It was nights like these that should've been quiet. Clear skies in a small town like Newhope, where nothing ever happens, other than the occasional acts of shoplifting or vandalism. The only piece of history worth remembering, was during 1976, a grim reminder that a small town such as Newhope isn't immune to such a gut-wrenching tragedies.
Officers Deacon and Barnett were patrolling the streets in their cruiser, they were one of the unlucky pairs who had received the night shift. As expected, there wasn't much happening, other than the odd wandering vagrant or group of drunkards dancing their way down the streets. Inside the cruiser, Barnett was on one of his rants again, leaving Deacon to once again be forced to listen as he attempted to explain the latest episode of the X-files.
Deacon rolled her eyes. She was used to his babbling by now, and to be honest, she wasn't completely disinterested. As she drove, they passed places like the Sheep's Den Dinner and Keller's Convenience Store the latter of which they stopped by to replenish their sugar and coffee levels. They got back into the car, each taking a sip of their respective drinks.
Without warning, the radio screeched to life, causing both of the unsuspecting officers to jump in fright in response. Both of them looked ashamed as a female voice erupted from the radio.
“This is Dispatch, we’ve got news of a possible 10-31 at 23 Brooklyn Court over.” They both looked at each other. Barnett shrugged, leading Deacon to roll her eyes in annoyance. Deacon responded to the call.
“Copy that Dispatch, this is Deacon 423 with Barnett 446. We’re currently in the vicinity, we’ll start making our way there now, copy?” Deacon responded with a hint of reluctancy in her voice.
“10-4 423, I’ll notify the homeowner.” The radio went silent, leaving the two in a silent car.
Deacon turned to Barnett and watched him sigh. They were both hoping for a quiet night tonight, but as Sheriff Dorem says 'There ain't no quiet nights for officers of the law.' Deacon really hoped that he was wrong.
“I mean nothing ever happens in this town, so I’m sure it’s nothing, right?” Barnett proposed with some degree of hope. Wishful thinking is what it was. Deacon remained silent as she turned the vehicle.
The police cruiser pulled to stop on the curb of 23 Brooklyn Court. The house lights were off, projecting an odd sense of eeriness onto the officers. They both disembarked the vehicle and stepped onto the pavement sidewalk, taking in their surroundings.
"Maybe it's a ghost?" Barnett raised his arms and wiggled his fingers in a terrible ghost impersonation.
“You fucking dumbass,” Barnett flinched as Deacon punched his arm. Deacon took note that the homeowner was nowhere to be seen.
When they reached the front door, Deacon gave it a light knock. No response. She knocked again. And once again she was met with nothing. Then she heard a noise. It the was sound of dripping. Deacon looked over to Barnett, who had also heard the sound, and pointed to the front window, in which its curtains were wide open. Barnett nodded in response and went to take a peek, while Deacon tried the handle. The handle turned, meaning the door was unlocked. Her hand immediately went to her hip. When Barnett came back over, they exchanged information.
"The door's unlocked" she whispered. Barnett's eye twitched. This was turning out to be a little bit more than they expected.
"There's someone in there." He replied, his voice also quiet.
"Could you tell who it was?"
"No, it's too dark in there. I'm going to go in to investigate, you contact Dispatch and meet me inside."
"You sure about that?" Deacon felt uneasy. He nodded. Deacon trusted him, and they had been partners for three years now, so she did what he asked.
Both of them gave the other a knowing look. Deacon took a step back and called it in to Dispatch, while Barnett passed her, entering the dormant home, his sidearm now unholstered.
When Deacon stepped into the home, she spotted Barnett staring intently, weapon raised, into a doorway which assumedly led into the lounge room. She joined him in the doorway, her unholstered firearm also now raised, and had to hold back bile. Neither of them had ever seen anything this visceral before.
In the centre of the noticeably destroyed lounge room, was a dead body with a protruding rib-cage. The victims face was hard to distinguish at first, but Deacon quickly realised that the corpse was Mary Thalkreek. Her innards had been strewn across the large room, seemingly in a messy display. It was if they had been thrown out. There also was a considerable amount of blood lining the walls.
Standing, half-crouched, over the corpse was the most inhuman man they had ever seen. The man was balding and wore a shredded navy blue suit. In his left hand, he wielded a massive carving knife, in the other, he was holding onto presumably one of Mary's intestines. His skin seemed a sickly pale green and he looked completely malnourished, like he hadn't eaten in 20 years, his skin looked like it was stretched tight over the bone. It was hard to see in the dark, but Deacon could of sworn his eyes were were voids of black with two little white pinpricks of light emanating from the centre. Both officer's heard a pop as the man twisted his neck to face them.
"Put. The. Weapon. Down. Now." Barnett stated calmly, the words coming out slowly. It was clear he was struggling not to put a bullet in the killer's head, despite his facade. Both their guns were unwaveringly trained on the gross, hobo-esque man who was perched over the defiled corpse. For a moment nothing happened and Barnett repeated himself. And to their surprise, the killer complied, dropping his knife and kicking it away to a shelf on the opposite side of the room.
"On your knees, hands behind your head now!" Barnett yelled. The killer complied with Barnett's demands again. Barnett lowered his gun to pull out his cuffs, slowly walking over to the clearly psychotic madman, but then Deacon noticed the killer's face, he was grinning. It was a trap. Deacon went to fire, but realised the safety was still on, a mistake that cost her dearly.
