Thursday, 31 March 2016

Human Highway

  1. Choose your victim
That night he was alone, driving in the pouring rain, only a fool with nowhere else to go at two o’clock in the morning… but it was the only thing keeping Denny sane. When it all got too much for him, all the banality, the routine nothingness of his life, when he could bare it no longer he drove, sometimes for hours. It helped; gave him a sense of direction.
His eyes were heavy, tangled with the desire to shut of their own accord; the heavy rain bizarrely soothing, making it harder to concentrate.
He was almost through Scaynes Hill when he saw the man shambling in the middle of the road, barely walking upright, as if in pain, or blind drunk, and the way he was veering into the other lane meant that he wouldn’t stand a chance if another car came along.
Denny slowed down, knowing instinctively that no one else would be mad enough to be out on a morning like this, but bibbed three times to get his attention. The man neither noticed nor cared.
Denny should have left him, driven home with not a moments concern, gone to sleep and lived his life as normal, never knowing the manipulative manner; never meeting him.. .
But stop he did… against every rational bone in his body; he pulled over and got out of the car, the rain soaking him in seconds.
Thankfully with no other driver on the roads, he was able to reach the shambles of a man, who was still oblivious to the world around him, and drag him back to the car.
What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” Denny asked, trying to get the man to face him. The man looked as if he’d been crying, his whole face wracked with grief. He was beyond words and could only shake his head.
There was nothing else he could do, Denny had to get him home. Leading him to the passenger side, he opened the door and tucked the man in. He knew that his seats were going to be ruined with water stains, but he had no choice –he had to keep telling himself that, it would make things easier later on (but it didn’t). He turned the engine on and wacked the heater up to maximum. He looked at the man, wondering where he was going to take him.
Just take me home.” The man replied to the unspoken question, his voice deep, cold and trembling. Denny turned back trying to hide the surprise at the statement. The man's face, still streaming from the deluge outside seemed to have both shrunk and expanded like a bulldogs and it would have been almost comical except for the dark piercing singularities he had for eyes. Denny drove off.
Where though?” He asked. “I don’t know where you live.”
I live in the same block of flats that you do; on the second floor.”
Denny should’ve left him to the unforgiving storm at that point; let him drown, instead he let the incredulity of the situation drive them home. When they finally got back to the flat rather than say goodbye, or even thank you, all the man said to Denny before shutting his door was, “the names Nihl.” As if that was payment enough.

  1. Give them a false sense of security
A bewildered and sleepless night gave way to the cold light of the next day and the encounter with Nihl just became a talking point at work. And, as the day turned to a week and then two, it became even less, a surreal footnote to an average, mundane life.
Until the knock on the door.
Ten past ten at night; no one calls this late, and Denny ignores it. Another knock, more urgent, unrelenting. He stumbles to the door, peeks through the spy hole only to be faced with the sight of a bottle of whiskey.
By way of thanks.” The instantly recognisable voice explains what’s going on. Denny’s heart sinks – it’s Nihl. Reluctantly he lets him in, making his final mistake compound all the others, threatening to snowball.
Nihil makes himself at home and thrusts the bottle at Denny as he does so. It’s a bottle of Glenn Morraingie; the good stuff. (All Denny can afford is the cheap blended stuff normally.)
Denny disappears into the snug kitchen on the hunt for two glasses. Nix – they’re all smudged and used, so mugs will have to do; Nihl will understand, living the bachelor lifestyle.
Class.” Nihl replies after being handed the mug with the funny duck face on it.
I don’t entertain much.” Denny replies. “I have about one each of most things left that are serviceable.”
What about the mugs? They seem fine..”
I don’t drink tea or coffee much.” Nihl understands the logic and smiles, taking a gulp from the mug. Denny does the same, feeling the amber lava flow down his throat making his lips draw back in a rictus.
That’s good stuff.” He chokes. “Christ, I’m so used to the blended crap I’d forgotten what the good stuff tastes like!”
Get the bottle.” Nihl replies, finishing his already. Denny agrees and pushes his way back into the kitchen. After pouring another half-mug each he sits down again.
We went to the same college, you know.” Nihl lobs the bombshell casually.
Really?” Denny tries his best to think back that far but can’t. “Who was your reg tutor?”
Mr Keorg.”
Dr Keorg, you mean…” Denny corrects.
See – it was a large group, and I’m not surprised you don’t remember me. You used to keep yourself to yourself quite a bit back then.”
Still do.” Denny replies, his voice muffled by the mug as he takes another gulp. By fuck, this was good stuff! It was going to give him bad reflux but right now it was just what he needed. He was almost pleased that Nihl had come round!
Denny thought back to college, tried to picture what it was like back then but couldn’t: it was too long ago and there were too many bad memories. “I’m really sorry, I don’t remember you.” He sheepishly admitted.
No problem. You sat at the front of the class and had much shorter hair back then. I sat at the back of the class and tried to keep out of it. Everything I did seemed to rub Keorg the wrong way, but you seemed to get on really well, if I remember.”
He was easy enough to understand; I always found him a straight up bloke. You played fair by him then he did the same by you.” Denny smiled at that. Keorg was one of the few good eggs at that shit pile of a college.
Bit of a teachers pet then.” Nihl snided.
Hardly.” Denny cut back, knowing it was true. Anything for a quiet life, back then… not much had changed though.
Hardly…” Nihl mocked. There was something in the way he said it that sparked a memory, one that had been buried for a great many years. “That means you knew Annabelle Browne.”

  1. Conceal your true intentions
Denny nodded and looked away. “Now there’s someone I haven’t thought about in a long time.” He replied. “She was knocked down in Scaynes Hill, not far away from where I picked you up, actually.”
Yes, I know. .. I was dating her at the time.”
Denny was stunned by this. “Fuck.” Was the only intelligible thing he could think of to say. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to bring it up in such a fashion.”
You weren’t to know… it’s all right.” Nihl took another gulp and held his mug out for a refill. Denny poured out another shot for himself as well. “It’s been almost what.. ten years since that happened?” He ventured.
About that long.” Nihl agreed, and then Denny understood.
That’s why you were there that night.”
I go there every year, though it’s not usually as bad as this. It’s hit harder this year for some reason. I can’t seem to get over it. It’s like a blockage I can’t move through. You ever have anything like that?”
Denny nodded and took another slug of whiskey, allowing it to enrage the acid fire he could feel burning now in his gut.
Yeah, I know what you mean.” He spoke through the mug. “I don’t want to say anything more in case it brings you any more pain.”
My pain is ten years old, don’t worry about it. So what happened to you?”
I actually ran someone over myself.” Denny confessed, growing ashamed under Nihl’s scrutiny. There was a glint in his eye, or was that something Denny added in post production trying to discern a motive to Nihls actions later on? “She’s alright though.” He quickly added. “She ran out in front of me without looking; neither of us stood a chance but luckily she got off with minor cuts and bruises. I still see her in my dreams sometimes though… I keep thinking what if…” He finished his mug and poured another double. Nihl refused a top-up. “I know it’s daft, ridiculous even… as everything turned out ok, but I just can’t seem to get over it…”
No, I do know what you’re talking about too. It must have been terrible, especially as it wasn’t your fault.”
But I still blame myself, see. I was three minutes from my own front door and was barely driving 25 miles an hour, but it’s still my fault in my eyes. The police told me that there was nothing else I could have done.” He drowned the last of the whiskey and was about to pour himself out another when Nihl took the bottle away from him.
I think we’ve had enough for one night, mate.” Denny agreed reluctantly and barely managed to put his mug on the floor without dropping it.
We need to go out more.” Nihl ventured. Denny nodded, trying to get off of the sofa. “And I know just the place.. I’ll pick you up on Friday night at 7.30. Don’t worry about anything, I’ll see to it all.” Denny smiled drunkenly, still trying to push himself onto two legs. “Don’t worry Denny, I’ll see myself out, you just sleep well and I’ll see you on Friday. Thanks for tonight, I feel I’ve met a kindred spirit.”
And he left.
Denny smiled, wondering just what the hell was going on. It sounded like he was starting to have a life again, but in the back of his mind all he could think about was Annabelle and… what was her name? What was… that was it.. Jae.

