Victims of Denial
The group stepped into the darkness of the front hall. There was a faint ‘click’ as someone hit the light switch. The room flickered the classic yellow of artificial light, then the light shone steady for one brief second and in the blink of an eye the room was bathed the colour of blood. All the cops slid their index fingers from the barrel of their guns to the tiger, a reflex action that had saved their lives on more than one occasion. They began the sweep the room, cautious. Mark was the only one who looked up; he tilted his head to one side and rolled his eyes up to the ceiling, to the sight that beheld him.
In the centre of the entrance hall, directly above them hung a chandelier. It was an imitation chandelier, made from wrought iron that had been tarnished black. The design was simple and symmetrical in appearance consisting of six identical arches that connected together. The upturned light blubs glowed as the electricity inside them was now active. The clear-cut glass crystals of the chandelier created a stark contrast between the upturned blubs and black metal.
Despite the ‘beauty’ of most chandeliers, looking up at this one mad the stomach roll. Hanging suspended from the chandelier was a naked woman. She was attached to the chandelier by a nylon rope, tightened around her neck. Her hair cascaded to her sides and back and came only to her shoulders, the cut was sudden and crude. She’d died before she was ‘strung’ from the chandelier; this was made apparently clear as she was cut in lengths of increasing width and deep horizontally up her centre, the solar plexus.
Her eyes where gone, gouged out, the hollow sockets left a trail of blood that ran down over her check bones, tapering down towards her chin. The deepest gash on her was in her throat, a point had been made to expose her ripped and mutilated vocal cords. If she had ears they where now missing, leaving twin ‘graze like’ marks on the sides of her head, the trickle of blood running down her neck and pooling either down her back for front. The blood lines trickling over her brought the watching eye down across her body, making it pain-stalkily aware that she’d been abused. The faint purple bruises on her flesh where just beginning to show.
The blood trails from her head lead to her hands, which dropped into non-existence, severed at the wrist. The cuts in the wrists where clearly crude and deliberate, carefully planed. They had been ‘sawed’ open in alternating diagonals, leavening a ‘stereotypical’ shark bit impression. Blood from these wounds ran down. The thick crimson liquid had draped its way over the crystals in the chandelier and as the light shone through it had created the red glow the entire room had gained at the flick of a switch.
One voice broke the horrified silence that had intoxicated the room. It was Mark, the detective that stood just over a meter and a half tall. With golden brown hair the colour of his favourite whiskey, Marks green eyes flicked briefly at the others in the room as he spoke.
“I hate contemporary art”
The statement summed it all up; this was art if a different kind, murder. With an uneasy laugh or two the officers lowered their guns and began to seal the scene. Mark turned his attention back to the woman hanging from the chandelier. He noticed staring up into her face again that it was tattooed. With the blood running over and ruining the fine lines of the ink, the pattern was hard to make out; stepping around Mark noticed a matching tattoo on the girls back. This tattoo on a much larger scale stretched over the most part of her back.
The image considered to three abstracted skulls. The first stretched out just below her left shoulder. The skull was lengthen with it’s ‘eyes’ seeming ‘trust forward’ at the viewer. However the skull did not have eyes sockets, instead it appeared as through the bone from either hemisphere of the eye had been pulled in to meet at the middle and then been ‘sewed’ shut. The second skull started right beside the first and was aligned with the centre of her back. This skull was slightly twisted away, tilting ever so slightly towards the right. Claw like skeletal hands clasped their way over the relative location of the ears, as if the skull was blocking out some ‘unspeakable’ sound. The last skull was ‘slotted’ into place a bout a third behind the second skull and just below the victim’s right shoulder. Like the second skull this one had been slightly skewered so is image was not ‘face on’ to the audience. Again, the ‘bone melding’ of the first skull appeared, only this time the skulls ‘lips’ had turned into long strips that had been ‘tied’ together so that the skull could not speak.
Thinking Mark stepped forward and stooped again, almost instantaneously as feeling something beneath his shoe, he looked down. Blood form the ‘strung’ victim had leaked onto the floor; only after a second glace did Mark see the message, ‘Karma is Coming’. Beneath the ‘blood script’ was once again the image of the three skulls. Something about it in Mark’s head fell into place, pointing each of the skulls out in turn he muttered.
