Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Gemini - V - Angels and Demons

Julian had no idea what was going on. What did Jeanette mean? How could it have been him? He was at home sleeping wasn’t he?! He’d just managed to get away from the flat not even two minutes before the police vehicles screeched to a halt there, cops jumping out seemingly before the cars even stopped, and watched from his vantage point unseen in the bushes as they led a shocked, disheveled Jeanette into one of the vehicles. Now what was he to do? He had nowhere to go, no-one to trust – just himself. He sighed to himself, and silently pushed his way through the shadows trying to figure out what to do next.

Inspector Cameldo handed Jeanette a hot cup of coffee and sat opposite her. “I… I can’t believe that it’s him.” She sobbed quietly, hands shaking uncontrollably. All she could see in her mind was Julian’s face – with a sick smile on his face while her body was wracked with pain. The cops hadn’t found him yet, and that scared her the most – “I’ll be back for you…” the words echoed through her mind. “Dear Lord, he’s coming after me next isn’t he?” her imploring eyes met Cameldo’s. Five hours later, Jeanette stood looking through the blinds of her kitchen window and saw the cop car stationed outside her house as promised by the inspector; still she did not feel safe.

Vernon watched Jeanette’s house – one cop car in front of the house, two more alternating at the back and another patrolling every few minutes. “Easy pickings… they’re insulting my intelligence” he chuckled. Still, she could wait – there was more to sort out than her, at least for now. The boy needed to be taken care of. He already knew where he was – no-one was going to stop him from sorting out that little problem. Vernon got up, plans of action beginning to form in his mind as he whistled a tune, nimbly walking to Reynold’s aunt’s house.

Twenty kilometers away, ten year old Reynold Pierson lay in his makeshift bed with his eyes closed. He can’t say he was sad that his dad was gone, for so long he had fell privy to his belt and fists – so many times he wished him dead. Now with that wish granted, his life could move forward. Slowly he began to drift off to sleep.

It was so easy gaining access to the house, only one cop car was outside – people really should get rid of the heavy foliage around their property. He’d snuck in through the back door, silently picking the lock and now walking through the kitchen. The stairs leading upstairs softly creaking as Vernon walked on them. He checked the first room, to find his aunt sleeping soundly. Vernon took a pillow lying on one of the chairs and smothered her – no need to make her feel pain, she had done nothing to him, but he could not risk being interrupted this time. The woman’s flailing and muffled cries slowly abated till they stopped. “One down… One to go”. He stood over Reynold’s bed, raised scalpel glinting softly with deadly intent. “I knew you’d be back” the boy’s soft voice startling Vernon so much that the scalpel fell with a clatter onto the floor. Vernon looked as the boy, who was now sitting upright in his bed, meeting his eyes without blinking, not afraid. He silently knelt down and picked the scalpel and moved closer to the boy.

Julian didn’t know why he was outside Jeanette’s place, he just kind of found himself there. He’d written a letter for her somewhere along the line as well and had slipped it under her door. Risky yes, what with all the cops around, but he managed to do so without being seen. “I don’t know what is going on… or what and how this has happened… but I swear that I will get to the bottom of this… I love you Jeanette, always remember that…” Jeanette didn’t know what to make of the letter, or how he’d managed to get the note to her without being seen. She stared at the letter, her mind trying to make sense of what was in front of her as seeds of doubt planted themselves in her mind.

“What the hell am I doing?!” Vernon’s mind screamed at him as he looked at the sleeping Reynold next to him on the passenger seat of the stolen car. The boy followed him without question as he led him out the house and snuck past the cop car. Vernon saw the scars and bruises, both old and new along the child’s body. “You deserve what you got boy!!! Don’t make me come there and give you more!!!” Vernon shuddered as the memories came to him. This boy was him, just a younger version. Now, however, he was saddled with him. He’d told him about what his father did to him, and how his mother just let it all happen. He gently roused the boy from his slumber and led him to his house, “It’s time…” he whispered softly to him, to which he simply nodded – all signs of sleep gone from his young face – as they stood over Melanie Pierson’s sleeping form.

