The Last Dance Ch. 02byAurora Black©
You know when you look back at your earliest works and you laugh your ass off? Well, this is one of those. I wrote this bleak attempt at a crime drama / thriller when I was 17 and experimenting with different genres. *shuddering*
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At the crime scene, Shawn Williams leaned down, and with a gloved hand, recovered a sopping wet cloth from the ground. After waving the fumes toward his nose, he detected a strong, pungent odor emanating from the material. He quickly placed the cloth in an evidence bag and stood up. After a good look around the scene, Williams was sure that there was nothing else that could be found for the time being. He decided to take a walk along the grounds.
While strolling, Williams analyzed his reaction to the Captain's news earlier. Whatever frustration that he kept in check in the office that morning, he released in a long sigh. Yes, the Captain understood my reluctance to take this case all right, Williams thought, because he was around when Janet...what happened to Janet...
"Oh, sweet Jesus." Williams stopped in his tracks and collapsed onto a nearby park bench. His eyes swam, and he closed them while he tried to take deep breaths to calm down.
Janet. The only woman that he had ever loved. Janet. The one that he pictured himself sharing his life with forever. Janet. The one that he wanted to have children with, to have grandchildren with, to grow old with.
He still pictured the disappointment and hurt on her face the last time that he saw her; the night of her disappearance. He was working on a very top-notch case; one that he thought would earn him a promotion and an increased salary so he and Janet could marry.
Janet wanted him to take his accumulated vacation time and spend some quality time with her. She saw how the long hours were taking their toll on him and she wanted him to rest for a while. "You don't always have to be the hero, you know" she told him. He knew that the case he was working on was going nowhere fast, but he didn't want to acknowledge it. He vented his frustration on her, and a nasty argument followed. Both lost the battle.
With tears in her eyes, she announced that she was going to take a walk through the woods to think. By the time that she was ready to leave, Williams was feeling remorseful, but he could not find the words to express how sorry he was. He let her leave. He felt that she needed the time away from him to sort things out. As the time went by, he was tempted to go after her, but his pride was in the way. He convinced himself that he was thinking about what was best for the both of them, and that Janet would see things his way in time.
Time passed. Minutes turned into hours, and Shawn became very worried. He called Janet's parents, her sister, and her grandmother; they all said that she did not visit them that night. He drove around the city, searching for her, with no results. He had the police check the area for her. He checked personally with travel agencies, bus, plane, and train records to see if she left town. No results.
Finally, after two weeks, there was a reunion between them. But it didn't happen the way Williams had envisioned it. He was called to an abandoned warehouse, and somehow he knew what he would find. He found Janet in a dark, dusty corner of the warehouse. Her throat had been slit from ear to ear, and she was dressed in a very strange outfit; like a theater costume.
Her face was caked in makeup, and her skin glistened like wax. The expression on her face would stay with him always. She looked as if she was relieved at the coming of death. Her ordeal at the hands of her murderer must have been so horrible that she was glad at its end. Williams couldn't control himself as he crumpled to the floor and sobbed. It took four officers to carry him out of the warehouse that day.
Later, Williams was to learn that Janet was not the only woman to have been killed in this fashion. She turned out to be the sixth woman to be kidnapped from a forest area and to be later found dead.
Williams remembered that he lost all concentration on his work, and he pulled further and further away from reality. He turned to alcohol to ease his suffering, but it only fueled the fire of self-hatred and guilt that he felt towards himself. He began to take on more and more dangerous cases, where death was on the daily agenda. He placed himself on the line every day; challenged death, hated the world and everyone in it. Every night when he returned to the home that he had shared with Janet, he cursed himself for surviving another day.
The Captain thought it was best for him to take his vacation as soon as possible and he even suggested that Williams go into therapy. Williams resisted at first, but he eventually took the advice to heart. He started seeing a psychiatrist, and he slowly but surely started to get his life back together.
Until now that is, Williams thought, slowly coming back to the present.
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