I shuffled the endless stack of papers and sighed for what seemed to be the millionth time today. This particular case I was working on was eating away at me, every time I got close to arresting a suspect new evidence came up that would clear them. A serial killer has been terrorizing (city name) for a full two years, sending citizens and the police department alike into fear and chaos. The signature was the same every time, the victim killed by a poison that is too common to trace and a half-eaten cupcake near their dead body. Why did this guy choose to use cupcakes as his vessel for poison? Beats me; I'm no psychopath. It amazed me how this guy (or girl) was able to evade every single curve ball we threw at him, but that wasn't what terrified me. All of his victims, every single one, had a connection to me. The guy who bullied me in high school was his first victim. I wrote it off as a coincidence at first, but when my ex boyfriend who broke my heart by cheating on me was his next victim, I grew a bit uneasy. After the third victim, who was an old colleague who grabbed my ass more than a few times, turned up, the creepy love notes began to show up. I thought it was teenagers trying to pull a prank, but soon there were pictures of me accompanying the notes. As a detective, I need to keep my mind clear at all times, but guilt ate away at me as time passed. I'm the reason these people are dying; they're all people who betrayed me or hurt me in some way. My determination to catch the killer grew stronger; but after the eighth victim was found in her home, many other detectives were too scared to take the case. Some even were too scared to even look at me in the eye; afraid that maybe I was the killer. The department had interrogated me to see if it was me who was killing off people, but my alibis were solid. By his twelfth victim, only my partner Elizabetha and I were willing to stay on the case. Now, two years after his first victim was found, I'm still hunting the bastard down with no leads or hope. At least, I thought we had no leads.
"________?" Elizabetha called to me from her desk as I poured myself coffee.
"Yeah?" I took a sip of coffee and cringed. 'Great, it's cold.'
"Did you close that case from earlier this week?" she asked. I nodded.
"The butler did it. Cliché, right?" I laughed lightly.
"I'll file the paperwork then." Elizabetha got up from her chair and walked over to the copy machine. I took my seat at my desk and unlocked my cabinet. As I pulled open the drawer, a pink envelope fell out from it. My heart stopped; this was the same stationary used when that serial killer sent me love notes, a light pink colored card with blue swirls and cupcakes decorating the edges. I carefully read the latest note, my heart beating furiously in my chest.
'My dear cupcake,
I hope you enjoy the present I got you, I had a good friend of mine make it! Please wear it, you'll look so cute! Like a princess!
Your true love'
Something heavy fell to the ground, making a loud noise. I looked down and saw a key to a mailbox from a nearby post office. The number of the mailbox was craved into the top of the key along with a heart. I felt rage well up inside me. 'Great, now he's toying with me while I have no clue who he is!' I clenched my hands into tight fists and stood up quickly; putting my gun as well as my badge in my belt in the process.
"Where are you off to?" Elizabetha called to me.
"Going to catch this bastard!" I yelled back and rushed out of the police station. 'When I catch this guy I'll make sure to perform the execution myself.' I grumbled in my mind as I made my way to the post office. I flung open the door and was met with the cheery gaze of the woman working the desk.
"Ah, hello Detective ______, what can I do for you today?" she asked me.
"Where is this mailbox located?" I showed her the number on the key. The girl pointed to a wall filled with the small PO boxes and I spotted the one I needed in the far corner. I put in the key and turned it; the box opening with a sharp click. Inside was a box decorated with bright neon colored wrapping paper. Another note was attached to it.
'Don't worry poppet, it's not a bomb! I wouldn't want to ruin that beautiful face of yours!'
"Yeah, like I would trust you!" I spat and threw the letter to the ground. I took out the box and left the post office.
"I'll give this box to the evidence squad to dust for prints." I muttered to myself, looking up at the sky, "Great, it's already dark out." I continued down the dimly lit street and entered the police station once again. Taking a left turn to the evidence lab, I presented the box to one of the people at the desk.
"Another one?" the man asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Yeah, he's toying with me now." I grunted.
"Still no leads on who this guy may be?"
"No!" I spat angrily, "No matter what we do, no matter what we sacrifice, this guy is always one step ahead! I don't get it, my partner and I took down Luciano Vargas, the most feared mob boss in all of (country), but we can't nail this one psychopath!"
