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The House of Murder


Hope Hopkins

Copyright © 2015 by Hope Hopkins

Cover art by Sam O’Neil

All rights reserved.

This book, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, events, and places is coincidental.

Table of Contents


Chapter 0

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

About the Author


Year, 1984

In St. Louis Missouri in the middle of nowhere there was an old big house that was beautiful where a wealthy family lived. In this house a young boy of ten stands over his mother as she dies. Blood was all over the floor as the boy watched the life leave his mother’s eyes. “Call 911…” the boy’s mother struggled to say as the boy said nothing. He continued to stare down at his mother, waiting for her to die. The boy had blood all over his hands, body, and blond hair as it dripped down his face. “My son… Call 911…” The boy still didn’t listen. The boy’s sister walked in the grand living room seeing her mother dying on the marble floors. The boy’s sister was a year older than him. She stared at her dying mother than her brother. “Oh my God, What’s happened?” the girl asked in shock. Her brother turned around, looking at her with haunting cold blue eyes that showed no emotion. All she saw in his eyes was emptiness, a darkness that couldn’t be explained.

The boy walked over to a cabinet on the other side of the living room and opened the door. The cabinet was full of guns. The boy reached for one and held it in his hand. “What are you doing?” His sister asked with fear in her eyes. “Something I should have done a long time ago,” the boy answered in a mature voice as he walked over to his mother aiming the barrel of the gun at her head.

“Wait,” his sister said walking towards him. “Don’t do this, don’t shoot her.” “It’s too late. Her fate is sealed,” the boy said as he pulled the trigger. The boy’s mother looked right at him and said, “NO!” The gun shots were loud. People in the neighborhood heard the shots and started calling the police.

Chapter 0

In the night of 1994 in the forest of St. Louis where a house dwelled, the moon shined brightly through the fog covered sky. Making the house look dark and mysterious as a woman ran for her life, trying to escape the house where she was trapped for four months, being tortured by the murderer that lived in the house. The woman ran with all her might trying to escape with her life, but as she ran, the murderer with cold blue eyes, pulled out his rifle and shot the woman in the back, killing her instantly. The murderer watched the woman fall to ground as leafs and dirt flew into the air, then fell back down and covered her body. He smiled, but he paused as he turned around to look at his house, because he had two other women to take care of. One was a cop and the other one was a woman he kidnapped the same time he captured the cop.

The cop’s name was Meagan Hamilton. Meagan went undercover to find the murderer known as the midnight striker. The murderer was given this name because he only killed in the night. But Meagan’s cover was blown a few days ago and the midnight striker kidnapped her and the other woman at the same time. The midnight striker locked Meagan and the other woman named Samantha Smith up in his basement having them bound with ropes. Meagan was laid out on the floor and managed to break free of the ropes that bound her as she looked all around the room she was in. Once Meagan freed herself of the ropes, she saw a tool box and searched through it until she found a hammer. She turned to look at Samantha. She was sitting on the floor, scared and shaking, with her hands tied behind her back.

“Don’t worry. We are getting out of here alive, alright?” Meagan said to Samantha, but she was in shock and didn’t hear her. The midnight striker had been torturing Samantha every night and each time, it seemed as though she lost a piece of herself every time he came for her. Meagan looked up the stairs and looked back at Samantha telling her, “I will be right back for you, okay?” Samantha still didn’t answer. So Meagan ran up the stairs with the hammer she found in the tool box, and broke the doorknob to the basement door and opened it slowly. Meagan walked quietly through the house when she found a phone, and called her best friend Mary Louise who was a cop also. “Hello?” Mary answered. “Mary! It’s Meagan, I’ve been captured. I need you to come for me,” Meagan said in a loud whisper. After that Meagan told Mary about Samantha and how they were captured. Then she gave Mary directions on how to get to the house. Mary quickly wrote down the directions picking up her gun when suddenly, the midnight striker came in the house and knocked Meagan out with the back of his rifle.

