Predator Vs Prey

Warning: Graphic Content.

The room was a mess.  Trent had been a little too enthusiastic with this latest visit.  He was definitely not known for his cleanliness but, still.  A little more caution was in order.  You can’t possibly be an effective serial killer if you are caught. 

He was pretty cautious while hunting but once he settled on a victim and entered the space for their “visit”, he was a kid in a candy shop.  A very messy kid in an unsecured candy shop with no adult supervision.  All bets were off.  His favorite thing was knife work.  Unfortunately, knife work is a messy thing, by nature.  Add to that his love of the sounds and smells of it all, and you’ve got a scene that would make any seasoned detective gag and lose sleep.  He loved that, too.

After hitting the lottery several months ago, Trent realized he could finally reach his full potential without worrying about how he would survive between visits.  Basically, a serial killer was able to quit his day job.

What happens when an already proficient serial killer comes into a huge amount of money, you ask?  Death happens.  Lots of death.  He fully embraced his new-found freedom.  He drives a pretty average black SUV.  He carries an ungodly amount of cash with him.  Cash is used for everything and he talks as little as possible during any transaction.  The “gray man” look and behavior is fully embraced so people hardly notice him. 

Even still, this can’t go on forever with the amount of DNA he is probably leaving at each scene.  He is aware of this reality but doesn’t really care.  He is in the middle of a binge.  Some people would come into money and binge on food or drugs or alcohol or material things.  Not Trent.  He is binging on murder and he is LOVING it.

He takes a quick shower in his victim’s bathroom, bags up his soiled clothes, and gets back into his black SUV that is parked down the street.  He knows he needs to go to a nearby camping site and burn the clothes.  The smoke won’t alert anyone because it’s common on campgrounds.  After accomplishing that without being seen, he hits the road and he won’t stop until he is in a state that does not border the state he was just in.  This is how he eludes capture.  So long as the state he is currently in does not border the state he just killed in, he’s good to go for another round.  He doesn’t even stop for food or gas until he is at least out of the state he just killed in.  He owns no phone and makes no friends.  Safety first.

He is currently entering Ohio, which is a safe state according to his usual pattern.  Trent decides to go right into the middle of the state and see who he can find.  He’s not a small dude so he doesn’t tend to choose people based on if he believes he can overpower them.  He tends to pick people based on how well he believes they will die.  He likes his visits with people to be productive and he is always up for a good fight!  He never takes souvenirs, though.  He believes in ghosts or energies or whatever you want to call them and he wants NO part of that.  Once someone is dead, he is done with them and moves on. 

Trent believes that everyone has energy in their body.  He enjoys helping them to release that energy.  If he takes anything of theirs with him, he risks that energy following him.  Eventually, someone will release him but until that happens, he will keep helping others shed their bodies while also feeding his intense desire for forceful and bloody deaths. 

He pulls into a quiet little suburb of Columbus, Ohio and stops at a park that has a bike path going through it.  He’s definitely not looking for anyone who has kids or a partner.  No, he’s looking for a single person who lives alone.  They can’t have a proper visit together if someone else walks in on them.

He spots a young man, mid 20’s maybe, jogging along the path.  He decides now is a great time for a ride on his scooter.  He keeps an adult scooter in his car for exactly this purpose.  A bike on the back of his vehicle might draw unwanted notice from passersby.  With this little scooter, he can stalk someone without drawing attention.  He’ll look perfectly in place on any bike path.  It’s got three wheels on it, one in front and one under each foot.  It’s doesn’t go too awfully fast but that’s what he likes about it.  He can keep up with a good jogger while still staying behind them a ways.

He follows this man to a parking lot right up against the path.  The jogger goes up to his red RAV4 and stretches before getting in and driving away.  Trent makes note of the day and the license plate of the car.  It’s Wednesday evening.  He will come back every evening about two hours earlier and wait to see if the man comes back for regular runs from here.  With any luck, he will run here often and Trent can follow him home to see what kind of living arrangement this guy has.  This is the hunt and Trent loves it almost as much as the actual visit.  Almost.

Thursday is uneventful but Friday yields some fruit.  The man is back.  He gets out of his car, stretches, and heads down the path in the same direction he took last time.  Trent makes a note of the day and time.  Then, he waits.  He is parked on the other side of the parking lot, pretending to be on his phone.  It’s such a common occurrence now to see people blindly on their phones that no one really takes notice anymore.  Of course, this phone isn’t functional at all and only a prop.  No tracking devices for him, thank you very much!

An hour later, the man is back and covered in sweat.  He is obviously athletic to some degree and will make an excellent candidate for release.  Trent readies his car as the man stretches and towels off before entering his own car and pulling out of the parking lot.

