The police photograph of the murder scene.

*******I am so sorry folks.  I put this out last week and I noticed on Friday the 19th that it didn’t publish the story itself!  I am very sorry, this is now what should have gone last week!*******

Thanks for hanging in there folks, Today the story will not conclude!  There will be more to read next week.  I hope it was helpful to have the story laid out as is was meant to be, like a serial novel!

Previously in our story:

Police detective Thompson was wrapping up a crime scene when he found a scrap of paper in the dead man’s posessions. The paper led him to the bus station and a locker that was filled with legal pads, all written by the deceased man.  Sergeant Thompson is currently reading the legal pads which are spelling out a strange narrative and a chronicle of a serial killers murders, that somehow the man writing the story knows before they happen, if only by moments.  So far our writer has witnessed several deaths with apparently more to come.  Strange coincidences surround the narrator having to do with the Man in the Hazy Suit, leading to paranoia and a wonder as to the outcome of his sanity.  Currently, he thinks he may have the drop on the Man in the Hazy Suit.  He has figured out that the Man in the Hazy Suit is his inner personality!

When we left our story last time:

I looked at the gas can in my hand and twitched as I began to pour the pungent fluid on the floor.  Memories flooded in.  Realization hit me like a .45 slug in the forehead.  I was the man in the Hazy Suit.  I was the one responsible for all of that unpleasantness.

That was why I could not stop the man.  That is why he would not listen to me.  He is me.  I could feel him then, inside my head with me, crowding me into one of the dark recesses there.   He took great pleasure lighting a match that he produced from his suit and tossing it to the pool of gasoline on the floor of the library.

He turned us calmly and pushed the elevator button.  The car came and the door opened.  We stepped inside and began the descent to the ground floor as the 5th floor burned and those who had been in throes of ecstasy only moments before now screamed in horror and pain.

I tried to gain some sort of control over my body.  I tried to scream at the other entity in my head but this body was committed only to him.   Things made sense, but now, instead of the dream state, I was trapped.  Trapped and no one could do anything about it.

And Today, We join our story, already in progress!

I couldn’t believe what I was reading.  I remembered his calls, I remembered him asking only for me, Patrolman Thompson.  I had really thought most of those were…well crank calls. I always thought that it was weird that a kid kept calling on the boogeyman in his dreams.  He was never even a suspect in any of the killings because he had almost reasonable alibi’s and he didn’t give us any more information than he could have read in the paper.  I would have never pegged this kid as the Gas Can Killer.

I was tired now, I had been up reading all night, but I couldn’t quit yet.  Aaron Goodwin was the Gas Can Killer.  Aaron Goodwin was dead, but he still deserved a chance to be heard, no matter what his bizarre tale.  At the very least I could close the whole case with the name of the killer, at the most I could tell the families of the victims that we had got the guy.

I thought back to that night nearly 3 weeks ago when the library had burned.  The fire was horrific.  23 people died from smoke inhalation or the fire itself.  More than 100 were injured.  The elevators shut down and the stair doors had been chained.  The fire suppression sprinklers barely worked in half of the floor, not letting enough water do its job.  The firefighters had broken windows to get water on the blaze.

I had not been there.  I was home when the initial call came, and I was taking my time getting ready to go.  It didn’t sound like much until later when they were totaling up the butchers bill.  Jim Phillips, the arson expert from the fire department had called me on my cell phone to tell me that I was dealing with another arson from what looked like the same gas can killer.  This time the homicide total was 23.

I had asked him how he could know that it was the same kind of arson.  “Well we matched the chemical composition of the gas to a brand that had…” He didn’t even finish the sentence.  “Nah.”  He said with a grim tone.  “No jokes today.  The can was the same and the signature was the same.”  I sat in stunned silence.  We had never released anything about the signature before.  Of course the arson guys knew of it, but if it was there, it meant there was no copycat.

“Ok, “I said.  “Thanks Jim.  I guess I am off to work on my day off.” He snorted and muttered something derisive as he hung up.

I pulled up to the library after the fire trucks had finished and the men were cleaning up.  I entered the building and walked up the stairs to the site of the fire.  Jim was over in the corner looking at something on the ground.

He looked up as I walked over to him.  “Thompson.” He said.  “Take a look at this.”  He produced some glass shards and bits in a plastic evidence bag.  “These came from some glass bottles as you can see.  They are fairly typical iced tea or juice drink bottles.” he said.   “What is the string around the necks for?” I asked.

He pointed up.  “They were rigged to swing down and hit each other when the cords burned through.” he said.  “It looks to me like they hit each other and exploded, showering glass and more gasoline down on the crowd.  There were 10 such setups around here.”  I whistled softly thinking of the implications of adding more and more gas to the inferno already blazing below.

“How did he get all of that set up in here with no one noticing?” I asked.  “We don’t really know…” he trailed off.  “But they did the job and kept the fire burning for a long time.  Kind of simple genius in that.”

Now,  I think I had the answer.  I hoped I had an answer.  It had to be in the frantic final notes scrawled here by Aaron Goodwin.  I needed to read more, and put the rest of the pieces together.

I picked up the second to last notepad and began to read.

Join us next week for more fun and excitement!


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