The man now rips back the tape from Stephen’s mouth, taking part of his moustache off with it. He tastes blood. The tape has ripped off some skin. The man then picks up the phone next to the bed, lays the mouthpiece on the pillow next to Stephen’s mouth and proceeds to dial 911. He picks up Stephen’s bloody finger off the floor and uses it to write, “DON’T WASTE PEOPLE’S TIME” on the wall as the phone rings. He then calmly walks out of the room, whistling as if he has no care in the world. The song he is whistling is very familiar, but Stephen cannot place it. Stephen recognizes the sound of his back door opening and closing. The man is finally gone. As he starts to feel light-headed, he wonders if he is in a nightmare he cannot escape.
The tickle of the blood dripping down the side of his jaw brings him back to awareness. He hears the operator repeatedly asking if anyone is there. Stephen yells hoarsely into the phone as best as he can, “Please help me, there was a man here in my house! He killed my wife. He…..he hurt me. I’m bleeding and I’m tied up. Please hurry – I’ve lost a lot of…” As he drifts in and out of terrible dreams and thoughts, his mind keeps returning to his children. Did the man hurt them? Are they even alive? He prays that they will not find him like this. With tears now flowing along with the blood, he finally closes his eyes to the darkness of what has happened, his body numbing with the shock. Stephen passes out.
It takes almost ten minutes for the ambulance to arrive, followed shortly by the police. The police knock on the door at first, but hear nothing so they break down the door and rush into the house. They yell as they rush around the house, looking for the family, but no one responds.
The smell of copper from the bloody mess the murderer has left behind consumes them as they move up the stairs. With the medics behind them the police clear rooms one by one potentially destroying evidence. The master bedroom is the first room the paramedics enter upstairs as the door stands slightly ajar. There they find Stephen unconscious with blood dripping from the duct tape bandage on his right hand. His right cheek lies in a small pool of blood from his torn moustache. He is still duct taped to the bed and, next to him, lays his dead wife. The first officer in the room takes one look around and runs to the master bath and vomits up his lunch. Today is his first day, and the pen in her eye and the blood surrounding Stephen is just too much for him to handle.
The police officers go back into the hall to allow the medics to work on Stephen. James is fairly new to the force and has never seen such a violent crime. While he is upset that this happened to the family, he is also excited to be involved in what will likely be a big case for his station. His partner, Bob, is tired and waiting to retire soon. He is trying to pass on his knowledge to James, but feels that sometimes James lacks compassion for others.
James enters six year old Billy’s room. Above the red race car bed, Billy’s name is carved into a piece of driftwood. There are little green army men scattered around the floor as if it was the beaches of Normandy. James sees numerous trophies on his dresser top for various sports. James wonders how Billy could have slept through all the mayhem in his parents’ room. He doesn’t want to startle the boy as this is going to be a terrible night for him. The officer wants to take him out of the house before he can see anything that has happened to his parents just down the hall. He tries to lift the small boy up very carefully as not to wake him.
However, Billy isn’t ever going to wake up. Billy lays in James’ arms like a limp doll. The murderer had smothered him with his pillow and, after he was sure he was dead, he cut off his finger and thumb from his right hand. The lack of bruising around the cuts indicates Billy’s heart was not beating at the time. James says a silent prayer that his future children will never go through this and gently places the boy back down.
Written on the wall in blood, only visible after James turns on the car-shaped lamp, is, “LIKE FATHER LIKE SON”. James can only imagine what this monster has done to the little girl. Right then, he gets a huge lump in his throat as he sees Bob walk out shaking his head.
For some reason, James has to see this other room. Maybe by seeing the chaos, he can understand and control it. Sandy’s room is very upbeat. There are pink walls, a princess bedspread, and dozens of stuffed animals on her bed and dresser. He can feel her presence and happiness just by walking into her world. She is only three yet there she is having been smothered with her own pillow. Her finger and thumb are missing, and just like her brother, they were removed after she was murdered. Written in blood on the wall is, “WHORE JUST LIKE MOM”.
Bob drops to his knees and starts sobbing right there. He thinks of his grandchildren, who are about Sandy and Billy’s ages. What would he do if this ever happened to them? How could a human being do this to children? he thinks. James doesn’t know what to do except pat Bob on the shoulder. He is having the same thoughts, but isn’t as affected since his kids do not exist yet.
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Genre – Mystery / Thriller
Rating – PG