This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictionally. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or to actual events or locales is entirely coincidental.
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Copyright © 2016 M.G. Darwish
It was once a peaceful night in the city of Rosemore, known for its mythical cases where people disappeared under the moonlight, never to be heard from again. There in the streets, the criminals and thugs only feared one name: Mael. Silver hair almost fully covered a round, friendly face. Darting dark brown eyes were set appealingly within their sockets.
Little was known about the childhood of this individual, but whenever there was a mysterious case that was left unsolved, he would pick it up and shed light on it.
His findings were always controversial, as not everyone was willing to accept them.
“In short, the whole execution of these disappearances follows a certain pattern,” said Mael in an interview on live television.
“Mister Mael, are you suggesting that the disappearances are simply the work of a serial killer?” asked the interviewer.
“Yes. Our investigation leads us to believe so. It is an individual by the name of SERK, who has just recently been linked with the murder of my good friend Jack Greyson.”
Upon saying this, the journalists who were gathered to witness the interview pressed Mael to answer their questions. The sounds arose as if little bees were busy working.
“I’m sorry, no more questions,” said Mael as he got up. He took the mic out and left the room, leaving everyone buzzing and baffled.
It was a long and gruesome night. A tale of tragedy that was sprung all too real for Isabelle. With chestnut, curly hair awkwardly hanging over a fine, tense face with glittering sapphire blue eyes, she was running in a very dark corridor, wiping her tears with every step she took. She reached the police station and entered in a rush.
“Help! Officers!” she sighed, as she was short of breath. She almost collapsed, but was caught by an officer who was nearby.
“What was that again?” the officer asked.
Isabelle pulled out a letter she had in her bag. “It’s this!” she said.
The officer picked up the letter and read it. “This is . . .” he said.
“A threat was made against his life! It’s the murderer from the TV! I’m sure he’s after my boyfriend Calvin; please, you gotta help!” she said.
“I’m not sure, to be honest, but if that is the case only one person can help you, and that person exists in the shadows. His name is Mael,” he said.
“How can I contact him?” She didn’t hesitate to ask.
“You don’t. He finds you, if your case is interesting enough. Look, there’s a rumor that anything that enters our system gets sent to him, so I’ll do that for you. What is the name of your boyfriend?”
“Wait, Greyson? As in the Greyson?” he asked.
“Yes! People are saying that the same killer is back to exert revenge on his son as well.”
Mael used to be a family friend, I believe . . . he will want to do this, he thought.
The officer took his notes and when he was done, he let Isabelle go back home. He proceeded to enter the details of the incident in the system.
Isabelle reached where Calvin lived, finally, and upon entering, she was greeted by Lana. She had dark, sleek hair that was pulled back to reveal a full, fresh face. She was fourteen years of age, and ran to give Isabelle a hug. Calvin, along with Lana, lived alone with their brother Darren; their parents had passed away recently following a famous case that involved the serial killer known only as SERK, leaving Calvin to take care of the family.
Isabelle tried very hard to hide what happened in the station from Calvin, but he saw right through her acts of bravery. “What’s wrong, Isabelle? Won’t you tell me?” he asked.
“They told me that the only person who can help is your friend . . . Mael . . .” she finally said.
“That’s great! I’m sure he can help, don’t worry. I don’t think this is serious anyways!” When he finished his sentence, Isabelle slapped him. What am I to do if I lose you? she thought to herself, but she didn’t say it. She was too proud to. They all went to sleep.
It was during the middle of the night when Calvin’s phone rang. He woke up and answered, “Hello?”
“Yeah, Calvin, this is Mael. Look, I heard what happened to you, and I want you to be extremely careful. The killer is named SERK. Up to now, he has avoided all attempts at capture. That’s why someone like me was sent after him,” he said.
“Mael . . . is it true that you knew my father?” Calvin asked.
“Yes . . . Your father was a good man, and I swear to you, I will do everything within my power to keep you safe. I’ll be personally investigating this case.”
“Thanks . . . I feel better already.”
“How’s your sister Lana? Does she still have that red purse your father got her?” Mael giggled.
“Ahhh, yeah, she does. She’s taller now. If I’m not careful, she will be as tall as me in a couple of months!”
“I have to meet up with you guys sometime. Anyways, goodbye.” Mael hung up the phone. Calvin went back to sleep.
That same morning, the doorbell rang fiercely; Calvin woke up and made his way to open the door. “Adrian?!” he said.
Adrian was their cousin who had grown up along with Calvin and Darren. “Cav, you need to leave. I heard the news, SERK is after you . . .” he barged in.
“It’s okay, dude, Mael said that he will protect me.”
“That’s part of it! Mael was found dead! Eyewitnesses say that he was crying moments before his death! SERK will attack you, here, and you are putting the lives of everyone in danger!”
Calvin lowered his head, and frowned in disbelief. “What’s the solution, then? I don’t want to put them at risk, Adrian . . . First my father, and now Mael . . .”
“Come with me, it’s safer like thi-”
Adrian was interrupted by an ungodly sound that shook the entire house. A window broke. They rushed in fast to investigate, and found a brick. At this instant, they heard Lana scream her lungs out, running to her room with tears covering her face. They rushed in and found Darren, dead. He was stabbed in the heart.
