Supernatural Ch. 04byTonyDowse©
It was a relatively long walk to the shopping mall, but he'd learned from experience that when he was just 'window-shopping', as he liked to think of it, not having the car could have its advantages. Sometimes to complete his 'research' he'd needed to take bus trips, which left him closer to home from another direction and when that happened if the car was in the mall's car park it meant he had to make double trips. So, all in all it was just easier to walk and then rely on alternative transport back home. In any case, sometimes, if he was really lucky, there was always the chance that he might spot another 'possible' while actually making his way through the streets.
His last one had been several months earlier and although he could still feel the calmness that always came over him afterwards, he could also feel the whispering tendrils of the need for another just starting to tease the outer fringes of his consciousness. If he was to keep the driving sense of urgency at bay, enable himself to complete the next one as successfully as he had the last, he knew he needed to prepare himself, needed to make use of this relatively tranquil time to thoroughly research potential subjects.
And just those thoughts were quite enough to bring vivid memories of that last one flooding back into his head.
She'd been almost perfect, he'd had to do very little to complete the transformation for her. Of course it had been the unfashionable pigtails he'd spotted first, so few girls wore their hair that way now - and pigtails were critical. And both her hair and eyes had been the right colour - there had been times when he'd had to forgo those details, and he'd found that the resulting calmness was never as strong on those occasions.
But the tricks he had learned from his previous times had proved to be useful in making all the mundane details run absolutely smoothly. Once he'd spotted her, taking his time to find out more information; which school she went to, where she lived, then pretending to be leaflet dropping so he could follow the postman and remove the mail from the letter-box to find her family's name. Using that made his story that her mother had been in an accident all the more compelling, as did the official looking insignia he'd had made that he stuck in the van's window just before pulling up beside her as she began walking down her street. Then there was the large cardboard carton that he'd flattened and kept in the back of the van, then once he'd reached the industrial area where he quietened and roughly bound her he was able to hide her from other people's sight by dropping it down over her.
Then of course there were the alterations he'd made to the house, the idea of telling the builder it was a wine cellar he was adding to it had been a pure flash of inspiration, as had been picking an essentially one-man firm from the far side of the city to do it. He felt almost certain that by now neither the man nor either of his two labourers even remembered that particular week's work, and even if they did, having paid cash for the job it was doubtful if the activity actually appeared on any one's records.
And apart from the almost perfect physical likeness, she'd been a very good subject, with all the right reactions - lots of crying and pleading of course, as there should have been, but after the first hour or so, very little screaming. Not like a couple he preferred not to think about. No the last one had been very good, undoubtedly the best one so far. Her reactions seemed to demonstrate just how sorry she was for the hurt and humiliation the other girl had caused him. Just as she should be. That in some vague way she understood his need to take retribution for what had been done to him. Just as she should.
But simply making that observation brought his thoughts to a halt, he knew from experience that even the faintest reference to the 'other' could lead to disaster. Such thoughts could send storms roiling through his head, make him reckless, drive him to actions that could be dangerously careless. He'd found that not only could he do what he had to do much more successfully, but the rest of his life was calmer, altogether much more bearable if he kept such thoughts well under control. So he concentrated on looking around, discreetly checking out the houses and gardens he was passing, keeping his eyes peeled for that special someone who might fit his needs.
Although there were people about, and they were mainly females, there were few that were anywhere near the right age, and those he saw were all totally inappropriate; too powdered and painted, too noisily chattering, most of them flaunting their bodies quite unashamedly, and all in all far too blatantly available. His girl could be none of those things, she needed to be sweetly demure, perhaps shyly studious, carrying with her that intangible air of an innocent vulnerability. It was an attribute his senses had gradually become more attuned to sensing as the years had gone by and he no longer had to rely on the merely visual observations he'd had to the first few times. It was true that even though he'd more frequently spotted the girl he needed when she was on her own there had been a couple he'd first sensed when they were with a group of friends, and they hadn't been the quiet ones, hanging around on the fringes. But even though they had been as talkative as the others they'd still had something about them that had marked them out as being different. Perhaps it was an expression on their face that indicated an underlying compassion, an impression that they would have a greater sympathy for the suffering of those around them, sympathy coupled with a preparedness to make some form of self-sacrifice to alleviate at least a little of that suffering. Sympathy and self-sacrifice for someone like himself.
In some dimly lit corner of his mind he still hoped that one day he'd find that one girl, that extra-special girl who would completely fulfil his deeply buried need, the one girl whose charity would fully and finally assuage the bitter pain of that long past event. The one girl who would rid his mind of the memory of the laughing belittlement, the taunting scorn and disparagement that the first one had heaped upon him. The girl who would drive out those dreams and memories - and make sure they could never return to haunt and rehurt him.
