Trinity Island – Chapter 21

February 18, 2013 at 9:09 pm (Trinity Island)

Marty left the bank and headed down the street. People called out to him and he waved back in greeting. The hunger was clawing up his throat, but he smiled and waved and carried on his way. Thoughts of pulling the switchblade from his pocket and slashing it across everyone’s throats nearly consumed him. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to watch as the blood flew and the people fell? He could take down dozens of people on a busy street before anyone knew what was going on. Then panic would reign and he’d get a few more.

It would be glorious.

He had the switchblade halfway out of his pocket before he calmed down and returned to himself. It would be over too soon. Someone would turn him in. They wouldn’t understand what he was doing. No one would understand his work. They were already labelling him a killer. He’d read that in several of the papers. They were twisting his work into something horrid and vulgar.

They couldn’t see the demons the way he could. The way they writhed in the blood, feeding off the life force of their host. Why could he see them and no one else? Were they just pretending? Could they actually see them, but refused to do anything about it? Well, Marty knew that it was up to him. He had to continue his work, and he had a new place all set up to do it. He’d brought the last of his supplies over to the shed just that morning, before work.

Now he just needed to make a choice. Who would be the first to visit his new workshop? He’d almost completed his original task; the devil only had a couple more of his spawn left. Marty had taken care of all the rest. But, deep down, Marty knew that his work would never truly be done. He’d finish up this task, but then he’d have to start on a new one. The devil showed itself in many forms. It wasn’t just in the eyes, he knew. Sometimes it was in their voice, or the way they smelled. In truth, Marty knew that his work was really just beginning. He had a long road ahead of him.

Marty stopped dead in his tracks. There she was, just leaving his sister’s coffee shop with Paddy O’Brien. She looked perfect, with her golden hair flowing around her head like a halo. She looked like an angel but the demons fed on her, just like all the others. She headed away from him and he picked up his pace to close the distance. He ignored anyone who called out to him now. He didn’t even hear them.

She was the one. She would be the first to join him in his new workshop. Marty felt his heartbeat accelerate at the thought of having her on his table. When Claire crossed the street, he crossed too. When she stepped onto a side street and walked further away from the centre of town, he trailed behind her. She never looked behind her. Why would she? She felt safe with Paddy. Even with the discovery of his ladies, she didn’t worry about walking down the street in broad daylight. She probably didn’t think she was a target.

When Claire turned onto Piedmont he knew she was going to see her lover. He’d been putting in long hours at the station, trying to determine what had happened to the ladies. Marty snorted; as if the cop was smart enough to figure that out. He’d managed to discover that it was Marty’s boss who had stolen a portion of Marty’s fame by attacking Kay Hager and threatening her to get her to leave the island. He’d give the cop that much credit. Trent had already been transferred to Vancouver, along with his accomplice.

Those notices with his picture on them had been posted all over town, but no one had fingered him from them. He knew Alyssa was responsible for that and he would have to pay her a visit. He’d let her get used to being free. She still remained tucked inside the hospital, accompanying the man who had prevented Marty from getting to her. Soon though, she would go home and return to her normal routine. And then he’d have her. But first, he would have Claire.

He stopped where he was. He couldn’t follow her to the cop shop. That wouldn’t do. But maybe she wouldn’t be long. Maybe she was just going in to say hello and then she’d leave. How would she get home? Marty looked around the street, but he couldn’t see her car. If she’d parked back on Main it would be too crowded with people for him to approach her. He walked back a block and didn’t see her car, so he walked past Piedmont to the street behind it. There it was, tucked in behind a large pickup truck. Hers was the last car in the row.

He would just have to wait for her to return. If it was her time, the demons inside her wouldn’t sense his presence until it was far too late.

***

Claire flipped through the pictures that Galen had had printed out from Jacques’ camera. He’d blown up several where he’d tried to see small details, like the side of the boat moored behind the boathouse. The boat had a name, but she couldn’t make out the letters. It was written in script and the photo was quite blurry. She concentrated on the photos of the killer, surprised to realize that even with a photo of the man, they couldn’t tell who he was. She’d thought for sure that his identity would jump out at her. She’d thought the same when she’d looked at the drawing that she’d help post all over town. Granted, the photos were from a distance and from the side. She passed them to Paddy.