Julian had to find the boy – find out what he knew. He’d silently crept through the boy’s house, when he came across the Mrs. Pierson still sleeping in her bed. “Mrs. Pierson?” he called softly not wanting to startle her. “Mrs. Pierson?” he called again when she didn’t respond. Silence. Julian switched on the bed light and pulled the sheet covering her and reeled back in horror. Her face was contorted in pain and her mouth stuck in a silent scream. The blood from her wounds had soaked in to sheets; he saw the gaping wounds across her face, neck, arms and the congealing rivulets of blood running from them. Julian got out the house as quickly as he could, the only thing running through his head was Jeanette – she was in serious danger, but from who?!

Cameldo sat at her desk, holding her head in her hands: the boy was missing, Melanie Pierson was dead, and Julian was still at large. All indications showed that it was the same killer, but there was something wrong with this murder: it was not as clean as the previous ones – it was sloppy, the wounds a little different, and the coroner’s report indicated that she was dead even before the third wound was made. “What the hell did all this mean?” she pondered as she lifted her head and once again looked through Julain’s profile.

Vernon pulled the blanket over the boy gently. The boy was tired, he’d been through a lot, learnt a lot, and he’d fallen asleep almost as soon as his little head touched the pillow. He’d watched proudly as Reynold had sliced his mother’s throat open with the scalpel, just like he had shown him not even an hour before. How the boy, unsure at first but slowly gaining confidence, continued to slice through the muscles, his tiny muscles balled in unchecked fury, the all-too-familiar heavy breathing of accomplishment when he’d collapsed in sheer exhaustion with a strange smile and glazed look in his eyes. Fair enough the wound to her neck was too deep and she’d died quicker than he’d wanted, but he was young, he’d learn the tricks of the trade. And besides, what better teacher could the boy have then him, Vernon Meldor, to show him how to wreak his vengeance on those who had hurt him? Now, there were just a few things that needed to be done, and the one thing high up on his list of things to do: Jeanette Cornley.

Whether we like to admit it or not, we know that there are angels and demons among us. But it is not the aspect of religion by which we know them: they are the experiences of our past, the people around us, and how we deal with our past and let those around us into our lives. They provide us with the tools of how to live our lives, both good and bad. We let them in because we inadvertently give them that level of trust. You know them as the person that you can call anytime when a problem arises, with their own unique perspective on what to do, and how to handle it. We value their opinion, and always consider what they have to say, a lot of the time ignoring others, including ourselves. Why do we do it? Because by human nature, we want to fit in – we want to belong, and most importantly, we don’t want to be alone in the world. There is always at least one person who we turn to when we feel our world is crumbling around us. Do we know however whether these people are giving us the right advice? Your best friend, who knows you better than your own siblings or parents, who betrayed you and stole your girlfriend, boyfriend, husband or wife? Your work friend, who sat with you and joked around with you during lunchtime and talked about so many intimate things, that happened to stab you in the back just to get a promotion. How many of us have been burned by the heartbreak of finding out that your significant other, whom we gave our heart and soul to, was nothing more than a liar and a cheat? And so, the question begs to be asked: do you know who are your angels and demons?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Gemini - IV - Invisibly Visible

Jeanette awoke to the quietly methodical blipping and beeping of hospital machinery. Confusion reigned supreme in her head – what happened? Why was she in hospital? Why was she in so much pain? As her eyes slowly gained more focus, she saw Julian uncomfortably sleeping in a chair at the side of her bed, his hand gently holding hers. Panic began to edge its way into her mind as slowly she started remembering what happened. Who was that guy that saved her life? For the life of her she couldn’t remember his face. “Jeanie… You’re awake! Thank God!” the relief in Julian’s voice was immediately apparent as he gently hugged her as she wept quietly, “The doctors said that you might not make it.”. Something kept nagging in the back of Jeanette’s mind, but she ignored it.

