Night and Day
Night and Day sleep stories
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mike_harris
mike_harrisWarrior. Thinker. Scholar.
Autoplay OFF  •  10 months ago
Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men?

Someday I will flesh this out into a proper psychological thriller. For this, I focused on the contrast between the scary first person and the normal third person.

Night and Day

"I think your hair's nearly longer than mine." Detective Rachel Newcomen told her partner.

"Yeah, haven't managed to make it to the barber." Ed Hidley replied, running his hands through greasy black hair that nearly reached his collar.

"I've been absolutely bushed for the last week." Rachel rolled her eyes.

"You big wimp, you're just trying to get me to do all the legwork on the Ripper case." Ed shook his head. This was the fourth murder in the last week, all with the exact same M.O.

"Victim done in like the others I assume?" he asked. Rachel blew a strand of hair out of her face and heaved a deep sigh. "Yeah. Hands tied behind the back, feet tied to the neck.

Dozens of cuts and stabs to the body while the victim strangled herself." Ed shook his head with a world weary resignation.

“With this tempo, our boy’s going to work up to something awful if he doesn’t slip up soon.” Rachel nodded in agreement.

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Detective Ed Hidley dropped his keys on the table in his entryway. A glance at the microwave showed half past ten.

He dropped into the recliner in his living room and lifted his cell phone to his ear.

“Hey you.” His girlfriend’s voice was teasing, playful. “You going to come keep me company tonight?”

Ed winced. He really should spend more time with her. “I’m sorry Hailey. I just got home.”

Her voice was disappointed, yet understanding. “Another case?”

“Another bad one. I’m so tired, I swear I’m more tired when I wake up than I am when I go to bed.”

“Those terrible cases must be ruining your rest. I know it’s the Ripper case from the news.”

He briefly thought about objecting, but knew it was useless. Hailey was far too perceptive for him to dissuade her. “I can’t say, but…”

“I know. You’ll get him, then we can spend a nice quiet evening together.”

A smile cut through the weary mask that was his face. He didn’t deserve her.

She spoke before he could voice that thought. “I know, I’m waaaay better than you deserve. We both know you were thinking it. Now go to bed and try to rest. I love you.”

His smile widened as he shook his head. “You’re a mind reader. I love you too.”

He set the phone on the side table as he rose and walked into the kitchen.

Grabbing a highball glass that was probably (possibly?) clean in one hand, he grabbed the bottle of Macallan single malt with the other and poured three fingers into the glass.

He popped a sleeping pill into his mouth and washed it down with the scotch, grimacing as the burn hit his throat, and relaxing as it slowly transformed into a gentle warmth in his stomach.

Ed settled back into the recliner and sipped his drink, trying to massage his brain into a relaxed and sleep friendly state.

Maybe tonight the weariness would overcome whatever haunted him in the night hours.

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I prowl through the darkness. I don’t fear the darkness. The darkness is my ally. The darkness is what lets me hunt. The darkness is in my soul. The darkness is hungry.

I slip through the night, seeking my prey. Who shall I claim tonight? This is my jungle, and hunting is my right. My heart beats faster as I anticipate the coming stalk.

There.

Prey runs past, but it does not flee me. It cannot see me. But I see it. I know how prey moves, where it goes. I crouch like a jackal, melting into the night as I lie in wait.

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Ed groaned as his phone buzzed, dragging him from the depths of sleep. Damn it all, he was still tired. He peered blearily at the time on his phone.

Six minutes to seven, and he was getting a call already. He hoped that it wasn’t about that sick f***er, the Ripper. He swiped his thumb across the screen and raised it to his ear.

It was not going to be a good day.

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Ed stood outside the yellow crime scene tape, shaking his head in disgust. He heard footsteps approaching, but didn’t bother to turn and look.

A moment later, Rachel stopped next to him and handed him a very large Starbuck’s cup, steam piping from the hole in the lid. He took it reverently and inhaled the intoxicating aroma.

“Blessed are you among all the people in this messed up world.”

His partner smirked at him. “Damn straight. What we got?”

Ed didn’t open his eyes or remove the cup from under his nose. “Body. Same M.O. Jogger found her.” He sipped the dark liquid slowly, letting it roll over his tongue.

“Oh nectar of the gods” he muttered under his breath. Rachel shook her head at him.

“The way you drink coffee is just damn creepy Hidley. Should I leave you two alone while I go talk to the jogger?”

Ed still didn’t break his worshipful posture. “That would be great.” He took another sip.

