True Friends Till The End

November 18, 2008
By Kaylee Maddox, Sand Lake, MI

Another foggy, rainy day in London, England. A woman wearing a long black leather trench coat with a covering of rain drops in her jet black hair, stood atop a building looking down at the yellow crime-scene tape.

“Look at this pathetic world with all the unaware people moving about their lives. Not knowing that in every murky alley and in every abandon building a predator stalks their every step.” Ashelin specifically looked down to one family in particular. “Families are enjoying themselves like there are no hazards in the world. Ah, it makes me sick to my stomach knowing that somewhere out there a sick-minded freak would love to have some amusement by pushing its helpless prey into a wicked game of life and death, with death as the only outcome.” Ashelin exhaled slowly. “Yet, people would have no idea that their lives could change forever…” Ashelin slowly closed her eyes as she was thinking of a lingering memory. “Just like…mine did. My family was stuck in their own little ailing world with many ‘friends’ that are now six feet under ground.” Ashelin’s body started to tremble and was gripped by a fear that she couldn’t control. “And now I wonder what death would truly be like, if I were in their position knowing in a few short breaths that my last glimpse of this world would be of this wretched killer who stood before me.” Ashelin flutters her eyes open. “I know I can’t undo the past of my parents being….”

“Hey, Ashelin,” a voice called out in great pleasure. Ashelin quickly spun her head slightly to the side, her eyes focusing on a man holding an umbrella with a buzzed hair cut, sea green eyes, and wearing a brown trench coat. “Whoa, sorry, didn’t mean to startle you there,” the man said apologetically. “I saw you up here and was wondering when you were going to make your way back down to the crime scene again?”

Ashelin sighed with annoyance, “I’m doing just fine by myself.”

Noah turned on his heels and said, “Right, right, I forgot that you like to work alone.”

“Just hold up. You’re the only friend that I got, and I’m sorry that I snapped at you. It’s just that I have a really bad feeling about this one,” she said as she hurriedly walked to catch up to him.

“It’s okay. I’m not sure how this is going to play out either.”

Ashelin began studying the inside scene of the building with shattered glass strew everywhere. As she looked down at the cluster of blood surrounding this young woman’s broken body, tears fell from Ashelin’s eyes. She could not understand what kind of fiend could destroy a person so badly. After a moment she pulled herself together and began looking over the evidence. The woman was wearing a bulky lavender jacket and plain blue jeans with a note attached to her jacket. She had no face, at least no discernable one. For some reason the killer had disfigured it so badly that she could not be identified by a photograph. But the killer must know it was only a matter of time until the DNA testing and dental records would conclusively identify her. But still, why hide the face? The killer knows she’ll be identified in a couple of weeks, so why does the killer have to hide her identity? Time, the killer must need a little bit more time.

“Noah, I want to see the note again that you’ve bagged for evidence. I can’t stop thinking what it had said: “Is blood thicker than water? How far would you go to keep the family secret?” Ashelin peered at him questioningly. “Well, can I see the note? Was there anything else on it that I might have missed?”

“Don’t worry about it. I’m going to go over it completely when I get to the lab,”
Ashelin looked back down at the woman’s body with a terror-stricken face.

Noah looked at her in bewilderment, “What is it? What are you thinking?”

“I’ve got to go. I have to make a phone call,” Ashelin took off, exiting the building and quickly dialing numbers. “C’mon, c’mon, pick up!” No answer.

As Noah watched her leave, a sinister grin widened on his face, “She’s starting to put it together. Let the games begin.”

A week had passed with no word from her sister. It’s as if she fell off the face of the earth. Deep down Ashelin’s worst fear was being realized. The body in the building could be none other than that of her sister. Ashelin began sobbing, thinking of the worst. She got in her car and drove back to the crime scene. While standing in the dark depressing room where the homicide took place, Ashelin walked in front of the now-boarded window and slowly sat on the cold floor. The blood was now imbedded into the floor tiles. Ashelin put one of her hands on the dried blood, and then quickly snatched it away. She put her hands to her face and began crying in disbelief. She fell asleep.

Ashelin woke up disorientated, trying to remember where she was at. She took a deep breath and exhaled. Now she remembered. Darkness had consumed the building. It was obviously night time. She picked herself up from the floor and advanced toward the door to leave. She had an uncontrollable shaking in her right hand as she reached for the door handle. She became gripped with a paralyzing fear of an unknown presence behind her.

Ashelin rapidly turned her head in panic as she noticed a shadow looming behind her. Before she could react she was struck in the head with an unknown object, she staggered, turning sidewise, and was struck again in the side of the ribs. She was knocked out.

“Wakey, wakey, sleepy head,” called a voice with a humorous tone to it.

Ashelin fluttered her eyes open, seeing two men slowly become one. Her head throbbed in pain. As she tried to reach for the back of her head, she realized she couldn’t move. She looked down and saw she was duct tape across her chest and elbows to a chair. With her chest hurting so badly, she thought she must have broken some ribs. Her breathing was labored. She moaned, “Who are you? Wh-…where am I?”

The shadowy figure said nothing.

