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No MercyWhispers from Hell
By Marianne Pena
iUniverse, Inc.Copyright © 2010 Marianne Pena
All right reserved.
Chapter OneGrace and her sister Erin returned to Grace's after their mother's funeral. Her death brought back a lot of memories. Grace always called her mother by her first name; Theresa. Ever since she was ten years old; she couldn't get 'mom' past her lips. If she heard Grace call her Theresa, she got slapped across the face. Grace could feel the hatred for the woman welling up inside of her.
It was late afternoon when she and Erin got home. Erin was exhausted, so putting her to bed was an easy task compared to the usual feud they had when Erin stayed over. It was only an hour drive each way, but on top of a hectic day and Erin's car-pills it was more activity than Erin was used to. Grace walked her to her room and helped her get into her pajamas. They were sitting on the edge of the bed while Grace brushed Erin's long brown hair and put it in a braid.
"Do you want to say your prayers, or are you too tired little bunny?" Grace asked her.
"You can't be too tired to say your prayers Gracie, God wouldn't like that very much," Erin whispered while pointing toward the ceiling.
"Okay, come on let's pray!" Grace had to stifle a laugh. She had a big fluffy rug by Erin's bed; they both knelt on it with their hands folded together prayer style on the bed. They both began together, "Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen." Grace tucked Erin in and gave her a kiss on the forehead.
She wished she could take her sister more often, but she didn't like to disrupt her simple life. Erin was happy with her friends and the staff at Capuchins Adult Care Home where she lived. Capuchins was a nice home with other kids that were mentally disabled to some degree or another. Grace often wondered if Erin remembered anything from the accident that killed their older sister Christa and their father, Brody. Erin had been thrown from the car; she still had nightmares of the accident that left her with the mind of a seven year old. They were less frequent now; she might have one or two a month.
Grace was eighteen at that time and getting ready for college. Theresa couldn't deal with the loss of Brody or with Erin's extra care. She was drinking all the time and tried to commit suicide. Erin had found her. Grace had to have Theresa hospitalized and then she put her in a nursing home. The doctors called it mental fatigue. More like crazy Grace thought.
"What's the matter Gracie?" Erin asked.
"Nothing, I was just remembering when you were little," Grace said moving a stray hair out of her face. It was hard for her to believe Erin would be thirty-three next month.
"Why are you crying?"
"Am I?" she asked wiping her cheek. "I guess I am. Erin, do you remember dad?"
"Yes Papa," Grace laughed.
"Is that why you're crying?" Erin looked at her with worried eyebrows.
"I guess I miss him."
"Did Theresa make you think of him?"
"You silly girl, you're so smart!" Grace thought it was funny that Erin also called their mother Theresa. She only did it because Grace did. She was like a little mocking bird. Whenever Erin saw Grace, Erin was all dimples and smiles. They had their father's features. Grace's were more accentuated than either of her sisters or their fathers. Erin was shorter and stockier than Grace. She got that from Theresa's side of the family.
Erin had to have a light tranquilizer when she was taken anywhere; they called them her car-pills. Getting her into the car was like getting a cat into the sink. She had a child's mind, but a strong woman's body.
Grace stopped in the kitchen and got a glass of wine on the way to the living room. Snickers was sprawled on the couch in front of the fireplace so Grace sat on the rug and leaned back against the couch. She was 6 ft. tall and weighed 145 lbs. She worked out almost every day. At thirty-five it was getting harder to stay in shape. She pulled her long dark red hair up and tied it in a pony tail. She reached over her head, and ruffled Snickers cheeks. Grace rescued Snickers when he was a puppy. Someone had thrown him out the back window of a mobile home trailer. They didn't know how long he'd been out there before the neighbor found him. Grace nursed him back to health. The guy who'd thrown him out was huge so Grace had her friend, Jack and one of the guys who worked for him go and take care of him. They threw the guy out the front window of the trailer. None of the neighbors even called the cops. They were sick of him and found it amusing.
She couldn't believe she wasted so much time with Theresa's funeral. Why did she go through all that trouble, she hadn't even seen her in twelve years. Oh well it's over. She turned around and gave Snickers a hug and kissed him on his big head. "You're so cute!" Snickers was a Rottweiler that weighed 128lbs. He could jump a six foot fence and his bark would rattle your teeth.
Grace thought she would look through the boxes the nursing home had given her while she waited for her friends to show up. She told the home to give Therese's things to the people there that needed them. They had found the two boxes in her closet. They said the boxes had arrived with Theresa when she came to the home after her breakdown.
Grace had never seen them before. She pulled one of them closer to her and started shuffling through the papers. There were notes scribbled on odd scraps of paper, documents, maps, file folders, and photographs.
