Title: Demonic Perfection
Author: Caroline McKenna
Summary: Perfection is highly overrated.
Archive: Two weeks exclusive on VS 11’s website.
After that, anywhere.
Disclaimer: They don’t belong to me. The end.
Acknowledgements: To my wonderful betas: TJ, Vickie
and Sally. I love
JANUARY 25, 2:36 AM
Rage: violent, explosive anger; furious intensity as
in a storm or disease, a burning desire or passion; a
fit of anger.
Mr. Webster had no idea what he was talking about
when he wrote the dictionary. Rage was more than a
two-dimensional assemblage of words on paper. It was
an entity in itself, something that had form and
intelligence, and hate. So much hate. Rage carried a
life of its own, and a meaning not known until
But he knows. He knows because he redefined the term.
With every minute that goes by, his fury grows,
waiting to be unleashed on an unfortunate passer-by.
Then again, it never was a passer-by. It couldn’t be.
That wasn’t how fate wanted it.
The iridescent moonlight shone through the window,
dulled by the dust covering the old tainted glass.
Her blood mirrored the sliver of silver lighting. The
stream of liquid reached for him, curling its finger
and drawing him closer, lusting for him, begging for
his touch. He dipped his middle finger into the pool
of sanguine fluid on the dark hardwood. Lifting his
finger to his lips, he stuck his tongue out and
tasted life for the first time.
It was ethereal, utterly exquisite. The metallic
sweetness clung to him, to his tongue, his lips, his
teeth. As much as he fought, the urge was too strong
to resist, for anyone. God couldn’t resist this kind
of enticement, angels couldn’t defy their want, so
why should he?
He allowed the temptation to feed on itself, on his
need. Waves of euphoria crashed over him. He smiled,
his pearly whites taunting her, telling her of his
victory. She was his victory, his conquest.
The voices who still had the gall to speak to him
told him not to, that what he was doing was wrong.
They pleaded with him to stop, but he wouldn’t, he
never would. His conscience had never bothered him;
he had never listened to those little voices, who,
each time they spoke, resembled the voice of his
victim. But what the voices didn’t understand was
that the woman lying motionless before him, her naked
body splayed across the floor, drenched in her own
blood, was not a victim.
She was there to be saved. Saved by him.
Grunting, he picked up the lifeless body, tossing it
over his shoulder, startled by the weight of it, and
carried it to the Sanctuary. Setting her down
carefully, he positioned four black tapers, one at
the north end of the sanctuary, one at the south, and
a candle at both east and west. He took a matchbook
from his pocket and attempted to light the candles.
Striking the match head to the friction tape proved
fruitless the first two times he tried it. On the
third time, the match burst to life, and he watched,
mesmerized by the way the blue and yellow of the
flame intertwined, dancing like a ballerina on the
New York stage.
Quickly, he lit the northern candle, as well as the
other three before the fire would engulf his thick
fingers as well as the match that fed it. The dark
room, now illuminated by candles, still whispered to
him. He was not done.
He crept out of the room, taking each step as though
it may be his last. For all he knew, it could be.
The eerie, nonexistent lighting of the next room
would have frightened him ten years before, but not
now, and not ever again. Blindly lifting a solitary
rose from its vase, he pricked his finger on a
needle-thin thorn. He moved to the small sink,
stumbling over a table leg on his way, and washed
away his own blood.
Returning to her, he wove the rose together with one
already present in the room. The work was painstaking
and meticulous, in order to achieve even an imperfect
perfection, but he didn’t care. He would weave
thousands of roses together if it would purify her.
And it would. It always had.
Once he had finished his task, he delicately placed
the ring of roses on top of her golden head.
Appraising his own work, he smiled. She was
beautiful, a fairy tale princess, waiting for her
prince to ride in on his white steed, ready to save
her and then make her his own. The sight in front of
him enchanted his eyes, and enlarged his heart. He
was her prince, her savior, her Lord.
Taking his eyes off her, his sight fell upon the
instrument. Two jagged wooden beams, full of
splinters that had been put together by the craftiest
of carpenters, someone who knew his trade better than
the back of his hand. Smiling a saintly smile, he
hoisted her up again, and moved closer until they
were inside the Sanctuary. Laying her body on the
wood, he took out a nail and began to work.
* * * * *
The road wept silently beneath her feet, crying out
to her soundless ears. Her Nike’s hit the pavement
with the rhythmic beat, heard only by her, who could
hear nothing of any importance. The cold September
air nipped bitterly at her nose, putting a pink tinge
in her freckled cheeks, and a fresh determination to
run in her heart. It was the only inspiration she
needed to crank it up a notch and pump her legs a
little harder, move her feet a little faster, get her
heart rate up a little more.
The frost had permeated through the soil beside the
path, killing all but the heartiest of shrubbery. The
weather in Maine was always brutal, always ten
degrees colder than the rest of the world. Joanna
still didn’t know why she bothered trying to jog. But
she did, every morning before work; she headed out to
the wooded trails behind her suburban home, in
jogging shoes and sweats, prepared to run.
This morning, though, she was all but prepared. She
had woken nearly an hour late, after battling with
the “Snooze” button on her alarm clock at least three
times. Her hair had been thrown into a messy
ponytail, locks of chestnut brown falling down around
her face, clinging to her cheeks and neck, which were
now drenched with sweat. After running for more than
an hour, Joanna was ready to pass out from
exhaustion, but something pushed her onward. Some
unknown, unidentifiable source whispering in her ear,
kept telling her to put one foot in front of the
other. With ground eating strides, she approached the
The house looked like something out of the Blair
Witch Project. Its rotting boards and dusty windows,
not only gave her the willies, but an insurmountable
urge to clean it top to bottom until it shined like
brass. Rarely did she pass it, the house didn’t cross
her normal path, but today she hadn’t taken the same
trail she usually did. Just looking for a change of
scenery, she supposed, not giving much though to her
change of routine.
Yet, today, the house held a different sense of
foreboding, one Joanna was not familiar with. The
inside seemed darker, the outside more dilapidated
than the week before. Faintly, she could see the
outline of something inside, through the grimy window
and brown burlap curtain. Curiosity taking hold of
willpower, she jogged lethargically down the snowy
bank towards the building.
Even though Joanna knew that the house was old and
abandoned, she knocked on the front door. Unsure of
why she felt so nervous and a little mystified by the
chill running up and down her spine, she opened the
door, listening to it creak on hinges that badly
needed to be oiled. A brown mouse scurried by her
feet, causing her to jump a foot in the air.
But she didn’t scream.
As the front door opened, a rush of unpleasant smells
greeted her. The musty air enclosed in the cottage
carried with it something she wouldn’t have been able
to identify years before. A smell that, before she
had been diagnosed with cancer, was as unfamiliar to
her as snow was to Florida. Now, though, it seemed to
be an everyday fragrance. Nosebleed after innumerable
nosebleed had taught her the scent of blood.
Before her lay a sight that would be burned into her
nightmares for the rest of her life, and yet, it was
almost beautiful. Nailed into the arms of a cross
were a woman’s hands, and her feet were nailed to the
bottom. Blood dripped from her scalp, where a crown
of thorns sat, digging into her pale flesh, and the
gash in her side seemed to grow bigger as Joanna
stared at it. The crucifixion.
Devoid of emotion, she approached the sacrifice,
unaware of the barren cross and the man awaiting her,
wine goblet in hand, and a malicious grin on his
* * * * *
JANUARY 26, 1:27 PM
It had started out as a bad hair day and went
downhill from there. It was like the book she read to
her nephew. Dana Scully and the Terrible, Horrible,
No Good, Very Bad Day. Then again, if she had been
writing it, there would have been several more
adjectives piled on top of the list, not all of them
appropriate for the ears of a five-year-old.
Oh, it wasn’t all that bad, she supposed. Nobody had
died, Mulder hadn’t been shot recently, and she
hadn’t looked out her window and seen aliens taking
over the planet. All in all, her day had been free of
turmoil, just a quiet day in the office, filing
paperwork. But, it gave her time to think, which was
not always a good thing.
“Hey, Scully, we’ve got a new case,” Mulder said,
breezing through the door, two Subway sandwiches in
his right hand, and a manila file folder tucked
safely under his arm. He smiled casually at her, and
dropped the file folder in front of her. It landed
with a loud *plop* on the desk, and the wind caused
by its fall from grace triggered several other papers
to plunge to the floor.