“Enjoy your time together… it won’t last long” Vernon mused to himself. He had plans – big plans. He almost lost out on his plans due to that stupid bloody cop, but he sorted that out. “Vernon… VERNON!!! Get your ass here boy!!!!” he shut the voices out – consuming it with thoughts of what he was going to do with Jeanette. The scars of his memories always made him weak – a time of his life when he had no control. With his plan almost complete, Vernon was ready.
Three months painfully passed for Jeanette, the scars still visible across her body. Through it all, Julian was there – quietly and gently supporting her, guiding her, being there for her. She honestly didn’t know how she would have managed without him. As he guided her slowly in the wheelchair out of the hospital, she could not help but heave a sigh of relief that she was finally out of there. He ushered her through the door of his apartment, and she headed straight for his bed. “I’ll be back for you…”, Jeanette awoke from her nightmare, beads of sweat bursting through her skin, waking Julian with her loud whimpering. But she’d almost seen his face this time.
Inspector Tracy Cameldo raised her tired eyes from the case file in front of her. “The Judge”, she thought bitterly, “They’ve given him a bloody name now”. The papers were making him out to be some kind of hero – all the victims were abusive, all with prior cases of domestic violence. With the psychotic actions and subsequent death of Reading, Tracy was now in charge of the case. Nothing, absolutely nothing to go on – except Julian Grawling, but which piece of this puzzle was he? He was squeaky clean, adopted at the age of 3, was never in any trouble with the law – nothing. She perused over the victim’s mangled bodies deep in thought.

Melanie meekly ate her Greek salad, while Barry munched noisily on his double steak. She did her best not to make him angry, but over the last 5 months it was becoming more and more difficult. Vernon watched from outside the restaurant, he knew what he had to do. He followed them at a safe distance as they went home and waited patiently for the lights in their large house to go out. Quietly he entered the house, moving quietly towards the kitchen where he knew Barry would be getting yet another late night snack. Vernon slunk behind him and deftly slid the razor sharp blade effortlessly through Barry’s throat. A soft shuffle of moving feet stopped Vernon mid-slice. A kid stood in shock at the sight of his nearly dead father lying in a spreading pool of blood in front of him, followed almost immediately by a piercing scream of terror. Vernon fled.

A witness!!!! Cameldo’s mind was reeling! Unfortunately, the poor kid was so traumatized that he would not talk, still a lead nonetheless. The station was abuzz with activity, pictures strewn across the walls and tables – geographical plottings of victims’ houses, scribbled note, everything in some chaotic semblance of order. The now deceased Barry’s son, Reynold, sat quietly in the Special Care Unit room, a few toys lying around him. His blank eyes staring out into nothingness as he rocked back and forth mindlessly humming “hush little baby” continuously. The inspector watched him with a heavy heart – what that poor child had to endure and what was going through his mind she could only imagine.

How could he have been so careless? Everything was worked out – meticulous! ALWAYS be prepared! But he wasn’t prepared for this. A kid saw him… a goddamn kid. Vernon knew what he had to do, but could he? Too many times in his life he had to face the brunt of beatings as a kid. No – getting rid of the kid was the only option he had. He stared at the full moon, shining back at him in gleeful mockery. He had become what his father always said he would amount to be – a failure. “I gotta do what I gotta do,” more to justify the choice to himself and his heart than anything else.

He’s talking!!!!! Cameldo raced through to the two-way mirror as Reynold spoke softly to the sketch artist. The dainty artist asked short, concise questions yet knowingly kept away from those which would clam the already traumatized child up, as she would stop to make a few strokes of her pencil – a face slowly coming to life on the page. Julian awoke to Jeanette’s barely audible whimpers as she tossed and turned in her sleep. God alone knew what she was dreaming, and to be honest, he wasn’t sure if he wanted to know. He’d lived his guarded life on his own, building himself up, making himself more than he ever wanted or could have been – and yet he wanted to give himself, his all, to her.

