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The Artist Essay, Research Paper
The Lawrence family hails a cab in the heart of downtown Hangleton.
With little success, they move to a deserted street hoping for less human traffic. The only visible movement is a lone rat scurrying into a gutter.
Two lights appear on the horizon and Mr. Lawrence signals for a ride. The family of four lazily enters the cab after a late night at the theatre and they take off. Because of the long night and lengthy ride they doze off and leave their destination in the strange driver?s hands.
The family wakes up because of an abrupt stop and panic when they notice they are on a street, foreign to them.
?Why did we stop?? complains Mrs. Lawrence as she stretches from an awkward position.
The kids yawn and become aware of their situation. They are young but smart enough to know this isn?t their house and they should be there by now.
Mr. Lawrence grabs the door handle and is cut by a razor super glued to the inside of the handle. He grunts and checks the other with a pen.
His wife notices his distraught face and realizes he is hiding his bleeding hand from the children. She stifles a scream and wraps her scarf around the wound; he winces and starts immediately pounding on the wires that separate them from the mysterious driver.
The driver turns and exits the car as he gases them with a grenade through the wire cage and exits the vehicle with a blank stare.
Mr. Lawrence?s last energy is wasted on trying to break the window, without succession he slumps against the door. His last memory is the driver?s cold smile and deep, penetrating, dark stare.
FBI Detective Jed Vandelay exits his car and regards the crime scene at the foundry.
The two Lawrence boys are found locked in a chain link cage and the father was found with ropes bound around his wrists, his body viciously slashed by an unknown blade. The marks were not linked to any other type of known manufactured knife, which leads the police to believe the murderer has handcrafted his own weapons.
The mother was not found, only her clothes remained. Inside the coat pocket was a note made of cardboard and magazine clippings. It read: How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood.
So far, authorities have not found the meaning of this strange note but detective Vandelay feels a peculiar link between this murder and the ?Artist Case?.
The Artist Case was a series of six brutal murders thirteen years ago that involved a man that would torture people with primitive devices in order to get their account numbers then he would take their credit cards from their wallet and replace them with an old rhyme or saying. The rhymes and sayings were like childish riddles. They would give a hint to where he would strike next. When he was done he killed anyone that saw or was involved except for children. Then he would take one victim involved and pour hot metal over their body to make a statue. He would then paint the statue and sell it as art. That?s why the FBI sent him, because he was on the investigation team that chased the murderer. One of his team members shot the suspect seven times in the chest but he still got away. The case has remained open since.
That night at FBI headquarters, the whole team thought about the unexplainable note left by the killer, but Jed Vandelay already knew where he would strike. Jed walked to his car and sets off to his house.
Later that night, a lone man is breaking into the Blomminday City Museum of History. The Museum has been renovating and adding an expansion to it, leaving a large hole where the new section will be attached. The hole is a few hundred feet in the air but ten feet from the next building. The man shoots a rope to the top of the hole and slides down it with a pulley and harness. As he lands he immediately unhooks himself and silently runs toward the Medieval Torture exhibit.
The rest of the FBI still stumped at the office, decide to give up for the night. One by one they filter through the door and wave to each other as they enter their cars and head for the comfort of their own home. What they did not realize it that the Museum is being broken into by the same man that killed two people at the foundry last night.
As the man breaches the inside of the museum, he started lurking in the shadows so as not to be seen by the automated security system. Although he is not transparent, he moves quickly enough through the cameras vision to appear as though he were an illusion of the guard?s own mind. In order to acquire the torturing equipment, he utilizes his surgically implanted pupils that can expand past normal range to take in more light allowing obscure but reliable night vision. With the help of a small fogger he can observe the laser motion detector beams turned on after hours.
As he slinks his way through the maze of light beams, the exhibit becomes visible. A small grin appears on his face as he leaves the beams and approaches the display glass. He pulls out a glasscutter and attaches it to the glass; it grabs and gives a small noise as the laser slices through the glass in a circular shape. He grasps the handle and pulls out the disc of glass.
With a sigh of success, he places the glass on the floor, but before he goes for the goods, he uses mirrors stuck to the wall to reflect the beams allowing him to make multiple trips to the next building where he will stash the equipment till further use.
Once he completes placing the mirrors, he heads back towards the display and crawls through. When inside, he grabs various instruments and hauls them to the rope and pulley.
After completion, he regards the scene and starts to unload the equipment to the next building. One by one he pushes them across the rope, the Iron Maiden is last. When the Iron Maiden is half way to the next building, a voice behind him tells him to freeze.
With the sound of the chamber loading, the thief obeys, for now. The guard advances and shouts, ?Put your hands behind your head now!?
The thief grins and continues to raise his hands to his head. The guard is heard again, ?Get on your knees!?
Nervously, the guard raises his radio and calls for assistance. ?I?ve got a trespassing burglar on level 37.?
?Scared by one person, officer? Pitiful if you ask me.? Taunts the thief.
?Shut up and get on your knees!?
?I don?t think so.?