Mary heard Meagan fall to the floor. “Meagan? Meagan?” Mary hollered out on the phone when the midnight striker picked up the phone and said, “Sorry, Meagan’s out right now. Please leave a message.” The midnight striker hung the phone up, suspecting Mary was a cop and thought she was going to call for backup. He cursed under his breath as he dragged Meagan outside to kill her and get rid of her body. Once he threw Meagan outside, he went into his basement still holding his rifle, and dragged Samantha out as she fought him every step of the way. She was crying and kicking him. When the midnight striker was in his living room dragging Samantha by her hair an inhuman voice said to him, “You’re getting sloppy.” The midnight striker stopped walking as he was inches from the front door. He turned around staring back where the voice came from and shouted, “I’M NOT GETTING SLOPPY!!!!!” After the midnight striker hollered out, he threw Samantha out of the front door and held up his rifle and shot her before she hit the ground. The barrels of his rifle smoked as he turned to look back at the voice that talked to him. “You are going to get us both caught because of your arrogance!” the inhuman voice hissed. The midnight striker smirked and said, “Don’t worry. I’ll make sure we won’t get caught. I am a master at this. Just relax and enjoy the ride,” the midnight striker paused and said with a wide smile, “Or should I say, enjoy the show. No doubt whoever Meagan called is on their way. It’s some woman, so I will take my time with her. I think I heard Meagan call her Mary, so I earnestly await her arrival.” The inhuman voice laughed, while the midnight striker smiled and said, “You know what a patient man I am when it comes to women.”

Meanwhile, Mary Louise grabbed her badge and gun, putting it in the waist of her jeans and ran out of her apartment to her car, and started speeding down the highway with the directions Meagan gave her in hand. Mary searched and found a flashlight in her glove compartment and put it in her mouth to read the directions. As Mary read the directions, she thought she should have called for backup, but decided against it, because she knew if the midnight striker saw the cops coming, he would kill Meagan and Samantha. But Mary didn’t know Samantha was already dead.

As Mary sped down the dark road, she thought of her friend Meagan, she hoped she was still alive. Mary and Meagan were rookie cops, trying to make their mark. They knew they had a lot to prove. So Meagan volunteered to go undercover to catch the midnight striker. But it backfired on her, the midnight striker knew Meagan was a cop, so he captured her and tortured her and Samantha. Mary hit her steering wheel in frustration as she gripped it tightly. She had to hurry before it was too late for Meagan. The midnight striker was no one to miss with, he was completely insane. It took Mary almost two hours to make it out to the dark forest were the house of the midnight striker was. Mary hid her car in some brush and held her gun as she ran quietly towards the house.

But as Mary ran towards the house to find Meagan, she saw Meagan lay out on the ground unconscious. Mary knew this was a trap, but she had to take the chance to get Meagan out of here. Mary slowly walked towards her and bent down to shake Meagan’s shoulder, trying to get her to wake up. While Mary did this, she searched the forest for the midnight striker. Meagan wasn’t waking up so Mary shook her harder whispering, “Meagan, please wake up.” Mary continued to scan the forest, but it was really futile looking for the midnight striker. Because it was nighttime and no one knew what he looked like, most of the time he wore a mask or kept to the shadows so no one could identify him.

Finally, Meagan woke up as Mary raised her hand up, letting Meagan know not to say a word. Mary pointed to the opposite side of the forest, letting her know that’s the way they were going to get out of here. Meagan stood up slowly, holding the back of her head, than she and Mary ran in the direction Mary came from. As they ran in the night, the midnight striker watched them, holding his rifle as he smiled to himself. He let Mary and Megan get a head start so he could have a little fun before he killed them. He loved the thrill of the hunt and he couldn’t wait to see Mary’s face so he could torture her and reveal in her screams of pain.

Mary and Meagan ran in the night completely lost, Mary didn’t know where she was. She kept looking around trying to get her bearings, but she continued to look around utterly lost. “Where’s your car Mary?” Meagan asked in a panicked voice. “I don’t… I don’t know,” Mary struggled to say as she tried to catch her breath. “These woods are an endless labyrinth, a puzzle that I cannot find the end nor the beginning too. Crap!” Mary said frustrated as she searched the woods frantically for her car. Their lives depended on finding her car before the midnight striker found them. “Mary, what are we going to do,” Meagan said looking helpless as the moon’s light shined down her face. Mary looked at her childhood friend who was more of a sister than a friend. They knew each other since they were two and grew up together, they both wanted to be cops when they grew up like their fathers. Whenever Meagan needed Mary she was there for her, Mary was Meagan’s matron of honor at her wedding. Meagan was so happy when she married Michael Williams, the man she had been in love with since college. Mary was happy for her and gave her a big hug on her wedding day. “Will I see Michael again…?” Meagan cried. “Yes, of course you will, don’t talk like that. We’re going to make it out of this, you hear me? Now hold tight, I’m going to get us out of this mess,” Mary said looking around trying to find a path, but she couldn’t find one.

