At a Glance:When you think of serial killers you probably think of cool cats like John Wayne Gacey and Richard Ramirez or movies like "Silence of the Lambs" and "Se7en". What you probably realize is that most of the movies are also based on books. And while "Silence of the Lambs" is great, for every one of it there are 500 shitty and generic serial killer melodramas. They generally push the limit of what could be called a mystery and they often include FBI agents or detectives who are prodigies of one form or another and are the only way to solve the case. In this blood-curdling installment of SA Story Time we are going to cut to the chase and combine all of these shit heaps into the ultimate serial killer pulp novel.

Literary Hack Sub-Genre: Serial Killer Detective Mystery

Chapter One - The Gathering Storm

Grizzled homicide detective Dirk Armstrong has solved his way out of more wet paper bags than most.The room was awash in red blood, which is generally always red unless subjected to some bizarre chemical treatment, or possibly when perceived by the profoundly color blind. To someone who saw the world in shades of gray the room was awash in dark gray, a sign that something really bad had transpired within or that several of the room's lights had been dimmed with one of those dials. If you were capable of even the most basic intuition you could easily follow the huge smears of blood through the motel room and into the bathroom to the victim's body. In fact the corpse, which was spread eagle in the bath tub, was plainly visible from a hilltop across the interstate if the motel room door were to be held open.

The door to the motel room happened to be held open by a young police officer who had just finished vomiting no less than eight times into a now overflowing brown lunch sack. The sack contained an apple, a ham sandwich, and one point seven pounds of vomit. In fact it contained the rookie policeman's lunch, breakfast, and the harder to digest parts of yesterday's dinner. On the hill that afforded this miraculous view of the crime scene stood grizzled homicide detective Dirk Armstrong. He had claimed he was walking over to the hill to "reconnoiter possible bullet trajectories", even though there was no evidence that the woman dead in the bathtub had been shot. The evidence that pointed to the contrary included a missing fire axe in the motel utility room, axe damage to the door frame, several dozen suspicious axe-like wounds to the victim's torso, a bloody axe lying next to the bed, and a hand-written note that contained an allusion to the fact that the killer hand, in fact, brutally murdered the woman with an axe.

The rookie had attempted to point these things out to Detective Armstrong in between his body's intervening efforts to expel acidic beef teriyaki slurry from his mouth at high velocity. Detective Armstrong had told him "a good cop leaves nothing to chance" and then dramatically lit a cigarette. Now Armstrong stood atop the hill on the other side of the interstate, craning his head occasionally as though searching for spectral snipers in his mind's eye. While doing this he was using the pocket of his trenchcoat to gently massage his testicles which had developed a painful itch in the past few days. He was willing to chalk it up to bad clams at an oyster bar near the station, but some nagging part of his brain kept bringing up those eight prostitutes he had screwed in exchange for a premature release from police custody. One of them had even turned out to be a guy, but Armstrong lived by the philosophy that you don't start something you have no intention of finishing and didn't back down. Sure some of the cops from vice squad gave him guff over it, but they just could never understand the importance of the do or die homicide squad philosophy.

Once his testicles were good and scratched, Dirk Armstrong returned to the scene and relieved the pale-faced rookie from his vital door-holding-ajar duty.

"No signs of a sniper," explained Armstrong. "I think what we have here is a case of axe murder, although I may have to call in the bomb squad."

The rookie nodded pretending to be paying attention to something other than the Shaolin monk-like force of will he was exerting to prevent those two sips of water he took a few seconds ago from rioting their way up his esophagus. Dirk dropped his cigarette on the ground as the rookie walked back to his squad car. He scratched his head which, unlike his testicles, itched because of wearing a lice-infested sombrero during a bender at a margarita bar in downtown Gotham. Then he turned away from the vomiting rookie and walked into the bloody horrors of the hotel room.

There was a lot more blood in this room but I couldn't show it all in one picture.Several other cops and another homicide detective by the name of Pinkowski were going over the scene of the crime with the coroner. The woman in the bathtub was an unrecognizable bloody mess, but Armstrong felt sure that the coroner would eventually discern her identity. The assailant had punched holes in the wall in several places with the axe and near the vibrating bed coin machine was a crimson handprint. Pinkowski was examining the note the killer had left on the bathroom sink through the plastic of an evidence baggie. He lowered the cryptic message and turned to Armstrong as he peered over the coroner's shoulder.

"So," he began as people often do, "let's hear your theory Armstrong."

Dirk put his hands on his hips and pushed his trenchcoat behind his back like some sort of duck or really boring looking super hero. He scratched his overdeveloped five o'clock shadow a few times, which itched neither because of sombreros or prostitutes, and looked Pinkowski in the eyes.

"It's quite simple really," he began as arrogant people often do, "the killer obviously wants us to believe that he was wielding the axe to kill the victim, possibly in the hopes that we develop a misguided 'crazed-lumberjack' theory. However, for those who are looking carefully he has left other clues. I won't describe those clues to you because the author of this novel lacks the sense to put together a believable hyper-intelligent detective antihero. Instead I will merely state their existence and move on to my theory about what has transpired in this hotel room."

"You're amazing," gaped Pinkowski as he imagined all the magical evidence Dirk had collected but not described.

"Of course I am, that's why I'm the best. To continue, the killer is obsessed with the seven deadly seasons, the ancient Chinese book of Haiku says that there are 53 seasons to a year and seven of them are deadly. The first season is lust, and as you can see the woman in the bathtub is naked. This is the first in a string of murders Pinkowski, we can expect six more."

"Actually," interjected the coroner, "she is fully clothed, she just looks naked because of all of the axe wounds."

"Close enough!" Dirk Armstrong replied, and headed out the door to get into his car and continue solving the crime.

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