Make your own free website on Tripod.com

                                                                

 

 

_______________________
"No, I will be the pattern of all patience; I will say nothing"
    -Shakespeare, "King Lear"
_______________________


Chapter 3

"FAMILY OF 4 KILLED, SON MISSING"
"BLOOD KILLER EVADES POLICE"
"BLOOD KILLER CLAIMS 14TH AND 15TH VICTIMS"
"BLOOD KILLER CAUGHT"

The headlines of the past blared angrily out at Scully, though she knew that their hate was not
directed towards her, and rather to the cruel inhumanities of the human mind. The Atlanta FBI
field office had been surprisingly helpful, and she now sat at a long wooden table surrounded
by soft lights and piles of folders, papers, magazine articles, evidence, and everything else
they had been able to bring up. The evidence pile had been even more disturbing than the photos
of the mutilated bodies, surprisingly. Every time she picked
up one of the 16 knives, one for each of the 15 victims, and one used for his family, she thought she could
see the screaming shadows and horrified eyes as destiny slowly rose within them. (God, I
need coffee...), she thought, as she rubbed her temples a little harder then she probably
should have, (...and maybe a therapist or two, as well.)
The murders had been surprisingly unsystematic, for the kind of person Ramsey had been.
An intelligent young man majoring in psychology (which most people seemed to be majoring in
these days, she supposed, because of humanity's incoming awareness of its own cracked heart), everything
about him had suggested that he was tactful, organized, and very efficient. The murders had been
disjointed, on random people aside from his family, and very messy. None of the careful
precautions a serial killer, and a man like Clifford Ramsey would have taken, each murder done as if
in desperation, a slow agonizing death with pleading eyes and an incomplete apology. The murders
and the disposal of the bodies had been sloppy, but his own escapes from the police had not.
This meant one of two things; he had acted on some sort of emotion, or the drug within him during
the murders, and had regained 'consciousness' after the acts, enabling him to think clearly enough
to evade the police, or that the team after him had been clumsy, though she doubted this second
plausibility, having met the head of that team, Detective Medici. He had finally been apprehended
within a large bookstore, probably one of the oddest places he could have been, and a long,
drawn out trial had proceeded, very highly publicized in the light of the scandal that such
an event could have happened in their small town, just outside of Atlanta.
The evidence against him had been undeniable, but his attorney
had been good. Eventually, he had been released on the terms of insanity and locked away in a
local penitentiary for the criminally insane where he had happily lived his existence on a constant
high of specially concocted drugs, until his mysterious self mutilation and escape just last
night.
Scully finished typing what she'd found into her computer with a definitive click.
The scientist sighed, took off her glasses, rubbed her eyes, then put the glasses back on.
Though strangely satisfied with the information she had found, she rose, tucking her
laptop and briefcase underneath her arm, and hoped that Mulder had more success
interviewing close friends of the family for personal information on Ramsey.
   

   


"He was such a nice boy."
The elderly woman took the picture in her hands, gazed at it intensely, sadly, as if simply
by the act of staring she could reconjure the boy that grinned out from it. Gently, reverently,
as if reluctant to part with it, she handed it to Mulder.
He took it politely, taking in the sight of a rather gangly child whose mouth was still
moving in speech, as if he'd been teasingly protesting to the photographer as his
picture was being taken.
"They lived right next door, the Ramseys... after what happened, their house never
could sell, so the government ended up tearing it down. Too much bad history associated with
it, I suppose. I doubt you'll find anything there now."
She sighed, taking the picture back into her withered hands and returning her reverent
gaze to it.
"I knew him since he was 2 years old-
such a sweet boy, always stopping by to help with groceries, asking
for tuition with schoolwork, sang like an angel, he did."
She shook her head in sorrow, seeming even older than she already was, and Mulder felt
a jab of pity stir in his gut. He reached out and put his hand on her arm, squeezing
comfortingly. She looked up with her faded brown eyes, smiled a little in thanks.
"And that fiancee of his, I can't remember her name... quiet, but very lovely. She had
this look around her, that made her so fragile and so old at the same time. Like a glass doll.
I can't really describe it, you'd have to meet her to know. It was a pity what happened to
her, you know."
"Mrs. Cringle," Mulder broke in softly, "Do you think that Cliff was the Blood Killer?
Do you think he could have murdered his own family and 15 other people?"
Something, glowing and spinning, came alive in those faded brown eyes.
"No. That boy didn't have a violent bone in his body. Couldn't even stand sports like
hockey and football. One time, when he was about 5, he cried for hours because he saw his
mother kill a spider. He didn't have it in him. He was even terrified of knives."
"Then if it wasn't Cliff, then who was it?"
She looked up, met his gaze.
"I didn't say that it wasn't Cliff. I said that the boy I knew wasn't capable of doing
anything like that."
"What do you mean?"
"I'm saying that it was Cliff, but that he didn't kill those people. The demons did."

