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  Table of Contents Issue Four MOTHER'S NATURE


"Damnation, you a fine lookin' babe to be some dumb cop...especially a homicide dick for God's sake.  Them knockers...they bigger 'n a fat boy's head."   Handcuffed behind and face down, his breath came in short, desperate gasps.  "How's a bitch like you run so fast...so far?"



"Casper?" Margot smiled, her dark eyes reflecting the serene, beautiful bottomless depth of an isolated well.  "I take that as a high compliment from a man of your experience."  Detective Margot Platt had just apprehended Casper after a fourteen block foot chase through east Dallas.  A thousand hours of surveillance had finally paid off.



"You jes' a kid."  Casper was at drooling point.  Margot wondered if his ardor would be affected if he knew exactly how much practice she'd had wringing info from stupid men.



"Casper, I've seen some hard and trying times in my own life and it's critical you understand I feel your pain."  Squeezed next to him in the rear seat of a squad car, she reached across and patted his manacled hands.  "I know your story...mother abandoned you...series of orphanages...raped by older boys.  Lord have mercy, what agony you've seen..."



The experienced cops standing around the car were not the least surprised to see Casper fixated on Margot's eyes, staring intently into her beautiful face, mouth agape.  In five more minutes Casper broke like the Johnstown Dam.  Fully aware the interview was being taped by the little recorder on the seat between them, he babbled details of all fourteen murders, demonstrating amazing memory for detail.  "And when I cut out little Allison's tongue and ate it, I tasted true love for the first time in my life," he blurted for the camera.



Margot flipped through her notes.  "Allison was number two, Casper...did you find true love with each of the next twelve girls you murdered?  You had spread Allison's intestines around and around the jungle gym and left her head posed on a bench at Sunway Park.  Was that love gratifying? "



"Yeeeess, I loved them all and now I'm a thinkin' I love you Detective LePlatt.  I'm a wishin' youda been my mama.  When I get out I'm gonna come to your house."  His focus, blissful at the horror talk, changed at the comment.  Margot recognized instinctively he meant to harm her and her daughter.



"Casper, you've been a very bad boy and now you're gonna have to be punished," Margo reached back to touch his hands.



"Oh God, yes, punish me Margot.  Hurt me...I deserve it," he evaporated into sobs.  He then took thirty additional minutes describing victims by name with explicit descriptions, the horrible crimes he'd committed, the butchery, the gore.  The more he talked, the more animated he became.



"How the double dog hell does she do that?" a younger detective asked the Sergeant outside the car.  "He's like...like he's staring into the face of the Almighty."



"Not a clue, but glad she's on our side," the graying sergeant said.



And that was it - or should have been.  Casper should be in custody forever;

a prime candidate for the three needle cocktail at the end of the hall on death row.



Margot went back to routine duty, if digging at dead bodies and watching autopsies, hoping the murders left a clue behind, could ever be routine.  Young, darkly beautiful men were attracted to her enticing eyes like moths to the light.  Never a flirt or a person to outwardly entice male attention, men found they couldn't pass her by without getting a load of those eyes.  In her four years with the Dallas Police Department, punctuated by being promoted to Homicide after only six months on the job, she’d rarely dated cops or anyone else for that matter, male or female.  Strong men and women around her often lamented out loud what a waste of pure sexual attraction she seemed.



Margo lived in a small bungalow in the Lake Highlands District of northeast Dallas with her daughter, Shelby, a quiet, intelligent child of nine.  Margot had petitioned successfully to the necessary authorities for the right to home school Shelby.  Few knew, including her occasional playmates, that Shelby played classical violin and read at the university level in several languages.  On the rare instances when she had her little friends over, they played Monopoly or video games.  Shelby was such a polite, considerate child, everyone said.



Then, the courts appointed a lawyer right out of law school to represent Casper.  A corpulent, sweaty man named Dwight, he was twenty five, grossly overweight, with a nervous habit of tugging on his left earlobe.



Dwight immediately attacked Margot's interrogation, petitioned a sympathetic judge, and Casper's confession was tossed out in a week.  "A deliberate effort to play on the denial of maternal affection from the defendant's mother."  His highness ruled and suppressed the confession.  Ironic, Margot thought.  She didn't personally recall ever having a mother of her own, but the judge blamed her for Casper’s mother complex...



