When the call came in, I did not expect there to be so much brutality. My best inkling to the nature of the crime was a chemical reaction gone wrong, a monkey attacking its punishing captor for years of tests and torment. However, neither of those guesses were even close to the truth.
The smell of death was rich in the air. The coppery, pungent scent of blood captured my nostrils for a night of romance as I entered the laboratory. Placing my newly bought tie over my nose and mouth I ventured further and the smell stung even through the expensive cloth.
After climbing two flights of stairs I reach room 324, open the door leading into the lab and immediately gag (not just from the smell but from the gruesome sight laid before me) as I step through. There are officers already crowding the room, moving back and forth collecting evidence, trying not to lose their lunch. I see my partner, Detective Richard Ames, at the other end of the room talking to a man in a white lab coat; I approach cautiously.
“I see you made it,” Richard says. “It’s a fucking mess in here.”
“I don’t know how you can be in here without some type of breathing apparatus.” He has his oral and nasal passages open to the repugnance that fills the room. Me on the other hand, I am sticking to the tie over my mouth not caring if anyone has trouble understanding my muffled speech.
“I guess, as strange as it seems, that I’ve gotten used to the wretched smell.”
“So what happened here?”
He takes me to a secluded room leaving the man in the lab coat to await further instruction. Richard closes the door and turns to me.
“You might want to sit for this, there was some fucked up shit going on in this lab. Some of it I’m not even sure I can explain to you and truly believe it myself.”
“Nobody’s saying you have to believe it, just tell me what the hell went on here.”
Richard sits at the same table that I have found a home at, takes a deep breath and begins to speak.
“There was a survivor. He was one of the lab technicians; we have him in custody at the station. Him being alive is one but not the main reason that it is hard for me to believe what happened right through that door, and I wouldn’t believe a word of it if it wasn’t for the video I was shown. It’s gruesome shit, horror movie type.”
“Can we cut it with the cliché cop beating around the bush shtick and get to point? Just please, tell me what killed those people out there,” I say growing impatient with every passing moment.
“A five year old child.”
I sit trying to digest what he said. That’s not right; it was more as if I was waiting for the punch line.
“A five year old child did this? You’re sure.”
“I believe what my eyes tell me; there are papers galore, files documenting everyday the child was locked in his cage.”
Richard takes a deep breath, stands, and moves to the corner of the room.
“From what I gather there were two of them, a Dr. Ansom Carter and Dr. Elizabeth Hart, they interviewed and interviewed pregnant women from around the city trying to find one that would give up her child immediately after birth and then forget she had ever had it. They paid the woman an exorbitant amount of money, an eighteen year old named Jessica Albom who was more than willing to be rid of her seed.”
“What were they going to do with a child?”
“In their report it says that they were trying to prove that God does not exist. That by taking a child who had never been told the word of God, which had never been told of religion, of the church, that if there was a God he would know of Him even if never being told. Am I making sense?”
“You need to talk with Dr. Carter, he was the only survivor, and he’d be able to explain it to you a hell of a lot better than I would ever be able to.”
Once inside the station I immediately head towards my office. I sit, trying to prepare myself for the conversation I am about to have. I open a drawer and pull a half-smoked cigar that I have been working on for about a week. I light it and take a big drag, filling the room with its pungent aroma. I take two more puffs, stub it out and pop a mint into my mouth. I exit my office and head down the hallway that leads to the interrogation room. There is an armed guard standing outside the door. I greet him with a nod; he returns it and opens the door. I see Dr. Carter sitting at the table; he is holding a cigarette in his hand with his head pointed down towards the floor. If he notices me, he doesn’t show it. I enter the room, closing the door with a slam; he remains looking at the linoleum.
“Hello Doctor Carter, my name is Aaron Hollows; I’m a detective working on the murders at your laboratory. I just have a few questions for you.”
“I’ve already been poked and prodded.”
“Not by me.”
I have a seat across from him at the table. He looks up at me; his eyes are dark red. A smile crosses his hesitant face; he speaks:
“It’s funny; you can go your whole life, in my case thirty six years, and never pick one of these up. In the past two days I have smoked ten cartons, that’s what, two thousand cigarettes? The thing is; I don’t feel any better. I was always told that smoking was a great stress reliever. You ask your friends why they started smoking, they always answer, ‘To relieve stress’. So after two thousand of the little fuckers; why the fuck am I stressed out?”
“Maybe because you brutally butchered two of your colleagues,” I say to him.
“It’s easy for you to say that because you have no point of reference. You have no fucking clue what happened.”
“I have a clue; but I don’t believe a word of it.”
“That’s what is great with the way of life we have. You can believe whatever you like. Whatever it is, as long as it’s true to you than that’s the way it shall be. However, say those beliefs were proven false. Everything you’ve lived your life by has been a fabrication. Where do you go from there? You want to believe that I caused the carnage that you stumbled upon; you have every right to do so. But what’s going to happen when what you believe is taken from you? You’ll be left with a book of blank pages and a room full of empty stares. What I’m going to tell you, what you’re going to see, and every word of it is true, there’s film and logs of every action that took place in that lab. You’re going to walk away from this not knowing the next step to make. Be it in your daily life or in this case…”
“You really think you disproved the existence of God?”
“Oh no, God most definitely exists. He just doesn’t give a shit about us.”
“Is that so?”
“And what led to that conclusion?”
“The fact that God in no way, shape, or form showed himself to that child. He doesn’t care whether we live or die. We are his little playthings. He probably enjoyed watching that child grow up with no knowledge of who He is. He was probably watching in anticipation, waiting to see what would happen next, I just hope He’s happy with the results of his little game.”
“Which would be…?”
“Think about it, you’re a smart man as far as I can tell, if the soul is never introduced to good then what is left?”
“Exactly. Evil presented itself to that child. It was all he knew for five years. When he was two years old I asked about his dreams, for instance what he dreamt the night before, he replied and I quote, “Your head on a stick.”