I swallowed back the saliva building in my mouth. It was annoying me; how much I have to swallow my own spit when I'm doing what I do. The sweat trickled down my face, getting in my eyes and blurring my vision. I reached a hand up to wipe the liquid out, and as I did, he moved. I had been sitting unmoving on this branch for what felt like an eternity. I imagine it was only a few hours. I had positioned myself in the one tree that was facing his house and simultaneously out of sight from inside it.

I felt almost like dragging this out a while. This one was... special to me. He deserved what he got. Not like the others. As I said, he moved. He had been sitting at what I assume was his dining table, eating a steak and reading a book. He stood up, folded the book shut, and set his now empty plate in the sink, accompanied by a small clink as the dish was set carefully into the sink. He jerked his head up, looking out of the window at the trees. Seeing nothing, he chuckled, perhaps at the thought of how irrationally fearful he was being. Ironic, isn't it? It was all I could do to not burst into raucous laughter at his relief. He was so very naive. He turned around, away from the window, and walked out of sight. The light in the previous room clicked off, and an upstairs light clicked on. I knew immediately that he had moved to his bedroom on the second floor of his apartment.

His roommate, who was supposedly out of town visiting relatives, was already long gone. I'd gotten to him hours before I arrived here. He didn't put up a fight, which surprised me greatly. He was a large man, easily capable of physically besting me, as lean as I am. He cried silent tears until the moment my syringe entered his arm. This time it was filled with morphine. I had nothing particular against this man, and I knew that the pain was excruciating. I didn't believe that he needed to suffer through that. His eyes closed in what I imagine was a silent prayer, and as soon as he went unconscious, I went about my work.

Vocal cords first, cut at the top and bottom points as to make them easy to remove. Not that this was necessary, as he was out cold. Temples next. I had a small hammer for that, the kind usually used at a doctor's office to test reflexes. I used to use my hands, but this had far more precision. The point of the temple shot was to make sure he was fully unconscious, as well as give him a concussion, which, if he were to wake up during the process, which I doubted greatly, would make him disoriented beyond any control of his motor skills. I cut the Achilles tendons next, not that I thought he would be able to run, but this step makes the leg muscles easier to manipulate. Next were the fingers. I broke them backwards, each break a compound one, and severed them from there. At this point in every procedure, I sort of... black out... Instinct kicks in, I suppose... I can never even recall in any sort of detail this part of the process, let alone describe it to others. This started happening when I reached what you would call "serial killer" level, at my third "ritualistic" kill. Well, human kill, that is. I've only killed one animal. It didn't strike me as something that I'd want to do for any kind of practice.

Anyway, I should get back to the subject at hand. The man's roommate was dead, dismembered, and dissolved, never to be found by any sort of evidence. I slowly drew myself to a crouch in the tree, bringing my feet up between my hands, in a frog-like position. I lowered myself down the tree cautiously, trying not to make a single audible sound. I dropped lightly to the ground, crouching low, and began to approach the house. I skirted around the tree-line, staying out of any possible sight; not that he would be able to see me in the least. As soon as I was positive he was upstairs, and that I was out of sight, I slipped away from the trees and crept up to the side of his house. The window in the dining room, the one he had looked out of earlier, was unlocked. As paranoid as he was, this seemed odd. I took the opportunity to enter nonetheless.

Opening the window ever so slowly and quietly, I braced myself. Once it was at a suitable position for me to enter without difficulty, I sprung upwards. I made not a sound as I latched on to the window sill, planting my foot on the side of the house for leverage. I pulled myself through the window, then over the sink, and dropped silently to the floor, still at a crouch. I stood up, and eased the window closed. I locked it for good measure. I surveyed the room around me. The window behind me, the small table to my right, and a single door, possibly to a den or living room, to my immediate left. I dropped back to a crouch, and entered the den. To my right I could see the staircase, which, on closer inspection, I could see was wooden. That would not make this any easier.