Looking up at the ceiling before bending down to pick
them up, Scully briefly thanked God for giving her
something to do, even if it was a case to work on.
The whole morning she had sat at her partner’s desk,
wondering why the aspects of the everyday life in
which she once longed for, now seemed so monotonous,
so mundane, that any desire she had ever had for such
a life had vanished. She could no longer picture
herself living in the country, with a white picket
fence, a husband, two children, and a Norwegian Elk
Hound named Heinrich. And though living with Mulder
was as close to bliss as she could get, Scully was
having a little bit of trouble adjusting. It was so .
. .different. His junk littered her apartment, more
so than when they weren’t living together. When the
first stack of his clothes piled up in her laundry
room, she got a vision of herself at 95, up to her
ears in Mulder’s boxers. That vision quickly
dissolved, however, in favor of the image of Mulder
*in* boxers. Then Mulder without boxers. And then
Scully stopped doing the laundry.
Of course, the advantages of living together far
outweighed the disadvantages, at least so far, and
Scully was enjoying the convenience of having him
right where she could reach him. The first two weeks
had been like a dream. Going to work with him in the
morning, working with him all day, going home with
him in the afternoon, and falling asleep in his arms.
Still, such closeness frightened her. Where would she
go when she needed privacy? Almost since the day she
met him, Scully had used her apartment as her solace
when things went bad or when she needed space. It was
*her* place, her hideaway, and though she had begun
to share it with Mulder in the two years since they
had become physically intimate, she wasn’t sure she
was completely ready to give up her apartment and
therefore the privacy that went with it. Scully
worried that spending every minute of the day
together would ruin the wonderful romance she and
Mulder shared. Then again, she reasoned, she had
known the man for eleven years and her love for him
had never diminished, it had only grown and
“Here’s your sandwich. Ham and tomato on rye,” he
handed her the wrapped sub and opened the folder on
the desk in front of her. Scully shook her head,
clearing it of her thoughts.
“Thanks,” Smiling at Mulder, Scully accepted her
lunch, unwrapped it and took a bite. Turning her
attention to the case presented to her, she asked
with a mouth full of bread, “Mulder, what’s this?”
“What’s it look like, Scully? It’s a case,” Pulling
up a chair beside her, Mulder peered over her
shoulder to look at the material in front of them,
and elaborated, “In the past five weeks, the police
have found nine women murdered in northern Maine.”
“All nine have been crucified, nailed to a cross. The
first three, Paula Jenkins, Elizabeth Forrester, and
Gabriella Hathaway were found in Lewiston, just south
of Augusta, Maine. Hidden by the thick forest, the
police didn’t find the bodies until three days after
the murders had been committed,” he paused, tearing
off a piece of Scully’s sandwich and popping it into
his mouth, chewing exaggeratedly.
“Hey! Get your own!” she protested, “So the three
women were crucified together?”
“Yeah. There’s no apparent connection between the
victims. They were completely different. The first
was an actress, the second a prostitute, and the
third, an accountant. They were all from different
parts of the city, and one of them was visiting from
Chicago. One was married, one single, and one
divorced. There was no common person associated with
any of them.”
“I assume that the married or divorced women’s
husbands were checked out?” Scully asked, taking
another bite of her food.
“Of course. That was the first thing they did, apart
from running over the crime scene. All men are clear.
Hell, Elizabeth Forrester’s husband was up for the
Pulitzer Prize in literature this year. The police
can’t make heads or tails of it. So they called us,
due to our expertise in the paranormal and the fact
that they weren’t getting anywhere.”
“What’s your theory, Mulder?”
Feigning both shock and sorrow, he replied, “Me? A
theory? Who says I always have a theory? I’m
Giving him ‘the eyebrow’ and an accusatory glare,
Scully waited for him to clarify.
“Okay,” Mulder relented, “Have you ever seen the
movie Dogma, Scully?”
“No, Mulder, I haven’t, and to be perfectly clear so
not to inspire one of your ‘guy movie’ nights, I
wouldn’t want to.”
“Anyway,” he said pointedly, “considering the manner
in which these women died, I believe this has
something to do with a fallen angel. An angel, not
fit for heaven, that was sent back to earth to earn
his way back. Kind of like in ‘All Dogs Go to
heaven’. Call it a hunch, call it intuition,
whatever. I think we should look into it.” Mulder
unwrapped the sandwich he had bought for himself and
bit off a piece. He chewed it slowly, a bit
disappointed. He had asked the woman at Subway for
extra lettuce and she had given him extra onion
“Reaching a little, Mulder? And if there are any
onions on that sandwich, your mouth is coming nowhere
near mine,” she teased.
“Sure. Fine. Whatever…” he said, “I’m serious, here,
Scully. There is evidence to support my theory.” She
shot him a skeptical eyebrow and turned back to her
“So what makes you jump to a fallen angel, why not
demonic possession or something like that?” she
“There was a witness to the first set of murders, an
old woman who was out walking her dog. She told the
police that she had seen a man standing near a
crucifix, only it wasn’t exactly a man. She claimed
that he had wings. Coincidentally, she died of a drug
overdose two days later.”
“And, there was a case nearly identical to this one
back in 1967. A dozen murders, all victims crucified.
The murderer was shot, but the cop that shot him said
that there was something odd about him. Same thing,
wings and a halo. You see, generally speaking, fallen
angels are souls that don’t belong in heaven, and
they are kicked out, so to speak. Once on earth
again, these creatures have to earn there way into
either heaven or hell. My theory is that this guy was
too evil to sing with the angels so he’s doing
something so demonic that he’ll be sleeping with the
devil as soon as he’s done. Limbo’s a nasty place,
Scully. This guy would rather be in hell than
somewhere in the middle. The file is in my suitcase,
I think. You can look at it later,” Mulder reached
for her sandwich greedily, but Scully pulled it away
before he came within two inches of the bread and
“C’mon, Scully! Can’t I have just one bite? Yours has
more lettuce on it than mine does.”
“No,” Scully said, drawing the sandwich closer to her
chest, as if to emphasize her point.
“Fine,” Mulder pouted mockingly. On an afterthought
he added, “Bunnykins.”
“Mulder!” Scully hollered, slapping her lover upside
the head, “Don’t you dare ‘Bunnykins’ me again, or
you’ll be sleeping on the couch for a week!” Her
laughter, which was so rare, filled the small office,
bouncing off of the poster-covered walls.
“I miss my couch.” Mulder pouted heavily, sticking
his lower lip out at his partner. Not able to resist
the temptation, Scully leaned in and kissed him.
“Would you prefer your couch or my bed?” she asked
coyly after pulling away from him.
“Do I even need to answer that? And as much as I’d
like to pursue this topic,” Mulder cleared his
throat, “we have to get packing. We leave early
tomorrow morning for Maine. Grab your mittens,
Scully, it’s supposed to be chilly.”
“Mulderrrr…” she groaned. Maine sounded so cold and
Scully hated cold. Canada was cold. Antarctica was
cold. Alaska was cold.
“Well, it’s better than sitting around here, filling
out expense reports,” he rationalized.
“Point taken,” Scully agreed. The thought of making
love in front of a nice warm fireplace didn’t sound
too bad either. “What time do we leave?”
* * * * *
JANUARY 27, 3:16 PM
“This is serious, agents,” police chief, Mark Briggs
said gravely as Mulder and Scully walked into the
police station. He was a man of forty or so, with
gray beginning to pepper his dark brown hair and
mustache. His slitty eyes caused him to wear an ever-
present mask of suspicion. Thick, dark eyebrows
accentuated the fact that his deep blue orbs were too
sunk in and too close together. Scully didn’t know
what to think of him.
It had taken them a while to find the station. The
old building was hidden amidst a cluster of
newfangled homes. The pale brick building should have
stood out among stainless white siding but for some
odd reason, it didn’t. They had passed by more than
once, each time looking past it. The station was one
of the oldest buildings in the small town; it had
been there since the founding. Its age alone added an
air of creepiness to the already ghostly
A large black thunderhead hovered over it, like an
ominous signal to those in the town. The fog
surrounding the structure never let up, and never
moved from its position blanketing the police
station. Two of the front windows were boarded up,
but Mulder had been able to see the broken glass
behind the wood. Kids with baseballs, he suspected.
“How serious, Chief?” Scully asked, approaching the
huddle of officers. She counted six of them.
“A local jogger just found another set of bodies.
Three women crucified. Lorraine Krause, Christina
McIntosh and Joanna Marguleis. We’re doing background
checks on them right now.”
