Thursday 20 – Saturday 22 August 2015
‘You’re a reasonably intelligent person, unlike these four travelling fuckwits,’ Claymore Hunter stated, ‘so please, don’t go down the why are you doing this to me? route. I mean, you’re a detective, and you should have some kinda idea about why this might be happening. Surely you’d be able to speculate.’
A little groggy from the blow to the head that she had received from the owner of the motel, Detective Matilda Renner squinted her eyes, and gently shook her head in an attempt to focus herself.
‘Well,’ she spoke quietly, not wanting to anger the throbbing in her head any more than necessary, ‘I could guess why you’re doing this to my partner and I, but as for those four, and all of the other people . . . other than to say that you actually enjoy killing people, I couldn’t speculate with any confidence. So, can you at least tell me why you felt the need to torture and kill them?’
Hunter squatted down next to Matilda. With unexpected gentleness, he took her chin in his hand, turned her head towards the light, and examined the wound on her head.
‘It’ll hurt for a while longer. Jarvis gave you a pretty good hit for a weedy little guy.’ He stood upright, and walked over to the four travellers he’d lined up against a bench by the far wall of the shed. ‘In answer to why I killed all of the others, I guess you’ll be pretty unimpressed with my reason. It’s not very sophisticated or psychologically exciting. I killed them, detective, in part because I could.’
‘Why only in part?’ Matty asked.
‘You sure are a nosy detective,’ he replied. ‘Because in part, I was cleaning up the messes that my baby brother kept making. He had this idea that he’d tamper with the cars of the folks that were staying at the motel. There were enough pissed off people asking why their vehicles were operational when they arrived, and dead in the morning. He was stupid, got into a couple of scrapes with these folks, like that guy over there.’ Clay pointed to Nash who was still unconscious.
‘So you killed the people your brother pissed off with his dodgy business practices? That’s some serious brotherly love. You couldn’t just tell him to stop ripping people off?’
‘What can I say, detective? I love my brother. He can be a real idiot, but he’s my brother, and out here, we look out for our kin.’
Jarvis, sick of listening to Claymore, booted Tom Passmore’s injured foot. Fading in and out of consciousness due to both pain and blood loss, Passmore yelled out in pain. Clay spun around and looked at the injured cop, and then at Jarvis.
‘What the fuck are you doing?’ he snapped at the motel owner.
‘Just having a bit of fun. Are you done jibber jabbing? Can we get on with things now?’ Jarvis spat back. Claymore took three broad strides, and stood toe to toe with Jarvis. A fist of gnarled fingers shot up from Clay’s side, and connected with Jarvis’ lower jaw, sending him sprawling backwards through Willie Hogan, and into the shed wall.
‘Next time I’ll finish you permanently,’ snapped Clay.
He turned back to Renner. ‘I’m sorry that it has to end this way, detective, but you and your partner have just become loose ends, and I like to have all of my loose ends tied up. Now, I realise that literally speaking, you are already tied up . . . it’s nothing personal, but I need to ensure that I’m not caught so Willie here is gonna take your partner outside and put him out of his misery . . .
* * * * *
Matilda wasn’t sure how many hours had passed between she and Passmore finding the hide and this moment, but she hoped, prayed even, that her boss would have noticed their absence from the office, and sent out a search party. She understood now how the victims of this abominable man felt, what they had gone through before he’d slaughtered them. She desperately wanted to bargain with God – let her find a way to escape, and bring the asshole to justice, and she’d do everything she could to live a better life.
‘Please God, please God, please God . . . ’ she whispered. The tears were about to come, following by the hysterical sobbing. There was little point in attempting to maintain any sort of composure.
‘Why are you bothering, detective. It’s not like God can hear you, and even if He can, I’m confident in saying that He really doesn’t give a shit what happens to you or any of the others who, by the way, have all been disposed of. You’re the last one left that I have to deal with.’ Clay was sitting opposite her, a rifle in his lap.
‘Then why don’t you just kill me? Why are you keeping me around?’ she asked.
‘I like to play games, detective. I’m going to give you the same chance that I gave the others.’
‘And what is that?’
‘I’m gonna give you a few minutes head start. You’re gonna run off into the woods, and I’m gonna see if I can hunt you down before you find your way back to civilisation. The odds aren’t particularly good for you – you don’t know the area, I suspect that you’re not a hunter, and I’m real good at what I do. So, let’s get you to your feet, and start playing.’
The hunter stepped over to the detective, grabbed her by the arms, and hauled her to her feet.
‘If you’re such a great hunter, then the least you could do is untie my hands and feet,’ Matilda said. ‘In the interests of making this a fair hunt, of course. Unless you’re scared that you can’t beat an unarmed woman.’
‘I’m not scared of anything, detective,’ he replied. With two swift actions, Claymore had sliced the ropes that bound Matilda’s hands and feet. He replaced his hunting knife in its sheath on the back of his belt.
‘Thanks,’ she said. ‘I don’t suppose you’d consider evening things further by giving my that knife?’
‘Not a chance. But you’d better start running. The clock’s started ticking, and you’re running out of time.’
Without hesitation, Matilda ran to the shed door, pushed it open, and ran out into the cold night air, and the woods’ enveloping darkness.
. . . The end . . .