Joined: 11 Mar 2009
(I apologize for the formatting but it doesnt paste well from the word document)
this will be a new serial i will publish here..if you want to read a bit on the
backgroundof the main characters you can go here:
Leonardo slowly came to consciousness to the melodic strains of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy
that chirped at him from his cellphone. He felt for it in the darkness.
“Hello?” he said groggily.
“There’s been another one,” said the caller.
“Are you sure Andi?” Leonardo asked.
“Captain’s pretty sure. He wants our asses at Cedars within the hour.”
“I just got to sleep.”
“Are you listening partner? Get your freaking carcass out of bed and meet me at the
hospital!” the woman barked, then added softly, “Leo she might not make it.”
“I’ll see you there,” he said. “What time is it anyway?”
“Half past noon.”
“Wonderful,” he said sarcastically.
Fifteen minutes later Det. Leonardo Luz strove out the front door of his condominium. His
dark sunglasses sat close on his nose under the 3 ½ inch brim of his black Dakota style
Stetson hat. He slid his hands out of the sleeves of his long coat to pull it down a bit
lower as he stepped into the warm California sunshine. Minutes later he was cruising east
along the Santa Monica freeway, the dark tint of his Ford Caprice and the a/c blasting on
maximum helping to make the summer heat bearable. He tapped his fingers on the steering
wheel to the symphonic patter of Carmina Burina.
His partner, Det. Andi Jacobs was waiting for him impatiently as he stepped out of the
elevator in the critical care unit of Cedars Sinai Hospital.
“How is she?” he asked.
“She’s pretty fucked up but she’s conscious,” Andi replied. Leonardo followed her
into the room. Without a pause he turned off the lights of the room as he entered.
The nurse standing by the bedside opened her mouth to protest but the sight of Detective
Luz was imposing. For the first time since leaving his apartment, he took off his
sunglasses and hat as he came to the bed where the teenage girl was laying. In the trickle
of light that peeped from behind the window curtain, the nurse couldn’t take her eyes
off the gaunt lean figure before her. His dark choppy hair and pale skin, his loose
clothing that masked a surprising athleticism and sort of coiled muscularity like a jaguar
he moved closer to the bed and she saw them – his eyes. Officially brown on his
identification, they were the most golden color she had ever seen and in the darkness they
flashed with an intensity that was shocking. The nurse transfixed, watched as those
piercing eyes softened and assumed a tender gentleness when he rested them at last upon
the poor victim at her side.
The girl’s eyes were half closed and she seemed to be in a lot of pain, but she was
awake and moaning softly. Leonardo scanned her medical chart. He whispered under his
breath the catalogue of the girl’s injuries. “Multiple lacerations and contusions,
fracture of the Superior Maxillary….”
“Her jawbone was broken? Can she talk?” he asked the nurse.
“Yes but it will be painful.” He nodded to the nurse and continued reading the chart.
“Distension of the right and left femurs, cracking of the pelvic orbitals, 263 stitches
for the vaginal cavity….”
“The bastard practically split her in two,” cursed Andi. Leonardo put the chart down.
“Do you have the labs?”
“Not yet, she just came out of surgery a while ago,” the nurse replied.
“Show me,” Leonardo indicated to Andi. Despite being heavily dosed with painkillers,
the girl let out a heartbreaking whine as Det. Jacobs and the nurse gently rolled her
sideways some inches and lifted open the back of her gown. The nurse gingerly peeled away
a four inch square of bloody gauze. Leonardo bent closer. He spent several seconds
inspecting the site.
“What is it?” the girl asked feebly. She tried to reach around her back but let out a
cry in pain. “What is it?” she asked again a bit more forcefully through clenched
teeth. The nurse replaced the bandage and the girl was rolled to her back, her face was
racked with pain.
“It’s a tattoo,” said Leonardo.
“A what?” she looked horrified, tears started to well in her eyes.
“It’s a tattoo,” repeated Leonardo. “A simple mandala, a circle inside a square
surrounded by another circle. We believe that you may have been the victim of someone
we’ve unofficially been calling the Tattooist.”
“He, he’s done this before?” the girl whispered.
