L is for Love (A Serial Killer Story)

July 18th

“This couldn’t be happening again.” Scarlett thought as she sat silent in the corner of the warehouse. She didn’t know what went wrong or when, but Viktor was not where he was supposed to be and Scarlett was badly injured. It was her job to lure the two men to the warehouse where Viktor was supposed to be waiting with two women. They decided to get all the rage out of their systems and take one of each sex, but Viktor nor the two women were there. Scarlett could hear the echoing of her victims’ shoes on the cement floor. The toxin Flow had given her had run out and she hadn’t thought she needed more than she brought. She had plenty more in the box at home, but that did her no good. It was like Samuel all over again, only now there were two and they weren’t anywhere near the inside of a furnace. She sat holding her eye. One of the men, Blair, had come to consciousness much too soon and caught Scarlett off guard. He hit her across the face with a piece of rebar and it split her scar open perfectly. She was bleeding profusely and she couldn’t see out of her left eye. She was convinced Viktor set her up and decided it was time to fight. She wiped the blood off her face as much as she could and stepped out from behind the crates. Blair and Doug were at the other end of the warehouse. She picked up two loose pieces of rebar on the floor. She crept as quietly as she could around the crates until she was just behind them. She raised her arms to strike and then everything went black and she felt herself falling to the floor.    

Viktor knew something was wrong. For one thing, neither Scarlett nor either of her victims were at the warehouse. He knew he was late but he expected her to be there. The second clue was the blood on the floor next to the rebar he found. There was bright red hair attached to the metal and skin intertwined in the end. There were four sets of footprints in the dust on the floor and once he put it all together he felt the blood rise to his face and instinct took over. He injected the two drugged women with his signature serum and shoved their bodies into a shipping crate set to travel to South Africa in the morning. He had taken the time to find a lock exactly like the one on the crate, cut the original off and replaced it once the bodies were inside. He cleaned the blood the best he could with the bleach he found in the hazard cabinet. He relocked the front doors and took off towards the river. He wasn’t sure how but he knew exactly where to go.

The city was dead when she finally gained consciousness so she figured it was nearly five thirty in the morning. She wasn’t moving but from the landscape she could tell she was on something that was. She scanned her surroundings and realized she was on a small barge heading south towards the gulf. She tried to stand and realized her legs and wrists were bound and a puddle of crying blood lay under her face. The back of her head stung awfully. She grimaced in pain as she tried to sit up.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” a voice said. The voice was very familiar but she couldn’t distinguish it. It sounded like someone she had heard before yet it was a different accent. “You sustained a pretty good blow to the head, compliments of me of course.” All Scarlett could see of her attacker was his shoes and she thought they looked like kitchen shoes, the kind you wear so you don’t slip when working in a kitchen. “I didn’t want it to come to this but I see no other way. Ever since the first day you set foot in this town people have been disappearing. I never thought you would be responsible.” She felt his hands lift her to the sitting position and she was able to see her captor. Her eyes widened as she realized the man standing infront of her was the very same kitchen hand that had given her directions to the funeral home the first day she had arrived. He wasn’t speaking the same nor was he dressed as such. He looked more like a gangster than a kitchen hand now. She looked at him confused and he laughed at her. “This is my city love and no one, not even a woman as beautiful and ruthless as you is going to take it from me.” He leaned down and kissed her on the cheek which made her want to vomit. Whoever this man really was and what he had in store for her she didn’t care. All she was concerned with was escaping. “I took the liberty of disposing your victims for you. You should choose better, you wouldn’t have been able to take them alone.” She was astonished.
“Who the hell are you?” She finally asked with bitter resentment in her voice. He laughed again.
“Me?” He shrieked, “I am the master of this city and you and all your little friends are ruining it for me. I have been ruling the murder circle in this town for over twenty years.” The barge docked across the river and suddenly Scarlett was terrified. She thought they were heading for the coast but she was wrong. “Time to go sweetness” He said as he slid a bag over her head. She struggled as much as she could but the smell over powered her and everything went black again.

