She screams, a high-pitch shrill that cuts right behind my eyes. Against my will the corners of my lips arch, but I force them down. Maybe I should let her go.
But what if someone saw my van?
The woman begs, her voice barely audible now. “Please, mister, don’t hurt me.”
Do it now, you idiot!
I shield my ears, but it’s no use. The voice taunts me, dares me to continue. Every part of my being yearns to comply…except a haunting memory from yesteryear, a child who hangs on to Sunday mornings from my youth—wooden pews, leather-clad bibles, the overwhelming power of His word.
Maybe I should let her go.
I shrug off the hesitation and stare at her nakedness. Porcelain-white skin, honey-blonde curls that spill in ringlets over a sculptured shoulder. And she’s mine, all mine. This time no one can take her away. Moonlight cascades through the basement window. Misty, diffused, the smoldering glow kisses my blade. I step closer, and she thrashes in the restraints.
I loom over her face. Tiny flecks of gold swim in widened copper eyes. I brush my hand across her cheek. Her skin is flawless, silky. With a deep inhale I flare my nostrils and breathe her in. Sandalwood, lotus flower, a hint of vanilla.
With my fingertips I trace her cheek, her jaw, across the collarbone to the soft V at the base of her neck. Her jugular pulses through the skin. One slash is all it would take. But she’s so perfect, so gorgeous lying there.
I sift my fingers through her hair.
“Please, mister.” Tears hitch her shaky voice. “I’ll do anything you want.”
My upper lip curls in disdain. “You mean sex?”
“If you let me go…”
I told you she’s a whore. Do it!
I stuff a white gag in her mouth and knot the ends around the back of her skull. I close my eyes and allow the fantasy to emerge, the mental image that holds my deepest desires, the ultimate temptation.
I level the blade at her throat. Her chin dimples, quivers in fear. Tears deluge her eyes, skim the sides of her face in straight lines, and pool on the steel table, her blonde locks wicking the moisture.
With my thumb I sweep away her sadness. “Shhh…it’ll be over soon.”
My resistance is weakening. Everything about this woman ignites the evil within, the beast I’ve kept at bay.
Do. It. Now.
Silent and swift, I draw the blade across her throat. Warm blood strikes my face, her very essence spurts to the rhythm of her heart. Crimson liquid weeps from the incision. Her eyes roll back in her head, lashes fluttering like a raven’s dying wings.
As the death rattle echoes in her throat, I lean forward in search of that brief moment of clarity when her soul escapes the confines of her body, her finality and my becoming.
With a final gasping breath, her muscles ease. A quick streak of light soars toward the heavens, and a lone tear trickles down my cheek.
Mother hollers down the basement stairs, “What’s all that racket?”
I glimpse the knife in my hand, blood dripping in anticipation. I glance over my shoulder at Mother’s shadow, reflected on the sheetrock, mocking me, testing my resolve. The last trace of doubt melts away like wax to a flame.
Slowly I rotate toward her.
I snicker. “Coming, Mother.”