Heavens Alley - Chapter 4: My Bloody Valentine

Sunday, 9 AM, Eric's residence, Wellington Street, Heavens Alley.

'Wendy Brisslman worked for Brig Solutions. She moved to Heavens Alley with a dream, which was cut short last night. She was found dead on Leyfreed street, the cause being a cardiovascular arrest. This is the fifth of such occurrences this year, and it begs to raise suspicion, however the police state it's an open and shut case.....'

Eric smiled, as he read the Sunday edition of Heavens Messenger. The world was such a fool. It would put out all their suspicions on a piece of paper and distribute it for everyone to read. This only meant a criminal, if smart enough, could always stay a step ahead of the game. He recalled Wendy's pretty face. Those eyes. Those begging fearful eyes.

He picked Wendy from her home at quarter to eight. He had deliberately changed their plans. He didn't want Wendy informing anyone he was going to pick her. Whoever she had told about their date was now under the impression she was travelling to Lenny's on her own. It was the finer details that usually went unplanned and were cause for conviction in many murder trials. He wasn't planning on getting caught, let alone convicted. He picked her and drove his Audi TT Coupe out of the driveway. He loved this car. It was his gift to himself when he turned 26. His was a grey sports version. He did not like bright colours, they were too conspicuous. Under the aerodynamically designed hood was a turbocharged direct injected TFSI 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, that rocketed the Audi from 0-60 mph in 4.6 seconds. It didn't fail to impress Wendy.

Engrossed in discussion with Eric, Wendy did not notice they weren't heading towards Lenny's. Only when Eric pulled over into the driveway did she realised they were at Eric's house. "I forgot to feed my dog, could we just run in and put some food for the hungry fellow? I'll let you play with him", Eric said with a wink. She blushed, and happily obliged. They walked in, and he asked her to follow him. She wondered if the dog was just a ploy to get her into the house. Maybe they would be having dessert first. She didn't mind. Her mind raced with excitement. He led her to the end of the large hall and took a right. The narrow passage lead to a door. He opened it. It was dark. "My dog's tied in the basement. Come", he said giving out his hand. She put her hand in his. This was the first time they were holding hands. She felt nice. She trusted him. She adored the intimacy a simple act like holding hands induced. He guided her downstairs. The basement was dark. He told her the switch was downstairs. As she walked down a few stairs, a thought crossed her mind. A hungry dog would seldom sit quietly on hearing noises in the house. A few more steps down and she realised they hadn't brought any dog food with them. A few more steps and she realised she did not see any dog related objects in the space above. Excitement slowly gave way to paranoia. "Eric I'm going back up, I don't feel so good. I'll meet you upstairs?", she said. He didn't respond. He was still holding her hand. She tried to pull free. He gripped harder. Then, out of nowhere, a cloth wrapped around her face and nose, held down by a hand. Eric's hand. The cloth had a fairly sweet smell, which quickly got stronger and filled her nostrils. She felt dizzy. The floor was slipping from under her legs. She fainted.

Eric then switched on the light. It was a beautiful place. There was no dog. There was a large commercial freezer at one end, just in case he needed to store a body. Next to it was a steel foldable chair. At the centre stood an operating table, just like the ones at a hospital. Next to it was a tray with his toys. He carried Wendy to the table, and tied her down to it. It was 8:10. He was on track. He quickly ran upstairs, locked the door, got into his Audi and drove off to Lenny's. He entered the bar and looked around. It was packed with heavy drinkers, laughing teenagers and dancing lovers making merry. He hated them all. He spotted a waiter nearby, holding a tray with drinks. He walked up to her and bumped into her, causing a loud bang as she dropped the tray and four whiskey glasses to the floor. A few people turned around. He apologised and bent down to help her pick up the tray and broken pieces. He now had at least ten witnesses. He then walked to the bar and greeted Lenny. Lenny did not recognize him, but as he did with all customers, flashed a smile and greeted Eric as if they were best friends. Eric looked at his pudgy face and rotund frame. He wanted to break a bottle on his head and then stab his face with the broken pieces. He would someday. But not today. "Lenny, did anyone named Wendy come in here? She was supposed to meet me at 8, I've been waiting for her", he lied. Lenny obviously had no clue about who came and went, except for his regulars. "I don't think so bub", he replied. "I guess I got stood up. I'll just go home.". Eric said, and left the bar. His alibi was now in place. He would later tell the cops he was at the bar since half past seven and Lenny, who obviously did not keep a track of who entered when, would agree, simply because he would recognise Eric's face from the short encounter they had. He drove back home and walked down to the basement. She was still passed out on the table. He knew she would be. The chloroform he used was grade A and she would be asleep for another hour. He pulled up the steel chair and sat on it. He would wait for her to wake up.

