MONSTER, a short story by poetrygirl. Date added: 2011-10-11. Times viewed: 649.
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- Intro: A story about a serial killer who is prowling the streets of modern day London
A SHORT STORY
Reunited in heaven
They rest in peace
Whilst down in the hell fire
The monster never sleeps.
At 11am on 3rd August 2009, Jenny Mack’s corpse was discovered by her cleaner at her mansion house in St John’sWood, North London. She was 45 years old.
Lying naked, face down in the bath, her wrists slashed with a razor, Deborah let out a piercing scream.
On the bath mat lay three empty blister packets of Diazepam and an empty bottle of Cristal champagne.
Exactly two months earlier Jenny had buried her daughter .The wealthy widow of notorious gangster, Johnny Mack, Jenny was prepared for her husband’s death but never in a million years did she expect to be burying her only daughter.
3rd June 2009
Her tears, like razor blades
slash her cheeks
in sync with the sleet
stabbing the crispy autumn leaves
scattered round her feet.
“Sweet dreams Katie”, Jenny whispers, choking back the tears. She drops a single pink rose onto her daughter’s coffin and as she walks away hears a chilling thud as the grave diggers nonchantly toss fat clods of wet mud onto her beloved daugther’s grave. It’s just a job to them she ponders fleetingly.
Her beautiful daughter
Lies in her grave
Raped and murdered
By a beast so depraved
The men smoke and joke amongst themselves as this heartbroken, grieving mother, walks away from the graveside, her face buried in a crumpled Kleenex tissue, and steps into her chauffeur driven car. Uber glam and perfectly groomed, as usual - black Chanel suit, long platinum hair ( ironed to within an inch of its life), killer Jimmy Choos and her signature Gucci sunglasses - except today her usual steely mask has dramatically slipped. Thank god for waterproof mascara she thinks to herself as she carefully dabs fat tears from her bloodshot eyes.
The Bentley accelerates off into the London traffic. Shaking like a leaf, Jenny reaches for the mini bar and knocks back a mini bottle of Glenmorangie whisky.
Meanwhile, at her daughter’s wake the mourners are tucking into mini fish and chip cones, smoked salmon bilinis and mini French tarts, washed down with champagne. Katie had always been a party girl and lived life to the full. Jenny knew that it was what her daughter would have wanted. But, she just could not bring herself to celebrate her life. She was still mourning her death.
The service had been beautiful but it had taken all of Jenny’s strength to maintain her composure. Inside she was screaming and her heart felt like it had been shredded with a cheese grater.
Flopping back into the cream leather seat, Jenny closes her eyes and drifts into a deep sleep. It has been a harrowing day and she is exhausted.
Suddenly, the radio bursts into life and Jenny is stunned to hear that there has been a plane crash at Heathrow. Miraculously, there are two survivors, both of them clinging to life by a thread.. One of them is Harry Sinclair. A chill creeps down Jenny’s spine....
Six months earlier
It was early December 2008 when shocking rumours had spread that a serial killer was stalking the streets of the West End. Five women in their late teens to mid forties had vanished over the course of a two week period in a ten mile radius. The Metropolitan Police had originally tried to dismiss the rumours saying that the women’s disappearances were unrelated.
However, when their mutilated bodies were discovered on 16th December washed up along the Embankment near Charing Cross Station the news headlines spoke for themselves:
Five naked bodies
Have just been found
Dumped in the Thames
Gagged and bound
The police suspected that their killer could be a London cabbie and warned women not to get into any unlicensed cabs or walk around late at night on their own.
The chilling question was not if but when would the killer strike again? Detectives were working round the clock and all leave had been cancelled. They needed to catch their man before he killed again.
It was only eight days until Christmas and the office parties were already in full swing. The bars and restaurants were packed with party revellers. Meanwhile, another body had just been found at a residential address in Knightsbridge, wrapped in bin bags and dumped in the owner’s rubbish bin.
As Scene of Crime officers combed the scene, office workers were heading out to bars across the city.