A young, skinny man walked up to the chief and handed
him a stack of papers. “Thank you, Jerry,” he said,
dismissing the boy.
“Joanna was in advertising, Lorraine was unemployed,
and Christina was a jazz singer, very popular and
very talented. Two were married, and one engaged.
That’s all we’ve found out as of yet,” Briggs said
gruffly, after looking through the information.
“Have your men been out to the crime scene yet?”
Mulder asked, immediately curious. He needed more to
substantiate his story than the ‘hunch’ he told
Scully he was going on. He knew this killer would
have left a mark.
“Yes. I had a team out earlier this morning to gather
“Could we go and check it out?” Mulder asked.
“Sure, I’ll send a couple of men with you if you need
assistance.” Briggs glanced at his officers who
nodded, though somewhat reluctantly with grumbles of
protest. It wasn’t uncommon that the police didn’t
like the FBI butting into their cases.
“We would,” he said, looking to Scully, who confirmed
his request with a strained smile.
“Okay. This is Detective David Garris, he’ll show you
to the scene. It isn’t far from here, and within
walking distance,” pointing out the man next to him,
a sandy haired boy of no more than thirty. He was
short for a man, only 5’6″ or 5’7″ and by no means
muscular. Garris’ lanky form and angelic face didn’t
lend itself to the stereotypical cop image. Then
again, stereotypes were highly overrated, Scully
thought, looking at Mulder’s equally lanky form.
“Hello, Detective. Garris,” Scully said politely,
jabbing Mulder in the ribs and encouraging him to do
the same. He uttered a greeting, more interested in
the trail of officers leaving the room.
“Good morning, Agent… What did you say your name
was?” He scanned over her with his eyes, as if
committing her appearance to memory. Scully shifted
on her feet. His scrutiny was making her
“Scully,” she replied shortly, moving closer to
Mulder who’s cologne was a relief from the stench
coming from the other officer. Much to her delight,
Mulder glared menacingly at him.
“Nice to meet you, Agent Scully.” He stuck out his
hand for Scully to shake. As politely as she could,
she ignored his outstretched palm. The attention of a
stranger was the last thing she needed. “You sure are
pretty for an FBI agent. Some of them sure are dogs.”
Mulder cleared his throat loudly, tipping his head
towards the door. Scully hoped Garris got the hint.
“Let’s go,” Garris said, leading the agents out the
door and into the cold Maine air.
* * * * *
Scully could definitely see why they had been forced
to hike the two and a half miles instead of taking a
car. The house in which the bodies were found was in
the middle of an especially rocky forest. Pine and
birch trees, bare of leaves, towered above them as
they walked, reaching for the heavens, touching the
Media hounds surrounded the house, crowding in every
corner, trying to get a glimpse of the interior. None
had seen it before: their serial killer had used it.
He seemed to always find a new place to have his fun.
Begging for a story, the reporters approached the
group of law enforcement officers, who uttered one
“no comment” after another. It didn’t really surprise
Scully, however, that they had bothered to trek all
the way from the interstate to dig for scraps of
Separated from the police, she and Mulder pushed past
bustling reporters and photographers and made their
way into the ramshackle house.
Looking around the room, a chill ran down Scully’s
spine. Person or angel, whatever was killing these
women was one sadistic bastard. She had dealt with
her share of evil, but this was something different,
something she had never seen or ever wanted to.
The large, slow burning candles that had been on
their last shreds of life were blown out by one of
the cops and the gray curls of smoke filled the room.
It reminded Scully all too much of Cancerman. She
recoiled at the thought.
“Any fingerprints?” Mulder asked to the room.
“No fingerprints,” a young woman told them. “The
forensics crew’s just packing up. They didn’t find
“Look at this, Mulder,” Scully said.
On the floor beside the now unoccupied crosses, she
noticed an angel, the size of her palm, drawn in
blood. Strange. Crouching down, she called for
Mulder, who had been across the room talking to the
forensics team. He joined her in examining the mark.
“I’m going to get a sample of this, to run a DNA test
against all the victims. Most likely, the blood is
from one of the. . .”
“Do all the tests you want, Scully, but I can already
tell you that this isn’t the victim’s blood.”
“How do you know that, Mulder?” Scully asked, cocking
an eyebrow suspiciously.
“The same mark was found at all the other crime
scenes,” he said.
Scully was peeved. Why had he kept this from her? It
probably wasn’t intentional, she reasoned, but it
still irritated her.
“The blood,” he continued, apparently oblivious to
her furrowed brow, “is not fully human.”
Garris chose that moment to come up behind them,
bending over Scully’s shoulder, “Find anything
interesting?” he asked.
“Not really,” Scully said.
Disregarding Garris, Scully pulled Mulder aside and
hissed, “What is this blood thing, and Mulder, why
didn’t you tell me?”
“I thought the file was in my suitcase,” he said. “I
was wrong. It’s not a big deal.”
She sighed, lowering her head, part in frustration
and part in distress. “But you still knew, Mulder.
You read the file, you knew about something as
critically important as this, and you still didn’t
“What’s the problem, Scully?” The edge in his voice
did not go unnoticed. He must be getting peeved. She
“Never mind, Mulder,” she said crisply, walking back
to the crime scene. She crouched down and scraped up
some of the blood they had been examining, putting it
in a plastic bag and sealing it tightly. “Why don’t
you go interview some of the victim’s neighbors,
friends, relatives, while I do the autopsies
When she was in professional mode there was no room
for anger. Consequently, to rid her of the irritation
burning inside her she turned on “Special Agent
Scully, MD” and turned off Dana. It was Dana that was
upset at Mulder’s lie of omission. Agent Scully just
wanted to solve the case. Dana wasn’t sure what she
Scully walked away from her partner and joined the
rest of the police team.
A flash of red, seen out of the corner of his eye. So
tempting. So enticing. He knew at that moment he
wanted her. She was the one, the only one worthy of
him. The Pure One, she who could deliver the rest
from a hell-bound eternity. Unlike the others, she
had none of the sins.
She was perfect.
He watched her walk through the forest, brushing
aside branches and stepping over the tree roots that
had whispered to her, been so determined to trip her,
to bring her to her downfall. But they didn’t fool
her. Nothing could fool her. Perfection.
She would follow him willingly, without a fight, he
knew she would. She would because she knew who she
was, what she was. The sacrificial lamb, the Pure
One, she would give her soul for the lives of the
others. Hell would no longer wait for the deadly
sinners of the human race. All because of her.
He saw her smile at her companion, a beautiful toothy
smile that stretched all the way up to her
crystalline blue eyes. So alluring. So desirable. The
smile of a saint, of one sent to free him from his
She would die above the others, a solitary
crucifixion, not subject to the humiliation the
twelve before her had endured. Her death would be a
dignified one, since it was her sacrifice that would
save him. Everyone would get what they wanted. The
sinners would not rot in the fiery pits of hell,
sitting next to Satan himself, but he would.
“Perfect,” Mulder said, his voice constricted and
sarcastic. “Just wonderful.”
“Something wrong, Agent Mulder?” asked Becky
Langstrom, one of the cops assigned to the case and
more specifically, to follow the fed and make sure he
didn’t get into trouble.
“No, I’m fine,” he said, mocking Scully.
She was angry at him, for a reason she wouldn’t
disclose. He hadn’t told her about the blood symbol,
big deal. He didn’t see why she was so angry.
Apparently, it was big enough for her to suggest she
do the autopsy alone, while he interview the victims’
friends and family. Of course, he was never really
much help while Scully was slicing and dicing, but he
usually felt welcome to drop by.
Lorraine Krause lived closest to the crime scene, so
Mulder had decided to start with her and work his way
down the list.
“Should we get going, Agent Mulder?” Detective
Langstrom said over her shoulder. She was five feet
ahead of him, walking up the driveway of a yellow
“Yeah. Go ahead, Detective. This will go faster if we
split up, so you take that house, and I’ll take this
one.” He motioned to the house next door.
Treading across the snow covered lawn with no regard
to politeness, Mulder approached the home, leaving a
track of footprints in the snow. Normally, he would
use the sidewalk, but Mulder just wasn’t in the mood.
