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Charles gazes up at the stone white mansion and is surprised to find that the house does not reveal anything out of the ordinary from the outside. Paul had called him and told him to come as fast as he could; this was no ordinary crime is what he had said in an oddly anxious voice over the phone. But a crime scene doesn’t always have blood or debris scattered around in a 20 metre radius Charles reminds himself. In fact, a criminal with any common sense would try to leave no trace of the crime visible to others; otherwise the police would be upon him in a matter of minutes. Charles, now quite annoyed with his naivety turns to his assistant, Martin.
“Let’s hope we don’t have another murder on our hands, it would be the third one just this week”
“I wouldn't be surprised if it is” Martin mutters “Paul sounded pretty stressed out on the phone”
Charles sighs and walks along the gravel path towards the door with Martin on his heels. He pushes the wooden door and it creaks as it opens, he strides inside. Paul, standing with two other persons beside the staircase looks up at him with relief. “We’ve been waiting for you Charles, this is Rachel and Greg” He nods to his left at a brunette lady and nods to his right at a short, stocky man with black hair. “Hi” Charles smiles at them
They don’t smile back.
“Right then, Rachel will show you two up to the, um… scene” he says
Rachel nods at Charles and Martin, Charles notices the look of respect and admiration she gives him, it doesn’t surprise him. He is after all the best detective in London and has solved the fourth highest amount of murders in Europe.
“Follow me” Rachel says They walk up the stairs in silence. Charles observes the peculiar paintings on the wall, a painting of an axe, a red sunset, a black frog with a white tongue, Charles frowns at the one at the top of the stairs. A small girl holds a teddy bear with her mouth ripped upwards on the sides to make it appear as if she is grinning, but the blood trickling down onto her chin makes the smile somewhat less convincing. Charles looks away from the disturbing painting but cannot rid himself of the ghastly image of the girl, now imprinted into his brain.
“The owner of this house is quite disturbing” Martin says “Or was, if he is now dead”
He raises his eyebrows at Rachel but she shakes her head.
“We don’t know where or who the owner of this house is”
The house creaks eerily, almost in response to say it has no owner. After a couple of minutes of walking, Rachel stops them; she nods at the ominous black door in front of them.
“Inside here” she whispers
Charles exchanges a worried look with Martin and presses his hand on the gold plated door handle and pushes down. The door opens easily with no sound and a revolting smell enters his nostrils. Charles peers in. Four severed heads with bloody smiles fixated on their faces grin back at him, each one stuck on the end of a spear protruding from the ground. Martin gasps and takes a step back. Crimson blood lays splattered everywhere, on the floor, walls and ceiling. Charles looks around at the once white room; it has no furniture or windows. Just a bulb hangs from the ceiling, illuminating the horrifying, sneering faces of the heads, with a pool of blood spewed down beneath them. A blood drenched note is stuck to the far wall, it displays two words, HELP ME. For a moment, Charles is too shocked to say anything but finally, he manages to regain his senses and turns to Rachel who is white in the face, staring at the hellish scene. “These have been here for more than a day” he says “You may as well stop searching the local area for the criminal, he’ll be long gone by now”
Rachel tears her eyes away from the devil’s bedroom.
“Paul has told us to search the house for anything of interest”
Martin, mostly recovered from his shock, nods towards the room.
“The rest of them, for a start”
“Yes, I’ll look on the floor beneath us” she says
Rachel closes the door of the crimson room.
“We don’t want the stench spreading into the whole house”
Without another word, she scurries down the stairs, leaving Charles and Martin to inspect the current floor. Charles turns to Martin.
“I’ll go along this corridor, you go the other way”
Charles walks along the burgundy carpeted corridor and wonders what kind of sick person would do this, the heads belong to a man, a woman and a surely innocent boy and girl, he checks every door as he passes. He finds nothing but ordinary bedrooms, studies and- Charles stops before a partly open old oak door, feeling a chilling wind seeping out. Charles shudders from the cold wind from oblivion, the window must be open… Charles enters the room and stops abruptly, the window is tightly closed, yet the air still chills his spine. He looks around the bathroom and his attention is diverted from the window towards the bath tub with the shower curtain drawn across it. He steps up to it. His eyes widen and he starts at a loud thud behind him, it must be Martin knocking over some furniture he thinks to himself.
Charles shakes his head to himself and draws the shower curtain back. The woman in the bath tub had been dead for a long time. She is purple and swollen, and her glassy, huge eyes, like marbles are fixed on Charles’. She gives him a toothy grin, her mouth pulled back in a grimace. Charles shrieks but no audible sound escapes his lips. The corpse begins to lift herself up, her dead marble eyes still fixated on Charles’. Charles rockets to the door and turns the door handle, it is locked. He imagines the bloated woman coming for him, hands outstretched. Panicking, he tries kicking the door but to no avail. Charles takes a deep breath and hears nothing but silence, still facing the door, he starts to come to the conclusion that he had just been hallucinating. It had been a long day or he had been drugged… Charles notices the key protruding in an inviting manner from the key hole. He shakes his head at his own stupidity; he was probably losing his grip on sanity. He calms his nerves and is just turning the key, when the stinking, damp hands close softly around his throat and he is turned ruthlessly around to stare into that grinning purple and dead face.
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