It had to be tonight. The man watched from the shadows, like a predator stalking his prey. The girl walked up the driveway, just inches away from him. He could smell her perfume as she brushed past. So this was the sinner he was going to send to meet her maker? She looked pretty, but totally unremarkable, except for a sheet of white-blonde hair that swung from side to side as she walked. She was wearing a lot of makeup, he noticed. The deadly sin of vanity was an unforgivable one, and he was sure she would be punished dearly for it. But he would have to remove the makeup before he sent her to the Lord. Even heretics had to look pure before being judged. At least it would be a pretty sight for the Holy Father.

He stood up slightly, and almost immediately stood on a twig. It snapped with a mighty noise and the girl looked around anxiously. She looked as if she would bolt from the scene, but fortunately she calmed down. She was almost at the door. He knew he had to act quickly. He had to wait for just the right moment...

The man knew why he was here. It was his duty to cleanse the earth of sinners, starting with this one. This girl was proud, pretentious and rude; the very picture of modern decadence. Once her blood was spilled, everything would be ok for a while. The Holy Father would be appeased. Until the next one made themselves known...

The time had come. As the girl got her keys out to let herself in, he rushed out of his hiding place and struck her over the head with the heavy metal crucifix. She collapsed into his arms and her bag clattered on the floor. Once he knew she was out cold, the stranger proceeded to drag the body into an out of the way place at the bottom of the garden. He could still hear her shallow breathing, the only sign that she was still alive. He took out a vial of Holy Water from his coat pocket. He had planned to use this to purify the body after death, but most of it was spent up cleaning her face. Now that he thought about it, she was pretty, perhaps even beautiful. But it didn't matter now. He knew what he had to do.

But that could wait a few minutes, couldn't it? Here was a stunning young girl, totally at his mercy. He kissed her lightly on the lips. He felt he hot breath on his skin and was surprisingly relieved to find she was still of this earth. It meant he could do what he had been longing to do. He lay her on the ground and slipped off her jeans. Ever since he was sixteen he had taken a vow of chastity, but this opportunity...should he do it? Surely it was alright if his victim was a sinner. She did not matter. But time was short, and he had no time for ethical dilemmas. He had served his Saviour faithfully all his life. He should be allowed this little pleasure.

He lay on top of the girl, and it could have been his imagination, but he swore he heard her gasp in shock. She was a virgin, that was good news. The Lord looked kindly on those that took away the innocence of sinners. He decided to carry on for a little while longer. The man undressed the barely living girl and stared at her perfect form. She still had the look of a child in her face, but her body was that of a woman's. Her breasts were clearly visible in the moonlight, and he felt a sense of pride in killing such an angelic figure. But he shouldn't dwell on those feelings. Pride was sinful, and a sure way to the fire and brimstone. So he resisted temptation and withdrew. He had to prepare the girl for death.

He had a knife in his hand. It was shaking slightly, but he knew he had to hold his nerve if he was going to succeed. He clenched his teeth and made the incision in the girl's snow white thigh. She made no sound. The blood poured from the cut thick and fast. The stranger gathered strength with every drop that landed on the cool green grass. 

He did not stop the knife until it had reached the bone. But he had severed her artery by mistake; if he did not act quickly she would bleed out before he got to the most important part of the ceremony. He ripped off a piece of his bloodstained cloth shirt and tied it round the girl's leg. It could act as a crude bandage until the deed was done. The girl's breathing was getting heavier and more laboured; she did not have much time left. The man struggled to force his knife out of her leg, and when he finally managed, he aimed it straight for her barely functioning heart.

He could sense her pain now. As his knife penetrated her perfect skin for the second time, she let out a small cry before drifting out of consciousness. The man concentrated all his weight on the knife point. He heard a 'crack!' and knew her ribs had broken. One more push and the sinner would be in purgatory. He cut through the muscle and sinew protecting the heart and lungs, and felt the pressure ease as the blade reached its destination. He withdrew his knife and lifted the girl's upper body into his arms. With a barely audible sigh, she let go of life and died in the hands of her killer.

She was small for her age, so the murderer had no trouble in carrying his victim's lifeless body through the open door and up the stairs. As he walked in, he realised her parents were in the living room. A woman's voice called, 'Is that you, Abigail?'

He panicked. He had not anticipated this. In response, he mumbled 'Yes' in what he imagined was the voice of a fourteen-year-old girl. The woman replied, 

'You should get to bed, love. You sound as if you've got a cold. Remember to say your prayers, won't you?'

This was a typical example of an honest Christian family suffering because of one sinner. He almost felt remorseful, then he remembered it was for the greater good. Little did this woman who he assumed was the girl's mother know that she would never see her evil daughter alive again.

After exploration of the upstairs floor of the house, he found what had to be the girl's bedroom. He put her down on the floor and her hair fanned out on the carpet. With her bloodstained lower half and peaceful, she looked like a fallen angel. He imagined her now, begging for salvation; the devil laughing at her more with every plea she desperately made. He felt no more hate or passion for the figure lying at his feet. Her soul had gone; she was just a body, a mere shell. His work was done here. And with that, the murderer shut both the girl's eyes in a single movement, drew a cross in the air above the corpse, and calmly walked down the stairs and out into the cold, unforgiving night.




The End

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