He hated it when Scully was mad at him. She didn’t
even have a real reason. Or, at least, not much of
The exterior of the house had recently been repainted
a shockingly bright white, which struck Mulder as
odd. They were in the middle of Maine’s harsh winter,
and the house looked like it had been painted the
He knocked on the door and impatiently waited for an
answer. Pounding again on the door, Mulder could hear
slow and cautious footsteps coming from inside. “Open
up,” he hollered, “FBI. I want to ask you a couple of
The lock clicked and the door opened just enough for
an elderly man to stick his head out the door. “I
don’t wanna buy nothing!”
Sighing, Mulder pulled out his badge and held it up
for the man to see, “FBI.”
“Free pie? Why by all means, come in! Trixie, we’ve
got company!” he hollered. He ushered Mulder in and
left him out in the hall while he fetched his wife.
Reappearing, he said to Mulder, “Have a seat. Give
Trixie the pie and she’ll warm it up in the oven.”
“Sir, I’m afraid you misheard me. I said FBI, not
“You sure?” the old man asked, wrinkling his nose,
which looked more like a beak than anything.
A woman toddled into the room, having heard the
conversation, put her hands on her broad hips and
glared fiercely at the man.
Holding out a small piece of flesh colored plastic,
she spoke. “Arthur, here’s your hearing aid. You
forgot to put it in *again* this morning. You do that
one more time, mister, and I’m going to flush it down
the toilet and you’ll never be able to hear again.”
She immediately reminded Mulder of Scully.
“Well at least I wouldn’t have to listen to you nag!”
Grabbing the hearing aid and quietly excusing
himself, Arthur left the room.
“I’m sorry about him, dearie. He’s so absent minded
sometimes. A lot of the time lately. Now, who did you
say you were?” The older woman sat beside him on the
old, torn sofa, peering over horn-rimmed glasses to
look at him. Mulder was sure she was assessing him
and determining that he needed fattening up.
“My name is Fox Mulder, and I’m an agent with the
FBI. I’d like to ask you and your husband a couple of
quick questions about your neighbor, Lorraine
Letting the woman take her time with the question, he
glanced around the room. It wasn’t much to look at.
The shaggy beige carpet seemed to be shedding, and
the brown throw rug covering it looked like it hadn’t
been vacuumed in months. There was too much furniture
in the front room, to the point where there was
hardly room to walk. The oak china cabinet had seen a
better day. Scattered around the room were
knickknacks of all sorts. On one of the end tables
sat a wooden doll that looked Russian and a Spanish
sombrero decorated the top of the medium sized
“Oh yes, we were so sorry to hear about Lori.” Trixie
said finally, turning her gaze to her lap, where her
hands were folded calmly.
“How do you know about Lori? The bodies were just
“Oh, it’s a small town, honey, you know how fast news
travels.” She smiled softly at him.
Reentering the room, Arthur agreed, “Yeah. It was
such a shame. Things like that shouldn’t happen.”
Mulder agreed, “They shouldn’t, but they do.” He
paused, watching the man who had seated himself in a
chair on the left side of the room and the woman next
to him. “How well did you know Lorraine?”
“I’ve known her since the day she was born,”
commented Trixie softly.
Mulder could see the tears forming in her green eyes,
even though she tried desperately to hide them.
“What kind of person was she?”
“She was a nice girl,” said Arthur, “but about as
sharp as a sack of wet mice.” Mulder had to hold in a
chuckle. Trixie frowned at her husband’s disrespect.
“Pardon him,” she said to Mulder, “his manners aren’t
what they used to be.” The comment was directed more
to Arthur than to him and he smiled. “Lori was…
Lori was a sweet child. She went through a lot of
hard times, with Greg and all.”
“Greg?” Mulder asked, trying to glean all possible
information from the old couple.
“Her ex-husband. He beat her something awful. I don’t
know why they got married in the first place. She was
awed by him, but he. . .I don’t think Greg ever liked
Lori. You could hear them arguing from here and they
lived three houses down. Lori bought the house she
grew up in, isn’t that sweet? Greg just hated women,
I think. Do you want something to drink? Or eat? I
just made brownies.”
Mulder continued to ask the couple questions about
Lori; had she been acting strangely, who she had been
seen with recently, etc. But after three brownies
and two glasses of lemonade, Mulder had gained
nothing except a full stomach and the scattered
musings of the elderly. The couple had provided
Except for Greg.
What could be up with him? Did he have an alibi? He
sure didn’t seem to be a very nice person, that much
was for sure. He beat her. But did he have the hatred
in him to kill her? He would run the idea past Scully
and then dig up whatever information he could find on
Greg and pay the man a visit.
Without another word, Mulder let himself out the
front door and walked through the snow to the next
RICE COUNTY MORGUE
The last autopsy. Scully sighed, thankful. After
standing for six hours, digging through dead people,
her feet hurt and she smelled like death.
Perfume de Formaldehyde. Very attractive.
Covering Joanna Marguleis’ corpse with a sheet, she
grimaced at the young woman’s still visible wounds.
Even after seeing the things she had in the course of
her years with the FBI and with Mulder, she had never
seen anything as gruesome as this. Well, not recently
Twelve women total, all with similar wounds: spikes
through the hands and feet, a crown of thorns on the
head and a gash on the left side. The killer was
mimicking the crucifixion, that much was obvious. But
what was the significance of it?
Biblically, numbers always had a heavy magnitude.
Seven days of creation. Forty days and forty nights
of rain while Noah sailed his boat. Three parts to
one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Three days
between the crucifixion and the Resurrection. Forty
days that Jesus spent in the desert, being tempted by
Satan. Twelve Apostles.
That thought stuck to her. Twelve women, twelve
apostles. Could it be? With this kind of case, there
was no such thing as coincidence. She shook her head.
There had to be another, more plausible explanation.
Murderers typically fit into two categories;
organized and unorganized. She and Mulder, as well as
the rest of the Maine PD were dealing with the most
deadly kind, a highly organized, highly intelligent
maniac. He left no evidence, no fingerprints, no
fibers, only blood which the police had yet to trace.
Not only was their guy smart, he was ruthless too.
That did not make for a good combination. There was
no telling the lengths this man would go to get off.
And yet, Scully had her doubts. Would he stop, since
there are only twelve apostles- thirteen if he
counted the one who replaced Judas? Or would he
attempt to rewrite the Bible and make it fourteen?
Or fifteen, if he kept going by groups of three?
Whatever he chose, he would keep to his own set of
rules, Scully was sure of that. This person was no
longer playing by those of society. His rules were
now far more superior than any the law could have
dreamed up. His were the laws of life and death.
She was also sure that whatever he did would have a
Biblical meaning. It was in his programming.
Forgetting her anger at Mulder, Scully pulled out her
cell phone and pressed number one on her speed dial.
“Mulder,” came her answer after two rings. He sounded
tired, worn out. She guessed he was back at the
hotel, shoes kicked off, relaxing in front of the
“Mulder, it’s me. I have a theory.” She needed to be
quick, because the quicker she got off the phone, the
sooner she could clean her autopsy tools and then get
back to the hotel. The sooner she got back to the
hotel the sooner she could sleep.
“Let’s hear it, Scully,” Mulder urged without
“I think we might be looking for a woman. Before you
say anything, hear me out, Mulder. This person is
replaying the crucifixion, detail by detail. Hell,
she even did the Last Supper. It’s confirmed, Mulder,
those women died from some kind of poison in the wine
she gave them. All the injuries on the body were post
“Just like the other victims,” he said.
“Yeah,” she said somewhat distractedly, “But the only
difference is the women.”
“What?” Mulder asked. This theory of hers was
possibly more out there than some of his. Serial
killers were rarely women, especially with a crime of
this brutality. Even hoisting the victims to the
cross must have taken tremendous strength, strength
that a woman would not possess.
“Twelve women, twelve apostles. Our killer is
producing a female version of Christ’s death. Women’s
Mulder thought for a moment. “It makes sense. A lot
of sense actually,” his voice had gone from drowsy to
attentive in the two minutes they had been speaking.
Scully could hear the shuffle of papers in the
“I just have to clean up a little, and then I’ll head
back to the hotel so we can discuss this in person.
My cell phone bill was too high last month. I’d like
to keep it down.,” Holding the phone to her ear with
her shoulder, Scully picked up her scalpel and walked
over to the steel sink and turned on the water,
watching the cold stream flow softly to the sinks’
“Just hurry up. I’ll be waiting, and so will that
big, comfy, hotel bed. . .” he said suggestively,
bringing a smile to Scully’s face. Hanging up without
saying goodbye came as second nature to her now. It
should, after ten years of practice.
