Lady stood, waiting at the entrance of the chapel. Her tall ebony form was imposing compared to Misty’s smaller, petite figure. Within the shorter woman, Lady already sensed a paradox. Within that one person resided two distinct identities, neither holding a true name. But both fought to control her. One was able to dominate in her friend’s presence, but was weakened without him.
The one that he kept at bay was dark and evil. It hungered sexually and destroyed all it came into contact with. It was almost demonic. Almost. But not quite.
The second was at peace with Morgan in its presence. It was a good presence. It kept the evil at bay, kept it quiet.
As she observed, she realized that both were the two sides of the same person, just somehow torn free of each other. Something traumatic must have happened to this one. Something far worse than what most go through. It usually took a lot to tear the two halves of a personality apart, unless the person was already too weak to control them both.
Morgan stepped up beside his friend. “What do you think?”
“You are the key, Morgan,” Lady replied, “With this one, you are the key. As long as you are around her, she is who you see. But I fear that the other half is not going to allow her peace for long. Should something happen to you, she will lose control of the person you are accustomed to and become someone dark and evil. Hell. I think she has already, at some point in the recent past.”
“But will she harm me in any way?” He pressed.
“No,” Lady shook her head, “Not on purpose. But be careful. She hides too many secrets. But I am not sure she knows, though, at least not consciously.”
“Then,” he returned, “You would deem her safe to marry?”
Lady smiled. “Yes, Morgan. She is safe. For now. Maybe until death do you part. But only as long as you are there with her.”
Morgan nodded. “OK. Merci beaucoup.”
“You are always welcome, Morgan,” The voodoo priestess replied, “I only wish we had worked out. Don’t you?” She smiled.
“Sometimes, Hon,” he acknowledged.
A child had lost their ball in a sewer drain and was looking for it when they spotted something odd. Something that shouldn’t have been there. They ran into their home and began tugging at their mother’s arm. She looked over at them.
“What is it, Lisa?” She asked.
“Mama,” Lisa began, “I was trying to get my ball out of the drain and saw something that doesn’t belong. You told me that if I saw something I knew didn’t belong I was supposed to come get you.”
Lisa’s mother put down the knife she was using to cut vegetables for their dinner. “OK, Hon. Lead the way.” She grabbed the flashlight off the counter as she began following her daughter.
Out to the storm drain. Lisa pointed inside. “It’s in there.”
Her mother got down on her hands and knees and looked inside. Lisa was right. There was something out of place. Someone had tossed a package with something in it into the drain. What it was, she couldn’t tell. All she could tell was that it had been wrapped in plastic. She shined the flashlight into the drain at the object.
“Oh, God!” She breathed in disbelief, then turned to her daughter. “Honey, go get mommy’s cell phone off the counter. Quick.”
Lisa ran back to the house and obeyed her mother. Bringing the phone out with her, she looked at her mother. “You want me to get the thing, Mommy?”
“NO!” She exclaimed. “No, Honey. Leave it there. I am going to call the cops.” She dialed 9-1-1 and waited. “Yes. Operator. I think I found a weapon discarded by someone. There is a bloody knife in a plastic bag in the storm drain in front of my house. Yes. Yes.”
She listened to the operator give her instruction. When prompted, she gave the operator her own address. Seven blocks away from where Carlisle and Micky had been murdered. It did not occur to her at that moment, that she might have discovered the very murder weapon the police had been looking for. She was just concerned that it was important.
As always, Michael took the call from the operator. He motioned for Reilly and Danforth to follow. This did not need a full detail. Just the three of them could get this. Marcel, Justin, was still out on leave. What he didn’t know wouldn’t hurt him.
Evangeline was more important to him right now than this unholy case. And rightly so. She was his life. Without her, he only had his work. And work left a man empty.
As he led the way to the squad car, he began. “This may mean that we need to start searching every storm and sewer drain in the city around each crime scene, you know that don’t you?”
“Yep,” Reilly replied, “so when you want us to start?”
“Right after we retrieve this one,” he returned, “Just remember to wear gloves when you retrieve it. The bag may have the prints of the killer on it.”
“Understood,” came the acknowledgement.
“I just wonder how many more we’ll find,” Danforth pondered, “When it is all said and done.”
“I have no clue,” Michael stated dryly, “Depends on how many actual victims there are. We have a whole condo of rich men missing, a maintenance and super, not to mention at least ten more. The killer has slacked off recently, killing only sporadically. Something has changed. What is not known.”
They drove the rest of the way in silence. Michael only hoped that they would be able to lift prints from the bag. It would make their job a lot easier. If they found some prints, they would be able to catch whoever had been doing this. He closed his eyes. A migraine was starting to build.