Heavens Alley - Chapter 14: A Shot of Adrenaline

June 10, 2016 Anson 0 Comments

It's funny how the brain reacts to two paradoxical emotions: fear and excitement, in the same manner. The brain sends impulses to your adrenal glands which in turn secrete adrenaline into the blood. The adrenaline is carried to specific organs to induce specific reactions. Your heart beats faster, supplying more oxygen and your liver is stimulated to convert glycogen to glucose. Both of these reactions supply you with enormous energy required to tackle the two emotions: fear and excitement.

Amora, still clinching the red sweater, felt neither. Her heart rate was normal and her liver, albeit stressed from the alcohol, was functioning business as usual. She took one look to make sure Eric was still sleeping. She then dunked the sweater back into the basket and walked over to the bedside where her pant was strewn. She pulled out her Motorola and responded to a text she had received earlier, with a simple We lucked out. It's positive.

Eric woke up the next day to an empty bed. There was a note on the bedside table from Amora: Have articles due, thanks for the wonderful time. He smiled as the last night's events came back to him. He felt elated. He wasn't in love, he was sure he was incapable of that emotion. The last time he met Amora she had rejected him completely, and that frustrated him. Now that he had seduced her, he had won. And he liked winning. He got out of bed to begin his ritual.

"You didn't have to go so far for proof you know, we had a DNA match!", said an annoyed Jones. Amora and he met for breakfast at 'Dona's Cafe' on 33rd Dortmink Street. Over cinnamon bagels and coffee Amora told him how her previous night had unfolded. Amora had very few inhibitions, and she explained everything in detail, even the part where she had sex with Eric. Jones flinched at the information but she simply stated that that was the only way into his home. "Kami, you said the DNA you found on the sweater had a 50% match with Glenda Luf, a woman murdered in your precinct. This meant the DNA belonged to a child, but since it was not a direct match you couldn't say it belonged to her son Eric Luf for sure. I did what I did to get his DNA and I couldn't have pulled hair from him at a bar now could I?" Of course there were a hundred other ways of extracting DNA but again, Amora had very few inhibitions and she had enjoyed the sex so she wasn't complaining. "Here, match this with the DNA found on the sweater and we'll be certain it was Eric", she said handing over a ziplock bag with a few strands of hair in them. Kami noticed there wasn't a shred of doubt in her mind it was Eric. He wasn't one to jump to conclusions, the sweater, even if it belonged to Eric, didn't necessarily mean it belonged to her killer. There was no proof the boyfriend was in fact the killer. It was just a hunch. But the fact that Eric's name popped up twice now, once as Wendy Brisslmans date a day before her death and now with this sweater, made him suspicious of the boy.

Eric was getting irritably bored at work. He paced around his office for the third time and crashed on his swiveling chair. He surfed the net for a while and just when he thought of walking out for a cup of tea there was a knock on the door. He minimized the browser and said "come in."

A girl walked in, dressed in brown pants and a white shirt, sleeves rolled up to the elbow. She was tall, about five feet eleven inches Eric estimated, and slightly on the plump side, but only in the right places. The buttons of her shirt seemed asphyxiated by her ample bosom. She wore thick framed glasses to aid her gorgeously large brown eyes, and had her hair tied in a ponytail. She walked in and sat opposite Eric, handing over a maroon file, with the words 'Brigg Solutions' stamped on it. It was her case file. She was here for a psyche and stress review, like every employee had to.

Eric perused through the file, registering in his mind what he thought was important. Her name was Jessica Gomez, she was of Latin American origin. She was born in Mexico, studied in Spain and had worked in France, before taking up residence in Heavens Alley. She had been here for three years now and had recently taken up the post of Human Relations Officer at Briggs Solutions.

"Miss Gomez, I'm Eric. I understand this is your first visit to the psychologist?"

"Yes Eric, it is. Briggs seems to have an unusual policy. Tell me, do these evaluations ever help?"

"You will be surprised, Miss Gomez, at how many lives I save everyday." Eric said adding a grin to the end of his statement. "Stress creeps up as a shadow, Miss Gomez. You don't realize it's lurking until it hits you, and it does with all it's might."

"Alright then. Let's get this over with."

