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Broken Taillights

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It was just a standard police patrol. Officer Frank Jones was patrolling the area in which a young woman had recently gone missing when he noticed a 1990 Honda Civic missing its taillights. Jones noticed it was an old model. And because having broken taillights is an offense, he signaled the car to pull over.

Shortly after, the car pulled over alongside the road, and Jones promptly followed behind him. They were on a desolate road that led to the woods so Jones made sure to keep his hand on his gun as he approached the vehicle.

“What seems to be the problem, officer?” A charismatic young man asked. His attitude was certainly gracious, but there was a distinct forced politeness in his tone of voice that dispelled eeriness.

“License and registration please,” Jones demanded. His grip on his gun firmed.

“Oh, I was in such a hurry, I must have forgotten. I’ll quickly head back home to retrieve it. Don’t you worry, sir. By the way, my name is David,” David recited this line as if he had rehearsed it and repeated it many times.

“Do you know why I pulled you over?” Jones asked.

“If I knew, I’d tell you,” David said. A contempt yet frustrated smile was plastered across his face.

“Well, originally it was because you have broken taillights, but now I find that you don’t even have your license with you. Do you know how many laws you’re breaking, sir?” Jones asked.

“Two,” David replied. A smug expression now took over his face.

Jones spread his lips in to a thin line. “Funny guy,” Jones said with gritted teeth.

“I’m going to ask you to take your keys out of the ignition while I search your vehicle,” Jones said. He followed David’s hands with a flashlight as he took the keys out of the ignition as he had been directed to do so. That was when he noticed something off. His flashlight caught a glimpse of a dark crimson red liquid spot underneath the passenger seat.

“What is that?” Jones asked, pointing his flashlight towards the spot of blood. David didn't even bother to look at what Jones was referring to. It was as if he had known he would be asked that.

“That is blood. As I said before, I was in a hurry to get out of the house. I’m going on a camping trip, you see. So I accidentally cut my hand on a can opener as I was trying to get it into my bag,” David said.

Jones nodded as if he heard but didn't understand. “I’m going to need to search your trunk. I need you to exit your vehicle and enter mine.”

“That won’t be a problem, officer,” Jones said. His expression suddenly brightened and there was joy mixed with malice in his voice. Jones watched closely as David did as he had been instructed to do so. Once David was in the police vehicle, Jones began examining the trunk of the car.

At first glance, there was nothing suspicious about this scene. Jones had seen broken taillights before. He wasn't surprised. But there was something about David that gave Jones the chills. Not to mention the way in which the taillights were broken was very strange. It was as if someone had punched a hole through them. Jones placed his hand on the trunk latch and lifted.

What Jones saw next was utterly repulsive, disturbing, and nauseating. Jones almost didn't believe his eyes as he viewed the abhorrent sight. He could feel vomit rising up in his throat as he looked at the sight of a young woman, in her twenties, laid dead in the trunk of the car. Her blonde hair was matted, her face was wet as she had been crying and sweating, there were bruises and cuts all over her body, and both of her legs were broken—twisted at an unnatural angle. Her knuckles were bruised and cut from desperately punching at the taillights in an effort to escape. Needless to say, she was soaked in blood. Fresh blood. But the worst part was the smell. The combination of sweat, blood, and what Jones could only assume was dead flesh formed a sickening scent.

Jones vomited onto the road. He wiped the vomit off his face as he slowly rose up, trying to regain his composure. His breathing was ragged as he muttered to himself in confusion. In all his years of work, Jones had seen nothing so shocking.

Jones didn’t even have time to regain himself before David came up behind him and struck him over the head with a metal rod. Jones collapsed to the floor. The blow had left him unconscious, but David continued to repeatedly mercilessly strike him anyway. A pile of blood began to form underneath his body, a single tear trickled down his face, and his lips quivered as if he were trying to say something but couldn’t form the words. David knelt beside him and cocked his head to the side. He watched Jones intently.

“What are you trying to say, man?” David asked mockingly. He reached into Jones' pocket and pulled out a wallet. From inside it, he pulled out a small Polaroid photo of a family; Jones, a woman standing beside him with her arm draped over his shoulder, and three children, all with wide smiles on their faces as they posed for the camera.

“Is this your family?” David mocked. “Your wife is very pretty.”

Jones’ mouth twitched in attempt to speak as David placed the photo into his own pocket.

“Don’t tire yourself out,” Jones said. And with those words, he delivered one final deadly blow.

It was just a standard police patrol. Officer Jonathon Murphy was filling in for his absent coworker Frank Jones who was supposed to be patrolling the area in which a young woman had recently gone missing. That was when he noticed a 1990 Honda Civic missing its taillights. Murphy noticed it was an old model. And because having broken taillights is an offense, he signaled the car to pull over.

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