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Leave a Whisper Bookcover

Leave A Whisper

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Chapter Eight - Whispering Visions

Bernstein quickly cued his walkie-talkie. "Where's Alexander?"

"Here, sir," the woman responded through a high-pitched screech emitting from Burnstein's handset.

"Mary, dispatch an aerial crew to the crime scene."

"Yes, sir. On it."

"And tell them to shoot photos of every possible angle-- no higher than 800 to 1000 feet."

"Yes, sir-- out."

Burnstein clipped the walkie-talkie back onto his belt, then turned toward Meadows. "That'll take care of recording the crime scene's pattern. What do you think?"

Meadows looked over at Toni. "Good. We also need to assign a three-man team out in the field on the letter's paths. Maybe two men on the curve. What do you think, Toni?"

Toni was standing just a few feet away, jotting something on a pocket-sized notepad, thinking how both men had passed off their suggestions to each other like a basketball in a game. She briefly looked up then back down while continuing to write notes. "I think we'll need two people minimum on each path. That way, if one overlooks something, the other one might possibly catch it. Two heads are better than one."

"That sounds logical to me," Burnstein agreed, reaching for his walkie-talkie again.

"Alexander-- you there?"

"Yes, sir."

"Assign the best of your people to the paths of the letter."

"Sir?" she cued back.

"Pick eight people on your team to walk the path for evidence using two-paired people teams," he gruffly ordered.

"I'm sorry, sir. I don't understand. What path?" she cued.

Burnstein realized only he, Meadows, and Ms. Taft, knew about the letter and felt embarrassingly stupid because he hadn't informed Alexander or the crew members of their discovery. Aware of his mistake, he cued the walkie-talkie again. "Mary, we've discovered a pattern--come back."

"You broke up. Repeat-- come back."

"A pattern-- we have a pattern to search," he repeated over loud screeching.

"Did you say a pattern? What kind of pattern, sir?"

"Yes, a pattern. The letter 'R' as in 'Robert,' is clearly visible from where we stand."

"Sir, I'll need to bring my team up to your location. What's your coordinates?"

Burnstein had no clue of their location and didn't know the base point of the established coordinates to the crime scene.

"Ms. Alexander?" he cued.

"Here, sir-- and waiting."

"I've-- uh, been busy with the detective and don't know the base coordinates. That's your job, Alexander," he responded, passing blame.

"Yes, sir. It might be best to wait for the aerial team so they can dispatch your location directly to us," she suggested.

"Good. Then send your team up here to view the pattern for their assignment," Burnstein ordered, hoping he'd regained dignity.

"Yes, sir. Good idea, sir-- over-out."

Toni felt a compelling desire to get closer to a particular area on one path of the letter. She had no idea why, but it was a strong summoning force. "I've got to go down there," she announced.

"Maybe we should wait for the team to contain the area first, Toni," Meadows suggested.

She had no intention of delaying or denying the sensation she was experiencing. "You don't understand. When I feel something-- it can't wait. It could be gone if I don't appease it," she responded, walking down hill toward the letter.

Meadows looked at Robert Burnstein with the expression of a man who was out-trumped by a female holding all the high cards. "Toni, wait-- hold on! I'll come with you," he yelled, running after her. She was already fifty yards ahead and showing no sign of slowing down.

Burnstein knew he had no choice other than stand and wait for the aerial crew.

Toni stopped in her tracks, knelt down on the ground, and placed both hands on the dried grass. With her eyes closed and head bowed, a vision came to her.

...a young blond woman-- screaming-- loud music-- blood-- terror-- blued-eyed man-- loud music-- blood-- so much blood...then she heard whispering in her head... evil masks a faceless stranger with intense eyes, to be unforgotten.

Chapter Nine - All Good Things, Wicked Things

Reddick punched out on the time clock missing its mark which ended up cock-eyed to the side of the time card. I don't care.

He slid onto the driver seat of his old Dodge, turned the ignition key and the starter symptomatically squalled. He'd already replaced the starter and solenoid, so he figured it must've been the flywheel that caused it. Another paycheck and another fuckin' day wasted, he complained. But it finally started.

He turned on the radio. Kiss blared, 'Detroit Rock City.' He played imaginary drums on the dashboard, pausing long enough to light a cigarette before resuming the beat in perfect synchronization.

