2.6 - Rythe: Serial Killed

2.6 - Rythe: Serial Killed

Albert Green had been working on newspapers since he could write. That’s the story he told us anyway, writing a daily newspaper for his dad who got home after bedtime. I can’t verify that, but he’s sensitive enough that it might be true. I don’t mean that as an insult. The world needs more sensitive men. Men who don’t hide their emotions behind a scowl and a forty-five. We’re all humans after all, we’ve got emotions. I’m not saying go buy stock in Kleenex, but we’re human, and sometimes we need to let it all out. Albert always had to let it out. It was refreshing yet, annoying at the same time. It was amazing he was so open with his emotions, but it seemed like he had a strong feeling on everything.

Perhaps that is why he had been the longest tenured editor, chief of staff and every other hat he wears here. The Community Herald should have died out two decades ago, but here we are, still one of the most read papers in Indiana. We don’t even have a paper edition anymore, and the only thing keeping us going is advertisements. Nobody wants an advertisement for sex toys while reading about the latest Amber Alert, but it pays the bill. The other option was limiting people to three articles a month and forcing them to see everything. Albert said that went against the true meaning of journalist integrity. We’re supposed to report the news, not hide it, and a paywall would do just that. The tear in his eye that day might have added a little extra kick to his speech.

This morning he was going over potential stories for the day with reporters looking for any options he could get. Sometimes I wonder how wild he would go if he could report stories on the supernatural world. Albert, and most of the people here have no idea that Vampires are being hunted right now. If they could report on that, they might win a Pulitzer. But the world as a whole, isn’t ready to accept, well the world. In that past wars broke out because people were so different. Somehow the idea that we should just hide in plain sight came about. So far it has worked out pretty well. Humans still kill humans and the rest of us will pick sides.

“Does anyone else have a story,” Albert asks covering his eyes. “Something that feels good,” must be a depressing day.

“Oh, I’ve got a great idea,” Wendy Butler’s hand shot up like a third grader.

I don’t think much of Wendy as a journalist, because she isn’t. She writes the daily advice column, mostly answering questions sent in by readers. A lot of which are sent in just to mess with her. She’s a holdover from the old print days. Postcards turned to emails, tweets and everything else the young people are doing. We’ve gone from questions asking why boys took swim class naked and girls didn’t to questions about the meaning of consent. Most of her good advice can be found all over the internet these days. The bad advice mostly comes from old wives’ tales. I don’t think much of her work, but I do respect her. Like Albert, she is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Even if she’s a little forgetful or doesn’t contribute much, she doesn’t deserve to be treated poorly.

“What’s your idea Wendy,” Albert asks, not looking up.

“Well, Halloween is coming up. Maybe, we poll some kids and find out what the best candy is,” Wendy smiles hard both eyes closed.

“I think that’s a great idea, we can even make a poll on the site,” Albert doesn’t think that was a great idea, but she was the only person pitching.

“Anyone else, we still need a cover story,” no one bites. “Ryan, good to see you back. You’ve always got something good,” Albert points to me with his dry erase marker.

I was born as Rythe, that is my name. Still, like many other Dark Elves, I chose a human name. Rythe is simple, but some Elven names can get complicated for the human tongue. It’s a practice many immigrants from other countries take up as well. Sometimes it can be odd being called by a name your parents didn’t choose for you, but it helps. I can’t imagine I would get many call backs for interviews if I put Rythe on the applications. I know I wouldn’t there have been studies on the topic. Ethnic sounding names just aren’t considered smart by many employers.

“Well, I do have one story I’ve been working on,” Albert’s eyes light up when I speak.

“Thank God, tell me what you’ve got.”

“Well, for the past decade there has been a string of murders all taking place on Halloween night. The police haven’t officially linked the murders together, but I believe they are all from the same killer. Each murder fits the same criteria. The person is found alone, yet not far from places with heavy foot traffic. Death is caused by multiple piercing wounds, usually grouped around the torso. The odd thing is the wounds leave no blood splatter despite the violent nature. Additionally, they have not been able to link the killings to any known murder weapon. The killer leaves no calling card and his victims are varied, but every year, on Halloween someone dies. Even if we don’t have suspects we should still warn the public of the possibility that there,” I pause as Adam Beechwood, another reporter raises his hand to interject.

“I’ve got a question, more of a statement Ryan,” he starts. “There is no serial killer, and that is why the police haven’t linked any of the cases. Did you cook up any other crazy theories while you were hopped up on cocaine? I mean really, I thought rehab was supposed to flush the drugs out,” Adam gets a big laugh as if on cue.

“I’ve never done cocaine,” is my only response.

“Well maybe you should start if that’s all you can come up with. I mean really, I heard you were a legendary reporter when I started. Now look at you,” Adam continues.

“Enough,” Albert breaks the tension. “I’ll come up with a story on my own. Adam, see me in my office.”

I suppose we won’t be running my story about the serial killer after all. I’m beginning to believe that the link between victims is that they weren’t humans. I can view crime scene photos, but they’ll still look like their human selves, because a human took the picture. I don’t know how the magic keeping everything hidden works, it just does.


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