“This was supposed to be an open and shut case” he mutters. Twelve men and women equally staring at a thawed out woman pulled from the local frozen pond. Detective Kay rekindles the conversation with “Open and shut cases are fantasies for detectives who lack imagination and skill”. Terry glanced up at Detective Kay with a smirk. Detective Kay held a feminine exterior but the interior of a cold killer if pressed; the criminals she pursues often find themselves in fear. Terry responds “An open and shut case would mean we didn’t have a serial killer; sorry for being hopeful Detective.”. Kay replies “Hopeful is what probably got her where she is”, as she points to the body. “Were you hurt as a child or adult? Cause you’re so cold!” Terry snaps. Blake interrupts the unfriendly banter explaining “Look guys, regardless of anything much like the other victims, they were dead prior to being pushed under the lake”. Terry addresses Blake “How do you figure?”.
Blake proudly answers “When we drown it’s not because our bodies are inhaling water. The body is programmed to want to survive. So, when a person is drowning it’s because the body is trying to keep the water out and asphyxiates itself to protect it, it’s the lack of oxygen getting to the organs and brain. After 4 minutes without oxygen the human body is already brain dead. There’s not enough water in the lungs. You said she was found unrestrained beneath the ice but her hands have no marks against the ice. There’s blood pooling on the left side of her body; which only happens if the body was found in an awkward position instead of the usual position with their limbs hanging downwards. The icy waters preserved her body enough to see some bruising around her neck. And,” Terry interrupts Blake by talking to his team “is he always that arrogant when he explains things? I let him run on but I think we’re all tired”. Detective reassures Blake “Ignore Testerical Terry, but I get what you’re saying; do we have any branding marks on the body like an owl sitting on a crescent moon? And this etched beneath the branding (Νύξ), whatever that is supposed to mean.” Kay slides pictures of the symbol Νύξ to Blake. He observes the picture and signals for his colleague “Chloe, isn’t this Greek?”
Chloe’s ginger hair falls in front of her face as she pulls her eyeglasses up the bridge of her nose. Her petite frame walks through the crowd and proceeds to look at the photo. She shakes her head agreeing and pronounces the name “Neeeks”. Kay turns to Chloe “Neeks? What is that?” Chloe brushes her hair from her face with slumped shoulders “In English it is written out at N-Y-X but pronounced as Neeks, she’s the Goddess of Night, even Zeus feared her”. Terry interjects “So we got a mythology nut on the loose?”. Chloe answers “I am here for the forensics I’m not the detective”. Terry rolls his eyes while Kay smirks “At least it is a start, do you know anything about the owl and crescent moon?”. Chloe replies “Yeah, those are her symbols but there isn’t much information about her as I would like to have for you Detective but I am sure there’s a true expert in the facility or at a university”. Detective Kay agrees “Blake let us know what else you find, we have found 7 victims; lets hope there wont be anymore.” Terry quickly snaps “Hope is what probably got her where she is”. Kay rolls her head up to shoot her grey eyes hard at Terry smirking.
Kay and Terry get into their patrol car. Kay opens up “You enjoy the attention you get being an ass”, Terry shoots back “Better than being considered cold, even the color of your eyes must match your soul”. “Terry I have been doing this job for far too long to not see a pattern when I see it?.” “So tell me Kay, what pattern do you see here then?”. Kay sits in the drivers seat and lets herself sink. Her brain is racing and Terry knows better than to interrupt her when she is thinking deep like this. Kay coughs “Ritual?”, Terry is feeling slightly puzzled but open minded “You think this is a ritual sacrifice?”. “Think about it, we have a Greek Goddess that even Zeus feared, branded marks of her Nyx symbol into the bodies; what if our killer thinks they are paying homage to her.” “Kay you thinkin’ witch or satanism; what kind of thing are we talking?”. “You’re awfully quick to compare witches and satanism?”. “Kay you said ritual and paying homage, who else would kill for religion?”. “Terry, I know you’re young but you sound ignorant Every religion has a group of people who have killed for their religion. Read Book and if that’s too hard try an audio book; we need to get down to the station and lay our notes in front of us to figure this out.” Terry sits back and looks out the window as Kay prepares to drive down the road.
