The killer stood above his next victim. She was starting to come to. He licked his lips in anticipation as he glanced out the window of the secluded hunting lodge he’d selected for today’s events. In the warmer months it would be positively bustling. But for now the cruel snows dared anyone to even attempt life in the lodge.
The killer wasn’t going to attempt life in the lodge though; and the snow wasn’t cold to him. Of course after this he would have to disappear again. He would lay low for a month or two and then become someone else. He had plenty of spare aliases for just this kind of situation. It was a shame, he had liked this character. But that fool of an Inspector had decided he was worth looking into and now she would die for it.
A small part of him almost pitied her.
But that was maybe a part of his old self. The killer had no such qualms; this was what he was now. His life was death. Death was his life.
Maybe this Inspector could have caught him. Maybe she could have saved her own life.
Instead she was laying on the floor, waking up to the last day of her life. The thought of her horror made him smile.
Inspector Victoria Redding opened her eyes. She had failed. The man she had followed for three weeks loomed above her; a malevolent smile played across his lips. His hard green eyes sparkled in the firelight and he cocked his head as if to say “whadda ya think about this ay?”
It all came back then. The tap on the shoulder as she slept, waking and seeing those same green eyes before a sharp jab in her neck indicated a needle. It was obvious now that he had anaesthetised her. So now she was at the mercy of a psychopath in what was probably the middle of nowhere.
And to have come so close…
She watched as he strolled across the room to the armchair in front of the fire and sat down. “To be candour; you’re going to die pretty soon." He chuckled, “you’re gonna scream good first though; I wanna hear you scream.
She groaned and he laughed again, this time it was more of joy than humour. It made her feel sick. “You have such a terrified look on your face!” He exclaimed when he’d finished, “it’s just delicious!”
She could only close her eyes and try not to cry. Crying would only give him more pleasure. She tried to find a strong part of her, a part that could take death with dignity, and found all she wanted to do was collapse in a pathetic heap.
When she thought about it though, she already was a pathetic heap; could she possibly get any lower? Possibly, was the first answer she thought of but she pushed it aside and tried again to find a strong part of her.
She discovered five people. A child, an elderly man, a mother and a teenage couple who had all been killed by the Invisible Killer.
Five horrible merciless deaths, all without a clue. Like they had been taken by the Grim Reaper himself.
She didn’t find the part of her that would take death gracefully. Because that was like giving up. She couldn’t give up. She never gave up. So she found the part of her that would never go down without a fight.
He got up and left the room; clearly not bothered about any resistance from her. What she needed was a weapon. She wasn’t bound, but after a quick inspection it was clear the room was completely free of weapons. That was probably why he left.
She could try the window but it was probably locked and outside didn’t look too promising anyway. A splinter from the floor would be getting desperate; but then again it was a desperate situation she was in and there wasn’t much else for her to choose from.
When he returned she had a good sized splinter hidden in her sleeve. A brown leather whip was coiled in his hand and he was whistling. She recognised to tune from the Indiana Jones movies. If she ever got out of here she would probably never watch them again. If she didn’t, it wouldn’t matter anyway.
She stood facing him; waiting for him to taunt and goad her again.
The first lash brought a beautiful shriek from her lips. The second saw her drop to the floor. The killer held nothing back. All his strength was behind each blow and every moan she let out egged him on.
Who would have thought police officers could be such fun, he thought gleefully. Pausing for a moment to inspect his work; he served her a vicious kick in the abdomen. She was in a foetal position now, not the most original defence in his opinion.
With one more kick and a last lash with the whip he left to fetch the salt.
That hadn’t gone well. He didn’t get close enough for her to use the splinter and now she was weakened. There was silence for a short while before she saw his boots in front of her face again. She would have struck him then. Had her body not suddenly erupted in pain unlike anything she had ever experienced before. It was as if he had thrown her into the flaming hearth.
She writhed on the floor in agony and despair while he watched from the armchair with a peculiar expression on his face.
With no idea how much time had elapsed she came to herself again. The pain had eased and the murderer had left the room once again.
She took some deep breaths to try and calm her racing heart as she waited. This was her last chance.
A long slim knife was the first thing her eyes locked onto as he sauntered in. He held it gently up to the firelight; the stainless steel blade reflected in his eyes. With slow measured steps he crossed the space between them. The predatory look in his eyes was what terrified her most.
He knelt down by her side and stroked her face with the edge of the blade; just enough to draw blood. She stared back at him defiantly, not flinching. He paused and set the tip on the floor with thoughtful look on his face.
She took her chance. Bringing the splinter up towards his face she lunged. Taking him by surprise gave her the advantage as they struggled on the floor. He swung a fist at her face and hit, putting her out of balance; he kicked and shook her off him. Pain burst through her skull, nothing compared to before, but still pain. She sat up and saw the knife.
It was behind him. It would save her life if she could get it. Feinting to the left and diving around his legs she grasped for the hilt, only to have it spin away from her. He ran over and picked it up before she could stand. Sensing his victory, he laughed and wagged a finger at her. “Shouldn’t have done that darling,” was all he said before he started towards her again.
Without thinking she ran. Not away from but towards the bloody murderer. Again she surprised him, and this time she went straight for the knife. Not caring if it cut her she ripped it from his hand and sliced at his throat. She fell to the floor as he stumbled backwards.
His eyes were wide as the dark red liquid he had so enjoyed spilling seeped through his fingers. His breath was ragged and shallow. She knew he wouldn’t last long, but she sure as hell didn’t care.
Dropping the knife she staggered through the hall and out the door. Stopping for a moment, she found her police badge and with all the strength she could muster she lobbed it into the trees. There was dark green Jeep parked outside. She was immensely grateful it wasn’t locked and the keys sat in the console. With a noise somewhere between a laugh and a sob she started it and drove down the picturesque road through the forest. Leaving the lodge and the now rather visible killer behind her at last.