  1. Offer them strength, but undermine them
Nihl was secretive when he knocked on Denny’s door; he was ten minutes early through excitement he said, but Denny was already ready, shoes on, anxious.
When pressed about where they were going all Nihl responded was, “It’s where I go to unwind.” Denny assumed it was a bar or a club somewhere that had live music. He wasn’t prepared for the reality,
Nihl drove, his car a battered relic of a lifetimes losing battle. “I’ve had the same car for years, and despite how it looks I’ve kept good care of it. It may look dented to fuck but she runs like a dream.”
Denny had no complaints, his car was the exact opposite. He kept it immaculate but it drove like it had dementia.
For the first five minutes Denny relished being the passenger for a change. Then he realised that Nihl drove with an abandon he’d not seen before in anyone. It wasn’t that he drove fast or necessarily careless, but as soon as anyone tried tailgating or cut him up then he became a completely different man. He raved as if possessed, his language coarser than normal. Yet it wasn’t even his expletive strung sentences that worried Denny, it was the way he slammed his brakes on when someone got too close, or sped up when they tried overtaking him. He also played a game called mirror, mirror where he drove exactly like the person in front at insane closeness to them.
Just wait until you see what I’ve got lined up.” He said when they’d been driving for over half an hour, without talking. “She’s a long way, but is she worth it!”
Denny turned round to look at him in surprise; what was Nihl going on about? She was worth it? Who was she?? Nihl looked at Denny and grinned again. “Not long to go.” He said, and slapped Denny’s knee.
The darkness spat rain and Denny wished he was back home in the warm ; the car heater didn’t work and the radio was stuck halfway between stations. Nihl didn’t seem to notice but insisted that the radio stayed on for some reason.
They finally reached a secluded close in Seaford, away from the seafront; the rain now beating incessantly on the roof and bonnet. Nihl unbuckled his seatbelt and turned to Denny.
Look, you don’t need to worry about anything. She’s all been paid for – this time anyways. We’ll go in together as she’s expecting us. I’ll go first, gentleman’s privilege and we’ll be upstairs… You can wait in the lounge area. I won’t be that long! Ok with all that?”
No! Denny thought, no! I’m not ok with it… He couldn’t believe that Nihl had put him in such a position. He should have protested, gotten out of the car.. anything except acquiesce.
Nihl smiled and as they got out of the car and walked towards her front door he winked at him. “She’s a great piece of arse… you’ll love her!”

  1. Make others come to you
Once upon a time Denny had a romanticised view of sex and prostitution, through films and the internet he had built up this virtual palace of lust with seduction and beauty going hand in cock. Within five minutes with Nihl and Sascha his every preconception was shattered.
The door was opened by a 45 year old woman who had probably seen better years from being on the wrong end of the scales, as well as being on the wrong end of the street. She almost pushed Denny into the living room as she led Nihl upstairs.
The house was run down, old before its time like its owner and smelt of stale sex, cheap booze and cigarettes. What was most troubling of all were the assortment of toys strewn about the floor. There was a child in amongst all of this. A child who would never stand a chance.
Denny wanted to leave; everything about this was wrong, and yet Nihl saw this as natural. He had obviously spent time with Sascha before and could even be called a regular?
All the toys were battered, none of them new and in the corner was the remnants of a forlorn Christmas tree, even though this was the end of February. The ceiling had damp patches like age spots and the walls were peeling like psoriasis and yet dominating the room was a 36” flatscreen television! It just didn’t make sense.
Now Denny could hear Nihl; the rhythm and cadence from the bump and grind from upstairs; the faux “Come for me, baby!” and an almost religious extacy from Sascha followed by monosyllabic grunts from him.
Denny should have left, gotten up and walked out, except he had no idea of where to go. Nihl had driven and for all he knew they were miles from anywhere. Besides, it was too late.
He stood in the door way, dishevelled and flushed, buttoning up his shirt. A wry grin punctuated his face, making it look untidy. Denny wanted to thump him, beat it off him.
Well… it’s your turn.”

  1. Master your timing
On the way home Denny couldn’t bring himself to talk about anything, let alone what had actually happened to him. Nihl, on his part, wasn’t in the mood for talking either to start. He had his window open all the way home, despite the fact that it was still fucking cold.
The whole session with Sascha had only lasted 15 minutes, and it had been degrading from the very minute Denny walked up the stairs.
Sascha had barely bothered to make herself presentable. The room smelt of desperation and cum, and Denny felt sickened by it. He sat on the edge of the bed, noticing where Nihl had laid moments before.
So how do you want to do me?” Sascha propositioned, matter-of-factly. “You want to be on top?”
He couldn’t speak and she twigged what was at fault. “Wow – you’re fresh meat. Nihl has brought me a treat!” She started unbuttoning his shirt, then unzipped his fly. “Let’s see what you’ve got for me. Is there something I can have a taste of?”
He became hard against his will, but that was about all that happened; the crown to his humiliation. She said nothing, just allowed him to go with whatever dignity he had left, to the waiting Nihl.
When they got past Lewes though Nihl started talking; it was late and Denny wanted to be at home, nursing a whiskey. He wanted to put this night behind him, but Nihl was oblivious; bolstered from his carnal prowess.
Trouble is, people put too much emphasis on cumming during sex.” He said it as if in direct mockery of Denny. “Anything can bring on an orgasm if you approach it right. It’s just replacing one set of stimuli with another.” Denny looked at him in disdain. Nihl laughed. “Just fucking with you… Lighten up, don’t worry about it! She’s a pro; she’s used to it. This was your first time, no doubt there’ll be others!
Look, now you’ve been through your initiation I can tell you more about what I’m doing. We’re at war, Denny. A war for the sanity of our streets.”
Denny looked back at him with sheer disbelief. Was this guy for real?
Look, drivers can be divided up into three categories. There’s arseholes, right? That’s us – John-Q-Public; the everyday road users who do their best on the roads. Then there’s the ignorant arseholes who don’t know how to use roundabouts; those that poodle around at 30 miles an hour in a 60 zone, don’t indicate correctly at crossings and brake at night at the first sign of cars passing them. Finally there’s the fucking arseholes. We all know the type; arrogant, aggressive bastards who tailgate, overtake indiscriminately or hog the middle of the country lanes. You know the type, well – this is a war to regain the road from those last two categories of people. I’m working on a game plan, and I need your help.”

