They stood there, frozen, their thobes billowing in the icy desert wind. The soft sands wet from the coagulating debris strewn around. A lumpy masticated, mangled mess lay before them. Trudging through the molassed vestiges, the echo of each step amplified in the quiescence. The dim light of the SUV was far too garish and laid bare the picture before them. It seemed misplaced in the otherwise tranquil surroundings. Here, this place, where so many sought refuge from the daily stresses of city life.
The residual fragments sent shivers down their spines, as they prepared to gather evidence. All the training they’d gone through in over ten countries could never have prepared them for the brutality of this. Here, in their own land, an act of such wickedness! What vile, nefarious creature could possibly have been reduced to such deviltry?!!! Is such aggressive evil inherent? Does that beastly instinct lie dormant in each of us until something triggers and it is unleashed?
A somewhat deranged phonecall – whispers trying to be heard over frantic screams in the background – led them here in the dead of the night. Three men, reduced to whimpering puppies, yelped out their end of the tale. When they got here, she was alive. Gasping for breath. Crying out for help. The thin black scarf still tightly wound around her neck. He rushed to her side. With what little strength she had, she reached for his face, almost as if to stroke his cheek but clawing it instead. He yanked her by the hair with one hand and grabbed a nearby rock with other, bludgeoning her until the blood curdled in her mouth. It wasn’t enough. She survived the first attempt. He had to be sure this time! The three of them still looked on in horror as he got back into the Land Cruiser, revving it up, and using this machine to mince her! Was this the mess he brought them here to clean up for a mere sixty thousand dollars? Get rid of the evidence. No it wasn’t enough. Not for this.
The sunrise cast an even bloodier tinge on the sand. The headlines read: 25 Year Old Held In Connection With Death of Aunt – Homicidal Maniac Murders for Money. The fluttering of the flags mimicked the sound of the blood-red against sand-white chequered ghutras in the wind. Breathing in the cool winter breeze, his mind raced back to the events of that blackened night. Drowning in the pool of her smouldering eyes, her pleas for mercy deafening the sounds of the rifles until there was dead dead silence.