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Two Hearts: Short Story


Two of my students gave me the idea for this story. I decided to tie it to my urban fantasy novel, Organ Reapers. Enjoy!
 
***at the end of the post will be a video of Lana Del Rey singing “Once Upon a Dream” for the new Maleficent movie (May 30, 2014). Picture that song playing as you read the last scene of the story. It will send shivers down your spine!
 

Two Hearts

Detective Elliott Robins pulled up to the scene in his dark blue Crown Victoria and let the engine idle while he surveyed the area. He always liked to get a feel for a crime scene, to see what his gut told him. Others called what he did ESP but he knew it was only his subconscious working.

“So we going or what?”

Eli glanced at his partner, Ava Aguilar, before leaning back in the seat.

“You don’t need me to hold your hand. Head on over if you want.”

“Oh I see, you’re doing your ‘thing’.” She did air quotes as she smirked and exited the vehicle,

He told himself he wasn’t watching her amazing legs walk away from the car, that he was merely looking over the scene and she happened to be in plain sight. It was ridiculous to think his head was moving to the left as she moved out of his field of view, just so he could keep ogling her.

They had been partners for longer than Eli ever expected; she’d lasted longer than any of his others. Although he couldn’t be blamed for Jackson leaving the force. The man had to take care of his ailing mother and the grueling hours worked by a detective in the big city wasn’t compatible with caring for someone with Alzheimer’s.

He’s only one out of how many?

The voice in his head sounded strangely like that of Ava. Eli loved listening to her speak. Most of the other women on the force sounded gruff and curt, probably from having to deal with men like him day in and day out. Not Ava. Her voice was smooth and silky, like butter and chocolate all swirled together. Eli wondered what she sounded like in bed.

Focus on the case.

Captain Dean Platt’s voice cut through Eli’s fantasy and brought him back to gruesome reality lying on the ground not fifty feet in front of him. He could barely make out the shapes of the two bodies covered in the black bags the medical examiner, Sherry Abeyta used to cover the deceased. Eli closed his eyes and let his mind wander.

The couple walked through the park hand in hand, talking quietly even though there was no one around. The darkness seemed to demand subdued voices. The man pulls the woman close, an instinct born from his ancestors urging him to protect the woman by his side. She responds and puts her arm around his waist. They are so wrapped up in each other that neither one notices the man following them through the heavily wooded park. There are few people out at this late hour but the pair thinks they are safe since they are together. Nothing can harm them if they are together. The perp waits for the right moment to strike. He hits the man first, knowing that he can more easily overpower the woman once the man is incapacitated. She doesn’t even have time to scream when she hears her man grunt and fall to the ground. The man is on her like lightning. He slashes her throat, silencing her for good. But he isn’t done. Oh no. There’s something else he must do first…

Eli shivers as he opens his eyes. Getting inside the head of the perp makes him queasy and exhilarated at the same time. He hated how easy it was for him to find out what makes the perp tick; but it sure felt good to collar the son-of-a-bitch and bring him to justice.

He exited the car and made his way over to the medical examiner. Sherry was kneeling next to one of the victims and chatting with Ava. Several crime scene investigators were walking the scene, picking up evidence and placing it into bags, taking photographs, placing flags on the ground to mark where evidence had been found.

Eli had seen his share of dead bodies from few hours old to a few weeks old, and he knew Ava had as well. After awhile you didn’t notice the stench of blood, the buzzing of the flies, the accusation in the glazed eyes. The only indication of Ava’s discomfort with this particular crime scene was a tightening around her eyes and lips that were pinched together.

“What do you have for me?” Eli asked as he knelt next to Sherry.

“Same MO as the couple found last week: man killed by blunt force trauma to the head, woman’s throat slashed, hearts missing from both victims. Our guy has to be pretty damn strong to knock someone out with one blow. And see this here?” she pointed to the chest cavity of the male victim. “It also takes a hell of a lot of strength to open a chest up like this. Not to mention special tools. Our perp knows what he’s doing and can do it fast.”

Eli’s skin prickled. “You think we’re dealing with a serial killer here?”

Sherry nodded reluctantly. “Seems a little too coincidental otherwise. Two sets of corpses killed in the exact same way?”

“Agreed.” Eli rubbed his face as he studied the victims. “ Jesus, I hate the sick ones.”

“What’s the perp want with their hearts?” Ava sked.

“Who knows. It could be ritualistic, something symbolic that only he knows. Until we find some connection between these victims and the ones from last week, it’s too hard to say,” Eli answered.

“What’s if it’s like last time?” Ava whispered, glancing over at Sherry to make sure they weren’t overheard.

“Until we have evidence that there is something supernatural going on, let’s just assume we are dealing with a human perp, shall we?”

Eli wanted to forget the case he and Ava had worked years ago, back when Ava had first joined the department. When it came to catching human bad guys, he was all for it; dealing with bad guys that looked human but were really from a parallel world was just too much to handle. No one but he and Ava knew the truth.

Who the hell would believe us anyway?

“If there’s a connection between the two sets of victims, we’ll find it,” Ava said confidently.

“We better find it. If not, we could be looking at the bodies of two more victims.”

 

***

 

Cassius sat in his basement, the song “Once Upon a Dream” playing softly in the background. He hummed along to the song, picturing Princess Aurora dancing in the forest. He smiled as he worked, blood-stained fingers moving deftly as the needle and thick black thread flashed in the light from the lamp, joining together the objects he held in his hands.

When he was finished, he smiled. This one is better than the first set I did! Cassius could barely pick out where one heart ended and the other began. But when he held it up to the light and observed the perfect heart-shaped shadow on the wall, his own heart soared in delight.

Now they are truly bonded together in love. Forever.

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5 Comments on “Two Hearts: Short Story”

  1. cpbialois April 2, 2014 at 7:47 am #

    Nice ending! Never thought of a serial cupid before. lol

  2. Harliqueen April 2, 2014 at 10:07 am #

    Wow!

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