FictionMysterySuspenseThriller

THE STAR CODE

A black Porsche stopped in front of a general store. Everyone turned their heads around as the chief investigatory officer reached the crime scene.

“Shoot the details”, he ordered as soon as he reached the scene. The inspector in-charge followed him with a file filled with case details in his hands. He stopped as he saw a trash box near a small alley on the right. 

“Have you found any weapon?” he inquired.

“No sir. Not yet.” the inspector replied. 

He pointed his masculine hand towards the trash box and asked him to check it. He quickly grabbed a plastic glove and instantly began checking the body. There was a woman lying in front of him wearing some sparkly, party like clothes. 

“Clothes torn off……. Forced marks. Assault.” he began giving his statements out of experience. 

“We found her purse sir, but the money is still. It doesn’t look like she was assaulted for money. Here, her driving license.” he read out the name as he handed the card to the chief. “Sarah Matthews.”

He was about to turn the other way around, but he stopped. He tilted the head and lifted the chin of the woman. There was a star carved near her earlobe. He suspected it to be the work of a psychopath or a serial killer. The chief took a deep breath and gave the orders to interrogate the witnesses and send the evidence and the body to the forensics. He departed from the scene, and went back home.

Few days later______

Chief Jones wakes up in his dim-lit room, and screams in pain as he tried to lift his hands. He pulled his body up and stepped out of the bed, and walked to the bathroom.

He was still in his sleepy state, with eyes half closed. But he got the shock of his life, as he saw his arms covered with bruises. Marks like, someone clawed his arm out. He had a stinging pain at the back of his head. And his hands had dried blood on them. He quickly washed the blood off. He couldn’t even comprehend what had happened.

He tried his best to recall what had actually occurred. But he only remembered the part where he ordered a bottle of beer at a bar. After that, he couldn’t remember anything. Not the slightest hint of memory was left of the night in his mind. Before he could even recover from this turn of events, he got a call from the office. Another young woman was murdered at the city park on the night of New Year’s eve. With the same star mark on her skin. 

In a matter of minutes, Chief Jones arrives at the scene, still pinching himself to make sure it was no dream. As he dragged his feet through the scenes, a slight glimpse of memory flashed in front of his eyes, and he froze as he saw a faded picture of a woman in his memory. He was taken aback as he saw the body in front of him. Even though his memory was hazy, but he was clearly sure that he saw her yesterday night, before she was killed. He ordered for the body to be taken to the forensics along with all the evidence. As he left the scene, he decided to go to the bar first. He called for the manager and showed him his badge. He inquired about last night, and luckily the security footage showed that he was with a waitress, after he passed out at the table. And the waitress took him home. But when he asked for the waitress, there was no clue about her whereabouts. She just disappeared. Jones asked for her personal belongings and her identification papers. Surprisingly, it was the same woman from the morning, the one who died. Her name was Lisa Anderson. Now, he was even more curious and horrified. He accelerated his car and stopped right outside the police headquarters. He ran through the corridors, and yelled for the information on the ongoing serial murder case. He scattered the files all over his table, and began scavenging for any kind of useful information. As he searched through the photographs he found the university photograph of the Sarah. As he moved his eyes from right to left, he found young Lisa in the picture. He quickly called the team, and showed them the photograph.

 “Looks like, the murderer was going after these ladies in the picture. Inspector Ben, quickly call all of them, and warn them, they need to be aware of the situation. And try to investigate, where were these ladies last seen? And with whom?” 

The team immediately scattered as the new lead in this case was a really strong one this time. Chief Jones went with inspector Ben to find out the similarities between the two cases. They went to St. Thomas University of Arts to talk to the principal and the staff. 

As they showed the Dean the picture, she recognized them immediately. According to her, four students from the photo were the members of a local band but they never performed any live shows. They only sang strictly on the radio. And out of the four students in the picture, there was one more guy who was from another college but lived in the same neighbourhood. Now two out of those five people were dead, they had only one option to find the other three, and warn them. The ones who were left were Sandra Park, Tim Anniston, Lupert Stalker. They called all of them to the headquarters. However, there was no sign of Lupert. He was completely off the radar.

As the two were being interrogated about the recent happenings, Chief Jones decided to find Lupert on his own. As he passed the interrogation room, he heard Sandra and Tim yelling while pointing at him. They kept on saying, “That’s him! That’s Lupert!” 

“What a pair of lunatics”, Jones thought. 

He continued to walk out of the door and called a cab. Due to so much of exertion, he didn’t feel like driving that day. He stopped the cab in between to smoke a cigarette. For some reason he wasn’t sure of his actions today. He never touched a cigarette before and here he was taking puffs like a professional. He ordered the cab to go somewhere where he has never been before. What exactly was the deal with him today? He quickly got out of the cab and returned to his house. Looked like stress was getting over his mind.

The whole city was preparing to sleep now. And so was Sandra Park. Just as she was about to lie down, someone rang the doorbell. She got to the door to see who it was. She peeped through the eye hole, but there was no one. She got the hint, that this could be the serial killer. She hurried inside and called the police. The guest kept on ringing the bell. But she didn’t open the door. The guest got furious, and took out a knife from his pocket and rang the bell of the house again. He started banging the door, and cut the door with the knife, avoiding the locks and pushed the door with his arms. Scared, Sandra welcomed the guest with a baseball bat in her hand. She yelled at him, “What do you want Lupert?”, she asked putting up a brave face in front of him. 

“Dana started the star. You drove her out of the group. I will kill you all.” 

He hit her arms and snatched the bat from her. She screamed as he held the knife against her neck, and slit her throat without any mercy. He threw her on the ground and carved the star mark on her skin. Just as he got up to leave the scene, he felt a sheer pain in his head, and in a flick of a second, the colour of his eyes changed. He saw the blood on his hands and the body in front of him. He turned his head around towards a big mirror to see his own reflection. Just then the police barged into the house. 

“Freeze Lupert! Put your hands behind your head, and turn around.” yelled inspector Ben. 

Lupert did as he was told. But as he turned around, the whole unit was shocked. Everyone gasped in unison as they saw Chief Jones covered all in blood and holding a knife in hand.

Written by: Gauri Sachan

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