Ten years. She wondered how that was Biblically
* * * * *
GEORGIA STAR HOTEL
He hated waiting. Never a patient person, Mulder
really hated it now. He wanted her home, period. No
questions asked. At least she hadn’t seemed angry
anymore. Sometimes, he figured, people just needed
their space. This was one of those times for Scully.
He needed to accept that she didn’t have to be around
Moments later, the door opened slowly, and a very
tired looking Scully walked through it. Though she
had changed from her scrubs, her work clothes looked
wrinkled and worn, not a look he normally saw in
Scully. Her mussed hair fell in her face adding to
the natural look her messy clothes gave her.
She smiled exhaustedly at him. “Hi, Mulder.”
“Hey,” he got up and enfolded her small body in his
arms like he had been doing it his entire life, “Are
“Yeah,” her voice was muffled by his chest, but
Mulder could still make out her words. Wrapping her
arms around his waist, she continued, “Got a call
from Briggs on my way here.”
Pulling back slightly, he looked into her eyes, “Did
She stepped out of his embrace and shuffled over to
the bed, sitting down on the flower-print mattresses’
firm corner. “He told one of his guys to examine that
blood, since I was in the autopsy bay all day. Like
you said, the blood was inconsistent with the human
genome pattern, although it does show resemblance.
Briggs said that his guy, a veteran biologist, had
never seen anything like it before.” She shook her
head. As much as she trusted Briggs’ judgment, Scully
wanted to check the blood for herself.
“Same as the others,” he paused, looking at his
pensive partner as she fingered her delicate gold
cross necklace. Her head hung low, her eyes focused
on the tiny object between the pads of her fingers.
Mulder was sure she hadn’t heard a word of his last
comment. “I know I haven’t been completely truthful
with you Scully, but you don’t need to pout.” She
didn’t answer him nor did she respond to his teasing.
In another attempt to win back his partner’s good
graces, he pulled out a deep red rose.
“I’m sorry for being such an ass. I, uh… I stopped by
the florist on the way here.”
Scully accepted his gift graciously, looked at him
and smiled. “You mean you didn’t steal it from an old
man with a broken. . . something?” Her smile quickly
faded. With the rose in one hand, she put the other
to her necklace once more.
“Are you sure you’re okay, Scully? I know this case
kind of hits home for you.”
“I’ll be fine Mulder.”
“You’ll be fine, but you’re not fine now?” he asked,
noticing her slip of the lip.
“I don’t know.” Looking at the rose he had given her,
Scully held it up to eye level and spun it around
with her fingers. “Ouch!” she exclaimed as one of the
razor sharp thorns pricked her index finger. A small
dot of bright red blood appeared on the pad of her
finger and Scully quickly grabbed a Kleenex and wiped
it off. Her forehead wrinkled, and she was apparently
deep in thought. She looked up at him. “Mulder, why
is there both good and evil in a person? I mean, why
can a rose, such a beautiful thing do something that
can hurt so much?”
“The thorns are for the rose to protect itself. You
know that as well as I do. To your more prevalent
question, I don’t think the answer can ever really be
“Mulder, I don’t even know what I’m asking! I mean, I
know we’ve asked this a million times, but where is
the line drawn between good and evil? And when that
line is crossed, who allows the good to be used for
an evil purpose? Does that at all make sense?” She
laid down on the bed, and closed her eyes in
Mulder took a position next to her and propped his
head up with a pillow. “Kind of. You want to know if
there’s any good in this guy- or girl- and if there
is, you want to know what put it there amidst all the
evil. You want to know why there is both good and
evil in the world, why God allows it.”
“Mulder, you amaze me. How you got that message out
of what I just said is a mystery to me,” she smiled
and allowed his arm to snake around her waist,
pulling her close. “So how did your part of the
investigation go? Any new information?”
“Not really. At one point, I thought I had a lead,
but it fizzled out. I spoke to Christina’s sister,
who had nothing but good to say about her. Apparently
they had just had a huge fight and I think it just
hit her that she’s not going to see her sister again,
never going to be able to make amends. The woman was
in tears from the moment I walked in the door.”
Mulder’s heart sunk a little upon hearing his own
words. He had long since dealt with his sister’s
death, or so he told himself. Sometimes, though, it
still hurt. It always would, he knew that. The pain
had become part of who he was.
Scully tightened her arms around him, snuggling
closer to his body. “So, no new facts?”
“None.” She was holding him so tight. She rarely did
that unless they were making love, “Are you sure
you’re okay with this case? I know your religion is
very important to you and I don’t want you to. . .”
She cut him off, “Mulder, I’m fine. Yeah, I mean, it
makes it a little more challenging, but. . .”
“. . . you love a challenge,” Mulder finished for
her with a smile, knowing that he had taken the words
right out of her mouth.
Scully yawned. “Stop doing that.”
“Doing what?” he asked innocently.
“That reading my mind, completing my sentence thing
that you do,” she replied sleepily. Mulder knew she
would drift off any minute.
“But I was right, wasn’t I Scully?”
“Yes, Mulder,” she said, “You’re always right.” And
she was asleep.
LEWISTON POLICE STATION
David Garris sat at his desk, munching on the
chocolate frosted donut that his wife, Becky, had
brought in for him earlier. At her insistence, he
promised to be home before dawn. On an everyday
basis, David wasn’t home until 7 a.m., and then he
would sleep for a couple of hours and go back to
work. The life of a hard-working cop was hell on the
He pinched the bridge of his nose, trying to rid
himself of the migraine that had been tormenting him
for the past hour.
“Jerry, grab me an aspirin, will you?” he mumbled to
the other cop on duty.
Jerry Markenton, who had every drug and painkiller
ever made stashed in his desk, opened the front
drawer and dug out a bottle of Ibuprofen. “Here. Keep
it. You’re always asking me for some. What’s with all
those headaches you get anyway?”
David shrugged it off, “I don’t know. I started
getting them sometime last year, around the time I
took the job here. Stress of the job, crying baby at
home, Becky’s pregnant again, that kind of thing I
guess. I swear that woman is as fertile as the Amazon
rainforest. And she wonders why I’m at work so much,”
he grinned cockily. “If she only knew.”
“Only knew what, Dave?” Dave remained silent, “You
cheating on her?”
Again no words were spoken from the angelic face next
“Who’s the other girl?” Jerry asked, slouching in his
seat and throwing his feet up on the desk assuming he
was right. For someone who kept a better medical
supply than most hospitals in his work desk drawer,
Jerry was surprisingly relaxed.
“She’s beautiful. Absolutely perfect.”
She was perfect. Perfection comes in many shapes and
forms, but hers was the ideal. She was pure.
She lay, cuddling with her lover, her hair spread
like thick, beautiful blood over the pillow. Her body
was still dressed in dark clothing that looked like
what she had worn earlier in the day. He couldn’t
quite tell, due to the grime on the hotel windows. He
needed to remind personnel that, although it was
winter, the windows still get dirty and need to be
He hated dirty people. People who kept things dirty,
who didn’t know how to wash windows. But he hated
people who were dirty more than anything. People who
were dirty outside were abhorrent, but people who
were dirty on the inside deserved to die. God had
sent him to do that job, fulfill his word. Ezekiel
chapter eighteen, verse twenty told him exactly what
he was to do. “The soul who sins shall die.”
They had sinned, the twelve women before the Pure
One. Their sins had ruined them: pride, lust, greed.
They deserved to die, but as soon as the woman in the
window became his sacrifice, they would all live an
eternal life, and he would finally be able to revel
in his eternal death.
The Pure One. The woman with the hair as red as the
fires of hell. His only hope.
Though the bitter cold nipped at the tips of his ears
and stung his face, he could not take his eyes off
her. She twisted and turned, violently thrashing in
her sleep. The man sleeping beside her woke up
quickly and tenderly put a hand to her face.
THE NEXT MORNING
The rain dripped gently down the window, a solitary
drop caressing the sleek glass of the police
department window. Gathered in the room were law
enforcement officers and officials from all over the
state. The killer who the media had dubbed Father
Death was the news story of the century in Maine, and
the cop that caught him would gobble up their fifteen
minutes of fame. Mulder shook his head; half the men
in the room had never dealt with a serial killer, and
the other half would probably let him get away if he
seemed the least bit “nice.” Furthermore, he wasn’t
entirely convinced that the string of murders was the
handy-work of your run-of-the-mill serial killer.
As much as Mulder tried to shake his gut instinct
that a fallen angel was behind the killings, he
couldn’t. What Scully had said made perfect sense. A
deranged, homicidal, lunatic was behind everything.