But the day held a double disappointment for him, not only didn't he glimpse even one 'possible' during either the walk or the approach to the mall's entrance, but once inside he found the main concourse had been taken over by some kind of display. His normal practice was to buy a magazine then settle himself down at one of the various coffee and snack bars around the perimeter of the area. From there he had a good view of the passing parade and could quietly survey the shoppers and time-fillers as they wandered to and fro or went up and down on the escalators to the floors above.
Even when he didn't find a 'possible', which was most days he went there, he still got a low level buzz of enjoyment from what he was doing, from what he was contemplating, from knowing that nobody could guess what was going on inside his head. But in spite of the pleasure he could get from doing that there had been several times during the recent weeks of calmness he had sat there actually ignoring the girls who were parading themselves. Instead of watching them, mentally auditioning any of the 'possibles' that were passing by, he'd actually been reliving parts of that last time, that oh so very good time.
But although she had been good in so many different ways she had left him with one question he hoped he would soon be able to answer.
With all of the others he'd not actually climaxed until after they had gone to their rest - as he liked to think of it. But with the last one his final, and what proved to be a truly spectacularly explosive orgasm, had coincided with the last few desperately shuddering convulsions of her body, and that, he thought, may have been the very thing that had made it seem so much stronger than those he'd ever had before. So he needed to find out if it was that timing that had done it, or if it had been a purely coincidental effect, that in fact it had been the girl and the rest of her almost perfect reactions that had made it so much more intensely satisfying.
If it proved to be the timing that was the key he wasn't at all sure just how to go about perfecting that, but the effect had been so fantastic that if it was the explanation he knew he would have to try.
But now it seemed that the answer to the question would have to wait, his hopes and plans for this day seemed to have been thrown into complete disarray by the erection of the display that took up most of the main concourse area. However, having nothing better to do he wandered disconsolately towards it and as he drew closer he realised it was nothing but a series of interconnected partitioning units, and it was the large sign at the entrance that provided the explanation. It was an exhibition, a display of the works of members of a local amateur art society.
His initial reaction was 'How boring, nothing but a collection of clumsy daubings.' But then he realised something; at the junction of each of the partition units there were gaps, if he was inside, looking out, he would still be able to watch those passing by, there was still a chance that the day might not be a total waste.
As he had half expected, once inside he found very few others examining the exhibits and most of those were doing little more than giving them a passing, cursory glance. To cover his actual purpose he did likewise, pausing to look at a few paintings while trying to work out the best place to position himself. The layout of the exhibit was complex; here and there were small areas set off from the main path, each one apparently dedicated to a single artist and it was in one of these that he caught sight of one particular painting.
At first it was its sheer size that attracted his attention, being several times larger than most of the others and taking up almost all of the area the partition unit provided. But then, having somehow been drawn almost compulsively towards it, he caught sight of the girl in the middle-distance of the strange landscape. And then, once he took a closer look, she held his totally undivided interest.
It was her, the last one, each detail of her face and general appearance were far too similar to be just coincidence.
Some distance away, sitting opposite each other across an old, oilcloth covered kitchen table sat the two elderly women. In the far corner of the small darkened room the paraphernalia of their work remained in an untidy jumble of strips of canvas, half-used tubes of paint, uncleaned brushes, candles, numerous jars of unpleasantly smelling mixtures, and several, to others, quite unidentifiable objects each had long ago brought with them from the old country.
The untold number of hours the women had spent comforting each other in recent weeks faded into unimportance as they felt the hoped for vibrations, they looked up at the same moment, staring unemotionally distantly into each other's eyes. 'It is him.' one said in a flat, dispassionate voice. The other merely nodded her agreement. 'Our sweet Marietta will soon open the gates to receive him.' The first one added. 'And then may he burn forever.' The second one finally responded in a fiercely cold voice.
He drew closer, ignoring the dark, slowly moving grey-green river that dominated the foreground, and the luridly red-skied sunset behind the bare, sootily blackened trees in the background, seeing only the girl standing on the opposite bank. Seeing how her eyes locked onto his, sensing how strongly she was willing him to cross over to her.
The look in her eyes brought memories of the ecstatic relief she had given him flooding back; he felt nerve endings tingling, then his whole body tensing at the strength of the spontaneous erection he realised he'd immediately developed. And, at the same moment he knew she was wanting him, wanting him to join her, to let her help him repeat the experience she'd given him, and maybe, provide the final resolution he'd been so desperately searching for.
Driven by that deep-seated, all-enveloping hunger - he stepped forward, initially ignoring the icy fire of the dark river's flood.