Part 2 of 2

Part 2 of 2

A Chapter by Sarah J Dhue
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Part 2 and the finale of a new story set in the 'Monsters' universe. In this second installment, we pick up where we left off. Did Mitch survive? Who is the killer?

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            BLIP.  BLIP.  BLIP.  Somewhere, a machine beeped.

 

            “Identification says Mitch Denver.  Poor kid, he’ll be lucky to last the night.  All we can really do is make him comfortable.”

 

            Mitch struggled to open his eyes, but the light was far too bright.  The light…

 

            “Where is he!?  He can’t have gone far!”  Mitch stumbled along the corridor, barefoot, his hospital gown coming undone and hanging loosely around his body.  He didn’t want to die.  Not yet.

 

            “I think he’s waking up,” a familiar female voice said - not a memory, a real voice, but it still echoed in his head and made him want to cover his ears.  BLIP.  BLIP.  BLIP.

 

            Mitch collapsed to the ground on the hospital’s lawn, digging his fingers into the grassy earth, dragging himself along.  He wanted to live, d****t, this wasn’t fair.  That rig could have fallen on anyone; he just so happened to be riding by.  He still had so much to do…

            “Hey now, just where are you going?” a voice caused him to jump; he had reached the sidewalk.  He looked up, fearing that he would see a nurse or security guard.  Instead, he saw a man staring down at him in a suit and fedora, a briefcase gripped in his hand, likely headed home from work.  He looked concerned, his green eyes glowing lightly.

            “I don’t wanna die,” was all Mitch could think of to say, fighting back the tears welling up in his eyes.

            The man looked down at him with pity, inhaling sharply before speaking.  “I am going to make you an offer…”

 

            “Officer Denver?” the female voice addressed him directly.  He finally placed her - the medic from before, the one that had asked him about his blood type.  It was all coming back to him; he was in 2016, not 1954.  And it appeared that he was still alive.  The murders, the hooded figure with the knife…

            His eyes flew open, stinging from the bright light, but he fought to keep them open.  What day was it?  What time was it?  How many more were dead?  Had Barry investigated the warehouse?  He frantically searched the room with his eyes until they landed on the medic.  She was young, with blonde hair pulled back in a ponytail and blue eyes.

            “What day is it?” he exclaimed hoarsely, his tongue and mouth dry.

            “Calm down, Officer Denver, it’s morning.  You’ve been here about eight hours.  How are you feeling?”

            Mitch relaxed a little in the bed.  “A little out of it…  Kinda like I was hit by a car.”

            “We almost lost you.  You were losing blood at a very rapid rate.  We had to just keep a line pumping into you while we tried to stitch you up, but even then the bleeding didn’t want to stop.  We finally got ahold of a potions shop that was still open and were able to get a salve that stopped the bleeding.”  She laughed nervously, blushing a little.  “You gave us a scare.  I don’t think any of us have ever seen a vampire come through those doors before.  And definitely never one with a wound like that.  Your face healed up pretty nicely too, once we got the salve on you.”

            “Yeah.  We don’t usually need medical treatment,” Mitch smirked, testing his shoulder.  It also seemed good as new.

            “Your partner has been here all night; he’s in the waiting room.  Do you think you’re up to talking with him?”

            “Barry…  Barry!  Yes, I need to talk with him.  Please send him in.”  She began to exit the room.  “Wait,” he reached after her, and she turned back to him.  “What is your name?”

            “Just call me Nurse Jessie,” she smiled.

            “Well Nurse Jessie, thank you for saving me.”

            “I didn’t do it alone, but you’re welcome.”  She exited the room, and Mitch lay back on the pillow, staring up at the ceiling.  His mind was reeling, and he just wanted to get out of the hospital.  He hated hospitals; he always had.  Ever since that afternoon that he had been riding his bicycle home from the police academy, and a rig had broken loose from a crane and come crashing down on him.  He had almost died.  If he hadn’t been so determined to cling to life, he would have never made it to the sidewalk, never crossed paths with the Good Samaritan who just happened to be a vampire and gave him a second chance at life.

            The door opened and Barry walked in, pushing it closed behind him.  He looked terrible, dark bags ringing his eyes and his cheeks sunken, his face stippled with the beginnings of stubble; Mitch was sure that he had not slept a wink.

            “What the hell were you doing?” Barry growled angrily, walking over right next to the bed.

            “What I said last night: I was trying to keep you and your daughter safe.  I wasn’t as delirious as you thought.”

            Barry pinched the bridge of his nose, sighing.  “Mitch, while I appreciate it, that isn’t how we do things.  We’re partners.”

