Tonight, solitude and darkness were the friends he sought they were the only friends he had. He contemplated that for a moment as he walked gracefully and silent down the long dimly lit road. A slight breeze almost ruffled his lengthy dead colourless wiry hair. His intense jet black stare focused forward on the direction yet to travel and his mind kept at one with his dulling surroundings ever aware of the place he was journeying from. Although he had no fear of being seen, something kept him tightly tucked in to the side of the road, under the trees, frequenting the shadows.
His long black overcoat hung on his emaciated frame hiding the frailness of his body. The weight of the material almost certainly contributing vastly to his encumbering movement. Under normal circumstances it would have given any normal man untold amounts of warm protection against the harsh bitter cold that bit deeply and angrily into their skin during this moment of the night, but this man and circumstances were far from normal.
Maybe it was a long lost childhood memory, a habit that he thought he’d purged from his subconscious, but something had made him drag a small broken twig along against the cast iron railings. Its slight rattle echoed eerily through the thin vale of the newly settling evening mist.
His deep inset eyes narrowed and his lip curled as he glared at his offending hand. The displeasure in his face, the heat in his stare could nearly be felt in the ambience of the cold breeze. His hand almost cowered in response and instantly stopped letting the twig return like autumn windfall to the ground. Normal composure returned as he continued on his way.
He noticed the thin stream of blood dripping off his fingers. “That, was careless.” He thought. He hadn’t felt its warmth running over his flesh because of his inability to feel heat but that was no excuse, he should have known that he was covered in blood.
To leave a trail from his victim, no matter how small would only result in someone else taking the blame and that would violate every ethical thing that he believed in. He’d instantly known that it was his victim’s blood as he was incapable of bleeding. Blood did not run through his body. It had been a very long time since he had needed the life force that it gave flowing through his veins.
“No, he really couldn’t afford to leave a trail, especially not one that would lead straight to his next victim.”
He raised the offending hand to his mouth and slowly licked it clean. It tasted good, or at least he knew that it tasted good. The sensory pleasure of taste was another one of those delights that his body had long since given up.
His keen eyesight followed the thin trail of human blood all the way back down the street. He knew that it was highly unlikely that anyone would find the trace but he also knew from experience that he couldn’t allow it to remain behind.
He stretched his arm out, slightly raising his hand to the vertical and without as much as a breath just a slight twinge in his bony fingers the blood trail almost sprung into a fiery life and then vanished.
He shook his head to acknowledge his carelessness, turned, and continued his slow almost morose walk down the road. He had no need to travel in such an arcane manner but for some reason that he had never understood, he always derived much satisfaction from it. Tonight he had time, among other things, to kill and he would walk the lifeless streets between jobs and squeeze as much pleasure out of these moments that he had.
Moments later he approached the house. The lights were out and the only thing illuminating the pathway to the ornate wooden door was the old street light across the road. He walked up the path and stopped at the entrance to his destination.
He waited for a few minutes to consider this place. His eyes closed and his hand squeezed the fence that followed the path. This was definitely the right place.
He slowly traced a glyph on the dark wood and the door opened. He waited a moment then entered the house. No one would have seen him enter and no one would know that he was there. The darkness would have stopped most people from being able to navigate their way round the cluttered hall way but he made the line without stumbling once. He stopped at the bottom of the stairs and gave a cursory glance up before continuing around them and into a back room.
He knew that his heart would have been beating as the adrenaline of the hunt vigorously pumped blood through his system, but his chest cavity remained still and lifeless. He didn’t need to look round the room but he did anyway out of habit. He paid no attention to what his eyes saw just waited for them to take in the full panoramic and then crossed the room.
He slowly pushed open a small cupboard door and peered down a steep flight of stairs that had seemingly been carved out of rock of the earth. The doorway was far too small and narrow for him to negotiate but I wouldn’t prove to be a problem. A slight movement of the hand and he stood deep at the bottom of the stairway.
He walked over to the small figure curled up and sleeping on an old mattress at the far end of the cavern. He considered the child as he watched the steady rise and fall of his chest as the body performed the marvellous feat of breathing.
Children were always the hardest to take away but a job was a job and this was no different that all the others. He would take no pleasure out of this one and he wouldn’t have the usual temptation to toy with his victim before taking them away.
He knelt down and started to place his hand over the young boys face. He squeezed, there was no struggle, no fight to stay in this forsaken hell hole. As the body started to lose its hold on life he said. “You shouldn’t be here, it’s time to leave.”