“Look Mary, I have always thought of you as a sister and you know I love you right?” Mary turned around to look at Meagan and said, “I know, I love you too, you’re the best sister I ever had since I don’t have one,” Mary said smiling. Then suddenly a twig snapped. Mary turned her attention to the sound of the noise. Than a rifle was fired and blew Meagan’s face off right in front of Mary, her blood went all over Mary’s face. Meagan’s lifeless body fell to the ground as Mary stared down at her best friend. Her face was completely gone. “Oh my God…” Mary whispered in an anguished voice. The midnight striker lowered his rifle looking at Mary as she fell to her knees, dropping her gun to the ground, as she shook Meagan’s shoulder. But she was dead. The midnight striker wished he could see Mary’s face, but he couldn’t because the trees in this part of the forest hid the moon’s light.

“Meagan! Wake up! Please!” Mary cried through her tears as they streamed down her bloodied face. Mary knew Meagan was dead, but she was in shock. There was nothing left of Meagan’s face, only blood and a lot of it. “Oh don’t worry my sweet girl, you are next, but I won’t blow your head off at first. We will play together first. Then I will blow your head off. But I shall have mercy,” the midnight striker promised as he walked over to Mary, standing behind her as he bent over whispering into her ear, “I won’t kill you yet. I promise.” Mary’s eyes widened as she held her breath. Then she looked down at Meagan, closing her eyes as she opened them again, looking straight ahead as her heart slammed in her chest.

Than the fight to flight response kicked in when the midnight striker placed his hand on Mary’s shoulder. Mary reached out and grabbed the midnight striker by the back on his neck, and flipped him over in front of her, as he landed hard on the cold earth. Once the midnight striker landed on the ground, Mary took off running into the dark forest, running blindly, not knowing which way to go. The midnight striker screamed and hollered as he jumped to his feet, picking up his rifle, running after Mary as he cursed loudly.

Mary ran fast in the dark forest as the clouded moon showed her small paths, while she tried to turn left and right to throw off the midnight striker. But he was too good. He knew this forest like the back of his hand. He grew up in this forest, knowing each path, each turn, each hill. He led Mary to a hill, cornering her as she stopped to take a breath. “Where are you going to go now? I am afraid you have run out of places to go, my sweet girl,” the midnight striker said as Mary looked around seeing a hill below, the fall would be steep and no doubt devastating. But Mary was willing to take that chance, because she made up in her mind that this night she wasn’t going to die, she was going to live.

The midnight striker walked towards Mary with his rifle in hand, smiling as he reached out for Mary, while she breathed hard, waiting for him to come closer. “Come now. Let us go back to my house, where there is heat and warmth. I will give you whatever you desire, even the inner most dreams you dream of.” Mary waited for the midnight striker to come for her, while she still had her back to him. She saw how twisted he was as he spoke to her like this whole situation was normal, as though they were taking a stroll in the park.

When the midnight striker took Mary’s arm and turned her around to face him, he searched her face. But he still couldn’t see her face, because it was so dark and the moon was hidden by the clouds above. Mary breathed heavily as she looked at his face, but she too could not see his face fully, because it was nighttime. The midnight striker pointed his rifle at Mary’s chest and said, “Don’t try anything funny, alright?” Mary’s heart nearly stopped when the midnight striker brought her to him and kissed her hard and fast, leaving her with very little air to breathe. Mary pushed and punched the midnight striker in the face with such force that he nearly fell backwards, had he not caught himself before he hit the ground. The midnight striker started to curse as blood from his mouth streamed down his chin. He quickly aimed his rifle at Mary as he balanced himself from almost falling.

“Don’t you MOVE!!!!” he shouted at Mary as she quickly moved out of the way, as his rifle went off with the bullets grazing her right shoulder and the side of her face. Mary fell to the ground holding her shoulder that burned with pain from the heat of the bullets. Blood spilled down the right side of Mary’s face as she stared up at the midnight striker, even though she still couldn’t see his face. Then unexpectedly, Mary jumped up to her feet and ran towards the midnight striker when he said in a confused voice, “What the hell? How are you even moving this fast...?” Mary tackled him. When Mary took the midnight striker down, he lost his rifle and it flew down the hill. When Mary slammed the midnight striker to the ground, he fell in a heap of dirt and leaves and rocks as he hollered out, because a sharp rock pierced his side. After that, Mary and the midnight striker starting rolling in the ground beating each other down.