Backing his raggedy car between two parked cars, he grabbed the CDs laying on the passenger's worn vinyl seat and stuffed them under the driver's seat. He flipped his lit cigarette butt out the driver's window where it landed on the hood of the car parked next to his.

He walked inside the bar. A couple of guys were shooting a game of pool, three men were slouching on bar stools at the bar, and a young couple sat holding hands at a table in a far corner. A weathered-looking redhead was standing at the jukebox wearing a short skirt, low-cut tank top, and red high heels. Cunt, he thought, walking past her.

Reddick pulled a bar stool away from the guy sitting next to it and spun it around examining it for cracks on its vinyl top. He saw a slight crack and traded it for a different stool with no obvious defects.

"Beer," he bluntly ordered, pulling cash from his pocket.

The bartender placed a mug of draft beer with foam running down its ribbed dents in front of him, then snatched a few bills off the counter where Reddick had laid ten crumpled singles.

'I Will Always Love You' blared Dollie Parton's nasal-twanged voice from the jukebox and the two speakers that hung over the bar. Whitney Houston's version is better, he thought.

The redhead by the jukebox, clad in a short skirt that almost showed her bare ass, strutted over and crudely climbed up onto the bar stool beside his. Her skirt was hiked up showing a glimpse of bare crotch as she swiveled around on the bar stool. She reeked of cheap perfume and sex that burned his nostrils. She was obviously sizing him up as if deciding whether he were approachable or not.

"Hi, my name's Sue Ellen. What's your name?" she asked. Her eyes squinted to avoid the upward curling smoke coming from a cigarette dangling from her ruby-red lips.

The bartender laid a napkin in front of her, placing a mug of draft on top and told her he'd put it on her tab.

Reddick didn't acknowledge her and downed the last gulp of beer in his mug. "Another," he ordered, slamming the empty mug down, sliding it toward the barkeeper.

"Let me buy that one-- it's on me," the woman told him, smiling a lipstick-stained toothy-grin.

Reddick continued to ignore her. She isn't worth the fuckin' time or the sweat off my fuckin' ass. She's a fuckin' tramp-- a fuckin' whore like mother-- she even sounds like her too, he thought.

He finished his beer and left the bar without tipping. As he walked to his car while lighting another cigarette-- he saw her.

A beautiful brunette about twenty or so, walked out of an adjacent store carrying a package while desperately trying to find something inside her purse. Pausing with a bewildered expression on her face, she continued to dig inside it, retrieving a set of car keys. She went to her car and manually unlocked the door and threw the package into the backseat.

My luck, her bad luck. When you least expect it, all things good come your way. You just have to pay attention to recognize them.

...Your misfortune is my desire,
the place you are, within my vision,
is your chosen fate and my destiny.
Count your days, count your minutes,
I'll count all my artful intentions,
of the masterpiece you will become.
For soon you'll taste my prurience,
and I'll have my fill of your lovely essence...
 
******
Reddick quickly followed the brunette out of the graveled parking lot into crowed traffic. Afraid he'd lose sight of her green Jeep, he trailed close behind preventing anyone from cutting between them.

Excitement of the hunt and chase gripped the marrow of his being and he felt a need to enhance the thrill with music. He retrieved a few CDs from under the car seat, choosing Black Sabbath. He inserted it into the player and selected, 'Wicked World' for proper ambiance. He turned the volume up, lit another cigarette, and adjusted the bass and treble.

He sang along with the music, changing the lyrics to fit his own personified version...

..."the world today is such a wicked thing. Fighting going on between the human race. People give good wishes to all their friends... while people just across town are counting the dead... of my job they say is very high... for I have to choose who's got to go and die... They can put a man on the moon quite easy, while people here on earth are dying of my own handiwork... A woman goes to work every day after day. She just goes to work just to earn her pay. Child sitting, crying by a life that's harder, he doesn't even know who is his father..."

The young woman signaled a right turn and pulled into a paved lot in front of an office building then parked. She got out, dropping her car keys while trying to recover the package laying in the backseat.  She bent down in an effort to retrieve them. He watched her as she fumbled around under the Jeep. Damn, she's a klutz, but a beautiful klutz. That deliciously fine heart-shaped ass is a fully ripened moon just waiting to hang juicily in both my bloody palms.

He eyed her as she walked inside the building and wondered what her business was-- it was a law firm. Only one name was painted on the door. 'George H. Bartlow, LLP.' I've heard the name somewhere before...

