Trinity Island – Chapter 19

January 10, 2013 at 10:26 pm (Trinity Island)

Marty drove past his mother’s house and realized there was nowhere to park his truck and keep it out of sight. The driveway stopped at the front of the house. There was grass to the side and he could drive around to the back, but he’d leave giant tire treads in the earth. There was no way his mother wouldn’t notice that, never mind his truck in her backyard. He carried on down the street and entered into the forest.

The road was rutted and bumpy, but his truck had no trouble making it through. A quarter of a mile in, he pulled his truck off the path and into a natural arbour created by a series of overhanging trees. His mother’s place was a good hike into the forest, but he was fit and strong. Hauling a bag of supplies from the back, he swung it over his shoulder and made his way through the trees.

It took him close to a half hour to find her place, because he’d gone past it without realizing. He’d doubled back and quickly spotted the shed between the trees. There was no entrance to the shed from the woods side; he’d have to go around to the side facing the house. He wasn’t worried, his mother rarely spent any time at the back of the house.

The hinges on the door squeaked and Marty made a mental note to get some grease on them. He’d also look into putting an exit out the back, so he could head straight into the woods without risk of the neighbours spotting him. He tapped several more notes into his phone, noting down the need for a table and restraints for his ladies. The floor didn’t have a drain, it was hard packed dirt, so he’d have to dig a small channel to funnel the blood and other fluids towards the forest.

“What are you doing here?”

Marty swung around, fear making his heartbeat quicken. He saw her standing in the doorway, her frail body looking older than it ought to. His mother had aged far more than her years. She had just turned sixty but dressed and acted as though she were eighty. She clutched her sweater close to her chest, her shoulders hunched forward.

Marty relaxed. “I’m making a list of the things that need to be done around here. This shed is going to fall down if we don’t take better care of it.” He was surprised to see her out of the house. And he wondered what had given him away. Was it the squeaky hinges on the shed’s door?

The shed had looked worse than he’d remembered. A large hole in the roof let the rainwater in, causing some of the beams to start to rot. He could tarp that up, as long as the beams were strong enough to keep the roof aloft. The walls were fairly solid and not as thin as he’d feared. And it was larger than he remembered. He’d have to keep his ladies gagged, just in case a nosy neighbour was out while he was working. He wouldn’t be able to hear their cries as clearly, but the shed was a temporary solution.

“It’s in you,” she whispered.

Marty startled out of his reverie to see his mother standing directly in front of him. She stared into his eyes and saw the horrors of his crimes there. Marty shook his head, but she kept staring at him with that look on her face. It was the same look she’d given to his sister. Revulsion, knowing. She’d told him often enough what she saw when she looked at Sarah.

It was in the eyes. They couldn’t lie. And she saw it in his eyes now. He’d refused to admit it, though a small part of him already knew. The hunger was taking over more of his life now. The hunger must be what showed in the eyes. The hunger of the demons in his blood.

“You’re the evil that’s been plaguing this island,” his mother whispered.

Marty’s mind rebelled at the thought. He wasn’t the demon. He was there to vanquish them. He screamed inside; he couldn’t be one of them! It wasn’t possible. He didn’t have the eyes. He didn’t! He stared down at her and the horror of the truth dawned on him.

“I’m his, too?” he whispered.

She nodded, her bright eyes feverish. “You have the eyes. I ignored it for so long, but the truth is there for everyone to see.”

Marty wailed in fear. The hunger surged forward and he was too weak to stop it. His body beyond his control now, he leaped forward and grabbed his mother around the throat. His hands squeezed until her eyes bulged out. He shook her with all of the rage he’d forced back these past few days. His thoughts dimmed as the demon within him took over. Marty cowered inside himself, pushed to the background by something far stronger.

He blacked out, returning to himself several hours later. Marty lay on the ground of the shed. He’d pissed himself, and he was starving. His body ached as though he had the flu; every muscle throbbed in agony. He couldn’t remember what had happened until he rolled over and saw the mess he’d left behind. He barely recognized the destroyed body as that of his mother. The flesh at her neck had been shredded; her head sat at an unnatural angle. Her body had voided; the waste pooled around her, attracting flies.

Marty started to panic. He had to clean it up. He had to get rid of the body. But he didn’t know how! He’d stolen the idea from someone else. He wasn’t creative enough to come up with something like that on his own. Think, think, think! What could he do? Marty stood and paced the interior of the shed, staring blankly at the walls. He stepped over to the extra body bags  he’d brought and decided that he’d start by placing the body inside it.

He stepped over to the woman he could no longer think of as his mother. She’d lied to him his entire life. She’d told him that his sister had been spawned by the devil; she’d always said that the devil had tricked her into it. And Marty had believed her. And now he learned that this wasn’t the case. The woman he’d called his mother had laid with the devil more than once. She’d chosen him!

Marty didn’t know what to think of that, so he let the other one think. The other one had more power and Marty was tired of fighting him off. His mind detached from his actions, Marty rolled the body into the bag and zipped it up. He dragged the bag to the back of the shed and got the hose out. It would make a muck of the floor, but he had to get rid of the waste and the flies.

Once he’d cleaned up the floor and replaced the hose, he gathered his bag and left the shed. He could deal with the body later. It wasn’t going anywhere. In the meantime, he’d have to get the shed ready for its first visitor. He had a lot of items to prepare before it would be ready for guests.

And then he’d have to choose his next lady.