Of course. But he still couldn’t shake the feeling
that it was something more.
It poked at him like a really annoying stick that
seemed to just get bigger. Scully had explained away
the bulk of the case, but one thing in particular
bothered him, the blood.
That morning, Scully herself had gone to the lab and
determined that the blood found at the crime scene
was not human. It had no nucleus, but was not any
identifiable type of prokaryote. The cell in itself
was far too structured to be the one-celled organism
he had read about in high school. They had either
discovered a new type of species that had just
happened to have killed twelve women, or it was
indeed, a fallen angel like he originally suspected.
Before taking the case, Mulder had read that when a
person becomes an angel, the human trait is taken out
of them so that they become immortal. When the angel
is dropped, the DNA is not replaced as a mark of the
His cell phone rang in his pocket, snapping Mulder
out of his reverie.
“Mulder,” he answered, pressing the phone to his ear
and stepping away from the huddle of officers.
“Agent Mulder? This is Trixie McGavin. You came to my
He smiled, recalling the kindly old woman that he had
spoken to the previous day.
“What can I do for you, Trixie?”
“Could you and your partner come to my house? I may
have some information about Lori.”
Had he mentioned Scully in his conversation with the
old woman? He didn’t think so, but his memory seemed
to be failing. It didn’t matter, really.
Glancing around the room, he gave Trixie an answer,
“I’ll call Scully and then call you back.” Pressing
the end button, he pressed the number one on his
“Scully,” she answered.
“I just got a call from Trixe, one of the people I
interviewed yesterday, and she wants us to go to her
house. She says she has new information about one of
the victims. Are you almost done with that blood?” he
“Yeah, I’m almost done. What is the rest of the task
Shit. He was hoping she wouldn’t ask him that.
“They’re running through the federal and local
records again, trying out your woman theory.”
“Aren’t you supposed to be helping them, Mulder?”
“Yeah, but. . .”
“No buts, Mulder. I’ll go listen to what this lady
has to say, while you stay and research. Where does
she live again?” Scully asked.
Reluctantly, Mulder gave her the address. “Six
Larkspur Lane. It’s a white house.”
“Thanks, Mulder,” she said, hanging up. The man was
incorrigible. He didn’t know how to sit down and
work. Scully would bet her life that, while she did
some extensive studies on the blood they found, he
had spent the last hour and a half staring out the
window, watching it rain. It was amazing that he had
gotten through Oxford, with his lack of tolerance for
busy work. He probably figured that the paperwork was
tedious and wouldn’t produce results. And maybe he
was right. . .
Already in the car, Scully made the left turn onto
Larkspur and found the white home on the corner.
Standing out front in hiking boots, a lavender skirt
that stretched down below her knees, and a white
blouse stood a woman of seventy or so.
Pulling to the side of the road, Scully rolled down
the passenger window, “Trixie McGavin?”
“That’s me. I assume you’re Ms. Scully,” she said,
“I am.” Scully unbuckled her seatbelt and opened the
door before Trixie stopped her.
“Agent Scully, I’d rather go someplace else to talk.
I don’t feel completely. . . safe, here,” she looked
around, her eyes darting from place to place.
“Get in, then,” Scully closed her door, unlocked the
passenger seat door, and buckled her seatbelt again.
Slowly, Trixie stepped into the Taurus and slammed
the door. “Lets go.”
“Where am I going, Ms. McGavin?” Scully pulled into
the street, the rubber of her tires squeaking on the
“Call me Trixie, and I’ll tell you where to go. Just
take a right up here,” she pointed to the
intersection in which Scully had just come from.
“Do you want to go to the police station and talk?”
Scully asked, taking the turn.
“No. You’ll see when we get there.”
They sat in silence, save for the vague directions of
Trixie. She’d point ahead of them and say, “Turn
there.” Scully soon got tired of guessing what street
“Okay, dearie, turn right into the parking lot,”
Trixie said, a smile on her face. The woman, it
seemed, never stopped smiling.
Scully did as she was told and pulled into the
“Here, let me help you, Ms. McGavin,” Scully said,
helping the old woman out of the low roofed car.
“Thank you, dearie. Oh! I forgot to mention. We’re
meeting someone here, someone who can explain all
this much better than I can,” she said, her voice
Scully nodded as they walked around to the front of
the building. The gargantuan structure stood above
her, the grandest church she had ever seen. Its solid
red brick contrasted beautifully to the white
overhang, and a white cross stood on top.
“Come on dearie. I doubt anyone is here. The
congregation sent Father Timothy to Jamaica for his
fiftieth anniversary of ordination. The night
watchman comes by in the evenings, though. Go on,
inside with you,” Trixie urged, pulling out a silver
key and opening the door for her.
Walking in, still in partial awe, Scully was unaware
of the man standing behind her.
“Good day, Ms. Scully,” David Garris said. Scully
turned around, surprised at the voice.
In front of her stood a tall man, all dressed in
white. Holding a baseball bat. Bringing the bat back,
he swung with all his might, at Scully’s head.
Making contact, her unconscious body fell to the
ground with a loud *thud.*
“Good day, indeed,” said Trixie with a smile on her
* * * * *
As soon as she opened her eyes, he knew. He knew she
was awake and that the gorgeous blue orbs that had
haunted his dreams were once again viewing the world.
He tore himself away from the candles that he had
been placing in a pentagram around the cross. She
would look so beautiful in the candlelight. It would
bounce off her glossy auburn hair, giving it the
golden hue that only angels possessed. Her eyes would
sparkle with both fear and excitement as the ritual
His thoughts were interrupted by her voice, so
beautiful and eloquent, with wonderful diction.
“Where the hell am I?” Before he could answer her
question, the old woman reappeared and spoke to her.
“Silly, dear. You know where you are.” She then
turned to him, “It’s time, David.”
He nodded, agreeing with her. It was, indeed, time.
He had waited too long for his prize, too long to
receive the one thing he truly wanted.
“Hurry up, don’t dawdle,” Trixie instructed him, with
a smile. As soon as he saw the white of her dentures
he wanted to rip the smile off her face. She always
thought she was above him, above everyone else. She
thought that her own perfection was in reach. Turning
back to the redhead, the grin returned to his face.
She hadn’t said a word since her original comment.
She would make a picturesque orator, standing tall at
a podium and uttering words of sheer importance. She
would wear a black skirt, short enough to show a
tantalizing piece of leg and a white blouse with
three buttons undone so he could see the shadow of
her cleavage. The portrait of professionalism.
“David!” his mother hollered, “start the preparation
for the Ceremony now!” The evil in her eyes was so
evident that it glittered more beautiful than the
gates of hell when it would welcome them into its
With a sigh, he spoke the words that so many
generations before him had done. The Latin came
naturally to him, flowing from his tongue like the
smoothest silk. He barely felt it appear, but knew
that the silver halo rested over his head. He
despised it, longing for the freedom that only he
could provide. With the help of her, though, he’d
make it. She was everything. She was elegant,
stunning, intelligent. She was the key.
He moved to the Sanctuary, and carefully set out four
stakes and a sledgehammer beside the vacant altar. It
had to be flawless. He took a step back, examined his
work and grunted disgustedly. He straightened one of
the stakes and then the other until they were in a
perfect line, like tin soldiers in “The Nutcracker.”
“Let me go!” Her protest was loud and he smiled. All
the more fun to watch her die.
“I’m afraid I can’t do that, Miss Scully,” he said,
his voice a deep baritone. “You see, in order for
mother and I to complete our task, you must die.”
“Your task?” He knew she was only trying to delay the
time until her death, but he was willing to oblige
“Hell awaits us. We killed the other twelve because
they were sinners, because they were filthy and
deserved to die. We will kill you because you are
their opposite.” He turned his back to her and faced
the cross. “You are perfect.”
* * * * *
Mulder sighed. They were getting precisely nowhere.
All the females that they looked at were too young,
too old, or too kind. None of them fit the profile
that the Bureau’s team of investigators had put
together from their files.
His thoughts traveled to Scully, as they always did.
He knew this was a tough case for her.
The computer screen stared blankly at him, daring him
to touch it, to use its intelligence to his
advantage. Mulder knew what he wanted to do, but he
didn’t want to seem like the “jealous boyfriend.” He
didn’t like David. To be more specific, he didn’t
like the way David looked at Scully. The combination
of adoration and hunger in the cop’s eyes when his
petite partner was in the room unnerved Mulder
He placed his hands on the keyboard, waking the
computer from its sleep. Before he knew what he was
doing, Mulder had the FBI database at his fingertips.