  1. Reign in confusion
Three nights later there’s another knock on Denny’s door and he knows it’s Nihl. He was hoping beyond hope that he’d never see him again. The night with Sascha was becoming a memory he could now forget. It wasn’t so much the inability to consume his tryst with her, rather the rant on the way home. No one could be that blind, surely!
The worst part was, after a while Nihl had started talking sense, albeit in an overly aggressive, creepy way. Yet he was spot on about classifying the types of driver and the behaviours they exhibited. Denny spotted more and more examples every time he drove anywhere, he was agreeing with Nihls warped logic; and the worst part was that he actually wanted to know more!
When he opened the door Nihl clasped one hand on his shoulder and said, “Let’s go out for a drink; just to make a change…and this time we’ll walk!”
Haywards Heath had a concentration of trendy wine bars that Nihl called Desolation Row. When they drove down the main-drag a few nights previous Nihl remarked that the queues going into the bars resembled a Meat Market. “They even wait outside when it rains, can you believe that?” He had remarked.
Tonight was a Wednesday night though but there were still many people in the bar, more than Denny had assumed there would be. Nihl ordered them both a draft beer and they sat down in a secluded corner where they could ogle the clientele without being seen.
Denny took a sip of beer whilst Nihl knocked half of his back before wiping his hand across his mouth.
Look, I’m sorry about the other night, I know it caught you off guard.” He said. Denny thought he was talking about the Sascha debacle, which he really wanted to forget, but NIhl carried on. “I always get hyper after seeing Sascha… things just seem more.. real, y’know? I forgot that we’d not even spoken about that kind of thing before, let alone driven together. I see you as a kindred spirit though, a mini-me, in a way.” Denny nodded, not knowing whether that was a compliment or not, wanting to know desperately where this was leading. “Do you like driving, Denny?”
My brother does.” He said, and shrugged. “He’s a writer and photographer in his spare time and he likes driving round Sussex, taking photos. I drive because I have to, but I can’t say I enjoy it.”
What don’t you enjoy about it?”
If I’m honest, it’s other people.” Denny took another gulp of beer and looked away. The bar was really filling up now, and it was only just past 8. Where did people get the money from? “The other drivers on the road?” Nihl spoke for him and Denny nodded. “The bastards, arseholes and cunts that roam the roads, not giving a shit about who or what they screw over. I agree completely! Do you find driving stressful?”
Denny nodded emphatically, the beer helping him to loosen up the inhibitors before saying, “I never used to but after the accident I’ve become more aware of them.”
The other road users. The arseholes you spoke of last night. They seem to cause more accidents than they’re involved in. They drive like bastards and get off scott free, whereas a driver like me –who tries to be careful- can’t go five minutes down my fucking road without knocking someone over.” He took another gulp to quell the rage he was starting to feel. Nihl put his hand on Denny’s shoulder.
Aye – and they treat us as if we’re the cunts. Well, I want to turn the tables on THEM! But I need your help to do that.”
But Denny was no longer paying any attention to him. His eyes were on the bar; at the woman who now stood there, ordering a glass of wine with a friend.
It was Jae.

  1. Act as a friend
What’s wrong?” Nihl asked, prodding Denny with his elbow. “Why the guppy fish impression?”
Her.” Denny motioned to the girl who stood by the bar, but it couldn’t be.. surely?
Jae. The girl, woman.. I knocked over a few years ago, but it can’t be.” Denny shook his head in disbelief.
You should go talk to her.” Nihl laughed.
You out of your fucking mind?” Denny hissed. “I fucking ran her over, it’s one hell of an icebreaker!” Too late, she’d turned round and made eye contact with him. Disbelief turned in on itself as she actually walked towards them. Christ, she was coming this way!
Denny?” She asked, standing in front of him; her hair honeyed and bunched; her jeans and pink top tight and inviting, causing Denny to suddenly dry up.
Heh.. yes.” He coughed.
I thought it was you – I’ve not seen you since.. well, you know.” Her voice was warm, bubbly, as if they’d been the best of friends. “Wow, I can’t believe we’ve bumped into each other again, if you pardon the pun. Look, I’m with friends at the moment, but I really want to meet up with you, talk to you properly. There’s so much I want to tell you… Here’s my card.” She fumbled inside her handbag and pulled a slightly scuffed business card. “Sorry, I need to get some more printed… My mobile number and email address is on there – I want to hear from you! Wow – I’ve got to go, but wow, this has made my night!”
She left in a whirlwind of beauty and Nihl in an open mouthed state. Denny was beside himself in wonder at what just happened. Had he looked back to Nihl he would have noticed a smile creep into his eyes, but he was too busy looking at the business card in his hand.

  1. Keep a co-dependency going
So, are you going to go for it? Her, I mean.” Nihl asked two days later. They were sitting on Denny’s sofa, her business card sitting next to the phone, untouched and gathering dust.
What’s wrong with you?” Denny snapped.
Sorry… it’s just been two days and you haven’t even rung her yet! What’s with that? She was so… into you, I mean – pleased to see you.” Nihl explained.
That’s what scares me… look, can we go for a drive? I need to get out.” Nihl smiles at this and gets his keys out ready. “No, I want to drive.”
Drive my car then.” He says and throws the keys onto Denny’s lap.

Another moonlit drive to nowhere, this time in a strange car – one that was as wrecked outside as Denny felt inside. To compound it, the seat covers were worn and cigarette burns scored the upholstery; food wrappers, cans and all sorts of unknowable crap littered the rear seats and foot-wells, the floor was stickly sweet.
Go out with her.” Nihl needled. “You’ll never know what she wants if you don’t take the chance!”
I don’t know… I really don’t. What if it’s revenge?”
Nihl laughed, a deep belly laugh. “You’re out of your fucking mind.” He replies, punching Denny on the arm. “What can she possibly be pissed off with you about, after all this time?”
What, apart from running her down?”
From what you said it was her fault…”

Headlights full beam, slashed the night, dazzling Denny in the rear view mirror.
Fuck!” he snaps, “What the fuck is he playing at?” The car seemed to come out of nowhere, doing at least 70 miles an hour before it clocked to Denny’s 30 and they had only just left Scaynes Hill. It didn’t overtake at all, just stayed right behind him.
Brake hard.” Nihl whispered as if the car behind could hear him.
You fucking kidding me? He’s tail gaiting us for no reason, he could easily overtake us.”
Yes, exactly – he’s one of those fucking arseholes I was telling you about. You seriously going to stand for this?”
But I’m in your car, man.” Denny wanted to, really wanted to slam the brakes on and teach this arsehole a lesson.
So? How do you think the car got in this condition in the first place? These aren’t dents, they’re battle scars! Just do it!”
Denny nodded, grit his teeth and kicked down on the accelerator, just as they were going down into the hairpin bend. Nihl grinned, knowing exactly what Denny had planned and braced himself. The car behind was slow on the uptake but by then Denny had slammed the brakes on and there was only two things it could do, drive right into the back of him or drive off the road.
It chose the latter and never stood a chance. It wasn’t just a hairpin bend it was on the ridge of a hill and below was a pond, but Denny didn’t stay to find out what had happened to it, he was too busy trying to stop his laughter as they drove away.
Fucking-A!” Nihl shouted. “That’s one fucking arsehole that won’t bother anyone again! Score one for us!” Denny whooped for joy, the adrenaline scouring his system. “You’re now part of it, Denny – well done!”
Fuck yeah! And what’s more, I’m going to ask Jae out! I’m actually going to ring her when I get back.”

