by GARY CLIFTON
"Damnation, you a fine lookin' babe to be some dumb cop...especially a homicide dick for God's sake. Them knockers...they bigger 'n a fat boy's head." Handcuffed behind and face down, his breath came in short, desperate gasps. "How's a bitch like you run so fast...so far?"
"Casper?" Margot smiled, her dark eyes reflecting the serene, beautiful
bottomless depth of an isolated well.
"I take that as a high compliment from a man of your experience." Detective Margot Platt had just
"You jes' a kid."
The experienced cops standing around the car were not the least surprised to see
Casper fixated on Margot's eyes, staring intently into her beautiful face, mouth
agape. In five more minutes
Margot flipped through her notes.
"Allison was number two,
"Yeeeess, I loved them all and now I'm a thinkin' I love you Detective LePlatt. I'm a wishin' youda been my mama. When I get out I'm gonna come to your house." His focus, blissful at the horror talk, changed at the comment. Margot recognized instinctively he meant to harm her and her daughter.
"Casper, you've been a very bad boy and now you're gonna have to be punished," Margo reached back to touch his hands.
"Oh God, yes, punish me Margot. Hurt me...I deserve it," he evaporated into sobs. He then took thirty additional minutes describing victims by name with explicit descriptions, the horrible crimes he'd committed, the butchery, the gore. The more he talked, the more animated he became.
"How the double dog hell does she do that?" a younger detective asked the Sergeant outside the car. "He's like...like he's staring into the face of the Almighty."
"Not a clue, but glad she's on our side," the graying sergeant said.
And that was it - or should have been.
a prime candidate for the three needle cocktail at the end of the hall on death row.
Margot went back to routine duty, if digging at dead bodies and watching autopsies, hoping the murders left a clue behind, could ever be routine. Young, darkly beautiful men were attracted to her enticing eyes like moths to the light. Never a flirt or a person to outwardly entice male attention, men found they couldn't pass her by without getting a load of those eyes. In her four years with the Dallas Police Department, punctuated by being promoted to Homicide after only six months on the job, she’d rarely dated cops or anyone else for that matter, male or female. Strong men and women around her often lamented out loud what a waste of pure sexual attraction she seemed.
Margo lived in a small bungalow in the Lake Highlands District of northeast
Dallas with her daughter, Shelby, a quiet, intelligent child of nine. Margot had petitioned successfully to
the necessary authorities for the right to home school Shelby. Few knew, including her occasional
Then, the courts appointed a lawyer right out of law school to represent
Dwight immediately attacked Margot's interrogation, petitioned a sympathetic
judge, and Casper's confession was tossed out in a week. "A deliberate effort to play on the
denial of maternal affection from the defendant's mother." His highness ruled and suppressed the
confession. Ironic, Margot thought. She didn't personally recall ever
having a mother of her own, but the judge blamed her for
"No hard feelings, miss...er, uh?" The judge peered down from his bench.
"Detective Margo LePlatt."
"Yes, LePlatt. Your demeanor is archaic," the judge smirked, studying Margot's chest intently.
"So much for your Gestapo tactics, officer," fat lawyer Dwight smirked. "Now I'm suing you and the city on behalf of my client."
"Good luck with that," Margot eyed the unsavory attorney. She strolled into the hallway behind
the judge's chambers where
"Hey, Miss Margot,"
"No hard feelings here, Casper. We really meant to help you." No one saw her slip a folded, pink telephone message slip between the bars. "In case you need to find a safe haven, here's an address of a citizen who serves no useful purpose. You could live in this apartment if the owner moved out...or something else happened to him."
Lawyer Found Slaughtered - No Trace of Suspect Found. Cops Stymied, the newspaper on Margot's desk blared. The headline reverberated in her head.
She knew she should feel some regret at handing lawyer Dwight's home address to
a madman, but any guilt was eroded by visions of fourteen butchered little
girls. Dwight had helped free
a horrible beast to kill again. She
leaned back and studied the squad room ceiling.
Such a crying shame that pompous judge couldn't have been visiting
Watching Dwight's' house she’d struck pay dirt the first night. As
Through the three hundred or so years Margot had been trapping stupid men, she'd
developed an endless array of methods.
Use the hypodermic and they'd have to cart him home to their basement. She opted that
Little Shelby actually climbed up on uncle Casper's knee, on a stool amidst body
parts and an ocean of blood smeared on the floor.
In twenty minutes, mommy was delighted to see
They'd keep Casper chained in her basement for another day, she thought
dreamily. They'd seared enough of
the wounds shut. He'd last that long
She'd had considerable experience at dropping bodies that were never found.
Gary Clifton, forty years a cop, has over sixty short fiction pieces published or pending with online sites including Bewildering Stories, Flashes in the Dark, Spinetingler, and Black Heart Mag. He's been shot at, shot, stabbed, sued and is currently retired to a dusty north Texas ranch. Clifton has an MS from Abilene Christian University. In addition to the story included in this issue, Gary’s stories have appeared two other times in HelloHorror: His story Blood Passion appears in the January 2013 issue, and his story Measure Once, Cut Twice appears in the April 2013 issue.
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