An hour later Jessica left, leaving her file behind for Eric to fill with his evaluation. She wondered, only for a moment, how questions like what car she drove and it's color mattered in a psyche evaluation. It was out of her mind the moment she walked in to her third meeting of the day.

At 7 pm, much too late for a person of her position, Jessica left her office. She took the elevator down three floors to the basement parking. She walked a few meters and turned left. As she approached her red Mercedes Benz A-180, she pulled out its keys from her purse and pressed the unlock button. The car responded with two beeps and a flash of headlights. She opened the driver's side door, threw her handbag to the passenger seat and got in. She pushed the start button and the 4 cylinders came to life with a roar. She was about to pull out of the driveway when something pulled her hair and another covered her mouth. She passed out before she could react to what was happening.

Jessica stirred back to consciousness with an ache in her head. Her mind was foggy and she was unable to comprehend what was happening or where she was. A few minutes passed before her last memory set in, of getting in her car. She realized she was unable to move, because she was tied down to what seemed to be a cold metal bed or table. Then a face hovered above. She instantly recognized the handsome face.

"Miss Gomez, hi", Eric said with a twisted smile. Jessica tried to scream but she was gagged. "Please, don't try to scream or struggle, it will only make matters worse." Eric said walking away from her line of sight. She was unable to move her head around. It was tied down as well. But she could hear clear sounds. Metal objects being moved around a metal tray, the kind of sounds you hear when tools rattle in a toolbox. She began to panic. Her heart beat raised and she felt a surge of energy, owing to the excessive adrenaline in her blood. She tried to leverage it and break free but soon realized her efforts were going to vain. Eric had done a fine job of immobilizing her. She heard footsteps. She continued to struggle to break free. She stopped when she felt something cold and pointed touch the top of her head. Then, in one sudden moment, her mind registered five distinct events. Her ears picked up the sound of a hammer hitting an object, her skull cracked a millimeter to allow a foreign object in, her brain felt something slice through, her entire body cringed with unbearable pain, and she suddenly found herself without any control of her voluntary motions. She wanted to scream, cry out, throb in pain, but she could not.

Then the face materialized over her again. Eric pulled out the cloth that was keeping her quiet. She realized her mouth was still ajar but she couldn't control it to shut. He helped her there, pushing her jaw till her mouth was closed. He sat on the edge of the table.

"You know, Jessica, may I call you Jessica?" Eric giggled. "Of course I can. I can do whatever I want. You have lived a good life. Lot of travel, a good job and I assume you have a lot of friends as well. You see I had none of that. Not that I'm complaining. Happiness is a liability. Once you're addicted you crave it and cravings are liabilities. Anyway. I wanted to keep this a clean kill but it's been long since I've had any fun. So you sit back and relax."

He walked away for a moment, and was back with an electric saw. He rigged it to the extension that lay below the table. A click of a button brought it to life. Jessica saw it and went into shock. She felt a sharp tear in her arm and smelled blood as the blade tore through her flesh. She passed out. For the final time.

Eric didn't notice her slip into unconsciousness. He didn't even realize when she had breathed her last. He was having way too much fun. He continued to tear her down, limb by limb. He enjoyed the blood splatter over his plastic robe and floor, as his saw tore smoothly into her flesh, facing resistance only when it hit bone. The blood made intricate designs and on close observation, Eric could see marvelous images in them. Just like you do when you see clouds take the shape of a Dragon. He showed her the courtesy of closing her dead eyes, just before he brought down the saw for the last time, severing her head from the rest of the body.

Eric threw the seventh and final garbage bag into the freezer. The seven bags together made one complete Jessica Gomez. He knew a second Briggs solutions employee found on the street would raise considerable suspicion, so he was going to wait till the story of her going missing cooled off and then dispose the parts separately.

She walked across the crowded market, looking at everything but purchasing nothing. A gust of wind filled her nostrils with the scent of spices and ruffled her blonde hair. She pulled her hoodie over her head. She walked slowly, until she saw what she needed. She smiled thinking of all the characters. Eric, Amora, Kami.... They all think they are a step ahead of the other. They think they are in control. But they're just puppets in a master game, attached to strings, strings that rise high above and connect to rings that fit perfectly around the fingers of The Professor.