  1. Discover their pressure points….
The cold light of the next day was brutal as he realised exactly what had happened. He checked the newspapers for signs of the accident, desperate to see if there were any injuries or fatalities. Thankfully nothing was spoken about, nobody had reported it. He drove past the incident site that afternoon and noticed that the car was no longer there, it had been towed away. The only fear Denny had was of reprisals… and then he realised, he’d been driving Nihl’s car; and Nihl wouldn’t give a shit. For all he knew that had been a reprisal attack in the first place!
Thankfully a week passed without seeing Nihl, but it was inevitable that he’d be round eventually, but Denny was in no mood to see anyone.
Hi there stud, how goes it?” Nihl thumped him on the shoulder as he invited himself in.
Fuck off.” Denny snapped, trying to slam the door as he walked through.
What gives? What’s up with you?”
Look – I just want to be alone, alright? Can’t you just get it through your head?”
Don’t block me out, Denny – not after what we’ve been through! Let’s talk this thing through. What’s happened?”

A whiskey later and Denny almost felt ready to talk, but Nihl beat him to the crunch.
So you couldn’t make it with her, then?”
How the fuck could you possibly know that then?”
I’m good at putting two and two together.”
Well, you’re right – I couldn’t ‘make it with her’, which is crazy because she is INTO me! I can’t believe it. I mean, get this –she said.. she said that.. that the car crash was the best thing that ever happened to her! It made her reassess her life, she saw it as a cathartic experience; her old self died in the accident and she managed to make herself anew.”
Bullshit!” Nihl snapped.
Exactly! That’s what I thought and said it, in a less extreme way; but it’s completely true! She explained how she was before the crash and what she’s like now. She’s a Reiki massage therapist, or something like that. (Can’t really say I understand all that stuff) We really hit it off; went back to her place and she gave me a massage –it was amazing. And one thing led to another, just like it does in the fucking films… I mean, it should’ve been amazing, but all I could think about was Sascha. I looked at Jae, who is just so beautiful, and saw her. I mean, how screwed up am I?”
Fuck man, so what happened?”
Well, obviously I couldn’t go through with it. I gave her some excuse about it being my first time and she was really understanding… but I couldn’t look her in the eye, I just packed my shit away, got dressed and left.”
Like that? You didn’t stay?!”
How could I?” Denny snapped back. “I felt so embarrassed.”
So what now?”
What now? Nothing – that’s what. There’s no way I can see her again like that. I mean, she’s texted me a couple of times, but I haven’t replied. I can’t bear her to see me like this.”
It happens mate… more than what you think. It’s ok.” Nihl sounded as if he was trying to be comforting, but in his mind that was the last thing he wanted.
Did it ever happen to you, then?” Denny accused.
Fuck no! oh… sorry.”
Yeah well… there you go. What do I do now then?”
Go back to Sascha? Finish what you started?”

It was intended as a joke but for some reason Denny could not push it out of his mind. In a dark and lonely part of his thoughts it made sense; it had a twisted logic.
He tried to ignore the suggestion, putting up a brave front, carrying on regardless, but what started out as nothing more than a niggling sensation, an itch that he couldn’t scratch himself, became something obsessional; when he closed his eyes he could see Sascha’s face; her eyes tired and weary of life, empty like a sharks as she took his cock in her mouth. He wanted to forget her, deny the experience ever happened, but he needed closure. For some unfathomable reason he had to go back there. It ceased to be a choice; it became a compulsion.
It had taken less than a day.
He rang her, using the number that Nihl had given him. She seemed surprised to be hearing from him so soon. Equally surprising was that she was free that night. She gave him directions which he followed to the letter and still managed to get lost.
It was raining again that night, the sodium light of dusk making it harder to see through the shower. Storm clouds built up like fallout. He was ten minutes early and wandered the streets trying not to look suspicious so by the time he reached her door he was soaked.
She invited him with the minimum of fuss. Whether it was his expectations were more realistic, or just the fact that Nihl wasn’t with him, but Sascha seemed more… attractive than last time. She was dressed less provocatively than before in a white silk dressing gown and fluffy slippers, which he couldn’t help but smile at. She smiled back and took his hand, leading him upstairs to her room. He gave her the money without a word and she placed it in the top drawer, next to the bed.
Very little was said throughout the session and Denny was surprised about how easy it was for him to cum this time. Sascha knew what to do, knew how to handle him now; she was gentle when she needed to be and coaxing when it mattered. She spurned him on with her groans and exclamations.
The guilt for him came later, followed by a bombshell.
After Sascha had cleaned him up she placed a hand on his thigh and looked at him. “Why do you spend time with Nihl? You must know he’s no good.”

The trouble was, she was right. Denny knew that without a shadow of doubt, and yet part of him liked hanging around him; it made him feel alive. Nihl saw himself as a road warrior; had a bag of dirty tricks up his sleeve if things ever escalated beyond the initial confrontation.
Small things, like swapping the indicator and windscreen wipers over, to more serious things like tampering with the air-bag or the seatbelt retractor.
You’d be surprised what you can find on the internet if you know how to look.” Nihl had explained. “They tell you how things work, so it’s relatively easy to figure out a way to stop them!”
Denny knew that Nihl was mostly talk, but even so… Nihl had never deliberately rammed anyone or forced them off the road and he didn’t exactly suffer from road rage. He was colder and calculating; he could follow people for miles, deliberately going out of his own way, and mirror their driving style perfectly. He was able to anticipate their moves and always kept within one car-length from them. If they braked suddenly he allowed them to accept the consequences – his car didn’t matter to him, and people could see it. No one was that stupid.. yet.
But it was the threat which worried him, he was concerned how Nihl would react if Denny told him where to go. That’s why he just planned to ignore him. All that he wanted to do now was see Jae.
He no longer felt screwed up, he felt more confident than he had in years and actually rang her the minute he shut the door from seeing Sascha. To his delight, she agreed to see him the next night.
  1. and squeeze
Days folded into one another and Denny spent more and more time with Jae. He’d never met anyone like her; the way she had turned her life around completely was like a beacon to him. She knew what she wanted out of life and wasn’t afraid to work at it.
As before they had made love on the first date (mark II, as Jae called it); this time Denny was able to consummate it properly with a vigour that had surprised even Jae.
I don’t want to live my life through other people any more.” He had muttered as they lie together. “I want to make the most of the time I’ve got; I want to make the most out of you.”
Two weeks phased into three and he’d forgotten all about Nihl; having made the deliberate choice of not spending time in his flat. Jae didn’t seem to mind the amount of time they were spending together, which was great.
But the one day when she had to visit her family in London was the one day that Denny had to spend at home, and it was on that day that Nihl called round. For some reason Denny could not tell him to fuck off; it was as if he still owed him something.
Where you been?” Nihl asked, walking into his flat without even being asked. “No, don’t bother…I already know.”
What’s wrong with you?” Denny interrupted. “You can’t just barge in here!”
Time was you didn’t mind…”
Yeah, as a matter of fact, I’ve always minded.” Denny snapped back.
Like that, is it? Grown some balls now have you?”
What is it that you want?”
Y’see, I thought we were friends.. Buds, hanging out.. driving, pumping gas… where you been?”
You know where I’ve been!”
Yeah.. you been pumping alright.”
Right, that’s it. I want you to leave; I’ve had enough.”
Riiight – of course. Still, I wonder if she knows exactly what happened with you? What caused the epic transformation from impotent idiot to porn star. I mean, bravo…but does she know?”
How? What are you talking about?”
Don’t treat me like a fucking idiot.” Nihl snapped back. “You fucked her… you fucked Sascha again.. before seeing Jae; you’re the sick fuck!”
So what, you going to tell her?”
Well, I think she deserves to know, don’t you think?”

