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Cherry Street

Started by gnimbley, August 06, 2005, 04:43:06 AM

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Cherry Street

Chapter Four

Thursday, August 11

Karen bounded up the stairs two steps at a time to Roberts' apartment. She knocked on the door
twice and let herself in.

"Justin," she called out. "You have to see this."

Justin Roberts was sitting at a dilapidated card table in his kitchen with Mark Beason, a short, thin,
red haired man with wisps of hair on his chin. An array of picture cards lay on the table between

"Hey, Karen," said Roberts. "In the kitchen.

Karen rushed into the kitchen holding several newspaper clippings in her hand. "Oh, I'm sorry. I
didn't know you were busy," she said.

"Whoa," said Beason. "Never too busy for you, babe."

"It's okay," said Roberts. "What have you got?"

Karen glanced at Beason who was eyeing her lower body with what he considered an appreciative
smirk. She turned to Roberts and handed him the clippings. There was a sheet of yellow notepaper
on top.

"I have correlated the information about the murders," said Karen. "There are several rather
interesting similarities about the crimes and the victims."

"You mean other than they were all men, killed around here by having their throats slashed?" said

"No way, man," said Beason. "You got some kind of slasher about here?"

"Apparently," said Karen. "All the murders occurred between 11 P.M. and 3 A.M. All the bodies
were found in an alley or within a few feet of an alley; and when they weren't found in the alley,
fresh blood was found there."

"Damn," said Beason. "How many of these murders have there been?"

"Four, so far," said Roberts.

"While I don't have access to the police reports and know what other similarities there might be,"
said Karen, "I have visited each of the murder sites and all the alleys lead to a late night eating
establishment like a deli or a fast food joint."

"Not restaurants?" asked Roberts.

"In one case," said Karen. "But in each case there is at least one place where you can just walk in
and get something to eat or a cup of coffee late at night. A place where you don't need reservations."

"There would be no record you were there," said Roberts.

"Exactly," said Karen.

"This is some heavy shit, man," said Beason. "Sounds like it isn't safe to be out on the streets at
night around here. Maybe I should walk you home, doll." Beason reached out his hand and stroked
Karen's leg. She pushed it away.

"I just live on the floor below," said Karen. "Besides you are more the slasher's type. He only kills

"No shit," said Beason.

"You know," said Roberts, "Mr. Hormone here might have a point. It may not be a good idea for
you to get so wrapped up in all this, going to the crime scenes and all."

"I'm careful," said Karen. "I don't go at night. And the police have already removed their tape.
Besides, people show up all the time, leave flowers, take pictures."

"Just be careful," said Roberts.

"Yeah," said Beason. "Wouldn't want anything to happen to you."
Karen didn't bother looking at Beason. She had a pretty good idea of what he was doing right them,
winking or flicking his eyebrows, probably.

"I also looked at similarities among the victims," said Karen. "All of them were from out of town,
they were with women they met here, not their wives..."

"Hookers," said Roberts.

"Probably," said Karen. "All been drinking heavily, and, if you read between the lines of the news
accounts, they were abusive and arrogant."

"What you say?" said Beason. "This some kind of feminazi serial killer?"

"I wouldn't put it that way," said Karen. "But obviously it is someone who has an issue with abusive

"I don't know if it's obvious," said Roberts. "Maybe he doesn't like drunks, or men who date
hookers, or maybe they were just in the wrong place at the wrong time and attracted the killer
because they were drunk and loud."

"Yeah," said Beason. "Maybe it's the pimp what's doing it. Doesn't like his whores freelancin'."

Karen gave the red-haired man a look of disgust.

"You found some connections." said Roberts. "Where does that get us?"

"I don't know," said Karen. She ran her fingers through her hair. "I didn't find anything in
Edelson's about a dark angel with dominion over abuse to women."

"It could be something more generic," said Robert. "You know, like rage. It's just manifesting as
rage against abusive men."

"Dark angel?" said Beason. "You think some kind of angel's doing this?"

"Karen saw something," said Roberts, "that makes her think the killer might be a man with, ah,

"Wings!" said Beason who then guffawed. "Man, I thought you guys were serious."

"I am serious," said Karen.

"A serial killer with wings," said Beason, still laughing. "Swoops down on his victims like a
demented Batman, I bet."

"It's not so implausible," said Roberts.

"Waspman!" cried Beason, bringing his left hand down hard on the table, scattering cards and
sending a few fluttering to the floor.

"There have been several recorded instances," said Roberts, "of people seeing winged humans or

"Yeah, in comic books!" said Beason.

"Look," said Karen. "I didn't see anyone with wings. What I saw was an image on a wall, like the
shadow of something. But when I went back later, it was gone."

