Friday 16 – Sunday 18 May 2014
Had he been more observant and less exhausted when he entered her residence, Lucas would have discovered that Jenna Albany had packed all of her personal belongings, and vacated the house. She had been gone for at least five hours before Lucas found his way to her home after an arduous shift at work. And now, here he was, face to face with the murderer that the media had labelled The Pool Man killer.
His first reaction was to leap from his prone position on the sofa to apprehend the killer. Reaching for his gun, Miller found himself unable to move. His arm refused to follow the instruction that his brain was sending. It lay limp and worthless when he most needed it to function.
‘I can see in your eyes that you’re desperately trying to get moving, Detective Miller.’
The voice was familiar to Lucas.
‘Don’t bother. You were fast asleep when I injected you. Frankly though, I’m surprised that you didn’t feel it. I wasn’t particularly gentle with you.’ The murderer knelt in front of the sofa, and watched Miller’s face with great intent.
‘It’s been fun, this cat and mouse game that we’ve been playing. And the last woman, oh, that was so close. In fact, maybe a little too close for comfort. And the irony of being chased through the yard by an actual pool man. Now that would have been terribly humiliating for the police, wouldn’t it? The Pool Man killer caught by a pool man.’
Disguised by the hoodie and a kerchief pulled up to the eyes, there was little hope of Lucas identifying who was kneeling in front of him. Whatever he had been injected with was playing havoc with his eyesight and processing capacity. Every thought that occurred to Lucas was sluggish and confused. Did he recognise the voice or the eyes? Was it something in the way that the killer was sitting? What was is that made him feel a level of familiarity with this person?
‘You’ll be dozing off for quite a while in a few more moments. I guess before you’re out you probably want to know what happened to your precious Jenna . . . or didn’t you even notice that her belongings are gone?’
‘Gone? What do you mean she’s gone?’ Miller tried to speak but there was no sound, no words coming from his mouth. As hysterical as he was beginning to feel, his breathing was becoming laboured. His lungs burned from his inability to take a decent breath. The Pool Man killer recognised Miller’s difficulty to inhale.
‘I wonder if you’re feeling the same way right now that all of those women felt when they hit the bottom of their swimming pools and realised that there was no way out of the predicament they were in?’
‘Anyway, Detective Miller, back to your girlfriend . . . nod if you’d like to know where she is. Oh, that was cruel of me given that you can’t move.’
Although Miller couldn’t see the killer’s face, he knew that his adversary was wearing a smile. Without concern, the Pool Man killer drew the kerchief away, revealing that the suspect that Miller and Butcher had been chasing was as Butcher had considered. Looking at him with ruthlessness and malice was a face he had come to know well.
‘You weren’t expecting this, were you?’
‘Oh shit, I’ve seen your face. You’re going to kill me.’ Miller was glad that he was unable to speak. His thoughts were terrifying enough, and not something that he needed to hear out loud as well as in his head.
‘Of course, now I really can’t let you live, Lucas. You’ve seen my face. I’ve essentially confessed that I was behind the murders. If I let you go, you’ll arrest me, I’ll be charged, go to trial, blah, blah, blah. You know how it goes.’
‘J – Jenna. Jenna,’ Miller slurred.
‘I was hoping that I’d get away with pinning all of this on Felipe. He seemed so smitten with me it was nauseating. Unfortunately though, he had to come in and play the hero, and rescue Inga. Threw a spanner in the works for me. So, what I’m hoping to do now is throw suspicion on someone else . . . like you.’
‘Jenna?’ Miller’s speech was more coherent.
‘No, I’m not going to implicate Jenna. Why would I do that? No, Jenna’s left a note explaining that she had started to suspect you as being the Pool Man killer. Your odd hours, your obsession with finding the right suspect, your suddenly secretive nature . . . all seems like it’s pointing towards good ol’ Detective Lucas Miller as the much hunted serial killer.’
Jenna wrapped the kerchief that had been covering her face around her hand. She reached over to Miller’s shoulder holster, and withdrew his gun. She carefully wound Miller’s hand around the gun grip, placed her hand over his, and pushed the barrel against his temple.
‘Goodbye, Lucas. It was fun knowing you. And you can go to you grave knowing that you’re the only other person in the world who knows the identity of the Pool Man killer.’
She smiled smugly as she pulled the trigger.
The sound of the gunshot would draw neighbours, and in turn police, to her home. So, without a second look back at Miller’s body, Jenna Albany deftly avoided the growing pool of blood dripping from the sofa, and walked out of the house via the back door. She jumped over the back fence and into the laneway. Sticking to the shadows, Jenna ran from the scene as fast as she could, clearing two blocks before the wailing of police sirens alerted her to their arrival at her former home. She was sure that when the police investigated the house, they would accept her elaborate scheme as being truth, and Lucas would be branded as the killer in the eyes of the media and the greater community.
For the second time in her life, Jenna’s compulsion to kill had resulted in her almost being apprehended. It was that thrill that kept Jenna killing.
‘Somewhere,’ she thought, ‘is another city big enough for me to start again. A new city, a new identity, and a new way to kill.’
. . . The end . . .