  1. Isolate them
Like a child running to his mother; a sinner fleeing to a priest for absolution, Denny parked and waited outside Jaes flat for redemption. Feeling the weakness and revulsion in his guts he had no choice, she was going to find out about his crime regardless; far better to hear it from him, from his own mouth rather than from Nihl. The end result was going to be the same; but damned if he was going to give Nihl the satisfaction.
He knew that Nihl was fucked up, but this was something else; the way he had carried on was like he was possessed. Sascha had been right… why had it taken Denny this long to find out?
But Nihl had to wait, he needed to break the news to Jae and accept the consequences for his tryst with Sascha.

Less than two hours later, Denny drove home in utter confusion and elation. How had he managed to meet someone so understanding? If this had been in a story no one would ever have believed it, but Jae had forgiven him; she actually understood why he’d done it. She noticed the transformation in him and had assumed that something must have happened to cause it. She joked that he had either found religion (in which case she would’ve dumped him) or he’d actually gotten laid.
As someone who had lived a fairly promiscuous life before the accident she was hardly the paragon of virtue and the last one to judge. As long as he had used protection and would never do it again she was fine with it. Strangely, she had actually thanked him for confiding in her.
Denny had no choice then. He had to tell her everything that had happened with Nihl. It took her some time to understand why Denny still hung around with him, and what had happened with the car accident.
You’ve got to go to the police – he’s a danger to everyone on the roads!” She said after he had explained.
But he hasn’t done anything.” Denny excused, scarcely believing the words he was uttering.
Yet.” But Denny, naïve to the last, refused to believe that Nihl would actually hurt anyone. He needed to give him the benefit of the doubt. He was going to confront Nihl, one last time and tell him it was over.

  1. Become their dark mirror
Nihl’s front door was ajar but Denny knocked on it regardless. No response.
Pushing the door open he knew that something was wrong. An unquantifiable, unknowable wrongness lurched in his stomach, a queasy eerie silence signifying that Nihl wasn’t there.
Denny couldn’t just leave without a note to make his intentions clear.
He walked into the flat, surprised at how similar it looked in layout to his own. A map on the far wall overhung Nihls bed, with coloured pins in it. String led from the pins to small notes; and there was a table by the window with notebooks and sticky pads piled on it.
Denny walked to the table and noticed how barren the rest of the flat was when compared to his own. There were no bookcases, no DVD’s; just a small portable television.
Nihl did have an amazing view of the park and Denny was smitten by it before he noticed the photos that lie in amongst the notebooks. It took him a few seconds to realise what he was looking at; they were all photos of him.
Denny Paige, driving.. not driving. Some from the point of view of the car behind, others from the car coming the other way – how many of them were there? The notebooks were all diary entries of where he had driven and when. All clocking the time and the mileage as well. The mileage? That creeped him out the most.
To one side, a stack of index cards stood, all with just one line of text on them. The same handwriting as the notebooks; very small, very neat. Denny read the text of the first three.
  1. Choose your victim
  2. Give them a false sense of security
  3. Conceal your true intentions
He let the cards fall from his hands on to the floor and turned round to the front door. Nihl stood there, barring the way.

  1. Assume formlessness
Well, it was only a matter of time before you found out.” Nihl said, so matter-of-factly that it made Denny take a step further back. “Not that it really makes any difference. Oh, don’t worry -I’m not going to hurt you. At least, not now.” Denny was unsure what was going to happen next. He wished he’d taken Jae’s advice now and gone to the police. All those photos on the table, all those notebooks – what was going on? And why was Nihl so calm?
Please – sit down. I would pour you a whiskey but you’re going to want to stay sober for this bit.”
Denny sat down before his legs gave way. “What’s going on, Nihl? Why?”
We’re near the end of my project. The final curtain is nigh.”
I don’t understand?”
Not surprisingly – how could you hope to understand? You, my dear chap. You are my project. I’ve been grooming you for quite a while now. Following you a long time before we even met.”
But that’s impossible, we met by accident. I nearly ran you over, don’t you remember?” Denny was shaking his head, this just didn’t make any sense, like a nightmare. “You couldn’t have known I was going to be driving down that stretch of road at that time of night! I could’ve been anyone – you might have been killed!”
You obviously don’t remember someone overtaking you before you even reached Scaynes Hill? Someone doing at least 85 miles per hour?”
That was you?”
I’d been following you that whole night at a discrete distance, and I decided to make my move then. You performed perfectly, by the way, exactly as I hoped you would.” Denny felt numb with incredulity. “Don’t worry though, you’re just the latest in a long line of projects.”
What happened to the ones that came before?” Denny asked.
Oh, they’re fine – unharmed, but then, they had something that you don’t… backbone. They managed to beat me at my own game, something I don’t think you’ll be able to do. You’re my real prize. I mean, you’re the real reason I’ve been doing this!”
What the fuck are you talking about?” Denny finally snapped and got up out of the chair.
Sit DOWN!” Nihl shouted, his voice razor edged. Denny sat down as if punched. “If you go now, you’ll never understand the reasons why.. and that’s important, yes?”

