“Jimin! Where are you?” Ji-seok called out. The house seemed empty but it was hard to tell with how hard it was raining. He shielded his eyes and looked into abandoned home once more.
“Are you sure she’s even here?" Ji-woong asked while trying to find another entrance.
“Yes I am sure of it. You saw how upset she got when she found out our parents sold this place. Besides do you have any other bright ideas?” Ji-seok asked with an annoyed look on his face. They’ve been trying to find their little sister for hours now, and so far they haven’t been successful. Tonight was supposed to be their last night in Orlando, and yet she never showed up to the dinner party. Since their parents are now worried sick, the brothers offered to go find her. Normally he wouldn't be this worried, but as the night dragged on, he started to have a sick feeling in his stomach. The feeling that something bad will happen any second now.
However they have had zero success in finding her, nor do they have any clues to where to look either. There were no clue's that could led to where she could have gone, and he had to admit it was a bit far-fetched to think she would even come here. Honestly he had no idea how she could have gotten here, because there were no cars near the house. It was way out of the main part of the city but he got desperate, and he figured it wouldn't hurt to at least check here to see if she was here. Ji-seok was beginning to worry something might have happened to her. He knew she was upset about them leaving but he didn’t think she would start acting like this again. She was doing so well until a few months ago.
“Maybe she just doesn’t want to see us? She is still pissed that we’re leaving,” Ji-Hwan pointed out.
The eldest brother Ji-seok sighed in defeat when he couldn’t find a way into their grandmother’s old home. The building was so old that the city condemned it when she passed away 6 months earlier, but he remembers finding his sister sneaking inside every so often to be left alone. If it was anyone but their sister, they wouldn’t be worried about it. She was the youngest but she is a 21 year girl in college, but Jimin is not like other girls her age, or any human being in fact. She always been sick since she her birth, but their grandmother’s death was the last straw that broke her. Since her death, Jimin has been in and out of the hospital, and they now have her on the strongest medication possible.
The problem is that she still manages to have moments like these, where she just disappears. For the past weeks Ji-seok noticed that she was starting to lose track of reality. So he was worried that she was about to do something stupid.
“Hey Ji-seok, this window is open,” Ji-hwan motioned towards one of the side windows to the house. His younger brother was already halfway in when he finally got to that side of the house. He climbed in after Ji-woong, and noticed a faint glow appearing in one of the rooms at the back of the one story home.
Slowly he started to walk towards the room, with his brothers closely behind him. His heart began to race because he is worried that maybe this wasn’t their sister, but he breathed out a sigh of relief when he saw her sitting alone with her back to the door.
“Jimin you had us worried sick,” He sighed while walking slowly towards her. That was when he noticed she was hiding something in her hand. “What is that?”
She slowly looked up at him while she stood up. By now the other two brothers entered the room and looked at their sister with a look of relief on their face. Soon relief changed to an unimaginable fear and panic as they watched her raise, what looked like a gun.
“Jimin please don’t do this. Please put the...” Ji-seok said before shots could be heard throughout the house. One, Two, and three until darkness engulfed each brother as they fell on the ground one after the other like dolls.
“Thank god you’re here Esmeralda!” The funeral director Edward Dorphine immediately flagged me down the second I came in for the day. “Henry is already down stairs with new clients and I need you both working to make sure they are ready by tomorrow.”
“They?” I raised my eyebrow.
“As in three men who have died unfortunately,” He said and it wasn’t hard to notice how he was trying his best to make it sound more pleasant then it probably was. “I know its short notice but, oh well, you’ll see when you get down stairs. I’ll be here with these wonderful officers in my office.”
I have rarely seen him act this way and I'm unsure of how to react to it. I could only assume it was due to the three cops who were standing impatiently at his door. They gave the typical glare I usually get from people before they followed Mr. Dorphine into his office.
However I am used to strange stares by now. My whole life revolves around people giving me judgmental looks because I choose to be different from the crowd. Not just because I want to be different, because I want to be myself. It is not exactly the popular thing to do in this day and age, let alone in Orlando. Though if you look hard enough you can see a lot of people like myself, wanting to go against the grain, and stand out from the many shades of grey.
