The first time I saw her was two months ago, while she was grocery shopping.
She was not your typical pretty girl. You couldn’t really call her charming nor attractive. No, instead she was a bit mousy, a bit shaggy and scrawny. To me, that was perfect, exactly what I was looking for.
Her whole demeanor spoke volumes. She was a loner, an outcast, just like me. She dogged other people at the story, kept her eyes low, and her voice broke whenever she had to talk to someone.
It was only natural that I followed her.
We were on the bus only for a couple of minutes. She didn’t even notice I was there. It was just a couple dozen meters before we reached her home. It was a small house, a bit old, a bit rundown. How very fitting, I thought and laughed a bit.
Finding out her name wasn’t too hard and once I had that, I had a field day on the internet. Of course she had a Facebook profile, and of course, it was connected to Instagram. Both profiles were almost entirely empty. There were only a handful post and a couple of friends. Guess she wasn’t the social type.
Where I struck real gold was her LinkedIn profile. She was a web developer, working remotely, most likely from her own home. Just my luck, this whole thing was getting better and better.
Whenever work allowed it, I was near her house or stalking her on one the few trips she made. I did so for weeks.
I wanted as much information on her as possible. I had to find out when she got up, when she went to bed when she went out grocery shopping and anything else.
After a while, I’d gotten a steady grip on her daily routine. She wasn’t an early bird. I often noticed the first movement at her window around the ten-hour mark. At night lights stayed on till two, sometimes three in the morning. She went grocery shopping every late Wednesday afternoon and went to get her mail on Saturday morning.
There wasn’t much else to her life. No one ever came visiting her. There were no friends, no lovers, and no relatives. Hell, she didn’t even interact with any of her neighbors.
It was a week or so ago that something changed. By then I’d prepared everything. Friday was supposed to be the big day. I’d even taken the week off work to solely focus on her.
It was on Wednesday when I noticed a change in her routine. I was nearby, hidden, waiting for her to get ready for grocery shopping, as she did every week.
Nothing happened though. No doors opened, no one left, nothing, but solitude.
After half an hour I grew antsy, after a full one I was restless. Was she having a day off? But that didn’t fit her at all, she was so meticulous about time and routine.
I waited, but as the minutes passed on and on, I couldn’t see a hint of activity at the house. I started to get worried. What if something happened? For a moment I wondered if she’d somehow snuck out, but there was no way I’d miss her.
No, something must have happened. Maybe she was sick? What if it was something worse though? By god, what if she fell down the stairs or even worse, did something to herself? For all I knew, she could very well be the depressed type and… No, don’t think about this. Shit, I cursed, almost screamed up. That couldn’t be happing.
Finally, I decided there was no other way. I walked up to her door and rang the doorbell. I could pretend to be asking questions about home improvement or that I was doing a sort of survey. I put a story together in my head. As I rang the bell, I hoped that she’d open the door. To see this mousy, little face, the shaggy hair, and the scrawny body. Again though, nothing happened, and the door stayed close. Even after I’d rang the bell countless times.
I was all pins and needles as I walked off again. I had to go back I told myself, but I couldn’t just break down the front door. I thought about what I could do. All the while my mind started to be filled with horrible images, and I had to fight the urge to turn back.
I walked for a bit and then approached the small building from a different side. From here it wasn’t hard to get to the building without being noticed. There were enough trees and bushes nearby to hide me from view. Getting in would be even easier. The house was old, and she hadn’t invested in an alarm system or anything like that.
I was in within minutes.
The place was in pure and utter chaos. For a moment dread crept up inside of me. Had someone broken in? I rushed through the hallway, looking desperately for signs of a break-in. Soon enough though, I realized that this chaos wasn’t a recent thing. No, she seemed to be untidy. Well, that was an understatement, the place was a pigsty.
As I walked through the place, I found heaps of dirty laundry and trash bags. The kitchen counter was hidden under stacks of dirty dishes and empty take-out boxes. Her desk was a disgusting, sticky mess. The whole place had a sour, almost rancid smell to it. It was nothing short of disgusting.
There was one thing I couldn’t found in-between all this mess: her.
There was no hint in the kitchen or bedroom, neither in the living room nor in the bathroom.