  1. Recreate yourself.
You remember Anabelle Browne? Yes, of course you do. Now..” Nihl, a pose of relaxation as if he and Denny were just old friends reminiscing about better times. “I said that we dated… well, that was a bit of an untruth, actually. I dated her once, maybe twice? She was a bit.. well, odd. Backward in a way; you know what I mean, you went out with her too. We used to say ‘simple’ before things got too pc, but.. well, she was. There was something about her though, a spark; innocence that captivated me.” He smiled serenely and continued. “I clumsily asked her out and surprisingly she said yes. No one else had shown me that level of kindness before. I sat at the back of the class, seeing you and your group of sycophants at the front… well, for the first time Annabelle wanted to be part of something with me!
We went to the cinema, saw something revoltingly cheap and tacky and on the way home she wanted to stop at Ditchling Common, one of those secluded car parks. It was still early, but dark and I thought she just wanted to talk.
She barely waited for me to turn the engine off before she leaned in to kiss me. I didn’t know what to do, had never anticipated anything like that would happen. I didn’t have any condoms with me…. but it didn’t seem to bother her. She just fucked me, climbed over the gear stick –but not before pushing it inside of her, covering it with her juices, letting it fill her in a way that I could never hope to do. She then fucked me there and then.
It was amazing; I felt loved for the first time in my life. We drove home in silence and she pecked me on the cheek and watched me drive away. On the way home I caressed the gear stick now clammy from her.
The next day I arranged to go out for another drive to the cinema and she agreed. I was ecstatic, but that feeling didn’t last long. On the way home I pulled into the same parking space and leaned over to her, wanting her. Would you believe that she spurned me, just pushed me away? I didn’t know what to do, so I tried it again, put my hand on her thigh and moved it up her but she slapped it away. I couldn’t believe what was happening!
““’Take me home.’ Was all that that she said to me. I urged her to tell me what had changed, why she didn’t want to kiss me; so she told me. She felt sorry for me! Can you believe that? She felt sorry for me! It was a pity fuck! From her, of all people.
She had no more interest in me, but worse was to come; she was seeing someone else. Do you want to know who that someone was?” Denny was reeling from this. He felt the nausea rise from his stomach and burn his throat. He knew what Nihl wanted him to say. “DO YOU KNOW WHO THAT SOMEONE WAS?”
It was me.” Denny replied, like a naughty schoolboy. There had to be a way out of this, but Nihl was sitting between him and the door and there was no telling what he would do now.
Yes, it was you. I couldn’t fucking believe it. You… You couldn’t even let me have her, could you? You had to take her from me as well.”
Look, I never knew. I never even realised that you were going out with her. I didn’t even know that she had feelings for me.”
So fucking blasé about it all, aren’t you? Even now. You just don’t care, do you? Well, you’re going to care about the next bit…
How I let her go that night, I just don’t know. I wanted to fucking kill her there and then, I was so angry but I knew that it would get back to me; that the trail would eventually come back to my doorstep. The same with rape; I would be the most logical suspect. The more I thought about it, the more I realised I had to let some time pass; get myself in the clear before I did anything. For her part, she was completely unaware of what I was feeling and even gave me another peck on the cheek when I dropped her off that night.”
It was you! You ran her over.” Denny interrupted.
See – you finally guessed. Yes, I gave it a few weeks and watched how you’d already managed to screw your chances with her…”
See? You’re blaming it on me, but it can’t be my fault, can it? We were hardly even an item!”
You just don’t get it, do you? She loved you! She was devastated when you broke up with her. You never saw it, just ignored her, but I saw it all. Believe me, I did her a favour by running her down.. it was a mercy killing compared to what you did to her.
I’d planned it all perfectly; followed her for a few nights before and knew her movements better than she did. It was easier to do it on a rainy night, less witnesses. She was so careless crossing the road, and never used the traffic lights, so it was child’s play to time it right. I wasn’t speeding and that was the crucial thing, and I was careful about the way I hit her. The police had no reason to suspect that it was anything else other than a horrific accident, especially when I was the one who rung it in, obviously distraught by what I’d done!
I was let off and had to undergo a month of counselling, I even spent time with her parents, and we tried our best to console each other, can you believe that?”
You murdered her, you bastard!” Denny launched himself at Nihl who simply swung his fist ; the blow catching Denny directly on his glasses, knocking them into his face.
You’re no fighter, Denny – why do you think I chose you? Slink back into your hole until it’s time for me to end you. It won’t be long.”
Why me?” Denny scumbled, rubbing his face, “What did I do?”
Nothing.” Nihl smiled. “Despite all I’ve told you – you are just the latest in a long line of foils. Like Jae, the accident became a seeding ground for me, and I’ve nurtured it. I actually saw you by accident about seven months ago, after my last disappointment. He never pulled the trigger, but you look as if you’ll do exactly what I want you to. I mean, you are so far!”
I’ll tell the police!” It seemed such a feeble threat and Nihl just laughed.
Please do –I’ll wait right here. Run to them. They won’t be able to do a damn thing. You can’t prove a damn thing, all it will do is fan the fires.” Nihl looked at his watch. “You can go now, Denny.”
Denny wearily pushed himself out of the chair and walked to the front door, looking at Nihl the whole time. Nihl was completely uninterested in him now. As Denny opened the door Nihl spoke six words to him. “You have four nights to go.”

  1. Give them space to fall
Four nights to go. Denny had no choice. Armed with what he knew, he first told Jae and then went to the police. They surely would do something.
Yet things went from bad to worse. The knock on the door that night was the police alright, but what they had to say was shocking.
We don’t like our time being wasted, sir.” The officer said, towering over Denny.
I don’t understand, Officer.”
Mr Thacker tells a completely different story to the one you told our switchboard. Says that you’ve been hassling him; breaking into his flat and harassing his lady friend.”
His lady friend? Sascha? She’s a whore!” Denny couldn’t believe what he was hearing!
That’s enough, Sir. You’re not helping yourself. Mr Thacker is not going to press charges, this time.. But if you continue this behaviour we will certainly do something about it. You better watch yourself, Mr Paige.”
So he was alone. There was no point in pursuing things any further. Going to the police had actually made things worse and there was nothing else he could do except run away. He couldn’t confront Nihl again, because if the police were called it would mean him being locked up.
He was just about to call Jae and break the bad news to her when the phone rang. In the background he could hear music; ‘Every step you take.” by the Police… Nihl’s idea of a joke.
Three days now, Mr Paige. And because of your indiscretion look to your significant other.”
Jae.. he was going to target Jae.

    17 And then push
    This had to end now, there was no point in going to Jae to warn her; that would only create another confrontation that no one would win. Denny had to end it himself, the way he should’ve long ago.
He ran upstairs, nearly tripping on the steps a couple of times. Nihl’s door was shut and there was no music coming from it. He banged repeatedly but no one answered; yet his phone had only just rung!
Denny ran back downstairs and dialled 1471. The last call was from a mobile, Nihl was out somewhere; he had actually rung from his bloody mobile. He must have left when then police were talking to Denny! There was no way to track him, and for all he knew Nihl was stalking Jae that very minute!
He was about to drive over to Jaes to warn her when something struck him. Nihl was true to his word, and a creature of habit. There was only one place that Nihl was going that night –Sascha’s.
Indeed, almost an hour later, there was Nihl’s car, in its normal spot, two streets away from Sascha’s house. Thoughts flashed through Denny’s mind about what to do next. He couldn’t break into her house to beat him up because the police would be round in minutes. (and he wasn’t entirely sure he could take Nihl in a fight anyway.) There was only one way for this to end.

The sky seemed to fall as soon as Nihl left her house. It must have been a good session because he was smiling deeply. Denny watched him, had him lined up perfectly in his sights. He’d turned the ignition on as soon as he saw Sascha’s door open. This was the only thing he could do.

He shut his eyes, as if in prayer, and took the handbrake off as he turned his lights on full beam. Nil was now walking in the middle of the road, straight towards him, grinning in anticipation. Denny pushed his foot hard on to the accelerator as Nihl opened his arms to embrace the impact.

Friday, 25 March 2016

The Death of Dating?

This was so simple, he thought to himself and it was a wonder that no one had ever thought of it before. Manson, Bundy.. even that Russian cannibal bloke… all of them had a hard time picking their victims and disposing of them. For Clive Cleaver it was as simple as 1,2,3; with speed dating it was as easy as plucking fruit from a tree.
He'd created a number of aliases and identities using the internet and avatars and most of the speed dating companies were very lax when it came to doing background checks,all they wanted was the money; and provided the individual was well behaved and inconspicuous they would get invited back again.
Clive had been doing this now for quite a few months and traveled the country with his day job and used the 'net to research where the local speed dating hubs were. He was very particular about his prey and made sure that didn't kill every time the urge took him.
The police had already been wise enough to pick up on the connection between the speed dating sites but he had been so meticulous in his preparations and considered himself a master of disguise -willing to shave his head if necessary, or even gain pounds to change his visible features. Robert de Niro had nothing on him.
He took his time with his victims, ensured they were the right type of self-obsessed, narcissistic bimbo before following them home and editing them out of the gene-pool. He always followed them out of disguise, that way they could never link him to the speed dating if anything went awry.
There was another reason – it was more intimate, that they should see his real countenance before they died.
Through his research and, thanks to the internet, there were very few locks that he couldn't pick (his flat contained the largest collection of locks in the South East. Each time a new model was released he would buy it and within a week he'd learnt how to pick it.)
Once inside he would quietly find the woman asleep and render her immobile with a form of anesthetic which he had concocted himself.
In daylight he was a drug-representative for a new form of anesthetic and a self-confessed expert on working out the right dosage for each victim. The anesthetic combined the ability to completely numb the patient whilst keeping them wide awake. It was pioneering and truly remarkable to watch; and, the most amazing property for Clive, within hours there was no trace of it in the bloodstream. It was still “untested” but he was responsible for finding potential markets for it.
When his company stumbled upon this wonder drug Clive was overjoyed as well for it finally gave him the greenlight to start the killings. Up until then he had done all the preparations, spent hour after hour on the locks, reading up on psychology and finding out how the other serial killers had screwed up; brushing up on his stalking techniques and then his surgical knowledge -he wanted to enjoy his encounters as much as possible. The anesthetic meant that they wouldn't die from the pain or shock so it would just be the blood loss that could upset things.
Again, the 'net provided a lot of textbooks on torture techniques -both psychological and physical; and he knew enough to change his M.O. after every encounter. Some attacks were focused on the sexual organs, others on the face and hands. Each type would be seen differently by the forensic psychologists who would try to create a profile on him.
Some places he would burgle (and give the stuff to a local charity) others he would completely trash afterwards -always being careful not to leave trace evidence behind.
He had almost reached double figures and the police were no closer to catching him; not even realising that there was a “him” to catch: Police in Scotland rarely contacted those in Sussex, and there wasn't much to connect the two any way.

