The fellow sits in the car, his bare feet on the dashboard. The same position all night. Waiting for something to snap. Waiting for the woman from the nearby convenience store to make her way home. Then he will cover the speaker on his smartphone, steal images known to none but himself. They will be pulled out after, in silence, to grease his palm. She looks back at him the way one regards caged hyenas. With curiosity. Fear.
He will take more later. Of mannequin poses to compare with the ones he admires online. This just another exercise in reconnaissance.
It was not yet winter but they had come dressed for it. Thick overcoats and balaclavas to hide what parts of them were human. I knew they were boys from school. The dating profile had been created with them in mind. To prevent my suffering from becoming another’s.
I will not give anyone the satisfaction of recounting their nightmare again in full. Those details are mine, facts to fuel my revenge. I’ll show them my true face once before they go. The pair of them wait in the bathroom. Tied wrist to ankle. Face down in the tub.
The choice of a bullet gave way to the more contemplative process of running water. I’ll check back in a moment. To see if it’s time I can cross another two names off the list.
His hands grasped for memories about the space beneath the bed. Out came a wooden chest more ancient than the room around him, model aeroplanes still tethered to the ceiling on cotton strings.
He unmasked his sacred haul. An identity parade of conquests, his penchant for redheads. He leafed through the driver’s licences. Yet something felt off. Everything was not in its place. Not in the order he’d left them. His mother, stretched by the years, lived alone in this dilapidating townhouse home. The boredom since he’d moved out. It felt such a nuisance to have to take measures now.