Well, here it it minions! The next chapter installment of my female serial killer antagonist and her wicked ways. So without further ado, I present Weaving Evil, Chp 2… Hehe.
Remember, death is only a click away!
A Victim is Chosen
The city of Riverside was home to one of the large components belonging to the University of California’s educational systems. It was approximately fifty miles from Los Angeles, home to over three hundred thousand residents, and for its size, one of the most diverse in the state. The University was breathtaking and with the UC-Bell Tower; erect at one-hundred and sixty-one feet, equipped with its’ own Carillon, some would say, it was almost magical. The music which emitted from the bells always seemed to captivate Vanessa, like the pied piper calling after his assortment of children. She smiled, as the soft tones bounced off the buildings and carried into the light wind.
Glancing down at her watch, her facial expression soon turned from happiness to one filled with anxiety. Shit, I can’t be late. Not today. She quickened her pace, cutting across the fresh manicured grass, trying to make up for valuable time lost. The experiment had taken too long this morning. The toxin hadn’t worked the way she had thought, additional extractions had to take place. Poor Maxine.
Well, if she wasn’t more prompt, Vanessa would have ample time to conduct her personal research and not have to worry about daily work requirements. Get it together. She slowed down to a brisk walk, as she approached the research laboratory. Dr. Hilson would more than likely be waiting for her, when she arrived. It was almost a compulsive disorder how he always stood at the door waiting for her, almost knowing she would… fuck up. Brushing her bangs aside, she pushed on the heavy rustic door. The grandiose metallic sign loomed heavy over her; almost criticizing her for entering its’ esteemed property. Meyer-Price Laboratory was donated to the University by two former entomologists, who had been paramount in creating state of the art bio-chemistry protocol in relation to insect pest control. They had been students of the University in the early 70’s and loved their alma mater so dearly; they repaid their professors and Dean of Education with this extraordinary structure.
Vanessa tried to soften her step, as she crossed the marble floor, but the sound of her heels brought instant ramification.
“Well, the gods themselves should be honored you decided to make an appearance this morning.” Dr. Wynn Hilson her former mentor from grad school and current research supervisor slipped out from behind a row of sculptures, which resembled various forms of arachnid and other close relatives in the insect family. He was a middle-age stout man, with thin strips of gray, highlighting his thick scraggly dark hair. Many faculty members, along with the student body would mock him, labeling him the “Mad Scientist of California.” He adjusted the stained lab coat, as he stared accusingly at his young research analyst.
Great. Vanessa bit her lip. Has to be something good. “ Sir, I was doing research on the toxins of our arachnid friends and reaction times of death with various prey. I got caught up in the time… really I did.”
Dr. Hilson tapped a finger to the side of his head. “Ah, so you’re telling me it was all in the name of Arachnology?”
No dumbshit. I’m trying to kiss your ass. She flashed him a quirky smile. “Of course. You know I live for this!”
He scuffed his foot against the floor. “If I didn’t admire your creativity, you would have been fired long ago.” He motioned towards her. “Come on we have work to complete, and…by the way, a guest is stopping by.”
“Guest?” She cocked her head.
He chuckled. “Indeed. A young lady working on her entomology dissertation.”
Better her than me. “Really, do I know this person?”
“Quite well, matter of fact.” Dr. Hilson winked.
I really don’t like surprises. “Sir, who is it?” She pouted.
He nodded. “One of your undergraduate associates from Ohio State. She is very curious to see how you have been doing here.”
Fuck, probably my replacement. Vanessa’s Ohio State days were almost a memory now. It wasn’t a particularly eye-opening chain event type of remembrance either. More like she was thankful, her interests in deadly arachnids and insects hadn’t fully developed, or there would have been a lot of deceased peers who missed their graduation. She shook her head. “I wasn’t exceptionally close to many there. Just one. Is the professor going to give me a hint?”
Dr. Hilson’s smile continued to grow. “What would be the fun in revealing anything which would give it away?”
Maybe you should be the first one I reveal myself to. She threw her hands up in resignation. “Okay, I will play along.” She pointed to the lab. “I have to get some reports done on those spider bites from last week. The Irvine campus said it was a rush deal.”
“Good idea my young analyst. I will let you know when our mutual friend arrives.”
Vanessa faked a smile. “Can’t wait!”
* * * * *
Several hours passed with still no signs of the mystery guest, the professor had been too eager to gloat about. Vanessa had completed her analysis of the venom samples, the Irvine laboratory had sent. Scrolling through results, she stopped, almost frozen at what stared back at her.
