The Fifth Victim
Mark was stabbed. His body was found in the alley of Jackson Street. John knew him from the day he started going to school. They had been best friends. Mark was the fifth victim. Four serial murders before that of Mark’s had made the people of Irving City know that their societies were afflicted with a Serial Killer called Pastro. The city lay vulnerable in the hands of clumsy policemen and corrupt administration. John was not the first to loose someone close and the newspapers the following day would tell he was not to be the last either.
Paul, another friend of John had called him early the morning Mark was murdered. He had planned a small get together in the Irving City Club that was situated down the Jackson Street. He had asked John to ask Mark if he would like to join. John did ask Mark, who accepted the invitation readily. There were other friends that evening and both John and Mark had drunk enough not to be able to walk straight. Paul called a cab for them though Mark insisted on walking home as his home was up the same street. John left the club in cab while Mark walked up the street.
After the news of Mark’s murder broke out, people of Irving city assumed it to be a curse walking alone at nights, or even getting away alone. John however wasn’t satisfied with what the policemen told him when he saw the stabbed body of Mark. He decided to do some investigation for himself. Robert, Mark’s neighbor, was the first to discover Mark’s lifeless body in the alley. He was the first person to call the police. When John visited Robert, he showed unwillingness to speak much about that night but on the threat of a police inquiry he revealed that he didn’t call the police immediately neither was he the first to find Mark’s body. It was in fact, Diaz, one of Richard’s friends who visited his house that evening, who not only had seen the body first but also a figure running away from the body. He got out of the house when he heard a painful cry coming from the alley.
John visited Diaz’s house which was at the Louise Street. John, found the main door was left ajar. He crept in like a shadow. The drawing room was all messed up. A lamp stood on the desk blinking continuously as if in want to say something. There were some old handkerchiefs lying here and there on the floor. John found a knife lying by the sofa. He picked it up and continued looking around, avoiding to make any sound. John knew he was being watched. He had felt the presence of someone in the house but he however acted oblivious. He was in the kitchen and felt that someone stood at the door staring at him. He held the knife in his hand firmly and busied himself with examining the hanging spoons. It was then he heard, whosoever the person was, walking towards him.
“What are you looking for?” asked a voice that sounded perfectly depressed. John turned to find a fragile looking girl with bulging eyes. “I was looking for Diaz,” replied John, still holding the knife firmly. “He’s out what do you want?” the girl asked. “I wanted to ask him about the murder he witnessed three days ago,” said John. “He didn’t witness any murder,” said the girl. John looked at the girl suspiciously then feeling the comfort of holding a knife he asked, “Do you live here…I mean how do you know Diaz?” the girl seemed hesitant at first but then she replied, “He’s my boyfriend; we are in a live-in relationship.”
Clack of footsteps announced the presence of someone other than the girl in the house. “Who is it?” asked John almost in a whisper. “It’s my boyfriend he is home,” replied the girl. A voice inquired from outside the kitchen, “Stacy, do we have a guest?” “Yes. Darling here’s one gentleman who insists on seeing you,” replied Stacy. “Well then let me show myself,” said the voice as a man sported in white suit stepped in the kitchen. “Paul?” said John in confusion. “Yes dear, me,” said Paul in a voice that sounded like an arrogant taunt. “But I thought this was Diaz’s place…” said a perplexed John.
“Let me explain,” Said Paul, “first and the foremost thing there is no such man called Diaz, Robert lied to you. Why? Because I told him to do so…you know he works for me… I killed Mark; I killed rest of the four victims as well. The get together was a trap to drag Mark to his doom. That night after you left in the cab, Robert kicked a drunken Mark into the alley of Jackson Street. There he held him until I stabbed him through his heart. Robert trapped you as well John and look where you are…”
John raised the knife he was holding. Paul and Stacy smirked at the fish that was stranded and was turning about for a last breath of relief. Someone shot at John and the knife in his hand fell on the kitchen floor. Robert emerged from behind with a revolver. John looked at the trio standing in front of him. Paul came close to John and asked, “John…tell me what is the name of the serial killer the policemen are looking for?” John looked fearfully in Paul’s eyes and spoke timidly, “Pastro.” “Oh yes…yes,” said Paul as he turned to Stacy and said, “Stacy would you mind telling the boy who is Pastro?” Stacy smiled slyly as she said, “look boy it’s Pa for Paul, St for Stacy and Ro for Robert…Pastro as simple as that.”
The next morning the Irving City police discovered another body in the alley of Jackson Street. The body was stabbed exactly the same way as the previous bodies. The body was of John White. The sixth victim in the hands of Pastro.