One time Clive wanted to kill a couple of men, just to really muddy the waters but couldn't bring himself to do it initially. Then, after the thirteenth victim, he felt that he needed to. He was becoming frustrated that the game was becoming too easy, he needed to take his frustration out on someone.
He went to a gay club where they held a speed dating group and stayed for as long as he could stomach it. He had been working out and was confident about the way he looked but hadn't counted upon being sized up immediately upon walking in to the club.. He felt completely out of his comfort zone and so was a lot quieter than normal which made him more attractive to some of the men and worked in his favor. It was child's play finding the right man in that group.
There was one, Toby, who was just the wrong side of camp and pushed all of Clive's buttons and made him the number one target.
Upon breaking into Toby's apartment Clive was shocked to see him not only awake but fucking another one of the speed-daters; neither noticed Clive staring at them. When Toby finally saw him it was too late for them both.
There was no time for Clive to drug them and he could only grab at whatever was at hand -a large lump of amethyst crystal. He lept at the conjoined men, ferociously slamming the crystal shard on their heads time after time after time. It was the only time that Clive had lost control of himself and even he was repulsed by his actions; it took him hours to clean the bedroom up.
He had severely jepordised his future with that particular piece of indulging and vowed that he would go to ground for at least a couple of months. He was not, in his own mind, a true psychopath. It was relatively easy for him to stop -just until the heat had died down some and then he would be able to reap again.

He was alright now, though, and had regained his composure and the true need was upon him. He was in a new town where no one knew him and he could choose his next victim in a relaxed fashion. He'd done his homework and picked the venue that he'd be visiting.
He arrived early to watch the rest of the cattle filter in. More than ever it was important to weed out the time wasters. Speed dating was becoming a team sport with girls going together, already with boyfriends, on a cheap night out. He despised them and so desperately wanted to make an example of them -maybe one day…
There were the same bland stereotypes like the self-pitying blubber monsters who let their obesity count as character and dominated the conversation with their inadequacies. There were the vain, insular tarts that demanded to be entertained and only went out with those with sparkling smiles and shit for brains.
There were even a few genuine women who really wanted to meet someone and Clive wished them luck -perversely he had no problem with them- however he equally knew that ultimately they would end up alone, washed up and forgotten; being genuine counted for nothing these days.
Then out of the corner of his eye he saw her… yes, she was perfect! Auburn hair tinged with red, stark blue eyes but with lush inviting lips. She had a great pair of breasts as well and her top was canny -it both hid and accentuated them at the same time, captivating, and she knew exactly what she was doing as well. She was coy and flattering, obviously playing her own game. He knew that she was the one and he was going to have fun tonight!

So, what is it that you are, Jack?” She asked, putting him instantly off guard. He liked her immensely, it was a shame he was going to kill her.
Just a normal red blooded male – you've probably had your fill of them already!”
It takes a lot to fill me up, Jack. Think you've got what it takes?”
I would say that I'll give it the old college try but I'm the type to leave someone wanting more.”
There's no harm in trying though.. you know? I tell you what… I'd kill for a diet coke. Would you be a lamb and get one for me?”
This as too easy, he thought. Was it worth making an exception and go home with her? His disguise was perfect as he'd dyed his hair black and really slicked it down. The glasses added that bit of Christopher Reeve kitsch but also provided that memorable detail that eye-witnesses would use to misidentify him by,
He walked up to the bartender and ordered the two drinks. As the barman served him he said, “be careful if I were you, matey.”
Huh?” was all he could say, taken by surprise by the sudden conversation.
You're going out with VD, mate?”
VD? You mean she's got an STD or something?”
Nah, she was given that name by a graduate who barely got out with his life -if you know what I mean. He called her Vagina Dente as she was a bit of a man eater.. you might not be so lucky to get a second chance, mate.”
Sounds like my kind of woman then.” Clive said in an accent that wasn't his own.
Well.. you can only warn a fella once… good luck.”
Walking back to the woman he placed the drink in front of her and sat down. There was a ten minute break inbetween rounds and accepting the drink the woman smiled and said, “by the way, my name's Jean. I got so carried away with the banter that I forgot to say.” She downed the drink before he had a chance to reply and got up. “Want to blow this joint?”
Clive could only nod. This was going to be easier than he thought!

He insisted on driving her back home, even though she only lived minutes away. As they walked out of the pub the barman shook his head in dismay.
Clive was a little concerned that she lived so close and that his car would be spotted, but it could easily be disposed of afterwards and besides, it could only be linked to his current disguise and alias.
On the way to her place he was trying to figure out the angles; he had the syringe in his pocket but couldn't figure out the best way to administer it, or even the best time.
The question really was: could he afford to have a bit of fun with her? There was something… arousing about her, as well as distasteful… Did he dare to let himself go again?
Yes, it felt good last time and she was all for letting it all hang out, after all. Yes, he would excuse himself and go to the bathroom where she was bound to have some kind of razor blade -if only to shave her legs. He'd read about the way that prisoners could jury rig a weapon out of household items: stick some razor blades in a cake of soap and you had something potentially lethal, especially if you had surprise on your side.
It was difficult to gauge the right time though. The barman was right, she was insatiable and she seemed to suck the very life out of him, her kisses were long and demanding and she knew exactly how to tease him.
Eventually he managed to gain the willpower to go for a quick slash. She seemed disappointed but there was also a glint in her eye.
Just as he pictured it, the bathroom cabinet had a razor-blades and it was child's play to strip them apart and in-bed them into her cake of soap. How thoughtful she was to even have it on a rope; now he had a long range weapon. He grinned at himself in the mirror as he thoughtfully pulled the chain.

Walking out of the bathroom he was surprised to find her no longer in the living room. “I'm in the bedroom, lover boy.” She said seductively.
I'm coming… with a nice surprise...” he replied and almost laughed when she said, “Me too...”
Her bedroom was candlelit and smelt a little like lemon Jiff, an odd combination. He couldn't see her as he entered and barely ducked in time before the hammer came from out of nowhere.
She must have been standing behind the door, waiting for him. He whirled around, swinging the soap out hard and he could feel when it sliced through the flesh on her flank. She squeeled in delight.
Ooh, what a naughty boy you are… this is shaping up to be the most perfect night!”
He stepped back to look at her now. She was now lying on the bed, the light from the hall creating a breathtaking silhouette. She was still holding the club hammer in her left hand, her right touching her side where the razors had scored her. She put the bloodied fingers to her lips and sucked on them. “I think I'm in love.” she said.
She let go of the hammer and before he had the chance to steady himself she launched herself at him, entwining his limbs with her own so they would fall on the bed together. She ripped his clothes off as if they were made of paper.
Just go with it, thought Clive, if she wanted me dead then it would've been all over by now.
There were screams that night, but they were of pent up passion, release and ecstasy. Was it possible that Clive had finally met his serial soul mate?