Glancing over his shoulder to make sure no one was
watching him, he typed in ‘David Garris’ and waited
for his laptop to pull up the search results. He was
simply making sure Scully was safe, right?
Nothing. Thinking that the lack of information was a
bit strange, Mulder hit a couple of seemingly random
keys in a trick the Lone Gunmen had taught him to
reveal any encoded information.
A picture of Garris immediately appeared on the
screen. His blonde hair was perfectly combed, his
teeth a pearly white. Next to his picture listed
general information: name, date of birth, hair color,
eye color, height, weight. Mulder skipped to the good
part, the stuff he really wanted to know.
Under felonies, there was a list of four items. A
couple of felonies, a shoplifting charge that had
been dropped. As he scrolled down, the last item
caught his attention. Garris had once been a suspect
in the rape and murder of a young man in 1991, but
was dropped as a suspect when evidence suggested the
murder to be the work of serial killer Jeffrey
Mulder quickly returned to the top of the page,
interested in getting more information on the
investigation. Before he clicked out of the window,
something caught his eye.
Date of Death: June 19, 2001.
He looked again. David couldn’t be dead. Mulder had
seen the man only hours ago. He dug up the full file
on Garris, and found the one thing he was looking for
but didn’t expect. A death certificate. It made
sense. Too much sense.
“Briggs? I think I’ve found something.”
“What is it, Mulder? A suspect?” Briggs crossed the
room to stand behind Mulder as he stared at the
document on the computer screen.
“Possibly. Sir, this is a death certificate for David
Garris, one of your officers.”
* * * * *
“You don’t understand! You tell me it’s wrong to kill
people, to kill women, but you have never experienced
what I have. You haven’t been beaten by your mother
until you felt like you were within inches of death.
You don’t know the pain that women can cause, the
pain that the women I killed had already caused to
the world. Ms. Scully, those women deserved to be
punished. You are perfect, so you will die for them.
You are the Christ,” he grinned at Scully, who was
terrified. This man had killed twelve women without
the bat of an eyelash. He was pure evil, and yet she
pitied him. She sympathized with him over his
childhood and how it must have affected his life.
“David, are you dilly-dallying in there?” came a
voice from one of the churches’ wings. Trixie stepped
out of the marble wing behind the altar.
Scully’s eyes went wide in terror as she realized it.
They really were going to crucify her. Where was
Mulder? He must have figured out something by now,
“You idiot,” the old woman’s voice was harsher,
crisper as she glared at the man standing beside her,
“Pull up your halo. You know very well that you can’t
perform the Ceremony without it,” Scully glanced up
to Trixie’s head. Atop it, a golden halo floated
innocently. One appeared over David’s head as well.
How these evil people received such a mark of God’s
love was beyond her. Just the thought frightened her.
Someone “up there” had made a mistake in who he
admitted into heaven. What if that mistake was made
She shook her head, trying to rid herself of the
thoughts that clouded her judgment. Crazy people
tended to do crazy things, but a hoax like this
seemed to be too much. David Garris wasn’t God, as
much as he thought otherwise. He was nothing but a
sorry man with a sorry past, looking for attention.
With a wave of his hand, a full goblet of wine
appeared on the pew beside Scully’s chair. The
poison. They were going to poison her first.
She wasn’t sure if that was a relief or not.
As he approached her with the glass, the only thing
running through Scully’s mind was the thought of
Mulder. She would be leaving him, once the cool wine
passed through the hollow of her throat.
The sun would no longer shine through her window
after a night of glorious lovemaking. She wouldn’t
look up from a stack of paperwork to see his face
smiling down on her from his desk across their
basement office. No more silly fights over silly
issues. No more defending him against Skinner about
the cell phone he lost the month before.
Nothing. There would be nothing left of him except
whatever faint memories God let her take with her to
heaven. Nothing. Moisture rose to Scully’s eyes at
that realization and her vision was blurred. Now,
instead of a clear picture, she could only make out
two glowing figures and her own salty tears.
“No! Damn it David, you know better than to bring out
the wine for the Pure One! She is the shepherd, and
must not die like a sheep. She needs to bear the pain
of the people. She dies on the cross,” Trixie
snapped, crossing the room swiftly and knocking the
glass to the floor. After decking him hard in the
jaw, she turned to Scully. “Now, go get it,” she
instructed her son, “You know I can’t lift as much
weight as I used to.”
* * * * *
“It says here,” Mulder examined the document, “that
David died around three months ago. He was shot in
“That’s impossible,” Jerry stated as if the fact were
plain as day, “I’ve worked with this man since he
started working here. He’s very much alive.”
“Not according to this,” Mulder said, “According to
the official statement, he was killed by his mother
on June 19 of last year.”
“His mom knocked him off?” one of the other cops
shouted. “That’s a hoot!”
Mulder’s face paled considerably upon further
inspection, “No, it’s not. His mother is Trixie
The room shut up. Everyone kept quiet. They all knew
who the little redheaded agent was with and they all
knew that Mulder cared very much about her. Then they
all began laughing loudly again.
“That’s insane, Mulder. We see this guy every day.
The certificate must be forged, a practical joke or
something. There’s no way we’ve been working with a
dead guy for the last year,” Briggs said, a huge grin
on his face. He looked to the other cops in the room
who all smiled and laughed.
“Spooky!” an officer with platinum blonde hair
standing in the corner shouted, sending everyone else
into another chorus of laughter.
“The last year?” Mulder asked, rehashing Briggs’
statement. “When did he sign on?”
“Last September, I think. He transferred here from
Montana,” said Jerry quietly, a look of enlightenment
crossing his face.
“He’s been dead since June,” Mulder repeated, letting
the information sink in.
“Briggs, get the car. Now! We don’t have any time to
waste!” his heart hammering in his chest, Mulder
raced out the door, followed by Mark Briggs.
Mulder prayed that they wouldn’t be too late.
* * * * *
It just lay there. On the ground. Scully vaguely
remembered reading somewhere that crucifixion
couldn’t be done upright, but to see it in action
sent ice-water through her veins. The cross,
threatening in it’s magnificence, looked up at her.
Each splinter of wood looked like a separate menacing
“Almost ready, Agent Scully,” Trixie said, smiling at
her, “You won’t have to wait much longer.”
* * * * *
“Where the hell would they take her, Mulder?” Briggs
asked, jamming on the accelerator as they rocketed
out of the parking lot.
“I don’t know. Give me a minute to think.”
“Well which way do I go?”
“Just keep going straight.” He paused, “Briggs, what
was the date of the first killing?”
“August tenth,” he replied, running the car through a
stoplight as oncoming traffic honked loudly at him.
Mulder took a moment to calculate, “Forty days.
Everything in the Bible is forty days,” he said. “I
know where they are.”
“What? How? Where?” he asked.
“Turn left here,” Briggs cut a sharp left, and for a
moment, Mulder thought the car would spin out of
control, but it stayed on track.
“Where are we going, Mulder?” Briggs asked, putting
on a little more gas. He knew how important it was
they find Agent Scully while she was still alive. If
they did so, they would catch their killer, and he
would get a hefty raise.
“Where’s the biggest church in town?”
“The Church of Christ the King. It’s the only one,”
Briggs answered. “Why, Mulder? All the other crimes
were committed in the middle of the woods.”
“Because,” he explained, “Scully’s the thirteenth.
They have the twelve apostles and her. The Jesus
Christ. They won’t take her to the same place as they
killed the others, she’s above them. She’s sacred.
Their future depends on her,” Briggs barely heard him
whisper, “My future depends on her.”
Mulder wouldn’t let himself think of the
possibilities. Of what could happen if he didn’t
reach her in time. There would be nothing. Absolutely
nothing. He’d rather have an angry Scully than no
Scully at all. He’d rather die than live without her.
He would die, if she left him.
An unfamiliar rage filled him, sweeping through his
body like the Black Plague through Europe. Anger at
David, anger at Trixie, anger at himself, and anger
The last thought struck through his heart as its
meaning ran true. He was furious at Scully for
leaving him all alone. He wanted to scream, to open
his mouth and howl his anger at her. Though she had
promised not to countless times, she had left him,
and this time it might be for good.
