You sit on the crowded subway train, pretending to read the tiny print of the newspaper in your hands; all the while, feeling that maddening itch crawling across your skin and drilling into your bones.
It’s been a while.
She’s almost directly across from you, sandwiched in between an elderly woman mumbling to herself and some fat construction worker. Her blonde hair catches the somber lighting of the train in just such a way that she appears to have a radiant halo above her head. She doesn’t notice you, of course, tired from working a long day at her job, most likely in an office somewhere, absorbed in the latest issue of the Enquirer; catching up on the latest tidbits of gossip about Angelina Jolie’s estranged relationship with Brad Pitt or what Sandra Bullock thought about Jennifer Aniston’s hairdo. Her beautiful face is still beautiful, girlish in an enticing way that most men would find irresistibly attractive, with a nice figure to boot.
She doesn’t know it, of course, but she’s perfect.
It’s been a while.
You miss that first strangled scream, letting out the meakest of sounds between your fingers clamped around her trembling mouth to hear her suffering, to sweeten the thrill. The jab of the hunting knife concealed in your topcoat, piercing the soft flesh and burrowing deep inside, scraping against the bone of a ribcage, or opening a hole in her stomach. The slick texture of blood on your hand as it rains down from the cut; her already pale skin becoming even paler, ghost-like. The labored breathing, the weakening struggle, the useless pleas for mercy, the ultimate acceptance of death.
It’s the one thing you do well.
She’s looking. Glance away.
You feel the slight rumble of the train as it brakes to a halt, stopping at the platform. She rises to leave, the magazine dangling from one of her manicured hands. You let her go out the sliding doors a little ways before you also get up to follow her, adjusting the knife to a more comfortable, more readily useful position in your topcoat.
A bump on your shoulder, knocking you a little sideways.
“Watch oot, you retaded, or summting?”
You’re not, psychopathic, but nowhere near retarded. But it’s easy to see this man is; yelling at you because he’s mad at himself, mad at the world for giving him an unfair disadvantage. You could kill him, too. But your heart goes out to him.
Slowly, you reach out to him with your hand, and, before he can flinch back, you press your thumb against his temple, moving it in a semi-circular way. Another shove, this one in your back. Just a passerby, there are still people exiting and getting on the awaiting subway train. You ignore them, as they ignore you, and watch the retard as his shoulders slump forward and his head bows down.
Suddenly, he lurches back up, a knowing look in his eyes, a look that he has never had the pleasure, and ultimate disappoint, of having before. The arm that dangled uselessly at his side only moments before straightens up, strong as a rock. He looks about him, for the first time, understanding everything.
And knowing nothing.
“How did you...” he starts to ask, but you can’t stick around to chat. The girl is getting further and further away, and you don’t want to lose her in the crowd. You move briskly forward, restraining the panic welling in your throat until you catch sight of her scarlet dress. A fitting color, you think.
It’s been a while.
And, after all, it’s the one thing you really do well.
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