BOOK ONE
IN THE DARKNESS SERIES

Within the shadows I live

In-between light and darkness

Your eyes look, but never see me

Until darkness falls and your blood flows upon the ground…

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1

 

What’s wrong with being a psychopath? Wait... Stop and think about it. Psychologists give you this fancy title because they need to categorise you. It furnishes them with feelings of satisfaction. Psychopath. This new label maintains their superiority complex.

J.L. Korch (German psychiatrist) first uses the term psychopastiche in 1888. When the early 1900s arrive, literature is commonly using the term ‘psychopath’ to describe the disor- der. In 1941, Hervey M. Cleckley develops a list of criteria, allowing the medical world to label you a psychopath, and why? To fulfil their need to place a tick in a box, that’s why. With no feelings of remorse or shame, people view psychopaths as egotistical and manipulative, capable of lying to achieve their goals.

Put like that, it could be any one of us, right?

Some of you may disagree with me. Fine, then answer this...

Have you ever lied to get what you want? Manipulated people to make sure you get your own way? And, tell me, were you sorry? Did you feel any shame when you accomplished your goal? Bet you didn’t.

So, why should I differ from you?

Psychopaths are dangerous. I can’t argue with that. We are cruel. Violent. Guilt Free. And extremely charming, sucking you in to our fable. But don’t we all have these tendencies, perhaps in a milder form? The alcoholic who blames the alcohol for the violence they unleash whilst under the influence. The drug addict who stops at nothing to get their next fix. Unlike them, I apportion blame to nothing, and no-one, for the way I am. I take full ownership of every action I undertake. And yes, I relish the violence and the manipulation it takes to get what I want. I enjoy being me.

According to scientists, my behaviour results from a le- sion on the part of my brain responsible for fear and judge- ment, known as the amygdala. The amygdala is the centre for emotions – emotional behaviour and motivation. It is also accountable for detecting fear and preparing the body for emergency events – fight-or-flight. This explains to scientists (scientists, they need to rationalise everything!) why psychopaths don’t experience the effects of fear – or softer emotions, like love. I can’t help being the way I am. I really was born to kill.

When it comes down to it, we all have a predisposition towards psychopathic tendencies.

The chap strapped to the chair in his kitchen would disagree with me, because when he wakes up, I’m killing him. Nor will I feel a damn bit of remorse about it.

A few hours ago, I’d dropped him a sleeping pill. Waiting for him to wake up was boring. Wandering around his apartment, I found nothing to entertain me while I waited. On my hands are a pair of vinyl gloves. I’m conscious of trace evidence which will lead the police in my direction. Thanks to Dr. Edmond Locard, who once said, ‘Every contact leaves atrace,’ for sparking my brain to ask, ‘What if I manipulated trace evidence?’ If, at every crime scene, the perpetrator (me) leaves something behind and carries something away with them, can I not choose what I leave behind and destroy what I take with me? Simple, yes? This also stops me from partaking in trophy collecting. That kind of thing leads to your arrest.

Besides, I can’t really see myself collecting my victims’ eyeballs, or cutting off their fingers or hair and storing them in a jar, only to get them out later to take a peek, to feel the rush once more. No, my trophies come from my memories of the kill. The fight my victims put up before I kill them. Their whimpers and cries for help. But most of all, it’s the blood. I love watching the blood drip... drop... from their bodies.

I also feel that psychologists like to define serial killers by their trophies. It’s as though trophy collecting and being a serial killer go together, like jam and tarts (see what I did there?). To these experts, a serial killer collects their victims’ body parts like someone collects stamps. Me, I pride myself on being different. I’m not the next Edward Gein, taking my victims’ skin to make a lampshade, or using breasts and skin to make a vest. The reason I kill is clear, I need nothing to re- mind me. I kill because of Tracy Bennett. Because I hate Tracy so much, I want to make her life an absolute misery. For her to feel her life is unbearable, so she’ll disappear for good. Her demise will make me complete. I know this with absolute certainty. It occupies most of my time.

When I’m not killing people, that is.

So, what made me choose this chap snoring like a pig in front of me? It was Tracy’s reaction to him. Her big intake of breath as his aftershave assaulted her nasal passage. Dilating eyes feasting on his well-sculptured body. His visual charms stimulating her senses.

“Oh, Patrick Barnes, how dead you’re going to be...” My whisper falls to the ground on deaf ears.