            “I know that.  We’ve been partners for almost eight years.  That’s why I even give a damn what happens to you and your family.  I know what you’re thinking every time we get called to a body.  You keep wondering ‘what if it were her?’ and when you look at them, you can’t help but see her face.  I was scared that if we got in too deep, that you could become a target.”

            “So you got in deep all by yourself and almost died,” Barry glared down at him, although Mitch could tell he had struck a chord.

            “Had a bit of a run-in, yeah.  But I’m tough to kill.”  Barry rolled his eyes.  “The knife, it was enchanted.  Our killer is trying to carry out some kind of ritual.  I’m not sure what, but it has something to do with the blue moon and equinox.  I think these girls are sacrifices.  This is much bigger than a serial killer.  Did you investigate the warehouse?”

            “Warehouse?”

            “Where you found me.  At Dorsett and 67th.”

            Barry crossed his arms.  “Honestly, Mitch, I wasn’t paying much attention to anything besides getting you to the hospital.  And how much investigating do you think I’ve done from this waiting room?  I was stuck sitting here all morning hoping that they weren’t going to come out and tell me that my partner was dead.  You aren’t supposed to die on me, Mitch; you’re practically invincible.”

            Mitch looked away from Barry, taking a deep breath, and then turned back to face him.  “I’m sorry.  I never thought anything like this would happen.  You’re right, I should have told you.  But I don’t regret what I did; I had my reasons.”  He took another deep breath, sitting up, his side giving him a small twinge of pain.  “But right now you don’t have time to be mad at me.  You have to trust me.  You have to get a team out to that warehouse; it may be too late already.  He may have moved everything; he knows I’m a police officer.”

            Barry stood there, glaring with his arms crossed.  After a few moments, his expression softened and he uncrossed his arms.  “What am I looking for?”

            “There was one room with all these books, charts, almanac pages… I didn’t get very far.  He also had a homemade Ouija board and candles set up.  Looked like he had been staying there.”

            “A Ouija board?  Crazy b*****d; just about nobody plays with those anymore,” Barry shook his head, turning to leave.  Mitch gripped his arm and Barry turned back toward him.

            “Barry…  Be careful.  Don’t go in until you have your backup.”

            Barry managed a sympathetic smile, “I will.  You’re the reckless one.”

            Mitch smiled back, but then grew serious.  “And once you’re done, please get me the hell out of this hospital.”

            “I’ll see what I can do,” Barry turned and exited the room.  Once he reached his car, he clicked on his radio to call dispatch.  “Dispatch, this is Officer Marvin.  I need backup to Dorsett and 67th.  We might have found our guy - he is armed and dangerous.”

            “Hear you loud and clear, Marvin.  Will dispatch to that location,” an unfamiliar voice - one of the morning dispatchers - came over the radio.

            “Great.  Marvin out,” Barry hung up his radio and took off for the warehouse.  He arrived before the rest of his team - a combination of officers and forensic investigators - and sat in his car, waiting.  Once they arrived, he climbed out, his hand resting on his gun.  “Okay guys, listen up.  My partner found evidence that the serial killer he and I have been chasing has been operating out of this building.  He is armed and dangerous.  Watch your backs, and keep your eyes open for anything suspicious.  Especially anything magic.”

            The officers drew their guns and knocked the door in, spreading out throughout the building.  Barry noticed a trail of dried blood leading from a shattered window deeper into the warehouse; Mitch’s blood.  He led a couple of officers down the hall, following the blood trail to a room with no door - it lay unhinged on the floor.

            Barry instantly noticed the table with melted candles, but that was all: no books or Ouija board.  The walls were also bare, any charts or book pages removed.  “S**t,” Barry cussed under his breath as one of his companions went to examine the dirty mattress in the corner.  He had indeed cleaned the place out as Mitch had feared.  Barry turned to his companions, “Take any samples you can.  Looks like our guy flew the coop, but he may have left some things behind.”

Barry alerted the rest of the team through his radio, and when he exited the building, he passed a couple of men already putting up ‘Crime Scene - Do Not Cross’ tape across the doorway.  Barry left them to it; he had promised to get Mitch out of the hospital, and then he seriously needed to get some sleep.

He sped back to the hospital with his lights and siren on, skidding into a parking spot.  He was about to climb out of his car when the radio buzzed to life.  “Officer Marvin?”

He gripped the radio, holding down the button, “Yes, what is it?”

“We were just alerted that your partner, Officer Denver’s, car was towed from a yellow no parking zone.”

Barry bit his lower lip to avoid cussing at the dispatcher.  He took a deep breath and then replied, “We will take care of it.  Marvin out.”

