The Enemy

A short story ~ On discovering her old friend has been taken by a serial killer penned ‘The Enemy’, Margo immediately seeks to find her.

Routine remained the same, but it felt different. On returning late from the bar, Margo had only one foot in the front door when her feeling of being watched escalated. She dropped her keys on the draw chest and flicked the light switch before proceeding. Still, the studio room appeared just as she had left it, but the air above had moved as though the trespasser had merely floated through.

Margo had lived here for years and knew the layout well. Not a subject to finery she retained a rustic and authentic feel to the apartment. Most of the furniture had been donated to her, either that or she had used scrap material to build her own furnishings. Distractions during her free time, which kept her hands from the devil’s work.

Now in the flat, Margo scrunched her pupils over the too-perfect details. But something was always left behind. Drawn to the bathroom, she took a deep breath and dragged a plastic glove from her pocket. Purified she pinched the corner of a photograph slipped into the corner of the mirror. It was a photo she knew, but not one she kept.

Like the mirror before her, the photo reflected herself. Alongside her represented what Margo remembered of Florence, at a works party when they were a few years younger. Both were just aspiring detectives then and best friends since school. Yet it had now been years since they had met.

When Margo had first been introduced to Florence, she knew right away that they would be best friends. Joined by their mutual depressions, they had soon found comfort in each other’s company. Along the way, trialled in hardship their long-lasting relationship was solidified.

Although the photo resurrected an anomaly of memories, Margo was extremely calm and proceeded to the kitchen to delicately preserve the photo in a sealed food bag. Among the wrappers and bottles from midnight snacks, every paper from the previous eight weeks were stacked and stamped in red marker. Each one covered the same story of the infamous serial killer, who they had penned The Enemy for the nature of their murders. They targeted only the closest, most precious people to the members of the police force.

Once it had been a requirement to write this name in your contract, for the purpose of protection should a case become personally awry. A connection, Margo had made. The targets were anyone involved in these contracts. Florence would be the next victim: Florence was in Margo’s contract.

Their had been many times Margo was grateful to this, especially when they worked on cases together. It was Margo who could take on the more strenuous tasks which had eventually earned her place as head detective. Regretting only, that their shared dream realistically could not be divided between them.

Surprisingly, the papers had already released the deaths occurred only on Thursdays at four pm. A piece of information Margo had assumed would be kept by the police. Still, the newspapers must have known there was more to be revealed, as they had plagued the station since the murders became an occurring matter. With Wednesday moon creeping into Thursday sun, there was no time to waste.

Next morning, Margo set off to the station. Her chipper and stunning red Monte Carlo doubled as her work and personal car. With uncertainty about being seen in the station she parked around the corner and entered the side route. Leading into the reception, she slipped to the fire escape stairs to avoid the cameras and news crews.

At the top floor Margo stuck to the wall, avoiding her colleagues. She had timed her visit so the lab would be emptied for break. Once inside, she located a strong UV light and placed the photograph underneath. There, what her bathroom light had been too weak to extract, was a series of numbers. So far, the only numbers that had been identified in this case belonged to run-down security cameras. Margo used the lab’s open computer to locate the camera before finding herself in the vent of an abandoned warehouse, crawling towards her old friend.

Mind racing, Margo wondered what she should do next. It had been a while since she was so involved in a case. Knowing her health had declined recently, she sauntered for a way to capture the killing without losing her victim. Cold breath circulating before her anticipated the reveal of the true Enemy.

Sure to her detective skills, Margo looked down on Florence tied to a chair and gagged. A hooded figure in black stood with their eyes on the time. Presumably they were waiting for the correct point in their ritual to strike their victim. Respect for the ritual was not given by detectives, but Margo lay still foreseeing each second with a flutter of excitement.

If Margo was still a detective she would burst into the room and claim the murderer in her predatorily claws. Instead, she watched the murderer collect their weapon, aim at Florence’s head and shoot. Rather than following the intricate extent the murderer took to hide all evidence, Margo focused on the blood soaking into Florence’s long blonde hair.

Perhaps it was extreme to feel such romance for a corpse. Yet in Margo’s eyes, she had only brought Florence to the same hollow state she was in. A few years ago, it was Florence who had enlightened the lieutenant to Margo’s drinking habits, resulting in her firing. Though she may have only done it out of concern, this also left Florence her position as head detective. An undertaking Margo could not forgive. Florence soon became an enemy.

Only this wasn’t what the world would see. As Margo crawled backwards out of the vent, she practised the distressed tone in her head, “Lieutenant… Hi, it’s Margo. I must report, I’m at the abandoned warehouse. Florence may be in danger. I went to see her at her apartment with a discovery on the Enemy but she wasn’t there and the place was trashed. I found her car here when I heard a gun shot. I’ve rung you straight away but you’ll need to hurry.”

Then as the Enemy would be defiantly arrested and tears wept, heads shaken over the beloved Florence’s body, Margo would be thanked for her service in capturing Florence’s murderer. For it was her who had found precedence in the photographs and cameras. What more could they do in the spotlight of the news? Invited back to the force, for her bravery and elite skills, Margo would be welcomed with open arms.

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