In a pub tucked away in a side street in Soho Katie was meeting friends for drinks after work. It was a Friday night and it had been a long week. Katie had been working round the clock on an advertising campaign for a new Prada perfume, which was to be launched in the New Year. She had been in a meeting all afternoon with her Account Director. He had been really impressed with her work and hinted at a promotion. She had been with the agency, STORM PR for five years, working her way up from a Secretary to an Account Executive. She loved her job and couldn’t wait to share her good news with her friends.
It was that evening when their paths first crossed He was alone, propping up the bar, sipping his usual – vodka on the rocks. His work mates had just made their excuses and left – meeting the wives and girlfriends, going away to their country bolt holes for the weekend. But the night was still young and so was he. A few feet away Catherine Harrison was having a night out with her work mates, chatting animatedly and sipping a nice chilled glass of white wine.
As the girls looked around the bar to check out the talent Katie spotted him instantly! She had always had a thing for good looking black men and this man was stunning!
Harry Sinclair’s eyes were like pools of melting chocolate and his flawless ebony skin, chiselled cheekbones and buff body wouldn’t look out of place on the catwalk. The boy set hearts a flutter wherever he went.
Less than three hours later they are lying in bed at his apartment in Blackheath bathed in sweat and a warm post coital glow, sharing a line of coke.
As Catherine floats out of his flat the following morning, towards the station, the butterflies in her tummy are doing cartwheels. She is on top of the world. The sex was orgasmic and Harry had even made her breakfast – fresh coffee and handcrafted almond croissants (he had popped to the artisan bakery across the road especially for her while she had taken a quick shower ). She felt really touched by his thoughtfulness.
Inevitably, they arranged to meet up the following Saturday for brunch at a bar round the corner from her flat in Maida Vale and then went for a stroll down by the canal in Little Venice. He had brought her flowers and a box of exquisite handmade truffles from an exclusive chocolatier that she had just happened to mention in passing. The date went really well and, naturally, they ended up in bed again.
When he finally left her flat early Sunday evening Catherine felt like the cat who had got the cream but she was under no illusion that this was ever going to be anything other than a short fling. She was 26 and Harry was only 23 and besides she had only recently come out of a long term relationship with Simon. Harry was her rebound guy but she was loving every minute – he made her feel like a teenager all over again.
They spent a magical new year’s eve together and after that began to see each other at least two or three times a week. She hadn’t had this much fun in ages! The time they spent together was pure hedony – dancing in bars, smooching under the stars, candlelit champagne baths followed by hours of mind-blowing sex. So what if it wasn’t going to last forever, she was damn well going to enjoy the ride. But it did strike her as a bit peculiar that Harry asked her a lot of questions and seemed keen to know her life history but he kept his cards pretty close to his chest. But she was totally smitten by this tall dark and handsome stranger and his secretiveness only made her mystery man even more alluring. In fact, the only things she knew about him was that he was a freelance IT consultant and an only child. When she had tried to dig deeper he had became really defensive so she decided to leave it be.
And so it was their affair steamed ahead at fall pelt. Meanwhile, the bodies were piling up. On Valentine’s Day 2009 the grisly remains of three putrefying corpses were discovered in the basement of an empty off licence in Carnaby Street after a terrible stench was reported by the owners of the Chinese restaurant next door.
A few months later Catherine woke up at dawn one Sunday morning with the mother of all hangovers.. As she padded to the kitchen to get a glass of water and some painkillers she was suddenly projected back to reality with a nasty jolt. Her flat looked like a tip – clothes scattered like litter all over the floor, washing basket overflowing and empty bottles lined up like skittles hijacking the kitchen floor.
It was no use. She was going to have to end it with Harry. She had enjoyed the ride but it was time to call it a day and go out on a high. She made a pot of strong coffee to steady her nerves and dialled his number.
By the time she got out of the shower half an hour later she had two missed calls and ten text messages – all from Harry begging her to give him another chance and declaring his undying love. She knew that he had taken it badly but this was ridiculous – it was almost verging on bunny boiler territory! ‘Oh well, I’m sure he will get over it’ she thought as she pulled on her tracksuit bottoms, fleece and trainers and went for a run round the block to clear her head. On the way back she popped into the deli and decided to splash out on a special treat to cheer herself up and left ten pounds poorer carrying a goats cheese tartlet, rocket salad and a slice of vanilla cheesecake. She planned to spend the afternoon cleaning her flat, doing the washing then slapping on a face mask and having a long soak in the bath. She would then change into her fleecy jim jams and curl up by the fire with her new book.
