Serial Killers: Single and Looking (Part 3) by Joseph P. Hutchinson

Serial Killers are part of our Trembling With Fear line and are serialized stories which we’ll be publishing on an ongoing basis.

(Part 3)

Now out in the cool breeze of the lake side night, Samantha pulls the headphones over her ears while she pulls out her phone. After flicking the enabling switch connecting the device back to her phone, Samantha scrolls through her library to a playlist. Smiling, she taps play on the song and stuffs the phone in her pocket. Her eyes linger on the receipt, as if it is the key to the universe’s secrets as the first cords of the song kicks in. Samantha walks in time with the beat of the music, disappearing into the night to prepare for the hunt and kill ahead of her. 

With the shredding guitar intro of the music resounding off of her eardrums filling her spirit with renewed vigor, she takes each stride down the concrete path with her motley crew accompanying Samantha. Marilyn and Gabrielle show the definition of childhood by engaging in a game of tag. Trevor walks by Samantha’s side, his little legs not slowing him down oddly enough, playing with his toy Yo-Yo on the walk. Her eyes survey the activities of her cartoon children as her mind ignores the odd stares of passing denizens of the city. Samantha walks to the music in her headphones, taking wide turns at corners and nearly knocking into people without so much as a feigned apology.

The blocks melt together as she gets closer to the studio apartment she found from Air B&B. Samantha’s curved body flowing to the chorus pounding in her ears. A smile on her face joins her hands dancing over her body while she waits for the light turn green. The traffic signal changes to allow the completion of her journey. Pedestrians move on their way after staring at the strange woman feeling herself on a public street corner. But Samantha and her brood’s attention is not concerned with the allowance of avoiding a jay walking ticket.

Trevor was the first one to spot him, just as he released his Yo-Yo for a trick spin. The painted wooden piece of the toy spins as if stuck in space time with his eyes locked on the odd man from the diner. The group exchange looks of analysis; each appraising the situation in an unspoken conversation they all agree upon. The pack turns in unison as the walk signal begins to flash “DON’T WALK”, heading with soft but haste filled steps after this silly little man.

“You know he lives alone, but the question is how stocked up does he keep his cleaning supplies,” Marilyn asks.

“Well we do have a pair of disposable gloves in our back right pocket. Plus that pretty 8 inch Kershaw in our jacket pocket,” retorts Gabrielle.

“Well he has to live alone. No one would let their loved one go out looking like THAT in public,” Marilyn replies.

The gap between Samantha’s troupe and the odd little man has closed to a block now. He keeps walking at his steady pace, no clue of the menace creeping up behind him; planning his doom.

“He’s gotta have garbage bags and we don’t really need a saw to dismember him,” Gabrielle states as she swings around a street sign pole with a smile, “We spent enough time sharpening that knife to avoid that headache…AGAIN.” 

“Which means…”Marilyn states as she looks to Gabrielle with a smile.

“He just needs to live alone. He just needs to live alone. He just needs to live alone. He just needs to live alone,” Marilyn and Gabrielle sing as they dance around Trevor and Samantha who continue to walk towards their prey. 

The night has grown quiet as the hunt has turned off of the bar and restaurant filled streets into the period homes with their modern facelifts. The odd little man shifts his load, fishing out a set of keys from his pants pocket. 

The street lights reflect off of his bald head like a mirror. His neck swivels almost like a rodent, always on alert for a predator that might be lurking around the next corner while remaining oblivious to the danger less than a hundred feet behind. Samantha smiles to herself as her brain runs through the possible scenarios that await the pending revelation of the small detail of her target living alone; each step fueling the adrenaline pumping her heart to almost its strain. 

Had it been that long since I truly let myself go play? The simple sentence floated into Samantha’s mind with such ease and caused such a profound distraction that if it wasn’t for Trevor grabbing her hand, Samantha would have walked into the back of the strange little man she was following. He had stopped in the middle of the sidewalk and was checking his phone. Samantha used all of her agility to dodge his lump of a form and slip past him, not even showing an acknowledgement of his existence. 

“He lied again. He told me Thursday and I got her for him Thursday. I can’t keep her,” the man mumbles while Samantha passes him. 