Random murders make finding the perp hard for the police. And that’s just what Patrick Barnes’ death will be random. Sitting on a bus next to Tracy Bennett will not lead the police to a pattern. The last man I killed was drinking coffee in a Starbucks, smiling at Tracy like a lovesick frog. Tracy’s answering smile sealed his fate. Oh, what a mistake, buddy!

Tracy is your modern-day leper, the bringer of death (she should wear a warning bell). The unfortunate thing is, she has no idea the body count is increasing because of her. Yet...

But that’s not Tracy’s main problem. Tracy Bennett doesn’t even know I exist. She doesn’t want to know I exist. And while she’s in denial, the deaths are increasing. Tracy is too wrapped up in her own world to notice me staring back at her. It wouldn’t be so bad if she’d accomplished something in the last fifteen years since the ‘incident.’ Ok, being kidnapped, beaten, and raped at the tender age of eight by Uncle Kevin – not a blood relative but a so-called family friend (or he was, until the incident) – wasn’t a good thing to happen to Tracy. Still, she has the capability of achieving more with her life. Tracy has a very high IQ. She doesn’t like people to know how intelligent she is, so she hides it. Intelligence, to Tracy, makes her different, and different is bad. I don’t agree. Different is interesting. Tracy’s always so desperate to please, and fit in. Tracy is needy. Why she never thought to make Uncle Kevin pay for what he did to her leaves me confused. Uncle Kevin might be behind bars serving his sentence, but Tracy missed her opportunity to get even. She should have cut off Uncle Kevin’s balls when she had the chance. That’s what I would’ve done.

Peter Kürten, the Vampire of Düsseldorf, never wasted his life away like Tracy. Peter was the son of an abusive alcoholic who brutalised his wife and thirteen children. Being born into poverty and violence did not stop Peter from furnishing his own career in crime and murder. Thinking about it, Peter might not be the best example, but he is interesting. My favourite scary fact about Peter Kürten is his execution, carried out by the guillotine. Imagine walking up to the guillotine, the prison psychiatrist at your side. Like Peter, you turn your head and ask, “When they sever my head from my body, will I still be able to hear the blood gushing from myneck?” Receiving confirmation that it’s possible from the psychiatrist, Peter replies, “It will be the pleasure to end all pleasures.” And they say I’ve got problems.

I’ve known Tracy Bennett for a long time – most of her life, in fact. I’ve watched Tracy grow from a gawky, uncom- fortable eight-year-old into a beautiful woman. Her dark- chocolate wavy hair hangs down her back, like waves rippling across the ocean. Stormy blue-grey eyes stare from beneath long thick eyelashes. Her height is the only average thing about Tracy Bennett. Her body is muscular, without being unfeminine. She spends hours in the gym and pounding the pavement, keeping her fitness levels strong. She makes me keep myself in shape. I can’t go around killing people and not look after myself. I might be slender in stature, but I’m mus- cular. It helps with moving the bodies around and positioning them where I want them.

Patrick Barnes will soon understand what kind of girl he has picked up in The Parish up on North Street, York. So much for the good-time girl he’s expecting. I smile. Wait until he finds I’ve not only tied him to a chair, but he’s also naked. Patrick’s nakedness isn’t a sexual thing, though I’m betting he’ll be hoping it is. No, I like to see where I cut. To see the blood. When a knife goes through clothing, most of the damage remains hidden. Bloodstains on fabric don’t move me. Just where is the fun in that?

Another consideration is the depth of the cut. A knife can do a lot of damage and kill a person long before I want them to die. A situation like that isn’t good. I often wonder if anyone appreciates my skill. My victims never seem to. I’m not sure what the police think as they don’t release information about my killings to the press in any detail. All I have is a stupid serial-killer nickname: ‘Yorkshire Slasher’. Not very orig- inal and really, I don’t slash. I take great care not to slash! It’s taken me quite a few bodies to perfect my technique.

Patrick Barnes’ apartment sits along the river Ouse in the old Bonding Warehouse Building. Years ago, once retired from its original purpose as a warehouse and restored (in 1980) as a restaurant and bar, the Bonding Warehouse was the place to be. Nestled between Skeldergate Bridge and Terry Avenue, it lit up the river Ouse. By the end of 1990 it was standing empty and derelict. Now it’s a place of luxury apartments and offices. The developers created four prestigious living spaces in 2013. I’m a nosy girl and so I know Patrick paid over nine hundred thousand pounds for the privilege of living here. Patrick must earn a lot of money; makes me wonder what he does for (or should I say ‘did’, as I’m killing him) a job.