He studied each picture carefully, equally as frustrated when he couldn’t determine who their man was. “Maybe you should show these to Sarah or Jenna, or your ma. They know more people on this island than anyone.”

Galen agreed and made a note to call Jenna later that day. With his board updated, he sat on the edge of his desk and carefully read through each detail. It wasn’t a lot. He’d have to stand back and allow it to settle in his mind before he started to pick through it. The process was hit and miss, but having the data up where he could see it saved time flipping through pages of notes. He had nothing to tie anyone to the crimes and no suspects to put before Alyssa for a positive identification. He was doing all he could, but it still felt like it wasn’t enough. He worried that he would be too slow in putting the details together and another woman would go missing.

Because he didn’t believe for a second that the discovery of the killer’s workshop would slow him down for long. That kind of need had to be fed. The killer might do something desperate, something stupid, but Galen had to be prepared for more than that. There were four women left on the island who fit the killer’s requirements. All had been warned to stay on the alert and not go anywhere alone, if they could at all help it. Mac had offered to stick close to Sarah. The other two women had understood the severity of the situation and promised Galen they wouldn’t even walk around their own yards alone.

And Claire had his father to watch over her. Paddy was happy to do it and Claire appreciated his company. Galen appreciated the sense of relief it brought him knowing that Claire wasn’t alone. Her barns were still crawling with forensics people, but they weren’t right there with her.

After one last look at the photos, Claire placed them on the desk and stood up. “I’m going to head back to the house. Jenna’s coming by in an hour to go over some designs with me and Sarah’s going to stop by once she’s finished her shift at the bookstore.” Claire said she would ask Jenna if she’d pop into the station to look at the photos. Galen gave her a quick kiss before she and Paddy headed out.

***

Marty crouched down at the side of the house. Claire had spoiled his plans to take her at her car when she’d come down the street with Paddy. He’d been forced to duck behind a tree and let them leave. Racing over to his truck, he’d followed them until he realized she was going home. He didn’t know if Paddy would remain with her, but it wouldn’t matter. Marty would take care of him and then it would just be him and Claire.

He’d driven his truck into the woods, following an overgrown road that led close to her house. His truck was out of sight, just beyond the edge of her property. He’d watched the house for close to an hour before deciding it was time to make his move.

The forensics people were hidden in the barn, out of sight, but Marty still took precautions as he slid around to the back of the house. People came and went from the kitchen to the barn often enough that he suspected the sliding door remained unlocked for most of the day. With a quick look over his shoulder, he pushed on the door handle and smiled as it slid open. The security panel near the door gave a double beep, indicating that a door was open. He left it open and immediately moved through the kitchen and into the hallway.

Claire heard the beep and knew that someone had come into the house. Scanning the security panel by the front door, she saw that it was the kitchen door that had opened and hadn’t been closed again. Dr. Yvonne and her personnel often used the kitchen to make meals, or they came to use the washroom. Claire couldn’t say why this time felt different. Motioning to Paddy, she headed down the hall towards the back of the house.

Paddy was two paces behind her. He had his cell phone out, already dialing Galen when he felt a draft around his ankles. Turning around, he spotted the movement from the darkened bathroom and called out in surprise. His call connected, but Paddy didn’t have a chance to speak. He brought his arm up, but the blow still connected. The crowbar crashed against his forearm and glanced off his temple. Paddy crumpled to the ground, dazed.

Claire turned at Paddy’s warning. She watched as the dark figure emerged from the bathroom, swinging. Before she could move, he was on her. His arm came up again, but Paddy grabbed his leg and threw him off balance. Claire turned away from the blow, catching most of the impact on her shoulder. Instinctively, she kicked out at him, catching him in the upper thigh. He doubled over as the muscle twisted in spasm, sending shooting pain straight up his spine, spiking in his brain. Claire regained her balance and started running. She knew the barn was full of law enforcement officials and forensics personnel. If she could just get outside, she could call for help.

