CitPC Chapter V, part 4.
WELL, WELL, IT'S ABOUT TIME EH??!! TOOK ME LONG ENOUGH! Oh yeah, and this one's very upsetting - for me personally. I did warn you guys after all.
Rating: R, because of… well, take a wild guess ;)
Chapter V: No Pity For The Chaste, part 4 (Final part).
DS Sutherland and DI Simpson walked out and both stopped in a corridor outside the interrogation room. They turned round and saw to their left a large viewing window (you know, one of them special one sided mirrors that they use so that they can view in, but the people inside the room can’t see out… and stuff…). Approaching them was DCI Steele walking briskly. He stopped and fixed both men with serious look.
“I’m starting to have my doubts, gentlemen,” He said, laying his hands on his hips.
“Doubts? What doubts?” inquired Simpson, “You suggesting that he isn’t the killer?”
“Yes, I am,” came the stiff reply.
“But sir, the evidence! It’s conclusive to say the least! We could convict him immediately!”
“Just look at him,” Steele moved his head and motioned to the window. “Do you honestly think someone as upset and as flustered as he be a triple killer?”
“He’s tryin’ to fool us,” Sutherland spoke, pulling a face, “Palin only wants us to believe that he’s innocent, so that he can get home and murder some more. He’s an actor! It’s in the contract for heaven’s sake!”
“The way he reacted to your questioning--”
“He lashed out at us!” Simpson complained, “He screamed and bawled and even threw that chair--” he pointed to the fallen chair through the large window, “right at us! If that’s not the sign of a murderous psycho, I don’t know what is.”
“He was tense, distressed and emotional, of course he’s going to lash out! He needs psychiatric therapy, not a gruelling half hour interrogation,” Steele let out a soft moan, and quickly moved on to a slightly different subject. “Not only that, guess who’s just been on the phone to me.”
Sutherland and Simpson exchanged glances and both shrugged.
“Who?” asked the Detective Inspector.
“Mr Idle,” Came the reply.
Both detectives eyes grew wide. Steele looked at them strangely.
“He told me everything that happened Thursday night. I regret to inform you gentlemen that thanks to his account, my instincts have been proven true. Mr Palin is innocent.”
“What did he tell you, exactly?” said Simpson, seemingly captivated.
“Mr Idle told me that he was at Mr Palin’s house before the stabbing occurred. After which, at around 11 – 12 at night, he encountered Snake about a mile from the house. He could remember some specific details of what Snake looked like. The killer was way over 6 feet tall and had deep black eyes. On the other hand, based on the records received, Mr Palin is only 5’ 10”, and has hazel eyes, correct?”
Simpson nodded in agreement.
Sutherland snorted rudely. “Maybe, but consider this: Those ‘black eyes’ that that Idle chap saw might only have been due to the time of day that he was attacked,” He said to Steele, “It was around midnight when it happened. The shortage of light might have affected the eye colour.”
Steele shook his head. “What a stupid hypothesis,” he mumbled quietly.
“Nothing,” Steele said, looking around obliviously. “As I was saying, he said the man wore black gloves and a black hoodie. In addition, I’ve had more information from an eyewitness named Bill Sudders to back up Mr Idle’s account. He also claims that the killer was tall and was wearing dark clothing. Tell me: When you searched Mr Palin’s house, were there any items similar to the ones this attacker wore?”
The detectives exchanged disappointed looks then stared back at Steele.
“No there wasn’t,” began Sutherland, rather unhappily, “B-but he could have got rid of them easily by--”
“As I said earlier, Mr Palin is not the killer,” Steele interrupted firmly, as if to stress strongly that he was right all along, “So I request that you dispatch him immediately.”
“S-sir, you’ve got this all wrong!” Simpson shouted.
Steele gasped and his eyes grew wide at Simpson’s surprisingly moody comment. He looked completely baffled.
“I beg your pardon?!” he said in surprise.
“You heard the man. You’re wrong!” Sutherland retorted.
“Why are you both questioning my theory?!” Steele criticized, his expression turning sour by the second, “I’ve spent 25 years on the force, and I’ve solved more cases than you’ve had hot dinners. So don’t go doubting me, unless you have concrete proof to back it up!”
“But we do!” said Sutherland earnestly, “The murder weapons, covered in HIS FINGERPRINTS!”
“Oh, right,” Steele sneered in response, “So just because his fingerprints are all over the weapons automatically makes him a killer, does it? You make me laugh!”
“What do you mean, sir?” Simpson asked.