Traces of femininity litter the apartment. That’s the ex- wife. She appears to have a passion for country twee. It doesn’t suit the industrial building. A pine table and four carver chairs with plaid cushioning, the overhanging rack above the range – all very twee. It gives the place a cosy (claustrophobic) feel. The apartments listing says each unit of- fers over two thousand one hundred square feet. The walls are a mix of exposed brickwork and soft caramel paint. The curtains hanging at the windows have pale lilies on a sweeping blood-red background (I like the background colour). Narrow twisting wooden stairs lead to four bedrooms, bathroom, and toilet; the apex limits the floor space in two of the rooms, something the listing’s square footage doesn’t take into account.

I’ve surveyed, cogitated, and I’m still bored. Fred’s standing by the kitchen cabinets next to Patrick in the open-plan room, waiting for Patrick’s blood to hit him. In his size-twelve army boots and standing at six foot and a few inches, Fred is one of my trace-evidence markers. Depending how much air I blow into Fred, he is the broad, brooding type, or frail and thin. I love Fred because of his portability. Fred is all about blood spatter, or rather the void in the pattern. By planting Fred, I’m leading the police to think perpetrators, plural, not singular. I hope they appreciate the lengths I go to, to give them something to work with.

A moan comes from Patrick. His thick black mop of hair moves as his head slowly comes up. He blinks as his brain takes in his new sitting position, and me, standing in his kitchen, knife in hand.

I’m ambidextrous, which is a handy skill to have when you are a killer. I always make sure I use my left hand for stabbing and my right for everything else. Most of us must have seen at least one episode of CSI, so we know the police take these things into account. My point of reference support- ing this is the case of Joan Pearl Wolfe, murdered by her boyfriend, August Sangret. The locals, because they are a nice unoriginal bunch, referred to Joan as the ‘Wigwam Girl’ as she lived in two improvised wigwams on Hankley Common, Go- dalming, in Surrey. They discovered her brutalised body on the 7th October 1942; unoriginality prevailing, they entitled her death the Wigwam Murder. The murder of Wolfe made British history in the courts when they evidenced the victim’s skull in the trial. Sangret had smashed Wolfe’s skull into forty pieces with a heavy wooden stake, attacking her further with a knife (my weapon of choice). I hold no respect for someone who doesn’t take the time to learn some finesse. A killing needs careful planning and execution. As an artist covers a canvas with paint, with careful thought and attention.

Dr. Keith Simpson reconstructed Wolfe’s skull, finding three stab wounds to the front of her skull, along with other wounds in her palm and right forearm below the elbow. An aggressive and feral attack. Like I said – no finesse. I’m an expert with a knife, as Patrick Barnes will soon discover. Sadly, Dr. Simpson was lacking in my area of expertise, and his description of the knife Sangret used, well, it leaves me in a state of astonishment. After making everyone wait ages for his opinion, the good (or not so good) Doctor Simpson confirms the point of the weapon to have something of a ‘parrot’sbeak’. What?! Seriously?! A parrot’s beak?! I appreciate we are talking 1942, and resources weren’t what they are today. No Google. Still... a parrot’s beak? I feel annoyed at his lack of research. The curvature of a blade is as individual as a person. To find the correct knife, Dr. Simpson should have made some comparisons against blades known to be curved, such as the hawkbill blade, or clip point blade, or maybe the trailing point blade. All of which resemble a parrot’s beak, to those less trained in such things. Dr. Simpson (bringing me back to my comment about using my left hand to kill) concluded that, as the stab wounds were close together, high on the left side of the skull, a right-handed person had made them. Now, you can understand what I mean about CSI taking such things into account. Technology advancements made since 1942 allow for cleaner, more reliable analysis. However, the basic principles remain. Angle, depth, position, it all stacks up against the average killer.

“What’s going on?” Patrick’s voice is sluggish from the drug I slipped him when we arrived at his apartment. At the time he’d been too busy trying to get my knickers off to notice. I’m betting he was wishing he’d paid more attention now.