"I think it was an ectoplasmic discharge that discolored the wall," said Roberts. "Faded over time
which accounts for it not being there when we went back to check."

"You two are bats, you know that?" said Beason. He stood and put a hand on Karen's shoulder.
"But in your case, sweetheart, I'd be willing to overlook it."

Karen shrugged off his hand and backed away. Roberts stood and moved between them.

"I think maybe you should go, Mark," said Roberts.

"Yeah, well," said Beason, "this game is pretty fuxored as it is." He picked up two cards from the
table and dropped them to the floor. "I'll leave you two detectives to your waspman."

Roberts followed Beason to the door. In a lowered voice Beason said, "You getting any of that?"

"Well, you know," said Roberts.

"Are you sure it's worth it?" said Beason. "You know I'd hit it, but these crazy ones can be trouble.
Know what I mean, man?"

"I hear you," said Roberts.

Roberts closed the door and walked back to the kitchen. Karen was picking cards off the floor and
putting them on the table.

"Maybe I was just seeing things," said Karen.

"I believe you," said Roberts. "Mark is just, you know. He's a great guy for playing games, but
when it comes to the occult, he's strictly a brick."

"I've been beating on this stuff for four days," said Karen, "doing the research in my spare time, and
I am not one step closer to figuring it out."

"Why don't you take a break?" said Roberts. "Get away for a while, take the weekend off. My
brother's got a boat up on Lake Madison. We could go up there, just hang out on the water."

"Thanks," said Karen, "but I've got to work this weekend. There's some big book fair in New York
and everyone's going to be off buying so I'm stuck minding the shop."

"Maybe some other time," said Roberts.

"Sure," said Karen, "that'd be great. Say, thanks for listening to me babble. If it weren't for you, I'd
really be going nuts."

"No problem," said Roberts. "Any time. My door is always open."

Roberts closed the door after Karen. He picked up the rest of the cards and tossed them on the
table. Took a can of soda out of the refrigerator and downed a swig. "Maybe some other time."
"Sure, that'd be great."
Roberts smiled as he imagined what Karen would look like in a bikini
sitting on the prow of his brother's boat, her hair streaming behind her, as he took her to that special
secluded cove his brother had shown him last year.


Yaaay!  Men are pigs!


- DJRubberducky
Quote from: LMNODJ's post is sort of like those pills you drop into a glass of water, and they expand into a dinosaur, or something.

Black sheep are still sheep.


Cherry Street

Chapter Five

Thursday, August 25

The bell above the door tinkled, announcing that someone had entered the Scholar's Nook. Karen
looked up from the copy of Duvall's Apocalyptic Breeze: The Role of Dark Angels in the
that laid in her lap. She smiled at the young women wearing a Bunny Horde t-shirt
who had just entered. The woman shyly smiled back and headed for the stacks of used fantasy

Karen looked back at her book. She was sitting on a stool behind a long, waist-high, glass cabinet
which displayed a multitude of well known classics in older editions and some firsts of popular

Mr. Hawthorne, her boss, called it his "collector trap." While none of the books were particularly
valuable, they would catch the eye of any collector. That gave Hawthorne the chance to feel them
out, see if they were serious and what kind of book might interest them. If they passed muster, he
would show them one of the real treasures he kept locked up in his office. But, even then, only a
couple. Hawthorne's treasures needed to be appreciated, not merchandised.

The bell tinkled again. This time a slender, middle aged woman dressed in a black, three quarter
sleeve, wrap dress entered. A long, black, silk shawl with swirls and quarter moons of silver thread
was draped across her shoulders.

Karen smiled and the woman acknowledged her with a slight tilt of the head. The woman started for
the back of the shop, but stopped suddenly and stood very still, like she was trying to recapture a
feeling that had just slipped away.

She looked at Karen and asked, "Would you have a copy of Dr. Arthur Sanders' Sunrise at

Karen was surprised at how pure violet the woman's eyes were, like a pair of amethyst jewels.

"Is that a travelogue or a work of fiction?" asked Karen.

The woman stepped closer. Even though she was on the other side of the glass case, Karen felt like
the woman had crowded up next to her, their bodies separated only by the thin, wispy fabric of the

"It would be under Egyptology. Or perhaps Spiritualism."

"If we had anything like that on the shelves, it would be in the second alcove on the left," Karen said

The woman looked down into Karen's lap and smiled slightly. Karen felt the urge to cover the
Duvall with her hands, ashamed she had been caught reading such trash. But she froze in place, her
breath iced in her throat.

The bell tinkled again. The woman said, "Thank you," and walked away. Karen inhaled a noisy rush
of air.

