News Travels

2In the old days, hundreds of years ago, when something happened, the news would be delivered by word of mouth or horses. Newspapers were common, and so were telegrams that carried messages to family. News travels so fast these days. The second something happens a camera crew is on the scene and millions of videos/pictures are uploaded onto social media. People call and text each other and the entire world knows in an instant.

Recently, there have been a lot of murders in our area. When people were kidnapped, everyone knew. When they were found, everyone knew. It didn’t matter how fast the news traveled, how quickly word spread. Every single time, no one would find the bodies fast enough. They would be found a week dead on a riverbank, in a shed, in the tall grasses of a field. There was absolutely no correlation between the victims whatsoever. None but one. Each body had strips of skin torn out. Some from the back, the legs, the softest part of the cheek. And their hair had been shaved. Man or woman, all the victims were found bald and mutilated. No other violations detected.

Recently, Alana had started a fashion blog. Kail had shown me the day before, saying that maybe Alana had given up the killer stalking routine and had moved on to more humane hobbies. We moved to the library and watched a few videos on Kail’s laptop, trying to be certain that Alana had moved on.

It was… normal. All she did was talk about the outfits that she had seen recently and drink dark red wine. Maybe she had gotten bored and moved onto a new subject. Maybe she finally grew a conscience and learned how to be a proper person. I was foolish to let myself hope.

Honestly, you would think that I had never watched The Silence of the Lambs the way I didn’t put that together. Alana’s latest video was entitled “New Project” and depicted herself standing at a mannequin, wine glass in hand. Kail clicked on it and we sat through her long introductory spiel. Then she announced that her new project was called “Human” and took a swig of wine. Alana grinned at us through the screen, her teeth stained red.

Kail shoved the laptop away from him and pulled out his earbuds with such force that the laptop followed them onto the ground. I grabbed my phone and immediately called the police, directing them to Alana’s house. Maybe this would finally be over.

On the news the next day, videos showed the police kicking down Alana’s door and investigating her house. Everything was the way a normal house was supposed to look, at least until they reached Alana’s room. On the mannequin, was a thick wrap of mismatched leather. Different colors sewn together with brown, black, red, yellow, thread. Little pieces of thread were glued on in various places to synthesize fur. It was obvious now that Alana was never normal and could never be. She would always be a killer. It was then that we decided to search for and find her.

It wasn’t like there was anything that the authorities could do about it. Alana lived alone and was long gone by the time the police came around. We watched the news coverage live and listened to the commentary as it all happened. But it was still too late. News travels so quickly these days. Too bad it’s never of any use to anyone.

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