“Well, Patrick, just so you know, I think you have a lovely... no... great body. I can tell, looking at your abs, you’ve been taking care of yourself. I know Tracy Bennett would have liked to see them.” I give him an encouraging smile as Patrick checks out his abs. I’m not just saying it, he really has a wonderful set of abs. Perhaps he’s a model? I can see him in a pair of Calvin Klein’s.

“Who’s Tracy Bennett?” Echoes of confusion hang heavy in his voice.

I allow a sigh of annoyance to register. “Tracy Bennett is the girl you sat next to on the bus. And when I say she liked what she saw, well, I mean it. It’s too bad she’ll never sample the goods, eh?” I wink at Patrick. Time’s ticking, eating at his life. His brain is working so hard at recalling Tracy, he hasn’t noticed the silk ties securing his arms to the chair.

I might not like the ex’s taste in country twee, but I’ll ad- mit the old carver chairs are handy, allowing me to tie Pat-rick’s arms to each side of the chair, palms facing the ceiling. There is a lot of flesh for me to carve. Oh... the irony... ‘Carving flesh,’ and Patrick sitting tied to a ‘carver chair.’ It makes my lips twitch. It’s always the little things, isn’t it?

“Great body or not, Patrick, you’re going to die tonight.” Patrick’s looking frightened. “On the plus side, you’ll die knowing you look gorgeous.”

Patrick’s tongue sneaks out, licking at his rapidly drying lips. I reckon he’s trying to decide if shouting, ‘You’re a crazy bitch,’ will help his current situation, or maybe he’s going to go for, ‘I understand you routine... You’re so funny... Had me go- ing there... Phew.’ Either way, I was killing him.

Patrick’s indecision makes me laugh. Bending over him, I give him a good eyeful of my voluptuous breasts (no, theyaren’t natural, they’re the making of a push-up bra). Pulling in guys like Patrick is so easy. Tits on show, long legs poking out from a skirt my father would say I’d forgotten to wear. My long red hair, just like Patrick’s ex-wife’s, moving tantalisingly about my waist, is my crowning glory. If Tracy Bennett is beautiful, I’m exquisite, and unlike Tracy, I know what men like, even if they never get what they came for.

Tightening my grip on the Robert Welch Signature twenty-centimetre carving knife, I let Patrick’s brain catch up with what’s happening. I straighten, letting the long curving edge of the knife bounce off my left leg, holding Patrick’s at- tention. Choices... choices... they’re everywhere, and the Robert Welch, being the sharpest in the kitchen drawer, is my weapon of choice to kill the man sitting in front of me. With a slicing action the blade eats into the soft tissue on Patrick’sright cheek. My pressure is light, the sharp cold blade not dig- ging into the flesh too deep. With blood dripping down his cheek, flowing to his chin, and down his chest, Patrick is gorgeous to look upon. My breath catches in my throat; the blood’s bringing me pinpricks of pleasure. I enjoy cutting the face; blood springs quickly to the open wound, making the cut look worse than it is. The forehead is the best spot to make the first cut. It’s a winner for blood flow and reaction and causes no lasting damage. If scaring Patrick was my main aim, the forehead is where I’d start.

As Patrick’s screams vibrate off the walls, my body shudders with pleasure.

“You crazy bitch!” Hysterically he thrashes against the silken ties holding him to the chair.

“Why, Patrick, what’s wrong, baby, don’t you want me anymore?” I pout.

Smiling nastily at him, I recall his pickup line: “The neighbours are out of town for the weekend, you can scream as loud as you want, baby!” Blimey... how egotistical and testosterone-macho-man of you, Patrick. Ironically, I’m the one making him scream. However, I find the neighbours being away interesting; I like to hear my victims scream in terror.

Whipping the knife through the air, it kisses his left cheek. Panic is mounting, Patrick’s eyes are unfocused, darting around the room. Patrick knows his death is imminent. There’s no shouting or fighting his way out of this. Hands shaking, breathing erratic, hyperventilating, Patrick is in the grip of a panic attack. This is it for Patrick Barnes. He’s taking deep gulps of air. It’s like he can’t get enough oxygen into his lungs. His pecs are dancing madly at me. Up and down... up and down.

Hips swaying, I walk behind him, my shoes clicking on the wooden floor. Bending down, I place my lips an inch from his ear, and breathe in his fear. He shivers and beads of sweat appear on his skin.

“You smell of fear, Patrick.”

