“I’ve been a bad girl and he’s helping me to be better. I’m learning what it means to be good. It’s sitting up straight, eating my vegetables, and doing everything he tells me to. I am safe–“
The writing is shaky, the letters barely legible at points. I sit it down and glanced away. I had to stop reading, knowing what happened to this woman soon after the note was written made my stomach turn.
“Poor detective. It’s tough dealing with such atrocities for so long. Twenty-five years of it, how do you even manage?”
My eyes are drawn to his cell. He’s sitting close to the bars, staring at me with that same intense look that makes me shift. I don’t know why I’m back here talking to him about the girl, her murder, or the string of other murders this psycho killer was doing. Something had drawn me back to him. I glance away.
“Alcohol, coffee, and cigarettes.”
I don’t meet his eyes because I can’t right now. The girl’s body, posed like a Barbie doll in that field, abdomen torn and flesh mutilated, was fresh in my mind. He’d pinned the note to her, careful to leave no prints or evidence. It was innocence ruined and then prettied up.
“Bad for you, detective. You’ll die young at that rate.”
Something in his voice drew my gaze back to his. He pinned me with his eyes, and looked into my soul. That unblinking look, one of a killer, but filled with some kind of longing that scared me in other ways.
“You can’t die young…” he smiled at me and my heart quickened. “Not before your time.”
I swallowed at the veiled meaning in his words. I needed to stop coming to see him. My mind was messing with me.
“I need to go.”
“I’ll see you real soon, detective. Tell your killer I said hello.”
His words followed me as I left the block. I tried not to wonder at them hours later.