The Lurking Murderer Beyond the Panorama April 27, 2021

The Lurking Murderer

Written by Srushti Palkar

Ever since witnessing her mother beautifully loop colorful tulips on white chiffon, a soft corner grew in Lia’s heart for the sewn and embroidered craft. But Lia’s time with her mama was only for a small duration, as she had passed away when Lia was only seven. It was then that her maternal aunt, Mrs. Aster Thompson decided to provide for her darling niece.

Years passed, Lia was now fitted to be a lady. Being a fine young woman made her want to practice ladylike habits and manners. Be it perfecting the technique for baking lavender scones and saffron buns or simply intriguing herself in leisure. But her heart always longed for needlecraft. So she thought taking up the same would help her pick up the threads of her mama’s legacy. Hence, her beloved aunt put her through Miss Elena Spencer who owned the ‘Sophistic Sew’ and Lia, similarly moved to Eden to fulfill her desire of becoming a seamstress.

Months wore on and by now the citrus notes and jars full of raspberry jam, cranberry coulis, and dried apricots faded in the blink of an eye. Closely autumn arrived and it ablaze the town with its orange, red and purple tints. Along with it, Lia was also proudly styled as a prodigy for having mastered the variety of stitches.

But after this time, news of the ‘Escapee of Eden’ started to flood the town. The Orchid Press, a local newspaper reported a notorious killer on loose who mostly hunted young girls. Terror scattered among the people of Eden due to the arising murder crime. Everyone with fright and panic refused to leave their house. This is why it was decided that classes at the Sophistic Sew would be dismissed. Miss Spencer likewise urged her students to practice at home and decided that it would be best for her to cruise at their place just to check their last assignment.

The whole of winter slipped by and Lia got her fingers to tease the thread and needle to prep her final piece of work.

Days later, in mid-afternoon Miss Spencer made an early visit to Lia’s house to check on her. Most importantly to know how she was doing amid the time of chaos. She did the very same with her other students and helped them wrap their heads out of the fear of the killer. The bell rang and Lia answered the door. Much to her surprise, she welcomed her teacher in. And after a brief talk, Lia went to the kitchen to prepare something for the two.

“Perhaps some tea?” asked Lia. “That would be lovely,” replied Miss Spencer.

“And how about some freshly baked muffins?” “Sure, why not. I would love some,” answered Miss Spencer.

Hours later, Miss Spencer popped the question about Lia and her handiwork. Lia politely asked Miss Spencer to follow her to the basement where her creation awaited. At first she was hesitant but anyhow went after her. While making her way towards the basement, a faint odor started to fill up the air. The stench howsoever grew, reeking up Miss Spencer and her nostrils. 

Regardless of that, Lia seemed unbothered about the putrid waft. She slowly twisted the doorknob and opened the door. The lights flickered and Miss Spencer’s stomach churned. The sight of the room did not make her believe her eyes as there were bodies – naked and piled up on each other.

However few faces looked fresh. They somehow matched to those Bakers twins, little Ruby and the elder daughter of the Edwards from the newspaper who were reported missing days ago. While most had their hair lacerated from the skull, others rested with ears cut, pulled teeth and gouged eyes over a prop gently stitched by Lia to bore a resemblance to her dead mama.

Srushti Palkar

Srushti Palkar is a 21 year-old, born and brought up in Mumbai, India. She is currently pursuing her undergraduate studies in English Literature. She has contributed to multiple anthologies, including The Great Indian Anthology Vol.I.

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