The 9th Victim: An Ominous Silence

An excerpt from The 9th Victim: Our serial killer remembers his first time.

The first time was so easy it should have been frightening.

He was seventeen at the time, driving just for the sake of driving late at night while his parents slept. His parents no longer tried to stop him from doing whatever he wanted knowing instinctively to be afraid of this thing they had created. A sinister anger had settled over him gradually over the years, sparking in his eyes and showing in the tight way he held himself. There was darkness in him.

It even disturbed him sometimes as he looked into the mirror starring into the emptiness in his own soul.

He knew that he was not normal, that his thoughts and urges were not typical, but he didn’t care. Sometimes he even reveled in his uniqueness.

They say the tendencies usually start early with acts of cruelty, warning signs for those around you. A tortured cat or a bullied kid, perhaps even a dark diary or hit list. But not with him. He went straight from anger to the unthinkable.

The hitchhiker’s name was Miles and he found him on the side of the road just on the outskirts of Williams. Miles was on his way north and was short, thin, and twitchy in a way that made him believe Miles wasn’t his real name.

Good, he thought.

He talked casually to Miles as he drove north along the highway, turning corners and heading in a direction Miles couldn’t recognize as not the way he wanted to go. The woods grew thicker blocking out the moon and his hands tightened around the wheel, excitement mingling with the anger inside him to create a sick feeling in his stomach that was almost enjoyable. He started to sweat.

When he pulled over by the caves Miles started to get nervous. He clutched his bag tightly, talking quickly and laughing awkwardly. It wasn’t funny, he said. Where are we? What do you want?

He looked over at Miles and felt his mouth move, stretching over his teeth. He was smiling, silent.

Suddenly Miles looked scared and he unbuckled his seatbelt, his hand shaking as he laughed again, trying to diffuse the tension of the situation. Trying to get out alive.

He struck quickly, surprising even himself, wrapping his hands around Miles’ throat and squeezing, feeling the bones crack and popping the trachea. Pop. He can still remember the noises, the gurgling and the gasping. He can still feel Miles clutching his wrists, frantically pulling and desperate to survive. He can still remember watching Miles slowly die and can still see the terror in his eyes as his soul left him.

He held onto Miles neck far longer than he needed to but it was better safe than sorry.

It wasn’t difficult to pull Miles out of the car, Miles had been a small man and he was easily manoeuvered. Navigating the caves was slightly more difficult as he fireman carried Miles’ body deeper into the dark, thankful for the headlamp he kept in his car.

He knew these caves intimately and brought Miles about half a kilometre in, pausing to break every now and again, sweating through his t-shirt from the exertion and also the realization of what he had done. He did not feel any remorse but he was suddenly worried that he would be found out.

When he reached his destination, a deep pit in the dark with a narrow opening and a stagnant pool at the bottom, he stopped one last time. He emptied Miles’ pockets pausing to look through his wallet.

He had been right, Miles was not his real name.

He dropped Miles into the pit, wiped his hands on his pants, and left the caves.

He burned Miles’ backpack and wallet a week later, but kept the ID in a box under his bed. The body was never found.

And that was just the beginning.

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