The night is clear and silent. Not a sound to be heard. The street lights beam down a golden glow and stop the shadows from owning the night.
As the window lifts, he slinkily steps in as if it was nobody's business.
His pale thin fingers shielded in a pale blue latex glove, match his cold as ice eyes. As he travels onwards through the suburban semi-detached house, his icicle hands stroke the furniture as he find his way to his prey. Slow creeping movements in the house, as the dust motes fly freely through the air. Ancient old plates and vases fill a display case to his left, and to his right he sees a wonky bookcase will a photo of a family at the beach, they all seem to be happy, though behind closed doors it's a very different story, their phony smiles disguise the real truth behind the house's floral print curtains.
Slow constant creaking comes from the stairs. A man late 40's, a real hard as nails character, comes to the kitchen, scavenging for a glass of water and a sleeping pill in the dark.
'You won't be needing that.' Dan thinks, he sneaks up behind his prey, and sinks a syringe into his neck. The prey, however large and heavy he was, collapsed to floor. Dan managed to catch the beast at the last second to stop them from making a huge noise.
To most criminals their rule is to not get caught, and likewise is Dan's codes first rule.
His mother, Loretta, established this with him in is adolescence. Loretta kindly told him about the urges and temptations. Loretta, being a psychologist, knew about the many stories of serial killers and had studied them and knew how they could react, how they behave, and the many flaws. She taught Dan how to act like a normal person, with emotions, dreams and ambitions, and not a hollow psychopath with his hands painted red. Dan thinks back to when he was around 8, this was probably one of earliest kills.
"Daniel, do you happen to know where the cat is."
"No. I hate that stupid fur ball!"
"Dan listen I found its final resting place."
"So what." Dan began to get up and walk away.
"Your sister's going to be very upset."
Loretta knew about his tendencies and urges, but she controlled them, then when Dan was old enough, she began to establish her project about her son, collecting information from her little lab rat. Although it sounds like Loretta didn't love her science project, she did. She loved him like his sister, even though Dan didn't accepted it. Couldn't accept it.
Dan still can't accept other people's love, pleasure, or emotions, it's just a part of his daily routine, pretending, as if it's a 24/7 movie.
Dan's number one rule is not to get caught, so any evidence cannot be left behind. He begins covering the lounge area in a polythene sheets, like those a painter uses, except the art Dan will be making is blood splatter. The perfect execution always takes a week or two, this in particular … took a week of stalking the prey and gathering information for a week, that lead him to acknowledge that his wife would be leaving with the kids to go visit her sick aunt and the waste of space of a husband would be left at home for work.
The prey wakes up.
"Let me go right now, I swear to God I'll kill you."
"I wouldn't be swearing to him, you'll be joining him shortly." Dan has no religion. No belief in miracles, but many people believe and sacrifice their lives to pointless time consuming story books.
Dan begins to take out a pair of tweezers. He tilts his prey's head back slowly opens the mouth and inspects the teeth. Nothing from the ordinary beer rotted molars and yellow smoker's teeth. Dan yanks one of the teeth from their mouth.
"My little trophy." Blood starts gushing from the giant's mouths, as he starts whimpering and saying 'please, stop'.
"Stop whimpering this will be fun." As Dan lifts the silver hunting knife, the street light's glow from beyond the polythene sheet reflects onto the knife, and as he plunges it through his prey's heart, and the glow is replaced with a thick and slimy red liquid. After cleaning up the dripping blood Dan wraps the body in plastic garbage bag.
"Symbolic for the garbage he really was."
The street is silent still, though it seems the sun is rising above Sacramento.
Dan begins packing away. He needs to pack away his new piece of garbage away into his car. Funnily enough, driving back will be the hardest part of Dan's venture. Fortunately the river where Dan dumps his bodies is far out on abandoned roads. The river is blocked off due to toxic waste, and all that sciency stuff Dan never really cared about. Nobody would ever walk around here, and if you put something acid long enough, it'll start to melt.
On the way from his business venture, Dan drops by to the hospital. Not really a good hospital. No world class surgeons here, just worn out doctor suffering through the endless amounts of patients with a sore thumb.
Where Dan is going is to his friend Charlie who work in the ER. Charlie is Dan's informant to killing, and as well as that, he's a nurse. Much less exciting. If he sees a pattern that is definitely abuse of a kind, and he hands names over to Dan and he takes care of it.
"Hey Charlie." Dan says as he knocks on Charlie's door.
"Hey Danny bo-."
"How many times have I told you not to call me that?"
"Considering your occupation, I'll take that under advisement."
Charlie has a past with abuse. He had an abusive dad that eventually killed his mother, but he could never commit a crime. Since Dan and he have been best friends since childhood, more thanks to Loretta, and Charlie started to catch onto Dan's talents.
"So who's next?" Dan says rubbing his hands together.
"You know for once, could we just have a normal conversation that starts with, hey Charlie how's it going. Dan gives him a disapproving look, "no I didn't think so. The next person on the list is Kirsten Howard.
Charlie spins the computer to face Dan.
"The illusion is that her two daughters are happy and okay at home."
