The Body Part 2
Melvin “Mev” Cross sank his head into the crook of his arms as Ingrid walked in. Ingrid was a great woman, very focused on the task force. All business. But Ingrid’s all-business attitude meant only one thing when she came strolling through Mev’s door: another victim.
“White female, blonde. Dressed in all black. No wounds.” Melvin sighed.
“None. Autopsy just finished the report— nothing. She’s perfectly healthy, except she’s dead.”
“Damn,” Melvin says. Just once, he wished Ingrid would walk through that door and ask him out for coffee. Anything but another mystery murder. That’s what his team called them. “Mystery Murders.” They couldn’t even find the cause of death, much less the actual killer.
That would be the twenty first body this year.
The two years prior to this one had twenty five. Something told Mev that the killer, whoever he was, would not stop until four more were killed.
“Earth to Melvin,” says Ingrid. “Hello? Anyone home?”
“Just thinking,” he says. “They’ll probably be four more deaths. Last two years had twenty five. Unless we catch ’im, it won’t change.”
“I agree with you there, man. We gotta catch this bastard.”
“He can’t hide forever.”
“Hard day at work?” Sylvia greets Mev as he walks in the door.
“Another body was just discovered,” he says.
“Oh, no,” Sylvia says. “Do they know who?”
“Who it was? No. No one has come forward yet to claim her body. As for the killer? Also no. At this point, I don’t think we’ll ever catch him.”
“You will,” Sylvia says, walking behind him and massaging his shoulders.
“What did I do to deserve such a wonderful daughter?” Melvin says. Sylvia smirks.
“You’re a cop. You promote justice. God is rewarding you.” The words feel false and twisted in her mouth. Lies. All lies. Her whole existence— a lie. A lie her father could never know. Her father didn’t even know that she had legally changed her last name to Wineguard. She couldn’t have her father’s last name any longer. Cross was too... holy. She couldn’t stand the thought of being associated with a “God” who had abandoned them.
Satan hadn’t abandoned her. He’d saved her, when her father and his precious God wouldn’t.
Not couldn’t— she knew full and well that both of them could do whatever the hell the wanted. But wouldn’t. They wouldn’t save her.
No one would. Except Satan. And all he demanded was 25 bodies a month— a small price to pay for safety. Safety. The word barely had a meaning anymore. She was safe, from the cops, from that dick Jared, from everyone. As long as she killed.
And killing was easy, after the first time. The first time is always the worst. Sylvia vomited the first time.
But the second, she didn’t. The third, she smiled. By the end of that month she had to bite the corners of her mouth to keep from laughing.
Four more bodies... they could be anyone. Of course, Satan preferred teens, especially teen girls. Not for dirty reasons, merely because they were more... persuasive. Sylvia didn’t know what they were persuading, or who, or why, but it didn’t matter.
Safety. That’s all that matters.
That’s what she was thinking when she brought the heavy vase down on her father’s head. Safety. It’s all for safety.
He moaned. Sylvia paid no notice, only focused on her powers. Eventually he stopped groaning, stopped moving, and the wound on his head filled in.
His body appeared untouched. No human could see through the veil she had created. She pulled the same veil over herself, so she dragged her father’s body into the woods, unnoticed. Unseen. She left him in the same position as the girl.
Three more left. It seemed almost too simple.
But she had two weeks left in the month. She wouldn’t chance another murder.
No human could see through the veil. But she wasn’t taking any chances.
“Hey, Ingrid... we found something. Or rather, someone.”
“About the case?”
“You’re going to want to sit down.”
“What is it?”
“The wounds on the people, invisible, right?”
“You know me, I am an atheist through and through. I don’t believe that supernatural bullshit.”
“We found a kid... he claims to know the killer. And he can see the wounds.”
“Keep talking.” Ingrid tried very hard to keep a straight face.
“Well, you know the autopsy reports were blank... but as soon as he pointed out the wounds, they showed up. It was like... magic.”
“What’s this kid’s story?” Ingrid let a trace of a smile dance across her face.
“Well, he says—” From behind the cop, Sylvia whacked his head. Ingrid sighed.
“You better figure out who this kid is. We can’t have them finding out about us.”
“He’s obviously in the League. I’ll use my... connections... to ask what the hell they’re doing. They shouldn’t be meddling.”
“Now, take him to the woods. Before his soul leaves.”
“How many is that?”
“Three more left. Then I’ve paid my debt.”
“Perfect. Now go.”
Sylvia dipped her head and fought her way out of the crowded room, towing Daniel Reyuld behind her.
As she walked away, Ingrid grinned.
Poor Sylvia. She didn’t realize that, with Lucifer, debts were never paid. They lasted forever.
Ah well. Let her find out the hard way.