The house is quiet and calm now. There is a ghostly presence that lingers in the master bedroom, but it does not bother Alan Dread. He smiles in the bathroom mirror, while he rubs his bloodied fingers together. His jade eyes are enticed by the red that swirls around the drain. Alan splashes the warm water on his thin face and bald head. He reaches for the nearest towel and dries himself off as he leaves the bathroom and admires the pools of blood beneath the woman’s corpse on the bed. He stares at the woman handcuffed to the headboard, while her feet are bound to the foot of the bed. Her chest is cut open from one breast to the other, and her stomach is sliced from the navel to her neck. Alan pushes her blond bangs with his fingertips over her ear so he can look into her glazed eyes.
“You made me a lot of money tonight, Liz. I enjoyed the…” He looks at her beat up breasts and trimmed bush. “Well, the entertainment, so to speak.”
He pats the thigh of the stone cold body, feeling the skin tighten beneath his palm as the blood continues to pool beneath her. He kisses her on the lips one last time as he smells the fruity scent of her perfume.
Alan reaches for the cell phone on the end table and taps away at the keys to prepare for his meet with his next victim. He reaches beneath the bed and pulls out a black bag with a clean suit neatly packed inside. He dials one more number on his phone as he enters the bathroom again.
“Is she dead?” his employer asks.
“Yeah, the deed is done,” he answers, ripping off his stained clothes.
“Good. I’ll send someone to clean up the mess. I need you at that diner in an hour. Don’t be fuckin’ late either.”
“Understood,” Alan says, closing the screen.
His phone vibrates on the counter top as he slips on the clean clothes. It’s his wife. He presses the ignore button and scrubs his arms one last time to remove any excess blood that he may have missed before. He shoves the dirty clothes back into the duffel bag and tosses it onto the bed with the body. Alan reaches into his belt and removes the pistol that he has been anxiously waiting to use all night. He walks to the bedroom door and aims the barrel at the woman’s head. He pulls the trigger as an explosion erupts from the weapon. Her head bounces from the pillow as smoke rises from the hole in her forehead.
Insurance he says to himself as he walks down the hallway. The scent of melon and pomegranate fills the air as he follows the trail of rose pedals down the stairs. His eyes wander around the foyer remembering the double life he lived and some of the memories that made him nauseous. He swings open the front door and slams it behind him thanking the lord he no longer has to dwell on this side of town anymore.
Alan enters his black Mercedes and pulls out of the neighborhood onto Elmer Street. He flips open his cell phone and calls his wife back. The lights from the street lamps pass over the windshield as he watches the stars scatter around the crescent moon. He pulls up his sleeve to check his watch; still waiting for his wife to answer her phone.
“Hey, sweetie, I miss you!” she says with excitement.
“I miss you too, but I’m about to be in a meeting,” he says with a smirk.
“I don’t understand why you have meetings at this time of night, Alan. It’s kind of weird, don’t you think?”
“Eh, in my profession, it’s all about timing. I just have to meet with this last client, and I’ll be home for the night. I should be home a little before midnight, okay?”
“Okay, well, hurry up. I have something to show you,” she giggles.
“Madison, I’m working. Please, don’t…” His phone vibrates in his ear. It’s a picture message from Madison. He looks down to see her wearing a black laced thong and a transparent bra.
“I think you’re trying to kill me,” he chuckles.
“Just a little motivation to get you to hurry up. Come home soon, okay?”
“Oh, you know I will now,” he says. “I love you. See you soon.”
“Love you too!”
Alan flips his phone closed and tucks it away in the glove compartment. He turns onto the highway towards the diner. He spends about ten minutes on the same road, until he reaches the diner on the right. He pulls into the parking lot, where two other vehicles accompany his. He feels tension in the back of his mind.
He enters the diner, finding the young woman waiting in the far corner. He walks over to her casually, but his thirst for more blood is making him edgy. He stands at the end of the table, staring at his prey with enthralled eyes. Her red hair curls over her shoulders, and her aqua eyes pierce through him like a needles.