Marty kicked the old man in the face, knocking him back, before going after Claire. He caught up with her in the kitchen and hurled himself at her. Claire twisted away from him, and he sprawled on the floor. She grabbed a small paring knife from the counter and slashed him with it, drawing blood. She picked up a large bowl and tossed it at his head, but he rolled out of the way before it hit. The bowl shattered against the wall. The particles rained down on him, the bigger pieces piercing his skin.

Marty screamed with rage. She wasn’t cooperating and she was hurting him. The hunger that fed off her fear also fed off his and that scared him. When she slid across the countertop to get past him, he lunged up and grabbed her. With a fist in her hair, he slung her to the ground. He switched his grip on her hair, rearing back with his right fist. Claire shoved the knife into his belly, right to the hilt. She bunched her legs up and kicked him in the chest, but he still had a grip on her hair.

She saw stars as he yanked a large chunk of hair from her scalp. She kicked him several times, trying to free herself. She looked into his eyes and saw the change come over him. The hunger inside him was powerful enough to overcome the pain. He slammed his fist into her face. Claire’s world went black and she slumped to the floor.

Marty lay there, panting from the exertion. His brain was on overload and he couldn’t process his thoughts properly. His body hurt and he knew that he was bleeding badly. He wasn’t a doctor, but he thought maybe she’d killed him. Leaning back against the kitchen wall, he raised his t-shirt but it caught on the knife. He pulled the knife out and the pain crashed over him. He felt the vomit rising in the back of his throat, but he swallowed it down. He started to sweat and had to bend over onto his hands and knees to keep from passing out.

He held the little knife in his hands and watched as her chest rose and fell. He thought about slashing the knife through the veins and arteries in her neck and bathing in the blood. The hunger was riding him hard, but Marty had his control back. He knew now what he hadn’t known before. She was the one who could help him on his own path. She could rid him of the hunger.

They would travel down the path of the light.

Together.

***

Sarah carried the drink tray in one hand and the bag of goodies in the other. Mac had managed to find them a good parking spot, directly across from the station. She had another bag full of fresh treats from the bakery filled with hazelnut cookies for Claire, cannoli for Jenna, and several of the Nutella-filled donuts that she craved. She left those in her car or Mac and Galen would have filched them, for sure.

Mac took the coffee tray from her so she could push the door open. She smiled as Galen hurried over to assist her with her delivery. He took the bag of goodies from her, leaving Mac with the coffee. Sarah set the tray down on the desk and took a look around. She’d not been inside the house before. Mostly it was empty, except for the desk and chair Galen had borrowed from his dad and the whiteboard he’d gotten from the school.

She read the information on the whiteboard, noticing Galen’s note to have Jenna look at the photos. “What photos?” she asked.

Galen raised a brow at her. He took a giant bite of the cannoli, staring at the whiteboard where Sarah pointed. He fished the photos out of his desk and handed them to her. While she flipped through them, he assessed his board once more.

He’d expected to have more by now. He’d hoped that the image of the killer, drawn up from Alyssa’s encounter with him at the hospital, would have drawn more tips, but so far the few leads he’d run down had gone nowhere. It always amazed him how some people were willing to waste police time by having them harass a neighbour who looked nothing like their perp.

Others simply wanted to be in on the investigation, so they’d stop Galen on the street and demand to know all of the intimate details of the case. They’d get testy if he didn’t share enough, and telling them that it wasn’t their business wasn’t an option on a small island. Some islanders felt that everything was their business.

The worst came from the women who were worried about their daughters. They had reason to worry and Galen felt terrible not being able to set their minds at ease. Until he caught the killer, no woman would sleep easy on Trinity Island. And that made him madder than anything. The killer had roamed amongst them, always watching, waiting for the slimmest opportunity to take advantage of an unsuspecting girl.

