(NOTE: --RATED R FOR VIOLENCE-- Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Also, don’t say that I’m a psycho for writing this. PHEW! Psychological thrillers!!)
Chaos. Utter chaos. Outside the window: honking, a gun blast, screaming. Fog left the lights off in his apartment while he broadcasted. He wanted control more than ever right now. “one, two, three, four, three, four, five, six, seven...”
Fog was sitting on the edge of the bed, away from the window, and was reading his logbook by firelight: fires from the building across the street. “Three, four, five, four, five, four, five, six, seven, eight...”
A train rattled by. Ding, ding, ding, ding. Screaming, glass smashing, car alarms, fire alarms. “Seven, eight, nine, eight, nine, ten, zero, zero, BREAK...”
Done. Fog set the tape to play-back, and left the bed. Fog got his machete out of his satchel, and held it in hand. In his attaché case, he had three bottles of poison that had been anonymously dropped outside his door. He took one of them and then reached for his pistol on his bed, which he didn’t bother attaching the silencer to, as he walked calmly into the hallway. In the hall, a large, desperate woman in an orange dress was asking a neighbor for food. The argument was getting loud, and the woman was becoming more and more demanding.
“I have three children!” she started screaming, “I have three children!” Fog thought she looked gelatinous when she yelled. He was slightly disgusted at her lack of self-control. His sterling steel machete glinted off the bare light bulbs overhead.
When Fog got outside, he wiped his mouth clean. It was complete chaos. Fog had been in this situation before, during the genocide. He enjoyed being in such command of the situation.
Fog stood still as, in the distance, dark, distressed figures ran and ran. The hollering was seeming to die down. Fog, in his clean black coat and dark blue pants, looked disappointed. Shrugging, he turned to go back into the building, the lamp post near the staircase guiding the way.
Clip, clop, clip... Quickened steps. Steps from behind him? He turned and caught a dark figure in the kidneys, the machete protruding slightly out the other side. Fog caught the body, and held it upright. A look of surprise was etched on the young man’s face. He hadn’t died yet, Fog thought as he held the very tense body: it was just too painful to scream.
His jujitsu training swarming over his mind in a flash of mangled legs and arms, Fog broke the young man’s back, and then the neck. Feeling numb, Fog stood over the body, examining it. Checking for a wallet, and finding it, Fog took out fifty dollars. He left five. Other than a wallet, there were some brochures for the Church of Latter Day Saints, and a picture of a pretty blond girl.
The young man was actually quite handsome, and had not shaved in a day or so. The face didn’t look like someone who would jump a large, muscular man from behind. It looked warm. The eyes closed automatically, which Fog always took as a sign that they were used to warm dreams in clean, warm places. They were used to being closed and comfortable.
Fog’s eyes very rarely blinked. They were red around the edges and always itched, but it was better than not being able to see around him.
What a good life this man must have had before today. Handsome, but not too clever, he must have had it easy. No one would leave him in an orphanage.
Fog’s heart slowed as he leaned over the young man’s body.
Merky was concerned. In his riot gear, with an automatic shotgun slung around him, a taser and a pistol in his belt, and a riot shield, Merky looked around his office, ready to leave for the streets. It sounded too quiet outside.
It had been a few days since they were ordered to evacuate. Merky had gone on patrol every single night, and had rounded up about ten people. The rest eventually left through the barrier at the north end of town, far from the commercial district where the worst was happening.
It took him about an hour to walk over to the huge supermarket in that side of town. It was deserted, as were its shelves. The huge white building was now cavernous. He remembered shopping there in its better days.
Walking along the dark, quiet streets, Merky saw a figure on all fours in the distance, lit by one of a few unbroken street lamps. “Hey! Hello?” He called. The figure was moving along the ground slowly. As Merky caught up with it, he saw it was a dog, limping.
It was a border collie with a blue handkerchief around its neck. It uneasily addled away from the large, black object without eyes coming towards it. Merky took off his helmet, and the dog still seemed confused and anxious.
Merky liked the dog. He took off his gloves and sat, petting it for a while. The puppy laid its head in his armored lap. It looked injured on one leg. Merky didn’t want to abandon it, so he picked it up.
“You’ll come with me and protect me, won’t you?” He smiled at the dog. It rubbed itself warmly against Merky’s chest.