The huntress reaches the end of the block and turns east toward Lake Michigan, catching a sideline glance at the strange man walking up the stairs of his home. Samantha glances around her surroundings, notices she is alone and runs into the block’s alley with the grace of a cheetah and equally as quiet. Each stride of her muscular leg lands with absolute certainty and silence, reaching the man’s neighbor’s garage, watching him fumble with his keys to find the right one.

The duplex had a sign out front advertising vacancy in the upper property, leaving his home to be the lower. Frustration over whelms the prey. He places his load on the ground, a couple plastic bags now joining his large brown bag of take out. 

“No cameras in the backyard and the bulbs are missing on the motion light,” Gabrielle states.

“No dog droppings either or signs of a recent cleaning up of them,” chimes in Marilyn, “I bet its his short fat fingers that are preventing his egress into his shit shack.”

“What was with that mumbling while he was texting? Dude just begs to be chopped up and left in pieces around the city,” Gabrielle replies.

“It’s not like we can use the waterfronts anymore,” Marilyn states while looking at Gabrielle with an accusing stare,” Thanks to SOMEONE’s lack of following protocol.”

“How was I supposed to know that a homeless lady decided to sleep next to our dump spot,” Gabrielle asks in the most defensive of defensive tones.

“Um…rule #16 ‘Preparation is the key to avoiding detection.’ That’s how,” Marilyn retorts.

“And what do you call this,” Gabrielle chides while pointing at the odd little man.

He has successfully gotten his key into the lock and now struggles with opening the old lock. The odd little man pushes and pulls on the antique door trying to get the correct combination of pressure and pushing to open the portal. Samantha and Trevor keep their gaze locked on to the odd little man as Marilyn and Gabrielle begin to fight, their audio muted for focus. Samantha’s hands have now applied the plastic gloves she keeps in her back pocket and the knife is now in her hand, blade folded.

After what seems like an eternity, the little man finally is successful in opening the door. He pushes it open, leaving the key in the lock and collects his purchases. With his free hand the odd little man struggles to free the key from the lock, cussing softly to himself with every failed attempt.

“I call this proving I am not old and rusty,” Samantha states as she and Trevor move with purpose towards the odd little man.

#

Marilyn and Gabrielle notice the pair moving into attack and scamper behind to catch up. Samantha reaches her prey as he pulls the key free from the lock and steps into the doorway. Before he can turn around, she drives the handle of her against the base of skull with a sickening thud. The keys and his bags fall to the floor of the interior hallway and his hands begin to reach for the site of the strike. His hands reach their goal and the odd little man groans in pain as he pulls one of his hands back to check for blood. His head turns to see who or what hit him, but Samantha grabs the hair on the back of his head and drives his face in the heavy oak door to his house. 

Blood flies as the blow breaks his orbital bones and nose, knocking the odd little man unconscious, his body falling to the floor like a wet sock. Samantha looks down at her achievement, pride gripping her face at her use of stealth and force perfectly. 

“Well, let’s get this party started now,” Gabrielle chimes in as she looks down at the odd little man with the rest of her group. 

Samantha sticks her head out of door slightly, checking to make sure that the noise from her attack had not drawn any unwanted attention. Pleased in herself for remaining undetected by the possible neighbors, Samantha pushes the heavy door closed and latches it closed on the inside.

The odd little man finally begins to wake up, finding that he is tied to a chair in the cluttered space that once was his living room. Through his good eye, the left one, he scans his surroundings while panic and terror grip his senses. He is sitting naked and upright in a padded wooden chair from his dining room on a few sheets of plastic with bungee cords wrapped around his body. He tries to scream but the odd little man finds that he is gagged by what tastes like dirty socks. The flavors run down his throat and cause him to start choking a little bit. Looking up he notices that the only light on is the old chandelier light hanging above him. 

The approaching of footsteps creaking on the old floor boards of the nearly hundred year old house draws his attention to the attached room, what would be considered a sitting parlor in days of old. The brightly lit room shoots a shadow of the approaching figure that turns the corner, which the odd little man could have sworn was joined by 3 children but it must just have been the lights and his fear playing with the shadows.

Into the living walks the most beautiful female form the odd little man had ever seen. Her naked dark brown skin was wrapped in sheets of plastic. The curves of body even more alluring under the clear polymer, the sheets tied off by duct tape at the joints. She had even fashioned herself a pair of plastic boots covering her perfectly painted toes; a nice teal. The woman pauses about twenty feet in front of her victim, reading a manila file folder’s contents with interest and amusement.