“See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.”
It explained some of the inflected wounds on the woman hanging inches above his head. ‘See no evil’ so her attacker had taken her eyes, her ears had gone too, after all ‘hear no evil’. The gash in the throat was symbolic of ‘speak no evil’. Mark founded thinking about the loss of her hands, why no hands, then it came to him the lesser known and acknowledged, ‘do no evil’.
He looked over the scene again, something didn’t seem right. Then he noticed that the design on the floor, with the three skulls was different. They where no longer side by side, instead each of the skulls was joined at the top of the head and their chins where ‘pointing’ outwards, looking again at one of them Mark began to wonder, standing he walked in a straight line from the skull’s chin, eventually her reached a door. Turning the handle he found the room locked. Cautious now Mark reached for his weapon and kicked down the door.
As the dust cleared He found himself in an entertainment room. Looking over the room he took in each of the sights. It was a room with vision; the old English style had been infused with modern technology. On either side of the door way Mark had just entered stood two loud speakers for a home entertainment system. However it was the screen on of the side of the room that caught his attention, it was streaked with blood. As he drew nearer Mark saw another woman behind the screen. Cutting through the screen he stepped over to her.
The figure lay there as still as anything. Across her back was the Tattoo of the three skulls side by side. Mark placed a hand on her shoulder, like the victim on the chandelier she was naked. Slowly he turned her over, and stared into the horrors of her face. Tears of blood streamed from eyeless sockets, with the reoccurring image of the three skulls drawn smaller; resting, tattooed to her skin, between her eyes. Placing a hand to her neck Mark quickly found a pulse, she was alive. Shaking her lightly he pulled her to her feet and wrapped his coat around her, escorting her from the room.
‘See no evil’, he guessed. Mark handed her over to the uniformed officers and turned back to the central design. Looking down at the chin of the image he’d followed last time he saw it was the representation of ‘see no evil’. There where two more representations, did that mean two more victims? He wondered. There was one way to find out, signalling over a pair of police officers, Mark aligned himself with the next symbol ‘hear no evil’.
Moments later he and the two uniformed police reached another locked door. Each of the officers went back to back and kicked the door down. Proceeding into the revealed room back to back they began to sweep the door. Mark took a brief look around the room, it was a music room, and he gave a small sigh. The attacker and murderer was taunting them. One of the officers called Mark over as they found the next girl. Stripped naked like the others the Tattoo on her back was in clear sight. One of the officers reached down and rolled her over, to reveal the same tattoo on her left cheek near her ear. As her turned her over, Mark saw the blood running from her ears, her attacker had plunged something sharp into them over and over.
Leaving the discovered victim of ‘hear no evil’ with the two officers Mark returned to the centre of the entrance hall. Taking a final look at the design He headed off in the last direction that had been given to them by the three skulls. The walk to the locked door was long this time, as it the killer himself had directed the order in which Mark had proceeded. He thought it over; it had been a gut feeling looking up at the girl in the chandelier, had Mark think twice about the design on the floor.
He reached the final door and twisted the handle, this time it was open. The final female victim was strapped, naked to a chair, blood pooling at her feet. As mark drew near he could see her windpipe had been crushed, just enough to damage her vocal cords forever and not enough to kill her. The blood at her feet Mark guessed was hers; she would have coughed it up as ‘residue’ from when he broke her windpipe. This time the small tattoo of the three skulls was over her lips, with a larger version on her back, just like each of the others.
‘Hear no evil’, the final piece of the puzzle Mark through as he lead her back to the main hall. He handed her over to the officers; she sat between the other two girls. The three of them together held the same grief. Walking towards them Mark stopped with one of the pointed up and spoke in a low whisper to the other two. All three of them looked distraught. He turned to see the direction she pointed and found himself, once again, staring into the face of the woman, dangling from the chandelier.
Thinking again Mark cursed quietly to himself, these victims where witness too he realised. They’d seen the woman in the chandelier die. Was it before or after he mutilated them Mark wondered. This was not going to be easy he’d have to keep his eyes and ears open on this case and hopefully ask the right questions.
let me know what you think - be honset!