The World's Greatest Serial Killer
(a story in the Fates Worse Than Death universe by Brian St.Claire-King)

The young woman awoke in a place that was cold, damp and smelled like mold. She shifted her weight, felt duct tape gripping her skin. She felt cold metal pressed against her flesh. Her vision came in to focus. She was in a basement, naked, duct taped to a metal folding chair. The duct tape would not budge. Screaming for help brought no response. She tried jerking rhythmically, her skin burning as the duct tape tugged against it, hoping to shake the chair to pieces. After nearly half-an-hour she decided to stop and reserve her strength for whatever was to come.

A few hours later, she heard metal sliding against metal from inside the door. It opened and a figure came through. He looked at her with a smile. A tight-black t-shirt showed he was moderately muscular. His jeans were black. His hair was unimaginatively short. He held a box cutter, an enchilada of metal holding a utility blade. He held it out before him like a doctor might carry a scalpel.

The young woman spoke without fear or passion. “Are you here to set me free?”

He turned and locked the door, putting the key in his pocket. He made his way down the stairs without looking at her. He did not answer. He chuckled to himself. He looked at the box cutter as if it was intensely interesting. He walked towards her, still not looking. A few feet from her he stopped, lifted his eyes to look at her, as if noticing her for the first time.

“Then what do you want?” she asked.

He moved his eyes up and down her body, smiling and biting his bottom lip a little. He put his hands on his hips. His eyes met hers and he tried to drill holes in her with his stare. “I already have what I want. I have you, and I can do whatever I want with you.”

“Well,” the young woman sighed, “I’m glad to see you’re not afraid to look me in the eyes.”

He lifted a questioning eyebrow.

She answered his unspoken query. “There’s a lot of guys who are so scared of women they have to bash them in to a bloody pulp before they can even rape them.”

He thought for a second then grinned. “And you think that would be worse than what I’m going to do with you?” It wasn’t a question he expected answered.

“I would be embarrassed for you if you were one of those,” she stated.

He moved towards her, set the box cutter on the duct tape of her left thigh. He moved his hands over her. They were alternately soft and rough, caressing and then squeezing cruelly. His hands were strong, calloused, slightly oily. Roughly, they pushed their way inside her vagina. He leered and grinned at her. She watched him dispassionately.

He stood up, stared at her for several seconds. She looked back. “I get it,” he said, his voice almost a monotone, “You’re one of those wannabe profilers, right? You spend a few hours a week reading netsites about serial killers, you argue about ‘organized’ and ‘disorganized’ killers on some message board and you think that makes you some expert. Right?”

“No,” she said.

“I don’t believe you.”

“Okay,” she said. Her eyes left his, she glanced around the basement. Her eyes noted boxes, cracks in the concrete, beams. A smile began small and spread across her face. It had just spread past her cheeks and in to her eyes when she looked back at him.

The man stared at her, his chest heaving. He gave a forced laugh. “Why are you smiling?”

“Because you’re so certain that you’re in control of this situation.”

He grasped the side of her face with his hand, the fingers that had recently probed her vagina tugged on the skin of her eyelids, making her vision blur. When he spoke, tiny pauses had crept in between his words. “And I’m not in control of this situation?”

“No,” the young woman said, passively, and then as a footnote she added “I am.”

The arrogant sneer kept faltering, turning in to a frown for a split second before catching itself and forcing itself back in to shape. “How so?”

“Well, you have control over my physical body. You can rape, torture and kill me. Yet unless I choose to care, none of that will satisfy your needs.”

“This act,” he paused, searching for the right words, “this poorly conceived ruse, what do you think it’s going to get you?”

“You asked why I was smiling. I was polite enough to give you an answer. If you choose not to believe me, it’s no skin off my back.”

He released his grip on her face and picked up the box cutter,. He examined the sharp point of the utility blade. “Skin off your back? Sounds like a good idea to me. Let’s see how your brave-smartass act stands up to a little old-fashioned flaying.” He grabbed her face again, his finger digging in to her cheeks, his palm covering her mouth and pushing painfully on her nose. The move was clumsy, trembling, actual hatred showed though. “You’re going to beg me, you bitch,” he hissed at her, his face close, spit landing on her forehead, “You’re going to beg me to kill you before I’m through with you.” He removed his hand and stepped back, regarding her.

“Actually, I won’t,” she said calmly. “I may scream, thrash, tears may come to my eyes, I may urinate or void my bowels, but that’s all just an unfortunate aspect of human neurological wiring. That’s not something I have any control over. Begging, though, that’s something I have control over, something I won’t do unless I want to, and you won’t make me want to do it.”

He grasped her face again. With the other hand he put the point of the crate cutter to her temple. He pressed the blade in to her flesh and drew it downwards. The blade was deep enough to score muscles and tendons. She felt warm blood dripping and flowing down to her feet. She winced. Her breath rattled to a stop like a gear with a wrench thrown in it. He stopped at her chin, then removed the blade. She resumed breathing, although shakily at first.

He stepped back, once again, to regard her. He waited for her to say something. When she didn’t, he spoke. “See. You’re not in control here. I am. I’m here for my pleasure, and I’ll take what I want from you, whether you like it or not. Act like you don’t care if you want, it doesn’t mean shit to me.”