"Well, you were able to go undercover to catch him, but this killer knows who you are and that you're a detective." the man pointed out. I nodded as the man carefully opened the box. Inside was a pink dress decorated with pink ruffles. My eyes widened as I studied the dress, it looked like something a child would wear to dress up.
"Well, this was unexpected." the man mumbled, "I'll file this into the evidence locker along with the other gifts." I nodded and returned to my desk, my mind spinning around in circles; desperate to make sense of the situation. I put my head in my hands and let out a loud sigh before glancing at the clock. 10:00 pm. Elizabetha had already left, and the detectives pulling all-nighters were shifting through paperwork. I was about to do the same before I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around and was met with the gaze of my chief.
"Go home ______. You've worked hard all week, I can't have my best detective passing out on the job tomorrow." he instructed. I complied and grabbed my bag before heading outside. I rummaged through my bag for my phone, but instead found an envelope. I opened it and took out the note inside. I gasped at what it said.
'And down the rabbit hole you go.'
I felt a sharp pain in my back before my vision faded and my body went numb.
I woke in a dark room in want seemed to be a basement. The air hung heavy with the smell of iron, and the walls were stained a deep red in many places. I shakily stood up and realized that my clothes were gone. They had been replaced by the same dress I had gotten in the mail, and a large blue bow was tied in my hair. My shoes were now pink flats with small bows on them. Panic rose inside me as I looked around the room, desperate for an exit. A small note was attached to a large metal door and I quickly read it over.
'Hello there poppet!
I have a fun game for us to play! It's hide and seek, but I have a deal for you! If you make it out of here, you can take me in and bring justice to all of my victims! But, if you lose...well, how about we discuss that when I catch you? The only rule is that you can't be caught by me until you make it completely out of the maze; using any means necessary. I don't want to use violence on someone as precious as you, but I will if I have to. The game begins as soon as you leave this room!
Good luck, I'm looking forward to catching you!
P.S.: There's something on the table back there for you!'
I glanced back at a lone table in the corner of the room. A purple cupcake stood on a fancy plate in the middle of the table. The cupcake looked very appetizing with its blue frosting and sprinkles, but another note was attached to the plate.
'Just in case you give up.'
I frowned at the sweet dessert and turned back to the door, ready to fling it open and run like hell. Before putting that incredibly well thought out plan into action, I torn a rusty pipe off of the nearby wall and rested it on my shoulder. 'The game begins as soon as you leave the room.' Those words played over in my head as I slowly twisted the handle and opened the heavy door. I stepped into the narrow dark corridor before a chilling voice sounded from behind me.
"Let the game begin."
Fear overtook my body and I swung hard at the figure with my pipe. I hit him hard in the stomach before taking off in a full sprint. Adrenaline was pulsing madly through my veins, my feet carrying me faster than they ever have before. The smell of blood made my vision hazy, and the walls of the corridor were wet and sticky with a substance I didn't want to identify. An insane giggle sounded from behind me along with quick footsteps; he was catching up to me. I was panting and breathing heavily, but I knew slowing down would mean my death, or worse. The corridor split into two pathways, and I quickly ran into the one on the left. A door was at the end of the pathway and I flung it open and locked it. I spun around to look for a possible exit, but a horrific sight made me nearly faint. The room was filled with pictures of me, some even dating back to my freshman year in high school. On another wall was pictures of his victims, all of them with a large red 'X' on their faces. One picture was of me and his second victim, my ex-boyfriend, fighting in my apartment. Another was me crying after his first victim, my high school bully, had slammed me against the lockers. Each picture like that had the words 'I'll save you, _____.' written in red ink next to my face. I was terrified of this man, but I was even more terrified of what would happen if I didn't lock him up once and for all. I can't have people dying because a psychopath has an obsession with me. With new found determination, I opened the door, my pipe raised and ready to strike if he was waiting for me. Surprisingly, he wasn't there, only a lone cupcake was sitting at the base of the door. It was the same one from earlier.
'Give up yet, poppet?'
I smirked and stepped on it.
"Never in a million years." I scoffed before taking off once again down the pathway, this time turning right at the division of the paths. Contrary to the path on the left, the path on the right was lit well and had many doors on the sides of the walls, rather than just one door at the end.
