Anticipation

This was my very first attempt at some fiction, published on my ‘day-to-day’ blog four and a half years ago. I saw the image of the protagonist very clearly in my mind and it led me to write this little piece.

It’s raining as he looks out of his window. Even though it’s approaching midnight, there’s plenty enough light thanks to the street lights, the neon advertisements, and their reflections in the puddles on the pavement. The rain has eased off to a gentle drizzle, almost like a dusting of water in the air. This is good. It means the selection of his next victim can be done in relative peace. No one wants to be out and about in weather like this.
He turns away from the window to finish his preparation. He’s dressed in blue jeans and a sweatshirt, he shies away from the typical ‘psycho killer’ look of all black, he wants to blend in, not stand out. He pulls on his running shoes and throws on a light, water proof jacket. He could be just another man out for a drink, or a pack of cigarettes, or on his way home after a night out. He feels the reassuring weight of the seven inch hunting knife in the inside pocket of the jacket and decides he’s ready.
As he leaves his apartment, he feels the familiar quickening of his pulse, the slight clamminess on the back of his neck, and the fluttering of butterflies in his stomach. But his hands are still and steady and his movements relaxed. As he walks toward the red-light area of the town the moisture in the air feels good on his skin, and thinks that tonight will be a good one. Its not his first, and he doesn’t think it will be his last, but as he’s got away with it so far, why should it end tonight?
He spots her. Across the street from him. About fifty yards away. She’s smoking and looking bored as she scans the street, waiting for a car to be driving slow enough to indicate a possible punter. He’s not walking too slow as to draw attention to himself, and not too fast as to appear to be rushing toward her, so after a cursory glance she ignores him. He angles across the street and walks down the pavement toward her. She’s started to pay more attention to him now, part of her thinking “work” part of her thinking “threat”. When he’s no more than five yards away she speaks…
“Alright love? Looking for company?”
He can hear the slight tremor in her voice – yes, she’s still not sure, customer or crazy man.
He feigns his own slight nervousness with a small stutter as he asks about prices.
“Tenner hand relief, twenty oral, fifty full sex”, in business mode now, put at ease by his demeanour.
He asks if there is somewhere they can go – he doesn’t have a car, he explains.
“I know a little place, just round the corner, cozy, out of the rain.”
As she walks off ahead of him, leading him to the alley she uses for these short, sharp transactions, he lifts his face up to the rain and fingers the blade of his knife through the jacket lining. “Yes” he thinks, “this will be a good one…”

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