“Sandra, I’ve missed you. How are things with you?’ he asks with a wide smile, while leaning over to hug her.
“Alan, I’m in trouble. I… I… I… don’t know who to go to,” she says with fright in his eyes.
Oh, shit, she knows he says to himself.
“Whoa, hold on! What’s going on?” he asks, sitting across from her.
“Someone is after me, Alan. The police have been snooping around my house searching for something. The bastard my ex-husband worked for is out to get me,” she answers with trembling hands. “I can’t talk to anyone. I feel like I’m all alone now.”
“Except for me,” he slyly answers.
She looks up at him with watery eyes. Her face is red and swollen from all of the tears.
“Yeah, I guess. I trust you more than my own family.”
He smiles thinking about the many torturous methods he’s going to use on her. Alan licks his lips as though craving for her to satisfy his appetite. He looks up at the waitress behind the counter.
“Coffee, please!” he says, waving his hand to her. He returns his attention to Sandra. “That’s ridiculous. You’ve only known me for two years. How can you already trust me more than your own family?”
Well, because you’re a highly trained assassin, who is an expert at deception, duh! He chuckles.
“What’s so funny?” she asks, distraught by the slightest positive body language.
“Oh, sorry, nothing just thinking about how long you’ve known me and how you can trust me so quickly.”
“Yeah?” she answers with a raised eyebrow. “All I know is you’re the only person who has showed me how to love again. How to be a human being. I know I’ve been widowed once but…”
I already checked your records. You’re a serial killing, gold digging whore, he says to himself, watching her lips move but not hearing anything that is coming out.
“I don’t want to be locked up or be murdered. I’m scared,” she says, pressing her hands against her face.
“There is nothing to be scared of, Sandra. I assure you no one is coming to kill you or lock you up. You’re just extremely paranoid because of the death of your ex-husband.”
“Paranoid? Alan, you don’t understand! I’m under investigation by the F.B.I. Also, my husband’s employer has a bounty on my head!” she exclaims as her face turns beet red.
“Maybe we should leave,” he says, grabbing the coffee from the waitress.
“I can’t! They’re probably outside waiting for me right now!”
Alan calmly sips on his coffee and reaches over the table for her hands. She willingly relinquishes them to him.
“I won’t let anything happen to you. I promise,” he says. “I’ll take you back to your place and we’ll talk about something cheerful while watching movies that will lighten the mood. Okay? Does that sound like a plan?”
She nods. “Just please don’t let them get me.”
He smiles and places some cash on the table. He helps her out of her seat and leads her to the exit.
“Let’s try to cheer you up, Sandra,” he says, looking at her with his sympathetic eyes.
Tonight you will be able to rest easy for eternity.
He follows her on the highway to a motel called the Blue Chariot Inn. Alan feels nervous when she pulls into the parking lot instead of driving to the safety of her own home. He parks beside her and rolls down his window and waves Sandra to his car.
“I thought we were going to your place?” he asks, looking up at her. He notices something different about her body language. She’s more relaxed and calm now.
“I’m fine. I was just thinking maybe a motel will be safer. No one will know we’re here. If I go back to my house, there may be a group of them waiting for me.”
Don’t agree to this, Alan.
“That’s ridiculous, Sandra. No one is after you, let’s just go back to your place and…”
“No!” she interrupts. “We are staying here tonight. If you can’t handle that, then leave, Alan. Just go!”
Too bad I can’t do that, you crazy bitch!
“Alright. Let me just get my stuff,” he says. He reaches in the back seat of the car, where he has a white handkerchief and a bottle of chloroform. He dabs some of the substance into the handkerchief and gets out of the vehicle. He turns around swiftly grabbing her throat, but she jabs a Taser between his ribcage. He drops to his knees within seconds as she grabs the white cloth and smothers his own face with it. He can hear her laugh in the background as his eyes become heavy.
“Nice try slick,” she says as Alan falls into unconsciousness.