“No.” I mustered. There’s no way that Johnny did this. Johnny was insane and practically evil, but I knew that there just was no way that he’d kill somebody and leave them there for the cops to find. I looked up at Taz. “He didn’t do this.” Even saying the words I didn’t entirely believe them. I suppose that a few more months of perpetual dancing with Tina could have distorted Johnny’s veracity enough to make him get sloppy, or rather, to get sloppier.

His face dropped a little at the argument. “There’s almost no chance that he didn’t do this Sammy. Johnny had a thirty-eight registered in his name. It was the same weapon used on the victim.”

Well, that’s for damn sure. I had seen the wrong end of that Gun one too many times myself.

“Look here.” I scanned down to where his index finger had laid on one of the other photos of the girl’s shoulder blade. And there it was, clear as day.

It was a burn mark- a disgustingly familiar burn in the shape of Johnny’s ring- the infinity symbol that was also tattooed on his right bicep- like a brand. My face began to burn at the sight, and my mind began to wander back toward the unmentionable terrors of Christmas Eve and the weeks that followed. I again looked toward the mirror at the face of the marred demon who glared back at me with a sinister grimace but quickly drew my attention away from the beast, and returned to the mess at hand.

I thought I was going to implode. Johnny really was a murderer. Not just a torturous, sadistic, maniacal menace to society but, really, a murderer. Now I knew it, and Taz knew it from the look on my face, not to mention the overwhelming amounts of physical evidence he and the other lackeys of the Department apparently possessed. Diana Raherty, unfortunately, also knew it. I just couldn’t comprehend how this bizarre conundrum pieced together.

The End

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