This time around I am sure it was due to the rainbow hair, my expressive make up, and my cute panda book bag that I got from Epcot last weekend. The biggest stereotypical thing that people think is that I’m just someone who refuses to grow up, so I obviously don’t have a job. Except I do have a job, and even make money on the side selling my artwork. So in reality I probably make more money than the people who are being the most judgmental.
Except this felt different, it was a mixture of wondering if I was competent, and almost pity. Without trying to think too much about it I quickly went down the stairs to see my boss, Henry Benedict sitting at his desk.
“Well what do we have today Henry?” I said happily but he didn’t seem to be in the mood for joy today.
“Well our wonderful friends at the coroner’s office dropped off three boys, and” He paused for a moment, not moving from his desk. “How about you go look for yourself.” He mumbled before running some fingers through his greying hair.
With much hesitation I walked towards each of the drawers that were still open, to see three men around my age shot directly into their hearts, but that wasn’t what was disturbing. What made my skin crawl was the fact that each one had their limbs torn off and sewn back on. I lightly touched where the arm meets the shoulder on one of the boys to feel that they weren’t even sewn on properly. It was done with heavy duty string and glue, and neither of those products were made for medical use.
So the hope that maybe the coroner’s office did a shit job putting these men back together was quickly crushed with the reality that their attacker ripped them apart, and decided to put them back together again as if they were their personal rag dolls.
That was when I noticed that there was a slight color variation to the limbs. This could be caused by how long each limb has been effected by outside elements, but I have a feeling that isn't the case. Honestly I'm sure that they're not even their limbs.
“Who could do this?” I mumbled softly.
“From what I heard upstairs it was their sister but I’m not completely sure,” He said honestly. “I used to live next door to them when they were younger. They were sweat kids, and they didn’t deserve what happened to them.”
“Why do they think it’s the sister?”
“Well, Joe, you know the head coroner, said they found traces of her D.N.A on their foreheads. They’ve been dead for almost a week now, but what’s worse is they don’t think those limbs belong to them. They have the blood work but it’ll take a few days for them to be able to confirm who they belong too,” Henry got up from the desk, with cane in hand, and walked towards one of the drawers. “This one is the oldest, Ji-seok. You know that book I gave you last week to read? Well this is the author.”
The book is still in my book bag across the room, and it is honestly a beautiful written but disturbing book. I absolutely fell in love with it the moment I read the first page. It was sad to know that the book will be his last. “So did they catch the sister?”
“Yeah she wouldn’t let them go when the cops arrived, and that’s why they’re here. If it wasn’t for the Kim’s making a huge deal out of barring their boys, they would still be in the coroner’s office right now,” Henry said.
“So how long do we have?” I asked.
“Tomorrow morning. So we better get to work,” He said while walking towards a cabinet to get everything we need to start the embalming process. I washed my hands thoroughly and put on a pair of gloves from the washing station.
“Let’s start with Ji-seok,” Henry called over his shoulder.
Gently I transferred the body onto the table, and turned on the overhead light to begin the process. It is a tedious one, but the steps are not that difficult. The process is more of an art than anything else, but luckily I have been doing this long enough to know exactly what to do without having to ask. By the lamp was an overhead shower head, this is to wash away any grime, and any chemicals left over from the autopsy. The gentler you are, the less damage is done to the body. It helps to start massaging the body during this time. That way it’s better to move the body without damaging anything. The less damage, the happier the family.
Once that is complete the first slit is made, while Henry places two caps by Ji-seok’s head. The caps are to be put underneath each eyelid. This is done because the eyes will sink into the head, so to give the effect that the person is just sleeping; the caps are placed to give that effect. The rest of the face is set to give the impression Ji-seok died in peace, but I knew that wasn’t true. How could anyone die in peace when the last thing he saw was his sister betraying him? The women who is supposed to be family and always be there for him ends up being the one that ends his life before he had the chance to fully live his life. I tried my best to push away the sick feeling in my stomach and continue to work.
