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.