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Part Four

This guy doesn’t deserve a chance to save himself, but I’m feeling generous tonight. Perhaps the mood of the city is sinking into my bones, sparking the barest hint of compassion. No. It’s not that. I do have compassion. I wouldn’t hunt who I do if I didn’t have that. I am just craving a fight.

He swings first. His slow, over-muscular arm reaches back and then pushes forward toward my face. I duck at the last second, giving him the impression that I am just as sluggish. It works. He gives me a toothy grin as his confidence grows; I will be an easy bug to squash.

The fact that this man is throwing fists at a woman less than half his size should give you a good indication of his character. I might be a killer, but he is the bad guy. He swings again, and misses. The smile starts to falter as he picks up the pace, his fists coming in wilder with every unsuccessful punch. Sweat beads on his forehead as he begins to pant with the exertion. The punches are getting sloppy, dropping down as they swing toward me. Barely five minutes in, and he is spent. How disappointing.

Finally, his entire torso droops forward, and he collapses to his knees. I haven’t even given him as much as a pointed glare at him yet. He lets out a scream of frustration. A deep growl of a scream that echoes along the alleyway. If it weren’t for the party still going strong above us, someone might have heard him.

“What do you want?” he asks me, heaving for breath with every word.

I stand above him, my hands outstretched and hovering on either side of his head. “I want you to feel what she felt. And then I want your soul.”

Before he responds, my hands grasp onto his skull. They squeeze as my fingers dig into the flesh and scrape the bone beneath. I won’t allow him to scream, but I know I am doing my job by his eyes. The telltale glisten of terror is there, of course, as is the bulge of the eyeballs that comes from the pain of having your brain liquified. But there is something else: a tiny spark of acceptance. He knew I was coming for him. He knew this was deserved.

I’m so engrossed in my mission, on watching him suffer, that the world else drops away. This is when I am my most vulnerable. I can barely see or hear what is going on around me in the midst of a kill. But I can smell. And the distinct, sickly-sweet stench of one of the party guests begins to fill my nostrils.

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