Adrian grabbed Calvin and pulled him. “Do you see what I mean? They’ll never be safe here! We have to leave before it’s too late!”
Calvin was too shocked; he couldn’t react to anything. Whatever happened to Mael? The thoughts lingered within his mind. “What about Lana?” he said.
“I’ll watch over her, just go! Run away from here, Calvin! You can’t put her at risk.”
“Take care of my sister.” He patted Adrian on the shoulder before he made his way out, wiping whatever tears came down. It was for the best for everyone.
Calvin spent his times going through the city; days felt like years and he was beginning to lose hope. He had no money, no clothes, nothing on him that would merit a good life. He knew he could not keep this up.
As he was randomly walking across the city, he overheard a couple of traders talking about a funeral close by. “Hey, whose funeral is it?” He stopped them to inquire.
“Kid, were you even on this planet the past few days? It’s Mael’s funeral, one of the greatest detectives!” they responded. They pointed towards the cemetery and he immediately understood that he had to be there.
And so he made his way to the cemetery, but he had just missed the burial; the casket was all covered. Calvin was surrounded by Mael’s loved ones, and he couldn’t help but shed tears for what was happening. Soon, family members took note of a stranger attending the funeral and went to comfort him. “Did you know Mael?” said an old lady, who wore all black.
“Yeah, he was my hero . . .” said Calvin.
The old lady quickly embraced him, and wiped his tears. “Mael did so much good. He often spoke about you, Jack’s son; you have grown so much!” she said.
“You knew my dad?”
“Of course, when Mael took his first case, your dad was with him. He often spoke of how noble he was.”
Calvin broke into tears once more at the mention of his father, with whom he’d had very little time to spend with.
“Mael often spoke about how they captured one of the greatest drug lords in the country, thanks to Jack.”
“A drug lord?” asked Calvin.
“He didn’t get into details, but people say that the drug lord had a normal family, a daughter even, but without anyone knowing, he was running a huge drug empire, and he was stopped because of the efforts of my son, Mael, and your dad, Jack. They were both heroes, Calvin, never forget that.”
Calvin, strengthened by the tales of how brave his father was, decided to keep fighting and carry on the legacy of the Greysons.
He continued his path and stopped at an electronics shop, as they had TVs that could be seen from outside. He smiled and stopped for a moment, hoping to read something that would put a smile on his face. Anything familiar to what he remembered.
The news started with a report about SERK again, so Calvin naturally started to pay more attention. The TV went to show that Darren was found dead along with Adrian; both were stabbed in the heart. Little Lana and Calvin were reported to be missing.
At this instant, Calvin felt his entire world collapse; he could not even begin to comprehend what had happened. He collapsed in tears, and was taken to the hospital by strangers. He was treated and when he woke up, he did not know how many days had passed.
He very quickly remembered what had happened, and made his way back home. His plan to shift the focus of SERK from his family didn’t seem to work after all. Thus, he made his way back home.
The police were gone, and the place seemed abandoned for years. He entered and went to the living room. He then shut the door, and then locked it. He turned around, and there was Lana, standing there in silence; she held a large dagger.
“Hey, big brother. I’ve been waiting all this time for you.”
“Lana?! What the hell is this? What are you doing?”
“Isn’t it obvious? I am SERK.”
“Cut the crap, Lana . . .”
“You thought, through all of this, that it was someone from outside, when in reality, SERK was right before your eyes, big brother.”
“So what now?”
“Now, you die. You follow our mother, our father, and our brother as well. You see, it was a plan all along to flush you out like a little pig.”
“How . . . did you . . .”
“It was me who broke the window, Calvin,” said a voice coming from behind. He looked, and it was Isabelle.
“It’s all your fault, Calvin. When I broke the window, you were supposed to run to where your little sister was after you found Darren, but you didn’t, did you?”
“Isabelle . . .”
“I admit, we had to improvise a little and come up with a new plan completely. But don’t worry, we love a challenge.”
At this moment, Calvin began to laugh hysterically; he couldn’t stop. “You fools, I win. I’m wearing a wire. Do you think it was a coincidence that the police were gone when I came back? They’re waiting for me to come outside, and if I don’t, they’re coming straight through.”
Lana began to slowly walk towards him. Something held him still, and he couldn’t move. This was his little sister, after all . . . she got close enough and plunged the dagger into his heart. Calvin began to spit out blood, and Lana calmly whispered in his ear, “I don’t think so.”
As Calvin’s body fell on the floor, blood pouring from his chest, Lana got up and went outside and stood there in silence, looking at the full moon.
Moments later, Isabelle came next to her and stood there in awe of the moonlight.
“Isabelle, now that my brothers are dead, they can join your father, can’t they?” she asked.
“Yes, you did more than good, Lana. I’m proud of you.” She embraced Lana.
“So, does that mean we can be friends now?”
“Oh yes, we can be best friends!”
And with that Isabelle embraced Lana, as her gaze was completely fixated on the lone and solitary moon, shining down upon the Earth.
M.G. Darwish is an award nominated author who has published his debut novel ‘Dragon Tooth’ in June 2016, as well as many short stories. Being the youngest in a family of four brothers, he has always had a passion for telling stories and present ideas that go beyond the current trends and mixes them with lessons from our own society. When he’s not writing, he is often reading up conspiracy theories, pays attention and takes notes no matter what the theory suggests.