Meeting The Monster
“So,” said Ames. “Welcome back to the land of the living, Wolf. Mitch and Rose have been awake for a little while now.”
Wolf opened his eyes. Heavy ropes bound him; he was tied to one of the statues. His muscles surged as Ames’ scent filled his nostrils. It was the killer, it was all of Wolf’s cherished dreams of revenge or justice, and he strained his arms trying to reach him. But the ropes held.
Ames stood close, smiling. “Did you miss me, Wolf? How long have you dreamed of this moment? How long have you wanted to finally have my throat right here….” and he leaned forward even more, placing his throat just beyond the reach of Wolf’s teeth. Wolf’s eyes had a feral light, and his muscles twitched as he became absolutely still, waiting for Ames to come just a little bit closer…
“He’s strutting,” muttered Mitch from somewhere to Wolf’s left. “Wolf, we need you with a clear head. What you’re doing now is making him stronger.”
Wolf’s eyes narrowed and his jaw clamped. “You’re playing my vengeance shit like a drum, aren’t you?” he said. “Crap thinking. You live on other people’s crap thinking.” And his face suddenly went impassive.
Ames blinked. The thrill had gone. The excitement and the power drained away from him. Wolf had ruined his fun. Again. His leer turned into a snarl as he stepped back. “You. You did that before, when I … killed … your … wife.” He waited for Wolf to respond, but there was nothing. “You can just switch it off, then? You can just … not care? And you think I’m crazy?” The taunts weren’t working. Wolf wasn’t rising to the bait.
Ames got tired of it and moved around the circle. “How about you, Officer Flanagan? How did it feel to have a killer working your town for years and not be able to do shit about it? How does it feel to be face to face with me now, and you still can’t do shit about it?” He smiled as the flames of pain and rage rose higher in Mitch’s eyes. “Yes, and after today is done I’ll go right on killing, Mitch. In the town that was yours, I’ll be taking the innocent. I’ll be their bogeyman, the monster under their beds, their sex-and-death fantasies, their lurking killer …. What do you think of that, Mitch?”
“No … no, you won’t,” said Rose, tied up next to Mitch. “You’ve been HIV positive for three years now and the treatments aren’t working anymore. You’re dying of AIDS, you poor bastard. Your killing will be over soon, no matter what.”
Mitch saw the words sink home in Ames’s eyes, and breathed a sigh of relief. At least, one way or another, the nightmare would be over. Once again Ames’s grin turned into a snarl as the power and the thrill drained away, and this time he turned on Rose.
“But your killing, Rose. Your killing will have
just begun, isn’t that right? These others, I’ll kill. But you …. If I just hurt you, and let you go …. You’ve already smelled the blood, haven’t you? You know what the thrill is, you know what the power is. How long do you think you can resist it? How long do you think you can walk alone?”
Rose didn’t say anything, but hot tears were trickling down her cheek. He was right, and he knew it. Ames chuckled. Here, finally, was something tasty that nobody was going to take away. “I’ve got an idea,” Ames said with a smile, pulling out a big hunting knife. Rose’s eyes opened wide with panic as he raised the knife to her throat … and then turned it, bringing it down and slicing her blouse open from collar to waist. Two more quick slices went from collar to each wrist, and then Ames tugged and the cloth fell, limply, from her body. Rose squirmed, turning her face into her shoulder. “Now now, don’t do that. The more you wriggle, the more likely I am to draw blood here before I want to.” And he reached up, made three more quick snips, and yanked off her bra.
Ames stopped to cup her breast with his left hand, running his thumb back and forth across her nipple as he trailed the knife downward, between her breasts, onto her belly, and then lower. Another long slash, and her skirt fell to the floor. Ames was staring at her body with a horrible fascinated smile on his face, as he brought the knife back up, very slowly, and hooked one finger into the waistband of her panties and out again through the left leg opening. The knife came down across the raised cloth suddenly, and her panties crumpled. Still smiling his predatory smile, Ames hooked a finger into the right leg opening and made another slash. Finally he yanked the cloth away from her.
“So,” he said. “You’re my daughter. I could use you, like my parents used me. That would be fair, wouldn’t it? I could just dump all those memories into your head, like you did with Officer Atkins. That would be fair too. But I won’t, daughter. It’s always better if you do it to yourself. So here’s your first lesson. You can feel what these men feel now, can’t you, as they see your naked body and know you’re turning into another killer like me. You feel what they feel? Let’s see how long you can stand that before you shut them up. Hmm?”
He smiled, then continued. “For the next lesson, there’s Sonia. I’ll make her into a pawn and you’ll have to tear her apart to put her back together, except she’ll never ever be who she was again – only who you’ve made her. Won’t that be a great second lesson? Look and see, I’ve already made her a ring.” And he showed Rose an iron ring that had Sonia’s picture beneath its cheap glass stone. “And I’ll give this ring to you when she’s ready.”
“Anyway,” he said. “I’ve an errand to run.”
Ames laughed and Rose wept as he walked away.
This is one chapter of The Hook, a novel which is being published serially on this site. This page links to all chapters so far serialized.
The complete novel is available from Amazon.