I went through the whole place, checked the upstairs and even had a short look at the attic, nothing.
“Shit, where the hell are you, Maria?”
As if to answer my question, a low cry, or better a moan, sounded from somewhere. At first, I didn’t know where it came from, but then I found the basement door. It was cracked open a bit, and I could see a faint light coming from downstairs.
I made my way down the stairs one step at a time. My dear Maria must be down there, I thought smiling. Maybe she’d a bit of an accident and fell down the stairs? That moan though, she must still be alive. I felt the fire course through my veins as each step brought me closer to her. Beads of sweat appeared on my forehead due to the hot rush of anticipation. With each step the smile, no the grin on my face turned wider.
As long as she was still alive, all was well.
I was almost shaking with excitement when I made it down the stairs. Finally, I saw a figure at the bottom, a woman. Oh god, there she was! She was sitting on the floor, leaning against the wall and the moment I could see her face I realized it wasn’t Maria.
“What the-” I started, but broke up when the woman’s eyes flashed open.
Her face looked exhausted, but when she saw me her eyes grew wide, and her face became one of desperation.
“Oh my god,” she whispered, “oh god, please, you have to help me.”
I could barely hear her, due to the low volume of her voice.
“Where’s Maria,” I asked her.
“My sister’s over there, in that room, she, she…”
She didn’t finish the sentence. I was alarmed instantly. I rushed over into the next room. The first thing I noticed was the greasy old bed, covered in wire. I didn’t get to even wonder about that, because then I saw Maria. She was on the floor, not moving, in a sea of her own blood.
It couldn’t be real. I told myself she was unconscious, that it wasn’t her blood, that she was still alive. The moment I saw her face and her dead eyes though, all those thoughts were evaporated. There was no doubt. She was dead.
And I was furious.
She’d been taken from me. My perfect Maria. Well, I thought, at least I’d thought she was perfect. I didn’t have a clue about this so-called sister. I didn’t know what was going on here and I didn’t care. All that mattered to me was that Maria was gone.
After a while, I got up and turned back to Maria’s sister.
“What did you do?” I asked.
“I, I-” she started but broke up again, shaking her head, breathing heavily.
“WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU DO?” I screamed at her.
“I got free,” she finally whispered. “My sister, Maria, she was crazy, I know, no one will believe me, but she was! She chained me to the bed over there to make sure I’d tell no one about what she’d done back-”
“I don’t care about any of that. What did YOU do to HER?”
“The knife, I stabbed her, but I didn’t want to kill her. I swear, I didn’t want to…”
I could see the tears welling up in her eyes. She was crying now.
Knife, she’d said. It took me a few moments, but I saw it still lying in the pool of blood that had formed around Maria. For one more moment, I looked at her face, than at the knife. I simple kitchen knife, crude and ugly. I started to get furious again. Almost picked up the knife to exact revenge, but I told myself to calm down.
Instead, I turned around and smiled at her. For a moment she didn’t react, but then she looked up and returned my weak smile.
“Please, the police, please,” she whispered.
I went forward still smiling. Only now did I see the scar tissue all over her body. I saw the long cuts on her ankles. On Maria, you too tried your best, didn’t you?
“Don’t worry, I am going to take good care of you.”
Her smile vanished the moment I started to use my hands. I didn’t use them to help her, not to treat her wounds, no I used them to hurt her. I couldn’t use the knife laying in the pool of blood, and I didn’t have any of my perfect little tools with me. All I had was my hands, but I used them with the delicacy and the fury of a well-trained hunter. A hunter who’d just lost his prey.
She couldn’t even scream anymore. She was so exhausted, her throat so roughed up, that all she brought out were quiet moans and squeaks. All the while I used my hands to carefully work my way up and down her body, slowly tearing her inside out. I tried my hardest not to damage anything that would kill her too soon.
In the end, she lasted another half hour. Very impressive, I thought, even though I’d held back quite a bit. It must have been tough, having been chained up down here, being tortured by your own sister.
In the end, I almost couldn’t be mad at her anymore for killing my prey. No, I had to thank her.
After all, she was able to satiate my hunger, at least for a while.