   

Night was falling swiftly, and Dr. Evan Few was driving decisively down the road, the
headlights illuminating the mottled black of the concrete road and the bright, slightly fading
yellow stripes. His wife Teppie would be glad to see him home so much earlier than usual, and as
a drop of ice cold sweat rolled down his forehead and trickled into his eyes, stinging lightly,
he hoped that she wouldn't ask the reason. The silence was eerie, and the absence of traffic
conspicuous. He had hoped that it wouldn't come to this, but it had. Rain began
to pelt down in thick, angry drops, screaming at him of his stupidity, of his naiveté,
running circles around his head as he took his hands off the stirring wheel, covered his
forehead to ward them off. They would not relent, and their fury became louder, crashed right
and left from the sides of the car into his head, whirling indefinitely, too close. The car
flew off the road into the side of a ditch, its wheels rolling randomly up to the gray sky,
and the figure inside crumpled, and fought no more. By the musty morning, his wife Teppie would
report his absence to the police, and by midafternoon, they would find the crushed car in
the side of the ditch. The broken body within would still have one hand raised to thwart its
personal demons.

   

The Sunrise Suites were a pleasant alternative to the usual ratholes they stayed in
during cases, and surprisingly cheap for the Bureau, the lowered prices probably due to the fact
that the motel had been built as a semi-fancy hotel/motel in preparation for the 1996 Olympics,
and was hastily abandoned afterwards. Scully dropped all her things next to the small desk,
and collapsed onto the bed, reveling in its newly crushed sheets and the
clean laundered smell. The sheets were soft, pastel, coral, as if to tell her, "See Dana? There
are still some good things in the world. Too bad they're stuck in pastel coral hotel bed sheets
and plastic Wal-Mart smiley faces. But that doesn't matter. It's not like we're trying to make
you cynical or anything."
She shoved the voices away, and glanced at the clock blinking sleepily beside the bed.
It was only 7:25, but her stomach growled in protest. Mulder had promised to buy something on
the way back for them to eat. He'd also promised that he'd found something very important,
but he couldn't tell her until he got there. She hated it when he did that. It was the
find-evidence-and-screw-with-your-partners-head-until-it-explodes-in-frustration game. Well,
at least it was better than the ditch-your-partner-then-tell-her-you-were-protecting-her game.
With Mulder, it was always too little time and too many games to play. It probably appeased
the psychologist portion of his psyche. Rain began to abruptly slap the window in disjointed,
uneven cries.

