That is, until it gets really intimate and the woman touches his face. Then the surprised recoil followed by a look of horror. Or worse still, shocked laughter.
But perfect for the hunt.
Coach Mason was in an angry mood as he parked his pick-up and entered Wal-Mart. He had left his masterpiece for the cops to find, and what happened? Nothing. Complete media blackout. Not on CNN or local TV. Nothing in the papers; it was like it never happened. Well he would show them. And his new work would be on TV.
Not much prey about that day, like it was out of season. He picked up a six-pack and then moved across to the wine racks. That was where he’d find her. A more sophisticated mature woman, looking for help in choosing a suitable wine for a candlelight dinner for one. More of a challenge. He picked up a bottle of California Riesling and started to read the footnotes.
“Sorry to bother you, she said. “Chardonnay’s my usual, but it’s my birthday today, I wanted a special treat.” She smiled and parked her shopping cart. “Any suggestions?”
Suggestions? Yes, he had plenty. “Birthday, huh?”
“Thirty and single.”
Perfect. He put on his disarming smile. “Well, miss, I must say I’m surprised. I’d place you around twenty-five tops.”
She touched her hair. Expensive cut by the look of it. “You’re kidding me, yeah?”
“All I can say is you’ve got good genetics.” And she did. Very surprising to find one like her on the meat market. Maybe a divorcee. He picked out a bottle of Chablis. “Twenty bucks, but classy.” Her eyes lit up. He had obviously hit the spot. A classy bitch. “My dad used to say Chablis for sharing.” He waited for her to say something. Would she take the bait?
“You got something in mind?” He saw her hesitate, unsure.
Just a nibble, a little feel of the juicy worm. He deflected her question, tickled her into safer waters. “It’s your birthday and all, maybe you’re having a party or something.”
She relaxed. “Hell no -- I mean yes. My sister said she’d call in later after her aerobic class finishes.”
Complication. “She works out a lot, then?”
“She’s found herself a new hot man. Wants to get in shape. Know what I mean?”
He grinned. “If she looks anything like you, it won’t take long.” Another compliment, see how she reacts. She made a great fuss of looking at her watch. He had come on to her too quickly. Bad mistake.
“Look, I gotta go. Thanks for your help.”
She had wriggled away. He recast and tried again. “You want me to help load your car? I’d appreciate a ride. Mine’s off the road right now.”
He saw her hesitate. She owed him one; and being her birthday. It might work.
“I live out at Sandmills, that on your route?”
Hooked. “Yeah, that’s fine.” He followed her to her car and helped load the groceries. He didn’t want to alarm her, just kept it all folksy. Talking about his fishing trips to the lakes. Nice and friendly like.
“I can drop you here; I’m up the side street over there.” She pointed.
“It isn’t a problem, the bags are heavy, I can carry them up the drive for you.” The house was secluded from prying eyes, as he knew it would. Rich divorcee, for sure.
“Well, ok then.” The house keys were in her hand. She opened the door and turned to thank him.
That was the start of her nightmare.
Josie Forbes, she said her name was. Polite conversation while he violated the classy bitch. Gutted her good and proper. She was the best one yet. He retrieved the Chablis from the cooler. It was nicely chilled. He found a couple of flute glasses and poured the wine. He raised his glass to toast her, and emptied hers gurgling into her stomach cavity. ‘Chablis for sharing’, he said. But she couldn’t hear him.
“Josie, are you there? It’s Katie.” The house was in shadow and the car was on the driveway. She leaned on the door as she pressed the doorbell again; it swung open on the latch. Music playing in the living room. Frank Sinatra. Dining table set for two, lavender candles glowing in their holders. Half a pepperoni on a pizza tray. An empty bottle of Chablis. She listened to the song as she entered the bedroom....‘it turned out so right, for strangers in the night.’
It was the triple pronged fish hook pierced through Josie’s bottom lip that started her screaming.