He was ready. He had planned as long as he could remember for this moment, the moment when he would finally have her. She was always stuck in his head—the girl with the long black hair and the silver nose ring who brought him his coffee and cared enough to stop and chat even though there were other customers. He would tell her that he loved her. Tonight. He would take her; she would belong to him.
He imagined how it would be. The smell of her perfume and the way that she would stroke his face. The way that she would love him. That she had always loved him, but hadn’t been courageous enough to say. He didn’t mind that; he wasn’t courageous either. Not at all.
She took the same route every night, after her shift. Her car was always parked in the same place. He knew where to find her, and she would be easier. Easier than the others.
He was ready. Mentally, he itemized his duffel bag. Duct tape. Rope. Flashlight. Washcloth. And in the backseat, a shovel wrapped inside a tarp. Soon she would be inside the tarp. Staring out the windshield of his own vehicle, he watched and waited. She wouldn’t see him here. As she walked past, he would sneak out of the car. He would grab her arms, hold them behind her back, and he would shove the drugged cloth over her nose and mouth before she even had a chance to scream. When she slumped into his arms, he would shove her into the back of the car and wrap her wrists and feet with the thick black tape.
He was ready. The path was the path he had driven many times, winding through the trees and stopping deep within the woods. He would wait until she woke up, until she was present for every moment. That was more fun for him. He would wait, and then he would break her. Her screams would be silenced by the duct tape holding strong over her mouth, but he would still see her eyes. He could watch those eyes as the light slowly winked out deep inside of them.
He was ready. He would have his way; he would use her until she ran dry. After, he would take her body and he would throw it down the hole that was waiting. She would lay with all of the others. Taking the shovel, he would cover her with the soggy earth as she drew her last breath. Laughing, he would watch the dirt rain down on top of her. He would relish in all of the power that he held, the ability to both give her life and to take it. He would be like God. He would take her life, he would bury her. She certainly didn’t deserve to live.
He was ready. She was coming now, walking slowly down the street while tapping the keys on her cell phone. Clutching the door handle of the car, he held still until the moment that she was past and then quietly slipped out, taking care not to shut the door all the way. She would never even see him coming.
It was time.
He was ready.