“Jesus H Christ!” Cameldo gasped as she looked at the final sketch, “Get the squad out there!!! NOW!!!!!” she screamed. At the same time, Jeanette awoke from her nightmare – everything that happened that night filled her mind. She saw his face!!!! She looked around to Julian – her eyes landing on him. “It was you!!! YOU were the one!!!” she shrieked, “OH MY GOD!!!! IT WAS YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!”, she tumbled off the bed, scrambling backwards on her haunches as an astonished Julian looked at her with a bewildered look on his face.


We live in a world of uncertainty. The only thing that is certain is who we believe ourselves, and others, to be. We live our lives showing one side of ourselves to everyone else, while we know there is another. We make sure that side of our lives stay hidden, closely guarding that which we believe is precious to us. Those parts of our lives which will make others perceive us as different if they knew. We never truly know someone else, but we accept it, because we believe we know better. As much as we believe that we know as much about ourselves we do our best to keep ourselves to ourselves, selfishly guarding our deepest and darkest secrets, whether consciously or subconsciously, keeping ourselves invisibly visible.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Gemini - III - Blind Justice

Two sides of a coin, separate lives – that was all Julian could think about as the broken rays of sunlight streamed through the bars of his holding cell. What the hell was he supposed to do now? He didn’t know why or how his fingerprint got there… but apparently it did. The proof is in the pudding as they say. “Face the music weakling! Bwahahahahha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”. Jeanette, on the other hand, lay in her bed, a place of her most painful memories, and yet she wondered what it would be like if Julian was there. The evening they shared was so… perfect. The preserved blue rose, his gentleness was out of this world. Now, her father was dead – killed by a crazed psychopath. Julian. But she refused to believe it. There was something wrong – wasn’t he there with her the whole night?? With that thought she hailed a cab and drove through to the jail’s holding cells.

“No… NO!!!!!” Reading’s angry voice boomed across the office. “What the hell do you mean he has an alibi?!?!?! NO!!!!!! He cannot leave!!!!! We’ve GOT him”, Reading screamed. Everyone in the precinct knew it wouldn’t help his bruised pride. For over 8 years he’d been investigating this case – and for the first time they had a lead! The meticulous murders left nothing – not a hint of who did it… until now. Jeanette sat timidly on a bench in the corner as Clifton hovered menacingly over her. “I don’t know what game you’re playing lady… just know that I am watching you… both of you!!!” his voice intoned ominously. With her head staying down in submission all she could do was nod meekly.

“That goddamn woman! I will make her pay… oh yes… she WILL pay!” Vernon didn’t know how she fitted into all this. His plan was perfect – Julian had to learn a lesson: he needs ME… just ME!!! I’m losing him. I can’t lose him. Not now! Vernon’s mind was racing and he didn’t like it. It meant he wasn’t in control. He planning and plotting what he needed to do – down to the finest detail. He smiled to himself, knowing that this was most definitely his best plan ever! Cackling laughter fell on his deaf ears, he didn’t even know it was him doing it.

Jeanette all but ran and hugged Julian as the cops roughly escorted him out of the holding cells. He held her tight, looked at her with tired eyes and whispered in her ear, “I’ve had enough, let’s go home”. As they walked into his apartment she stopped, gently tugging against Julian’s hand. “What happened Julian – what really happened?” she enquired. “Honestly? I have no idea… no idea at all Jeanie” he replied quietly. “LIAR!!!!! You KNOW what happened!!!! Don’t LIE!!!!”.

Julian didn’t know what was going on. As Jeanette slept contently, snuggled up next to him he tried to look at everything – how, where, when but more importantly why. The last thing he remembered from that night was wrapping his arms around her as they both fell asleep. “She doesn’t have long…You know it… More importantly *I* know it…”. Vernon watched them… biding his time. He had to act fast, before he lost Julian for good.

