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“Thirty-four,” he muttered to himself as he wrapped his scarf around his neck. “One more than John Wayne Gacy.”

He pulled his gloves on and clenched his fists. The soft black leather creaked gently with the movement.

“John Wayne Gacy was a clown,” he said with a wry smile. “We can do better than that. We have done better than that.”

He opened the door. It was raining. That was good. Fewer people around; fewer choices, yes, but also fewer witnesses. He popped up his umbrella and stepped out.

The key was getting close enough. Girls these days, they were too aware, they got nervous and picked up their pace even if you were on the other side of the road.

Unless you looked harmless enough.

He often affected a limp. It required careful thought to ensure the intersection of their paths, but they weren’t afraid of being chased by a man who could barely walk. Alternatively, carrying shopping bags could work. If they saw your hands were full, well, who plans an assault on a woman when he’s got a bag full of eggs, milk and bread?

Tonight, however, he would choose a different option. Chivalry. He spotted her beneath a tree, shivering and trying to avoid the big drops of water that fell from the branches. The downpour was too heavy for her to make a run for it, and she had no coat.

“Excuse me,” he said. “Would you like to share my umbrella?”

She hesitated for a moment, but his smile disarmed her.

“Thank you,” she said. “I’m just trying to get to the bus station.”

Excellent, he thought. There was a little underpass on the way – that would be perfect.

Thirty-five, he told himself. Ted Bundy would be proud.

© Kari Fay

(Author’s Note: A delayed #fridayflash this week, as I was trying to find something to write last night when my internet connection went down!)

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