Notice: First chapter is going through a major rework.

Thomas Lore has found himself in jail and the number one suspect in a serial murder case in his home town. The real murderer is still on the loose and may have Lore's girlfriend in hostage somewhere. Will Lore be able to get out and find the true culprit in time?

This is a product of a brainstorm between myself and two of my close friends.

Status: 3/6 chapters completed.


3. Chapter 3

          "Tell me another one of these stories," Myles recorded voice drifted out from his phone.
          "Why? You don't even believe the last one," Thomas muttered in reply. The sound of a chair dragging across the ground screeched out of the phone's speakers. Someone heaved out a breath in annoyance.
          "I believe that you believe it is real," Myles had replied. A chair creaked as weight shifted on top of it. "So humor me. Tell me more." The sound of finger tapping against the table echoed in reply. The phone crackled with static as the two men had stared at each other in silence.
          Myles was laying in bed staring up at the ceiling. His hands were collapsed together resting on his chest. His button down shirt had been unbuttoned by three. His phone lied face up on the fake wooden endtable. The hard surface acted as a booster for the speaker's volume. The table lamp's pull string still swung in the moonlit room. A pale hand hovered inches above Myle's phone. The moonlight glinted off the metallic, curved, talon-like nails that were attached to each finger. Blood dripped slowly down each sharp point splashing upon the electronic screen.
          "London," Thomas's voice crackled breaking the silence, "It was winter ... "


          The night was crisp and cold. Big Ben chimed out its midnight toll, the brass sound echoed out across his empty streets that he proudly towered over. The abandon alley near 32nd was disturbed only by a young girl’s presence. Her tattered shoes crunched through the snow leaving cobblestone footprints as she walked.

          Her hands were wrapped in scraps of red wool cloth. The holes in her shoes were wrapped and stuffed with more bits of the same wool. Her dress was tattered along the edges covered with grime and soot.  Once blonde ringlets were now matted and blackened by the city’s grime. She stuffed her curls up into a worn out english cap. The crimson scarf she wore around her neck was looped several times before hanging down to her knees. The ends had been ripped showing signs of beginning to unravel. This was the source of her red wool. Her nails were chipped as if she chewed on them constantly, yet the dirt remained caked underneath. Her lips were split and pealing, bits of dried blood plastered over the cracks. Coal residue laid upon her exposed skin like second layer of skin.

          She shuffled along through the crushed blanket of ice. Flakes of snow started to fall stinging her face like tiny shards of glass. She cupped her hands while taking in a deep breath. She pressed her mouth into the opening her hands made. Her mouth opened as she released the air from her lungs slowly. Steam drifted through the cracks of her fingers curling before her face. She drew her head back rubbing her hands together. She glanced around the alley pausing once to warm up her hands. Tonight was one of the coldest nights of the year. She hoped to find a coat that would last longer than the last one had. 

          A metal garbage can stood next to a couple of crates off to her left just a few feet up ahead. Her stomach growled as her eyes glanced past the metallic object. She bit down on her lower lip. Her eyes flashed to the open alley ahead of her. They darted back to the trash before flickering to the blackened window above it. She found herself creeping closer to the can. Her eyes were locked on the window watching for any potential movement.

          She stopped in front of trashcan. The building continued to prove vacant. She closed her eyes letting out the breath she hadn't realized she was holding on to. Her shoulders relaxed into a slope as carbon monoxide passed her lips warming the air in front of her. She opened her eyes again looking down upon the metal container. She gripped on to the lid's handle. The metal stung the exposed flesh of her fingers. She gritted her teeth lifting the lid into the air.

          A soft thud landed behind her. She turned halfway to look behind her. The garbage lid was held in front of her as a makeshift shield. A bottle wobbled perilously on the windowsill across the alley threatening to follow its partner that now laid in the snow below. She refused to allow her head to turn leaving her eyes to survey the abandoned alley. Finding only herself and inanimate objects populating the area she returned to the object of her attention. The wind, she figured, was the intruder and there was not much she could do about that.

          The stench of putrid banana peels and rotten peaches mixed with industrial refuse greeted her nose as she looked down. Her stomached lurched. She jerked her head away facing the crates. The lid, still in hand, hovered above the trash blocking some of the fumes seeking their way into her senses. Her vision raked across the snow reluctantly making its way back to the garbage. Before reaching its destination a bit of red behind the closest crate made her pause. She cocked her head focusing on the object. As if in a trance she lowered the lid fully onto the can before drifting over to the crate. 

