Warning: This work of fiction deals with a subject that may be disturbing to some. Any similarities to real life persons were purely coincidental and not the intention of the writer.
“I have a scary story.”
Everybody immediately stopped talking and shot a glance at him. They were all cousins, though he was technically a stranger to all of them. The long-lost cousin, the one who grew up in Metro Manila who has never been home since he was a baby.
In the summer of 2009, the town of Cainta (in the Rizal province, Philippines) was rocked by the news of the murder of all the members of the Daya family. They were found by their stay-out house help when she reported for work on the morning of March 19, 2009. She saw the eldest daughter, lying in a pool of her own blood, in the foyer. The rest of the family were all in the living room with the father tied-up in a chair taken from the dining area.
According to police reports, and corroborated by the aforementioned house-help, nothing was stolen from the house. The only thing that seemed out of the ordinary, aside from the 5 bloody corpses, was what seemed to be a reddish-brown dirt on the coffee table in the living room. By the estimate of the coroner, the mother and their youngest daughter were killed first, the son next, then the eldest daughter, and finally the father – if that hasn’t registered to you yet, the father was made to watch his family being murdered before he was himself offed.
CCTV cameras were still just getting mainstream attention in the Philippines, and unfortunately there were not any within the vicinity of the Daya home – especially inside the house itself.
Five weeks later, while police were still investigating the Daya massacre, another grizzly murder of an entire family shocked Cainta. The Rua family, a staunch supporter of their parish (Mr. Rua himself was a lay minister, Mrs. Rua served in the Parish council, and both their sons served as altar boys) oddly did not attend mass on the Sunday of April 12, 2009. After not hearing from them the entire week, one of the lay ministers who serve with Mr. Rua dropped by their house on the Sunday of April 19, 2009 and discovered the bodies of the entire family in their living room. Like the Daya murders, Mr. Rua was tied-up in a chair and the bodies of his family strewn in different places in the living room. It was a grizzlier scene as the bodies have decomposed much farther than in the Daya murder scene.
Nothing was stolen, no sign of a break in, and there was again this reddish-brown dirt in the coffee table. Only one of the people in the scene picked up on this, but his colleagues blew off his observation deeming it was not important. News of the murders were picked up by news agencies, but they were reported to not be connected.
The investigations of both murders continued for the next two months without any relevant progress. Then all of a sudden, on the evening of June 24, 2009, the police were called in by a concerned neighbor to the home of the Tercera family. Apparently, the family turns the lights off their garage gate always at around 10 pm. Mr. Tercera was notorious for being a miser, and his neighbors knew he will never forget to turn these lights off before he went to sleep, so it was weird for them to see these were still on at 1 am (they just came home from a wedding by someone who really wanted to be a June bride).
They would have not taken this seriously, but when the night desk called their chief, he remembered that the Daya murders happened sometime in the evening of a Wednesday and the the Rua murders most probably also happened in the middle of the week.
Both instincts were correct, the entire Tercera family were found murdered in their living room. The patriarch tied-up in a chair, nothing stolen, and the weird reddish-brown dirt in the coffee table. NBI investigators were called in, they were already considering Cainta a hotspot after the Rua murders, and one of them immediately found the dirt odd. They were only on one small part at one side of the coffee table, and although mostly loose, there was a few that were loosely formed together and looked like 2/3 of a hockey puck (he watched played hockey in the old Sta. Lucia mall ice skating rink). Although it was reckless, he tried to sniff the dirt. He was surprised that it smelled like coffee.
The reddish-brown dirt were coffee grounds and they were still damp.
Everyone in the scene stopped dead on their tracks upon hearing this from the investigator – whoever has been doing the killings took their time so much that they had time to brew coffee. By the look of the amount of the grinds, it seems they actually brewed a lot of coffee – either there was more than one murderer or one perp who drank a copious amount of coffee.
For some reason, one of the news agencies got hold of the coffee grinds revelation) and created a serial killer story despite it not being confirmed if these were done by multiple killers or if the three murders were even connected to each other. There were not too many serial killers in the Philippines, so this news report gripped the nation in fear. The serial killer was dubbed “The Coffee Vampire”, which most people actually found scary for some reason. The victims were all stabbed with what appeared to be an icepick on the sides of their necks, all murders occurred during the night, coffee was drank among the corpses, and there was never a sign of the murderer. The series of murders were thus dubbed “The Coffee Vampire slayings”.
Three years passed, and it seemed that The Coffee Vampire had stopped with his bloodlust. However, just as people were beginning to forget, the Lau family were discovered dead inside their home with all the signs of “The Coffee Vampire slayings”. With Social Media being larger than ever, Panic quickly ensued throughout Cainta.
No other killings of the sort were ever reported again, however, and everyone just assumed it was a copycat killer who planned a hit in the affluent Laus. The NBI, however, knew it was perfect but not too clean to be a copycat. This was The Coffee Vampire, though internally they despised this killer’s moniker, but they still did not have anything to work on to nail however it was (or whoever they were). They also could not figure out how the killer/s brewed coffee inside the houses. Those who did have coffee makers (the Ruas and the Laus), their machines were not used. He had a portable coffee maker, but why did he choose to leave his grounds in the scene? To be fair, it was a signature they have not seen before.
The Coffee Vampire. Though somewhat ridiculed, there was a hint of brilliance in the name – the writer took into account that there were never any signs of break-ins, like the killer was invited inside the house or even knew how it worked (like they have been in there before). Count Dracula was only ever able to enter a place if he was let in it. These families knew their killer, and that killer calmly drank coffee in the company of their dead bodies. Some say, he probably drank the coffee while the patriarch of each family was still alive and the corpses of his family members were bleeding out around him.
The Coffee Vampire has never been caught, and he is still out there.
“Okay, cool story, but that’s not actually scary. That’s just something you got from news reports” said one of his cousins. She was one of the oldest ones, though they all were still under 30, and he despised her more than the others.
He just shot her a blank look and without breaking eye contact he simply said, “It’s true, my friend and his family were one of the victims.” This shut her up.
He stood up, stretched, and started walking toward the kitchen. He abruptly stopped, faced them all, and asked: “I’m getting another cup, do any of you want one as well?”. They all protested no, it was too late at night. He just shrugged and took his cup to the kitchen. As soon as he left the pool area, they all immediately exploded with chatter in their province’s dialect they thought he didn’t understand.
While waiting for the water to boil, he played with his Aeropress which was his favorite brewer. It was also the easiest to bring with him during this trip. He once also brought with him a small electric kettle in his bag along with hist tools and a bag of imported ground coffee he got from the shop he worked in part-time as a student. This shop was one of the first “third wave” shops in the country and they had their fair share of rude customers who never cared for the process but just wanted their coffee strong and fast.
The Aeropress, always has been easy to clean this thing. Just pop the puck of coffee out, and it’s good to go again. He glanced at the small mound of used coffee grounds he had going in a bowl in his Aunt’s kitchen counter.
He was going to be up all night again.
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Categories: stories with kape