Mary kicked and punched the midnight striker in his side and stood up slowly. She was just inches away from the hill she had stopped at earlier. While Mary stood beside the hill, the midnight striker leaped to his feet, and ran towards Mary as he grabbed her and threw her down the hill. But before Mary fell down the hill, she reached out and grabbed the midnight striker by the collar of his shirt, and took him with her. Mary and the midnight striker rolled down the hill together, hitting boulders, small trees and rocks and dirt, as they descended down the hill violently. Finally, they both landed in a ditch as the midnight striker landed on top of Mary, as she let out a breathless cough when he landed on top of her hard, crushing her already broken ribs.

“Oh…God!? Get off of me!” Mary choked out as the midnight striker laughed loudly, his laugher echoed throughout the forest. “Oh no darling, I ain’t going nowhere. I kind of like where I am at right now,” the midnight striker said as he tried to pin Mary’s arms down above her head, but she fought him every step of the way. It was irking the midnight striker that Mary was fighting him, so he grabbed her head and started to bash her head against the ground with bone crushing force.

But Mary continued to fight him, even though she was about to lose consciousness. As Mary fought him, she searched with her hands for anything to use as a weapon to fight him with before she passed out. As she searched, she couldn’t find anything and this frustrated her. Then she found his rifle as she punched him in the face with her free hand. For a moment the midnight striker stopped fighting Mary, because she hit him so hard, that he almost lost consciousness. He shook his head trying to stop the dizziness he was feeling as Mary picked the rifle up.

“You know, for a woman, you hit like a man, how odd. But this doesn’t matter, I am going to make you pay for this,” the midnight striker promised when Mary aimed the rifle at his head, causing him to freeze for only a moment. Not much scared him. Then he started to fight Mary again, trying to take the rifle from her. Mary fought back when she gripped and pulled the trigger and shot a hole in the left side of his chest, nearly blowing off his left shoulder. The midnight striker fell backwards on the ground not moving an inch. Mary quickly stood up to her feet, looking down at him as she held the rifle tightly, aiming at his head, seeing if he was going to move. But he didn’t move. He didn’t even flinch.

Mary was breathing heavily as sweat and blood dripped from her face. She didn’t take her eyes off of the midnight striker for the longest time. After several minutes passed, she took off, running up the hill because that was her only way out. Mary was running on pure adrenaline as she forced her tired legs to climb the steep hill like it was nothing. As Mary continued to run up the hill holding the midnight striker’s rifle, she looked up at the moon as the clouds that once covered it were now gone, giving her light for her path in the dead of the night. Once Mary made it up the hill she tried to retrace her steps as she ran down the path she and the midnight striker ran down earlier.

Mary seen she was on the right path when she saw Meagan’s body lying out on the ground. Mary slowly walked towards her friend’s body and fell to her knees, crying as she looked at Meagan’s missing face. Mary wanted to carry Meagan’s body back with her so she could have a proper burial. But as Mary was about to pick up Meagan’s body, she heard a twig snapped in the distance, but it was close by. Mary paused as she strained her ears to hear the next sound, but it didn’t come. Without knowing it, Mary was holding her breath, trying to hear on this night of death.

And without further warning or the slightest sound, a dart pierced into Mary’s neck, knocking her down on her back as her rifle flew five feet away from her. Mary yanked the dart out of her neck and remain on the ground not moving when she heard steps approaching, coming closer to her. It was a struggle for Mary, but she tried her best to breathe normally, so she wouldn’t throw off whoever shot her. She waited for this person to come so she could take them out once she had the chance. And sure enough, the person that shot her came closer, standing before Mary as she breathed slowly. Mary barely opened her eyes to see a dark figure looming over her. Mary saw the person’s leg and slowly reached out for their leg, and grabbed it, flipping the person over, causing the person to fall hard on their back.

Mary leaped to her feet and took off in the opposite direction, running fast. But the person she flipped over, shot another dart at her, the dart went into Mary’s left leg, slowing her down a little. But she pressed on, still running in the thickness of the forest. Mary had an unusual high pain and stress tolerance, so she could take a lot pain and stress before it completely knocked her out. As Mary ran, she wondered why whoever this was running after her, only shot her with darts and not bullets. That was strange. Mary didn’t know if the darts were poisonous or not, but she was getting tired.