“Are we ready to drain the body?” Henry asked while grabbing a few tubes.
“Yes, I will start working on the others then,” I said, and then the process begins all over again with the other two. I was hoping that with each son it would be easier but by the time I got to the last one, who was only 23 according to his medical chart, I felt like breaking down and crying. It was heart breaking to know that their own sister would do this to them.
After an hour the last tube was placed, and the waiting process began. It took at least thirty minutes to an hour for the blood to drain. I knew there were still two other families waiting for their loved ones to be prepared but I couldn’t bring herself to open another drawer. I jumped when I felt a hand on my shoulder but calmed down when I saw it was just Henry.
“Why don’t you just relax while they process. I’ll work on the other two,” He patted my shoulder again before walking towards the back of our work space where the other two were waiting. I grabbed my bag and walked into my office, closing and locking the door behind me. One would think that after seeing so much death, it wouldn’t faze them anymore, except, that fact was not completely true. There are people who work around death who get just as upset on their first death to the last. It all depends on the person.
I am definitely that person, and I always try my hardest to not let emotions control me but today my strength has failed me. After calming down I tried my best to remember who those boys were. I was born, and raised in Orlando. I even lived in the same neighborhood as Henry growing up, so I had to of at least met them once. Granted Orlando is huge, but as they say, it’s a small world after all.
Quickly I went to my desk and decided to do some research to kill some time. There had to be some article about them in the paper by now. First I typed out Kim Ji-seok’s name in google, and got a few articles about him. There were plenty of articles, and even interviews in local newspapers about his recent success as an author. The middle brother was Ji-woong, and there were a few articles about him graduating early from high school, and going into medical school at a young age with top scores. That was when it clicked, and I realized when I met them.
For obvious reason they went to the same school as me, but I met them during an after school science group. We would do science projects and enter competitions for the school, and one year Ji-woong and Ji-seok was in the after school group with me. It was just my sophomore year that I was in the group so it was over a decade ago, and a distant memory at this point.
But the more I think about it, the more I remember them. Ji-woong was the most memorable because of how charming he was. He knew he was the youngest out of all the kids in the group but he didn’t let that faze him. He always had a smile on his face. Ji-seok was more of an authority figure so he was always the group leader when it came to projects, but he was very nice too.
“Holy shit,” I mumbled to myself. I couldn’t believe I had forgotten that I’ve actually been in these peoples house. It was only one afternoon, so trying to remember any details was a bit difficult, but memories of their sister’s was starting to become more prevalent. There were two sisters, one was the oldest out of all the children, and the other was the baby. The oldest sister, according to the articles, lives in California now. So they had to be speaking about Jimin.
She was very quiet from what I remember, and always hid behind her grandmother every time I entered the room. How could someone so timid do this? What happened in her life that pushed her to do such a thing?
While I was there I never got the chance to meet the younger brother, but according to the interviews with Ji-seok, he says he’s a businessman who is moving to South Korea when he gets married.
All these men had such promising futures and it ended all because of their sister. I tried my hardest to find more information about her but nothing was coming up, but I did find something about their parents. They were away when I came over that afternoon. Their parents owned several business’s in Orlando, and were well respected in the community, so they were probably off in meetings. However, now it seems that their father is running for mayor in the upcoming election that was being held this coming November.
“Hmm I wonder if that’s why they are rushing the funeral,” I mumbled.
I tried to find an article that detailed what happened to them. Nothing came up while searching their names, but I tried a local newspaper to see their cover story was about them. The article read:
Mass Murder in Orlando
At 5pm today the police received a gruesome phone call from a young female crying on the phone begging for the 911 operator to come save her dolls. When asked what happened to them, the girl simply stated “I killed them all. No one can have them now.” According to the dispatch office the line went dead but the operator was able to get an address to dispatch the police and the ambulance.
