Hello again, good friends! Here I am with another story! Chosen by fellow Psycho-s via vote on my other story "The [Wrongly] Accused". This idea popped into my head one night. I've never seen anything quite like it, so I'm excited!
Tell me what you think, please! Drop me a review! Thanks!
BTDUBBS, the flashback is in 3rd person, but the rest is in Shawn's POV.
Disclaimer: I do not own Psych. I do not own Twitter. I do not own James Roday. I do own a goldfish, but that's neither here nor there.
"Come on, Shawn."
"Dad! How long do we have to do this? I just wanna watch TV like a normal kid." A young Shawn Spencer whined.
"We'll do it until you get it right, kiddo. Just focus. This really isn't that hard." Henry Spencer insisted. "Now why did he do it?"
"Which one? The one standing next to Scooby or the one sitting on the ground?" Shawn wondered, pointing at the two different cartoon villains on the screen.
"The one sitting on the ground with the mask half-off." Henry specified.
"Hmm. I'd say that it's half-on."
"Shawn…" Henry warned.
"Fine." Shawn sat with his face scrunched up in concentration, analyzing the scene in front of him. "I dunno. He wanted money?" He guessed.
"Come on, kid! You can do better than that." The cop urged.
"You know I'm ten, right?"
"You won't always be. One day you'll be a cop yourself and you'll need these skills." Henry insisted.
"And how is figuring out the motivation behind the crimes committed on 'Scooby-Doo' supposed to give me these skills?" Shawn questioned doubtfully.
"These are just the minor leagues, kid. You've got to start somewhere." Henry explained.
The father and son sat for another hour watching the cartoon. Shawn continued to try and guess the criminal's motivation, but failed each time.
"I just don't get it!" An exasperated Shawn cried. "I'm just a kid. I'm not a criminal. How am I supposed to figure out why someone would want to scare tourists from an island? How do I know the emotions behind it if I can't feel them?"
"Well, you just said it. That right there is your problem." Henry answered vaguely.
"What do you mean?"
"You can feel the emotions that these guys are feeling." Henry explained.
"Aren't you listening, Dad? I can't. I can't relate to them at all!" Shawn said in frustration.
Henry smiled at his son. "But you can. Look, emotions are like…colors."
"How can—" Shawn interrupted.
"Let me finish. Just think about it, okay? What do all colors, no matter what they are, have in common?" Henry questioned his son.
Shawn thought for a moment. "Well, they all come from the same base colors…"
"Exactly. No matter what color you are looking at, it came from some combination of blue, yellow and red. Maybe it didn't use all three, but at least one."
"So, what—" Shawn interrupted again.
"Let me finish, Shawn. Emotions are the same way. All emotions come from the same base emotions. We're all born with these base emotions. People just have certain emotions they prefer, and they stay away from the others. All you, as a detective, have to do to relate to your perp is figure out the right mix of emotions to match his. "
Shawn sat contemplating this for a moment.
"So I can find a way to relate to a serial killer?" He wondered.
"Yes, you could if you found the right mixture of hate and anger and whatever else drove him to commit the crimes. Once you can relate to your perp you can do anything." Henry assured his son. "Now, back to this. Why did Jimmy dress up as the mutant crocodile?"
That's sad, isn't it? Seriously. There I was, a young, vibrant little ten-year-old trying to watch some Saturday cartoons in peace. But did I get that? Nope. Good ole' Henry never disappoints to find some lesson in everything.
And on top of that he was dead wrong. Well, he was completely right, but completely wrong at the same time.
Wow. I see how that could be confusing. I'll elaborate.
Emotions are like colors. He said that perfectly. If you set your mind to it you can be empathetic to anyone. Plus, half of any case is figuring out the bad guy's motive, ask any cop. Once you've got that, you've got your case in the bag. So he was right with the analogy or whatever that would be, and he's right about it being important.
Now here's where he's wrong: This doesn't apply to everyone. Sure, it works for the average guy like you (hopefully) and me. The psychos are where it gets fuzzy. There are people who are literally born without feeling. Like Norman Bates. Don't blame them, it's not their fault, but they seriously can't feel things like you (hopefully) and me.
