An excerpt from The 9th Victim: This chapter takes place later in the story. Our serial killer reveals his biggest obsession. He is cracking up inside, his impulses finally taking precedence over his methodical planning. He is slipping.
McDonald Creek is a dark, wooded parkland area across from the houses on 4th Street. In the light of day it is beautiful, all tree lined paths and spring flowers. A stream meanders alongside the trail, slow but determined, and a field stretches green and inviting throughout the area. The trees themselves are tall and twisted, mostly Gary Oaks with the occasional arbutus and birch thrown in for variety. The park is always crowded by midday, filled with walkers and explorers, children and the elderly.
But not at night.
In the night it is ugly in its emptiness. Sinister and frightening, made evil by the body that had been found several months ago marking the start of our serial killer’s presence in Williams. Even the nightly police patrol doesn’t make the park seem any safer.
Though he has only left his mark once somehow people can sense that this is his favourite place.
He waits against a tree along the edge of the park, completely still and staring at her door with intense focus. His body is obscured from the houses across the street, blending into the trees and forest like a nightmare. His hand itches in anticipation but still he does not move. It is nearly 6:30am and he has been there for close to an hour, waiting. Every morning for the last month he has come and every morning for the last month she has left her house around 6:30, her dedication admirable in the face of the biting cold. Spring mornings in Williams are not comfortable. They are wet with a bone deep chill and they are dreary despite the new life springing up all around.
It is dangerous for him to be here but he can’t stay away. He loves to watch her stretch, warming her body against the morning chill. Her runner’s clothes are loose but form fitting, her hair pulled back in a tight pony tail. He wants to grab it, force her head back and stare into her eyes. He wants to possess her, feel her, own her.
Detective Danni Brooks.
He is obsessed. Her every move fascinates him, drawing him in deeper and deeper into his own mind. He is starting to get sloppy, starting to ignore the strict rules and structures he had created for himself. Sometimes it is almost as if he wants to be caught, even just to stare into her eyes and have her know him for who he truly is.
He licks his lips as her door opens, watches her lift her arms up high in the air, turning her head side to side in a gentle stretch. Suddenly his body stiffens as shock courses through him, anger drenching his gaze as barely contained rage tries to burst from his body.
Danni Brooks is not alone.
A tall, blonde man stepped out of the house behind her. He knows who it is instantly, that pathetic forensic expert who is always staring at her, her co-worker Will. He wants to rip his throat out, tear it with his bare hands.
Danni Brooks is his.
He holds himself still, his eyes narrowing as he watches them. Will says something and Danni laughs, her lips stretched wide in a smile. Evidently Will is joining Danni on her run. Evidently Will has stayed the night. Hatred so intense it frightens even the monster inside him rises in his chest.
He imagines all the ways he wants to kill Will, tearing him apart and hurting him. Sometimes quickly in frustration, sometimes slowly out of fury. In his anger he wants to make Danni watch. Make her understand who she belongs to. Make her appreciate all the opportunities he has had to kill her but hasn’t. She is alive because he has decided she should be alive. He clenches his fists, eyes narrowing.
Rage makes him reckless.
The couple starts their run, jogging side by side down the street. It disgusts him. Infuriates him.
He waits until they are out of sight, and then waits ten minutes more before he finally moves. His legs are stiff from the cold and from the rigidity of his position but he enjoys the pain and prickles as they come back to life. He slides himself back into the darkness his thoughts racing.
He tries to calm himself, he can’t let himself slip now.
But soon she will know who he is.
Soon Danni Brooks will understand.