I admit this was stupid, I should have never done what I did but then who wouldn’t. I mean the opportunity landed right into my lap and what am I supposed to do just leave it.
I THINK NOT!
I’m sure you’re confused out of your mind as to what I did and let me warn you it’s stupid, I wouldn’t put it in any other words.
Let's start from the beginning.
It was the last week of June, same as always parties, family time, games and most importantly people dying. I don’t say this with pleasure but the past week more people have gone missing and turned up dead then I know. And I would know since I’ve catalogued every murder for the past 19 years. That's how long I've been alive. So as always, I was seated in front of my TV in my room on the second floor of the house. The news was on, and I listened to the number of new bodies found.
“Approximately 6 more bodies have been discovered. All in the same manner, the serial killer who has now been dubbed ‘the time killer’ for how he positions his victim. The new victims are all positioned showing a different time. The bodies have been found in lake shore park. Here are the pictures captured at the scene.”
Pictures of men and women are shown on the screen one by one, each showing a time, their left hand is the hour hand and the right the minute hand. I was fascinated by how accurate the hand positions were, they coincided with the time of their death.
I heard the door close downstairs and Mom called me down.
“Honey, how many times have I told you to lock the door when you’re alone? With the killer still out there, we need to be more cautious.” It is funny how her eye twitches when she gets upset.
“Sorry mom, I’ll remember to do that next time.” I say that and I head to my room. I feel cold for a second but then ignore it when I hear the news, I watch the remaining news and head to bed. As I lay my head on my pillow, I think about how the killer did this without being noticed. All kinds of scenarios pop up until my eyes get heavy and slowly the room goes dark.
The next day I get dressed early to meet Naomi near the murder site. Like me she is another murder mystery lover, but she’s more into murder novels then actual murders. The murder site is sealed off but since the other parts of the park are open, we decide to look from a far. I take Naomi to the bushes on the other side from where I could see the whole park as well as the murder site. Police officers surrounded the sealed off area and others patrolled the area. I see detectives coming and going from where I’m hidden.
Then again, a cold wave passes through me, my eyes unfocused for a second and then refocus. I bring my attention back to the murder site, but something was strange, suddenly everything went quiet. A man probably 6 feet tall, face covered with a black hood walked past the officers into the sealed area and grabbed his feet at the corner near the tree. Once done he looked here and there and then left. I looked at Naomi who stood frozen in her position. I waved my hands in her face, but she didn’t even blink. I tried to shake her, but the rustle of the bushes made a sound. The man stopped in his tracks, I still faced Naomi and side glanced at the man. He stepped towards us, and I froze in my place. He was close enough to see us, I tried to remain frozen, he stared for a few more seconds and then turned and left.
Once he was out of sight, I felt another wave of cold air. Naomi moved from her frozen position and stared at me as I stared back.
“What happened?” She looked at me confused
“Nothing, I think we should leave.”
I got up and began walking towards the exit, Naomi followed reluctantly.
“Come on what happened? Suddenly you turn pale and then you want to leave.”
“You won’t understand, it's strange.”
“I’m friends with someone who enjoys learning about new ways to murder. How strange could it get?”
“Stranger! And you’ll think I’m crazy.”
“I already think that. Now spill.”
“Fine. I think I saw the murderer and he can stop time.”
“I was wrong you have gone insane.”
“I told you this was strange.”
We walk out of the park and walk towards Naomi’s parent’s coffee shop. We take our usual spot in the corner where no one can see us. Most importantly Naomi’s mom couldn’t see us. I have seen her eyes burn and actual smoke come out of ears when we talk out loud about murderers. So, she seated us in this corner about 9 years ago and now it's our spot. Our usual is brought to us, my full foam and cream latte and Naomi’s black coffee, with banana muffins. The figure that loomed over us wasn’t Naomi’s mom but a broad shoulder, dark hair and a grim-faced man. I stared at him for a good minute before Naomi coughed me out of the trance.
“This is Troy, Mom hired him to help since I’m no good.” Naomi laughed a bit unusually. “And Troy, this is my best friend, Lena.”
“Nice meeting you, you must be all foam and cream latte then.” He didn’t even smile.
“Yes, thank you.” He placed the cups on the table and left.
“He goes to the university and works here part time. Isn’t he gorgeous?”
“I’d say rude.” I watched him as he went behind the counter and began taking orders from the girls who just walked in. He scribbled on a tiny notepad, but I guess the girls’ asked questions that made him uncomfortable. His hands twitched for a second, then a second later a wave of cold air came over me again. I didn’t move, I side glanced at Naomi, and she was frozen again. I shifted my attention back to the counter without moving, the guy, Troy, was moving. He was moving but the girls in front of him were frozen. He dropped the notepad on the counter and yelled.