Kay is staring at a wall sized cork board with photos of Νύξ and Nyx written next to it. Some images of the branded symbols on each victim in the order they were found. Photos of Cummings Pond and facts of Cummings Pond on its depth. Terry walks in with papers and proudly pushes them in front of Kay “I can. Read. It seems Cummings Pond is only about 10 feet deep but before in the past it was much deeper.” Kay performs a slow clap as she whips her short bangs at Terry and he is not amused by her. “Great Terr! Now why are they dumping the bodies in Cummings Pond every 3 days? The pond isn’t that deep and nothing else has floated to the surface beneath the ice; at least not yet.”. Terry sits down to continue his proud research “Nyx is the Greek Goddess of darkness. She is feared by Zeus because she is older and more powerful. I think she is the only person that Zeus feared. Her father is Chaos...” He places a pin next to Nyx’s name on the board with Chaos’ name on it. “…And She chained Kronos to a cave, She has 18 children in total. Had an affair with Dionysus the God of drink. She has a statue in Eleusis. Wears dark dresses with stars on it.” Kay is feeling impressed with her partner for the first time and asks “What of the 18 children?”.
Terry is aware of his partner and is ready to put on an educational show “There’s Aether whose air and light, Charon for wealth, Styx although rumored to also be the daughter of some of other names I can’t pronounce but means river of the underworld, Epiphron for prudence, Apate for deceit, Keris is the fate of death, Momos is blame or mockery, Moros is doom, Oizys is misery, Oneiroi is for dreams, Philotes for pleasure of love and friendship something I think you are in capable of Detective…” Kay rolls her eyes but is enjoying the show Terry is putting on and motions him to continue “…Thanatos is death, Eris is strife, Geras is for old age, Hypnos is who we need to sleep at night, Nemesis is retribution, Hesperides is for war and last but not least Lyssa for madness.”
Kay sarcastically “And here I thought you were only good at getting me coffee; speaking of which where’s my cup? You obviously were rehearsing while it got cold.” Terry passes Kay her cold coffee. “Terry we have 7 victims with Nyx written on it. Our victims are killed elsewhere with bruises on their neck, placed into the pond which could be darkness but Nyx has 18 kids; do you think this killer would produce 11 more bodies?” Terry’s smooth face follows a grim glare “Kay I hope not.” Kay sips on her coffee “God this is cold, what did you do look up on how to pronounce the names and rehearse it at the shop, good Lord Terry.” Kay’s joke breaks the tension but both detectives know they must find this killer fast.
Kay walks up to the cork board staring at the first victim Aura a 23 year old Greek brunette out on the town and was at the wrong place and time. Kay turns to Terry “She was leaving work to head to meet some friends. New Years just passed. Her friends said she was excited about an opportunity for some internship that would boost her job options out here.” Terry begins typing away at his laptop while Kay is speaking; she glances over but begins to roll her eyes and hopes Terry is listening. Kay stops in front of the section for victim number 2, Adeola, an African-American 25 year old who went missing a day after Aura. Adeola was found because local teenagers were crossing the lake when they were not supposed to and spotted her body floating underneath. Kay slowly stands before Anahita, a young Persian American women who just turned 19 years old. Her scarf was found tightly around her neck beneath the ice as well. She had a frozen look of someone she trusted had betrayed her. Victim number 4 Prudence, a 20 year old blonde found a few days after Anahita. Victim number 5 Roxie, 22 year old brunette who was the towns troublemaker, but did not deserve to die like that. Victim number 6 Lily, black haired and pale skinned 24 year old found wearing her nightgown beneath the frozen pond. Kay stops in front of the current victim number 7 Kaseko, another town beauty with dark skin and deep brown eyes whose life ended at 22 years old.