As she studied some of the contents, she realized these were her father's notes. But why the hell did Theresa have them? She stared at a couple of papers she took from the box in disbelief.
There was a crudely drawn map with a newspaper article attached.
The Milwaukee Times - June 3, 1987 - DOGS FOUND IN GRAVE. There were 40 dead dogs found in a massive grave by three young boys playing in a field near an abandoned farm yesterday outside of Glendale WI. The bodies were too decomposed for a necropsy. There will be a thorough investigation. "This is very disturbing," said Detective Martin.
She found another map, same as the last, no address or specific land marks, just lines and numbers.
More reports, Case Report, GCC-p506, October 14, 1987, test subjects FC-142 - FC-144. FC-142's litter was stillborn, severe malformation. FC-144 died before giving birth, necropsy showed the litter to be in a liquid, almost gel state.
GCC, that had to be Glendale Chemical Corporation, where her father worked for two and a half years until his accident. FC could be female canine. Naaa, no way! This is nuts; what the hell was he looking for? There were reports on primates, pigs, and even people. The human reports had wavers attached to them. They couldn't have been sterilized to take part in the tests. But most were sterile after. That's weird; she would have to show this stuff to Izzie. She would understand these lab reports.
Grace spent another hour going through the stuff, finally crying, all the fear, mind games, and torture they endured from Theresa had come to the surface. She had hid it in the back of her mind all these years.
Grace could never understand how a woman could love a man so much and hate the children she bore from that same man. She vowed she would never have kids; she could never be sure that a pregnancy wouldn't turn her into Theresa. She couldn't stand the thought of inflicting that kind of suffering on any living creature, except those who deserved it. That was easy.
Grace came back to reality when she heard the buzzer to the front gate. She quickly wiped her eyes with her sleeve and put the papers back in the box. The front door opened, it was Daniel and Izzie. They took tomorrow off from the lab where they worked. They usually took a long weekend and stayed at Grace's house while they finished a case they were working on. They were happy to get out of the city for a few days. Milwaukee was a busy place. Occasionally if Grace didn't have Erin she would stay in the city at Izzie's apartment. They would go out to dinner and dancing and blow off some steam.
"Hi guys," Grace said, and pushed the boxes aside. She started to get up, but Izzie's little red Min-Pin, Lilly was on her and licking her face. Grace tried to grab her so she could hug her, but she was so fast it was impossible to hang on to her until she calmed down. "Did you guys ride together?"
"Daniel picked us up; we stopped and got a burger on the way. Is Jack coming tonight?" Izzie asked setting her and Lilly's bag down. Lilly ran over to her bag and put her paw on it and barked at Izzie until she got her favorite toy out. "Here's your batty," she said, wiggling it a little before she tossed it. Lilly took off after it and carried it over to Grace.
"Are you ready for tomorrow?" Grace asked them.
Daniel walked over to the couch and sat next to Snickers. "Yup, we've been waiting to get this guy for a month; I'm so ready!"
"Me too! I still think we should hang him!" Izzie said.
"Now Isabelle, you know we can't kill anybody. Torturing him will be sufficient," Grace said, in a teacher-like manner. She finally got hold of Lilly and was kissing her on the head.
"Grace, please don't get her head all wet again," Izzie teased.
"I won't! I can't leave her alone she's so cute!"
"Grace, will you leave that poor dog alone," Jack said walking in the open door.
"Hi Jack!" Izzie jumped off the couch and gave him a hug.
Jack calls her Izziehoneyhugger; he's never met anybody that hugs that much, that loves that much. He dropped his bag by the other bags. Nikko came trotting in behind him.
"Jack, you smell like a pizza," Grace said.
"How do you do that?"
She shrugged her shoulders, "I starving, yummy pizza!" Grace said smiling. She had a slight overbite that you didn't even notice with her big pouty lips. She'd forgotten how hungry she was. She and Erin ate a late lunch coming home from the funeral. Grace decided to let Erin sleep. If she woke up and wanted something to eat, Grace would get her something then.
"I'll go out and get it; I'm starving," Daniel said, getting off the couch.
"We just ate an hour ago!" Izzie said.
"I can't help it, I can't turn down pizza!"
Jack went to the kitchen and grabbed some plates and a beer. He also grabbed the hot sauce, parmesan cheese, and salt. He took everything to the kitchen table. The dinning room table was covered with stuff from the case they were working on. Daniel came back in carrying a case of beer with the pizza sitting on top. "I thought you might want this beer in the fridge so I brought it in for you."
"Why thank you, Daniel." He knew Daniel was buttering him up. Jack told him he would target practice with him this weekend. He wanted Daniel to have a little more experience with guns before he took him into the field. He was getting better; at least he was hitting the target now. He knew Daniel wanted to work for him at Hellcat. Maybe Izzie will come to work for him someday too. He could expand the lab at Hellcat easily enough.
