The wind and rain were relentless. Ally’s briefing of her findings took the better part of an hour. In that time the storm had worsened.
Lilly and Konan raced to the car. Lilly’s umbrella did not help block the rain. Between the wind and the rain, they both ended up soaked.
“This is nuts, Konan. So, we are looking for multiple assailants, a sadist, and Lord knows what else.”
Konan sighed. Human depravity, viciousness, and violent nature was as old as time itself. Still, the brutal nature that had dispatched the woman was unusual.
“Tell me of your time in the service,” Lilly said. She didn’t phrase it delicately. His interest in the wound was not usual for a police detective. It hinted at something deeper and darker.
“What do you want to know?”
“What was your job?”
“I hunted insurgents and killed them.”
“Okay. You saw a lot of action?”
“You mentioned decapitations when we were at the morgue. Can you tell me about it?”
“I could. I’m not going to. It’s not relevant to our investigation.”
“If you expect me to trust you, you need to tell me Konan. This is how we build trust.”
“Okay. Let’s do this, then.” Konan’s lips pulled back into a snarl, his eyes became cloudy. He stared out the passenger window at the black night.
“The first decapitation I saw was a small boy. His mother was a judge or something. They killed her straight off. Raped his sister. Made his dad watch as they cut off the boy’s head.”
Lilly turned and looked at Konan. He spoke in a calm voice, as if he was describing a dinner or a bad date.
“The second one was an entire family. They helped our forces, provided intel, reported enemy movements, that type of thing. Anyway, the insurgents found out and decided to make an example. All fifteen members were killed. Their heads were thrown outside of our base. We found them the next morning. Wild dogs had got ahold of them. We could barely make out who was who.”
“Dear God, Konan.”
“Yeah, it was pretty bad.”
They rode in silence until they arrived at the police station. Lilly asked no more questions about decapitation. Apparently, Konan’s answers had satisfied her curiosity.
Konan had nothing else to say about the subject. What he had seen and done served no purpose now. It was enough that he had lived it.
Lilly went back into the office to gather her belongings. Konan walked through the rain to the bus stop. Remembering what he had seen made him feel filthy. “It’s always the things we saw but could not change that haunts us the most.”
The powerlessness of those moments weighed heavily upon Konan. He sat on the last seat of the bus next to the emergency exit. His clothes were soaked but his mind raced with possibilities.
“What kind of person would make others watch as they cut the head off of a woman?”
It reeked of a seriously deranged person. Someone who would have no sense of right or wrong. No conscience. A sadistic heart and soul.
Konan had seen some of the worst that humanity had to offer. He had seen evil up close. This was not something one would see in America, but in other parts of the world where an uncivilized nature could flourish.
Yet, it happened here. Right here on Main Street in Small Town, USA.
Konan disembarked the bus at the bus stop and walked to his mobile home. The 14×70 trailer was often the bane of redneck jokes, but Konan loved his home. It had a walk-in shower. He used the shower and washed the day’s grime of him. “If only I could do the same with my mind,” he thought.
He dried off and changed into his pajamas. They had dogs printed on them. He strode barefoot through the house and sat in his recliner. He reached for his Edgar Allan Poe collection and began to read, MS. Found in a Bottle.
It was not long before he fell asleep. He dreamed of war and the horrors that humankind inflicted upon each other.