Day 37 – Victorian Mansions of Torture
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, 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 next victim.

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 loose.

Writing by Regina Stemberger
Photo “Not Inviting” by Jeff Kubina

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