When the police arrived they were greeted by the girl in the front yard of a rundown home, holding on to what appeared to be a man dressed in what looked like traditional doll clothing. The police reported that when they tried pulling her away from him, she began to scream at them, which forced the police to physically pull her away and handcuff her. Once they apprehended the 911 caller, they were able to tell the man was dead but did not know how he was killed. Once they conducted a thorough search of the premises they found two other men who were dead inside the home, wearing similar clothing.
After several hours the police did make a statement:
"The female that called in, is now under investigation for the murder of her three brothers whose names we are not releasing per request of the family. They were found dismembered inside and outside the house. The brothers were identified by the mother who also confirmed the suspect is her daughter. We have confirmed the cause of death was from a gunshot wound to the heart, and blood lose from being dismembered. Once we have more news we will release a second statement but the family does wish to be left alone to grieve.”
A funeral has been confirmed for the brothers but it has not been released where it is being held, but the court date has been announced for this coming Monday. Please stay tune for further updates.
So the day after tomorrow is her court date, and the start of a long process of prosecution. The court date is only to set official dates of the trial, but they will set the bail amount until the trial date. You would think with Disney being nearby that Orlando would be the happiest place on the earth but unfortunately it’s more fucked up then people think.
I heard a soft knock on my door and could hear Henry calling me, “Hey the blood has been drained. It’s time to finish up.”
It wasn’t until midnight that we finally finished with the three brothers. It didn’t help that we had the cops breathing down our necks about it, but from the looks of it, they didn’t even want to be there. Their sad excuse for their obvious intrusion to our privacy that the head detective Margaret Tucker gave was "We are here to make sure you two do not try to do anything that would affect our investigation."
All we were doing was making sure they were ready for burial. That woman was way too uptight and probably an extreme conspiracy theorist but who am I to judge? I’m the girl who believes that the reason aliens haven’t bothered communicating to us lately is because they don’t want to associated with us. I can’t say I blame them to be honest. There are days where I don’t even want to be associated with the people of planet earth.
My apartment is located fairly close to Disney world, but if you couldn’t tell by my name, my family is pretty big fans of Disney. My older sister name is Aurora, and that was because when she was born she was quiet, and was very sleepy for a new born baby. I was named Esmeralda because every time someone did something I didn’t like, I was very out spoken about it. Granted that meant I was just a really whiny baby, but I like to think we’ve grown into our names. I do fight for the less fortunate just like Esmeralda and Aurora personality screams Disney princess, but not in an annoying diva sort of way.
Growing up we would got to Disney World every year, and as adults we go even more often than that. It’s a nice change of pace from what we see day in and day out. Aurora is a pathologist, so you could only imagine the cases that come across her desk, and as you know already, I’m a mortician. Almost the majority of my waking moments are spent with the dead, but I don’t mind.
It isn’t the best paying job in the world, and I had to fight to get the job I have now. Not every mortician is that fortunate sadly, but I’m very grateful for my job. Though some days I wonder if maybe there was a better job I could be doing. Something that didn’t make me hates the world sometimes.
Once I got home I was greeted by our two Corgi’s who were waiting for me at the front door. Aurora was visiting friends in California, so I was home alone. I don't mind it but it could get lonely after a while. With my crazy hours I don’t get to be social, but there was someone in my life. Well that’s actually lie, there is a man that I have a huge crush on. However I completely suck at being social and I have yet to tell him. His name is Gabriel, and he works in the coroner’s office as the coroner's assistant. I get to see him almost every day, and we always talk in extent about anything and everything. One day I’ll ask him on a date, but I doubt it’ll be any time soon.
My phone buzzed which made me jump. I looked down to see Henry texted me. He was just letting me know to come in early for the funeral, and dress nice. I actually want to attend the funeral since Henry and I both knew the family. I crawled into my bed slowly hoping that I’ll be able to fall fast asleep.
By the next morning, I already wanted to go back to bed. Just trying to get myself ready was a hassle, but I made sure to make myself presentable. I put my hair up in a bun, and toned down my makeup. I opted for the all black rock rebel Madame Moon dome purse. It wasn’t hard to put together a nice suit with a skirt ensemble to wear. I adjust the porcelain brooch one last time before leaving to go back to work.
