November 06, 2003

The Karbon Kopy Killer, Pt 3

Part 1
Part 2

It was midnight. The street below my office window was deserted. Darla unfolded the white sequined nightgown and held it against herself as I finished reading the DNA report that I'd gotten back from the police lab.

"I don't know, Country," she muttered.

"About what?"

"Your plan seems a bit odd." She lifted the gown and stared at her left hand through the whispy garment. "And isn't this thing a bit... sheer?"

"It's the only one I could find," I lied as she folded it and returned it to the box. "Does the name 'Justin Case' mean anything to you?"

"Sure, it does." She swung her head up. "That's a guy Sadie dated."

"And Dennis Chan?"

"That's a guy Sadie dated."

"And Doug Deiper? Does the name 'Doug Deiper' ring a bell?" She twitched her face as she thought for a moment.

The door opened and Capt. Walmart poked his head in.

"We're ready, Country," he announced withdrawing his head and closing the door.
This was it. I'd put the pieces of this jigsaw puzzle together the best I could and now it was time to see if it was a picture or a Pollock. Darla picked up the box and we headed for Chan's house.

Chan was asleep, and the lock on the side door had been picked by Walmart's boys. The police van was parked at the curb and Walmart and his team were sitting inside it, each wearing a pair of headphones.

I stood outside of Chan's bedroom window as Darla stood at the side door wearing only the nightgown and a wire. For some reason I'd noticed that the slightest breeze was enough to set the calf-lengthed textile aflutter; alternately hugging and escaping her form. It was an unseasonably warm night, but I could see that she was a tad chilly.
She gazed at me worriedly. I nodded that it was time to move. She reached for the doorknob and entered the house.

I watched her enter the room and stand at the foot of Chan's bed. Through the large open undraped window the moonlight howled in the contours of her visage.

"Dennis," she said softly. Chan obviously hadn't heard her.
"Dennis..." she spoke with a slight trill. Chan popped up, startled. He stared at Darla.

"Wha... Who..." he gasped.

"Dennis, why did you kill me?" she asked sadly, staring at him as the nightgown waved like surf on a calm morning.

"Sadie?" he whimpered, "Sadie? How..? How can this be?"

"Why did you kill me, Dennis?"

"I..." he stammered, searching for words and trying to understand this. "I'm sorry. I was... I was angry."
I looked over at the van and saw Walmart and his boys heading for the side door.

"Why did you have to be with Justin?" Chan pleaded, "I wanted to give you everything you needed."
She stood there looking at him, not saying a word.

"Why did you have to go?" he cried as he crawled toward Darla. "And after we'd become so close..."

"You weren't as close to Sadie as you thought you were, Chan," Capt. Walmart snickered as he flicked on the light and his boys moved in for the grab. "You didn't even know she had a twin sister."

Chan stared at Darla in disbelief. She never flinched. "Aww, CRAP!!," he shouted, "Crap! Crap! Crap!" he repeated as he was dragged all the way to the awaiting squad car. Walmart and the others followed out as I entered the bedroom. Darla was frozen, still staring at Chan's bed.

"You were right, Country. It was Dennis who killed my sister. How did you know?"

"I didn't know until tonight," I said, "when we were in my office." I stood directly behind her. "And now the killing will stop?"

"Yes," she sighed. "The killing will stop."
I grabbed her hands together and snapped cuffs on her wrists. She swung around to face me. Frightened, she searched my eyes for something familiar, but all she found was justice. "How did you know?"

"I didn't," I said. "I tricked you. Nyah nyah!"

"Listen, Country," she pleaded, "I tried to tell you the first night I walked into your office. You don't know what it's like to lose your twin. The way we communicated was special. I could begin a sentence and she could finish it without missing a beat. Our heuristics, our trains of thought, our voices, even our menstrual cycles, dammit, all in perfect sync. Our rapport was not only empathic, it was virtually telepathic. But now I'm empty. Losing my sister was the worst thing that ever happened to me.

I've tried to cope, Country, I really have, by learning to communicate with myself. But everytime I've tried talking to myself all I do is answer back 'I know... I know... '. It's not the same.
Country," she said as she inched closer to me, "try to understand. When you hurt, don't you ever have the urge to make everyone feel your pain? Wouldn't having everyone suffer the way you do make you feel just a little bit better? Do you have any idea what I mean?"

I knew exactly what she meant, but I refused to let on.

