Samantha Olmo is a Creative Writing student in Florida. In her free time, she likes to play video games and watch Youtube. You can follow her on twitter at @SLIWriter.
I’ve set the trap, but will you spring it? Go to the Morana Warehouse on Lexington. You’ll love what you see.
A note and a key was all that was inside the small box placed at my doorstep. As soon as I read it, I knew exactly who it was. Memories of countless corpses littered across the state, eyes watching me with pity and disapproval at my failures. Everyone trusted me to save them, but I could never meet their expectations. Now, that would change.
I crushed the paper in my hands and drove to the location.
It wasn’t long before I was charging through the front doors. I instantly stiffened at the sight. “Bren?”
Once I entered the warehouse, I saw a large, glass box in the center of the room filled to the top with water, a single light above it. I recognized the man banging against the glass as my partner Brennan, who I’d last seen a few days ago before he went missing. It looked like he hadn’t slept since then, made obvious by the dark circles lurking under his eyes. A chain was wrapped around his right ankle. He was trying to say something to me, bubbles escaping the corners of his mouth, but I heard nothing.
“Hold on, man. Just hold on,” I said.
I scanned the room until I spotted a lone, metal chair in the far back. I ran to it, picked it up, and ran back to the box. I wasn’t sure if he could hear me, so I did a motion with my hands instead. He got the message and retreated to the far corner. Lifting the chair high, I swung with all my strength and, after a few hits, shattered the glass. Pieces came raining down, accompanied by the water that spilled onto the floor. Bren dropped to his hands and knees, coughing as I put an arm on his back.
He seemed desperate to say something, and I leaned closer to hear his words. “H-He’s here...”
“You made it.”
A cold chill ran up my spine at the words that clearly didn’t come from my friend’s mouth. I turned around.
What I saw first was a white mask with an eery, black grin stretching from cheek to cheek and two black circles for eyes. The rest of his body came into view after, standing behind a door of glass with a lock beside it. His muffled voice rang clear in my head.
“You cops are very persistent, I’ll give you that. Gold star for finding me. Too bad this is as close as you’ll get.”
“To cut to the chase, in approximately ten minutes, this place is gonna go kaboom along with anyone in it,” he said. “Of course, I’ll be long gone. You, however, have a choice to make, Detective Janus. The key I left for you can unlock the door I’m standing behind. Unfortunately, there is no key for the one around your partner’s ankle. Don’t expect bullets to do much, either. So, what’s it going to be? Will you die here with your partner or continue to chase after me?”
In a blind rage, I pulled the gun from my holster, firing a shot right where his head was. Alastor didn’t flinch at the cracks that spider-webbed across his mask, the bullet buried in the glass. “If you think I’ll let you live another day, you’ve got another thing coming, asshole,” I said.
“It’s time to let this go, Detective. You can’t win, you never could. Time’s ticking,” he said. Alastor didn’t even wait for my reply as he stepped back, melting into the dark.
“Bastard.” His words spun around inside my head as I ran my hand through my hair.
“Go, Jan,” Brennan said. “We waited too long for this. Go after him. Please.”
Five years. Five years chasing after him and when we finally had him cornered, I’m the one left to decide. Decide between catching a well-known serial killer or saving my best friend who’d been with me long before that guy’s victims were nothing more than small animals.
Bren tried to reason with me. “More than anyone, I don’t want him to get away‒ not after he made my family one of his victims. If you die too, who’s left to go after him? Don’t add yourself to his body count.”
In the last five years he’d been active, he’d killed over ten people, trapping them in various contraptions. Who would be next? A stranger? Someone we knew? Or maybe even us, right now?
“For Christ’s sake, Jan‒”
Before he could say anymore, I took aim at the chain. Bren angled his body away when I fired. Even breaking my promise, there was no way I wouldn't still try. However, my bullets did nothing to the metal. “Damn it, why?” The lock on the cuff looked too sturdy to shoot and I’d risk blowing a hole in his foot than actually freeing him.
“We both know what has to happen,” Bren said. He gave me a firm gaze. “It’s time for you to go, partner.”
It took a long time to answer, time I could have spent getting away from the bomb’s radius or catching up to Alastor, but I couldn’t bear the thought of leaving him here to die. Finally, I sighed with a shaky breath. “Okay.”
“Good. Hey, at least I get to see my family again,” Bren’s words only made my heart sting even more. “You better catch him for me, Jan. Okay?”
“I will. I… I promise.”
I pulled the key from my pocket and put in the lock, Bren watching my every move to make sure I didn’t back out. Guilt curled around my heart and my hands wouldn't stop shaking as I opened the door.
I ran out, clenching my jaw as I pretended not to hear Brennan muttering prayers behind me, the last seconds of his life swallowed by the explosion.