Now the question is, how do we figure them out?
There are some people who just can't be read. Why? Because there aren't any words on the pages. They kill for no reason. They kill because they can. I hate those people. I hate those cases. True, I've only had one, but still. I hate those cases.
Look, half of my method is analyzing potential suspects. I know it may seem like I'm not doing anything most of the time, but a lot is going on up here during cases. Trust me, you don't want to know what, but there is definitely stuff going on. Having to rely on physical evidence alone is kind of like having my hand cut off. Not my right hand, I mean, I'm still functional, but my left hand at least. Maybe a few fingers. And I suck at it. I'm awful (relatively speaking) at solving cases without being able to analyze the suspect's emotions and motives, as you will learn in due time.
I'll bet you're wondering about this case now, huh? Yeah, I thought so. Well, it all started with the worst invention of all time: Twitter. I mean really. Is it necessary for us to know everything going on with everyone all the time? That's beside the point, though.
So I get this call one day.
"Spencer!" Lassie barked (hehe) through the phone. "Get down here ASAP. There's been another murder."
He hung up. Didn't even wait for a "Yeah, sure home dog"(hehe again) or a "Why yes, my dear Lassiter. I'll be there in a jiff. Pineapple smoothies are on me".
Shaking off the painful dismissal I turned to Gus. "Lassie wants us to get 'down there'. You know what? He didn't even say where 'there' is. For all we know he wants us to go to Brazil or Antarctica or the Jerked Chicken place or—"
"I'm sure he meant the station, Shawn." Gus so rudely interrupted me.
"How do you know that, Gus? Are you the psychic now?" I wondered.
"Nope. And neither are you." Fair. "Is that all he said?"
"Apparently there's been another murder. I'm guessing he thinks that this one is related to other recent murders. Either that or he just enjoys randomly sticking the word 'another' in the middle of his sentences."
Gus just shook his head in the same way he did when I said that I think Star Wars is better than Star Trek (he's a totally trekkie). But really, can you disagree? Star Wars has light sabers. You can't beat that.
We went out to our soon-to-be iconic Psych-mobile and drove down to the station. When we got there the place was in a frenzy.
"We've got a serial killer on our hands," The chief announced as soon as we stepped through the doors. What ever happened to 'hello'? I guess it went out of style around the same time as leg warmers.
"Are you serial?" I thought it was funny…
"This is no time for jokes, Mr. Spencer," The chief did that freaky thing where it's like she's shooting lasers with her eyes.
"Would you mind telling me when that time commences? Until then Gus and I will head out to Del Taco and grab a burrito. Never fear if it's going to be long enough. Gus has the digestive system of a baby squirrel. He eats very slowly." I joked. More daggers.
The chief spun on her heel and headed back to her office, making it clear that the two of us were to follow. Gus elbowed me in the ribs.
"Hey!" I cried. It hurt.
He just shook his head again and followed the chief.
When we stepped into Chief Vick's office, I could tell that whatever was going on was huge. Just the way that she had a mountain of paperwork on her desk told me that. Karen likes to be clean, but sometimes she's just too overwhelmed and things pile up.
I could see a photo from the crime scene peeking out from under a stack of papers. At least I hoped it was from this crime scene. The victim was a young guy, probably twenty-five or so. He had dark brown hair and empty, green eyes that were staring, wide open, at the ground. The man was hanging by his neck from a rope tied to his ceiling fan. Oddly enough, he also had a bullet hole straight through his heart
As I analyzed the photo Lassie and Jules walked in. Show time.
I grabbed my throat with both hands and made a loud, choking sound.
"Shawn?" Jules's voice sounded more curious than worried. I couldn't see Lassie, but I'm sure he was rolling his eyes or making some sort of condescending, Principal Vernon-esque face.
"Jules," I gasped, keeping my voice strained, "He's killing me."
I unfocused my eyes and then jerked my left shoulder backwards, as if being hit by an invisible force. I let my legs go weak and collapsed onto the floor of the office. I kept my eyes wide open, but stayed as still as I possibly could.
There was a fantastic moment of silence.
"What the hell are you doing, Spencer?" Of course Lassie would kill it…
I lifted my head off of the ground and looked at him. "Do you seriously have to ask that question? I mean really? You're not used to this yet?" I sprang up. "Wow, Lassie. That's just sad." He scowled. "I'm sensing that our vic was shot through the heart and then hanged by his neck," I said with my fingers to my temple.
"Wow, that's ama—" Juliet said in awe, but I wasn't finished yet.
"Male, mid-twenties, dark brown hair and eyes the color of a hardy water lily at night," I finished.
"Shawn, hardy water lilies bloom during the day, not the night," Gus corrected me.
"I've heard it both ways." I haven't.
"You're right, Shawn," Jules mused, looking at the case file. "Well, not about the lilies, Gus is right about that, but everything else."
Lassiter rolled his eyes. "Lucky guess."
I smiled. "How long are you going to keep saying that, Lassie? I mean, I've heard of beginner's luck, but I'd hardly call myself a beginner anymore. More like a novice. Do I have novice luck, Lassitarian?"
The look on Lassie's face was priceless. It's so easy to shut him up sometimes.
Unfortunately, Jules didn't even give him a chance at a comeback. "Victim's name is Daniel Baker, twenty-four years old. He was a waiter at Alfredo's."
I felt my mouth begin to water. "Dude, they have the best spinach artichoke dip!"
"You know that's right," Gus agreed. Cue the fist bump.
Juliet completely ignored us and continued on. "He was found in his home this morning by his girlfriend. The single gunshot to the chest killed him, but for some reason the killer hanged him up by his neck anyway."
The chief interjected here, which sort of freaked me out because I'd totally forgotten that she was there. "This is the fourth murder in thirty three days, which means we're finally officially able to classify this as a serial killer."
"You're going to have to remind me of these said 'other cases', chief. I can't remember everything—it's not like I have a photographic memory." Gus elbowed me in the ribs again. It hurt, again. It's not like I said that I did have a photographic memory…
"Well, you weren't brought into the other cases. None of us were. The past three murders were committed in Goleta, so the GPD covered them," The chief explained.
"Well they clearly did a bang up job," I said sarcastically. For those of you who don't know, Goleta is a city about thirty minutes away. It's still in the Santa Barbara County, but they have their own police department.
Everyone chose to ignore my comment (they tend to do that a lot) and Lassiter moved forward. "We already have a considerable amount of information. First of all, the killer refers to his or herself,"—we've added in the 'or her' since Yang—"as 'The Executioner'. He or she kills people because they've done wrong at some point in their life. Mr. Baker, for instance, got drunk one night and crashed his car. A little boy died, but Baker got off on some sort of technicality." Lassie said that with a particular kind of contained anger.
"We also know that the Executioner entered through the side door using a bump key at 9:45 last night." Jules pitched in. "Once in he or she snuck up on Baker, who was watching an old rerun of SNL. The killer shot him through the chest. Baker lived for another two minutes before he died. That's when he was hanged."
I know. That was crazy specific, right?
"Whoa, whoa, whoa, Jules. That's a lot of detail. Are you the psychic now?" I asked suspiciously.
Jules smiled at me, but it was the chief who answered.
"Actually, Mr. Spencer, the killer is the one who told us all of this."
"Excuse me?" Gus sounded pretty bewildered. I can't blame him.
"The Executioner tweeted his actions in real time."
Tada! End chapter one! I hope you liked it! I'm super excited about this story :D
I'm writing two other stories write now, so I probably shouldn't have posted this yet. I couldn't resist. Updates may be a little slow at first, but they'll hopefully speed up once I finish my others.
Another thing, for those of you who are familiar with my work, you probably know that I don't plan ahead. What that means is that any input you give me REALLY MATTERS! I take all requests into account when I'm writing, I promise! I want to know what you want to see! Should I keep Shawn the narrator or switch him off with someone else?
REVIEW! Please! Thank you! :D