The moment I arrived the place seemed so alive, which is strange considering the type of place it is. There were a lot of people waiting in the lobby, including even more policemen, and guards at the door. It took me forever to get into the door, and past the news reports yelling questions at me. I'm not used to this kind of attention, and realize quickly why I like the dead. The moment I was inside I rushed down the stairs quickly to my office, hoping that no one saw me. Today must have been my lucky day because I was able to sneak by without any more issues, but my little victory was shot the second I ran into someone.
Before I could fall I was immediately caught by someone far taller than me. I looked up to see Gabriel smiling at me. His hair was actually put up today, which was nice, because I can now have a better look into his eyes. I internally screamed to break myself from my little trance, and to stand up once more, “Oh sorry Gabriel. You’re here early.”
“Well I couldn’t miss the action today,” He said laughing before picking up my purse and handing it over.
“Thank you, and there are a lot of people alright. I can’t believe there are so many reports outside right now. How did anyone find out that the funeral was going to be here?” I asked hoping Gabriel knew more about what was going on than me. I walked towards my office, and Gabriel followed close behind.
“Yeah I saw that. Sadly someone spilled the beans on who’s here right now, and it’s been a circus ever since. I’ve already been interviewed several times today by that bitchy detective,” He sat down on the couch that was in my office and got comfortable.
“Oh don’t tell me she’s here again. I really didn’t want to see her today,” I mumbled while collapsing onto my desk chair.
“Well sadly she is definitely here, and she has been driving everyone crazy. The mayor personally asked her to find out who leaked the information, and to punish whoever it was. So they of course interviewed the coroner’s office, and she’s made her way here. From what I heard she’s drilling into Henry now,” He absent mindedly played with his hair, and I had to make myself stop staring. Stop judging me, you would act the same way if someone you really liked was in the room.
“How do you know the mayor asked her to do this?”
“Because she wouldn’t stop saying it! She literally said it every other fucking sentence,” He groaned in annoyance, and ran his hands across his face. He looked absolutely exhausted but then again we all looked that way.
“So why aren’t you running away? I mean I’m sure she’s gotten all her answers from you by now.”
“She hasn’t turned up anything. No one is talking, and she won’t let me leave until she finds out who did it. Apparently this is far more important than actually finding the sisters. Besides it's an excuse to hang out with you today, and not work. I know this is bullshit but let’s take the small break as a blessing.”
It took me a moment to pick up what he just said, I guess that was my fault for drooling over him slightly, instead of paying attention to what he was saying, “Wait they got the sister when she called into 911.” Wait did he just say that it was an excuse to hang out with me today? Esmeralda get yourself together, there are bigger fish to fry instead of over thinking things.
“Wow the social media queen hasn't checked her email at all today? Wow you must be really tired," He teased. "I sent you both the articles, but anyway, the sister escaped last night, and they can’t find her,” He said.
“Dude I’m not used to being up this early. You should be lucky that I’m even speaking right now. Besides do you think she’ll come here?” I quickly sat up; worried that we should be focusing on something far more important than who leaked the boy’s names, and instead, maybe just maybe, find the psychotic killer that is on the loose.
“There is a chance she might. She’s only asking questions, not answering them,” He said softly.
Before I could ask anything else, I heard someone knock on the door loudly. I looked up to see the door opening, without my permission, to reveal the detective.
“Can you leave us while I ask her questions?” She immediately asked of Gabriel, well it was more of a demand. I couldn’t believe the balls on this chick. Instead of properly introducing herself to me, she immediately comes into my office, running the show. I mean I felt bad for the chick but damn, that doesn’t mean all manners leave the door when things get intense. Then again I can’t say I would act any differently if I were in her shoes. I’m sure her boss tore her new one this morning, so now she's making our lives miserable.
Gabriel didn’t say a word but simply left the room. I immediately frowned and almost glared at the detective who now decided to tell me her name.