“Yes,” said Andi. “Can you tell us what you remember? Can you give us any details
about where you were?”
The girl closed her eyes and shook her head no. Flashes like shards of electrical
shocks stormed in her mind. Images of an empty room…a bright light…a table…she was
strapped face down with her legs locked into braces of some sort…she was being ripped
apart..and she could feel a man laying on top of her…his hot breath on the back of her
neck…and…and something sliding, ripping, pulsing inside of her. She screamed.
“Jessica!” Leonardo used the girl’s name for the first time. She snapped out of her
nightmare and looked up at him, reaching for his hand.
“Help me!,” she pleaded softly.
“You’re safe,” he said soothingly and took her hand. He stroked it gently and after
a few minutes the girl turned her head and fell asleep.
“She needs to rest!” said the nurse impatiently.
“Mam, we’re trying to catch who did this to her!” barked Andi.
“I don’t think we’re going to get anything more right now,” said Leo gently. “We
will be back tomorrow, try to make her as comfortable as possible.”
Replacing his sunglasses, Leonardo stepped back into the brightly lit hospital hallway.
His partner Andi followed him not looking very happy.
“Hey asshole!” Leonardo stopped and sighed. He knew what was coming, he turned around
“What was that shit?” said Andi. “Your brain taking a fucking vacation today? You
know that every minute we wait is another minute that monster is loose, planning god-knows
what. He could already have his next victim! We don’t have the luxury of hanging around
with our thumbs up our asses waiting to see if our only witness is going to be in the mood
to give us some god-damn information…”
“Andi, that’s not his pattern,” Leo cut her off with a gentle but firm tone.
“Pattern? Pattern? What pattern are you fucking talking about? This is number nine,
comprehende mi amigo? One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, and that’s
just what we know about. Nine victims and the only common fucking denominator is the
tattoo. If you’re seeing a pattern, please fucking share, cause other than the signature
it’s been a different MO every time.”
Andi was standing holding her two palms in front of Leo’s face indicating the number of
victims she had counted off. She opened up her last thumb.
“And this right here,” she wiggled it, “this is fucking number ten if we don’t
find this son-of-a-bitch soon.”
Leonardo half-smiled and took off his sunglasses. “These are our nine victims,” he
folded her thumb back in.
“Our fucking nine,” she mocked slightly playfully, even though she had seen them a
thousand times, his piercing golden eyes even disarmed her.
“No pattern you say, no commonality except for the killer.”
“That’s right,” she said slightly less sure.
“Sometimes what appears to be separate and distinct is actually connected, but the
connection is so obvious so built into the system that we can’t see it and we take it
Leonardo took both his fingers and gently traced a line beginning with her outer fingers
down to her palm then up to the next finger, then down to her palm, and then to the next
finger until finishing with the nine digits he slowly traced a line down her wrists,
across her forearm, up her biceps, across her shoulders, along the side of her neck,
across the soft jawline, over her cheeks and finally meeting both fingers on the tip of
her nose. He paused just a moment for comedic effect and then gently flicked it with his
“You know that Jung says that all mankind shares a common heritage of archetypes that
reside in our collective unconscious that help to organize the meaning that we derive in
He smiled, pulled out his sunglasses and turned to go.
“That’s really fucking fascinating as always,” Andi waggled sarcastically.
“You’ll have to explain that to me sometime, yeah, maybe you can bring some of those
thick books of yours and come over some night…when I’m having god-damn insomnia!”
she yelled after him.
He turned around, “All I’m saying is that everything is connected, we just need to
figure it out, and by the way, I thought you were supposed to be working on that
“Hey,” she shook her head side to side. “See this?” She raised her her hand up
again. “I got four older brothers. Count em, one, two, three, four,” she folded a
finger down as she counted leaving only her middle finger up and flipping him off.
“Oh that’s cute,” Leo said. “I’m going back to bed, I’ll see you at the office
“Yeah whatever,” she said. A pretty nurses’ aide walked by and smirked at Det.
Jacobs standing there flipping off her partner.
“Hey,” Andi raised her forehead in nod and watched a moment as the attractive girl
walked down the hallway. “Nice ass,” she said to herself and donned sunglasses of her
(to be cont.)