Death Perfected Excerpt 3

“What else is your intuition telling you?”

Vivian wasn’t entirely sure that she wanted to share the theory coalescing in her mind. This was the most public staging of the Žižkov Fiend’s killings. She couldn’t deny something celebratory about the way this man had been reduced to scraps and mounted like a trophy.

As far as Vivian was concerned, the killer wanted the audience gathered today to share in his triumph. He would have viewed this act of indiscriminate murder as gift for society. He craved their praise and acceptance in exchange for the blood that he shed.

Vivian scanned the nearby faces on either side of the pedestrian tunnel. Police officers were still questioning the tourists that discovered the victim.

Further down the street, a few stragglers watched the scene unfold from a safe distance. Vivian wondered if the man responsible for this violence was surveying the forensic activity.

“Staging the body plays a powerful role with this killer’s modus operandis,” she said at last.

“And the victims are always moved. Do think the environment fulfills a need for the killer’s fantasy?”

“That’s a possibility. But before we get too comfortable with one theory, we should consider other needs that the staging fulfills. Is the Žižkov Fiend trying to send a message to the police? To the public?”

“I believe your psychiatric friend may be of use to us in that capacity,” Gavin said.

“Oh, don’t even get me started on Elijah. Did you know Camilla set me up with him? He’s supposed to be my goddamned therapist.”

Gavin’s head whipped in the opposite direction but it was too late to hide the flash of his teeth. Vivian seethed.

“I saw that smirk.”

“Forgive me. What I wouldn’t give to be a fly on the wall during one of these so-called sessions. How is my protégée staying calm as she undergoes psychoanalysis? How do you both leave the same room with your arms and limbs attached? Is it something in the tea? The incense? Something stronger you don’t care to share?”

“He has a pretty face that’s nice to look at.” Vivian paused thoughtfully. “I guess that helps. Maybe Camilla will give me a golden star at the end of every session where I don’t punch pretty boy out.”

“And that, my dear, is exactly the reason why you should be in therapy.”