“My name is Margaret Tucker,” I already knew that. “I’m the head detective on this case.” Knew that too. “I wish to ask you some question?” You literally just said that the moment you walked into my office.
“Ask away?” I put on a fake smile, and started my performance. A performance that I was not prepared for, but shall do anyway, so that she can immediately get the hell out of my office. I was thankful that she sat across my desk, because this woman had to of bathed in perfume this morning.
“Where were you at 1 am this morning?”
“I was in my apartment; I got off from work at midnight. It takes me thirty minutes to get home, so after I arrived at home I made something eat. Then I went to bed,” I answered honestly. Granted playing candy crush on my phone isn’t considered sleeping, but again I said I went to bed, never mentioned being asleep.
“Can anyone confirm that?”
“No my sister is gone for the week.” Fuck, now she’s going to think I did something.
“Well don’t you think that sounds a bit suspicious?”
“Well not everyone has a family to come home too. Last time I checked that isn’t a crime,” I snapped. My father always told me to be respectful to police officers, but I was not in the mood this morning to be judged by TV show cop wannabe. Now don’t get upset with me, I’m sure she is amazing at her job. However, she literally is acting like a cop you see on TV but less cool. Now that I think about it, I completely forgot to record Criminal Minds last night. Shit.
I must have pushed some buttons because she played with an absent ring on her finger, and her lips were now pressed together tightly. Fuck, which meant she probably lost her family, and I might as well have punched her in the face. Well now I feel like an asshole.
“I wouldn’t know either. My family is gone too.” Oh yeah I definitely pissed her off because she was furiously writing in her notepad. I was actually starting to feel bad. Keyword: Starting.
“I’m sorry to hear that,” I said honestly. Even if she is a bitch, that still sucks.
“It’s okay, not your fault. What route do you use to go home?”
“I take the interstate, and I take the second exit, and my neighborhood is right there.”
“Oh I know where that is. Well then I’m sure we can look at video footage to confirm this. Did you contact anyone yesterday after the bodies arrived?”
“They have names.”
I must have taken her off guard because she looked up at me like I was crazy, “I’m sorry, what was that?”
“I said they have names. You don’t have to say it as if they’re some property, but to answer your question, I only spoke with four people yesterday,” I said. “I spoke with Gabriel, my sister, Henry, and the funeral director.” Never mind on the feeling bad thing. That was extremely short lived.
“Okay,” She didn’t even bother saying sorry for what she said, but then again most people didn’t think of it as an insult. “Well that is all the questions I have for now. The police officers will make sure you three are safe, and Gabriel will be staying here with you for now.”
“What’s with the questions anyway? And why are you making him stay here? Shouldn’t he be with the coroner, since that is his job?”
“If you have any questions please call my boss but honestly it’s because the mayor said it needed to happen. Due to the circumstances I ask that you cooperate.”
“And if I don’t?” I couldn’t help myself. I need to stop reading Deadpool comics. Ha! Like that will ever happen.
“Then you will be arrested for obstruction of justice,” She said before turning around quickly and leaving my office, and just like that, I went back to wanting to actually punching her in the face again. I rolled my eyes and tossed the card somewhere on my desk, and tried my best to think about what was happening right now. Except I didn’t have time to think, I had to go upstairs for the funeral. I quickly got up and went out to see Henry talking to Gabriel by the front door. I smiled at the both of them, but all of that ended when the lights turned off. I could hear a faint scream upstairs, and hell I almost fell too. I tried to pull out my phone and turn on the flash light but the lights were immediately turned on.
A collective scream could be heard once more, making Henry, Gabriel, and I run up the stairs to see everyone gathering around the front bathroom. The cops were telling everyone to get back, to allow us to get to the bathroom. If they were making way for us, that meant I probably didn’t want to see what was in that bathroom. Gabriel had to turn a way for a moment but stepped aside to allow me to see.
Inside was a man with his throat slit, x’s etched into his eyes, wearing the same black attire they explained in the article. This must be her new victim, but I guess she didn’t want him. She left a note, in blood, across the mirror:
Give back my dolls! They belong to me!