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Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Mystery · #2205970
Diorama photos have been sent to them. Each one has a hint about what is going to happen.

Diorama Hints

     A one-inch female figurine with a white top and a light blue skirt is placed next to the foot of the bed. As the hand is removed from it the head snaps back. Several drops of what appears to be blood seeps out of that almost severed head. Virginia Gardner steps back a little and looks at her latest diorama.

     Virginia smiles and bobs her head slightly. She reaches for a camera on a small couch table next to her. After picking it up, she checks it to be sure it’s loaded. Then she takes several pictures from different angles of that diorama in a small wood crate.

     “I think that the hint for this one will be, ‘Her name is Maggie Kennedy. But is Kennedy her maiden or her last name?’” Virginia starts walking down that side of the basement. She glances at the other seven dioramas as she goes past them.

     “How should I get these pictures to Detective Brandon and Harrison this time?” Virginia asks herself just before she goes into the darkroom, she has set up down there.


     Virginia suddenly wakes up and sits forward in her recliner as an alarm goes off and flashing red lights start appearing all over her living room. She first turns off the alarm and the flashing lights. Then Virginia turns on her television that now shows her latest diorama on it just as Detective Walter Brandon and Detective Amanda Harrison go into there.

     Amanda walks over to where Maggie’s body is at. She looks at Maggie. And then at the four pictures of her. “Maggie looks just like those in these pictures. Even her clothing is the same.”

     Walter joins Amanda after slowly glancing around there. He looks at the pictures again. “This bedroom appears to be the same one that is in the diorama too.”

     “What is going on?” Amanda asks as she starts checking out Maggie. “How is he doing this?”

     “Maggie is just like all the others. So far, we haven’t found anything that they have in common.” Walter starts checking out that bedroom more closely. “Why is he killing all of these women?”

     Virginia leans back in her recliner and smiles. “I love it. They still think that it’s a man who is doing all of these killings.”


     Another inch-long female figurine is placed face down under the back wheel on the passenger side of a large car. The car is then pushed down onto that figurine by a single finger. A cracking sound is heard as the rim of the tireless car hits the body beneath it.

     A thumb and a finger left the car off the figurine to show the back and head smashed in by the rim of that car. After stepping back a few feet from her latest diorama, Virginia takes a picture of that re-creation. Then she pushed the car back down on the body and takes another picture of it.

     “This time I think that the hit will be, ‘It may look like an accident. But it’s not.’”


     “It’s about time that you two got there.” Virginia leans forward in her recliner and with her elbows just above her knees and her hands cupping her face as she stares at Detective Brandon and Harrison.

     Virginia’s frown turns into a smile as she watches Walter and Amanda enter her latest life-size diorama. “It’s been almost nine hours since I sent you these pictures. What took you so long to get there?”

     Walter heads over to the controls to lift the car off Heather Olson while Amanda walks over to where Heather is at. Amanda looks away from it as the car is lifted off her. “I expected this to be bad. But I never thought it would be this bad.”

     “I’m a little bit surprised about it too,” response Walter after he joins Amanda. “But not that much. After all, our serial killer is using figurines in his dioramas.”

     Virginia leans back in her recliner with a big smile on her face. “If you think that isn’t a big surprise, wait until you get the next pictures that I send you.”


     After she puts on the police officer’s uniform on the latest figurine, Virginia places it in a room with a lot of desks and chairs. She sits Officer Sharon Keys in one of the chairs in the middle of that room with her head down in a sleeping position and her arms stretched out on both sides of her red leaking garroted neck.

     Once Sharon is in position, Virginia places two more figurines on either side of her looking down at where she is at. One is another female. The other one is a male. Both the new figurines look exactly like Detective Walter Brandon and Amanda Harrison.

     Virginia steps back and starts taking pictures of her latest diorama from several different angles. “I don’t think that I need to give them a hint about this killing. I’m sure they can figure it out on their own.”

     “These pictures hit close to home this time. I think that they need to be delivered in person. I’m just not sure how I can do that without being seen.”

     “Wait a minute,” Virginia suddenly smiled. “I don’t need to worry about being seen. After all, they still think that I am a male serial killer.”


     Virginia glances at her television as she passes it while continuing to pace around her living room. “What is taking them so long to find Sharon?”

     “I know that all police stations are a little bit different. But they aren’t that different. Besides, this isn’t really a police station anymore. So, where are they?”

     Once again, Virginia starts pacing. Every few seconds she glances at her television. After the seventh time of doing that she stops and goes to stand in front of it with a super big smile on her face. “They are both in the same position that I had them in when I took the pictures of my latest diorama.”

