The man stood up from his squatting position on the floor and wiped his head with his forearm.
Blood smeared across grotesquely. The big man, breathing heavily, held his hands on his hips
effeminately. He smiled as he looked down at his work.
“All done,” he said, dusting his hands together.The motion was futile. He could not remove the
blood from his hands just by brushing them against each other. He was a creature of habit, so
the hand motion served as more of a finishing statement. He didn’t intend to literally clean his
hands. He had done this motion so many times, after his work, that it was just… a thing.
Besides, his right hand was cut, so without some first aid, the bleeding would continue.
“Gotta go,Bob,” he said. The man began to gather his tools. A small saw, hammer, and chef
knife were first into the bag. Then he untied Bob’s wrists’, wound up the bloody rope, and put it
into the bag. Next was the vial of tranquilizer and needle. He grabbed a plastic bag filled with his
trophy and tucked it into the side pocket of his bag. Lastly, the man grabbed his extra-large
flashlight and turned it off. He slipped it into the bag and moved to the doorway. He looked back
at the dead, bloody pile of human flesh, muscle, and bones. The man smiled and tipped an
“Thanks for a good time.” He left the room, closing the door behind him.
Michael Taylor stood outside the abandoned house.This Friday afternoon the Oakland,
California sun was being lazy, letting the clouds win their daily battle, overcasting the sky. It was
an even 66 degrees that day in May, which lent well to standing outside for hours. The police
officers swarmed like bees on a tulip – in and out of the house, up and down the driveway.
Michael just did what he knew best – observe. While everyone else frantically tried to gather
things, Michael learned through observation. There was not much evidence to gather outside,
but Michael could see the bloody footprints. He wondered who would be brazen enough to
leave the house and get into their car without cleaning themselves up first. The killer, as usual,
had gone unnoticed. Only the stench of death drew attention. The neighbors called it in that
morning and this was body number six.
Michael had been thinking about those footprints for six weeks. Every time he arrived at the
scene of another murder, he saw those footprints. He sighed and went under the police tape,
grabbing the first officer in his path.
“This is what we’re used to, yes?” he asked.
“So get everyone out of here. I need CSI and you, that’s it.” Michael ordered as he walked away
and entered the house.
Michael was mysterious to everyone at the precinct. He was stoic at best and preferred to work
alone, so no one knew much about him. He was the best detective on the force, proving himself
with a long list of quickly and accurately solved cases and everyone wanted to be around him,
but he was very guarded. As the old adage goes, women wanted to be with him and men
wanted to be him. Michael was tall and handsome, well built, smart, and determined. His
caramel brown skin was flawless. He had copper eyes shaped like half-moons and thick lips. He
wore his facial hair in a goatee and mustache and kept his hair cut low and conservative with
Michael preferred to wear a button up dress shirt with a tie and slacks every day. He only wore
a jacket on extremely cold occasions and his slacks were always black. Unlike his counterparts
who stuck with the usual white shirt and dark tie, Michael was more daring in his shirt and tie
selection. His shirts ran the range from blue to black, shades of red, and even purple. Those
who thought he was a straight shooter were often thrown for a loop when he pulled out his pink
shirts. Michael was feeling green that day, with a black tie, his favorite black slacks, and
The officer cleared the scene and entered the house after making a call for CSI. He caught up
with Michael. “DetectiveTaylor, are you sure you want me? I’ve never helped before. Are you
sure you don’t want to ask Officer Jamison?”
“Did the other officers try to make you think they were special? I pick the first officer I see. That’s
you. Now get ready to write. Is CSI on the way?”
“Excellent. What’s your name?”
Michael led Officer Watterson through the house.Using his nose as a guide, he found the body
in the back. The rotting flesh waiting for them was no surprise to Michael. He quickly entered the
room and approached the body. Officer Watterson peeked into the door, and when he saw the
mound of flesh he stopped short and gagged.
“Here’s a mask.” Michael pulled the mouth and nose masks from his pants pocket. He handed
one to Officer Watterson and then put one on himself. The smell was overwhelming without
something covering their noses. They could still smell the odor of death, but it was bearable with
Officer Watterson entered and began taking notes.