Mary finally stumbled upon a road. She took a minute to breathe as her legs and lungs ached from the intense run. Mary’s eyes closed as she was about to fall out, but she quickly fought the dizzy spell. Mary felt lightheaded as she looked out at the road, knowing she had to get out of this accursed forest. Mary went out to the road looking for her car, but she forgot where she parked it. She was having a hard time remembering. The midnight striker banged her head hard against the ground several times. The back of her head was bleeding, but Mary didn’t know it. Due to her head getting bashed against the ground, Mary was starting to forget things that happened tonight. “Oh God, what am I going to do?” Mary whispered to herself as she looked all around the highway, when she saw truck lights coming her way. The truck was a tractor trailer and it was moving fast. Mary knew it was suicide to stand in the middle of the road to get the trucker’s attention to stop his truck, but she had no other choice.

Mary walked quickly towards the truck as it came for her moving fast. As Mary walked in the direction of the truck, the trucker who was a man named Bill Rockton, was in his late 50s. He listened to music on his radio, bobbing his head to the music, as he was doing seventy-five miles per hour, trying to make it to his next stop before he fell asleep. He was drinking a lot of coffee.

As Bill drove down the road, he spilled his coffee when he was reaching for a donut on the passenger seat; the coffee burned his leg and thigh, soaking through his jeans. “Crap!” Bill hollered out as he looked down for a napkin to wipe the remaining coffee of his jeans, because it was burning his poor leg and thigh. As Bill looked back up at the road he saw Mary on the road waving her hands at him in distress, hoping he would stop before he ran her over.

As soon as Bill saw Mary he immediately hit the brakes, trying to stop his truck before he ran Mary over and killed her. “JESUS CHRIST!!!!!!” Bill shouted as he turned the wheel a sharp left trying to avoid hitting Mary. As the truck came for Mary she closed her eyes thinking she was going to die tonight. It was too late to run and her legs and body was too tired, and full of pain. But luckily, Bill stopped his truck. Bill’s truck barely stopped in time before he ran into Mary, the head of his truck was just inches away from Mary’s face. She opened her eyes knowing that this was the end, but when she saw the truck stopped in time, she breathed a breath of relief, not knowing she was holding her breath that long.

Mary’s heart slammed in her chest, twice now she almost died, and the stress of it was about to take her out. Mary quickly ran over to the driver’s side of the truck, waiting for Bill to roll his window down so she could talk to him. Bill grumbled as he rolled down his window and said, “What were you thinking standing in the middle of the road! Where you trying to kill yourself?!” “No,” Mary said as she looked around the forest and the road. “Are you okay?” Bill asked in a calmer tone because he was concerned and he could sense Mary’s uneasiness though he couldn’t see her face in the night. “I’m…fine… Could you give me a ride to the police station?” Mary asked as she reached in her pocket for her badge. “Whoa! Hold it! What are you reaching for!” Bill hollered as he put his truck into gear getting ready to back up and clear out, thinking Mary had a gun. “Wait, please, I’m a cop, I’m just showing you my badge. I need a ride out of here,” Mary pleaded as she held up her badge for the trucker to see as he flashed a flashlight on her to see her badge and her bruised face.

“What the hell happened to you?” Bill said examining Mary’s face as she interrupted him saying in an urgent tone, “Please sir, could you give me a ride out of here?” Bill looked at Mary for a moment before making up his mind as Mary wished he would hurry up and decide so she could get out of here, because someone else was here in the forest. “Okay, sure, hop in,” Bill said as Mary ran over to the passenger side of the truck and climbed up, opening the truck door.

As Mary settled into the passenger seat of the truck, she looked at the rearview mirror and saw two silhouettes standing in the distance of the night, watching her go inside the truck. One of the silhouettes was hunched over in pain, but managed to stand upright, watching Mary as she looked back at them in the rearview mirror. A chill ran up her spine. For a moment, it looked like one of the silhouettes was coming towards her, but stopped short when Bill put his truck into gear and drove off.

Mary breathed a sigh of relief when the two dark figures disappeared as Bill drove further and further away. But Mary couldn’t shake the chill that continued to run up her spine, when she saw the second dark figure that was hunched over, stood upright as though he was popping his bones back into place. ‘It couldn’t be the midnight striker, I killed him… I blew half his chest off,’ Mary thought to herself as Bill watched her. “Well, it looks like you have been through hell little lady,” Bill said offering Mary a donut. Mary managed a smile and took the donut. “Where do you need to go again?” “The police station if that’s not too much trouble,” Mary said as she took a bite of the donut. “Do you want to go to the hospital first? You look terrible,” Bill said as Mary shook her head. “No thank you, I need to go to the police station first.” “Alright, but don’t you go passing out on me, you hear me?” Bill said as she smiled at him. Oddly enough, Bill kind of reminded Mary of her father. “I will do my best and try not to pass out on you,” Mary said smiling though her whole body was shaken and bruised.