The future depended on whether Dana Scully lived or
* * * * *
“It’s time,” Trixie said to David, eyeing Scully. She
smiled maliciously at her son, then turned her gaze
to the agent strapped to the chair.
“I agree,” David said, moving towards Scully. His
strides seemed to swallow the ground, each footstep
bringing Scully closer to her death.
“Look, you don’t have to do this,” she reasoned, “I’m
not perfect, believe me. You can ask anyone, I’m far
“We do have to do this, Ms. Scully.”
“No, no you don’t. It’s in your power to decide what
you do. This is a choice, Mr. Garris. You can make
the choice to walk away right now. It’s your choice,”
she hoped she didn’t sound too pathetic, too leading.
“You’re wrong. It’s not my choice. This, Ms. Scully
is the choice of the Lord. I am merely fulfilling his
He knelt down and took her foot in his hand. Scully
watched him intently as he removed the heeled shoes
from her feet, left foot first, then the right.
Inhaling deeply, he removed her socks, left first,
then right. He was stripping her naked and there was
nothing Scully could do about it.
“Get on the ground,” he ordered as Trixie watched.
She gave him an approving smile, and then it hit
Scully. This was the woman, the mother who beat him
when he did wrong. This was the horrid, abusive woman
who had created a serial killer. He just wanted her
“How am I supposed to do that?” she asked pointedly.
Her bounds held tight. On the pew next to her chair
lay her gun which he had taken when she was still
unconscious. Picking it up, he aimed it at her.
Untying the ropes and setting down the gun, he said,
“If you run, I shoot you. Don’t think it would be a
more pleasant way to die, either, Ms. Scully. If you
run, I’ll shoot you in the leg, and then you’ll be
put on the cross.” He finished straightening out the
rigging on her chair, and Scully felt it loosen.
Convinced that it would be easier to let him have his
way, she lay down on the floor in the isle between
two rows of pews, so he would have easier access to
* * * * *
Weaving gently. Red rose. So beautiful. So elegant.
So desirable. He wove the two delicately, the
intricate stems of the flower stimulating his hunger.
If the killing of sinners had been an aphrodisiac, he
couldn’t imagine what the killing of the Pure One
Her naked body writhed under the ties, trying
desperately and unsuccessfully to escape. She had
tried to offer him logical reasons not to kill her.
It was enough to make him want to shoot her right
then and there. But he couldn’t. She was the One to
be sacrificed by means of the cross. She was the only
“Here you go, Ms. Scully,” he said, peeking over his
shoulder at his mother. She was smiling, pleased with
He pressed the crown of thorns into her skin and
watched, engrossed as the thorns pricked her and
small red drops of blood appeared on her fair skin.
She did not scream, nor did she show any pain on her
face. In that way, she was like the others. They were
too dead to do any of those things.
* * * * *
Trying not to cringe at the pain, Scully looked up
into the eyes of a madman, whose wings shadowed his
face, and knew she was going to die a painful death.
She could feel the blood trickling down her cheeks,
and for one moment, no longer believed in God. If He
really did exist, how could He allow this mockery?
How could He let her suffer? Hadn’t she paid His
price already? She had paid for more in the course of
the last eleven years.
“Come on, he said, up you go,” He lifted her body
which provided little struggle, over his shoulder,
and carried Scully to the altar where he had set up
the cross. Only two wooden beams, it held more power
than most people. Noticing that it was crooked, David
kicked the left side of the cross until it stood
“Let me tell you one thing,” Scully said as he pinned
her naked back to the two wooden beams that lay on
the ground, “I sympathize with you for whatever
happened to make you this way, David, I really do,
but that does not make what you are doing right. You
are a rotten, filthy excuse for a human being and
when it comes down to final judgment, may you rot in
hell,” she hissed.
“That’s what we’re hoping for,” he said, approaching
them, grinning like an idiot.
“Leave her alone!” Mulder hollered, running through
the side door of the church. He tackled David,
knocking the large nail out of his hand and sending
it rolling across the floor. David swung at him
madly, almost to the point of flailing. Filled with
rage, Mulder’s fists took on a life of their own,
matching each punch that David threw at him.
David flipped him over, pinning Mulder to the floor.
As much as he struggled to rise, neither his arms nor
his legs could free him. When he had first seen the
man currently atop him, Mulder had considered him
small and almost weak, but now that apparently wasn’t
the case. He thought of Scully, the image he had been
confronted with as he charged into the church. Scully
ready to be sacrificed. Filled with a new adrenaline
rush, Mulder flipped David over. He could see the
panic in the man’s eyes as the agent drew his gun.
After briefly considering shooting the bastard,
Mulder brought his gun up above his head and swung it
down, hitting the butt against David’s head, knocking
Mulder stood and rushed to the cross. He quickly
untied the ropes that imprisoned Scully’s wrists and
ankles, thankful that she was still alive.
“Are you okay, Scully?” He held her face mere inches
from his, searching her features for any sign of pain
“I am now,” she replied, but he could see her body
trembling. He took her into his arms. A moment of
solitude in a time of chaos. She grounded him; just
knowing that she was safe, alive and breathing eased
some of the panic he had felt upon entering. She
always had that affect on him; she kept his head from
staying too high up in the clouds. She challenged his
theories, pushed him to be the best that he could.
She completed him.
Releasing her, Mulder took off his jacket and wrapped
it around her, concealing her naked body. She smiled
up at him in thanks.
“Oh, you’re so happy now, aren’t you? Got your little
girlfriend back. Well, I’m not done with her yet.”
Mulder quickly turned around to face the barrel of
Scully’s gun. Trixie held it tightly, her finger on
the trigger, ready to pull it if Mulder moved another
muscle. His heart beat accelerated and the adrenaline
once again pumped through his veins. Scully was going
to die. They both were.
“Run, Scully,” he whispered. She shook her head.
“No, Mulder, I won’t leave you.”
“I’ll be fine. Go get backup.”
With one last look, Scully took off. At the same
moment, Mulder jumped Trixie, trying to grab the gun
from her hand. She no longer had her finger on the
trigger and he wanted to keep it that way.
The pain ricocheted through his whole left leg, and
the blood immediately started to trickle from the
wound in his left inner thigh. Green and yellow spots
appeared magically in front of his eyes, nearly
blinding his vision. His leg throbbed, pins and
needles shooting through him.
Through his own blurred tears, Mulder watched with
amazement as Dave rose from his position on the
ground. The man was supposed to be knocked out. He
walked to his mother and put his arms around her.
Then he kissed her cheek and Mulder knew. The kiss of
Judas. Dave had failed to take Scully’s life so he
had to settle for the only other “perfect” person in
his demented mind. His mother.
Mulder watched passively as Dave picked up the small
woman, who kicked and screamed for all she was worth.
He could see it in her eyes. She knew what would
happen to her. She calmed, the howling no longer
coming from her mouth. He threw her arms over the
sturdy branches of the cross and he grabbed the
She was perfect.
February 2, 10:23 AM
He was home, finally, after four days of
hospitalization. Four days of hard, hospital beds. Of
hospital JELLO that made him sick. Four days of pure
torture. At least Scully had been with him. After she
had been thoroughly checked out, she hadn’t left his
Mulder limped into her living room, with Scully
leading the way to turn on lights so he didn’t trip
“Good to be home?” she asked, taking his arm and
“Wonderful,” he replied. They sat on the couch, still
holding hands, “You know, Scully, I think that was
the only time I wasn’t happy to see you naked.”
Scully laughed, reminding him how much he loved that
laugh. “I’m just glad it’s over.”
Her face fell and they sat in pensive silence, Mulder
watching her think.
“Mulder,” she began, struggling with words, “Who
determines our final placement? Who decides whether
we go to heaven or hell? How often do you think they
“Not very often, Scully,” he responded, pulling her
into his arms. “And you can take your time realizing
that, I’m not counting the days. The only days I
count are the ones that tell me how long we’ve been
“Thanks, Mulder. Those are the only days that matter
“I know,” he said, stroking her hair lightly. Scully
shuddered a little. It was all too similar to what
David had done to her only days before. “How are you
“I’m fine, Mulder,” she replied, devoid of emotion.
After thinking a moment, she spoke again, “No, I’m
not fine, Mulder.” He pulled her body closer to his.
“I’m not fine. That whole experience… it scared me.
And it challenged me. And it hurt me, but I came out
of it alive. That’s what counts, I suppose. My
beliefs aren’t totally intact, but I think. . . I
think they’ll mend.”
“That’s good, Scully.”
“It is, Mulder.”