Chapter Ten - The Crucifix

The plane flew overhead with one wing tilted and both Rotax - 582 engines loudly purring, ready for another turn to sweep the area again.

Meadows covered his brow with a stiffened hand to block the sunlight and gazed up in the skies watching the plane circle back around for its third trip.

"I'm anxious to see the aerial photos, aren't you? They're bound to give us some insight into this perverted bastard's head," he exclaimed, while continuing to watch the plane. He never could understand why they stenciled 'POLICE' on the planes, figuring it only attracted unnecessary public attention.

"I don't need pictures to tell me what I already know," Toni replied, without glancing up. She hadn't stood after her vision, remaining seated in the grass to recoup from the tremors and headaches it always caused her. The loud sound of the plane didn't help.

Meadows realized his remark had been doltish by the tone of her voice. He'd momentarily forgotten Toni was a psychic, possessing more sagacity than any evidence could offer an investigation. "That's right, you surely don't. You know more than any picture could ever tell us-- being a psychic and all."

The day's toil made her irritable. "I'd rather be referred to as a criminal profiler than a psychic," she retaliated. "It's easier explaining I'm a criminal profiler than trying to explain I'm a psychic who profiles insane serial killers."

Meadows sat next to her in the grass and placed his arm around her shoulder and slightly squeezed, followed by unison of pats. With a free hand, he toyed with a patch of grass beside him, plucking one blade at a time, piling his pickings in a single spot as if constructing a diminutive monument.

"Are you all right?" he asked, breaking the brief silence.

"I don't know. I can't shake his whispering in my head. The visions are bad enough."

"If it's any consolation to you, you can lean on me. I'm here for you. Let all out. Cry-- cuss-- uh-- whatever you need to do in order to feel better and cope with this he solaced.

Burnstein quietly walked up on them, embarrassed he might be interrupting a private moment, judging by their expressions and fashion in which they sat. "Uh-hum, excuse me, Detective. The aerial crew informed me that they have one more fly-over and they'll be finished. I put a rush on the pictures for you  They should be developed by tonight and I'll have them immediately sent over to your office."

Meadows stood up, brushing grass off his trousers, and extended a hand to help Toni up.

Smiling into his eyes briefly while gathering her worn notepad and purse from where they lay hidden amidst high grass, she accepted his offer. She saw that they had left two butt prints where they'd sat, and noticed her own print was remarkably larger than Meadow's posterior signature. She discreetly stepped onto the confined area, brushing both indentions with a foot before anyone could notice.

"Sir? --come back," a static voice blared over Burnstein's walkie-talkie.

The portly Burnstein lowered the volume and adjusted the squelch. "Go ahead, Alexander."

"The team is ready for you, the detective, and Ms. Taft now, sir," she announced.

"We'll be right there," Burnstein replied, glancing at Meadows and Toni.

"Are you ready for this?" he asked them.

Toni didn't respond. Meadows looked at her for the approval cue to go.

Opening her purse, Toni resurrected her constant companion, Aniel, then clutched it to her to her heart before nodding her 'okay' response to Meadows.

"It's time. Let's find out what we're dealing with," Meadows said, gently grasping her elbow.

It was an approximate five-minute walk through flattened grass on the man-made path that the forensic team created for the crew.

Toni already surmised the letter 'R' could be the killer's initial. Was it his first or last name's initial? It's like he'd signed his work; a perverted perception of an art form, she thought. His jumbled and disconnected ill-whispered words echoed in her mind as she walked.  My notes should organize them into some bit of coherent corollary, hopefully revealing an insight into his sickened mind, she thought.

When they reached the appraised crime scene, she stopped. Standing in solemn silence, she counted the coroner's white sheets. The crew hadn't placed the victim's body parts into body bags yet, while waiting for them to arrive and valuate the scene first.

She counted five white-covered areas scattered in another pattern.

A crucifix.

Meadows and Burnstein saw the pattern. They'd simultaneously stopped in their tracks and gawked at the symbol.

"Why didn't you inform me about this?" Burnstein asked Mary Alexander. She was squatting by a labeled sheet marked number one while conferring with another examiner.

Alexander stood up. "Sorry, sir," she answered. "I guess I didn't think it was relevant since you were still in the field, sir."

"Alexander, I'm to be appraised of any details-- all details-- regardless of my field position. That's why they pay me the big bucks and gave me the title, 'Chief Forensic Examiner' -- your boss," Burnstein shouted.

