The Cactus Killer – Chapter 13

Let’s keep going shall we?


Chapter 13

 The farther down we went, the more concerned I became. Not long after walking in, we found a staircase that led further down and it seemed to go on forever. Elizabeth had a Zippo and I was currently holding it high so we could see where we were going. I heard no other sounds besides us and the musky scent was becoming worse.

“How many more steps do we have to go down? These heels are killing my feet.”

“On our next investigation, might I suggest some more appropriate attire?”

“How about on our next investigation, I just send you down with a radio and you can relay what you find?”

Thankfully the stairs ended not too much later so I didn’t have to endure anymore complaining. At the bottom landing we came to a door that was much more modern. Some dust had collected on the keypad, but this was certainly a new edition to the original church.

“Any ideas on how we get through this contraption?”

In her seemingly endless pockets, she pulled out a flash drive. I backed out of the way and let her go to work. Computers weren’t my thing and I am sure whatever she was doing would make no sense to me. I pulled out my cell phone and saw there was no reception this deep. I wasn’t surprised, but I should have sent Billy a text before coming down here.

“We are in.” She turned around and smiled brightly. The door cracked open and she gave it a push.

We walked in, but it was really dark. Using the lighter I was able to find a switch on the wall, so I flipped it. Bright lights filled the room and revealed everything.

“Just what was happening here?”

I had no idea myself, but I am pretty sure nothing humane was being conducted. Blood covered the walls and surgical instruments were laying everywhere. Cages and test tubes were also prevalent, a lot of them smashed open or broken. The worst part though was the human bones lying in random places. Someone had turned this basement into a butcher shop.

We split up and started snapping pictures. The smell covered everything and it was hard to pick out where it might be originating. I found copies of notes that I think were written in Latin. I collected everything I could and put in evidence bags.

“Vic, you might want to come over here.”

She was at the far end of this devil’s workshop, staring at the wall it looked like. I went over and she motioned to look at an engraving in the wall. It looked like a hammer some crudely chiseled in with some more Latin underneath it.

“Can you read what it says?”

“I am quite fluent in Latin actually. This is weird though, it says ‘The Hammer of Jehovah.’ Unfortunately, that means nothing to me.”

I snapped a picture of that as well. “Everything I have found is in Latin. I think you are going to have your hands full when we get back partner.”

She just rolled her eyes at me, and we finished out search. I collected up some of the instruments and hoped that Dr. Tello might be able to make some sense from this.

“I think we got enough here. Anything else jump out at your Elizabeth?”

“I have some suspicions, but I will hold off on them until I read the notes. I do not need to freak you out unless the situation warrants it.”

“I appreciate that, I think.” I gave one last look around and nothing new seemed to be here. “Well let’s head on back to fresh air. This place is giving me a headache.”

We were walking back to the security door when I heard it.


“Did you hear that?” It was the faintest whisper, but I knew I heard something.

“Hear what?” She turned and looked all over the room. “I think your mind is playing tricks on you.”

“Help me…”

“No, there is definitely someone here with us.” It was a male’s voice; weak but just loud enough that I could pick up on it. I followed it to the northeast corner of the room. There wasn’t anything back here, but I knew the sound had come from the area.

“What are you looking for Vic? I truly am at a loss here.”

“I hear someone, they need help and it is coming from back here. Maybe there is a secret door or something.”

We kept looking but even after a good ten minutes of searching, nothing came up. I was getting irritated and I punched the wall in frustration. My hand went through the plaster and smacked right into a piece of metal.

“Blasted that hurt!”

Elizabeth wasn’t concerned with my hurt hand. She immediately went over to the wall and gave it a few more good punches. By the time she was finished her knuckles were bleeding, but our hidden door was revealed.

“I am truly sorry I doubted you. Shall we open this up and see what is inside?”

“We should. If someone needs our help, we have to give it to them.”

I pulled on the handle and this door opened pretty easily. I wish I could say the scene that met us was as easy to handle, but it was far from it. The smell of decaying bodies poured out like a flood and within a second I was on my knees trying not to vomit. Elizabeth pushed me back into the main room and streaked in and came back out quicker than a flash of light. Slamming the door shut, the smell started to go away and I was able to become useful again. The poor man she dragged out of that room I doubt would be so lucky.

“Can you speak? Can you tell me what happened here?” Elizabeth was trying to get him to stay coherent, but he was in bad shape.

His skin was green and there were wounds all over his body. Whoever tried to patch him up did a terrible job as they were all infected. He looked almost like the monster that attacked us last night. He was close to a state of shock by now, death would be preferable.

“He…left us to…to do his work. Please…please kill…me. Make the sin…stop.”

I wondered what this man had been through to end up in such a state. He started to convulse and I knew nothing more was to be gained here. I pulled Roscoe out and gave the man his final wish. I felt sick to my stomach, but no one deserved to suffer in such a way.

“We can’t leave him here; the locals might want to take over the investigation. We need to bring him back to Full Moon so Dr. Tello can examine the body. I don’t even want to know what they did to these people.”

“What about the basement, what should we do here?”

“Tonight, I think it would be wise if Reno and Phil came back and destroyed everything. No one needs to know and it would save the community a lot of heartache. We have everything we need and most importantly all those dead souls in that room need some closure.”

She nodded and we gathered up all the evidence. I carried the body back up to the top and gently set him down against the wall. We devised a plan were I would take the body to the car while Elizabeth went in and kept the Pastor Browne busy. I did not want this on his conscious.

Within the half hour, we were back on the road, heading home. I made the calls with our discoveries to the Alphas and Dr. Tello. I was going to drop the body off with her and she was going to start tonight on the autopsy. Hopefully we would get some closure.

I think Argent knew just how much the whole scene and actions disturbed me and told me to take the rest of the afternoon off. It really had been a rough few days and the down time would be good. Having to put that man down like a wounded animal hurt, but I took heart in that his suffering was over.

“You did the right thing Vic. You honored his request and gave him peace. I can assure you, what you did saved him much pain.”

“I know, trust me I do. The thing is that this Tucker now has me having to do these things. He will truly regret the day he started this war.”

The rest of the car ride and subsequent evening was quiet. Elizabeth respected my wishes but still kept me company and we drank a few beers in silence. When the sun went down and Reno and Phil came down, she gave them the instructions. Both nodded and went on their way. It was about eleven o’clock when they got back, their mission a success. No one would ever know the horrors that happened under the church. 


You can find all my work, including “The Cactus Killer,” @

About Jeremy Croston

I'm a comic loving, soccer playing, devoted husband who has a writing addiction. I can be found at Orlando Solar Bear hockey games, at the local sports bar cheering on my teams from Philly (go Flyers!), and being led astray by my schnauzer, JJ. Check out my Amazon page at to see my collections. Feel free to friend me on Facebook too at (there is another one of me out there apparently). Outside of writing, I work in business development and am considered an expert in all things Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Thanks for stopping by and looking forward to talking to you soon!
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