For a time Clive believed himself to be in heaven. Finally he had found someone he could be his true self with; someone who not only empathised with his predicament but also enjoyed the same things!
It was the details that no one else understood: the pitiful look of surrender when the victim realised that there was no hope of survival; it was like a light draining from their eyes. Clive liked breaking people, the stronger the person the longer it would take to break them and the more satisfying it was when it finally happened and Jean got the same kick out of it!
After the marathon love making that happened after their first date they spent hours talking and comparing notes.

Jean hadn't killed as many as Clive but she had been more selective as she didn't travel much; however she had started killing when she was much younger.
She had gone out with her little brother for a walk when she was twelve and he had been annoying her, holding her hand and being clingy when she didn't want him to. He was only six at the time and adored her. Jean wanted a kitten.
It was almost supper time and it was getting dark, the rain was scaring her brother and he was screaming at her to make it stop. In retrospect Jean realised that he had some form of condition but she had had enough; it was a busy road and she was really careful to push him when no one else was paying attention. The driver hadn't twigged what had happened until Jean screamed; then there came the sickening thud.
I should've won an Oscar that day.” Jean said to Clive, “no one suspected a thing.” Deep inside she was surprised about how easy it had been. No one ever suspected her and what was even better, she got a new kitten as a reward for being so brave.
She felt cheated though, the kill had been far too quick; she wanted to enjoy the next one… so she planned and took her time.
She found an abandoned building that no one would ever dream to visit in a disused part of the local industrial estate. She then took time to find the perfect victim and as luck would have it there was another child with a similar condition that her brother had. Everybody picked on the boy but Jean went out of her way to be nice to him. The teachers all saw it as her adopting him as a surrogate brother, and in a way they were right.
It took a long time for the boy to trust her, but it was well worth it. Eventually she led him to the building and managed to tie him to a chair; her knots were exquisite, even at that age. The building even had a basement which was even better for her needs.
Due to the nature of the boys condition it made the pain even more exquisite for her and more than made up for the sudden death of her brother. She could take her time.
It took almost a week for him to die. His parents were frantic and Jean did everything she could to act the grief stricken sister and no one ever suspected a thing.
His torture was slow and precise and she explored every avenue of her own psyche; she was nearly fifteen and had a healthy sexual curiosity as well. They boy helped answer many questions before he died.
When she was finished she moved the body to a more conspicuous location. There was a derelict wastrel who was known to frequent the industrial estate; some people said that he was a pervert, a released sex-offender and it was childs play to make him the foil for the crime. She made sure that there was no evidence to connect her to the boy and found a way to inform the police that there was a man sneaking around wearing the missing boys jumper. The police were more than obliging to create an air tight case against the tramp as there were no other leads.
That kept Jean satisfied for years… in the interim, before she met Clive, she had only killed three times. All of them were on the spectrum, which was ironic as she was now a care worker for a charity!

Clive understood the dichotomy and loved her for it. He understood the murderous impulse and saw it for it was. Some people drank, others took drugs just to deaden the pain. Others might use the pain to become artists or actors; some even became sporty and used the pain to fuel them. Jean and Clive gave into the pain and transferred it on to others, shared its lessons with others so they could learn from it.
For a while neither of them killed. For whole months and Clive didn't miss it. He had Jean and when the urge took him they would fuck like wild beasts until he could no longer feel it.
As the months progressed further though he would catch flashes if gouging out eyes, snapping her neck mid-coitus and the sex no longer satisfied him in that way. Rather than bottle it up he actually told her about it; after all, she would understand.
And she did. More than he ever dreamed. She suggested that they actually have a threesome -they would actually kill together. God, how much did he love her at that point in time? There was only one proviso; no children. He drew the line at killing kids, and she was ok with that as well.
Because of her contacts Jean was able to liberate a lady from one of the rival care homes; where the security was lax. She carried enough authority with her that she was never questioned even when they walked out the door together.
The first kill together was a peak for Clive, a peak of sustained pleasure for him and absolute agony for the woman. By the time they had finished the corpse was barely recognisable as human.

Now role-play became an active element in their lovemaking sessions as they tried to re-live the event but soon even that felt wrong.
Clive felt as if his will was starting to get sucked out, so slowly he didn't notice it at first. They were now living together (and how had that happened) and had been for some months. Even though she had a much bigger house most of his stuff was still in boxes and at first he hadn't minded.
Something was missing and it took a while for it to trickle through -he missed the thrill of the hunt. With Jean everything was planned meticulously, well planned and clinical. She very rarely let her urges take her (you were the exception, she said time and time again -I wanted you so badly I didn't know what else to do) and it really took the passion out of it for him. He loved the thrill of the hunt, like in the speed dating circus, the lock picking -it all added to the excitement.
And it wasn't long before he gave in to the urges and then it was only a matter of time until she found out.
You've been seeing other people!” It was so predictable, she just couldn't let him be! He accused her of making it all up, it as all part of her paranoia. “Paranoia?” She'd shout back. “That certainly wasn't lipstick on your collar!”
What do you expect? You never want to go out any more! We used to do more together!”
That's not true… what about that sweet little Danish girl? She was fun.”
That was last month! And you always have to be so damned picky, talk about high maintenance...”
Well, you'll just settle for anyone.” It always ended the same with him replying:
I settled for you.. so yeah!”

That's how the rows would carry on. They would reach a certain level and one or the other would walk out for a few days. It wouldn't be long before the news would report about another inexplicable murder and they'd be back together again as if nothing had happened, but both of them knew that time was running out.
One of them would have to end the relationship.

Timing was everything. Jean was always on guard around him and was easily a match for him. It was virtually impossible to sneak up on her and Jean felt the same way about Clive. Clive could easily kill her if she made the slightest error. He no longer enjoyed her cooking, would only drink from bottles that he bought and opened. They slept in different rooms that were locked and bolted from the inside.
Paranoia set in deep, or that was what Clive wanted her to think. He wouldn't come out of his room for days at a time and realised that neither had Jean. They knew that whilst they were inside they were relatively safe, in the meantime he had come up with a plan.
It had taken days to silently chip through the plaster board that connected their rooms, and there were now dozens of tiny holes poked through. He was going to smoke her out. When he was ready he would light a series of fires by the wall and the smoke would be drawn through the holes into her room. Jean would then be forced out, weakened, and he would kill her. Or the building would catch fire and she'd die that way. He was right by the window so it didn't matter!
On the day he was ready he was actually trembling with excitement. The thrill of the kill, it had been too long -he couldn't believe that he'd allowed himself to be trapped in such a way. He felt numb, lightheaded even.
There was a funny smell that he'd been aware of for a couple of days but he'd put it down to his poor hygiene -pissing and shitting in buckets. It had never occurred to him that Jean was planning something too. It certainly hadn't crossed his mind that she had also been chipping away at the plaster, silently creating her own holes.
She had found a way to create a leak in the gas pipe that ran beneath the floorboards and to divert it into those holes. Yes, there had been some leakage back into her room but she had stayed as close to the window as possible to escape the worst of it.
She was looking forward to seeing his face as the light finally died within and he realised who was the master of their relationship.
It was at that second Clive struck the match; the resulting fireball tore down what was left of the wall and killed them both instantly. 

"Love must be as much a light, as it is a flame." -Henry David Thoreau