"No hard feelings, miss...er, uh?"  The judge peered down from his bench.



"Detective Margo LePlatt."



"Yes, LePlatt.  Your demeanor is archaic," the judge smirked, studying Margot's chest intently.



"So much for your Gestapo tactics, officer," fat lawyer Dwight smirked.  "Now I'm suing you and the city on behalf of my client."



"Good luck with that," Margot eyed the unsavory attorney.  She strolled into the hallway behind the judge's chambers where Casper sat in a holdover cell, awaiting release.



"Hey, Miss Margot," Casper slobbered.  "You still got the prettiest boobs.  I heered in the cellblock you and your pretty little daughter live alone...out north."



"No hard feelings here, Casper.  We really meant to help you."  No one saw her slip a folded, pink telephone message slip between the bars.  "In case you need to find a safe haven, here's an address of a citizen who serves no useful purpose.  You could live in this apartment if the owner moved out...or something else happened to him."



Lawyer Found Slaughtered - No Trace of Suspect Found.  Cops Stymied, the newspaper on Margot's desk blared.   The headline reverberated in her head.



She knew she should feel some regret at handing lawyer Dwight's home address to a madman, but any guilt was eroded by visions of fourteen butchered little girls.   Dwight had helped free a horrible beast to kill again.  She leaned back and studied the squad room ceiling.  Such a crying shame that pompous judge couldn't have been visiting Dwight's when Casper showed up.  Oh well, nothing's ever quite perfect.



Watching Dwight's' house she’d struck pay dirt the first night.  As Casper slinked around the bloody kitchen over Dwight's gory, dismembered remains, she and little Shelby had walked in on him.  Blubbering like the hungry monster he was, he fawned on both Shelby and her.  Margo saw intent in his eyes:  Butcher them both.



Through the three hundred or so years Margot had been trapping stupid men, she'd developed an endless array of methods.  Use the hypodermic and they'd have to cart him home to their basement.  She opted that Shelby, poor thing, still just a beginner at practicing the eye contact method which Margot knew so well, would subdue Casper.  Shelby needed to be accomplished in the form of hypnosis Margot had learned many, many years and a continent ago.



Little Shelby actually climbed up on uncle Casper's knee, on a stool amidst body parts and an ocean of blood smeared on the floor.  In twenty minutes, mommy was delighted to see Casper, the beast, even more susceptible to Shelby's deep, black eyes than Margot's fondest expectation.  Casper was locked into Shelby's trance like vice grip pliers - which was a humorous thought considering that there were a pair of those with his name on them back at Margot’s house.  The good news:  at Shelby's direction, he actually walked to their waiting car.  After a short ride he was walking through their front door without even having to be asked.



They'd keep Casper chained in her basement for another day, she thought dreamily.  They'd seared enough of the wounds shut.  He'd last that long at least. Shelby needed the blood and they both could use a little knife practice.  Margot had thoughtfully smuggled some of the bloody, torn underwear of several of his victims out of the evidence room.  Used these as a gag to stifle that whining, sissy screaming kept them from having to cut off his own body parts and shove them into his mouth.



She'd had considerable experience at dropping bodies that were never found.  Casper would simply disappear.  She smiled.  Casper was already history - well, he damned sure soon would be.  She wondered if he still wished she'd been his mother.  She'd be sure to ask him when she drank the last drop of his blood this very evening.  How disgusting that a nasty cretin like that had almost gotten away with harming little girls.  But justice always won out in the end, even if nature had to call on its darker agents to get the job done…







Gary Clifton, forty years a cop, has over sixty short fiction pieces published or pending with online sites including Bewildering Stories, Flashes in the Dark, Spinetingler, and Black Heart Mag.  He's been shot at, shot, stabbed, sued and is currently retired to a dusty north Texas ranch.  Clifton has an MS from Abilene Christian University.  In addition to the story included in this issue, Gary’s stories have appeared two other times in HelloHorror: His story Blood Passion appears in the January 2013 issue, and his story Measure Once, Cut Twice appears in the April 2013 issue.



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