Author: Raven's Hymn PM
If someone sees something no one else does, are they crazy? Charlotte "Charlie" Gramm says she isn't, but are the things she sees all in her head? Or is everyone else blind?Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Mystery/Suspense - Chapters: 6 - Words: 10,600 - Follows: 1 - Updated: 02-16-13 - Published: 01-24-13 - id: 3095006
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The news is alive with chaos. The Storyteller has struck again. Another person has died and their blood was used to tell a toxic tale. The police tell the world that it just may be a copycat, but the people are still afraid. The press has gracefully kept the victim and the story written in their blood out of the public eye, at least for now.
So Erato and Jest were right: he's back. And that also means that he's come back for something he didn't get before. Maybe with their help, Erato excluded, I'll be able to help the police solve the cases. The only problem is getting them to accept my help. I guess the first step is to look at the stories the Storyteller left at his crimes. I only hope Jest is right and there really is some sort of code in the stories.
I end up falling asleep after my therapy session with my substitute therapist, a thin shadow of a man who thinks he deserves the world. Obviously, he didn't like it when I pointed out what he did deserve. I'm sure I won't be getting any usable pills for a while.
An icy hand rests on my shoulder, sending a chill throughout my body. I turn my head to look above me. A dark shadow towers over me, smoky tendrils of flames dancing around it. The only detail of the shadow that alludes to any sort of humanity is the bone colored mask with Venetian detail that covers its face.
"Phantom, it's good to see you."
Phantom doesn't say anything, which is natural if you know him. He has been teaching me how to play the violin for the past few years, since I had given up on the piano for personal reasons. I just hope I can convince him to give me some singing lessons.
Phantom extends his hand for me to take, which I do. His hand is like ice, but I'm used to it. I say nothing as he leads me to a dark room somewhere in the facility, his personal gathering of shadows hiding us from prying eyes. In a matter of minutes we arrive in a small dark room with white pages stained with ink pinned to the walls. The Storyteller's stories.
Phantom stops in front of the back wall and releases my hand. He reaches for one of the pages and brings it to me. The rough texture of the paper scratches my skin only slightly, but my focus is on the words written in an elegant hand.
A monster has taken the bride. In this world, all is cold. As night is blind, so heartless is he. To dance, to sleep, to never be apart.
Kissed so softly, so rejected at first sign of sin. Manic she became, pushed to the edge of reason. No reason for her to die. In death she will live, waiting for her lover. With no remorse, he lives as a guilty man. But now I have righted the wrong he has caused, and two lovers will have their chance at happiness. I now own his soul, and be assured that there will be others. My bride, an angel, pure and blameless, will join me and them in a dance that will last forever.
The words are dead fingers scratching at my spine. The writer is clearly insane, a maniac in the skin of a sane person. No wonder the police want to catch him: he's a menace.
"Is this his first?" I ask Phantom. He nods his head.
Something scratches at my mind, but I can't quite place it. There is something in the message that the Storyteller left, but what is it?
"I take it you won't help me?"
Phantom turns to the far corner of the room, walking towards the small section of the room that holds something besides pages of frightening stories. There is a stand used by musicians or singers sitting in the corner, pages of music resting on its stage.
My heart nearly skips several beats.
"You're really going to teach me to sing? Let me guess: with each story I solve, you'll give me a lesson."
Phantom holds up three of his fingers, increasing my reward.
"Ok, I will. And I take it I have to solve this all on my own?"
"Ok, I better get started."
He smiled at the flickering lights and the emotionless sounds coming from the television set in his basement. An airhead reporter, most likely hired for assets that were supposed to bring in more male viewers, talked into a microphone at the house where he was last night. Yellow tape surrounded the old house as police walked in and out like toy soldiers while idiot reporters tried to disturb them with their idiotic questions.
It's good to be back.
It's sad, if one thinks about it, that the police haven't figured out that the little presents he leaves them on the monster's walls are meant to help them understand why he does what he does. Maybe if they weren't so stupid they would have figured out that he's leaving coded messages for them to solve.
It would be nice if someone figured it out before he takes his bride. Or maybe not. If those morons fail by the time he takes his beloved and claims her for him and him alone, then he could proudly say that he is smarter than all of them. He could wrap his arms around his bride and tell her that he has outsmarted the entire police force of California.
Pity his genius will be leaving them shortly. Once his holy mission is finished, he and his bride shall take their rightful place in the land of the dead, the true Hades and Persephone.
But now is not the time to dwell on what will be. Now is the time for him to plan on winning his bride's heart before he takes her hand. However, if the necessary deeds of justice have been done and she refuses, then there are other ways to steal a heart. But for now, he'll stick to the more romantic task of courting his bride the old fashioned way.