***

Sarah walked to the station from her cafe. She had offered to bring refreshments since Claire, Galen, and Mac were spending so much of their time going over the evidence in the case. They’d practically taken up residence in the house that Galen had converted to a temporary police station. Cots had been brought in and a coffee machine was set up in the kitchen. Still, there was always room for lattes and sweet treats. She’d picked up sandwiches from the deli and a dessert from her own bakery case.

Pushing the door open, she called out a hello. Mac sprang up from his chair and hurried over to relieve her of her packages. She set the drink tray on the desk and looked at the whiteboard. The information on it had tripled since the last time she’d been in the house. Galen had started making note of every possible connection between the women, hoping for a pattern. Sarah sipped her latte and read all of the details, amazed at how much they’d dug up.

“Could it be something as simple as the place they shop at?” she asked, noticing how they’d tracked each woman’s movements in the few days prior to their disappearance, based largely on bank and credit card statements.

“It’s possible that the suspect works at the grocery store and sees these women on a regular basis,” Galen said. “He may see something as simple as a smile in greeting as an invitation for more. It has happened before.”

Sarah stared at the pictures of the women on the board. She frowned, remembering something Galen had mentioned before. “I thought there were more women missing than this.”

Galen nodded. “These are the women we know for sure our suspect has killed. The others may have simply left the island, like the mayor said.”

Something was niggling at the back of her mind. She stared at the photos, one after the other, hoping the thought would come to her. She noticed one other absence from the board. “You don’t think Kay Hager belongs up here?”

Galen shook his head. “I’m not convinced she was attacked by our suspect. Mac has pointed out on more than one occasion that the killer has never let any of the other women go with a warning. It didn’t fit his MO.”

“What do you think happened to her?” Sarah asked.

“I’m not sure, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it had more to do with her choice of lover.”

Sarah nodded, understanding. If someone wanted to break up the affair, using the disappearances to scare her would be an effective way to go about it. Sarah could think of only one person who might want to scare her away, too. The new Mrs. Wallis. She assumed Galen had thought of that as well, but mentioned it just in case.

Galen nodded. “I’ll be having a chat with them very soon, but I still have to make this my priority. Every day we don’t find this guy brings us closer to another victim.”

Sarah wasn’t aware of anyone else her father was dating, so chances were good that no other women would be attacked the way Kay had. She couldn’t understand why his wife would single Kay out. He’d never been faithful in his life. He’d fathered so many illegitimate children on the island. Why did his new wife expect him to change?

Sarah’s gaze flew to the board. Stepping closer, she stared hard at each of the women. Her hands started to shake and her latte slipped from her grip. She barely noticed as the lid flew off the cup and hot coffee splashed her legs. She jumped when Mac touched her shoulder.

“What is it?” he asked.

“The girls,” she whispered. “They all have the same eyes.” She turned and looked at Claire. “Our eyes.”

Claire set her drink on the desk with a thud. Looking at each photo, she realized that Sarah was right. Each of the women had the same eye colour and shape that she had inherited from her father.

“Jesus,” Claire said. “He’s killing our half-sisters.”

***

He needed to get rid of the cop’s girl. Claire was the key to getting rid of the cop. If he showed the cop’s girl the path to the light then the cop would leave the island. She’d be gone and there’d be nothing left for him here. Sure, the cop had family on the island, but that hadn’t stopped him from leaving for nearly fifteen years the last time.

Yes, if he got rid of the cop’s girl, then the cop would leave and Marty would have his island back. He had a new place to work on his women and he had a new way of storing them. The body bags would work just as well in the ground as they had in the water. With the forest just feet from the back of the shed, he could dig a large pit and dump the bag in. No one would ever find them. The bag would keep the animals from smelling the flesh inside, so there was little worry that a neighbour’s dog would start to dig them up.

With the house empty, Marty no longer worried about attracting attention with his truck parked in the back. He returned late at night with a gurney stowed in the bed of his pickup. He’d already dug the trench in the packed earth and now he placed the gurney in the centre of the main room of the shed. He locked the wheels and spent some time getting the straps adjusted the way he liked. Two more trips to the house would get all of his tools moved over and then he’d be ready for his next lady.

He’d followed Claire around the island for several days. She spent as much time at the cop shop as she did at her own home. He knew that she was screwing the cop and he wondered if they did it on the desk inside the station, with all of his ladies staring down at them from the whiteboard. He’d been inside the room several times, looking at the information that the cop had gathered.

He laughed, amused that the cop could follow their movements and still not know who had taken them. He was too clever to have left anything around for them to trace. Marty grabbed his shovel and a flashlight, walking around the back of the shed and into the forest. About a hundred yards in he found the path that ran through the woods. He carried on another hundred yards before he found a  relatively flat stretch of land that he could use to store his ladies. It lacked the appeal of the watery grave, but it would do until he came up with a better solution.

It took him close to four hours to dig a hole he thought would be big enough to fit the bag. His shoulders were screaming and his shirt was plastered to his back. Laying the shovel beside the hole, he trudged back through the forest to the shed. With a little effort, he managed to hoist the body bag across his shoulders in a firemen’s carry. He got as far as the path before his muscles gave out and he dropped the bag. Grasping it with both hands, he dragged it the rest of the way to the hole.

Marty settled the bag in the hole and scooped dirt over it. Once the bag was covered, he stamped the dirt down with his boot and then tossed wet leaves and twigs around to mask the site. Carving a mark in a nearby tree so he would be able to find the spot again, he lugged his shovel back to the shed and returned to his truck. He would finish loading the shed with his tools the next day and then he would begin his work once again.

He grinned in anticipation of the coming days. He had missed his ladies. Had missed the way they’d screamed for him. He couldn’t wait to get Claire set up in the shed. He wanted to taste her fear.

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