As she turned the key in the latch, absorbed in her thoughts, she nearly jumped out of her skin when her home phone began ringing. ‘Withheld number’ flashed up on the LED display. She tentatively lifted the receiver but abruptly the line went dead.
Over the next couple of hours as she went about her chores, the phone rang three or four more times but she chose to ignore it. . However, she felt a sense of dread buried deep in the pit of her stomach. Whilst she and Harry had been dating there was something about him that just didn’t feel quite right - she had a feeling that he was a, slightly unhinged character but that just added to the excitement. He was her drug. And she was totally hooked. But now she was panicking – what if he was dangerous and meant her harm. No, she was being silly she told herself. She needed to get a grip and stop being such a drama queen.
But that night as she laid awake the memories came flooding back in waves, leaving her head spinning. She remembered the time that he had slapped her across the face when she had made a joke about him to the girls. It was the night she had first introduced him to her best friends Amy and Suze. He oozed charm and appeared to be the doting boyfriend until her friends left and they went back to his place. She was horrified and shocked when out of the blue he suddenly struck her across the face. Immediately he had apologised and said he didn’t know what had come over him. She accepted his apology but alarm bells were ringing loud and clear in her ears. She was obviously in denial and didn’t want to admit to what was staring her in the face. Instead of leaving immediately which her head was begging her to do, she listened to her heart who was making excuses for him, letting him off the hook while she took all the blame – it was her fault she had wound him up etc etc. She knew the signs of domestic violence Her friend was a battered wife and wasn’t it her who had finally persuaded Anna to leave her bullying husband. What a hypocrite she thought to herself but she just couldn’t help herself.
Of course he would never do it again. But he did. Again and again. She had become so worn down and had begun to lose her confidence. At one point when she was in the supermarket she ended up having a panic attack and had to literally abandon her half filled basket in the veg aisle and do a runner out of the store. By the time she arrived home she was shaking like a leaf and dripping with sweat. She shuddered at the memory.
Finally, she fell asleep just before dawn but an hour later was woken by the alarm. It was time for work. Forcing herself out of bed and a bowl of branflakes down her throat, she reflected on whether or not she should tell her mum what had been going on. The strain of keeping everything to herself was making her anxiety levels worse but at the same time she didn’t want to worry her.
I hate Monday mornings she thought as she headed to the tube. As she mentally went over her ‘To Do’ list for the day ahead a black BMW startled her when it drove slowly past bibbing its horn furiously. Catherine looked round and her heart instantly leapt into her mouth.
“Hi babe, was just passing, fancy a lift anywhere?” Harry asked breezily as if it was quite natural for him to be in the area at 7.30am on a Monday morning.
“Stop playing games Harry” she replied calmly although inside she was falling apart. “We both know that you weren’t just passing. Please just accept that the relationships is over and leave me alone.”
“I m sorry but I just can’t do that Katie” he retorted. You and I have got unfinished business so until you agree to go for dinner with me I’m not going anywhere”.
“Well you’re in for a bloody long wait then aren’t you” she snapped.
As he drove off Catherine composed herself and carried on walking to the tube where she bought herself a large skinny latte, extra hot with an extra shot to calm her nerves.
By the time she got to work she was so pre-occupied that she could not concentrate on her work and drifted through the day in a daze. Fortunately, her boss was not there. Her work colleagues were obviously concerned but when they asked if she was alright she just told them she was tired, nothing that a good night’s sleep wouldn’t cure.
At lunchtime she tentatively turned on her mobile and there were about twenty text messages all from Harry saying he loved her, he missed her, they were made for each other, without her he was nothing, he couldn’t live without her etc etc. She calmly turned the phone off and decided that when she got home that evening she would ring up 02, change her number and that would solve that problem. HA!
