Victorian Mansions of Torture
The old Victorian houses on our street don't all have pointy scroll
fences surrounding their estate grounds, but most of them do. So if
you're a detective, looking for a place where someone might have
incurred injuries that entail multiple puncture wounds, from repetitive
and closely spaced prongs, you wouldn't get far in this place.
First, the fences all look mostly the same. That is, I mean, they could
slit open your pants, if you crossed them the wrong way. That appears
to be exactly what our first murder victim of the year in Orangeville,
did. Besides splitting open those undies, he also gave himself some
serious lacerations in the head and neck,
Autopsy results showed that there had been strangulation. Whether that
was the main cause of death, we could not be sure.
The body had been punctured at close range many times, or all at once
like the tops of the fences in this neighbourhood.
The real question I had was, "what the Dickens did he think he was doing
with the fence?" No one could hope to successfully walk on top of those
rails, there were only metal pin pricks of surface. Was this a victim
of some hideous practical joke, or was this a dare gone horribly wrong?
The police department was classifying this as a homicide because it
needed extensive further investigation. We had no murder weapon except
for all the fences surrounding most of the Victorian mansions on this
street, and that was a lot of murder weapon!
I started to walk long all the fences, one by one, looking for unusual
clues. I took pictures of some of the more ornate ones, for the court
case, that would most likely ensue. I looked for drops of blood,
brought in sniffer dogs to point out any unusual scent trails, and
generally looked for bent or discoloured fence sections. None of these
things could be found around any of the sites. I began to suspect that
I was turning over a cold trail, when something unusual occurred, that
took me by surprise.
The suicide note had been scribbled in real blood directly from the
victim's fingers. It didn't seem possible that someone could do that
to himself and live to write his own suicide message. As I read
what the note said, I realized I had just, most probably become the
The poison was a dry powder made up of skin and blood from the first
victim. It adhered to my bare ungloved fingers now, and seemed to be
dissolving into my hand, adding it's own grotesque coloured
signature onto my skin. It was looking exactly like the minutely
detailed skin of the first victim.
I ran to the park water fountain, and splashed the water over my hands,
rubbing them furiously, to remove the sticky substance. It started
coming off in sheets, peeling down from my fingers, as if I were
moulting my skin. It continued down my arms, both of them now. I tore
at my clothes as it started peeling from under them. It seemed to be
separating me into two. Then, finally, when the peeling had reached my
shoes, itching under the soles of my feet, I ripped off my shoes.
On the ground before me lay the very next victim. It was an exact
replica of me, hair, and all. That "me" had no clothes, and hideous red
puncture marks all over, just like the first murder victim.
I stepped over it, and into the night. Now there were two of us, on the
Writing by Regina Stemberger