The dead body was in many pieces and stacked up like a mountain of red and white slaughter
house trash. Bones and human muscle were the only things recognizable. Skin had been turned
inside out so without moving some body parts, you couldn’t tell the ethnicity of the victim. Officer
Watterson spotted the skull, or was it a patella? He decided not to write anything specific on that
note. He just described what he knew he was looking at.
“Everything is the same here. Pile of flesh, footprints leading out of the room, nothing else.”
Michael stopped short.“Wait, I’ve got hair. That’s new.” Michael slipped on some gloves.
Officer Watterson gasped. “Something new?”
“Yeah, we’ve never seen any left-over hair.Scalping is usually the first thing done. He takes the
teeth too. I wonder what it means that he left this.” Michael squatted down to the floor and
picked up the hair. He looked at it, closely. “This could be the killers, but I doubt it.There would
have had to be a fight, but he always uses tranquilizers.” Michael sighed and put the hair down.
“At least we can quickly ID this victim, compared to the others.”
The CSI team entered the room.
“Same old, same old, huh?” one of the masked men said.
“Yeah. Except there is some left-over hair. Tag and bag, you know the drill. Watterson?”
Michael stood up, “Is the coroner coming?”
“Okay, let’s search for evidence, even though I don’t think we’ll find anything. Watterson, look
around upstairs and gather anything you find valuable.”
Michael walked all four walls of the room. There was nothing but blood splatter on the floor and
up the walls. Michael stopped and looked at each drop of blood briefly. When he got near the
door his game of duck duck goose gave up a runner. Every drop of blood was dark brown and
dry, dark brown and dry, dark brown and dry, until… red. There was a drop of blood near the
door that was not as oxidized as the other drops.
“Wh-who’s in here?” Michael shouted over his shoulder.
“Jones, Crantz, and Mercado,” one of the men said.
“Mercado, I will bet you a hundred dollars that this is my killers’ blood.”
Juan Mercado almost broke into a sprint. He bumped into Michael and looked over his shoulder.
“Oh shit.” Juan ran back to his case and grabbed a handful of swabs and collection tubes. He
quickly returned to the door and took two swabs of the blood. When he stood Michael grabbed
him by the shoulder.
“Take one more. Get it all.”
Juan did as he was told and when he came up for air he started to laugh. “Oh my God. This is
“Don’t get too excited. Just get these items to the lab, now.”
Michael continued to check the bottom floor of the house for evidence. He met Officer
Watterson at the foot of the stairs and let him know about the blood.
“That’s great! Hopefully we can finally nail this bastard.”
“Don’t get excited, we’ll have to get a DNA match in order for it to mean anything. Just get a
report written and get it on my desk. I’ll let you know how it goes with the blood.” Michael
headed towards the front door.
“Okay, but come on Detective Taylor, this is good news.” Officer Watterson said to Michael’s
Michael stopped and looked at the officer. He smiled. “Yeah, good news.”
Michael entered his Crown Victoria and drove back to the station. He wanted to finish his report
early. He had someplace to be that night. He zoomed through traffic and parked in his favorite
spot on the street. His unmarked vehicle was black and he had no problem entering the precinct
from the front door.
Michael made his way to his desk, nodding his greeting to each person who acknowledged him.
When he sat down he was immediately interrupted.
“New evidence!!” a woman bellowed.
“Yes.” Michael said without looking up. “Exciting.”
“Doesn’t sound like you think so.” The heavy set woman stood next to Michaels’ chair and put
her hands on her hips.
“I just don’t think the killer is that careless. After six weeks of chasing, why would he just leave
his blood?” Michael wondered, looking up at the detective.
“Well honey, I hope he was careless. You need it.” She smiled and turned to leave. “The
lieutenant is ordering dinner. You want something?”
“No, I’m leaving as soon as I’m done with this report.”
“Yes, it’s Friday. Michael never sticks around onFriday’s,” she said, teasing. She bounced to the
next occupied cubicle and promptly started up a new conversation with her fellow detective.
Michael smiled and jumped in to his report. He had to be done by 7:30 p.m. or he might miss