Symbol

*Entry for the Sony Young Movellas Awards*

Carving symbols. This is usual for Halloween. But in pumpkins. Not people.

Dr Kayla Dymond and Detective Matthew Evans are the worlds youngest detective/pathologist duo. They've solved countless murders by the ages of 16 and have now been summoned to help solve the greatest mass murder case of the 21st century.

Could this be the work of a single man or a massive cult?

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6. Chapter 6

"Cults? Are you serious?" Grace said, hints of both humour and shock evident in her voice.

"Yes." Came Kayla's reply, voice monotonous, deadly serious.

"There is no way on earth cults can be in the midst of this!"

"Why not? It's always at Halloween, a pagan holiday. The bodies have pentagrams, 666's, ankh's, Blair witches and other satanism and paganism symbols. The first three bodies seem like some kind of sacrifice, and-"

"No, Kayla. I don't want to hear any more!"

"Well, you explain those things then!"

"Well...umm..."

"Exactly! And I have a feeling that at least one of those people are from Wiltshire."

"Wiltshire? Why on earth would one of them be from Wiltshire?"

"Stone circles. Cults usually gather at stone circles. If my theory - and it's just a theory Grace - is correct then one of them will be from Wiltshire. I'm guessing its the last one. The man."

"Why would it be him?"

Kayla rolled her eyes. To her it was seemingly obvious, but it wasn't to Grace. "Look, every victim so far has been female, right." A nod from Grace. "Right, the last victim is a man. He has less mutilation, plus he looks like he didn't put up a struggle. There's no defensive wounds." She pointed to his arms. "On all the others they have cuts, marks and bruises all down their arms. He hasn't, and as a man you would think he would put up more of a struggle, right?" Another nod "He also doesn't have carving like the others. Only one word. Betray. Why would that be?"

Grace shook her head, rather ashamed and embarrassed that she was being told this sort of stuff by a 16 year old. "I have no idea."

"He tried to leave." Kayla said simply. "He tried to leave the cult. Maybe to join another, less violent cult, I don't know, but he did something that could have got the group into trouble."

"But we aren't even sure this cult theory is even true."

"I know, but if this man is from Wiltshire, I bet you 100 pounds that it is a cult."

"Ok. Shall I finish the autopsy, or shall you?"

"You can if you want, I need to talk to Matt."

"Yeah, no problem." Grace said, taking the silver scalpel off Kayla, and standing over the body.

"Send Matt a photo of the man and text me anything vital please Grace."

"Yeah." Was the short reply Kayla had been given as she walked out the morgue.

*****

"So you told Grace your theory, and don't forget it's a theory." Matt asked as he bit into a piece of cake someone had made Kayla for her birthday.

"Yep, pretty much." Kayla replied, biting into a piece herself. "Oh, I also asked her to send you a picture of a man. Scan it into the database."

"Ok." Matt said, logging into his email, and clicking the attachment. A photo of the dead man flashed onto the screen and Matt immediately ran through the database. "I know we need too, but why only him."

"Have you found any matches?"

"Not yet, and answer my question Kay."

"No reason yet. I have a theory I need to prove."

"The cult theory?"

"Yep!" Kayla mumbled beneath a bite of cake in her mouth.

"Hold on, here's someone." Matt said, pulling up an old police file. "Daniel Lester. He was arrested to years ago for trying to-" he stopped mid sentence.

"What? Pull it up on the projector."

He complied, and a photo of the dead man, alive appeared on the screen, along with details of his arrest and whereabouts.

Name: Daniel 'Dan' Lester

DOB: 14/09/1985

Town: Avebury, Wiltshire

"Wiltshire! He's from Wiltshire! Avebury, Wiltshire!" Kayla shouted loudly. "My theory's correct!"

"Not so fast." Matt said, clutching his ears. "Or so loud. Carry on reading his crimes."

Crime: Attempted murder

Crime. Details: Took a woman, Bethany Yates, to Stonehenge, Wiltshire, to try and 'Sacrifice her.' See Bethany Yates' file for more details on injuries sustained. The more Kayla read, the more her eyes widened in shock.

"I knew it!" She said excitedly "I told you it was a cult!"

"Yes, yes I know." Matt said, taking another bite of cake "Now, we just need to tell everyone else."

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