"I've learned alot about your sister in the past few days," I began, ignoring her question, "and a lot about you, too.
Chan and Case weren't the only ones Sadie played with recently. There was Bill the telephone repairman, Scotty the bartender, Rick the auto mechanic, Jason at the brokerage firm."
She turned her face away and looked out the window.
"Sadie also had a guy in Yonkers: Vinnie, the pawn broker. There was also Fred the sidewalk vendor, and Joey the grocery delivery boy."

"Busy little beaver, wasn't she..." she said as she darted her eyes at nothing.

"Sadie had a lot o' guys mad at her, but Dennis Chan acted on that anger. He went to your apartment in a jealous rage. If he couldn't have Sadie, no one would. And he was determined to be the last to have her.
Humiliated and distraught, he went to kill Sadie. But he didn't." She snapped to attention, her face to mine. "He killed Darla, apparantly raped her afterward, and never knew it wasn't you. Isn't that right, Sadie?"

"You're letting your imagination run away with you, Country."

"Oh, really?" I said. "In all the names that I just listed, of the men in Sadie's emotionally empty and destructive romantic pursuits, there's one I left out. Doug Deiper." She looked at me quizzically. "You don't know who that is, do you?"

"No," she said softly, shaking her head slightly. "Who...?"

"Doug Deiper was Darla's boyfriend. It was his DNA, along with Chan's, that was in her when she died; and I've got the lab test results to prove it.
Yeah, I've learned alot about you and your sister the past few days. You kept your boyfriends away from each other. She never knew who you were dating, and you never knew who she was dating. When it was confirmed that Deiper was the second DNA presence, and you had no idea who he was, I knew that the dead sister was Darla. Chan being the other presence, I knew he was her killer.
So, you took the opportunity of her death to switch identities. Sadie had a lot of people mad at her, and who knew who'd be showing up next with a gun or a knife to take revenge. So, Sadie had to die, and you had to become Darla.
But changing your ways, becoming the sister you weren't wasn't easy, was it? All that energy and need for excitment and adventure coupled with the lonliness and anger had to be channeled somewhere. If you couldn't have a twin, you felt, then no one else could. You gave up tennis and took up murder."

"Country, listen to me," she pleaded. "We can run away. I don't want to be the emotional Dirt Devil that I was, just sucking the love out of every Tom, Dick and Rod I could squeeze into my To Do list. I want to be free of all that, I really do. You've got to protect me, Country, you've got to."

"Sorry, Doll Face, the shows over, the balcony's closed and the audience is on the subway and heading back to the land of swimming pools and milkmen."

She closed her eyes and inhaled the evening's perfume, "Do they still have Mister Softy Ice Cream trucks?"

"I don't know, Babe. I don't know."
With her eyes still closed, her lips slightly parted and her breath shivering, she slowly stepped forward and leaned her ghostly nightgown-draped essence against me, the sum of all her needful energy slithering upon my emptiness.
My God. She was rolling thunder; and my soul was the sky.


Capt. Walmart was at a loss to understand why the Karbon Kopy Killer had ceased to strike after Dennis Chan had been jailed the second time, unlike the first. But the fact that the killings had stopped was good enough for the City. Chan was convicted of the murder of Sadie Minx, and, for bringing him in, the City awarded Walmart a plaque, a payraise and a parking garage. He stopped wondering about the Karbon Kopy Killer years ago.

The sun's coming up and I can hear the milk bottles rattling on the porch. It's gonna be a good day for a dip in the pool, topped off with a fresh cone of Mister Softy Ice Cream.

Oh, and the Karbon Kopy Killer? She's asleep... in my bed. Me being the only one who knows her secret has been good for both of us.
To me she's Sadie Minx: a chorus of demons and angels forever shouting each other down. To the rest of the world she's Darla Rhodes... for now. She knows that the day she strays is the day she trades her bay window for prison bars.

Chan once said that Sadie could never be tamed. He just never figured out how to get her to swallow what's good for her.

Posted by Tuning Spork at November 6, 2003 09:56 PM

Wow!!!! That was GREAT!!!!! You won't be offended if I say it was deliciously bad, will you? I really, really enjoyed it!

Posted by: Susie at November 7, 2003 02:59 AM

Wonderful! Unless that wasn't you were going for, then I'd say: absolute crap!

Either way, it was fun to read. Thanks!

Posted by: Ted at November 7, 2003 09:12 AM

Thanks, Susie! Heh, it kinda went from Sam Spade to Fannie Hill there toward the end. ;) I tweaked it just a bit.
Ted, fun is what I was goin' for! :D

Posted by: Tuning Spork at November 7, 2003 04:09 PM

Ahha!! The old "you think you know who I am but you dont really know after all" trick...very clever.

Good me another one.

Posted by: Lawruh at November 14, 2003 01:33 PM
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