Day 5

 

Murder in Central Park

  Robyn glanced anxiously at her watch and then at the line of stationary traffic that stretched out in front.  She'd promised her father she would meet him and in about five minutes she was going to be late.  She had even remembered to order a cab and it had turned up on time.  Traffic was always bad around the park but it wasn’t usually this bad.  Each minute seemed to stretch into an eternity and finally, Robyn could stand it no longer.  Fumbling in her purse she paid the driver and got out.  It was already dark but the evening air was cool and pleasant.  Weaving her way in and out of the cars she crossed to the other side of the park.  Breathing deeply she tried to quell her nerves.  It probably wasn’t a good idea to walk through the park and her high heeled sandals weren’t the most practical of footwear but at least this way she could be sure of getting there.  It would take ten minutes and she would be there.  Leaving the road behind, she headed towards the narrow path that ran between the trees her thoughts with her father.  This evening was really important to him and it had been barely six months since her mother had died.  His work on the new Arts Centre had been his salvation and tonight it came to fruition.  The last thing she wanted to do was to let him down, not tonight.  She pulled her silk shawl closer around her shoulders; she hadn’t planned on doing much walking tonight, more in the way of socialising.  The sounds of the traffic were already muffled and a quiet peacefulness wrapped itself around her.  It was a beautiful clear night, with the pale moonlight lighting her way.  Another five minutes and she would be there.

  Tony had been driving cabs for nearly twenty years and in that time he had become a pretty good judge of character.  He wasn’t surprised when the pretty young woman got out of his cab to walk but what did surprise him was the feeling that something bad was going to happen to her.  When it came to feelings, Tony's feet were firmly planted on the ground and definitely not given to flights of fancy.  He knew when a potential passenger was going to be trouble but that was thanks to years of experience and nothing more.  This time, the feeling was so strong that he actually got out of the cab and started after her.  The traffic chose that moment to start moving again and the honking of horns forced him to sprint back to his cab.  As he slowly drove away, the feeling began to fade.  A sharp howl pierced the night and he shivered in the warmth of his cab.  By the time he had reached the edge of the park, he had another call for a pick-up and all thoughts of the woman faded as he continued to do battle with the busy city traffic.  It would be more than a week before he would remember the pretty young woman in the park.

  Dr William Amporo read the headline of the newspaper again.  He had already read it twice and it didn’t get any better.  There had been another one.  For a long moment, he remained motionless; there had to be something that he could do.  These murders were not going to stop unless someone did something. 

  There had now been four murders and he had to admit that even his suspicions hadn’t been aroused until after the second murder.  He had been collecting all the information he could lay his hands on including calling in a favour from a colleague at the police department.  The photographs were still spread out over his desk and they chilled his soul.  Each of the victims had been female, aged between 20 and 30 years of age but there the resemblance stopped. 

  Jane Wiltman was 27, had long dark hair, wore glasses and in life was probably what would have been described as scholarly.  Her body had been in an alley behind the library and it was so badly mutilated that she had been identified from her dental records.  Then there was Sadie Woodman was the oldest of the victims at 30.  She had been covering the late shift in the coffee shop and was walking home.  A journey that should have taken her less than ten minutes.  Unfortunately, she never made it and her blood-covered body was found later that night lying under bushes.  An autopsy revealed that several body parts were missing.  Maureen Rowe was the only victim to work in the high-risk profession of prostitution.  Her body had lain undiscovered for six days in the room where she lived until the smell had alerted a neighbour who finally called the police.  Oddly enough, her body was the least mutilated, only her throat had been ripped out.  The latest victim had been Robyn Pierce who for some totally inexplicable reason had felt obliged to walk through the park, alone and at night.  Her body was found in the park and it looked as though whoever had killed her had spent time with her. 

  Amporo was convinced that the police were looking in the wrong place.  He had checked the dates of each murder and yes, each murder had taken place almost a month apart during the full moon.  As much as it disturbed him, he had to admit that these were probably not the only victims with the other bodies still to be found.  He was sure that the police had noticed the dates but they wouldn’t have taken it to the logical conclusion.  He suspected that a rogue werewolf was responsible for these deaths but what could he do about it?  He had spent his whole life studying werewolves and he knew for a fact that they existed.  There weren’t that many of them now, but he had met a couple and they were genuinely likeable people who just happened to have a penance for changing into wolves.  But what could he do?