The itch began at Christmas the following year. I cannot describe it any better than the feeling in my very soul that I wanted to kill again. Not needed, but wanted to. Never had I been driven to kill other than through the feeling that I wanted to kill. I didn’t hear voices in my head, or have blackouts or fugue states or any of that psychobabble bullshit claptrap nonsense. I always killed because I wanted to; because I liked to. Sometimes I wanted to kill more urgently than others, which is why I had periods of inactivity.
Or, to put it another way: I like to keep fit, but I’m not a gym-mad devotee who spends x-number of hours in the gym week in, week out like some do. Neither do I go jogging in all weathers early in the morning or after a day’s work. I go to the gym when I feel like going. I kill when I feel like killing. In that respect I am just like anybody else with a hobby.
A hobby. Hmm, I had not really thought about it like that before, but what else could I call it? It wasn’t my Calling or my lifetime’s ambition, what I did. My want to kill wasn’t driven by the need for violence or sexual deviancy or any other abnormal drive or urge.
Killing is just what I did, much like a stamp collector or numismatist, or campanologist or even someone who goes fishing, for crying out loud. Why anybody would want to sit for hour after hour in all weathers waiting for an unsuspecting fish to be tempted by a grub on a hook – and then be thrown back into the water anyway, damaged and maimed – is beyond my understanding! No, my hobby was killing and I was bloody good at it.
Sheila DeMarco was thirty-five and on the downward side of attractive. Where once had been a subtle attractiveness there was now a sagging, past-her-prime, appearance about her. She was so grateful for the attention I paid to her that night. I suspected that it had been quite a while since she had enjoyed intimate male company. It was a pleasure to put her out of her misery. Life was only going to get harder for her as she hit middle-age anyway.
Sheila died on Boxing Day. Erica Stewart died on New Year’s Day. Of all my kills she was the one I most regret, as far I as feel regret for anything. I mean, I never lost sleep over my other kills and neither did I have pangs of conscience about them. No, Erica was different. She is the one kill that probably should not have happened because she was disabled.
Yeah, yeah, I know. I’m a sick bastard. How could anybody attack someone in a wheelchair and who could not defend herself, you’re asking, right? Whoopee-do for you. A kill’s a kill. I saw Erica alone, unsuspecting and vulnerable. The perfect victim I guess you could say.
She was scared, that much was obvious from the moment she laid eyes on me. For the first time I hesitated and questioned myself about what I was going to do. She bloody knew who and what I was, I swear it. It unnerved me for a moment or two I can tell you. Nobody had ever looked at me the way she did before I took her life.
You see, behind the fear in her expression I saw something else, something that made me angry… very angry. I saw PITY in her eyes. Who the fuck was she to pity me? If anyone was deserving of pity it was her, right? She was a cripple, for Christ’s sake! Yet the look in her eyes riled me up like you would not believe. And you know what? When my blade slipped into her heart she seemed to nod at me, as though accepting her fate as my victim; as though things were as they should be, the way they were ordained or something.
I’m not man easily spooked, but Erica Stewart got to me on a level that none of my other kills ever did. All the others, well, I did the deed and gave it very little thought afterwards. They were dead and gone, pretty much, and I moved on with my life. But Erica… Erica stayed with me in my memory and in my dreams and in the way the local press screamed banner headlines demanding that I be caught. All the fuss and heightened attention surrounding my crimes was enough to put me off making any more kills for a little while.
Not that I could have anyway. While Erica Stewart still lived-on in my conscience and sub-conscious I couldn’t even contemplate another kill. I had made a bad mistake; a seriously bad mistake, and I was paying for it in ways I didn’t think I was capable of. Yes, I actually felt guilty for what I had done, and that just wasn’t me.
The feelings passed, of course, as I knew they would. What surprised me was how long it took for me to begin to feel like my old self again. Almost two years, no less! My confidence had been knocked and my conscience awakened, two totally alien and unwanted feelings I could have done without, thank you. Anyway, I got past them, eventually and I was ready once more to resume my hobby.