Before Mary knew it she fell asleep, the darts she had been shot with had sleeping agents in them. Hours later, the truck stopped. Mary woke up looking around, going into full alert mode when Bill touched her shoulder and said, “We’re here.” Mary looked at Bill than out the window seeing the St. Louis police station. “Many thanks sir,” Mary said as she opened her door. As Mary was about to leave Bill said to her, “Now look, do me a favor and go to the freaking hospital! Okay?” Bill’s concern threw Mary off a little, but she nodded her head at him and smiled. “Them woods aint no place for a woman, strange things be happening in them woods, so be careful, alright?” “Alright, but what have you heard about those woods?” Mary asked. Bill shook his head and looked straight ahead when he said, “I have heard that young women scream in the night, trying to get away from what some say is a monster or today’s Jack The Ripper. Women are cut up like chickens, and some are never found, I’m telling you, be careful, there’s a nut that lives in them woods, so be careful and stay safe, alright?”

“Sure thing sir, by the way, what is your name?” Mary asked. “Oh, just call me Bill and stop calling me sir, you making me feel all old and everything.” Mary couldn’t help but laugh a little despite the tragic events that took place tonight. Bill had spunk. “Well Bill, it’s nice to meet you, my name is Mary Louise.” Bill shook his head and said, “Now get out of here and go into that police station and have them call you an ambulance for Christ sake, you hear me?” “Alright, thank you again Bill.” Mary walked towards the police station doors as Bill waited for her to go in, than he took off once Mary was inside the police station. As Bill was a few miles away from the police station, he went to a gas station to get some gas and snacks, when he saw something wet on the passenger seat’s headrest. He turned on his truck light and saw the wet substance was blood, Mary’s blood. “Oh my God,” Bill said as he started his truck, putting it in gear and drove back to the police station in haste.

Mary walked into the police station as everyone stared at her oddly but Mary didn’t pay any attention to them, she had to see Captain Vincent Meyer. Mary went to Captain Meyer’s office and knocked on his door. “Come in!” Vincent roared as Mary slowly opened the door and walked in. “Captain,” Mary said in an odd tone as Vincent stood behind his desk arguing with someone on the phone, looking out his window. Mary felt like she was about to pass out again, the back of her head was throbbing with pain and all the adrenaline she once had was now gone. Everything that happened to her was sinking in and she was about to go into complete shock. “Captain,” Mary repeated as Vincent held his hand up for her to be quiet, while he still had his back to her.

“Captain,” Mary said again when Vincent slammed his phone to his desk saying, “Can’t you see I’m on the freaking phone…” Vincent stopped talking in mid sentence when he saw Mary; dried blood was all over her face and clothes. Her eyes were slightly wide as she stood before him. “Jesus Christ, what happened?!” Vincent said as he rushed over to Mary pulling out a chair for her to sit in. “Where the hell is Meagan?” Vincent asked as one stray tear streamed down Mary’s face. “Meagan’s dead Captain.” “What?” Mary looked straight ahead. “What happened to her? Why didn’t you bring her body?” Vincent said as Mary stared at him. “The midnight striker blew her head off with his rifle. There was nothing I could do…” Mary trailed off. “Dear God in heaven, how did you escape?” Mary looked at her bloodied hands and said, “I blew off half of the midnight striker’s chest with his rifle, but I think he’s still alive and there is another killer on the loose.” “How can he still be alive? That’s impossible. And another killer is here?” Vincent said trying to wrap his head around everything Mary was saying. “Two dark figures watched me get into a truck,” Mary said as she held her head. “Were you at the midnight striker’s house?” Vincent asked. “Yes,” Mary struggled to say as she looked up, but her vision was blurry. “Do you remember how to get back out there?” Vincent asked in a hopeful tone. “No…” “What? Why the hell not! You were just out there, how can you not remember how to get back there.” “The midnight striker bashed my head against the ground several times,” Mary answered as Vincent became more frustrated.

