By James Hold
[Copyright 2016 James Roy Hold
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“Don’t touch me I’m a real live wire.”
The killer waited patiently in the dark. Killers always wait patiently, don’t they? Not the impulse kind, of course, but the well-planned ones.
This would be a well-planned one. He’d watched her place for weeks, seeking the perfect spot from which to leap out and cut her throat.
It served her right for the way she treated him. Ignoring him when he brought things to her desk, pretending to be on the phone or busy at her terminal. But he knew better. Knew she was a snob from the way she pretended not to hear him the time he tried asking her out. Thought she was better than him.
Because he was a mail boy and she had initials after her name.
Because he was taller than average and wore thick glasses.
And sitting there with her short skirt riding up her legs just begging him to look.
Well she’d see the error of her ways tonight. Provided it had time to register before he offed her.
Hmm. That was something he hadn’t thought of.
It was important she know it was him. Only the first part of his plan had been to unscrew the bulb from the porchlight fixture above the front door. That way no light would not fall on him.
One thing he hadn’t counted on was her automatic sprinkler system wetting the porch. It made the wood squeak. But he could work around that.
What concerned him now was if the porch was sufficiently dark for him to crouch by the swing unnoticed, how would she know he was the one killing her? How would she know who to apologize to in her last moments before dying?
Darn it. Was he going to have to call it off? Go back and think it over some more?
The killer decided, no. It had to be tonight. She was working late, wrapping up loose ends before going on vacation. It’d be a long time before he got another chance.
He stood up, fingered the shiny knife, thought. Rubbing the knife helped him think. It was solid steel. Found it in a pawnshop.
Maybe… If he let her open her door first… The light from inside would spill out… Then if he swung her around and cut her from the front…
That would work. But he’d better run through it first.
He crouched in the dark by the porch swing imagining her coming up the steps. Opening the screen door. Fumbling for her keys. Finding them. Putting the key in the lock. Opening the door. Him jumping out. Grabbing her shoulder. Spinning her around to face him. Seeing the look on her face as he raised the knife high overhead…
Then the killer remembered the exposed light fixture from which he’d unscrewed the bulb. And that he was taller than average. And that the porch was wet. And that the knife had a steel handle.
All this he remembered when the handle brushed against the exposed socket and 110 volts went through his body.
“Hello? 911?” the shaken girl said later. “I just got home and there’s a dead man sitting in my porch swing. Know him? No, I don’t think so. Honestly, I’m so nearsighted I can’t recognize a face that isn’t a foot in front of me.”
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