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“You ready for the press conference?” Ed asked his partner as she checked her hair in a small mirror from her purse. “You look fine” he added.

Rachel shook her head. “I hate press conferences.

Having to stand up and tell everyone not to worry. Especially when we don’t have a single damn lead.”

“You’ll do great. He’ll slip up soon and we’ll get him.”

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Darkness has returned, and I return to the hunt. I sit in an all-night diner and eat as I watch the news. I hear movement to my right and turn to watch. The prey smiles at me.

“Getcha anything, hon?” As if I need permission to take what I like from prey. I shake my head and the prey moves away. I follow with my eyes before turning back to the news.

Prey stands behind a lectern and tells the cameras that I will be caught soon. I smirk into my coffee cup. Prey pretending to be a predator. Let the prey pretend. I know the truth.

Prey is always prey. And prey is mine to take.

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“No murders last night. I wonder why he took the night off.” Ed pondered aloud as he stopped by Rachel’s desk.

“Hopefully he tripped and fell on his own knife while holding a box full of incriminating evidence” Rachel scowled at him.

Ed chuckled. “We can always hope. Want to stop and get a beer before we head home for the night?”

Rachel shook her head. “I’ve been too wrapped up in this case. Think I’ll head over to the park and get a nice long run in, clear my head."

She looked balefully at the pile of paperwork on her desk. “After I finish this shit.”

Ed shuddered. “To each their own. I’m going to go home and drink scotch until I fall asleep. G’night.”

“Night” she muttered, already returning to the paperwork in front of her.

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Ed repeated his nightly ritual of sleeping pill and three fingers of Macallan. He flipped on the television and turned the volume down low as he sank into his recliner.

Fifteen minutes later, the scotch and the sleeping pill had worked their magic and he slipped into sleep’s embrace.

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Rachel hung her jeans, dress shirt and green bomber jacket in her locker at Seattle PD’s east precinct.

She grabbed a water bottle from the mini fridge in the break room on her way out and headed for the park.

She used a park bench on the park’s periphery to stretch her legs before venturing into the park, relaxing as she settled into a steady rhythm.

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I watched from a pool of darkness as the prey ran towards the trees. Yes, run into the trees little prey. Run into the darkness. Come to me. I had a place prepared for my ambush.

I estimated that the prey would arrive in about ten minutes. I cut across the grass of the park, letting the shadows shield me.

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Rachel felt a strange tingle on the back of her neck. Her subconscious must have picked up on something and was sending her a warning.

She lengthened her stride and scanned her surroundings with renewed vigor.

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Yes. Yes, that’s right, come to me little prey. I let it pass me, like a cat letting a mouse scramble between its outstretched paws. And I strike!

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Rachel felt the rush of air from behind even as she heard the strike of a foot on the ground behind her.

She reacted instantly, dropping and throwing herself back and down, curling into a fetal ball. Something hissed through the air above her, surely a strike meant for the back of her head.

Legs collided with her back, and her assailant fell headlong with the startled grunt of an animal.

She rolled over and pressed herself up to one knee even as the attacker bounded up from the ground with a snarl.

Her left hand ripped open the fanny pack as her right hand dipped inside and wrapped itself around the grip of her off duty gun, a Smith & Wesson M&P9c.

She raised the pistol and lined up the sights even as the Ripper lunged. Four shots rang out before he crashed into her, sending them both sprawling.

She jammed the gun against his chest as they fell together and fired twice more as she used her legs and arms to roll on top of him and jump back and away.

Rachel covered the still form with her gun with one hand and reached for her cell phone with the other. She punched in the number for east precinct’s duty desk.

“This is Detective Newcomen, I have shots fired in Hyde Park. I need backup and an aid car.” She answered a few terse questions before placing the still active phone back into her fanny pack.

She removed her badge and hung it around her neck, and finally grabbed the small Surefire tactical light from the pack.

She clicked it on and the powerful beam cut through the darkness like a flaming sword.

She took in the man’s form, covered in blacks and greys from head to toe. A long leather sap hung from a thong around his right wrist.

Placing the flashlight between her teeth, she crouched down and laid two fingers against his carotid artery. Finding no pulse, she pinched the edge of his ski mask between fingers and thumb.

“Let’s see who you are asshole” she muttered as she lifted the mask.

Her blood froze in her veins and her fingers jerked away from the mask as though scalded. She stumbled backwards, falling to her ass and scrambling back like a crab.

The flashlight fell from her mouth, its beam dancing wildly through the night. Her breath came in tight, strangled gasps.

“Hidley?”

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