Vincent was so hell bent on finding the midnight striker that he wasn’t paying any attention to Mary’s physical condition nor her state of mind. Though Vincent was Captain of this precinct, he didn’t really care for his police officers, especially his female officers, he was a male chauvinist. “Mary, you got to pull it together, where is the midnight striker’s house?” Vincent said as he gripped Mary’s shoulders tightly, shaking her as though that would help her remember. Mary had completely zoned Vincent out. She stared blankly at the walls looking at nothing in particular, than Mary dropped her head and closed her eyes. “MARY! WAKE UP!” Vincent hollered out, but Mary didn’t respond.

Than a few minutes later, Bill came running in the precinct, asking different officers if they had seen Mary as one officer said she was in the captain’s office. Bill ran into Vincent’s office seeing Mary slumped over in her chair while Vincent was hollering at her to wake up. “What the hell is going on here?” Bill shouted as he pushed Vincent out of the way so he could see Mary. Bill hadn’t seen Mary in the light; he saw dirt and blood covered her clothes and face, with many cuts and bruises on her neck and cheeks. “Mary?” Bill said but Mary didn’t respond. She was unconscious. “We need to get her to the hospital immediately,” Bill said with urgency, but it didn’t register for Vincent, because he wanted to catch the midnight striker, even though the midnight striker was long gone. Vincent just wanted to catch the midnight striker so he could be the hero. Bill seen Vincent wasn’t listening, so he picked Mary up, carrying her in his arms, getting ready to take her to hospital. But before he left, he looked back at Vincent and said, “What kind of Police Captain are you? You are ignoring the fact that your police officer is hurt?” Vincent lowered his eyes looking at the floor as Bill walked out of his office carrying Mary in his arms.

Chapter 1

Present day

Will Ford sat at a dinner table listening to one of his business associates speak and say his congratulations to his colleagues. Will was a wealthy and successful businessman, owning an advertising company. In celebration of partnering with another business associate, Will decided to have a business gala. As his business associate spoke, he thanked Will, telling everyone how good and honest he was, always helping others. Will smiled as his business associate beckoned him to stand up so everyone could see him. Will didn’t really want to stand up because he was a bit shy and he didn’t want everyone to know what he had done for others, because he wasn’t one to brag. It wasn’t that Will was ashamed or seek praise for helping others. It was because he didn’t want attention on himself, he was a good and honest man just as his business associate had said. He was humble.

Will stood up as all the people in the gala applauded him for his contributions. Will smiled shyly and waved at the people as he ran his other hand through his short brown blond hair. Will was Caucasian and good looking, he was tall and had blue-green eyes. Will wore a black tux that complimented his slim but well built physique. He had the body of a runner. Will also had thin lips but a handsome smile that would swoon women when he smiled at them. Many women were after him, but he had his eyes only on one woman.

Will sat back down in his chair as his business associate continued to speak. Will breathed a sigh of relief when the attention was not on him any longer as he stared at his date. Will grinned, his date was lovely in every way and she didn’t really care about it. Will smiled more as his date fidgeted in her chair. She looked outstanding with her ebony skin and her black dress that hugged her in all the right places. “Hey Mary, how are you doing? Are you enjoying yourself?” Will asked his date. Mary Louise turned around in her chair and smiled at Will, causing his heart to stop a minute than beat again.

“Yes Will, I’m enjoying myself.” Will stared at Mary appreciating her curves and beauty when she wasn’t looking. Mary was the only woman that didn’t swoon over Will. She was the only woman Will couldn’t have because she didn’t see Will in a romantic way, but just as a friend or a brother. Mary and Will grew up together; they have known each other since they were one. “You know you’re a terrible liar,” Will whispered to Mary, he knew her well. Mary was a tomboy and proud of it. Sitting still in this business gala was killing her. “I’m not lying Will, I really am enjoying myself,” Mary said with a forced smile.

Will fought the urge the bust out laughing. “Thank you for coming, I know this isn’t your thing,” Will said in apologetic voice. Mary waved her hand at Will and said, “It’s no problem Will, you know I would do anything for you.” “I know,” Will whispered back thinking, ‘If only you would give me your heart.’ Will was madly in love with Mary and she didn’t even know it. When the midnight striker almost killed Mary and was rushed to the hospital after she made it to the precinct, Will was right by her side until the doctors took her to the next operating room to save her life as blood gushed out of her head wound. Mary was real close to Will in a brother and sister kind of way.

“Seriously Mary, thank you for coming,” Will said taking Mary’s hand and kissing it. Mary smiled and shook her head and said teasingly, “Cut it out Will.” Mary took her hand away and hit Will’s shoulder. He smiled, but he was a little hurt that Mary didn’t pay any attention to his romantic gesture.

