Tuesday, November 18, 2014

"Solus Ipse" Part 2

Pritchard and Donovan sat across from Captain Lowes and tried to calmly weather the storm. He was known for having a bad temper. They were used to his outbursts. But this one was bad. The morning paper sat in front of him on his desk. A bloody picture of yet another victim stared at them from the cover.

Lowes sighed and let his breath out fast. He looked at Pritchard and then Donovan. Taking the paper and balling it up, he tossed it across the room and against his door sending paper flying everywhere.

“Shit!” he shouted. The entire station seemed to immediately silence. “Any new information? Any?” Lowes was not really expecting an answer. He looked at Donovan and waited for her to say something. At times like this she usually did. This time she did not.

“Fucking Christ. You know what's gonna happen? Do you? Do you have any fucking clue what's gonna happen if we don't find this sick son of a bitch yesterday?! Goddamn it. Look. I know you two are trying hard but I need you to try harder.”

“Is this a pep talk?” Donovan asked. Pritchard looked at her and rolled his eyes. She was feeling the pressure from this case. The media had dubbed it “The Fairplay Killings” on account of the various victims that have been murdered. Donovan hated the media. “Because while you're telling us...”
“I haven't told you a goddamn thing yet!” Lowes shouted. He slammed his hands on his desk shattering his coffee mug. Pritchard alerted him to the blood that was gathering. Lowes did not bother to look. “You two need to find this son of a bitch now. I swear to Christ in Heaven that if you don't I will be wiping my asses with your badges!”

They left the office with Donovan leading the way. She shoved anyone in her path out of the way and prepared to deal with the dozens of reporters that gathered in front of the station. Pritchard grabbed her by the arm and turned her to face him. He knew this was dangerous since Donovan hated being touched.

“What?” she asked him.

“I'm your friend, remember?” he said. “Don't let Lowes get to you. He's just mad that the mayor is all over his ass. Let me talk to these reporters. You just sit back and let me handle it. Cool?”

“Sure” Donovan said. “Touch me again and you'll be jerking off with a hook.”

They made their way to the exit and Pritchard took a deep breath. Donovan gritted her teeth and kicked the door open. Immediately microphones were shoved in their faces. Most of the reporters knew the drill. “Don't touch the woman.” So they crowded Pritchard like gnats and screamed questions they knew he could not answer.

“Have you gotten any leads?!”

“Any new information on The Fairplay Killer?!”

“New victims since yesterday?!”

“When will you catch the killer?!”

Pritchard paused and let the microphones smother him. He hated this kind of thing. No answer was ever good enough. If he told them the killer was in his back pocket they would tell him that they wanted to see blood. No one ever really wants to see blood. They think they do. Pritchard still has nightmares about what he sees weekly. He has a therapist. His fourth in three years. They can never take the stories he tells them. So he keeps it bottled in.

“We are still investigating these murders” Pritchard began. “There have been 15 murders so far. No, we do not have a suspect at this time but as soon as we do we will let you all know. Thank you.”

“What's taking so long?” someone shouts. Pritchard turns to face them and it's the father of one of the first victims. His 11 year old son was found near a playground with his wrists, ankles, and throat slit. By the time his body was found he was almost bled dry. “How many more people gotta die before you find him?!”

“Look” Donovan said. Pritchard was about to grab her when he remembered her earlier threat. “We're sorry that we haven't been able to catch the killer yet but we're trying our best, okay?”

“Bullshit!” the father screamed. Police were advancing towards him when he ran away. Donovan looked at Pritchard who shrugged. They walked to their car pushing their way through the reporters who all made sure not to touch Donovan.

“This is getting old” Donovan said.

“Yeah” Pritchard said. “Ready to find a killer?”

“Fuck yes.”


“You wanna know how fucked up we are as humans check out the shit that went down in Abu Ghraib prison” Luis said as he and his new assistant Megan Jones looked over the body of the latest victim of the Fairplay Killer. A young Black male who was reported as missing three days ago. None of the papers had known that the latest victim was the same kid that was missing. His name was Shane Johnson.

