Hospitals. What a freakin waste of time and money. The doctors don't even know what the heck they're doing. Poking me with needles, probing me with their money grubbing little hands. What creeps.
Good news! No permanent damage was done to my leg.
Bad news! There is a LOT of temporary damage. The majority of it being pain, of course.
Charlie has been feeling all guilty, and has been awfully quiet. I'm sure she's glad I came. I mean, if I hadn't, we may have visited a morgue instead of a hospital today. Usually I'd rather visit a morgue, but considering that Charlie would have been in that coffin...yeah, I'd prefer this.
I'm at my desk now, looking through every file we got on the Knight. Not fun. But the outcome should be worth it. Then again, I'll go to jail...
I glance over at the picture frame that rests on the corner of my desk. In it, lies a picture of my wife. My dead wife. Then I remember.
It's worth it.
I shift my eyes back to the files. The Knight has killed thirteen people, now. But not once. Not once, has he ever left a poem or any sort of note before. Why start now? Is this really the Knight? Or is this a copycat of some sort?
I pick up the case file and look at pictures of the murder scene. The heart that laid against the wall wasn't anything different from what the Knight had done previously. It's typical for him to take out the heart, or some other organ.
I think it is the Knight. Still, the question of the poem remains...
Wait a second. Is the Knight...taunting me? I turn my seat and remember back to the investigation five years ago. The Knight must have known that I was leading the investigation. And we were getting somewhere, I'm telling you. Then all of a sudden, he killed my wife. He's playing with me now! He knows I hate him and want him dead! Now he's toying with me! That's why he's leaving notes! That must be it!
No Mendrick, that's silly! He doesn't even know that you're leading the investigation...
Suddenly, my phone rings. "Mendrick," I say, trying to sound busy.
"This is Officer King," a familiar voice says.
"Oh crap. Mr. King, I'm done. Charlie and I explained everything we could to you down at the hospital."
"That's not it," he says.
I pause. "Then what is it?"
"We have another murder."
"Mr. King, we're a little busy trailing the Knight."
"Oh crap. Oh crap. He didn't."
"Where are you?"
Pretty place for a murder, I have to admit. I walk across the wet grass and duck under the yellow tape.
Oh crap. He didn't. He didn't!
In the dirt, lays an old man. Wrinkled, and bloody. A mace smeared in blood lays by his side. The Knight beat an old man to death with a mace. What a heartless demon!
I turn to Mr. King, who looks very solemn and upset. "Do we know that the Knight did this?" I ask trying to keep my eyes off of the murder scene.
"Not necessarily. But we have this," he says, motioning for one of the forensic guys.
A man with blood covered gloves approaches me and hands me a zip-up back. In it, sits a note. A note that reads:
My horse had been lamed in the foot
In the rocks at the back of the run,
So I camped at the Murderer's Hut,
At the place where the murder was done.
The walls were all spattered with gore,
A terrible symbol of guilt;
And the bloodstains were fresh on the floor
Where the blood of the victim was spilt.
The wind hurried past with a shout,
The thunderstorm doubled its din
As I shrank from the danger without,
And recoiled from the horror within.
When lo! at the window a shape,
A creature of infinite dread;
A thing with the face of an ape,
And with eyes like the eyes of the dead.
With the horns of a fiend, and a skin
That was hairy as satyr or elf,
And a long, pointed beard on its chin --
My God! 'twas the Knight himself.
My eyes shoot open at the last line, and I feel like vomiting. The sound of a waterfall nearby is my only comfort. Wait a second. A waterfall?
"So do you think this is the Knight?" King asks.
I put a finger to his lips. "Shut up and listen."
He blinks then leans a little to the left, listening carefully. I shush the forensic guys, who are being rudely loud. I strain to listen. A waterfall indeed.
"Waterfall," I mutter.
"So?" King asks.
"Remember what the note says?! Mountains toppling evermore, into seas without a shore."
King frowns. "You memorized the poem?"
"That's beside the point!" I yell angrily. "Think! A waterfall flows off of what?"
"And typically, pieces of the mountain fall into the water below. Does the 'sea' have a 'shore'?"
"Technically not, I suppose. What are you getting at, Mendrick?"
I ignored his question then turned to one of the forensic guys. "Hey, do you happen to know if there are any like...uhh...geysers nearby?"
He shakes his head like an idiot. So incompetent.
King taps my shoulder impatiently. "What are you getting at?"
I turn to him and shh him angrily. Then I turn to another forensic doctor. "How about you? Do you happen to know if there is a geyser or something around here?"
"As a matter of fact, I do. There's a small, but pretty powerful geyser in that direction," he says, pointing in the direction of the waterfall.
"Thank you," I say, my heart racing.
"What-" King begins.
I spin around. "Don't you see? 'Seas that restly aspire, surging unto skies of fire'! That's the poem! The Knight didn't just give us that note for nothing! He told us where the next murder would be!"
"So you're saying that this note," he lifts the note as he speaks, "is telling us where the next murder will take place?"
"I'd bet my life on it!"
King frowns then glances at the note again. "But this doesn't really describe any kind of place."
I take the note from him and read it over carefully. "You're right, except for the rocky terrain where the horse was 'lamed in the foot'. Does Murderer's Hutt mean anything to you?"
King takes a minute to think, then shakes his head.
Wait a second. The thunderstorm...he mentions a thunderstorm. I got it! I look up at King. "He's going to murder someone during a thunderstorm!"
King's eyes open widely. "You're good," he says with a half-smile.
"I'm paid to be," I say with a smirk.