Annalise was an incredibly sexy and stunningly gorgeous twenty-two years old French national who was working in the UK for a small, independent fashion house. We actually dated for a while before I killed her. I’m not giving away any state secrets here when I tell you that sex with Annalise was the best I had ever experienced. Boy, she could do things with that slender lissom body of hers that even now, thinking and writing about her, still does things to me ‘downstairs’. She was amazing.
Killing her had been a matter of necessity, really. She was too good, too sexy, too beautiful to watch fade into old age. Annalise deserved to be remembered at her prime and when my blade took her life I felt a sense of satisfaction unlike any of my other kills. In death her beauty was unmarred. If I am being honest with myself I think I may even have loved her a little bit…
The newspaper headline came as a bit of a surprise, not because of its content but because it surprised me as to how long it took to appear. The police had finally got around to looking into the type of blade I had used in my kills. Modern forensics had determined the exact make and model of knife and police were looking into sales of that particular brand over the past ten years or so. They were also appealing for anybody who had sold, lost or disposed of a Sabatier chef’s knife over the same period of time to come forward.
My game was up, I felt. It was only a matter of time before the chef I’d stolen the knife from reported the loss to the police. Then the police would ask for the names of everybody who was working in or had access to the kitchen at the time it went missing and my name, after all that time, would be on a report somewhere. Eventually there would be a knock at my parents’ door and I would be asked awkward questions. The chances were very good that I and only I was the most likely suspect for the killings. It seemed highly remote to me that there could be another unaccounted-for Sabatier chef’s knife out there that went missing at the same time as the one I had stolen. My time, I believed, was almost up. Even so, I still had one unfulfilled ambition.
I wanted to do a kid. I wanted to slip the lethal blade of my knife into the heart of a young girl and watch her life fade away. It was the ultimate crime and one I had begun to fantasise about more and more. Sure, I knew that I was walking on the edge of a moral precipice and that the anger and hatred towards me – the unknown murderer - would be twenty-times more virulent than that generated when I killed the cripple. But that was the whole point of it. There was going to be a shit-storm of anger when I was caught. I would never see freedom again once I was convicted, that much was a certainty so I wanted to make that eventuality really worthwhile. Taking the life of a sweet and innocent child would ensure that for me.
Notoriety was not something I sought. As I said before I had no plans to get caught for my crimes and no belief that I would be. However, it appeared that I had underestimated the sheer brilliance of forensic techniques, in spite of the abundance of television shows and documentaries that showed how clever forensic investigation had become over the past few years. The science had moved-on in leaps and bounds in the years since I had taken-up killing for a hobby and now I was in serious danger of being apprehended. Notoriety would be appended to my name now, whether I wanted it or not. Why shouldn’t I revel in it a little?
Her name was Mellissa Cartwright. She was twelve years old, had blonde hair in pigtails tied with pink ribbons and blue eyes behind small pink-framed spectacles. She wore braces on her teeth and sang in the local church choir. She was the epitome of virginal innocence and my perfect final kill.
I made it quick, accosting her on a leafy footpath in the nearby public park. I closed my eyes as my blade pierced her flesh and bright-red blood stained the whiteness of her blouse. She didn’t even have the opportunity cry out as her brief life ebbed away. I laid her gently onto the hard-baked summer earth and crossed her bare, tanned arms across her chest. I whispered ‘I’m sorry’ as I walked away from her after wiping her blood off my blade on her skirt.
That was three days ago. The press attention has been relentless and, as predicted, hysterical in its condemnation of the sick, cruel killer who had robbed a young girl and her family of a lifetime of love and memories. The senior policeman on telly appealed to the killer – to me – to give myself up now, before any more innocent lives were needlessly lost. I laughed. I wasn’t going to make it that easy for them! They would have to come to me; find out who I am and come and arrest me. It will happen sooner or later, I am resigned to that now. It’s just a matter of time.
I am sitting here, waiting for that knock on the door and the voice of authority to advise me of my rights and to place me under arrest. I am at peace.