“Morons!!! Where do you study? What do you study? Ughhh” he mimics those girls. “How I’d love to shut you all up right now?” He covers his face with his hands and then inhales deeply then exhales. He brings his hands down, places them on the counter and stares at the girls for a few minutes. Then he snaps his fingers, another wave of cold air passes through me. Everyone’s back in motion.
“You like him too” Naomi pokes me in the arm.
“No!” that comes out louder than I expected. Troy, who also heard it, looked at me all confused. “I have to leave,” I say as I gather my things and bolt out.
Naomi follows me out trying to ask me what happened, but I couldn’t say. About 10 stores down I stopped and looked back, Naomi wasn’t behind me. Well, she was but she was frozen in midair. My breathing got heavier, sweat droplets formed on my forehead and world spun around me until my knees gave way and I sank to the pavement.
“I had a hunch you were faking” Troy’s deep voice fell on my ears as tears formed at the edge of my eyes. “You saw me at the park and then when I stopped time again at the shop you pretended again” he was getting closer, but I couldn’t move.
“Please…” is all I could say.
“Did you think I wouldn’t notice,” he kept coming closer, “I’ve killed and used my powers enough to know how things work.”
“Just let me go”
“I could do that, and no one will believe you if you tell but then what’s in it for me?”
“I…I can help you get away; you will never get caught.”
“I can stop time, I don’t need help” he grabs me by my arm and lifts me up, his other arm is on my neck. “Any last words?”
His arm chocks me, and I say the only thing I could think of “You made a mistake at your last murder scene.” His grip loosens but he still holds on to my arm.
“Speak” his voice low but still commanding.
“When you came back at the site you didn’t notice that the camera of a bystander was on and was pointed exactly where you were.”
“And then what did you do?”
“I deleted it before you restarted.”
“And why would you do that?”
“I… I don’t know”
“Fine I’ll let you live for today but don’t cross my path again.” He lets me go.
He was walking away but he hadn’t restarted time which meant he was going to walk back to where he was to do it. My mind was spinning, the newest serial killer was in front of me walking away and I was standing there unmoving.
“Wait” he stopped and looked back at me. I can’t believe I didn't say that in my head.
“Can I accompany you to your next murder?” Why did I just say that?
“Want to see how I really work?”
“Look I’m fascinated with murderers; insane I know but i just want to see it happen with my eyes once and I’ll leave you alone after forever. I promise.”
I could see his brain work as he thought about it. A tiny grin formed on his face which I could say is my death he just planned.
“Fine, two days from now meet me near the abandoned warehouse near the black house at 10 pm.”
He walked away and minutes later Naomi unfroze. She walked me home, but I didn't tell her anything that had happened between me and Troy.
Two days passed quickly when you make an escape plan in case the murderer tries to kill you too. I was outside the warehouse at 9:50 waiting for Troy to show up. He came 5 minutes later with a girl behind him. We walked in together. We walked until we reached the center of the warehouse. This part was open unlike the rest of the place.
“This is far enough, Troy what is this? You said you wanted to apologize but this place is creepy.'' The girl who I now noticed was a redhead with freckles said softly but here sounded quite loud.
“It’s a little further just…”
“No, say what you have to, or I’ll leave”
“Fine, Sophie I…” he snapped his fingers and Sophie froze. “You just watch” he pointed at me and then walked to Sophie. “You know today’s my last day, after today no more murders, the time killer will vanish forever, and you will witness it all.”
“What do you mean you will vanish? This is the most amazing thing ever. How could you stop?”
His hands were on Sophie's throat, and he was squeezing her, but she said nothing.
“She will die, and I will walk away a free man.”
“You can't,” I whispered to myself. I looked at his back as he strangled the girl. My mind races and I pick the nearest rod I could get my hands on. I raised it above my head and slammed it into his head. Once and then twice until he stopped moving. Blood rushed out of his wound and formed a small pool around his head. I dropped the rod the moment he stopped moving, Sophie unfroze and coughed out loud.
“What happened?” he asked through her coughs.
“I don’t know, he was strangling you and I…I…” I pointed at the rod and broke down crying. Sophie called the police as soon as she stabilized. A short while later the police came and took both of us to the ambulance.
“Are you two alright?” one of them asked.
“Yes” I answered them.
“I know it's not the right time but can you two explain what happened here?”
“Troy, that guy was my ex and he wanted to apologize, and we met up here and she was here as well but then he strangled me and when I came to my senses, she had already hit him in the head.” Sophie explained.
“I’m a murder enthusiast and he said he had information about the ‘time killer’ so I came to meet him. 1 minute we were talking and the next he tried to kill her. I did what I thought was right, but I didn’t know I’d kill him.” tears came flowing.
The officers let us take in what happened. At the station I met mom who was crying when she saw me. I was never charged with murder since it was self-defense and after that day the time killer never strikes again. He was right, he vanished.
But the stupid thing I mentioned at the beginning was killing Troy. I, a murder enthusiast killed a serial killer. I also took his powers, for some reason the killer transferred his powers to me, now I stop time whenever I want.