A familiar voice said, "Hi, Karen. Where do you all keep the porn around here?"

Standing in front of her were George and Kevin. George had a smirky grin on his face while Kevin
was trying hard not to look embarrassed.

"We have paperbacks of the Kama Sutra in the small room at the top of the stairs. They'll be just
what you are looking for. Only one user," said Karen.

George grinned even bigger and bounded off, up the stairs.

"What are you guys doing here?" said Karen.

Kevin shrugged. "George said we ought to come down and check you out, I mean, check your shop
out. I mean. You know what I mean."

"Yeah, I know what you mean," said Karen.

"What are you reading?" asked Kevin.

"It's just an old book."

"Isn't that everything is your shop? Old."

"Not really," said Karen. "We have a lot of stuff that is practically new."

"So, what's it about?"

Karen shifted her eyes down away from Kevin. "Dark angels."

"You're still working on that serial killer theory of yours?"

"It's not a theory," said Karen. "I'm just curious, that's all."

"He hasn't been around lately," said Kevin. "Maybe he's moved on. Gone away."

"I don't think so."

"What makes you think that?"

A young man with a stack of paperbacks approached the counter. Karen added up his purchases
and waited for him to count out several crumpled dollar bills and a fistful of change.

The woman in the black shawl stood half hidden by a shelf of philosophy and history texts. Every
time Karen glanced, the woman was looking down at a book. Every time Karen looked away, she
felt sure the woman was looking at her.

"What makes you think the serial killer will be back?" asked Kevin after the young man had left
with his books.

"Promise you're not going to think I am some kind of nerd?"

"If you're a nerd, that'll make two of us."

"The first murder happened on February 8th. The second was May 8th, the third July 1st, and the
fourth August 5th. The time between the murders is getting shorter."

"Okay," said Kevin. "That's what? Three months, two months, one month? Following that pattern,
the next murder should have happened the same day."

"It doesn't work out to be months exactly. If you count the days, it works out to be 89 days, 54, and
35. Almost months, but not quite. I tried working out a pattern but I couldn't see one. Until I also
looked at the times of the murders."

"What? You've got this figured out down to the hours, or the minute?"

"No, silly. The first murder happened at 2:00 in the morning. That's what the coroner told the
newspapers at any rate."

Karen pulled out a couple of clipped newspaper articles from the back of her book. "The second
murder took place just after midnight, the third murder was just before midnight, and the last one
around one in the morning."

Karen looked at Kevin expectantly, but saw only a clueless expression.

"The third murder took place before midnight," said Karen. "The others took place afterwards. If
we consider the night time before and after midnight to be part of the same day, then our count is
wrong by one day. The third murder should be counted as if it took place on July 2nd and not July

"And what does that do for us?"

"That makes the counts between days as 89, 55 and 34."

"Okay. I'm still clueless."

"It's the Fibonacci sequence. A mathematical sequence where you take the last two numbers, add
them together and get the next number. You start with one and two. Add them together to get three.
Then two and three make five, five and three make eight, eight and five make thirteen, and so forth."

"So you are saying that the time between the murders fits this Fiberace sequence?"

"Fibonacci," said Karen. "And yes, it fits the sequence. 55 and 34 make 89. Instead of counting up
as you would normally do, the killer is counting down."

"I see," said Kevin. "So what's the next number in the sequence?"

"You get that by subtracting the last number from the one before it. 34 from 55 is 21."

"Twenty-one? So if the last murder took place on August 5th, then the next one should take place
on August 26th. Tomorrow night."

"Since we are counting the time before and after midnight as the same day," said Karen, "it won't
be tomorrow. It'll be tonight."

Eldora, Oracle of Alchemy


And, Fiberace, heheh :lol:  :twisted: that's beautiful man :cry:


Nice... I was wondering where this would be going...

Hey, how did Karen recognize the fibbonacci sequence so easily?


gimbley, come back.....

I have cookies...

Right here, in this sack.

-Thread Archeologist.


neat hell

East Coast Hustle

how did I miss this the first time around?
Rabid Colostomy Hole Jammer of the Coming Apocalypse™

The Devil is in the details; God is in the nuance.

Some yahoo yelled at me, saying 'GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH', and I thought, "I'm feeling generous today.  Why not BOTH?"


I dunno.  It was in the midst of Erics last gasp, if I remember correctly, so you might have been busy.



This is great (and I know how I missed it first time around, I wasn't here).


This needs to continue.
Nature is the great teacher. Who is the principal?


Just stopped by to grab a copy of this. I am thinking about writing another chapter. Yeah, I know, 14 years or something. I blame Covid. He's such a bastard.