“These days no-one can just kill anyone anymore,” Jason said with distaste. “They have to make a show of it, something arty and pretentious.”
He had a point. I looked at the sign scrawled in blood on the wall: “Help me”. We’d seen this a few times before now, always at the scene of a bloodied and obviously painful death. Always written in the victim’s blood, and possibly by them while they were still alive because the handwriting was always different.
Did the victims think scrawling this was somehow a sign of hope? Did they think the killer was giving them a chance? How cruel if so, for they never did have that chance.
“It remains to be seen what help this one supposedly needed” I said.
As Jason had observed, serial killers these days like to tell stories. They were frustrated novelists or screen writers perhaps. This one had a narrative built around the already existing hopelessness of his victims. After the first few the pattern and revealed itself. A drug addict, a prostitute, a politician recently fallen from grace. What would this victim need death for, what kind of help or release?
It was a girl, a very young girl by the looks of things. I had a bad feeling about it. Something instinctual whispered to me that perhaps she had been a victim of something else before she was a victim of this. Predators come in all shapes and sizes, but when the victims were close to childhood they usually had one thing in common. Perhaps our killer really thought he was helping her out.
And this time perhaps he was. Though it was a hell of an alternative.
“I can guess what she might have needed to escape,” Jason answered me, showing his jaded sensibility was as grey and shadowy as mine.
“Yes” I replied “So can I.”
I looked at the scrawled words with a fresh eye.
“God help us all.”
(c) Helen M Valentina 2017