"Poppet~" an insane voice cooed from behind me, "Come out, come out wherever you are~" I quickly opened the nearest door and hid myself between the various sacks of flour inside the closet. I heard my captor's footsteps sound throughout the hall, along with his voice that sent chills down my spine.
"You look so cute in the dress~ I just want to see you in it, come out and I'll sent you free~" he called again, his voice dangerously close to the door of the closet. 'Yeah, like that would happen.' I thought. My heart quickened in pace as I heard him place his hand on the doorknob of the closet. 'Maybe I should've just eaten that cupcake and died right then.' I shut my eyes and braced for the door to swing open. As the door knob turned slowly, I felt like I was about to throw up. No amount of police training prepared me for this horror. But, lucky for me, a loud sound echoed from down the hall, causing my captor to quickly head in that direction. I heard a door open and close, followed by him calling for me once again. His voice was at a distance, and I carefully stepped out of the closet. I continued down the hallway, making sure my steps made no sound.
"There you are~"
I didn't even turn around before I took off. I ran blindly, desperately pulling on doorknobs, only to find them locked. I was turning to kick down a door when a hand grabbed my wrist and pinned me against the wall.
I let out a scream before harshly kicking him where it counts and tearing myself from his grip. I fell to the ground, twisting my angle badly in the process. I quickly got up and began to run, but my captor grabbed my ankles and dragged me to the ground once again. He got on top of me and pinned my wrists with his hands while he straddled me.
"Why are you running, poppet? You can't win this game." he grinned widely, his pink and blue eyes brimming with madness. I squirmed with all the strength I had, flailing my legs in a feeble attempt to kick him.
"Get off of me!" I screamed, grabbing my pipe that was on the ground next to me and hitting him over the head with all my strength. He fell over and I got to my feet and ran like hell. The door at the end of the hall was unlocked, and inside was a long flight of stairs. I wasted no time in scurrying up the stairs clumsily, tripping and falling more than once. My knees were bloody by the time I had reached the top of the stairs. There was yet another door, which I flung open quickly and slammed shut behind me. I was greeted by bright colors and a room that looked like it was meant for a little girl. A tea set was set up on a small table, as well as a platter of blue and pink cupcakes. I was snapped out of my thoughts when I heard footsteps coming from behind the door to the stairway.
"The game isn't over yet, ______~" he called sweetly. I shuddered when he said my name; it was in a sweet yet chilling tone that made me frozen with fear. Snapping out of my trance, I hurried out of the room and into what looked like a living room. Like the room before it was brightly colored and girly.
"Psychopaths have weird taste." I mumbled before searching for a way out. My captor's footsteps came closer as my search for an exit became more frantic. I heard a door open behind me and I turned around, a lump rising in my throat when my terrified gaze met his. There he was, the serial killer I had been hunting down for two years, standing nearly three feet away from me. He was wearing a brightly colored sweater vest and a bow tie, along with brightly colored pants. His strawberry blond hair fell messily around his face, and a large gash from when I had hit him with my pipe was bleeding just above his thick eyebrows. His eyes were swirling pink and blue, and his Cheshire grin never left his face.
"Hello, love." he toke a step toward me, "My name's Oliver, but you can call me Ollie." I took a step back and found myself against a wall. Oliver cornered me and pinned me once again against the wall; one hand holding my wrists and the other lifting up my chin. I struggled, but he pressed his body against mine firmly, making it hard to move. I glared at him, studying his face. I raised an eyebrow when I noticed a scarlet blush adorning his cheeks and he refused to met my gaze.
"Why?" I broke the silence, "Why me? Can't you see what you're doing? You're scaring people! You're breaking the law and sending people into terror and chaos!"
"I'll break the law if that's what I have to do to keep you safe." he answered, still looking away.
"You have a twisted mind." I spat, "You killed people!"
"But, those people hurt you! They made you cry! I just wanted to make sure you kept smiling, poppet." he looked me in the eye, "I love you!" Anger welled up inside me and adrenaline once again pulsed through my veins.
"Well, I hate you!" I yelled before shoving him away and dashing up a nearby flight of stairs. I kicked open a door and found that it led to the roof. Oliver's footsteps were close behind, and soon he was on the roof along with me.