They were quietly sitting in front of the fireplace after dinner when Grace finally spoke up, "Is this about Theresa's funeral? None of you are ever at a loss for words."
"Well yeah a little," Jack said.
"Grace, we know how you felt about her, but it must have brought back some good memories about your father and sister too?" Izzie asked.
"You guys are so cute, but I'm good. Tired, but good," she said smiling, and giving them her cutie-pie face.
Jack piped up, "If you want to wait until next weekend to go after this guy, its okay with me."
"Sorry Jack, you're not getting out of it that easy. We let this guy go way too long; I'd really like to get him off our list before he gets off parole."
"You're right. I'll feel better after a good night sleep," Jack said, stretching and yawning.
Daniel also stretched. "Me too, I'll see you guys in the morning. I can't keep my eyes open any longer. I was up at 5:00 this morning finishing up everything at the lab today so I could get tomorrow off," Daniel said getting up.
Izzie also said her good nights and gave everybody a hug.
Grace and Jack stayed up awhile longer discussing the case and what they had to do tomorrow. It was very tedious; everything they did had to be planned out to the smallest detail if they didn't want to get caught. They didn't think what they were doing was wrong as long as they didn't cross the line. And this was only doing to people what they did to anything that couldn't defend one self, animals, children, old people, and abused woman ... retribution.
There weren't enough laws to protect animals. Children and old people got lost in the shuffle. Everybody thinks abused women deserved what they got because they didn't leave their abusive husbands. The cases they had to be the most precise about were the ones that they had to bring to Grace's for some kind of surgical procedures, the really bad ones. They had to have a sterile atmosphere so the evildoers didn't get an infection.
Grace's house used to be a sanitarium, in the basement there were rooms that had been used for health care, shock treatments and things like that back in the day. Most cases they could do in the field, and if they went out of town, they would bring everything they needed for a case and use an out of the way motel room. The case they were finishing tomorrow had been a long time coming, it was a bad one. They would have to bring the abuser here to Grace's. She had a feeling she should have brought Erin home on their way back from the funeral, but Erin was looking so forward to staying with Grace this weekend.
It had been a long time since Grace had thought about Erin's accident. Sitting there looking into the fire she wondered what would have happened if the young couple who pulled up to the scene shortly after, would have got there sooner and had seen it happen. They could have answered so many questions if they were just a minute earlier. The couple had seen the broken fence where her father's car broke through and the black smoke rising up, they stopped to see if they could help.
The woman was dialing 911 as her husband got out of the car and ran closer to the edge. That was when he saw Erin. He said she was sitting up against a telephone pole about twenty feet from their car with her knees pulled up to her chin and her arms tightly wrapped around them. He was afraid to get too close to her. She looked so terrified; she was rocking back and forth, looking toward where the car had gone off the road. She had a cut on her forehead and dirt on her face. Her hair was full of blood, dirt, and weeds. Both of her knees and elbows were bleeding. The couple stayed with her until the police arrived.
The cops said it was an accident. The road was clear and they had only been driving for forty-five minutes. The marks on the road showed the car had swerved and went over an embankment and crashed. Grace was young and immature, she didn't question their decision, but now she wished she would have been more inquisitive.
The doctors said Erin suffered trauma to her brain and she was lucky to be alive.
Grace remembered poor little Erin. By the time she was born, Theresa was drinking heavily. She was the most neglected of the three of them. She was a tiny baby and always had a diaper rash.
Grace and Christa would come home from school and see Erin sitting on the steps with her little stuffed green dinosaur waiting for them. She called him 'Dino' she loved watching the Flintstones cartoon. When Erin saw them coming she would run to them and hug them. She wouldn't let them out of her sight until bed time. About the time they got home from school, Theresa would be getting up from her first drunk of the day and in a foul mood. When Grace's father got home, she would have cleaned up and had dinner made and the table set waiting for him with drinks, one for him and one for her.
She'd gasp at the day she'd had and asked him about his day, doting over him. After dinner he always found a couple of hours for the girls, ether playing or helping them with school work before finishing his own.
By the time he went to bed, Theresa would have been passed out again. She would have a couple more drinks while cleaning the kitchen and a sleeping pill to top it off. Theresa never took off her mask unless he was gone. Nobody ever saw the vile creature that hid underneath, except Grace and her sisters.
Theresa always had a hard time with the three kids and their pets. The pets always seemed to die when they were at school. One day Christa caught Theresa killing their gold fish; she was dropping pellets of drain cleaner in the fish bowl. They told their father, but he said that it was an accident; their loving mother would never do anything to hurt the fish intentionally.
Excerpted from No Mercy by Marianne Pena Copyright © 2010 by Marianne Pena. Excerpted by permission.
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