Luis began cutting the Y shaped incision across the young boys body with a very steady hand. Megan watched and shook her head. “I mean, I'm not saying that what this killer is doing is okay, but that shit that goes down overseas by our own soldiers is pretty fucked up, too.”

“My brother is a Marine” Megan said. “I could never imagine him doing what those soldiers did to those prisoners.” She leaned closer and handed Luis a clamp to help keep the boys chest parted. “I just cant.”

“That's what their family members said” Luis said while pointing a finger in the air. “Humans have a capacity for evil that is beyond terrifying. I've seen some pretty fucked up shit.”

“I'm sure” Megan said. She was uncomfortable with the language Luis used in front of a child but kept her thoughts to herself. The child? This was the problem she had with the line of work she chose. She had issues with separating a living child with one that was now known as “victim”, “corpse”, and “body.” She moved to the child's feet and placed her hand on the slab the body laid upon. “Are Pritchard and Donovan having any luck with this guy?”

“None” Luis said while shaking his head. “Pritchard is taking it pretty hard. Something to do with something that happened when he was a kid. I've never really delved into it too much. None of my damn business. Look at that cut” he said while pointing to a cut that ran from the boys left cheek to his throat. “The killer had to have...” Luis stood back and mimed running towards someone smaller and bringing a blade down in a downward motion.

“Jesus...” Megan said. “Does this get easier? Like, being around so much death? Do you ever have nightmares or anything?” Luis looked at her and smiled. “What's so funny?”

“The day you stop having nightmares about this kinda shit”, he replied while removing the child's heart, “is the day you need to quit.”


Pritchard and Donovan sat in a small restaurant eating rolls as they waited for their meal to arrive. They had very different tastes in food but they both agreed on pasta. A small Latino lady walked up to their table and offered Pritchard roses for Donovan. He waved her away.

“This case is gonna be the death of me” Pritchard moaned. “There is no pattern.”

“And we've never found victims a day apart” Donovan said. “Thanks for handling the phone call to his parents. At last they have some closure.” Pritchard scoffed. “What?”

“Closure” he said. “It's not always as comforting as it sounds.” Donovan knew that he was thinking of his brother. She suspected that these killings were too close to home for him. Especially the kids. Donovan thanked the waiter as he left their lunch. Shrimp pasta for him, linguini for Donovan. She crossed herself and began eating. Pritchard always smiled on the inside when she did that. After a few years on the job he no longer believed that God gave a damn anymore. “So how about Lowes?” Donovan rolled her eyes.

“He's a dick” she said. “He hasn't been on the streets since the 70's. He has no idea how different it is out here. The worst killer from back then is a rookie nowadays. The guy next door can have bodies rotting in his attic.”

“That's how its always been” Pritchard said. “Even cops can be nuts. You know that better than anyone.”

“Thanks” Donovan said. Pritchard was talking about one of Donovan's old partners. Sammy Sisco had been a cop for 20 years and it turned out that he had murdered six people. During a drunken night out with Donovan where he confessed that he had slept with a few dozen prostitutes, had three that were regulars, and had killed some guys. It took less than two weeks for her to have him arrested. He swore that one day he would kill her. He was killed two months into his 90 year sentence. Cops never lasted long in jail unless they were protected. “You always know how to make a woman feel special.”

“You're welcome” Pritchard said as he dodged a roll that was tossed at him. 


Albert stared at the blood on his kitchen floor and wondered where it came from.

Albert walked through the blood all over his kitchen and blinked. He stopped at his cupboard and grabbed a cup. A stale, cold pot of coffee sat on the counter. He poured himself a cup and immediately slipped. He made no attempt to stop his fall. He lay on his back staring at the ceiling allowing the pain to race through his body. He could feel the back of his head getting warm. He was bleeding. Slowly sitting up he began drinking the small amount of coffee that had not spilled during his fall.
“I feel this” he said aloud and lay back down, small stars dancing before his eyes. 

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