A desolate house and a single broken child’s chair was all the police found upstairs.
The house had been deserted, clearly, for many weeks. The man who lived here was long gone, and only these memories remained. Underneath the house, they knew, would be grislier recollections by far. Evidence that he had been here, and gone, and eluded them once more. He always used houses with basements, as though he liked to layer his artistry in some very specific way. Above and below.
It was always the furniture that broke the policewoman’s heart. It always told its own story. This time a child’s chair, so it would be the remains of a child they found below. Once it had been a large mirror, such as a young woman might like, and sure enough it was that a female form, brutalised beyond recognition, was left behind. They had imagined him doing that, to her, while she looked in the mirror he left as his talisman, his little artistry.
Another time it had been a table laid out for a family meal. But what was rotting on the plates, and the bodies they found, told perhaps the worst story of all.
At least until this. This simple thing. A broken child’s chair, and therefore a broken child.
And yet again, he was head of the game and long gone. No doubt designing his next masterpiece as they salvaged what little evidence they could from this.
A broken child’s chair and a broken child.
(c) Helen M Valentina 2016