Wearily she tried to scan the room to take in as much information as she could. But unfortunately, that little light above her body did not illuminate much of the room. But there was one thing that she noticed, a full-length body mirror that stood about eight feet in front of her. Her head slumped down now, too weak and exhausted to hold it upright. Her eyes were staring upward at the mirror looking at herself. As she saw her image staring back at her, she could see the streaks of dried blood that ran down the side of her face. Ashelin closed her eyes for a brief second and then opened them to see the reflection of a darkened silhouette standing behind her. It now spoke.

“Ah, good you’re awake,” the voice was definitely male and very familiar. “You have been sleeping for some time now.” He threw in a little chuckle, “I take it you still haven’t been able to get a hold of your sister. Gee, I wonder what happened?”

Ashelin eyes bolted wide open; his laughter filled the room, making her skin crawl. Ashelin felt foolish because the voice she was hearing she thought of as a friend. She began to shake with rage, trying to free herself from the chair.

The figure stepped into the light, “You aren’t going anywhere, at least alive.”

“Noah!” She yelled with fury.

“Bingo,” his smile was full as he crouched behind her, looking at the mirror to see Ashelin’s puzzled reaction. “Boy, that look is worth the price of admission.”

Ashelin was enraged and threw her head backwards as hard as she could, trying to catch him on the chin. But Noah swiftly moved out of the way and said, “You’ve still got a lot of fight in you.”

Noah crossed his hands behind his back and started walking around the chair to face Ashelin. For the longest moment, Ashelin stared at him with hatred in her eyes. “Ouch, if looks could kill. I don’t think you like me anymore.”

Noah gave a little smirk, “Aren’t you going to ask why…why I’ve done it?” Noah turned around, and carefully moved the mirror to the side.

“Don’t want to break it, or it would be seven years of bad luck,” he threw in with a grin. He disappeared within the shadows for a moment, and with a click another overhead light brightened the room.

Behind the mirror was a long rectangular table with a white sheet over something. He went down to the end of the table and grabbed one of the corner pieces and little by little he removed the sheet. First Ashelin saw feet, then legs, arms, torso, and a head. It was the body of the woman at the crime scene.

Noah focused his eyes on Ashelin’s face as he slowly revealed the body that lay before him. When the sheet was completely removed he said, “You still have not figured it out yet, have you?” He nodded at Ashelin side pocket of her coat, “Go on, take a look, and you will know what I mean.”

With what little movement she had with her arms, Ashelin reached into her coat pocket a grabbed something that she did not notice was there before. A cell phone, but it wasn’t hers. She flipped the phone open and was instantly flooded with the heartbreaking realization that the screen saver picture on the phone was of her and her sister. Ashelin tried hard to hold it together, but instead she became outraged, “YOU MONSTER, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE!” She began twisting and writhing in her chair, “That’s my sister that you’ve killed…why?” Tears began to fill her whole entire face, and her mouth was wide open gasping for air. The one person that she had loved in this world was now gone, gone forever.

“Only one reason, Ashelin,” he reached over to the table and grabbed the white sheet, and casually walked to Ashelin, “your parents.”

Ashelin had a sinking feeling that she knew where this was going at the mentioning of her parents. She thought to herself, What have my parents done? Then she asked aloud, “What do you mean my…parents?” Playing ignorant.

“You still can’t figure it out yet, huh?” Noah knelt down in front of Ashelin’s face, licked the corner of the sheet, and began to rub the dried blood from her face.

Ashelin’s face twisted in disgust, and she spat at him, “Don’t you touch me.”

He smacked her harshly across her face; she quickly snapped her head back and eyed him with utter hatred as the coppery taste of blood flowed from the corner of her mouth.

Noah spoke in slow words trying to make Ashelin understand what he was saying, “Your…parents…killed…my…parents.” The edges of her eyes began to fill with darkness as the truth of the unraveling past finally came out. “Yeah, that’s right. I know all about your twisted family secret. Hmm, I wonder if Scotland Yard realizes that the biggest mass-murdering duo was right under their noses?” With a wink he add, “Again, I wonder what that would do to your career as a detective?” Noah took his index finger and tapped at the end of Ashelin’s nose, “The funniest part was they tried to pass the family tradition down to you.” Noah spun and strode around the room and took in a deep breath before he spoke again. “But you didn’t want that life, no. Instead you chose to do the opposite, to find the killers instead of being a killer.” Noah threw his hands in the air, his head pulled back, and an enormous smile spread across his face. “What are the odds of that? Normally the children carry on the family tradition of their parents, but you, oh, not you choose a different path, indeed. You want to be the saving angel, not the angel of death.”

As Noah turned to the table where her sister’s body lay, he unraveled a cloth case of blades while saying over his shoulder, “I’m going to gut you, the way your parents gutted mine.”

Ashelin knew this was her only chance to get free. She pressed down on the side of her knees with her wrists, searching for the two buttons whispering to herself, “Got’em!” Then the blades sprung out from under her jacket. Noah found her ankle holster, but thank God he never searched her arms. Hurriedly, she crossed her wrists and cut the tape. She was free.

Startled from the footsteps behind him, he turned just as two blades crisscrossed into his throat. Ashelin gave a smirk straight into Noah’s eyes, “I could never let you live and go into court telling the family secret.” As she looked at her sister’s body on the table, she commented, “My mother always said I was better at accessorizing than my sister.” She pulled the blades from Noah’s throat, and as he fell to the floor in his own pool of blood, he watched her walk away. Before his eyes went to total darkness forever, he heard her say, “It ends here.”

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