It was around three am when lieutenant Marie Donalin was nicely “forced” to leave the latest crime scene and to head home. There wasn’t really much more she could do there anyway and she looked like, as her boss professionally stated ” total shit”. Marie had already worked thirteen hours straight when she got the call that yet another victim had been found dead in their apartment. The body of one Darcy Donato had been discovered by her boyfriend around nine o’clock earlier in the evening. Darcy like the three others, was found stabbed multiple times by a small of pair of cuticle scissors. Additionally like the others, the killer had written on the bathroom mirror in lipstick their signature message.
LETS DO MORE, I’M UP TO 4!
In each crime scene, the killer used a different shade of lipstick. Tonight it appeared to be a traditional glossy red. The CSI unit would analyze it, like all the others and would eventually have the exact make and color of the brand. All three previous messages had been photographed and were now attached to a board down at the station. Marie had been studying all the evidence, diligently for weeks now. She was assigned the case every since the first victim, Patricia Walsh was found in her dorm room. Marie knew the messages and colors by heart. Miss Walsh’s was written in what was later identified as ‘Pink Nouveau’.
LET’S START THE FUN, HERES NUMBER ONE
Three weeks later, victim number two A miss Juliet Wychowski was found. Color-‘Witchhazel Black’ (Which Marie found out later, was sold only around Halloween)
MORE WORK FOR YOU, HERES NUMBER TWO
Six weeks had passed before the body of victim number three, Victoria Jensen was discovered in her place by her visiting parents. Victoria had invited them over for dinner and to see the first place that she had all on her own. The shade of her message hade had been determined to be ‘Burned Sunburst orange’.
THOUGHT YOU WERE FREE? WELL, HERES NUMBER THREE
Eventually, all the colors had been identified as being made by different cosmetics companies and were sold basically everywhere in the country. In each crime, the killer used a new pair of cuticle scissors to inflict the wounds. They weren’t always on the backs of the victims, but the wound count was always past fifty times.
Marie walked up the steps towards her apartment, like some toy whose batteries were slowly dying. She was the result of total exhaustion on all levels-physical, mental and emotional. This case was starting to seriously take its toll on her. All four victims were around her age and she almost felt this inner connection with all of them. Like, they were old classmates from high school even though she had never met any of them before in her life.
Marie loved being a cop and knew this was her “calling” to this world. She came from a family of all male police officers and wanted to prove to them that their “short redheaded sister” could be tougher and better than all of them put together. She proved her point by making detective at an early age and going on to make some highly notable arrests. She earned the nickname ‘Pitbull’ because of her height and of her aggressiveness to never let go of a case once she “clamped her jaws down on the perp”. Three straight months of what the press had now named ‘The cuticle killer’.with no real solid leads had finally started to show its effects on Marie. Her captain was right, she needed to be here at home to recharge her batteries and forget about tonight’s earlier incident. She yawned twice as she opened through her front door and then another time in the kitchen as she looked for a beer in her fridge. She took off gun and placed it down on the counter. Last thing she needed to do, was blow a hole in her couch when she sat down. She took a sip of her beer and smirked a bit thinking back to last year when a fellow idiot coworker did just that. He Sat in his recliner at home, forgot about his piece (which he also had stupidly forgotten to put the safety back on) and consequently, fired off a slug directly into his hardwood floor. The bullet missed his left foot by two inches.
Marie thought and shook her head. She downed the beer and threw the empty can on top of the overflowing mountain of cans that was now spilling out over the rim of her recycling can. One of the cans fell and hit the floor as Marie walked out of the kitchen and down the hall. She flicked the light switch on in her bathroom and her eyes squinted at the sudden burst coming off the only lit bulb in her overhead fixture. Three out of four bulbs were already dead and Marie still hadn’t gotten around to changing them-nor did she care. Hers widened instantly as she looked directly ahead into the vanity mirror. Scrawled across its surface, words written in a bright lavender shade of lipstick.
BET YOU CAN’T WAIT TO BE NUMBER EIGHT
She slowly backed out of the bathroom, glancing all around for someone. She quickly turned around to her empty apartment. Nothing but still air and the dim glow of the bathroom light. She ran back into the kitchen and got her gun. Then she called for backup . Instead of checking out the rest of her place, she stayed put in her kitchen. Her gun held forward directly in front of her and the safety removed. Her hearts beat was pushed into overdrive. The adrenaline was tingling her entire body. She felt some comfort in hearing the sirens of oncoming units. Her mind was already filled hundreds of ideas regarding this case. Now, she felt as if her head would explode with all the new ones created by what had just happened in the last ten minutes. Marie stood there in her dark galley kitchen drowning in thoughts with one disturbing realization floating to the surface.
The fact that he had announced that Marie would be victim number eight and he was only on number four. She knew that there would be three more women out there who could potentially be the next set of victims in this case. How could she possibly protect them when the killer could easily get to her?
She stood in the darkness and felt her exhaustion slowly being replaced by something else, a feeling that she wasn’t used to. The overwhelming discomfort of uselessness and fear.
August Writing Prompt- Lavender Lipstick-Day 18/31