It was almost deja vu. The same time, on the same sort of night. A night with clouds completely covering the moon. There would be nobody to witness his sacred act tonight, not even the scarred, unforgiving moon. This was definitely not for innocent eyes, human or otherwise, to see.
He doubted it would run so smoothly tonight. For one, the odds were stacked against him. It was very unlikely that his victim would surrender so easily. And two, the sinner this time was a man. Well, little more than a boy, really. He had done his research this time. The one to be saved was an Ashley Cooke, aged twenty-two. His sin was one that plagued the youth of today. Young Ashley had decided to reject the love of Christ for artificial highs. He dwelled in the dark and dangerous underworld, dabbling in substances that were certainly not condoned by the Almighty.The man did not care what Ashley did to himself - after all, a sinner;s life was a shallow and purposeless one. No, what he worried about was this unspeakable youth corrupting others; persuading that a life devoted to the false idols of illegal drugs and lies was one more worthy than a life spent worshipping a merciful and benevolent God. This was a real danger. People were turning their backs on the Church, and it showed in their behaviour. Youths were decadent , fickle things. He had tried talking to Ashley, making him see the error of his ways, but it was no use. He had slammed the door in his face. So, this was the only solution left. The last resort. He didn't like to kill, but he knew he would be forgiven. It was not as if the young man would be missed. His family, sensible beings, had disowned Ashley long ago. They had clearly seen what he would end up as. A worthless symbol of today's world.
It was almost time. In the distance, he hear ghostly church bells ring across the town. Eleven o'clock. He slunk out of the shadows and up the stairs. The fourth floor was his destination. Out of the window he saw the moon appear from behind a silver-grey cloud. Oh, unfortunate moon! He wished she did not have to see this. The clean, white, pure moon did not deserve to see such bloodshed. However, there was a strong wind that night, and clouds could blow over again. He recited a quick prayer, then continued the ascent.
He reached the fourth floor fairly quickly. His legs ached, but he knew that would not matter in a few minutes. His suffering would be swallowed into insignificance by the pain his victim would go through. He would make sure of it. Ashley would finally know the pain he had put his family and friends through. He would finally learn for the first time in a while, what it was like to be a conscious human being, not corrupted by drugs or other symbols of modern life. Not that he would be conscious for long. The last thing he would ever know was what it was like to be in true pain. To be totally aware of like and its meaning. The stranger would allow him this knowledge. It would not help him in Hell.
He rang the doorbell. The stanch coming from the flat made him gag. He knew that smell. It was what his so-called 'friends' used to smoke. He would never forget those long summers. He used to sit there, refusing to take even a drag on the disgusting roll-ups. After a while they left him. Accused of being 'uncool' and 'pointless'. But he knew who would enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only this belief consoled him during those dark times.
The youth answered the door. His heavy lidded eyes looked dolefully at the stranger. They were empty eyes. The soul had been stolen from them a long time ago. His hair was dyed black and laid plastered across his face by grease. The young man was skinny, almost skeletal. It was all rather fitting, considering his inevitable fate. Ashley looked pale and tired. Not a desirable sacrifice. And was that...eyeliner around those crystal blue orbs? The stranger objected to excessive makeup on females, but seeing it on a man was unbelievable! How dare he! He shook with rage. The youth spoke,
'Oi, mate! You back again? I told you - God. Is. A. Lie. You've been conned, my friend. Now, I'm busy, so get the f*** out,' he sneered, 'Please.'
This was too much for the stranger. He quickly glanced at the boy's hand. Sure enough, there was a cigarette-like object clutched there. But what it contained was more harmful than any tobacco could ever be.
He could not think straight any more, He clutched at the cord around his neck, and pulled out the bloodstained crucifix for the second time. It struck the mark he had intended it to, and Ashley Cooke fell to the floor at once. This time, the sacrificing process would be quicker. He quickly sprinkled some Holy Water over the body, and used the rest to wash off the worst of the eye makeup. Black stains streaked down the boy;s face. It looked perfectly terrible.
There was nobody on the stairwell at that time. The stranger decided to risk it, and struggling, carried the still body down to the ground floor. He quietly shut the door and laid the body on the concrete car park floor. There was no grass, only rubble. He would have preferred grass. It was the only true floor. If it was good enough for Adam and Eve, it was good enough for him.
Again, he went through the ritual. He was still not entirely used to the idea of killing, even in the name of the Lord. The same knife, cleaned and sharpened, pierced the young man's flesh. His thigh was thin, and it did not take long to reach the bone. He wished he had used the crucifix with a bit more force. The boy whimpered and feeble attempted to knock the knife away. Finally he became weak, and his hand fell down by his side.
The killer was in no hurry. The more suffering the youth endured, the better. He had been careful not to sever any major arteries this time. There was only a slow trickle of dark red blood flowing onto the concrete. It was soaking into Ashley's clothes, and the stranger decided to proceed onto the final part of the sacrifice. He withdrew the bloodstained knife with ease, and fumbled through the dark to find its mark. The knifepoint ripped through the young man's t-shirt as if it were butter, and scratched the skin beneath. The killer felt the body flinch beneath him. This was not going to be easy. He gritted his teeth and concentrated.
The first cut was easy. The boy's pale skin contrasted with his scarlet blood, as it flowed freely onto the floor. As of before, the second incision was heavier, more powerful. Ashley's breathing became laboured as ribs cracked under pressure. Once again, he tried to hit out against his attacker. But weakness overcame him, and he had to submit to the knifepoint. The stranger smiled, a smile full of malice and hatred. This was just what the young vagabond needed. That would teach him to reject Jesus Christ.
Ashley writhed in pain. He twisted and turned, but nothing could get rid of the pain in his chest. A sharp, piercing pain. He wanted it to stop. He didn't care how. He just knew he would do anything to make it stop.
The killer had grown tired of watching Ashley's mindless suffering. He gave the knife a final push, and it sank effortlessly into the soft tissues of the sinner's blackened heart. Then came the screaming. Ashley screamed until his lungs burned. His pulse was getting weaker and weaker - the stranger could feel life disappearing with every breath. The screaming started to die away with him. Suddenly there was a faint hissing noise. Ashley Cooke had just let out his last breath.
But there was no time to embrace the moment. He had forgotten how loud scream of anguish were, it was so long since he had heard them. He numbed himself to emotion. It interfered with his mission. Surely though, someone must have heard those cries. He didn't have time to dispose of the body. He pitied the poor soul who discovered his handiwork. But we all had to make sacrifices for some things.
He looked around wildly. Every sound was a police siren to his ears. They were onto him, he knew. He could sense it. He fled down the back street behind the block of flats. It was turning colder. Or maybe it was just him, slowly becoming frostier towards his fellow humans.