Two Writers, One Line: “I walked into the house and that’s when I saw it”

by The Cowl Editor on October 10, 2019



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Two Writers, One Line: “I walked into the house and that’s when I saw it.”


Electrifying But Calm

by Grace O’Connor ’22

I walked into the house and that’s when I saw it
Her long, red dress sunk down to the floor
The shiny, chocolate brown hair of hers poured down her back
Her hands were pressed up against the window sill

I felt my heart pound in my eardrum with every step
Her head wouldn’t turn toward me as if I wasn’t there
A knife could cut through the silence that weighed in the air
I searched for words that seemed to fade into an abyss

Her head turned slowly and I stopped abruptly
Her blue eyes were electrifying but calm
Her face was emotionless but at ease
My mind went blank as if she was controlling my every thought

I never thought this moment would come
A moment filled with so much hope but confusion
I had so many questions but in her presence I was satisfied
Her presence seemed real but not possible

I did not realize until that moment how much I missed her
I reached out my hand but she didn’t move
My heart continually pounding
My mind racing through the darkness and doubt

She approached me slowly and put her hand on my face
She smiled slightly and I could see comfort in her eyes
She stepped back and examined me
I felt happy in her presence and wanted that joy to last

She turned and walked toward the door
I did not chase after her, I just let her keep walking
I knew that was it and did not feel sad
Seeing her once more was all I needed


Infinity Killer

By Elizabeth McGinn ’21

I walked into the house and that’s when I saw it. Dismembered limbs arranged neatly in the form of the infinity sign. This has to be impossible.

As I inched closer to inspect the body — or bodies — the stench of rotten flesh crawled up my nostrils. The limbs making the figure consisted of three arms, chopped off haphazardly at the shoulder so the joint of the arm protruded from the tissue, and a singular leg, foot, calf, thigh and all. Not again.

I stared at it, for who knows how long, until I felt a gentle nudge at my elbow.

“Callahan,” Ramirez, my partner said, “Do you think this could be a copycat?” His eyes darted between me and the bodies, unsure of where to rest their gaze.

After a pause, I hesitantly responded, “The public doesn’t know this level of detail. So if it is a copycat, it’s someone on the case.”

Ramirez nodded, exhaled sharply, and dejectedly asked, “I thought we were done with this crap.”

Me too.

“Detective Callahan,” the pushy reporter shoved her microphone in my face, “Will the Infinity Killer get the death penalty for his crimes?”

“No comment,” I said as I pushed away the microphone, and started to walk up the steps of the courthouse, away from the throng of reporters and curious bystanders.

We had been searching for this bastard for months. He never left any fingerprints or DNA, and the circumstantial evidence for most of our suspects was never enough for a warrant, let alone a charge and conviction.

We finally captured him through a single strand of hair left at one of the crime scenes. Luckily, our guy was a convicted sex offender in our system. Easy as pie to find him and arrest him. All that is left is to convict him.

Waiting for the formalities of the court to pass before I testify, I can’t help but look at him. Grimy hair and gaunt face, he looked like he spent months underground before emerging from his chrysalis. He never lifted his eyes to anyone, not to the judge or even his own attorney. He just sat there like a statue, blank and expressionless.

“Detective Callahan, please rise,” the judge ordered me to the stand. I swore in, and was ready to help get this psycho locked away forever.

“Detective Callahan, can you describe the first crime scene for me?” the prosecutor demanded.

I went over every minute detail of the case, the months long cat and mouse game of crime scenes, bodies, and that damn infinity sign. The limbs were so mutilated we couldn’t identify all of them.

Finally, the prosecutor asked, “Can you point to the person whose DNA was on the strand of hair found at the crime scene?”

I raised my arm, extended my fingers, and pointed to the culprit.

Languidly, he glanced up at me. A shiver sent shockwaves down my spine as he smirked, directly staring into my soul.

“Let’s get a list of officers and personnel on the case and start from there,” I instruct Ramirez.

Sensing a buzzing in my pocket, I grabbed my phone and answered, “Callahan.”

“Uh Detective, you’re gonna wanna come to May St. We got another crime scene,” the officer said. Crap.

“Are the bodies arranged in an infinity sign?” I exasperatedly asked.

“Uh, yup. Looks like two victims this time, I’ll send you the address.”


I crammed my phone back into my pocket. I stormed out to my car, slammed the door, and rested my head in my hands.

Reflecting back on that day in the courtroom, I was certain we had our man. The smirk, the disconnectedness, that’s what our killer was. And we locked him up for life. We knew we had the right guy.

Or did we?