Trent is not far behind him but does allow a couple of cars to get in front of him so as not to be too obvious.  The man drives to a nearby neighborhood, a nice area of town, and pulls into a decent sized house with a picket fence and a two car garage.  Right away, Trent is expecting to find that the guy lives with someone but a few more days of long distance surveillance shows that he does, in fact, live alone…aside from his golden retriever.  Unfortunately, the dog will also have to be dealt with.  Believe it or not, Trent takes no pleasure in killing animals, least of all dogs.  They have so much to give to this ridiculous world whereas people are a dime a dozen and expendable.

Trent decides the best route of action is to visit on a Monday night after this fellow has gone to bed.  He’ll be a little tired from his workout earlier and Mondays are always a drain on anyone, mentally.  There are no warning signs about cameras on the outside of his home so Trent has reason to believe there probably aren’t any in the house.

Monday night comes and Trent prepares a perfectly cooked ribeye steak for the dog.  Since it is going to be his last meal, he deserves a good meal.  After watching the man and his dog interact with people for the last week, he believes the dog will react well to a tasty treat and not hinder Trent’s true intentions for the visit.  He was actually surprised at how friendly the dog was toward him after the steak and decided to put the dog in another room with his tasty steak to keep him occupied.

After using a glass cutter to quietly break into the back door and putting the dog away with his treat, Trent stealthily approached the master bedroom that was on the second floor of the house at about one in the morning.  This would give him enough time to have his fun and flee before the man was reported missing and someone found Trent’s handy work.

He had his favorite knife in hand, a perfectly sharpened hunting knife, good for pretty much any type of cut he fancied performing that night.  He also kept some backup knives strapped to various areas of his body.  After all, he does love a good fight!  He had a feeling this guy was going to be up for it…

Trent chose to give the guy an initial cut that would wake him and hinder his movement a bit so they could be properly introduced and a battle would begin.  Sure, he could just slit his throat right away and then slice away while the guy bled out but what was the fun in that?  Getting cuts in, here and there, was much more satisfying.

He chose to go for the man’s right arm and crept into the room, toward the bed.  As he neared the bed and began to draw the knife back, a shocking thing happened.  He was actually taken by surprise!  What an amazing, and yet disappointing, turn of events for Trent.  The man caught him directly on his left knee with a swift kick from under the covers of his bed!  As soon as Trent was down, the man pounced out of bed and kicked him swiftly right under his chin, chipping some teeth and knocking him unconscious.

When Trent awoke, he found himself completely naked, gagged, and tied to a morgue type table in what looked like a basement. The man was nowhere in sight.  The pain in his knee was profound and he knew he wouldn’t be able to put any weight on that leg at all.  He immediately began looking around the room, trying to formulate a plan that would see his victim-turned-captor dead and him back to his car and out of the state as quickly as possible.  There was no longer time to enjoy releasing anyone.  He just needed the visit to be done and him to be on the road. 

There were what looked like surgical equipment all around him and bright lights above him.  His situation was decidedly dire.  As he was searching the room with his eyes and working on the very tightly tied ropes, his captor entered the room.  Their dance would truly begin now.

“I’m shocked at this happy coincidence of meeting you, Trent.  It’s not every day that prey just walks right into my home.  I’m sure you’re wondering what is going on so I’ll take only a moment to fill you in a little.  I do enjoy a good monolog.”

Trent was beginning to feel a little less confident, which was not a feeling he was accustomed to…

“It would appear that we share the same hobby.” the man said.  “I very much enjoyed finding all the knives you brought with you!  Those will come in handy shortly.  I don’t know how you enjoy your victims but I enjoy the pain of my victims.  You will survive just long enough to wish you were dead.  I’ll draw every ounce of pain from you that is available and then our time together will be done.  Normally, I have to search all over for appropriate victims but when I saw you watching me, I recognized the pursuit and decided to play along.  I hope you don’t mind.”

With that, he picked up Trent’s favorite knife and ran the point along Trent’s injured leg, from ankle to upper thigh, leaving a small trail of blood behind.  If he had put any pressure on the sharpened knife, Trent’s leg would’ve been flayed wide open. 

“I admire the care you take with your equipment.  This knife is well sharpened and would surely have split me wide open!  I also appreciate that you did not injure my dog.  Because of that, I will make you a deal that I have never made anyone.  I will give you a safe word and remove your gag.  If you remain quiet, the gag will stay off and you can say the safe word for a sudden death whenever you are ready.  If you do not remain quiet and utter any word other than the safe word, I will replace the gag and continue with my fun until we are done.  If you understand, shake your head accordingly.”

Trent laid still, trying to comprehend the situation he was in.  His choice was death or slow death.  He was still trying to analyze his situation and find a way to avoid the release that he normally forced on others.  That was looking less and less likely, though.  He decided to chance having his gag out.  Maybe he could be cooperative enough for a while that the guy would allow him to speak.  Maybe he could give him enough entertainment that he would let him live.

Trent shook his head in a Yes motion. 

