something important when we interviewed the parents the first time but all of them say the same thing.”
“If that’s true and this guy is angry then he might strike again and soon. Let’s have some officers around that park at all times to keep a lookout”
“I’ll have people in the park in an hour.”
“Ok. I got to call Spencer and let him know I might be late”
Amanda leaves to get her work done and I call Spencer. I go straight to voice mail. I try again and again I go to voice mail. So I leave him a message and see if the tapes have come back from analysis.
“Hey, Jeff are the tapes ready?”
“Yeah. They are all on my computer. I haven’t gone through them yet I was going to after lunch”
“That’s ok you go and have lunch and I’ll go through them”
“Thanks man I’ll be back in a few hours”
“Wait, Hours? Are you planning on not coming back?”
“I forgot Katie’s birthday and now my 10 year old is blackmailing me into taking her to an amusement park on a school day. Please cover for me I told boss I had lunch plans so if he asks…”
“Sure I’ll let him know you are at lunch. By the way I love your kid for blackmailing you. Have fun!”
Jeff leaves and I go over the videos. It’s not just the payphone videos there are different angles, the entrance of the building, the backside, the ally way and the park. I started at 1 and now it’s 6 and I’m finally done with the video of the park. I start to go through the payphone videos. And find something that wasn’t there before.
An hour later everything is so much clearer. Amanda calls me to let me know the officers are in the park and she interviewed the parents and the office staff of the building nearby. I ask her to come back to the office while I head out to meet Spencer. Spencer had messaged before Amanda called and asked to meet.
We were meeting at our apartment by the time I reached home stars had come out. I went inside and the flowery scent hits me and I notice there are more flowers then before. Spencer sat on his favorite chair waiting for me.
“Hey Spence. I’ve been trying to get to you all day but I went straight to voicemail”
“You found her body didn’t you honey”
“What are you talking about? I didn’t find a new body”
Spencer gets up from the chair and walks towards me. His hands remain behind him but then he brings then forward and I see a bouquet of roses.
“You found Ashlyn’s body. Don’t lie to me honey. I can tell when you lie” he drops the roses.
I reach for my gun but Spencer is fast and he punches me in the face. My vision gets blurry and I try to get a hold of my gun but he gets to it first and throws it across the room into the flowers. He tires my hands with a zip tie and sits on top of me.
“I knew this day would come eventually but not this soon. Lizze you weren’t supposed to get to me so fast.”
“Why?” I asked keeping my voice low.
“It’s the flowers. You know I love flowers. I used to watch them play with flowers and you know flowers won’t live forever. But I made them live forever”
“You killed them. They are dead. How are they to live forever?”
“Lizzie you don’t see do you. They will live forever because I killed them. The way you found them, peaceful, beautiful in a meadow. Everyone knows their name now they will remember them and will live on forever. They are the flowers that will never die”
“What about the last victim, Ashlyn. You mutilated her, she wasn’t pretty.”
“Ashlyn fought back she didn’t want to a flower so I made her a thrown. The ugliest part of a flower.”
I tried to push him back to get him off of me but he was heavy. He ran his fingers from my face to my neck. I loved when he did that but now it disgusted me. My husband the most loving kind human I have ever known is a narcissistic killer. How did I never see this side of him?
“When I found out that you knew about the payphone I was sure you would find me. You are an amazing cop. And that’s why you would make an amazing flower. And I don’t even have to look for a meadow to fit you beauty because I made one just for you. Look around isn’t it wonderful?”
Even with the blur vision I could see he had made the whole apartment resemble a meadow. He was going to kill me. But as far as I knew me I would never go down without a fight. And if he stuck with his original MO he was going to strangle me with an old telephone cord wire. He got up and dragged me to the middle of the apartment.
“Now you just stay here. Ok” he went into our bed room. My feet were untied and my hands were tied in front of me. He was either being lazy or very arrogant. I got up, my balance was off. But I head towards the door. I could hear him coming and them the cord wire is around my neck. I kick and scream as he drags me back to the center. He strangles me and I can feel the blood rising in my eyes. I elbow him in the stomach, hard and his grip loosens. I have a fraction of second, I turn twist my arm and struck him in the face. He grabs his nose and falls back. I look for my gun in the middle of the flowers. To my surprise I see it but now Spencer is angry. I leap for the gun, grab it and point it at him.
He doesn’t stop and runs towards me. But then there’s a loud bang and blood on his shirt and he falls back. The gun is in my hands but I didn’t fire. Spencer lies on his back and coughs blood and behind him stands a figure. I finally black out.
When I finally open my eyes I’m in the hospital and Amanda is there. She gives me the details and tells me Spencer is dead. He died the same way his victims did in a meadow of flowers.