Bumpy and Hush had been close friends since High School. They were sort of outcasts to the rest of the school because of their appearance, so they gradually transitioned into loners. Bumpy got his name because of the inexorable amount of acne that was plastered on both of his cheeks and his forehead. It was a bizarre sight to look at, and you were bound to lose your appetite if he sat near you at the lunch table.
Hush was a step up from him appearance wise, though. He had Alopecia Areata, and because of that, he wasn’t able to grow any facial hair. The spot where his eyebrows were meant to be were completely bald, and he didn’t have an ounce of hair above his lip like most of the other boys in our grade. But that wasn’t it; the reason everybody called him, “Hush,” was because he wasn’t able to bring his voice above a whisper. Nobody why he spoke with such a low volume and as far as we could tell, it wasn’t due to another medical condition. It was just that he hated talking too loud.
I watched them from a distance, and they always kept to themselves and accepted the fact that they were outcasts. In my opinion, between the two of them, Bumpy had the hardest time with it. He was much more of an extrovert than his counterpart, but Hush? He had no complaints about it at all. It fit his demeanor entirely. Quiet. Sneaky. Always thinking. I would’ve given a week’s worth of lunch food to know what was going through his mind, but by the way he looked at everyone, it didn’t seem like it was anything that could’ve been spoken out loud. His glare, the way his cheekbones gyrated whenever somebody disrespected him. He just had an eerie vibe about him; a reclusive personality mixed with a short temper and that was never a good combination. It was blatantly clear that he was headed for a life of crime. Sometimes, that life has a way of choosing you, no matter what your will is.
I glanced down at the murder scene; one man was beaten senseless to the point that he was hardly recognizable. His face was smashed in and bloodied; cheekbones were broken as well as every other bone that would have kept his countenance in place. His fingers were chopped off, making it much more challenging to identify the victim. This was all at the hands of Hush, and I knew it, even though there was no evidence pointing to him, I knew his calling card. Once he wanted to get rid of you, his aim was to get rid of you and make it seem as if you never existed. That way, whenever we were fortunate enough to find a body, there was nearly no way to identify who he was for sure. He even went as far as knocking each and every last one of his victim’s teeth out to keep us from checking it against dental records.
I glanced down at the bloody, pulp of flesh smeared into the ground as another detective bent down next to me. “They really did a number on this guy, aye?”
I took a puff of my cigarette and blew the smoke into the night air. It fluttered around us like a cloud before it disappeared, “Yeah. No doubt about it.”
“None. None that I can think of.”
“Sheesh. This is the third body we have found like this in the past two weeks. I’ll tell you what, we better find something here, or else, heads in the department will start rolling. After that, it will be better if one of us are one of these dead men that are popping up around the city.”
He tapped me on my shoulder and then stood up to walk back towards the other police officers. I blew another cloud of smoke into the air as I looked up to the sky. Damnit, Hush – I said to myself – what are you up to now?