“JEANIE!!!”, her father’s voice woke her up in a cold sweat and a barely contained whimper. Twenty minutes later as Jeanette walked out of the shops, her thoughts so wrapped up with what was going on she didn’t notice the figure following her – drawing closer with each stride. “I’m gonna get you… Oh yes I am, and you are going to be my new plaything wench…” Vernon smiled to himself. Vernon quickly slunk into an alley as a vehicle came to a screeching halt over the pavement nearly knocking Jeanette down. He watched as a large masked man jumped out the car, grabbed then flung her into the car and sped off. “AARRRGGHHH!!!! NO!!!!!!!!!!! She is MINE!!!!”, his unabated fury consumed him.

“I told you I’d be watching you Miss Cornley”, Reading’s voice was dangerously quiet. Shivering with fright Jeanette tried to make sense of what was going on when she noticed that on a small table next to the inspector lay an assortment of vicious looking knives. “You see Miss Cornley… I had him… I HAD HIM!!! And now because of your meddling he is gone. Loose on the streets to commit more murders!!!” She glanced up at his face, struggling against her restraints and immediately wished she hadn’t – his face was blank, no emotion at all, but his eyes painted a different picture. “I’ve learnt a lot during the course of investigating this case you know, “ he continued, “how and what he used to mutilate his victims, how long he kept them alive for before finally putting them out of their misery.” Her begging, pleading and crying fell on deaf ears, as he stepped slowly towards her with a scalpel in his hand.

“Aaaaahhh… there you are…” It was by sheer chance that Vernon saw the hijacker’s car parked outside an empty building not far from Julian’s flat. He snuck in and it wasn’t long before he found Jeanette and the man, not like it was hard – he could hear her stifled screams of pain not even after five minutes of him getting in the place. He watched in silence as the man meticulously cut through her skin – making sure he went deep then lightly with the scalpel. He’d sliced her along her neck, but not through the jugular, but she didn’t have long before she lost too much blood, a pool of which was already beginning to form under the chair she was tied to. “She is MINE to play with!!! NOT YOURS!!!!” he thought as he wound his way unseen towards him, a piece of plank gripped tightly in his hands with deadly intent. Jeanette was barely conscious when Vernon got close enough to attack the Inspector. The crushing blow across the base of his neck, accompanied by the clearly audible sound of breaking bone, all but killed him instantly, but Vernon knew what he was doing. He looked down at the semi-conscious Reading and smiled as he brought the plank over and over again onto his head until all that could be heard was slurping sloppy smacks on the now dead inspector’s shattered skull. He turned to Jeanette and laughed quietly while he whispered into her bloody ear “I’ll be back for you…” Jeanette welcomed the ensuing darkness of unconsciousness which followed. Vernon stared silently at her for a few minutes,”No, now is not the time…” then left while whistling some arbitrary tune.

Julian shuffled around his kitchen, wondering where Jeanette was, when loud knocking all but broke through his front door. “Mr Grawling,” one of the two officers at his door spoke quietly, ” I need you to come with us. There’s been an incident. Inspector Reading had a nervous breakdown. He almost fatally attacked Ms Cornley. She is in a critical condition at the hospital...” before the officer could continue Julian collapsed.


We’ve all heard the stories of people getting away with murder. Some of us have had firsthand experience in this too. So many reasons come to the front for the person being set free: A lack of evidence, police bungling up their investigation, bribery, dockets mysteriously disappearing. Sometimes, we feel so despondent with the law that we want to take it into our own hands. A sister that was hijacked and/or raped. A family member or friend killed in a botched house robbery, the feeling of utter helplessness. Some people will and have taken the law into their own hands, with dire consequences. Once you go down that road there is NO turning back. Yes, I’m sure all of us have – at one stage or another – been a victim of blind justice.