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An Intertwining of Strings and Blades

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A sigh, the smell of blood saturating the air, a dissipating scream, and a corpse in his arms. He grinned like a maniac, watching pretty hazel eyes stare at nothing. He’d gone and done it again. Someone’s life was over because he couldn’t help but want to sink a knife into another’s flesh and watch them suffer until they’d breathed their last. It was a strange, fixation of an urge he’d found himself bound by for the last few years. He never did figure out how it started.

Minutes ticked away, and his fascination with the lifeless doll in his arms had dwindled. Now came the part that was a hassle at best. Dispose of the body, don’t get caught, keep it secret. Luckily, this particular killing was neater than his usual, blood-spattering torments. Not a drop of blood had even hit the ground of the slum’s alley, and even if it had, it would’ve joined the rest of the filth and been lost. Best of all, no one would be missing a homeless hooker for a while. He had plenty of time for any trail he left to go cold, and any mistakes to be drowned by time.

Nonetheless, he was careful in carrying her back to his car and depositing her on a lump of old towels in his trunk. He glanced about briefly, seeing no one. Not a surprise, it was well past the dead of night yet long enough till daybreak that only the odd soul here and there might be twitching. With the trunk shut and locked, he swiftly made his way to the driver’s door and scooted into the seat. After double-checking that he hadn’t left anything behind he jammed the key in and started up the engine. Soon as the car roared to life his foot had slammed down on the petal, wheels squealing as he sped out of the neighborhood.

A good while later, once they’d made it over a town or two and into the woods he slowed and pulled over. As much as he loved killing, burying the bodies was just annoying. On the bright side, not getting caught meant he could continue without disruption. He went through his usual procedure: hauling the body far off from any trail or road; digging a hole no wider in diameter than 3 feet, but 7 feet deep to keep animals from digging it up; dumping the body and the towels it had lain on; and finally burying them before covering the freshly filled hole with debris and brush to hide his work, just in case. He only bothered to go through all this, not so much for the sake of the person he was burying, but so human remains with teeth that match his victim's wouldn’t have the potential to be discovered before any ties that could be traced back to him were severed and buried along with his victims.

When he was finally finished and back home he took care in burning the clothes he’d worn that day in the old furnace in the basement. He was also sure to dunk his knife in bleach and return the shovel to his backyard shed, as well as preparing the supplies to clean out his trunk, before purposely dirtying it up again with garden supplies. The garden out front was very nice, after all, and needed plenty of tending. Every action was meticulous, he couldn’t afford to have any loose ends and end up like all those sloppy killers that were convicted as soon as suspicion arose. Even if he had the cops picking through his house with a fine-tooth comb, they would find nothing to convict him.

Being too perfect could also lead to suspicion, so some things were still left in an almost suspicious way, but not quite. He surely had an abundance of cleaning supplies and the potential means to be rid of a body, but an avid gardener and his cat in the suburbs had just as much reason as any suburbian to own such things. No reason to suspect the knives in the kitchen, they’re a kitchen necessity and he loves to cook. The old furnace? Old house, old things, poor minimum wage Jack and his side jobs just can’t afford to replace it. There was not a single hole in his plans and preparations.

As things were winding down and his mental checklist of everything was muttered and ticked off, he sat down in the living room with his little calico cat to watch the news. Typical of him, really. Despite his careful nature and attention to the most infinitesimal details, he was still the paranoid type. That, and he was actually looking forward to one particular story that had been flaring up recently. While Jack himself could certainly be considered a spree killer, no one knew he existed. All his victims were shown as missing persons and nothing more. Now the Puppeteer, he was a relatively recent and well-known killer with an incredibly specific killing style that Jack adored.

This was a man that wanted to be known. He wanted the people to recognize that he was there, and that his kills were a beautifully intricate, absolutely perfect work of art. Not only did he kill at least two people in one week and not get caught, but the way he killed was breathtaking. It didn’t matter who his victims were, he made them gorgeous. Strung up like lovely little puppets by hooks and wires, suspended as their blood pooled at their toes that almost brushed the ground. They weren’t cut up brutally, nor hacked at and slashed with random, harsh anger. No. Every cut was specific. Deliberate. Perfect.

A single slash across the neck and around every joint, then hung by a hook through their back and wires around their wrists. A puppeteer he was indeed, as his puppets were always so perfect in placement and look. It made Jack wish he could be perfect. He almost wanted his own, widely known style of killing. Something that really screamed Jack’s adoration of perfect beauty.

But he was too scared. He was almost afraid of himself sometimes, like when he was driving a knife through a woman’s breast to her heart, or dragging one through a man’s stomach. All his life he was taught things like that were wrong, horrible, disgusting. Yet here he was, killing, killing, and killing again. Ever so carefully though, so discreetly it was unknown that his victims were even dead.

He paused his thoughts, noticing that the news channel had finally turned towards his beloved Puppeteer.

“Yet another victim has been found dead and strung up by the infamous Puppeteer, the spree killer that has been terrorizing this city since early this August. This time, though incredibly similar to all of this dreaded killer’s previous victims, the victim has been posed differently. As you can see by the picture, this victim has been secured with even more wires and posed as though beckoning someone.”

Jack’s breath hitched, catching in his throat as his heart pounded and adrenaline rushed through his body. This had to be some sort of message, some sort of calling for something, or someone. He hoped he wasn’t over analyzing it, but he was sure that the Puppeteer was calling for someone to do something. Something like… a rival. This was certainly a possibility. Better still, it could be a beckon for a companion. This was his chance! If he could show the Puppeteer that he was out here, that he wanted to join them, he could finally see their perfection up close. Meet the glorious soul behind such beauty and learn from the best.

“This is it, Marvin.” He turned to his cat, running his hands over its fur as he whispered excitedly. “I can do it, I can get their attention.” He pressed his nose into Marvin’s fur, hugging the furry creature close to him with a sigh. This was the best news of his life.