Oliver pushed his plate aside and studied the front page of the newspaper again. He decided they should be writing him royalty checks. He must be increasing their circulation quite a bit by now. Such a dull headline they had gone with.
‘Body number 4!’
Perhaps he should become a journalist and show them how it’s done, he thought. But for now he had work to do. He reflected on his session with Mrs. Daniels. She was just like the others. She begged. She screamed. She acted as though she didn’t know. That was the part that made him angry. Oh, they knew. They knew full well. But even on death’s door they maintained the charade. Why? He just needed to hear it. He needed to know why. He would not stop until he had the answer.
He felt the blood rise and he glanced about the room to see if anyone noticed. Satisfied that they hadn’t he finished his coffee and headed out. It was time for a stroll. That was how he found them. They were out there. They were all around him. He only had to make himself available and they would cross his path.
He walked along the busy street and observed. An old man walking his ridiculous little dog, not a care in the world. Young people wandering aimless, looking for something to amuse themselves with. A young mother pushing a stroller. He had no use for any of them. He was a stranger. An alien in their world. They couldn’t even begin to imagine what he had experienced. What he had felt. What he had suffered. They were irrelevant.
Were they beginning to feel uneasy? Finding it harder to get to sleep at night? Or did they ignore what was going on around them? He imagined standing in the middle of the street and shouting out to them that he was the so-called serial killer. Would they run? Would their eyes spring wide in terror? Or would they just stop and gape at him in dull surprise? The sheeple. It didn’t matter. That was a fact.
His pain was of no consequence to them. He imagined himself holding a flamethrower, cleansing the street. He moved on. Searching. Always searching. Two more blocks. Three. He noticed a bakery across the street. He began to tingle. She was nearby. Perhaps inside. He crossed the street and entered. Nothing at the counter. He walked to the back, where the fresh bread was displayed.
Yes. There she was. He went and stood next to her, pretending interest in the sourdough. She made her selection and turned to walk away. The light gleamed on the small gold cross around her neck. He glanced at her wrist. She wore a charm bracelet of Christian symbols. A lamb, a cross, a Bible, the Ten Commandments.
His pulse quickened. He watched her pay and then walked out of the store and waited on the sidewalk. She came out and turned down the street. He followed at a discrete distance. She reached her car and got in. He needed to speak to her. He reached into his pocket, took out a set of keys and walked up and knocked on her window. She rolled it down.
“Yes? What is it?”
He held up the keys. “Excuse me, are these yours? The were lying on the street right next to your car.”
“No, they’re not mine.”
“Okay then, sorry.”
He watched her drive away. He got out his notebook and jotted down her license plate number. Oh yes. She was the one.
Part 5 Tomorrow.