     “Where did he find this police station?” Amanda asks. “It hasn’t been used in years.”

     “That’s what you want to know,” replies Walter. “One of our own has just been killed, and the only thing that you can think about is where it happened.”

     Virginia sits down in her recliner and leans back in it. “I agree with Detective Walter Brandon. You shouldn’t be thinking about how I am killing all these females. But why I am doing it.”


     A well-dressed executive looking female figurine is placed behind a large expensive appearing desk. The whole large room looks like an executive works there. after placing the figurine in the chair behind that desk, Virginia puts a revolver next to her right hand that’s now resting on the desk like the other one.

     Smiling at the red substance seeping out of the hole in the middle of her forehead, Virginia flips her fingers at that head to spring it back a little. “It looks like she killed herself. Doesn’t it?”

     Virginia steps back to take only one picture of Tiffany Caudwell. Making sure that she gets the large window behind her that shows how high the building is where she is at. “This should help them find her faster. Too bad it will be too late for them again.”

     “I have already decided on what hint I’m going to give them for this diorama. It’s going to be, ‘This may look like a suicide. But it’s not one.’”


     “It didn’t take them too long to find this one.” Virginia leans forward in her recliner when detective Brandon and Harrison enter that office.

     Virginia sits back in her chair. “Maybe I made this one too easy to find.”

     Walter looks at the picture of Tiffany. Then he glances out the window behind her. “The surrounding skylines look exactly like this picture. How does he make his dioramas look like they do in so much detail?”

     Amanda isn’t looking out the window. She’s staring at Tiffany. “I don’t understand this killer. He makes it look like a suicide. But he tells us that it isn’t. Why is he doing that?”

     Virginia puts her hands behind her head as she reclines in her recliner. “Because I want to keep you confused until I tell you why I’m doing it this way. But don’t worry. There are only two more losers that I’m going to kill before I get to my final one.”


     The female figurine is already stooped over the island in the middle of her kitchen with a knife sticking into her back. Something red that appears to be blood is seeping out of the knife wound. A display of knives is above the body. But that knife just above Ellen Knight is missing. Virginia looks at the missing knife and Ellen again. Then she moves Ellen over just a little bit.

     After dripping some water around the feet of Ellen to make it look like she must have slipped and fallen, Virginia steps back to take several pictures of her latest diorama. “They say that accidents can happen anywhere in a house. And it’s usually in the bathroom. But sometimes it can’t be in the kitchen too. Especially if bumping into the island jars a knife above you.”

     “What should be the hint for this one? I know what it should be. The hint for this one is, ‘This is Ellen Knight. Guess what her last name really is.’”


     “I don’t understand why they haven’t shown up at Ellen’s house yet. They should have figured out it was Ellen Mitchell a long time ago.”

     Just then Walter steps into that living room with Amanda next to him. “We did.”

     Virginia sits up in her recliner and swivels around to face Walter and Amanda with a shocked look on her face. “How did you find me?”

     Amanda dangled old-fashion handcuffs in front of her. “It wasn’t easy. But once we figured out you were watching us with hidden cameras, it was a lot easier to do.”

     Walter takes over. “We have known about you for quite a while. At least we have for the past eight killings.”

     “You have known about me for that long? When did you discover the cameras? Was it the third or fourth killing?”

     “We noticed the one at the fourth killing,” answers Amanda. “After that, we started finding them at the rest of them. That’s why it took us so long to respond to some of your killings.”

     Walter takes the handcuffs from Amanda and walks toward Virginia. “Get up and put your hands behind your back. You are under arrest for twelve murders.”

     “It should have been fourteen. But you stopped me from killing the last two losers.” Virginia gets up and turns away from Walter and Amanda with her hands behind her back.

     “I still don’t understand why you did it,” replies Amanda. “We really thought that you were a guy until we found out it was you.”

     Walter puts the handcuffs on Virginia. “Not because you are a female too, but that you were killing females. Why have you been doing that.”

     “For the same reason, I have been sending you diorama photographs. It’s because of you, Detective Walter Brandon. I killed them because of you and your thirteen friends.”

     “What are you talking about?” Walter asks. “I have never seen you until just now.”

     Virginia looks at Walter with a very red face. “Yes, you have. Don’t you remember what you did to me in college? But because you were on the football team, all of you could do whatever they wanted to do.”

     “I have been killing all of the other women because they were stupid even to get involve with your friends sexually.” Virginia looks over at Amanda. “You were going to be the last woman that I killed.”

Word Count = 1,984

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