There was a large colored woman sitting on the couch when Viktor arrived. He hadn’t been expecting to see anyone besides Scarlett and her captor but they apparently had yet to arrive. He froze in the doorway with the door still open behind him. A young woman entered the room with a cup of steaming liquid and from the smell, it was lavender tea. She bowed politely to him as she passed without missing a step, like they had been expecting him. The older woman looked at him with an expression that softened his demeanor in seconds. He closed and locked the door behind him and took a seat across from the two women. They sat in silence for over a minute before Viktor went to speak but was cut off immediately.
“No questions,” the older woman began, “I will tell you what you need to know and nothing more.” Viktor relaxed into the chair for a second only to be jerked upright again as Ms. Launa walked into the room from another door that must have lead to the basement. Viktor knew what was down there, still down there. He doubted any of the neighbors even realized Cassie had yet to come home again. Her house had sat dormant and uninhabited, or so Viktor had thought. He must have looked confused for Ms. Launa sat next to him and put her hand on his shoulder.
“Just listen my son.” She said softly, “We are here with good intentions. Flow will explain.” Viktor turned his head to get a better look at the woman who played mother to Scarlett as Ms. Launa had to him. Flow smiled and nodded to her sister. Flow stood and Viktor was taken aback by the extreme size of the woman.  She held her cup with both hands and turned back to the group as she paced the room.
“Launa and I have another sibling,” she began quietly, “I’ll make this as quick as I can. We don’t have much time so please refrain from interrupting me for any reason; like I said before I will tell you everything you need to know.” She took a sip of her tea and set the cup down. She took a deep breath and continued, “Our older brother lives here in the Quarter as well as we do. He works as a kitchen hand in one of the restaurants there. I won’t tell you which one for it matters not. He is just as skilled as Launa and I in what we do, more so even. Our father taught him well and focused his study on the evil, although we are educated as well, we mainly use our talents to,” she paused looking for the right word, “help, I guess you could say, other people.” Viktor was confused. Flow helped Scarlett kill innocent people, in a way, by supplying her and she said she was helping others. He opened his mouth and remembered what Flow had said about interruptions and closed it again. She nodded and continued again, “It may not seem like it, but Scarlett does have a system for choosing victims. They are never fully innocent, well I don’t know about her past but since she has been with me she is required to leave all naturally innocent people be.” She turned and faced Viktor head on, “as from now on you should as well.” She was very stern yet still loving in her tone. Viktor nodded and Flow smiled. He looked quickly to see if Launa was disappointed to learn he was a killer, but she just patted his knee and smiled like her sister. He couldn’t be more confused. “Let’s move on,” Flow said getting back on track, “They’ll be here any time now. I have acquired information that our dear brother was as a mentor to your dear little sister just as much as I am to Scarlett. He is not very happy about her killing his protégé student. I don’t know how but he has her and is bringing her here to kill her in return for Cassie.” Viktor began to get up when Launa put her hand on his shoulder and shook her head indicating to stop his actions. He did so. It was like he could do nothing but what Launa wanted if she was touching him. He began to put things together and Flow noticed. “Launa, Audrianna, and I are here to make sure that doesn’t happen. Your job is to get Scarlett and to get her back to my shop. Audrianna will take you and tend to Scarlett. She is hurt but we don’t know how badly. Our brother is a malicious man. Now, when they come through that door Scarlett will most likely be unconscious so you will have to carry her. Take the Barge back to the Quarter; we have our own way back.” She sat down and let out a long sigh.
“Is that everything?” Viktor asked sitting up again. He wanted more information but the only thing that mattered right now was Scarlett. He hated his little sister now more than ever. Even dead she was a bitch.
“Not quite.” This time it was Ms. Launa who spoke, “Whatever you see going on, do not worry about us. We can take care of ourselves. Our brother may be stronger than us individually but not collectively and Audrianna has taken care of laying out traps for him and safeguards for yourselves. Trust us and trust your instincts. Nothing is off limits here.” She smiled and kissed his forehead gently. “Via con Dios hito.”
