When he awoke the next morning he wasn't covered in her blood. The cream sheets were covered in blood, as were his palms, but his cerulean boxers and hairless chest were clean, save a few speckles and streaks across his collarbone and face. Unlike in the movies he had seen as a child, he didn't panic, he wasn't confused and he didn't frantically check the women's pulse, praying to God that she was still alive. He remembered quite distinctly the way his name sounded, breathy and rushed, from her plump, painted lips. The way her pulse trembled in her throat, just beneath his tongue. He vividly recalled the puzzled look flashing across her glazed brown eyes when he stuck the envelope opener in her throat.

He left the motel room with the door unlocked. Before he turned the corner, smoke was just beginning to curl its slender fingers under the door frame. He knew no one would notice the smoke, the fire, until it was too late. People would die, no doubt, before the wailing fire truck pulled into the parking lot and the volunteer fire fighters had time to uncurl the hose, hook it up, and tame the fire. He wasn't in a part of town that people noticed or cared about.

The woman was a whore. He had paid 150 dollars for two hours with her. She could have been so pretty, he thought when he saw her on the corner. She could have been a lady, could have married her high school sweetheart, could have not gotten the abortion, could have finished college, could have accepted that job. But she was a whore, wearing ripped fishnets and a gold tube top, her blonde hair teased up and her skirt slit up both sides, showing perfectly rounded butt cheeks. And so he had to kill her. He didn't care that she had a family, that there was a mother who loved her and a little brother expecting her to pick him up for their dinner date later that evening. He couldn't imagine her being a person who was capable of being loved. Ever.

All he wanted to do was make the world a more beautiful place, in accordance with his own specter of beauty.

As a little boy, his father had bought him a comic featuring a dark, mysterious vigilante named Jon Caden. Jon Caden killed the scum of the earth, even though people told him he was wrong. In the comic, the police were always trying to get him. The hookers and the drug dealers and the rapists were all scared, because they knew Jon Caden was right in his systematic pogrom.

When he expressed his love of the righteous Jon Caden to his father, his father told him not to be silly. "Son, it's a comic book. Half the people this character kills are innocent folks who have had every card in their life stacked against them. You see how wrong it is to kill those poor people, don't you?"

No, he didn't. 

The End

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