Wendy opened her groggy eyes, only to find a bright light forcing them shut. She tried to move but she couldn't. She couldn't comprehend what was happening. She tried opening her eyes again, slowly this time. Her pupils immediately contracted, limiting the amount of light entering her eyes. She was able to slowly focus, and eventually had her eyes wide enough to stare at the bulb hanging overhead. She began to recall, faintly, how she got there. "Welcome to the land of reality, my sweetheart", came a voice from the right. She tried to turn her head. She couldn't. And then a pretty face materialized over head. From the partial rays of the bulb she could see who it was. It was her date, Eric. She began to cry. "Eric, please... please let me go. I'll do anything just.. please.." The words were lost in between the sobs. "Ah the famous 'I'll do anything.' But that's the problem my dearest Wendy. There is nothing I want from you, except the beg for mercy that you are giving me right now", hissed Eric. She began to sob louder. He pulled out the tie he was wearing and stuffed it into her mouth. Her sobs didn't stop, but were muffled enough to be contained within the room. He didn't need his prey to beg in words. The eyes, they were enough. The eyes are the true windows into the soul, and in Wendy's he saw fear, he saw panic, he saw a pitiful beg for mercy. This was his aphrodisiac. He was in total control of Wendy's life. He decided what her future would look like. He was God.

Eric moved to the tray and picked up a long surgical needle. Wendy saw this from the corner of her and began squirming, lashing out her body in an attempt to break free. This would last only a few moments for Eric had a way to immobilize her. It was a trick he picked from practice surgeries he performed on previous victims, before he adopted his current bloodless technique. He moved to the top of the table, where Wendy's head was. "Stay still now, doll, or this will only hurt more", he whispered, in her ear. She closed her eyes. The tears continued to roll. She remember her mother. Then she felt the tip of the needle on the crown of her head. Eric aimed the needle perfectly. He had to get this right. He loved the feeling of anxiety that preceded an action that required precision. He placed the tip on the spot he wanted and picked up a hammer from the tray. Wendy was picturing her mother tie her hair into plaits, when it happened. There was a thud and she was filled with excruciating pain. Eric had hammered the needle through her skull, into her brain. "What I'm doing, Wendy dear, is locating the Primary Motor Cortex, the part of your brain that controls movement. Ah, I believe I may have found it." There was no way to be completely certain, but Eric worked on gut feeling, a feeling that rarely failed. Half the needle was still protruding outside her head. He connected leads of the voltage generator to this end, adjusted the knobs to read 2000 volts, then bent down and kissed Wendy on the cheek. Then he hit the 'ON' button. The tissues in and around the motor cortex immediately vaporized. Wendy was immediately rendered motionless. But she still felt the pain, and Eric knew she did, for those eyes, those beautiful eyes, they revealed all. He stared into them and took pleasure from the terror she felt. He pulled the tie out of her mouth. She would no longer be able to scream. "You know Wendy, I was only 19, when my mother was raped and murdered. It was a closed casket funeral, because the attackers had beaten my mother's face into an unrecognisable pulp. I couldn't kiss her for the last time Wendy. I miss her. She was my anchor and she didn't deserve to go that way."

He picked another surgical needle from the tray. He hovered it over Wendy's eyes. He knew the sight of it would remind her of the unbearable pain the previous needle had caused. Her heart began beating faster, in fear. He could hear the pace quicken. He placed it gently on a spot just above her breast, directly over her heart. This time he didn't need a hammer. He was going to savour the pain she was going to feel. He applied pressure on the needle, and it slowly pierced through her skin. Her adrenal glands pumped epinephrine, in one final desperate attempt at escape, and her brain wanted to tell the body it had enough strength to pull free and run, but it couldn't. Her pupils dilated. He knew what her body was going through, and it excited him. He pushed the needle, slowly, watching her eyes as they went from shock to horror to unfathomable pain. He pushed it right into her heart. He then connected the generator to the needle, and in one final act of psychoticism, put her out of her misery. A shock to the heart sometimes acts in its favour, bringing it back to life. But pass a current higher that a bearable threshold, and it begins to fail. The thin needle puncture would develop scar tissue in a few hours and would be passed off as a scratch by the coroner. The puncture on the head would never be found. Her eyes would forever be missed.

Are these really co incidental natural deaths or is there a killer looming between us? We at Heavens Messenger, promise to bring the truth, whichever it may be, to the peace loving citizens of this beautiful city. Gloomy days may be ahead of us. Lucifer himself may have descended to Heavens Alley.
      - Amora Rey.

Eric came back reality as he finished the article. Amora Rey. Instinctive woman. Something caught his eye. He smiled. Only his intensely focused mind could have caught this.

She had called him Lucifer.
Lucifer was an anagram for Eric Luf.

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