He could feel his blood begin to heat at the thought of yet another girl going missing while he sat in his office staring at a whiteboard, trying to piece everything together and figure out who he should be looking for. He snapped a pencil in his hands, the wood splintering into his flesh. He barely felt the sting of the cuts.

Sarah stared at the photo of the boat tucked in behind the boathouse. Her hands started to shake; the photos slipped from her grip, sliding to the floor. A single tear streaked down her cheek, but she didn’t notice it. Mac came over and slipped his arm over her shoulder, squeezing her gently. She tried to hand him the photo, but her body wasn’t cooperating. Her brain was shutting down out of fear and dawning horror.

Mac put the photo on the desk and curled her into his arms. Galen stepped up beside her and stared at the photo. He asked what she saw, what she recognized. Mac soothed her, but he wouldn’t allow her to tune out. He made her answer Galen, telling her that once she got it out, she’d feel better.

“That’s Marty’s boat,” she whispered. “It’s called The Lighted Path.” Now that she’d started, her words tumbled out quickly. “I thought it was a joke when he first showed it to me. Our mother always used to say that bad people had demons in their blood. She said they would never find their way to the path of the light unless they could dispel the demons from within.”

Mac stroked a palm up and down her back, trying to soothe the fear he’d heard in her voice. She’d started to shake and they needed her to hang on. “How does one dispel these demons?” he asked.

“I don’t know. She just said they had to be removed from the blood before anyone could travel down the path. I always knew she was talking about me. She didn’t hide it. It’s why I couldn’t live there any longer and had to go away to school.” Sarah had gotten out of the house as quickly as she could. She’d put in three long years before she’d turned eighteen, graduated from  high school and had gone off to get her business degrees at UBC. Her older brother had only lasted six months before he’d bolted for the front door. Marty had lived with their mother for thirteen years.

Galen recalled what the pathologist had told him about the condition of the bodies. Dr. Yvonne had said that it appeared they’d been drained of their blood from numerous cuts all over their bodies. She said that none of the cuts had ever nicked an artery. Evidence they’d collected from the shed proved that out. Arterial blood sprayed in a wide arc and would have been evident, even if washed away, when sprayed with Luminol. They’d found copious amounts of blood trace on the floor and the work bench, but nothing on the walls or ceiling.

“Where does Marty live?” Galen asked.

“On the middle island,” Sarah said. Pulling out of Mac’s embrace, she walked over to the map of the island he had tacked to the wall. “He has a small house on the northwest side, near the second pinch point.” She tapped the location on the map. His house stood only a few short miles from the shed used to torture and kill multiple island women. Sarah examined the photos of the women who had been found in the marina. Was Marty trying to dispel the demons from their blood? Was he trying to show them the way to the path of the light?

“We’ll have to bring him in for questioning,” Galen said. “If I can find the boat at his house then I can use that to hold him. That will get me a search warrant for any property in his name.” Galen picked up several of the photos showing the boat in the marina. He headed for the door with Mac on his heels. Mac stopped at the door, remembering that he was supposed to be Sarah’s shadow.

Sarah waved him on. “I have to get back to the cafe. You help Galen.” As the door closed behind them, she thought about her mother. She’d never lied about her affair with Reginald Wallis; she’d never hidden that embarrassing ‘episode of indecency and lust’ as she’d called it, from her husband or her children. But she’d never forgiven herself for it. When Sarah’s step-father had died, her mother had buried her grief in her belief that it was penance for her sins. If not for her moments of indecency, she would still have her husband with her. Instead, she’d become a widow too young and would spend the rest of her adult life trying to atone for those few moments.

Sarah locked the door to the station and crossed the street to her car. She hadn’t seen her mother since she’d come back to the island. She couldn’t stand to see the hatred glowing in her eyes. Sarah didn’t care that Reginald Wallis had contributed to the circumstances of her conception. Her step-father was the one who’d taught her how to ride a bike and tie her shoes. As far as she was concerned, he was her father. Sarah just wished her mother could accept that.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: