Art of a Killer

Genre: Mystery & Suspense

Plot: A child’s artwork corresponds to a series of murders in town.

Words to use: school, painting, disturbing, image, repulsive, insight, clue, danger, witness, deep, understanding, communication, help, sociopath, outlet.

Art class was Alice’s favorite class in school.  She loved to paint and draw. Her paintings were often of sunsets and houses with a bright yellow sun in the corner of the sheet of paper. She would sing happily while she drew. Her teacher thought her a happy child. The school was small in a small town where everyone knew each other. Once upon a time it was normal to not lock your doors in this town, but fear grew with the next generation of families. 

After a long weekend holiday, the student returned with fear reaching home. Danger loomed. A body was discovered in a local ravine. It was quite a disturbing discovery to the local police. They didn’t realize it at the time but it was the beginning of a reign of fear in this tiny town. Murder was quite unusual and repulsive to the residents but a string of murders was about unbearable. There was a sociopath in their midst and people were afraid.

The weeks turned into months with no insight in the perpetrator and their motive. Then a clue, recent paintings from a child brought in by the teacher, giving details of each murder, including those not released by the police detectives. The teacher was understandably upset by the disturbing images. In the police department, there was talk of a leak. It was the lead detective’s understanding that they were to keep these discoveries a secret from the public at the time.  Giving this information to a news outlet was undesirable at this point. Obviously there had to be some communication with unauthorized people outside the department. The child wasn’t related to any of the officers so that became a dead end. Then was she a witness to the murders? That may be a possibility but how?

One painting struck the officer in charge as different. All the others seemed to be pointing to the past murders they were investigating. This image was of one murder that didn’t correspond to any he was investigating. The painting was crude, he thought, but you could clearly see a man’s body in a deep well. There were trees surrounding the well with the words “Help” written across the top of the page. He looked closer to the man in the well. He was drawn with a what seemed as a police uniform on. His eyes were x’s, a tiny gun on the side of his body. There was wavy lines as if water. Floating on that water was a hat. “Where have a I seen a hat like that? It looks so familiar.” Looking over to the hat stand was his hat. He was flummoxed, gazing at the picture then back to his hat. “O sh………

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