   

Whoever it was that decided what weather the sky should wear everyday was obviously
a fickle sort of character. Always changing its mind, it dragged on decadent hats of sunshine,
sparkling scarves of snow, and now, it was treating itself to an angrily shimmering dress
of rain and storm.
Mulder opened the door with an exasperated sigh, a complaint against the individual in
question that was heard and then mocked by several jangling earrings of thunder. He peeled
off his soaked trenchcoat, mumbling indeterminable expletives. Dumping a plastic bag of
food on the small table, he used a hand to wipe
the rain out of his eyes, just in time for Scully to exit the bathroom wearing a pair of
steel blue pajamas. Their darkness stood out like a blaring headlight among the soft,
gentle tones of the room. She was toweling at her wet hair, but took one look at the
drenched figure in her doorway and tossed the light coral towel at him. Shaking the matte
of red hair soaked nearly black by water and shampoo, she sat down at the table, peeked into
the bag and took out a small cardboard box of pasta.
Chewing thoughtfully at the macaroni and handing him his own box of the stuff,
she looked up to him, and said,
"You first."
"You mean the evidence or did you have something more racy in mind, Dr. Scully?" he
said, sliding into the chair across from her. She made a point of rolling her eyes at him
instead of taking the time to think of a comeback.
"So.. what is it?" she asked, swallowing the pasta without tasting it, only aware
of the slight suggestion of herbs and salt on her tongue.
"The profile most of his friends gave was the same: intelligent, well bred, obedient-
the perfect gentleman."
"That's it?" she asked, raising an eyebrow a millimeter, nothing more, and relished
watching him shrink a bit, almost sheepishly.
"Basically."
"Then what did you say was so important?"
"Well, I got the same profile with everyone except the last person I talked to," he said,
an enigmatic leer teasing at the corners of his eyes.
"Which was?"
"His neighbor. She told me that he couldn't have done the murders."
"Why?" she asked. The rain outside grew a bit quieter for a moment, leaving them alone
together.
"In her own words, 'he didn't have it in him'," he leaned back, favoring her with one
of 'those looks'.
"So she didn't think that he was the Blood Killer?"
"No."
"I don't understand," she said, shaking her head slightly. The rain returned.
"Hear me out, Scully. She said that he was the Blood Killer, but he wasn't the one who
killed those people- she said that 'the demons killed them'. Before the murders happened,
he went to her and told her that he was sorry, and that it was the demons."
"That's what was so important? Mulder, you of all people should know what a common
scenario that is, especially in serial killers- paranoid schizophrenia, the shifting of blame.
It's their way of distancing themselves from what they've done."
"Yes, but this is different."
"How?" she asked. There was a genuine attempt to soften the question, before he would
begin to think she was against him rather than with him.
"She said that she saw them."
Never mind softening any sort of reply to that.
"She WHAT?"
"She said that she saw the demons. Within him. Outside of him. Around him."
She sighed, but chased it away with a slight, lonely grin that would have been
contemptuous if it hadn't belonged to her.
"So now we're dealing with two lunatics instead of just one? Mulder, you're insane.
Hold on- that makes the count at 3."
He flashed a Mulder-charm smile at her before continuing.
"She wasn't insane, Scully. There are some pictures I looked at later, and before
I talked with her- they show disturbances, possibly aural disturbances around him."
The lonely grin faded, and a more cynical, sorrowful one shuffled into its place.
"Now you're starting to sound like my sister."
"I went to see a psychic with them-"
"You *went* to see a *psychic*?"
"-and she said the same thing," he continued, as if she hadn't interrupted him.
He went to his coat dripping sullenly over a chair, and pulled out an evidence bag
containing several photos, placing them in front of her. The archangel stood close enough
so that she could feel his body heat, as if that alone could help convince her.
"Look at those spots, those flares of light-" he said using his long index finger to
trace almost invisible spectrums around the lanky young man's figure. She sighed, quietly as
possible, though he still heard it.
"Mulder, those could be caused by anything- a mistake in developing, a light from behind
him, who knows? If this man was 'inhabited by demons,' then a couple of jinxed
photos isn't going to do the trick for the Atlanta police."
"But-"
"Mulder-" she took his face in her hands. He relaxed unknowingly into her touch.
Her voice was very gentle, enough to stop him
and melt him faster than a lump of caramel on a hot July day.
"-do not read more into this than there already is. We know for sure that Ramsey was
addicted to a rare drug known as 'caladine'. I've found traces of that drug running back
to ancient times, and in those times, the addicts were thought to be stricken with
'the devil's ailment'. Attempts to cure people of this disease would later become known
as exorcism, or the banishing of evil spirits and or demons within a person."
His face fell so quickly, vaulting its way through the floor and probably into the
room below them, that she briefly wondered if she should apologize. Why did she always want
to win the game and somehow regret it when she did?
He grinned unexpectedly.
"You think I should go ask for a refund from that psychic?"
She smiled wanly, and kissed his forehead, a soft warm proclamation.
"You have no life, Mulder, you know that, don't you?"
"I have you."
3 words, just enough to break her heart. She closed her eyes, and shifted
her head into the warm cove of his neck, forcing a tiny smile.
"Like I said, Mulder, you have no life."    