"Fine," Oliver's eyes swirled with pink as he took out a knife, "if I can't have you, both body and mind, then I'll just settle for your body!" I backed away from him, but soon I reached the edge of the roof. I glanced down at the streets below, contemplating my choices. I could: 1- jump and fall to my death or 2- get stabbed and have Oliver do god knows what to my body. Neither were really desirable, but falling to my death sounded pretty damn good if the other option was getting stabbed and violated by a psychopath. Before I could make a decision, the familiar roar of a helicopter came from behind me. I turned around and saw a police helicopter hovering behind me, the chief talking through a megaphone.
"Don't worry, Detective ______, you're safe now!" he called to me. A SWAT team burst through the door and onto the roof, quickly arresting Oliver and dragging him away.
"No!" Oliver cried out to me, "Please, _______, I love you! Don't let them take me away!" I ignored his pleas and sunk to the ground, tears spilling from my eyes and onto the ground. For the first time, I realized that my dress was covered in blood and ripped terribly. A paramedic rushed over to me and checked me for any wounds. My chief walked over to me and placed a hand on my shoulder.
"Don't worry detective, he'll rot in hell for what he did." I gave a weak nod and followed the chief on the helicopter to go home.
~time skip- a week later~
"Detective ______?" a FBI agent asked me. I looked up from my paperwork and answered.
"Yes?" I asked him.
"Come with me please." I nodded and followed him out of the police station and into a black SUV.
"What do you need me for, sir?" I asked him as the SUV began traveling in the opposite direction of the police station.
"You know that serial killer you busted last week, Oliver?" he asked me. I tensed up, the fearful memories flooding back to me.
"Y-yes sir." I stammered.
"He's being executed in a few hours, and his last wish was to talk to you before they flipped the switch."
"I don't think I'm comfortable being in the same room as him, sir." I said honestly.
"It's a maximum security prison, detective. He won't be able to touch you, it's only five minutes, and a guard will be with you at all times." I nodded feebly.
"Okay. But if he gets touchy, I'm leaving."
I was escorted by a guard to a white padded room with several complicated locks on the door. There were no other cells nearby and the hall was eerily quiet. The guard unlocked the various locks and motioned for me to step inside. I complied my legs shaking slightly but I kept a straight face. Oliver was sitting in the corner, chained up by many restraints to keep him from moving. His eyes were sad as he stared at the ground. I cleared my throat to alert him of my presence. He looked up and his blue eyes shone with glee.
"______! Poppet, I'm so happy you could be here!" Oliver beamed. I didn't answer him and his face fell.
"D-do you think you could come sit by me?" he asked shyly. After thinking it over, I cautiously sat in front of him, my hand near my gun. I noticed that he now had freckles, unlike before.
"Did you always have freckles?" I asked him. Oliver blushed deeply and nodded.
"I don't like them so I cover them up, but the guards washed off my makeup." he admitted.
"You look fine without the makeup." I muttered. 'I can't believe I'm making small talk with this bastard.' I thought.
"R-really?" his blush grew darker. I nodded. "Do you wear makeup, poppet?" Oliver asked me.
"Only on special occasions." I answered.
"So you're naturally beautiful!" he exclaimed like a child. I felt a blush creep onto my cheeks.
"You have one minute, detective." the guard called from the hallway. I looked at Oliver.
"Why did you want me here?" I changed the subject.
"I want you to fulfill my last wish." he smiled.
"And what's that?" I raised an eyebrow.
"I-I want y-you to kiss me." he looked at me innocently with pleading eyes, "Please?" I let out a sigh.
"Fine, close your eyes." I answered. Oliver shut his eyes tightly and I placed my hands on his shoulders. I pressed my lips to his, causing him to let out a small squeak before smiling and kissing back. I pulled away and Oliver's eyes were wide and shining brightly. He was smiling widely and looked like a child on Christmas morning. I wiped off my mouth and stood up. I knocked on the door for the guard to let me out.
"Next time, I'll tell you all of my feelings and we'll go on a date!" Oliver exclaimed.
"There won't be a next time, Oliver." I stated bluntly and stepped back into the hallway.
"That's what you think, poppet."