With an unnatural speed and with scary precision, the killer stood quickly, tackling Barnett into the couch and biting Barnett's throat clean out with his teeth, sending blood spraying all over Barnett, the killer, who turned his head to face Deacon with a grim, psychotic smile, still with Barnett's windpipe still in his mouth.
Due to the combination of sudden shock, panic, the scene that lay before her and the potential death of her partner, Deacon opened fire on the perpetrator without mercy or hesitation, discharging off a full magazine's worth of shots into his centre mass, the chest. All of the shots hit, due to him being at least five feet away from Deacon, shredding the killer's chest making it into even more of a bloody mess of gore and viscera. The force of the fifteen bullets sent the killer stumbling back, crashing into the shelves directly behind him, and unrealised by Deacon, next to the knife.
Deacon lowered her weapon to reload and took a deep breath, just in time to see the killer standing back up, seemingly unfazed by the full magazine of bullets that was just emptied into his chest. Deacon took a step back in horror when she noticed that all his wounds had healed completely too. She attempted to raise her weapon again, but it was in vain as a knife flew straight towards her, piercing right shoulder. She yelped in pain and ducked behind the doorway for cover. She heard footsteps and tensed, ready to defend herself, should the killer step through the doorway. But nothing happened. In fact, the footsteps grew fainter.
Grunting in pain, Deacon peeked out through the doorway to see the killer had left, presumably exiting through the backdoor. When she realised it was safe, Deacon rushed over to Barnett’s bloody, lifeless body. One look was all she need to see to know his fate. She looked away before she vomited. She noticed her hands were now covered in his blood. She collapsed against a wall and slid down, hissing at the burning pain in her shoulder.
"Shit! Holy shit!" she cried into the dark house. Deacon winced in pain as she reached for her shoulder radio.
“This is Officer Deacon. We have a 10-999, I repeat we have an officer down.” She yelled frivolously into the radio, all the while seething the pain in her shoulder. “Hello, can anyone respond?!”
It didn’t take long for a reply.
Things got wild after Deacon's sudden call. Deputy Sheriff James Williams was the first to respond.
"This is Deputy Williams, I'm on my way, over." Williams started the car and pulled out onto the main street heading for Brooklyn Court. "Dispatch come in?"
"This is Dispatch, go ahead."
"I assume you heard Deacon's call? I want you to call anyone who's off duty immediately."
"10-4 Deputy, we've called for an Ambulance and we've dispatched backup, who are making their way there now," Dispatch replied, their usually calm voice now filled with a sense of disturbed worry. "10-4 Dispatch, over and out." Williams switched back to Deacon's channel.
"Deacon come in, an ambulance inbound and I'll be there soon, so hold tight." The voice was mostly calm with a hint of worry lined. "Now I need you to answer my questions. Is the suspect still in the building?! Did you get him into custody?! Is anyone injured?!
"No sir, he got away" he heard her groan painfully. "Barnett's dead sir, he's fucking dead." Williams could hear the tears over the radio.
"What about the homeowner?" he inquired, softening his words.
"She was dead when we entered the building, sir," she croaked out. Williams cursed.
"Just hold tight Deacon, I'm on my way." He shut off the radio and focused on the road ahead.
When he pulled up to the Thalkreek homestead, he saw that the location was infested by cops, curious people in the neighbourhood. As soon as Williams stepped out of the cruiser, everything became vivid, almost like it was in slow motion. He remembered watching as a bodybag was wheeled past, then he noticed Deacon being pulled along on a gurney with bandages wrapped hastily around her shoulder. Williams rushed over, taking off his hat.
"Deacon, what in God's name happened in there?" She looked like she was about to faint. She whispered what little she could, recounting the story in disturbing detail. After she finished, he let the paramedics take her away and turned to the two officers who were standing outside the front door.
"I want you two to take Gates and Powell out behind the house and see what you can find, if you see the suspect, do not engage, just report back to me, got it?" The two officers nodded and left. When they were gone, Williams stepped into the crime scene, unprepared.
After entering, first thing Williams noticed was the smell, which made him choke up, and then the blood. Still laying the floor, covered in her own guts and intestines was Mary Thalkreek. It took everything Williams had to not vomit on the spot. Even the coroner didn't want to approach the desecrated corpse.
"What the fuck is going on here?" Williams turned to watch Sheriff Dorem storm into the house, take one look at the body, curse and storm back out in disgust. He could faintly hear the sheriff vomiting. After a minute or two, Williams was called outside. He came out to see the Sheriff with an expression Williams hadn't actually ever seen, it was an expression of anger.
Williams recounted Deacon's story, and to Williams surprise, the Sheriff was more shaken than expected. As soon as he recounted the killer's appearance, the sheriff's expression showed that the worst had been confirmed. Despite Williams' presence, the sheriff began to mumble to himself. After a minute of silent waiting, Dorem spoke.
"Listen James, I want you to stay here and deal with this mess, I have to leave." Williams attempted to object, but after the words had left Dorem's mouth, he had already wandered off, saying something about needing to call someone.
Williams looked up. It was almost daytime now, and it sure wouldn't take long for people to find about this incident. He remembered Deacon's claims about the killer having some sort of 'self-healing', but he brushed it off. Thinking back to Deacon's story caused some part of Williams brain to click two and two together. 1976. During that year, there was a serial killer going around, but that manhunt ended with his death...
"Surely not, there's no way..." he whispered to no one. He brushed off that rash and unbelievable train of thought as well, putting on his hat and heading back inside to face the source of the nightmares to come.