   
   

The angel-child limped out hollowly into the rain, as it smattered and pattered down her
paper-thin hospital gown, turning her into a smothered Nimue. Despite the absence of sunlight,
her eyes caught the gray in the sky and made it sparkle and fizz like violet champagne.
She only hoped that she could reach her destination before *they* would realize she was gone.
Cliff had told her there was nothing she could do, that she had come down too late,
and was too weak, that he was too strong.
That wasn't true. She could get to Dana, and she could warn her of him. Dana was strong,
stronger than she was down here in this predetermined state of too-fragile flesh and bone.
Biting her lip so hard it drew warm blood, she cursed and lisped at the way her physical
frailty had carried over into her state of mind. Someone had shattered the delicate but
strong glass figure of a girl named Serena, and she knew who.   
The rain fell in heavy metal sheets that blocked her peripheral vision, leaking cold
down into the rivets of her mind, squirming under her bare feet, making her slip and cry out
and bleed though nothing could have bled more than her broken mind.
She had to get to Dana. She had to warn her not to trust him.


   

It was very dark, and very cold. Dana stood hesitantly, the darkness enveloping her for
just a moment before the light inside of her began to pulsate, warm and slow. She was in a cave,
though it smelled of mothballs and dusty photo-albums, and when she touched the walls, the
texture under her white fingers clearly whispered "wood." She was a light in the dark, as she
greedily gobbled at the blackness, eating it away and exposing the truth inside it. The cave
began to look less like a cave and more like an attic, though it began to carry the scent of
stale water and moss, and now the walls beneath her white fingers clearly rasped "stone." She
began to touch at the corners, stealing the last of the darkness from the room, when a figure,
oddly familiar and close, stirred slightly, its look enraged and maddened, before it leapt
screeching, diving, and crawling for her white throat with a flurry of icy claws and furious
teeth, and she could only scream once-

-Though she didn't scream when her eyes snapped open in the darkness of the hotel room.
She could feel Mulder against her, one arm wrapped unconsciously protective around her waist.
He was sound asleep, dreaming easily for a change, his warmth reassuring.
She didn't dream as he once had, didn't call out for names no longer his to hold,
to see, didn't bolt up in bed with eyes wild in fear and delight, sweat pooling down the side of
his face, for her to wipe away when she took him in her arms and pushed the nightmares away.
Scully dreamed in shades of black and white, only sometimes leaving room for the gray. The clock
beside the bed blinked a hazy 2:31 AM at her, when she heard the feeble knock at the door,
too exhausted and bedraggled for its own good. Confused, she untangled herself from the warm
security of Mulder, careful not to wake him. She padded over to the door, and opened it,
only to be swept away by the sight. A pale girl collapsed shivering in her doorway, long hair as
black as time matted down with rain, a thin plastic hospital gown torn and smudged with blood,
her intensely violet eyes crying out in consternation, terror, and something else, something
farther. A light glowed, but there was no flash of lightning in the sky, no rumble of thunder.
Before Dana could say a word, the girl grabbed her arm with surprising strength.
    "You can't trust him," she rasped, her voice strangled and muted with a thousand
voices. She pointed to Mulder's prone figure, asleep on the bed, "Dana, you can't trust him."

 

Go to Chapter 4