"Yes, sir. My misjudgment. It won't happen again, sir," she apologized. "I believe you should look at this tag-sheet first, sir," she recommended. She looked down at the sheet and at the young examiner who  pretended not to hear the verbal reprimand while continuing writing notes on a clipboard as if he'd been too busy to hear.

The three walked around the areas of blood-saturated grass, then Alexander unveiled the body part. Toni wasn't prepared for what she saw. She fell to her knees and heaved convulsive spasms, violently emptying her stomach onto the ground until there was nothing left to discard.

Concerned, Detective Meadows, handed her his handkerchief and Mary Alexander offered her a canteen of water to flush her mouth.

"Thank you, give me a moment, please. I'll be all right," Toni embarrassingly mumbled, not looking up at them. "I never get used to seeing this-- and can't prepare for the inevitable shock of it."

Alexander placed a yellow marker that read, 'Non-Evidence' on Toni's abrupt mishap.

A young woman's decapitated head was mounted on a thick tree branch that was stuck deep in the ground, as if on display. The eyes and ears were missing. The eyes had been plucked from their sockets and bloody holes were all that remained where ears once were, The mouth gaped, void of a tongue.

Toni regained her composure. "The act of displaying the head and removing the eyes, ears, and tongue, signifies something. Probably his distaste for intimacy."

"I agree. Of all the cases I've seen, and according to the top profilers-- cutting out the eyes are the killer's way of avoiding the victim seeing him," Meadows remarked.

"He didn't cut her eyes out-- he removed them," Toni observed.

"She's right," Alexander replied.

"He scooped her eyes out, careful not to damage the eyeballs for some reason. Probably for later use, a trophy or something," Toni informed them.

The young male examiner who was still squatting by the mutilated head, finally spoke up. "I'd like to interject, if I may. I think a lock of hair was his trophy, Ma'am. Unless he collects more than one trophy."

Toni didn't want to, but she forced herself to get closer to the horrific-looking head.

"See," the young man said, using a long plastic pointer to lift the area of bloody blond hair for her to view.

Mary Alexander handed Toni a small-sized pair of powdered-latex gloves. Toni fumbled trying to get the tight gloves on and lifted the strand of hair for a closer examination. The small area clearly had a lock missing. Not cut off, but plucked from the scalp. Roots and all.

"So what's the missing ears and tongue represent?" Alexander addressed Toni.

Meadows interceded. "Missing ears means he didn't want her to hear, for whatever reasoning. And the missing tongue probably means he didn't want her talking to him. He must not be the kind of perverted son-of-a-bitch that gets off to their begging and pleading for their lives-- which is new to me because most killers like the fear and having control."

"No-- I don't think so. Not in this case," Toni reverberated.

Burnstein decided to insert his two cents worth into the melding pot of opinions. "I don't think it's any of those things. I think he took them for another reason."

Surprised Burnstein had anything valuable to offer, Meadows asked, "What makes you think that?"

"Well, as Ms. Taft has already surmised, he scooped the eyeballs from their sockets, not cut them out, and cut off the ears-- why we don't know yet-- plus, he cut out her tongue and none as a trophy. So that only leaves one reasonable deduction: they're placed in a different location in the crime scene. Rest assured, my team will find them-- and then we'll find out what his demented reasoning was," Burnstein deduced.

Toni walked a few yards to the number two marked sheet where another forensic examiner stood. The sheet was larger than the first. She could tell what was beneath.

The tall lanky female examiner pulled the blood-stained sheet away from its hidden contents, exposing the gruesome torso.

The torso's arms were severed, missing both hands. The hands were laid carefully arranged crossed over the torso, as formal as a corpse in a casket. The breasts were carefully carved off. The missing legs and head made the torso looked even more despicable.

Toni didn't remember hitting the hardened ground. Meadows, Burnstein, and Mary Alexander, hovered above her wiping her forehead with a dampened cloth. Alexander passed a vial of ammonia smelling-salts under her nose.

"What happened?" Toni asked, trying to sit up.

"You fainted again. Are you all right?" Meadows asked, worried.

He regretted  asking her to help him with the case again. He hadn't planned on developing any close personal feelings for her, even though he had been attracted to her when he'd first laid eyes on her at the coffee shop. He thought she'd be an old loony-kind of hag claiming to see all and know all, like some fake psychic gypsy-type with a fake crystal ball. Fake crystal ball? Oxymoron-- as if there's actually a real crystal ball, he thought.

