The Deadly Visitor - ZorbaBooks

The Deadly Visitor


He’s ready. He’s done it a couple of times before and didn’t get caught. Case the house, find out the person’s routine, if they had any pets, alarm systems, the works. The exhilaration he felt was unmatched. The way their expression changed from blissful security to absolute fear when he made his presence known inside their homes, the pleading for mercy as he would tie them up and the realization of imminent death as he would slowly but steadily begin his merciless dance of slicing them open and watch them slowly bleed out. He knows it by heart, the babbling and crying, the threats, the promises and finally the quiet acceptance of his power over them. It’s useless to bargain with a silhouette clad in darkness and death. He’s good, he leaves no traces, and he’s always ready.

Tonight, something feels off. As he lies in waiting, his breathing slowed to an inaudible flutter of murderous butterfly wings, his thoughts focused on his ungodly job, he starts to feel something might actually be wrong. But what is it? On cue, the lights go off in the bedroom, a sure sign his victim has gone to bed, unknowingly never to leave that room again. Good, he thinks, that’s just about right. No security alarm, no vicious guard dog ready to pounce on the intruder, not even a yappy, fluffy murderous rat-dog that can have the whole neighborhood up in twenty seconds. He knows this house. Tonight it’s just the old woman and her final moments in this world. It’s time to move.

There it is again, the nagging feeling that he’s forgotten something. He clenches and unclenches his gloved hands, suddenly his hoodie laces feeling too tight around his face. This is stupid, he mutters under his breath, as he shakes his shoulders, unconsciously trying to shake the feeling off. Taking one step further, along the stale smelling wallpaper peeling off the kitchen wall, his eyes narrow as he approaches the carpeted stairs. Sweat starts to drip into his eyebrows as he tries to move quietly up the narrow staircase. His heart thuds inside his ribcage, as if fueled by the power of a million coffees. What the hell?

He has every step planned and engraved on the back of his pupils. He can do this in his sleep, he’s that good! His rampage is calculated and his targets never sense the danger. Then why is he wobbling towards the bedroom? Sweat now blocking his focus and making it difficult to think, his pulse thumping in his ears, his mouth dry and his head flooded by thoughts. And the tightness in his chest, oh God, he’s thinking, I’m having a heart attack! He stops just outside the bedroom door, a blur enveloping him, as he can only see the bundled silhouette in bed and nothing else.

Should he call it off? Bullshit, he thinks, it’s an old hag and a small, quiet house; he can play his game of “you’ll never catch me” with the police and nobody will sleep peacefully for the next week or so, until they know if he’s still in the area or moved on, as he always pretends to be doing.

He remembers to breathe, just as his knees give him a subtle sign they might give up on him any second now. “The Deadly Visitor”, as he likes to call himself, almost brought to his knees at the scene of a future crime. He pats his pocket in a hazy panic, the knife’s still there. Ok, good. Slowly breathing in and out, he makes his way into the room, to the foot of the bed. Hopefully his ragged breathing won’t wake the woman just yet.

He still has a job to do, and the thought of the upcoming events calm him down a little. With a shaky hand, he grips the knife tightly and stops for a second. Will he be able to do this just as flawlessly as he always did? His doubts are now a thousand times louder, dancing around in his head and chest. Maybe he should stop and pull himself together. What if she wakes up and sees him? Will he be able to be as efficient with a struggling victim?

He can’t go back now, he’s wasting too much time with these nonsense thoughts. It has to happen. And it has to be as quick and as quiet as before. He closes the distance between himself and the sleeping figure and stares down. 

Does she look familiar? Of course, many years ago, the roles were reversed and he would be huddled under blankets as his mother would hover above him, making sure he’s asleep, before getting into bed next to him. Her cold, sweaty hands would work precisely as she would pull him closer and snake around his limp, defenseless little body. He hated every minute of this, and would pretend to be asleep just so he can keep his eyes closed as she would pull down his pajama bottoms and…oh, God, her hand were cold as ice and the iciness would envelop his small body, as she would grab and squeeze, and prod and pull as she grunted and moaned, her hot, alcohol stinking breath on the back of his neck. 

Now it was different. The tiny, fightless little boy was all grown, much to his mother’s distaste. He left home and never looked back, but her memory was always present, still breathing fire on his back. He hated being defenseles; he craved control and power over his victims. He never picked anyone he knew, they were all strangers. It was easier this way.

Not today, he thought as his merciless stare fixed upon his sleeping aggressor. Now was the time for payback, his technique had been practiced to perfection for this very opportunity. Just as she knew where to touch, he learned where to strike. His quiet sobs will now translate into her begging for him to be finished. And just like her, he will take his time and he will not stop until her dying breath will no longer burn on him.

He shakily turns to look around the room. Even in the dark, he knows it like the back of his hand. His childhood bedroom, his sanctuary and prison all in one; the bed where he used to lie with his eyes open and his body drenched in sweat and squalor, after she was gone. He would cry himself to sleep. Tonight, she would bleed to death. Poetic justice, he hoped.

Just as he takes one more ragged breath and prepares himself to face his mother one final time, he notices something moving, near his mother. His heart begins to thud harder, again, memories of the past come rushing back, as his knees begin to wobble. Can’t be, he half whispers, half prays he was mistaken. Now, closer, he notices the faint sound of two people breathing. A wheezing sound, easily recognizable from years of terror and another, calmer one coming from somewhere very close. Behind him.

He’s standing next to him now. The little boy, no older than maybe ten, whispers “I know. She has been doing it to me, too, after you left. It has to end tonight.” Now facing each other, the cold blooded killer coming for retribution and the tiny figure in his old pajama bottoms seem frozen in time.  

The two brothers, together again. He ran away, not only trying to forget, but trying to gather his strength to save him. His frail other self, his brother was a toddler when he disappeared. He couldn’t protect him, but now, he was back and he will save him. Like he needed to be saved when no one came. He did it. He came for him. It almost killed him, being back in this place, but he knew what needed to be done. No more sleepless nights, no more crying, no more hiding under the bed when she came looking. No more. 

“It has to end tonight”, he echoed his little brother. “Get out now, I’ll handle her.” He grips the knife harder, as he motions for the kid to leave. He doesn’t move. “No”, the boy whispers back, “she did this to us, we do it to her”. 

The knot in his stomach unravels, his breathing slows down and his vision sharpens. His nightmare is about to end, while for his mother, his aggressor, now his victim, the nightmare is about to begin. After tonight, there will be no more killing. His past will have caught up with him, one last time. He will be free. They will be free. 

They move in tandem, each complimenting the other, as they now perform the deadly dance as a duo. The little boy is a fast learner, his actions fueled by hate and controlled by revenge. She never stood a chance, not tonight. Terrible memories are washed away by her tears, their future is written in her blood. Their blood. After they finish, as they stood contemplating the horror of what they accomplished, one fell swoop of the knife slices the boy’s throat. Then, as promised to himself, he kneels next to their lifeless bodies and cuts his veins open, as he finishes what she started many years ago. 

 The Deadly Visitor is finally home now.  

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Lavinia Boulescu