Holy Shit! The venom had been taken from a Brazilian Wandering Spider, which Vanessa was well aware how deadly this arachnid was touted to be. There had never been a report of this little beauty making a homestead in the states. It was most likely, the creature found its way from South America or a neighboring warm tropical climate, and now, decided to make its presence known to a female hiker in the hills outside Los Angeles County. Unlucky for her. The woman, even though she was bitten, and in shock, was still cognizant enough to capture her attacker, by placing it inside her backpack. This action assisted the medical staff to determine what course of treatment protocol was needed to keep her alive. The University was consulted on the rare find and since Vanessa was one of the only experienced and working Arachnologist in the state, it was a no-brainer to bring her in on the research. Plus, there was more than enough venom left over after testing, to spread out among her potential victims. She grabbed an empty syringe from a desk drawer, measuring out what she considered to be enough. Vanessa stashed the partially filled tube into her briefcase, as a malicious look fell upon her face. This is so perfect. Flipping through several print-outs, she removed a notebook from the front pocket of her lab coat. Vanessa started to scribble a few notes, when a metallic knock at the door, forced her to shove the pad back inside her shirt. “Just… a minute.” Straightening her coat, and a quick tease of her hair, she shot from her chair, unlocking the door.
Dr. Hilson wrinkled his nose, as he stepped through. “Hmm, a locked door, around here? You must be hiding something.”
She opened her mouth to provide a rebuttal, but her efforts were stifled, by a short attractive strawberry blond, who rushed through Dr. Hilson like he wasn’t even there, almost knocking the man to the ground. The woman wrapped her manly arms around Vanessa, treating her like a human teddy bear. “Nessa, you look wonderful luv!”
You gotta be shitting me. If the good doctor was trying to get back at her for all of her tardiness, this was definitely the right way. If there ever was a real battle between super heroines and their arch enemies, Celeste Brillings was the epitome of evil. Considering how far Vanessa had fallen down the rabbit hole that was saying a lot. Celeste was a master of deception and played the blackmail card better than most men. Sleeping your way to the top was an overused philosophy, but for Celeste it was a part of her academia. A skill that stole the only real boyfriend Vanessa ever had. Not that he was excluded the blame for his promiscuous behavior, but the peroxide, driven bitch knew how to get just what she wanted. Well at least she had added a few pounds. Vanessa forced a smile. “Celeste, you look great…too.”
Celeste released her grip. “It’s been a while, my luv. I hope you and I are past that wee-bit issue we had a few years ago?”
Nope, and where is the fake English accent shit coming from? Vanessa adjusted her glasses. “We are adults. It’s not worth bringing up.”
Celeste touched her shoulder. “Spoken like a true friend.”
Please. Vanessa shifted focus to something which truly intrigued her. “So, what brings you out to the West coast?”
Celeste glanced in the direction of Dr. Hilson. “Well, Wynn was in Columbus last year, and asked me to come out if I wanted to spend time under his wing.”
Under his wrinkly ass, you mean. Vanessa raised her eyebrows, pointing to her mentor. “Well, he is one of the best in this field. Wow, like a soap opera.
Celeste twirled her hair. “I’m hoping to learn a great deal for my dissertation.”
Vanessa eyes wandered to her briefcase. “Of course… you know what; we should grab a bite to eat while you’re here”
The silence by Dr. Hilson during the women’s interchange was finally broken. “Outstanding idea, for you two to spend some time together.”
Celeste clapped her hands, like a youth waiting approval from a parental unit. “Girl’s night is exactly what we need luv.”
Stop, no really….
“When are you heading back?” Vanessa’s brain was working at full speed, formulating something sinister.
“I’m here until Friday. I head back early on Saturday,” Celeste said, flashing her teeth.
Hmm, only Tuesday. Removing the notebook from her pocket, she flipped to a blank page. “Okay, let’s do it Thursday, if that works?” She purposely glared at Dr. Hilson, which made him noticeably uncomfortable.
“Perfect luv! Just like our dorm days.” Celeste accosted her with a follow-up hug to celebrate the reconciliation.
“Okay, I still have some work to finish, or my boss will not be pleased,” she smirked.
Dr. Hilson cleared his throat. “Yes, you attend to that… we must take our leave.” The two waved, exiting the laboratory. Vanessa, wiped at her body, trying to rid herself of the ungodly karma, Celeste had smothered upon her. She stepped over to the briefcase, removing the syringe of toxin; she had stolen from the Irvine sample. Hmm, that hiker had been lucky, Celeste wouldn’t be so fortunate. Come Friday morning, the obnoxious and self-indulgent whore would only be a memory…one that Vanessa would relish in forgetting.