Toni hadn't had any fainting spells in the past. She remembered only passing out a few times in her entire career. There was something different about this particular killer that drained her of any strength she had.

Later, they stood at the number three marked sheet. Two dismembered legs lay in a spread V-position with knees bent which was even more vulgar in appearance without the torso.

Marker number four and five hid severed hands clutching red roses. There weren't any roses in the area. Where did they come from? Decapitated head, marker number one. Torso with severed arms as the main section. Dismembered legs, marker number three, severed hands clutching red roses, markers numbers four and five, making the crucifix pattern.

Chapter Eleven - Reflection

The attractive brunette was inside the office almost twenty minutes. When she finally exited the tinted-glass door, Reddick noticed a familiarity. She reminds me of someone. It was something in the way she smiled and walked.

He'd had sufficient time to contemplate a plan of action. He wanted to meet the brunette. She was different than the others and he wanted to get to know her instead of ravaging her beauty first. I need to know what makes her tick. It will make it all that much better.

Her long brown curls caressed her petite and exquisitely defined shoulders that peeked through her body-hugging tan sweater. She wore black slacks that clung to her legs, cupping her ass as only a second-skin could. Her delicate profile chiseled a small nose complemented by almond-shaped brown eyes and fully-ripened lips like a plump round cherry complimenting a delicious sundae. Damn.

He watched her get inside her Jeep. Here we go. It's time to implement my plan.

She pulled into the busy street making a right turn opposite of the way she'd entered. He followed close, but not too close.

It was time for some inspirational reflection. He picked Ozzie's, 'Mama, I'm Coming Home.' I'm an artist and preparing my canvas. He felt the need to let mother know he was better than she said he'd be.

While driving, he sang the lyrics with a fierce passion and an contemptuous overtone that didn't fit the voice of Ozzie.

"...Times have changed and times are strange
Here I come, but I ain't the same
Mama, I'm coming home
Times gone by seem to be
You could have been a better friend to me
Mama, I'm coming home
You took me in and you drove me out
Yeah, you had me hypnotized
Lost and found and turned around
By the fire in your eyes..."

Each time the chorus sang out, it excited him more than the last chorus before it. His erect maleness grew with excitement while listening to the melodic voice that energized the interior of his car-- and energized his mind. He stroked himself with one hand, propped a knee against the steering wheel to guide the car and lit a cigarette with his free hand. The lyrics continued blaring...

"...Selfish love yeah we're both alone
The ride before the fall
But I'm gonna take this heart of stone
I just got to have it all..."

He thought about his mother... She was a fuckin' whore for a living, stayed drunk-- probably to numb fuckin' pretending to get off with her johns. She always said, "that it was just the fuckin' way life was and don't expect anything from anyone."

I was used to her revolving door. Gotten use to the fuckin' moans and groans through the night and hearing her fuckin' cries when she got beat up. It was a fuckin' fact of life.

She slept days or sit around in a fuckin' housecoat then she would doll herself up at night. She wore stiletto-heels that never matched the fuckin' redundant imitation silk-dress. She spent hours painting on fuckin' cheap make-up and drawing on crimson lips and drawing on eyebrows, never fuckin' forgetting thick false-eyelashes and finished it off with fuckin' gaudy dangling earrings.

After getting high and drunk while getting ready, she would fucking light candles and spray cheap perfume into the stale air, masking fuckin' cigarette smoke and fuckin' lingering odors of sweaty fuckin' sex -- only making it more fuckin' putrid...

...When she was really fuckin' drunk, she wouldn't bother taking her fuckin' business behind closed doors and would let a john take her on the living room floor or wherever he fuckin' chose-- in whatever fuckin' fashion he chose. There would be more than one john, "making it a party," she said. She was the fuckin' epitome of whore and I fuckin' hate her.

******

The Jeep pulled into a brick circle driveway of a two-story English Tudor house. He turned the CD player off faster than she could get out of her car. When she did jump out, she bounced up the steps to a doubled-door entry with stained glass sidelights and large ceramic pots of small holly trees straddling both sides of the door. A butler in a black suit and a maid clad in a formal black and white dress with a laced apron, greeted her and opened the door for her to vanish inside. I'll have to wait on my plan. The time isn't right yet.

Chapter Twelve - Forgiveness

Toni and Detective Meadows sat in his office going over the crime scene photos while drinking coffee, trying to rejuvenate their lost energy from a toilful day.

