The Shadow of Death
- Book info
- Author updates
Release date: October 24, 2022
Print pages: 44
* BingeBooks earns revenue from qualifying purchases as an Amazon Associate as well as from other retail partners.
The Shadow of Death
Moonlight crept through towering trees in the stillness of the night as a man sat in his pickup truck parked in the middle of the woods. He could hear the sound of his own heartbeat as he got out of the truck and opened the trunk. Inside it was a man, bound and gagged—his eyes widened by fear. He grabbed the man and dragged him through the forest. The victim tried to break free, but his attempts were futile.
The aggressor stopped at a secluded area and kicked his victim to the ground. He then pulled off the gag and looked down at his prey; a sinister grin stretched across his face as his fingers ran over the machete on his waist.
“Any final words?”
“No, please don’t kill me! If it’s money you want, you can have whatever you want: my wallet, my watch, take it all!”
“Let you go? After all the trouble I went through to bring you here?”
The killer advanced—his eyes gleaming with the bloodlust of a demon. There was no hesitance in his heart as he cut down the poor man. Streams of crimson sprayed into the air as the victim’s head fell to the floor. The killer remained still, gazing upon his victory; his grin turning into grim cackles as the blood of his latest prey dripped down his chin. He then wiped his face with a handkerchief, taking in a deep breath as the scent of death soothed his soul.
I’m glad I switched to this; guns leave little room for fun.
After burying the body, he stood there, looking at the grave for a brief moment, taking pride in his latest kill. The man walked away from the site with a smile on his face that gleamed under the pale moonlight. There was no remorse in his heart; only the rush of adrenaline coursing through his veins. It was a high for him unlike any other: a new purpose in life.
A Trail of Blood
I was stepping out of the police station when my phone rang: it was Selena.
Well, there goes my night with the guys...
Not a minute passed by and she walked out the door.
“Sorry about your plans, Mark.”
“Well, it’s nothing new. Where’s the body?”
“Grand Forest, and it’s bodies.”
“What, do we have a mass murderer on the loose?”
“Or a serial killer.”
The Grand Forest was crawling with cops. Tammy Peiris, our Medical Examiner, was standing over several of them, some of which were partly decomposed.
“You look like shit, Mark.”
“Yeah, and I feel like it, too. Can you tell me what’s going on here?”
“We’ve dug up three bodies and a couple of skeletons, but we’re looking for more.”
“Great, we’ve got ourselves a serial killer… How were they killed?”
“Decapitation. I’ll be able to say more when I get the remains to the lab.”
Selena and I swept through the crime scene, scouring for clues. There wasn’t anything to be seen nearby, so we delved deeper into the forest. My eyes were still heavy; I felt as if I would fall asleep while walking.
“You should try some energy drinks.”
“Do you take them?”
“How else would I get myself out of bed at 3:00 a.m. and hit the road without crashing my car?”
“I guess I should, too; I barely get enough sleep with this job.”
Not long after, I came across a footprint. “Over here, Selena!”
“What is it?”
“A footprint. Looks like a size eleven.”
Selena noticed something else in the grass and bent over to pick it up. It was a silver chain with a skull pendant. She had just finished bagging it when Captain Regina walked over to us.
“What have you got?”
“Nothing much for now, Captain. Just a broken chain and a size-eleven footprint,” I replied.
“Okay, good. Get forensics on them. We need to solve this case before it turns into a bigger nightmare.”
Heading back to the crime scene, I could already hear the cacophony of reporters trying to get a scoop of the case, while some of our guys prevented them from crossing over the yellow tape. A familiar yet irritating face was also among the crowd: Leela Walters, a well-known reporter in the area.
“Detective Raymond, have you got any clues about the killer?”
“Come on, haven't you got anything? Maybe DNA, or a murder weapon?”
“You know I can’t disclose information about an active case.”
“Give me something and I'll get out of your hair.”
“There's nothing I can tell you right now, but we could give you an exclusive once we solve the case.”
“I can promise that you'll be arrested if you contaminate the crime scene.”
Selena and I then drove to the precinct. She and I were going through old serial killings files when we got a call from the ME’s office. Tammy was knee-deep in work when we got there.
“What have you got for us, Tammy?”
“Well, for starters, the murder weapon is a machete.”
“A machete? That's new. Was it used in all the murders?”
“Yes, and the killer’s pretty strong.”
“Why do you say that?”
“All of them were done in single clean cuts.”
“This is looking more and more like a horror movie,” Selena said. “Anything else you can tell us about this case? Maybe the names of the victims?”
“Not yet, sorry.”
The hours went by slowly, but we found no leads. It was getting late, and I wasn't the only one looking half-dead.
“Let’s call it a night, Selena. We should get some rest and start again tomorrow.”
“I agree. I’m finding it difficult to concentrate right now.”
By the next day, they found even more remains. We were going through old case files when Tammy called us yet again. Entering her office, we saw a row of tables with remains on them.
“We have some results. The bodies are both male and female and don't have any distinctive markers.”
“What about sexual assault?”
“No, there are no signs of it.”
Selena and I spent the next few hours searching for any connection between the victims, but nothing stood out. Captain Regina walked in at one point and inquired about our progress, but we had nothing to show—even the DNA we found on the pendant wasn’t in the system. Whoever the killer was, they were meticulous. The more we looked into the victims’ backgrounds, the more dead-ends we were left facing; they were of different ethnicities and from different backgrounds, and none of them knew each other.
We hope you are enjoying the book so far. To continue reading...