He had been watching Maddeline for over a week now, following her without her being aware of it. When she walked, he walked, feeling very much like Bradley Headstone from Charles Dickens' Our Mutual Friend. Luckily for him Maddeline was not only unaware of him, but she was also not an idiot like Eugene Rayburn. If she had insisted on leading him through all the long, drawn out routes, he would have lost patience and found some means of finishing her off quickly, or else simply chosen another victim and postponed killing her. Though primarily motivated by vengeance, he did enjoy the power he possessed and the thrill of executing these murders.
When she drove her grey Citroen, he followed at a safe distance in his own car. He knew she did not remember him, any more than Lynette McFarland had remembered him. Yet he never forgot anyone who had wronged him. Being infinitely patient, he was prepared to wait years if necessary to take vengeance. Yet he was not heartless either. He didn't kill just anyone. In fact, he left most preople alive and unharmed, not having anything against the majority of people. Lynette had sensed his presence as he stalked her, though she had never seen him, thanks to the trees which sheltered him from view. For this reason, he loved trees, far more than he did humans in fact.
He showed his gratitude to his leafy friends by generously funding and supporting conservation movements, especially those related to forest preservation. He didn't mind those who knew him having him down as a nature lover because it was true. Tomorrow night was a good night for the actual murder. He had already had his black halloween costume complete with mask prepared, the same as before. This time though, he would not wear the murder weapon, at least not before committing the murder.
Maddeline was sitting at her computer, studying Italian. There was a fantastic website one of her friends had pointed her to where you could learn languages free from experts and then practise using them. She had chosen French and Italian. Having done a French one yesterday, she had decided to do Italian today. It was ten past nine acccording to the hall clock. She suddenly heard the doorbell ring and sighed. Paulo was on the phone, so she would have to answer. She ran downstairs and opened the door.
A masked man dressed in black stood outside. Maddeline looked surprised.
"Can I help you?" she asked.
The figure spoke no word but just looked at her.
"Who's that love?" called a voice from upstairs.
Maddeline turned round and called back "I don't know Paulo, I mean if it was halloween I woud have thought that..."
Here she broke off as she was yanked from behind and gagged tightly. The figure shut the door quietly and dragged her round the side of the house just as Paulo ran downstairs, having told the person on the phone to ring back.
He opened the door and looked out but saw nobody. "Love?" He said, going back in and shutting the door.
The faceless man held her tightly in his arms, the two of them standing against one of the outer walls of the back of the house. If only they had been at the front or the side, someone would have seen.
Maddeline trembled. Was he going to rape her?
Keeping her pinned against the wall, he unbuckled her skirt belt and pulled it off.
He is she thought.
The man took no notice of the fact that because he had taken off the belt the skirt had fallen down. Pulling on a pair of gloves, he took the belt and, keeping her pinned against the wall with his body he started to strangle her.
It only took a few minutes for Maddeline to go limp.
He put the belt round his own waist and buckled it. Then, leaving Maddeline where she was, he walked away.