A soon as she heard it, that muffled sound of a cellphone ringing in the pocket of the dead girl at her feet, officer Sherali knew it was him.
The ringtone was always the same. A Fifth of Beethoven. Filling the dark forest where they found the bodies with the sound of cheap midi sequenced piano notes.
She knew the phone would be red, the disposable kind you can buy at convenience stores. It would be in the victim’s right front pocket, and there would be no fingerprints.
When she answered the phone, there would be no voice on the other end. Only the sickening sound of heavy breathing. She knew she would wait, let him have his few seconds of twisted glee. And then, she knew he’d say the same thing he always did, in that
same gritty, distorted voice.
She pressed the answer button, and waited.
“Get on with it,” she finally said.
“What… what does it smell like?” He rasped.
“Same as always. Sweat, blood, and shit.”
“Do you like it?”
“You know I don’t.”
“You will. You will like the next one.”