Angela’s eyes turned cold as ice as she glared daggers at her captor. His conceited chuckle was one breath away from sounding a cartoonish villain. She could almost imagine him twirling a moustache and uttering, ‘”Mwahaha”.
“It makes me sick to think I ever held even the remotest professional respect for you. You’re toying with people’s lives as if they mean nothing at all, and for what? An ego trip? Tell me why … why would you do something like this?” She demanded.
“I don’t think anyone in your position ought to be casting aspersions on my character. I told you before; my work is a public service.”
“What, your thinning the heard because of overpopulation? How does murder make you a public servant? Seriously, I really want to know. I want to understand what happened to you. Since you said I’ve done nothing to deserve this fate, don’t you think you own me the courtesy of an explanation? I’d always considered you a friend.”
“Even a killer’s heart can ache, Angela, and if it makes you feel any better, my heart will ache when I have to kill you. But I swear to you, I won’t mangle you like the others. Your death will be quick and as painless as possible.”
“You didn’t answer my question,” she retorted. “Why? What is it that makes you think you’re providing a service?”
His initial instinct was to turn and leave but she’d struck a chord in him. His original purpose, his cause, had been tainted. The only way he’d find peace now was to tell her the truth. If she understands, he thought, if I can convince her, it will be absolution. He needed to cleanse his conscience for what he’d done to Marie and Jill. They were never part of his plan.
“Since we have some time to kill, no pun intended, I shall tell you. On one condition though, you are to keep silent until I am finished. Got it?”
Fighting against the restraints, Angela tried to raise her hand— like a school girl needing to ask a question.
“Are you trying to raise your hand?” His amusement made his words sound hiccup-like as he tried not to laugh.
She nodded and he realized she was obeying his order.
“Do you need to use the lavatory? No? Do you want to ask me a question?”
Her nod showed she was playing by his rules and he was pleased.
“Go ahead then,” he replied.
“What if I have a question along the way? Should I just raise my hand so that I’m not interrupting you?”
With his ego filled, he agreed that if she needed something clarified in his story she had permission to raise her hand. He promised to keep a close watch on Angela’s hand since, being restrained meant she had little movement. He took a deep breath and began his story.
“Well, perhaps it is just my upbringing but over the years I have grown so disgusted with people. They’re rude and cruel to their fellow man— or, fellow women, as the case may be. They’ve developed a sense of entitlement, as if the world and everyone in it owes them something. They whine when they don’t get what they want and trash others who are more deserving. This is what happens when parents substitute material possessions for love … you get generations obsessed with having everything. Last year’s model is thrown away because they want the brand-shiny-new one that has come out as the ‘it’ thing. The selfish bastards won't even donate it to someone who might need it. Nope, they throw it away. This is what happens when everyone earns a trophy and little league teams don’t keep score. These horrid, wretched, husks of a human is what evolves when children aren’t taught to respect others. They don’t share, they don’t care, and they have no idea how to survive without mommy and daddy footing the bill. This is what comes of having no discipline and letting children do whatever they want, whenever they want. The child grows and ages but never becomes an adult. They’re just as bratty as a two-year-old at twenty-two or forty-two. They need a reality check. I provide that.”
Angela’s jaw gaped open but no words escaped. She was stunned by what she’d heard. While there was no disputing that there are people like that in the world, she had a hard time accepting that there were so many that a vigilante needed to step in and rid the world of them in one fell swoop. Not only that, she wondered what some of those people had done to earn their spot under his blade. She tried to fit the missing pieces together but there were parts of the full picture missing. She fought against the restraints to lift her hand for a question. He granted her permission to ask, curious what was swirling around in her brain.
“Okay, I can see why Trevor, and even Kendra, fit into your … um, qualifications but what about those two girls before me? What did Marie and Jill do?”
Angela could see his shoulders sag and a soft sigh escaped his lips. If I didn’t know better, I’d think it was remorse, she thought. He paced back and forth for a moment, debating how to explain the flies in his ointment.
“Well, they weren’t meant to be involved but sometimes fate takes a hand. Yes, I can see from the expression on your face you don’t believe me but their situation was something I had not planned for.”
***Please return Monday, November 3rd for the next installment of SERIAL***