"They really don't help much. These pictures don't tell us anything we didn't already know from being at the scene," Meadows said, looking through them for the sixth time.

"Did you really expect them to?" Toni asked. She was going through her notes that she'd written earlier at the crime scene.

"There's always anticipation-- and bit of hope, you know? I'd hoped a different perspective would reveal something--usually aerial photos show something we've missed while searching on the ground."

Toni didn't respond. She got up and walked over to one of four chalkboards and started writing on the one that wasn't used yet.

She drew a diagram of a large 'R' and marked numbers on the letter with notes to the side of each number. She drew a crucifix beside it, numbering it, then scribbled additional notes by each of its numbers.

The crucifix displayed 'head' at number one, 'torso' on number two, 'legs' number three, and 'hand' on both numbers four and five. She stepped back and looked at the pattern then realized she'd missed an important notation. She grabbed the stubby chalk again and wrote 'red rose' by each hand location on the drawing. She still couldn't make a connection to its meaning.

Meadows walked over and stood beside her. He rubbed his day-old stubble that took up residence on his chin.

"Your diagram shows more than the pictures do and raises a lot of questions. Like, what is he trying to tell us with the 'R' and the crucifix? Why a rose in each hand? What could that possibly signify?" he puzzled outloud.

"I believe the 'R' is his initial. His first or last name. It's his way of signing the murder-- like artwork. He went to a lot of trouble laying this out, so he's got to think of this as his art."

"Sick fuck," Meadows mumbled under his breathe. "What about the body parts being laid out in a crucifix pattern?"

"That's more of his sick art. But what bothers me is, what kind of significance does it mean to him? That concerns me more than the signature does," she replied, "because every artist signs his work, you know."

"It's obvious he carefully arranged the letter and crucifix while paying close attention to where and how he placed the body parts," Meadows told her, as though it were something Toni hadn't thought of already.

"The letter 'R' had an ear, breast, and another breast on the curve of the 'R,' with an eye and the other eye placed on the straight line of the letter with the tongue and ear placed on the curved tail of the letter," she pointed out.

Toni stepped back from the chalkboard and looked at it from a distance. She quickly grabbed a new box of chalk, seizing a fresh stick and started scribbling notes by the letter again. "See-- see-- hear-- sexuality-- speak-- hear... It means 'don't see,' and to violate and disrespect sexually-- and probably, 'don't speak' and 'don't hear.' "

"My God! Is that what you think it means?" he asked.

"What else could it mean? He carefully scooped out her eyes, not poked or cut them out. It's as though he didn't want her to see him, but needed them undamaged for his art. 'Could mean that he's insecure about himself-- didn't want her to see who he thinks himself to be--he probably has a delusional image of himself. He cut out her tongue which could signify he didn't want intimate conversation. He more than likely can't maintain a normal relationship with a woman and doesn't value them as people. And cutting off her breasts means violating her womanhood-- her sexuality. I think he's got issues with female sexuality, for sure."

"Okay, it's sick, I'll buy into that. But what about the crucifix? Is he religious or maybe in a cult-- or something like that? I can call a friend of mine that owes me some favors. He's an expert in cult related crimes."

"I don't think so. I think it's his way of seeking salvation for something, or penitence. Like he knows he's doing wrong and wants forgiveness for his insanity-- praying for forgiveness, maybe. He can't stop, but he's reaching out for help from a higher divinity-- wait a minute," she snapped, "maybe he's trying to purify someone-- trying to save a sinner as though he's making a wrong, right somehow-- making it sacred."

"You really believe a sick son-of-bitch like that wants forgiveness or thinks he has divine power for salvation?" Meadows asked.

"If it isn't God's forgiveness, then he might want forgiveness from someone. Maybe penance of himself or someone in his life. Maybe these women are his sacrifices to the entity he needs forgiveness from-- I don't know, but it's significant for sure. Even the roses are a symbol of love or an offering of forgiveness. Men usually give women roses as a symbol of their love or a plea of needing to be forgiven, right? Or maybe, the red roses denotes blood instead," Toni surmised, "and the crucifix and roses could mean purity."

She paused a moment then began writing her ideas by the crucifix drawing again and erased the lines of the cross, leaving only the woman's body parts visible.

Head at top, torso in middle, right hand, left hand, both holding a red rose and on both sides of the torso, and legs at the bottom. A woman's body-- "He's crucifying a woman!"


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