His answering whimper sounds like a puppy who’s had its toy taken from it. I smile and place the blunt edge of the knife against his Adam’s apple. His skin tenses under the cold steel, as he swallows down his saliva, but he doesn’t cry out. His body stiffens in horror.

Slowly, I walk back round to face Patrick, holding the knife against his neck. Straddling him, I slide the knife’s blade down his chest, over his left pec, angling it towards Patrick’s navel. I watch his rippling flesh in fascination as goose bumps form, and the blade eats into his skin, ripping it open. He’s no longer breathing, his breath’s frozen inside him, along with the rest of his body. His eyes stare out in front of him at some unknown object. I smile ever so sweetly as the knife travels back up his body on the right side, making its slow ascent from his navel to his collarbone. The blade caresses his body like a lover’s gentle hand. Blood seeps from the thin break in his skin. Broken out of his fear-induced stupor, Patrick screams, and tears fall from his eyes. His lips tremble and tiny bubbles form between his lips. Blood’s dripping... drip... drip... drop from his body. While he was asleep, I nailed his feet to the wooden floor. A knife-wielding woman can make the pain disappear. The wooden floor is a wonderful find. People seem to prefer tiles these days. I don’t enjoy strapping legs to chairs; they bounce too much during the struggle. Ten-inch nails through feet, biting into wood, stops a body mov- ing.

Slowly, ever so slowly, as Patrick’s eyes meet mine, I move off him, standing back to admire my artwork. My critical eyes roam over every inch of his naked flesh. Hmm... where will I cut next? Like an artist moving paint across a canvas, I work the knife across Patrick’s body, dancing, swirling, twisting around him. My body moves and the knife pierces the flesh. Each stroke differs in length and depth, never too deep to cause serious harm, but enough to rip apart the skin, allowing the blood to flow. I stop in front of Patrick. His whole body is shaking, and his chin is resting on his chest as he prays for this to be over. The only patch of Patrick’s body that isn’t bleeding is where his flesh meets the chair. Blood splatter covers the kitchen area and it is a beautiful creation of its own. I take a second to appreciate the deep arches in the blood patterns as they’ve hit the kitchen units and trailed over the floor.

Patrick is weeping uncontrollably. His emotional torment litters the room, releasing no empathy within me. I feel disap- pointment ignite when I look at the snivelling man. Patrick Barnes is such a big, muscular man. Yet here he is crying like a little baby. I lean over, my face close to his. His eyes widen in fear.

“Poor baby, almost over.” I tied Patrick’s arms with his palms facing up for a reason.

I do nothing without a reason.

I move, twisting the blade of the knife. It comes down hard on the exposed flesh of Patrick’s left arm, and then his right. The two main arteries on his arms are unprotected, the blood begging for release. I hear its whisper. It doesn’t bother me which of the arteries I hit, the ulnar or radial. Maybe I’ll drag the blade through them both. The blood’s flowing... death is coming for Patrick.

Patrick slumps in the chair, he’s no longer crying. The blood’s still flowing onto the floor, so his heart is still pump- ing... thump... thump... thump. I move to the wall, sliding down it until my bum hits the wooden floor. I lick my lips inpleasure... Oh, the pleasure... It rushes through me with every drip... drip... drip... of Patrick’s blood. My pleasure is immense, as the blood coats the floor in a beautiful red veil. It’s amazing how quickly blood leaves the body.

Patrick takes his last breath and I fix my gaze on the red puddle on the floor. I like this part best.

I like to watch the blood form as it stretches out its sticky fingers and life leaves the body.

Every bloody puddle is different.

There are so many variables, I bet you didn’t know that. It depends on the surface the blood drips onto, how I position the body, and the way the floor tilts slightly; so many things for me to think about. You can’t possibly find the wonder in such things. Your emotions are telling you it’s wrong. How can you take pleasure in death, like I do? You don’t know what you’re missing.

I feel myself coming down from the high I’ve been riding. Sighing, I push myself off the floor. Everything is overquickly... too quickly... I’m not ready to let go of the pleasure. I walk round the puddle, careful not to step in it.

“You’re disappointing, Patrick, but your blood is still beautiful.” I prefer it when my victims show more fight... more spirit.