I saw a small table lamp in the corner, currently off. I reached under the hood and flicked the switch to the on position. Sure enough, both bulbs lit up a warm yellow, illuminating the room. I instantly slinked back to the dining room, lurking out of sight behing the table, all the while keeping a watch on the den. Within a minute, I heard a small creak upstairs, followed by footsteps, heading from the center of the upstairs room, towards the hall, and heading down the stairs. They stopped at the bottom, where I presume he had stopped, staring with blatant fear at the lamp. After a breathy mumble of "What the fuck?", he went into the den and clicked the light back off. He stood there, unmoving save his labored breathing. I took the opportunity to move past him and head up the stairs.

It played out flawlessly, me slipping by him without a sound and upstairs without the slightest creak. I positioned myself at the end of the hall, opposite of his bedroom. He stayed downstairs for a moment more, then hiked back up the stairs, breathing a sigh of relief again. That same nigh-uncontrollable fit of laughter hit again. He walked back to his bedroom, slipping inside the cracked door, and closing it behind him. Another minor inconvenience for myself. I stayed motionless until I heard him lay back down on his bed with a slight groan. That is when I went in to motion, quickly and quietly moving towards the top of the steps. Once there, I stopped, thinking about what plan of action to take next. I decided that he needed to feel real terror before I started my procedure. A plan began to form in my mind. One which would sew the seeds of paranoia and fear into his mind long before they were consciously realized. I moved like a blur.

Opening his bathroom door at the end of the hallway, I carefully opened the faucets for the sink and shower, letting them drip the slightest amount possible. The dripping resonated within his small bathroom exactly as I had hoped. I crept out, closing the door behind me. I stuck my foot outwards, lightly pushing on the top step of the stairs, just enough to create a slight creak. I snuck back down towards his door, and waited. Fortunately, my amateur attempt at scare tactics succeeded. I heard him slowly sit up, his heard rate increasing, his breathing speeding up ever so slightly. He crept out of his bed, crossed to the door, and cracked it open, peering outwards. He stood there, contemplating his terror, before venturing out to investigate the dripping noise. As soon as he stepped into the bathroom, I slipped through his open door into his bedroom, placing myself underneath his bed. He breathed that same damnable sigh of relief when he saw the faucets. It was odd how something like the inexplicable dripping, or lights turning on can make him relieved when he sees them. This time, I could not hold in the laughter, and it burst forth, high-pitched and loud.

Fortunately for me, the acoustics all over the house, his room especially, gave the sound no discernible origin. To him, it would sound as if laughter had come from nowhere at all. It was brilliant. He moaned in desperation, before bolting back across the hallway to his room, where he slammed and locked the door, almost hysterically so. He leaped onto the bed, trembling in fear. I waited. I laid there, unmoving and silent, for hours. When he had finally calmed down from his state of terror, he began to fall asleep, exhausted from his fear earlier in the night. I made my move. I slipped out from under the bed, silent as ever, positioning myself to his back. He turned over, in his last seconds of consciousness, and his eyes locked with mine. His gaze became shocked, frantic, terrified... Almost anything you could think of, it was there. I smiled, and through a huge grin, spoke.

"Hello there. Sorry to wake you. Did you like what I did earlier? Of course you did, that was obvious." His jaw hung open, his eyes widening.

"Ah, ah, ah. Don't scream. I might just have to hurt you worse." I could see his vocal cords tense up, preparing to yell. At that moment, my hand flashed behind my back, whipped out my syringe, and stuck him. His attempt to draw attention stopped immediately. This particular syringe was something special. A neurotoxin, drawn from the Japanese blowfish. It was an amazing paralyzing agent, and, in large amounts, simulates death. He laid there, perfectly still, with a look of terror and comprehension dawning in his eyes more prevalently.

"Time to start our procedure, shall we? Oh, don't look at me like that. That look is for later. You can't move. Trust me, it's not worth the effort to try. But, I promise you will feel every little thing. Like I said, that look is for later." I pulled the knife out of my pocket, pressing against his skin, and smiled.

"You deserve this, you know. You always thought it was fun to torment me. About everything. Now look at us." I grinned wider.

"Well, I don't want to keep you waiting any longer. Let's get this show on the road, brother."


If any editor has ideas on how to improve any aspect of the story, message me. Thanks.

We see it all, every instinct, every emotion...