Viktor was shocked to learn that Ms. Launa knew Spanish. He had picked up plenty living in New Mexico. Apparently there was a lot he didn’t know about Ms. Launa. A sound came from behind the door and they all stood and took their positions. Flow motioned to Viktor to take his behind the door so he would be hidden when it opened. Audrianna was just inside the kitchen out of view from the front door. Flow and Launa were standing in the living room in separate corners hidden by the shadows that were quickly fading with the sunrise. The door opened and a man, easily six foot six and stick thin walked in dragging Scarlett by her hair. Viktor was infuriated but held his position. The man dropped Scarlett on the floor and she hit her face so hard it bounced. He could see the blood dripping from her face and suddenly a force filled the room. The door slammed shut and an unexplainable wind rushed through the room. It rustled Scarlett’s hair and Viktor smelled sweet orange. At least she wasn’t dead; she smelled like she did when she was alive. The man spun full circle and Flow and Launa stepped out from the shadows simultaneously.
“Bonjour Karnak.” They spoke in perfect unison that echoed through the room in a bone chilling tone. The man named Karnak stood completely still and glared at the two women with complete and utter hatred. He spat on the floor.
“You know I no longer go by that wretched name.” He smiled with his mouth full of missing teeth. “Did you girls come to join the celebration? I could always take you two down memory lane to when you were thirteen back in the village.” He sneered and his smile got even bigger. The two women showed no reaction to his insult. Whatever happened would remain a secret to Viktor for the time being. Karnak stepped toward the sisters and away from Scarlett. He wanted to run to her but held until the signal was given. Audrianna was moving out of the kitchen to be behind Karnak while remain out of his sight.
“This will go on no longer.” Launa said stepping forward. Karnak laughed and spat again.
“Well look here!” He chortled, “Little sis is stepping up first. What’s the matter Florincina? Scared your reflexes are getting too slow for me?” Flow smiled at the attempted insult.
“My dear brother,” she began stepping forward with her sister, “you are a good ten years older than I. I am simply shocked you are able to still stand, but then again I guess father taught you how to extend your youth, as mother did to us. It won’t last forever brother.” Flow’s voice was full of impish malice. She was utterly enjoying this situation. “Give her to us and you can live.” She gave the ultimatum as she and Launa came to a halt just behind two chairs, no doubt for cover later on. Karnak stopped walking just inside the furniture circle. He was now closer to his sisters than to Scarlet and Viktor. He inched forward in a head start position. Audrianna was now level with Viktor out of sight behind Karnak. She moved as silently as a specter and it sent a shiver down Viktor’s spine. Karnak laughed again from the base of his gut. It echoed through the room so loud it almost hurt Viktor’s ears. Then small gusts of air started flying past Viktor in every direction. No one was moving but any loose fabric was flickering in the random directions of the multiple gusts. The three siblings stood completely still glaring at each other.  Karnak cynically smiled while the women wore concentrated faces. They showed no emotion. They nodded in unison and Audrianna slowly raised her arms and an invisible force filled the room surrounding the siblings. Karnak stumbled losing his eye contact and glanced over his shoulder and saw Audrianna. He glared with contempt at her.
“Hello Uncle.” She said smiling sweetly. “You should have learned by now.” He intensified his glare on her and she stumbled giving him a second to get back on his feet but by now Flow and Launa were chanting something in a language Viktor had never heard and Karnak appeared to be frozen in his feet. He turned back to his sisters with malice.
“So you have a bastard daughter do you Florincina?” He hissed. “Even with a virgin I am still stronger than all of you! Just because your innocent powers were taken from you many moons ago doesn’t mean she can make up for it. Father and I took yours and no matter what you do you will never get it back!” He was shrieking and flailing. It almost looked like he was in pain. Viktor crept forward quietly on his hands and knees toward Scarlett as Audrianna began sliding silently in the same intent. Flow and Launa finished chanting and looked up and smiled with complete content.
“Very well,” the sisters and daughter spoke together, “good luck and goodbye.” Flow and Launa nodded and Audrianna and Viktor grabbed Scarlett and ran for the door. When he looked back from the barge all Viktor could see was the dark outline of a small house that was filled with a red light that blended perfectly with the roses in the rising sun. Then everything went black.

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