The thief rolls to the side, grabbing his handcrafted knife from its case at the same time. Two rounds are fired, blasting open a knights? armor and setting off the alarm. The thief dives behind an information desk and shuts the lights off; the guard now left in darkness holsters his gun and fumbles for his radio and speaks into it, ?Officer in trouble, need immediate assistance on level 37 of the Bloominday City Museum of History NOW! Two shots fired.?
?Like I said before, pitiful.? Whispers the thief. The guard turns toward the voice and then hears another behind him, ?You can surely do better than this, come on, just try and shoot me.?
A hand grabs the pistol and a shot is fired, the victim slumps on the floor and reaches for his flashlight. The light flickers and the guard stares at the bullet hole in his shoulder before seeing the thief lunge at him. The guard?s last vision is the intruder?s knife entering his throat.
As the thief leaves, he covers the body with a tarp and decapitates the carcass for future use. The close wailing of sirens becomes evidently louder.
He crosses the rope to the next building and climbs down the fire escape to his pickup truck. He plans to pick up his loot later in the hotel room he stored it in. The shrieking sounds of the sirens draw closer as he starts his truck to put his plan into action.
He drives directly towards the SWAT vehicles and tosses the severed head out of the window, hitting the windshield of the second passing SWAT vehicle.
The SWAT teams radio each other and swerve to follow the thief?s pickup. The chase ensues down a dirt road at the edge of town towards the abandoned sawmill where the thief conceals himself from the world, allowing himself the time to prepare for his final act.
As they enter the sawmill property, the thief exits his pickup and bolts for the inside of the main building.
The SWAT teams surround the building and begin to swarm the old sawmill armed with assorted weapons for different situations, such as tear gas and stun grenades.
They enter the mill from various entrances in teams and begin to search the mill for the suspect.
The first team becomes victim to heavy fire from a M249 Saw Gun operated by the thief/murderer. This takes place where they first take in the logs from the river.
The second team rushes to the rescue but the captain of the team freezes before entering the room, his wire-tight senses born of years of Special Forces training, tell him the enemy is near. He crouches and clicks off the safety of his automatic rifle, the team follows. He signals the team to stand ground and advances into the room, only footsteps are heard until a loud thump of someone landing on the ground.
It is the murderer, who now stands in front of the captain instead of hiding in the scaffolding. He approaches the captain and draws his handcrafted knife, which covers his whole hand and the back of his forearm for support. The curved blade glistens with the Museum guard?s still fresh blood.
The captain grunts and lunges first at the murderer with a dagger and swings, it misses barely and takes a piece of cloth from the murderers vest.
?That was my favorite vest.? Calls the thief, who also steals lives. His legs like twin coiled springs, ready to pounce, hurdle towards the captain. He swings and sends his knife through the artery in the captain?s leg, he stumbles and falls, grunting as he hits the ground and bleeds to death.
Knowing the silence means someone is dead; the second team enters the room only to see the captain carcass. A team member checks the pulse of the captain; falsely not letting himself believe the captain is dead.
Suddenly, shots are fired from above, killing two of the four remaining. The pair of SWAT members shoot above them into the darkness and run out of the room. Three shots hit the murderer above, one in the left wrist and two in the chest but he shows no pain on the outside. He retreats to the main power console in order to shut off all the lights. He then returns to hunting the remaining SWAT members.
?Rob,? whispers one of the two survivors. ?you got a flashlight?? Velcro is heard and light appears in the main cutting room. He faces it toward his team member but he is gone. ?Alex? Alex! Where the heck are you?? A snap is heard and then a voice,
?I?m over here, I think I found his body. Those shots must have hit him!? Rob points the flashlight to the voice and nothing is seen; he turns again and stares down the barrel of Alex?s rifle. ?You?re the last survivor, but you just got voted off the island.? The murderer pulls the trigger and returns to the power console and turns on all the lights again.
Jed Vandelay enters the sawmill after figuring out the exact place the murderer would strike next. What he does not know is that the murderer had planned all of this and he had been waiting for this moment a long time, Jed was the one that shot him thirteen years ago anyway.
The murderer sees Jed and releases a rope tied to the ceiling and sends a small log crashing into Jed and knocking him through the wall onto the soft soil outside.
Jed lies on the ground motionless until the murderer approaches him. He speaks in a slow voice, gasping between most of the words, ?Sean Vandelay, you always were a worthless brother, but I was not the one who shot you.?
He gasps again and again with no success, and then dies before the murderer Sean, who now shows his first tear in over 20 years. He picks up the body and heads towards the foundry, he leaves a note at the sawmill reading:
Little Boy Blue,
come blow your horn,
he sheep?s in the meadow,
the cow?s in the corn.
But where is the boy who looks after the sheep?
He?s under a haystack, fast asleep.
Will you wake him?
No, not I,
for if I do,
he?s sure to cry.
The FBI finds the note and the statue of Jed Vandelay right where the poem led them, except he was under a pile of sawdust. Another note was found there, it read: Sorry my brother, may you rest in peace and forgive me, for I shall stop these sinister crimes. Until I find out who really shot me, for they are partly responsible for your wrongful death. I promise they will be sorry.
Your brother: Sean Vandelay
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