That evening, as she arrived home around 6.30pm, snowflakes were starting to fall. She was chilled to the bone but things were about to get even chillier. There on the doormat was a huge red envelope with a typed label. She tore it open and inside was a beautiful handmade card with a huge red love heart. Inside, the words read ‘TOGETHER FOREVER’.
Furiously, she tore the card to little shreds, opened the fridge, poured herself a large glass of wine and phoned 02.
She explained to the woman in Customer Services the reason why she wanted to change her mobile number and fifteen minutes later her old number was disconnected and she was given a shiny new one. She breathed a sigh of relief and topped up her wine glass.
But, no sooner had she hung up her home phone suddenly jumped into life. And abruptly stopped. Remaining calm and controlled she rang BT and changed her home number as well. She would email everybody the following day and just say she had been receiving nuisance calls so had changed her mobile and home number.
She made a mental note to block Harry from her email and Facebook the next day. Fortunately he hadn’t become a cyber stalker just yet. She was defiant now, her fear had turned to anger and there was no way this pathetic bastard was going to intimidate her and get the better of her.
As she left for work the next day the snow had started to settle and was coming down thick and fast now. She grabbed a latte from the cafe by the tube and headed towards the escalator down to the platform.
Stepping onto the escalator she felt a light nudge in her back. She turned round. It was Harry.
The next thing she knew she was lying dazed and confused at the bottom of the escalators surrounded by paramedics.
Weeks had turned into months and it was now mid May. Catherine woke up early one Saturday morning to go for her usual morning jog On the way back from her run in Paddington Rec she decided to stop at Belinda’s in Lauderdale Parade and treat herself to a large flat white and a rather scrummy Danish pastry.
She absolutely adored Belinda’s – it was a vintage cafe with gorgeous fine bone china crockery, wooden floor boards and vintage black and white prints decorated the walls. She loved the shabby chic theme and the coffee and cakes were to die for. As she took a seat by the window, the sky suddenly became overcast and fat drops of rain started to tip down onto the pavement. Catherine cradled the china cup decorated with little pink roses in her hands and suddenly remembered she needed to buy some cat food for Dudley.
At that moment a shadow loomed over her table and a familiar voice quietly said ‘”Hello Katie, long time no see”. Harry sunk into the chair opposite her, took off his baseball cap and looked straight into her eyes. She was stunned and startled as something sharp jabbed into her leg, sending shivers down her spine. . It was the blade of a knife.
Harry leaned into the table, his face inches away from hers, so close that she could feel his breath on her face. He kissed her roughly on the lips then grabbed her head, pulled her left ear towards him and in a whispered menacingly:
“I have a knife so don’t do anything stupid”. We are going to leave the cafe now so get up, don’t make a scene and everything will be just fine”.
Petrified, Catherine hurriedly grabbed her hand bag, almost sending the heavy oak table flying and left the cafe. It was tipping down outside. “Walk” Harry demanded and they started to walk down Lauderdale Parade. It was getting dark now and thunder and lightning were crashing round the sky. Catherine felt really frightened. A young couple walked past with their dog, she wanted to scream help but Harry was behind her with the blade of the knife firmly pointed into her back, making it clear who was in charge.
After they had been walking for about ten minutes or so they came to the entrance of an old Victorian house that looked like it was deserted A big rusty sign erected in the front garden warned:
NO TRESPASSERS KEEP OUT
.So many of the properties around Maida Vale had been sold off to developers who were turning them into swish flats for young professionals.
Katie noticed that a black cab was parked across the road from the driveway.
Could he be, not it couldn’t possibly be. This is just a bad dream. I will wake up in a minute,
Harry opened the gate and brusquely pushed Catherine in. The side gate to the house was hanging off its hinges and the pathway was littered with used hypodermic needles. Obviously, junkies and squatters had been using the property but there was no sign of life now. There was something decidedly eerie about the place, maybe it was haunted and the squatters had suddenly fled. As they passed the side of the house Catherine could hear a muffled cry coming from inside and the air temperature seemed to suddenly plummet.
At the bottom of the huge garden there was a dilapidated garden shed. With the knife still digging into her back Harry route marched her down to the shed and kicked the door which swung effortlessly open.
