“Oh my gosh, Ron,” Jackie said, her voice barely a whisper. “Ron… is he… do you think he’s okay?”
Ron’s face was pale. “I don’t know, honey. Why don’t you stay in the car with Eva? I’ll check it out.” With shaky hands, Ron opened his door and walked to the fallen man.
Jackie stayed in the car, praying that the man would be okay. Ron was a certified first responder; he would take care of that man. Why was the man in the middle of the road?
Jackie turned around to check on Eva. She was still sleeping; her head was hung forward and Jackie could hear her soft breathing. Jackie breathed a sigh of relief. When she turned front again, her sigh became a scream. Her Ron, her loving husband, was lying in the middle of the road, crimson blood pooling around him. The man, however, was nowhere to be found. Jackie covered her mouth to stifle the scream. With fumbling hands, she opened her door and rushed to where Ron’s body lay, illuminated by the headlights.
Tears flooded from her eyes as she cried over and over, “Ron… no, Ron, please… please… listen to my voice, can you hear it? Ron… please don’t be dead… please, please, please…” Eventually, her sobs over came her ability to speak, and her words were lost in heartbroken cries.
Her Ron couldn’t be dead… the idea was… unfathomable. Yet, there he was; his blood staining her shoes, painting her hands. Fierce sobs racked through her body, but she regained enough sense to search for her cell phone. With red fingers, she dialed 911.
“911, what’s your emergency?”
“My husband…” Jackie sobbed. “He’s… he’s… not responding… I think he… he might be….” Jackie couldn’t say the last word, couldn’t force it from her lips.
“I’m sending an ambulance. They will arrive shortly….”
What the operator did not know, was that their words had fallen on deft ears. Jackie had not seen the shadow come up behind her, did not have the time to scream or call for help before she lay next to her husband, her blood mixing with his.
The man smiled sadistically. He had planned these deaths for a while, and seeing the bodies’ cold and dead on the dirt brought an immeasurable sense of satisfaction to his being. The simple pleasure of killing was like no other, he thought. Nothing could match the pride he felt as he eliminated the weaker creatures. And nothing could equal the power he felt as he dragged the knife across their skin. This was how he lived; off the high that came with other’s blood. Carelessly, he tossed the knife down beside the bodies. They would never find him, they could never catch him. He was too cunning, far too intelligent to be outwitted by their simple minds. What they didn’t realize, was that all of this was something bigger. They were nothing but pawns in his game. Everyone was.
He walked back into the woods, whistling as he went. He was not worried because he controlled it all; he was the master of the game. Everything was under his control. He never left any loose ends.
Except, this time was different.
Eva had woken at her mother’s scream and had seen the whole thing.