Steele let out a loud sigh in frustration. “Oh, so you want me to explain it to you? Pfft, and I thought you two were the best detectives out there, apart from me of course,” He said scornfully to them.
The two men shook with a sudden rush of edginess.
“Monday: When Snake attacked Mr Idle, he was wearing gloves,” Steele began to explain to them, rather bluntly, like he was addressing a class of 7 year olds, “Why was he wearing gloves? To prevent his fingerprints from appearing on the weapon that he was wielding. Now, if Mr Palin were to be ‘Snake’, he would’ve worn gloves, so his fingerprints should not have been on the knife or needle at all! So gentlemen, enlighten me: Why wasn’t he wearing gloves on Friday night?”
“Well, urm…” Sutherland began hesitantly, suddenly realising that Steele had caught him and his colleague out big time, “He could have just forgotten ‘em, or lost ‘em. Everyone makes mistakes--”
“That’s ridiculous!” Steele cut in sharply, “A killer does not go wearing gloves one night to chop up Mrs Jones, then forgets to put them on later on that day to murder Mr Jones, then wears them again on the Sunday and the Monday for those two other attacks. It’s inconsistent! It makes NO SENSE!”
“How can you be sure that Mr Idle saw the real ‘Snake’ Thursday night?” Simpson considered, “For all we know, that attacker could have been a decoy, which might explain why Mr Idle isn’t dead. Every time Snake’s struck, he’s been successful--”
“Just shut up a minute, please,” Steele snapped, brushing past his fellow detectives and towards the door of the interrogation room.
“What are you doing?” asked Simpson uneasily.
“What does it look like I’m doing? I’m checking to see if that ‘sadistic killer’ of yours is okay. Not like you care anyway,”
Simpson put on a look of deep guilt and sulked to himself. Sutherland rolled his eyes and cursed under his breath. Steele meanwhile clutched the door handle and unlocked the door.
“Mr Palin?” he inquired. He pocked his head through the door and peered round. When he spotted Mike - still lying there howling and shaking like a leaf – he sighed sadly. How could they possibly think that Mike was a merciless murderer? Steele was surprised that no one had come in to check up on Mike during his ‘in-depth’ debate with his co-workers. Did anyone notice that he was still lying there, in need of some sort of treatment? Actually, did they even care? As Steele contemplated on these thoughts, he shut the door from behind and slowly walked up to him. He crouched down on the floor beside Mike, draped one of his arms around him and gently patted his back to try and soothe Mike’s anguish.
“I-I n-n-never… k-k-k-killed…” Mike cried miserably, his raspy voice still trembling in shock.
“Shhh, it’s over now,” Steele spoke softly to him.
Mike whimpered like a wounded hound, and raised his head up. He glanced up at Steele with those beautiful bronze eyes and flinched with nervousness. Steele raised his eyebrows when he saw Mike’s face. This was the first time that Steele had seen Mike’s features up close, and he could now see the bruises and scars in more detail.
“What happened to your face?” he asked, struck with concern.
Mike went all coy and quickly looked away.
“Mr Palin? What happened to you? If you don’t tell me, I can’t help you.”
Mike groaned quietly and unenthusiastically looked back up at the detective. He took a breath and sighed heavily.
“Urm…” he said, still in his sombre tone, “Your-r… erm… officer… beat me up,”
“He did WHAT?!” Steele yelped in surprise.
Mike gasped and retreated back from him.
“No, wait I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to shout like that,” Steele reassured him. His sudden change of pitch must’ve startled Mike considerably. “I overreacted, I’m sorry.”
Mike leant his back against the wall, and his breathing began to decelerate. He gulped hard and relaxed.
Right, just calm down Ian, Steele told himself, Take it nice and steady. Steele rose up and made a move towards Mike. He placed his hand upon Mike’s shoulder and knelt down beside him.
“Go on… carry on, lad,” He said, now sitting alongside Mike, “What did this person do?”
Mike turned to face Steele. Steele was in front of him, a small encouraging grin on his face. Had Mike finally found someone he could really trust? He seemed to think so. Mike returned with a brief smile of relief then began to speak:
“When he was… urm, arresting me, he… he smashed… my… my head against the floor, and punched me. I-in the cell, he… walloped me in the stomach… and kicked me… in the groin.”
“What did he look like?”
Mike sat up straight and gave Steele a brief description. Steele listened with expectation.
“Well, I guess he was tallish… tall, yeah… quite a big guy too, with… with a small black beard.”
In an instant, Steele had conjured up who this person was from Mike’s basic depiction. A sudden irate expression on his face said it all.