The man removed the gag and Trent stayed quiet.  This brought a smile to the man’s face and he promptly started looking through his “tools”, choosing just the right implement for whatever his sick mind had planned.  His gaze settled on a small pocket knife of Trent’s that had been delicately sharpened to a hair splitting point.  He then turned to look at Trent, who was still laying quietly and maintaining perfect eye contact with the man whenever possible.  Trent didn’t like it when his victims did that.  Maybe this guy wouldn’t either and it would throw him off…

“Pineapple is your safe word.  Only say it if you are ready for this to end.  Do you understand?”

Trent could think of no other way to stall this so he shook his head again and braced for whatever was next.  The longer he lasted, the more flexibility he may gain with his captor.  It was his only play at the moment.  He needed this guy to mess up somehow.  Maybe leave a scalpel too close to Trent’s hand or something…

“I know you are probably concerned about your genitals, considering you are in such a vulnerable position.  I wouldn’t concern myself with that just yet.  We’ll get there but it’s never my main focus.  That pain tends to make men pass out and I can’t enjoy your pain if you’re passed out.”

With that, he plunged the little pocket knife into the side of Trent’s right leg, thus injuring both legs now.  The pain surged through his leg and he almost yelled out, stopping himself just in time.  The man seemed impressed.

“That was a test and you passed!  I thought, for sure, that you were going to say something and get gagged again.  This is more fun than I thought it would be…”

The pocket knife took another dive into his right thigh.  There wasn’t nearly as much blood as Trent had imagined and he quickly realized that was purposeful.  This guy doesn’t want his victims to bleed out too quickly.  That would take away his ability to cause pain.  It’s the pain he’s after.  Trent had only ever been after the blood so this was a new concept for him.

Instead of taking the knife out this time, the man left it in and turned it in a full circle.  Trent’s face distorted with the effort of not making any noise.  The pain was searing and pulsing through his leg.  That seemed to excite his torturer even more.  He was definitely enjoying himself.

“Let’s do something a little more delicate now.”

He reached for a scalpel and stepped toward Trent’s head.  He went straight to work on Trent’s ear, carefully and quickly cutting it free of his head.  Tears formed in Trent’s eyes and rolled down where his ear was just a moment ago.  How could he get out of this situation?  Even he would get some pleasure out of this if there was blood everywhere but this is just slow and painful and pointless! 

The man looked very pleased with his work and gently laid the ear on a table nearby.  Trent wondered how much of him would end up neatly placed on that table before the sun was up.  He decided that he would bite the man as hard as he possibly could the next time he came near enough.  Maybe if he caused the man some pain, he would be into that and untie a hand.  Then, Trent could agree to cause slight pain but actually kill the guy with a swift slice to the throat.  That plan might work.

“I have to admit, you are impressing me.  I’ve never met anyone quite like you.  People are always so afraid of the pain.  They fight it so hard but you seem to welcome it!  It must be because of our shared hobby of death.  We are kindred spirits, you and I.”

He then started cutting off Trent’s big toe, first off his right foot and then off his left foot.  He stayed quiet as directed but could taste blood in his mouth from biting his tongue with the effort. 

“I decided to take your toes at the joint so there was no need to cut through bone.  It’s a little less painful and quicker that way.  I think you’ve earned that.  Maybe I should’ve invited you to join me in my pursuits?  We could’ve been great partners!  I guess that ship has sailed, though, huh?”

Just then, Trent saw a possible opportunity and decided to take it…

“We still could be”, Trent said after swallowing the blood from his injured tongue.  The man’s admiring look shifted to utter and complete rage as he grabbed the gag off a tray and shoved it into Trent’s mouth and wrapped it around his bloodied head.

“You ruined it!  How could you?  I thought we had a great thing going.  You were the most amazing individual I’ve ever shown true pain to and you messed it all up.  Now you’re just like the others.  You’ll take what I give you and I don’t give a shit about your pain level.  I will truly be at work now and you will know the masterpiece of pain I will create in you.  Dammit!”

With that, he went right to work with Trent’s genitals, removing every component one at a time.  Testicles first, laying each one neatly but swiftly on the table.  Then he took the penis, cutting it off right at the base and laying it on the table beside him.  Trent’s screams were muffled by the gag but still noticeable.  It didn’t slow this guy down at all.  He went diligently to work dismantling Trent’s body, piece by piece, starting with the least important bits like fingers, toes, ears, eyelids.  He was obviously well-practiced.  He made sure to secure his leg and apply a tourniquet before cutting it off at the knee.  Same with the other leg and both arms, taken at the elbow.

When he had taken all of Trent’s extremities, the man untied the tourniquets and stood back as Trent shook and bled out on the table, tears and blood streaming from his lidless eyes.

The rest of Scott’s morning went pretty routinely.  He opened the big vat of acid in his basement and placed Trent’s pieces in one after the other and closed it up so it could do it’s dark work.  He reported to work at the karate studio as usual, teaching bratty kids who have never known true pain like he had.  Soft, delicate little creatures.  They were his inspiration to do what he does.  He’d been planning to take a woman he’d been watching in the city but she would have to wait.  His acid bath was busy at the moment.

**********

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