Barry walked into the hospital in a huff.  After negotiating with reception, he finally filled out the proper paperwork, and they wheeled Mitch out to him in a wheelchair.

“Here, you’ll need this,” Barry threw a black pullover hoodie into Mitch’s lap.  “Your car got towed.”

“Figured that would happen,” Mitch remarked, pulling on the hoodie and shrouding his face, burying his hands in the pockets.  “Would you mind taking me to pick it up tonight?”  Barry wheeled him out to the car.

“Of course, partner.”

Mitch and Barry climbed into the car, and Barry started for Mitch’s apartment building.  “So what did you find?” Mitch asked, fearing the answer.

“The guy split.  But we may have been able to get some hair and fingerprint samples.”

Mitch grimaced.  “We have to find him.  He’ll kill again tonight, I’m sure of it.”

“I know,” Barry replied, pulling up in front of Mitch’s apartment complex.  “But first you have to fill me in on everything you know.”

“I will, I promise,” Mitch climbed out of the car, then leaned back in.  “Barry, thanks for coming when I called.  Thanks for everything.  You’re probably the best partner I’ve ever had.  Guess that’s why I tried to protect you - I wanna keep you around for as long as possible.”

Barry smiled in spite of himself, shaking his head.  “Get inside and rest up, you jerk.  I’m going to get some shuteye myself.”

Mitch closed the door and hurried inside.  Barry drove home and pulled into his driveway.  He walked through the front door dragging his feet, barely able to keep his eyes open.

“Dad!” his daughter’s voice caused him to perk up as she flew from the couch, wrapping her arms around him and knocking him against the door.  “Are you okay?  I was scared when I woke up and you weren’t home yet.”

“Yeah baby, I’m fine,” Barry returned his daughter’s hug, a delayed reaction due to surprise and exhaustion.  He could hear his wife cooking breakfast in the kitchen.  As Barry held his daughter in his arms, he couldn’t help but be thankful for what Mitch had tried to do for him, even if he was a jerk.

 

~

 

            Barry and Mitch stood over Mitch’s desk, staring down at the map covered with red X’s and black dots.  Mitch had filled him in on everything: the information he’d gotten from Bert, his theory about the hookah lounges and the sweet tobacco he’d smelled in the warehouse, and what he could remember of the killer’s occult paraphernalia.

            “He could be hiding anywhere.  This city has no shortage of warehouses.  And even if the hookah lounges are connected, how could we ever hope to guess which one he’ll strike next?”  Mitch scratched his chin; he hadn’t had time to shave.

            “I’m fairly certain there are only seven or eight lounges in the city.  Which does mean that he’d have to revisit some eventually, but not yet.  That narrows it down to likely… two or three.  We could post units at all of those and keep an eye out for suspicious activity.”

            Mitch sighed heavily, thinking.  “If it’s even the hookah lounges…”

            “That’s what makes the most sense.  You’re smart; you’ve been at this for a while.  I think the connection is there, especially since you could smell it in the warehouse.”  Barry patted Mitch’s shoulder.  “I was pissed at you for going solo; I never said your detective work was wrong.”  Mitch smiled weakly.  “How’s your side?”

            “Fine.  Healing well.  Seems whatever that salve was did the trick.”

            “I’ll run a list of hookah lounges and get teams together.  You can have your pick for which one we take.”  Barry walked across the room to his desk, typing away at his keyboard.  Mitch sat down in his chair.  He hoped he was right; he didn’t want a sixth body in the morgue.  “All right, partner.  Take your pick and let’s get out of here,” Barry dropped the printed list into his lap, three of the entries highlighted in yellow.

            “Let’s just take the top one,” Mitch stood, barely glancing at the list and grabbing his jacket as they walked out to the cruiser.  Barry made the call for the other two units, assigning them to the other two lounges, and then they were off.

 

~

 

            The killer sat in the back corner of the large lounge, neon lights casting a whimsical look about the otherwise Arabic décor.  He wore black jeans and a black hoodie, his face hidden from view as he brought the hose to his mouth.

            He surveyed the room, trying to pick out a target, preferably a woman who was alone.  He thought he’d found her; she looked to be in her early twenties, her red hair piled on top of her head in a messy bun.  She had been arguing with her male companion for quite some time, and he had finally left in a huff.  She had sat alone crying quietly and downing beers while she smoked, but it looked like she was getting antsy and ready to leave.

            He looked up, keeping his face shrouded under the hood and trying to catch her gaze.  She glanced in his direction, and his eyes glowed violet from under the darkness of the hood.  She stared back and then stood, approaching him at a strange pace, almost as if she were sleepwalking.  He kept her under his hypnotic gaze and stood, resting his hand in the small of her back and leading her toward the exit.