“I was really worried that I would be here until morning cleaning up the mess I am going to make of you,” Samantha states as she keeps reading the contents,” but you my friend are one truly sick fuck.”

Samantha closes the folder and tosses it to the ground off of the plastic. With a smile on her face she approaches the odd little man, intentionally shaking her meaty body for added giggle. He notices her breasts bouncing almost too much and nearly misses the knife blade in her hand.

“I never would have thought that such a profitable human trafficker lived in such a shit hole of a house,” Samantha states while she points around the room.” You blend in don’t you. Just like me, huh. Clever really.”

The odd little man begins to sweat profusely. Samantha starts walking around her prey, the smell of fear mixing with the aroma of her excitement creating a scent found in most college dorm rooms after a drunken night at the bars. The knife blade traces across the odd little man’s right shoulder, producing a thin red line of blood that leaks with gravities assistance onto the plastic.

“What I really enjoy, if I am going to be honest here and why shouldn’t I,” Samantha states as she pause behind her prey tickling his left shoulder,” is how long you have gone unnoticed by the corrupt officials of this urban hub.”

Samantha grips the knife handle in her hand, draws her arm up and fires all the muscles in her shoulder to drive the blade into the cartilage of the odd little man’s shoulder. A small splatter of blood escapes before the arterial release begins to seep out the closed wound. The odd little man groans in pain as Samantha continues to walk around to the front of her target, leaving the blade inside. She pauses in front of him, smiling at the true pain in his eyes. Samantha’s head follows the path of some unseen force guiding her attention to a phone and speaker resting on a stack of nearby boxes. She walks over to the boxes and picks up the phone.

“Now, I’m not claiming that this town is above such lowness as taking brides to turn their heads,” states the murderous artist as she turns her attention to finding a song in her phone.” I have paid my fair share of ‘discretion fees’ in my youth. But you…you operate with such stealth, that you aren’t even a blimp on the radar. THAT is impressive.”

Satisfied with her song selection, Samantha hits play on her device before tossing the phone on to a pile of clothes. Samantha approaches the odd little man, his eyes locked onto her as she straddles his lap. Even through the plastic he can feel the heat radiating off of her body; a heat that is increased as she leans against him slightly to retrieve an item next to him. She sits back up with a filet knife from the man’s kitchen in her gloved hand, running the tip across his cheek as she straightens herself. The beginning guitar intro from her song choice blaring from the speaker as another stream of blood joins the first.

“Oh and don’t go thinking that your occupation is the reason I am paying you a visit tonight,” Samantha states while tossing the knife to her other hand. “I saw you picking up your food and there was just… something about you that sparked that happy place in my brain that I knew you would be fun to kill. This time, I just happen to be doing a public good; one that will last all night.”

The first verse of the song selection kicks in as the filet knife begins its work on the flesh of the odd little man. The forms of Gabrielle, Marilyn and Trevor take form. The glaring cartoon children watch with eagerness as Samantha indulges her darkest desires. The odd little man blinks through the dripping sweat in his eyes. Thoughts race through his brain as he realizes that these cartoon hallucinations are real. The high definition manifestations of Samantha’s mental illnesses and aspects bask in the blood and suffering of their victim.

The screams that no gag could contain escape his mouth only to be drowned out by the heavy rock music from the speaker. Samantha remains unmoved by the out bursts as she works turning her victim into neatly wrapped packages of meat. The odd little man’s neighbors unaware of what is transpiring in the ugly little house on their block; aka business as usual for the small neighborhood on the East Side of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Joseph P. Hutchinson

Joseph P. Hutchinson is the resident screenwriter and author with Cooked People Media, a multi-media firm specializing in novels, cartoons, comic books and screen plays. After years of working as a ghost writer, JPH is now striking out on his own, creating art for himself and his company.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MediaCooked?s=03

Stephanie Ellis

Stephanie Ellis is a member of the HWA and writes dark speculative prose and poetry which has been published in a variety of magazines and anthologies, including Flame Tree Press' A Dying Planet and Nosetouch Press' Fiends in the Furrows. She is the author of gothic novella, Bottled, from Silver Shamrock Publishing and the novelette, Asylum of Shadows from Demain Publishing. Her first novel, The Way of the Mother, is due out in October, via Silver Shamrock. She can be found at https://stephanieellis.org/ and on twitter @el_Stevie.

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