I wash away Patrick’s blood from my skin. I never remove my gloves. Fred still stands by the cabinets. A nice-sized puddle wraps round his size-twelve boots. Dear Fred... He’s good at his job. I pull out his plug, squeezing out the air. Fred deflates, and I lift him out of his boots. He’s slimy. Patrick’s blood is making him a slippery little thing. Still, Fred serves his purpose well. I appraise the void he’s left behind as I roll him up against my body. Plastic bag in hand, I place Fred inside, putting him in my open handbag.

There’s a clean pair of gloves on the kitchen counter. I pull the old ones off and slip my hands inside them. Slipping out of my heels, I rummage in my handbag, pulling out several pairs of socks. Socks on, I slip my feet into Fred’s boots. I’vepacked out the toes of the boots a little with wrist weights, to ensure the footprints I’m about to make remain even. The boots clang against the wooden floor as I walk from the cabi- nets to the front door. Securing the latch in place so I can get back inside, I stride down the hall to the external door. A trail of bloody boot-prints litter the clean surface of the floor, making me smile. I slip the boots off and walk back to Patrick’s flat, swinging them at my side. The heavy plastic door to Pat- rick’s flat swings open and I walk inside. The bloody body grabs my attention. My breath catches in my throat. He’s gorgeous, and I stop to appraise my artwork. The thin lines of the knife, the blood that’s spilled from his open skin; I notice each differing depth of the curved lines the blade has made. My brain releases feelings of happiness, sending butterflies to fan their wings in my tummy. WOW... I’m excellent with a knife. Turning, I pull out a plastic bag and put the boots inside. I place them in my handbag.

Manipulation of the evidence, it’s what it’s all about.

It gives the police something to work on, keeps them busy... busy... busy; always so busy... busy... looking in the wrong direction. Laughing, I drag my oversized handbag over and take off my socks, stuffing them inside my bag. It’s a good job oversized bags are in fashion. Now... somewhere in here I’ve a spare set of clothes. I take a while to locate them as they have fallen to the bottom of the bag; everything gets lost in these things. Clean clothes on, I stuff my feet back in my heels. I grab my coat and throw my handbag over my shoulder. Replacing the vinyl gloves on my hands with a pair of black leather gloves, I’m ready for my final exit. My heels click on the hard surface of the floor, leaving broken bloody footprints as I walk next to Fred’s, taking care that mine don’t merge with his. After all the effort I’ve made, it would be a shame to spoil my work. The two sets of prints highlight two perps killed Patrick Barnes, that’ll keep those pesky forensic folk busy.

I’m not worried about the evidence I’m leaving behind.

The shoes on my feet are a size too big. The extra insoles in them prevent my feet sliding forward, evening out the pressure of my feet and the footprints. I put as much effort into evidence manipulation as I do killing.

The calendar in the kitchen confirms the cleaner is in to- morrow. She’s in for a heck of a day.

“Sweet dreams, Patrick.” I smile at his decaying body.

Black fur brushes my leg as a cat walks in. That’s the neighbour’s cat Patrick’s looking after while they’re away. The poor bugger’s not getting fed tonight. He is in for a fun night, however. By the times he finishes padding around this place, the little moggy will wreak havoc with the evidence.

“Enjoy,” I call to him as I close the door.

By my calculations, when the forensic crew arrive the moggy will have smeared Patrick’s blood across the apart- ment like a dot-to-dot puzzle. Little paw prints of destruction at work.

The wind grabs my hair as I walk down Skeldergate back towards The Parish. I place the black bobble hat from my coat pocket over my head to lessen the wind’s grip on my hair. There’s a bus stop outside the pub. Few people fill the street and the bus stop is empty. A digital screen at the stop informs me the bus is arriving in two minutes. Change rattles in my pocket. I never use a card to pay for my fare. It leaves a trail of evidence behind. A few drops of rain hit my face. As the rain increases the bus pulls up. I’m conscious only of the rain washing away my bloody footprints on the pavement as I hand over my money and take a seat. There are four other people on the bus. No one bothers to acknowledge my presence, their mobile phones keeping their attention on their tiny screens.

Mentally I make a list of jobs I need to do when I get home.

  1. Clean my shoes and Fred’s boots.

  2. Throw my clothes in the washer.

  3. Treat Fred to a good old let’s-get-rid-of-the-evidence

    deep clean.

  4. Throw my bag, gloves, and wig (did you think I was

    a natural redhead?) in the fire in the living room.

  5. Shower and bed.

I yawn... I can’t wait to go to bed and relive Patrick’s death as I sleep.

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