M

Blood slithered down the side of the wall and fell in tiny drops on the ground, next to the corpse. Cold and hard, its glassy eyes stared towards the sky. A man knelt down beside it. He held a camera above its face and took a photo; just one, which he stared at several moments. He looked up at the massive ‘M’ sprawled across the grey bricks. Another one, he thought to himself, it never gets easier. He stood up and looked down at the mangled body. The flesh was torn to pieces; organs severed and blood splattered everywhere.
“He’s struck again.”
“I can see that,” the man uttered with contempt.
“Okay, lose the attitude Tony.”
“Shut up! You’re not part of the story.”
“Well, seeing as I’m talking and everything I’m saying is being written down, I’d say I’m part of the story.”
Tony ignored the detached voice and looked down at the body. “I will find who killed you.”

Line after line the words sprung out from the page. The letter was written in a fashioned text that probably hasn’t been popular since the early 1900s. No matter how many times he read it, Tony could not understand the meaning for such brutality.
Please don’t hurt me. Please.
The voice disappeared as quickly as it had come. A chill shivered up Tony’s spine. The voice was that of a young girl who appeared to have been screaming. Tony closed his eyes, hoping that the voice might come back so that he could figure out who it belonged to. But it didn’t.
Something else appeared though ... an alleyway. It was very dark with an ominous glow at the entrance. Somewhere in the distance was a grey cloud of smoke. The vision started moving closer and closer to the light at the end of the alley until it was only a few metres away. Several moments passed when a young girl appeared at the entrance. She stood there with her head down and her back facing the alley, talking on the phone. The vision crept up behind her and a pair of gloved hands appeared. The hands grabbed the girl from behind; one covered her mouth and the other was wrapped around her neck. She struggled vigorously, but the hands held her tightly. They pulled her into the shadows. She was thrown to the ground and hit hard across the head; she lost consciousness immediately. One hand disappeared for a moment and when it showed again, it was holding a knife. The blade shone slightly in the light. The knife was held just above the girl’s stomach and then ...
Tony opened his eyes with a start. His forehead felt clammy and his pulse had quickened a little. What the hell? He thought. My imagination has gone whacko. I’ve been working too hard.
“Not hard enough,” came the detached voice.
“What?” Tony’s eyes wandered around the room.
“Think about it. If you had been working harder, you would’ve figured this out already. Fifteen girls have already been killed and you’re no closer to finding the guy then when this whole charade started.”
“I will figure this out. These letters are a good clue.”
And that’s when it hit him.
He opened up his desk drawer and took out the clear plastic bag that had ‘EVIDENCE’ written on it. He unzipped it and took out a folded piece of paper. He opened it up and read it again:

Dear Detective,
Are you any closer to finding me? I suppose by now you have found my latest victim. Pretty isn’t she? She was such an easy target; just standing there, all alone where no one could hear her scream. I grabbed her from behind and pulled her into the dark alley. She thrashed around a lot, but she couldn’t escape. When I let go of her mouth, she begged me not to hurt her, so I hit her in the head to shut her up. And then I took out my knife and severed her flesh. The blood oozed out of her body, the flesh hanging from her side. It was invigorating. So, she was number fifteen. How have you not caught me yet? Am I really that difficult to find? Of course I am. Still, catch me if you can.
Yours truly,
Mack the Ripper

His imagination had compiled a visual representation of the letter that he had received about two days ago. No wonder it seemed familiar. There was something else though; something that was lingering in the back of his mind. He didn’t quite know what it was, but it was definitely there. He scratched his head as if to get rid of it.
“Have you figured it out yet?”
“Not quite.”
“What does that mean?”
“It means I haven’t quite figured it out yet.”
“I could tell you how this story ends if you’d like.”
“No, I want to figure it out myself.”
“Okay, whatever. Why couldn’t the author make you smarter?”
Tony folded up the letter and put it back in the evidence bag. He yawned and rubbed his eyes. The time on his clock flashed 2am. He put the bag back into the drawer, picked up his coat and left for the parking lot. It was almost jet black with only one street light about fifty metres away omitting a slight glow. Tony opened up his trunk and threw his suitcase inside before closing it and turning the lock. He opened his car door and was about to sit down when he felt a slight quiver in his legs. He could feel his head spinning and his arms going limp. And then ... black.

Bricks stood in giant walls on either side. The ground was dank and dirty; it smelt of cigarettes and urine. The air was warm and moist and carried the rotten stench of trash bins and deceased rodents. It was quiet. The only sound that could be heard was breathing; loud, raspy breathing.
“I had fun tonight, did you?” A voice echoed from outside the alleyway.
The breathing got harder.
“I know right? Did you see that guy at the bar?” Shoes clattered along with the voice.
There was a girly laugh that proceeded.
“He was so hot! And that smile? Wow!” Another laugh.
A girl tumbled into the alley. She pushed up against the wall and threw up onto the ground. She coughed a few times and wiped her mouth with the back of her hand.
The sound of footsteps echoed down the alley.
She looked up and observed her surroundings. She thought she saw a figure so she shouted out, “Hello?”
A few more footsteps echoed.
“Hello?” Her voice quivered. “Who’s there?”
All of a sudden, she froze in her place. Her eyes widened and her legs shook.
“Who are you?” she asked, her voice saturated with panic.
A pair of hands grabbed her and pushed her to the ground. A fist punched her in the head. It then pulled out a knife. The blade pushed into the girl’s stomach and tore her flesh. Blood poured out of her stomach and created a pool around her. The hands pushed into the flesh and pulled out the girl’s intestines; which was then thrown against the brick wall.
Then there was darkness.
Tony opened his eyes. His head felt heavy and his body ached. He put a hand to his forehead. Something wet touched his face. At first, he thought it was sweat, but then when he looked down at his hands, they were covered in a red, liquid-like substance. It took him a few moments but he finally realised what it was. His eyes widened and his breathing got harder. He sat up and observed his surroundings. And there she was; the girl with her flesh torn open and organs hanging from her sides. He started to black out, but before he did, he looked up at the wall and saw one last thing.
M.


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