Dr Fitzgerald was, of course, a practical, logical and rational man. Cold and distant, his normal day consisted of profiling serial killers, child rapists and other creatures of that nature. He was never called for assessing or comforting a victim's state of mind – people just didn't warm to him.
He was used to psychopaths claiming God had told them to do it, or that they'd simply blacked out and when they'd woken up…
In any case, he was not used to calm murder suspects coherently confessing to be over five hundred years old and a vampire to boot.
He had listened to the interview from the viewing room – and was curious, something he didn't experience very often.
Fitzgerald quietly stepped back into the room on the other side of the two way mirror, after his cup of coffee; no milk, no sugar, and found both Coombs and Randle. The detectives were discussing something in low voices and watching through the glass a woman who sat in the unforgiving plastic chair like a Duchess on a throne.
"Detectives." Fitzgerald said clearly, interrupting the two detectives.
"What do you think? Definitely insane." Randle said, watching their captive suspiciously and starting when her eyes seemed to lock with his.
"Perhaps not," Randle scowled and Coombs merely looked thoughtful as the forensic psychologist considered the strange case before him. "She seems adamant that she was born over five hundred years ago – which is impossible. I would assume that the story about a son is true, in part, and this could be some manifestation of post natal depression."
"And the vampire thing?"
"Could be an obsession with the occult. Although…" here the doctor trailed off and chewed his lip in thought. "There are cases where a fragile mind immerses itself in a fantasy to try and avoid a horrifying reality. In which case, don't waste your time trying to disprove her story or arguing with her. Let her think that you do believe her, otherwise she could have a breakdown and then her confession probably won't hold in court."
Coombs nodded and reached for the door handle, Randle behind him.
"Detectives," the two looked back at him. "I read the witness' statement."
The three shared one of those moments when the same horrifying thought crosses separate minds simultaneously.
"Thanks Fitz." Said Randle, silently shutting the door behind him.
The doctor grimaced inwardly at the nickname before seating himself at a tiny desk inside the dark room, picking up a set of headphones in order to listen to the conversation within the next room.
With a pen and a notebook Fitzgerald watched as the two detectives re-entered the interrogation room, Coombs seating himself opposite the woman and Randle leaning against the wall behind her.
The woman was one of those fatally attractive creatures. Long, shining black hair, intense light green eyes that not only saw everything, but looked through everything, and that rare something that dominated any room she stepped into.
Sitting in the hard and weighty plastic chair in the bare room lit by a buzzing fluro bulb, the woman watched neither of the men in suits on the other side of the table, but rather openly watched herself in the two-way mirror.
"So," came Coombs' voice through the headphones. "Where were we?"
"1592, wasn't it?" Replied Randle.
"Right. You had just been…"
"Turned, yes." Said the woman in an incredibly melodic voice.
Coombs was arranging a collection of papers on the desk, and as he did so he asked distractedly if the woman would like something to drink.
"Are you offering?" She said with a twisted smile that flashed luminescent teeth.
"A vampire, huh?" mumbled Randle. "Do you actually, you know, drink blood? Do you sleep in a coffin?"
The woman turned her head, only her head, to look at the detective through the corner of her eye.
"Blood?" she whispered. "Yes. A coffin? That's ridiculous," she scoffed. "And I can no more turn into a bat, or a wolf, or fly than you can. And if believing Bram's rule that we cannot enter a house without being invited makes you feel more comfortable at night, you are a fool.
"But we are not here to discuss mythology – you want to know why that man is dead. And so we must go back to the night I was turned,"
"By your lover?"
"It is impolite to interrupt." she levelled her cool gaze on him and he self consciously shifted uncomfortably in his chair. She regarded the mirror in front of her with an arch of her eyebrow and resumed her story. "But yes, I was turned by my lover, whom I had seen stabbed through the chest earlier that night by my husband. I did not know that he was undead until he bared his fangs and made me the same as he. A creature of hell, of demonic nightmare, a sin against the Holy Trinity." Her lips parted in a smile at this.
"I was reborn that night, and knew I had to say goodbye to my human life. As I held my son in my arms, his tiny hands gripping my blood soaked dress, I felt true, ravenous, animalistic hunger, or thirst or whichever you like. Did you know that a child's blood is the purest? It is clean and still full of the nutrients from the womb." Coombs could see Randle pull a disgusted face, and silently agreed with him.
"My husband came suddenly through the door, and saw his wife, now a monster, holding his precious son. Before he could cross the nursery I had placed my child in his cradle and leapt from the window. Into the night.
"Thirty or so years later, as I fed in a dark street of London, I was interrupted by the sound of a crossbow being set. In the shadows of the street a man stood, lamp in one hand, crossbow aimed at me in the other. Naturally I attacked him – he had disturbed my meal. But as I made to drain his blood and leave him a husk, I caught his scent, one I will never forget. I pulled away from him, fangs retracting, and let him stand. Then I stepped forward, no longer with the intention of snapping his neck, but to hold him, and hold him close.
"My son. My son had been taught that his mother had been murdered by a handsome, undead, stranger. When he had grown, he learnt everything he could about monsters of the night and had taken it upon himself to destroy every last one he could find.
I held him close, committing every aspect of his appearance to memory, even now I could draw exactly the way he looked that night.
"The clever little bastard took advantage of my distraction and slashed me with a silver dagger. As I lay in a pool of my own blood, for the second time, writhing from the pain of the silver, I called my son's name, and he lifted his lamp close to my face. I saw the recognition – just as my sire came from wherever it was he had been feeding and…"
The woman balled her hands into fists, obvious rage coursing through her. Randle couldn't see from his position behind her, but both David Coombs and Doctor Fitzgerald saw something that they would later swear they had not. The pupils of the woman's bright eyes expanded so that there was no colour at all, only darkness against the white of her eyeballs. The eyes of a predator.
"And…?" Randle prompted, unaware of the sudden chills creeping into his partner and the doctor.
"He killed him of course. Struck his hand right through my son's chest and tore out his still…beating…heart."