Author: Harper Kingsley
Genre: murder mystery, suspense, different era
Characters: Major Ishmael Dupres, Captain Etienne Barnard
“I don’t know how my life got to this point. It must be some phobia of success.”
Looking at the words printed on the paper, Ishmael wasn’t sure what to think. He looked from the words to his lieutenant, then back down at the words again.
“And this was written on the body?” he asked. He was relieved his voice didn’t shake.
“Carved into the flesh.” Captain Barnard’s voice never shook. He was the steady firmament that upheld Ishmael’s command.
“That is most disquieting,” Ishmael said. “How many victims has it been? 10? 12?”
“10, sir. And he’s been getting creative with his knife. It’s a frightening turn of events. Women are scared to walk the streets alone as of late.” Barnard frowned. “The merchants are upset. It’s costing them quite a bit of business that most shopping is ending so early.”
“Ah,” Ishmael said. He stared down at the paper, the words written in an oddly elegant scrawl. “We’re going to catch you, you bastard.”
“We’ll get him for you, sir. I promise,” Barnard said.
Ishmael nodded. “I know you will. You are remarkably skilled at your job, and your squad are the best on the street. Get your kids out there and find this guy. I will reward each and every one of you.”
“Sir, you know that’s not necessary.” There was a tinge of pink high on Barnard’s cheeks. It was an oddly charming sight.
“I know I don’t have to make the offer,” Ishmael said, “but I have quite a large amount of money at my disposal. I would feel better using it to reward a job well done than on simple pleasures.”
“Still sir, you’re far too generous,” Barnard said.
They both knew that he would accept the money. Not just for his officers, but for himself as well.
From his earliest youth, Etienne Barnard had had a taste for the finer things. It was how their paths had first crossed in fact, when Ishmael was nineteen and Barnard was twenty-three. Barnard had been modeling for shopping money and Ishmael had been intrigued.
They’d shared a meal and a conversation, and by the time they’d parted that day they’d exchanged contact information. They’d formed enough of a connection that when Barnard found himself in a bit of trouble, he’d called Ishmael for help.
And through that help, they’d ended up in a lifelong career as police officers. It had been a strange jumble of events that led to this office and this moment.
Ishmael trusted Barnard when he said the murderer would be brought to justice.
He stared down at the words of a killer: “I don’t know how my life got to this point. It must be some phobia of success.”
“We have to get him off the streets. For the peace of mind of our citizens if nothing else,” Ishmael said.