The 9th Victim: A Killer’s Obsession

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.

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.