2659 – what did it mean? That monster was out there taking lives, and Meyers and I couldn’t match the number to anything. But unfortunately, it was our only clue. My job is to get inside the twisted minds of those beasts that I hunted. I had to think like they did, and crack their codes. This has lead me to the edge of darkness many times, and I felt like this time I would go completely over and be swallowed by the evil around me. I was concerned for Meyers. She was a good kid with a lot of heart, but she was very green and very innocent. The darkness would devour her all too easy. You only lose your innocence once. I lost mine a long time ago. She was losing hers now.
A call came through at that moment. Another dead body had just turned up – a four-year-old girl. Meyers and I rushed to the scene. It was a cute little house in the suburbs; you know the kind with the picket white fence. We entered, not knowing what to expect. There was blood everywhere, like some kid got into a can of red paint and went to town. The creep must have been wearing gloves, because amid all the mess, we found no fingerprints. We entered the girl’s bedroom and saw her lying on the floor inside a circle of what seemed to be her own blood. She was too young and precious to die in such a horrific manner, the way she was twisted and contorted. The beast had snapped her head back behind her, and slit her sweet and tender throat; her crystal eyes gazed at me, begging for mercy. I closed them, and closed my own for a moment. Who could do such a thing – end the life of one who had hardly lived? Some would say he saved her from the pain of the world, and that she would be in Heaven now with the angels and some god. I have never believed in any of that nonsense. The supernatural, life after death, angels, demons, none of that was real to me – only cold hard facts. This girls life was over, ended not by some demon from the darkest part of hell, but by someone of flesh and blood. There was no Devil, only the evil in people’s hearts. Where it came from I’d never know, but I’d seen it plenty of times. I was looking at it right now. I watched Meyers falling deeper into the abyss as she glared at the child’s bare chest, where in blackened flesh was branded the number 2659. She could not believe that a human being could perform such a perverse act. To her the Devil was real, and he had left his mark.
We got back from talking with the girl’s parents, and I was not sure what to think. I slumped down into my chair and took a few deep breaths. Meyers ran over to the computer to cross-reference something in the database. While I felt more lost than ever, she was on a mission. Not sure what she was so keen on; the parents’ story seemed so unbelievable, as if they were trying to cover up something. But why would they make up such a fantastic story. Nothing made sense. The mother had been cooking, while the father was in the study. When Mom called everyone to dinner, the girl didn’t come to the table. Dad went to get her, and that was when he found her just as we had seen her. There were no screams; no one had broken in. The parents were the only ones in the house. When the father ran to tell the mother, he noticed all the blood on the walls, the floor, and even the ceiling. I was hoping for something more creditable, especially since these were our first eyewitnesses. But Meyers felt that they were telling the truth; she could see it in their eyes. The only truth I saw was the pain, a hurt that could not be consoled. That was what made this so difficult. I had to give it to Meyers, she was a good judge of character from what I’d seen, but the story that they told went against all that I believed and held true. There had to be another answer; but just as with all the other murders, the only solid clue that we still had was that enigmatic number -2659.
Meyers called me over. Apparently she had found something interesting. I looked over her shoulder to read the file that she had on the screen. It was from The Demon Knight Case. I remembered it well. Steven Ross, who called himself “The Demon Knight,” went on a month long killing spree in this very city about 5 years ago. It was all part of some insane ritual he was performing. By sacrificing these innocents, he would release some demon from its imprisonment in the abyss, and in turn be granted great powers and a seat at this dark lord’s right-hand side when it took dominion over the Earth. This head case took the lives of forty people that summer in a very similar manner to the murders that we were facing now. Though these new murders were a bit more grotesque, and Steven didn’t use any numbers or branding. But “The Demon Knight” could not be involved with these new murders; it was impossible. I explained to Meyers how we had captured Mr. Ross thanks to his ego. He had a short wave radio broadcast that he put out every Friday evening, updating his fellow followers of his dark lord on his progress. We were able to track the signal to his house. He was found guilty of murder in the first degree on all forty accounts, despite his plea of insanity. This of course got him a one-way ticket to the electric chair. I made sure that I had a front row seat to see him fry. Even at the last moment he never gave up on his dark quest. You could see his lips chanting some incantation as they pulled the switch. Maybe his prayers were answered in some strange way, for he didn’t die that day. The electric shock put him into a comatose state, leaving him alive but with no function left in his body. He is still in the nursing home, hooked up to machines to keep him alive as a vegetable. Talk about your tax dollars at work. It never made sense to me. We intended to have him die to pay for his crime, yet we kept him breathing. Meyers still thought he was connected in some way to this new string of murders. And now I knew why. I looked at the screen to where she was pointing, almost as if she had won the lottery. There it was in black and white, that very number that had been haunting us throughout this case – 2659. It was Steven’s room number at the nursing home. Someone knew this, and was giving us a message.
Maybe it was a copycat killer, or a follower of “The Demon Knight,” who was trying to finish what his master had started. Either way, we finally found our connection. But I was still puzzled at how Meyers was able get this information now, when it had eluded us for so long. She handed me a photo that was taken inside the home of the little girl. It was a shot of the wall that had blood smeared all over it. Meyers explained that when she looked at the photo and studied it, she realized that the markings on the wall were Ancient Sanskrit. She was an expert in ancient civilizations and cultures, especially written languages. She translated the writing and it said demon knight. So she cross-referenced demon knight and 2659 and came up with Steven Ross. She hadn’t told me about the writing on the wall because she wanted to be certain that she wasn’t wrong. The connection was perfect, and Meyers earned her first gold star.
We arrived at the hospital and were escorted to Mr. Ross’ room. When we got there, Meyers’ eyes opened wide. There was no doubt left in her mind. I was a little stunned myself. The room number was 2659. We entered to see Steven lying in a bed hooked up to a respirator and an IV. He couldn’t kill anyone like this. Out of nowhere he started to convulse. Nurses ran in to his aid. We stepped out and I walked over to the desk to ask some questions. Apparently, Steven had been experiencing these convulsions for the past two weeks. I was given a record showing the time and length of each. As Meyers and I left, I received a call. There was another murder at 6:15 PM. That was the exact time that Steven had his fit. We rushed back to the office, and I quickly pulled out the files. The times of the murders matched those of Steven’s seizures perfectly. This was surreal, there had to be an explanation. I called the hospital to speak with one of the doctors – he was dead. Somehow Steven Ross’s respirator stopped working, and they were unable to resuscitate him. The look in Meyers’ eyes said it all – she had pulled the plug.
The murders stopped that night, and the case went unsolved. Though, Meyers and I knew the truth. And thanks to this case and, of course, Meyers, I learned how to believe.