by Wendy Breytenbach (Jane Maxwell)
He pulled the local newspaper from the letter box and sat down in his favourite armchair with a cup of tea. The first thing he noticed was the big black headline SERIAL KILLER LOOSE IN SOLIHULL.
Three bodies had now been found in wooded areas with their faces bashed in and their hands removed. Police were warning people to keep their windows closed and to stay away from lonely places
He put the paper down and stared out of the window. The cherry blossoms were in full bloom and the baby blue tits clamoured around the coconut shell hanging on the bird table.
Everywhere there was a burst of new life and he could already feel the excitement bubbling up inside him. He hadn't felt like this since his last murder on Cannock Chase three years ago.
He'd pulled a woman off her horse and choked her with her riding crop. But he'd never disfigured any of his victims. That was something new, and the thought excited him.
He couldn't count how many lives he'd watched fade away.It began with them fighting for their existence, pleading with him to let them live just one more second.
And then the panic in their eyes as they realised he had no mercy. He felt like God. Oh it felt so good to have that power over life and death, and so easy.
It had all started when he was eight years old. He'd been given a fluffy white kitten for Christmas. One day it accidently fell down the coal chute at his parents Vicrorian house.
When he fished it out its lovely white fur was covered in coal dust so he took it up to the bathroom and held it under the tap to wash it clean whilst it struggleld to get free.
It was then that he noticed the panic and the subsequent acceptance as the life light faded from its eyes. But what he noticed even more was the feeling of exhileration, the power.
There followed birds,gerbils, puppies, each one meeting its death in peculiar ways. His parents put it down to bad luck. Not once did they think their beautiful boy was a killer in the making.
Then animals weren't enough anymore and at seventeen he'd committed his first murder. He spotted her walking her dog on Wimbledon Common. She was full of life and laughter; perfect for his need.
He caught up with her. 'What's he called,' he said flashing his magnetic smile. He had a way with women. 'He's a she' she laughed. 'Her name's Purdy'. They walked along chatting .
.....until they came to a band of trees which hid them from the rest of the common. He grabbed her and before she had time to shout he wrapped the leash around her neck and pulled tight.
He watched the light drain from her eyes. The dog went hysterical so he broke its neck and left them both in the undergrowth. It was all far too easy. He couldn't wait for his next victim.
And so began his killing career. No one suspected a celebrated tennis player who played all over the world.. But now he was bored and needed one last kill before the big C finished him off.
He stood up and put on his coat,then went to take a sharp knife from the kitchen drawer. 'Where are you going Dear,' asked his wife. 'I'm off to Meriden Wood to see the bluebells before they die
'Just take care. Remember there's a serial killer on the loose..' 'No worries. I've a good strong walking stick to hit him with ,' he joked pecking her cheek. In 45 years she'd never suspected.
When he arrived at the wood he sat down on the form outside. A woman went in with her dog. He was about to follow her when he heard a voice. 'Hello neighbour fancy seeing you here.'
It was Mark and Diana his next door neighbours. They were carrying a heavy bag. 'We've just been shopping and thought we'd have a look at the bluebells on the way home. Are you coming?'said Mark
'No, you go ahead. I'll follow' he urged.He couldn't allow them to spoil his fun. Five minutes later he followed. The woman hadn't got far. She was waiting for her dog to sniff around.
He took the knife from his pocket and gripped his heavy stick tight. Yes, now was a good time to strike.
THUMP! The surprise blow to the back of his head felled him. Looking up from the carpet of bluebells through a bloody haze he saw Mark holding a saw and Diana wielding an axe.
As Mark began to remove his hands and the axe split his head in two no-one heard his silent screams. There was no mercy.
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