"But the real story is…"
"Their mother is an addict, and an abusive addict at that."
Outside the room four smartly dressed people with badges walk through the doors. Leading is a tall strong woman. The leader of the pack of wolves behind her.
She asks one of the nurses a question, then the nurse points to where Charlie and Dan are.
"Well I better be heading out." Dan says, "I'll catch you later."
For a while it was troubling Dan about those police. What do they want? Why were they there? What are they looking for? Until Dan was sure about his suspicions then he would act but if he flinched at every police officer he saw, he wouldn't have made it this far.
Later on Charlie called Dan to meet him at a park. He had a grimm expression on his face.
The park was almost empty except for a few people taking a nightly jog.
"What is it?" Dan asks concerned.
"The FBI are looking for your victims."
"What? How did they know to look at the hospital?"
"I don't know but I think we might want to lay low for a while."
Dan knew he could just lay low for a few days when there was a new victim waiting for him.
"The lead agent, Diana Ellis, I think she suspects me."
"How could you possibly know that?"
"She gave me this look." Charlie demonstrates.
Dan knew the look. His mother did it all the time to people. Loretta was, as well as being a psychologist, a criminal profiler for the FBI, so he knew the look well. The look that could analyse you and tell you your favourite kind of ice cream, not to mention the fact that she could tell you all about your mummy and daddy issues. If only Loretta was alive now. She never actually prepped Dan properly for this kind of problem. She talked him through what would happen and what is happening, but never what to do if this happens.
"Charlie, I can't just lay low…"
"Yes, but if we get caught it's both of our funerals."
Dan never thought about the possibility of getting caught. He was all so care free, with his day job in the morning and then his night activities. As Charlie's back turns to Dan. Rage starts building up inside Dan. A rage as hot as hell burning up inside him. He can't do what he needs to do because of this one brat coming in and asking questions. He isn't linked to the hospital.
"I'll do what I please." Dan says, and walks off into the darkness of the park tree's shadows.
Diana Ellis' job is one of the hardest somebody could probably face. She has faced some of the hardest cases. She one of those people who is like a dog to a bone, her persistence is greater than any man in her work place. The amount of case work this has brought to her desk, stacks to the ceiling. She knows the killer is someone who has been subject to abuse, or so she thinks. Though everyone at her work thinks inside the box, where as she likes to think as far outside the box as possible. Diana knows that people who commit such crimes think they're smart and often make mistakes, she always waits for that one moment when they trip up, and she is there to catch them. Diana doesn't however suspect Charlie Bennett, a nurse at the Sacramento hospital. Subject to abusive step-father. Somebody else… Someone he knows!
Dan wakes up to what was an anger stressed dream. Usually his dreams are filled with nothing but an empty blackness, like the hollow inside him is projecting in his dreams. However tonight was different, a night full of rage induced projections. He needs this kill. Like a drug addict to their heroin, he has a thirst for blood.
Knock, knock, knock… Dan knocks his pale handed knuckles against Charlie's apartment's door.
"Dan what the hell are you doing here? We need to keep a distance."
"Relax, she probably doesn't even know who I am."
Well that was about to change.
Knock, knock, knock…
"Special Agent Diana Ellis, FBI. We met the other day."
"Ah, yes. I remember." Charlie turns to Dan. "This is Dan, who was just leaving."
Charlie is usually calm, but in this case he nearly threw Dan out of the window, when that 'special agent' decided to show up. Charlie is shaking like a leaf inside, whereas Dan has rage bubbling, ready to explode.
As Dan was shoved out of Charlie's apartment, he decides to do some research on this Diana Ellis, the big shot FBI agent. He puts the name into google and straight away the search suggestion comes up with 'Diana Ellis serial killers'.
"Oh for God's sake."
Knock, knock… Dan goes to open the door, who else could it be except Diana Ellis.
Dan at that moment nearly punched something. This is somebody he hates more than cats. Dan however knows that he can't explode, he must follow Loretta's teaching and remain calm.
"I know it's you." She says.
In this case it's slightly hard for Dan to stay calm.
"The serial killer."
"Excuse me. You think I'm a serial killer, where's your proof?"
Its true Diana doesn't have any proof, but she has always been someone to never let go of a hunch, she'll chase it down forever if she has too. Unless a restraining order is ordered, which had happened on numerous occasions.
"You haven't got any proof have you."
Diana glances over to Dan's laptop.
"You were researching me. I would be flattered." Dan's rage begins spikes. "You killed those people, and this is my evidence."
She picks up the box with Dan's trophies. Every single one from his first, to what seemed to have been his last.
It isn't like Dan was just leaving them around, he was going to destroy them, before the big shot came running in blind, and got lucky.
"Put that box down." Dan edges towards the small table to his right. There he keeps some 'toys' that he uses on his visits to houses at night.
"Or what? I have you now. Check mate." She pulls out her gun from her holster.
Dan could feel his hands tense around the silver knife. He felt his anger beginning to boil in his head, as Diana kept talking. In a in 3 movements, a gun shot and a cry for help, it was all over.
Loretta would not have wanted him to go this far.