On the Prowl. Short Story.

“So, how many have you killed?”
“Honestly? I’ve lost count. After a while they all just started blending together for me. You?”
“ninety eight, I’m hoping to get to one hundred this weekend.”
“I’m sure you will.” Bob took a swig from his bottle, “What was your most memorable kill?”
“Oh man, there was this hooker I picked up somewhere out east, she fought right until the end, there was a moment or two where I thought she might actually get away. I ended up having to knock her out with a shovel, it was so crazy. At the time I was pissed, but looking back on it now it was kinda funny and it was super satisfying. I ended up trying to beat her to death with the shovel, but the bitch just wouldn’t die, I ended up having to slit her throat. What about yourself?”
“I tied this guy up, like an insane amount of knots because he looked strong, right? Nice thick rope and everything. I turned my back for one minute and he had half the damn things undone. If I hadn’t turned around just then I don’t know what would have happened. I decided to have a bit of fun, I told him if he could escape the knots I’d let him go, it took him only a minute or two to get loose, as he stood up I shot him, that sudden confused look on his face. Man it was priceless. Since then I’ve done it a few times, that look of hope in their eyes, the way they struggle against the bonds, only to have it all ripped away. I mean they’ve no reason to trust you, right? But they do anyway. They truly believe if they can get out I’ll let them go.”
“I’ll have to try that some time.”
“Oh do, it would really help me out a lot. I try to mix things up every now and then, throw people off my track. It’d be perfect really.”
“Have you ever been almost caught?”
“Oh man yeah, once or twice out when I was dumping them, there was a random hiker, out in the middle of nowhere. I thought for sure I’d have to kill him too, but somehow he just completely missed me. I was stopped by the cops once too, they let me go, but that’s no surprise there. Fucking idiots had no idea I’d a body in the trunk.”
“I’ve had one or two close calls, nothing with the cops though. I had a woman’s husband come home right when I was about to get started, I cleared out pretty quick. I wanted to take them both but I didn’t have enough with me, would have been too risky. I was already in a rush as it was.”
Bob nodded, “I think we’ve all been there. Sometimes the time isn’t right. That’s how I know God believes in what I do, I haven’t been caught yet, hell, even coming to a place like this is stupid, but here we are and none of us have been caught.”
Joseph shrugged, “I dunno, who’d really believe there’s a bar where killers go?”
“Plenty of people, you think a cop wouldn’t stake out this place if he thought there was a chance of it being true? No, we’re protected.” Bob drained the rest of his beer. “I’ll be back in a minute.” He stood from the low table and stumbled towards the bathroom. Joseph took a drink, then shook his head, he didn’t believe in divine intervention, that was just man being stupid, but Bob was known as a bit of a zealot once you got him on the subject.

He looked around the bar, not that busy of a night, though it rarely was. There were twelve people in the pub, including the bartender and waitress. Most were sitting by themselves though a couple had grouped together and were leaning over the table talking to one another, low enough that they couldn’t be quite heard over the music. He finished off the rest of his drink in one gulp, he liked to stop in when he was in the area, chat to a few of the others, get a heads up if anything was happening. It was nice to relax in a place like this, talk about the trade. Sure you got your weirdoes, but what bar didn’t? He looked at the empty glass for a moment, Bob rejoined him, “Do you want another?”
“Nah I’m ok thanks, think I’ll hit the road, lot of miles to cover tonight.”
Bob nodded, “I know how it is, it was nice talking with you either way. Good luck out there.”
“Thanks, you too.”
Joseph stood, threw a few ones onto the table then left. The bar itself was in a fairly empty part of town, the shops either side of it were already shuttered for the night and there was no one out walking. Joseph went to his car and got in, he pulled out of his spot and started driving. He wanted to go out hunting tonight, but it was a rule of the bar, no hunting within fifty miles for a week after visiting. If anyone found out he’d broken that rule they’d all come looking for him. Still, fifty miles, it wasn’t all that far. Plenty of time to pick someone up before the night was out. He was feeling tired, but that familiar need was starting to ramp up, it had been a while since he’d last found someone. He liked to follow his victims, get an idea of who they were, where they went, but he had been known to pick up a prostitute or two on occasion. They were just such easy pickings. He tapped the steering wheel as he drove, after a few minutes he made up his mind, whore it was. He liked to change things up, made it harder for him to be tracked. He didn’t get off like some of the others, he didn’t need to do it in any specific way, the only thing he wanted was to see the light fade out of their eyes. He started whistling along with the radio a smile spreading across his lips, he knew it was going to be a good night tonight.

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About Alan James Keogh

I am a 24 year old writer who somehow tricked U.C.D. into giving me not only a degree in English and Classical studies, but an Hons Masters in Creative Writing too. Visit my blog where I post short stories twice a week (Monday and Wednesday) and an installment of a serialised novel on Fridays. I did consider writing this in the third person, as though it was written by someone else, but Alan is not comfortable writing in the third person as it seems kinda creepy and unbalanced so Alan decided it was probably best to write in the first person. He hopes it went well for him.
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