Kay begins to pace back and forth before the victims one by one; her pacing picks up in the small room and Terry looks up at Kay. She turns to Terry to ask “What did you say about one of the kids being Prudence?” Terry looks up “Yeah, it was umm…” he begins to shuffle amongst his notes “…yeah here it is Epiphron means prudence why?” Kay stops in front of Victim number 4 “Our fourth victim’s name is Prudence, can you look up the meaning of the other victims names; I am looking forward to being wrong but let’s see.” Terry begins to look up Aura, Anahita, Adeola, Roxie, Lily and Kaseko; he holds his stomach from mental sickness. “Kay Aura is air, Anahita is a river Goddess, Adeola is an African name for crown of wealth; Kay if this connection is solid then we’re going to see 11 more bodies.” Kay jumps on her laptop and begins typing and yells to Terry “What are the other names and their meanings again?”. Terry begins to yell out “Moros, M-o-r-o-s for doom, Oizys, O-i-z-y-s is misery, Oneiroi, O-n-e-i-r-o-i for dreams, Philotes, P-h-i-l-o-t-e-s for love and friendship, Thanatos T-h-a-n-a-t-o-s is death, Eris is you can spell that one right?…” Kay yells “Yeah just keep going!” Terry continues “Geras, G-e-r-a-s for old age, Hypnos for sleep, Nemesis for retribution, Hesperides, H-e-s-p-e-r-i-d-e-s for war and Lyssa for madness., what are you typing?” Kay does not look up to respond “To our sergeant the hunch we have so we can try looking into town for women who may match this name; maybe get it to the press. We got 11 more people that could show up and we need the towns help”.
The television plays loudly from the living room “We have Sergeant Maya Gingers with announcement for the latest in the bodies found in the local pond for the last few weeks.” Marie shuffles from the bathroom in her towel with a bottle of Gin in one hand and towel drying her hair with the other hand. She leans her body against the wall carefully listening to the news. On the television you can see Detective Kay and Terry standing behind Sergeant Gingers confidently announcing “It seems we have a serial killer in our town. This serial killer seems to be performing a ritual of some kind. We are unsure of how people they need for the ritual at the moment but we have identified the victims and their notified their families. Currently, we have 7 victims and we want to warn the public about being alone when leaving work, school, church. We believe the killer has a thing for names and are looking for young women whose names or nicknames can relate to words like doom, misery, dreams, love, death, old age, sleep, retribution, war and madness. I know this sounds like a lot of information; but if you or a loved one thinks they are in danger DO. NOT. HESITATE to reach out to our department. We have no further comments to add, please stay safe out there!”. Marie watches Sergeant Gingers, Kay and Terry walk off the screen leaving reporters barking for more answers they obviously do not have. Marie wraps her hair in her towel and finishes her bottle of Gin. Barely able to stand she stumbles to the kitchen for more alcohol.
The house is quiet outside of the news playing in the background and Marie hears what sounds like furniture being moved from her bedroom. The hair on her neck stand up but she is too drunk to focus properly. She stands up as much as she can and picks up a full bottle and walks towards the bedroom. The bedroom lights were on when she last left her bedroom for the shower. She enters the doorway but her drunk eyes are not adjusting well to the light. She slides her hand across the wall for her light switch and doesn’t see anything else out of place. Marie sighs in relief and mutters to herself “Marie, what the hell are you doing spooking yourself out.” She slumps onto the bed and allows herself to fall into depression about where she is in life now. She plugs her headphones in and tries to sip while laying down; the way kids do when proving they can drink laying down. After 20 minutes of her drowning in her misery, the bedroom closet begins to open slowly as Marie lays asleep on the bed. A white cable tie is placed carefully beneath her feet and pulled slowly. Her hands are carefully tied with another white cable tie. A pair of black leather gloves caresses Marie’s olive tanned skin until they turn Marie’s face over to open her mouth. Marie’s mouth holds open and the gloves begin to pour the rest of the Gin down her mouth in one continuous stream. Marie begins to choke and realizes even in her drunk state she can not move. A soft androgynous voice whispers “My bitter woman lost in her own doom.” Marie attempts to scream but a pinch in her skin tells her there is a needle in her arm and she begins to fade away to sleep.
Marie wakes up to a dark room on the floor. A faint light glimmers in the distance. Marie is startled by the creaking of a wooden door. She hears light solid footsteps walking towards without rushing and she begins to try to crawl away, the same soft androgynous voice whispers “Awake?”. Marie begins to cry and beg for her life but the unseeable figure is circling her in the darkness. Marie suddenly feels a pair of leather gloves on her face and hears “You will be number 8. It is important to know you will be part of a great journey to bring eternal darkness into this town that will eventually crumble the world.” Marie begins crying “Please I won’t tell anyone”. The voice responds “Of course you won’t, you won’t be able to. Have you heard of Nyx?” Marie continues to cry until the gloves grab hair roughly and asks again “I asked you a question. Marie is beginning to mentally disassociate from this reality and shakes her head no. “Nyx is someone that even Zeus feared. She is powerful and much older than anyone knows.” The pair of black leather gloves gently wrap around her neck and squeeze; Marie is gasping for air but then the gloves let go. They are playing with their victim. Marie hears the footsteps walk away to another room. In the darkness, Marie is left in her fear until she feels a compelling heat near her face. Before she could react she feels iron pressed against chest and removed; Marie releases a howling plea for help. They stand above Marie letting the flesh burn and carefully watching her in agony. They walk away to put the iron back into the embers of the other room.
