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Second Chance Slaughter

21

Chapter 21: Completed

 

Avery watched the two unlikely pairs in amusement, their actions remind him of a comedic duo in a slapstick film. But what was happening inside was far from a comedy. If they didn’t hurry, Donovan would be in grave danger.

 

Inside the storage room in the basement, Donovan lay unconscious on a trolley. Lacuna was busy clearing the clutter, kicking items out of the way to make room.

 

He needed the space to move Donovan to his sanctuary site and perform his ritual.

 

Lacuna hummed as he worked, his movements almost carefree. He glanced at the portrait of his mother on the wall and smiled.

 

“Mom, this will be the 50th heart. Soon, you will have a change of heart,” he whispered, his voice filled with an unsettling mix of reverence and madness. To others, his words would have sounded nonsensical, but Lacuna firmly believed in the fantasy he had created.

 

He moved the portrait aside and fully opened the hidden door behind it. Pushing the trolley with the unconscious Donovan into the secret room, he closed the door behind him.

 

“First, let’s clean you up. I can’t take your heart when you’re all dirty and dingy.”

 

Lacuna methodically removed Donovan’s garments, humming a tune. The sight wasn’t pleasant, but Lacuna was more than happy—ecstatic, even.

 

 

Meanwhile, Sheriff Davis and Deputy Jenkins struggled to navigate the dark hallways of the basement. Though it was a straight path to the storage room, the darkness and unfamiliarity made it feel like a labyrinth. They moved cautiously, wary of an ambush or a sudden attack.

 

Sheriff Davis could hear her heart pounding as she allowed Deputy Jenkins to take the lead.

 

“Twig, consider it an honor if you die on my behalf. I’ll make sure to fulfill your goal of becoming chief superintendent in a prosperous city, while I enjoy my retirement benefits and gaze at my shelf filled with awards,” she said.

 

“But that’s not even my goal, Chief,” Jenkins replied, his voice tense.

 

“Enough, that is your goal now,” Davis retorted. “Now move. We don’t have all day—or night, whatever, Twig.”

 

After a couple of moments, they arrived at a cluttered storage room. Donovan and Lacuna were nowhere to be seen. Sheriff Davis and Deputy Jenkins exchanged uncertain glances, sure this was where they had gone.
Their pin lights swept the room, finally landing on a portrait on one side of the room. Behind it, they noticed what appeared to be a door. Both moved slowly, carefully evading the clutter to avoid making any unnecessary noise that might alert their target.

 

When they finally reached the door, Sheriff Davis signaled for Deputy Jenkins to kick it open.

 

Jenkins’s eyes widened in panic—they shouldn’t even be here without a search warrant. If there was no exigent circumstance, they could lose their jobs.

 

Sheriff Davis had a different plan.

 

If they didn’t find anything, she would pin the blame on Jenkins. If they did, it would greatly increase her chances of receiving an award and a promotion.

 

She shot Jenkins a threatening look, silently warning him that he’d be forcibly dismissed if he didn’t comply. Jenkins had no choice but to follow his superior’s order. He moved back a little to ensure he would exert enough force to open the door. Truth be told, Jenkins didn’t have proper training for this.

 

Thud!

 

The door didn’t budge. Frustration mounting, Sheriff Davis shoved Jenkins with all her might. He lost his balance and fell forward, crashing through the door and forcing it open.

 

“Sheriff’s office! Hands in the air!” Davis shouted, even before she saw anything. But as she stepped inside, her flashlight illuminated a horrifying sight: the naked, unconscious body of Donovan lying on a trolley. Lacuna was nowhere to be seen.

 

Davis felt a wave of nausea at the sight of a naked old man. But that is nowhere near to the net thing she’ll discover.

 

As her flashlight illuminated the scene, she froze. Rows and rows of jars bearing the names of missing people lined the shelves, each containing what appeared to be a human heart.

 

“Twig! Get up!” Davis yelled, fury and desperation in her voice. While she has always pursued profit over risks, something was triggered inside her upon seeing this macabre. She couldn’t let this monster escape and continue his atrocities elsewhere.

 

Jenkins scrambled to his feet faster than he ever had, a red mark on his forehead and blood trickling from his nose.

 

They needed to find Lacuna, and fast.

 

“Damn it!” Lacuna cursed under his breath.

 

Everything had been going smoothly until he heard the noise in the storage room. He quickly used the secret passage behind the shelf. The pursuers wouldn’t notice the hidden door immediately, giving him a head start.

 

“That should have been the 50th,” he muttered to himself. “Now, I have to start all over again.”

 

Using a small flashlight to illuminate his path, Lacuna navigated the unfamiliar passage. He believed he was moving faster than his pursuers.

 

Or so he thought.

 

Hidden in the dark was Avery, he is the master of shadows.

 

He blended seamlessly with the darkness, moving in the shadows to conceal his presence. He needed to ensure that Lacuna would be captured by Sheriff Davis without anyone knowing he was involved.

 

Otherwise, his dream of a normal life would be shattered. That is his only goal for now.

 

Sure, the clown had mentioned that the original body was pursuing the person who killed his mother, but that wasn’t his target. In fact, he still hadn’t decided if he’d pursue his mother’s killer. What mattered now was getting out of this situation and reclaiming his normal life.

 

Avery grew impatient. If Lacuna got out of the secret passage, he could escape, making it difficult for Davis and Jenkins to catch him.

 

But the two were not in sight, and it looked like they’d take a while to get there. By then, Lacuna would be long gone.

 

Avery couldn’t afford that. Lacuna might grow suspicious about how they found out about his actions despite the organization’s protection.

 

Avery felt the ground, his palm touching something rough and hard. A pebble. He picked it up and threw it with enough force to hit Lacuna’s ankle. Lacuna stumbled, his foot twisting as he lost his balance. He tried to get up, but the pain was too much.

 

Avery heard movement behind him and quickly retreated from the tunnel, assured that Sheriff Davis and Deputy Jenkins were on their way.

 

“No!” Lacuna’s scream echoed in the passage, a mix of fear and realization that his plans had crumbled.

 

Avery breathed a sigh of relief. He had stopped two killers now. Just one more to go, and then he could create his own video to stay safe in this cycle.

 

Just then, the Cleaner’s phone buzzed. Avery had never heard that sound before. He checked the phone and saw a notification from the Night Gallery app. His eyes widened in shock.

 

Siren Song Assigned Task - Completed.

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