Heroic Justice

Read the first chapter of this joint investigation between Lorne Warner and Hero Nelson. 





PROLOGUE

He slid into the alley and pulled a mask and mirror from his bag. As he fixed the expensively made latex mask in place with the aid of the mirror, his breath was ragged, and his heartbeat escalated. He’d gone over every intricate detail of the plan until the images were imprinted on his eyelids when he closed his eyes at night, not that he’d slept much in the last week. He edged closer to the cinema’s alley exit then waited for it to open. He checked his watch—the first afternoon screening would end at any moment. The second the door opened, he would be in there, faster than Usain Bolt, ready for the next phase.
The click of the fire exit door alerted him just before a stream of people left the cinema, all laughing and dissecting the film they’d just seen. There were more punters in there than he’d anticipated. Would there be as many for the next sitting, he wondered. Clenching and unclenching his fists helped relieve the tension that had just enveloped him. He inched his way sideways towards the door, and after the final person left, he grabbed the door before it closed.
Concealed behind the long red velour drapes covering the entrance, he waited until the theatre filled again. Then he walked up and down the aisles, searching for his target as he listened to the voices. Within seconds he had the man on his radar and chose a spot a few seats away in the row behind him. The man was alone.
Five minutes later, the lights dipped and the commercials began. For once, he was glad the volume was deafening. He slipped into the seat directly behind the man. After a few minutes, he pulled a pen knife from his pocket. During a particularly noisy part of the advert, he flicked it open.
His saliva dried up, and he swallowed. With a shaking hand, he reached forward. In one swift movement, the knife dug deep into the man’s throat, and his head lolled to the side. He wiped the knife on the man’s jacket and sat there for a few moments longer until his heart rate slowed down to near normal. His first kill under his belt, he allowed himself to smile; a broad smile of satisfaction that pulled at his thin lips beneath the mask.
As the titles for the main film rolled up on the screen, he left his seat and parked himself at the end of the row, close to the emergency exit. When the usherette walked past him, he slid behind the curtain once more. Again, he waited for a noisy part in the movie that would disguise his next move, which would certainly set off the alarm. A girl screamed on the big screen, and the soundtrack increased in tempo, concealing the sound of the alarm when he pushed open the exit door. In the alley, he slammed the door shut behind him to silence the alarm. He escaped the alley before anyone could check what, or who, had set off the alarm.
 He merged into the flow of pedestrians moving towards his car, which was parked a few streets away.
Reaching his car, he ripped off his mask, tucked it away in the carrier bag, threw it in the backseat and breathed a relieved sigh. He’d accomplished the perfect crime. And this is just the beginning…



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