I have spent years chasing the tail of my darkness. I watch it drift away. It’s always just out of reach. My coffee has gone cold. The fire has died out. The body lying before me doesn’t twitch anymore. It’s time.
It takes hours to properly dispose of a body. I rebuild the fire and nuke the coffee in the microwave while the acid works its magic on the body in the bathtub. He was heavier than I’d imagined him to be. For a brief second, I worried I wouldn’t be able to drag him into the garden tub of the master suite. Dead weight is a tricky thing. I never expect them to be that heavy. You would think I’d be used to it by now.
I lie in his bed while the body dissolves just a room away. His sheets are satin and I finally sleep. The darkness doesn’t wake me. It’s been a long time since a full night has escaped me undisturbed.
Sunlight floods the room in the early morning. I savor the seconds of peace before the darkness creeps in with memories of the night before. It’s time to leave. Someone could stop by at any moment looking for the man known to this town as Paul. They would only find an empty house.
Normally, I would be here for days. The pipes would need to be cleaned and that takes time. Paul had run away to a small town though. He thought it would be easier to disappear that way. He was right. He had been hard to find but the small town made it much easier for him to disappear forever. The cops wouldn’t suspect a thing. People come and go all the time. Paul had no ties here. They would just think he had moved on.
I can’t help but smile at how easy it has been. When he first opened the door to find me on his stoop, his shoulders had slumped and he’d turned away. I stood in the doorway and watched as he poured himself a large glass of whiskey and settled into his favorite chair. I told him I would find him eventually. They all soon realize that I’m always right. It had only taken one injection. For a man his size, I had expected at least two.
I stare down at the once glistening white bathtub that is now caked in bloody grime. It always surprises me that it doesn’t smell. I pour the bleach over the surface and scrub until the tub is restored to its full glory. As always, no one will suspect a thing. I open the window to air out the bleach-filled air when the downstairs phone begins to ring.
Grabbing my things, I take one last look around before smiling. My work here is done. As I walk toward the back door, I hear his phone click over to voicemail. A gruff voice fills the hallway. Some guy named Steve will pick him up tomorrow at 8:00 for their weekly hunting trip.
“Sorry, Steve,” I say to the machine. “Paul won’t be making that trip anymore.”
It takes almost an hour to find the car I hid on his land just the day before. It looks undisturbed. I pull the branches from the top and throw them to the ground. I sit in the car for a few moments and go through the previous day one more time. I didn’t miss anything. I never do. Reaching over to the glove box, I pull out the pictures of the four missing girls. Their bodies will most likely never be found. There had only been one lead and he is now seeping through the drains of the small town I am about to leave.
I feel the darkness settle in beside me. It is always with me. I listen carefully as it whispers the next name softly into my ear. I smile as the sins of the chosen are laid out before me.
I have spent years chasing the tail of my darkness. I watch it drift away. It’s always just out of reach.
Come get Sloshed at the Speakeasy!