SCOTT DRAGGED THE BURLAP SACK ACROSS THE COLD, concrete floor of the basement, slipped on a pair of powder-less medical gloves, untied it and slid her out. He picked her up, set her atop the long stainless-steel table, peeled off her tiger-printed skirt and strapped her down. He slipped on a clear plastic poncho, a clear plastic butcher’s apron and a matching clear-plastic mask. He walked over to the small wooden table on the opposite side of the room, unrolled the curl of black leather and admired the tools laid out before him. Meat cleaver, scalpel, corkscrew, suction hose, forceps, sewing needles and a roll of fishing line.
Everything had been prepped and ready for this day as if it were the coronation of a new beginning. It’d been like this every night he brought a woman home; this raven-haired beauty laid out in front of him wasn’t the first. There had been others like her, others who’d taken their beauty for granted and used it for other purposes like one night stands and the free drinks that led on him like Darcy Cross the high school sweetheart who’d gotten his help on a history test and promised him a wild night but all she did was leave him high and dry. He would’ve given her his life and now that one little moment was the culmination of his actions both past and present. Since then, he vowed to eradicate everyone one of them until they got his message, understood his reason.
Tonight’s victim had been flirting with the bartender of a cowboy-themed bar. He had to make sure he was working the floors tonight so that he could spike her Pina Colada and tell her he was taking her home. The fact that she had believed him, a stranger, made him think she would’ve went home with anybody if it hadn’t been him. She would’ve been out in no time. Dead before the guy had a chance to come.
He scanned every part of her, ran his fingers through her shoulder length dark hair, across her forehead, followed the contour of her nose and then the rest of her face. Pale mounds of blue-veined bosom sat on her chest, topped off by dark-brown areolas; a neatly-shaven patch shaped like a shovelhead was located between nicely-shapen legs. No wonder all the boys wanted her. She could have any guy she wanted and he was honored to have been chosen.
He patted her stomach with one gloved hand and picked up the meat cleaver and the scalpel with his other. He admired the scalpel in the downward glare of a bare light bulb, watching it wink like a chrome bumper in sunlight. He pressed the scalpel into the left side of her abdomen and guided the blade across, splitting the skin. A long river of blood seeped out but with one straight sweep of the suction hose and there was no problem.
Smiling, Scott pinched the wounds on both sides and peeled back the folds of pale skin. This was what he wanted the most. The intestines, liver, kidneys were all just a masterpiece of perfection; the cogs of a time bomb ready to explode under the throes of wild passionate—and regrettable—sex. To him, it was the core of a nocturnal predator stalking the night in search of innocent and defenseless prey. He would make sure that no other man would feel his pain.
First, he removed the liver and dropped it into the little metal bucket at the foot of the table. He’d given that bucket its own name: The Gut Bucket. The bucket had been cleaned out this morning even though it wasn’t dirty but precaution led to perfection and cleanliness led to Godliness. He didn’t want to get sick while he was working, did he? Even the smallest infection, even a minor cold for that fact, would delay his work and take him days to recuperate from.
To lighten the mood, he hit the PLAY button on his stereo system and waited for the CD to load. When it did, Level 42 came on with “Something About You”.
He took out the intestines—all sixty feet of it and dropped it into The Gut Bucket like a long dead snake. Then, he removed the kidney and dropped that on top of the intestines. All of them would be burned, right along with the mischievous beauty these blood suckers harbored. It was the only way to cleanse their bodies and release them from their Botox prisons. He reached over and let his fingers glide down her face again.
“I’m ready to carry you away to a brand new—.”
He reached over for the meat cleaver and came up empty. He was sure he’d brought it over to the table with him but now he needed it. They wouldn’t know it was him unless he cut off her feet and burned the stubs closed so the wounds wouldn’t heal.
A blinking light caught his attention from the corner of his left eyes. When he turned around, his mouth fell open with awe. He took off the mask to make sure his mind hadn’t been playing with him and was sad to believe that it wasn’t. The coil of intestines that he’d dropped into The Gut Bucket had spilled out, stretched itself across the cold concrete floor and wrapped itself around the handle of the meat cleaver. The intestines coiled back like a rattlesnake, ready to strike; the blade glinted under the lamp, throwing ghosts of light across the fractured red brick walls. He tried to move but found it difficult; his muscles were paralyzed with horror.
At least I tried, Scott thought as the intestines snapped toward him like a whip and buried the meat cleaver into the top of his clean-shaven skull.
By Brian J. Smith