Inside he flipped on the light switch and took a vintage silver hip flask out of his jeans pocket and took a swig..
Catherine swiftly scanned the shed. It looked like it had been abandoned for years. The place was full of cobwebs, smelt musty and was crawling with woodlice. The floorboards were rotten and rat droppings littered the floor. In the corner of the shed she could see a rat’s tail poking out from behind a battered tin of creosote.
She realised that she was in grave danger. The colour had drained from her usual rosy cheeks and she looked white as a sheet, as though she had seen a ghost.
“Please Harry”, she begged “Let me go. I know you are angry with me but I don’t deserve this. You are frightening me. I want to go home”.
With that, Harry turned on her and in a flurry of rage slapped her across the face, cutting her left cheek with his signet ring. She winced.
She was starting to feel dizzy now, adrenaline was pumping furiously round her body and she felt dehydrated. Harry leered at her. Things were about to get a whole lot worse.
In utter horror she watched helplessly as he took off his jacket then started to slowly unbuckle his jeans belt before brutally raping her. But he wasn’t done with her yet. Not by a long chalk. He took another swig of whisky from the hipflask then hurriedly got dressed. Dragging her to her feet, he calmly told her to put her clothes back on then he would let her go.
As Katie ran to the door Harry started to laugh. How dare she dump him. He was going to make her pay. If he couldn’t have her then nobody would.
He grabbed her by the hair and dragged her across the floor. Next, he pushed her onto a filthy plastic garden chair where he bound her arms behind the back of the chair with rope and secured them tightly to the chair. Next he pulled a huge reel of duct tape from his back pocket and gagged her mouth. She could barely breathe. Harry had enjoyed every moment of this, watching the bitch suffer. Little did she realise that things were about to reach a terrifying conclusion. .
Stabbed in the stomach
With a carving knife
Just twenty six
When he took her life
The little heart pendant
She wore round her neck
He tore off her torso
As she took her last breath
He ripped out her heart
And sliced off her breasts
Then raging with anger
He hacked off her head
It would all be over in minutes... Harry will calmly strike a match before disappearing into the night.
Only a few hours from now Forensics will face the gruesome task of recovering Catherine’s charred remains – her skull and a few bones from the smouldering ashes.
An organised killer
He scrubbed himself clean
And no DNA
Was ever left at the scene
3rd June 2009
Over the next few weeks the remains of three more women were discovered. They had all been raped and strangled. All the victims were brunettes. Like Harry’s mother. How he hated the bitch. After his father had died when he was five, she had met a younger man who hated kids. He used to beat Harry and his mother never did a thing. She only took notice when he cooked the hamster in the microwave and later poisoned the dog with weed killer.
In the early hours of 3rd June, the police made a breakthrough when a terrified girl ran into the police station at Charing Cross after a man had tried to force her into his black cab. She had scratched him on the cheek and forensics had found his DNA under her finger nails.
By mid morning the police had confirmation that the DNA belonged to Harry Sinclair and were on the way to his house.
On the other side of London at Heathrow Airport Harry was parking his stolen cab in the long term car park. He would soon be boarding a flight to Rio to start a new life.
3rd July 2009
And so it was that exactly a month later, the monster opened his eyes and a stunning young nurse, who looked the spitting image of Katie, was standing at the end of the bed smiling and puffing up a pillow. Screaming in terror, two nurses came flying into his room but there was nobody there. He was high on morphine.
3rd August 2009
On 3rd August, Harry strangled his Doctor when he came to check on him in the early hours of the morning. Leaving his corpse tucked up in bed he made his escape dressed in the Doctor’s clothes and white coat. The police were alerted but by this time Harry was exiting the tube at St John’s Wood.
At 7.30am, the doorbell rang whilst Jenny was running her bath. A badly disfigured man wearing a baseball hat and sunglasses was standing on the doorstep.
Two hours later, as he crossed the road at Notting Hill Gate, there was a screech of breaks and a loud thud. When the police arrived they discovered a tattered wallet in his jacket. Inside they found a key, a tiny lock of long golden blond hair and a champagne cork wrapped in tissue.
The monster was on his way to hell.
Copyright © 2011 Anne Deborah Morgan
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