“Gardener,” he murmured angrily. His face grew a bright scarlet colour. He knew he was about to blow up at any second. “Excuse me.” He said between clenched teeth, struggling to pull himself together. Steele quickly got up and raced out of the room. Once he shut the door, he growled loudly and blew up into a manic hissy fit.
“DISGUSTING!” he roared, “ABSOLUTELY BLOODY DISGRACEFUL!”
The two detectives jumped in astonishment. They had never ever seen their Detective Chief this upset before.
“Hey, what’s gotten into you, sir?” asked Sutherland.
“GARDENER, THAT SMARMY LITTLE BRUTE!” Steele responded with irrepressible rage.
Simpson and Sutherland stepped back. They were almost cowering in fright, the stupid pansies. Anywho, Steele stomped on over to another door and opened it. Inside was a fat woman, around 40ish, smoking a fag and eating crisps. She was situated behind a modern looking desk with a typewriter, a telephone and various other equipment too boring to mention. She almost had a heart attack when she suddenly laid eyes upon this strange bearded man glaring back at her through the door.
“Mrs Dobson?” Steele hissed, “Inform Sgt Gardener that from this day forward he will no longer be needed in this investigation, and could you issue a formal complaint to the Deputy Commissioner to reconsider his options? I want that scum done away with ASAP! Is that understood?!”
“Yeah, yeah, I’m on it.” She croaked, ushering him away. Steele rolled his eyes and slammed the door.
“So, what we gonna do with Palin?” Sutherland asked.
“Didn’t I already tell you before?!” Steele exclaimed, “I said I want him dispatched from here now!”
“But sir, we haven’t finished--”
“I don’t care!” Steele spat. He just wanted to have done with them both. He considered smashing both their heads together, and even wrapping his hands round their puny necks and strangling them… those frustrating little pests… but he held back and continued to bawl at them instead. “I want this poor chap to be released straight away, you got that?!”
Simpson and Sutherland too had enough of this particular discussion. From what they could see, they were getting nowhere fast. They both groaned in defeat and went back into the interrogation room to fetch Mike.
“Mrs Dobson?” Steele called. The woman once again jumped with surprise. It was that strange bearded man again. He was certainly persistent... “Could you call a taxi for Mr Palin please?! Post haste!”
“Yes, alright, I’m on it! God, just let me do my work!” Dobson snorted angrily.
Steele grumbled under his breath and shut the door.
Simpson and Sutherland entered the interrogation room. Mike glared at them both and quite rightly so after what they, well mainly Sutherland, did to him. Moments later, Mike’s face suddenly lit up with happiness when he had heard Simpson speak them fateful words:
“Mr Palin, you’re off the hook.”
Tuesday, February 15th, 11:57pm, Gospel Oak, London.
After his arrival back home, Michael could finally relax. Them past few hours stuck at the station were truly horrific. He remained in the house the entire afternoon, with his family, where he so longed to be. He went to bed early, but he tossed and turned and just couldn’t sleep at all. He couldn’t stop thinking about what happened. It was almost midnight, and Mike was sat outside his front door taking a deep drag from a cigarette. He had quit the habit years ago, but after what happened to him that day, this was his last resort to help calm his nerves. It was either that or the bottle. Mike didn’t want to even consider what might happen if he took to alcohol. He sat in front of his house for about half an hour, just thinking to himself and watching the world go by.
This is probably the only time of day I can go out like this, He thought sadly, Paparazzi and journalists will be all over me like vultures if I were to step out the house in daylight. Dammit…
He let out a low groan and put out his cigarette with the heel of his shoe. He then furrowed his brow when he heard a strange noise.
What the devil?
He turned his head round to face the front door. It sounded like that of someone walking up some creaking stairs. Mike thought nothing of it for the moment and turned back round. He reached for his packet of Camel for another fag when he stopped again. Another noise brushed against his eardrums. A different noise this time – It was more the sound of a loud clattering. Mike turned his head round again. These constant interruptions were beginning to get on his nerves. He stood up and approached the door. Unlocking it, he entered the house. It was dark, naturally, as Mike scanned round the hallway trying to find out what was going on inside. He froze when he heard a loud banging coming from upstairs, followed by a loud grunt and something else… this other thing made Mike’s face turn white. It was the sound… of a screaming woman.
