As the musical piece came to a close, Darrel snapped from his swaying trance and tapped the power button. Swift and precise, his movement could have been considered robotic. He couldn’t chance the next piece starting up, for if it did, he would need to listen to it in full as well. With a faint smile still imposing its presence upon his typical stone face, he exited the house.
On the front porch he stood for a moment to analyse the morning. The air was a little more crisp and fresh than usual. A good thing. He closed his eyes for a time to enjoy the fragrance. It was something like a cross between the scent of fresh snow and a distant forest fire. He savoured the moment. But then, opening his eyes once more, his good feelings were gone –
The smile ran away from his face, replaced with his usual stone chisel.
There she was. Across the street and two doors down. That filth. Dustynn Knight was her name. Though he had never actually spoken with her, he was well aware of who she was by way of the many letters he had stolen from her mailbox since she moved into the neighbourhood. Not that he was stalking her, he did the same for every resident on the street, because this, like many of his incessant behaviours, was a product of his obsessive need to know the people who resided around him.
Dustynn was basically harmless, or so it would seem. But she was revolting. Just looking at her sitting there amid the overgrown lawn of her yard made him sick to the stomach. How hard was it to simply cut your grass? If only she would, at the very least, dress like a decent lady and stop punching holes in her flesh, she might pass as an actual human.
His morning was ruined.
He gave her the dirtiest look he could while swallowing back the urge to vomit. Just the thought of how repugnant her woman parts would taste…
He looked away sharply. Clearing his mind of the image of her. It was time for his scheduled cup of Earl Grey tea at Emily's Family Diner. Had the staff there had so much as an ounce of intelligence his usual table in the quiet corner would be reserved and waiting for him.
As he moved down the path between the oak trees to the street, yet another abomination caught his eye. A young man with a guitar and duffle bag making his way up the sidewalk. How loathsome. No dignity at all. No wonder he appeared lost and bemused. How did the youth these days even manage to live with themselves? Could he not even keep his attire straightened? God knows he would likely not even be capable of playing a decent tune with that hammer of his.
Darrel paused by the gate to his yard, chin up and eyes rolled down to the side as the young man passed by, admiring his perfectly kept lawn to avoid making eye contact. It was fortunate the young man passed by without a peep. Perhaps this day wouldn’t turn out so bad after all.
Once he exited the gate, Darrel paused a moment to take in another breath of the mildly fresh air, and then started walking up the sidewalk in the direction of the diner. Unfortunately, like all mornings, this walk to the diner would involve having to pass Dustynn's house, not to mention the rundown shithole that the guitar man was now self-loathing in front of.
‘Please…. Cry me a river.’
Despite her rank in law enforcement, Sharon wasn’t one for dressing the part. Uniforms and prestigious attire just made her feel downright uncomfortable. Still, she did have her badge exposed on the belt of her well-worn black cotton pants, slightly covered by the partial overhang of her brown leather jacket. Her eyes were green, hair a deep auburn and tied back in a loose ponytail. She was a good-looking woman, cute button nose type and in her mid-thirties – but at a glance there weren’t many people who would take her as a day over 25, seemingly far too young to make detective. But she was just that. She was the lead detective in the case surrounding the many young women that had gone missing in Blacktown and surrounding areas. The case had recently been named The Rapture, since it was the best anyone could think of as reference to so many women going missing without a trace… or at least that was the way things were until today.
Early morning was spent at the local morgue getting a rundown by the head coroner on all the reasons why the recent recovered body of a young woman, a pretty blonde by the name of Alice, could have actually been the first of the missing victims to actually turn up. But was Alice one of them? Sharon wasn’t convinced. She, however, had to admit that the report the pathologist gave had its convincing elements. But why now? Why after all this time did the abductor become sloppy enough to leave evidence behind?
The first order of business was visiting Alice’s parents with the morbid news of their daughter’s death - always one of the hardest parts of the job - but Sharon didn’t have the mindset for that shit at the moment. That would have to wait for an hour or two. Right now she had to think and organise her thoughts, and the best way to do that was with a much needed coffee and possibly a pancake or two. She arrived at Emily's Family Diner a little after opening time and parked herself neighbouring the table that seated a pretty young lady with hair dyed pink. Possibly a call girl or worker at one of the local clubs dropping by after her shift for a bite to eat. Sharon knew the type but wasn't one to judge. As she nestled uneasily in her seat, she couldn’t help but wonder if maybe this particular young lady was to be the next victim in The Rapture case. A feeling of dread sunk into Sharon’s stomach as she took out her field notes and started to assess them while waiting for service.