“That’s a lie,” she said with a grin. “Obviously you care. If you were only after the physical sensations of raping and cutting flesh, you could go to a porn-shop, pump quarters in to a VR machine, and get all that or more. Or, better yet, if only physical sensation mattered to you, you could buy a big piece of meat, cut a hole in it and go to town. Yet you risk life, limb and imprisonment to capture a living woman. You need me, and I’m afraid I’m not going to give you what you want.”

He wagged his finger at her. “I know what you’re doing,” he said in a paternal tone, “You’re trying to anger me so I’ll kill you faster. You’ve figured out you’re going to die, and you’re trying to bypass the rape and torture I have in store for you.”

She looked away, a disgusted look. “Don’t make me.”

He grinned triumphantly. “Don’t make you what, little girl?”

She turned to look at him. For the first time, emotion shone in her eyes. She spoke in the tone of a teacher explaining the assignment to the student who came in late. “First of all, this ‘you’re a naughty doggie’ routine is even more annoying than your ‘I’m so in charge I don’t even need to look at you,’ routine. You need to stop because I’m genuinely embarrassed for you.”

He stood rooted, hate pouring out of his eyes. His lips were pressed together tightly. The hand holding the box cutter made little twitches, tracing a miniature path of destruction.

“Second, there’s only you and me here, nobody else to fool, and we both know the truth. We both know that you need me. I’m here because you need to be important in someone else’s life, and you think you can do that by raping and killing me, but it won’t work. There’s not a thing you can do to me that will matter more than a whit to me. I’m just not a very good victim, it’s not your fault, it was just luck of the draw.”

Suddenly he punched her in the face. Her head rocked backwards, the front legs of the chair lifted from the ground and then slammed down again. He absently wiped his knuckles on his lips. Then he started unzipping his jeans.

“Oh please,” she said in an exasperated tone, “stick with torture, you’ll get more of a response from me. I don’t care if your dick goes inside me anymore than I care if you sit in the corner and rub pieces of fried chicken together. I won’t feel dirty, I won’t feel violated, I’ll just feel meat touching meat.”

He punched her again, this time the chair tipped over. Her head hit the concrete floor. Everything went white for a second, and when her vision returned he saw her standing over her, his chest heaving in anger.

“Besides,” she said, spitting out blood as she spoke, “How are you supposed to get a hard on? I’m not living up to your fantasy. I’m not terrified of you. I don’t think much of anything about you.”

He knelt down, grabbed a fistful of her hair, yanked her head up a few inches off the concrete, and pressed the box cutter in to her left eye. She winced, felt blood and other fluids gush down her cheek. He ground it in, twisting it until the whole thing was in her eye socket. He yanked it out and blood squirted.

Anger slurred his words together. He was screaming so hard it made his voice hiss and falter. “What do you think of me now, bitch? Huh?”

“You really want to know?” she spat back. “I think you’re a needy little loser. I think you’re a perpetual failure. Nobody loves you, nobody likes you, nobody respects you. And here you are in a basement with a woman you’re about to mutilate and kill and you can’t even get anybody to fear you, that’s how fucking pathetic you are.”

He slammed her head back down in to the concrete. He started slashing at her wildly with the box cutter. His hand whipped back and forward, cutting wide, wild circles. Blood welled up on her face, her neck, her breasts, her stomach, her thighs, her arms. The blood dripped down on to the floor and pooled up. There was blood everywhere. It flowed between her back and the folding chair she was attached to. Her body tensed and she made a squeaking gasp each time he cut her.

A cut through the duct tape ripped. As quick as a darting viper, her hand shot out. With one motion she grabbed the fist holding the box-cutter, ripping the little finger backwards, snapping it. He screamed, dropping the box cutter. He stood, grasped his hand, staring at the finger with a look of horror on his face. Her hand went to the ground, found the box-cutter in a pool of blood. A quick, precise cut and her other arm was free.

He saw that she had freed her other arm. With a roar, he tried to stomp on her head. She batted his foot out of the way and it landed on the concrete floor. She grabbed a hold of him and pulled herself, folding chair and all, on top of him. Blood poured down on to him from the cuts on her face and the red mass that was once her eye. He blinked the blood out of his eyes. He pushed her off, scrambled to his feet, bolted to the stairs. She cut herself free while he tried to pull the keys out of his pocket. She raised herself up. His key missed the lock. He tried again. He turned to see her hurtling up the stairs towards him. A fist in his armpit paralyzed him with pain, she knocked his feet out from under him, sending him tumbling down the stairs. He tried to get his hands under him to raise himself, but she was on top of him, dripping hot blood on him. Sticky hands grabbed him, wrenching his hand behind his back. A knee went in to his back. Out of the corner of his eye he saw her face, nothing but deep redness, matted black hair and a single burning eye.

She put her face next to his ear. Drops of blood sprayed in to his ear canal as she spoke. She hissed “Congratulations, punky. I’m going to erase that piece of shit you call a mind, and I’m going to replace it with something so much better. You’re being promoted. You’re going to become the world’s greatest serial killer.”

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