Letters to Allison from herself — Finale

This is the finale. To read part 1, part 2, or part 3 follow the links and come back here.

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The smell of trash, excrement, and the decay of an American industry crept through the scarf wrapped around Allison’s mouth. She was close to losing whatever was in her stomach all over the abused concrete floor. She held it in to keep from showing weakness in front of the FBI agents.

“Alpha team, proceeding to factory floor sweep. Bravo and Charlie keep eyes on perimeter and do not let our suspect through if he flees,” Agent Karksten murmured into the microphone attached to his helmet.

The man she believed to be her father was known to the FBI as the maze killer. His modus operandi was to find abandoned factories across the United States and set up elaborate mazes with his victim in the middle. None of his victims ever made it out and at times when agents had found the sites they would get lost in the mazes trying to find the bodies of the victims despite the fact that they could smell them.

Allison had cracked his pattern after looking at maps of his crimes. When she plotted all of his crime over the past 16 years she found his pattern. She was able to see that he was just spelling her name out across the United States when plotting all of the crimes on a large enough map. Allison had broken down in the conference room full of agents halfway to spelling out her own name in red marker.

“Perimeter secure from Charlie,” She heard in her right ear from the helmet’s communication device.

“Secure from Bravo.”

The unmistakable smell of human decay flooded her nostrils causing Allison to stop and double over.

“I can fucking smell it Karksten. We are close.”

Allison spotted it a second before an agent said, “Thirty yards to the north east. We have what looks like a structure.”

“Alpha, spread out and find the exits,” Karksten said to the team. “Allison, stay where you are and move only when I tell you to.”

“Got it,” She whispered.

Allison watched as the team of FBI agents surrounded the dark blue structure. The evening sun filtered in through the broken skylights and was caught up in the floating dust. Allison put her hands over her eyes to see what was happening up near the maze.

“Stanhope and Rogers going into the entrance with attached rope.”

The FBI didn’t have a standard operating procedure for deducing how to infiltrate mazes. Allison had proposed the idea of using a trailing rope to establish previous paths taken so that agents could backtrack where they had been. When she was a girl she had used dental floss.

After a few quiet minutes she heard, “Found him. He’s alone. Bringing him out.”

Allison’s heart started beating faster and her blood started rushing to her face. This was the man who had made her walk through his mazes when she was a little girl. He caused her to have a split personality for the majority of her life. He was a murder to over fifty people.

Allison looked into his eyes and heard herself screaming, “You robbed me of my life you piece of shit.”

She was shocked that she was now so up close to him. She started to remember running at the man held between the two FBI agents and crashing into them before they could stop her. All of her rage and the pain of knowing what she witnessed when she was younger came all at once. She smashed his head into the grime covered floor screaming incoherently.

Allison was pulled off of him and she collapsed onto the floor in tears. She had blood on her hands and she felt it drops of it on her face. The man’s breath whistled through his shattered teeth and the agents dragged him away. She heard him whisper, “I’m sorry Allison.”

“You don’t get to apologize to me now and not ever,” She screamed. “I’m the reason they found you and I’ll make sure you go away for forever.”

Allison laid on the floor crying. It was over. She could be whole again she thought if that is what her brain decided was the right course of action. She could break complex codes and create unbreakable codes, but she couldn’t understand how she herself worked.

Karksten helped her to her feet and escorted her to the Suburban.

“Allison, you did so much good today. I hope you realize that,” He told her as he started the vehicle.

“I’m not sure what that even means Karksten.”

Allison looked out the window as the factory dwindled into the gloom of the night. She hoped she could be whole, but she was terrified that she would remember everything. Allison looked over at Karksten who was smiling. He caught a bad guy and that was enough for him. Maybe it could be enough for her too.

I never intended this to go on as long as it did and it took me awhile to figure out how to end it. I really wanted to end it actually as for me it is harder to finish a story than it is to start one. I didn’t know it would take this path towards the end, but it did and I’m not sure if I like it very much. I’m not sure if I liked the whole series very much, but it kind of just came out anyway. Maybe I’ll write something about why I didn’t like it and where I thought I went wrong later.

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Writer of The Polymerist newsletter. Talk to me about chemistry, polymers, plastics, sustainability, climate change, and the future of how we live.

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