          There was a pair of bright red high heeled shoes. High heeled shoes that were still wrapped around their previous owner's feet. A previous owner who had been stabbed, dragged behind those said crates, and left to bleed out. The woman's eyes were frozen open. The snow lazily drifted down from the sky slowly covering her corpse.
          The young girl's hand flew up to cover her own mouth. Her vision reeled. Her balance rocked threatening to send her body backwards. She bit further down on to her lip steadying her nerves. She crept forward taking in the full sight of the corpse in front of her. The woman was wearing a wool pea coat. Aside from the dark blood stains discoloring the fabric the coat was in good condition.
          The wind swept down the alley biting the girl's flesh as it passed. She grimiced gripping her arms for warmth. Bloody or not she needed that coat more than the corpse which was half buried in the snow. She bent down grabbing on to the cold fabric with both hands. Her eyes closed as she counted to three. One ... Two ... Three ... - She tumbled backward, pea coat in hand. The corpse now laid face down into the red snow.
          Her tumble landed her inches away from a pillar of solid form that radiated a bit of heat. One hand wandered behind her sifting through the snow before finding the warm material of a rich man's boot.
          “My, my, you must be cold to take such a bloodied garment,” the man spoke from behind her. His words were spoken softly, but delivered in a crisp fashion. She scuttled forward quickly on her hands and knees. One hand still clutched to the coat as she dragged it with her. She turned around pressing her back against one of the ice covered crates.
          The man was tall, well dressed and slender. His light brown hair was slicked back underneath a black top hat. His hair had been just long enough to curl beneath the lobes of his ears. His face was clean shaven. The coattails of his suit brushed the top of the snow. From the crook of his inner elbow dangled a walking cane with a polished brass handle. His hands were protected by the pearl white cloth of his gloves. She watched in silence as he worked off one of his gloves.
          “Well, my little angel,” he spoke softly. His attention diverted away for a moment as he reached into the inner pocket of his black coat. “I see you’ve already become …” he looked back to the little girl but she had already managed to jump to her feet. The hem of the pea coat furled out in the wind acting similar to a cape as she raced away. Her feet thuded heavily against the fallen snow. The man grunted letting the sharp metal blade slip back into his pocket. He took off after her. His feet crushed the ice further as he followed her path.
          The girl swung around a corner. Half diving she hid behind another collection of discarded crates. She closed her eyes tightly pulling the long sleeves of the coat around her. Breath ... Her brain commanded her, quieter. Steadier. She heard the man nearing the corner. His footsteps stopped at the edge of the brick wall. His feet dragged across snow and stone as his attention shifted elsewhere.
          "Who are you?" the man demanded. A shadow drifted across the alley towards the man. "Answer me at once."
          The girl crawled away from the crates dashing off into the night. She ran down the maze of London's backstreets. The nerves in her belly began to subside after five minutes of running. She slammed her back against a brick wall sinking down onto the ground. She drew her knees up to her chin wrapping her forearms around her shins. Tears slid down her face stinging her cheeks in the cold night. 
          She put one hand in the coat's pocket to warm it up. Inside she found a bundle of matchsticks. She drew out one stick lighting it up. The flame danced in the night air. The life inside that tiny flame relaxed her, but it ended too quickly. She drew out another matchstick lighting it up. It was warm and inviting. She watched the flame as it flickered, bending in the wind. Her vision blurred as the tears distorted the world around her, but still she could see the light as it danced. She struck another match while her teeth chattered.
          " ... Stealing along on the tips of his toes," a male voice drifted across the wind. The girl's heart leapt up into her throat beating wildly. "And he scatters the sand with his own little hand in the eyes of the sleepy children."
          She glanced around her but the tears kept her from seeing anything more than a shadowed figure as it glided across the snow towards her. The man's voice was growing closer. It was almost soothing. She felt the weight of exhaustion settle along her shoulders.
          "Go to sleep, my child," he sung, "Close your sleepy eyes."
The cold began to drain away as the last matchstick's light dimmed. Fear, like the rest of her senses were dwindling with the light. She began to feel an odd sense of peace within the nothingness.
          "Go to sleep, my darling," his voice was closer. She distantly felt her body being lifted from the ground. Her head rested against something solid. Darkness closed around her. 
          "Go to sleep, goodnight."


          "Thomas Lore?" The jail cell door swung open. Thomas had been sitting on the edge of his cot in silence for the last three hours. He lifted his head from the palm of his hands at the sound of his name. There next to the open door was a guard standing aside lifting his hand to indicate Thomas's freedom. "You have been deemed no longer a suspect."
          "I ... " Thomas blinked a few times staring at the guard for a few moments. His thoughts sluggishly shifted trying to find connections to reason. His breath hitched as a possibility washed over him. "Don't understand."
          The guard fidgeted with the keys that dangled from his hip for a moment. He chewed on his inner bottom lip while glancing into Thomas's eyes. He tapped the iron keys once more before letting out a heavy breath, "There's been another murder. We believe it's connected."
          Thomas echoed the other man's sigh while dragging a hand through his hair. Another murder ... The pervious possibility faded away from his mind leaving an uncomfortable weight to settle on his chest. "May I know the details?"
          "I'm sure you'll know soon enough," the guard answered dropping his arm back into a relaxed position by his side. "For what it's worth, I am sorry for your loss..."
          Thomas's mind reeled with new scenarios. Images of people he knew flashed before his eyes. Each set of eyes glazed over from the passing of their life. The last face to leap in his mind was surrounded by soft ringlets of fire colored hair. A bloody streak dried on her cheek. Her seagreen eyes were frozen open staring back at him. "H-have you found Karen?"
          "No," the guard answered plainly.


          Yellow caution tape crossed in the middle of an open hotel doorway. Across the carpet floor laid a speckled pathway of blood starting from the bathroom. The victim's body had been carried to his bed. He had then been posed on his back. His eyes were open staring up at the ceiling. His hands collapsed on his chest. The top three buttons of his shirt were unbuttoned. His neck was slashed. Blood had drained from his body leaving a pool of the sanguine liquid underneath him. His phone lay on the bedside table, crushed. Above the endtable was a mirror. Scrawled on the reflective surface in cursive with Myles Santiago's blood were four words; Go to sleep, goodnight.

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