 

~

 

            “Man, you bored yet?” Barry asked, leaning back in the passenger seat.

            “Not really,” Mitch had his eyes glued to the hookah lounge’s door, not really sure what he was looking for.  He felt like a man wearing the long cloak his assailant had would be a bit too conspicuous for in public, especially considering that he had gone undetected up until this point.  But Mitch also had no idea what the killer looked like.  He was having to grip his thigh to keep his leg from bouncing, he was so anxious.

            “Don’t get me wrong, I wanna catch our guy.  But stakeouts have gotta be my least favorite thing, second only to when we get a call about a body.”  Mitch made no move to reply.  “Mitch?”

            Mitch waved him off.  A couple had just exited the lounge.  The woman appeared to be dazed, almost in a trance, the man wearing a black hoodie guiding her along the sidewalk.  “Call dispatch.  I think we need our other guys here,” Mitch said distractedly, opening the driver door and stepping out of the car.

            “Mitch! Wait-” but Mitch had closed the door and swiftly started for the sidewalk.  “You b*****d!”  Barry slammed his fist against the door and grabbed the radio, trying not to lose sight of Mitch in the crowd.  “Sharon, send our guys to 19th.  Denver thinks he’s sighted our perp.”

            “I’ll send them your way.  Marvin, you two be careful,” Sharon said worriedly; she had heard about Mitch’s last run-in with the cloaked killer.

            “Sure thing; right after I’m done keeping my partner from almost getting himself killed again!” Barry threw down the radio and climbed out of the car, slamming the door closed behind him and resting his hand on his holster.  He looked along the busy sidewalk.  “S**t!”  He couldn’t see Mitch.  He ran to the curb, going in the direction he had last seen him.  If he was in fact following the killer, that meant he was most likely headed for an alley.

 

            Mitch pushed through the stream of people, struggling to not lose sight of the black hood.  The couple broke away from the crowd and ducked down an alley.  Mitch quickened his pace, nearly barreling down an old woman.  He briskly apologized, but did not slow down.

 

            The hooded figure pulled the girl behind a brick building and stood behind her, bringing his hand up to grip her where her shoulder met her neck.  He began muttering an incantation and snapped his fingers, his jeans and hoodie morphing into a long cloak.  He drew the knife from inside his cloak, the runes on the blade glowing black.  He gripped her more tightly, bringing the knife around in front of her and preparing to make the fatal slit.

            “Freeze!  Don’t you f*****g move!” Mitch shouted, his gun raised, standing at the corner of the building.

            The cloaked figure jumped, the sharp edge of the knife hovering dangerously close to the girl’s throat as he looked over his shoulder; Mitch knew even the slightest nick was all it would take.

            “You again?  Tougher than I thought,” the figure croaked, obviously unsettled that Mitch was alive and standing before him.

            “Let her go,” Mitch demanded, his eyes glowing fiercely.

            “I’m sorry, but I can’t do that.”

The figure turned back to the girl, bringing the blade to rest just below her chin.  The muscles in his arm tensed, and Mitch leapt on him, pulling his arm that held the knife out and away from the girl.  They all three tumbled to the ground, Mitch pulling the man against his chest as they rolled.  The knife clattered out of his hand onto the pavement, the runes ceasing to glow.

“No!” the figure cried out, struggling to escape Mitch’s grip, who had him in a bear hug.

The girl seemed to snap out of her trance, sitting and gripping her neck, staring at the two men wrestling on the ground.  Amidst the struggle, Mitch knocked the man’s hood back.  The man who looked back at him was small and shriveled, his face terribly disfigured.  A mass of greasy blonde hair sat atop his head, one of his eyes swollen almost completely shut.

Mitch released his waist, gripping both of his wrists and clapping on his handcuffs.  “I hereby place you under arrest: on five counts of suspected murder and two counts of attempted murder.”

“No!” the scrawny, ugly man grunted, muttering an incantation under his breath and kneeing Mitch in the crotch.  He pulled his arms apart, snapping the chain and standing as Mitch recovered from the blow.  He approached the knife, bending to pick it up, and turned to face the girl who was still sitting on the ground.  She began to sob and scoot away from him as he held the knife ready, walking steadily toward her.

As Mitch stood, his fangs elongated, and he spun the man around, throwing him to the ground with more force than before.  The man hit the ground hard, all of the air being knocked out of him as he lost his grip on the knife again.  Mitch approached him, anger boiling in his veins as he straddled him, bending over him and opening his mouth.