At the end of the street, past a few abandoned cars and smashed windows, Merky saw a hunched figure in front of a lamp post. Merky started jogging towards it, and the dog, curious, looked in the direction he was traveling.
As he got closer, Merky thought something was wrong with the figure. The dog was getting very antsy, and struggled as hard as it could with a broken paw out of Merky’s grip. He placed the dog carefully underneath a car.
“Sir? Sir are you all right?” He called. The figure was not leaning against the lamp post, something was propping him up. Why was he leaning like that? Why can’t I see his face?
When Merky was next to the body, he saw the head was turned completely the wrong direction. The body was handcuffed to the lamppost. The torso twisted in an irregular way, almost flexible enough to wrap around the post, as though it was broken in several places.
“Jesus.” Merky said. His initial instinct was to run, but he calmed down enough to put his gloves back on to examine the evidence. Slowly, he turned the head to face him, dreading what he would see.
Hopefully, it was the crows who did this. The blood streaked from the empty eye sockets to the shirt.
Merky had been at crime scenes before, usually with a team of professionals to keep him sane. He’d seen autopsy reports, and dead bodies. This was just another body, right? Just another drive-by? Merky hoped so, but knew it was laughably optimistic.
Merky looked around, but his eyes couldn’t penetrate the darkness. Did a mob do this? A very angry mob?
No. It was too orderly. It was too skillful. Merky was curious, and patted the man’s back, feeling a missing bone in the vertebrae. Maybe it really was a mob, a mob who jumped up and down on this man until his back broke. He felt the front. Other than a stab wound in the abdomen, he didn’t feel any trauma from a group of people punching or hitting. A single human being did all this?
Where are you, he wondered. Are you watching the body? Waiting for it to be hurt again somehow? Is that why you handcuffed it here?
From down the street, where he had left the collie, he heard a squeal. Turning around, he saw dozens of eyes piercing the nighttime squalor. A group of growling. A group ready to pounce. Foam from their mouths told a very short, nasty story.
Merky quickly bounded up the staircase of the tall, brown, apartment building he was in front of, and closed the double doors behind him.
Merky tried to looked outside the door, but the lights inside the lobby made it so he couldn’t see past the door’s windows. He held his shotgun tight now: he had a feeling whoever created that mess outside was in this building.
Merky took off his boots and slowly creeped around the small lobby of the apartment building. It was in shambles. Even parts of the wallpaper were torn off, somehow. He didn’t want to use the elevator, for some reason.
Merky looked up the cramped staircase. For some reason, Merky noticed that it was freshly waxed. I wonder what the janitor was planning to do today, he thought.
It was dark and cold in this building, a feeling Merky disliked. The city was usually bright and warm, but not tonight. He felt like the darkness of the night had swarmed this building and taken it over.
He got to the second floor and leaned out the stairway door. Doors open, a few cats wandering the hallway... soundless.
The third floor was much the same: all the doors open, a few cats and dogs mewing and squeaking for food... soundless.
The fourth floor... all the doors were closed. Something smelled wrong here: salty and iron-like, it captured his attention. He heard a faint, repetitive sound coming from one of the rooms. Merky didn’t want to bust down each door, so he just slowly crept. He felt the floor in front of him with his toes, so as to avoid creaking.
When he got to the middle of the brown hallway, he saw the source of the smell: a large, dark red puddle of blood, and streaks emanating from it, going underneath a nearby door. Merky knew it was his friend.
Was this person normal until a riot broke out? Did this person feel like that was the only time they could express themselves? Merky had very few clues to go on with the city in this much shambles. If he had the homicide squad with him, the story would be different, and he thought that the murderer knew that, too. Did the guy just lose control, like the city recently had?
At the end of a hallway was an open window. Behind a door near the end of the hallway, Merky could hear a very soft voice saying something over and over. He couldn’t tell what.
Merky didn’t like bursting in to rooms without back up, and slowly creeped away, checking behind him the entire way back to the lobby. He clenched his shotgun tightly. Odd: his grip kept slipping the more he clenched.
Merky was surprised, and somewhat angry, to see his shoes gone when he exited the stairwell, but decided he had no time to search for them. Outside, attached to the body’s shirt, was a note.
8 years ago