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.
EDITOR'S NOTEWhether 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?