They return with ice to place on her wound. Marie fills up with confusion and asks “Why are you doing this?”. The androgynous voice replies “To preserve the mark”. Marie continues to let tears fall down her face and she’s left to let the wound cool for what feels like forever. The ice is removed and the wound is checked. Marie hears a whispered “Beautiful’. Marie begins to think of all the depressing thoughts she held before and some how life did not see that bad until now. Marie hears the voice chanting while placing oils on her forehead and stomach; but she can not make out what they are drawing. As the chanting continues and sounds as if it stopped, and then the pressing of the gloves around her throat again do not seem to stop.
It has been 4 weeks and 11 more bodies were found. Detective Kay and Terry are drinking in their office feeling like they have failed the town. They stare at the Marie’s body photos on the cork board, Mary’s 23 year old body, a young teenager named Cassandra, a 20 year old Japanese woman named Ai, Morrigan, Dolores, Emily, Kelly, Ash, Blaze and a surprising 90 year old woman Priscilla. Sergeant Gingers kick the door in “Quit feeling sorry for yourself, it seems the ‘ritual’ may be finished, at least we don’t have to worry about new bodies for now. We can focus on catching the guy; any more leads?” Detective Kay shakes her head in her grief “Sergeant I thought we were close and whose to say that the ritual is done?”
Sergeant Gingers looks at Terry who appears as if they are sleeping; and she kicks the chair beneath him full force. Terry hits the floor. Sergeant leans over his body “Don’t ever let me catch you sleeping on the job again, maybe that’s why we didn’t catch him. Get back to work”. Terry shuffles off the floor angry but not daring to show it on his face. Kay looks over at Terry and does not argue with her Sergeant whose leaving the room. “Terry, Sarge is right.” Kay says. “Kay I became a cop so I can prevent these kinds of things from happening, I go to church how am I supposed to pray knowing I failed”. Kay looks at him carefully and says “With your head bowed down and hands together like everyone else.”.
Kay makes her way towards the window and pours her made-up Irish coffee with dark roast and whiskey into her pail. Terry tells her “You know they hate that.” Kay shrugs her shoulder but stops to look up at the sky; she turns to her partner “Terr, it looks like there’s a storm coming, I thought today was going to be sunny.” Terry replies while looking at his cell phone “It is, what are you looking at?” Terry gets up to stand next to Kay in the window. In the distance, there are the blackest clouds Kay and Terry have ever seen in their lives swirling.
The clouds begin to swirl above the lake. Kay gets a strong feeling and grabs her coat; Terry follows behind her. They drive closer to the swirling clouds and arrive to a pond no longer frozen regardless of the snow around them. The pond looks black but Kay cannot tell if it is the reflection of the clouds off the water or if the water is black itself. Lightening begins to strike the pond repeatedly and the pond begins to swirl in the opposite directions. Terry nudges Kay to look at the water “What the hell is going on?”.
One Black Lightening strikes the pond and creates a strong gust of wind connecting the clouds and the pond. Kay and Terry begin to hide behind the trunk of the nearest tree; and they notice a figure emerges from the black lightening. The figure begins to stand hovering above the water. Across the pond Terry spots a figure walking away in a black hoodie. Terry turns to Kay and whispers “It seems whatever they wanted to do the sacrifices for; it’s real but what is coming from this?” Fear dresses the eyes of Kay and she replies “I don’t know but I know it’s our fault for not stopping it.” Terry grabs Kay by her jacket, “Maybe it’s not too late”. Kay and Terry begin to fight the winds and make their way to the car without looking back. As the clouds and water explode and darkness begins to cover the land. Kay says to Terry “I understand what Zeus feared”.