“HELEN!” Mike yelled in horror, sprinting up the two flights of stairs faster than a speeding bullet. He entered the bedroom. Someone had switched on one of the bedside lamps, so Mike could see clearly what was happening. There were two people standing by the bed: Helen, and someone else. Helen was quivering and panicking whilst the other person stood in front of her, emotionless and still. One of his gloved hands held a long ‘Yanagi’ knife; the other was clasp around Helen’s neck. She was choking and losing oxygen fast. Mike gasped in horror. The being heard this and slowly moved his head round to face Mike. Those devilish eyes, his lofty stature, and that shadowy face concealed by a long hood - Mike knew who it was.
Suddenly, with a sudden burst of confidence surging through him, Mike leapt at the Snake. He let go of Helen and was pushed and pinned to the ground by Mike. Helen collapsed onto the bed and began gasping for air. Mike pulled back his arm and clenched his fist ready to attack, but Snake intervened first by ramming his knife right into Mike’s left leg. Mike screamed in agony and he tumbled onto the carpet. Helen screamed in terror when she saw Snake quickly approach her. She made a grab for the bedside lamp, whatever good that would do, but Snake got there first and he rammed her down onto the bed and clutched his large hand over her neck again. She jerked and struggled to push off Snake’s grasp upon her neck. The quilt cover muffled her screams, as she lay face down. Throughout the ordeal, Snake remained silent. His hood had fallen off just before he had recovered from his fall, and when Helen managed to glance round, she could now see whom this man was.
HE’S THAT… T-THAT… ‘PYTHON’ GUY, WHO MIKE WORKS WITH! She hurriedly thought to herself.
Why couldn’t she recognise him earlier? His towering height should have been a complete giveaway! Still holding his leg, Mike wailed and called out to Helen as he tried to find something to stop the bleeding from his leg. Snake decided to act fast. He let go of Helen’s neck and was now clutching the back of her head. Mike staggered in great pain over to the two. His vision was going blurry, so he couldn't tell who the real 'Snake' was.
“STOP IT!” he screamed.
Snake ignored him and dragged Helen up effortlessly. Helen tried to fight back with her last remaining strength, but to no avail. Snake held her right up to the ceiling and speared the knife straight through her neck.
“NOOOOOOO!” Mike wailed in helplessness. Helen grew silent. Only long tears streamed down the side of her face. Snake sliced the knife downwards and then pulled it out with great ease. Blood poured everywhere. Snake dropped both the knife and Helen and scurried out like a rat out of an aqueduct. Mike staggered painfully over to Helen lying motionless on the floor beside the bed.
“HELEN!! Speak to m-m-me, please!!!” Mike begged.
“M-M-M… Mic…hael…” her voice croaked under the intense pain.
“I’m here love, I’m right here,”
“I… I-I lo…ve… you…” Helen reached her arm out and stroked Mike’s face. He held on to it. Her body was turning paler and paler. She was going fast.
“I love you, s-s-so much, my darling,” He whispered, as tears once again began to fall.
Helen gazed deeply into Mike’s large eyes and smiled warmly. She was also crying.
“…My… angellll…” She whispered and gradually, her entire body went numb and her pulse stopped. Her hand fell down from Mike’s face and it slumped onto the bed. Mike held his head and howled. Helen Palin was dead. Mike collapsed to his knees and shivered violently, crying out in total anguish.
“Mummy! Mummy!” Mike heard a familiar voice come through the door from behind. It was Tom. “Wil’s making stupid noises and I can’t sleep! Can you help me?”
Mike didn’t want to turn round. Tom took on a look of confusion as he gazed upon his father crouched by the side of the bed pouring his heart out.
“Daddy? Why are you crying?” he asked. His Dad gave no reply. “What’s going on? Daddy? Where’s Mummy?” Tom hadn’t realised that Mike had covered Helen’s body up with the bed covers. Tom stared at Mike and grew angry. “Daddy?!” he shouted impatiently, to get Mike’s attention. “DADDY!!! Where’s Mum--”
“MUMMY’S DEAD!” Mike suddenly snapped. This outburst made Tom jump with a start and it even startled Mike quite a lot too. There was no need to let out such an angry reply. He’s only a kid. He thought. Tom’s face turned red and he began to sniffle. Mike saw him rub his eyes frantically and begin to cry.
“I’m s-sorry,” Mike spluttered. He held out his hand and gestured for Tom to come forward. He shot Tom with a sympathetic smile. Tom closed his eyes and ran into his father’s arms. Mike enclosed his arms around him. Tom just cried and cried and wouldn’t stop. Mike hugged him tightly and wouldn’t let go. Then he too began to weep.
Snake… knows no bounds…
In an instant, their world had completely collapsed...