“Wait!  If you kill me now, you’ll never get any answers!” the man shouted breathlessly.

“Mitch!” Barry shouted from the mouth of the alley.  He had his gun aimed at Mitch and the cloaked man.  “Don’t do it Mitch!  The minute you bite him, you’ve breached protocol.”  Mitch looked at him, breathing hungrily, his fangs bared.  “He isn’t worth it.”

Mitch closed his eyes, not loosening his grip on the man.  Slowly, his fangs retracted, and when he opened his eyes again, he looked down at the hideous killer.  “Okay.  Start talking.”

The girl stood and ran over to Barry, hugging him and crying into his shirt.  “Thank you!” she sobbed.  He kept his eyes and gun trained on the pair of men.

“Do you know how often this chance comes along?” the man said, looking into Mitch’s eyes.  “The chance to change everything.”

“Are you talking about the blue moon equinox?” Mitch asked.  He could tell that the man was trying to entrance him; thankfully, that trick didn’t work on vampires.

The man nodded.  “Look at me.  Do you have any idea the pain I’ve endured?  I was born ugly - hated my whole life.  I had to hide myself from the world.  Even my own mother wouldn’t look at me.”

“You’re breaking my heart,” Mitch remarked snidely.

“You still don’t understand, do you!?  It’s all right there, in my book I caught you reading.  The equinox is a time when almost anything is possible, given the right preparations.  Throw a full moon into the mix, even more possibilities.  And a blue moon - then anything is possible.”  Mitch stared back at him, perplexed.  “I could have a second chance at life.  I could open a gateway and not have this miserable face, this miserable existence.  But such things take time and sacrifice - blood.”  He turned his gaze to the girl clinging to Barry, then looked back at Mitch.  “Do you have any idea how much I’ve done for this?  I’ve earned it; I deserve it!”

Mitch smirked.  “It doesn’t work like that.”

“But it can!  You are living proof.  You’re a vampire; someone looked at you and decided that you deserved a second chance.  Why shouldn’t I get that same chance?”

Mitch furrowed his brow, thinking back to the Good Samaritan.  It was the fact that he had been attending the police academy that had saved him.  The Samaritan had made him promise to do good with his second chance.  And Mitch had kept true to his word.  “I didn’t have to kill for mine.”

The man let out a scream of tortured rage, lunging for Mitch, the dagger flying from the ground into his hand.  Two shots sounded, and he fell back onto the ground, his ugly face gushing blood from two bullet holes.  Mitch looked up at Barry, his gun gripped tightly in his hands, the girl collapsed next to him, gripping her face and covering her eyes.  Mitch and Barry locked eyes.  Mitch smiled sadly.  Barry nodded.  No words were needed.  The other two units arrived shortly.

 

~

 

            “Look at that moon,” Barry pointed through the windshield at the full moon illuminating the sky.

            “It’s a full moon, Barry, we see them every month,” Mitch said dryly.

            “Yeah, I know, but it just looks… different, ya know.  Bigger, brighter… something.  You see what I’m talking about?”

            Mitch thought about what the killer - who had been identified as a thirty-five year old homeless man named Erik Leroux who had formerly worked as a custodian at the Grand Theatre - had said.  “The equinox is a time when almost anything is possible, given the right preparations.  Throw a full moon into the mix, even more possibilities.  And a blue moon - then anything is possible.”  The search was still on for where he had moved all of his belongings, but the murders had stopped the night that Barry had been forced to gun Erik down.

            “Yeah, maybe there is something about it,” Mitch smiled to himself, staring out the window.  He hoped that all of the werewolves were locked up in the institutions as they should be; he really did not want any more crazy run-ins for a long time to come.

The End



© 2018 Sarah J Dhue


Author's Note

Sarah J Dhue
Whether you have read 'Monsters' or have not read it, this story has an independent plot and characters from the story; it is even set in a different city. The only thing that is the same is the universe. Want to read the novel? The link is here: http://www.lulu.com/shop/sarah-j-dhue/monsters/paperback/product-23201791.html

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Added on October 25, 2018
Last Updated on October 25, 2018
Tags: SarahJDhue, Sarah J Dhue, Dhue, story, Monsters, universe, Night Stalker, two parts, part 2, vampire, murder, mystery, crime, magic, full moon, blue moon, equinox


Author

Sarah J Dhue
Sarah J Dhue

In the author's lair, IL



About
I am Sarah J Dhue. I am an author, as well as a photographer & graphic designer, currently going to school for web design. I've been writing since I was in elementary school. I live in Illinois. My f.. more..

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