Mary was putting on a good face for Will as she sat at the dinner table with him. But she was bored out of her mind as Will’s business partner talked more, thanking everyone for their donations and support for making his dream a reality. Mary was invited to this business gala by Will, because he didn’t have a date so he asked Mary if she could come, and she did, but she would rather be somewhere else right now. Will’s business partner was long winded and didn’t know when to stop talking. Mary rolled her eyes checking her phone periodically, hoping it was time to go, but she and Will had another hour and a half to go. ‘Good Lord! I am never getting out of here!’ Mary thought as she daydreamed of throwing eggs at the business man so he could stop talking. Mary frowned as she wished she had to go the precinct for something or anything work related right now. Mary wanted to run out of the gala at this very minute and never look back. But she wouldn’t leave Will, that would be rude and she would not embarrass him.

Mary leaned back in her chair as she thought of the past ten or more years, so much had happened to her. Mary remembered ten years ago when she went to the St. Louis police station telling her old captain what happened to her and her best friend Meagan. After that, all Mary could remember was slumping in her chair. She vaguely remembered Bill picking her up and holding her. The next thing Mary remembered was being laid out on a hospital bed. She was in and out of unconsciousness. She saw Bill, later she saw Will holding her hand talking to her in a frantic voice as she smiled up at him, telling him she was alright when she passed out again.

She remembered hearing Will calling out to her than everything went silent. She was now a detective, she worked hard to become a detective. Shortly after Bill (the truck driver) took Mary to the hospital and she recovered, she transferred from St. Louis P.D. to the Kansas City P.D. In Kansas City Missouri, Mary made her mark, she went to college earning her degrees in psychology and criminal minds, she was also a profiler and even moved up to be a detective.

Mary continued to search for the midnight striker, but she never found him, she wanted revenge for the deaths of her friend Meagan and the other women he killed. But she could never find him. It was as though he disappeared off the face of the Earth. Than later when 9/11 happened, Mary joined the army and was in Special Forces for about 5 years, but she had to retire due to back injuries caused by the war. After Mary was sent home she couldn’t walk for the longest time, but managed to walk again. As more months passed, there had been killings of women happening again in St. Louis. At first the killings started in Kansas City, than the murderer moved to St. Louis, killing more and more women. Mary as well as the rest of the police force thought and knew it had to be the midnight striker. When the murders started happening again, Captain David Sims who was the new Captain of St. Louis P.D. contacted Mary and asked her to join them on the force for a while. Since Mary fought the midnight striker face to face and lived, Captain Sims figured Mary’s a tough cookie. Anyone that fought the midnight striker never made it out alive.

Captain Sims heard Mary was a profiler and knew the case of the midnight striker like the back of her hand, so he knew Mary would be a good asset for their case. After Captain Sims asked for Mary she said yes, and had been working with the St. Louis P.D. for six months now with an unbearable partner named Norman Hanes who got on her last nerves.

As Will’s businessman continued to talk on, Mary’s cell phone buzzed, Mary checked her phone and it was Captain Sims texting her to meet up with her partner Norman, because another woman was murdered. Mary looked at her friend Will who sat next to her at the table and whispered, “I’m sorry Will, I have to go, my Captain texted me about a case.” Will nodded his head and said, “You need me to drop you off?” “No, that’s okay, I’ll catch a cab. I am really sorry I have to leave you like this,” Mary apologized though she was secretly happy she had to go. “Naw, that’s okay, duty calls, I’ll see you later,” Will said as Mary stood up and touched Will shoulder smiling at him as she left. Will watched Mary leave wishing she gave him a goodbye kiss instead of touching his shoulder.

. . .

Police officers and squad cars covered the streets of St. Louis with lights flashing in the night as an ambulance pulled in, while detective Norman Hanes stared down at the dead body of a young woman. She was tortured and killed. A string of murders like this had been happening for almost a year now. So far Norman had never caught the murderer nor knew how he looks. Norman took a frustrated breath as he stared down at the lifeless body of the woman, she was brunette, Caucasian, possibly green eyes, but Norman couldn’t tell because it was nighttime. The young woman died with her eyes open. The St. Louis streets were dangerous in the night. As Norman’s mind wondered, his partner came in a taxi. Mary stepped out of the taxi, paying the taxi driver as she was about to meet up with Norman. Mary was as tall as Norman, walking towards him in heels and a stunning black dress, showing off her curves, wearing a short thin coat because the night was chilly.

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