Always A Victim
Lora C. Werg
In the final hour of dusk, before the stars are prevalent and the moon cast its silvery glow, when everything outside is veiled in shades of gray, a killer waits.
This was the best time to commit murder as darkness slowly descended blurring distinctive lines that would otherwise separate one object from another allowing concealment to be almost effortless. This part, the waiting, was almost as intense as the rush from the act of killing itself. Blood coursed through veins with a deafening roar making it hard to distinguish any other sounds as the killer waited behind a shrub by the side door. It hadn’t taken that much surveillance to determine the target’s daily routine diminishing the thrill but this time was different; this time it was personal. It needed to be done swiftly, quietly and soon the killer thought growing more anxious as the minutes ticked by. Just when the waiting became overbearing the sound of footsteps approaching echoed close by. With all anxiety having subsided calmness draped over the killer who was focused on the silhouetted figure standing within arm’s reach.
Brian always ran every evening right before the sunset when the heat and humidity were bearable making it more pleasant and easier to clear his mind. Lately, his daughter had been in his thoughts more than usual which he knew was because she’d moved away. He never thought he’d be without her and he wasn’t really, now they talked on the phone rather than in person. Still he wished she was close enough to at least have dinner with once a week. Soon he would visit her. She was all he had in this world for family and it was time he told her everything. He owed her that much.
His house was in sight now and he slowed his pace to a walk to begin lowering his heart rate. He wasn’t as young as he used to be when he could run miles without thinking about how fast his heart pounded or if it even did. Smiling at the memory he pulled the house key from his pocket and unlocked the door. A hushed sound came from his left. He paused briefly listening for only a moment before going inside.
Before he heard the click of the door closing he saw the floor rushing toward him giving him no time to brace himself when his face slammed into the tiles breaking his nose. Blood spurted in a pool under him making the surface too slippery to push himself up. He rolled over to his side just as a booted foot kicked him in the ribs relieving him of any breath he had. He fought to see through the flashes of light in his vision while bent in half from the blow but saw nothing. His breath came out in a wheeze as he struggled to move backward, away from the intruder; each movement brought on a stabbing pain to his ribs. Brian managed to push himself in a sitting position, scooting backward on his rear end until he could feel a wall against his back. The spotted lights in his vision had begun to subside as he sat there shielding his injured side with his forearm.
The killer watched him for a moment. Brian could tell whoever this was, was wearing a ski mask but that’s all he could make out. His broken nose was swollen as were his eyes he imagined since they felt like they were almost completely shut.
“What do you want?” Brian managed to ask with great effort “I don’t have any money.”
The killer crouched down so Brian could only see knees in front of him. “I don’t want money. I want what you took from me.”
Closing his eyes, trying to keep his breathing steady, Brian lolled his head to the side. “Wha…What did I take from you?”
“You took my life so I’m going to take yours” the killer said grabbing Brian’s arm so it was outstretched between them.
Brian saw the gleam of light on metal and instinctively pulled his arm back. The killer reared back and punched him in the nose again making him scream in pain. Holding onto Brian’s arm the needle was plunged into flesh; the liquid pushed deep into the veins. The killer’s fingers gripped the arm tightly relishing in the rapid pulse felt beneath them. With a deep breath, the fingers loosened as the rush of the kill overtook the senses in a blinding pleasure only lovers experience right before their final surrender.
A choking river of blood ran down Brian’s throat gurgling with each attempted breath slowly suffocating him. He didn’t want to die, not like this and not before he could tell his daughter everything. Michelle was everything to him.
It would only be a few more minutes before the final act, the killer thought restlessly. The thrill had surpassed; the rush was gone and the urge and need to get this over with came in frantic waves.
Brian’s chest tightened with a gripping pain that radiated through his chest, up his arm and into his jaw. Cold overtook him as he lay there feeling as if his chest walls were crushing his heart, crushing the life out of him. He laid on his side and with great effort turned his head to look at his killer who had removed the mask. Terror shot through him looking into familiar eyes and the reasons for all of this became clear in a matter of seconds. He shook his head, tried to scream out but it was too late, there was nothing left inside him expect sheer horror that prevented him from making a sound. If only he had more time he could protect her, he thought hopelessly and with one last effort, just before the final crushing spasm seized his heart he looked into his killer’s eyes.
“Don’t worry Brian, I’ll take very good care of your daughter”.